HashOut: 2007.03
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Flying long distance with kids

In-flight entertainment, food and sleep on long-haul flights with kidsIf you're flying with the whole family including young children, here are some tips:

Choose your in-flight entertainment. Check websites and consult a travel agent for airlines with diversionary activites such as video games. Even better, seek out those with individual in-seat audio and videeo systems with dedicated children's channels. Try Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Or take your own portable DVD or CD player and headphones with a slection of your kids' favourite shows, movies and music.

Chosse flight times carefully. If you're spending most of the time airborne at night, there's more chance your kids will sleep and less need to entertain them. If bedtime is usually 9pm, choose a flight that leaves in the late afternoon.

Don't rely on airline food, particularly for fussy eaters. Pack sandwiches, bottled water and snacks. Be careful of quarantine regulations.

Jet lag affects everyone, including toddlers, Encourage your kids to drink more water than usual. Take a stopover if you can to slowly adjust to changing time zones.
» Continue reading


Hands-free, not risk-free

Talking on the cell phone while driving using hands-free is not safeIt's hazardous to use a hand-held cell phone while driving, so many people turn to hands-free models. But they're also dangerous say researchers at Israel's Assaf Harofe Medical Centre. They had 41 people sit in front of a bowl, stare at the center and hit a button when they saw a light twinkle. First they took the test without distractions. Then they did it while using a speaker phone--and, on average, missed twice as many lights, "Missing one point may be important while driving," says the study's author. "That could be a car braking." To be safe, park, then chat. » Continue reading

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Find your roots, online!

Family Tree - Trace your roots, find descendants, relatives and relationshipsIf you fancy constructing your own family tree, TribalPages is a free online service that automatically creates a picturesque website from the data you provide. Features include an events page for birthdays and anniversaries, ancestor and descendant charts, and a "relationship tool" that calculates the relationship between any two names. You can edit information whenever you want or add photographs and notes. Of course, you still have to do the research yourself, but TribalPages lets you post questions for other members and access some of the genealogies already on the site-over 130,000 Family Tree Genealogy sites with over 30 million names and 1.5 million photographs. » Continue reading

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Planning to buy a laptop? Here are some tips to buy a laptop...

Guide to buy a laptop/notebook computer

  • Don't be seduced by super-fast processor speeds unless you're running graphics-intensive applications such as games or design programs.
  • If you want to watch DVDs on the move, buy a laptop with an internal DVD drive. An external drive could be a nuisance if you travel a lot.
  • Buy a spare or higher-capacity battery for when you're not near a plug socket.
  • Be prepared to pay extra for software. Even Microsoft Office is absent from many packages, or rely on free open source software.
  • Due to their rough life, laptops are more prone to failure making it vital to back up data: a second, external hard drive, pen-drive or flash drive makes this easier.
  • An extended warranty for a fraction of the cost of the laptop will make sure that you don't have to spend as much as the cost of the laptop on major breakdowns.
  • An insurance policy for your laptop will save you from loss or damage of your laptop. Even traveling on a flight with your laptop is not safe from theft.
  • Up-loading pictures from your mobile phone or digital camera? An in-built memory card reader slot will make the task easier.
  • Most laptops come along with a carry bag, but if it doesn't then buy a decent bag to protect your laptop.
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What to look for while buying a Digital Scanner

Contact Image Sensor (CIS) Digital ScannerNew Digital Scanners on the market are sleek, compact and often cost less than older, bulkier models. But will they satisfy your needs?

How they work

All scanners convert paper photos, negatives, slides, books, magazines and documents into digital files that can be transferred onto your computer. Most models feature a flatbed screen on which you place items for scanning. A sensor under the screen travels from one end to the other, capturing the document digitally. You can save the resulting file to your computer for editing, e-mailing or storing.

What's hot

Some new scanners are less that 5 centimeters thick because they scan using a small Contact Image Sensor (CIS). This compact device requires less energy, so the scanner can be powered just by plugging it into your computer via a USB cable. Larger scanners that are 8 centimeters thick or more employ an older technology called a Charge Coupled Device (CCD). This mechanism uses mirrors and lenses, and means the scanner has to be plugged into a wall socket.

Key features

Consider scanners with at least a 21 x 28 centimeters flatbed screen and a resolution of 1200 dots per inch (dpi). If you want to scan slides and negatives, be sure the model can handle them or accepts film and slide adapters. They cost more. Scanners with these features can be found for under $100.

Pros and cons

Many CIS scanners are thin and are powered by your computer. So they tend to be lighter and won't require a spot on your over crowded power strip. But CIS technology is relatively new and can't yet capture the subtle color details as accurately as CCD models.

Bottom line

If you want a scanner to store magazine articles, recipes and lower resolution photos on your computer, a CIS model is sufficient. But if you want to edit or restore family snap-shots, a CCD scanner produces more vibrant results.
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Shooting that perfect picture on a holiday

Professional photography to click that perfect photo on a tourYou may be proud of your vacation photos, but they may seem to fall short of the quality you see in travel magazines. To improve your photos, the Society of American Travel Writers offers these tips:

Shoot in early morning and late afternoon. It'll add more color and shadows to your photos, giving more definition to your subject.

Put locals in your photos. Ask permission first and don't make them pose.

Pay attention to background detail. Often, a tree or a telephone pole seems to be growing right out of your subject's head. Change your viewpoint or move the subject so as to avoid that.

Before you click, wait. for the clouds to clear, the truck to move away from the front of the cathedral or other distractions to pass.

For detailed shots, get closest to your subject so as to fill the frame with your subject

Show a sense of location. In the tropics, frame the photo with palm trees; in the mountains, frame it with pine trees.

Look for a new angle on the familiar: Shoot the beach on a foggy day instead of in the sun, or shoot bright colors on an overcast day.

Avoid facing the sun, especially when shooting people. If your camera supports force-flash, use it even under daylight, so as to eliminate shadows on faces. Also avoid wearing hats, which causes shadows on the face.
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Write a guest post for HashOut!

I'll be off for a fortnight for a holiday this Saturday and may not be able to post regularly. So here is a chance for you to write guest posts for HashOut and get a link back to your blog/website. Everyones invited!

You can write on anything from Technology, Gadgets, Automobiles, Sports, Entertainment, Travel & Holiday, Photography, Lifestyle, Politics, Business, Blogging, Making money online, social bookmarking, social networking, Web 2.0, or for that matter anything that would fit into any of the categories there on the sidebar. For example you can write on the ongoing Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean, the upcoming US Presidential elections or how you reached there in the top 1000 blogs on Technorati or Alexa. Make sure your content is original and that it adds value to the readers.

Submit your posts along with a suitable title, your name and blog/website address to . Offer valid till April 10th, 2007. All submissions will be subject to approval/editing before they go live. » Continue reading

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Nokia N95 out at last!

