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Showing posts from September, 2007

For Start-Ups Who Want Some Positive Review on TechCrunch

It's a fact that a review on TechCrunch can really make or break Web 2.0 startups. To win a positive (or even neutral) review on TechCrunch, you just don't need to build a solid product, you should also pray to God that TechCrunch editor Mike Arrington is in some good mood while he's blogging about you.Here's what Mike told PC Magazine recently - "sometimes I wake up and I'm in a pissed off mood and I trash a company. You're never going to do that when you have an editorial process. And while maybe that's unfair to the company, it adds a little bit of color and flavor to what we do, which I think engages the readers so far. "TechCrunch is no doubt an influential online publication but it's still very much a personal blog. PC Magazine [via apscout] Picture Credit: Chesh

Firefox Running Slow? Make It Fast Again Without Re-Installation

Firefox is your favorite browser but, over time, it keeps getting slower and slower. Not only can it get slow, Firefox may sometimes hangs for no reason, consumes a large amount of memory and CPU usage can climb to 90% or more when you have multiple tabs open in the browser.

You have uninstalled most of the extensions and toolbars, deleted all the cookies and internet temporary files, cleared up the file download queue and disabled the background check for software updates - but none of this has helped you speed-up Firefox.

This is a common problem especially if you have been running the Firefox program on your computer for some time - I don't know why Firefox slows down but here's a small trick to rejuvenate the aged copy of Firefox without doing a fresh install.

Start Firefox and export your bookmarks as a file on your hard-drive (we'll need them later).Type firefox.exe -P in the Run box of Windows.Click the Create Profile button without making any modifications to your …

Add Picture Frames to Your Digital Photos Online

flauntR is a new web based image editor - extremely fast and works in the browser. It's layout looks no different from any desktop based software.

While the basic image editing features in FlauntR are no different from other online image editing tools, what impressed the most are the variety of photo frames, textures and light effects that you can apply to digital images in a click.

These small but very creative effects suddenly make your boring photos look very interesting.

Update: Flauntr is no longer available but you can use Photoshop Express.

Tumblr Bookmarklet for WordPress Blogs; Post Stuff Quickly

Tumblr is probably the easiest and fastest way to publish blog posts online - select anything on the current web page (be it text, video or pictures) and they will be on your Tumblelog almost instantly via the Tumblr Instant Post Bookmarklet.Unfortunately, that quick posting bookmarklet can only be used for publishing on - there's no way to integrate Tumblr with your existing WordPress or Blogger Blog.However, here's some good news for WordPress bloggers - there's a new Tumblr inspired bookmarklet for WordPress that allows you to quickly post photos, videos and blocks of text from web pages to your WordPress blog just like Tumblr. See Screenshot: You install the Tumblr Quick Post plugin like any other WordPress plugin and it will provide you a bookmarklet that you can add to the browser toolbar. When you click the Quickpost bookmarklet from any web site, a new window will pop up. The URL of the page you're on, linked with the title of the page, will automatic…

Google Warez Search Engine

It takes lot of effort for websites to rank high in Google web search results - you require lot of incoming links, unique content, good reputation and sometimes a decent PageRank as well.However, warez sites (that illegally distribute pirated software) seem to have discovered a way to trick Google.Do a search for "adobe cs3 master collection" on and you'll be so much surprised to know that five out the top ten results on the first page are linking to underground sites. (enlarge the screenshot)Other than Amazon and CNET, none of the reputable websites that review Adobe software in detail (like PC World, PC Magazine, Photoshop User or Adobe Labs) have managed to score a place on the first page of Google courtesy these warez websites.And Adobe Creative Suite 3 is probably one of the best selling software - you can easily guess that by looking at the density of Adsense Ads on the search page. Google may not be the next Baidu but they quickly need to get rid of thi…

Record Skype Calls and SkypeCasts with Skype Recorder

Skype Recorder is a simple tool for recording podcast interviews, skypecasts and voice calls made through Skype as MP3 or Windows Media audio files.Skype Recorder will start the recording by itself as soon as you start talking on Skype. Once the conversation is over, Skype Recorder will encode the audio recording to your preferred audio format. It has an in-built audio player, so you can replay your Skype recording immediately and decide whether you want to keep it or just delete it.Skype Recorder is Windows only and costs ~$14 but you can have it for free in the next 24 hours via GiveAway website here. Our favorite pick is still Pamela Skype Recorder though the free version will let you record Skype and SkypeOut phone calls upto 15 minutes.Record Skype Calls - This has more details options for recording skype audio and video conversations.

Add A Picture To Your LinkedIn Profile; Help People Recognize You

Your work colleagues, old classmates and friends will now have no problems finding you on LinkedIn even if there exist a dozen profiles with the same name as yours.Starting tomorrow, LinkedIn members will be able to upload a photograph to their profiles. You can control if the photos become visible in your public profile page or just your approved connections can see the picture. Thanks Adam.Click here to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Fix for Excel 2007 Calculation Error

If you are an Excel 2007 user, try this:

Type =77.1*850 in any cell and press Enter. Excel 2007 would return a value of 100,000 instead of 65,535.
Any combination of numbers that should calculate to 65535 will show 100000 in Excel 2007.

