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Showing posts from August, 2006

Disable Recent Documents History to Start Windows XP Faster, Also Maintain Your Privacy

The Recent Documents folder on the Windows XP Start menu displays a list of files and documents that you most recently used. But if you are not using this feature, it is best to disable it since it will reduce the time it takes to boot Windows plus when you are sharing the computer, you won't leave any tracks behind.

Here's how to disable the recent documents history:

1. Type regedit in the Start/Run window.

2. Navigate to HCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

3. Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value of NoRecentDocsHistory by double clicking.

4. Set the Data Value to 1. Save the value and close the registry editor.

The next time you start Windows, your recent documents folder would remain empty and won't track your open documents.

Update: There are other settings like NoActiveDesktop, NoRecentDocsNetHood, NoUserNameInStartMenu, etc under the same hive key. You might want to disable them if you rarely use them.

ZapTXT: Monitor your Favorite RSS Feeds for Keywords [Better than Google Blog Alerts]

ZapTXT is a free service that monitors your favorite website or blog feeds for particular keywords and alerts you as soon as a new item appears in that feed(s) containing the same keyword.

You can choose receive updates via email, messenger programs (like Google Talk, MSN, AOL) or on your mobile phone as a text SMS message.

Do not confuse Zaptxt with Google Alerts, Yahoo! News alerts or Keywords searches which are provided by various blog search engines. While all these services track the entire blogosphere for your keywords, Zaptxt lets you limit the search to only a set of RSS feeds that you have specified. So you are likely to receive only clean, useful and spam-free results.

ZapTxt comes in really handy when are tracking high frequency feeds like, Digg or Craigslist which have hundreds of new items every day. Or say have subscribed to Performancing, 37Signals and Problogger Jobs RSS feeds but are only interested in jobs that are either based in San Francisco or involve p…

Use Keywords in Titles & Page URLs for Better Google Rankings

It's an open secret in the SEO community that keywords mentioned in the page title and the URL of webpages help you get better rankings in search engines for those keywords.

Now even Google SEO expert Matt Cutts, while looking at the possible reasons for Windows Live Writers blog not appearing on Google web search results, has confirmed that these age-old SEO tricks do help in boosting the search rankings atleast on Google.

- If you want to show up for a query like [windows live writer], having that in the page title certainly could help.

- Most bloggy sites tend to have words from the title of a post in the url; having keywords from the post title in the url also can help search engines judge the quality of a page.

You may also be interested in this simple hack [using Windows Live Writer or w.bloggar] that creates custom permalinks which may or may not be derived from the words mentioned in the post title.

Related: News MSN Spaces URLs

Download Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2

Microsoft has released a new version of of their popular Windows Media Player 11 software. This new release has several bug fixes, addition of new online music stores and significant changes to sharing digital media content.

When you install this 23 mb file, you won't immediately notice any difference but the functionality of Windows Media Connect is now integrated into Windows Media Player. If you have a home network (wired or wireless), you can use Windows Media Player 11 to stream the contents of your library to networked devices such as Xbox 360 or other digital media receivers.

Download Windows Media Player 11 [direct link - no validation required]

Windows Media Player 11 | Release Notes

A Bentley Parked in the AutoBlog Blogging Garage for Review

When Nokia rolled out their N series mobile phones, they shunned the traditional media advertising route and contacted bloggers to spread the buzz around.

Now even luxury car manufacturers are realizing the marketing power of blogs.

When Autoblog, a popular AOL blog on Automobiles, sent an email to Bentley executives requesting a review of the 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, the bloggers were too sure if Bentley would really listen to them. So they were too surprised on seeing the $200,00 super luxury sedan parked in their garage for review. Autoblog verdict - "four days with the 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur proved that it's worth every penny."

As Jason points out, "Wow, blogging has come a long way". Anyone planning to start a blog on commercial airplanes or even fighter jets ?

