Saturday, January 30, 2010

Google Helps You Find a Girlfriend

Language should not be a barrier in the path of love. And Google understands that. And that's why they have introduced the new Google Translation IME with support for 14 languages.

An IME is an "Input Method Editor" and simply refers to software that lets you type in a language of your choice. Once you download the Google Transliteration IME (did I tell you that it's free and there's no signup required), you can type a word the way it sounds using Latin characters and it will convert the word to its native script. For example, typing "hamesha" transliterates into Hindi as : हमेशा

Google Transliteration IME offers several features focused on an improved user experience, including offline support, word completion, personalized choices, easy-to-use keyboard, quick search and several cool customization options. As a user types, a suggestion menu is displayed with alternatives and word completions. For example, as you type "googl" you will see five options from you can select the correct one.

It is currently available in 14 different languages - Arabic, Bengali, Farsi (Persian), Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. This application enables users to create content or communicate in their preferred language online or offline and in any application of their choice. The Google Transliteration IME currently supports 32-bit Windows 7/Vista/XP. Google Transliteration is also available in Blogger, Gmail, Knol, Orkut and as a bookmarklet. You can also enable it on your website using the transliteration API. You can download the Google IME from here.

So don't fret about getting a girlfriend this Valentine's who speaks a different language. Cause now your love life is empowered by Google.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chirp, the Offical Twitter Developer Conference

Offical Twitter Developer Conference, Chirp
The first ever official Twitter developer conference is going to be held between 14th and 15th April, 2010 at San Francisco. And it has a very befitting name, Chirp! The word Tweet is a noun defined as the chirp of a small or young bird. The Twitter ecosystem is still very young so naming this conference Chirp felt right.

In a blog post on the official Twitter blog, Biz Stone said that there are more than fifty thousand registered applications on the Twitter platform. These applications represent the creativity, ingenuity, and talent of a growing number of developers and companies building innovative new ways to interact with the Twitter information network.

Moreover, there are thousands of individuals who work on Twitter—over one hundred of these individuals actually work at 795 Folsom Street in San Francisco but many platform developers work in offices, coffee shops, apartments, and even friend's couches around the world.

So they want to get together with some of these developers and enthusiasts and celebrate the chutzpah that goes into so many of the apps built on the Twitter platform. Carsonified are helping us so it's going to be awesome. You can sign up for as low as $469.

For all the details and information about the event please visit Chirp, The Official Twitter Developer Conference web site.

Disqus is Hiring

Disqus has two openings and they are hiring right not. First, they are looking for a Director of User Experience / Web Designer, who would be in charge of crafting rewarding experiences for users. you can apply for this position from here.

Second, Disqus is hiring for the position of Front-end Web Developer. They would be in charge of heavy JavaScript development with the Disqus comment system and upcoming related projects. You can apply for this position by clicking here.

You can also find all of their available positions on their Jobs page.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apple reveals iPad, the New Apple Tablet

App;e iPad
So finally Steve Jobs let the cat out of the bag when he revealed the much anticipated Apple tablet, christened iPad. I am sorry, actually it's the Apple iPad (it's an Apple product so lets give it some respect). It would be available this April.

The iPad would be available in three different models: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, priced at $499, $599, and $699, respectively. Add on another $130 if you want a device with both WiFi and 3G. As for service, the device comes WiFi ready, but there are also two 3G plans being offered through AT&T: one includes up to 250MB of data per month for $14.99, and the other is an unlimited plan for $29.99. Both include free usage of AT&T WiFi hotspots. There’s no contract to sign — you can cancel any time you want.

The technical specs for the iPad are an Apple A4 1GHz chip, 16 – 64 GB of Flash storage, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11n, 10 hours of battery life, 9.7 inch IPS LED backlit LCD, Accelerometer and Compass, 3G UMTS/HSPDA and GSM/EDGE data (optional), Assisted GPS and Digital Compass (3G version only), 3.5mm headphone jack, VGA out support or AV out via dock connector and converter cable, Speaker, microphone and 30-pin connector and full multi-touch support.

The iPad can be held in any direction you want. It looks like a giant iPod. It has a virtual keyboard. It has Google Maps, and of course is web-enabled. It’s lightning fast. YouTube can be watched in HD. The Demo of Star Trek was pretty impressive, but it’s not widescreen, though. You slide to unlock. The music player looks like a new version of iTunes. It also contains the Software iBook, iWork etc.

The accessories includes Keyboard dock, and Protective case.

So do let me know if you are planning to buy an iPad. And if you are then don't forget to let me know how well it's working.

Image Courtesy : GDGT

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WooRank Website Grader

A few days back, Robin Wauters from TechCrunch wrote about a new website grader called WooRank. WooRank is a brand new service designed to let website publishers and marketers evaluate the SEO-friendliness and other aspects of their Web sites/blogs on the fly, free of charge.

So I thought about giving it a try. And what I found out is that WooRank is like an old wine in a new bottle as, HubSpot already has a similar and much better service called Website Grader. WooRank gave The Chronicles of R a rank of an average rank of 49.5. So let's analyze the report using some of the parameters using which WooRank ranked The Chronicles of R.

