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Showing posts from September, 2005

StarOffice 8 is a solid MS Office competitor

Sun has made ODF as the default file format of StarOffice 8. Our friends at CNet are definitely excited about Sun Microsystems StarOffice 8 which they call as a solid productivity suite that costs a fraction of the price of its main competitor, Microsoft Office 2003.

StarOffice 8 has new mail-merge and database wizards, better import and export filters for Microsoft Office files, and an Adobe PDF-export tool that now supports hyperlinks, tables of contents, and other essentials. StarOffice 8 lacks a contacts manager, an e-mail program, and a photo editor.

And while StarOffice runs on a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Solaris, and Windows, it eschews Macintosh--surprising, given the suite's cross-platform philosophy. But the package price of $100 on CD or $70 via download makes StarOffice 8 a good buy for both small and large businesses.

Difference between Sun StarOffice 8 and OpenOffice 2

StarOffice Enterprise users get the Macro Migration and Document Analysis wizards…

Order free Adobe Creative Suite 2 Trial DVD

Adobe are sending a free Creative Suite 2 DVD containing 30-day trial versions of Photoshop CS2, InDesign CS2, Illustrator® CS2, GoLive CS2 and Adobe Acrobat Professional with Adobe Bridge and Adobe Stock Photos.

You need to fill a Adobe Creative Suite 2 evaluation DVD form to receive the Adobe Creative Suite 2 CD.

Offer is limited to U.S. / Canada residents or those living in Australia / New Zealand.

Slipstream Microsoft Office 2003 SP2

Guide to slipstream Office 2003 SP2 into Microsoft Office 2003 CD

Use this simple guide to create an Microsoft Office 2003 CD that has an integrated (slipstreamed) SP2 to avoid having to manually install the updates later. We do an administrative Office 2003 installation so that you don't have to enter product keys or other information while installing Office 2003. You will however need to activate the product.

Before you slipstream Office 2003 and Service Pack 2 into one CD., you'll need the access to your Microsoft Office 2003 CD with product key, Microsoft Office 2003 SP2 - fullfile version Office2003SP2-kb887616-fullfile-enu.exe and some of your precious time.

Here's an easy to follow step-by-step guide to Slipstream Office 2003 and SP2:

1. Create three folders on you c: drive - c:\MSOffice2003 | c:\Office2003SP2 | c:\tempSP2

2. Now Insert the Office 2003 CD and type "x:\setup.exe /a" in the Run dialog [x is your cd-rom drive letter]

3. Enter the required informati…

Web Incarnations of Microsoft Office Software

Richard at ZDNet has compiled a list of web-based office software that are "web-incarnations" for every Microsoft Office product.

Richard is confident that the time for the web-based office will come. When broadband is ubiquitous, web functionality is richer, issues of security and reliability have been put to rest, and most importantly of all - when Corporates are ready to make the jump.

The most noticable among these web-office-apps is Writely - The Web Word Processor - Paul Pival says it's got a WYSIWYG editor, and multiple people can collaborate on the same document, which can be either public or private.

Some of these web-based office apps are evolving along the lines of Microsoft Office Suite programs.

FCKeditor Microsoft Word like open source web app.
Num Sum - Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
called S5 - Microsoft Powerpoint presentations
Webnote - Microsoft OneNote 2003
gOFFICE - online word processor and desktop publishing program.
thinkfree - online Offic…

Google updates Blog Search interface

has added an extra "use search options" link beneath the Blog Search box that gives quick one-click access to the following advanced options:

1. Limit your search to one or more blogs that you specify.
2. Search posts published withing two dates.
3. Find reference to a particular URL (like Technorati Citations - Who links to this post)

The Advanced Search option lets you specify titles, authors, languages and safesearch to filter out adult sites, just like in Google Search.

Related: Google responds to Mark Cuban's accusations

Search Google Cache for Multiple URLs in one place

Google takes a snapshot of each page examined as it crawls the web and caches these as a back-up in case the original page is unavailable. If you click on the "Cached" link, you will see the web page as it looked when we indexed it. The cached content is the content Google uses to judge whether this page is a relevant match for your query.

Google Cache Tool is an excellent third-party tool for querying how a website or blog is represented in the Google cache (or the Google Index). Enter your website or blog address (URL) and the tool will generate a report of all internal links, the date when Google last visited that page and a link to "cached" copy in Google index.

There's a small limitation though - you can query for only one page URL at a time.

You can however use the form below to query multiple URLs from Google Cache with a single click. Internally, this wrapper form is calling the script above.

Enter one URL per line.You can however leave the http:// portion …

Convert PDF and Office files to HTML format

You will learn how to convert Microsoft Office files like .doc, .xls, .ppt and Adobe PDF files to HTML format without any expensive software. You will also learn about translating PDF and Office documents to different languages without spending even a single penny.

