May 29, 2009

Now Play Games with your Chat Buddies and make those chats intresting!!!

Google released a realtime gadgets API for Google Talk that's especially useful if you want to play games with your friends.

"gadgets.realtime and the APIs built on top of it allow gadget developers to write applications that communicate asynchronously with another endpoint, whether that endpoint is another instance of the application (on another machine, or in another browser, for example), the container hosting the gadget, or an application hosted in the cloud. The obvious application of these APIs is 1:1 gaming -- at its most basic a Tic-Tac-Toe game between two users. However there are many other more complex (and arguably -- depending on your thoughts about games -- more interesting) scenarios that these APIs enable; for instance, a chat application that translates text as participants type it, or a shared whiteboard, or an application that lets a couple choose the best flight for their upcoming vacation."

For now, the APIs are only available in a developer sandbox, which includes a special interface of Gmail Chat. Here's how you can play chess with one of your friends:

* Go to the sandbox and send this link to your friend: http://talkgadget.google.com/talkgadget/sandbox .

* When your friend started to use Gmail Chat's sandbox, click on "Options", select "Start application", paste the following address:
http://code.google.com/apis/talk/examples/chess.xml
and press Enter.


If you don't know how to play chess, try two other applications:

* a very simple rock-paper-scissors game:
http://code.google.com/apis/talk/examples/rps.xml

* an automatic translation application:
http://code.google.com/apis/talk/examples/interpreter.xml

- Reports Google Talk Blog

[SOURCE]

A Sneak Peak at Google Wave

Over the last years the web has moved towards more real-timeness and collaboration, with plenty of online communication forms to choose from. Google now is showing off a preview of a new product, framework and protocol called Google Wave. I’ve not seen this in action yet but judging from the screenshots and descriptions, Google Wave (the product) is an app running in modern browsers which is part wiki, part chat, part collaborative office and sharing tool, and part email.

Take a look at the screenshot below, via Google:



To the left side you’ll see a navigation pane offering you to view the Inbox, Active threads – or “waves”, as Google calls them – a history, spam waves and more. The inbox lists threads in which you participate, because (if I understand it right) you started them or were invited. A particular thread can consist of a mail-type conversation with a friend, like “BBQ on Sunday,” or a document sharing photo snapshots, which are drag-and-dropped into the document window.

That document window, to the right, offers the multi-user real time view onto the document, and you apparently can edit in different places within it. You can also play-back the history of the document to see how it evolved. Avatars of the people participating in a particular wave can be seen on top. If two people are online at the same time then “a wave acts just like an instant message – except that you see each character as it is typed,” Tim O’Reilly writes. “When you’re talking with someone, you know what someone is saying before they finish their sentence. You can respond, or even finish their sentence for them. So too with Wave.”

Search is provided at the top of the middle pane. It’s apparently real time, too, and searches can be saved and added to the left side navigation.

Sounds cool? Let’s see what Google will release. “Google Wave will be available later this year,” Google writes on their Wave homepage, and the following pieces are available elsewhere:

  • The Google Wave API. The API is supposed to allow “developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves”.

  • The Google Wave Protocol letting you build on top of the (open-sourced) platform.

  • A Google Wave press site with photos, team info and more

  • A Google Wave Sandbox, but you need the right login.

  • A Google Wave Developer blog. Co-editor Tony stumbled upon the Google Wave product name and blogs earlier this month and was wondering what it was... now we know!

  • Google’s introductory blog post, offering a bit of historical origin of the service (the idea was thought up by Sydney office based brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen of the Google-acquired Where 2 Technologies). Lars writes: “Could a single communications model span all or most of the systems in use on the web today, in one smooth continuum? How simple could we make it?”

  • Brian Ussery, who reports back for us from the Google I/O conference, has more pics from the presentation.

  • Explanatory videos at YouTube.


The following screenshots further show off the functionality of the program, courtesy of Google, and if you want to know more, Techcrunch has a good write-up too. Without a real live app to test we need to keep in mind though that Google may talk about all the glory of the app but hardly jump to point out potential quirks, bugs and shortcomings. I’m curious how well the app will live up to the very interesting bits we were offered, which browsers exactly it supports (and at what speed), and how its features compare to those of blogging platforms, chat programs, mail clients, wikis, real time collaboration tools like Etherpad, and social news sites like Friendfeed.


