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Showing posts from June, 2005

The WSJ Effect: Picture uploads in Blogger

was the last choice for The Wall Street Journal when it came to comparing Blogger vs MSN Spaces vs Yahoo 360.

Seems like Google was quick to react to the WSJ report. Atleast to some part of the report.

Now you can post pictures? in Blogger too. The image icon in the post editor's toolbar will allow any users (with blogs on BlogSpot or published via FTP) to upload images to their blogs. Or, you can enter the URL of an image that is already online and have it inserted into your post.And something similar to Hello interface, you can choose the layout of the picture in the post (Or use CSS)

Blogger however did not update the Third Part add-ons page - There is no mention of the new Blogger Images service - Windows users can also post photos directly to their blogs with the Hello BloggerBot.

Blogger Images Storage allows you to upload up to 300mb of images.

How to be a blogger - A 101 Guide

TIME.com has a story So You Want To Be A Blogger?

It's easy to create your own blog — a good-looking one, with text, photos and links to other sites—in a flash, no technical know-how required. One good, basic service is Blogger.com, which is owned by Google. Blogger will host your site and give you a set of powerful, easy-to-use publishing tools for free. A caveat: Your blog's URL will end in blogspot.com unless you do an advanced setup. Another good bet is MSN Spaces, also free. Yahoo's 360° is still in limited beta-testing mode (you need to be invited by a current user to try it), but it should be open to the public later this summer, according to the company. There's also LiveJournal, which is popular with teens, and TypePad, which offers more advanced features for $5 to $15 per month, depending on level of service. (Both are owned by Six Apart, creators of Movable Type, a publishing platform for more serious users.)

If you regularly read several different blogs, con…

Blogger Template inserting div clear tag in all my posts

Something strange is happening with my Blogger template.

All my post have a div clear:both tag at the beginning so that forces the body text to start after the Google Adsense block. The ad units no longer blend with the body text.

Did anyone else notice this ? <div style="clear:both;"></div>

My Google Adsense earnings are bound to drop due to this. Looking for a CSS hack or workaround.

Think like Google - How Google works

How Google works covers Google hardware architecture , servers, what Google indexes , features and limitations, ranking principles and tips, Googleplex

This amazing guide has three simple steps to get a high Google Pagerank:

1. Server Speed: Your website pages must be downloaded nearly at the speed of light. Yes it is, Google gives more visibility to websites that are resident on fast servers.

2. Site Updating: Googlebot has the ability to check out WHEN your pages have been uploaded to the server. Here's a simple hack - Upload all your pages everyday even if nothing has changed.

3. Lots of light HTML pages: Google adores simple websites with hundreds of pages. If you are building a page that (because of its extensive contents) is going to be larger than 50K , split it in two or three pages.

If you want to know something more about Google file system and architecture, read these PDFs:
The Google File System
The Google (cluster) Architecture

Read Google Ranking - the Definitive Gui…

Expressive Typography using Macromedia Flash

Expressive Typography points at some excellent websites that illustrate the limitless possibilities of experimental type in Flash and bring typography to life. As these examples show, Expressive and Kinetic typography can convey moods, ideas and aesthetics with an interpretive potential that static type cannot thereby infusing a message with life.

The inspiration for this work undoubtedly came from Arabic Calligraphs where the poem or verse is a shaped picture of the poems content. Ni9e.com follows this tradition of typo-pictures with some excellent work grouped under Typographical Illustrations. Typedrawing is a unique drawing application that lets you draw with type. This Flash application is both fun and intuitive to use. You can add your own drawing to the database that contains some of the author's favourite creations. Another interesting on-topic experiment is Typoscope where simple-yet-effective interactive kaleidoscopic patterns are generated using type. In a sim…

Microsoft writes a tutorial on Adobe Photoshop

launched a preview version of an illustration and graphic design tool codenamed Acrylic, and is offering it as a free download.

It is quite evident that Microsoft Acrylic is aimed at grabbing the market share from Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator (Adobe CS2) and even Freehand that Adobe picked up when it acquired Macromedia. The move follows last month's announcement of Microsoft Metro, a tool that threatens to compete with Adobe's Acrobat and PDF format.

Microsoft Acrylic is able to both open and export to Adobe's Photoshop PSD and Acrobat PDF formats, so it is clear that Microsoft intends to offer Acrylic as an alternative to Photoshop, likely at a lower cost. But what surprised me the most was this tutorial on Microsoft website - Actions automate repetitive Photoshop tasks. Here Microsoft explains in detail how to automate repetitive tasks through batch processes on a large number of images.

