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Showing posts from February, 2007

Google Tests Adsense Gadgets - YouTube Player Embedded in Adsense Ads

Just spotted (here) a new kind of interactive Google Adsense Unit that shows text as well as YouTube Videos embedded inside a Flash Widget. [The ad is for Google GMail]


Though I did not click the ad, the HTML source of the Adsense iFrame does reveal lot of interesting information about this Adsense Ad:

» The Adsense gadget has an embedded Youtube player that serves the four videos of GMail Theater Ads directly from Youtube.

» The YouTube player is 250x200 pixels while the Adsense Ad size is 300x250 pixels.

» The Adsense Flash widget is actually served by Lab Pixies, a company that also creates gadgets or widgets for personalized pages like PageFlakes, Google Personalized Homepage and Microsoft Live.com.

» Though the images in the ad are served by LabPixies, they are redirected via gmodules.com/ - a Google owned site.



» Clicking the Tips Tab on the Ad will show the following tips: "Is any chat really complete without a flying monkey? Spice up your messages with these Gmail emoticons.&…

Interact with Addresses and Phone Numbers Found on Webpages

You are on the "Contact Us" page of a corporate website that has the contact address and the phone number of that company. Now how do you deal with this information ?

Enter Schmap Local, a free-plugin that will recognize the highlighted address on the webpage and can call the listed phone number using Skype or show you the driving directions via Google or Yahoo! Maps. You can even forward the address information to someone else via email or SMS.



Schmap Local also a recommended browser add-on for anyone who uses services like Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, AOL YellowPages or MapQuest for finding local businesses in their neighbourhoods. Schmap Local is available for IE as well as Firefox.

Say you are on the Google Local Maps website searching for pizza restaurants that are located near Battery Park in Manhattan, NYC.




Google Local shows a long list of businesses with their addresses, phone numbers and even some reviews of the restaurant. There's also an option to directly call the…

Corel Lightning - A Versatile Note-Taking Software (freeware)

Corel today released a digital note-taking software called "Corel WordPerfect Lightning" combines several utilities into one neat application - it is a word-processor compatible with Microsoft Word documents, it can do screen captures and you can read PDF files like Acrobat Reader.

Corel WP Lightning can also be used for web-research or taking notes just like Google Notebook or Firefox Scrapbook or Microsoft Onfolio. The software can capture text notes, snippets and images from email messages or even web pages.



You also get a free online account with 200 MB storage to store your Corel Notes and access them from other computer terminals.

The software works outside your web browser and doesn't require an active internet connection.

Corel WordPerfect Lightning | Download Installer

Former TechCrunch Writer Natali Del Conte Launches Tech Video Podcast

Technology columnist Natali Del Conte, who quit TechCrunch in December 2006, has launched her own technology video blog at PodShow.

Called TeXtra, this video podcast covers technology news narrated by Natalie herself. Some good effort here.TeXtra is about real technology and how it affects real culture and real people.

TeXtra is not a chick-reads-tech-news show. It's not a gadget show. And it's not a gossip show. She follows consumer and small business technology closely and is there to report it for you.Natali's Podshow Page | Vlog Feed

Related: Most Beautiful Women Bloggers

Any Link Between Flickr and OpenServing from Wikia ?

This may just be a nice coincidence but the web color scheme of Openserving, a Wikipedia project, looks "greatly inspired" from the color scheme of Flickr.

Not just the logo colors, one of the graphics used on the Wikia Openserving homepage is exactly similar to that grey blank face icon of Flickr. See the screenshots below:



The colors don't have the same hexadecimal values but look pretty much the same on the computer.

Spammers Use Misspellings to Fool GMail Spam Filters

GMail spam filtering algorithms are pretty good at detecting text spam messages. The moment you receive an email about a Pharmacy store selling Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Valium and other pills, GMail will mark it as spam.

Then entered image spam where the text message is sent as a picture attachment to bypass the spam filters.

There are effective methods to beat image spam but the latest spammer trick involves sending email messages with misspellings of words as you see in the screenshot above.

The word Viagra has been spelled as \/laGr@ - the first alphabet is not "V" but a combination of a back slash and a forward slash. The second alphabet is "L" instead of "i". No wonder, Gmail failed to detect this message as spam and delivered it to the Inbox.