Collaborative (rich) text editing


An extension to Wave handling event planning


A map is included


Another wave extension: a game


Adding a participant for the wave


Wave’s context-aware spellchecker

[SOURCE]

~TECH-BYTES~ > For all those who didn't understand a word above, People Wave will broing you real time word by word chat so no more "User is typing" message and you wont have to wait for the other person to complete the sentence, with this you will be able to chat word by word...

Looks like another really revolutionary service From the KING GOOGLE!!!

May 28, 2009

Twitter Might Start Adding Comments & Location-Based Information to Each Tweet

At the 140 Twitter Conference yesterday, Alex Payne, Twitter's API lead told Robert Scoble that Twitter might soon add location-based information to every tweet. Currently, users can set a location on their profile, but individual tweets are not geo-coded in any way. If Twitter did indeed add a geo-references to every tweet, then that would open up the door to a wealth of new possibilities for developers. Suddenly, for example, it would be possible to develop an application that could pull in every tweet ever made from a certain restaurant or bar.


In addition, Payne also told Scoble that Twitter will add a new feature similar to Friendfeed's 'likes,' as well as comments. On Friendfeed, users can 'like' any comment to push it back up to the top of the page. Twitter's current system of 'favorites'/stars is probably not a heavily used feature (something Twitter's own FAQ acknowledges) and it is hard to see why one would favorite a post except as a replacement for bookmarking. The data about which tweets were starred is also not surfaced in any meaningful way.

Comments would be a very interesting addition to Twitter, as they could basically constitute a replacement for the use of the @ reply. Other micro-blogging services like Plurk or the new defunct Rejaw used comments and they make it a lot easier to keep track of conversations.

Scoble also got a chance to chat with Anamitra Banerji, who is actually working on Twitter's commercial products. Banerji confirmed that Twitter is indeed trying to stay away from advertising based revenue models and is looking to sell data and feature to businesses instead. Twitter believes that consumers are not very likely to buy premium features.

[SOURCE]

~TECH-BYTES~ Says > Twitter and the 140 characters status revolutionized the internet, but for a long time everyone is twittering that Twitter should now bring up some new features, this news might ad new Feathers in Twitter Bird. Even after so many new improvements Yeh Dil Maange More... {The heart wants MORE}

Firefox 3.5 RC1 May Arrive in Two Days

Firefox is close to roll out the first release candidate of its upcoming Firefox 3.5 web browser. The company is jumping the version numbering and directly launch Firefox 3.5 after the 3.0 version. Does the pressure come from the recent Chrome 2.0 update?

Mozilla Firefox labs guys are almost there. So close that the Firefox 3.5 RC1 will be available in approximately two days according to Mike Beltzner, development leader on the project. "Right now, the estimate is 48 hours," said Beltzner.

Quite a few issues are being resolved by the Firefox Team and the browser code is being handed to the Quality and Assurance team for testing.

Currently, the most talked about feature in Firefox 3.5 is the multi-process support, which is also found Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. The splitting process of each tab aims to get better stability and performance of the browser, even if one of the tabs stops working or crashes.

Mozilla has been pushing the upgrade to Firefox 3.0 since a while, but its activities have become rapid after the launch of Chrome browser.

All we can say is that Firefox 3.5 RC1 is almost here.

[SOURCE]

~TECH-BYTES~ says > Bring it on!! Now a days its really very confusing to choose the right browser, Internet explorer was never in picture for me, But in my life based on performance of these browsers i have switched from Opera > Firefox > Minefield > Chrome > Firefox {Again} > Chrome {Back}

Lets See whats the New Firefox has to offer!!!

May 23, 2009

Nokia 1100 Banking Hack Replicated by Investigators

About a month ago we reported that certain Nokia 1100 handsets, one of the company’s most basic handsets that was seemingly designed for emerging markets, was hacked by criminals to steal bank account passwords and other such valuable data. The reason authorities picked up on the system was because of the sudden rise in cost of the handset among the criminal underworld. We had also mentioned that investigations were on going at the time to try and figure out how this was being done.

