Sunday, December 24, 2006

Metacafe censors Bugmenot 'How-to' video

Metacafe censored this video. click the metacafe video link to see the removal notice

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Google Docs and Spreadsheets now enters Desktop- open war on MS Office!

Today Google has launched its newest front on its fight against Microsoft's domination of PC world.
With the release of Google Toolbar 3 beta for Firefox, Google has quietly launched a direct attack on MS Office. Users who install new Google Toolbar 'can' now 'double-click' any compatible document (.doc, .xls, .odt, .rtf, .csv) on their computer and it will open straight in a browser in Google Docs and Spreadsheet. It doesn't end there, when users click on links to any such file online, it will open straight in Google Docs, no more need to download files first and then upload them to your online word processor. Users can also 'drag' files to their browser to open it in Google docs.
This is yet another signal on Google's intention to use its huge market cap in Internet to gain access to Microsoft honeyspot. Google never misses an opportunity to attack Microsoft where it hurts the most, the toolbar for IE doesnt have this cool feature yet, so in a way, if people want latest toolbar, they have to get firefox. The latest toolbar update includes the much awaited bookmarks button and many new features.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Skype releases official wifi phone for 159$

Skype has released a its first official Wifi phone. Now you can buy it for 159$. Along with it you will get 500 minutes of SkypeOut minutes and one year voicemail. The phone is from SMC, which is not that great brand-wise.
Skype is also giving a FON router along with this.
Skype and Google have invested in FON, which is the largest community of shared Wifi hotspots in the world. Previously it was said that the phone will look like this,
but the model now released isn't that gorgeous. Still no news about the free calling within US and Canada, if it will be continued beyond the year or not. Anyway unless I hear about it I am happy with my sipphone. I use Skype a lot now, but still I cannot agree with its business model around a proprietary encoding and non-standard voip adoption.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Amazon learns from Xbox mishap, changes 'terms' of customer vote program.

This thanksgiving Amazon turned the online community upside down by offering Xbox 36o for just 100 $. But it was not a very sweet experience for most netizens
World's largest online shopping mall was down for almost 15 minutes when all the gamers out there tried to grab this sweet deal. Those 1000 pieces where sold out in some 30 seconds.
One guy even sued Amazon for not getting one of those.
Some even suggested new techniques to avoid missing such a deal in future (use https instead of http).
But all these has gone under the water, Amazon has changed the policy now.
Now you need to 'vote' for the item you are interested in the voting period. Then you stand at a chance of getting the claim code which will be distributed only to people who voted.

I think Amazon should not have done this. Anyway this shows that Amazon doesnt want to repeat the mishap that showed its own EC2 in a very bad light.

Friday, December 08, 2006

450 GB on a paper, the researcher speaks up..

Finally, 2 weeks after stirring the IT world with the claim of storing over 450 GB of data in a sheet if paper with colored dots, Sainul speaks up here. He posted a comment with a link to his press release. Its interesting to read he says "Rainbow Storage is not a method to store data on paper but it is a group of techniques to represent data in the form of colour, colour groups and some symbols."
He feels that people have mixed up the newspaper article.

Many technical groups are discussing about this and they are wasting their valuable time. I think they are mixing my two statements.

1) We can store data even on an ordinary paper

2) We can achieve huge density by using rainbow storage"

He also says it was "the concept of disposable storage.", so there is no prototype yet.

The problem starts now, when he says "The picture will be highly compressed ( Not in magical ) and it can be represented in any color representable medium"
The question many people asked in this blog and else where in Digg is, if you have a binary data and that binary data is of a picture it makes sense to compress that picture almost lossless, because you are compressing the binary data.. But when the picture itself is the data, and each dot actually represent as Mr. Sainul claims 8 bits, how is he going to compress that again? what format will that data be in? as picture? or binary!!!?

Anyway I think there are many experts out in the field who knows better than me, but I am still skeptical when he says he is going to release a product for consumers by 2008!

Just in case Mr. Sainuls page gets dugged, I am quoting his entire press release below
"There are some rumors spreading around the world about my work, Rainbow Storage. �We can store 100s of GBs of data in a sheet of ordinary paper� is a great misunderstanding and I do believe that it is impossible with existing technologies. Many technical groups are discussing about this and they are wasting their valuable time. I think they are mixing my two statements.

1) We can store data even on an ordinary paper

2) We can achieve huge density by using rainbow storage

I used an ordinary sheet of paper to demonstrate this work, I think that�s why the misunderstanding.