And there's more - the image attachment, that has the actual advertising message, is scribbled with short horizontal lines so as to trick the OCR software that can extract text from images.

Keeping Fit with Workout Videos on Youtube

YouTube has an excellent collection of exercise, fitness, and dance workout videos online to help you stay in shape. You can dowload and burn these fitness videos on a DVD and exercise anywhere in the house.

The only problem is about finding good and relevant videos - common search terms like fitness, aerobics, cardiovascular, bhangra dance, workout or exercise return thousands of video results on YouTube and most of them are either parodies or don't make any sense.

No worries, we have hand-picked some of best exercise videos hosted on YouTube for you:

» Fitness Instructor Nicole Nichols has posted a series of full-length exercise videos on Youtube that require just a mat are you are ready to go.

If you spend way too much time infront of the computer, watch this 15 minute Office workout that can be done inside your office cubicle using that desk and a chair without wheels.



» Sarina Jain Masala Bhangra Workout - Sarina Jain is the founder of Masala Dance Workout, a unique exercising sty…

Embed Your LinkedIn Profile on a Webpage

The official LinkedIn buttons are boring - all they do is link to your personal profile page on the LinkedIn website.

If you wish to display your LinkedIn profile on your blog or website, here's something much better - LinkInABox.

The buttons are sleek, interactive and done in Macromedia Flash. The site visitors can read the summary of your personal LinkedIn profile without leave your website.

And every part of the button is customizable including the background color. You can also decide what sections of your LinkedIn Profile should be displayed on the badge. Very cool.

The Hottest Clicks in the World, MyBlogLog Reveals it All

MyBlogLog Directory is a relatively unknown feature of MyBlogLog.com that helps you track the hottest chicks clicks in different countries of the world and even individual states/regions.

While other internet buzz sites compile "What's hot" data based on the number of incoming links or traffic, MyBlogLog uses a different approach - they track the hot topics based on outgoing links that are popular on websites that use the MyBlogLog scripts in their HTML code.

Other than the buzz, the MyBlogLog directory shows a tag cloud of countries and states - that gives a fairly good idea about locations where the MyBlogLog service is more popular - the bigger the font size, the more the number of blog websites in that country that are using MyBlogLog.



The credit section on the directories homepage also carries a a thank you note for Google Maps. If MyBlogLog is planning to expose a Frappr maps like service, it would be so cool - imagine adding yourself to communities in your physical n…

Use Alexaholic Instead of Alexa Traffic Charts

Despite all the flaws, Alexa (an Amazon.com company) is still the most popular place for measuring the popularity of a website over a period of time.

The lone Alexa rankings of any web-domain may not make much sense, but when the data is compared with 2 or more sites belonging to the same niche, Alexa does convey some really useful information.



If you have never explored Alexa.com before, don't do that even now because a better alternative is Alexaholic.com - a wrapper site that actually takes website data from Alexa database but makes it look even better.

There are two simple reasons for considering Alexaholic over Alexa:

1. Alexa has too many extra things on their site and can prove confusing to an average user. Alexaholic is just limited to displaying Alexa stats of a website or a group of websites.

2. While Alexa provides a javascript to embed Alexa graphs in a blog or website, the charts offered by Alexaholic are more customizable and can be tailored to fit your blog layout.

alexa…

Create a Perfect Picture for your Profile Using MyPictr

There exists few hundred social networking sites and internet forums that require members to upload their photographs/avatars to display on their profile pages.

[For forums, avatars are displayed under your username whenever you post while profile pictures are displayed on your user profile page.]

Though most websites, including Digg, Youtube, Facebook, last.fm or Xing, accept images in JPG, GIF or PNG formats, they do not follow any standard dimensions or even the image aspect ratio (like 1:1 or 4:3).

For instance, Digg requires a 48x48 pixel image, MySpace avatars are 100x100, Technorati prefers 64x64 square pictures while Orkut resizes your profile image to 120x90 pixels automatically.

mypictr is a free online service that helps you convert your existing images into a perfect profile avatar. Upload your picture to mypictr, resize it and then download it to your computer.

While you can do the same in any online photo editing software, mypictr is developed specifically for creating your …

When You Have Nothing Else To Do, Watch the Monkey Typing

Mojo the Monkey is probably the most boring game that you'll ever see on the internet - sit down and just watch this monkey slowly type some random words on your screen.

