HashOut: 2007.06
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Have a Mostly Sunny Day!

Wireless Forecast Station - wake up alarm, barometric pressure and its trend, temperature reading. Have a Mostly Sunny Day!A radio alarm clock may be fine for many of us, but not for Douglas Le Comte, a meteorologist and Weatherwise magazine contributor. He uses the Wireless Forecast Station. It can wake you up, display a 24-hour forecast, show barometric pressure and its trend, and give you a wireless temperature reading from another location, like the garage. » Continue reading

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Stealth Shopping on the Web

Stealth Shopping on the Web - Internet Security and SpywareProtecting your privacy is harder when shopping online because you're asked to fork over sensitive data. Here's what Jay Foley at the Identity Theft Resource Centre suggests to minimize exposure:

Change your identity. Create a new email address exclusively for online stores that require one. This dummy address will wind up receiving future junk emails. Then each week, trash all the spam from your "shopping" address.

Credit Card Security on the Web - Look for the Lock IconLook for the lock. Before filling out any on-screen form asking for credit card data, verify that you're at a secure Web page. The URL in the field at the top of your screen should begin with "https://" and look for a locked padlock icon in the lower-left corner of the screen.

Send spies packing. If you download free software, "spyware" may have been secretly attached by a third party to monitor your surfing habits. Spychecker.com offers free software that detects and removes spyware from your hard drive.
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How not to look like a Tourist

How to avoid being singled outAfraid of being singled out as a mark, a nerd (or maybe just an out-of-towner) in a foreign place?

  1. Don't block pavement traffic folding and unfolding maps.
  2. Keep your jaw shut as you admire those jaw-dropping buildings locals pass without a glance.
  3. Multi-pocketed urban pants may be practical, but overstuffed they make you look like a blimp on tour.
  4. Remember: Shouting doesn't make English easier to understand.
  5. Don't parade your hometown T-shirt or cap.
  6. Why would anyone even wear something called a bumbag?
  7. Enjoy yourself. Most people like tourists.
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Make light work to decorate your home

Make light work to decorate your drawing room, living room, bedroom, bathroom, restroom, toilet.When decorating your home, consider these illuminating tips on creative lighting, from lamp-magnate Christopher Wray:

  • Use lighting to define an area -- table and floor lamps can mark zones in a large room where, for instance, one end is for eating and the other for dining.
  • Place several floor lamps that beam light upwards to guid the eye along a particular route, or set them behind a plant or sofa to create a soft glow.
  • With floor-standing (pedestal) lamps, fitting sockets in the floor will reduce the length of flex wire.
  • If you fancy a chandelier, remember it was origially meant to hold candles, so use very low-watt light bulbs.
  • Fit dimmer switches to everything -- varying light levels will help set the mood for each part of the day.
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Women swoon for hi-tech woo

Gift hi-tech technology gadgets like mobile cell phones, portable laptop or notebook computers, pda or ipod to woo women and further romance.Men looking to further their romance with flowers may want to think tech instead. A small Amazon.co.uk study at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, measured women's reactions to gifts: They showed most arousal when imagining getting electronic gadgets. In addition, a study of 1000 people found six in ten women said their love lives suffered if they had no mobile phone or hand-held computer with them. » Continue reading

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How to get upgraded on a flight?

How to get a free flight upgrade to a business or first class?It's always nice to get something for nothing. When it's an upgrade to business or first class air travel, you can do your bit to help it happen, advises Keith Burton of the Association of British Travel Agents:

Join a frequent flyer program. Airlines only upgrade because they have to (they over-book, calculating that some people won't turn up). They will always choose their most valued customers first.

Ask if the flight is full when you check in. Say that if they're looking to upgrade, you'd like to be considered. Don't be pushy.

Dress smartly. The airline won't want to upset (fare-paying) first lass passengers by seating them next to a scruffy backpacker.

Travel alone. You'll be easier to seat than a couple or group.

Don't be first at the gate. Staff won't want to hold up the queue and won't know yet which seats are free.
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Excluding the first post from Expandable Post Summaries hack for Blogger

In continuation of my earlier post Excluding the first post from a Peek-a-boo style post body contents-hack for Blogger let me show you how to implement this same trick for the Expandable Post Summaries hack for Blogger.