Starting a New Blog ? Stay Away from Adsense, Turn Off Comments

Blog Comments can be a great help in converting first time visitors into subscribers. Because if someone is new to your site, he may get a good impression when he sees lot of people commenting on your blog posts.

Now the reverse is true is well. If most of your articles have no comments, it is likely to turn away new visitors as they will feel how unpopular your blog is.

SEOmoz has some great tips for blogs that are new and have yet to make a mark [find subscribers] in the blogosphere - Launch Without Comments (and Add Them Later)Don't offer the ability to post comments on the blog and no one will know that you only get 20 uniques a day. Once you're upwards of 100 RSS subscribers and/or 750 unique visitors per day, you can open up the comments and see light activity.They have a similar advise for contextual advertising - Eschew Advertising (Until You're Popular)You wait until your blog has achieved a level of success before you start advertising. Ads, whether they're …

How to Add HTML Signatures with Images to GMail Email Messages

Did you notice anything special about this screenshot of GMail message ? Well, it has an embedded animated graphic instead of the plain text signature.

GMail has a wonderful rich text editor to compose emails but there are some desirable things that you cannot accomplish in GMail using standard techniques. For example:

1. GMail allows plain text signatures but there's no way to embed HTML signatures with images like the ones you see in Yahoo, Hotmail or Microsoft Outlook email.

2. Gmail Rich text editor has standard text formatting features like font sizes, colors, bullets, hyperlinks, indentation, etc. but there's no way to add other HTML tags like TABLE, DIV, EMBED, etc. So how do you embed Youtube videos, sophisticated table layouts, Flash animation movies, inline podcast players like odeo, etc. in GMail ?

3. You can compose new email in either Plain text or Rich text but how to do you compose a new GMail message in native HTML something like a webpage created in Microsoft Fron…

Discover What is Inside Your Computer with Belarc Advisor

First read the following seven scenarios and if your answer to any of these is yes, you probably need Belarc Advisor - a very small Windows audit utility that prepares a comprehensive summary of your current hardware configuration, software inventory and hundreds of other things which are probably unaware of.

» You want to sell your computer but the buyer is insisting to see a detailed report of the PC hardware and the installed software.

» You are planning to migrate all your software from one computer to another but don't remember where you wrote the software registration details or the serial numbers.

» You own a desktop and a laptop but your software license permits installation only on one machine. You know the software is already installed on your laptop and want to make sure that it's uninstalled from the desktop.

» You misplaced that CD jewelbox where had the Photoshop or Windows XP serial numbers. The software support guys may ask you the software keys before taking your…

Instructables: How-to Instructions for Everything

Don't have anything interesting to do this weekend ? Then pick an idea from Instructables and have fun.

Instructables is a wonderfule repository of Do-It-Yourself projects with easy-to-follow instructions that are also illustrated with real photographs. The site has all the social networking features like users can vote, submit their own projects, or comment on existing projects.

There are tutorials for building FBI agent style secret earphones for iPod, avoid swallowing insects while eating or creating that Magic Smoke/Fog which you see on the dance floor or even shooting a live band show.

There are controversial topics also like the one which illustrates how to blow up an airplane in mid air or another one that has step-by-step instructions on how to start smoking instantly.

You can even subscribe to your favorite tags via email or rss - so the next time another project appears on cooking some mexican dish, you know about it immediately.

Instructables - Step by Step Collaboration.

Video Tour of Data Center That Stores Our Online Photos, Videos, Webpages & Everything Else

Do you know what happens when you upload a 10kb picture to Flickr or even a 100 MB video clip on Youtube ? Where do they go exactly ? The chances are that the file is uploaded to one of the database servers inside a data center located in some remote but secure location that you may not be aware of.

CNet recently visited the Equinix datacenter facility which houses electronic data for Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Adobe and even banks like Goldman Sachs or Bank of America.

Some of these data servers are so huge that they can store upto 7 terabytes of Data which is equivalent to 2000 DVDs. And there are 5 levels of biometrics just to get inside the center.

