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Showing posts from July, 2007

Copy Videos from YouTube to Google Video Directly (or vice-versa)

Yesterday we shared a utility to migrate your photos from one photo sharing site to another via the hard-drive.Imagine a similar service for internet video sharing sites (like YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, etc) that lets you to copy videos (any video) from one site to another but without downloading the videos to the hard-drive. [so it works even if you are on a very slow dial-up connection]Hey!Spread today launched a new feature today that allows you to cross-post videos to that are already on the web - you could always do this by uploading videos from the hard-drive but this new method is about cross-posting videos that are already online.In a nutshell, if you have clip of YouTube that you want to transfer to your MySpace, Google Video or DailyMotion account, you can do so easily with Hey!Spread. You just need the URL of the YouTube video and Hey!Spread will "spread" the video wherever you like.heyspread.com [supports google video, dailymotion, youtube, myspace, etc]Rela…

How to Shut Down Websites That Distract You

You sit down on the computer to complete that urgent sales report but you are distracted by an email from a colleague asking you to check the most disliked videos ever posted on YouTube.

You open that video on YouTube, watch it for five minutes and then switch to Facebook to check for any updates. The cycle continues and you soon realize that you wasted an hour at work Wilfing while the task at hand (the status report) remains incomplete.

Sites like Facebook, Google News or Twitter are certainly not bad for health but our constant urge to check sites for new content certainly distracts us from actual work leaving us less productive and at times, inefficient.

There's help at hand. You can either temporarily block websites or you edit the HOSTS file in Windows and permanently block websites that you think waste your time.

Then there are extensions like LeechBlock that will prevent you from browsing websites that you alone specify. It's like a self-imposed restriction to help y…

Laser Printers in Office are Injurious to Health

If your cubicle is located somewhere near the common office printer, either ask the support staff to move the printer elsewhere or you shift your desk to a different place in the office as in the current setup, the air around you may be highly polluted.

A study has found that laser printers emit particles in the air that can be as harmful as cigarette smoke when inhaled by office workers posing serious health risk for workers especially who sit in the vicinity of printers.

Printers emitted more particles when operating with new toner cartridges and when printing graphics and images that require greater quantities of toner.

The same warning applies to your home printer as well. It's best to place the printer in a more-ventilated space that is definitely not near the kids' room.

Related: Best Ways to Reduce Printing Cost

School Wants PowerPoint Presentations with Admission Forms

The Graduate School of Business at University of Chicago are trying a new experiment - they are asking MBA aspirants to include a PowerPoint presentation in their applications.Students will have to limit their presentations to text, images and clipart but no hyperlinks or audio-video embeds. If applicants do not have access to PowerPoint or a similar presentation software, they can email the admissions office for alternative methods. One reason for such a requirement is that students will anyway have to master PowerPoint in their future jobs. Hmm..The original creators of PowerPoint were against the idea of kids using this software since “children need to think and write in complete paragraphs." Related: Some Video Presentations Are Not Boring

Copy Pictures from Flickr to Picasa Web Albums

When it comes to sharing digital photos online - Flickr and Google Picasa Web Albums rule the web. And now a free tool called Migratr has created sort of a "virtual bridge" between these photo services.

Migratr is a no-frills Windows utility that allows you to bulk move copy photographs from one picture sharing service to another effortlessly using your hard drive as a temporary storage.

Related: Download Flickr Photos in a Batch

You select a source (like Flickr or Picasa) and every picture from your account is downloaded locally. The next half of the cycle will upload them to the destination. All the important information including picture title, description and tags are preserved during the transition.

If you have an account of two or more photo sharing services, Migratr is a good tool to consolidate them into one place. Or you can create backups of Flickr on Picasa and vice-versa. No support for Photobucket or Imageshack.

Migratr [Upload Flickr Images to/from PicasaWeb Alb…

Make YouTube Videos and Screensavers from PowerPoint Presentations

This article answers two common questions: How to create a movie from PPT files that can be uploaded to YouTube or Google Video? How to set some PowerPoint presentation as a desktop screensaver that will auto-play while the computer screen is idle.
To Create Picture Screensaver from PowerPoint Slides Create an empty folder in "My Pictures" or any other folder on your hard-drive. Now open the PPT or PPS file in Microsoft PowerPoint and click File -> Save As. Select "JPEG" in the file-type drop-down and click "Export every slide."

See: Extract Sounds, Images from PowerPoint Files

Your Powerpoint presentation is now available as JPG images in one folder. Right click the deskop -> Properties -> Screensaver and select the "My Picture Slideshow" screensaver. Browse to the folder where you save the PPT and you're done. [Disable "Use Transition Effects" for best results]
To Upload PowerPoint Presentations to YouTube There are two…

AllCapture - Screen Recording Software Inspired by Adobe Flash

Balesio, developers of Turbodemo, have introduced a new screencasting software called AllCapture 2.0 that provides a pretty solid post-production environment for editing your screencast recordings. If you have ever worked with Adobe Flash (the authoring environment, not the Flash player), you know that Flash uses the concept of a visual timeline to show the content of a movie over time in layers and frames. You can turn-off layers to hide some object (like an image or sound clip) from stage, group similar layers in folders, extend the display length by adding new keyframes, tweak animation and more.
[Screen capture of AllCapture Screencast Software - Notice the TimeLine]AllCapture frame-by-frame screencast editor is something like Adobe Flash tailored for screencasting.  Objects (sounds, images, text captions) are arranged as layers which can be further grouped into folders. Even the Timeline layout in AllCapture 2.0 is remarkably similar to that of Flash authoring tool.When you record…

Backup your Mobile Phone Address Book and SMS Messages Online

Do you use your cell phone SIM card to store all the important contact numbers of your friends, family and business contacts?