Just like the Peek-a-boo exclusion trick we will use the getElementsByClassName function to fetch the full contents of the first post and make it visible. But before you proceed further you need to have the Expandable Post Summaries Hack already implemented on your blog.


Once you have done that:

  1. Copy and paste the getElementsByClassName JavaScript function between the <head></head> tags.
  2. Then search for the posts loop. It should look somewhat like this:
    <b:loop values='data:posts' var='post'>
    <b:if cond='data:post.dateHeader'>
    <h2 class='date-header'><data:post.dateHeader/></h2>
    </b:if>
    <b:include data='post' name='post'/>
    <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
    <b:include data='post' name='comments'/>
    </b:if>
    </b:loop>

    Now add the following lines of JavaScript code immediately after that.
    <script type='text/Javascript'>
    &lt;!--
    getElementsByClassName("fullpost")[0].className = "";
    getElementsByClassName("contreadlink")[0].style.display = "none";
    -->
    </script>

  3. Finally add a class to the Continue Reading link so that we can hide the link for the first post.

    Search for this tag:
    <b:if cond='data:post.url'> » <a expr:href='data:post.url' title='Permanent Link'>Continue reading</a></b:if>

    and replace it with
    <b:if cond='data:post.url'><span class="contreadlink"> » <a expr:href='data:post.url' title='Permanent Link'>Continue reading</a></span></b:if>


Thats it, you're done!

If you have a better way to achieve the end result, do let us know.
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Some tips to keep your CDs and DVDs clean and your players healthy

Recovering / Recovery of Damaged / Destroyed / Scratched CDs and DVDs.Be it the Beatles CD you play in the car, the precious Spiderman 3 DVD you got for your birthday or the CD-ROM with the snaps from your last holiday, chances are you have no idea what to do if the toddler in your life leaves her mark on any of them, let alone how to care for a disc at the best of times. Some tips from the Optical Storage Technology Association:
  1. Always hold CDs and DVDs by the outside edge or the centre hole.
  2. Store discs in plastic cases in a box, drawer or cabinet away from light, heat, dust and humidity.
  3. Blow off any dust that settles on discs to keep it out of your player.
  4. Clean discs using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth or camera lens tissue. Gently wipe from the centre to the outer edege in a straight line; do not rub in circles or around the disc.


CD cleaning fluids may help to remove sticky fingerprints.
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Excluding the first post from a Peek-a-boo style post body contents-hack for Blogger

I had earlier written a post on Peek-a-boo post body contents-hack for New Blogger in response to which many asked for a way to exclude the first post from the hack. That is displaying the full contents of the first post alone.

Here I will show you a hack to implement this using JavaScript. If you have not already implemented the hack as given in the previous post, do so first.

Then insert the following lines of JavaScript code anywhere between the <head></head> tags. Preferably add them after the expandcollapse function between the same script tags.
<script type='text/Javascript'>
&lt;!--
function getElementsByClassName(clsName) {
var retVal = new Array();
var elements = document.getElementsByTagName("*");
for(var i = 0;i &lt; elements.length;i++){
if(elements[i].className.indexOf(" ") >= 0){
var classes = elements[i].className.split(" ");
for(var j = 0;j &lt; classes.length;j++){
if(classes[j] == clsName)
retVal.push(elements[i]);
}
}
else if(elements[i].className == clsName)
retVal.push(elements[i]);
}
return retVal;
}
-->
</script>


Then search for the posts loop. It should look somewhat like this:

<b:loop values='data:posts' var='post'>
<b:if cond='data:post.dateHeader'>
<h2 class='date-header'><data:post.dateHeader/></h2>
</b:if>
<b:include data='post' name='post'/>
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<b:include data='post' name='comments'/>
</b:if>
</b:loop>


Now add the following lines of JavaScript code immediately after that.

<script type='text/Javascript'>
&lt;!--
getElementsByClassName("posthidden")[0].className = "postshown";
getElementsByClassName("showhidelink")[0].innerHTML = "";
-->
</script>


And finally we have to make a slight modification to the peek-a-boo hack by adding a showhidelink class to the [+/-] show/hide this post anchor tag.

Search for this tag:
<a expr:href='"javascript:expandcollapse(\"" + data:post.id + "\")"'>


and replace it with
<a class='showhidelink' expr:href='"javascript:expandcollapse(\"" + data:post.id + "\")"'>


Thats it, you're done!

