Jul 29, 2011

Google starts 'Email Intervention', wants your friends to switch to GMail

Google launched what is called as the 'Email Intervention'. The site opens up with the line "Save your friends from outdated email" and a video, with a guy telling you about that friend of yours who still uses an "outdated" and "embarrassing" Email address(i.e, anything apart from GMail), and so asks you(kinda like Captain Planet) to help your friends make the switch. You can login to GMail from the site, and it shows up your contacts that do not use GMail, and you can select one of the three types of Intervention Email or write one of your own. With just a few days to go before the public release of Google+, it doesn't seem like a bad time for Google to start something like this.

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Samsung Galaxy R feature video released

Samsung's recently released smartphone, Galaxy S II was received with some great appreciation in all parts of the world where it is available. The company has sold 5 million phones in the first 80 days of it's release, and it hasn't even been launched in the US. But, Samsung seems to be on fire; it has announced it's next phone in the Galaxy series. Galaxy R looks similar, but slightly thicker when compared to the S2, and will be priced lesser because of it's specifications.

Galaxy S2 Galaxy R
Processor 1.2GHz 1GHz
Display Size 4.3in4.2in
Camera 8MP5MP
[via CNET]

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Jul 28, 2011

Microsoft wishes Linux on it's 20th birthday [video]

Oh come on, read the title and got all cynical, haven't you? It's with a good heart that Microsoft has risen above all the pettiness and wished it's dear old friend, Linux, a happy birthday, the video of which you can watch below. Oh and did I fail to mention?- Microsoft announced it will pay $100 million in return of technical support from Novell, to the customers of  Microsoft Enterprise who use the Suse OS as well. This might act as a revival in the relationship between MS and Novell. Smooth eh?

[via Engadget]

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Jul 25, 2011

Apple iPad2 advertisement [video]

Apple released a new advertisement today, for the iPad2. Titled- "We'll Always", the ad talks about a few of the routine stuff that we do in our daily lives, like reading a book, cooking dinner and the like; the ad says: "but how we do all this, will never be the same"; indicating the fact that  how well the iPad has blended in the lives of it's owners.

Here's the previous iPad2 ad, released earlier on May '11

[via mashable]

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Jul 23, 2011

Linux 4 Hope helps people in need, with computers

Garron Haun and Jessica Waters run a recently started non-profit organisation, Linux 4 Hope. Based in Manassas, Virginia, the organisation takes donated computers, installs it with Ubuntu OS and distributes it to the people in need. What motivates them? 
"We believe that people should have the opportunity in life to succeed. In today’s lifestyle, computers are everywhere, and people almost always use them for more than entertainment. Almost all schools require papers to be typed and research to be done on the internet.
With linux based computers, we can make this task easier for people by using almost virus free systems, and systems that are generally more stable than Microsoft."

How can you help?
You can donate your old computers to the organisation or even useful computer parts. If you're a web designer, you could help them by re-designing their website. You could also help a great deal by just becoming a fan on their facebook page and letting the word out.
[via OMGUbuntu]

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7 Google Chrome Extensions to make your web life easier

I use Google Chrome as my browser, and all this while of using it I've come across a lot of extensions. Here's a list of extensions, I use that make my everyday internet browsing much simpler.

Google Dictionary:
You're reading an article, you come across a word that you need to look up in the dictionary. What do you do? Hit the new tab button and google it, right? This little extension takes care of that; once installed, just double click the word on the web page and you'll have a pop-up above the word with it's meaning; you can also click the button on the toolbar to type in the word you want to look up. Click here to install this extension.

Silver Bird:
This awesome twitter client is the one you need. Simple looking, yet it's got all the features you'll ever want. It's quick responsiveness makes it irresistible for all you twitter lovers. For the full feature list and to install this extension, click here.

RSS Subscription Extension:
The extension auto detects RSS feeds on the page you're viewing. Once you install this extension, you will see an RSS icon at the end of the address bar. Clicking on it, will allow you to choose your web based feed reader through which you want to access feeds of the site. Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines and My Yahoo are present by default, but you can add any of your preferred RSS readers. Click here to install this extension and you can try it out for this site itself (get the hint??).