If yes, it's all the more important for you to backup the cell phone's address book else imagine the case when you forget that cell-phone in a cab or a restaurant table?

Most cellular companies offer phonebook backup services for a nominal fee while newer cell phones can transfer and sync contact data to your computer through USB cable, Bluetooth or external memory cards.

We'll look at a web based service called Zyb that allows you to backup all your mobile phone numbers online for free. Zyb is an international mobile phone backup service and chances are fairly high that it supports your phone model and your phone operator.

Also see: Backup SMS Messages to your Gmail

You create an account on Zyb website by typing your phone number, selecting your phone model and your cellular operator. You will soon receive an SMS confirmation code and you're …

Add Comments Policy to Your Blogger Blog

Blogger is adding excellent features. You can now set a "comment policy" for blogs that is shown to any visitor who intends to write a comment on any of your blog posts.

You can also add external hyperlinks and bold text to highlight the important points of your comment policy.
To add your comment policy, open the Blogger dashboard and goto Settings -> Comments. Type your HTML text in the box that says "Comment Form Message". Save Settings.

When a visitor opens your comment page, he will see this policy just above the comment textarea.

The comment policy of this site says: "Comments posted on Digital Inspiration are moderated and will be approved only if they are on-topic and not abusive. Avoid including website URLs in your comments"

Word 2007: How to Turn Compatibility Mode On By Default

If you are working in an environment where some users have shifted to Microsoft Office 2007 (or Office 2012) while the rest are still using the older version Office 2003, the following Compatibility Mode trick will simplify things for you.
What is Compatibility mode in Microsoft Office ? When you open a document in Microsoft Office Word 2007 that was created in Word 2003, you'll see Compatibility Mode written in the title bar of the document window. Compatibility Mode ensures you can open, edit, and save Word 97–2003 documents  using Word 2007 but no new features in Word 2007 are available so that people who are using previous versions of Word will have full editing capabilities.

The problem is that Word 2007 will switch ON Compatibility Mode only when you open a document created in previous version of Word.

To force Compatibility Mode in Word 2007 for even new documents, you may add the CompatMode key to the registry as explained here:

Open the Registry Editor in Windows (Windo…

How to Clean Your Notebook Computer - Video Instructions

How to clean you laptop - this is a must watch video for anyone who owns a computer. Get a can of compressed air, some cotton ear buds and a damp cloth - your system will look new again. The video demonstrates how to clean dust from almost every part of the laptop computer including the delicate screen, keyboard, various ports, external laptop casing and the interiors of the CD or DVD drive. It takes special care to wipe the dust off your LCD monitor else the dust particles may scratch and permanently damage your expensive screen. [How to Clean LCD Screen]Put a small amount of the cleaning fluid onto a soft cloth and clean the screen using a smooth, continuous motion to help avoid streaks. You may apply a gentle amount of pressure, but make sure you do it evenly and don't press thin objects like a single finger against the screen.Read some more computer cleaning tricks:How to Clean Your CDs and DVD discs
Clean Your Mouse Feet for Smooth Cursor movements
Spring Cleaning Utilities for …

Deliver Live PowerPoint Presentations Online with SlideAware

Slideaware is a web-based service to help you publish and deliver PowerPoint presentations on the web. You can upload your PPT files online by either using the SlideAware Add-In for PowerPoint or through web based uploader which was launched just yesterday specifically for Office 2007 users.Unlike SlideShare or Zoho Show which are more popular for viewing static presentations, Slideaware allows you to deliver live presentations to remote team members over the web very similar to any web conferencing application.The attendees can add their feedback to your PowerPoint slides in the form of sticky notes which you can actually import back into PowerPoint - so it's a two way communication and feedback isn't lost when the session ends.The presentations can be resized for embedding in web pages and wikis. The auto-play option lets you define a time interval between two slides. There's another very powerful feature in Slideaware - statistics and graphs. You will know who viewed y…

Add Tags to Your Outlook Email Messages, Just Like GMail Labels

Gmail use the term "Labels" while YouTube and other web 2.0 websites prefer to say "tags" but the basic idea is same - tags (or labels or categories) make it easy for you to filter or search content.

Like Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, Microsoft Outlook uses the concept of folders to organize email messages - the problem with the folder approach is that an email message, task or contact can be stored only in one folder at a time unlike Gmail where you can place an email into any number of virtual folders (aka Labels).

Related guide: Most Useful Microsoft Outlook plug-ins

If you are missing tags in Outlook, get Taglocity. It's a Microsoft Outlook add-in that adds tagging feature to your Outlook interface. You can assign multiple tags to your emails messages and quickly filter content in folders based on tag names.