How a photo-sharing site keeps its data - CEO explains CNet about how online photos are uploaded and shared on the Web. See the facility and learn how to tell when some clicks on a photo.

See where the Internet lives - CNet takes us on a video tour of Equinix data center facilities which is responsible for holding massive am…

Send a Voicemail Without Ringing the Phone

Your friend is probably in the library or in a meeting with some client so you want to send him a voicemail without ringing his/her mobile phone. Or sometimes you are just not interested in talking to the person and only like to drop him a voicemail. Now if you call up, he may pick up the phone. So Pinger is one free service that comes to your rescue.

You call up the Pinger site, leave the voicemail message and it reaches your friend as an email. You can send a Pinger message to anyone with an email address. If they're a Pinger Member, they'll get a notification on their phone, email or both. If they're a Guest like you, they'll get an email.

If you use the service from your computer, via the Web, it will be free. But Pinger will start charging you once you exceed ten messages a month from your phone. | Sign Up page | Pinger Help [via Silicon Beat, CNet]

Skype Users Can Connect to Google Talk Soon, New Skype Google Toolbar Coming

eBay and Google have signed a click to call advertising deal that will allow internet users to initiate an Internet voice call with the advertisers using either Skype or GTalk.

There will also a Skype version of the Google Toolbar with a button to initiate Skype calls directly from the browsers. This may just be an extension to the existing Skype Web Toolbars that automatically recognize phone numbers and Skype Names on webpages and call them with one click.

The Skype Journal adds that depending upon the default client they use, they will be presented with a Skype icon or a Google Talk icon. If a user has both clients they may even be given a choice to select the default client they wish to use for "Click to Talk".

Now the most interesting news here that should bring cheers to millions of Skpe and Gtalk users is that the two internet giants are exploring ways to connect Skype and Google Talk via open standards to enable text and voice chat.

The number of Google Talk users may be…

Windows Vista Prices & Release Date Leaked

Windows Vista will officially hit the retail shelves on January 30, 2007.

Windows Vista Home basic edition would be available for $199 while the Vista Ultimate edition would cost $399.00. If you are upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista, the price would vary from $99 to $259 depending on the Vista version you choose to buy.

These details are available at the Amazon store [Pre-Order Windows Vista] and also at the Microsoft Vista Price list page as discovered by Ed Bott of ZDNet and picked up by Microsoft Monitor.

Windows Vista development seems to be on track and Microsoft has already made available Windows Vista pre-RC1 for download.

If you are wondering whether to buy a new PC with Windows XP or wait until January for Windows Vista, you may postpone your purchase until October when Microsoft will issue free Windows Vista upgrade coupons to all Windows XP customers who make a purchase during that period.

YurNet Provides Simple Access to Web Tools

Yurnet may initially look like another meta search engine that brings you the best search results from MSN, Yahoo, Google, Ask in one central place but digging deeper, you will find some unique features in Yurnet that allows web users (especially newbies) perform complex searches in simple english without learning about site operators or numerous websites.

Here are two features of Yurnet Toolbox that standout:

Internet Toolbox - This is for webmasters or anyone who is doing basic research on a web domain, an IP address or for tracing the origin of an email based on the sender's email address.

Specialty Search - You type in the search query and tell Yurnet what kind of results you are looking for. It will let you choose between Google Images, Ebay, Wikipedia, Dictionary, Job sites or even Trends from Google Trend or Technorati charts.

Yurnet is essentially a wrapper toolbox written around tools like Wikipedia, Google, Alexa, DNS Stuff, Ebay, etc. Hence it may appeal to those web use…

Best Blogging Tips from Around the Blogosphere

Here are some good blog articles with tips on writing a successful blog. Must read for every blogger.

Neil Patel offers interesting tips to convert your new first-time site visitors into regular visitors - Increasing your blog's readership:

» Do unique things on your blogs. This could include creating tools to help your visitors or even designing your blog to standout from the rest. You can also create unique content, have guest writers write on your blog or interview people in your industry.

