Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Google+: Social networking from Google (possible facebook killer?)

Google+ project is definitely a response to facebook becoming an increasing threat to Google’s dominance on the web. Reuters reported that the average U.S. visitor spent 375 minutes on Facebook in May, compared with 231 minutes for Google.

Google+ project is currently under field trials and available by invitation only. To get yourself invited, visit the google+ page and click on keep me posted link. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to take a virtual tour of the Google+ project. It is the best you may be able to practically witness the things which are in store in Google+, unless you receive the invite.

Google+ combines a lot of key features which include:

  • Circles
  • Hangouts
  • Instant uploads
  • Sparks
  • Huddle

For more details, check out the Google blog.

Is it going to revive Google’s fortunes in the social networking space, only time will tell. But the first impression is not that bad.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Facebook and Google are hiding – TED Talks

I came across this video with the title “What facebook and Google are hiding” on the internet and wondered if this was really something i would want to see. I am so happy that i did. The audience was awed by it and so was I.The Filter Bubble - What the internet is hiding from you by Eli Pariser
As a guy who does normal stuff on the internet, i knew that things were changed to an extent in the name of personalization. But it never occurred to me the extent to which things were hidden by bigges like Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, and other corporations in the name of personalization.

It brings us to the question: Are we willing to get personalized results at the cost of losing on reality? I think i would want to keep some objectivity in life and see my digital world not completely morphed. Further, I would like to have the power to control what i see and not giving the entire power to some algorithm which i don’t even know what it does.

This insightful and though provoking talk is by Eli Pariser who says that the Internet is hiding things from us. I would definitely recommend this video to everyone. Enjoy and please do express your feelings with us!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to change / customize favicon in Blogger

Adding a favicon to one’s site is perhaps one of the finer things to do in personalizing a blog to one’s liking. Though there have been many sites showing how to add a favicon to a blogger blog, majority of them involved fiddling with the code of the blog. Realizing that i am not much of a software guy, i just skipped all these options.

Custom favicons are now official on Blogger in draft. Blogger in draft users now have an option to change the blogger default favicon to ones own personalized favicon.

old and the new favicons

Things to do before changing / Customizing the favicon in Blogger

  • Blogger accepts favicons only in .ico format as of now. You can use any service to convert the image to an .ico format. I used icoconverter for converting the image to .ico format. (Note: Blogger accepts only 10kb sized favicon images only.)

Changing / Customizing favicon in Blogger

  1. Open Designs | Page Elements (Layout tab for new interface users)
  2. You will see the Blogger favicon. Click the Edit button
  3. Upload your personal favicon
  4. Save. You should now see the blogger favicon replaced by your own favicon.
  5. Save the changes made to the template and your personalized favicon should appear in the browser window or tab.

Step 1

Edit a favicon

Don’t see the favicon in your dashboard as given in step 1, join Blogger in draft and the option will become available.

Step 2

Upload a custom favicon

Step 3 

Save, customized favicon

Step 4

Customized favicon in blogger

Update: BTW the update of the favicon to my blog was not instant. It took less than a day for my personalized favicon to appear on my blog.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rajini catching goli: Reliance Digital HD tv ad

Reliance has not been a popular choice with me and many others like me with regard to their advertising as their ads has not touched me in a way which makes me remember them. But this time it seems different. I have somehow stuck to their latest offering the "Rajini catching goli ad" for Digital HD tv.

The creative elements in the ad work for me. The visuals are clean, cool and classy. The ad has a very modern day look and feel. I found the sound track to be really good. The ad sticks to me even after it is off air.

It has been some time since i have seen such a nice hummable tune in an advertisement. My childhood favourite has arguably been the Amul’s Dhoodh Dhoodh ad. (I loved the ad. Somehow couldn't find the entire 60 second ad anywhere on youtube). I guess the Reliance ad team is also happy that their ad is striking chord with their audiences. The fact that i am actually writing a post on this shows that i am really engrossed with the ad. The Reliance team has this to say about their ad:
A clutter breaking TVC with an anthem like jingle, simple hummable lyrics & shot on a phantom camera to bring alive a true HD exp.”
My favourite line in the ad is definitely the "Rajini catching goli" line. Which line is your favourite?

World Cup… Winning six...
Ganon ke Remix...
Breaking news ka drama...
Cartoons ka hungama…
Mere tv pey, sub HD mein...

