Google Summer of Code

Google has launched a new program called Summer of Code which is aimed at students. This is designed to introduce students to open source software developmen
The Summer of Code is Google's program designed to introduce students to the world of Open Source Software Development.

This Summer, don't let your programming skills lie fallow...Use them for the greater good of Open Source Software and computer science! Google will provide a $4500 award to each student who successfully completes an open source project by the end of the Summer. (payment details can be found in FAQ)

By pairing applicants up with the proven wisdom and experience of established prominent open source organizations (listed below), we hope to make great software happen. If you can't come up with a great idea to submit, a number of our organizations have made idea lists available.

There are a some open source organisations participating, like
The Python Software Foundation (ideas)
The Perl Foundation (submission guidelines & ideas)
The Apache Software Foundation (ideas)
Ubuntu Linux (ideas)
The Mono Project (ideas)
The Gnome Foundation (ideas)
The Wine Project (ideas)
The Subversion Project (ideas)
The last date for registration is June 14. For more details visit the website.

Linux replacements for Windows softwares

The table of equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux. (Official site of the table)

This is a worthy bookmark for those contemplating a switch to linux. There is a fairly complete list of applications in common use on windows and possible replacement programs that are available on linux.

Xbox 360 Embedded OS Speculation

This is a bit old, but it’s probably worth mentioning, since it will affect the ‘hackability’ of the next Xbox. Windows For Devices has speculated on the nature of the operating system behind the Xbox 360. Their source claims that the 360’s OS is a highly modified form of the original Xbox OS which, in turn, is a highly modified form of Windows 2000. The importance of a stable and intuitive operating system is much higher with this generation of consoles and especially in the 360, given the immense focus on the device as a media center and communications system. Instead of simply maintaining enough firmware to run whatever game is plugged into the machine, the 360 will maintain your media library, interact with other devices and more. Either way, they unequivocally rule out Linux as the 360’s OS (but that doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t figure out how to install it post-purchase).

The Xbox 360’s Embedded OS [WindowsForDevices]


Google Pagerank Reappears

SEO addicts are breathing a sigh of relief today after the Disappearance of Google Page Rank seemingly being rectified in the last few hours. The green bar on the Google Toolbar has returned.

For the average web surfer and blogger the loss of PR would have had little impact but I know a few SEO experts whose businesses rely upon it who will be very relieved today.

Update: Reading between the lines on what ‘Google Guy’ has to say on the WebMasterWorld forum it looks like this was just an upgrade of infrastructure that was timed to coincide with a holiday weekend in the US. It is not an roll out of ‘Trust Rank’ or even an update of PR. Things should be back to normal by now.

TargetPoint Ads

I have registered for an Ad system for this blog at Targetpoint. The ads shown are very similar to Google Adsense.
The registration was simple and the website was approved by afternoon. I can show two kinds of ads called
  • Adpoint
  • Exitpoint
Adpoint shows text ads relevant to the content on the page very similar to Google's Adsense. There are a wide variety of sizes to choose from like banner, skyscraper, button, etc (totally 10). We can filter those ads containing specific content or totally exclude a domain. We can even change the advanced ad design parameters like number of links to display, queue orientation, size, etc. But the interesting feature is that you can change every aspect of the ad - like border color, background image, height, title, description, etc., of the header, body and footer. Your ads are totally customisable. You can even preview the ad in the side and changes take place instantaneously.
Look at the side bar for a sample ad.

Exitpoint is an innovative type of ad where links are displayed on external pages. The external links on the page are changed to display a small frame on the external page. The user has a choice of closing that frame if required. For example click on these external link to see exitpoint in action.
My Livejournal blog


BBC - Linux Powered Weather Format

BBC launches new weather format using Weatherscape XT. This may be one of the higher profile deployments of Linux based systems. Weatherscape XT supplies weather graphics for all UK BBC channels plus the BBC World Service. The system relies completely on openGL graphics and there are demonstration clips of the system in use at Metra.info . Developed in NZ by MetService as a cross platform system for Linux, OS X and Windows, the BBC solution has been deployed on Linux with MySQL DB. Data is replicated to remote studios and displayed live by the Weatherscape application using Nvidia Graphics and drivers. Future deployment options will depend on customer choice and platform support.
Source: SlashDot

Adsense - Choice over ads

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Google Adsense has a new format where the visitor to the website has the choice over what kind of ads to be displayed. The user can click the keywords based upon which the ads shown will change.
There are five links that are related to the topic and there is also a textbox, where the user can type the necessary keyword and ads based on that keyword will be shown. This is a nice feature, but I wonder how many will use this feature. Visitors come to a website to read content, not to see ads. This feature will be really useful for those who want to know more (commercial) information about the other related topics.
In the example I have taken, first the ads were about blogs, blogging software, blog hosts, etc. I tried a few keywords and then, I tried my own keyword "DVD" and I got ads related to DVD players. The keywords also have changed multiregion DVD, DVD players, etc.

