Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2006

The Last 12 Months at Digital Inspiration [Sharing Statistics]

As we bid adieu to 2006, I wanted to thank each one of you for reading DI and your continuous feedback and support.

The year was full of excitement and very satisfying overall. Here's a quick look at some of our blog metrics:

» DI made it to the Technorati Top 100 Favorited Blogs in 2006 - Current Rank is 50 based on 139 Technorati members who have added this blog as their favorite.

» We had ~12 million page views in 2006. Search engines and Digg were responsible for most of the traffic but the interesting part is that 7% visits were direct (from bookmarks, desktop shortcuts or directly typing the blog URL)



» Feedburner says that we have some ~6600 RSS subscribers. Alexa Rank varies every single day and today it says 3,082.



» Most of the traffic originates from US, India, UK, Canada and Australia.



» Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser among our blog readers. Firefox comes a distant second followed by Opera and Safari.


» Though Google Adsense was responsible for most of t…

How to Remove Watermarks from PDF Files

How do you clear PDF watermark images? Harish writes - "Is there a way to delete the watermarks that appear in some of the Adobe PDF files."

Though it is very much possible to get rid of those annoying watermarks in PDF documents, the quality of the final output would largely depend on what software you have to edit PDF Files. Let's look at some of the options here:

Option A [Best] - If you have access to the original Word documents or Excel Spreadsheets that were used for creating the Watermarked PDF, create a new PDF file minus the watermark using any of these free PDF tools or even Google Docs.

Option B [Might Work] - Assuming that your PDF files are not password protected, download and install a trial copy of Adobe Acrobat 8. Open the PDF document in Acrobat, choose the option "Remove Watermark" and re-save the document.

Option C [The real hack] - We'll reverse engineer the document in this approach - Use Google Docs to convert the PDF document to a Micr…

A MyBlogLog Trick to Show the Recent 127 Visitors on your Blog

MyBlogLog widgets that show the thumbnail images of recent visitors can be spotted on most blogs now [including Digital Inspiration]

It's actually a very interesting service especially for bloggers because they get an idea of who visited their blog recently - the visitor is identified with his real face and not with his IP address.

Most bloggers have widgets to show just the last 5 or 10 visitors but MyBlogLog actually stores data of the last 127 Mybloglog members who paid a visit to your blog. This data can be pretty useful if you are visiting the blog say in the morning and like to see who visited while you were fast asleep.

So here's an easy trick to display the full log of visitors [live example]

Step 1: Choose one of the websites that you author and click Get Widget


Step 2: Type the values in the Widget Form as shown in the screenshot below - leave the title text box empty to remove the heading.


When you click the Preview Code button, you will give some Javascript - just paste…

The 10 Funniest Email Messages in our Inbox

Presenting a list of 10 most funny and weird email messages that hit our GMail Inbox in 2006. Some are hilarious. [names changed]

Email 10:
Pls give ur contact and address. Thank u

Email 9:
I am student of Kwansei Gakuin university in Japan. I’m sure you’re very busy, but could I ask you two questions? It won’t take long! What do you think 3D world will be in the future? Is it possible to make another 3D world that is equal to Earth in reality?

Email 8:
Hello, I would like to e mail Tony Blair, I think he has done a phenominal job in the Uk,but would like to ask him what his proposals are as far as allowing so many different nationalties to take all our stores on Edgeware Road and Kilburn Park Road and make them look like we now live in either Pakistan,India or the Middle East. Why? Would you be so kind as to either forward this e mail,or let me know why this is happening

Email 7:
Hi my name is Laura Wilson I would like to ask you a question. The question is would you give me $24,000,000? …

What Are Bloggers Doing With Their Microsoft Ferrari Laptops

Microsoft, in partnership with AMD, has sent the Ferrari 1000 or Ferrari 500 Laptops (Acer and Scuderia Ferrari) pre-loaded with Windows Vista Ultimate to "key community folks". [read full disclosure at the end]

These dual-core 64-bit AMD TurionT laptops were either directly shipped by Microsoft or through Edelman, their PR firm.

Here's a list of 25 bloggers (myself included) who have received the hardware and what they intend to do with the Microsoft Christmas gift.