The Nokia N95 multimedia computer with GPS, 5mp camera, HSDPA, WLAN (WiFi), EDGE, WCDMA, S60, Symbian OSAlmost six months after announcing the Nokia N95 (in September 2006), Nokia has started shipping the Nokia N95 in key European, Asian and Middle Eastern countries, and in the coming weeks will be available in more countries in those regions.

The Nokia N95 is an all-in-one multimedia computer with a unique 2-way slide design, the first smart mobile cell phone with integrated GPS functionality, a 5 megapixel camera and support for high-speed mobile networks, making it easier to watch and record videos, listen to songs, take high-quality photos, browse the internet, or catch up on email while on the move.

It supports High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), WLAN (Wi-Fi), EDGE and WCDMA networks.

The Nokia N95 sports a Carl Zeiss optics on the 5 megapixel camera, built-in stereo speakers, a standard 3.5 mm audio connector and support for compatible microSD memory cards.

The integrated GPS works with the Nokia Maps application which includes maps for more than 150 countries, enabling users to explore the world, find specific routes or locate services such as restaurants and hotels and covering more than 15 million points of interest. You can also purchase additional features, such as city guides and voice guided navigation.

The innovative 2-way slide design makes it easy to switch between different modes, going from reading maps to watching a video with a simple slide.

The Nokia N95 runs the S60 software on Symbian OS.

Am waiting to get my hands on it as soon as possible.
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Organic power for computers & electronic devices

Harnessing photosynthetic power of spinach in the field of electronics devices like Portable Computers, Mobile Cell PhonesResearch Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Tennessee and the US Naval Research Laboratory have proved what Popeye already knew -- spinach is an excellent source of energy. They have taken up developing a spinach-based material to coat portable computers and mobile phones. The aim: for the electrical devices to recharge themselves from sunlight, similar to the way plants use chlorophyll to convert light into energy, harnessing photosynthetic power of spinach in the field of electronics.

The phone is no longer red or blue; it becomes green. So what? - Shuguang Zhang, associate director of MIT's Center for Biomedical Engineering

Started in 2004 with some financial assistance from Intel, the project is expected to take around 10 years to be completed when electronic devices will turn green.

For further information read MIT's official news release and The Boston Globe article.

If you have any updates on this project, do keep us informed.
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Chasing storms and hurricanes with Jeff Gammons

Are you a storm chaser, a nature enthusiast, an adventurer seeking some thrill watching mother nature on a destruction spree? Do you enjoy watching hurricanes wiping entire towns away? Join South Florida based 32 years young Jeff Gammons on his perilous expeditions chasing severe storms and hurricanes through his blog StormVideographer.com which features the latest on Weather chase expeditions.

Founder of Weathervine.com, Jeff has been chasing severe storms and hurricanes since the mid 1990's and has to his credit intercepting hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Rita, Dennis'05, Jeanne, Frances, Charley, Lili, Gabrielle, Gordon, Irene, Floyd, Dennis'99, Georges, and Erin.

Jeff relies on Hi Tech gear which includes laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, GPS, GPS overlay with radar (Wxworx), wireless broadband cell data cards, WiFi, Satellite up and down link systems, pro video and audio cameras, ham radio, and digital camera.

Getting fresh data is very important and when you can get current surface obs, radar and Visible satellite imagery every few minutes, your chances of a successful chase greatly increase.

Catch Jeff chasing the Great Plains in mid-spring and during the summer and early fall months intercepting hurricanes. And when he is not chasing storms, he travels across Florida to teach severe-weather safety to schoolkids.

Jeff is currently running a promotional campaign for his blog in which he is distributing FREE Hurricane DVDs to the first 30 people who review his blog on their blogs or websites, provided you meet some basic criteria, which is why you are reading this post here. Not only that all reviewers will get a link back to their reviews.
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Looking forward to quit smoking?

Quit SmokingAre you a smoker fighting hard to give up on smoking or already given up on giving up smoking? Don't worry! There is some good info and tools available on-line to help you.

WAY2QUIT.com, a GlaxoSmithKline campaign to promote its Nicotine Replace Therapies-Nicorette, NicoDerm CQ and Commit, has some tools that can help you in overcoming your nicotine withdrawal cravings.

  1. Readiness indicator: Decide if you are really ready to quit.
  2. Dependency quiz: Access how much you depend on nicotine.
  3. Health risk assessor: Weigh the risk of lung cancer you reduce by quitting to smoke right this moment.
  4. Savings calculator: Calculate how much money you'll save in a day, week, month, year by kicking the habit.
  5. Slip meter: Recoup from lapses during weak moments.
  6. Trigger detector: Avoid things that spark the urge to smoke.
  7. Cravings pacifier: Find relief when nicotine cravings hit.

Also watch some really scary (funny) promotional videos here.
» Continue reading

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Social networking for cats and dogs!

Cats & dogs dating, social networkingFluffy has the latest, most fashionable collar, more toys than some kids do and his very own bed. But have you given your pet a home page? Yes, animals are going online in droves. Dogster.com is a free social networking site for dogs, while sister site Catster.com is for cats. Check out the intriguing statistics of Dogster here and Catster here.

These technologically savvy animals, with a little help from their humans, are sharing photos, diaries, travel tips and more. Owners use the forums to schedule play dates and discuss topics such as grooming, training and bereavement. When Little Bit, a terrier mix, was diagnosed with lymphoma, the owners stumbled upon Dogster. The site has given them a place to show pictures, keep friends updated on Little Bit's condition and reach out to others in their position. What's next? Doggle, a canine search engine?
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Sony launches 4GB version of Micro Vault Tiny, a USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Sony eventually launched the much awaited 4GB MICRO VAULT Tiny today. A new addition to its range of colourful, ultra-portable USB storage media, it is available in a stylish purple colour with a fashionable clip-on carrying case.

The 4GB MICRO VAULT Tiny is ideal for carrying business or personal files whilst travelling, enabling access to personal files from any computer. Even if you are carrying a laptop while traveling, it is a good idea to take a backup of your important files which you are going to need while traveling, on an external flash drive which you can slip into your wallet so that you don't have to panic if you lose your laptop.

A 4GB MICRO VAULT Tiny can store up to 69h50min of music (MP3, 128Kbps), 2928 digital photos (5Megapixel, Standard mode); 16h20min video (MPEG4 QVGA 384Kbps with 128 Kbps audio).

The pre-loaded Virtual Expander data compression software, compatible with Windows XP(SP1 and higher) and Windows 2000(SP3 and higher), allows users to store on an average up to 3 times more data than the native capacity. The MICRO VAULT Tiny products are compatible with Macintosh and Windows operating systems, including the new Windows Vista.