Nokia Releases Linux Internet Tablet Device

Nokia has released its first mobile device that isn't a phone, and it is meant for accessing the web anywhere you have a wireless connection. The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is based on the Linux operating system, and they say that the plan is to publish the source code for the device in hopes that developers will write custom software to increase adoption.
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With a price point of only $350, Nokia's 770 is a very attractive option to buying a laptop for around the house simply for e-mail or to connect to the internet. It weighs just half of a pound, is 3/4 of an inch thick, 5.6 inches wide and 3.1 inches deep, with a 4.1 inch touchscreen display. Also included with the device is a player for MP3s and other media, along with a USB port to connect with a Bluetooth transmitter for access to mobile networks.

"Linux is a logical choice for the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet as Linux and the Open Source development platform provide us with fast and efficient solutions to build products for this new, Nokia product category. This is the first step in creating an Open Source product for broadband and Internet services. We will be launching regularly updates of the software. The next software release planned for the first half of next year will support more presence based functionalities such as VoIP and Instant Messaging", said Janne Jormalainen, VP of Convergence Products for Nokia.

Additional applications of the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet with the 2005 software include an Internet Radio, RSS News reader, Image viewer and Media players for selected types of media. The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is planned to start shipping in the third quarter of 2005 to the US and Europe.


Microsoft advises to uninstall Netscape

Microsoft Corp. recently said that users should either uninstall Netscape 8 or edit the registry to fix a data problem. The issue is that AOL’s new browser version disables XML rendering capabilities in Internet Explorer, which in return displays a blank webpage on selected websites instead of the ones with actual content. The problem occurs when the user is trying to view a contented webpage via a RSS feed.

Microsoft Senior Program Manager for Internet Explorer Dave Massy said that his company has confirmed the bug and offers two potential solutions. The first one is to completely uninstall the browser, and the second option is to delete the registry titled: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerPluginsExtension

AOL disregarded the issue as being a critical one and AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein said, "This issue affects a very small number of users who visit sites that require that advanced technology".

AOL said it has plans to fix this particular bug in Netscape 8 sometime next week.

According to security reports, this is the second bug that has been found in Netscape 8 after a group of 40 were discovered after the browser’s initial launch. Netscape is a hybrid to Firefox and Internet Explorer, which should yield in increased compatibility and security, overall.

Google Pagerank unavailable

Google Pagerank status is currently unavailable and Google cache was also not working.
Yesterday when I saw the cache of this blog, it was taken on 27th. But today, the cache is from 22nd. Also when I tried Google translation, it was also not working. Not long ago Google itself was down due to a DNS problem.


GMail Illegal in Germany

A German court ruled it illegal for Google to use the email domain “gmail.com”, as Golem (Google translated page) reports. Google already changed their email’s name to “Google Mail" for German users, but the gmail.com extension prevails so far – now the state court of Hamburg said Google may not offer emails with this extension to German users. Daniel Giersch owns the trademark “Gmail” in Germany and isn’t willing to give up easily. He already rejected an offer from Google to buy the name from him, Giersch said on Golem. I wonder if he should truly have any more rights than to the domain Gmail.de?

Update: German Golem now reports Google said they received no cease & desist so far.

Yahoo Photomail

Yahoo’s Photomail is a photo sharing service that works on WinXP/2000 and IE5.5. Quick Select if the browser software which doesn't work in Firefox, Netscape or Macintosh. Don't know what it is. If someone tries it please comment on it here.

Yahoo Mindset

Yahoo Mindset lets you adjust a slider on the search results page – slide it to the left to get more commercial results (like shopping sites), slide it to the right to get more non-commercial results (like academic research). But I wonder on what basis they categorise the website.
Yahoo Mindset

Orkut giving Gmail

Orkut is giving away GMail invites. Orkut is an online community where you make freinds, share photo’s, discussion boards etc. Orkut itself works on Invitation i.e. you need an Orkut invitaion if you want to be part of Orkut. Gmail is under the Beta tag for more than a year.
I got my Gmail invite from Blogger and it was something great to have Gmail. But nowadays you can get an invite easily.

Bittorrent's new search tool

Bittorrent launches a new search tool to search for torrents. I have already written about using Google search for torrent searching. But this tool from BT is nice and brings out better results and more information about the torrents like:
  • estimated speed
  • number of files
  • filesize
  • filenames
  • tracker information, etc

Came back from Vacation

I was not in station for 3 days and came back yesterday. I got a nice idea of a website package for travels companies while travelling.


Mozilla FireFox v1.1

Mozilla Firefox project (formerly Firebird, which was formerly Phoenix) is a redesign of Mozilla's browser component, written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform.

It is small, fast and easy to use, and offers many advantages over other web browsers, such as the tabbed browsing and the ability to block pop-up windows.

Please note that this a preview build of FireFox v1.1 code named as Deer Park v1.0 and this is a Alpha Build.