Excel Team says the issue is actually not in the calculation itself (the result of the calculation stored in Excel’s memory is correct), but only in the result that is shown in the sheet. 

Said another way, =850*77.1 will display an incorrect value, but if you then multiply the result by 2, you will get the correct answer (i.e. if A1 contains “=850*77.1”, and A2 contains “=A1*2”, A2 will return the correct answer of 131,070).

I am not sure if that's correct because when I type =B1+1 in the cell C1, I get 100001 and not 65536 as per the official explanation.

Anyway, David Gainer confirmed that this bug was introduced in the Excel 2007 version and a fix for the calculation issue would be available on Microsoft Download Center very soon. It's alr…

Fix Blogger Sitemap XML Warnings Inside Google Webmaster

Though you can easily redirect Blogger Feeds to FeedBurner now, this has a side effect - you will see some warnings when you submit the Sitemaps file ( to Google Webmaster Tools. (see screenshot)The following Sitemap warning messages are shown in the Google WebMaster Tools control when using Blogger feeds with FeedBurner:Line: 2 Invalid XML: too many tags - Too many tags describing this tag.
Line: 2 Incorrect namespace - Your Sitemap or Sitemap index file doesn't properly declare the namespace. It's like a catch 22 situation - you submit the blogger generated atom.xml file to Google Sitemaps but it's redirected to the FeedBurner feed and that causes invalid XML errors.Fortunately there's a simple fix - just delete the existing sitemap and submit a new web sitemap that has the following URL: [replace xxx with your blog name]The secret redirect parameter in blogger feeds will offer you the best o…

[Fix] Microsoft Office Contacting Server For Information

When you try to copy paste some text from a web page to a Word 2007 document, the application freezes for few seconds and the message in status bar says "Contacting the server for Information. Press ESC to cancel."

This annoying behavior, also present in Outlook 2007 and other Office programs, mostly occurs when the clipboard has HTML formatted content (like when you copy content from a website to the clipboard).

Would anyone know how to get rid of this permanent? Which server is Office 2007 trying to connect when you working in a local environment outside any network.

One of the possible solutions is to do a "Paste Special" (click the down pointing arrow near the Paste Icon) and select "Unformatted Text" instead of the default "HTML format". Or you could have the Scrubber running in the tray that auto converts clipboard text in plain format.

Favorite Microsoft Office Command - Format Painter

Closed An IE Browser Tab By Mistake? Get It Back Easily

If you accidentally close a tab in Firefox, you can easily retrieve it by pressing Ctrl+Shift+T.If you do the same mistake in Opera, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Z will help you reopen the most recently closed tab. Or click the Trash icon near the toolbar to see a list of closed tabs arranged in reverse chronological order.Coming to Internet Explorer, there's no inbuilt feature to restore closed tabs but there's a free add-in called IE7 Open Last Closed Tab that makes your IE 7 behave just like Firefox or Opera.You can click Alt+X in IE and it will open up the most recently closed tab - the add-in is worth installing because you never know when you may need it. Available at Download.comRelated: Recover Websites if IE Hangs | Add IE 7 Quick Tabs in Firefox

A Convenient Case For All Your Memory Cards

If you carry multiple Flash memory cards of different formats, the Elecom card reader is a perfect thing for you. Elecom MR-C12 series has numerous slots for housing a variety of Flash memory cards that may be from your mobile phone, PDA, digital camera or other devices. As in the figure, the card reader attaches to the computer via USB port so you don't have to worry about slipping the SD Card in the Compact Flash slot or vice versa. More details on Elecom website. It's currently available only in Japan but others can grab the Kingston MobileLite which is similar though not so sleek as the Elecom thing. Thanks GBM.

Automatically Download Satellite Images from Google Maps

Google Maps Image Downloader is a Windows-only tool that lets you auto download satellite images from Google Maps between two locations anywhere in the world.

To use Google Maps Image Downloader, you will first need to specify the latitude and longitude of the two locations on the Google Map, then specify the zoom level and click download.

The software also comes with an image stitching tool that will create a large panorama or a wallpaper by stitching these individual tile images of Google Maps.

See how to find the latitude and longitude of any location on Google Map.

The free version of Google Images Downloader is limited to a maximum zoom level of 13 so you'll probably miss the high resolution satellite imagery of Google Maps.

Invest $25 bucks only if you're sure that Google Maps Image Downloader isn't violating any of Google Maps policies especially the one that says - "you may not use Google Maps in a manner which gives you or any other person access to mass d…

Embed Flickr Photostreams in Web Pages as a Flash Slideshow

Want to display Flicks photos in web pages as a Flash slideshow? Look no further than PictoBrowser.Here's a sample Flickr Photo slideshow generated just using PictoBrowser - all the pictures are displayed as thumbnail images in the lower navigation bar, you can also read the descriptions of individual images by hovering the mouse over the thumbnail.To get started, you type your (or someone else's) Flickr user name and then select the tags or photo sets that you would like to embed in web pages. The default dimensions of the Flash slideshow is 500x580 but you are free to customize that as in the case above.It's so good and impressive that Yahoo! should consider making PictoBrowser a native feature of Flickr. For geeks, there's another method for creating Flickr Slideshows.Related: Flickr Photo URLs Demystified