You can buy Sony 4GB Micro Vault Tiny USB 2.0 Flash Drive at Amazon
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Where do I find free templates for my blog?

Free Professional Blog Templates for Blogger (Blogspot), WordPress, Windows Live Spaces (MSN Spaces), MySpace, LiveJournal, Typepad, Movable TypeA lot of bloggers have recently asked me for nice design templates for their blogs, especially after the recent change in design of HashOut. Some have even gone to the extent of asking me to replicate the design on their blog. However, I would prefer to maintain a distinct identity for this blog and would not like to share the HashOut template.

I would rather give you some links to resources from where you can get templates for your blogs, free!

If you're on the (old or new/beta) blogger platform Gecko&Fly will be your one stop resource for professional templates. Most designs are re-engineered from popular WordPress templates. ¥€$ also has a neat collection of classic blogger templates categorized according to colors, layout type, background type etc.

If you're on WordPress, here are some links for you:

If you don't mind paying a little for a really professional design for your blog you can check out Damsels of Design. They even have free (linkware) templates which requires you to have a link back to Damsels of Design on your blog.

Lastly, if you want a distinct identity for your blog and if you have Photoshop running on your machine you can check out PHOTOSHOPSUPPORT.com to help you design your own graphics for your blog.

If you have a suggestion to make or a link to a resource that readers will find helpful in designing the layout of their blog, do HashOut!
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Caught and left

Makhaya Ntini bowling for South AfricaOn the eve of the semifinal against India in the 2002 Champions Trophy, a girl phoned Makhaya Ntini and asked: "What will you pay for a night with me?" Hopeful of an extra 'spell', Ntini queried, "Why do I need to pay?" In came the reply, "Use your imagination." Their conversation continued, but the night did not materialize as Ntini was unwilling to pay for sex. Eventually, it turned out that the girl was a journalist of the Colombo-based English weekly, The Sunday Leader. » Continue reading

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Robots have already proven to be killer machines

Honda Asimo - a Humanoid Robot with artificial intelligenceDid you ever fear the thought of robots with artificial intelligence taking over the human race by storm after watching science fiction movies like "The Terminator"? Hrafn writes about a couple of incidents where humans have been killed by robots, although not intentionally but due to human error. But isn't that a reason good enough to fear approaching a robot?

If a robot preprogrammed to perform a specific task can malfunction due to human error, imagine the possibility of a robot with artificial intelligence programmed to learn from its experience malfunctioning or learning something not meant to be learned, all due to human error.

Check out inkblot earth for the graphic representation of the robot pushing a human into the grinding machine.
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Faux invasion

What began as a routine training exercise almost ended as an invasion! Switzerland is in an embarrassing diplomatic quagmire after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

The 170 soldiers wandered over a mile into the tiny principality before realizing their mistake and turning back. Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants, does not have an army.
» Continue reading


Indian Bloggers list v2.0 - a directory of Indian bloggers worldwide

Indiablogs.orgIndian Bloggers list v2.0 is an online directory of bloggers worldwide who are Indian by nationality. A brainchild of Puneet, the blogs in the directory are categorized by industry, profession or field of work unlike the other Indian blog directory BlogStreet India which categorizes blogs on industry/profession/field of work, languages and cities. However, each entry is reviewed personally by people volunteering for the project before being added to the directory. Also you require to link back to the directory from your blog either through a post or a logo image on your sidebar or somewhere on the blog.

Do you know of a better alternative to Indiablogs.org or BlogStreet India?
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The Thommo syndrome

Jeff Thomson's blistering pace ended the Sri Lankan resistanceThose were days when English pitches were more of jumpin' jacks. And with Jeff Thomson in full throttle, you better keep the ambulance ready. In the 1975 World Cup league match against Sri Lanka at the Oval, Thommo breathed fire and let one down the throat of the stocky Duleep Mendis. In his desperate bid to evade it, Mendis literally head-butted the ball, and was rushed to the hospital. But he was not the lone casualty. His batting-partner and friend Sunil Wettimuny joined him, shortly, all because of Thommo. » Continue reading

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Bloggst - a forum for bloggers

Bloggst ScreenshotBloggst is a brand new forum exclusively for bloggers founded by Lars-Christian. Launched on March 1st, 2007, bloggst already attracts hundreds of visitors every day. You can see that from the user statistics on bloggst in the side-bar on the right.

Bloggst is powered by vBulletin. It's interesting to see the amount of flexibility vBulletin gives in customizing the look and experience of the forums.

It has a very neat and easy to read layout. Apart from forum topics, bloggst features really informative and thoughtful articles from the man himself.

Bloggst is currently running a limited period offer to feature your blog on bloggst for a full day on the front page in return for a post about bloggst on your blog. Yes, that is the reason I've been telling you about bloggst here. So what are you waiting for? Go, get your blog featured on this fast growing bloggers' forum.
» Continue reading


Integrating Google Co-op Custom Search Engine (CSE) with your blog.

Google Co-op's Custom Search Engine (CSE) gives a great amount of flexibility in seamlessly integrating the search functionality into your blog. Here I will show a simple way to integrate the search functionality in a blogger (new version) blog.

  1. If you have not already created a Custom Search Engine then create one now here.
  2. Once you create your Custom Search Engine, you'll get the following confirmation page:
    Google Co-op > Custom Search Engine > My Search Engines - Screenshot
    If you have already created a custom search engine, click My search engines.
  3. Click control panel
  4. Click Code
  5. Now if you do not want the search results to be blended along with your website / blog layout...

    1. Under Search box code for your website select how you want the Google logo to appear. If you do not want a google branding on your website/blog then leave it as it is. We shall remove it later.
    2. Click Save Changes
    3. Click anywhere on the box below the line which says "Paste this code in the page where you'd like your search box to appear. The search results will be shown on a Google-hosted page." The entire contents of the box will be highlighted which means it has been selected and now you can copy it straight to the page / template where you want the search box to appear.

    If you want the search results to be integrated into your website or blog...

    Note: If you are using the new version of blogger and want the search results to appear as if they were on the same blog, you'll have to create another blog with the same layout template. For example for HashOut, I have created another blog with the url searchhashout.blogspot.com with the same header and footer elements but nothing in between.

