Video Maps for Driving Directions –

I came across this very innovative website – – that provides driving directions & locates businesses in Bangalore. While providing online driving directions is a very old idea, this website takes this seemingly simple idea to a whole new level by providing entire video of the road from source to destination – along with audio & annotations on all landmarks/businesses on the way. The website calls this as “Video Maps” technology. While all the roads are yet to be mapped – this seems way too cool. 

Add this for a topping – you can sms the source and destination to a given number and the directions will be smsed back to you!

Go through the “tips” section of the website to know various other features.

I really loved this site and look forward to a full fledged launch of this (right now it is in Alpha stage and the website design could be improved).

Kudos to the founders (Chandra, Ravi and Muralidhara!) for this innovation and wish them all the success!



Not really sure how works, but trying to see if it really does what it claims , which is increasing the hits to this web site 🙂

Google Ads

Picked this url in twitter – 

Classic example of why computers still require humans to operate them.

Baboons can program!

Posted in blog city on July 16th 2003  

As per this article sent to me by Sathish yesterday, Baboons and Chimps can program in VB!

Thank God! I am a java programmer 🙂
Looks like these chimps might take some more time to understand java and I hope that keeping upto the pace of J2EE specs is relatively difficult, even for Chimps! In the mean time, I will have to seriously think about changing the profession. Hmmm… may be “Chimp body shopping” or “Chimp Breeding Farms” might be lucarative options in coming days 😉
I wonder what will MS say when they hear that chimps’ favorite is VB6.0
“Even Chimps can program in VB!”… and
Sun’s comment …  “*ONLY* Chimps can progam in VB!”
Sun might even come out with another java edition “J2CE – Java 2 Chimp Edition” so that it will easy for Chimps to pick up java! pretty amusing to think…
Seriously, if at all this becomes a reality, it definitely has the potential to change the course of current dynamics in software industry rather drastically! All the software progammers might be out of job soon and be replaced by monkeys!
Yes, human race is indeed progressing…


‘ posted this on Thu 17 Jul 2003, 2:14 am

I saw that article. It was very funny and too “complicated” to be true. Some one picking up the “poor” M$ folks.
But, if what they say is true(imagine), I may soon need to look for a job.
having said that, whats the guarantee that the “invasion of the apes” will not happen in that profession?
hmmm looks like we will be a planet of apes soon..murali []
‘ posted this on Fri 25 Jul 2003, 4:59 am

Excellent article and a brilliant example of contortion of facts. Say it convincingly and you can get away with anything. If you take any of the
link on the article, it leads to a site related to the primates, but none of them
substantiate what the article states. If you visit the web site of Iowa Primate
Learning Sanctuary, you will find at this link the language used for communicating with the primates is very rudimentary. And their site does not talk about this great research on primates doing computer coding..Pheeww … Atleast my job is still a little secure.. and my paycheck is not a
booklet of coupons for bananas!! ;-))

Have fun !!

If it compiles, it is unit tested!

Posted in blog city on May 7th 2004 

A recent blog by Sam Pullara details an innovative mechanism of test coverage. Using AOP to get the list of test cases for a given method seems to be a really coool use of latest technology. However, I do believe there must have been products that offer this functionality of listing test cases covering a given method already built into them using different means.

Integrating this with IDEs like Eclipse so that appropriate tests are automatically run as and when a method is modified, seems to be a killer idea. But not sure how many will really be able to use this feature in IDEs primarily because to do a test coverage, one needs to have test cases 😉

In my little experience in this industry,

 — Majority of the software projects rarely have a “well defined” unit test cases. Developers like me just skip “unit testing” phase citing it as boring and more importantly have other exciting things (such as blogging, chatting, browsing) to do!

— Even with frameworks such as JUnit, which promise unit testing to be fun, developers have not really started unit testing. Many of the developers still strongly believe that “as long as it compiles, it is unit tested!”. Developers love the challenges that come up when the code does not work as expected at the time of integration. Else, software development will just be damn boring!

— And for very few projects that have well defined unit test cases (in Junit), they love to run all the test cases as many times as possible, since not only it does not cost them any thing to run the same test cases multiple times, it also provides additional sense of satisfaction/achievement for having developed so many test cases. Even if the change is to a single method, they would love to run all the test cases “just to be sure” that the change did not break something else!

Overall, there is no need for IDE communities to slog and implement this killer feature described by Sam Pullara as there will be very few people who will rely on that to conduct thier regression testing. 


‘ posted this on Fri 7 May 2004, 6:47 pm

Its true, that developers do not write test cases and the reasons are too obvious.
1) Personal aspect – Too boring
2)Confidence – My code WILL run
3) Oversight – I can’t see any reason why someone would change this code in future.Having said that, I see developers getting used to unit test cases. Some by their own free will, some due to pressure from some “Pointy haired boss”. Someone would have put this unit test cases stuff into his head. So atleast to look fasionable, the boss insists on Unit test cases.


‘ posted this on Mon 17 May 2004, 10:53 pm

It seems to me the usual reason that developers site for not writing unit tests is schedule pressure. (no time!) Not because of a overabundance of confidence in their code or that they find unit testing boring.Pete McKinstry []

Rare Screen from Google

Posted in blog city on May 7th 2004  

This should be the first time that I have seen Google’s website down.
In fact I always type to see if my proxy/ISP is up and running (which I believe should be the case with many people).

Visit this link to see the screen shot.

A rare screenshot indeed!


‘ posted this on Mon 28 Jun 2004, 8:39 pm

I have also seen it a couple of times, that too lately only. I guess it has something to do with the load gmail might be causing :-)) But, I guess it’s uptime is still remarkable and as you, I also continue to use google as the internet connectivity test page. And even when google was down, it did serve your purpose by telling you that your internet connectivity was up!! Hats off to this system.Gokul singh


Posted in blog city on May 13th 2004  

I got some time to spend on the “meta-data/annotations feature” (JSR-175) that is part of JDK1.5. The whole concept of annotations is in general, good. However, to me, the way Java is implementing the concept seems patchy.

Declaring an annotation itself is ackward. Why should one use “an interface with restricted features” to declare an annotation? I wish there is a new key word such as “annotation” introduced into the language to declare annotations. Also, using method semantics to define the attributes for the annotation does not seem correct. This defies some common sense. The FAQs in the spec attempted to answer this, but the answers are far from satisfactory.

With respect to  local variable annotations — Imagine your annotation is declared with Retention policy of “CLASS” or “RUNTIME” and then the annotation is made on a local variable — the annotation can never make it to the class file and you can never introspect it. I guess this could have been better designed.

Package level annotations is again a mess. The spec says developers should write file and not write any code in it (package-info is an illegal class name as per java specs). This is surely a clumsy way to deal with annotations at package level. The spec authors should have given more time for this to be resolved (in JDK1.5 beta “package level annotation feature” is not yet implemented, may be they are still wondering if there is a better way).

Overall, it clearly shows that annotations are an “after-thought” to the Java language.