» If you decide to write a 3 part series and if a new visitor likes part 1, there is a good chance he/she will come back to read part 2 and 3. This is a great way to build that relationship with your visitors.

Paul Stamatiou, a college student and a popular blogger, has tips for blogs with good content but not-so good presentation - 5 Steps to a Successful Blog Post

» Some spacing between lines is a must.. If I get annoyed just trying to read your posts, chances are I won’t be coming back and wi…

How to Shave with Traditional Brush and Blade Razor

Would you like a shave so good that you might consider it a pleasant hobby instead of a painful chore?

These shaving video tutorials (split in three parts) show you the right way to do old-fashioned barber shop style shave with a traditional safety razor and a wet shaving brush made of animal hair.

» Shave Gently - think of it like you are bathing an infant.

» Examine your own face, look-n-feel all around the beard area to discover how it grows. Don't rely on your eyes alone, trust the feel of it. Then draw a diagram of what direction your beard grows in. This will help you understand your shave better.

» Shave at any time of the day but rinse your face for a good 30 seconds with hot water before you shave.

More Resources on Shaving for Men:

How to Shave your Face - Shave as often or as rarely as you feel you need it.

How to Shave correctly - Proper shaving techniques will help prevent painful razor-burn and ingrown hairs.

How to get that perfect shave - The perfect shave is what all m…

Blog Plagiarism Accusations: Scoble vs Elliott

Always do proper homework before slamming someone on your blog. Else, it may sometime backfire.

Scoble was very pissed off when he saw his blog content published on another website without giving him permission or proper credit. Scoble assumed that the website is owned by Elliott [another respectable blogger] since it had a line saying “software by Elliott Back".

To bring the blog spammer down to his knees, Scoble sent a strongly-worded note to the Adsense team asking them to suspend Elliot's accountYou're causing your advertisers brand damage by including your advertisements on this guy’s page..Please let me know how you are going to handle this guy. A reputable company that says “do no evil” should immediately stop doing business with a slimeball like thisFollowing Scoble's post, Google suspended Elliot's account since they take copyright violations very seriously which is understandable.

Elliott was more pissed that Scoble since he was loosing his blog revenue and…

Virtual Photo Tour of a Fake Pepsi Factory

Pepsi, Coke, Mirinda and other soft drink brands may be injurious to your health when they are manufactured and bottled in any of these underground "coca cola" factories.

These images of the fake coke factory were shot by Wathiq Khuzaie of Getty Images sometime in 2004.

Source: You'll Never Drink Pepsi Again, America TopTen

Yahoo! Removes Blog Search from Yahoo! News Homepage

It's been almost an year since Yahoo! integrated Blog posts with Yahoo! News search results hinting the marriage of MSM and Blogosphere. But the marriage has been secretly called off as you would notice in the before and after screenshots of the Yahoo News/Blog Search page.

The older version from Yahoo Cache - this page shows Yahoo News and Blog Search in the title of the Yahoo! news search homepage.

The latest version from Google Cache - this page shows Yahoo News search homepage with no references to Blog Search as noted by Joe Beaulaurier.

Why would Yahoo! want to do this ?
This comes at a time when the blogosphere continues to swell, is investing heavily in blog search and Technorati just revamped.

Why would Yahoo! take a step back ? My guess is that Yahoo! may be preparing to launch a separate blog search engine like Google blogsearch. Am sure they won't like to be left out in these blogging times.

Update: Some forums are saying that they are still able to see blogs …

Let Site Visitors Navigate Your Blogroll Folders with an Embedded RSS Reader

Fred Wilson is changing his blog reading habits. He has just switched to a feed reader and now looking for a tool to publish the list of blogs that he reads arranged in categories [like the screenshot on your left]When I add a blog to NetNewsWire, it will end up on the blogroll. I'd really like to organize the blogs/feeds by my seven categories, but I don't know how to do that in Newsgator yet. When/if I figure that out, you'll see the categories appear on my blogroll.Here are two possible solutions. The first approach would generate a Flash Javscript based blogroll navigator while the second approach provides an HTML based blogroll list arranged in categories which can be embedded on your website using the iframe tag.