"Sanitize" privacy feature

The "Sanitize" feature provides an easy way to quickly remove browsing history, cookies, cache, saved form information, and other personal data.

The items to be removed can be customized, and the feature can be activated using either a keyboard shortcut or through a menu item.

Image thumbnails as tab icons

When viewing images, tab icons now display thumbnails of the displayed image.

Fast back (and forward)

This very experimental feature allows much faster session history navigation.

The feature is off by default but can be enabled for testing purposes by setting the browser.sessionhistory.max_viewers preference to a nonzero number.

Anonymous FTP login failure behaviour

FTP users are now prompted to input a name and password if anonymous access fails.

CSS at-rule for matching on site/document URL

The new @-moz-document rule gives users the ability to match page objects per-site, using CSS.

This makes it possible to include site-specific rules in user style sheets (userContent.css).

David Baron's post to www-style explains how the rule can be used.

Report a broken website wizard

Users now have a simple tool for reporting websites that aren't working in Firefox. If installed (Reporter is a custom install option for this release) the tool can be accessed from "Report Broken Website" on the Firefox Help menu.

Improved Preferences

Instant Apply behaviour on Linux and Mac Changes made in the Preferences window now apply immediately, in line with typical behaviour in other Mac OS X and GNOME applications.

This changes conforms with the Apple and GNOME Human Interface Guidelines.

Searchable download actions manager

You are now able to search through Firefox's file associations for downloaded files by program name or their file extension.

Searchable cookie manager

Cookies can be searched by hostname/domain and cookie name, and are organized by hostname in a tree format instead of a flat list.


Firefox MSI package

- The new MSI installation package facilitates distibuted installation and provides greater flexibility to network administrators wanting to deploy Firefox in a corporate environment.

- Support for profile "temp" directory on local filesystem

- It is now possible to store the network cache (copies of visited webpages) and the XUL fastload cache (precompiled user interface code) on a local disk, while keeping the rest of the profile data on a network drive.

- This will increase performance and reduce network traffic for users in a network environment.

Mac OS X Support

Supports "Full Keyboard Access" system setting
Drag and drop
Users can now drag more file types to the Dock icon to open in the browser

Menus function properly in windows without special menus and with no windows open.

Mouse Actions
Middle mouse buttons now function as expected.
Keyboard shortcuts
Cmd+Return and Cmd+Shift+Return are now supported for address completion as on other platforms.

Back, Forward, Stop and Help keyboard shortcuts are now exposed.

Download :

- Windows : .EXE | .MSI | .ZIP
- Linux : Installer | .TAR.GZ
- Mac OSX : .DMG


Additional Information

- Features : Click Here
- Web Develope's Feature : Click Here
- Extension Features : Click Here
- Deer Park Alpha : Click Here
- Dark Park FTP : Click Here
- FireFox Home : Click Here
- Mozilla Home : Click Here

Source : Mozilla


BitTorrent Goes Trackerless !

As part of our ongoing efforts to make publishing files on the Web painless and disruptively cheap, BitTorrent has released a 'trackerless' version of BitTorrent in a new release.

Publishing with BitTorrent gets easier! Read complete article to get more information.

Suppose you bought a television station, you could broadcast your progamming to everyone in a 50 mile radius. Now suppose the population of your town tripled.

How much more does it cost you to broadcast to 3 times as many people? Nothing. The same is not true of the Web.

If you own a website and you publish your latest video on it, as popularity increases, so does your bandwidth bill! Sometimes by a lot!

However, thanks to BitTorrent the website owner gets almost near-broadcast economics on the web by harnessing the unused upstream bandwidth of his/her users.

In prior versions of BitTorrent, publishing was a 3 step process. You would:
- Create a ".torrent" file -- a summary of your file which you can put on your blog or website
- Create a "tracker" for that file on your webserver so that your downloaders can find each other
- Create a "seed" copy of your download so that your first downloader has a place to download from

Many of you have blogs and websites, but dont have the resources to set up a tracker. In the new version, we've created an optional 'trackerless' method of publication.

Anyone with a website and an Internet connection can host a BitTorrent download!

Although still in Beta release, the trackerless version of BitTorrent, and the latest production version are available at BitTorrent.com

Additional Information

- BitTorrent Home Page : Click Here
- TrackerLess BitTorrent : Click Here

Source : BitTorrent

MSN Virtual Earth vs Google Earth

Microsoft sends news today that founder Bill Gates has announced a MSN Virtual Earth service is to debut in the summer.

The service is promised to provide:

- Satellite images with 45-degree-angle views of buildings and neighborhoods.
- Satellite images with street map overlays.
- Ability to add local data layers, such as showing local businesses or restaurants.

The service will allow users to choose from a number of different data types plus allow people to contribute their own information.

The announcement came today at the D3 conference happening this week.

Here are some screenshots from the service to come. You can click on the first to make it larger:

Last week, Google announced that its Keyhole software allowing satellite views of the Earth will be renamed Google Earth.