Similar to del.icio.us, you can create a tag cloud of your email messages where the varying font sizes help you visualize the number of messages under tha…

The Problem with Advertising on Digg - Very Poor Conversion Rate

Digg, who enjoys all the privileges of a premium Adsense publisher, today dumped the Google Advertising program in favor of Microsoft who will now serve advertising to over 150 million eyeballs that hit Digg every month.Kevin Rose and the wise Digg army are no fans of Microsoft. Infact, if you even submit a story on Digg highlighting some bug in MS-DOS of the early 90's, it's likely to reach the Digg front page in no time. Then why did Kevin switch from GOOG to MSFT?[A search for Microsoft on Digg shows Google Ads related to Diabetes, Cholesterol and Air Valves]Poor Conversion of CPC Ads:
I was listening to Tim Ferris of The Four Hour Weekhere and he said that his blog has been on the Digg home page atleast half a dozen times in less than a month. Whenever that would happen, he would see an avalanche of visitors coming to his website but the conversion ratio was negligible. Tim felt that most Digg visitors were like 15 year old** Warcraft loving kids who came, who saw and then …

A Wall Projector for your iPod, Mobile phone or Digital Cameras

[Picture of a couple watching video clips from their mobile phone projected on the wall]
Imagine projecting pictures or video clips from your iPod or mobile phone on to the nearest wall. Or playing the PowerPoint presentation directly from your smartphone or PDA on the wall of the conference room without the bulky projector.Explay, a company based in Israel, has developed a battery-operated projector called "oio" that looks like a USB thumb drive and can be used to display content from any mobile device including cell phones, digital camera, media player, video camcorders, etc.Oio mobile projector is no vaporware, the device was recently demonstrated at a conference in California and Explay plans a commercial launch in 2008. No word on pricing yet.So you are not limited to viewing those high resolution pictures on the tiny LCD screen of the mobile device, Oio will help you watch content on any surface like a wall, coffee table or even your bed.Explay Oio | Product Brochure (P…

FeedBlitz Lost Over a Million RSS-to-EMail Subscribers Overnight

FeedBlitz, a service that lets you read blogs and RSS feeds like any other email message, lost over a million email subscribers in one day. Just yesterday, Feedblitz website claimed to have around ~3.3 million email subscribers. (see screenshot)Today, that number has dropped by a million to around ~2.4 million email subscribers though the number of RSS feeds syndicated by FeedBlitz is fairly constant during the same period.Wondering why this mass exodus ? Did FeedBlitz publishers switch en masse to FeedBurner email. The reason is quite amusing - it was all because of one spammer who was probably using Feedblitz to publish MFA websites and splogs.The spammer had opened several accounts on FeedBlitz under different aliases and when FeedBlitz decided to delete his/her account, their circulation figures dropped immediately by a third. It's interesting that spammers could easily abuse the Feedblitz system even though they have CAPTCHAS and email verification in place. [Subscribe to Dig…

The GigaOm Show - Video Podcast with Om Malik on Revision3

"The GigaOm Show" - Om Malik is launching an online television show on Revision3 that will feature 10-minute interviews with technology CEOs and start-up entrepreneurs.Robert Scoble is doing something similar for Podtech on The Scoble Show.Kara Swisher, who broke the news, says that Om Malik will handle the editorial while Jay Adelson, Kevin Rose and others–will deal with production, distribution and ad sales.Both domains gigaomshow.com and thegigaomshow.com are inactive at the moment but the first show is expected to premier tomorrow. Update: Om Malik's inaugral show in now live here with his co-host Joyce Kim. As per the website, new episodes of The GigaOm Show will air every week. Picture: ThomasHawk.com

How to Upload Videos to YouTube if Access to Website is Blocked

Richard, who works for a large Fortune 100 company, recently wrote on Facebook that he cannot upload screencast video clips to YouTube since the company he works for has blocked access to YouTube and other video sharing websites though the firewall.

One of the available options is to use your mobile phone for uploading videos on YouTube - just create a mobile profile on YouTube from a computer outside the organization's firewall and then email the video to YouTube as an MMS message.

Related: How to Access Blocked Websites

The second more versatile option is the one-to-many Hey!Spread - this is an online service to help you upload a video clip to multiple video sharing websites in one go.

You upload the video to Hey!Spread servers and they in turn upload it to the various other video sites including YouTube, MySpace, PhotoBucket, MetaCafe, Google, Yahoo! video, DailyMotion, etc.

Chances are high that access to Hey!Spread is open in your company - they'll send you an emai…

Create Timelines With Your Photos and Videos

AOL today launched an extremely cool web-based timeline maker software called circaVie that helps you define and build interactive timelines to represent events with pictures, videos and text captions.

Your friends can click on the individual pictures to learn more about the event. There's a horizontal scroller to help them easily navigate the timelines. Or they can manually type the date to jump to a specific section of the timeline.

To create your personal picture timeline with circaVie, all you need are a bunch of photographs related to the event - you upload each of the picture to the timeline, provide a text caption (optional) and the date when the event happened. That's it.

You can also link events on the timeline to external webpages and related videos to add more context to the events - for instance, you can generate timelines for biographies, iPod Video Ads, Harry Potter Book releases, History of Internet, Pregnancy Timeline, Web browser releases,  and so on.