Actually Rainbow Storage is not a method to store data on paper but it is a group of techniques to represent data in the form of colour, colour groups and some symbols. We can use any colour representable media as storage medium including paper and plastic sheets. Paper and ink is not the only way to represent colour, there are other efficient methods available now and many kind of researches are going on in different parts of the world .

Definitely, Ordinary sheet of paper with normal printer and scanner will give poor density, but it can be used for some specific purposes. (Acid paper with special ink can last to decades and fading problem can be solved considerably by using some techniques in Rainbow Storage). It put forward the concept of disposable storage. We can create many useful products like digital catalogue for commercial products.

I prepared Rainbow Storage as my academic seminar paper and it was a study to explore data representation capability of colors. Most of the living organisms are getting huge amount of data through vision. Our eyes can only understand colours and colours only. But our brain is doing many complex operations (like distance calculation of objects by using images from two eyes) by using this colors. We can identify distance of two objects (which one is closer) in different environments (eg : Brightness difference). So the visible light (colors) contains a huge amount of data.

Instead of using 0s and 1s here we are using color dots. Each color dot can represent minimum 8 bits (1 byte). If we are using some powerfull mode of representation (forget about ink and paper) we can represent more data on a single spot. By using some groups and symbols , we can also increase the density in to some extent.

Please mail me your suggestions and queries to Kindly give me time to reply because 100s of mails and enquiries are getting daily. So I am unable to reply them all.

If anyone interested in my projects and interested to work with me (Both technical and financial), please mail me to

In Rainbow Storage, we are converting digital data (any format) into somo clors, color combinations, and some symbols known as rainbow format. Hence a rainbow Picture will be generated. The picture will be highly compressed ( Not in magical ) and it can be represented in any color representable medium. We can use the medium as a secondary storage device. The density will be according to the medium, read and write methods using. For retrieving the contents from the medium, readers capture picture and generate data from the color combinations. Although environmental light differences and colour shading is a problem, it can be overcomes up to a certain limit by using efficient mapping functions. Each rainbow picture contains a header, body, footer, parity, Rainbow boundary mapper etc. Header contains the measurement of the rainbow picture. the algorithm (not basic) which is being used etc. It also contains an efficiently designed error checking mechanism.

By using Rainboe Storage, we can develop many kind of products. It Includes

1) Disposable storage

2) RVD

3) Rainbow cards

4) Datacenters

Rainbow storage can be used to achieve Disposable storage. We can store any kind of data in any kind of color representable media. It can be used as one time storage. We can use bio degradable materials here (because it is not intented for long time). These category of products can be used for Distribution of files, documents, etc. Here we can use even printers, scanners, cameras etc as input and output devices. I am planning to release two useful products in this category by the middle of 2008.

RVD (Rainbow Versatile Disk) is another product that can be developed by using Rainbow Storage. We need to develop specific drives for reading and writing. It can hold huge amount of data and it will be very cheap enough to reduce storage price dramatically. The technique Vertical lining is used in RVD to ensure high density. Storage capacity will vary according to the nature of mediums used.

Rainbow cards can be constructed as a cheap secondary storage medium for PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) and other small digital devices. It can be constructed in many standards and sizes. The size can be vary from visiting card size to size of a SIM card. Specific readers need to be attached with such devices.

Datacenters are the static storage servers that can hold Peta Bytes of data. It will be a sequential access storage system that can be used for secondary storage of data. We can construct a datacentre with cost around 35 lakhs.

My new project is named as Project Xpressa. It is a software/Embudded package for regional languages. By using this, news papers, stories, novels etc can be made audible in its own style. An importance of this is that the newspapers and novels and other stuffs which are available in the Internet can be enjoyed through a mobile phone. This project is designed in such a way that any person who has a GPRS connection (internet access) on his mobile phone can enjoy stuffs which are available in the Internet.

Myself, I had just finished my MCA (Mastar of Computer Application) from MES Engineering college, Kuttippuram , Kerala, India. I am a native of Karingappara, near by Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, Kerala, India. Now working with some projects and trying to setup a software company. "

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kim family Fund - paypal donation- suspicious

It is suspicious to see that "Kim Family Fund" account was created 9 months ago, when the tragedy happened over last 20 days. The donation link came up in this digg article here
What I am suggesting is that website is probably a hoax. The whois search reveals that the owner information is blocked. The website itself doesnt says that is it official or set up by close friends. see this cached link.
It doesnt mention who set up the website., please tell us how many of your users use Firefox

Many people find it really hard to beliee that 65% of Digg users use firefox, may be its time Digg should release that data..
I find it really suspicious that the article (here)I wrote saying the above statistics got buried within minutes it hit the frontpage..