Better images will also be available to those getting satellite views via Google Maps.

In addition, Google Maps has also been getting enhanced by others adding on data from other sources.

So, the planned Microsoft service will help MSN compete against some Google gains in this area, not to mention moves others like Yahoo have been making with maps.

Source : SEW

Indexed by Google

Finally I got indexed by Google. The search result for "srinivasan cnu" shows up my website as the first in the results. The cached page shows that it was indexed on 21st May. I gotta add more content and I will get indexed by Google regularly.

Haloscan Trackback

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog. I still can't fully understand how this is useful, but since many bloggers use this I am also adding this Trackback system. Gotta read more about it.


I installed GreaseMonkey and it is a cool tool to control your web experience.

Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension which lets you to add bits of DHTML ("user scripts") to any web page to change its behavior.

For example, you could:

  • Make sure that all URLs displayed in the browser are clickable links
  • Improve the usability of a site you frequent
  • Route around common and annoying website bugs
  • Use the Coral content network selectively.
Goto http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/ and install this excellent extension.


Google Translator: The Universal Language

At the end of the 19th century, L. L. Zamenhof proposed Esperanto; it was intended as a global language to be spoken and understood by everyone. The inventor was hoping that a common language could resolve global problems that lead to conflict. Esperanto as a planned language might have had some success, but today, English is much more universal. 30 countries have it as an official language, and in many other countries it is taught in school and understood fairly well. The internet can be suspected to further increase the adoption of English.
Still, many people around teh world cannot speak or communicate in English. Therefore the collective information that is distributed across the web is not available to them. When you browse the web, or saerch for information you may come across various documents that are written in other languages and have symbols that you cannot understand - like Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, etc. So those documents are inaccessible. Many translation systems have been developed but they cannot provide good accuracy to understand the gist of the document.
At the recent web cast of the Google Factory Tour, researcher Franz Och presented the current state of the Google Machine Translation Systems. He compared translations of the current Google translator and the status quo of the Google Research Lab's activities. The results were highly impressive. A sentence in Arabic which is now translated as "Alpine white new presence tape registered for coffee confirms Laden" is now in the Research Labs being translated to "The White House Confirmed the Existence of a New Bin Laden Tape".
How is it done?
It is complex to program such a system, but the principle on which it is based is easy - so easy in fact that the researchers working on this enabled to translate from Chinese to English without any researcher being able to speak Chinese. To the translation system, any language is treated the same, and there is no manually created rule-set of grammer, metaphors and such. Instead, the system is learning from the existing human translations. Google relies on a large corpus of texts which are available in multiple languages.
Let's take a simple example: if a book is titled "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" in English, and the German title is "Also sprach Zarathustra", the system can begin to understand that "thus spoke" can be translated with "also sprach". (This approach would even work for metaphors – surely, Google researchers will take the longest available phrase which has high statistical matches across different works). So the researchers need to feed the system with two text in language A and Language B and tell that both these are the same. The body of the text must be immensely large, else the system would stumble across many unrelated phrases.
Google used the United Nations Documents to train their machine, and all in fed 200 billion words. This is brute force AI, if you want – it works on statistical learning theory only and has not much real "understanding" of anything but patterns. We can expect that Google will release their translation system soon (by this or next year). So where can Google integrate these.
Google Search
Documents that are searched using Google Search can have a link to obtain an automatic translation of the text. You just have to specify your language in your Google preferences and the text will automatically be translated to your language of understanding. Also if you search for a particular keyword or phrase, it will be automatically translated to other languages and all the web pages containing that keyword (in any language) will be presented. So if you searched for "thus spoke, you would also get results containing also sprach.
All mail will be translated to your language and you can understand what your German friend wrote automatically.
Google Browser
If at all Google brings out a Browser, it can integrate the translation tool right into the browser which automatically translates the web page you are currently viewing into our language of preference. So, if you know only English and you are viewing a French page, this browser can automatically show you the English translated version of it. You would be totally unaware of the translation and all the web resources will be available to you only in English.
Google Instant Messenger
If Google brings out a Google Instant Messenger (GIM ?) then it can automatically translate the conversation between two persons having different languages. If A and B (different language) communicate with each other, then GIM can automatically translate what A speaks to B and vice versa.
Google BabelFish
This is very advanced device and it right from a Sci-Fi movie. This is a small plugin for your ear which automatically translates what people around you speak. So that even if they speak various languages, all you would be hearing is your mother tongue.

Who knows Google might be already behind such projects. We will have to wait and watch.