When was the last time you had a pen and a paper right next to your computer to make a quick note. Even if you use a notepad file to make a note, you might forget that you ever made a note of something. Enter: Chromepad; whenever you want to scribble something, hit the button on the toolbar and type it down. Click here to install this extension.

Add to Google Bookmarks:

This is for people who use Google Bookmarks. If you have your bookmarks organised into lists, then this is a must have extension. After Installation,  whenever you are viewing a web page that you want to bookmark into one of your lists, simply right click on the page and move your mouse over  "Bookmark" and click on any one of your lists; you'll get a notification if the bookmark is added. Click here to install this extension.

Google Tasks:
If you use Google tasks in your GMail, Google Calendar, iGoogle or in your mobile, you'd want it on your Chrome toolbar too. Allows you to do everything that you do with Tasks on other Google products and automatically syncs with them. Click here to install this extension.

Yet Another Google Bookmarks Extension:
Another extension for Google Bookmarks users. This one lets you view, search and organise all your Google Bookmarks in a tree fashion categorized under labels. It doesn't support lists yet, that aside it's a great extension.   Click here to install this extension.

These are a few of many extensions. If you think you use a better alternative or have a favorite of your own, do let us know in the comments below.

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Jul 21, 2011

How to add Google+ widget on your blog/website

Your Google+ account is now becoming a part of your identity on the Internet. Since there is no "friend request" as there is on facebook, people wouldn't think twice before adding you to their circle if they found you interesting. This would be a great way for blog writers to improve their readership.
Widget+ allows you to create a customized "Add to circles" blog widget which will link to your Google+ profile. You can choose options to display the number of circles you're a part of, and also it can show your readers, your latest posts on Google+. 
Just Enter widgetsplus.com and click on "Get Widget" and in the "Settings" section, enter your Google+ id, which is a string of digits seen in the URL of your Google+ profile. Check mark "Include update feed" if you want your Google+ updates to appear. You can change other settings like the title and the colors to be used. Once you're done click on "Get code" which will generate your JavaScript. Now place the code in the HTML section of your website; or add a HTML/JavaScript Widget if you're using blogger. If you want a Google+ widget specifically for your WordPress site, then you can follow the steps given here.
You can take a look at the widget at the right sidebar of this blog.

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Jul 20, 2011

How to create a custom URL for your Google+ account

As a precautionary measure, Google does not allow creating a custom URL for your Google+ account since spammers would use it, if it contained your GMail id. Instead, Google gives you a string of numbers that is used to uniquely id you in the social network(which you can see in the URL of your Google+ profile) Not pretty, is it? Well, there is a solution. The site gplus.to allows you to choose your nickname and if it's not already taken then, voila! you have yourself a short and neat URL to your account, which is of course easy to share; it'll look something like this: gplus.to/anees_m
You just have to copy the string of digits from the URL of your profile page and paste it in the "Your Google+ ID" textbox, then select a nick name(which will appear in the URL) of your choice and you're good to go. For more tips on Google+, click here.

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Jul 19, 2011

Google+ iPhone app, now out

Screenshot as seen on iTunes
Yea, that's right; the wait is over for all those who wanted to an official Google+ app on their iPhones; it's available here. Google's Vic Gundotra posted it on his Google+ account just before it was out in the App store.

The Android's Google+ app was available on the day Google+ debuted, but Apple took a while for reviewing the app. Sadly, it isn't a universal app; the iPad and iPod Touch users will have to wait.

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Jul 18, 2011

Google Takeout now allows you to extract a list of +1s [video]

On June 28th 2011 The Data Liberation Front, the organisation supposedly working on solutions on how to move your data in and out of Google products, launched Google Takeout, which allowed you to extract your data stored in several Google products.