    1. Click Search box and search results code for your website
    2. Select how you want the Google logo to appear. If you do not want a google branding on your website/blog then leave it as it is. We shall remove it later.
    3. Under "Specify the URL of the page on your site where you want the search results to appear:" enter the url of the web page or blog where are going to paste the search results code. If you're using the new version of blogger enter the URL of the blog you created for your search results.
    4. Select how you want advertisements to be displayed in your search results. You can later even monetize from the ads displayed in your search results by linking your AdSense account with your Google Co-op CSE.
    5. Click Save Changes
    6. Click anywhere on the box below the line which says "Paste this code in the page where you'd like your search box to appear." The entire contents of the box will be highlighted which means it has been selected and now you can copy it straight to the page / template where you want the search box to appear.
    7. Now select and copy the code from the box below the line which says "Place this code in the page you'd like your search results to appear." and paste it into the HTML source code of the page on your website or blog. If you're using the new version of blogger insert the search results code into the template of your new blog you created for search results, in a place where you'd like it to appear. I inserted the code in between the header and footer elements.

  6. Now if you do not want the Google branding on your search box then you can remove the line highlighted in red below:

    <!-- Google CSE Search Box Begins -->
    <form id="searchbox_012345678901234567890:abcdefghijk" action="">
    <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="012345678901234567890:abcdefghijk" />
    <input type="hidden" name="cof" value="FORID:11" />
    <input name="q" type="text" size="40" />
    <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search" />
    <img src="http://google.com/coop/images/
    google_custom_search_smnar.gif" alt="Google Custom Search" />

    <!-- Google CSE Search Box Ends -->

  7. Save, publish and You're done!

If you want to monetize the ads placed in your search results, click Make money under Control panel and follow the steps as instructed.
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The world of Cricket - facts & figures

  • The United Arab Emirates team of 1999 had 14 immigrant players and only the captain was a native of the country.
  • Brian Lara has scored only two centuries in his 25 World Cup matches. Both were against the same country, South Africa.
  • Graeme Hick represented Zimbabwe in 1983 and England in the 1992, 1996 and 1999 World Cups.
  • Old Trafford is the wettest Test venue in the world and hence has been nick-named, 'The Pond'.
  • The Melbourne Cricket Club is the home venue for the Victorian Bushrangers and was a US Air Force base during World War II.
  • Nathan Astle, a top-order batsman, has the dubious record of having gone duck the most number of occasions in the World Cup - Five times.
  • If any member of Kingston Cricket Club in Sabina Park, an all-male cricket club, names a woman on club premises, he will have to buy drinks for everyone present.
  • Jason Gillespie is Australia's first acknowledged aboriginal Test cricketer.
  • Chetan Sharma is the first to take a hat-trick in a World Cup.
  • Photographer Patrick Eager's lens has covered nearly 300 Test matches, 94 Ashes clashes and every World Cup.

» Continue reading

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Pigeon love!

The first pigeon being removed by Paul ReiffelAustralians are better known for their swagger and their ruthless tenacity to finish off their opposition. But they have a humane side, too. In the inaugural super-six match between Australia and India at the Oval in 1999, two pigeons were struck by the ball and died on the spot. Medium pacer Paul Reiffel immediately took one of the birds to a steward and ensured that it got a decent funeral. » Continue reading

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How to place google adsense code on web pages

I know that this post might sound silly, but there are indeed people coming to this blog searching for "step-by-step procedure to place google adsense code in our web pages". It's not necessary that all of them out there are an expert like you. So if you're new to HTML and web design, here is a guide to add adsense code to your webpage.

  1. The first step is to get your AdSense code.

    1. Sign in to your AdSense account
    2. Click AdSense Setup
    3. Click AdSense for content
    4. Choose the ad type you want then click Continue
    5. Choose the ad format and colors then click Continue
    6. Choose or create new channel(s) for the ad then click Continue
    7. Click anywhere on the Your AdSense code: box. The entire code will automatically be highlighted / selected. You'll know the code has been selected when the entire contents of the box are highlighted in blue. Now copy the highlighted code (Press Ctrl+C on a Windows PC or right click and click copy or from your browser's Edit menu, choose Copy in order to copy the highlighted area.).

  2. Now we'll proceed to paste the copied code to the HTML source of the webpage.

    HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the programming language used to write web pages for the World Wide Web (WWW). Web browsers use HTML to interpret and display the contents of the web page. All HTML documents consist of elements contained within bracketed tags which tell the browser how to treat the contents of the element. Most HTML elements are contained within an opening tag <XXX> and a closting tag </XXX> where XXX is the tag identifier like HTML, HEAD, BODY, TABLE, DIV, SPAN etc. Some elements do not have a closing tag and are represented by the <XXX/> tag like BR, IMG etc. An HTML document has the following basic structure:




    The opening <HTML> tag indicates the start of an HTML document. The header information is enclosed between the HEAD tags (<HEAD> and </HEAD>) and is not displayed when you view the page in a browser. Any text between the BODY tags (<BODY> and </BODY>) is displayed in the browser. The closing </HTML> tag indicates the end of the HTML document.

    We need to place the ad code between the opening <BODY> and closing </BODY> tags of the source code.

    1. Open / Run your HTML editor
    2. Open your HTML source code file (Usually a .htm or .html file and if you are using server side scripting then the web page file would usually have a .asp, .jsp or .php file extension).
    3. Click to place the cursor on the spot where you want to place your ad. Now click Paste from the Edit menu.
    4. Once you've finished pasting the AdSense code in all the desired locations (currently you can have a maximum of three AdSense ad units on a page.), save the page and upload or publish your updated web page(s) to your web server.

Please note that the AdSense code which you pasted should look exactly the same after saving and publishing the page(s), else it might violate the AdSense Terms of Service (TOS) and might not even show the desired result.
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Sony MEX-BT5000: A Revolutionary Bluetooth Car Stereo Head Unit

Sony MEX-BT5000 Bluetooth Car Stereo Head UnitDesigned for today’s mobile lifestyle with safety driving in mind, the MEX-BT5000 is the first Sony in-car audio-streaming AM/FM CD receiver head unit equipped with on-board Bluetooth wireless technology. It wirelessly links to Bluetooth mobile phones for making and receiving calls hands-free during a journey thanks also to a built-in microphone with integrated noise and echo reduction signal processing. It can also stream music from Bluetooth phones or music players if it supports A2DP and once it's paired. This stylish car stereo features an attractive minimalist design with a high visibility, full-motion fluorescent display that can even display phone book data.

You can even transfer and store up to 50 phonebook contacts and six speed dial entries from any compatible phone, then place calls using the unit.

The MEX-BT5000 supports the MP3, WMA and ATRAC codecs, as well as audio CDs. Music phones with Bluetooth technology, including the Sony Ericsson Walkman phones, work with the unit to stream music from the phone throughout the vehicle's stereo system.

It also has a DRIVE-S HX CD playback mechanism; Dynamic Soundstage Organizer II; 24-bit digital-to-analog conversion; and an S-MOSFET power stage that delivers 52-Watt x 4 channels. It comes with with a flip-down screen and white LED key illumination, a remote and Sony Bus Control for CD changers; and is satellite radio-ready.