Lara Croft's image makeover

In an attempt to appeal to more female players the creators of computer game icon Lara Croft have revamped her image to remove one of her most prominent and remarked-upon features - her generous bust.
For years, Croft's gravity-defying chest, waspish waist and long legs have delighted teenage boys playing the various editions of 'Tomb Raider', the computer game in which she stars.
According to The Times newspaper, British computer game firm Eidos, which created Croft, has changed her physique to one less likely to put off female players.
In the soon-to-be-released 'Tomb Raider: Legend', the eighth title to feature Croft, her DD-size bust has been reduced to a more modest C-cup and some of her more revealing outfits have been ditched, the report said.
The adventurer even sports a modest round-neck sweater with full arms for part of the game, the paper added.
"Lara's been on a diet and she's definetely gone down a cup size, but she's still quite well proportioned," Toby Gard, the original creator of the character, told the paper.
Created in the mid-1990s, Croft's series of adventures have made huge profits for Eidos, and were turned into a pair of films starring U.S. actress Angelina Jolie as the eponymous heroine.
However, the most recent Tomb Raider titles have fared less well. In March, shares in Eidos tumbled more than 30 per cent in a single day following speculation about a profit warning.
Source - The Hindu, 22, May 2005


Google search for torrents

You can use Google search to get search for your torrents.
You can search by using the tool filetype: in the advanced search. Just type the keywords for which you want to search the torrent and then include the line filetype:torrent.
For example if you want to search for torrents named eminem then type in your search box as
eminem filetype:torrent
Happy Bittorrenting.


Get $50 For one hour of blogging

Blogger is willing to pay you $50 to come down to Google for one hour and help improve the design and usability of Blogger.

Very cool. The program runs through early June, and is only eligible to people who have blogged for at least 2 months, are not employees of blogging companies, and are at least 18 years of age.

Oh, and of course you need to be able to make it down to the Googleplex, Mountain View, CA.

Here are the details from blogger website
Location: Google HQ in Mountain View, CA
Duration: about 1 hour
When: late May / eary June 2005 - during regular business hours (we will contact you to schedule a specific time)
Compensation: $50

In order to participate you must:
  • have used Blogger for at least 2 months
  • be over 18 years old
  • have never worked for a blogging company
  • be able to drive to our offices in Mountain View, CA
  • be willing to sign our Usability Non-Disclosure Agreement
Click here for more details on earning through blogging at blogger

Google Earth

Google is readying a software packagecalled Google Earth, which is a Google-ized version of Keyhole, an astounding 3D mapping program from a company that Google acquired. It includes some built-in searching features that let you do things like see driving directions rendered as photographic flyover animations of actual the route you'll take.

So what are Google's plans for Keyhole:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Keyhole's technology and products are an excellent addition to our efforts to do that. We do not have any announced plans regarding how this technology will integrate with our current products and services.
From the website www.keyhole.com

Google card trick

Check out Bondoogle, a card trick performed using Google. The trick works like so: Have the person pick a card, try to guess the card, and get it wrong. Then ask what the card was, and say "I bet Google knows what card it is". You then type into Google Images "What card did she pick?" and it returns pictures of that very card, with the name of the card in the search box.

How does it work? Bondoogle has a mirror of the Google search engine which masks what you are typing on the screen. Instead of your question, you type /3d/, where 3 is the number on the card and d stands for diamonds, the suit. Once you have typed the second /, you will see, instead of /3d/, the word "What". Until you type that second slash, Bondoogle will keep adding one letter at a time, up until it says "What is it that I am looking for?". When you type that second slash, everything you type is real, so, if you only type in 4 letters, you can continue to ask "What card am I thinking of, oh wise Google master?" and the only thing Google will search for is the text between the slashes.

What's more, while the script works best automating the number and suits in a deck of cards, you can type anything into either Google search or Google Images and pull off the trick. This means that you can type "/blue/s the color of my shirt?", your friend sees "What is the color of my shirt?", and Google returns the results for "blue".

Go to ipolygraph.com/google and try it out. To take the effect to the next level, Jim Bumgardner, who wrote the script, has created a Greasemonkey extension for Firefox that changes the actual Google search engine to exhibit this behavior. This means your "mark" will be very fooled by the address bar saying google.com.

This is all very cool, and I'm off to fool my loved ones.

Gmail with Popfile

I was using a mail categorising software called Popfile, which uses Bayesian filtering mechanism to categorise your mail. It acts as a POP proxy and sits between your mail client and your mail server. I wanted to use my GMail account with Popfile and found out that I can do that easily with a ssl upgrade to Popfile. I just got that and got my GMail account running with Popfile categorising the mail. GMail automatically filters the spam mail and I can receive only legitimate mail. I can now ditch my old hotpop account, which had 10MB space and 512KB file attachment restrictions.
Click here to setup your GMail (SSL) account with Popfile.