Adobe PDF and Microsoft Office formats like .doc and .xls are the the most popular non-HTML file formats on the internet. People save important information in these formats - No wonder, Google supports (indexes) these formats. During indexing, Google converts the file to either HTML or text. And we will use this Google feature to convert our documents to HTML.

1. Open a free account in geocities or and upload your PDF and Office files.

2. Create a webpage that has links to your documents and submit this webpage address to Google AddURL page.

3. Switch off your computer and return after a few days or few weeks. Chances are that one night, Googlebot visited your webpage, read your documents and stored them in it's …

Download Microsoft Office 2003 SP2

Microsoft Office 2003 SP2 adds a Phishing Protection feature for Outlook 2003 that filters out e-mails trying to steal personal information. The 50 MB Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2 is a cumulative update that combines previously released patches and Office 2003 Service Pack 1. There are no other new features in Office 2003 SP2 except for some security enhancements, stability and performance improvements. Microsoft says stability improvements have been made based on feedback received from the Online Crash Analysis tool.

Office 2003 SP2 will update all your Microsoft Office 2003 programs and Office 2003 Web Components except for Microsoft Visio 2003 and Microsoft Onenote 2003.

Download: Office 2003 SP2OneNote 2003 SP2Viso 2003 SP2Project 2003 SP2

If you have the original Microsoft Office 2003 CD handy, download Office2003SP2-kb887616-client-enu.exe (~ 50MB) else download Office2003SP2-kb887616-fullfile-enu.exe (~ 100MB) . You would need to download the latter bigger SP2 file if you …

Microsoft Outlook 2003 SP2 Phishing Protection

The Microsoft Outlook 2003 phishing protection feature is available by downloading the latest Junk E-mail Filter update and Microsoft Office 2003 SP2.

The Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter evaluates each incoming email to see if it is suspicious and contains suspicious links or has been sent using a spoofed e-mail address. If the filter considers a message suspcious, the message is sent to the Junk E-mail folder, the message format is changed to plain text format, and the links in the message are disabled.

If the Junk E-mail Filter does not consider a message to be spam but does detect suspicious links, the message is left in the Inbox, but the links in the message are disabled.

If the Junk E-mail Filter considers the message to be both spam and suspicious, the message is automatically sent to the Junk E-mail folder. Any message sent to the Junk E-mail folder is converted to plain text format and all links are turned off.

If the Junk E-mail Filter considers the message to be both spam and s…

Free DivX Video Conversion Software

As part of their fifty anniversary celebrations, DivX is offering the DivX Create bundle for Windows absolutely free. This is not a trial version and will never expire.

The DivX Create bundle include DivX Player, DivX Pro codec and DivX Converter - all the tools necessary to create and play DivX videos with interactive features.

DivX Create lets you:

* Convert nearly any video to a DivX video file
* Create videos with advanced interactive features
* Playback all DivX video files including video-on-demand titles

This offer is good only for today.

DivX Video: Download DivX Software and the DivX Player - [via]

The DivX® codec (short for compressor/decompressor) can compress video to a convenient size without losing any noticeable quality and play those videos back on almost any device. For example, the DivX codec can compress an MPEG-2/DVD file to nearly one-tenth its original size or a home movie (DV) 25:1.

Apple admits iPod Nano problem in 0.1% units

Apple has admitted there are problems with its new iPod Nano portable music player, but the number of units affected by the flaws are minimal - this issue has affected less than one tenth of one percent of the total iPod Nano units.

Problems with the smaller version of the iPod, unveiled earlier this month, include cracked screens and easily-scratched surfaces. iPod Nano owners who found their screens were cracked would get their music player replaced free of charge.

The iPod Nano, which is thinner than a pencil, sells for about £179 ($317.79) and holds up to 1,000 songs or 25,000 photographs. [via]

Blinkx Desktop Search integrates Wikipedia

Blinkx has unveiled Blinkx 3.5 - the most noticable feature being the one click access to Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia written entirely by volunteers.

Blinkx 3.5 support indexing of more filetypes with improved importing of metadata fields from MP3, WMV and other popular file formats.

With Blinkx 3.5, users can choose where the blinkx index is stored on their PC, allowing users to specify or alter the location of the index at any time.

Download Blinkx 3.5 at Blinkx supports either Internet Explorer or Mozilla (such as FireFox)

Rupert Murdoch is looking to which runs on Autonomy technology.

Windows Vista will boot in 2 seconds

You will be able to switch a Microsoft Windows Vista computer in two seconds.

Microsoft official Windows Vista site is claiming that a Windows Vista computer starts and shuts down as quickly and reliably as a television, typically within 2 to 3 seconds.

Windows Vista processes login scripts and startup programs and services in the background so you can start working right away.

Other noticable feature Windows Vista are "Flip" and "Flip 3D". Flip allows you to flip through open windows (by using Alt+Tab) providing a live thumbnail of each window rather than just a generic icon and filename.

With Flip 3D,you can use the scroll wheel on your mouse to flip through open windows in a stack, and quickly locate and select the one you want to work with.

