Following the rule of three, I have had at-least three instances where I would love to use a service like this. The service is a very simple service just like IFTTT but for AWS. It will provide triggers on which you can start/stop the AWS instances or do specific task on AWS instance.

Here are the three use cases for which I wanted a service like this :

1. Running a Jenkins box, only when you need to trigger a build, you could have a github trigger with some time cap. For example build only once an hour, and queue the request for next hour.

2. When you are starting up a project and working part time, you don’t need the instances up & running 24×7, you could have a email trigger, start/stop the app-server

3. Run an instance at a fixed time,  and do some specific task, in my case download few feeds/videos and push it to s3 public website.


priceline gobbles up kayak

Travel industry has a super heavyweight, priceline.com has acquired kayak.com for whopping $1.8B. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-technology/priceline-negotiates-18-billion-kayak-deal-20121109-2923c.html 

I was reading through the quarterly results of kayak.com and found useful data http://ir.kayak.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=719891

Some of the key things for the 3rd quarter

  • 246 million queries on Big Web
  • 56 million queries on mobile
  • Big Web Revenue Per Thousand  Queries $305
  • Mobile Revenue Per Thousand  Queries $65
  • Revenue from non-US geographies was $17.3 million compared to $61.3 from US

For every 1 query on mobile there are around 5 queries happening on web, and similarly for every $1 revenue on mobile there is 5 times more revenue on big web. This kind of tells if we increase the reach of mobile than we will get equivalent revenue.

Great work Kayak team, kudos for giving us a great tool to plan our travel…


real estate search

We haves been searching a property to rent long enough that I have spent multiple hours using domain.com.au and realestate.com.au sites. I have used iPhone & iPad apps and the big web to persue the task at hand.

They are great sites no doubts about it but I think that’s because of the content and not due to actual presentation. The data is exclusive to these sites, as a developer I don’t have to access to this data. This closed information stifles the innovation which could happen in this area.

I have at least three ideas which would make this site more useful and give a better perspective on renting or buying.

Here are the ideas in priority order, advantages, business value

  • Map mash up : iPad app already draws the property on google maps, my idea is to enhance this further have more layers on top of this layer of 131500 bus routes ability to draw a polygon in maps and restrict the search in that polygon
    Once you have the public transport you can show the travel times easily
  • Ability to hide some properties : as you don’t like them, it’s annoying to have them in your search results even though you don’t want them
  • can we share anonymous data of previous data like previous tenants, children, single, married etc
  • panoramic picture of the house, is that really hard. Given the new apps in the market it’s pretty easy job to stitch all of them together and make a perfect 360 view.
  • publish stats or trends more often, these guys are sitting on a treasure, it’s such rich data, can we publish any information we can gather from the data. It will make the consumer informed, add traction to the site.

These features are pretty easy to implement, none of them require huge re-architecture.

Would love to hear from other users or the product owners of the above sites and what they have to say about the feature list.

My Microwave

Microwave new feature requests :

It’s a great machine and has changed the way we cook in multiple ways. I remember buying my first from Singapore in 2000. Since then cooking has been so much easier.

When you cook on gas, you can see the dish being cooked, it’s visual and based on your visual clues and cooking experience you can judge whether it’s cooked or not. If that’s not enough you can easily taste while being cooked.

How do we this in microwave? We follow the instruction or base it on our past experience and heat it for X mins. When finished we take it out, check if it’s cooked or not and then repeat the process. My problem is this time consuming plus at times when the dish becomes hotter than expected, you spend more time bringing it back to room temperature.

What we need is temperature Sensors which can detect the how warm or cold the food is and then we can set the the temperature and time. Imagine you want your milk Luke warm just set the temp to ~30 degree and that’s it.

The other big peeve I have is the noise it makes when it stops, even at 3am it would make that ghastly noise. Can we have a feature to turn the noise on or off please ?