Since th…

Upload Large Images from Photoshop to Box.net Directly

Box.net today released new plugins for Adobe Photoshop, 3DS Max and Adobe Acrobat to help users send large documents and images from these programs to their box.net account in a single click.Download all the different Box.net Plugins at www.box.net/appsThe free Box.net account provide 1 GB of storage space and data download bandwidth is limited to 10GB/month.Box.net already provides a free Microsoft Office Plug-in called "Office on Demand" that allows Office workers to save Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents directly to their Box.net account. Firefox users may install the Fire Universal Uploader to upload files and documents from Firefox to the box.net service.Box.net is also available as a Facebook application and as a sidebar widget for your WordPress blog to help you share files/documents/photos with your blog readers.Related: How to Send Really Big Email Attachments

Connect USB Devices Wirelessly to the Computer

USB peripherals are here to stay but this latest accessory unties you from USB cables.

The Wireless USB kits from D-Link allow you to transfer photos from existing digital cameras to any laptop computer though the standard USB ports but without any USB cables.

Not just digital cameras - anything that connects to your computer via USB will go cable free - so you can send jobs to the printer, transfer presentations to USB Flash drives, copy video from the camcorder, backup computer data to external hard drives, connect to the webcam or even the VOIP phone without using wires.

Also see: Transform Photos from Camera to Computer Wirelessly

Simply connect the Wireless USB Adapter to your computer and plug the USB devices such as digital cameras, scanners or the external hard drives to the 4-Port Wireless USB Hub.

The DUB-9240 Wireless USB Kit is expected to ship in Q4 and will cost around $200. Pricing for the DUB-2240 Wireless hub and DUB-1210 wireless adapter will be around $100 ea…

Add Photo Frames and Border Effects to Pictures

Pikifix may sound like any other online photo editing software but it's not designed for improving your digital images - it's all about adding nice picture frames, borders and creative effects to your photographs so they look more appealing and professional.

Close rival Picnik also provides support for borders and rounded edges but the wide range of borders and image effects available inside Pikifix makes it a more impressive option.

Filmstrips, Television, Photo Montages, Glow. Wall, Torn edges.. they're all available in Pikifix.

Update: Pikifx is no longer available but you may try picmonkey.com for similar effects.

Bloglines RSS News Reader for iPhone

Bloglines today launched iBloglines, an iPhone optimized version of the web based Bloglines.com. [Google Reader is not of iPhone yet, officially]Type i.bloglines.com inside your iPhone browser - the site would redirect to the main Bloglines website if you use it on a desktop. More iPhone-Bloglines screenshots on Paul's Journal website. [via Bloglines Blog]

Nokia Has a New Audio, Video & Picture Sharing Website - Twango

Twango (first impression - excellent) is a YouTube style file sharing service that's not just limited to video - you can use Twango to share virtually any file format including pictures, audio MP3s, Office documents, PDFs and even ZIPs. The good news is that Nokia, the company that manufactures mobile phonesmultimedia computers, has acquired Twango.Nokia devices like the N-series are popular for capturing user generated content (pictures, podcasts, videos), Twango would now make it more easy for Nokia users to share these different types of media files at a central place. Plus Twango automatically generates RSS feeds of your public media.Though Twango will continue to be available to all web users (even those who don't own a Nokia), you can expect the upcoming Nokia models to have tight integration with Twango. Twango is currently free but there are hints that a paid version may be in the works that would offer more upload bandwidth. Overall, an excellent acquisition by Nokia …

Children Create Audio Stories on Normal Paper with Crayons

Most children love to scribble sketch and draw on paper but imagine if they could record their own voice or other sound effects to the same drawing.Hayes Raffle and his team at MIT have created a tool called Jabberstamp that allows children to record sound and voices to their drawings made on normal paper using pencils and crayons. Children have to press a rubber stamp (see video) onto the page to record sounds into their drawings. The audio will playback when people touch the marks of the stamp with a small trumpet.Internally, Jabberstamp is an electronic tablet with sensor while the rubber-stamp is fitted with a microphone to record sound.  The sensors in the tablet keep track of the position of the stamp and encode the audio at that location. When the tablet senses the trumpet over an audio position, it plays the sound back. Microsoft OneNote also allows you to record audio anywhere on the screen but that's probably too complex for young children. The day when JabberStamp is re…

Yoga Exercises for People Who Spend Long Hours at their Desk

Computer users and office workers who spend long hours sitting in one position at their desk run a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, most commonly in the legs). Doctors warn that the clots can travel to the heart, lungs or brain, causing chest pain, breathlessness or possible death from a heart attack or stroke. Stretching Software Reminds You to ExerciseWhile it is often recommended that office workers take break, get up and walk around - there are some simple yoga exercises that you perform without leaving the desk. Yoga Instructor Marcia Langenberg provides short Yoga training videos for download (Yoga @ Desk) that you can watch and perform inside the walls of your cubicle. These exercise videos are especially designed for people who work at their desks for most part of the day:Part 1: Introducing the Exercises (9:40 minutes)Part 2: Linking the Exercises to Your Breath (12:17 minutes) Part 3a: Varying the Exercises (9:57 m…

Play Classic DOS Games in Windows

Mario Brothers, Prince of Persia, DOOM, Duke Nukem, Aladdin, Jazz Jackrabbit, Wolfenstein 3D.. remember those classic game titles of the DOS era that were so entertaining, yet small enough to fit in your 1.44" floppy disks.

Though most of these legacy games are freely available for download on the web (google "download classic dos games", you may have some trouble playing the games using the DOS command prompt of Windows XP or Vista since the games were originally written for DOS environment of the 90's (command.com), not the new Windows command prompt (cmd.com).