Windows Vista will display the the actual first page for documents, the actual image, screen capture for videos, and album art for individual songs.

Feedbuner Pingshot is only duplicating work

Feedburner is working hard to take complete control over your RSS feeds. People using Blogger service can convert Atom feeds to RSS feeds using Feedburner. You can integrate your Flickr photographs and, Furl or Bloglines links into your Feedburner feeds. And if somebody is not viewing your XML feeds in the RSS reader, feedburner decorates them to look more "browser friendly".

Feedburner has introduced another nice feature "Pingshot" that automatically notifies aggregators, blog search engines and other pinging services when your feed has been updated or when you publish new content for them to crawl and index your site.

Matt from Pingomatic is calling Pingshot a great service but in my opinion, Pingshot service adds little value and will only increase the load on pinging services.

Pingshot currently notifies Technorati, MyYahoo, PubSub, Ping-o-matic, NewsGator, Feedster, Icerocket and But the original favorite pinging service - "Ping-o-Ma…

Attensa: Newsgator Outlook like RSS Feed Aggregator - free download

Attensa Outlook looks like a cousin of Newsgator Outlook edition - the good thing is that Attensa for Microsoft Outlook doesn't cost you a penny and you can even subscrible to RSS feeds from your Firefox browser.

Attensa for Outlook works inside Microsoft Outlook and displays your blog subscriptions right into neatly organized Outlook folders. Just like Newsgator Outlook edition, Attensa for Outlook uses cascading style sheets (CSS) to present the news in an email message like format.

The Attensa engine is a separate process than Microsoft Outlook so it continues to download updated RSS news feed even if Microsoft Outlook is closed or offline. Engine takes care of the business logic of downloading subscription files and updating an RSS feed database, greatly reducing the impact on Outlook. Newsgators users would miss this a lot.

Attensa lets you use a toolbar in Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer, to easily add and manage RSS news feeds and subscriptions from Websites and blogs. …

Gartner: Microsoft Office Vista will increase helpdesk calls

"Companies that are conservative adopters of new technology should consider waiting until Windows Vista is deployed, possibly skipping Office 12 entirely, and letting other companies discover any potential weaknesses or flaws."

Gartner analysts Michael Silverberg and Stephen Kleynhans note the the downside of dramatic Office 12 UI changes is that migration may be rough for some users and the IT departments which support them.

"Microsoft contends that, in the long run, the new UI will reduce help-desk costs and training…but many IT organizations are likely to feel that, in the short run, they will have to train users on the new UI, and will experience an initial spike in help desk calls."

"In addition, because of the magnitude of the changes expected with Office 12, IT departments may have trouble supporting a mixed environment, adding to the difficulty of handling a phased implementation on new PCs."

Gartner Analysis

* Cascading requirements, interoperability …

Increase your Computer Word Power

Most office workers find computer jargon as difficult to understand as a foreign language wasting hours deciphering what a technical term means. Terms such as jpeg, javascript and cookies are among the problem words and turning off firewall is the worst course of action to take. [source: BBC]

This Computer Jargonguide could offer some help to the confused Office worker.

Chainsaw Consultant - An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee head count, leaving the top brass with clean hands.

404 - Someone who is clueless. From the Web error message, “404 Not Found,” which means the document requested couldn’t be located. “Don’t bother asking John. He’s 404.”

CGI Joe - A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.

Plug-and-Play - A new hire who doesn’t require training.

Dilberted - To be exploited and oppressed by your boss, as is Dilbert, the comic strip character.

Mozilla: Time to remember the Bug Bounty Program

Mozilla had announed earlier that reporters of valid critical security bugs in any Mozilla software will receive a $500 (US) cash reward and a Mozilla T-shirt.

The recently released Firefox flaw code could be used to exploit Firefox, Mozilla Suite and Netscape browsers. The flaw lies in the way the browsers handle International Domain Names, which are Web addresses that use international characters.

Mozilla is urging users to upgrade to the latest versions of its products but did Mozilla give any reward (Security Bug Bounty Program) to researcher Berend-Jan Wever, who published the code.

Microsoft Office 12: Front-end for SAP, Oracle Applications

Microsoft wants Office 12 to become the front-end portal to just about every business application.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says Office Vista is the biggest tech breakthrough since Windows 95 and Office 95. Microsoft simultaneously launched Windows 95 and Office 95 more than a decade ago and since then, it has it coordinated the release of a new operating system as well as a new version of Office.

Office will no longer just be a variety of interlinked desktop applications, but will now extend onto the server, where it will be linked with many other kinds of software. RSS will allow workers to pull data in and out of Office. With Office 12, you will be able to subscribe to receive data from your company’s software applications. For example, you might be able to automatically receive the latest analysis of your company’s profitability.