However, for this trick to work, scripting needs to be enabled else the visitor will see the first post hidden just like the previous hack.

This trick can be similarly applied to the Expandable post summaries hack. I shall write about implementing this trick with that hack sometime soon.

I believe a lot can be improved upon this hack too! May be there is a better way to do it. This was just what I came up with. If you have a better solution do hash out!
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How to get a quick passport size photo?

How to get a quick passport size photograph?Need a quick passport size photo? Simply take a digital photo of your face in front of a white background and upload it online to ePassportPhoto.com. You can crop it on the site and you'll get an image file to save back to your own computer. If you own a digital camera and color printer, the service will cost you noting. What's more, you can keep snapping photos until you're happy with the result. » Continue reading

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Avoid Man-to-Man Deals at Work

Tips for better successful management of business deals and reduce risk of failure.If you are planning to ask for a pay rise or want to secure a business deal, try to bargain with someone of the opposite sex.

European researchers have found that women negotiate better with men and vice versa, but that both men and women become over-competitive when dealing with someone of the same gender.

Talks between a mixed-gender pair lead to significantly more co-operation, resulting in mutually beneficial business outcomes, the researchers say.

They suggest that companies can use this knowledge to their benefit, by strategically selecting the gender of their representatives. » Continue reading

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Tips for printing Digital Photos

Tips to print Digital PhotosCapture great memories and moments with tips on printing digital photos.

Fan your paper first
Before you put it into the paper tray, bend the stack and run your finger along the edge. This ensures the sheets feed flawlessly.

Select the right paper setting
Many HP photo printers with optical sensors for paper type allow you to select the actual name of the paper you are using. Use it to enhance paper feed and print quality.

Don't stack your photos
Don't stack your photos before they are totally dry. This may cause the photo below to stick onto the back of the one above.

Leave them to dry before storing
Resist the temptation to slot your phtos into a photo album the moment they are printed. Air them in a cool place to dry them before storing.

Keep them protected
Exposing your photos to air and moisture causes them to fade or turn yellow. Store your photos in an album or photo frame to protect them.
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How to spot an email hoax

How to filter an internet hoax.
The Internet is a great way to share information, but also to spread lies and mischievous nonsense. When you get an unsolicited email, these warning signs, from urbanlegends.about.com, should ring alarm bells:
  1. The text was not originally written by the person who sent it to you.
  2. Phrases such as "This is NOT a hoax..."
  3. ...Or "Forward this to everyone you know."
  4. Overly emphatic language or heavy use of CAPITALS and exclamation marks!!!!!!!!
  5. Language that seems more geared to persuade than to inform.
  6. Claims to offer important information you've not heard before from legitimate sources.
  7. Subtle jokes that might suggest leg pulling.
  8. No reference to outside sources nor links to websites with corroborating information.
  9. Replies with "Re:" in the subject title from people you haven't written to.
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First e-Impressions

Email Tips, Tricks, Techniques, Rules, Regulations & LawsFew careers can now do without email. How effectively do you deal with it? Take this true-or-false quiz to find out!
  1. Emails should be short.
  2. The subject line should be short.
  3. All messages should be marked urgent so people will read them.
  4. You should respond to email messages within 24 hours.
Answers:

  1. True. People don't have time to read pages of material on a screen. If your message is longer than screen-length, send it a different way.
  2. False. With so much spam around, many people won't open an email unless they know who it's from or the subject is clear. Writing hi, or leaving the subject line black, leaves the reader confused.
  3. False. People will know you always do this and won't consider your e-mail urgent, even when it is.
  4. True. If you don't have the info, send an email to acknowledge you got their message and let them know when you'll have the info.
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Speeding up a sluggish computer

Speed up a slow broken computerSteps to take before spending money on costly upgrades.

Empty the trash. Files dragged to the trash icon may be out of sight, but they continue to eat up valuable space. Only when the trash is emptied is space freed up.

Restart your computer. Even when you quit a program, large ones may continue to siphon off memory. Restarting (or "rebooting") adjusts this problem.

Fix fragmented files. Over time, files on your hard drive may become fragmented, i.e. a file may be broken up into pieces and written on different far away locations on the hard disk drive, requiring more time to read the file from the hard disk drive. Most PCs come with a defragment program. In Windows you can find it under Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.

Purge old e-mail files. Many e-mail programs save copies of every message you send. Empty or reduce this backup file to free up hard-drive space. If necessary, ask your e-mail service to help locate the files.