If you see him typing a real word, select that word and tag it with your real name. If no one else has tagged that word, you'll become the owner of that word forever.

The game is immensely boring but still, the top taggers have as many as 221 points to their credit. And here's the full tally.

Professional Blogging in Indian Language Hindi

Recently, there has been lot of buzz (Shrish, Srijan, Tarun, DhurVirodhi, Masijeevi, Ravi, Jitu, Amit Gupta) about Professional Blogging in the Hindi Blogosphere.


Indic blogger Shrish recently shared concerns that blog audience is limited and is looking for some suggestions to generate decent traffic and advertising revenue from Hindi blogs.Main hurdle in professional blogging in Hindi is that only few people know about it's existence therefore it is still not widely adopted. Due to which Hindi blogs have a small reader base. Increasing Site Traffic

Search Engines (particularly Google) are probably the biggest sources for sending traffic to any blog. When a blog content is completely in Hindi, you are probably missing that traffic from search engines since your blog URLs are less likely to appear in the organic search results.

Here are some alternatives if you have not explored them:

1. You can offer your blog content for syndication to local language portals like Yahoo! India, Redi…

Boy Meets Girl - Name This Old Bollywood Movie

We do get a good number of technology and internet related questions from readers but this one is related to Indian Films and that too an old classic movie.

DI reader Carlos Dias from Brazil needs help in finding the name of an old bollywood movie. He remembers the story line but not the title:I saw an Indian film in approximately 1974. I was in Mozambique at the time so the film was probably not a "latest release" by then.

The title had been translated, so that is not much help either and I don't remember the names of the actors any more. All I remember that might help to identify it is the story line.

The heroes of the story were a rich girl that was studying medicine at the university and a poor guy that was earning money by being used by the university to demonstrate, to the students in the girl's class, the effects of hypothermia.

Later the girl has a car accident in the snow and the guy finds her unconscious and half frozen, remembering the lecture at the universi…

Democracy Player can Search & Download Videos from YouTube, Google Video & more

Democracy Video Player is an absolute gem of an application that has all the potential to replace Windows Media Player or Apple iTunes on your computer.


The software is absolutely free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Since it uses the popular VLC Media Player, it can play virtually all video formats from MOV to Windows Media to iPod MP4.

And here's a little known but extremely feature of Democracy Player that makes it unique among all other media players - you can use Democracy to search or download videos from YouTube, Google Video, Blip.tv, Revver and many other video sharing websites.

You can also pause and resume video downloads. The videos can also be saved on del.icio.us, Digg, or Reddit right from within the Democracy interface.

Democracy will automatically watch for new videos tagged with your keyword -- when a new video is found, it'll be automatically downloaded to your computer.

Download Democracy Player 0.9.5.2

Google Apps Premier Edition - The Missing Pieces

Google has introduced a premier edition of Google Apps (formerly Google Apps for your Domain) that costs $50 per user per year.

A 10 GB Ads-free GMail Inbox, 24/7 Phone Support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee makes the offer very attractive overall.

But before you decide to move your office to Google Apps, here's a list of few essential features that are probably missing from Google Apps offering (both free and premier editions)

» Google Apps Premier offers 10 GB of email storage space but there isn't an option to buy a bigger Inbox.

» No support for syncronization between Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook or other PIM software.

»Google Presently (web based clone of Microsoft Powerpoint) is not a part of Google Apps yet.

» Google Talk doesn't offer features like Voice conferencing and Video Chat.

» FTP Support in Google Page Creator - you still have to manually upload HTML files and web graphic to Google Pages using their web-based interface.

» Cannot create sub-directories in…

Dell May Soon Open Retail Stores Like HP or Apple

Dell is quite famous for their direct-sales business model. A customer can buy Dell products only via their online web store or through the telephone.

Though there are some Dell retail outlets, they are just to help "prospective" customers try out Dell products and order them for delivery just like they would do over the phone or internet. Customers cannot walk out of Dell stores with products.

However, the situation is expected to change soon. Last month, Michael Dell returned to the company as CEO and the company is now looking to expand their options beyond direct-retail.

Reuters reports (via CNN) that you may soon find Dell computers on retail shelves and can even walk away after purchasing them, an option not available earlier.Dell said the company remains committed to its 23-year policy of selling directly to customers, but is open to "experimentation."