Why would a company write a tutorial on their main website about…

Free Software Tools And Fonts CD

The Government of India is sending out Free Hindi software CD to anyone by post. Here are the contents of the Hindi CD:

Hindi Language True Type Fonts With Keyboard Driver
The data can be created in any Window applications i.e. on Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. The Keyboard Layouts could be Inscript, Phonetic or Typewriter type.

Hindi OCR
Scan Hindi Newspapers or Hindi magazines and convert hindi into editable text with this free Hindi OCR software. Any printed font format can be trained with this training module thus enhancing the accuracy of the product.

Text To Speech System for Hindi
Talk to your computer in Hindi. The computer can read the Hindi text for you. The basic requirement is for this to work you must have a sound card with speakers.

Hindi Language Spell Checker
Spell check Hindi data entered in MS Word through GIST TT typing tool.

Dictionary English-Hindi
Find hindi words with this powerful English-Hindi dictionary.

Translation Support System For English-Hindi
This provide…

Download Indian Fonts, Typing Tutor, Language Translation software

Get a free software tools and fonts CD

The Indian Government is distributing a free software tools and fonts in Hindi to boost the use of information technology in India among masses particularly the rural people.

The Government has invited applications on www.ildc.gov.in and intends mailing them CDs containing compilation of several Hindi fonts and tools free. The contents of the free CD will include Hindi language true type fonts with keyboard driver, Hindi Language Unicode Compliant Open Type Fonts, generic fonts code and storage code converter for Hindi, Hindi language version of Bharateeya OO, Firefox Browser in Hindi, Multi Protocol Messenger in Hindi, Email Client in Hindi among others.

Microsoft already sells a version of its Office suite in India, called Microsoft Office Hindi, that supports nine Indian languages. The Hindi version of Windows XP Starter Edition is a stripped down, low cost version of Windows XP that is being piloted in emerging markets such as Indonesia, Thailan…

Google Dadsense

As it always happens, folks have a new logo to celebrate Father's Day.

In 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, organizes the first Father's Day celebration on June 19, her own father's birthday. The mayor of Spokane and the governor of Washington state officially support the event. Dodd's father, a farmer and Civil War veteran, had been a single father to six young children after the death of his wife. And in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge publicly supports plans for a national Father's Day.

Get more information on Google Logos and meet the brain behind these amazing designs. They never cease to amaze me.

Be sure to read the Google Permission's page before using any of the Google stickers.

Favorite Google AdSense Tips

Answers.com writes about AdSense, an advertising program run by . Website owners can enroll in this program to enable text and image advertisements on their sites. These ads are administered by Google and generate revenue on a per-click basis. Google utilizes its search technology to serve ads based on website content, the user's geographical location, and other factors.

It currently uses JavaScript code to incorporate the advertisements into a participating site. If it is included on a site which has not yet been crawled by the Googlebot, it will temporarily display advertisements for charitable causes.

That are the Adsense basics. Eric Giguere offers very effective Google AdSense Tips.

1. If you're wondering about something, don't be afraid to ask Google Adsense Support. Their responses are always very polite, and they appreciate getting problem reports and suggestions.

There are two email addresses to use, depending on the type of question:
adsense-tech@google.com: f…

MasterCard Credit Card holders at little risk

MasterCard International reported yesterday that more than 40 million credit card accounts of all brands might have been exposed to fraud through a computer security breach at a payment processing company, perhaps the largest case of stolen consumer data to date.

MasterCard said its analysts and law enforcement officials had identified a pattern of fraudulent charges that were traced to an intrusion at CardSystems Solutions of Tucson, Ariz., which processes more than $15 billion in payments for small to midsize merchants and financial institutions each year.

About 20 million Visa and 13.9 million MasterCard accounts were compromised; the other accounts belonged to American Express or Discover cardholders. The accounts affected included credit cards and certain kinds of debit cards. The F.B.I. said it was investigating.

A MasterCard spokeswoman, Sharon Gamsin, said an infiltrator had managed to place a computer code or script on the CardSystems network that made it possible to extract …

Microsoft Challenge - Hack me if you can

recently invited hackers to descend upon Redmond for a chance to exploit Windows code openly. The event was billed as "Blue Hat" in reference to the popular Black Hat conferences that provide a public forum for security professionals and the hacking community to interface.

The two-day Microsoft affair was another step toward Bill Gates' claim that Microsoft will create more secure products. Currently, the software giant estimates a third of its research budget -- US$2 billion dollars -- is spent annually on security-related matters.