For traffic estimation, WooRank reported an accurate figure of 30k-100k visitors/month. Next, it showed the Alexa ranking for The Chronicles of R as 229,073 whereas the real Alexa rank was 227,067. The Compete rank of was also pretty accurate. However, the popular pages was a completely wrong listing. I am not pretty sure how they calculate the popular pages rank, but whatever it is, they need to change the algorithm. Now comes the fun part, it showed a missing meta description and meta keywords! If you check, The Chronicles of R does have both. The images listing showed that WooRank could not find any image on this website. Then for the Text-HTML ratio, it gave a result of 0%! I mean for God's sake, what does that supposed to mean?

Then WooRank reported a missing Doctype declaration. Again if you take a closer look, The Chronicles of R does have a Doctype declaration, and Blogger automatically adds this to every template. Then, WooRank could not find the last date/time when Google crawled The Chronicles of R. It also wrongly reported missing feeds!

So, considering the overall performance, WooRank was a complete fail. I would suggest, if you are really interested in evaluating your website for free, try out the HubSpot Website Grader.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TechCrunch Hacked!

TechCrunch Hacked

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Earlier today TechCrunch was hacked. When opening the homepage, instead of the actual homepage for TechCrunch it showed a white page with a link to a site for RapidShare downloads called http://dupedb.com/ (I would suggest not to open then link).

A few minutes later, MG Siegler a.k.a. Paris Lemon confirmed that TechCrunch is having some issues and is temporarily down.

Paris Lemon confirms TechCrunch is Hacked

Keep an eye here for further updates.

Google Releases Chrome 4

Google Chrome 4
Google has released a new stable version of their browser, Chrome 4. With today's new stable release, all Google Chrome users on PCs can access over 1,500 new features, through our new extension system.

You would be able to find extensions for your Google Chrome in the extension gallery. Extensions on Google Chrome take only seconds to install, and can be uninstalled easily. You can view and manage the settings for your extensions by clicking on the Tools menu and selecting "Extensions". Apart from extensions, another feature which moved from beta to stable was the bookmark sync. Now you can keep your Google Chrome bookmarks synchronized and up-to-date across computers, without needing to manually recreate your bookmarks every time you switch computers. To read more on bookmark sync, check out this handy guide.

Google has integrated a number of new HTML5 APIs in this stable release, including LocalStorage, Database API, WebSockets, and more. To take a look into these features, read on in the Chromium Blog.

If you're on a PC and haven't tried Google Chrome yet, you can download Google Chrome and give all these new features a test drive. And here's a video to walk you through to installing an extension and some more useful things:

You better Download your PS3 Firmware Update 3.15 Now, Or Else!

PS3 firmware update 3.15
During it's initial release last month, the system update 3.15 for Sony’s PlayStation 3 console was an optional download. But now things have changed, it's not optional anymore. To be exact, it’s compulsory.

So, even if you do not have any use for the features contained in this update, you still need to download it, period. God save you if you don't download this update.

Now, once you have downloaded the system update 3.15, you would be able to play PSP minis games on the big screen, and transfer saved data between PS3 consoles, ensuring all your existing content is safe. You can click here to read more about it – happy enforced downloading!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Android Developer Labs World Tour

The Google Android team is going on a World Tour where they'll be delivering an update on the state of the Android platform — including a look at the latest Android androidhardware. You would be able to meet like-minded Android app developers, play with the latest Android devices, test your apps, and ask Android team members any questions you might have.

The places that the Android team would visit includes cities in Europe, North America, and Asia. Here's the line-up of Android Developer Lab locations for February and March 2010:

North America

* Austin, Texas – Feb 4
* Seattle, Washington – Feb 8
* Waterloo, Ontario, Canada – Feb 8
* Washington, D.C. – Feb 9
* Mountain View, California – Feb 10
* Cambridge, Massachusetts – Feb 11
* New York, New York – Feb 12


* London, UK – Feb 2
* Paris, France – Feb 8
* Berlin, Germany – Feb 10
* Zurich, Switzerland – Feb 13
* Madrid, Spain – Feb 13


* Singapore – Feb 28
* Taipei, Taiwan – March 3
* Hong Kong – March 4

If you want to attend, you'll need to request a spot by February 1st. You can request a spot by clicking here. Space is limited, so please wait for an email to confirm that you have a spot in the lab.

The Android Team are also going to stop by and speak at the following local Android user groups:

* Stockholm, Sweden – Feb 4
* London, UK – Feb 5
* Chicago, Illinois, USA – Feb 6

So don't wait and request your spot fast!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's New on Skribit?

A few days back, Skribit co-founder Paul Stamatiou had sent me a mail. Now, I already knew that Skribit had relaunched itself in a new avatar on Skribit17th, last December. From the mail I learned how these features would make your life a lot easier on Skribit.

The first feature that impressed me was that now users can login using their Twitter id. So creating an account would be a child's play. Not many startup users would like to spend time on registering for a content suggestion service because most of them would not understand it's real usefulness. Here are some more features which they have introduced:

* Follow your favorite bloggers on Skribit and see their recent activity
* Sort suggestions by status, hotness and more
* Merge similar suggestions
* Ignore suggestions by user and IP address
* Reduce clutter with new comment and suggestion spam protection
* Customize your the URLs for your Skribit blog and user profiles
* Easily share suggestions through Twitter and Facebook with a click
* ... and lots more!

You can read about their successful launch here on the Skribit blog. And in case you are wondering what Skribit is for, you can click here to learn more about it. And if you want to login, simply click here.

Posterous launches Post.ly

Earlier you must have seen the post.ly domain in shortened URLs from Posterous blogs. Yesterday Posterous formally launched the post.ly URL shortener as a separate service.