Say Cheese - This Sony Digital Camera Clicks Only Smiling Faces

Say Cheese else the new Sony cameras won't capture your photographs.These affordable Cyber-shot DSC-T Series cameras have a special "Smile Shutter" mode that can recognize facial expressions like smiles, grin or a hearty laugh.If there are several subjects in the frame, you can specify the smiling face that you want to take as the main subject - or let the Smile Shutter choose the main subject and take the picture.The 8-megapixel, DSC-T70 and DSC-T200 Cyber-shot cameras won't lets you click until the selected subject smiles. Watch video.Related: Lose Weight With HP Digital Camera

Amanda Congdon - The Perfect Match for Mobuzz TV

Amanda Congdon, the famous vlogger who joined ABC News after her split with Rocketboom, is now moving out of ABC as well.There are two versions of the story - some say that Amanda has been let go by while Amanda says that she herself decided not to continue at ABC as she is taking up a new digital project after her ABC contract expires.The excellent MobuzzTV, an English video blog similar to RocketBoom, are also looking for an anchor ever since the departure of Karina Stenquist. Susan Hickey then stepped in but for a very brief period. The most recent episodes were anchored by Anil De Mello who is infact the producer of the show. [Imagine Andrew Baron acting in Rocketboom while Joanne Colan is away]Am not sure about the latest assignment of Amanda but MobuzzTV looks like a perfect place for her. The show is massively popular (Alexa says that MobuzzTV has a higher reach on the web than RocketBoom) and the format is quite similar to what Amanda has been doing for years - it&…

Password Protect Hyperlinks Before You Share Them Via Email

A lot of companies read emails sent by their employees. If you are also worried that someone in your office may be secretly reading your email messages, here's something you can do to at least prevent the email snoopers at work from visiting links (URLs) that you share in your emails - use a password.HideLinks is an online service that helps you password protect any web URL easily. You type in the URL and a password - HideLinks will then generate a new wrapper URL that you can pass in the email message.The email recipients (or the snooper) will have to type the same password in order to visit the actual website. Just make sure you don't put the password in the same email message as that will defeat the whole purpose.HideLinks can also be used to shorten the length of hyperlinks similar to TinyURL or

Create Videos from Photos and Screen Captures - QlipBoard

QlipBoard is free application that lets you create movies from photos and screenshot images. The interesting part is that QlipBoard has an in-built screen capture feature and voice recorder.The images (or screen captures) appear in the timeline of QlipBoard (like most other video editors) so you just have to drag-n-drop to change the position of any image frame in the timeline. Further, you can easily record voice narrations, annotate or add text to images.And all your pen highlighter movements over the screenshot are recorded as part of the movie itself - so as you speak and move the cursor pen over the image, the exact movements are captured by Qlip Board.You may think of QlipBoard as a blend of Microsoft Photostory # and SnagIt. The free version of QlipBoad is supported by advertising.Overall, the software interface is not very intuitive but the application is still useful for creating screencast movies, photo slide shows or for annotating images.Get QlipBoard at

When You Click An Adsense Ad On Your Own Website by Mistake

What is the first thing you would do if you accidentally clicked your own Adsense ads that are displayed on your website?

As an honest Adsense publisher, you are likely to send an email to Google Adsense support with the URL of the web page where you clicked your own ads and probably the reason (like the mouse was so sluggish).

Yes, it's important that you don't click your own Google Ads else there's an element of risk that Google may disable your Adsense account but do not get too worried if the click was made due to an error.

Here's a standard response from Adsense support when publishers make honest confessions:
Thanks for letting us know about the clicks on your ads. We appreciate your honesty and your efforts to keep your account in good standing.

Although publishers are not permitted to click on their own ads for any reason, we do understand that accidental clicks may occur, so we don't require that you contact us every time you click on your ads.It further…

Is Your Computer Connecting To Websites Without Your Knowledge

If you are worried that some hidden or unknown programs on your Windows PC are secretly making connections to websites in the background, you can use a simple DOS command to detect and prevent such suspicious activity:

1. Open the Windows Start Menu and search for Command Prompt. Right-click and choose "Run as Administrator". Alternatively, you can cmd in your Windows Run box to quickly open the command prompt.

2. The command prompt will by default open itself in the Windows System directory. Use the cd command to switch to the root directory

c:\windows\sytem32> cd \
3. Now type "netstat -b 5 > activity.txt" and press enter. After say 2 minutes, press Ctrl+C.

4. Type "activity.txt" on the command line to open the log file in notepad (or your default text editor)
Which Programs are Connecting to the Internet? The file activity.txt will have a log of all processes (or Windows programs) that made a connection to the Internet in the last two minutes. It…

Microsoft Releases Office 2003 SP3; Slipstream Your Installer CD

Microsoft today released Service Pack 3 for Microsoft Office 2003 (link). The service pack includes all patches and updates released for Microsoft Office 2003 since SP2. Some notable changes include:1. Office 2003 programs can no longer open or save certain file formats like PPT created in PowerPoint 97 or before.2. The Fast Save setting in Microsoft Office Word has been removed.Here's a guide to slipstream SP2 into your Office 2003 installation CD - the procedure to slipstream SP3 into Office 2003 should be similar though the file names will be different. [the installer is Office2003SP3-kb923618-FullFile-enu.exe]No new feature is introduced in Office 2003 SP3 expect that it now lets you install add-ins in Microsoft Office Access 2003 on a Windows Vista-based computer.Once your Office 2003 files are successfully patch with SP3, the version numbers of major executables like Excel.exe, WinWord.exe, PowerPoint.exe should say 11.0.8169.0 while that of Msaccess.exe will be 11.0.8166.0.