However, not all security professionals think the strategy of meeting with hackers will be effective for the company. "I see all these things as somewhat sad attempts to pander to the media's love of hacking, and a bit of wishful thinking along the lines of 'maybe if we're nice to the hackers they'll be nice to us in return,'" is how Marcus Ranum, chief security officer of Tenable Network Security and i…

The new icons of Adobe Creative Suite 2

In Adobe CS2 Iconography, Stanley analysis the new look of icons in Adobe CS2.

The release of Adobe CS a little over a year ago introduced a set of unified & nature-inspired icons designed by MetaDesign. It was quite a shift from the traditional Photoshop “eye” and the Illustrator “Venus” motif.

One of the biggest changes is the new starfish icon of GoLive CS2. While the original star icon didn’t fit into the overall “small objects of nature” CS theme, the new GoLive CS2 icon is a nice subtle shift. It unifies with the rest of the suite without completely throwing away the previous look. Bravo.

Another change are the new color schemes. When the original Adobe CS was released, not only did the traditional icons change, but the color schemes for icons and their respective document file icons changed as well. Suddenly Photoshop CS PSD files where green and Illustrator CS AI files were pink. The new CS2 sees a return to the old colors. Photoshop CS2 to blue (well, a mix of green and b…

Camtasia Studio 3.0 - Screencasting Swiss Knife

Camtasia Studio 3 is one the most popular Screencasting tools developed by TechSmith. I personally use the wonderful Camtasia Studio with Snagit all the time for my website and presentations.

Camtasia Studio can help you record and edit videos of screen activity in all multimedia formats and enhance the captured material with special effects, narration and a variety of multimedia features. With Camtasia Studio, you can teach and demonstrate complex ideas and subtle points , rather than through words alone with exact video renderings of desktop activity. Stream videos live or distribute by CD-ROM and from the Web.

Camtasia is very popular tool for creating screencast. Even Jon Udell, the lead analyst for the InfoWorld Test Center prefers Camtasia over Qarbon Viewletbuilder and Macromedia Captivate.

Techsmith is now positioning the tool as a Flash Printer for converting CAD Drawings, Photographs to smaller Flash SWF files. The most amazing new features in the upcoming version :

Pict…

Download patches for Adobe Acrobat 7.0 and Adobe Reader 7.0

The Adobe Reader 7.0.2 and Adobe Acrobat 7.02 update addresses several known issues in Adobe PDF software. This update provides improved security. It also addresses known issues associated with forms and viewing PDF files using a Weblink plug-in. For more information, read the Adobe security advisories.

The hole in the Adobe products, referred to as an XML External Entity vulnerability, under certain circumstances allows XML scripts to be used to discover a user's local files. If an XML script is embedded in JavaScript, it is possible to discover the existence of local files. An attacker could then maliciously use the gathered information. Still it won't be that simple to crack unpatched Acrobat software - the local files can be found only if the attacker knows the complete file names and paths in advance of such an attack.

The vulnerability impacts Acrobat and Reader running on Windows and Mac platforms. Adobe Reader and Acrobat for Windows users can download the updates - Adob…

Blogger vs MSN Spaces vs Yahoo 360

WSJ.com compares the most popular free blog-creation services in terms of publishing text entries, or "posting" as it is called in blog land; adding photos; publishing links to other Web pages on our blogs; providing privacy online and also the overall style and formatting options provided on each site.

The verdict: Microsoft's MSN Spaces did the best job of performing these tasks in a way that was organized and self-explanatory. Yahoo 360 was almost as easy, but it tries to tie in the use of too many other Yahoo services. Blogger.com has a long way to go until it becomes as easy to use as the others.

The author comes down heavily on Blogger.com due to the following reasons:

1. Editing photos: ..to add a photo to go with her post .. download a separate program called Hello from Picasa, a photo service that, like Blogger, is owned by Google.
2. Requires HTML knowledge: ..instead of offering a place for entering lists of URLs on your blog, you must instead follow directions t…

Cheap International Phone Calls

Talk anywhere across the world at local call rates, All you need is a Internet line to get started - Steve writes about making a crystal-clear Internet call using Skype's slick software in PCWorld.com:

With all the talk about Internet calling services like Vonage and AT&T's CallVantage, you might have overlooked my favorite option, Skype, which has been around for a couple of years. Using Skype is much like using instant messaging. (In fact, IM features are built in.) Click a name in your contact list, and your PC rings your contact's phone. Once that person picks up, start blabbing. It's free to call anybody, anywhere, who has Skype installed. You and your friend will need a broadband connection for Skype to work well.