Post.ly is a simple and powerful site for posting all kinds of files from your computer to Twitter. The best part about post.ly is that it is backed by Posterous, so it comes with all the features of posterous.com.

You can customize your theme, use your own domain, and add in your own analytics. What's more, with our the autopost capabilities there's no reason to stop at just Twitter; post.ly will autopost your post anywhere that Posterous will.

I know you've got something on your hard drive you're dying to share. So why don't you get going!

Blogger Stops FTP Support

According to Blogger, FTP remains a significant drain on their ability to improve Blogger. And only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of engineering resources devoted to support FTP vastly exceeds that. On top of that, critical infrastructure that the FTP support relies on at Google will soon become unavailable, which means that they would have to completely rewrite the code that handles the FTP processing. So they have decided that they will no longer support FTP publishing in Blogger after March 26, 2010.

Although Blogger has provided a number of alternatives for the FTP bloggers to make this transition as seamless as possible.

They are building a migration tool that would help users to migrate from their current URL to a Blogger-managed URL (either a Custom Domain or a Blogspot URL) that will be available to all users in the week of February 22. This tool will handle redirecting traffic from the old URL to the new URL, and will handle the vast majority of situations. They would also provide a dedicated blog and help documentation to provide as much information as possible to help guide users through the migration off of FTP. Moreover, Blogger team members will also be available to answer questions on the forum, comments on the blog, and in a few scheduled conference calls once the tool is released.

So all the FTP users, start packing your bags and prepare to head over to your new home. And if you need any help you can always contact me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aurora Security Fix for Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer
With the Operation Aurora, the Chinese hackers pointed out a preciously undiscovered security hole in Microsoft Internet Explorer. This security hole is used to gain unauthorized access to data belonging to a couple of targeted individuals. And this applies for several major versions of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has since tried to downplay the significance of the security hole, but it was undoubtedly a serious issue for the company, and now it’s finally issued a fix.

The security patch updates all supported versions of Internet Explorer, which includes IE 5.01 (if you’re still using that version, though, you’re probably asking for trouble) to IE 8. If your browser wasn’t automatically updated, you can download the patch here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blip.fm goes Live with New Features

Blip.fm has released some new features a few days back. And after a few breathtaking moments, they are live once again. So let us take a look at what these new features are.

1. Tag Tuner:
The Tag Tuner will debut on the "All DJs" page. It would allow you to filter the stream of blips by any combination of artist, genres, and hashtags. You can save tag presets for easy access, and easily select whichever one you want. This is huge because it lets you discover both new DJs and new music based on your criteria, and you can change it up to fit your mood.

2. Achievement Badges:
Blip.fm have come up with 12 Badges for the active Blippers. You can read all about how to get the full set of them.

3. Quick Add/Props:
Now, instead of having to go to a DJ’s profile page to add them as a favorite or give props, just roll over any user icon in the blipstream. You’ll see a little bubble menu pop up that gives quick access to the two most often used user actions.

4. Block DJ:
Now you can block a DJ by going to their profile page, and selecting “Block User” from the actions menu (at the bottom right of the info box containing the user info. It has a gear icon on it. You can’t miss it).

5. Weekly Update Emails:
From now on, Blip.fm would send a condensed weekly email containing the total number of props you’ve received, including the people who sent you the most props, your latest listeners and what they blipped, and the top five blipped tracks of the week.

6. Better Facebook Integration:
They’ve slightly modified the Facebook integration to include the YouTube video or embed a little player whenever possible, so you can hear the song right in your Facebook feed.

So what are you waiting for. Head over to your Blip.fm page and start Blipping!

Posterous on BlackBerry

Blackberry, Posterous
There's some good news for BlackBerry users. Sachin Agarwal posted on his Posterous blog today that OpenBeak 1.2, which was formerly known as TwitterBerry, now supports Posterous for image posting. All you need to do is, select "Posterous" from the "Media Provider" choice on the Configure screen.

So now you can post your photos and tweets on an ad free, customized site that you own! You need to visit the OpenBeak WAP site BlackBerry smartphone by clicking here to download the application.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GTA Released on iPhone and iPod Touch

Grand Theft Auto, iPhone, iPod touch
Grand Theft Auto. Do I really need to say anything else? I have a good news for all you GTA fans out there, Grand Theft Auto : Chinatown Wars is now available on iPhone or iPod touch.

It is almost like the original GTA from Nintendo DS and Sony PSP with a top-down perspective of the first two GTA games. And although the game costs a steep $9.99, it's still cheaper than what is was on the DS or PSP, where it debuted at $34.99 and $39.99, respectively. The touchscreen controls work well and the level of graphical quality lands between that of the Nintendo DS and PSP versions.

So far that game has a pretty positive reception, it has reveived 40 ratings and an average of 4.5 stars. App Store user Puese gave it five stars and said: “The polish on this is over the top. We have come a long way from only having snake on your phone as a game.” However, marcosrdz gave it only one star, saying that it crashes a few seconds after displaying the terms of service screen. Some players say that it lacks a few minor features of the DS version — for example, pedestrian speech has been removed, presumably to reduce the size of the download.

Here is a video of Grand Theft Auto : Chinatown Wars, courtesy Touch Arcade.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Binged.it : New URL Shortener from Microsoft

Microsoft Bing
Previously, it was Google, Youtube and Facebook, and now it's Microsoft Bing! All of a sudden everyone seems to be taking an interest in the URL shortener business.