Dell has struggled with slowing growth for two years as prices declined across the industry, reducing the pr…

Rocketboom Visits Wallstrip Headquarters

If you are a Rocketboom addict, do not miss this interesting video where Wallstrip host Lindsay Campbell chats with Rocketboom anchor Joanne Colan and producer Andrew Baron.

As expected, Andrew is still not "long" on Ze Frank.

It's very strange to hear that "Internet Personalities" like Joanne (she herself admits) don't get recognized on New York streets too often when she probably enjoys an iconic status in the vlogging world.

Scoble, can you do something like a "Behind the Scenes" video with Rocketboom team for the ScobleShow at Podtech. It will be worth watching how much effort and energy goes in putting together that daily 3 minute video clip on the web.

Wordpress Bloggers Can Upload Files to DivShare & Reduce Hosting Bills

DivShare is an online file hosting service like Rapidshare or Megaupload but offers some very unique advantages:

» The uploaded files stay online forever. [Rapidshare deletes the file after some period of inactivity]

» You can upload unlimited number of files and each file size can be as large as 200 MB. [Rapidshare has a 100 MB limit]

» The interface is pretty clean, very fast and intuitive.

» DivShare automatically creates an image gallery of all the pictures that you upload to their web servers.

Now, here's some great news for bloggers, especially those who are on the Wordpress platform.

You can host your files on DivShare and link them in your blog posts. That saves precious storage space on your server and since the files will be served from DivShare, you save on those monthly bandwidth bills as well.

Co-founder David Altschul just informed that DivShare has launched a Wordpress plugin that allows you to upload files directly from your "Write a Post" page to your DivShare…

Subscribe to the Microsoft Download Center RSS Feed

Do not confuse the Microsoft Download Center with Microsoft Windows Update website as they two separate resources.

The Windows Automatic Updates program connects with the Microsoft Update website to downloads all the hotfixes, security patches and other recommended updates for Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office programs after validation.

On the other hand, the Microsoft Download Center is the place for downloading new software that have just left the Microsoft stable. This could be a new version of Windows Defender, Games, Windows Live Messenger or some new PowerToy for Tablet PCs.

Though Microsoft provides e-mail notifications for new software downloads posted on Microsoft Download Center, it's a bit strange that they don't offer RSS feeds for the same.

You can however subscribe to this third-party Feedburner feed at MicrosoftDownloadCenter to keep yourself updated. Not an official feed from Microsoft but always in sync with the Microsoft website.

Highly recommended …

del.icio.us Bookmarks Firefox Extension from Yahoo!

The del.icio.us group at Yahoo! have released a new version of the Firefox add-on for bookmarking your favorite websites at del.icio.us. [related: Google Browser Sync]This is a major update that restores the Firefox Bookmarks and Toolbar to the del.icio.us extension. Users will now have the ability to show or hide the original Bookmarks menu and Bookmark toolbar.Your del.icio.us bookmarks and tags are now accessible from the Firefox bookmarks toolbar as well as the menu bar.


Any change that you make to your bookmarks inside the browser will also be propogated to del.icio.us website. For example adding or deleting a bookmark in Firefox will add or delete it from your account in del.icio.us.

Another very useful part is that you can browse or search del.icio.us bookmarks right from Firefox without having to visit the del.cio.us website.

Install del.icio.us Bookmarks 1.4.25

del.icio.us Bookmarks [via Del.icio.us.ly Updated]

Mark Jenkins Street Art Can Scare You

Street artist Mark Jenkins is a pure genius.

He creates figures of men using normal tape, then dresses them in clothing (including shoes) to make the figures look realistic and finally places these sculptures in various positions on the streets.

Here are some of his amazing creations:



Mark Jenkins then records and documents the reactions of the crowd passing by. You can watch the videos on YouTube here, here & here. Thanks Shripriya.

Google Not Indexing Your Blogs ? Remove <$BlogMetaData$> from Blogger Template

Is your blog hosted on on Blogger.com - if yes, there are chances that it may not be indexed by Google, Yahoo or other search engines. The reason maybe NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW Meta tag that may have slipped quietly in your blog pages probably due to a bug.