You can check the price and even buy Sony MEX-BT5000 online at Amazon.
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Catch Champion

Ricky Ponting's spectacular catchRicky Ponting stretches high to his left to catch Iain O'Brien.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting took 18 catches and set the record for the highest number of catches in the World Cup. Of the 18, 11 were taken in World Cup 2003 alone, gaining him the record for the most number of catches taken in a tournament. » Continue reading

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Fighting free porn to safeguard the Web for children

Blogger Power is an initiative taken by Mihaela Lica and Jon Harmon to unite the blogosphere (the blogging community) and raise a voice against free web pornography. To know more about this project read this Open Letter to Bloggers Around the World: Help Make the Web Safer for Children.

What's so unique about this campaign is that it does not fight against pornography as a whole, which is a matter of personal choice in this free world. What it emphasizes is that pornography (including free tours, free previews or other free contents) should be locked behind a registration wall and made available with a key (username and password) so that children do not accidentally stumble upon such material.

Skeptics will probably see this as a small step. Others will say that the porn webmasters will not change their ways because they want to make money. But kids are not paying customers. So the porn sites will not have so much to lose financially by applying such a measure. On the contrary: they will increase their possible clients database. And that’s an advantage.

HashOut sincerely supports the movement and hopes that the web would be a safer place for the children to dwell around and take advantage of the good things and learn constructively.

If you're a blogger or an artist, you too can join the movement. All you have to do is post a message on your blog or just create a special artwork for the cause. If webmasters want to support the initiative but don’t have blogs, they could place a support banner or logo somewhere on their site. If you do not or cannot write a post nor can you create an artwork but would still want to support the cause then you can post a comment here. You can find more details about the project here.

Mihaela “Mig” Lica, the founder of Pamil Visions, has professional qualifications in journalism. She worked for the Public Relations Directorate of the Romanian Ministry of Defense for 4 years and since 2002 she lives in Germany and works as a public relations and media consultant.

Jon Harmon is the founder of Force for Good, after a 23-year career in public relations at Ford Motor Company. He is the father of four sons, a reason good enough to motivate him to be so involved in this project.
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The all new Camera Phone Kit from Sony Ericsson for Wanna-be pro photographers

Sony Ericsson Camera Phone Kit IPK-100 with protective case and micro tripod for Cyber-shot camera phones.Sony Ericsson has just announced a Camera Phone Kit, specifically for use with its Cyber-shot camera phones. The kit includes a Cyber-shot branded protective case for the phone, which can be attached to a belt using a belt clip provided along with the kit or kept in a bag, a micro tripod with flexible legs and friction feet that allows you to hold the camera steady for the self-timer and a tripod connector.

The tripod is 97mm high and the protective case weighs just 49 grams and comes in black.

The wanna-be photographers can now act a little too smart flaunting this micro tripod.

The Camera Phone Kit IPK-100 will be available globally from Q2 2007. You can buy it online from the Sony Ericsson e-shop.
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Bowling genius

Wasim Akram bowlingThe record number of wickets taken in the World Cup is 55, by Wasim Akram of Pakistan. The best figure by a bowler is Australian Glenn McGrath's, 7 for 15, against Namibia at Potchefstroom in 2003. Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka collected the maximum wickets in a tournament-23 in World Cup 2003. In 1983, The Oval witnessed the most runs conceded by a bowler-105 in 12 overs by Martin Snedden of New Zealand, against England. » Continue reading

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How to insert Google Adsense ads before or after each post in the new version of Blogger?

If Ad revenue is crucial to your blog then the best place to display your ads is within the main contents of your website or blog as that is what the visitors came looking for. Secondly, it should be "above the fold", i.e. on the visible portion of the page when the page is first loaded as most users don't even scroll down to read the entire post.

In this post I will show how to insert ads after each post title and before the post body (content) in the new version of Blogger. You do not have to insert the code manually into each of the posts. All you have to do is insert the code once into the template. The AdSense server will then automatically display the first three AdSense ad units on the page and there won't be any violation of the TOS too!

Here are the steps:

Note: Before you proceed with any template modifications, it is always a good idea to take a backup copy of your template so that you are safe just in case you or the Blogger server goofs up.

  1. Sign in to the new Blogger
  2. Click on Layout under the Manage: section of one of your blogs. Or click Template if you are already on Posting or Settings tab
  3. Click Edit HTML
  4. Click Download Full Template in order to make a backup of your template on your hard-disk drive.
  5. Click to check the Expand Widget Templates checkbox
  6. Now search for the following line in your template:


    and insert the AdSense 336 x 280 Large Rectangle code just before the line as shown below:

    <script type="text/javascript">&lt;!--
    google_ad_client = "pub-YOURPUBLISHERIDHERE";
    google_ad_width = 336;
    google_ad_height = 280;
    google_ad_format = "336x280_as";
    google_ad_type = "text_image";
    google_ad_channel = "";
    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js">

    Replace YOURPUBLISHERIDHERE with your AdSense publisher ID. To find out your publisher id, sign in to your Google AdSense account, click My Account tab and check AdSense for Content under Property info section.
  8. You're done! Now take a look at your blog.
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Blog Study: Acquire Wisdom and Live With Passion

Screenshot of Sam Chan's blog Acquire Wisdom and Live With PassionSam Chan of Acquire Wisdom and Live With Passion needs some suggestions to improve his blog. Well, frankly speaking, I feel the blog is quite good enough for its purpose. However, Sam can surely make certain changes to help his blog visitors. Here they go:

  1. The first thing I noticed was that there are a lot many posts on the home (index) page. I feel that could increase the time required to download the complete page resulting in visitors with slow download speeds abandoning the blog without even having a look at it.
  2. If ads are an important source of income for Sam then I feel they should be placed somewhere above the fold i.e. somewhere at the top of the page so that visitors don't have to scroll down to view the ads. They should preferably be placed after the post title and within the post body. AdSense's Large rectangle is the format that will give best results.
  3. The search box can be placed somewhere at the top right corner of the page which is kind of default location for search boxes. Further Sam can use Google CSE to tightly integrate the search facility into the blog and also monetize user searches.
  4. Even though Sam has changed the default background image of the standard blogspot template "Thisaway Green", it would be advisable to further customize the template so as to have a unique identity.

The best part of Sam's blog, as told by Kerry Dale Hancock Jr is that he "knows how to put the perfect picture with all his posts."
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The run for runs

The record for most runs in a World Cup career goes to Sachin Tendulkar of India for his 1,732 runs. He also holds the record for the highest number of runs in a World Cup-673 in World Cup 2003. The highest score ever in a World Cup match is 188 not out by Gary Kirsten of South Africa, against the United Arab Emirates at Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 1996. » Continue reading

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Peek-a-boo post body contents-hack for New Blogger

The original Blogger hack for show/hide links for posts only deals with the classic template. The same hack can be modified a little to implement it on the new Blogger layout template. Here is the step by step procedure.

