Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I am back

This blog went on a break at the yearend. I took a break from writing logs in order to celebrate something called life before I could get up used by by it. I realized I was turning more like a bot -- searching for content over the net and bragging about it all for nothing but getting some Google money.

So hereinafter, no google ads, no reproduction of news, only pure opinions and therefore setting up the highest frequency of postings record is not my aim. Or rather I should say "Mere eXperiences".

Thursday, December 28, 2006

10x10 -- Thats 100

TenByTen has been around now for more than two years. When it was released two years back there were not many professionals to give it a good competition, Digg was still in inception and Slashdot was not much known. In what followed in the next two years, zillions of news services surfaced, and TenByTen got lost somewhere in the ocean. Had it not accidently been rediscovered today it would have converted to fossils after remaining years inside the ocean.

Even after two years with so many news services around the interface still looked sleek and browsing through the flash based interface looked painless. The greatest drawback is that it draws news from only three sources (Reuters, BBC and NYT) nevertheless it is still worth giving a try. You can browse through the news of every month,day and hour starting 2004. The site more looks like kinda demo how a news service works.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

TailRank Tale

Tailrank is a news aggregator which has been around for a little now. The service marks the quality of a news story by the number of times the story has been blogged or linked. The stories are aggregated from various sources much like Digg. But unlike Digg which sometimes suffer from worthless Diggs, the Tailrank system looks more robust as someone will take the pain of blogging or linking something only when its worthwhile. And with the rise of bloggers at exponential rate in every field its obvious that a good story will receive a lot of links.

Features that can make a difference

1. Recently added video category populated with videos from various video sharing services (mostly youtubes) which are selected on the basis of number of links or embeds. (TailRank Video)

2. Providing deep tracking for a story with the "track this thread", to get depth and breadth of a story.

3. Easy access to news by date. For 21st dec news -- "".

4. Import service from other aggregators (bloglines, newsgator). Manual uploading of OPML files. (Tailrank import)

5. Allowing for embedding Tailrank on your blog with fully customizable CSS.

Geek Guns

Here is a compilation of high-tech electronically controlled guns with video demos of all in action. In case you are interested in discovering guns right there in your office see previous post "Discover Guns in Your Office".

Spider on Drugs

These are the snaps of the webs build by spiders who were fed on drug-dosed flies. Spiders under the influence of drugs move in haphazard way to weave those irregular waves. So, moral of the story is don't drink and drive.

Link : Spider on Drugs

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Foot in Mouth Awards 2OO6

Wired news disclosed a series of lamest technological quotes made in 2006 and topping the list as the report points out is the obvious, the President Bush about making comments about Google when asked on a television interview.
The words of wisdom went like this:
"One of the things I've learned on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see -- I've forgotten the name of the program -- but you get the satellite, and you can -- like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It reminds me of where I wanna be sometimes."

Link : Foot in Mouth Awards 2006

If that made you think that the world's really went crazy in 2006, heres something to make you feel better and make your perspective a little positive : The Best Quotes

Britain's stupidest call centre customers

Now heres something amusing. Mirror is running an article on the idiotic calls received by call centers from customers in Britain. Say it the stupidity of call center customers or the shrewdness of call center employees that these calls got recorded.

A few favorites:

Customer: "I've been ringing 0700 2300 for two days and can't get through to enquiries, can you help?"

Operator: "Where did you get that number from, sir?"

Customer: "It was on the door to the travel centre".

Operator: "They're our opening hours".

Caller: "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?"

Operator: I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about".

Caller: "In the user guide it clearly states I need to unplug the fax machine from the wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Can you give me his number?"

Operator: "I think you mean the telephone point on the wall".

Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"

Customer: "No" .

Tech Support: "OK. Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"

Customer: "No" .

Tech Support: "OK. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"

Customer: "Sure. You told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'".

More such stories on this Google group.

The Mathematician Sculpture

This mathematician works hard to bring some coherence to lost art of sculpture with maths and science. Bathsheba Grossman, a mathematics graduate from Yale University went on to pursue higher studies in sculpture to nurture her interest. She did a lot of exhibitions and presently earn a living by selling her creations over this site. She creates metallic models of complex mathematical structures by making use of latest technologies available around in the field besides her enormous capability to imagine complex 3D shapes. Most of her metallic creations are done by 3D metal printing methods. She uses modeling tools like Rhinoceros, Microscribe digitizing arm, 3D printing machines from Ex One etc.

