Saturday, July 26, 2008

Telephone Lines Snap!

Over the weekend, our broadband lines got snapped due to windy rains in Mangalore. I was unable to publish any posts or reply any emails which you might have sent during this period of time. I’m sincerely sorry for the inconvenience. Normal posting schedule will continue from today onwards.

Here in India, telephone companies suck big time! It’s common for the over head telephone cables to break up and go unrepaired for days, or even weeks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

new Read it Later for Firefox 3

Read it Later is a handy Firefox add-on, which we’ve covered earlier. Basically, it’s pretty similar to the bookmarking feature, but it’s meant only for those one-time interesting pages. You can save pages of interest to read it later. The developer has released a new version of the add-on, which makes it compatible with Firefox 3 and adds several new features as well.

Read it Later for Firefox 3 tightly integrates with Firefox 3’s address bar. Just next to the ‘one-click bookmarking’ star in the address bar, Read it Later adds a checkmark. Clicking on the checkmark will save or remove the page from your reading list.

Another nifty feature to be included in this version of Read It Later is the ability to sync your list with multiple computers. For instance, you can sync your office reading list with your home computer using the unique feed ID and password given to your list. This way, your read list is no more tied down to your home or office computer. What’s more? Read below the fold:

Offline Reading: If you want to access your reading list, while you are away from active internet connection, Read It Later can prefetch those pages and save it for offline reading.

RSS Feed: Your reading list is accessible from any RSS reader (like Google Reader, FeedDemon or even a mobile phone). You can also use your personalized RSS feed to share your reading list with others.

Click to Save Mode: While running through tons of links in delicious, digg or any other social media site, you can toggle the ‘click to save’ mode by pressing Alt + M (customizable). Any link clicked, while this mode is active, will be straight away added to your reading list.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Preview and Recovery Files with UndeleteMyFiles

Every now and then, you might end up in sticky situations where you accidentally delete files which are not meant to be deleted. This is where tools like UndeleteMyFiles come in handy. The software does exactly what the name suggests, but unlike other file recovery softwares available out there, UndeleteMyFiles has a unique preview feature which can restore files to temp directory and open it in the default viewer, so that you can check out the files which should be brought back to your hard disk.

UndeleteMyFiles has three modes: File Recovery, Media Recovery and Mail Recovery. Media Recovery helps you to undelete media files, whereas mail recovery can retrieve accidentally deleted Outlook emails.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 MID Edition Released

We knew it was coming, and it’s here! Canonical has released the mobile optimized version of Ubuntu for developers. Ubuntu Mobile Internet Device (MID) is actually a stripped down version of Ubuntu operating system for desktop, which is optimized to run on smaller screens of mobile devices.

MIDs are mobile devices, which are more like normal computer, but smaller in size than ultraportable computer. Open source, Ubuntu MID is designed for screens ranging 4.8-inch to 7-inch, and it will feature large icons with touchscreen interface for easy, stylus-less navigation.

This is a developer preview, so it’s not ready for the prime time yet. However, Canonical seems to very positive about the new mobile operating system. They’ll be releasing new version of the OS in every six-month cycle, just like how they do for the desktop version

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bookmark Previews

Bookmark Previews is a Firefox extension, which generates thumbnail previews for all your Firefox bookmarks and lets you browse through your bookmarks in Apple-ish Cover Flow interface.

Basically, this extension adds two views to your bookmark manager: Thumbnail view (Cover Flow style) and Album view. Whenever you add a bookmark or visit any of your bookmarked pages, it snaps a screenshot and preserves it. When you first install this extension, it’ll create thumbnails for your bookmarks in background.

I have around 280 bookmarks in my browser, and I found this extension to be harmful for my browser’s performance. I’m not totally sure, if this is due to the number of bookmarks I’m having, or due to some other reason. Nonetheless, it’s pretty cool, if not very useable.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yahoo! launched and for Email Addresses

Yahoo! Mail has started offering email accounts under two new domain names – and Yahoo! Mail being the grand daddy of all free webmail services (with over 266 million users worldwide) started way back in 2007. Hence finding a suitable email address without some extras in it is pretty impossible. Nearly

Back in 2007, when Yahoo! acquired Four11 Corp (RocketMail) for $80 million, they offered free email address under the Yahoo domain to avoid confusion and build brand. Existing RocketMail users were allowed to keep their addresses, but Yahoo didn’t allow any new sign-ups under that domain name. and will have all the same features of Yahoo! domain, which includes unlimited storage. If you couldn’t find the right email handle with Yahoo last time, maybe this is the time to grab your favorite address, while it’s still available.

