Visualize FourSquare Checkins on Google Maps:


This is short post written for FUN!

I just figured a way to visualize FourSquare checkins on Google Maps (Courtesy: LifeHacker Post).

This is my check-ins represented on Google Maps when I visited Boston recently:

paras doshi foursquare checins on google maps

Here’s how you do it:

1) Go to and login if you haven’t

2) Copy the URL of the KML file which looks like:

3) Go to Google Maps and paste the URL of KML file in search box and hit ENTER!

You’re done!

Happy Tracking! Happy Data Visualization!


1) This is power of Web 2.0!

2) Mix and Match is the new way of doing things!

In cloud computing, Scalability is not equal to Elasticity and Vice Versa.


I believe that it’s important to understand terms. And to understand terms scalability and elasticity in cloud computing context, I did a little research on what is the difference between scalability and elasticity when used in context of cloud computing.

e·las·tic·i·ty: The ability of something to change and adapt; adaptability [Dictionary]

scal·a·ble: Able to be changed in size or scale [Dictionary]

So my first step was to lookup meaning of each word in dictionary and honestly, that did helped me understand the meaning of each word but I was not able to appreciate the use of each word in cloud computing terms. I researched a little more came to a conclusion that

  • When we talk about elasticity – it is from cloud platform perspective. By this I mean, it is the characteristic of the “cloud platform” that allows end users to spawn resources in no time. For instance, with a click of a mouse, end users are able to spawn a 10 GIG SQL Azure database. And this characteristic that allows end users to QUICKLY provision resources is what is referred to as elasticity. And alternatively, De-provisioning is “elastic” too. From, a cloud vendor perspective, these means they also should report usage to the end-user and charge end-users for only what they use. It’s important as one of the important characteristic of cloud is that it is supposed to be “Measurable” by end-user
  • Scalability: It refers to ability of an “application” (NOT cloud) to handle INCREASED workload. Traditionally, to meet increased workload, hardware was thrown at the problem. But it had it’s own set of limitation that it was not infinitely scalable because hardware could be upgraded to certain limit only. Now in cloud computing era, we can provision as many resources as we need – but it is important to architect the application in a way that embraces “scalability”. So when you deploy an app on a cloud platform, it does NOT “scale” automatically and the app should be architected to embrace scalability – On other hand, you are guaranteed “elasticity” by the cloud vendor.

Let’s take an example.

Suppose I have an app and I wish to deploy it on Windows Azure. Now, it’s my responsibility to architect app to embrace scalability by making my application stateless, etc, etc. Now once I have architected my app to embrace scalability – I deploy it on Windows Azure. And here, Windows Azure gives my app the “elasticity” it may need. That means, I can provision/de-provision resources at my will.

Thus, In cloud computing,

Scalability ≠ Elasticity

It’s my birthday! And hey – it’s the 100th post!


It’s my birthday!

And this is the 100th post on this blog!

And I am just 100 22 btw!

Any-who. This is what happened to me last time (In India):

And what’s on me: Toothpaste + Tomato Sauce + Wierd water + coke + sprite + I don’t know what else.

And that’s pretty much how birthdays are “celebrated” at 00:00 AM in India!

I know it sounds dirty but’s lot of fun! And you get to “return the favor” when it’s someone else’s Birthday.

Any-who I’ll be spared this time. Woohooo!

It’s birthday Time:

Has “Cloud Computing” replaced “Distributed computing”?


Have you heard about “Cloud Computing”? – of course you have, haven’t you? Have you heard about “Distributed Computing” – It’s great if you have. If you haven’t, no worries because that’s not your doing. you know why? because using this word is not in fashion anymore. yeah! [ I know I am talking fashion – how about that! ] Let’s put in differently, using the word “Distributed computing” is passé. want stats? Here they are:



More info about the stats:

Google is crazy! And I like crazy. What they are doing is digitizing zillions of book out there. And this tiny little Google lab thingy called NGram Viewer graphs (outputs) the occurrence of the “inputted word” in millions of books with respect to time. Sweet! so I have used this tool to draw a conclusion – which is my very own crazy speculation. Actually, I came to know about this tool and I ran some crazy experiments by inputting ****, **, **, ***, *****, ********, ********, * **** ** **** ***,etc. Then I don’t know what got me inputting “distributed computing”, “cloud computing”, etc etc – And the result is in front of you.

Anyways. The result shows only up to year “2008”. And if you note, I have inputted 2011 as year-end in my query but it just does not work. But you do get the point don’t you?!

Now how about “cloud computing” – BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! uncanny rise:


So a logical speculation is that “cloud computing” is replacing the use of “distributed computing”. Isn’t it?!