Note: Before you proceed with any template modifications, it is always a good idea to take a backup copy of your template so that you are safe just in case you or the Blogger server goofs up.

  1. Sign in to the new Blogger
  2. Click on Layout under the Manage: section of the blog you want to implement this hack on. Or click Template if you are already on Posting or Settings tab
  3. Click Edit HTML
  4. Click Download Full Template in order to make a backup of your template on your hard-disk drive.
  5. Click to check the Expand Widget Templates checkbox
  6. Paste the following two lines into your style sheet i.e. anywhere in between the <b:skin> and </b:skin> tags:

    .posthidden {display:none}
    .postshown {display:inline}

  7. Add the following code to your template, anywhere between the <head> and </head> tags:

    <script type="text/Javascript">

    function expandcollapse(postid) {

    whichpost = document.getElementById(postid);

    if (whichpost.className=="postshown") {
    else {

  8. Now search for the following lines in your template:

    <div class='post-body'>
    <div style='clear: both;'/> <!-- clear for photos floats -->

    and replace them with the following lines:

    <span class='posthidden' expr:id='data:post.id'>
    <div class='post-body'>
    <div style='clear: both;'/> <!-- clear for photos floats -->
    <a expr:href='"javascript:expandcollapse(\"" + data:post.id + "\")"'>
    [+/-] show/hide this post</a>

  10. You're done! Now take a look at your blog.

An alternative to the show/hide method is to use post summaries. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of this method to expandable post summaries is that only the template needs to change, with no modification required for your posts. However, you can only display the post titles using this method and it is applied to all posts leaving you with no choice to apply it selectively to long posts only.
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West Indies hope for a win at home

The West Indies cricket team celebrating their victory in the 2nd ODI against India in Jamica - 20 May 2006Ever since the West Indies stunningly won the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 in England, there has been optimism in the Caribbean that they could be the first host nation to win the World Cup. That optimism did not seem misplaced, as they trounced India and Zimbabwe in consecutive home series and emerged the runner-up in the Champions Trophy 2006 in India.

However, since the Champions Trophy final last October, Brian Lara's side has lost six of its last eight ODIs in separate series in Pakistan and India. Injuries to pivotal players like Ramnaresh Sarwan have also hampered its preparations.

But coach Bennett King is optimistic and believes the limited-overs format suits his side perfectly. "Any team, on its given day, can view the match," he said. He indicated that his focus is to help his side avoid the kind of catastrophic declines which characterized their performance in the Champions Trophy final. "Our bad games tend to be the ones when we don't score over 150. For better sides, their bad games are when they don't score over 250. We need to work towards this. We've been winning ODIs against really strong teams. We've just got to maintain that consistency," said King.

The dispute over contractual terms has subsided. The squad looks settled. Lara, Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo and Corey Collymore have laid the foundation; Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Denesh ramdin, Ian Bradshaw, Daren Powell and Jerome Taylor have built on it in the last two years. The surprise package is Kieron Pollard, a hard-hitting all-rounder. The 19-year-old Trinidadian made his mark in domestic cricket when he crashed 83 runs off 38 balls against Nevis in the inaugural Standford Twenty20 Cup final in Antigua. he distinguished himself with a century on his first-class debut against league champions Barbados and followed it up with another ton against Leeward Islands. Lendl Simmonos and Devon Smith, too, are quality batsmen.
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The young and old of cricket World Cup

The youngest player to appear in the World Cup was Talha Jubair of Bangladesh. He was 17 years and 70 days old when he faced the West Indies at Benoni, South Africa in 2003. The record for the oldest player goes to Nolan Clarke of The Netherlands. Clarke was a whooping 47 years and 257 days when he fought the Proteas at Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 1996. » Continue reading

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Silence, Please!

Open windows and more time outdoors can also mean noisy neighbors, barking dogs and the din of speeding cars. Some people have been masking the noise with these methods:

Use your PC with Atmosphere Deluxe, you customize your own nature sound mix. Then, fed through your PC speakers, you'll hear the ocean or tropical frog pond instead of the mower across the street.

iSplash Rugged Splashproof Stereo Speaker System with AM/FM Digital Tuner + ZipConnect for iPod & MP3 PlayerTune it out iSplash waterproof speakers play music from an iPod or any source with a headphone jack.

Consider storm windows An outer laminated window can cut outside noise by up to 10 decibels - perceived as half the amount of sound, says one sound engineer.
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How to exclude your own visits from StatCounter when you have a dynamic IP address

Vic Grace would like to exclude her visits from the StatCounter reports of her blog but does not have a static IP address. What can she do?

StatCounter provides facility to exclude visitors from reports based on a single IP address and now also by giving a range of IP addresses. This feature blocks the IP address or the whole range of IP addresses from all the projects with just one click. However, it is sometimes difficult to find out the range of IP addresses that your Internet Service Provider has been allotted. So what does one do in such a situation?

You can use a blocking cookie provided by StatCounter itself. However, you will need to have cookies enabled in your browser and also have the new StatCounter code (as of the 1st Nov 2003) installed on your website for this to work. Once you've ensured that cookies are enabled for your browser and the latest code installed on your website/blog, follow the procedure below:

  1. Sign in to StatCounter
  2. Click the spanner/wrench icon (StatCounter Settings Spanner / Wrench Icon) beside one of your projects
  3. Click Create blocking cookie
  4. Click Stop Logging My Visits. You're done!

Follow the above procedure for each of the browsers that you use to view your blog/website.

You also need to follow this procedure for each of the projects individually.
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Get stumped with stump phone

What would a cricketer do if he is on tour Down Under and can't get his wife on line to convey an important message, that too on the day of a crucial World Cup match?

Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More was in such a fix during India's 1992 World Cup match against Australia, before he stuck upon a strange instrument called the stump microphone. In between deliveries, his teammates were thunder-struck to see him whisper something to the instrument. Later, he told them that he was conveying a message to his wife, who was watching the match on television, via the microphone.
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John Chow gets at it again!

I've spotted John Chow's ad yet again on Problogger.net. This time with a different message. Here take a look.

John Chow's (from www.JohnChow.com) ad on Darren Rowse's Problogger.net

John Chow from www.JohnChow.com has been very imaginative and creative in designing his ad campaigns which have inspired many other bloggers like Mani Karthik of dailydose4me. Click here to see his previous ad campaign on Problogger.
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Nokia sets stage for mobile advertising with Nokia Ad Service

Nokia Ad Service, a platform for advertising on mobile web applications and servicesNokia recently announced the launch of its Nokia Ad Service, a service similar to Google Adwords and Google Adsense, but for mobile advertising and providing an end-to-end solution for advertisers and publishers.