A small hack in the handset’s programming would allow criminals to use someone else's phone number and receive their SMS. Thus, in certain countries where banks would send a one-time password called an mTAN (mobile Transaction Authentication Number) to a person's phone in order to allow the transfer of money to another account etc. the hacked cell phone users would gain access to accounts. The company in charge of the investigation, Ultrascan, managed to acquire a handset from the specified factory with specified firmware for testing and successfully reprogrammed the device to do exactly what the criminal would have it do.

Ultrascan obtained Nokia 1100 phones made in Bochum, Germany. Phones made around 2003 in that now-closed factory have the firmware version that can be hacked, Becker said. Nokia has sold more than 200 million of the 1100 and its successors, although it's unknown how many devices have the particular sought-after firmware.

Ultrascan was able to successfully reprogram an 1100 and intercept an mTAN, but just one time. Becker said they are undertaking further tests to see if the attack can be executed repeatedly.

"We've done it once," Becker said. "It looks like we know how to do it."

Ultrascan experts obtained the hacker software to reprogram the phone through its network of informants, said Frank Engelsman, a fraud and security specialist with the company.

That application allows a hacker to decrypt the Nokia 1100's firmware, Becker said. Then, the firmware can be modified and information such as the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number can be changed as well as the IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) number, which allows a phone to register itself with an operator.

The modified firmware is then uploaded to the Nokia 1100. Certain models of the 1100 used erasable ROM, which allows data to be read and written to the chip, Becker said. For the final step, the hacker must also clone a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, which Becker said is technically trivial.

Nokia, which was closed on Thursday due to a holiday, could not be contacted. However, the company has said it does not believe there is a vulnerability in the 1100's software.

Becker said that may be semantically true, however, it's possible that the encryption keys used to encrypt the firmware have somehow slipped into the public domain. "We would really like to speak with Nokia," Becker said.

Ultrascan was also able to confirm that criminals are willing to pay a lot of money for the right Nokia 1100. An Ultrascan informant sold one of the devices recently in Tangiers, Morocco, for €5,500 (US$7,567), Engelsman said. Ultrascan previously confirmed data earlier this year that one Nokia 1100 sold for €25,000.

Ultrascan, which specializes in tracking criminals involved in Internet and electronic fraud, is trying to trace criminals who are using Nokia 1100s in online banking frauds.

[Source:- This and This]

Speed Up your life with Google Chrome 2.0

Google Chrome 2, now out of beta, is less about exciting new features and more about better performance. There's nothing impressive about adding full screen support, form filling or full-page zoom, since all of these features are already available in most browsers.

"Making the web faster continues to be our main area of focus. Thanks to a new version of WebKit and an update to our JavaScript engine, V8, interactive web pages will run even faster. We've also made sure that JavaScript keeps running fast even when you have lots of tabs open," reveals Google Chrome's blog.

Google's own benchmark shows that the new version runs 30% faster than Chrome 1.0, but it's probably a better idea to test the application for yourself.


Version numbers are not important and you don't even need to know that the browser has been updated: since it always runs the most current version, the new features are enabled gradually as they're developed, like in a web application. "A note on version numbers: we're referring to this as Chrome 2, but that's mainly a metric to help us keep track of changes internally. We don't give too much weight to version numbers and will continue to roll out useful updates as often as possible."

[SOURCE]

May 20, 2009

Friends around the Globe? Gmail is here to help!!!

Gmail Labs added a feature that translates messages written in a foreign language. After enabling "Message translation" in Gmail Labs, you'll be able to translate any messages written in other languages by clicking on "Translate message to: English".



"When Gmail detects one of your messages is in a language other than your default language, you'll see a header at the top of the message. Click the link that says Translate message to.... Your message will be translated inline (no need to open a new tab or window). Or if you want to translate the message and print it too, you can click the down arrow next to the Reply button and select Translate and print. You can also translate an entire conversation. Just click the globe icon on the right side of the conversation and you're good to go," informs the help center.

Gmail Blog Posts >

If all parties are using Gmail, you can have entire conversations in multiple languages with each participant reading the messages in whatever language is most comfortable for them. It's not quite the universal translators we're so fond of from science fiction, but thanks to Google Translate, it's an exciting step in the right direction. I use this feature everyday to help me work with teammates around the globe (they think my Japanese is much better than it really is...shhhh!).