Any-who. whatever it is – it is pretty interesting. Let’s have some fun:

How about: Cloud computing vs Distributed computing vs Microsoft vs Google vs Facebook:


Facebook and cloud computing are recent trends. And as the graph shows they did not appear as many times as we might have guessed. But remember that it’s just until 2008. I wish we had data up to 2011!

That’s about it. Have fun with this tool!

About Google NGram Viewer:

How did I came to know about it?

Did I tell my friends about it? of course, I did:


And what about facebook? I would have done that if facebook had hastags (Alas it does not have it). And why did i shared it *ONLY* twitter because *ONLY* “hashtags” care for what I have to say. I know, it’s sad. But of course, you do – I can say because you read my entire post! if you liked it connect with me on twitter: Paras_Doshi!

What are common mistakes that new or inexperienced managers make?


This is one of the GEM i found on Quora. And what is Quora? Well, it’s a QA site. What makes it different? Well, for me it’s Quality of the content and the fact that who’s who of our small world are active on Quora. And people who have followed Quora knows that it tends to throw GEMS at you once in a while. yeah, and this question that “What are common mistakes that new or inexperienced managers make?” followed by a wonderful sequence of discussion is a perfect example to show why you should have an account on Quora. Anywho, Here is the link: and the rest of the blog post is just me taking notes.

1. Human motivation is NOT tied to economic outcomes
2. Nothing can replace face-to-face interaction in motivation
3. Do not be slow in dealing with performance issues
4. Good managers put the blame on themselves and understand that any failing within the team is a failing of the leader.
5.Good managers attempt to redirect kudos and credit onto their team fair, open communication, admit to mistakes, praise in public, criticize in private, deflect credit to others, accept blame personally, be accountable, etc.
7.More authority is not associated with expertise, but rather accountability
8. Have enough guts and self-confidence in your own capabilities

Again the link is:

Presented on “What Mobile Device(s) Plus cloud computing mean for the real world” at Ignite Ahmedabad


It was fun presenting at inaugural Ignite Ahmedabad club. I presented on “what mobile devices plus cloud computing mean for the real world” in 5 minutes! yeah, Ignite has an unique format. 20 slides + 5 minutes + slides automatically change every 15 seconds. So for me, it was a novel experience! Learn more about Ignite:

More about my Talk:

My aim was to show that Mobile devices that could leverage the power of cloud computing could change the world for good! With cloud computing gaining momentum, we will see mobile devices that would delegate compute and/or storage to the cloud making the mobile device to do much more than it’s capacity may have allowed. Basically, I babbled about my Fantasies! The day my mobile device would become as powerful as a supercomputer – you know, by embracing the concept of cloud computing. Later, I also talked about Microsoft’s project Hawaii which facilitates cloud enable mobile computing. That was it! it was super fast, it was super fun!

I look forward to presenting at such forums again!

Cloud Computing is AWESOME :: Defining Cloud Computing the Urban Dictionary style!


cloud computing Explaining cloud computing can sometimes get confusing. consider definition on Wikipedia:

Cloud computing refers to the use and access of multiple server-based computational resources via a digital network, Internet connection using the World Wide Web, etc.). Cloud users may access the server resources using a computer, net book, tablet computer, smart phone, or other device. In cloud computing, applications are provided and managed by the cloud server and data is also stored remotely in the cloud configuration. Users do not download and install applications on their own device or computer; all processing and storage is maintained by the cloud server. The on-line services may be offered from a cloud provider or by a private organization


No wonder, The page (As on 7th July 2011) says that “the article has multiple issues” / “the article needs cleanup”. Don’t get me wrong here – I am in Love with Wikipedia (not blind love) but it’s just the definition of cloud computing looks like a college kid babbling about a topic in round-about fashion. Sorry.

And Then there were this super simple definition that said: “cloud computing is nothing but a Internet computing………” That’s it. Duh?! Am I a kid.

Okay, Now let’s get little geeky – Here is the ultra sophisticated definition from NIST

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Perfect. made more sense to me. But not something that I would explain it to someone who does not know what cloud is. Am I suppose to babble above definition? To some geek/professor, yes. But in a real world day-to-day conversation, this would not help score brownie points. Not a chance unless you are in some Geek paradise.

Don’t get me wrong here – All the above definition’s are correct – but I was searching for a way to explain it in simpler terms. And if I babble these ultra long sentences (Thanks to some deceptive use of English Conjunctions) that defined cloud computing, I was surely going to freak out someone or Alternatively, make the listener think that I was an Einstein (which BTW I am not because I have to resort to spelling correction tool for typing Eisetntein – sorry Einstein); But the bottom-line is there is chance that listener has still not grasped the concept of cloud computing. And If by any chance, he/she miraculously grasps it, then ask them to check out – the society for intellectuals!