1. Mauricio Freitas - Decides to keep it.

2. Scott Beale - Will probably give it away Will sell it on eBay, proceeds going to EFF.

3. Ed Bott - Decides to keep it - Will either send it back to Microsoft or auction it off for charity.

4. Mitch Denny - Gives it to his wife.

5. Darren Rowse - Will donate to charity after reviewing.

6. Barb Bowman - Decides to keep it.

7. Josh Phillips - Decides to keep it.

8. Brandon LeBlanc - May offer it to blog readers or send it back to Microsoft.

9. Michael Arrington - May give to so…

Microsoft Customers Will Need An Advisor like Autodesk Diana

Microsoft will ship Windows Vista in five editions. Likewise, Office 2007 will be made available in 8 different flavors each containing a different permutation and combination of Office programs.

For instance, Office 2007 Standard will have Microsoft Outlook while the Home & Student Edition of Office 2007 will have OneNote 2007 instead of Outlook - rest of the programs remain same in the two editions.

As the number of choices increase, so does the confusion in the minds of the prospective customer. For instance, if the client wants to create a simple webpage, what Microsoft product should he buy - Microsoft Word, OneNote, Windows Live Writer or the Expression Web Suite ?

Autodesk, developers of the popular AutoCAD program, face a situation quite similar to Microsoft. They develop an array of some incredible but very expensive software programs like Revit Building, Autodesk VIZ, Architectural Desktop - all these programs ultimately do the same thing - they help architects design homes…

How to Delete Browser Cookies of a Website

Do you think internet cookies are evil ? Well, it depends on the website that's storing them but in most cases, cookies are not evil.

Say if you're visiting Amazon.com, they can set cookies to personalize your shopping experience by recording what items you viewed.

No problem here but suppose your spouse also visits the Amazon store using the same computer - would she be interested in the items that you have viewed on Amazon. Probably not.

She may want to get rid of the Amazon stored settings by deleting the browser cookies in one go but is it the best approach ? No, because that would mean losing the customization settings of all other websites as well.

Now while browsers don't allow you to select and delete cookies, you can easily do so via the following bookmarklet. Just drag-n-drop this link somewhere near your browser address bar.

Remove Cookies of this Website

When you are done shopping with Amazon, click the above link and all the cookies stored by Amazon will be de…

Text Link Ads Support Blogger Platform Now

The Text Link Ads program can now be used to sell links on your blogspot blogs hosted on the new Blogger.com platform.

Unfortunately, if you are still on the old Blogger platform, the TLA script will not work for you since it makes use the new RSS Page Elements style to add the ad code to the blog.

Integrating Text Link Ads inside Blogger is extremely simple. Assuming that your site is approved for advertising by the TLA team, get the XML ad code from their website by choosing Blogger language (slightly weird but they call Blogger a language)

Goto your Template Layout inside www2.blogger.com and choose Page Elements and stick the code. Save the changes and you are done.



You will immediately receive an email from TLA if the ad script is integrated successfully in blogger. There will be a test ad now on your site, reading, "Test Link Ad" that will disappear in a few hours.

2007 will be a big year for Text Link Ads because with Blogger integration, they now have so much extra space…

The World's Most Beautiful Women Bloggers of 2006

The World's most beautiful women bloggers of 2006 [English vlogs only]

Karina Stenquist of Mobuzz TV, a daily vlog on web related stuff recorded in Madrid, Spain. Karina has some great sense of humor and she was recently spotted in a Google office jumping on massage chairs for Googlers.



Cali Lewis of GeekBrief TV. The kind-of-daily show features interesting gadgets and web 2.0 services. Watch the GeekBrief TV bloopers where Luria Petrucci, her real name, frequently breaks into uncontrollable laughter.



Veronica Belmont is the producer of CNet Buzz out Loud and co-host of CNet TV and Crave, a new gadget video blog from CNet again. Wait, there's another gadget connection - Veronica is the girlfriend of Engadget's Ryan Block and as Scoble points, Gadget love runs deep in that house.



Lindsay Campbell, the host of Wallstrip - Her daily shows on Wallstrip created by Howard Lindzon are short, entertaining and full of substance. Lindsay, a Stanford graduate, has looks, loads of style …

Lot of People Prefer Natural State at Home

Earlier this year, a revealing survey showed that people in US who work at home are more likely to be naked - some 10% of Out-of-Office workers wear nothing at all while working at home.