Skype has lots more going for it, too: The program is incredibly easy to set up and use, the sound quality is great, and unlike with Vonage there are no monthly fees. In fact, in the United States, you avoid all taxes and pesky regulatory fees. And f…

Microsoft Windows XP Power Tips

Making Windows XP Start Faster - This latest story on PCMag has tips from Windows XP Speed Solutions offering step-by-step guidance for making Windows XP run like a Tiger.

I list the Windows XP registry tweaks that really worked wonders for me. Make backup of the registry if you are a novice.

Disabling Recent Documents History - Windows XP includes a feature that keeps track of all recent documents you have opened or used. The idea is that you can select Start/Recent Documents History and quickly reopen any document you have recently used. I use many documents each day and never use the feature myself. In my opinion, I can keep up with what I want to use without Windows XP doing it for me.

The bad thing about Recent Documents History is that Windows XP has to calculate what should be put there each time you boot Windows, which can slow things down. So, if you never use the Recent Documents History, it's a good idea to disable it. Here's how:

1. Open the Registry Editor (select…

How does Microsoft Metro compare with Adobe PDF

The new Metro Document Format (MDF) from Microsoft is expected to become available at around the same time Windows Longhorn is released. Metro appears to rival Adobe's PostScript and PDF (portable document format) technologies.

Metro is a new document file format, similar in many ways to PDF. It's also a spool format. When you print on a Windows or a Mac computer, the print system has a format that it uses to communicate the data through the print subsystem and spool it to the device. And it's also a page description language, similar to PCL PostScript, that can be used to transmit that information all the way down to a printer, where it turns into the data that comes out on a piece of paper. And Metro is very tightly related to this thing called WinFX.

In an interview to PDFzone, Adrian Ford, explains how Metro differs from PDF and what are the similarities in the two formats.

How is Metro similar to PDF?
Like PDF, you can have a Metro document that sits on disk and that …

Work from Home for Google through the Internet

Are you looking for a work at home job at Google where you can work without commuting through the Internet? Well, if you a computer with high speed internet connection, you can work for Google from your home.

Google, the company best know for the web search engine, is hiring temporary workers around the world to help the company refine search results as it competes with Yahoo! and Microsoft's MSN for users.
Work from Home for Google Google is looking for ''quality raters'' who will work from home or any remote location and will help Google with evaluation of search quality results. The temporary workers, who will rate the quality of search results in different countries, will supplement Google's computerized Web ''crawlers.''

The most basic requirement for applying to these part-time jobs: Participants must have a high speed internet connection. In addition, Candidates must be web-savvy and analytical, have excellent web research skills and a…

Qarbon Viewletbuilder: Imagine the power of screenshots

In the next few days, I shall be reviewing software. This is part I of the series where I present my first hand experience of Qarbon Viewletbuilder.

Qarbon Viewletbuilder is a software for creating software demos (), online courses (e-learning) and sophisticated SCORM compliant instructional material without requiring any knowledge of complex Macromedia Flash authoring environment. So even non-technical managers can create tutorials and demos quickly and easily.

ViewletBuilder's authoring mechanism allows users to take snapshots of the screen while recording the demo. Each screen capture is accompanied with a camera shutter sound and is represented as a slide in a timeline (similar to Powerpoint program). Here you give finishing touches to the slides and then compile them to produce an engaging and interactive Flash simulation.

Since compiled viewlets are Macromedia Flash files, all the benifits of SWF files are inherently present in Viewlets like streaming, …

Frontpages of all international newspapers on one page

What were the headlines in the international newspapers on September 12, 2001?

Newseum - The Interactive Museum of News can help you view the front pages of all the newspapers on that day. - The pages are presented as image screenshots (jpg) and can also be download as PDF files which can be viewed using free Acrobat reader.

Newseum allows you to read today's headlinesfrom more than 300 U.S. and international newspaper front pages. The newspaper screenshots can be viewed as a interactive Flash map or sorted by regions of the world.

The front page thumbnails on the main screen are in alphabetical order by U.S. state, with newspapers displayed alphabetically by name within each U.S. state. Immediately after the papers from individual states are national U.S. papers, such as USA TODAY and The Wall Street Journal. Following that are international papers, in alphabetical order by country, with papers arranged alphabetically within each country. Make sure that pop-up are enabled in your…

Should I buy a laptop or a desktop

Microsoft will help you decide what type of computer would best suit your family's needs.