In either of these methods, you would need to specify your OPML feed URL [public] which is generally exposed by almost all web based feed readers. Now let's look at the actual methods:

Method 1: Grazr - Accepts URL of a blog feed or an OPML file. Feeds ma…

Yawn!! Slashdot Covers Google Trends Three Months after Official Launch

This is probably the most dumb thread you would ever find on Google started to offer a new Trends service that allows viewing search term request statistics split up by geographical locations and languages. In short one can use Google trends to figure out what's hot and what's not and perhaps even find cyclic patterns to pick best time to advertise. As you would recall, Google Trends launch is a very old news but the famous nerd site picked up the story only today. What's even more surprising part is that the editors didn't do any fact checking before publishing the story on Slashdot frontpage. [I thought Slashdot team was working extra hard these days as the Digg threat is looming large]

Unlike Digg, Slashdotters have been more or less gentle to the editor who submitted this dupe story. There are also some interesting Google Trend charts mentioned in the Slashdot comments:

Ubuntu vs DebianJesus vs BeatlesSlashdot vs DiggWindows vs LinuxSlashdot vs Digg vs …

Keep a Close Watch on Your Blog or Website with Site24x7

Whether you have a hugely popular blog or getting just a few visitors per day, you still want to make sure that your site is up and running all the time. And that no hackers have sprayed graffiti on your blog with the intention of defacing your website.

In either of these emergency situations, you want to be notified immediately over email or an SMS on your mobile phone and Site24x7 will help you with just that and more for free. It is from the same company, AdventNet, that develops the powerful Zoho Web Office Suite.

You can think of Site24x7 as your personal site monitoring assistant that continously monitors websites for you and immediately issue an alert when there's some unusual change on the design or when the blog site is inaccessible [offline] or when some webpage is returning a "page not found" error or taking too long to respond.

Here's a typical configuration dialog to monitor your site or a URL. You can put your blog title or description in the keyword ar…

Successful Blogging Mantra: Build Relationship with Blog Readers

Randy Morin, an excellent blogger and the brain behind Rmail, has written a good article highlighting the common mistakes made by most bloggers like you and me.

If you have a blog and struggling to make your presence felt in the blogosphere, this is one piece you should read. Some interesting excerpts:

Not Reading Your Readers - If a reader is leaving regular comments on your blog, then subscribe to his blog, find out more about him, so you can engage with him more completely. If you comment on your readers blog, then there's a greater likelihood you are getting a reader for life.

Making it Difficult to Subscribe - Many bloggers don't make it easy enough for their readers to subscribe to their RSS feeds. If you don't have RSS auto-discovery, then you are losing readers. If you don't have an visible and obvious link to your RSS feed, then you are losing readers. If you don't have an email subscription form like Rmail, FeedBurner or FeedBlitz, then you are losing reader…

How to Search Google News Search More Efficiently

There's more to Google News than just the Personalized News Page, Google News Search RSS feeds or the News Alerts.

You can write very powerful queries inside Google News to filter all the irrelevant information and get the exact news story you are looking for.

The trick is to use undocumented Google news search operators. Here we have written down some practical and most commonly used news search queries which you can easily visualize and then modify according to your own requirements.

A lot of these queries can be constructed from the Advanced news search page but if you like to type commands instead of using wizards, this is just for you.

Show stories related to XBox published on the BBC Website
xbox source:bbc_news

Show news about Digital Cameras from either Sony or Nikon
"digital camera" Sony OR Nikon

Show news about Video Cameras from Sony but not Panasonic
"camcorders" OR "video camera" OR "handycam" Sony -Panasonic

Show news about blogger S…

How to Say No When Friends Forward You Junk Email

We all have some friends and relatives who are absolultely unaware of basic email etiquettes rules. They will keep flooding your inbox with forwards, pictures of kittens, friendship wallpapers, jokes, virus warnings, chain letters and every other spam that you can think of.