There's however an easy workaround. If you ever wanted to play these old favorites without downgrading to DOS, Windows 3.1 or a 486 machine - just get the free DOSBox program from Sourceforge, it's like the classic MS-DOS engine that's available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

See detailed guide: How to Play Old DOS Games in Windows

You can either play the game inside a Window or switch to full-scr…

When Documents Need Stamp of Approval from Multiple People

You have written a proposal in Microsoft Word and want all other members of the team to review the document before you can email a copy to the client.So you add that document as an email attachment to the team with the subject "Please review by August 5 - Deadline 3P.M." All you can now do is wait.When you have a big group of say five or more members, it becomes a Herculean task to track who all have reviewed the document, what comments they have made and whether there are any suggestions for improvement.If the above situation explains a day in your buy life, try this web based tool at Approver.com - it will make things a lot simple.The Approver.com concept is simple - you upload a file to Approver (including Images, PDF, Office documents, CAD Drawings) and then invite others over email to review the stuff.  You also set deadlines and track the comments made by reviewers at a central location.The reviewers then add comments to the document or depending on the setting, they c…

Read Full Articles on The Wall Street Journal Without a Subscription

"The full WSJ.com article is only available to subscribers." You may often see this registration message when trying to access content published on The Wall Street Journal Online edition.

The BugMeNot database does have username-password combinations for most paid-subscription websites (including the WSJ) but it's tough to find one that works.

You can however use Google to get around the WSJ paywall and read any of the premium articles. Paste the URL in Google and click the first search results.

Alternatively, you can read any subscriber-only articles published in the Wall Street Journal newspaper (online edition) using the following trick.

Open the Wall Street Journal story web page that you want to read but can't because it's behind the subscription firewall.Add the text mod=googlenews_wsj to URL immediately following the .html filename. For example - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB11874773.html?mod=googlenews_wsjOpen news.google.com and access the developer…

We Love Microsoft Software Piracy in China: Bill Gates

Microsoft sold over 20 million legal copies of Windows Vista globally in the first month of launch while in China, only 244 licenses of Windows Vista were sold officially in the same period.  Most preferred to buy the $1 pirated Vista DVDs. Contrary to what you may think - Microsoft isn't losing sleep over the rampant software piracy in China but it's the other way round. The "something is better than nothing" strategy of Bill Gates is that when people in China are pirating so much software, let them pirate software developed by Microsoft -that increases the overall number of Microsoft software users and some of them may eventually convert into paying customers.This surprising "pro-piracy" move in China has proved beneficial for Microsoft in the long run and Windows is used on an estimated 90% of China's 120 million PCs. Fortune Magazine writes:Gates argued at the time that while it was terrible that people in China pirated so much software, if they wer…

Why Carrying a Laptop With Long Battery Life Makes Sense..

What do you do in a situation when you are stranded on a railway station, the next train is couple of hours away, it's biting cold and there's no shelter at the station to save you from the chill?You can either shiver and wait for the next train to arrive or if you are smart like Lee, switch on the laptop in full brightness mode and start the Windows disk defragmentation program - that will generate even more heat from the system to keep you warm and comfortable. Craig writes:As he shivered on the platform Lee had an idea.  He turned the brightness up to full and kicked of a defrag on his LS800 and stuffed it inside his jacket - as a heater!  With the extended battery on it there was more than enough juice to keep Lee mildly warm until the next train.  So if ever you find yourself stranded on a train platform at two in the morning - make sure you have a tablet to stuff into your jacket! [Warning]Read the full account on Craig Pringle's blog. Thanks Kevin.Tips: Make your N…

ASCII Text Portraits of 100 Popular Bloggers

Blogger ASCII Art - Photo-realistic face portraits of 100 popular bloggers done in ASCII Text. Try to decrease the text size in your web browser for best effects.This is the first public release featuring the most well known bloggers, expect to see tons of new blog faces in the future versions of Blogger ASCII Project. Suggestions, feedback are always welcome.What others are saying about the Blogger ASCII Art project:Vanessa Fox - Heh. That's crazy!Veronica Belmont (CNet) - Awesome!Duncan Riley - Very, very cool. Ryan Stewart (Adobe) - This is awesome Amit! Very well done.Jeff - Amanda Congdon still looks hot in ASCII!Darren Rowse (Problogger) - nice Amit - but what's wrong with my forehead? ;-)Dawud Miracle - Amit, I love it. This rocks. What are you going to do with it?Adam Pash (Lifehacker) - Very fun.Ben Gold (Mashable) - I just saw your ASCII blogger art, awesome work!The first list includes aaron brazell, adam pash, amanda congdon, amit gupta, andy beal, andy beard, andy…

Goodbye Tangled Cables, Wrap the iPod Earphone Cord Neatly

How do you keep the headphone cables when not listening to the iPod? If you are not wrapping them carefully, you may be wasting time untangling the headphones before you plug them in the iPod, iPhone or other MP3 players.

The following videos show simple methods to help you neatly wrap the headphone cable of your iPod and prevent the wires from getting twisted and tangled.

Related: How to Connect iPod to Your TV or Projector

While wrapping the iPod cables is no rocket-science, the good part about the knots shown in these videos is that unwrapping becomes as smooth and simple as wrapping the wires.