Factor in the price:
Desktop computers are less expensive than laptop computers. For example, Dell has desktop PCs that begin at about $399, compared to its cheapest laptop at $599. The price difference is because a laptop's components are much smaller, usually more expensive to manufacture, and more time-consuming to build into the final product.

Computer buyers on a budget should opt for an Intel Celeron processor, available for both desktop and laptop PCs. These CPUs take longer to process instructions, which results in slower performance than Pentium 4 chips, but are just fine for most tasks including e-mail, word processing, Web surfing, and using home finance and educational software.

Compare size vs. portability:
Desktop computers usually come with a vertical chassis, referred to as a tower, which typically sits on the floor under a desk. A monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers ar…

Windox XP error - Cannot delete file

You try to delete the file, Windows waits a few seconds before announcing that access is denied, the file is currently in use and cannot be deleted. File access denied ? File in use error Or Cannot delete file or folder even after system reboot ? Even if you boot into safe mode and try to delete the file or folder, XP throws the same problem..

If you are running Microsoft Windows XP, you would have faced a problem that at certain times, a file (like .exe, .doc) cannot be deleted because the file is in "use". When you try to delete a file, Windows may complain: "Cannot delete file: It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again."

You have several alternatives to fix this "cannot delete" problem and all are free to download.

1. Unlocker - Unlocker is an explorer extension that allows you with a simple right-click of the mouse on a file or folder to get rid of error message such as error deleting fi…

Take Command over the web

YubNub is a command-line for the web. After setting it up on your browser, you simply type "gim porsche 911" to do a Google Image Search for pictures of Porsche 911 sports cars. Type "random 49" to return random numbers between 1 and 49, courtesy of random.org. And best of all, you can make a new command by giving YubNub an appropriate URL.

Jonathan Aquino writes on why he designed YubNub: On a practical note, I was tired of setting up the same Firefox keywords on each of the 5 computers that I use. By putting my keywords into YubNub, I can hit "am mark twain" for an Amazon search, or "gmap vancouver" for a Google Maps search, no matter which computer I'm on.

The beauty of YubNub is that anyone can help to extend it. If there is an existing web service with a submit form, they can add it pretty easily (like I did with the Amazon example above). But even more interesting is the adding of complex data-processing services (like validating an RS…

Great Titles for your web articles

Robin Good's article How To Write Great Titles And Headlines For The Web is definitely the best resource for writing eye-catching titles that also increase the search engine ranking of your blog posts.

1. Make an effort to keep your title short. - Three to six words is the ideal length, and at around ten the maximum limit. Major search engines give high relevance only to the first set of words you use in the title, and they display only up to 8-10 words in their search engine result pages (Google and MSN; Yahoo displays up to 16 words).

2. Do not try to make the title "smart", by using irony, word play or other "journalistic" approach. - On the Internet, headlines are often displayed out of context. The reader is searching for your content and will only get to it, if a most appropriate, serious and well thought out label is attached to it. On the web, readers often don't get the chance of applying background understanding to the interpretation of the titles…

Desktop Screen Recorder Software for Geeks

Dan Miser has just discovered a very brilliant use of Camtasia - he uses Camtasia for Debugging:

During conversion of our application suite to Delphi 2005, I ran into a very irritating bug where a form was flashing extremely quickly during application startup. It was so fast that I couldn't get a feel for which screen it was that was flashing. Debugging the application also didn't reveal what form it was. So, what to do? I thought of using Camtasia to record the screen during startup, and then play back the recorded session at a very slow rate so that I could find out what I needed to know. I had to be sure to crank up the frames per second capture rate as high as it would go, but after a smooth install and some tweaking of options in Camtasia, the plan worked beautifully. I found out what form it was that was flashing, and then fixed it.

Not just Camtasia, there are host of other software tools which can help your record your actions and desktop activity . BB FlashBack, Macro…

Amazon to open support center in Hyderabad, India

Computerworld reports:

Amazon.com Inc. is planning to open a customer service center in Hyderabad, India, that will offer e-mail support to customers, it said Wednesday.

The new facility, which is set to be operational in the second half of this year, is expected to create up to 100 customer service jobs within six months, according to the Seattle-based Internet retailer.

As more of Amazon's customers come from outside the U.S., the company needs to be able to respond to its customers regardless of the time zones they might be in, the company said in a statement.

In 2000, Amazon outsourced some of its customer support operations to Daksh eServices Pvt. Ltd., a business process outsourcing company in Gurgaon near Delhi. Daksh was acquired last year by IBM.