Customised Google search page

Google has unveiled a new service that allows people to consolidate various Google features they use, ranging from web search to email, into a personalized home page. Google has created a My Google page similar to what Yahoo and MSN had created before. You have a number of modules which you can add to your customised search page. The new page will look similar to the old search page, but below the search text box, there is an option to add a number of modules.
You can add
  • Stocks
  • Weather(US only)
  • Quote of the day
  • Word of the day
  • Driving directions(US only)
  • Movies(US only)
  • Feeds, Headlines & The "Fusion" Strategy
  • Gmail (support for other mail services pending)
This customised Google will allow you to read news from various sources like
- Google News (top US stories)
- BBC News
- New York Times
- Slashdot
- Wired News
The option to add any feed will be introduced soon.
You can even decide upon the placement of the modules you have selected. This customised page is totally different from the regular search engine. This is expected from Google which will not push things into its users.
Get your customised Google search page here.

Ten things to use Photoshop for

Most people don't use Photoshop to its fullest capabilities. Here are just ten uses to which you could put this highly versatile software.

  1. Restoring Old Photographs. Have a look through that old family photo album - the really old one from up in Grandma's attic. Inside there are probably a few photos from way back when that haven't stood the test of time so well. They've got cracks and tears that really spoil their appearance. Scan them into Photoshop, and then set to work with the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, and Patch tools. The Healing Brush in particular is a great tool for this purpose as it samples data from one part of the picture and blends it in with what's already there.
  2. Correcting Mistakes. We've all done it: Had an attack of "finger over the lens syndrome," or got too close with the flash, so our subjects suffer from "red eye" and look like extras from a horror movie. Use the crop tool to salvage something usable from your obscured photo, and the enlarge wizard to blow it up to a reasonable size. For "red eye" and "pet eye," use the eyedropper tool to sample color from around the iris, and a brush to paint away the red.
  3. Adding Graphics to Videos. It's a little known fact, but many domestic and professional nonlinear editing systems (especially the Mac based ones like Avid or Final Cut) enable you to import Photoshop .psd files directly into the timeline.
  4. Creating Text Effects for Print and Web. There's an almost unlimited amount of things you can do with text in Photoshop. Use the Type Mask Tools to create picture filled text, then upload the results to your web page - or print them out for a one of a kind T-shirt.
  5. Turning a Photo Into a Work of Art. Everyone likes to have nice things to look at. Most of us like to have pictures on the wall, and something that looks different from what other people have on their walls is a definite plus. Unless you're blessed with artistic talent, though, this can be very expensive - until now. Use one of Photoshop's many Artistic or Brush Stroke filters to turn your photos into "new masters," then print them out on quality art paper.
  6. Designing Web Banners and Buttons. Photoshop comes with a predefined web banner sized canvas. Photoshop's sister application, Image Ready, comes with several - and lots of tools for animating text and pictures. You can also create interactive buttons that enhance a web browsing experience.
  7. Adding Text to Photographs. Impress your boss by putting the company name on the side of an airliner, building, or racing car. Use the Move Tool to skew the text to fit the contours of the picture, adjust the opacity a little, and hey presto! The text will look like it's always been part of the photo.
  8. Combining Pictures, Text, and Graphics to Make Covers for Books, Reports and CDs. Photoshop contains many of the image manipulation capabilities of high-end DTP applications that cost thousands. Use the "Layer via Cut" command to make your title text go behind part of the picture - just like on the cover of "Rolling Stone."
  9. Designing Web Pages. Did you know that Photoshop and Image Ready can turn your photograph or artwork into a web page? Use the slice tool to cut your work into easily downloadable pieces, then the rollover function to embed website URLs.
  10. Combining Pictures to Make the Impossible Possible. Come on! You didn't seriously think that Michael Moore and President George W. Bush really stood hand in hand on the White House lawn for the Fahrenheit 9/11 poster, did you? I don't know for certain that they used Photoshop to fake that picture, but they certainly could have done. With Photoshop you can remove the background from one picture, take some elements from another, and combine them with the background from a third to create a picture that could never have been taken for real. Who says the camera can't lie!

Photoshop Bluffs

Photoshop is an excellent image manipulation program brought out by Adobe. Many professional digital photographers swear by it. So you want to show your friends that you know Photoshop and want to bluff your way through. Then here are some tips.

Unsharp Mask
In order to bring out the details, most scans need to be sharpened. For this, most pros use Unsharp Masking. There are three parameters in the Unsharp Mask filter: Amount, Radius and Threshold. Threshold deals with levels of tonal seperation. Radius is the amount of sharpening you want. The Amount controls how effective your choice of Radius will be.
Is it too difficult to remember? I too find it the same.

Blending modes
These need two or more layers for any effect to work. You need at least two layers to blend together. A layer with a blending mode specified will blend with all other colors from layers underneath it. Photoshoppers call those original layer colors the base colors. The colors on top layer are called the blend color. The result is called the result color.
That was an easy one.

Texture Mapping
This is a favorite of wannabe Photoshoppers. They often say something that sounds like the following: "I've been having problems with using texture maps in my renderings. I'm trying to render a brick building using a texture map, but when it renders, I get these weird patterns all over my image. I've tried to increase the actual scale of the text-map, that didn't work. I tried to increase the size of the tiling, that didn't work. It happens for every image map I use for brick. It's getting frustrating..."