Connecting advertisers to mobile internet publishers

The service will enable advertisers to target and display banner, text link and interstitial advertisements on mobile internet applications and services.

Publishers will be able to generate revenue from the traffic that they generate by placing a piece of code onto the desired location on the mobile web application or service.

Nokia Ad Service will take a cut out of the advertising revenue that the publishers in the network earn.

The service is operational in Europe as of now and will be available globally in the second half of 2007.

For more details on Nokia Ad Service visit http://www.adservice.nokia.com/
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Wanna travel around the world with a shoe string budget? Couch surf...

Find a couch for your trip to any part of the world, Free!Are you planning to backpack around the world but don't have an overflowing bank account or an address book of friends and family in all corners of the globe willing to offer a free bed? Here's the latest in budget traveling - couch surfing. Dreamed up by money-conscious travelers, the Couch Surfing Project is an online interactive site that matches budget travelers with hosts who are happy to offer their couches/beds free of charge. Instead of an anonymous noisy hostel, you're a guest in a local person's house.

Couchsurfing.com aims at not only bringing travelers and hosts together but to:

Make the world a better place, and we believe that the surfing of couches is a means to accomplish this goal. CouchSurfing isn't about the furniture- it's not just about finding free accommodations around the world- it's about participating in creating a better world. We strive to make a better world by opening our homes, our hearts, and our lives. We open our minds and welcome the knowledge that cultural exchange makes available. We create deep and meaningful connections that cross oceans, continents and cultures. CouchSurfing wants to change not only the way we travel, but how we relate to the world!

Like other social networking and dating sites, every user is linked to the other users he or she knows in the system through a network of references and friend links. The site, however, strictly prohibits dating and harassment. It records and monitors all communication between members for safety purposes. The site also provides the facility to verify members' name and address so that travelers and hosts can feel safe about making friendships with strangers.
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How to create expandable post summaries with the new Blogger?

Dexter wants to know how I created the "» Continue reading" links on the non-post pages to make the length of my posts shorter on the index and archive pages so that the readers can have a quick glance at the posts and click "» Continue reading" if they decide to read the complete post. With this trick, you can choose to display an arbitrary amount of text from any part of the post you desire to display. It is quite useful, especially on archive pages, where you have lots of long articles all on one page. This feature requires you to have post pages enabled.

Blogger's original instructions for expandable post summaries to the old Blogger template and Beta (now new Blogger / Blogger v.2) template is available here. However, that page is not without any faults and omissions like the other google.com pages, which are published in haste.

In Step 1: Conditional CSS (for layouts)

New Blogger templates or Layouts do not have a style-sheet by default. The styles are enclosed within the <b:skin></b:skin> tags. It is not possible to add the conditional <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'><b:else/></b:if> tags within the skin tags. You have to add the conditional CSS within <style></style> tags outside the skin tags. Simply insert the following lines anywhere between the <head></head> tags.

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
span.fullpost {display:inline;}
span.fullpost {display:none;}

Please note that using this hack will just reduce the amount of information that is displayed on the screen. The full content of the posts is still downloaded to the Web browser and available behind the screens (view page source) which means that there won't be any improvement in the download speed of the page. If you know of a hack that can help reduce the download speed of the index and archive pages by omitting the unwanted part of the posts from the page source, then please do hashout!
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Adsense Status Google Gadget for Google Desktop Sidebar

Adsense Status Google Gadget add-on for Google Desktop SidebarDo you know that there exists a Google Gadget for Google Desktop software that displays your latest AdSense earnings status?

Adsense Status is a plug-in for the Google Desktop sidebar. With Adsense Status, you can view your Google Adsense earnings for Today, Yesterday, Last 7 Days, This Month, Last Month, Since Last Payment and All Time. It displays informaiton like page impressions, clicks, page CTR, page eCPM and your earnings from Adsense for Content, Search and Referrals.

You can download Adsense Status here.

Note: To use Adsense Status, Google Desktop is required.
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How does a Google Adsense payment check look like?

Yet to receive your first Google Adsense cheque? Wondering how it would look like when you receive your cheque! Don't worry, you have to wait no more. Here, take a look at one.

Google Adsense cheque
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Star Placeholders

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award ceremony runs into over 220 minutes and the not-nominated stars hardly sit out the entire show. But on TV have you ever seen empty seats? No!

Star PlaceholdersEnter, seat fillers (in pic). These unobtrusive seat ornaments are pushed to fill the seat when a Penelope Cruz or Hugh Jackman vacates it. All this is just for the TV audience. And the Oscars are held sans air conditioning, as it is difficult to cut out the buzz of compressors with boom mikes all over the place!

Source: The Week
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The paid content (blogs) debate

Quite a number of bloggers are discussing the idea of charging readers to access content, particularly blogs. Sahar Sarid's mindful research and analysis of the trends in the business models of Newspapers, Radio and Television boil down to the point that a subscription based revenue model is "inevitable" for the blogosphere.

Pay to read blogsHowever, as Scott points out, one cannot generalize on such facts in the case of blogging or for that matter any online service that provides content in the form of text, images, audio or video as the Web has been around for more than a decade and most content online is still free. Also, the paid media business models such as newspapers and magazines have lost considerable amount of audience to the free ad-supported online media.

According to Scott, only those content providers such as Seth Godin and Darren Rowse, whose content is equivalent to what one may get from a paid consultant, can take advantage of the subscription based business model.

Also, only those blogs/websites with a decent amount of popularity can take advantage of this business model as content behind pay walls are hard to get linked to from other websites/blogs and definitely impossible to get indexed thereby resulting in a poor readership.
» Continue reading


Deceiving the camera to get the desired color balance

White balance set to 'Daylight'-Neutral color balance

White balance set to lower color temperature, resulting in cooler color balance.

White balance set to a higher color temperature, resulting in warmer colors.
Higher Kelvin temperatures give 'Cool' colors whereas lower color temperatures gives warm colors. Yet, it is suggested that we set a higher color temperature on a digital camera to get 'warmer' colors.

We set White Balance on a digital camera to compensate for the color of the existing light source. If the color of the light is orange (as with incandescent bulbs), the subject will take on a orange color cast.

Since we don't want the color cast, we set the White Balance to 'Incandescent', thereby telling the camera that in this orange colored light, we want our whites as white. Once that happens, all other colors will reproduce correctly.

During daytime (say 11.00am), by setting your digital camera to a higher Kelvin temperature you are deceiving the camera in to believing that the available light is 'cooler' (that is, 'bluer') when actually it is not. So the camera, assuming that the light is 'bluer' (that is, 'colder'), compensates in the opposite direction by making the image 'warmer'.
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Google's modesty, a pro blogger's nightmare!