Friday, July 11, 2008

firefox lang pack got virus

Usually, when we download software from a trusted developer like Mozilla, we are convinced that it contains no viruses or trojans to harm our computers. Surprisingly, that’s not true for Vietnamese language pack for Firefox downloaded after February 18, 2008.

The language pack itself does not carry the virus; instead it has been modified by a virus to remotely load malicious scripts. It’s primarily meant to display advertising, but it could be used for other malicious attacks as well. The virus is a script, so it can potentially harm all operating system. Most antivirus applications will detect the virus as HTML.Xorer.

The add-on has been download around 16000 times since November 2007, but its unknown how many of those downloads came after February 18th. Normally, Mozilla checks for infections when an add-on is uploaded to their site. No subsequent virus scans are performed. Hopefully, Mozilla will take precautions to prevent this from happening in future. The whole issue makes me feel a little insecure about installing add-on for my browser.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sleep Texting for SMS addicts

We’ve heard all sorts of sleep walking stories, including this one, but 24-year-old Jessica Castillo of Italy, Texas has a weird sleep related disorder – “sleep texting”. According to this article, Jessica found messages sent to her boyfriend in her outbox which said “Baby u there? Need to tell something …” then some haphazard letters and numbers. This was followed by a second similar message which also ended with some gibberish words, but Jessica had absolutely no knowledge about those in the morning.

You are probably wondering if sleep texting was actually a sleeping disorder or just a cover-up by some people for unintentionally send text messages. Heck, even I felt the same! PsychCentral has answers from an expert in American Academy of Sleep Medicine, who believes that texting is so deeply ingrained in younger generations that sleep texting is absolutely possible.

On the other hand, Scott Fromherz from the Westside Sleep Center in Oregon disagrees. He says “The ’sleep texter’ may have actually been awake, but had not formed new memories for the event. Thus, a person might wake up in the middle of the night, text someone, go back to sleep and have no recollection of the activity the next morning.”

Considering that teens spend a lot of time texting each other, I think it’s quite possible that the process of drafting a text message is engraved in our muscle memory. Atleast, this isn’t as grave as having sleep sex.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dark Makeover for Gmail!

Back when Gmail was first launched, I was fond of their minimalistic WebMail interface. It has been four years now, and the storage has been tripled, but the interface still remains untouched. Some of us are finding Gmail’s look-and-feel to be boring. Fortunately, Evgueni Naverniouk has created a style sheet called Gmail Redesigned, which gives Gmail a dark makeover.

Gmail Redesigned does cosmetic changes to nearly element of Gmail, including the GTalk chat box, and the settings page.

To install this style, you’ll first need to have Stylish add-on installed in FireFox. Once that’s done, go to and click on "Load into Stylish" button. That’s it!

Gmail Redesigned would be a killer, if it could work along with Remember The Milk extension. Luckily, the author has plans to implement that in future. [Via: CyberNet]

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Firefox 3 Gets Another Release Candidate

The second Release Candidate of Firefox3 was made available for developer testing and community feedback. If you are already running Firefox 3 RC1, then don’t expect to see any new features because RC2 is all about bug fixes and other under the hood performance tweaks.

Firefox 3 RC2 is available for Windows, Linux and Mac in over 45 languages. If you are already running Firefox 3 RC1, then go to Help > Check for Updates and upgrade to RC2, else just get it from here.

Hopefully, this is the last release candidate before the final release, which is expected to happen at some time later this month.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Social Browser Flock Goes 2.0

Mozilla powered social web browser, Flock has released a new beta version of Flock 2.0 for early adopters and bug hunters. So far, Flock was using Firefox 2’s code under the hood, so it didn’t include all the performance and security improvements featured in Firefox 3, which is due for release tomorrow. Flock 2.0 uses Firefox 3’s latest Gecko 1.9 rendering engine, which promises better performance and smaller memory footprint. It also incorporates Firefox 3’s favorite manager and the nifty “awesome bar”, which auto-completes based on your browsing history. The new download manager can resume downloads after restart.