Microsoft is making a play to establish its Office software, which after all is already on just about everybody’s desktop, as an alternative to ente…

IBM developing Microsoft Office competitor (ODF compliant)

IBM is pouring heavy resources on a Open Document Format (ODF) compliant Microsoft Office style Office productivity application software that would support XML-based Open Document Format for saving files produced by productivity applications such as word processors and spreadsheets.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts have already established ODF as the statewide standard with which all agencies and contractors who do business with them must comply. Microsoft Office Open XML formats are not as available as the ODF. And Microsoft has already said that current and future editions of Microsoft Office will not support ODF.

IBM's Workplace Managed Client already supports Microsoft's file formats. Users who need to convert their Office documents into ODF-compliant ones will be able to do so by opening them with WMC and then saving them in ODF.

IBM ODF compatible Office suite will be available by the end of 2005. Read full story - IBM's potential MS-Office killer to roll out by year&#…

What is Google Adsense Adwords Arbitrage & Disadvantages of Arbitrage

Google AdSense Arbitrage is sort of a "riskless business model" that is increasingly being adopted by online web publishers to generate revenue from AdSense and AdWords.Here's how the Adwords AdSense Arbitrage system works:
An individual (or a company) buys cheap Google AdWords ads to drive search visitors to their own site where they write about topics that are likely to attract high-paying ads (e.g., health, medicine, loans, legal cases, etc.).If a reader or search visitor clicks on this cheap Google ad to come to their site, and then leaves the site by clicking on an expensive ad, the website owner makes money on the difference, minus Google's commission.The minimum bid for buying a Google AdWords ad is 1 cent so anyone can experiment without spending a whole lot of money but frankly speaking, AdSense Arbitrage may not be the best way to generate income from AdSense. Here's why:1. People who have already clicked on an ad are much less willing to keep clicking o…

Google University offers GMail for college students

Google is trying to build a portal for college students with Google University - it contains links to Google services that are of interest to university students. Google services like GMail, Talk, Scholar, Maps are mentioned but what surprises me most is that Google Search is missing from the Google Unversity.

Google is also extending the reach of GMail through Google University. If you have a valid .edu email address from an accredited U.S. institution, you can request Google for a GMail account without even having a mobile phone.

Google University brings back memories of Googlex - a service that was quickly removed by Google without specifying any reason.

You can still request me for a free GMail Invite.

Google University - College Life, Powered by Google

Google Adsense for catching software pirates

Yahoo has been accused of supplying information to China which led to the jailing of a journalist for "divulging state secrets". Yahoo said it had to operate within each country's laws.

Just like Yahoo!, Google can also become a "police informant" but for a noble and good cause - it can help the government catching software pirates who run warez websites from China providing illegal software downloads.

In the picture below, a warez website located in China is shown serving Google Ads (highlighted in yellow) Google Adsense policies prohibit ads on sites with Hacking/cracking content. How did this particular warez site trick Google Adsense is also an issue.

Since Google would have the full address details of the adsense publisher, it is actually very easy to catch the software piracy gang but only if the Government is willing.

Macromedia Breeze Pricing Structure revealed

Macromedia Breeze provides everything you'll need for online meetings, including text chat, a whiteboard, an overlay feature (for marking shared documents without changing the original file), application sharing, and even optional videoconferencing and VoIP audio. Macromedia Breeze Presenter module converts powerpoint presentations into flash files which are ready for the Macromedia Breeze server.

The process starts at the Macromedia site, where you use your browser to schedule a meeting. You then invite participants to your meeting via e-mail. Breeze is a great way for companies to cut travel expenses by meeting with clients and colleagues via the Web. The Polling feature is useful in large meetings, say, 10 people or more, as it quickly tallies votes from participants on a topic of your choice.

But Macromedia Breeze isn't cheap. ZDNet reveals the Macromedia Breeze pricing structure here.

Macromedia Breeze 5-user plan costs $375 per month, but audio/video conferencing costs an e…

Precautions before testing Google AdSense on your website

If you are testing your new website layout, you might be reloading your website pages again-n-again. And if these pages contain Google Ads, each time your reload your page, you make a request to Google Ads Server for a new set of ads.

Certainly Google is unaware that you are testing your website and it might even penalize your account for "click-fraud" since the IP requesting ads remains same. And if in the worst-case scenario, you might accidently click on your own ads. And these extra "ad impressions" will also chance your CTR data.

One simple way to avoid this serious problem is to remove the Adsense code altogether from your page before testing. But this may not be the best solution as your Google Ads are an important part of your layout. So here are a few simple but effective workarounds:

1. Instead of using Adsense code, add a static graphic (jpg image) with the same dimesions as your adsense code. (Google itself provides static images of various ad formats.)

2. …

Internet Ads are clicking with Advertisers

How do you buy a camera ? Probably, you open and type the camera model name. Google shows few thousands of pages which carry information on that camera model. Google also displays few camera related ads near the right scrollbar. If you click the sponsored ad, you are taken to the advertiser's homepage and in the process, Google gets richer by a few dollars.