A few days back, the UK blog My Microsoft Life first noticed that some of Microsoft's Bing Travel Team members have begun publicly tweeting with a binged.it URL. But when you type binged.it in your browser it simply takes you to, guess where - bit.ly! Nick Eaton from Seattle PI confirmed with Microsoft that it has been used internally and is likely to be made public soon.

Pardon me if I am wrong, but ain't a URL shortener supposed to shorten the URLs? Like the Google URL shortener, goo.gl, is 5 characters. Facebook’s is 4 characters. But in case of Bing, the binged.it domain is one character longer than Bing's own domain! Bing’s is 8 characters. Bing.com is 7 characters. Why not use something like bi.ng?

So do you think that the Microsoft Bing URL shortener is a complete fail? Whoever thinks it is, could you please raise your hands? A little but more please, so that Microsoft can see you properly?

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Simple Popular Post Widget and Image Rotator

After jCarousel, with which you can easily create a riding carousel to display the popular posts on your blog, a few days back I came across another, very beautiful, lightweight and easier to use image rotator for blogs and websites, the JW Image Rotator 3.17.

The JW Image Rotator (built with Adobe's Flash) enables you to display photos in sequence with fluid transitions. It supports rotation of an RSS, XSPF or ASX playlists with JPG, GIF and PNG images, a wide range of flashvars (variables) for tweaking both behavior and appearance and an extensive javascript API.

Installing the JW Image Rotator is pretty simple. You can download the ZIP files, which contains all you need to get started by clicking here. Then you need to transfer the imagerotator.swf and imagerotator.xml file from the ZIP to your website. (Make sure that you've also uploaded all photos you want to show onto your site.) After this you need to edit the imagerotator.xml file so that it contains the titles, links and image URLs of your images. This can be done by using a simple text editor like Notepad.

If you want to add more photos, just paste additional track blocks in the .xml file. Then embed the Image Rotator in your HTML page with the following lines of code. (Note: If you place the files in different directories, be sure to set the references in this embed code accordingly.)


Notice that the flashvars parameter can contain a list of variables for configuring the rotator. Select the variables you want to use and insert their names/values onto your page. It's that simple.

While using the JW Image Rotator, help is just a few clicks away. You would find the documentation of the rotator at the developer site. It includes the roadmap, source code and bug tickets, as well as:

1. Supported flashvars (variables) you can select to customize the Image Rotator.
2. Supported playlist formats along with some implementation info.
3. The javascript API calls supported by the rotator.

If you need more help, check out the tutorial on Embedding flash objects. It covers the simple embed method and the SWF Object method.

And here's a list with some frequently-encountered problems.

1. If you get strange display errors on IE (e.g. after refreshing), it's likely the stage size is not properly set. Use the flashvars width and height to fix this problem.
2. JavaScript interaction and playing remote files will not work when testing locally because of security restrictions.
3. If your MP3 files playback is is too fast or too slow, they contain variable bitrate encoding or unsupported sample frequencies (eg 48Khz). Please stick to constant bit rate encoding and 11,22,33,44 kHz. If you need a free MP3 encoder, check out iTunes software.

Lastly, for tips, tricks, additional information and bug reports, you can always visit their support forum.

So why don't you just go ahead and try it out on your blog. But don't forget to let me know hows it working. And don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R's feed to remain updated with the latest news on technology and social media.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Comrade Jyoti Basu (1914 - 2010) : The End of a Golden Era in Indian Politics

Jyoti Basu
Today a golden era of Indian politics ended with the passing away of Comrade Jyoti Basu.

It was a long time back, I was in school back then. During my summer vacation I went to Darjeeling where I met him for the first time. He was the Chief Minister of West Bengal then, and it was impossible not to be impressed by his mesmerizing personality. Inspite of holding such a powerful position in Indian politics, he came down to the Darjeeling mall for a walk like any other ordinary person, sans any securities/body-guards. And when people crowded around him, he met each and every one of us. And in those few minutes that he remained there, I was awed with his persona.

On that day without even having a fair idea of his political prowess, I touched his feet in respect. I normally hold a very strong stance against Indian politicians, it is my firm belief that almost all the politicians in India are corrupt. But today I am proud to have touched the feet of Jyoti Basu.

As a politician he was incomparable. Even the likes of Indira Gandhi consulted him every now and then on political issues. He rose above the banalities of Indian politics and refused the Prime Minister-ship of India just because his party had asked him to do so! Would you really find any such examples in today's politics?

He always remained the leader of the masses. He was revered equally amongst politicians from his own party and others parties. It was he who helped the CPI(M) to rule over West Bengal for over 24 years. It is a feat in itself that in the largest democracy in the world, a Communist party rules an entire State for more than 2 decades!

The city of Calcutta mourns as he is being taken away on his final journey. But till the time the State of West Bengal would exist, Comrade Jyoti Basu would remain in the hearts and memories of it's people.

Love live Comrade Jyoti Basu. Red Salute to you from millions of your admirers.

[Picture courtsey : Jyoti Basu Memoirs]

Publish your RSS/Atom Feeds Automatically on Facebook

So you are on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and you have a blog too. And you want to publish your RSS/Atom feed on your Facebook wall, automatically. So how do you do that? Simple, use RSS GraffitiRSS Graffiti.