Amazon could not immediately comment on whether the new facility at Hyderabad will supplement or replace the current arrangement with Daksh.

The company also has a development center in Bangalore, which is focused on search and W…

How to set up a custom DVR box

Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) have become a necessary luxury over the last several years. Millions of people rely on these devices to pause and rewind live television, and to keep track of broadcast schedules and record programs for them. Many consider them just as essential to their daily lives as their cell phones. Gone are the days of the VCR - DVRs let you schedule recordings of your favorite shows and replay them at your convenience.

Ken Sharp build his personal DVR dream machine using only off-the-shelf software and components. Here's how to build a Better DVR out of an Old PC. You will need the following to set up your personal DVR.

Windows machine
with at least 256MB of RAM (512MB is better), plenty of hard drive space, and a good video card.

TV and receiver presumably from your existing home theater system).

TV card I used a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 card, $149 at hauppauge.com.

PC DVR software I used BeyondTV, which was bundled with the Hauppauge card, but is available from Sn…

Transfer your vinyl LPs, old tapes to an iPod

Don't let your beloved records and cassettes degrade to silence. There are few areas of computing so immediately rewarding and downright sensible as converting old LPs and cassettes into digital format.

Doing so offers massive benefits. For instance, you can preserve your favourite music in its current condition forever and even improve it by removing scratches and tape hiss.

Songs will no longer degrade with every new play. You can make your own compilations and save them to CD or turn your computer into a fully-featured digital jukebox. No more fast-forwarding through tapes, flipping records or sitting through turgid album 'fillers' while waiting for the next decent track.

Never again need you replace your turntable's stylus or clean those tape heads. And, of course, it saves you a fortune in replacing treasured recordings with CD reissues.

The Forbes has published a six step process to digitize your vinyl. The author using Roxio CD Spin Doctor that takes line-level audi…

Adobe Photoshop plug-ins for Photographers

Almost every digital camera, no matter how inexpensive, generally comes with rudimentary photo-editing software for changing exposures and retouching small flaws like red-eye in flash photos.

But to do more than that usually means turning to Adobe Photoshop CS2, a program that dominates photo-editing software so much its name has become a verb for digitally altering images. And, much like Apple's successful iPod music player, has spawned a small secondary industry of companies that make accessories for it. In Photoshop's case, of course, accessories take the form of software, known as plug-ins, that add features.

NYTimes highlights certain areas like Sharpening, Color Adjustment, Exposure where may not be able do the best job but plug-ins come to the rescue : Tools for the New Darkroom - Plug-in programs can make picture editing software easier to use.

Readers interested in would love these articles in the Technology section of Nytimes.

Le…

GMail RSS Feed: Read Emails in a News Reader

Get an RSS Feed for Gmail EmailsIf you are on Gmail, you can easily read you email messages in a news reader like FeedDemon as an RSS feed.

The RSS feed of your Gmail Inbox can be found at the following location:
https://gmail.google.com/gmail/feed/atomWhen you subscribe to the Gmail RSS feed in a newsreader like FeedDemon, it will ask for your Gmail / Google account credentials before completing the subscription process.

Google Reader doesn't support authenticated feeds at this time.

In case your feed reader doesn't support regular authorization, you may add the Gmail username and password in the Feed URL itself just like the FTP syntax.

Your new Gmail feed URL with the user / password will look something like this:
http://gmailusername:password@gmail.google.com/gmail/feed/atom/The RSS feed will only display unread email items from your Gmail Inbox so if your Gmail RSS feed is showing up as blank in a newsreader, that's not a problem because you probably don't have any un…

Best practices for partitioning a hard disk on a computer running Windows XP

Mitch Tulloch explains from his personal experience how to partition a hard disk and the benefits from dividing your hard disk into more than the single partition and hard drive that it originally came with. These benefits can help you be better organized, more productive, and ensure the integrity of your data.

1. Install Windows on drive C on your first hard disk.

2. Create a second partition on your first disk to store your active work files, and keep it fairly small so you can maintain it more easily. Unless your work is graphic design or video production, since your work files will be much larger.

3. Install a second hard disk on your computer and create at least two partitions on it, one for your paging file and the other for archiving old work files and other important files like your Outlook PST file.

4. Create additional partitions on your second disk only if they will contain files that are infrequently accessed to minimize contention with the paging file partition.