Google adds the <meta name="ROBOTS" content="NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW" /> tag by default to the HTML of your blog pages when the Add your Blog to our listings? setting is set to No.

In on of our test blogs, the above NOINDEX META tag is being inserted even the Setting is set to Yes.

The moment search engine bots read that noindex attribute, they'll skip indexing your webpage. And if that webpage already exists in the search engines' cache, the page will be thrown out immediately. The end result is that none of your blog pages will ever appear on search results of any web search engine.

To override the default setting and let search engines read your blog, manually delete <$BlogMetaData$> from the classic Blogg…

Prevent Yahoo! from Tracking Your Web Browsing or E-Mail Reading Habits

Yahoo! uses cookies and Web Beacons to track your surfing habits.

A Web Beacon is generally a 1x1 pixel transparent GIF image that can track if the user viewed a particular email message or a webpage. [related: Read Receipts in GMail]

According to their privacy policy, Yahoo uses Web Beacons to determine if you read the email message, display relevant banner advertising or record usage of sites that you surfed on the Yahoo! Network.

If you like to disable this setting, click the Opt-Out link and Yahoo! will immediately stop using Web Beacons to track your surfing habits on that computer. [via Anoop]

Trivia: A Web beacon can be detected by viewing the source code of a Web page and looking for any IMG tags that load from a different server than the rest of the site.

You may also be interested in:
Is the Boss Reading My EMail Messages ?
How to Stop Google from Recording Your Search Queries

Make SlideShows with your Flickr Pictures, Also Upload to Youtube

Though there exists a decent hack to create Flickr slideshows and embed them inside any website, here's a much better solution called SlideRoll that's easy and fun to work with.

Slideroll is like a web-based clone of Microsoft Photostory software - it lets you create slideshows of digital photographs that are your hard-drive or can fetch pictures directly from your Flickr account.



The advantage of using SlideRoll is that you can also add free music loops, transition effects and text titles to your Flickr slideshows and make them more appealing.

Slideroll provides a small HTML snippet to embed the Flickr slideshow in your Myspace webpage or any other blog.

Alternatively, you can download Flickr slideshows to your hard drive as MPEG Video using the free Slideroll Videomaker application and later upload them directly to Youtube.

Slideroll | VideoMaker [Flickr Slideshows for MySpace or YouTube].

Do You Check E-Mail Every Other Minute ?

Can you not survive few minutes without checking for new email messages in your inbox ? If yes, you are probably addicted to e-mail.

Don't worry, there's a cure for your email obsession and that involves shutting down that email notifier and establishing regular times to review your new email.



Marsha Egan has written some simple ides on CNN to cure your e-mail addiction. Here are some favorite picks:

» Deal immediately with any e-mail that can be handled in two minutes or less but create a file for mails that will take longer.

» Turn off automatic send/receive. Let go of your need to check e-mail every ten minutes.

» Commit to keeping your inbox empty.

» Set a target date to empty your in box. Don't spend more than an hour at a time doing it.

CNN.com [The 12 steps to cure e-mail addiction] Picture from Flickr

Update: Aparna Ray writes an interesting Newsmerick - "You've got mail? We've got a cure!"Dear folks, this is fact and not fiction
There’s help at hand for y…

When The Web Domain You Want Isn't Available..

Web domain names are on the verge of extinction, take any combination of English words and chances are that the domain is already reserved.

Then internet companies tried a unique experiment called Domain Hacks - the idea is to spell the domain name instead of appending it with a .com or a .net extension.



Take for instance sites like del.icio.us and blo.gs - both are actually Domain Hacks [.us is the Top-level domain on US while .gs is for South Georgia Islands]

Finding related domains is easy with Xona.com - a domain hack search engine that calculates all the possible permutations and combinations of web domains for you.

Say you are looking for a domain like http://fictitious.com that isn't available, the alternative domains that could match are http://fictitio.us/ [.us = United States] or http://fictit.io/us/ [.io = British Indian Ocean] or http://fict.it/ious/ [.it = Italy]

And here's a complete list of top-level domains for various countries.

3D In Flash Was Never So Realistic

Click on the Rhinoceros image above and move your mouse over the 3D movie to see the interaction take effect. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

The environment looks so real and the navigation speed / performance is pretty good too. The above 3D Rhinoceros scene was created using Papervision3D.