RSS Graffiti is a little Facebook application that periodically checks the RSS/Atom feeds that you specify and posts any new entries it finds to the Facebook Walls that you specify. You can get any RSS/Atom feed written on any Facebook wall. In fact, you can write multiple feeds to multiple walls. You choose the combination and RSS Graffiti does it for you.

RSS Graffiti was mainly written for Facebook Page administrators. The more pages you administer, the more you can appreciate it. The more RSS/Atom feeds you need to publish on your various Facebook Walls, the more you need it too. Nevertheless you can use RSS Graffiti to publish just on your Facebook Profile's Wall too if the the built-in Facebook tools are not enough for you (i.e. when you have multiple RSS feeds).

So if you are a blogger, a marketeer, a musician maybe, a Twitter or FriendFeed user, anybody that has more than one RSS/Atom feed and at least a Facebook Profile or better yet one or more Facebook Fan Pages, then RSS Graffiti is for you.

You can go over to the RSS Graffiti website by clicking here, you would also find their Facebook fanpage here and you can find the RSS Graffiti application on Facebook from the fanpage itself. And in case, just in case, you are wondering why do you need to publish your feeds on Facebook walls, it's because you need to get famous you Dork!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting Help from your Geek Friend becomes Easier

Have you ever been in a situation where, inspite of having a geek friend, you could not solve an issue with your computer just because you could not make your friend understand what the issue was? You did! Well then I have some good news for you. The next time you are in this situation, you won't have any trouble making your friend understand what the issue is because, the next time you would actually send him a video screen capture of your desktop.

Sounds good? Well, there's more to it. To do all these you don't need to buy or install any software. All you need is an internet connection, which almost all of us have now a days. After all you really wouldn't want to buy a $799 software like Adobe Captivate 4 just to solve a minor issue with your computer would you? So how would you achieve this feat? Simple. Use ShowMeWhatsWrong or Screencast-O-Matic!

Let's first check out Screencast-O-Matic. To use it you need to click here, when you will be taken to the Screencast-O-Matic website. There you need to click on the Create button and that's it. It's completely free to create a screencast upto 15 minutes and host on SOM or YouTube, or export to a movie file. To record longer screencasts you can upgrade to a Pro account from here. The system requirements is pretty simple, all you need to have is Java 1.5 and you are good to go.

Now comes ShowMeWhatsWrong. It is powered by Screencast-O-Matic and is a little different. Your geek friend needs to go over to the ShowMeWhatsWrong website by clicking here, there he needs to enter his name and email id. Once he clicks on the Generate button, he would receive a link which he needs to send to you. Once you click on the link, it would automatically start to create the screencast. After you finish the screencast, it will directly send a video link with a playback page back to your geek friend - the problem savior. Isn't it amazing! Here's a demo of ShowMeWhatsWrong.

So the next time you face a challenge using your computer, you know that help is just a click away.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

40 Philosophies of Life

Life is full of philosophies and global gyans. Don't go out without them. And don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feed.

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often.

3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.

4. Life's a bitch, get used to it!

5. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

6. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

7. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

8. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

9. A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.

10. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

11. You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

12. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

13. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

14. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.

15. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

16. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

17. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

18. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

19. A balanced diet is a muffin in each hand.

20. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

21. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

22. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

23. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

24. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

25. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

26. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

27. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

28. Someone who thinks logically provides nice contrast to the real world.

29. It ain't the jeans that make your butt look fat.

30. If you had to identify in one word the reason why the human race has not achieved it's full potential, that word would be 'meetings'.

31. There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness'.

32. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

33. You should not confuse your career with your life.

34. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

35. Never lick a steak knife.

36. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

37. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

38. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

39. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that deep down inside we ALL believe we are good drivers.

40. Your friends love you anyway.

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Use Canonical Tag To Remove Duplicate URL

Canonical tag
It is a known fact that users tend to click on short URLs in the search results than their longer counterparts. However, if you have an old site, in all probabilities you would have multiple URLs pointing to the same product page. This includes some that longer exist because they included tracking information, category navigation, or other parameters.

Let's take an example:



Both the above URLs might lead to the same product page. So when Googlebot crawls a site, it's not unusual for it to find several URLs for the same page. And it's not always clear which of those should be displayed in the search results on Google.com.

To avoid this issue, Google now supports a new format that allows you to publicly specify your preferred version of a URL. This format provides you with more control over the URL returned in search results. It also helps to make sure that properties such as link popularity are consolidated to your preferred version.

This format uses the < link rel="canonical" > tag. For example, if you wanted to specify the shorter URL above, you could just have the following added to the < head > section at the top of your page:

< link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/product?id=388" >

Now the Googlebot understands that the duplicates all refer to the canonical URL :


Additional URL properties, like PageRank and related signals, are transferred as well. And you can suggest a canonical URL on a completely different domain as now Google supports cross-domain rel="canonical" link element.

For more information on how to specify your canonical, check out our canonical URLs post on the Webmaster Central Blog.

The canonical URL you specify will indicate your preference for Google.com search results, but for Product Search, Product Listing Ads, and AdWords product extensions Google continue to use the URLs you specify in your feeds or through the API. That means that if you're submitting URLs with tracking parameters, they will continue to work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google Might Pull Out of China Over Freedom of Speech Issue

Today with a long post on the Google Blog, David Drummond (SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer) announced that it would cease to censor the search results on Google.cn, even if it means pulling out of China entirely.

