Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Zoho has a new product: Notebook

Zoho has added another product to its already rich web-based products suite -- A notebook.
Its launch has already covered by techcrunch and ReadWriteWeb .

Zoho notebook is a web-based application for collecting data (unlike its competitors it allows importing many formats: audio, video, text, html, RSS). Tweaking in these formats is easy.
It looks far better than other notebooks available.

The reason why I use a notebook (for me its google notebook) is to collect information while browsing. Without a firefox extension, that won't be easy. But as pointed out by ReadWriteWeb, an extension would be released with their public release sometime in March.


Friday, January 26, 2007

On RSS feeds

You can do a number of things with RSS feeds beyond news feeds.
Here is a list:

A nice read...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wikipedia search engine launched

There was a lot of buzz regarding the search engine creators of
wikipedia were going to launch. Finally, it has launched today:

At present, they allow search in wikipedia and the sites linked to it.
Their strategy has been to search using people's perception rather
than automated search. It is interesting to note that they have
provided a link for digg (digg has become the most important site for
news and information dissemination).

Jot: an upgrade is necessary

There have been talks of jot having an upgrade.

I have an account of jot but don't see an upgrade yet. In its present
form, jot is not something which I tend to use. There are better
wiki's available. Only thing which keeps me glued to it is that google
has acquired it. Maybe some day, it will be integrated with other
google products and will become better.

Hack to get the referrer site on Google analytics

Google analytics is a good product for tracking traffic on your site.
It shows some good data/graphs which none other service gives.
However, it does not show the referrer sites, which limit its usage a
lot. I prefer to know which sites are linking to my sites/blogs and
make updates accordingly. Therefore, I have shifted to mybloglog and
Here is a hack for finding the site referrer:

Yahoo: some cool acquisitions

Although Yahoo services have not been competent and have not been able
to match up with times, they have been good with their acquisitions.
Now, I use their acquired products more than their front line products
- especially the ones acquired recently.
A good article is here:

However, they will have to think of ways to integrate these products
into their other services to make it more streamline or their problems
will only increase.

Monday, January 15, 2007

On the events in Lucknow University

There are fresh news reports of Dr. R. P. Singh taking action against
goons and gangsters operating from Lucknow University.

Dr. R. P. Singh's effort to clean the campus of gangsters who intend
to make a political career from University Campus (taking head on the
politicians), has attracted national and international attention and
won him Indian of the year 2006 (by Times of India).

While politicians keep criticizing him for not letting Lucknow
University be used as their den, media has been reluctant in
highlighting his past accomplishments. I got a very rare opportunity
of having a very close interaction with him during Indo-German Winter
Academy 2004. During his tenure at IIT Kharagpur, he had a fruitful
research career and was among the foremost researchers in his domains.
He had more than 200 publications and was author/co-author of a number
of books. He research interests spanned a number of domains very
relevant to India. During the academy, he talked about his works on
preservatives for Indian foods like Mangoes and agro-friendly

After retirement, he could have chosen to join any institution at some
cosy position. He choose to join Lucknow University, probably because
he wanted to change the system there. While it is really heartening to
see him taking some bold decisions, it is also unfortunate to see how
the system bullies such bravehearts of society.


IITkgp web-page has a new look

I just bumped into the web-page of IIT KGP.
Unlike our days, it looks like people are devoting some time on it.
It has got a new clean look.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Attach keywords to web-sites

Firefox allows you to configure your browser to attach keywords for
quickly opening the web-sites by just typing in keywords.

Some details are here:

Openbook firefox extension allows you to easily manage these bookmarks.



Friday, January 05, 2007

milage calculator using Google Calendar and Google maps

Here is another mash up of Google Calendar and Google maps. Just enter
the xml of Google calendar and start address and it creates the



Google Co-op search engine for bookmarks!

Here is a blog describing a method to create a google custom search
engine for bookmarks. Vik has integrated two very good
services in a wonderful way although I am yet to use it. This looks
interesting since you can do this without knowing anything about XML !



Thursday, January 04, 2007

Google tool-bar

After a lot of hassle, I was finally able to install the new Google
toolbar for firefox on my Linux machine. Installing it was really
difficult. The suggestion given by google on its site was just not
working. Probably, this tool-bar is still beta and they are working on
It was really pleasing to see the many features that have been
provided by this new version. Now, I can get rid of a number of
plug-ins/extensions and have just one -- google toolbar.
It has small buttons for calendar, gmail, video etc. Previously, I had
to use different extensions for doing all this. Then bookmarking can
become seemless with this. There is a send to button for sending a
page to gmail, blogger or even SMS. Moreover, it allows opening docs
and spreadsheets present online in Google docs. With so many features,
it sure is a winner. I can choose to forget all the heavy extensions
and all the trouble taken for downloading this toolbar :)



Wednesday, January 03, 2007

dodgeball: mobile social networking

Dodgeball is one of the services which google is sponsoring while not
showing on its web-sites. The company is based on mobile social
networking, and has a very interesting idea. I am sure something like
this will be very popular among young people. At this time, they are
offering services in a few US cities. The concept of finding friends
in a given range can be very useful for tracing friends. It can also
cross check people telling lie about their locations (:P)



Tuesday, January 02, 2007 A social network for techies

Social networking sites have been rising like anything and come across
one almost everyday. It is interesting to note the attention they are
getting. People don't love to create different log-ins and they will
soon get fed up. I have stopped signing into such sites and want to
remain limited to Orkut and myspace. However, I found an interesting
one here:
Its good especially since its creator promotes it by saying it is for
geeks. I am one :P
It seems to be akin to be similar to the forums which have been famous
among niche audience. In our college days, one such forum, mutter was
very famous and was being maintained by a friend of mine. Probably,
the rise of social networks like facebook has been because of its
institution centric approach.


-- Secondary site for blogging and for OpenID

For last couple of days, I have been using vox along with blogger as
my blogging site.
This is just to compare the best services present in the internet
space for blogging and compare them against blogger. I find vox quite
flexible in allowing me which blogs to keep public and which ones to
keep private. They allow easy posting using a number of different
unique e-mail IDs. Alongwith this, vox ID is an OpenID. I hope OpenID
would become famous with time making services like vox more famous.

Note: OpenID allows users to maintain a single ID for logging into
many web-sites. Although, currently few sites support it, but this
number is expected to increase with time or at least they should help
in the development of something similar to this concept.



google's security flaws

Gmail's security flaw has bugged me quite a lot. I find gmail opening
even if I close a browser without logging out. Moreover, I use google
browser sync. Using this, you can synchronize the many browsers across
many computers you keep using. I found that if I log into my office
machine, some one accessing my home machine can also log-in into my
google accounts although I log out of it at home.
Now, people have been able to find a easy way of hacking your contact
information. Google tried to fix it immediately, but the problem still
exists after having been reported more than 24 hours ago. They tried
to do some quick fix, but people are still reporting flaws:

I am sure by now, many spam sites would have used this flaw to get
some mails. Although people may perceive contact list as less
vulnerable, I find it a huge security risk. I use a number of unique
e-mail IDs for blogging, sending data to some sites which are as
critical as passwords.

Just going on the below mentioned site using firefox after logging
into gmail will show you your contact list:

It's good that this flaw has been exposed. I can now hope that the
security issues will be dealt with strongly by the google team,
although it may come up as a pain since at present, by logging into
one of google's product, you can automatically get into other sites.
But security must be given adequate importance.



Blogging to slow down

I have been blogging a lot for last few months. To keep a check, I
have decided to remove internet from my home. Hopefully, this will
bring down the rate of my blogging while I will be able to put time in
some more important things.