For the most part, Flock 2.0 retains the same look and feel of Flock 1.2, except for the Media Bar and People Sidebar, which have been slightly polished to make things go more intuitive. If you seriously crave for performance improvements, they you should certainly download a copy of Flock 2.0 and give it a try.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

how to build orkut themes?

Orkut has introduced over a dozen themes for their users to choose. But unlike iGoogle themes, Orkut doesn’t have the API required for third parties to build themes for the service. If you use Firefox + Greasemonkey, then you can build your own Orkut themes in just a few seconds. Here’s how:

Go to and enter the url of a valid image. (Make sure that your image has enough width, else it’ll get repeated)

Click on the submit button and you’ll get the greasemonkey script with the background image of your choice.

It took me several trial and errors to determine the best width for Orkut. If you are already using an official theme, then make sure you switch back to the classic theme before using the custom greasemonkey theme. Else, it’ll screw it up.

Custom themes will extend the pageload time by several seconds. This is because it has to fetch the image from an external source after the page is fully loaded. Personally, I’m not a great fan of themes for Orkut. I’ll stick to the classic Orkut theme for now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Orkut themes

Orkut has introduced over a dozen themes for their users to choose. But unlike iGoogle themes, Orkut doesn’t have the API required for third parties to build themes for the service. If you use Firefox + Greasemonkey, then you can build your own Orkut themes in just a few seconds. Here’s how:
Go to, and enter the url of a valid image. (Make sure that your image has enough width, else it’ll get repeated)
Click on the submit button and you’ll get the greasemonkey script with the background image of your choice.
It took me several trial and errors to determine the best width for Orkut. If you are already using an official theme, then make sure you switch back to the classic theme before using the custom greasemonkey theme. Else, it’ll screw it up.
Custom themes will extend the pageload time by several seconds. This is because it has to fetch the image from an external source after the page is fully loaded. Personally, I’m not a great fan of themes for Orkut. I’ll stick to the classic Orkut theme for now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

interoperatability between Gtalk and YM

Ever since Microsoft pulled out of Yahoo’s acquisition deal, Yahoo’s stocks have been tumbling. While some Yahoo! investors blamed their CEO, Jerry Yang for not pursuing the deal, others said Microsoft would make a second effort to buy Yahoo, once their stocks are down.
In the mean time, Yahoo! tried to revive itself by signing an advertisement deal with Google. As per the deal, Yahoo! would run ADSENSE ADS along their natural RESULTS in U.S and Canada. The advertising deal is estimated to bring another $800 million for Yahoo!
This deal was not completely about advertisement. The same press release from Google brought some good news to Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk users as well. Both the instant messaging service will soon be interoperable, which means Google Talk users can seamlessly chat with Yahoo! Messenger users and vice versa. This definitely puts Yahoo! Messenger in a stronger position because they have partnered with both Google and Microsoft (for Windows Live Manager). Yahoo! Messenger users can chat with both Live Messenger and Google Talk users without any third party add-on or Jabber transporter. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

iPhone Unlocking to be Exterminated?

Apple took a different business model for the iPhone 3G. As per the new business model, the cellular carrier will provide the iPhone at a subsidized price, make-up the cost in monthly charges and don’t provide a chunk of their revenues to Apple. Previously, the customer had to pay the full retail price of the iPhone and carriers had to funnel their some their revenues to Apple.

What if you buy an iPhone 3G and unlock it? Since cellular carriers have subsidized the phone, every unlocked iPhone is a potential lose in revenue for them. According Crave’s source, Brits who walk into O2 stores to purchase iPhone will have to sign-up a contract before they can actually see the iPhone.

This means the only possible way to get an iPhone without being tied into the contract is by opting for pay-as-you-go (prepaid) options. The plans and pricing of such a prepaid scheme has not been announced yet, but it will definitely cost a little extra.

Moreover, the App Store will be launched in July and probably unlocked iPhone users won’t be able to lay their hands on the third party Software, which are available. To add more fire to the business, iPhone is coming to 70 countries. In the past, people living in these countries had no other choice but to buy unlocked iPhone. Unlocked iPhones will lose their appeal and that puts the whole unlocked iPhone business at risk.