Whether you're reading a family update from inlaws on the other side of the world, working with a multinational team, or just trying to bring about world peace, don't worry, Gmail's got your back.

[SOURCE]

P.S : Don't know how you'll use it but its really going to help me with my Japanese Language classes...

Google Squared is here, well Almost!!!

When Google recently announced they’d soon be launching their Google Squared service, this wasn’t what we had in mind...


Google Squared will be coming soon. For now, why not have fun squaring some numbers?

If you want to have fun squaring some numbers, you’d better head over to www.google.com/squared now before the real version is made live!

And if you’re after even more fun, try entering these Easter eggs:

  • times

  • be there

  • alpha

  • 42


[SOURCE]

Google announces first PowerMeter partners, Give us more...


Google.org has just announced an international roster of partners for their PowerMeter gadget.

PowerMeter is "a Google gadget that can show consumers their personal electricity consumption right on a home computer," according to today's announcement on the Google Blog. "Our software relies on 'smart meters' (or other metering devices) as a data source. Over the past several months we've been looking to partner with utilities that are installing (or have already installed) this equipment in their customers' homes. We're energized by our very first Google PowerMeter partners."

So far, partners include San Diego Gas & Electric (California), TXU Energy (Texas), JEA (Florida), Reliance Energy (India), Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (Wisconsin), White River Valley Electric Cooperative (Missouri), Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Canada), and Glasgow EPB (Kentucky). Together, these utilities serve many millions of customers.

PowerMeter allows consumers to track their energy consumption in real time (or very nearly real time) on their personal computers. It relies on data from utilities that use smart meter technology. Collectively, "smart grid" tech makes up one of the fastest-growing sectors of green tech and is being promoted by many as a way of addressing energy independence and climate change issues.

Again, from the Google PowerMeter page, "We think Google PowerMeter offers more useful and actionable feedback than complicated monthly paper bills that provide little detail on consumption or how to save energy. But Google PowerMeter is just a start; it will take a lot of different groups working together to create what the world really needs: a path to smarter power."

[SOURCE]

May 15, 2009

Best Hate comment about Google...

When i posted an entry about the tasks feature in Google calendar and expressed my desire for another feature, I never knew that someone will really read it and will post a comment bigger than any of my Blog Posts...

Well Tom Burns posted a comment and i thought a lot about it but i actually had nothing to reply, So posting the comment here in this post, So that you too can read his views and give your views about it!!!
With all due respect to your desire for that helpful feature, it’s just completely idiotic that Google has missed a step, an obvious one, and is not, at least to my knowledge, integrating this task list so it becomes a part of the iCalendar standard foundation that GCal is built on, making task lists in Mozilla and Apple iCal apps sync with online GCal task list. Or even that the task list syncs to ANY offline software app at all. It’s the same thing with the Contacts feature. I’m quite pleased that Google hosts my domain for free under Google Apps and gives me a rather robust set of office and technology suite tools as well as free reign to administratively manage the front end of the domain but notice how the app set in Google Apps is quite smaller than that is all available to regular Google users, that was a smart move because you start releasing unfinished, someones-sophomore-coding-project release apps intended for use by businesses and there will be a ugly backlash. Google, just like it’s silly name, is run by a lot of silly people on the end user product side with 1. an incessant need to rush apps out to the public, label them all beta so if they break or are incomplete, not their fault 2. anything outside the Google universe is always a second thought, almost a bandaid or an “oh $hit. we forget about these million other people who don’t work at google who are are customers!” be it calendar sync to offline apps by third party software companies, the contact sync that we’ve been waiting for for like a million years and I don’t think will ever sync accurately with any offline contact manager except through lame export import (if they had truly outstanding alternatives to what I was using today I’d switch for sure. but really they are actually very half ass, the GCal interface is atrociously ugly and unsightly I only use Gcal as a conduit between my Apple iCals or if I am away from iCal access and can only get Gcal online, it’s only now with themes that Gmail is liveable - themes in Gmail was my holdout to hosting my domain there and finally and most ridiculously childish business practice of “Labs.” Don’t misunderstand and think I am trying to quash innovation or don’t actually love Labs - I hate txt messaging and labs has an amazing desktop, TRUE txt messaging interface that makes it more palatable for me to use a function, so I have my love there - but it’s really not best business practice to release half baked software apps all labeled beta while developing a lab project for that the beta software app that is still a little rough around the edges and buggy.