Google's 2006 Annual Report warns shareholders of the risks it faces from competition (Microsoft and Yahoo) and also its inexperiences in acquisitions. It says that the future results may fall below expectations. This modest disclaimer could be more of a nightmare to the blogosphere than the shareholders of Google Inc.

Reading this report reminded me once again of the 2000 dot com bubble burst and the resulting bankruptcy of large corporations like WorldCom.

Google also underscores that Internet user traffic tends to be seasonal and its rapid growth has masked the cyclicality and seasonality of its business. - Donna Bogatin, ZDNet

If anything like the 2000 incidents is to be repeated and should Google run out of advertisers, The worst affected would be those who have taken to blogging full time and live on the income they earn from blogging.

One might argue that Google is not the only Ad network. But considering the size, reach and technology of Google in comparison to other ad networks, I don't think anybody else could survive if Google can't.

It would be a good idea to have a backup in case of an unfortunate eventuality.
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Carry your software applications and data around the world with Internet operating systems

After Google and Microsoft, a Swedish software company Xcerion follows suit in the race for online productivity tools, albiet with a difference. Instead of creating applications for the web, Xcerion provides a platform for developers to create applications that can run on any computer with any operating system and any supported browser (Internet Explorer & Firefox for the time being)

"What Skype did for telephony, we want to do for software development," says CEO Daniel Arthursson. "We're enabling the 'Long Tail' for business software."

Xcerion has been working for the last five years on an XML-based Internet operating system (XIOS) and development platform that replicates the desktop computing experience from inside a Web browser providing applications and data over the network. It sits as an abstraction layer atop a real operating system like Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows.

Watch it in action and you'll see a visual representation of the threat it poses to Windows: Double-click on the application and the familiar desktop interface appears inside the browser window. Expand the browser window in full-screen mode and the Windows desktop vanishes beneath it. Of course the XIOS environment could just as easily look like the Mac OS desktop or something else entirely. This is what Microsoft feared Netscape would do, turn its main asset, the operating system, into middleware. - InformationWeek

XIOS has already been released for limited beta testing and might be out for public in the third quarter of 2007.

The service will be free and Xcerion will make money from advertisements which they will share with application developers as they don't intend to develop applications themselves.

Read Thomas Claburn's indepth review and analysis of this new revolution on InformationWeek.
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Cast your ballot in the comfort of your bed

Are you so busy that you don't find time to cast your valuable vote in the election for President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister or the Mayor? Or are you too lazy to go there and wait in the queue for hours before you get your chance to choose your prez?

It might not be long before you could cast your ballot online on the Internet, from the comfort of your home, at a time of your convenience. For citizens of Estonia this dream has already come to reality. This small Baltic country is the first to conduct national elections with internet balloting available to all voters. England, France, Holland and a few other countries have had trial or small scale votes. The state of Hawaii will offer internet voting in local elections later this month.

This would definitely increase the voter turnout and eventually result in better governments. But there seems to be a problem - bigger nations worry that an internet-based balloting system cannot be reliable and secure enough to safeguard democracy's most fundamental processes. Alright, but as Tarvi Martens, project manager for Estonia's e-voting project, puts it "You trust your money with the internet, and you won't trust your vote? I don't think so."
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The British would-be-monarch lives in the past!

Prince Charles on a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates for the launch of a public health campaign at Imperial College London Diabetes Center in Abu Dhabi was quoted as asking one of the nutritionists at the center:

"Have you got anywhere with McDonald's? Have you tried getting it banned? That's the key,".

Well what on earth does he think he is doing? Tommorow he might say that eating beef is unhealthy, get em banned! Why doesn't he get them banned in his own country? We are living in a free world. We may at our discretion decide what's good and what's bad for us. He might be successful in getting them banned in undemocratic countries but not in his own country. It is quite natural of him, having royal blood flowing through his veins, that he thinks about controlling people's diet.
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Apple iPod to replace 'black box' on airplanes

Since the time iPod was first introduced to replace walkmans and discmans, it has evolved from just a digital audio player to a photo viewer to a portable video player and has found various applications besides these like data storage etc. SciFi.com has a list of Top 5 Creative Uses for Your iPod. The iPod has yet again found a path-breaking application in aircrafts.

According to a report by Flight Global, Apple iPods will soon replace the 'black box' with a 'white box'. US light aircraft manufacturer LoPresti SpeedMerchants plans to integrate the iconic 'white box' iPod into its Fury piston aircraft's avionics systems to serve as a digital data recorder.

The iPod along with suitable software works like a hard disk and can record more than 500 hours of flight time data.

Did Steve Jobs ever have an idea about what applications his invention will find?
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Non-reason for readers to unsubscribe from feeds

Darren Rowse recently conducted an "open mic" survey to understand why people unsubscribe for a blog's RSS feed. However, looking at the results of the survey here, I feel quite a number of people had got the question wrong.

The title of Darren's post "What makes you unsubscribe from a blog’s RSS feed?" clearly indicates that the question here is why people unsubscribe "from a blog's RSS feed" and not the blog itself. RSS feeds, according to my knowledge, are usually subscribed to through aggregators like Bloglines, Newsgator, Google Reader etc. These aggregators check for new content on these feeds and informs the subscriber when there is an update available.

Darren's survey shows that almost 11 percent of the people unsubscribe from feeds due to infrequent posting. Yes it would bother if you had bookmarked the blog to check for new content regularly. But why on earth would they be bothered by infrequent posting when they don't have to do anything to check for new content on that blog?

It could be that the 29 odd people would have either got the question wrong or just needed a reason to post a comment.
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Blogger features request (wishlist)

Blogger is one great blogging platform that any newbie can be comfortable with. The new Blogger is a giant leap forward from the old Blogger in terms of features like layouts, labels, post comment feeds, feeds by labels, blog security etc. However, there is lots more that Google needs to put into Blogger to make it comparable with Wordpress, Typepad and other high end professional blogging platforms. The Blogger Wishlist is not the place where I can list the features that I need on Blogger. I rather list them here so that others too can see what blogger needs badly and add to it what they feel is necessary.

Here they go...

  1. Advance posts: Ability to write posts in advance of them being published so that they go live at a preset date and time.
  2. Non-post pages: Ability to add non-post pages like about us, contact us etc.
  3. Upload non-image files: So that CSS style sheets and external JavaScript files can be uploaded right on to the blog-spot server. There could be even more uses.
  4. Label Archives: Instead of searching labels so that we can directly link to the particular label feed from the label archive page automatically using the auto-discovery feed links for the page.

This is all that I have on my mind right now. Will keep adding as and when they crop up in my mind. You too can leave your requests here.
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