Xobni is turning the inbox upside down

8 05 2008

Xobni is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. I was having a discussion with some friends over the weekend where one of them felt like Gmail’s conversation structure was one of the best things to happen to email. I’m an avid user of both Gmail and Outlook and tend to like them both for very different reasons. Gmail keeps long conversations with many people in a very compact manner. Outlook does a better job integrating your calendar and email into one desktop platform where you can look at historical email easily.

I’ve always felt that the search functionality with Outlook is something to be asked for. Xobni, however, takes search to a new level by making it a contact based search. They predicate there product on the fact that you tend to contact certain people more frequently than others and at certain times of the day. As a result, they will profile each of your users with your conversations threaded and attachments shown chronologically.

In the three days that I’ve used the product, I’ve found it to increase my productivity quite a bit at work. I’ve used it almost as a file exchange system where I search for documents within my email. Ultimately, I think people are using email more for data storage (especially with GMail). Xobni provides a clear and unique way to organize it. Here is a screenshot of the product below. It lives just to the right of your outlook application for easy search use. It also doesn’t completely eat up your CPU usage like other indexing software (cough…google…cough).

FYI – bloggers all over the internet have been raving about this product. Xobni was offered $20 million dollars from Microsoft but decided to walk away at the 11th hour because they felt as though the team would just become another function of Outlook (which it would). Great move by the Xobni team as they have built a social framework around email. With this framework, they have the ability to create a social utility integrating chat, file sharing across email platforms. Instead of having to go to a separate domain to access your files, you can simply do it through your email. A user tends to be on email almost 50% of the time they are online and Xobni’s cloud structure can increase that usage and bring services to your fingertips.

Just my $.02…



New Blackberry coming out soon? It’s dubbed AK – “Apple Killer”

29 04 2008

Rumors have been circulating in the past week that Research in Motion (RIM) has been secretly working on a project called “AK”.  The “Apple Killer” is said to be a touch screen smartphone to compete head on with the Apple IPhone.  Since the IPhone was introduced in August 2007, it’s made a major impact in the smartphone industry.  Rapidly gaining market share and moving to #2 in the smartphone/pda vertical, the IPhone has RIM in a much more reactive mode.

That being said, RIM is planning on announcing the launch of the Blackberry 9000 which is shaped similar to a curve but looks a little less professional to me.  It looks strangely similar to an iPaq or one of those “other” smartphones that is not made by Apple/RIM.

What’s crazy is that an unlocked version has leaked and is being sold on eBay for 399 GBP.  You can buy it here if you’d like.

Here is a pic of the Blackberry 9000:

Just my $.02…


The $300,000 watch

27 04 2008

If money was no object, would you spend $300,000 for a watch that doesn’t tell time?  I think most of you would probably say no to this statement but what if I told you that the watch changes the way you look at the day and “treat time”.  The watch is shown below and is made by Romain Jerom, the watch maker famous for using metal from the Titanic on each of his watches.

The watch believes in telling time in a rather binary fashion.  You can tell whether it’s day or night.  The reason why this watch is so complex, as shown in the picture above, is because it uses a tourbillon to differentiate the 12 hours of working time (i.e. day) versus the 12 hours of non work time (i.e. night).  The user can specify different panels/components to place in each category.

The real kicker though…..the watch was sold it 48 hours after it was released….talk about high demand to not wanting to know what time it is….

You can check out more here: http://www.romainjerome.ch/en/les-inatendus/day-and-night-en.aspx

Just my $300,000…


Added universal applications means higher latency for facebook

24 04 2008

For those of you that are logging onto facebook for the first time today may have noticed a chat application widget on the bottom of your screen acting as a secondary footer bar. For some of you, you may have seen it 2 weeks ago. For others, today was the first day you have the ability to stay on facebook and chat with your friends. I think there are some major issues with this application which is why I changed my facebook status to be rather “underwhelmed”. My major issues are outlined below:

  • Latency – By adding a whole new component that is insanely dynamic to the presentation layer of facebook, they increase latency, or the time it takes for components on the page to load. The key to facebook’s success, in my opinion, has been it’s ability to be extremely fast – at least faster than it’s competitors like friendster. I’m not 100% sure if it’s variable by friend sizes – i.e. the more friends you have the longer time it takes to load.
  • Filtering – Instant messaging, in my opinion, is a personal to personal interaction. I think the fundamental problem with chat on facebook is that I’m friends with many people I don’t want to chat with. There are numerous people on facebook that I meant once or twice that I would probably never IM, but I have no way of filtering them out. A feature should be added to place your most recent contacts to the top.
  • Invisibility – I know that being invisible is actually a very tough feature to build out. There is probably a reason why GTalk took over a year to build it. Building it within a browser is very difficult especially with high refresh rates. That being said, you have to launch a product that is up to standard – especially when you make something available to your entire network. If you don’t you’ll start getting complaints like Arrington on Techcrunch who, in my opinion, is simply being arrogant about people that IM him.

So what are the major advantages of adding chat on facebook? It does a couple of things to really make everything tightly integrated:

  • Longer session periods – You have more eyes staring at facebook for a longer period of time. That means higher prices for ads assuming they track their session lengths. If an average user was spending 5 minutes on facebook before, conversations with friends can extend that to 7-8 minutes. If you show an ad that lives on a browser for that long, more often than not a user will notice it.
  • Beacon integration – Perhaps chat can serve as the savior to the beacon integration. I say that because chat allows further probing into a users intent and can ideally provided targeted ads based on content and friends. It can be as simple as noticing how many times a user communicates with another user and serving targeted ads in the background to their common interests. Adding chat gives them another dimension to market on.

Unfortunately, both suggestions above will not work if they solve for the issues described in the beginning of this post. If this slows down my facebook “stalking” sessions, I’ll be more than happy to disable the chat function. It truly would be sad if I ended up treating the brand new chat application as another spam group message and throwing it right in the trash.

I’m pretty sure Zuckerburg wouldn’t be too happy….

Just my $.02…



16 04 2008

Saw this and chuckled…

The guys from Box.net came up with this clever game of googlopoly…

I assume that they priced each property on their market value in relation to google’s share….

If anything – very creative…even though this has nothing to do with Box.net….shouldn’t they be figuring out how to battle Google’s G Drive or how to beat out YouSendIt’s user base?

Just my $.02..


facebook is about to get a face lift….pun intended.

27 02 2008

Facebook is notorious for its quick changes to the site keeping it very lean and user friendly. After this huge change…I’m not sure if they will be loved by all….

Check out the new page:

and also this…..



What do you all think? Leaner way of showing content – reduces page views – always keeps the profile pic on the side….

But the big question is…where are you going to keep your applications…i.e. play scrabbleicious…

Love to get your thoughts…



How to be more green in your apartment…

22 02 2008

Being green was a resolution of mine in 2008.  Progress so far?  Well I use my own cup at work instead of using a Styrofoam one and I replaced my desk lamp with an energy efficient one.

I would call that progress…

A blog that I check out rather frequently is Apartment Therapy – one of the coolest blogs out there.  As a way to make your apartment more green – they posted the following ideas for your bedroom…

All of the  furniture is non-toxic and is very clean for the environment…

Being green also results in some sacrifices….

…clearly white is the color of choice to be green….ironic?

$.00…(trying to save costs and be more green in light of this post)