But lets call this what it is: this isn’t Google’s line of business - developing great software apps for free. I mean they are free, no wonder they are crappy. Google is a large scale internet infrastructure developer and builder, plain and simple. Alongside advertising of course. But consumers get sucked in… I remember the big hoopla over the gmail addresses and only 50 invites a person. What a freakin marketing scam, and all for a beta product. Besides that, I mean you go into some of the help forums and hear these people who need help seriously because somehow their data has disappeared or something in a beta app breaks and they lose info. The general Google user I would conjecture doesn’t even know or have any idea that consumer based products don’t mean a lot to Google as it’s not their main business. So, caught up in the trendy Google hoopla, have become reliant on Google to be like Microsoft in the sense that their basic office and technology suite apps are going to work and going to work all the time and not going to lose your data (that’s a broadstatement mostly applicable to MS Office and apps not tied to the Windows OS). And of course people think, “wow, it’s all online, I don’t even have to back up.” Cloud computing needs to come with a warning that you need to have two copies of everything stored in the cloud in separate locations and backed up regularly if your data is important to you. Google never tells you to back up anything hardly ever. And I’ve never seen a warning from a online storage site recommending dual back ups but that’s chasing the customer away to another service provider so I can understand. It might be fair to trust that the reputable cloud storage services do in fact main redundant back ups in different physical locations (p.s. shopping for online storage: make sure they have redundant back ups in different physical locations. if they are reputable, reliable, and going to be key players, they will have that implemented). So now Google has all these people sucked in their little web - and how people ever started getting so excited and devoted to beta apps unless influenced by a big marketing campaign is beyond me - they are all hooked and Google just does what it wants. It’s absolutely atrocious on the consumer side how they treat people who use their products. Again, my loving Google Apps and my domain hosted for free can most certainly exsist with my opinion of how Google treats end users of their consumer products.

And not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but the HUMONGOUS privacy implications inherent in ALL of their services and applications. They have a big dog and pony show with their prominently displayed privacy policies. But there’s not a doubt in my mind they are mining all the data, personal, business, secret, important, vital that passes through their servers. And if I am right, they were so ballsy to put ads in gmail that are relevant to the content of the email you really want to be private. Granted, I am pretty sure no one is looking at the email because some of the ads that pop up clearly operate off keywords and they’ve interpreted the context of a word incorrectly in the email and so the ad displayed is totally off the wall. There is probably some deeply buried clause - if you start to read Google’s complete privacy policy as a whole you’ll find you’re linked from page to page to page… it’s like a trail… nothing is all consolidated in one easy to access place - and that clause that simply says, i conjecture, “by using our services you grant us a full and royalty free right to reuse your data and publish and disseminate and sell it and display as we choose at our leisure” much like the Facebook fracas (I think it was facebook, I don’t do much on the social network sites) a few months back. There are still websites, some cloud storage websites, that have that same clause although not so deeply buried.

Again, my point is most certainly not to minimize your desire and need for the particular feature you requested. Rather, i think I have a couple points: 1. Google needs to stop these Willa Wonka on a lark shenanigans and innovate for the better good of the masses, not for the niche market. Because not only is that just not good, it’s also contradictory to other areas of their business where they want large scale acceptance . 2. We are moving more and more towards an open source computing environment (OpenOffice 3 is like a miracle on the Mac and I will NEVER use MS Office again. In fact. I’ve removed every single piece of trash MS software from all my computers, except the necessary evils of windows video codecs, and, very reluctantly, the Silverlight media plug in which I only begrudgingly installed so as to utilize NetFlix on Demand. Anytime someone sends me some Windows file, I log onto to one of the many convenient file translation websites and convert to a mac friendly format right off the bat for free. User friendly versions of desktop Linux in large scale enterprise deployments for administrative functional areas of business are destined to do away with most certainly the Mac with its huge price tag and for sure Windows and the ever present MS Office, a suite where I read a recent survey that the average user, we’re talking mid level Joe Blow Admin Asst, uses just a little over just 20% of MS Office’s total capabilities. @ $400 a pop, not a good ROI when you’ve got a free open source project (Open Office) that’s really come to it’s day and can compete for the average user’s business, why waste money on crap you don’t need??? anyway I digress) Google’s stuff is already free, why not hop on the open source bandwagon with all its apps? I mean look at Apple. Apple seems to have it on the hook, although I think they are wasting their breath and effort because I don’t know one single person running safari on a Windows machine, and I constantly send people .mov files,. Ouicktime defaut, and they can’t be opened because they don’t have Windows Quicktime - their release schedules for multi platform products are either on the same timeline or just days or weeks apart. There’s no waiting two years for say a Mac Chrome Browser. (oh thanks Stainless!)