Heres a functionalitywise list of tools she use:



3D Printing Services

Rapid Prototyping Resources

Sculpture Sources

Laser Glass

Art & Geometry


Tech of the Year

Year 2006 definitely has been an year of technology while innovativeness being its essence. Going by the report of BBC on best tech of the year it seems the Nintendo's Wii wins the battle single handedly. At the time of writing it got 57 % of votes competing against PS3, HD projector and Parallels software.

The report apart from above mentioned gadgets talks about Apple's MacBook, Mac with Intel Chip, XBox.

Wii Tech of the Year

Water at Zero Gravity

WebOS round up

Having been published some short reviews of WebOSs (web operation systems), it was good to see someone coming up with more reviews. This blog reviews 10 WebOSs which are set make it big in 2007. The list includes the hottest ones i.e. YouOS, Goowy and DesktopTwo.

Related :

ZCubes, The Browser your Home
EyeOS , OS on web
YouOS, another OS on web

Hidden Meaning Of Logos

Do you know the meaning of these logos? If you guessed the companies name from the logo, thats good, but theres something beyond that. Yes, they represent something deep and something interesting. This site explains the meaning and significance of these little otherwise cute logos.

Link : Logo Meanings

Vista Vulneribility

The hype of unmatched security in Windows Vista took a beating when the reports of bugs and zero day vulnerabilities came pouring after the OS was put to test about a month ago for corporate customers. The OS is yet to be released in public, probably by the end of January 2007.

The most critical of all the vulnerabilities was found on Dec 15 by a Russian programmer which lets any logged in user to alleviate its privileges to system level, therefore making one capable of running any program. This vulnerability existed not only in Vista but also in Windows 2000, XP, 2003. The vulnerability was first disclosed on this Russian forum (translated version) and later detailed on Determina security site.

Meanwhile it was also reported that hackers are selling zero day exploits and making a good fortune.

New York Times has an article worth a look about recent vulnerabilities and what guys at Redmond have to say.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Social Networking Awards

Social networking blog Mashable was running a competition for the award of Best Social Networks for a few weeks. Yesterday they announced the awards which was divided across three sections -- 1. Judges Choice 2. People's Choice 3. Hot for 2007. The people's choice awards were decided by voting. The awards were divide across various categories. In most of the cases people's choice differed from judge's choice. For example in Mainstream section judge's award went to MySpace while people's choice to Multiply, in Social news and bookmarking judge's award to Digg but people's choice to Trailfire, in photo sharing judge's award to Flickr and people's choice to Twango, in video sharing judge's award to YouTube but people's choice to Gotuit. As far as I am concerned I go with judges awards. And yes there several other categories. Check 'em out.

Link : Social Networking Awards 2006

The 25 BEST things ever said, by anyone

☺☻If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.
[ Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973)]
☺☻It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
[Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)]
☺☻Music is the pleasure that the human soul encoutners from counting without knowing that it is counting.
[Leibniz (1646 - 1716)]
☺☻To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
[Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)]
☺☻When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
[Desiderius Erasmus (1465-1536)]
☺☻It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
[Epictetus (c.55-c.135)]
☺☻He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.
[Albert Einstein (1879-1955)]
☺☻As I would not be a slave, so I will not be a master.
[Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)]
☺☻No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
[John Donne (1572-1631)]
☺☻If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. [Noam Chomsky (b. 1928)]
☺☻My Country, right or wrong" is a thing no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober.
[Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)]
☺☻This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.
[Shakespeare (1564-1616)]
☺☻The gods are amused when the busy river condemns the idle clouds.
[Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)]
☺☻Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
[Niels Bohr (1885-1962)]
☺☻Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
[William Pitt (1759-1806)]
☺☻Pain shared is lessened, joy shared, increased.
[Spider Robinson (b. 1948)]
☺☻The good old days. I was there. Where was they?
[Moms Mabley (1894-1975)]
☺☻All models are wrong but some are useful.
[George Box (1869-1933)]
☺☻The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."
[Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)]
☺☻ That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
[Hillel ]
☺☻If I am not for myself, who is for me?
If I am for myself alone, what am I?
If not now, when?
☺☻Those who would give up a little freedom to get a little security shall soon have neither.
[Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)]
☺☻If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let each man march to his own rhythm, however measured, or far away.
[H. D. Thoreau (1817-1862)]
☺☻There is nothing so horrible in nature as to see a beautiful theory murdered by an ugly gang of facts.
[Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)]
☺☻Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to be worried abut our own souls, and other people's bellies.
[Rabbi Yisrael Salanter (1810-1883)]

Merry Christmas

You can wish Merry Christmas to the whole world virtually by creating your own avatar with your own christmas message at Mix-mas. You can choose from range of hair-cuts, faces, caps, shirts ,trousers, shoes etc and put up your custom message.