In his post, David described the "highly sophisticated and targeted attack" that occurred last month, which not only target Google but a fleet of 20 other companies. These companies are from a wide range of businesses including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors.

Further investigations by Google revealed that these attacks were made with the primary objective of accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Fortunately, the attackers did not achieve this goal.

They also found out that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users' computers.

Although Google does not mention this explicitly on their Blog but implications are that the Chinese government had something to do with these attacks.

Google have already started to use the information gained from this attack to increase the security of Google and it's users by making the necessary infrastructure and architectural improvements.

And because of these attacks, Google have started to rethink about continuing their presence in China. The Chinese government and Google have fought over censorship before, but currently the search engine does block certain results (such as images of the Tiananmen Square massacre).

It's now quite clear that Google would no longer comply with China’s demands any longer. Here's what David had to say about this :

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

With these announcement, Google has taken a bold step towards advocating the Freedom of Speech.

Store Your Files in the Cloud With Google Docs

Over the next couple of weeks, Google is rolling out the ability for it's Google Docs users the ability to upload, store and organize any type of file in Google Docs. With this change, you'll be able to upload and access your files from any computer, all you need is an Internet connection.

Instead of emailing files to yourself, which is particularly difficult with large files, you can upload to Google Docs any file up to 250 MB. You'll have 1 GB of free storage for files you don't convert into one of the Google Docs formats (i.e. Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations), and if you need more space, you can buy additional storage for $0.25 per GB per year. This makes it easy to backup more of your key files online, from large graphics and raw photos to unedited home videos taken on your smartphone. You might even be able to replace the USB drive you reserved for those files that are too big to send over email.

Moreover with shared folders, you can store, organize, and collaborate on files more easily using Google Docs. For example, if you are in a club or PTA working on large graphic files for posters or a newsletter, you can upload them to a shared folder for collaborators to view, download, and print.

You can also search for document files you've uploaded or that have been shared with you just like you do with your Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and PDFs. And you'll be able to view many common document file types with the Google Docs viewer.

To learn how businesses can take advantage of this new functionality, check out the post on the Enterprise Blog.

Android 2.1 SDK Released

AndroidGoogle has released Android 2.1 SDK so that the developers can take advantage of it's new features. Android 2.1 is a minor platform release deployable to Android-powered handsets starting in January 2010. This release includes new API changes and bug fixes. For information on changes, see the Framework API section.

For developers, the Android 2.1 platform is available as a downloadable component for the Android SDK. The downloadable platform includes a fully compliant Android library and system image, as well as a set of emulator skins, sample applications, and more. The downloadable platform includes no external libraries.

To get started developing or testing against the Android 2.1 platform, use the Android SDK and AVD Manager tool to download the platform into your Android SDK. For more information, see Adding SDK Components.

The Android 2.1 component is available for download through the SDK Manager.

In addition to the new SDK, a new USB driver that supports Nexus One is also available today through the SDK Manager. The USB driver page contains more information. You can also read the Android 2.1 release notes for more details.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nokia Booklet 3G Review

Nokia Booklet 3GDo you know what MikroMikko is? Surprise! Nokia, which is one of the world's leading mobile phone manufacturer, used to produce computers by that name. MikroMikko 3, manufactured in 1987 by Nokia, was a state-of-the-art MS-DOS machine with 1MB of RAM and 20MB drive. It's been about 25 years since Nokia's made a computer bigger than an N900, but it's back in the game with its first netbook, the Booklet 3G. So how is the Nokia Booklet 3G?

Let's first look at the chassis, which is carved from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. On top of the aluminum lid is a high-gloss plastic cover (available in white, black, and blue) which unfortunately gets covered in fingerprints. Probably that is the reason Nokia included a soft cloth in the box. Although the aluminum makes the Nokia Booklet 3G heavier at 2.8 pounds, it's still comfortable to hold and carry in one hand.

The Booklet has three USB ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack, and SD and SIM card slots, but there's no VGA or Ethernet ports. So in case of a weak 3G connection and an absence of a WiFi network you would really face a challange. Although you can obviously buy a USB Ethernet adapter, but after spending $599.00 why go through that pain!

The Booklet has an attractive 10.1-inch edge-to-edge glass display. While a smaller bezel could have sufficed, the 1280 x 720 screen is high quality and much roomier than the usual 1024 x 600 netbook resolution. The LED-backlit display are easier on the eyes and the 720p video clips looks vivid and crisp.

The Nokia Booklet 3G uses the lower-power Intel Atom Z530 instead of the usual N270 or N280 to increase the battery life. But that makes it very sluggish in performance. Running Firefox and Word simultaneously is fine, but adding another application like Seesmic Desktop causes things to drag. Moreover, you would often get a "not responding" message while trying your hands on something like streaming a movie on Hulu while running Tweetdeck, AT&T's connection manager and Microsoft Word. And the 4,200rpm, 120GB hard drive that's slower and smaller than the 5,200rpm units in most other netbooks adds to it's woes. And so does the Windows 7 and F-Secure security suite.

The battery life is good though, which can run for about 8 hours at 75 percent brightness to browse the web and edit documents. Nokia also bundles the Ovi Suite for synchronizing the Nokia phone and its Social Hub software, which is useful for centralizing your social networks (Twitter, Facebook) to one desktop application. It also lets you easily send text messages from your SIM. You can find detailed specifications here.

