Thursday, August 24, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

When to buy air tickets..

We all wonder what will be the optimal time to buy an air ticket. It typically is a couple of weeks beforehand, but if you have already missed that, there is this new website http://www.farecast.com which helps.

The site gives a graph of fares for your destination across a few months, and gives you recommendations on whether they are expected to rise or fall. They recently added a lot of cities (were only seattle previously), and chances are you will find your city there.

A really useful "web 2.0" website which is not about social networking :).

Friday, August 11, 2006

GSM vs CDMA

I am very passionate about cell phones, and the cellphone trend in US is quite disheartening. A major part of US wireless is on CDMA based technologies.

There is nothing wrong with CDMA in general (its a better technology than GSM), but in the implementation. Here is a list of some of the (consumer level) things where GSM has an edge:
  • CDMA was created by Qualcomm, which holds most of the patents in it. As it is mainly controlled by one company, the cost of maintaining a CDMA network is quite high as compared to GSM, which is an open standard.
  • Most of the chipsets in CDMA phones are also made by qualcomm, so there is lesser innovation as compared to GSM phones, which are made by a bunch of companies (compare any CDMA phone with a Nokia or SonyEricsson phone).
  • CDMA based phones are tied to the carrier, and there is nothing like 'SIM' card in it. You can not simply buy a phone from a store and activate it.
  • The newer versions of GSM (WCDMA, etc.) are getting mainstream, which is breaking CDMA's advantage of a better protocol (faster data transfer speeds).
Given these points, it becomes a very easy decision for the user to pick up GSM over CDMA, if there is no cost benefit. GSM is also gaining more and more ground as carieers are moving away from CDMA.

Here are some numbers on GSM and CDMA penetration (source: www.gsacom.com )

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Developer or Engineer

Someone: What do you do
Me: I am an engineer
Someone: So you are a developer.
Me: No an engineer
Someone: Isn't that the same ?
Me: No.
Someone: Huh??
Me: Engineer is someone who solves real world problems using science. Developer is someone who writes code.
Someone: Ahhhhh. Ok.

Enjoy!
D.