Anyways, here’s how to explain in simple statement about what is cloud? – I found a YouTube video where the speaker Dave Nielsen defined cloud computing as OSSM (pronounced Awesome) and it helps me define cloud in single statement now. This is an urban dictionary format to define cloud!

Just Remember

O : On Demand

S : Scalable

S : Shared

M : Measurable

So confluence of above topics is what really shapes cloud computing.

Now, With “OSSM” + Wikipedia definition + NIST definition – I hope you are better able to explain what cloud computing is all about to anyone and everyone!


Creativity – what is that?


Creativity is something we define as doing things differently, thinking differently or creatively putting it-“Thinking out of the BOX…”

According to me creativity is not always about painting, writing a novel, it’s about doing things we do creatively. we can be creative when we talk, eat, walk, jump, run, play, read, write. Doing creative things is invariably very satisfying. it’s a confidence booster. i read somewhere that deepest human desire is constantly improving oneself and doing creative things. one more aspect of creativity is that it cannot be measured but it’s something others can sense. so being creative is about being aware of what’s happening around you and doing things the brand new way.

India can win 50 gold medals at olympics!


It was 11th August 2008, a day on which India’s Abhinav Bindra got first ever individual gold medal in 10m air-rifle event. He has made us Indians proud and has ended a long drought. Bravo! Abhinav…
Though this news makes you happy, the overall performance of India at Olympics is not at all encouraging.
There are no official statistics with me but there is a little doubt that on per capita basis India finishes last in any Olympic tally. Dead last. Commentators blamed our Olympic shortfall on the lack of training infrastructure’s in India, the low priority we put on sports as a society and the Indian physique. But I believe this is not entirely true. Here’s why:
Whatever it is that keeps India from Olympic gold,it certainly isn’t a shortfall in the Indian gene pool. Take any Olympic event and you can see that India is rich in future champions but only if we look in the right places.
If you have visited an Indian construction site,You will find many potential gymnastics champion. I recently saw a man walking across thin planks on the 15th floor of a building. He did this with no safety. Bring that man down 200 feet and put him on a four-foot high balance beam and surely he will dance bollywood tunes on the beam. India could easily field a gymnastics team from our construction sites.
Now, Take the rickshaw pullers, living on a high protein and carbohydrate diet of dal and roti, these men transport riders in 40-degree weather for 14 hours a day, seven days a week. Take the best among them and train them for Tour-De-France as training for Olympics. Who would you think will have a harder time switching places- rickshaw pullers or lance Armstrong? My bet…Mr.Lance…
Our fisherman sail three months of the year in the hardest monsoon conditions.Brutal rain don’t hamper these rough-and-tough sailors. Take the best of these men and train them for three years and they will be formidable Olympic contenders.
Likewise we can bet on men and women working at the construction sites, They can be seen lifting pounds of brick and dirt onto their head…watch there motion…they can win us weightlifting medal.
Each year,the best American athletes go to train in Colorado 5,000 feet above sea level as high altitudes makes the lungs stronger. If we take our best and train them in Leh, 14,000 feet above sea level, imagine what supermen and superwomen we may develop.
The Indian countryside and cities are replete with future Olympians. These men and women train daily in the hardest of conditions with simple diets. Without a doubt, with proper training and infrastructure,these men and women will add to our Olympic golds.
It’s a shame that world has missed 100 years of Indian Olympic prowess; it would be a travesty if the world misses another 100 years.

[This Article was Published in ISTE nirma’s Annual Magazine]

Book Review : Funda of Mixology – ” what bartending teaches that IIM doesn’t..” by maniak dhar


“what is this life if full of care,
We Have no time to stand and stare….” – william henry davies.

This is what our condition has become. We often don’t get time to follow our heart’s desire. How many of you are tired of rat race and want to quit n follow your heart’s desire? If so,then this book is for you. This book will rejuvenate your spirit. This novel will inspire you to carry your life to extremes!
A young man from IIM working in a private firm is tired of his corporate life. He dreams of leaving his job and writing a novel and pursue a career in journalism. He is tired of the corporate culture and the blind race to climb the corporate ladder but is enjoying the financial freedom. He was bemused. And one day he gets a chance to pursue his desire. His company is downsizing and is paying two year salary for those who wish to leave. So he gets interested in the proposal and is seriously considering the option to leave his job and follow his desire. And then there are series of events which completely changes his life. He does not quit his job, writes a novel which is soon going to be published, climbs the corporate ladder, proposed his lady love, leave’s his habit of drinking and is much happier and satisfied…all this within a year!! Amazing, huh?? I bet.

I am sure this novel will change your outlook towards life.

[This book review was published in Rotaract club of Nirma Institutes Annual Magazine]