Now something even more revealing from UK - nearly half of Brits regularly chat to friends and family on their home phone naked, a survey has revealed.

Women are more likely than men to go au naturel - 40 per cent of men bare all while chatting, compared to 57 per cent of women.

Source: The Sun Picture Credit: A Flickr User

Create Music by Painting With Your Mouse

Click To Play

Visual Acoustics is like a drawing canvas (done in Macromedia Flash) that lets you compose music with visualizations using just the mouse. [watch this short screencast video]

You can set your mouse as one or more musical instruments like the Piano, Violin, Flute or the Guitar.

As you move the cursor around the screen canvas, the program determines which intrumental note the mouse brush paints onto the screen.

Too much fun. Wish they provided an option to record and save the music compositions.

Visual Acoustics [via magnolia.com]

PayPerPost Finally Makes A Smart Move

Performancing.com, a blog community website founded by Nick Wilson (of Threadwatch) and Patrick Gavin (of Text Link Ads), has now been acquired by PayPerPost according to Techcrunch.

PayPerPost has had their own set of problems in the recent past. They had a successful launch but unfortunately Google didn't like themat all. Then came the the Feds asking PayPerPost users to disclose relationships.

So just when the tide was turning against their business and competition from ReviewMe was growing, PayPerPost has taken this right step by acquiring a Blog Ad network company.

First, it gives them a chance to expose their service to a more diversified group of users who already have blogs and want to monetize them. Second, even if things don't go as per plan (due to stumbling blocks like search engines or Government regulations), PayPerPost will still have a sold advertising network in their arsenal to help them maintain the bottomline.

Performancing was probably one of the favorite dest…

Picasa Web Albums vs Flickr - Which Photo Sharing Service is Right for You ?

When Google launched Picasa Web Albums in June 2006, we wrote a detailed review comparing Google's offering with Flickr, a Yahoo! owned service. Flickr clearly emerged as the winner in Round One but lot of things have changed since then.

Both Google and Yahoo haveupdated their online photo sharing services in the last few months and so we decided to do a comparison again - Flickr vs Picasa Albums Round II.

Photo Storage Space and Uploading Limits

When you have a free Flickr account, you can upload 100MB of photos each calendar month but the counter is reset ever month and the overall storage space is therefore unlimited even for free Flickr accounts. With Picasa Web Albums, you get only only 250MB of free storage space.

Cost & Benifits of a Pro Account

A Flickr Pro Account is available for US$24.95 a year and you get unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth. A $25 yearly subscription on Picasa Web Albums will get you only 25 GB of extra storage space and if you pay $500 per …

10 Reasons Why Blip.tv is Better Than Youtube for Uploading & Sharing Videos on the Web

The brand YouTube may be synonymous with uploading and sharing of Internet videos but there's another video sharing service called blip.tv offering features that you can only dream of in Youtube or even Google Videos.

Here we look at some of the unique features of blip.tv that makes it a much better destination for your videos than Youtube.

Support for video formats

Youtube lets you upload videos only in standard formats like the Windows AVI, MOV or the MPEG format. Blip.tv practically supports all possible video formats including the popular Flash Video (flv) format which offers better compression while maintaining the video quality.

Limitations on Video File Sizes

Youtube imposes a 10 minute or 100 MB restriction on files sizes but blip.tv has no such limitation. It is suggested that you can large AVI or MOV videos to FLV files locally and then upload them to blip.tv because FLV files are small in size and will upload very quickly.

Video Playback Options

Videos uploaded on Youtube are …

A Dummies Guide to Choosing Creative Commons License For Your Own Work

You have seen Creative Commons licenses everywhere on the web including Flickr Photos, RSS feeds, blog sites, music distribution sites, internet videos, etc.

So when it comes to choosing a license for your own online work, which one should you choose ? Well, it depends on how you want others to use your creative work which could be pictures, music, videos or even a plain text blog post.

Here are some real-life scenarios to help you choose a suitable Creative Commons license for you own work:

Others can do anything with my Flickr Photos as long as they give me credit.



Others can copy my personal videos, edit if they like or even distribute them on their own sites but should not sell the videos.



Others can copy photos from my Flickr Gallery, use them on blogs but they are not allowed to edit or manipulate the photos.