Method 1: How to neatly wrap ipod earbud and headphones without ties. [Quick, simple and efficient]



Method 2: The Famous MP3 Player knot [tricks shows iPod Nano but should work across all MP3 players]



Method 3: iPod headphone cord wrapping, done in the "knit" style often used for long electrical cords. [Takes slightly more time than the previous examples]

Room Wallpapers Created from Your Favorite Pictures

Want to decorate your room walls with some personal pictures ? Better Wallpapers is a UK based company that will convert any of your scanned or digital photographs into a full size personalized wallpaper that will stick to the walls of your room like any other wallpaper.Create Large Wall Posters from Your ImagesYou can upload an image online and they'll email you a proof - you approve it and the final wallpaper arrives in the next 10 days. The image will be enlarged to fit the size of your wall and they promise a 7 year non-fade guarantee.The service isn't cheap however. A 1m x 1m wallpaper will cost around £100.00 and the delivery cost will shoot if you are outside the UK. And before you order a custom room wallpaper, make sure the picture resolution is high enough else it'll appear pixelated. betterwallpaper.co.uk [Thanks Andrew] Related: Turn Your DNA Samples or Fingerprints into Wall Hangings

Download Sparky: The Official Alexa Toolbar for Firefox

The Alexa toolbar for Firefox is now available as Alexa Sparky - though they call it a toolbar, it's more like a status bar.Alexa Sparky adds visual traffic graphs to the status bar of the browser which shows the site's popularity over time (based on Alexa traffic) and the Alexa rank number. [see screenshot below]A Related Links option is added to the Firefox menu bars that shows the 10 websites related to the web page that's currently open in your Firefox browser.Right click the traffic graph in the status bar to quickly access the Alexa Detail pages, Cached Pages, Search Pages and more. Download Alexa Toolbar for Firefox at www.alexa.com. Not sure if this is compatible with the latest release of Firefox 2.0.0.5. Thanks Eklavya.

Photograph: When Lightning Strikes People Listening to an iPod

This is a picture of Jason Bunch who suffered burns after lightning struck while he was jogging and wearing iPod. LinkExperts says that it's not just iPods that people have to be concerned about - anything similar that requires headphones or even cellphones being held to the ear could result in similar injuries. To estimate the number of miles you are from a thunderstorm, count the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the next clap of thunder. Divide this number by five.

Yahoo! to Rival Adsense with Tyroo Ads, Jajah Now in India

Interesting picks from India Inc.Yahoo! Enters Pay-Per-Click Advertising Market in India with TyrooYahoo! India today picked up a 35% stake in Tyroo, a non-contextual Cost-Per-Click advertising program that is primarily focused on Indian website publishers.This could mean some good news for thousands of bloggers and site owners in India who were looking for alternatives to Google Adsense - Yahoo! will possibly leverage it’s existing sales and marketing resources to bring more publishers and advertisers into the Tyroo program - that means more ad inventory and more ad revenue.Jajah Enters India to Offer Cheap International Phone CallsThe popular Jajah “click to call” service has finally set foot in India. Jajah allows you to make or receive cheap long distance and international phone calls using the conventional landline or mobile phones sans the computer or internet. Type in your phone number on the JAJAH website and the phone number of the person you wish to reach – JAJAH will connec…

Loads of People Are Feeling Web 2.0 Fatigue

Every morning, our RSS newsreader would tell us about a dozen startups that were launched the previous night. We (bloggers or the early tech adapters) will most often join the mad race to try that "groundbreaking and earth-shattering" product within hours of launch, compare it with existing products and blog that information ASAP with catchy headlines so that our "blog post" gains some visibility in the blogging world.But can this phenomenon continue for long ? Won't people (our site visitors) get bored of trying new products or migrating from one to another just because the latter has some new features or a better interface?
Some popular veteran bloggers are feeling tired of this massive "Web 2.0 construction boom" - some thoughts:Steve Rubel is overwhelmed by number of new Web 2.0 companies that spawn each day:Techcrunch, Scobleizer and Mashable leave me all breathless. It's like watching the cranes of Dubai rise.Circa 1998, perhaps when many of…

Record Replay all your Computer Activity Like a Movie

Ever wondered how did you spend all the day on your PC? Wilfing? SnapLogger can help you here.

SnapLogger is like a digital camera for your desktop in continuous-shooting or burst mode - the software will continuously click pictures of your entire desktop screen or a particular application at regular intervals and save them to your hard drive.

It can then play your entire computer activity as a movie to help you understand how you spent time on the computer. Think of SnapLogger as a video version of Thumbstrips which is only available for Firefox.

Like keyloggers, software like SnapLogger can be used to serve both good and an evil purpose so let's focus on the good side. For instance, you can automatically create a GIF animated movie of Google Earth by setting up a time interval of 1 second.

SnapLogger can come in very handy when you are sharingyourscreen for tech support or a group meeting. Every action of the third-party is captured on the desktop and you know exactly what they …

Microsoft Office 2007 Subscription Inspired by Prepaid Phone Cards

$10 per month: Microsoft has come up with a unique model to sell their Office 2007 software in the developing world where most users cannot afford to pay the full cost of the software suite in one-go. Like the pre-paid cell phone cards, customers can pay for the time they use Microsoft Office 2007 without actually buying the full software. Microsoft will charge around $10 per month of Office 2007 usage. A full version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 costs $149 - equivalent to more than a year of subscription based usage. But this big question is - will people subscribe? According to Reuters, Microsoft will use the prepaid Office 2007 model to target students, home users and small businesses in South Africa and Romania this month, and may be available in other markets at a later date.