Oh boy that’s a lot, well if you decide not to post my little diatribe I’ll understand but at least I had the chance to get that all of my chest.

Best to you.

Tom Burns

So Guys what's your view about this!!

P.S:- Thanks Tom for the Beer Pitcher!!!

May 14, 2009

Simplify your life, Move all your mails from Hotmail,Yahoo mail and AOL to Gmail

So you've finally decided to change your webmail service and migrate to Gmail, but you don't want to lose your old messages and the address book. Gmail offers a mail fetcher feature that works with all mail services that support POP, including Hotmail, but you can't use it for regular Yahoo Mail accounts.

As previously anticipated, Google released a tool that lets you import contacts and mail from popular services like Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail and from ISPs like Verizon, Comcast, Earthlink. If you don't see a tab titled "Accounts and import" in Gmail's settings, you need to wait until the new features are enabled in your account.


Tip:- Move emails from Yahoo Mail{free} to Gmail

The free account of Yahoo Mail doesn’t provide IMAP or POP3 access so you can’t move these emails into Gmail or a desktop client like Microsoft Outlook.

The Yahoo! Mail Plus upgrade will add POP3 access to you account at $20 per year but if you want to save some money, here’s an alternate but simple trick:
1. Create a new account at Windows Live Hotmail and fetch all your Yahoo! mails into this account using the free TrueSwitch Service.

2. Now that your mails are inside Hotmail, you can use the above method to fetch those Yahoo messages into Gmail via Hotmail.

"It's much easier to make the transition now that you can bring along all your old email and contacts. You can even have your messages forwarded from your old account for 30 days, giving you time to take Gmail for a test drive while you make up your mind," suggests Google's blog.

The service is powered by TrueSwitch, which offers similar migration wizards for Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. Depending on the number of messages that are imported, the migration may take up to 2 days.

[SOURCE]

Tasks in Google Calendar, a lil something is still missing!!!

It seems like Google is really working hard on its Calendar service by adding features like Orkut Friend's Birthday calender and not one of the most required function Tasks...

Giving details about the feature Gmail blog posted :
Ever since we launched Google Calendar, people in our forum have been pretty vocal about a missing piece -- an integrated task list. "To-do would be tooo-rific," "I really, really, really need to use a to-do list," and my favorite: "I'll join your team to help you get it done!" The rumble turned into a roar a few months ago when we launched Tasks in Gmail Labs. Now we've integrated Tasks into Google Calendar as well.


To get started, open Calendar and click on the "Tasks" link on the left hand side. You'll see the familiar task list you're used to using in Gmail, with some Calendar-specific additions:

  • Tasks that have due dates will automatically appear on your calendar. To create a task with a due date in Calendar, click on an empty space in month view or the all-day section of week view, and be sure select the "Task" option.


  • To attach a due date to an existing task, click the right-arrow from within the task list, and then click on the calendar icon.

  • You can modify a task's due date by dragging it to a different date, just as you would with a regular calendar event.

  • To mark a task completed from within Calendar, just click on the task's checkbox. (Isn't that satisfying, overachievers?)

  • To keep track of due dates before they arrive, there's a nifty new "Sort by due date" feature available in the Actions menu at the bottom of your task list. While sorting by due date, you can reschedule a task by clicking on it in your list, then pressing control and the up or down arrow key.



Isn't it a really nice feature making a task list inside the calendar, seems like they have added the feature where it actually belongs, But there's still something that I desperately want in Goole Calendar,  something i mentioned in my post about orkut Birthday on Google Calender and that is the sms notifications for the events in your orkut friends birthday calender just like the ones you get about the events in your main calendar, as a matter of fact there are no notification settings for this calender and also if you Google Calender gadget activated through Gmail Labs in your Gmail, this calender doesn’t show up there too… so whats the use except that you can just see all the birthdays anytime you want..