Firefox 3 launching on june 17th

Official date has been set! The Mozilla Developers News blog has made an announcement earlier today, saying "After more than 34 months of active development, and with the contributions of thousands, we’re proud to announce that we’re ready. It is our expectation to ship Firefox 3 this upcoming Tuesday, June 17th"

Yes, there is a small possibility of a major bug being discovered, like the one found in the Mac version of Firefox 3, due to which a third release candidate was put out. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and we’ll have the browser on next Tuesday.

If you are participating in the "Download Day" campaign, then don’t forget to download and install Firefox 3 on Tuesday. Mozilla is attempting to set the Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours.

It’s not just Firefox, but Opera users have a reason to rejoice as well. Opera software has announced the availability of Opera 9.5. After months of beta, Opera 9.5 is finally released. Along with the new look and feel, Opera 9.5 also features a new rendering engine for better performance, and several security measures for safe and secure browsing. You can download Opera 9.5 or read the Changelog.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Google with Gmail Labs

Google has decided to experiment with new and unique ideas on Gmail with a new section called Gmail Labs. Google receives lots of cool ideas from employees and their users, but they don’t really implement those ideas because they are not sure, whether users will like it or not. Gmail Labs will fill the gap between ideas and implementation. Here’s what Keith Coleman, Product Manager for Gmail says:"The idea behind Labs is that any engineer can go to lunch, come up with a cool idea, code it up, and ship it as a Labs feature. To tens of millions of users. No design reviews, no product analysis, and to be honest, not that much testing. Some of the Labs features will occasionally break".

Gmail Labs is slowly being rolled out to users. If it’s enabled on your account, you’ll notice a new tab in the settings page called "Labs". It has a list of experimental features (13 at the moment), you can enable or disable any of them. Some experimental features don’t work, when another labs feature is enabled.

Just incase, you don’t find the labs tab in your settings page. You can manually go to and activate the labs feature on your account. Before you head over and start playing with Gmail Labs, please keep in mind that they are experimental. It may break, change or disappear without any notice.

Monday, June 2, 2008

orkut with foto tagging

Lately, Orkut has been closely trying to imitate Facebook. It started with applications, then status messages and the latest is the newly implemented photo tagging feature. If you log into your Orkut account, you’ll notice a new section called “Photos of Me” in your homepage.
This section will contain all photos in which you have been tagged by your friends. The same section is visible to your friends on your profile as “Photos of Him”. The process of tagging your photos is awkwardly simple:
1. Enlarge the photo that needs to be tagged. Click on the “Add tag” link at the bottom right of the photo. Your mouse cursor will change into ‘+’.
2. Drag the ‘+’ cursor over anyone’s face to show up “Add person tag” dialogue box.
3. Enter your friend’s name and click on save.
4. This photo will appear on your friend’s profile under his “Photos of him” section.
If you are concerned about privacy, you can completely disable this feature from the privacy settings page.
Orkut’s photo tagging feature reminds me of Flickr’s note feature, where you can leave notes on any part of the photo by dragging a box on it. Ironically, when I saw this on Orkut, I confused it with Flickr’s photo tagging feature, which happens to be completely different. Nevertheless, I find the photo tagging feature to be extremely useable.

Friday, May 30, 2008

iPhone Compatible with VLC

VLC is a cross-platform media player, which supports almost all kinds of media formats. The good news for Apple iPhone or iPod Touch users is that VLC is now being ported for iPhone as well as iPod Touch. VLC4iPhone app is currently in its beta phase, and you can be a part of their private beta, if you are a donating member of ZodTTD.

Just like VLC, VLC4iPhone supports variety of media formats including MPEG/MPG, MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, MP3, XviD, h264, FLAC, 3GP and more. This app can be truly handy, if you watch lots of videos on your iPhone. Since most video formats are already support by the player, you no longer need to re-encode them, so that it’s playable on your device.