Switch off start-ups. Programs that support instant messaging and calendars begin running as soon as you start your computer and use up its resources. You're better off turning them on as needed.
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Straighten out your cyberkids

Health and Fitness exercises and tips for cyber kids.A recent Australian study found that 60% of children using computers at school showed early signs of repetitive strain injury. Here are some at-your-desk exercises for young PC-users. (Do them gently; if you feel pain see your doctor.)
  1. Stretch your arms above your head and spread your fingers. Then lower your arms so they're straight out in front. Hold for a few seconds.
  2. Push the bottom of your right palm against the top of your left palm, so you feel a stretch along the underside of your left forearm. Repeat on the other side. Now do it pushing on the backs of your palms.
  3. In a chair with your back straight, look over your right shoulder. Then slowly move to look over your left shoulder. Go back to the center and nod slowly three times. Then turn your head in a "no" motion three times. Finally stretch as if laying your head on each shoulder.
  4. Keep your hips forward and turn to look behind on each side, placing your arm across the back of the chair, stretching your back.
  5. Push your chin forward to stretch the jaw and neck.
  6. Sitting, roll each shoulder forward and around then back and around. Then lift each shoulder up to your ear and down.
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Cat walk on the keyboard

Cats walk, dance, jump on the keyboard and uninstall software and crash the computerCats and computers don't mix. Any cat owner will tell you kitties like to walk, jump or sprawl on keyboards in just such a way as to uninstall software or even crash your computer. "For some cats, keyboards are like New Age sandals with rubber nubs pointing upwards onto their soles. Shiatsu for cats, maybe," says computer programmer Chris Niswander, inventor of PawSense, a program that can sense when a cat depresses multiple keys. One or two paw steps are enough for the software to block access to computer and emit anticat sounds -- a variety of annoying noises performed by Niswander. You can also record your own message such as "Bad kitty!"

You might also be interested to read:
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Remedy for falling asleep while at the driving wheel

Remedy for drowsy drivingVehicles of the future may keep an eye on their drivers, rousing you if you start to nod off, thanks to new technology that can scan your face for signs of drowsiness.

FaceLab uses two cameras built into the dashboard to identify key points on your face (it's unfazed by sunglasses or a head turned to one side), creating a 3D picture which it compares to a computer model. By analyzing the movements of your head, the rate you blink and the angle of your gaze it monitors progressive drowsiness. If you're in a danger of falling asleep, the system could trigger alarms or a flashing red light-which could refuse to stop until the card did. If the system works and is adopted by the industry it could help save the innumerable lives lost each year from falling asleep at the wheel. » Continue reading

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Getting the most from AA batteries

AA batteries - Alkaline, Premium alkaline, Rechargeable nickel-cadmium, Rechargeable nickel-metal hydrideIt turns out that batteries aren't as "perishable" as we thought. "You can buy batteries in value packs and store them up to five years witout fear that their energy wll drain," says Mark Connelly, Consumer Reports director of appliance testing. Just don't toss loose batteries into a shoebox with metal objects. They can touch and lose power. As for putting batteries in the fridge, the chill does not preserve or extend their life by much, Connelly says. Here's a battery-buyer's guide:

Alkaline: Single-use battery best for low-drain electronics such as remotes and many toys.

Premium alkaline: Lasts longer than regular alkalines. Good for high-drain devices such as digital cameras.

Rechargeable nickel-cadmium: Less powerful than alkalines but can be recharged. Most suited for remotes, toys and small radios.

Rechargeable nickel-metal hydride: Ideal for high-drain items thanks to its extended life.
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Coping with too many high-tech choices

Electronics Gadgets Shopping Guide and TipsRemember when shopping for a camera was easy? Fiddle with a few models, pick one and go home happy. Today you practically need a degree in computer science and three months just to research the right one.

The same clutter exists in virtually every category of consumer electronics and technology. Faced with too many choices, people cannot compare all the options competently, says Barry Schwartz, an American professor of social theory and author of The Paradox of Choice. For example, one university study found that a supermakret customer offered 24 varieties of jam was less likely to by any jam, than a customer offered just six varieties.