But online advertisers aren't complaining. You are in a "buying mood" and advertisers are willing to pay more to get higher ranking in the sponsored links. Indystar is reporting that Google and Yahoo see their revenue rise as the Internet clicks with advertisers.If you type "e-mail marketing" into Google's search engine, Bronto Software appears under "sponsored links." Click on that link and the Durham, N.C., software company pays Google $6.50. Bronto spends up to $1,200 daily on Google ads but Bronto executives say it's a worthwhile investment.

Bronto knows that 5% of Google…

Google Adsense Adwords Keyword Arbitrage

What is Google Adsense Adwords Arbitrage ?

Arbitrage is sometimes known as a "riskless profit". Website publishers are increasingly getting involved in Google Adsense Arbitrage to generate revenues.

Here's how the Adsense Adwords Arbitrage system works:

A company buys cheap ads (using a Google Adwords account) to drive users to their site where they write about topics that are likely to attract high-paying ads.

If a reader clicks on cheap ad to come to their site, and then leaves the site by clicking on an expensive ad, the website owner makes money on the difference, minus Google's cut.

ISYS Desktop Search Software Review

A Newspaper publisher has several years' worth of newspaper articles in more than 42,000 PDF files. And the company is relying on ISYS software for retrieving information from this vast repository of data (18 GB). The data retrieval is much faster than if they were searching and loading native PDF files.

ISYS:Desktop is a comprehensive enterprise-ready desktop search application to search the contents of individual PCs, LANs and WANs. ISYS desktop search software is light-years ahead of competition with several ground-breaking features like Natural Language, Time limited searches, On-the-fly categorization and results clustering, excellent linguistic support, Result Filtering and a Knowledge Warehouse. The software is lightning fast, accurate, intelligent, easy-to-use and enterprise-ready. Highly recommended.

While most of the popular tools from MSN, Yahoo! and Google are struggling to find a place on the Enterprise desktops, ISYS already has thousands of clients including Law Enfor…

Google gives a fitting reply to Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban of Icerocket made the accusation that Blogger is by far the worst offender when it comes to Spam Blogs - He even warned of throwing all Google blogs off his Icerocket blog search engine. Google was very quick to react and released two new features to combat blog spam and comment spam. (Score - Mark 1, Google 0)

Mark's warning to Google may have worked initially but Google had much bigger plans - Google Labs were secretly working on a another project Google Blog Search that could spell the untimely demise of Icerocket and other blog search engines. (Score - Mark 1, Google Wins)

Google BlogSearch is still in beta but looks promising already. If your blog pings or other services, you are automatically included in Google index. You can search for posts by individual authors, subscribe to result feeds and sort the results either by relevance or by date (excellent).

has introduced four new search operators specific to blog search - inblogtitle, inposttitle, in…

Microsoft Sparkle: Don't throw Flash away yet

Microsoft announced a new product called Expression Sparkle Interactive at PDC 2005 for creating Avalon user interfaces. Sparkle and the Windows Presentation Foundation together are seen as a Flash alternative and Adobe is already taking the Microsoft threat seriously.

Sparkle draws much of its inspiration from Macromedia Flash like Timelines, Drawing Tools and Image support. And 3D drawing and animation is one area where Microsoft sparkle has an upper-hand over Macromedia Flash. Sparkle also gives developers the full breadth of programming languages such as C# to add interactivity to their solutions.

But Sparkle is designed only to work with Windows Longhorn (read, Vista) which won't be available until late 2006. And it would take much greater time before people actually start buying Windows Vista.

That gives Adobe-Macromedia enough time to improve Flash. The ubiquitous lightweight Flash player is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, handheld devices and cellular phones. And Flash Pla…

The Next Generation Microsoft Office 12

Microsoft Office sales account for $11 billion of Microsoft's overall revenue of $40 billion. Little wonder, Microsoft Office is the cash cow of Redmond as it resulted in an operating income of nearly $8 billion.

Despite these impressive numbers, Microsoft has struggled to give users a good reason to update from previous versions of Office. Microsoft claims to have 400 million Office users but a majority haven't even upgraded to the current version, Office 2003.

To bring new Office users under its belt, Microsoft are playing a big risk - they have completely redesigned the user interface of Microsoft Office Vista from scratch. That's not all - the new Office 12 system automatically pops up what it thinks are the most relevant commands based on whether the user appears to be typing a list, editing someone else's work or performing some other job.

Microsoft Word 2003 has more than 1,500 commands and 35 tool bars. Microsoft Word Vista won't have the legacy menu-bar. Inst…

Download Macromedia Studio 8 now (Dreamweaver 8, Fireworks 8, Flash 8)

Macromedia fans can Download Dreamweaver 8, Fireworks 8 and Flash 8 from the Macromedia website even without a Devnet account. Both trial and full retail versions of Studio 8 components are available for download.