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

65 % of the Digg users use firefox!!

65% Digg users use Firefox, in a span of 10 days I had about 30,000 unique visitors from Digg and around 10,000 visitors from Slashdot. So it gave me an idea to compare the browser preference and platform between the two user communities. As you can see about 48% of the visitors were from Digg and about 13% from slashdot.

So it can be seen that about 65% of the Digg users (see below) use various versions of firefox while only 17 percentage use Internet Explorer (all versions combined). When this is compared with Slashdot users again around 65% use various versions of firefox (mozilla excluded), only 11 percentage use IE.

Digg Users stats below:

Slashdot users:

Eventhough Firefox usage is comparable between the two communities, Linux adoption vastly differed. About 20% of Slashdot users were on Linux compared about 9% in the Digg community.

Slashdot stats;

Digg Users stats:

What does the statistics means
  • The Firefox is almost 4 times as popular as Internet explorers among the Geeks or early adopters, if this trend stays in another 3-4 years firefox will be as ubiquitous as Acrobat reader.
  • Between the two Slashdot community is definetly more 'geeky' when we consider the adoption of linux (Slashdot beats Digg 2:1 in terms of linux penetration), but numberwise digg has more readers so it could mean that if we take raw number of linux users Digg may be having more 'number' of linux users.
  • Ofcourse the above two data has to be understood bearing in mind that there are thousands of people who are members of both these wonderful websites.
  • Cnet has reported that only .1 percent of the Firefox users click online ads and .5 % of IE users click online ads. This bad news for adsense users because bulk of their traffic is from Firefox users on the other hand this also corroborates this article because geeks are unlikely to click through ads..

Update: Some have commented, how this can be extrapolated to all the users of Digg?
The answer is, during the period of study, the article which got frontpage in Digg was under 'Technology' category which is one of most frequented sections of Digg.
I would love to see if any bloggers who got dugged has different stats..

Saturday, December 02, 2006, Kevin please give us more RSS feeds gives RSS feeds for frontpage stories, there is option is get feeds for frontpage stories in individual categories. But one thing that is lacking is upcoming stories, the only feed that is available is the one that shows the most recent stories. It will be a great help if digg gives another feed for the most popular upcoming stories. It wouldn't be hard right?

Please bring this to the attention of Kevin and team at

powered by performancing firefox

Search for Yahoo in Google and it takes you to a phishing site..

I was trying to sign up for Yahoo! alert service and a quick check on Yahoo News page didn't show up the link to Yahoo Alerts. So I typed 'Yahoo alert' in Google and hit "I am feeling lucky".

Many people use this "I am feeling lucky" feature and have reported upto 80-90% accuracy. I often found it be a great defense against phishing especially since you can search right from Firefox address bar. But I was in for a shock when I hit the button this time, this is the page that came up.

The site that came up was a phishing site. See the url that ends with "" I dont know what has gotten into Google algorithm to rank a phishing site the top most for such a simple query. You can try the query here.

Both firefox 2 and IE 7 showed only website certificate errors but passed the site as not a phishing site.

Update 1: Searching for 'yahoo alerts' also gives the same phishing site as the first result.

Update 2: Elderberry has commented that it could most probably a proxy site, here is my response,
A little google search has found some suspicious records of this site.
This site is talking about how is faking Googlebot, read here
Also I couldnt find any official page from saying that they are indeed a proxy site.
The only page I could find was this,
and it was japanese site for flouri fans.
The ssl certificate they have is from, both Mozilla and Microsoft have so far refused to acknowledge them as valid. read here
Last but not the least this is the first time I am seeing a proxy site high up in the search ranking for such a popular site like Yahoo. But I have to agree the issue is open..

Friday, December 01, 2006

Adsense Referral gets Firefox v2 but loses Google Toolbar!

Ever since Firefox version 2 was officially released, I was wondering why Google Adsense referral program is still carrying the older version 1.5. Today Google Adsense team has updated the installation file to include version 2 but mysteriously the Google toolbar is missing. Even after installing the package, the toolbar is missing, see the screenshot.

I don't know if its an error or a deliberate decision. Anyway this is good for bloggers, now you don't need to 'convince' people that not just Firefox is great, but Google Toolbar is also great.
If this is a deliberate move then the possible reasons could be either Google decided to update the Firefox version of Google Toolbar which is currently lacking in features vis-a-vis the IE version, or it could mean that Google is thinking that even without the toolbar it can make money from Firefox
For those doubting Thomas' you can try the adsense referral in this page. But let me warn you, I am definitely not soliciting you, dont want to get bounced by Google adsense.

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