In a nutshell, things would look fabulous with the Nokia Booklet 3G until then time you start working on it. Once you do, you would simply wonder whether it's really worth the $599.00 price tag.

Monday, January 11, 2010

D'oh : Hulu Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of The Simpsons

The SimpsonsTonight, The Simpsons will mark its 20th anniversary with a 450th episode where Krusty will fall in love with a princess, voiced by Anne Hathaway, as well as a one-hour anniversary special directed by Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.

The Hulu Editor Rebecca Harper announced that they’ll stream the special starting Monday morning. The Hulu team pulled together some of their favorite clips from 20 years of "D'oh!" The clips includes Homer Sells His Soul, in this season five Treehouse of Horror bit, Homer's do-good-ley neighbor Ned Flanders becomes Satan, and he has the perfect plan to acquire the Simpson patriarch's soul: with a donut. But Homer can't resist a last bite, and he's sent to the underworld so we can discover just what goes into hot dogs. There's good news for Homer, though. He gets all the donuts in the world.

Then we have Moe Takes a Test, where Montgomery Burns is shot (Maggie did it!), the cops bring Moe the bartender in for a lie detector test. While he's honest about his innocence, the machine does lead Moe to reveal that some secrets are better left unsaid.

And ofcourse how can we forget Lisa Causes Pigs to Fly. "A toast to the host who can boast the most roast." When Homer hosts a backyard barbecue, vegetarian Lisa shows what it takes to make pigs fly. It's just a little airborne, but it's still good!

Then we have Homer Stocks Up for Independence Day where, looking to stock up on illegal fireworks like the M-320 ("celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it"), Homer heads to a convenience store. Since he doesn't want to draw suspicion, though, he ends up buying all the things that most shoppers would feel uncomfortable asking for by name. And we have a lot more. Click here to check out all of them and enjoy your share of D'oh moments!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A - Z of Bongeivity

Bengali, BongWhat's Bongeivity? Well, it's the mojo of Bongs (that's the name with which the people from West Bengal, India are fondly referred to). It is these thing which makes a Bong who he/she is. When people are working hard 24/7 to create 6- and 8-packs, it is these things which helps a Bong build his family pack with ease. Did I arouse your curiosity? Want to know more? Don't worry, here is the A - Z of Bongeivity. And remember, a little curiosity never killed a cat lest aside a blog reader.

A - is for Awpheesh (as in Office). This is where the average Kolkatan goes and spends a day hard at work. And if he works for the 'Vest Bengal Gawrment' he will arrive at 10, wipe his forehead till 11, have a tea break at 12, throw around a few files at 12.30, break for lunch at 1, smoke the 7th unfiltered cigarette at 2, break for 5th cup of tea at 3, sleep sitting down at 4 and go home at 4:30. It's a hard life!

B - is for Bhision. For some reason many Bengalis don't have good bhision. In fact in Kolkata most people are wearing spectacles all the time. Bhishon Bhalo and Bibhotso. Though means opposite, used for same situations depending on the beauty of fairer sex. Are close almost in a tie for second spot.

C - is for Chappell. Currently, this is the Bengali word for the Devil, for the worst form of evil. In the night mothers put their kids to sleep saying, 'Na ghumoley ebar Chappell eshey dhorey niye jabe'.

D - is for Debashish or any other name starting with Deb. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and trying to get creative they are also called Deb, Debu, Deba with variations like Debopriyo, Deboprotim, Debojyoti, etc. thrown in at times as creations of God himself!

E - is for Eeesh. This is a very common Bengali exclamation made famous by Aishwarya Rai in the movie Devdas. It is estimated that on an average a Bengali, especially Bengali women, use eeesh 10,089 times every year. 'Ei Morechhey' is a close second to Eeesh.

F - is for Feeesh. These are creatures that swim in rivers and seas and are a favourite food of the Bengalis. Despite the fact that a fish market has such strong smells, with one sniff a Bengali knows if a fish is all right. If not, he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!'

G - is for Good name. Every Bengali boy will have a good name like Debashish or Deboprotim! And ofcourse a pet name like Motka, Bhombol, Thobla, etc. While every Bengali girl will have pet names like Tia, Tuktuki, Mishti, Khuku, et cetera.

H - is for Harmonium. This Bengali equivalent of a rock guitar. Take four Bengalis and a Harmonium and you have the successors to The Bheatles!

I - is for Ileesh. This is a feeesh with 10,987 bones which would kill any ordinary person, but which the Bengalis eat with releeesh!

J - is for Jhola. No self-respecting Bengali is complete without his Jhola. It is a shapeless cloth bag where he keeps all his belongings and he fits an amazing number of things in. Even as you read this there are two million jholas bobbling around Kolkata, and they all look exactly the same! Note that 'Jhol' with mysterious condiments as in Maachher Jhol is a close second. Jhaamela and Jachhetai are distant 3rd and 4th.

K - is for Kee Kaando! It used to be the favorite Bengali exclamation till eeesh took over because of Aishwarya Rai. Kee mushkil is a close second.

L - is for Lungi, the dress for all occasions. People in Kolkata manage to play football and cricket wearing it, not to mention the daily trip in the morning to the local bajaar. Now there is talk of a lungi expedition to Mt Everest.