Download Firefox 2.0.0.5 - Latest Version with Security Fixes

Mozilla Foundation today released a minor update for Firefox web browser that fixes the following security vulnerabilities and memory leaks in Firefox 2.0.0.4 and previous versions.You can either download the Firefox 2.0.0.5 standalone installers from Mozilla website or download from the official Google website. Also learn some new Firefox tricks on Digital Inspiration. List of issues fixed in Firefox 2.0.5 from release notes:MFSA 2007-25 XPCNativeWrapper pollution
MFSA 2007-24 Unauthorized access to wyciwyg:// documents
MFSA 2007-23 Remote code execution by launching Firefox from Internet Explorer
MFSA 2007-22 File type confusion due to %00 in name
MFSA 2007-21 Privilege escallation using an event handler attached to an element not in the document
MFSA 2007-20 Frame spoofing while window is loading
MFSA 2007-19 XSS using addEventListener and setTimeout
MFSA 2007-18 Crashes with evidence of memory corruption

Google Adds SiteMaps in robots.txt of All Blogger Blogs

Google is continuously improving the Blogger platform - their latest feature discussed below may help get your blog content on search engines more quickly.For non-geeks: Sitemap files enable you to let search engines know about the new or updated content on your blog that should be indexed by their crawlers. Earlier you could point Google to your Blog's SiteMap file through the Google Webmasters control panel but that's no longer required.Now whenever your publish a new blog post on Blogger or update some previous post, that information will automatically become available to Google and other search engines - you don't have to do anything at your end. How cool is that.For geeks: Google has now added the Sitemap: directive to the robots.txt of all blogspot blogs which actually points to the default xml feed of that blog containing the 25 most recently updated blog posts. Here's an example:User-agent: *
Disallow: /search
Sitemap: http://abc.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?…

TechSmith Jing - Free Screen Capture cum Screencasting Software

TechSmith, developers of SnagIt and Camtasia Studio, today released a new screencasting plus screen capture software that works both on Mac and Windows. And this is probably the first product from the TechSmith headquarters that's completely free.

Jing is designed for instant computer screen movies and image captures - a small yellow bubble floats on edges of your desktop - hover your mouse over the bubble and click the capture button.

You can select any rectangular areas of the screen, decide whether you want a static screenshot or a movie, and hit the record button - the graphic is saved as a PNG image while the movie will be saved as a SWF Flash file. During the record process, everything else is dimmed which I think is a very good design.

Related: The Best Screencasting Tools

You can either leave the recording on your hard-drive or upload them to Screencast.com via Jing itself. [Screencast.com is like the YouTube of Screencast videos]

The most useful feature of Jing is history …

Combine PDF Files, Convert Web Page URLs to PDFs on the fly

LOOP is a unique extension for Firefox that converts the web browser into a proper PDF writer that can do some amazing things sometime not possible in other free PDF conversion software.First and foremost, as you are browsing the web, click the Add URL button and that webpage will be converted to PDF almost immediately - the entire process requires a single click. You can continue browsing and keep adding more URLs to the PDF queue - all the PDF conversions will happen in the background with interrupting your work.If you have any local documents (like Word, Powerpoint, Excel or Images), LOOP for Firefox will convert those as well to PDF files - click the "add file" button.And finally, there's a "Combine All" button which will merge all the PDFs that you added to the queue and will create one PDF file out of them. You can also reorder the pages in the Combined PDF with the "move up" or "move down" buttons. Pretty innovative and useful extensi…

Guru Speak: The Science of Search Engine Marketing (Pay-Per-Click)

You are used to seeing Google ads on most websites (including this one) but ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes ?How do these "Search Engine Marketing" companies shortlist search keywords and phrases for? How do they decide if they are being charged the right cost-per-click amount? Why is Adwords more popular among advertisers than Yahoo Panorama or MSN adCenter? Are Google acquisitions good for the advertising industry?You will get answers to these questions and more in this very-very useful video interview of Jeff Figueiredo, an SEM guru by Robert Scoble on Scobleshow. This video will get all your basics right about PPC, SEM and how advertisers get the keyword data from Google Analytics and ISPs.[Do not confuse SEM with SEO - the former is about getting targeted online advertising on search engines while the latter is related to improving your site's natural ranking in organic search results.]

How Good Are You at Recognizing Fake Websites and Spam Emails ?

Can you tell a fake (phishing) web site from a real one ? Or can you recognize spam emails that request you to verify your eBay or Paypal account credentials.McAfee has created a very simple quiz with screenshots of websites and emails for you to spot the fake ones from the real site. Do take this 10 question quiz and the results may actually surprise you even when you are a pro-geek - it looks deceptively easy but that's not the reality.I scored perfect for ebay, amazon and paypal (popular phishing targets) but had trouble identifying the financial websites of Chase, CapitalOne and Bank of America. Overall Rating: Tightrope Walker - "You avoided some deceptive Web sites that would have put your personal information at risk. But you chose others that pose serious security threats that could lead to identity theft or financial losses". Share your phishing score in the comments.(1) How to Detect Phishing Websites, (b) Google Phishing Warning Extension