Just throw something like that at someone while you are looking frustrated, and they'll think you're a Photoshop pro!

Hello BloggerBot works

I am sending this picture to test Hello. This is an easy tool to attach images to one's blogs.
This was taken during the culturals. The people in the pic are (from left):
Yamini, Pratheema, Murali, Sudarsan, Raju and me.
Posted by Hello

AMD India launches 64-bit dual server

Bangalore, May 18. : AMD India on Tuesday announced the launch of a broad portfolio of what is said as the world's first 64-bit, dual-core server and workstation solutions for enterprise users to desktop and desktop-replacement notebooks for consumers and business users.

The new Dual-core AMD operation processors deliver up to a 90 per cent performance improvement for application servers over single-core AMD Opteron processor, an AMD statement said.

For desktop PC users, AMD announced the new AMD Athlon 64 X 2 Dual-core processor brand that will enable the multi-testing capabilities for richer computing experiences in near future, it said.

What would be the response by Intel? Watch this space regularly...

Google's Corporate Desktop Search tool

Google launched a destop search tool for corporates called as Google Desktop Search for Enterprise.
Google Desktop Search for Enterprise helps you easily manage the ever-growing mountain of information located on your computers and includes key standards-based administrator features that provide enhanced security, centralised configuration and easy company-wide deployment.

Boost your productivity with Google Desktop Search:
  • Find your email, files, media, web history and chats instantly
  • View web pages you've seen, even when you're not online
  • Search directly from your desktop with the Deskbar
  • View search results from your desktop, intranet and Google.com
Why the new enterprise features are a big deal for IT administrators:
  • Centrally control user features and preferences
  • Encrypt all user data and search index files
  • Easily deploy using the included installation package
  • Test new versions before distributing
This tool can search for
Netscape IBM Lotus Notes Email
Internet Explorer Internet Explorer
Outlook Outlook Email
Netscape Netscape Mail
Outlook Outlook Express
Netscape/Firefox/Mozilla Firefox
Word Word
Excel Excel
Music Music
Powerpoint Powerpoint
Images Images
AOL IM AOL Instant Messenger
Video Video

I really miss a Desktop search tool for Linux users. There are similar tools, but a product from Google really has its own value.


Microsoft launches Antivirus

Software giant Microsoft is launching a new security product, which offers virus and spyware protection, a new firewall and various tune-up tools for Windows PCs.
A pilot version of Windows OneCare is scheduled to be available by the end of this year. It marks the company's long-awaited entry into antivirus software.
It offers improved backup and restore capabilities and easy access to Windows PC maintenance tools for file repair and hard drive clean up.
Anyway I am not going to buy a Microsoft product.
(Source: CRIENGLISH.com)


CollegeRant - New Project

I was thinking of the website and got an excellent idea. Every college student wants to write about the college and how they torture them. Why dont I create a website which helps them do just that. I have decided to develop a website where the students can register and write what they think about their college. Hope this becomes a good project. I gotta start learning PHP/MySQL seriously in the holidays and must try to finish a beta version within 1 year.

Suspension revoked

Today we went and met SO and told that we had deleted all the content. He asked us to write an apology letter and our suspension was revoked. But he didn't allow Robi. I dont know what would happen to Robi.


Deletion of posts

Sudarsan and I went to a browsing centre to delete the blog and the discussion forum. First we thought that the president or someone must have searched in Google and found the link. When we seached for the keyword 'saveetha' our website came in the 3rd page of the search result. That too was an indirect link. Not a direct link to the blog or the forum. So I thought someone who knew about the site had shown the president.
I wanted to save a copy of the post in the blog, so I mailed the post to my email address. Then we went to the forum and it was a difficult time to search for that particular post. There were in total 417 posts. Luckily I had moved the very bad jokes about the staffs to a password protected forum and it saved our neck. Some one really knowing about our website must have brought up the issue. But we dont know who it was. We deleted all the posts and all the members.
Sudarsan and ananthu wanted to develop another website without using the college name and to show the real state of the college. But I was thinking of some other way. I wanted to write a review about the college in www.mouthshut.com.

Fall of CSECDept website

Today just before the exam (Electronic Circuits) Ananthu and Murali came in and said that Ms.Kalaivani (DBMS, 3rd sem) wanted to see us for publishing about her in our class website. We(Sudarsan and me) went and saw her. She asked us about the website and who had published such information in it. Sudarsan was prepared for it by telling that someone named X had registered and had posted about this. He said that we didnt know who it was. She said that the president had come to know about it and he had asked the Special Officer(SO) (Dr.B.MuthuKumaran) to enquire about it. After finishing the exam we went to see our HOD, but saw only Ms.Kalaivani who asked us to come with her and meet SO. We went with her and Ananthu was also there for geting a bonafide. She made us to stand there. Then Avanthi also came and said that she was called by SO. After a while we went in and Dr.Muthukumaran began to scold us by asking who developed the site and who gave the permission to develop the site. He kept scolding us that we had no right to comment about a staff and we were no match for her.