M - is for Minibaas. These are dangerous half buses whose antics would effortlessly frighten the living daylights out of all James Bond stuntmen as well as Formula 1 race car drivers. M for Mamatadi too!

N - is for Nangto. This is the Bengali word for Naked. It is the most interesting naked word in any language!

O - is for Oil. The Bengalis believe that a touch of mustard oil will cure anything from cold (oil in the nose), to earache (oil in the ear), to cough (oil on the throat) to piles (oil you know where!). "Nyakami hochhe?" is a close second.

P - is for Phootball. This is always a phavourite phassion of the Kolkatan. Every Bengali is born an expert in this game. The two biggest clubs there are MOHUNBAGAN and East Bengal and when they play the city comes to a stop.

Q - is for Koshchen (question) as in "Mamatadi! koshchens Cheap Ministaar in Writaars Buiding."

R - is for Robi Thakur. Many many years ago Rabindranath got the Nobel Prize. This has given the right to all Bengalis no matter where they are to frame their acceptance speeches as if they were directly related to the great poet and walk with their head held high. This also gives Bengalis the birthright to look down at Delhi and Mumbai and of course 'all non-Bengawlees'! Note that 'Rawshogolla' comes a close second!

S - is for Shourav. Now that they finally produced a genuine cricketer, that too a captain, Bengalis think that he should be allowed to play until he is 70 years old.

T - is for Trams. Hundred years later there are still trams in Kolkata. Of course if you are in a hurry it's faster to walk. Trams are still existing in Paris too you see!

U - is for Aambrela. When a Bengali baby is born he is handed one.

V - is for Bhaayolence. Bengalis are the most non-violent violent people around. When an accident happens they will fold up their sleeves, shout and scream and curse and abuse, "Chherey De Bolchhi". But the last time someone actually hit someone was in 1939.

W - is for Water. For three months of the year the city is underwater and every year for the last 200 years the authorities are taken by surprise by this!

X - is for X'mas. It's very big in Kolkata, with Park Street fully lit up and all Bengalis agreeing that they must eat cake that day.

Y - is for Yesshtaarday. Which is always better than today for a Bengali (see R for Robi Thakur). It is also for Jubraj Shingh and Joga.

Z - is for Jebra, Joo, and Jipper. Zaaa taaa bangalira chhara aar keu kisssoo Zaane naa.

Google Site Clinic : Tried It Yet?

Google Site ClinicNo, this is not a new Google product, so you haven't missed anything. At the beginning of the year the Google Search Quality team has announced that anyone can get their site's checked for quality and best practices by the Google team free of cost! The team would actually go through your site and offer constructive advice on accessibility and improvements that can lead to better visibility for your website in Google's search results.

To submit your site at Google Site Clinic, click here and fill in all the information requested. Just a note though, by submitting your site you agree to the use of your website as an example in their future blog posts under the Google Site Clinic banner.

Also, here are a few important guidelines that you need to follow:

1) To participate, your site must be registered on the Google Webmaster tools. This is to ensure that the submitter is the owner of the site and thus they have the owner's permission to use the site for Google Site Clinic. If you don't have a webmaster tools account yet, it's pretty simple to obtain. You can get one here.

2) Your website should meet the Google quality guidelines. This is because they will be using the same guidelines as criteria to select the websites for analysis. You can review the webmaster guidelines for any clarification.

The Site Clinic would be accepting submissions till the 20th of Jan, 2010. To know more you can click here.

Please Note: Not all sites will make it to their analysis list. From those that do, a few representative websites will be chosen as examples for the follow-up posts to share best practices.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Alienware M11X Netbook : A Sneak Peek

Alienware M11XDELL has finally announced it new Alienware M11X Netbook. It has got a 11.6 inch crisp clear display, NVIDIA GT335M switchable graphics. Rumor has it that the Alienware M11X has a battery life of 6.5 hours on integrated mode and over 2 hours on gaming mode. The GT335M apparently runs Crisis at 60 fps, and Mordern Warfare in HD at 30fps. Sounds tempting? Then here's the good news, this bad boy will ship in the spring for less than $1,000.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Nexus One : To Buy Or Not To Buy

Nexus One
Is Google loosing ground. Well, if it didn't earlier then it sure would now after the launch of Nexus One. Nexus One is the most awaited disappointment from the stable of Google Inc.

To start with, let me first tell you what Nexus One is. In case you are from Mars or were living under the rock since the beginning of the Earth, Nexus One is a phone launched by Google. But even though the name Google is associated with it, I really would not like to use it until the next 3 upgrades. Why? Here's why.

1. Are you on the Google "cloud"? If "no" then you would find it hard to synchronize Nexus One with you laptop or PC.

2. It's on T-Mobile. Doesn't that say it all? I mean C'mon, everyone knows that if there is any less well-liked than AT&T, it's T-Mobile. Remember, they even suffered a huge data loss late last year. Although Google did promise to put it up on the Verizon network, till then would you really like to use T-Mobile?

3. Nexus One does not have multi touch capabilities, despite support for the feature in Google's Android 2.0 mobile operating system.

4. It would be bad for Android.

5. It's fast, but not that fast. And not as fast as your iPhone for sure. So people who were using iPhone would keep using them. So it sure is not a iPhone killer!

So other than the fact that Nexus One is pretty "slim" and runs on an open OS, Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair), I don't find anything fancy with it that I would suggest it to my readers. Not that it would put eggs on the face of Google Inc. but it sure would not get a good start.