Get an International Phone Number With FAX and Voicemail

pfingo is a new service that provides a personal phone number for you to make (or receive) phone calls from a PC (or Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone) to any landline or mobile phone number in the world.

See: How to Get a Local US Phone Number

You just have to install a small software called pfingoTALK softphone onto your computer or mobile phone.

Other than talk, the pfingoTALK client lets you send or receive SMS message using the computer, the voicemails reach you as .WAV files in email and you can also send and receive faxes from the computer.If there're any missed calls, you will be notified via email and an SMS.

pfingo provides a Singapore based number (3-series), but if you have clients or friends in UK, US or Australia, you can get a fixed-line number of that country and friends can therefore reach you at local rates without paying international charges.

While the subscription charges are around 60 cents per month, you can use it for 6 months without paying any fee.You get a fre…

Create A Tag Cloud Based On The Content of Your Blog or Website

Tag Clouds, you have seen them on delicious, Technorati or Flickr, are an easy way to get people explore your site deeper. Here's a sample tag cloud that uses Google AJAX Search.Tag Clouds (provided they are not cluttered and display just the relevant words) help visitors quickly visualize what your website is all about since the topics you frequently cover are mentioned in bold or relatively bigger fonts.WordPress community already offers some excellent plugins for generating tag clouds (like the Ultimate Warrior) plus the upcoming release, WP 2.3, has inbuilt support for tagging.However, if you are on Blogger or have a non-blog website, there's no reason that you should miss Tag Clouds. Here's how to add a good looking tag cloud to your Blogger blog:1. Type your Blogger feed address in RainMaker to replace xyz with your Blog ID. This URL will retrieve your latest 999 posts and supply that for analysis …

New York Times Makes TimesSelect Available Without Subscription

Good News. New York Times hasdecided to break the subscription firewall and provide TimesSelect content for free. If you are a paying TimesSelect subscriber, you will receive a prorated refund. In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.Times columnist Thomas Friedman had earlier criticized TimesSelect saying "I hate it. It pains me enormously because it’s cut me off from a lot, a lot of people, especially because I have a lot of people reading me overseas, like in India ... I feel totally cut off from my audience."Thank NYT. Request your web design team to consider removing the double-click feature as well.Related: Read Wall Street Journal Premium Content for Free

Google Docs Adds Web Based Version of PowerPoint 1.0

Googletoday launched a "very basic" PowerPoint clone that lets you create Presentations inside the web browser. Other than creating presentations from scratch, you can also upload your existing PPT and PPS slideshows into Google PowerPoint.The new Google tool, which surprising doesn't have any name (they call it Google Docs presentations feature), is available at or can also be accessed from It's also available for Google Apps customers.Microsoft PowerPoint is celebrating it's 20th birthday this year but should the Redmond giant lose sleep with Google making inroads into the Presentation arena. Probably not because Google is more focused on building a tool that eases delivery of presentations online, not creating them.The winning feature in Google PowerPoint is integration with Google Talk - while you are delivering a live presentation online, the presenter and attendees can text chat in real time via Google Talk.Google provi…

Did Google Relax Rules for Mahalo To Join Premium Adsense Club

Mahalo is now a premium Adsense publisher meaning they get permission from Google to display custom Ad formats on their web pages among other benefits. Related: Premium Adsense publisher privilegesNormally, Google invites only those websites to the Adsense Premium club that average more more than 20 million page views a month. If Mahalo has managed to cross that number in such a short span of time, hats off to Jason Calacanis.There are, however, some doubts. For instance, TechCrunch of Michael Arrington averages around 4 million page views a month and he is no Premium Adsense Publisher. Same holds good for Pete Cashmore of Mashable though he gets even more traffic that TechCrunch.Is Mahalo getting 4x the monthly traffic of Mashable or TechCrunch? While Mahalo web stats are not public, the Alexa and Compete graphs paint a very different picture (click to enlarge)As per Alexa or Compete, Mahalo may not be anywhere near the "20 million a month" - that make one wonder what made…

Want to do More With Firefox? Get The New HyperWords

Say you are reading a blog or website inside Firefox and encounter some name (or an unknown term) that you would like to explore deeper. You will probably visit Wikipedia to read more about that person and search Flickr or Google Images for some photos. And if the text on the webpage is not in your native language, you'll copy paste that into Babel or Google Translate. Is that the way to work on the internet ? Well, that's a perfect approach but a bit inefficient. Enter HyperWords that lets you do all this and more without you having to visit any other site - the information will be fetched right in your current webpage with a simple click.With HyperWords, you can select any plain text on the web page and do some amazing things - say you choose Flickr or Google Images from the context menu and it will show you the best matching picture in the menu itself. Same for Wikipedia entries.The best part is about translation - you select a text and HyperWord will do inline translation …