Rajini catching goli...
Loud Speaker Dolly...
Bouncer pey Hook... Master Chef ka cook...
Mere tv pey sub HD mein…

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Federer and Nadal: Laughter filled shooting off the court

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal arguably are the two most exiting players on the tennis court and play each other guts out in a match. But off the court they seem to have a great chemistry between them. Don’t believe me, check out the following video which was made to promote an exhibition match, titled, “The Match For Africa” between Federer and Nadal seemingly conducted by the Roger Federer foundation.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ribbon Hero: Microsoft Office game for easy and fun learning

Microsoft Office Labs brings a great way of learning Office by turning Office into a game. The game is named "Ribbon Hero". The game is a move by Microsoft to make every player to become a Hero of the Ribbon added in Office 2007 and later versions. By the way, Ribbon Hero only works with Microsoft Office 2007 and Office 2010 versions.

The game starts with a story involving Clippy as the lead actor. Clippy might sound familiar to everyone. Yes, it was  a Microsoft Office assistant we all loved in the earlier Microsoft Office versions, which was removed from later versions of Office including 2007. Microsoft Office website provides the story which is excerpted below:

"The player will hop on board Clippy's stolen time machine and explore different time periods. With each time period, they get to explore a new game board with challenges they must complete to get to the next level. Each challenge takes the player into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote to complete a task. Discover new Office features by actually using them, with a hint button to fall back on in case you get stuck. Race for a high score with colleagues, classmates and friends, or even put your score on your resume to show off your Office skills!"

How does Ribbon Hero work? 
Ribbon Hero works on points. Points can be earned in two ways:
1. Once the app is installed as an addon on Office, using basic commands such as bold, italic, underline and complex commands such as styles will give points. Complex tasks definitely give more points than the basic tasks.
2. Play the challenges in Ribbon Hero. This is the real way of accumulating points as one can accumulate a good number of points in this option.

Also, Ribbon Hero keeps a tab on the features which are in use and those that are not. Ribbon hero also  recommends other challenges to expose the players to new unused features. If you are planning to increase your score at a fast pace, then the second option is the way to go. By the way, Ribbon hero also allows to see the breakup of the points tally for the kind of activity performed right within the app.

Ribbon Hero facebook integration
Ribbon Hero allows for facebook integration and challenge friends on facebook. To integrate with facebook, click the "Connect to Facebook" button from the Ribbon Hero dialog box. After connecting with Facebook, Ribbon Hero will allow to compare your score to the average score of all of your friends, the average score of all Ribbon Hero users, and the average score in your primary network.

Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy's Second Chance
This is the second installation of Ribbon Hero, that is why '2' appears at the end of the title. The difference between the two versions is Clippy, comic strips, colorful graphics, surprise animations, multiple levels, time travel, upside-down Clippy, space ships, Greek Gods, bow-and-arrow battles, and a ton of useful Office features.

So go ahead, download Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy's Second chance, learn Microsoft Office and challenge your friends on Facebook.
Requirements: Vista or Windows 7 (32/64 bit) or XP (32 bit), Office 2007 or Office 2010 (32/64 bit)
Limitations: English only, Works with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote only, Does not support versions of Office earlier than Office 2007

Friday, June 3, 2011

RSS feed error in Google Webmaster Central Blog

Today when i opened up Google Reader to catch my dose of news for the day, i was surprised to see some pictures appearing in Google Webmaster Central Blog RSS feed. On clicking on one of the pictures, a website with a lot of personal pictures opened up. I wasn’t sure why Google Webmaster Central Blog RSS feed would show some personal folder. So i opened up the Google Webmaster Central Blog directly and i noticed that the blog didn’t have those pictures at all.

So i wonder whether this was an anomaly which happened with only me or were there many people like me who observed the same phenomenon. But to my surprise, a quick Google search didn’t reveal any post which reported this incident.

Conspiracy Theories

Further, i started thinking why this happened. I have listed down some theories below:

  1. The blog RSS feeds were hacked
  2. A Google employee might have inadvertently linked the images somehow to the Google Webmaster Central Blog instead of her own blog.
  3. Google Reader might have retrieved some other feed and put it in the Webmaster Central Blog feed.

Apart from the above theories, i couldn’t think of any other option as i had a long day of grey matter use which had a prohibiting effect on further brain functioning. So i leave it to the readers to suggest the possible reasons. Lets see who’s theory is the craziest of all!

Please see the below image which shows the two posts which were last updated on the Google Webmaster Central Blog: Introducing Search engines come together for a richer web and Add +1 to help your site stand out.  

Rss error in Google webmaster central blog 2

Rss feed error in Google webmaster central blog 4

And the images i was talking about, see one screenshot below, for more you can visit: By the way if you are thinking that this is a weird way of promoting the said website, this is not. That is why i haven’t given a hyperlink. Stop thinking that i am doing this for fun!!!rss error in Google webmaster central blog 3

Is it one of the theories which i suggested? What do you think? Do you have a better explanation, then do suggest in the comments.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...