Read full sto…

What makes X1 an amazing desktop search tool

X1 is an entrant in the The Software Hall Of Fame picked by the TechWeb Pipeline Editors. The other software entries are Macromedia Dreamweaver, GMail, Eudora and FeedDemon. A little surprising that Mozilla Firefox is missing though PCWorld called it the Product of the Year.

Did X1 steal anything to become the top tool. Mike Elgan evaluates why you should get in the habit of using X1 which supports 370 file formats, as well as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Mozilla, Thunderbird, Netscape Mail, and Lotus Notes. You can even search attachments - while they're still attached.

Microsoft bundles a pathetic search utility with Windows XP. However, the Department of Justice didn't consider this "bundling" anti-competitive: It's so bad it actually helps the competition. There are also a lot of shareware, freeware, or pay-way-more-than-it's-worth-ware out there to help you find files.

The problem with most search utilities, however, is that they don'…

Comparing the Yahoo! and Google Interface Design

Google vs. Yahoo! Interface Design by Luke. Yahoo! and Google have almost similar offerings and now the interfaces are also getting closer.

At a high level, Yahoo! has better integrated business goals with their product designs. For example, their comparison shopping site features multiple entry points that better match consumer shopping behaviors (browse by brand, browse by category, featured products, etc.) than Froogle’s single search box. Yahoo! also has more robust answers to vertical information finding (Travel, Finance, Movies, etc.) than Google’s Web Search features. That doesn’t negate the value of Google’s simple solutions to these tasks. It’s just that a simple solution sometimes requires something in addition to (or other than) a search box.

In addition to providing easy access to more than 8 billion web pages, Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you're looking for. Yahoo! offers you new, faster ways to find the information you're look…

Microsoft offers free Desktop Backgrounds for Windows

Microsoft New Zealand is making available some free desktop backgrounds for use on your computer. Includes the New Zealand version of Bliss; A special Queen's Birthday 2005 edition; the world-famous directional sign in Bluff; and the theme pack for Royale.

Preview Desktop Backgrounds before downloading - 'Royale' is set to run on Windows XP. A .zip file extractor is required for the 'Royale' theme.

Download details: Desktop Backgrounds for Windows

This download is available to Microsoft Windows XP customers running genuine Microsoft Windows.

Macromedia Flash Platform like a printing press

has announced a new Flash Platform that includes content creation and Web development tools that can interact with a company's server and be sent to mobile devices. The Flash Platform includes a collection of individual Macromedia Inc. products, many of which have been in the public eye for a long time. Now, they've been brought together to form an interactive coalition.

Platform users will have access to the Flash Player; development tool Macromedia Flex; Flash MX 2004 for content creation; the Flash Communication Server for two-way audio and video streaming; FlashCast, which delivers mobile content; and Flash Lite, which is used to run Flash on mobile devices.

Companies have already been putting the Flash Platform to work to create rich media sites. For instance, Purdue University uses Macromedia Breeze to hold virtual office hours and online conferences. Discount clothing store TJ Maxx used it to create a simplified and intuitive shopping cart for its Web site.

T…

Adware is not really Spware

What is the difference detween adware & spyware

Adware - Adware is considered a legitmate alternative offered to consumers who do not wish to pay for software. Generally most or all features of the freeware are enabled but you will be viewing sponsored advertisements while the software is being used. The advertisements usually run in a small section of the software interface or as a pop-up ad box on your desktop. When you stop running the software, the ads should disappear.

In many cases, adware is a legitimate revenue source for companies who offer their software free to users. A perfect example of this would be the popular e-mail program, Eudora. You can choose to purchase Eudora or run the software in sponsored mode. In sponsored mode Eudora will display an ad window in the program and up to three sponsored toolbar links. Eudora adware is not malicious; it reportedly doesn't track your habits or provide information about you to a third party. This type of adware is simply s…

Google 101 and Advanced Googology

Patrick Crispen of Netsquirrel.com shares some of his excellent techniques for enhancing search results from . The PowerPoint presentations and handouts are free to download provided you don't make any money from these presentations, and give credit where due.

Google 101: Stop Searching and Start FINDING [1.57 MB]

Sick and tired of looking for information about the Civil War and ending up with 1,247,672,286 hits for stuff like sheet metal fasteners or naked pictures of Ernest Borgnine? This presentation is for you! In this one hour presentation you'll learn the advanced searching tips and techniques that will help you actually FIND what you are looking for on Google.

Google 201: Advanced Googology [3.50 MB]

Ready to take your Googling to the next level? Beyond the world of plusses, minuses, and quotes lies a whole universe of secret Google tips, techniques, and tools. This quick, one-hour workshop introduces you to little known Google features like pipes, stop-word workarou…

Secret Yahoo! Labs

Google Labs is no secret but Yahoo! labs are still a secret.