More Ways to Upload Presentations & PDF Files to Slideshare

SlideShare, an online service for hosting PowerPoint and PDF documents, has registered an extremely impressive growth ever since its debut last year. (see this recent Alexa snapshot)Related: Comparison of PowerPoint Hosting ServicesSlideShare have added some new email+web based options for uploading PDF and PPTs that makes the service all the more attractive.For instance, if you want to move your presentations from Scribd to SlideShare, just type their URLs here and SlideShare will automatically make a copy in your SlideShare account. [Like Scribd, Slideshare also lets you upload Presentations anonymously.]Another addition is the email based uploader (a similar feature exists in Google Docs). You just have to send the presentations as email attachments to a specified address for uploading them onto SlideShare.Wishlist - Now that Slideshare has bulk upload, they may consider adding another feature that allows members to download multiple presentations in a batch.Related: Upload PDFs to…

Adsense Referrals - How to Pick Relevant Products That Convert

Unlike the regular Adsense ads (CPC or CPM)where Google automatically picks relevant ads based on the content, Adsense Referrals (CPA) require some effort on the part of Adsense publishers because they have to manually select products from the vast Adsense inventory that is changing almost everyday. How do you find the Adsense Referral Ads that are likely to become popular among your visitors ? I have been using the Adsense Referrals (Text Links) program (here, here and here) for over a month now and have had an overall positive experience so far. Here are a few simple things that I learned in the process and they may even help you improve earnings from the Adsense Referrals program:Step 1: When generating code for your Adsense Referrals, pick the categories / products that are most relevant to your readers (for my case, categories that convert include computer software, Internet, Online Communities, Photos and Video products.)Step 2: Check the option that says "Pick best perform…

Google Developing GMail Offline Version Using Google Gears

A report, citing highly placed sources, says that Google has developed an offline version of Gmail that is likely to be made available within this year.   Like Google Reader which lets you work offline using Google Gears, GMail users will be able to interact with their GMail account even when they don't have an active Internet connection.This news, that Google is developing GMail Offline, is reported by a prominent Indian newspaper though the Google spokeswoman in India officially denied such a thing. While it's a definite possibility that Google is working to enable Gmail for Offline access via Google Gears, there are some bits that I will take with a grain of salt.For instance, the report says that you would have to download a GMail software client for that would automatically synchronize with the Gmail server. Why? Google Gears works inside a web browser and do not require any additional software. Or is Google developing a standalone desktop client for GMail like Outlook. B…

Blogger Play and Bloglines Wall of Images

Blogger Play is a self-running slideshow of photographs recently uploaded on Blogspot blogs. Other than the image, you also get to read a short excerpt of the accompanying blog post and the profile of the blogger. Excellent implementation.Bloglines offers a similar feature called Image Wall but that's not limited to Blogger Photos - they show recent images from virtually all blogs that are indexed by Bloglines.

A small concern with such projects is that you are never too sure about stuff that may appear on your screen. While Blogger Play is only showing images from blogs that satisfy the SafeSearch criteria, Bloglines Image wall sources images from the entire space and therefore not recommended for family viewing.Will your photos appear in the Blogger slideshow ? If your blog on Blogger is listed as public, any image you upload to your Blogger account may be added to the Blogger Play queue.
Wishlist - They should offer categories in Blogger Play - say someone wants to see a slides…

Most Creative Flickr and YouTube Search Engine Ever

oSkope will leave you impressed for sure. It's an extremely innovative online tool to help you browse and search YouTube videos, Flickr photos and more with minimal paging.When you type a keyword, oSkope pulls thumbnail images of the results and arranges them on the screen like a deck of playing cards spread out on a physical table. You can click the thumbnails of Flickr Photos or YouTube videos to watch them inline. The thumbnails can be easily in different styles like a stack, pile or plotted as a graph (useful for comparison of price vs Amazon sales rank).In its beta version, oSkope allows to search for products and images on popular web services like Amazon, Ebay, YouTube or Flickr. More services will be added soon.

How to Extract Pictures from PowerPoint Photo Slideshows

Ques: Your have a PowerPoint presentation (PPT, PPTX or PPS) that contains lot of pictures embedded in the slides. Is there an easy method to save these images out of the presentation ?

As an example, let's take the above PowerPoint presentation that contains unseen aerial photographs of the World Trade Center captured by a military chopper on 9-11.

To extract pictures from the PPT slideshow, all you have to do is export the Powerpoint Presentation as an HTML web page. Choose File -> Save As and select .html from the File Format drop down.

PowerPoint will automatically extract every picture embedded in the PPT file and save it to the local folder. The same technique is also used to extract sound from presentations.

Alternatively, you may choose File -> Save As and choose an image format like JPG or PNG - this will save the entire presentation slides as numbered images.

Related: How to Compress PowerPoint Files

Make Flowchart Diagrams in the Browser with Draw Anywhere

If Google every wanted to add a Microsoft Visio like flowcharting application to their Google Office suite, they'll have plenty of goodoptions to choose from.

Draw Anywhere is a new web based tool for creating flow charts, org charts and other drawings online. Like the Picnick image editing, DrawAnywhere is done in Flash and sports an extremely responsive interface.

You can either save your Flowcharts online or export the diagrams as images and PDF files.

Firefox Can Turn Off The Computer After Downloading Complete

Say it's midnight and you want to call it a day. But the issue is that you are downloading some huge files from the Internet via Firefox and at your current internet speed, the download will take another two hours to finish.