Macromedia Studio 8 is the must-have suite for start-to-finish design, development and maintenance of websites, applications, interactive presentations, and mobile content. With the latest releases of Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Fireworks, Contribute and FlashPaper, Studio 8 offers web designers and developers a new level of expressiveness, efficiency and simplified workflow to create websites, interactive experiences and mobile content.

Download Macromedia Studio 8

There are two applications, one in each company’s product line, that could be considered superfluous after a deal - Adobe GoLive and Macromedia FreeHand,” said Sandee Cohen, a New York-based author and expert on graphical tools. GoLive has never had anywhere near the market share that [Macromedia] Dreamweaver …

Government Agencies accused of Software Piracy

One in four of the programs used by Swedish companies and government agencies are unlicenced. Piracy watchdogs are therefore asking government to introduce a zero tolerance program for pirate copying in the public sector.

Business Software Alliance and Swedish Software Association also want the punishment for illegal distribution of copyrighted material to be increased to a maximum of four years imprisonment, and more resources to police and prosecutors who work with violations of intellectual property rights.

Government Accused of Software Piracy | Software piracy rife in public authorities

Earn More with Adsense: Tips & Layout Optimization Tricks for High CTR

Google Adsense is perhaps the easiest way to attract advertisers from across the globe to your blog. Just submit your blog or website to Google for approval and if their content team approves your content, you are ready to place contextual text ads on your websites. Every time a reader clicks an AdSense ad link, the AdWords advertiser pays Google a small fee and Google splits the revenue with you.

Now you know how to make money with Google Adsense but to help you improve AdSense performance (and advertising revenue), here are some of the best Google Adsense Tips and Tricks for making more money (profit) from the Google Adsense program.

About me: I have been using Google AdSense since 2004 and my technology blog was recently featured as an AdSense Case Study.

Update: Some of the AdSense tricks in the article are old so you may please check my latest article on AdSense Optimization Tips that includes a PowerPoint presentation as well.

Tips to Increase Google AdSense Earnings
a. Strictly…

Windows XP N Edition = XP without Media Player

After the EU order, Microsoft released a version of Windows XP that doesn't not include Windows Media Player (WMP) or any associated files. Microsoft is calling this non-musical XP version as Windows XP Edition N - N stands for "not with Windows Media Player".

Paul Thurrott evaluated the XP N edition of Windows and isn't very excited about it.

The XP N Editions is are literally identical to XP SP2 edition minus the Windows Media Player. Microsoft didn't care to update XP N with the recent patches though it was released very recently.

Microsoft has removed all traces of Windows Media Player references from the Help file but if you visit a site like MSN music, you are shown the Systems Req. page. You even get a link to download Media Player. On double-clicking an audio file like MP3, Microsoft recomment Media Player and even Winamp. As expected, Microsoft doesn't recommend Apple iTunes or RealPlayer.

Microsoft had earlier called it "Reduced Media Edition"…

Windows XP and Microsoft Office CD available for ~ $5

The University of Minnesota is offering students legal Windows XP Professional upgrade CD for $3.60 plus tax and Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 on CD for $4.25 plus tax. Students with a high-speed Internet connection can opt to download the software for free.

Macintosh users can buy Office 2004 on CD for $5.15 plus tax, which also includes Virtual PC, software that allows Macintosh computers to run Windows.

The university has negotiated reduced prices on Microsoft software licenses for U of M students and some 1,000 students have already taken advantage of this "Microsoft Software at McDonald's price" offer. If there aren't enough restrictions on reselling of these software, some of it may soon be available at eBay.

Previously, employees of Microsoft have purchased really cheap software from Microsoft stores and sold it on eBay.

University of Minnesota Software Store
U offers nearly free Office suite

Robert Scoble tries to please his master Bill Gates

Mr Scobleizer is facing heat from all corners over his recent interview of Bill Gates.

Scoble, admittedly a bit nervous, told Bill Gates that it's hard to come up with hard questions because Gates has heard them all.

But ZDNet isn't convinced and wished that Scoble had dug just a little deeper in his allotted time. I can understand Scoble not wanting to be impertinent and being a good corporate citizen. Microsoft pays his salary.Dave Winer too feels it's hard to interview a guy of Gates's stature, especially when he signs the paycheck of your boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss.

With all these accusations, Scoble, for the first time, is getting on the defensive:There will be a next time. I do have to wonder, though, are you guys all the types who, when first invited up to see someone, you start asking the hardest questions you can right out the gate? Or do you try to build some kind of relationship with your subject first?The interview v…

Grandfather Google - Office 12 release date - Indesign CS2 giveaway

Google is now a proud father of father of the internet. Vint Cerf, visiting scientist with NASA, joins Google and might focus on Google Earth which already competes with NASA WorldWind. [link]

All members of Creativepro get a chance to win a copy of Adobe InDesign CS2. Sign-up for the contest here.

Quicktime Player 7 for Windows is available for download either standalone or with iTunes.

Google published another basic presentation for Google Adsense Publishers on how to get Adsense HTML right. Nothing useful but Google is making full use of their Macromedia Breeze license.