The entire story happened back in the 3rd semester. We had a new staff (Ms.Kalaivani) to teach DBMS for us and one day she asked us what is the difference between a compiler and an interpreter. We answered it and she said that it was wrong. She said that a compiler executes the program line by line and a interpreter reads the entire program in a single go and executes. We said that it was wrong. She said no - What she said was only right.
So I blogged about that in our blog. Here is the post from the blog.
Monday, July 12, 2004

Today the most funny thing happened. DBMS ma'am today asked us what is
teh difference between a compiler and an interpreter. We said that a
compiler reads the entire code and an interpreter executes the code
line by line. Then she said that a compiler only reads the code line
by line and an interpreter executes as a whole. I don't know where she
got her degree. Hope the principal reads this blog or atleast HOD
ma'am reads this. I want to show the college the knowledge of our
teaching staffs. How can we expect to get within 10 ranks if such
staffs are present.
- posted by csec @ 5:37 AM

Now back to the present, SO showed us some printouts which were from the blog and also the discussion forum. There was a principal joke in it where the mother persuades the principal to goto school...
For that Robi had replied something about the principal and also said 'The same can be applicable to the Special Officer'. So the SO began to scold us for developing a website in the name of the college. He began to tell 'what would others think about our college after seeing the website?'. He also began to scold us for misusing the college name. He even threatened to file a police complaint. :-))
The charges against us were -
Me(Srinivasan) - For developing the website
Sudarsan - For developing the website
Anantharaman - For developing the website
Avanthi - For chatting with boys in the discussion forum
Robi - For commenting about the principal(who has left college now) and mainly about the SO

Ms.Kalaivani began to tell that she asked only basic questions without which she couldn't continue with the class. When she asked about compilers and interpreters, she only said "Are you sure?" and nothing else.
I was totally enraged by this big lie. How dare she tell such a lie. She also said that during the class hours, the students used to message each other and also pass messages in the form of bits.

So Dr.B.Muthukumaran suspended all five of us. The secretary typed the letter and asked us to sign in it. The letter read that
'The following students are suspended from the college for their misbehaviour by misusing the website of our college'
I wanted to ask her about the words 'website of our college' but she didn't allow me to talk and got our sign. Then our HOD was called and she was shown all the printouts. The SO then said that all the things must be deleted and we must come meet him the next day. We went to the department and waited for HOD to return.

When the HOD returned we asked her how they came to know about it. She said, the president came to know about this and he sent the links to SO and asked to take printouts of the website. She said not to worry as she had recommended for us and to come tomorrow after deleting all the stuff and the suspension would be revoked.

So what was my/our mistake?? We created a website for our class. How could we identify ourselves without using the college name. We didn't say that it was the official website of Saveetha Engineering College. The website read "Computer Science Department, Saveetha Engineering College". I dont think there is anything wrong in it. When we can have websites that can review about products like www.mouthshut.com or when we can discuss about any topic on Usenet, what is wrong in having a community website for our class? Were any copyright laws infringed? All the content on the website were the views of the members. If the views were against the college, then it is the mistake of the college by not maintaining a standard in teaching. If I say Microsoft products sucks, then it is my personal view and Microsoft cannot sue me. They have to make sure that their products are maintaining the standard.

The sad part is that they dont realise the state of the college with such staffs. I don't know where the college will head to with such people teaching us and governing us.


Formula 1 Live Timing

I could get the live timing of my favourite sport Formula 1 Grand Prix at the official website of Formula 1. It is very nice as it is created in Java and I could get the live scores from the cars, and also the weather, track conditions, etc.
And today is the Spanish GP.


Google goes down

Google went down for 15 minutes this past saturday between 6:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Entire Google services were brought to a standstill. Most of the users thought that it was a hacking attempt as they were redirected to another search engine. But Google confirmed the reports and said that it was due a problem with the DNS (Domain Name System).

Yahoomail - 1GB

Today I saw that my Yahoomail account was upgraded to 1GB. This is very very late as GMail introduced this concept more than a year back on April 1, 2004.
No webmail service provider can match the ease of use, features and speed of GMail. I hate Yahoomail because it is very slow and devoid of many features. But Yahoo excels in integrating all of its services like Mail, Instant Messaging, etc.
I am still waiting for an Instant Messaging system by Google. Who knows we may soon get GIM (Google Instant Messaging).


Flash For Linux

Here is an excellent software by the Free Software Community for GNU/Linux. There has been a long complaint that there is no tool for creating Flash animations in GNU/Linux. Here is the software which can change the world.
Flash For Linux


Matrix Revolutions - Navras

I atlast downloaded the famous sound track Navras from the film The Matrix Revolutions by Juno Reactor.
It is available from this URL

It is 9:08 minutes long with 192kbps bitrate.
Really cool.