You could either cancel the downloads, or leave the computer in running state (think environment), or just install Auto Shutdown from

As the name suggest, this extension will turn off the computer automatically as soon as Firefox has downloaded all the pending files in the queue.

If you not using Firefox, try the shutdown command in Windows that will turn off the computer after the given time. For instance, if you want to turn off the computer in next two hours, type the following in Windows Run box:

shutdown -s -t 7200 [7200 = 2 hours]

The Auto Shutdown extension of Firefox internally executes the same command.

Related: Shut Down Your Computer Quickly

Stretch YouTube Videos To Fit the Browser Window, Better Than Full Screen

You already know about the Full Screen mode in YouTube video player that scales the current video to fill the entire desktop screen.

The one big problem with full screen mode in YouTube player is that you cannot do anything else on the computer while the video is playing - you have the exit the FullScreen before initiating any other task.

There's however an excellent alternative to Full Screen mode and that's about auto resizing the video player to fit the browser window. When you resize the browser window, the dimensions of YouTube Video player will change accordingly.

Here's how you fit the YouTube video in the browser window:

Say a YouTube Video URL is

To watch this clip in a resizable browser window without switching to Full Screen, just rewrite the above URL a

In other words, just append the YouTube video ID to this URL and stretch your browser window. You can …

Laptop Mouse with a USB Storage Drive

Microsoft today unveiled the Mobile Memory Mouse 8000 for your laptop computer.

The unique feature of this ergonomic mouse is the USB transceiver that doubles as a 1 GB Flash drive - so you have one less device to carry while on the move and it also frees up an additional USB port on your laptop.

Another improvement over the Wireless 8000 Laser mouse is the charger - earlier they had a separate rechargeable base but with Mobile Memory Mouse 8000, the mouse can be connected using a magnetic cord to the UBS transceiver without requiring a separate power supply.

Related: Microsoft Desktop 7000 vs Natural Ergonomic 4000 Keyboard

Why Use Adobe Acrobat Instead of other PDF Converters

The marketplace is flooded with PDF writers that promise to convert any file format into PDF.

Like Acrobat, you can install these third-party PDF generators as virtual printers and create PDF files from any application that has the Print button. Some services allow you to convert files by email - you send them a file as an email attachment and they'll mail it back to you as a PDF.

That's not all. WordPerfect and OpenOffice have in-built PDF printers. Microsoft released a free PDF add-in for all popular Office 2007 programs except Outlook. Then there are online suites like Google Docs and Zoho Office that allow you to save documents as PDF inside the browser without requiring any add-ins.

When there are so may Acrobat alternatives for creating PDF files, why spend a few hundred dollars for buying a single license of Adobe Acrobat? Adobe offers some reasons for using Adobe Acrobat software:

Adobe supports PDF files opened in the free Adobe Reader only if the PDF was created by…

DMCA Notice of Copyright Infringement - Sample Template

If you discover your content published illegally on another website without permission or attribution, the first step is to send a polite email to the owner of the website.

If the website owner fails to respond to your email requesting removal of plagiarized content, it may be time for you to send a formal DMCA letter to his web hosting company and also to his advertising partner(s) (like Google Adsense) that are helping him monetize content which is actually owned by you.

While web hosting firms and online advertising companies will immediately comply to your requests, they will also ask you to send them DMCA notices in a proper format with all the necessary details and proof.

Let's take a fictional case - Mr John Q. Public of finds his content on another website called

Following is a Sample DMCA Notice that John can submit to the web host of and also to Google.

Subject: Notice of Copyright Infringement

The copyrighted work …

Manage Multiple Accounts on the Web Without Logging Off

Do you have several accounts on GMail but dislike logging off from one account to check emails in another account. For instance, you and your wife use the home computer for checking emails and one has to log off before the other person can log-in. (See: GMail Multiple Sign-in)

Or do you want to use Google Web Search anonymously without them recording your search habits. But at the same time, you want to remain logged into other secure Google services like Google Notebook, Blogger or GMail.

If answer to any of the above is yes, you will love CookieSwap Firefox extension. Most websites use Cookies to store your login information and you can have just one cookie per website per web browser but with CookieSwap, you can maintain multiple cookie profile and switch between them in a click.

You can create a profile that logs into your Gmail account but when you want to Google, just switch the profile. You stay logged into GMail but with still anonymously surf on Google.

Get CookieSwap from

Sync Facebook Photos with Microsoft Outlook Contacts

If some of your Microsoft Outlook contacts are also Facebook friends, you will find OutSync pretty useful.

OutSync takes the profile photos of your friends from Facebook and adds them to the matching entries in your Microsoft Outlook Contacts List. The utility also lets you to selectively update Outlook contacts.

Update: OutSync is no longer active but you can use Yahoo Mail to export email address of Facebook Friends which you can then import into Outlook using CSV format.
You can then sync Outlook with your mobile phone and see photos of your friends appear during calls instead of the plain text names.

OutSync works with Outlook 2003 or 2007. It was originally written by Mel Sampat, a Program Manager in the Windows Mobile team at Microsoft.

The main benefit of OutSync is for users who sync their smartphones with Exchange or Outlook. Updated contacts are copied to your iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android or BlackBerry devices, and their photos appear during phone calls.