Now since these "junk senders" are still close to your heart, you don't want to create a rule and filter all messages from them as you may miss some important invitation or news. So how do you deal with it ? Here are two possible solutions:

One: Send them a polite email saying something like " I love your emails, they are so nice and make my day as soon as I read them. Unfortunately our company policy doesn't allow personal emails on the company servers [excuse]. Hence can you please send them to my personal email" - And that's the address you rarely check.

Second: The above approach must work in most of the cases. If it doesn't work or if you are unemployed and cannot f…

How to Choose a Podcast Host: Compare Hosting Services for MP3 Audio and Video Podcasts

A podcast hosting service is like any other web hosting service but with one big difference - the podcasts (like mp3, mov, wmv) are much larger in size than the standard html pages or the web images so you need larger storage space.

Secondly, if your podcast show is popular and more listeners subscribe, you will consume a huge amount of bandwidth as people download your creation to their iPod or hard disk. Infact, if you are not careful in choosing your podcast hosting provider, the situation would be akin to getting slashdotted and digged multiple times in a day. Either your site would go offline or you'll see many more zeroes added to your bandwidth bills.

Related: Download Podsafe Music (MP3)

It is therefore advisable to have a dedicated podcast host and then use your existing ISP or web host to just link to them. Doing so will not have any effect on the bandwidth of your current host since the content will be streamed/downloaded from the Podcast hosting servers. On an averag…

Surprise Your Site Visitors With a Welcome Message Mentioning their City, State or Country

Did you notice anything special in the welcome message above ? It has your geographic location and the flag of your country. [You may have read this article on the blog site if you are inside an RSS reader]

Assuming that you are able to see it, this personalized phrase is done using IP2Phrase, a sister site of IP2Location.

You are probably aware that IP2Location maps your computer IP Address to your city, state, country and the ISP name through which you are connecting to the internet.

Now they have another lesser known but wonderful service called IP2Phrase that lets you great your site visitors with a personalized message based on their geographic location. For instance, a visitor from NY gets to see a message like How's the weather in New York ? or New York is such a wonderful city - just to flatter the visitor.

Adding Ip2Phrase in your website or blog is pretty simple, just add the following Javascript snippet to your site template or blog post. You are free to change the templa…

Shut Down Windows XP in 7 Different Ways

There are so many different ways to turn off your Windows XP computer, let's look at some of them:

1. The standard approach - click the Start Button with your mouse, then select the Turn Off menu and finally click the Turn Off icon on the Turn Off computer dialog. [ooph!]

2. Press Ctrl+Esc key or the Win key and press u two times - the fastest approach.

3. Get the Shutdown utility from - it add the shut down shortcuts for you. Else create them yourself using approach 4.

4. Create a shutdown shortcut on your desktop. Right click on the desktop, choose New Shortcut and type shutdown -s -t 00 in the area where you are asked to specify the location of the program file. Now you can just double click this icon to turn off the computer. The best location would be your quick launch bar.

5. Press the Win key + R key to open the run window. Type shutdown -s -t 00. [s means shutdown while t means the duration after which you want to initiate the shutdown process].

If some open proces…

How to Embed FLV Flash Videos in your Blog ?

Video Sharing Sites like Youtube or Google video provide simple HTML code for embedding their video clips in your web pages. But sometimes we want to add raw Flash Video files like SWF animations or FLV [streaming or progressive] which are frequently used by News or media websites.

Now to embed flash video files, you can either download the flv or swf flash video to your hard drive, convert it to avi, wmv or mov format and then upload it to your Youtube account. Then you can use the Youtube supplied HTML code to embed that video in your webpage or blog. The video will play wrapped inside the Youtube or Google Video player skin.