Yahoo! prefers to call it as Yahoo! Next - It's a showcase of some of Yahoo!'s newest and coolest projects - the cutting edge of what Yahoo!'s doing today and working on for tomorrow!

Almost all the Yahoo! projects that are in Beta stage are listed here like Yahoo! Messenger, YDS, YIQ, Yahoo! Music and My Web.

Yahoo! Next is actually part of Yahoo Research Labs

The best of Firefox Tricks, Extensions and Websites

Scott Kingery has collected some of the best Firefox Tips and Tricks - The website can be subscribed as an RSS Feed.

I came across a useful Firefox extension similar to AI Roboform called Scribe - It lets you save the field of your form. So if you are on-line and filling out a blog post or a coment to someone elses post you can hit crtl+s and save your comment locally. If something should happen you can do a "File - Open Entry.." and open you saved file right into your form. Handy for Gmail and other web based email programs.

Scott has also listed of some of the best Firefox related websites:

Firefox Switch: Excellent Guide. Answers the questions: 'Why switch to Mozilla Firefox?', 'Questions about switching' and 'How do I make the switch?'Switching from Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox: Mozilla's site for getting IE users up to speed.From IE to Firefox: Has some great set up tips.Secrets of Firefox 1.0: Windows Secrets newsletter posting include …

If your computer freezes, please walk away from it

Come on, it's not like you've never imagined whacking a sledgehammer through a computer that keeps freezing. Workers nowadays are overly reliant on this one piece of very fallible office equipment.

So in the likely event that your computer misbehaves - like taking hostage three weeks worth of work - who can blame you for getting superstressed?

Such workplace stress can proliferate in many ways. Most people in one such study commissioned by Compaq, for example, have seen other workers rage against their computers — swearing at the equipment, for example.

So what can workers do to avoid such stress?

Basic steps include backing up work on a hard disk and taking courses to bolster your computer know-how, Norman said.

In the likely case that you still have problems, Norman suggested walking away from your computer and taking a break. Maybe companies could have rage breaks, providing a punching bag to help workers vent their frustrations?

All companies need to have a backup plan, added …

How to record your own Podcast

Podcasting is a way of publishing sound files to the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new audio files automatically. Podcasting is distinct from other types of audio content delivery because it uses the RSS 2.0 file format. This technique has enabled many producers to create self-published, syndicated radio shows.

Users subscribe to podcasts using "podcatching" software (also called "aggregator" software) which periodically checks for and downloads new content. It can then sync the content to the user's portable music player, hence the portmanteau of Apple's "iPod" and "broadcasting". Podcasting does not require an iPod; any digital audio player or computer with the appropriate software can play podcasts.
Paul has an nice guide for recording a podcast. I'll lay out the basics of creating a podcast in Audio Hijack Pro to get you going with any kind of podcast you want. First, I'll detail how to use Audio H…

The best tip ever to increase productivity

The most important tip to increase productivity Avoid the email addiction - The "ding" of an incoming email is a big temptation to interrupt what you are doing to check messages. Set times during the day to check and respond to your messages to stay on task.

In a recent study by , US workers reported that 35 percent of their work week is unproductive. CareerWomen.com, in an effort to help employers and employees understand when during the work week they can expect to be most productive, recently polled US workers and found that Tuesdays between 10 am and noon is considered to be the height of productivity.

"All of us have our best days and times, but the results clearly show that the majority of the workforce has a sound understanding of when they feel at the top of their game in terms of productivity," commented JillXan Donnelly president of CareerWomen.com. "Identifying what makes us all more productive will help both employers and employees better …

Best Desktop Search Tool

PCWorld.com has announced the 100 Best Products of 2005. The World Class Award winners were announced in the July 2005 issue of PC World. To select the winners, PC World’s editors examined hundreds of products, including those that have appeared in the magazine over the past 12 months. The winning products were selected for their exemplary design and usability, features, performance, innovation, and price.

“The ultimate buyers guide, World Class Awards set the standard for excellence in the high-tech and consumer electronics industries,� stated Harry McCracken, editor in chief of PC World. “From desktop publishers to travel routers to satellite radio and video instant messenger services, the editors reward the finest products and most outstanding performers in this annual award program.� See The ranked list of all 100 products

Copernic Desktop Search and Google Desktop search get the top awards although the categories are different (Why so ?) Copernic wins in the