See more Outlook a…

How to Embed Large Photos In Web Pages

Say you have an extremely long screenshot image or a high resolution photograph (like a 360° panoramic image) that you want to embed in web pages.

The standard IMG tag may not be the best approach when inserting really big photos because 1) wide images break the layout of your web page as they span outside the standard width and 2) large images are heavy in size so you web page loading time will become much higher.

If you were to insert such a big image in you web page, a very neat option is Zoomify which you can see in action below - your visitors can view (or even zoom, pan and scroll) the gigantic image in full resolution without leaving the current web page.

Update: Zoomify is no longer free but you embed large images using Google Maps tiles or with the help of

And since Zoomify renders the image in Flash, it's another good alternative for webmaster to prevent casual downloading of their images. Like Google Maps, the large image loads in tiles and only the visible por…

Google Picasa or Windows Photo Gallery - Which is Better?

Like Picasa from Google, Windows Live Photo Gallery is free desktop software from Microsoft for managing your pictures and videos - the software works on both XP and Windows Vista.

Having worked with both the software for some time now, here's a quick review and comparison of Windows Live Photo Gallery with Picasa (do not confuse Picasa desktop software with Picasa Web Albums).

Round 1: Interface & Ease of Use - Both Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery have a pleasant and intuitive interface with basic photo editing capabilities. You can zoom, rotate, search, add ratings, tags and text captions to your photographs very easily. In Picasa, it is possible to select multiple images from different file folders by holding then on to the image tray but in Windows Photo Gallery, you can select images only from the current folder.

Round 2: Speed - When it comes to speed, Windows Photo Gallery wins over Picasa by a huge margin. Picasa, in the last few months, has become extremely slow -…

Remove Callouts and Arrow Markers in Google Maps Screenshots

When you search Google Maps for an address or driving directions, Google Maps shows you the address location with a colored arrow marker and a callout window that has links to driving directions, photographs, review and more.

If you were to take a screen capture of Google Maps without these arrows and callout information window, here's a tip:
To just hide the Callout window, click anywhere on the Google Map outside the arrow marker. To bring that information window back, click the arrow marker again.
To remove both the marker and callout window forever from the screen, right click over the arrow and select "clear search results" from the onscreen popup menu.
Related: Make Wallpaper from Google Maps
Caution: Google Policy says that you must get written permission from Google to reuse any images (instructive or illustrative screenshots) from Google Maps and Google Earth as they do not own the copyright to all of the imagery or information supplied on these platforms.

Weekly Technology Podcast - Episode 2

Facebook People Search Engine Is Live for Outsiders
Non Facebook members can use the public search box on Facebook's home page to find friends who may have public profiles on Facebook and contact them.
Download Your Favorite Blogs and Websites for Offline Reading
Webaroo then creates an offline copy of the site that you can browse or search as if you are connected. Based on your settings, Webaroo periodically checks the original web pages for modification and if there are any, the software automatically updates the local cache.
Share Your Favorite Webpages on Social Bookmarking Sites
Shareaholic make it extremely easy for you to share web pages on the popular social websites - just right click over any webpage and select your favorite bookmarking service from the Firefox contextual menu where you want to share that page.
Yahoo! Mail Better Than Google GMail or Hotmail
Walt Mossberg of WSJ says that the new Yahoo! Mail is better than Google email and the new Windows Live Hotmail.
Increase …

Turn Your Mouse Pointer Into a SpotLight for Presentations

Spotlights are commonly used in concerts and musical theaters to focus an audience's attention on a performer as he moves around the stage.

MouseLight has borrowed the concept from theatres and applied it your computer where the actor is the mouse cursor and the stage is the desktop screen.

Also see: More useful tools for presenters

When you are doing a PowerPoint presentation or a software demonstration and want the audience to focus on some specific area of the screen, MouseLight puts a circular spotlight around your cursor and highlights that area allowing your audience to follow you - the rest of the screen outside the spotlight circle is dimmed automatically.

There's another advantage of MouseLight - If you are work on a large screen or a dual monitor, it's so common that you keep losing track of the mouse pointer. With MouseLight, just press the hotkey and you'll immediately know where the cursor is placed on the screen. No guesswork required.

MouseLight is avai…

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop Express - Web Based Photoshop

Screenshot of online Adobe Photoshop Express, edit images in the Web Browser [click to enlarge]Fauxto, Picnic and other online photo editors may soon find the going very tough is Adobe is all set to introduce a very cool online version of Adobe Photoshop (called Photoshop Express) that's free and requires just a web browser with the Flash plug-in.Bruce earlier said that the web version of Photoshop may not be as feature-rich as the desktop Photoshop but still offers better image editing options than the existing desktop image editors - Photoshop Express is something in between Picasa and Photoshop.John Loiacono, senior VP of creative solutions at Adobe, showed this screenshot of the Online Photoshop application at the ongoing Photoshop World conference in Las Vegas. Thanks John Nack.Related: Adobe, Give Us Photoshop Lite for Free

FeedBurner Ads Losing Charm Ever Since Google Acquired Them

Like Google Adsense, FeedBurner Ads Network (FAN) never had a problem finding advertisers and their payout is pretty high - some ad campaigns on Computer & Technology channel can cost advertisers up to $10 CPM (FeedBurner's share is 35%). And while Adsense is only for websites, FAN lets you monetize web content as well as RSS feeds.But there's a small problem - you may have a good RSS subscriber base and dozens of advertisers may be running campaigns on your site / feed, that may not always translate into revenue.In the graph, the red line shows the average number of RSS subscribers of this blog in the last 12 months while the blue line depicts the advertising revenue generated by FeedBurner each month.As you can see, the site traffic + RSS subscriber base has increased and there are around 10-12 active ad campaigns all this time but the advertising income from FAN is constantly headed south, more so in the last 3-4 months and that's exactly the period when FeedBurner …

Get Dr. Dobbs Journal and MSDN Magazine for Free

Some very interesting news for software developers.