Bill Gates seems to contradict other MS executives on the release date of Office 2006 (now called Office Vista). According to Gates, Office 12 would be released in "early 2006" while the internal Office 12 ship calendar states July 17, 2006.

Firefox Designer: Microsoft is great for shareholders only

Just when Mozilla is preparing for the release of Mozilla Firefox 1.5, Blake Ross targets Microsoft again in an interview with David Strom. Blake also speaks about the Firefox development environment.

Microsoft is here to win. That's great if you're a shareholder, but how many users appreciated that attitude when spyware and pop-ups filled their screens four years ago, and Microsoft, having crushed Netscape, abandoned the market? The company is back now that competition has arisen, but where will it be in four more years?

They use CVS for source control, LXR for code cross-referencing, and blogs, mailing lists and newsgroups for team coordination. Blake does use commercial software products like Microsoft Word, Trillian, Visual Studio and iTunes. There aren't too many consumer-friendly open-source products, unfortunately.

Blake is writing a book titled "Firefox for Dummies". And he is asking for inputs from Firefox actual users as he finishes up the book and sends…

Flickr in Feedburner - Outsourcing teachers - Ebay eyeing Skype after Paypal

FeedBurner added new features like including Flickr photos and Delicious links in feeds.

Latest style of outsourcing, Indian teachers give Americans lessons in English Grammar using the Internet.

eBay might acquire Internet-telephone company Skype. eBay has earlier acquired the electronic-payment processing service PayPal.

Playing with Firefox setting: Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and you'll see tons of configurable settings. Always consult the about:config reference

A man accused of running a phishing scam targeting Microsoft users owes $3 million to Microsoft.

There's a much simple way to add categories to blogger. Tag all your posts in and insert simple Javascript in your blogger template. Read detailed instructions - categories in blogger

Adobe PDF format termed as "draconian" and user-unfriendly DRM, bloated files, and for being a format that "does not play well on PDAs, cell phones and other gizmos with small screens". [via]

Anti-Spam group targets Yahoo Domains and Web Hosting

Yahoo! is hosting almost 5,000 domain names of fraudulent websites that have domain names containing the words "bank", "PayPal" or "eBay", including misspellings and many of which are linked to phishing scams.

This was revealed by Spamhaus, a non-profit organisation, provides spam blocking lists for 450 million mailboxes around the world.

Majority (80%) of spam targetted at Internet users in North America and Europe is generated by a hard-core group of known professional spammers and can be traced via aliases and addresses, redirects, hosting locations of sites and domains.

See the pictures and profiles of world's worst spammers and spam gangs - The TOP 10 Spammers (A majority of them are in Russio or the USA)

These spam operations consist of an estimated 500-600 professional spammers with ever-changing aliases and domains. They operate illegally and move from network to network (and country to country) seeking out "spam-friendly" Internet …

Google: Please Practise What You Preach

Rick Aristotle Munarriz ( has written few things which he certainly doesn't like about Google.

What he terms Google Flip-flop hypocrisy, Google offers advice to publishers who serve the company's ads through its AdSense program.

In a visual heat map, Google argues that webmasters are best served by positioning Google's ads on the upper left-hand side of a Web page. Where does Google place its own ads? That's right -- on the far right.

He also points to the CNet story when CNET ran a story on the plethora of personal information that is available online through Google and used Google's CEO as an example, Google slapped CNET with a one-year press freeze. This case shows not only how powerful Google's search is, but also how naive it can be in shutting out media access to CNET, one of the Internet's most prolific and popular sources of tech news.

Quite true. Read full article Why Do You ate Google?

Create custom 80x15 RSS Buttons

Adam Kalsey has created a simple user interface for creating custom 80x15 pixel buttons (images of size 0.26 kb) using this php script (png format)

The button could also be done in Photoshop using the Jason Kottke’s Silkscreen font.

The button you see above was also done using this tool.

Nokia Tablets - Free Linspire - Office CD Key - Life without Office"

Nokia Internet Tablet Phone is part of the project Mobile phones for learning - The tablet phone, based on Linux, connects via Wi-Fi or via Bluetooth-enabled phones, and offers a task-oriented user interface with web, mail, RSS, Internet radio, and media players.

Linspire desktop Linux operating system which normally costs £27.31 is available for free until 6 September, thanks to Linspire is free - Freespire

MIT Media Lab is working on a $100 Laptop - Linux-based, Wi-Fi and cell phone-enabled.

Form History Manager - If you ever had to clear your Firefox form history because you keyed in a password in the wrong form field, you might like this extension.

Office Lady answers your queries about Microsoft Office Product Keys. You need the product key (cd key) to install, reinstall, repair your Office programs.