We are used to watching City Panoramas in Apple Quicktime player but with such amazing 3D technology in place, Adobe Flash Player can definitely be a worthy contender.

Source: UnitZeroOne [Thanks Ramesh]

Wish they had a created a similar 3D Flash environment for that Macworld scene when people were crowding near the iPhone model which was kept inside the glass casing.

Create a Website Slideshow of Del.icio.us Bookmarks

Pecha Kucha (pronounced pay-cha-coo-cha) is a presentation format in which presenters show a slideshow of 20 images, each of which is shown for exactly 20 seconds.

Based on the Pecha Kucha concept, Matthew Brindley and Paul Farnell has created a similar presentation tool for your last twenty del.icio.us bookmarks - the tool shows a self running slideshow of live websites instead of static images.

You type in your del.icio.us user name (or someone else's id) and the Del.icio.us Pecha Kucha presentation creator will cycle each of the website on your browser for exactly 20 seconds.

Pecha Kucha presentation [delicious.salted.com]

Why is the Cellphone Ringing ? You probably have a Guest at Home.

Why Is Your Cellphone Ringing ? Because there's a visitor at your home who just rang the doorbell.

This is no hypothetical situation but a real one. Waleli has launched a new product called "GSM Doorbell" that links that doorbell in your home to your mobile phone anywhere in the world.

As soon as a guest rings the bell, you will get to know via your cell phone. You can also talk to the caller and even unlock the door to let the visitor enter your house. All this via GSM mobile phones while you are thousands of miles away from the home.

How the Waleli GSM doorbell works

The GSM Doorbell looks like any other doorbell you might find on a house. When a caller pushes the GSM Doorbell, it rings the resident’s mobile phone via the international GSM network. The visitor can talk to the resident via the small intercom panel next to the bell push. The GSM doorbell can also be linked to an electronic door release, allowing the resident to unlock the front door from the mobile phone key…

TechTribe for Technology Professionals in India

TechTribe.com is a social networking site specifically for tech professionals, college students and software developers based in India.

TechTribe revolves around the concept of Tribers (aka members) and Tribes (aka communities).

Tribers connect with each other via Tribes that can be, say Ruby on Rails developers in New Delhi or Web Designers in India or just Technology Bloggers who follow Google.

While you can have connections and communities on almost every other social networking site on the web, TechTribe is purely limited to the techie community of India and so the signal-to-noise ratio is is pretty high.

Other than the regular profile, you can add a portfolio to showcase your professional achievements like any software that you have designed, projects that you have worked on, whether you have consulted companies, received or imparted training and so on.

There are a few other interesting concepts that are unique to TechTribe and one of them is GrassRoots - it's like raising issu…

When Google Search Confuses an Arithmetic Expression with a Zip Code

If you type a simple query like 4+2 in the search box, Google's built-in calculator will evaluate the expression and display the answer atop the search results.

When you type a US Zip Code like 10005 (for Downtown Manhattan, NY), Google will display a Google Map snapshot of that location.

But when a query resembles a Zip Code as well as a Maths expression, Google will display the Google Maps image plus the result of the calculation as you seen in the screenshot below:



You get such results when the maths expression matches a US Zip Code with the 4 digit add-on code (Zip + 4) [thanks anon]

Turn Microsoft Outlook into an Interactive Desktop Wallpaper

Are all your emails, appointments, notes and TODO list stored in Outlook ? If you cannot imagine a life without Microsoft Outlook, here's a software called Outlook on the Desktop that you will immediately fall in love with.



Outlook on the Desktop lets you replace your boring Desktop Wallpaper with a live view of our your Outlook Calendar appointments and events, emails in your Inbox or the pending items in your TODO list.

And this ain't any static wallpaper - you can add new appointments, reply to email messages or clear pending tasks just like you would do inside Outlook. The program even lets you set the opacity levels so that desktop icons in the background are also visible.

Overall, a very impressive program with little memory footprint. Highly recommended for Microsoft Office workers who live and breathe using Outlook. [Vista compatible]

Developer: Michael Scrivo | Download Outlook on the Desktop

Related: Download Vista Wallpapers

The Annoying Windows Automatic Updates Restart Dialog

Windows XP users have turned on Automatic Windows Update will have absolutely no problem recognizing the "Restart Now, Restart Later" Dialog shown in the screenshot below:



When Windows XP is finished downloading and installing new updates/patches from Microsoft Windows Update website, it will ask you to restart the computer to complete the installation.