So how can time-pressed electronics shoppers make a decision without feeling regret? Experts urge self-restraint:

Stick to a budget: It's easy to get snowed into adding features that inch up the price, says Brian Clark, founder of The Tech Enthusiast's Network, a consumer technology consulting service. Begin with an absolute price ceiling, he says, and you will automatically limit yourself to the best product you can afford.

Know your needs: Ask a friend or relative who is up on electronics to explain the options and then figure out which ones matter most to you.

Talk the talk: Before coming face to face with sales people who favour jargon, bone up on the lingo. Clark says knowing what key terms mean in advance can inoculate you against buying more that you need.

Ease the pressure: If you feel overwhelmed, leave the store, Clark says. Impulse purchases rarely wind up satisfying in the long run.

Train you brain: No product is perfect. And with electronics, there's always a new, more technically sophisticated version just around the corner. "We tend to focus on what's satisfying about your purchase," Barry Schwartz says.
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What your fingers say about you

Strange as it might seem, the shorter a man's index finger is compared to his ring finger, the more inclined he is to be physically aggressive. Psychologist Dr. Peter Hurd at the University of Alberta measured the fingers of 300 students and asked them to answer a questionnaire on aggression. He found that finger lengths did correlate to physically aggressive behaviour. Scientists believe that the more testosterone -- which is secretd naturally by the mother -- a male foetus is exposed to in the womb, the shorter his index finger will be. The same is not true for female foetuses.

"You wouldn't want to screen people for certain jobs based on finger lengths," says Dr. Hurd, "but we are learning that a large part of our personality is determined while we're in the womb.

Learn more about the effects of the length of your fingers on your personality here.
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Printing 3D

I just dropped my mobile phone and the outer casing has broken. What do I do?

Probably go to the suppliers and check if they can encase my phone in a new body - not a cheap or easy task. The new casing costs almost a fourth of the price of the phone.

Exact replacement

Your spectacle frame has cracked. It is difficult to find the exact replacement, which will take the place of the same costly and well-worn pair of glasses. You are forced to compromise and order the nearest fit. Theses are the scenarios of yesterday and today. Now take a peak at tommorow -- not sometime in the distant future, but later this year:

You 'capture' the shape of an object - like a mobile phone case or a spectacle frame -- using special softare; then you turn on your 3-D printer, which looks exactly like your normal laser printer, only slightly larger.

You ensure that its 'printing' medium -- not ink in a cartridge but one filled with finely powdered plastic -- is adequate; you press 'print' on your PC -- and a new phone case or whatever, is created slowly, layer by layer, in front of your eyes. It dries in seconds and is ready to use -- may be after some sand papering to smooth the edges.

Congratulations, you have entered the era of three-dimensional (3D) printing.

Desktop Factory, a spin-off from the US based IdeaLab, promises that by end 2007, it will offer a consumer model of its 3D printer for under $5,000. IdeaLab's technology makes use of a halogen lamp to heat powdered plastic that adheres to a roller and a focused laser beam to fuse it, to form a one dimensional image of the object required.

Thus far the process is very similar to the way an image is fused in a laser printer. The 'image' is rolled on to a plate and prints as a layer, much as it would on paper in a normal printer.

Now is where 2D becomes 3D. The process is repeated again and again, depositing more layers, stacking one on top of another, in the 3rd dimension, to form the solid object. Heat is applied again to fuse all the layers into a single object.

Remember how one made paper mash items in school, by pasting layers of soaked and gummed paper on a mould to create bowls and vases?
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Darren answers my questions on blogging and podcasting

When I woke up this morning to a pleasant weather, little did I know about the surprise lined up for me today.

As I signed in to my email inbox, I received this comment from Shypy, a new reader who informed me that my blog was featured on ProBlogger. Without any further delay, I hit ProBlogger and saw that Darren had answered some questions which I had posted on ProBlogger in response to his invitation for reader questions in February.

You might ask why is it so important for my questions to be answered on ProBlogger. The answer is ProBlogger is an A-list blog and, in order to improve one's blog or website ranking on Google and other search engines, it is necessary to get it linked from other A-list (top ranking) blogs and websites. Not only that! The visitors or readers of that site or blog are also directed towards your blog or website. Read my earlier post on How to grab the attention of A-list bloggers for some creative ideas.

Darren has not only answered my questions but he has linked to my blog, sending over lots of precious readers from his blog and also helping me improve my blog ranking. Thanks Darren! I just love you for that.