Other are allowed to take my images and even manipulate them using Photoshop but they should license their new creations under identical terms.



Others can take my music albums …

Directly Linking to Copyrighted Files On the Web Is Now Illegal - Weird but True

Wikipedia defines Web as a collection of documents and resources linked by hyperlinks and URLs. A user views Web pages using a browser and navigates between them using hyperlinks.

When you create a website on the internet in pubic domain, you want visitors to come and explore your site. If they enjoy your content, they may write about it on their own sites and link to your webpages.

That's how things work. If you don't want the internet crowd to discover your "secret" content, either use password protected pages or don't upload stuff on the web at all.

But two recent court rulings, one in the US and other one in Australia, could have some impact on the nature of internet and the way we link to content stored on other web-servers.

In both the cases, judges have agreed that direct linking to copyright content (like music or webcasts) posted elsewhere online without permission can be illegal. Say you find some video or MP3 files on a website, you cannot link to that …

How to Get Windows Vista for Free

Looking to download a free copy of Windows Vista that's also legal ? Here are the top five routes that may help you grab one:

1. Buy a new Vista Capable PC with Windows XP this holiday season from Dell, HP or other hardware vendors and you'll get a coupon for a free upgrade to Windows Vista.

2. Attend the 2007 International CES conference in Las Vegas as an exhibitor. Microsoft will provide free Windows Vista copies to all exhibitors at the annual Consumer Electronics Show to run on computers they are using in their booths at the show.

3. Nominate yourself or ask a friend to nominate you for the Microsoft MVP program - they will consider the request only if you have made some decent contributions to the tech community (not necessarily Microsoft) in the last few months. As an MVP, you get loads of Microsoft software including free licenses of Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate and Windows Vista Premium.

4. If you have participated in the Windows Vista Beta testing program and have sub…

Firefox Tab Tricks That Will Save You Time

Click To Play
Enjoy working in the tabbed environment of Firefox ? Then here are some lesser known but immensely useful Firefox tricks for you.

Treat any Plain Text URL as a Standard Hyperlink

We frequently come across webpages that have URLs in plain text format (like google.com instead of google.com) - if you have to visit such non-clickable URLs without the slow copy paste method, simply select the URL text and drag-n-drop it over any existing Firefox tabs. [Watch Video Tutorial]

Reduce Clutter - Move Tabs Across Firefox Windows

Say you have a couple Firefox windows open on your desktop and there are several websites open in each instance. If it is getting tough for you to manage so many Firefox windows, here's a trick to bring all those websites into one Firefox window.

First select the Firefox tab that you wish to shift to another window. Like the trick above, just drag-n-drop this tab to the target Firefox window - you can either drop it over existing tabs or between any two tabs.

Create Personalized Calendars for 2007 as New Year Gifts

This holiday season, print your own calendars and send them via snail-mail to all your friends and family as new year gifts. They'll love the concept and remember you all the year round.

And creating an attractive holiday calendar at home is as simple a job as boiling eggs - all you need is a printer (colored or b/w), digital photographs (optional) and some time.

You can skip the difficult part that involves designing the calendar since Canon and Microsoft provide tons of 2007 calendar templates for free that you can simply download from web, customize with pictures or taglines and hit the Print button.



Canon Creative Park has a huge collection of free Calendar Templates in either PNG or PDF formats. You can embed your own pictures in the calendars by opening the template in any image editor or even Microsoft Word.

Other than the regular wall calendars and photoframes, Canon website has some more appealing designs like the Vertical look or the 3D horizontal style as shown in the pi…

Indian National Highways & Road Network now on Google Maps

Unlike the US or Europe where people actively use online mapping websites to plan their road trips, the map culture has not arrived in India yet but the situation may change very soon with Google entering the road mapping business in India.

Googler Krishna writes that road data for lot of Indian Cities and even towns are now available on Google Maps. You can also use the Google Map data to plan trips between cities as there's detailed data for the Indian national highways as well.

Will Google Maps replace MapMyIndia ? The immediate answer is in the negative since only MapMyIndia.com provides detailed street level information of Indian Cities as of now. Google Maps can however fill in the gaps like satellite views and hybrid maps.

Some prominent Indian cities on Google Maps - New Delhi, Indian Silicon Valley, City of Taj Mahal, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta.

Related: India Road Maps with Driving Directions