Photography Tips: Take Better Pictures with a Mobile Phone Camera

You cell phone camera may lack all the great point-and-shoot features that are in your standalone digital camera, but you can still can shoot good photographs with the camera-phone that are more-or-less perfect for sharing over email and the web.Stuart Headlam shares some simple tricks to help improve your mobile phone photography without asking you to get a Nokia N95.The best photography tip ever:They key to a great photo is actually to take as many shots as possible. Taking several shots may help build the confidence of people who are traditionally camera shy. If you explain beforehand that you'll take a few photos and let them pick their favorite, the chances are you'll end up with a picture that you're both happy with.If you plan to take a print of pictures captured with the cameraphone, Stuart suggests that you need to have taken your pictures with at least a 2, maybe 3 megapixel camera if you want decent quality prints.While Mobile phone cameras are good for casual p…

The Role of Angel Investors and VCs Explained in Simple English

Ever wanted help while explaining the role of Angel investors and Venture Capitalists to mom ? Read this:Angel Investors usually invest smaller sums of money ($100,00 to $500,000) and are more interested in working hands-on with innovators. Angel investors are open to high degree of risks, and their decision process is usually quick, with the diligence far less intrusive than that of larger VCs. Angel investors' value-add, other than money, is their operating experience and hands-on work with founding teams. They also help introductions to larger investors at later stages. [Angel investors are sometimes known as Business Angels]Early Stage VC Firms focus on taking a significant stake in a company early on, and they resemble angel investors in that they are interested in guiding the company from an early stage. The difference lies in their comprehensive diligence process and timing.These firms usually invest between $500,000 and $2 million initially, and they have the capacity to i…

New York Times & Wall Street Journal Websites Are User-Unfriendly

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Online are probably among the most visited websites on the planet but are they user-friendly ? Some instances:The New York Times: When you are reading an article on NYTimes and happen to double click a single word or a sentence, NYTimes website will automatically open the dictionary definition of that word(s) from Answers.com in a pop-up window - definitely not a good user experience (see screenshot). It's kind of irritating because people often double click words/sentences on a web page to either drag them to the browser search box or copy-paste text as web clippings in their internet scrapbooks - they are not interested in the meaning of the word. There should at least be an easy option to turn off the dictionary feature of NYTimes.The Wall Street Journal Online: When you select some text on a Wall Street Journal web page and right click, WSJ will automatically show links to related articles in a neat pop-up window - not so unfriend…

Open .docx Files Without Word 2007 - Convert .docx to .doc Online

Your client just emailed a Microsoft Word 2007 document ending with a .docx extension but you have no clue about how to open and print  that file.

Not a problem, you can either convert the file from docx to .doc format or use one of the online services to view the content of that file without requiring Microsoft Office Word 2007.

See Guide: How to Convert Files to a Different Format

The DOCX format is the default file extension in Word 2007. It essentially a bunch of zipped XML documents - you can even rename the extension from .docx to .zip and extract the contents using Winzip like any other zip file.

To convert .docx documents to .doc format, all you have to do is download the free Microsoft Office compatibility Pack here and you'll then be able to open, print edit, and save .docx files in Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003 [much like an advanced Word 2007 File Viewer].

If you are on Mac, you can get the Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac here - this c…

Microsoft University in Bangalore, India For Computer Courses

Microsoft is setting up a university in Bangalore, the Silicon valley of India, to impart computer education.

Though Microsoft does fund education and research projects in many universities across the world, this Bangalore based university will be wholly owned by the software giant and it's first-ever independent educational venture in the world.

TOI says that the Microsoft university may train around 1,000 students and it may well be India's first run by a multinational company.

Microsoft has software development centers both in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Recently, they opened shop in Vancouver, Canada after failing to get more workers in their US office on H1-B visa. Maybe the Microsoft University campus in India may be another step in the same direction - train students as per requirements and then absorb the best of the lot.

Embed YouTube Flash Videos in Facebook with HTML

Facebook users - you can now embed any HTML code in your Facebook profile using the amazing HTML Box app.

That means you can add web images to your profile, embed MP3 files,  CSS formatted text (with hyperlinks, forms, tables) and even external Flash videos from YouTube and other video sharing sites.

While FaceBook doesn't permit the <embed> or <script> tags directly, the HTML box app provides alternate tags to embed these SWF or FLV videos in your profile.

For any Flash video file (.flv) <fb:flv src="Flash_Video_URL" height="###" width="###"/>For Audio MP3 files: <fb:mp3 src="URL HERE" height="###" width="###" artist="artist" title="title" album="picture"/>
Facebook recently added the fb:google-analytics for Facebook app developers to track usage via Google Analytics. If you add an external web image to HTML Box, it will be cached on Facebook servers before serving …

Print to PDF Button for Your Blog and Website

PDF Online, a free service that lets you convert any document or image to PDF files, today released a PDF printing widget that will immediately appeal to most bloggers and site owners. 
As mentioned before, visitors to your website can now save your blog articles and web pages as PDF files at the click of a button - the HTML web page will be converted in real time by the PDF Online conversion engine.
Implementation is easy - you just have to insert a small Javascript snippet in your Blog template or web pages. If you are using IE or Firefox, you will be asked to save or open the PDF file. If you are using Safari browser, the PDF will show up inside the browser window.
What makes this service more attractive than the HP PDF Printing Widget is that it will keep a track of all the PDF conversion activities in your site real-time - it can serve as a good metric to measure the importance of your site contents.
My only concern with the Web2PDF widget is that the hyperlinks on the web page are …