May 13, 2009

Yahoo Refining Their Password Recovery Process To Optimize Security…

Due to incidents such as the hacking of Sara Palin’s email last year and others like it, Yahoo is refining their password recovery process.  The incident last year is a perfect example of how security is compromised in the simplest of ways usually.  One doesn’t need to have access to encryption/decryption tools or proxies to intercept https packets.  To hack into Yahoo mail, at least until recently, one only needs Wikipedia and Google.  Check out the explanation from the culprit himself as to how he hacked into Sara Palin’s email using the password recovery wizard of Yahoo.  One detail left out from this explanation was the fact that he did this using a public proxy, in this case ctunnel.com, in order to hide his IP address.
After the password recovery was re-enabled, it took seriously 45 mins on Wikipedia and Google to find the info, Birthday? 15 seconds on Wikipedia, zip code? well she had always been from Wasilla, and it only has 2 zip codes (thanks online postal service!)   The second was somewhat harder, the question was “where did you meet your spouse?” I did some research, and apparently she had eloped with Mr. Palin after college.  I found out later through more research that they met at high school, so I did variations of that, high, high school, eventually hit on “Wasilla high” I promptly changed the password to popcorn and took a cold shower…”

In response to this attack and others like it, yahoo is changing their password recovery process.  From now on, users will be asked to provide an alternative email address or cell phone number to which the password will be sent to rather than asking a series of questions that a culprit can research.

Perhaps another lesson from this is to never tell the truth on password recovery questions.

[Source]

Coming Soon,Revolutionary Google Squared

One of the most interesting announcements at today’s Google Searchology event was Google Squared, which Google says will be appearing in their Labs later this month (apparently at www.google.com/squared).

Google’s Matt Cutts at his blog wraps up the Squared demo:
If you typed in ’small dogs’ then Google would try to return types of small dogs, along with facts like how much they weigh. It’s easy to add a row to the Square, so you could add a row for Lhasa Apso and Google will try to infer the relevant facts from the web. You can also add new columns, e.g. if you type ’energy level’ then Google will look for corroborating facts across the web and try to guess the energy level of each type of dog.”

Here are screenshots, courtesy of Google (Google says as this is not public yet, the final release may change):


The Google Squared homepage, complete with a Labs icon, offers a search box and a “Square it” button. Suggested searches include “roller coasters”, “strollers”, and “hotels in Paris”.


The search result page for the query “small dogs”. According to Google, Chihuahuas weigh 6 lb and belong to the group “toy”.

[Source]

May 5, 2009

Love to shop with Friends? Now do it Online!!!

 So, Are you one of those who take your Friends on your shopping trips!! Take their advise before buying anything...

But this extreme Heat outside stopping you to have that fun!! 

Well Don't get upset, You and your Friends can still shop together without even leaving the comfort of your AC room!!

How???

Well Just Log on to www.shopcorn.in India’s first social shopping community portal, that offers shoppers across the country to interact in real time environment with the revolutionary Voice-Video-Text chat feature enabled.  

The two things that i really love @ shopcorn are:-

  • Deals Box : this is the democratic shopping zone of Shopcorn, where the users can pick up deals from any of the shopping portals like Indiatimes.com, rediff.com, indiaplaza.com etc.  and upload it here.  Other users can then see these deals & discuss about it in the community environment.  They can write scraps about the deal or discuss it using the Text-Voice-Video chat feature.  They can also Kick the Bad deal & Pick the Good ones.  This way only the top deals remain there on Shopcorn.



  • Community Section : Users have their own profile page where they can send & receive scraps, upload pictures, videos etc.  They can also participate in Blogs, QnA etc


Not just that, You and your Friends can shop sitting anywhere and anytime.. Now don't tell me you still use your laptops like a PC because of your wired Internet connection..

OMG!!! you still do that, The world has changed where are you, visit shopcorn.in along with your friends and buy TATA Indicom's Photon+ Wireless Broadband USB Modem and surf the net anywhere anytime @ Top speed...