PCWorld's Editor in Chief Harry McCracken is without Microsoft Office for a month now. Harry is surviving on 2.0 and he isn't complaining but actually loving the s…

Office 12 is now Office Vista

Microsoft Office Vista is the latest internal name of Microsoft Office 2006 or Microsoft Office 12 at Redmond.

wonders whether that will be the official name of the product or whether this just indicates that this is the version of Office that will ship at the same time as Windows Vista.

The next version of Microsoft Office would be coming in 2006. The Microsoft Office 12 Beta 1 is due this fall.

Microsoft Office 12 system will be shipped with some brand-new servers like an Excel Server, Visio Server and many others.

More details on Office 2006 are expected at PDC conference.

The first session on Microsoft Office 2006 is titled "Introduction to the Programmable Customization Model for the Office 12 User Experience" by Jensen Harris - Office 12 is introducing a new, declarative model for customizing the Office user interface using XML. Learn about what is possible and how your Office solutions can benefit from the new technologies.

Adobe takes the Microsoft threat seriously

Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe Systems, recently said We take the Microsoft threat seriously.

Forbes conducted interviews with Bruce Chizen of Adobe and Stephen Elop of Macromedia. They discussed a variety of topics including customer concerns, threats from Microsoft (read, Metro, Sparkle, Acrylic), outsourcing, future of Freehand and new market opportunities after the merger is complete.

On concerns about an industry monopoly:
Chizen: Combining complementary solutions doesn't create a monopoly; it makes us a more effective competitor against Microsoft

On threats from Microsoft Sparkle (Flash rival) and Microsoft Metro (PDF rival)
Chizen: Metro is said to have some similarities to earlier versions of Adobe's PDF..But PDF has gained wide acceptance as the standard for document sharing because it's an open standard [unlike Metro]

On rumours that Freehand will be phased out
Elop: Based on the feedback from the last version of Studio, we decided to make a change. FreeHand was replaced b…

Right-click taking long time? Read solution

When you right-click a file/folder in Microsoft Windows, there may be a huge delay before Windows displays the context menu. Or when you click "Play All" in the Music or Videos folder Common Tasks, nothing may happen.

These problems are caused by a bad context menu handler. Observe when the problem occurs. While right-clicking a particular file type? While right-clicking Folders? While right-clicking all file types?

If any of the symptoms occur when you deal with a folder, then you may need to inspect the context menu handlers loaded in these areas (AllFileSystemObjects, Folder, Directory). If it's only for a .txt file, inspect the file class of .txt file (HKCR\txtfile). Open Registry Editor and backup the selected branch, delete the context menu handlers one-by-one.

If it looks complex, download Shell Extension Manager to determine the Context-menu causing the problem. The ShellExView utility displays the details of shell extensions installed on your computer, and allows y…

Live Blogging Scoble - Self Potraits - Bloglet alternative

See a picture of Robert Scoble blogging with his Toshiba M4 Tablet PC. Notice the Blogger T-shirt. Credits: Dave Winer

Iconize Me creates custom caricatures of you. Just send them your pictures and they'll convert it into a stunning icons (pixel portrait).

As Americans confronted disturbing images from New Orleans, Katrina has incited a storm of enthusiasm among Islamist bloggers who claim the destruction was sent by God to torment the American empire.

After BoingBoing it's the turn of NoingNoing

FeedBlitz is a nice alternative to Bloglet for email subscription lists. Here's why ? [via]

Pictures of the Microsoft Office Crabby Lady.

Nirsoft have developed an amazing collection of free utilities - my personal favorites being ShellExView

Simple guide to ISO Paper Formats

This is a simple guide explaining paper formats like the A5, A4 or A3 that makes visualization of different standard paper sizes very simple.

The ISO standard letter format in Europe is known as A4. Put two of them together and you get the larger A3 sheet, or fold one in half and get the smaller A5. Interestingly enough, all of these have exactly the same height to width aspect ratio.

Format A0 has an area of one square meter.
Format A1 is A0 cut into two equal pieces. In other words, the height of A1 is the width of A0 and the width of A1 is half the height of A0.

An Width - 2-1/4-n/2Height - 21/4-n/2

The above is a simple formula to calculate the dimensions of An paper format.

The aspect ratio defining the ISO page sizes is called the Lichtenberg Ratio. It's actually the square root of 2.

The ISO paper size system concept [ via ]

Windows Vista makes piracy tough

Next version of Microsoft operating system has unprecedented features guarding against video piracy. Windows Vista will be equipped with new antipiracy technologies "link protection" and "Protected Video Path"

This will essentially keep video streams encrypted and inaccessible as video is being sent from a DVD (or other copy-protected source) to the monitor, TV or other display. The operating system will also check what the computer is connected to (a monitor, a TV, and so on), do another check to make sure the device really is what it says it is, and then see what kind of plug, or output mechanism, is being used to connect the computer to the device.

Vista will go much further than previous operating systems in checking devices that are several steps downstream, if several digital components are connected to each other. If it finds that there is a device that doesn't respect DRM rules, or if it finds a plug that doesn't support transmission of those copy-pr…