There are a lot of avatars already created by other users . It is fun to travel through the virtual world of avatars with avatars wishing you all the way.

Link : Mix-Mas

And heres a gift of Christmas - Collection of Free Games

Boxhead The Rooms
Boxhead The Rooms

Description: Very cool zombie survival game. Shoot through a never ending onslaught of zombies in 5 different levels with 8 different weapons that upgrade.

In and Around my Home

This place is my home, the place where I belong to. The collection depicts landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh which is situated in easternmost part of India. (Photos: Arif Siddiqui)

Mazes to amaze you

Almost all of us at some point of time have tried solving mazes in our childhood days. I was very good at mazes and wanted to solve more and more, so i end up buying lots of magazines, books on maze problems. But recently I found out this site which has exactly One Billion Mazes to be solved without a single repetition. All the mazes are in printer friendly pdf formats to let you print and make your day. Some mazes are cool, confident booster but some are real gory. It can be fun if you got some time to spare.

Link : One Billion Mazes

Bloopers in The Movies

Jakob Nielson distinguished apart some UI (user interfaces) bloopers from some movie instances arguing that they are far from what happens in reality and acknowledges that they are meant for entertainment and not for learning something. The post talks about the bloopers in the UIs that how it is so easy for a hero to become adept with new UI, how someone from past or future comes through time machine with a ready idea of present technologies and how upon authentication the UI shows big fontted "Access Granted" message instead of directly taking user to his homepage.

Link : Top 10 UI Bloopers

If you wanna do some research on Movie bloopers here are the links:


2006 Digital Media Winners and Losers

Mp3NewsWire published a list of players in Digital Media who made out big and the list of those lagged behind in the most fateful year on the subject. The winners list (obviously) is headed by 2 year old Youtube. Apple, Myspace, Azureus,PiratesBay are other obvious members followed by some not so obvious ones. Loser's list included StreamCast, EchoStar and the recent buzz

Link : Digital Media Winners of 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Discover Guns in Your office

OfficeGuns tutors you to make weapons from common office accessories. The site stimulates the naughtiness in you by showing you creative ways to utilize your surroundings and annoy your boss or work partner. A word caution though-- it can be dangerous!

Optical Illusions

I came across a lot of optical illusions before but got some new one on this site. The site has a collection of 67 optical illusions, some of which may be the first time for you. Most of the phenomena are well explained so that you may not end up thinking something mysterious about otherwise obvious phenomenon.


SuperHeros are Just a Click away

ComicVine is a wiki of superheros where you can edit the description, origin, power etc of a superhero or can create your own. You can vote for your favourite superheros through a hot or not system where two heros are put side by side and users are to vote who wins the battle between the two. Find out more at the video tour below:

3 links to sum up 2006

2006 in Review by PC mag

Google in 2006 by

End of Year Quiz by Register

Random Google Image Search

I stumble upon this service that lets throws you the images from Google image search with random phrases. The service adds a random name with a random verb each time you refresh the page which means it will search form "people doing stuffs". Good for time pass.

asdf : Its not crap always

"asdf", a middle row first four letter of a qwerty keyboard, a common word that people tend to enter to test something that they think isnt important. The word is so much common that it has found an Wikipedia entry and there is a total crap website called But where I think "asdf" has been most productive is on Youtube, just do a search for it and you will find more than 6000 videos. Here is also a compilation of videos named "asdf". Google Image Search got me 4800 results and Flickr got me 817 results.

LiveVideo : Another Video sharing site

In the recent months it has become quite clear that YouTube is there to stay and rule with a good number of video sharing sites launching each week and lost under the hype of YouTube. Unless these services bring some innovativeness in them, they are bound to remain under the YouTube's hood. LiveVideo could have been just another video sharing site and by now lost the newly created ocean of video sharing. But this service craved out some space for itself by introducing some new features. While the interface looks too much similar to Youtube's , its the addition of following features thats making the difference: [via Mashable]

» A Digg like voting feature "Hit or Miss".

» An interactive map to browse videos by country. Just mouse over the flags on the world map and the videos for that region will be shown up. For US you can even browse by states.

» Customizable Profiles. This is probably the most powerful feature to get it an edge in the race. Users can create there profile pages which makes viewing the video a different experience as they run against a different background for each user.

» Different skins to choose from.

See the what's new section to get hold of new features as it surfaces over time.