Sometimes your hard work doesn't really pay off immediately, but it surely does at some point of time in the future, as you can see it has been over 3 months since I posted those questions on ProBlogger. The comment has really paid off in terms of more visitors and readers directed towards HashOut from ProBlogger and hopefully improving my blog ranking in the long run.

So go ahead on a commenting spree. Find opportunities to comment. Comment when you feel that you can add some value to the conversation and you're sure to hit the Jack Pot.
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Genius G-Shot D5123 5.0 megapixel CMOS digital camera

Genius G-Shot D5123 5.0 megapixel CMOS digital cameraGenius' G-Shot D5123 is a new feature rich 5 megapixel four-in-one CMOS digital camera. Its slide cover and light body make it extremely portable. The G-Shot D5123, four-in-one includes functionalities like digital camera, digital video camera, web camera and storage drive. Although the camera comes with a 32MB memory card, it can be upgraded upto a 1 GB SD memory card.

Genius G-Shot D5123 5 mega pixel CMOS digital camera - TFT LCD display & control buttons
G-Shot D5123 enables high quality images up to 12 megapixel by interpolation to be taken sharply in large size pictures of 12-inch x 18-inch. The built-in microphone provides voice for video in 640x480 (VGA) and 320x240 (QVGA). A 2.0-inch color TFT LCD screen make it easy to frame th subject when capturing images and also displays the image comfortably in playback mode. The 4x digital zoom can help focus on far subjects easily.

Choosing slideshow function in playback mode, one can share photos with family and friends immediately like a digital photo frame DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) function. One can specify the image and the number of prints while chiecking the image n the display screen. With 1GB external memory card one can store over 50,000 images.

It's priced at INR 6,900 (USD 172 approx.)
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The write way

Omas Emotica Luxury PensIt's got an expressive titanium nib. A pocket clip that unfolds as a pen stand. Two striking colors - yellow and black. Oh, and you can write with it too! Emotica, a range of exclusive pens launched by Omas of Italy, is all about making a statement with your signature.

Here is what Emotica stands for:
E  - emotion
MO - movement
TI - titanium and
CA - a caoutchouc/rubber effect

The Emotica Collection is available for:
Converter/cartridge Fountain Pen - $395.00
Rollerball Pen - $325.00
Ballpoint Pen - $295.00
Mechanical Pencil - $295.00
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Nurse your drink

D.S. Music Restaurant, a hospital themed restaurant in Taipei where nurses serve drugs and medicine.Taipei seems to have a penchant for bizarre restaurants. The latest is D.S. Music Restaurant, a hospital-themed joint. Its bar lets patrons order 'medicine' and 'drip' it into their glasses from a transparent, suspended vat. Each 'bed' seats 10 and orders are taken by 'nurses' in starched white uniforms. The 130-seat restaurant has crutches hung from the walls and a wheelchair parked in the lobby. And the 'emergency room' sign leads to the loo! » Continue reading

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Useless Caps @ eMail

Using caps or lower case or dots in email address doesn't matterLots of people still ask, "Does your e-mail ID use capitals or lower case?" But that question is a technical no-brainer, because it simply doesn't matter whether you use capitals or lower case -- meaning small letters -- in an email address. The email will be delivered anyway: you may type the address with all capitals, all lower case, or randomly combine both.

Yet there's one place where capitals can secure your emails: in your password. Having a password like "ScoRPioN" or "sCorpiON" instead of a plain "scorpion" makes it tougher to hack.

You might also be surprised to note that having an email address like "John.Smith@gmail.com" on Gmail is equivalent to "JohnSmith@gmail.com" or for that matter even any other combination like "J.ohnSmith@gmail.com" or "J.o.hnSmith@gmail.com" or "Jo.hnSmith@gmail.com".

That is, Gmail does not consider "." as part of the email address and removes all "." from the email address before delivering messages to the particular inbox. If you have dots in your gmail address or even if you don't have a dot, just try sending yourself and email by placing a dot somewhere or switching the position of the dot in your email address, before the @ symbol but ofcourse and look you've got a mail!.

It also means that if someone already has an email address say "a.bc@gmail.com" then all other combinations of the same letters in the same order with different numbers and positions of dots will be unavailable for signup. For example "abc@gmail.com" or "a.b.c@gmail.com" or "ab.c@gmail.com" will be unavailable for signup in the case of the above email address.
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