I’m positive that VLC4iPhone will be a huge hit, when App Store is launched. In the meantime, if you need to install VLC4iPhone on your device, you need a jailbroken iPhone or iPod Touch (and some cash to donate for the cause).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

IE8 is to be released in August 8th

Microsoft has revealed their plans to release the second beta of Internet Explorer 8 in August. The first preview version of IE8 was released back in March and it gave web developers a chance to see what Microsoft’s next generation browser had to offer. However, the next beta of IE8 is meant for normal web users to try out. It will have all the features that the browser will have when IE8 is finally released.

According to Reuters, Microsoft plans to adopt a policy which will deliver more regular updates to Internet Explorer users, like Firefox already does. I think that’s a step in the right direction since browser exploits are constantly uncovered and regularly releasing browser updates will help in patching them.

Just as a refresher, Internet Explorer 8 complies with web standards and passes acid2 test. The final release date for Internet Explorer 8 has not been set, but my guess is that it will be at sometime later this year

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mozila trying for guinness world record

While Firefox 3 is on its way, Spread Firefox team is preparing to set a Guinness World Record for the most number of downloads in 24 hours. The official date for the launch of Firefox 3 has not been disclosed yet, but you can help them set a record by pledging to download Firefox 3 on the “Download Day” (which coincides with the release date of Firefox 3).

So far 340,411 people have pledge to download Firefox 3. The current record for most downloads in 24 hours is non-existent, so they’ll set the record no matter what! Campaigns like these are held to promote a better web browser, rather than anything else. Last time, they celebrated World Firefox Day which followed by Friends of Firefox campaign.

Just to make sure you don’t miss it, they’ll probably shoot you an email reminder on the download day. To participate, you just need to download Firefox 3 on the same day. Please remember that only completed download counts. They have a special certificate that can be printed for you to celebrate and show off your participation!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

now free music from EMI music and Universal in

Ever dreamed of downloading free, yet legal music from popular artists? is an ad-supported, free music and video downloading website and they have recently signed a new licensing deal with EMI music. Last year, signed a similar deal with Universal Music group. This latest licensing deal with EMI gives users the access to content from two out of four major recording companies. users from Canada and U.S can download music and videos for free. The cover their bandwidth bills and pay rights holders through the revenue generated with online advertisements shown on their site. However they have one small catch – music downloaded from their website contains DRM that makes it playable only on Windows based computers (i.e tracks downloaded from their website can’t be played back on iPod or other portable music devices). already has 1.1 millions tracks and over 4,000 music videos. The number will significantly rise once EMI’s content gets included in their catalogue. The company is currently pursuing other labels to sign licensing deals and they are hopeful about getting content other major labels.
It feels good to download tracks for free, but also pay the rights holder through a portion of ad revenue. No guilt involved! As of now, is open to users from U.S and Canada only

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bye to “Disc Burner” and “software not found” error in iTunes:

Earlier today, I was trying to backup my iTunes library to disc, but iTunes just wouldn’t let me do that. It said “….” Since this is my first try, I thought that iTunes required some software component for the burn function to work. I also knew that iTunes recognized my DVD Burner, since it was listed under Advanced > Burning tab in Preferences.

After troubleshooting for a while, I found out that Daemon Tools is the culprit. Daemon Tools is a software for inserting virtual CDs, mostly useful for playing games without it’s actually DVD. I tried uninstalling Daemon Tool, but that didn’t solve the problem.

I dug a little deeper and found an add-on called SPTD v1.50. It repairs Daemon Tools to fix the incompatibility issues with iTunes. It’s available for both 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 Now Available

On Friday, Mozilla released Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1, which means exactly as the tag says: unless any major bugs are reported, Firefox 3 RC1 is going to be the final version of Firefox 3, which is planned for June.

Windows Vista users will notice a slight visual refresh. The Bookmark Organizer or "Library" now has a black glossy interface, which resemble with Vista’s looks and feel. The line which separates toolbars from the address bar has now been removed. "Clear" button has been put back into Firefox 3’s download manager.

Help documentation has been removed from the installation, instead, it will now be available online. That way, it will be easier for them to change their documentation without actually releasing a new version of Firefox.

Performance wise, Firefox 3 RC1 is faster and better than previous builds. This is not the final release, so bugs can still exist within the next generation browser. Firefox 3 RC1 is available in 45 different languages for Windows, Linux and MAC. As usual, it won’t work on any operating system prior to Windows2008.