The above approach works but is clearly not the best way to do things. What if the original video is updated - then you will have to revisit the whole encoding-decoding cycle again. Secondly, there will be considerable loss in video quality when it is converted from one format to another and Youtube is definitely not the best place to see high resolution vide…

Tabblo Adds Flickr Photo Import Feature & Picasa Extension

Tabblo is probably the easiest and the most creative way to create photos albums, collages, scrapbooks, slideshows, posters or even presentations online. No download required.

The tabblo workflow is very simple - you upload pictures to Tabloo, write some text like titles or descriptions and then select a color and layout theme from hundreds of free web gallery templates. You can even do basic image editing inside Tabblo using the easy drag-n-drop interface.

Once you are pleased with the layout theme, color, etc, press the create button and your creation is ready to be shared with the whole world. Else, you can get them printed into a Poster or greeting card.

Now there's some very good news for Flickr users who are interested in Tabblo. You no longer have to upload your pictures to Tabblo separately - just point Tabblo to your Flickr Photoset and Tabblo will fetch or import copies of your Flick photos in the organizer where you can tune/adjust and create your web photo gallery.

Zen Mix Blends Internet Video With Any Picture

Imagine putting yourself in movie trailors or music videos available on Google Video, AOL Video or Youtube. It's like the transparent video playing on top of your photograph. We are just going to show how you can do it in two seconds.

Before I even introduce Zen Mix, let me ask an easy question - How would you put own photograph to form the transparent backdrop of Stephen Colbert White House dinner video which is available on Youtube. Or say you want to make a background appearance during the entire length of the Zefrank show ?

Any video junkie would immediately think of the following solution:

Download the video from Youtube in AVI format, import the picture and this video clip in Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut pro, edit them and then export the mashup video back in avi or wmv format which can be uploaded to Youtube.

But what if you don't want have any of the video editing software ? Or the Youtube/Google video is 2 hours long and downloading it may take centuries on my i…

Create Cool Apple iPod Ads with Your Photo

Ever thought how Apple creates those impressive iPod People Advertisements as shown in this picture ?

The very innovative Apple iPod commercials feature dark black silhouettes against bright-colored animated backgrounds. The people are shown in dancing postures holding and listening to the iPod with white earphones that stand out against the colored background and black silhouettes [download apple ad movie here]

Now Jennifer has a very simple tutorial to convert your photograph into an iPod ad using Photoshop. The ad looks best when you are in an action pose like playing a game, dancing or even jogging.

Today, Photojojo points to MacMerc which has even more detailed instructions and step-by-step guide for creating iPod people ads with your own pictures. This creates a better version of the iPod since it also shows how to create people shadows on the floor which give that 3D look to the iPod ad.

And if you hate Photoshop or don't have the "advanced" skills, just send your pic…

Puppy Barks Email Messages & Word files for you

Puppy Love - This e-puppy USB toy is like your pet assistant - It will read your email and word documents.

It also allows you to hear internet radio or play music. The built in microphone allows you to record messages and notes. It also has a LED on its stomach for E-Mail notification.

And the puppy would never ask for food. You can even tune down the barking volume so that your co-workers do get to hear the letters of your girlfriend.

Related: Listen to email or Word documents inside iPod

E-Puppy Personal Communicator [via, Ubergizmo]

Windows Vista Desktop Search Now Available for Windows XP

Windows Desktop Search 3.0, which is based on Windows Vista search & indexing technology, is now available for Windows XP users. Read details:

A couple of months ago, Microsoft released a beta preview of Windows Desktop Search 3.0 built upon Windows Vista indexing technology. Unfortunately, the preview software was not a full blown desktop search software - it ran as a service without any UI and could only be used for searching across Outlook 2007 or OneNote 2007 documents.

The good news is that Microsoft today upgraded Windows Destkop Search 3.0 program with a sleek UI and a Windows Deskbar. This new version of Microsoft desktop search software can index all kind of content (filetypes) on your Windows XP machine without requiring either Windows Vista or Office 2007.