The Restart Dialog Window can be removed by killing the wuauclt.exe process from Windows Task Manager or SysInternals Process Explorer but the most irritating part is that the window pops-up again after few minutes.

There are two solutions to get rid of this annoying Restart Window depending on what version of Windows XP you are using.

The easiest way is to start Windows Command Prompt (Start -> Run -> cmd) and type the following command:sc stop wuauserv The Restart Window will disappear immediately including the icon in the system tray.

Shopping Cart Icons on Ads No Different from Google Tips

Remember those infamous self-promoting Google Tips that were later pulled down following intense criticism from bloggers.

Google was accused of promoting their own products like Google Calendar, Blogger and Picasa in organic search results for common queries like blog, calendar, etc.

Now they seem to be doing something similar for Google Checkout which faces stiff competition from Paypal owned by eBay.com.

As you have probably noticed, Google is now adding a small shopping cart icon next to ads that link to sites where shoppers can buy via Google Checkout.

Do you think this move gels with the "Don't be Evil" policy of Google ? Some reasons that do not go in Google's favor:

» Icons are actually images and it's a well known fact that images placed next to ads perform better because they help grab the user's attention. If a site has three Google Ads in sequence, the one using Checkout icon will probably outperform others.

» Google says that the icon is shown only for …

How to Upload DVD Movies to Youtube Video

Do you have videos on VHS tapes or DVDs that you would like to post on YouTube or Google Video ?

You can send the videotapes or DVD disks by snail mail to youby.com and their engineers will convert & upload your videos to Youtube website. Your master video will be returned to you in 30 days with a complimentary DVD copy. All this for $99.

And if that sounds too much money for just uploading those DVD videos to Youtube, here's how to do it for $0.

We'll use an open source software called HandBrake that's available for Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.

Hand Brake software can convert DVD videos to MPEG4 (MOV, MP4) compatible video files in few clicks. These converted video files can directly be uploaded to Youtube just like WMV or Windows AVI files.

First insert the DVD disc and select the VIDEO_TS folder of the DVD drive that houses the VOB movie files.

The program will quickly scan the various movie titles on your DVD. Select the individual tracks that you want to upload a…

Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Version 1.0

Want to run Windows 98 and Windows XP on the same computer ? Or want to confirm if your existing software would work on Windows Vista ?

You can do all this and more as the full version of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is now available as a free download on Microsoft Download Center.

The Virtual PC software lets you run multiple operating systems (like Windows 98, 2000, XP and Windows Vista) on the same machine.

Infact you can also run multiple version of the same OS (like Windows Vista Home and Vista Ultima). You can drag-n-drop data across different OS simultaneously.

Switching from one OS to another is as simple as cycling across multiple browser tabs on Firefox. Supports both Intel and AMD hardware.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 | Download Virtual PC 2007

Create a YouTube Wall of Videos with Zimoz

What is the first thought that strikes your mind when you hear about "Blogging on Postcards" - PostSecret ? But Zimoz "Blog on Postcards" service is something very different from PostSecret.

Zimoz is like a drawing canvas (they call it a postcard) where you can drag-n-drop elements including text, photos or even Youtube videos. The "postcard" can then be shared with others using a public URL.



All your public postcards also become available as a blog on Zimoz.

The service may not appeal much to tech-savvy bloggers but the real exciting part was adding videos from Youtube to Zimoz - add the video(s), drag them anywhere on the screen or resize with the mouse pointer.

Here's a Youtube wall as a blog postcard of all our favorite Youtube Videos. Want some more fun ? just play all the videos simultaneously.

Zimoz.com - Blog on Postcards

Related: Download Photo Postcards from PostSecret

The Delete Key Just Jumped Off the Keyboard

Creativity at its best. This pencil eraser is shaped like the Delete key on the keyboard.

And this rubber can 'delete' your pencil writings from paper. Perfect for geeks.

Art Lebedev Studio [via Spluch]

Beautiful Animal Paintings on Human Hands

These animal paintings aren't drawn using Adobe Photoshop - they are completely real.





Would anyone have a clue about the actual artist who painted them ? [via email]