Remember its not a boring shopping website but a revolutionary Shopping social community for you and your friends to discuss anything you want to buy!!!

PS:- The portal is still very new, so you can give your feedback if you find anything you think should be there.

May 3, 2009

US Air Force now using super-secure version of Windows XP


Windows 7 might be getting all the attention lately, but Windows XP is having a quiet little renaissance of its own -- not only have sales of the venerable OS been extended until 2010, Microsoft is selling an ultra-secure version to the Air Force. The custom build ships with over 600 settings bolted down, and a security patch turnaround of just 72 hours compared to the standard edition's 57 days -- all because Steve Ballmer personally stepped in and approved the project at the Air Force's request. The effort's to standardize and preconfigure the OS has paid off: 85 percent of previous known exploits have been blocked, support call volume has dropped 40 percent, and the USAF has saved some $100 million in costs. Nice -- but don't get your hopes up, since it doesn't seem like Microsoft has any intention of selling this version to the public.

[SOURCE]

It Turns Out That Google Even Has A Competitive Advantage In Scanning Books



Google is serious about scanning books. Throughout the objections raised over the years by authors and publishers and the more recent delays in its settlement with the Authors Guild, Google has been scanning millions of books all along trying to digitize as many as it possibly can. It is so serious about capturing and indexing the knowledge stored in books that it has a patent, which was issued on March 24, 2009, on how to scan books faster than was previously possible.

The basic technique it uses involves two infrared cameras which determine how flat or curved each page to be scanned is and then adjusting the optical character recognition software it uses to read the text accordingly. In other words, the infrared cameras help figure out a book’s three-dimensional shape and then back out any resulting distortions. This results in much faster book scanning since each page doesn’t need to be flattened by glass plates and spines don’t need to be broken.

[SOURCE]

May 2, 2009

Windows 7 RC and XP given extensions on life well into 2010

Whether or not Windows 7 does launch in October as previously suggested, those who have (or plan to get) Release Candidate will be happy to hear that Microsoft won't be pulling the plug until June 1, 2010, well over a year from now and 11 months after its initial expiration date. After that, you're gonna have to fork over the Benjamins for one of the retail SKUs if you wanna keep 7 alive. As for those still living in Redmond's past, the company's also extended the life of XP, at least for OEMs. Companies using the older OS will still be able to install it on netbooks for up to one year after 7's official shape date. Seeing as the new system's likely to have a more expensive licensing fee, it's probably the best move if the company plans on keeping that 96% grip on the netbook OS market.

[SOURCE]

Use More Than 10 Numbers on Your Airtel Sim Soon

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel is planning to launch "Virtual Phones", a technology that allows users to use as many as 10 different numbers from a single phone, reports the Financial Chronicle.

Developed by Bharti-owned Comviva Technologies, the application comes embedded with the SIM card and offers users to "opt" for his number whenever the user requires it. The user group will be password protected with each user having his own password to access his phone. Airtel is reportedly undertaking field trials of the service. Comviva, in co-operation with South African operator MTN, already has the service in South Africa. Airtel expects the technology to be operational in two months time and India might see the first services roll out in the rural areas of the country.
According to Airtel, no other operator in India has a similar technology currently and for the same reason, the implementation of this technology will provide Airtel an early head start in this segment.

The idea is to provide subscribers more value with just a single instrument. While there have been cases of one SIM using two numbers, if Airtel's plans bears fruits, it will be the first time that users will get as many as ten numbers from a single SIM and that too, with just one handset. Singapore's SingTel and UAE's Etisalat already have this system in place where users have been assigned two numbers on the same SIM card.

[SOURCE]

Make those Boring Surveys more intresting!!!

Google has done some really thoughtful task this time by adding a splash of colors to all those boring Surveys...

Here's what the Docs Blog's post says about the 70 new themes >>

We've just launched 70 themes for forms so you can add a little (or a lot of) color to your surveys and questionnaires. Some themes are basic colors schemes (like Blue, Espresso, or Rose) and others are fancier designs (like Picnic, Zen Spring, and Dusk).




How do you choose a theme? When you're editing a form, click the Theme button to find the right theme and apply it to your form. One caveat: These themes will be visible to your respondents when they fill out the form online, not within email (like Gmail).