When compared with WDS 2.6.5, you won't notice any difference in the UI but the search speed is definitely faster in version 3.0. There are still no options to select folders for indexing from the search program -…

TechCrunch Co-Editor Quits Saying No Free Service Anymore

Techcrunch founder Michael Arrington is making more than $60,000 in ad revenue every month but one of their co-editors at Techcrunch France quit the job because Michael was not paying him any money.

Guillaume Belfiorewas responsible for translating Michael Arrington’s articles on from English to French for the TechCrunch French website.

Guillaume says that Michael Arrington was posting like crazy on Techcrunch with about 4 or 5 articles a day but offered nothing in return:Techcrunch France does have Adsense or other graphic ads as well, with a huge trafic; however I did not get one cent for the translations I have made. Were they expecting an endless benevolence? No way, I’m being realistic!Business 2.0 story [Blogging for Dollars] says that Techcrunch expenses are about 12 percent of revenue and occasionally there are bonuses. So who's enjoying them ? Not the Techncrunch translators.

Update: Valleywag has done some hilarious photoshopping of the Business 2.0 magazin…

Tips from the Blogosphere: Reading List for Aug 24, 2006

Chanpory Rith has some simple tips to keep your desk clean and organized. He suggests throwing away those extra pens, taking the extra books home and trashing the printouts. And now the most wonderful advice: Stop using Post-its to remind yourself of important information. They’re just to easy to lose and they’re ugly when plastered all over your monitor. Instead, keep a little notebook on your desk to write down reminder notes.Liz Pulliam Weston has some tips for you to save your hard earned money. Why waste money on shiny packaging and a fancy store when you can find it online and 'pre-owned' for a fraction of the cost? Software and console games. Buy used, and you'll pay half or less what the software cost new. Console games like those for the Xbox and Sony PS2 that list for $50 new, for instance, can often be purchased used for $20 or less a year after release.Glen Stansberry has some excellent tips for writing blog posts that your reader would love. Nothing ruins a b…

iPod Notes Reader: Display Websites, PDF files or Office Documents on iPods [text format]

An iPod is not just for playing music, photographs or videos.

You can use the secret iPod Note reader (Extras > Notes on iPod) like any other PDA or an ebook reader for reading PDF, Word documents, CHM or HLP help files, driving directions, offline Webpages, blogs, email conversations, song lyrics or any other file format that can be converted to plain text.

The trick uses iPod Notes - a special hidden folder on iPod that's available when you select "Enable disk use" under the iPod preferences.

Once the iPod is connected to your computer and set to be used as a hard disk, open Macintosh Finder or Windows Explorer and drag the files you wish to read in the Notes folder.

How to read documents from iPod ?

Turn Apple iPod on, go to Extras->Notes menu, open the first iPod notes file. All notes are automatically linked when created with above utility, so you can move from one to another just like turning pages of the book.

How to create text files for the iPod:

» Adobe PDF -…

Mac Dock Style Application Launcher for Windows XP

Mac has an animated little bar of icons (called "Dock") at the bottom of your screen to give you quick access to commonly used applications, documents or even file folders. (remember Google X)

Windows users can now also enjoy the Dock bar without having to switch to Mac or even spending a penny. Punk Software have released RocketDock software which is a Mac dock like application for Windows. It sports a simple drag-n-drop interface with support for multiple monitors. The price is also right - zero dollars.

Since RocketDock has a small memory footprint, it should run perfectly on low-end computers. You can add new items to RocketDock from any location; your desktop, an Explorer window, the Quick Launch Bar, and the Start Menu. The default icons can be changed to any other PNG or ICO files (alpha transparency supported).

RocketDock | Download RocketDock

Microsoft Employee Training Videos Uploaded on Google

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant of The Office, a popular television comedy show in the UK and US, have done a faux training video for Microsoft UK employees .

Gervais plays the role of David Brent. Microsoft spoof Office training video is available in two parts - part 1 is 20 mins while part 2 is 17 mins.

Now the really funny part here is that Microsoft is using the services of Google to host their employee training videos.

Source: Microsoft Spoofs Office Training Video, SMH Blogs