AllPeers : Firefox p2p

It seems there is not end to Firefox extensiblility. Day in and out we hear about new addons. Though this addon, Allpeers was there for quite a while, they have recently added a chat functionality. AllPeers provides p2p functionality right inside your browser, yes thats right, no need to install or download any p2p client. The addon lets you share and receive files with other Firefox users using Allpeers.

Lets, get into the details. You can share files by simply dragging the file from your box on the user with whom you want to share. You get two tabs for each user in your friends list -- Inbox and Outbox. In the inbox there will be files waiting for you shared by that particular user for you. In the outbox there will be information about files that you shared with that particular user.

You can even share webpages or pictures from the webpages by simple dragging and dropping. By the addition of new chat feature the file sharing experience just became more useful with the information or feedback while you share.

AllPeers Tour
Get AllPeers

You - The Designer

In the recent months there is a surge in the online design services that let you design your custom goodies like tshirts, casino chips, cards etc. What more, you can order online the design you just made and get it home delivered with moneyback guarantee. Here is a brief description of the three pioneers in this field.
favorite products that match their interest.

» ChipLab : The service is dedicated for the creation of Casino Chips. You can choose whether you want complete poker set, customized chip set or individual chips. You can add layers, pictures, arts, pictures all customized to suit your requirements. After the design is done you can just checkout and the chips will be shipped to you.
» CafePress : CafePress is based on theme "Gift". You can almost find anything that you planned for gift to find it fully customizable. You can either choose from already created designs or created your own. The products are classified across categories like School or education, food or drink, military, sports , religion,technology or geek etc, to let you choose the nearest match to your interest or profession. If you are creative enough you can even sell the products designed by you to others. Or if you own a site you can direct your traffic to the
» Zazzle : This service has a lot to offer when it comes to range of popular products. The most important I felt was the design of tshirts. Besides you can design and sell your creations. You will earn a 10% royalty when a product designed by you sells. You can also refer visitors of your site to the products for which you will earn 7% commission for each sale.

Daytipper -- Tips for making life easier.

Daytipper is another social networking Web 2.0 service that runs on the content submitted by the user. The site seems first of its kind and therefore poised for a success. The service allows users to submit tips which in someway you feel will help others. The tips are classified across various categories. The service pays you $3 for each tip published. The importance or usefulness of your tip is judged by the users who can vote for it which will be shown as a percentage. No doubt, there were lots of negative votes. You can subscribe for the tips through email or through rss. At the time of writing there were 2,468 tips submitted but only 476 published, which shows there is really a lot of liking for this service and people are having great tips and the $3 factor is also doing its part.

Wonderful Simulation

Looks like an amazing simulation software which makes it very easy to create the simulation environment by way of sketches. This is a demo of a simulation tool by Prof. Randall Davis from an ongoing project "Assist" at MIT.

Friday, December 22, 2006

100 Most Useful Sites in 2006

The Guardian published a list of 100 most useful sites across various categories. The list is comprehensive and if you are a not a net-addict it will serve as a good ready reference. The list goes here.

TheVeniceProject beta

GigaOm published some screenshots from the VeniceProject. The VeniceProject is a mashup of television, p2p and social networking founded by the founders of Skype and Kazaa. The project is a broadband application which will harness the power of p2p to distribute TV shows over the internet. No, its not a file sharing service. This service allows users to add channels, switch between channels, join communities, chat etc.

The project is presently in beta and is accepting emails to get a invitation for beta testing.

Merry Christmas

If you are a Digg user then there is greeting for you from Google maps. The greeting is created by taking out letter shaped buildings from Google maps.

Vulnerabilities Fixed -Firefox

Mozilla fixed the following 8 known vulnerabilities in Firefox 2 with its release of Firefox

MFSA 2006-76 XSS using outer window's Function object
MFSA 2006-75 RSS Feed-preview referrer leak
MFSA 2006-73 Mozilla SVG Processing Remote Code Execution
MFSA 2006-72 XSS by setting img.src to javascript: URI
MFSA 2006-71 LiveConnect crash finalizing JS objects
MFSA 2006-70 Privilege escallation using watch point
MFSA 2006-69 CSS cursor image buffer overflow (Windows only)
MFSA 2006-68 Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:

If you have Firefox 2 then you must have been prompted for automatic updates which would have fixed the above vulnerabilities.

You can get Firefox here.

Indian Roads Now on Google Maps

Google maps added in itself a detailed maps of national highways, roads and streets of all the major cities and towns of India. This is a measure breakthrough in the online mapping system in which the country is lacking a good deal of features as compared to its western counterparts. MapMyIndia was the only service which existed uptill now in this area and it is still more detailed than Google maps. But the Google map service is all set to take off because of its combination of both satellite imagery and maps.

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