You can now subscribe to the digital editions of Microsoft MSDN Magazine and Dr. Dobb's Journal for free. MSDN is primarily for programmers who are using Microsoft technologies while the Dr Dobb's covers almost all languages and platforms.

Just login using your Windows Live ID to subscribe to MSDN Magazine and Dr. Dobbs Journal Digital editions. [Update: This offer is no longer valid]

The issues of Dr Dobb's Journal and MSDN Magazine are also available for download in PDF format.

And if you are based in India, you also stand a chance to win an XBOX 360 or Zune if you subscribe to these electronic magazines before October 15.

Windows Live Writer Supports Blogger Photos, YouTube

As expected, Microsoft today released a new build of Windows Live Writer - it's still a beta product but with some welcome improvements.

I find the new release of Windows Live Writer is more fast and responsive than the previous versions. Here's a quick recap of some other very useful features added in WLW v2008:

1. Upload Images to BloggerDirectly - If you have a blog hosted on Blogger, you can include local photos in your blog posts and Windows Live Writer will automatically upload them to your Google Picasa web account.

2. Debugging made simple: If you are trying to publish a new blog post or retrieving some existing post for editing but WLP is not getting through, you can find the root of the problem from WLW log file.

The Log file has been there since day 1 but now WLW makes it extremely simple to view it in your default text editor. Goto Help -> About -> Show Log File.

3. Print / Print Preview - You can print blog posts directly from WLW just like you would do in…

Maximum Number of Google Adsense Ads Allowed on a Page

Google Adsense allows a maximum of three standard ad units, two Adsense for Search boxes, three Adsense link units and three Adsense referral units to be placed on any web page.

The program policy says:
Currently, AdSense publishers may place up to three AdSense for content units on one web page. you may also place a maximum of three link units and two search boxes on each web page.

You may place up to three link units on a page, in addition to the three standard ad units and two search boxes that.

If you place more than one ad unit on a page, our system will display unique ads to each ad unit. Because the system automatically displays an optimal number of highly targeted Google ads on each page, in some cases, the maximum number of ads may not always appear. In this case, the ad unit will be displayed as a transparent box or will contain any alternative ad or colour specified in the ad code.The Adsense Bible also says - "No Google ad may be placed on pages published specificall…

Synchronize Files, Folders across Multiple Computers Automatically

Imagine a scenario where you have multiple computers that are all connected to the internet - the home desktop runs Windows and contains all your music and family photos, the office computer stores official documents but while traveling, you prefer to carry the Macbook.

Your goal is sync the data (music, documents, photos, etc) scattered across multiple computers or even directly access files stored on computer A from computer B. For instance, if you add some new photos to your home computer, they should also become available in your Macbook pictures folder as well so that you can enjoy the pictures while on the move.

Similarly if you have work from both office and home, the documents on the Office computer should be accessible for editing from the home computer and once edited, it should automatically replace the outdated version sitting on the office desktop.

The Solution - When your files are scattered across computers and you hate transferring data via CDs, FTP, email attachments…

Use Facebook People Search Engine

Facebook today added public search listings meaning. if you agree, your name and profile picture will appear in organic search results when people look for your name.

See: Reverse Email Search with Facebook

A simple Google search for "" suggests that there are over 26.5k public profiles on Facebook already.

There's more - outsiders or non Facebook members can use the public search box on Facebook's home page to find friends who may have public profiles on Facebook and contact them.

How Do Search Engines Discover Facebook Profiles ?
Normally search engines like Google or Yahoo! discover new web pages only when they are linked from another website that's already in the index of search engines.

Would anyone have a clue how Google would discover your Facebook public profile when it's not hyperlinked from any other site.

Related: Most Innovative Facebook Groups

New Version of Windows Live Writer 1.0 Coming Very Soon

Bloggers rejoice! You can expect to download and play with the final release of Windows Live Writer 1.0 as early as this week.The New York Times gave a small hint when it said that the new Windows Live Software Suite will be the first full release and that the Windows Live installer includes the Windows Live Writer blogging application.Now we have an indirect confirmation from Joe Cheng who is the main Microsoft developer at the Windows Live Writer team.Joe probably configured the new Windows Live Writer 1.0 release to work with his blog and that led to a style-detectionTemporary Post. Though the post is deleted from the main blog, it stills exists in the cache of my newsreader. (see screenshot)A temp post is normally created by WLW when you update your blog style. In Joe's case, the blog theme is same as before so he probably did a fresh installation of WLW 1.0. Can't wait to see what goes in the new release.Related: WLW For Power Users, WLW Tips, Windows Live Writer Plugins