Earlier this week, Google Takeout also included the ability to extract the list of all the sites you have +1'd. Up next is the data about posts and comments that you have +1'd on Google+. This site here gives you all possible methods in which you can extract your data.

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Jul 17, 2011

Micromax announces Android based A70

The successor of Micromax's first Android phone is here, the A70. One look at it and you know it has an undeniable similarity to the HTC Nexus. It's got pretty good specs as well.
3.2 inch 262K TFT, (320*480 pixels) capacitive display , a 5MP camera, a 600MHz processor and running Android 2.2 Froyo. Priced at just INR 7999, you can't get better than this one. The phone is expected to release towards the end of July. You can pre-order it here at Flipkart.

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Chennai and Hyderabad get Google Transit

Google Transit, the feature that lets users of Google Maps extract info on public transport systems was launched for Chennai and Hyderabad on Wednesday, as reported by The Hindu. For a start, it provides info on local bus services.                                                                                                             “We are quite certain that the data out there is accurate, in terms of services available and frequency.” Manik Gupta, Head, Maps and Local Products, Google told The Hindu. Google Transit is already available for Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bangalore.

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Jul 16, 2011

Blogger to support only modern browsers from August 1st

Google's blogging platform, Blogger announced in it's official blog that starting from next month, it will support only the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, IE and Safari browsers along with the previous major version. Support for the third oldest version will be dropped each time a browser provides an update. 
Blogger says that this decision comes because it needs to roll out features like dynamic views and web fonts that require browsers that support HTML5. Just a few days ago, Blogger announced that it has rolled out the new UI for all those who use "Blogger in draft". Blogger is rumored to have new and improved features from the next month and also a major re-branding of Blogger to "Google Blogs" was also in the news few days ago. We'll not have to wait for very long to know if all that's true.

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Jul 15, 2011

Google's Slide team to lauch Photovine app soon [video]

It was about a year ago when Google acquired, Slide; the company you probably know, because of the app it developed, Disco...Google's super-secret underground group messaging app. But it's about time, Slide bore some real fruits. Enter: Photovine; a smartphone app that lets users share a picture and add a tag to it and then watch other Photovine users add their pictures to the same tag. The app will be out in about a month. For now, you can visit the site and request for an invite. Watch the official teaser below.

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Jul 14, 2011

PayPal joins the NFC payment league, uses Android [video]

NFC payment just got one of the biggest players in the game, PayPal. At the MobileBeat 2011 Conference, PayPal demonstrated how it works and the simplicity with which it works, will definitely attract many. But in the light of recent malware concerns for Android, PayPal will have to perfect the security aspect of it.

NFC is currently supported by just one Android phone currently, Samsung Nexus S. But since NFC has it's benefits, big supporters and also with the development of Google Wallet, the number of NFC Android phones will definitely skyrocket. Watch the demo video by PayPal below.

[via techcrunch]

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Google+ user creates a handy cheat sheet

Not officially released for everyone yet, but we still can't get enough of Google+, can we? well, atleast I can't. I've never written blog posts on the same topic in succession for about 2 weeks, ever before; while many of us are still trying to get a hang of using G+, posts over here might be helpful. A G+ user named, Simon Laustsen  has created his very own graphic cheat sheet which helps us understand the site a little better. Here they are:

Edition 1:

Edition 2:

Apart from the cheat sheet, the creator himself has quite become one of the who's who at the social network. Many have helped translating the cheat sheet into other languages, and they can be found at his photo album here

[via mashable]

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Jul 13, 2011

How to share Google+ posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Most users would usually like to have some kind of sync between their accounts in different social networking sites, there are applications for facebook and twitter which allow you to share updates between the two sites. But sadly, for those who are glued to Google's new baby, Google+ do not have an option of sharing posts on other sites(atleast, yet). Enter this Chrome extension: "Extended Share for Google Plus"; once installed it places a "Share on.." button next to the "+1" and "comment" buttons on every post in your Google+ Stream.   

When you click on it, you get more social buttons which allow you to send the posts to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. As simple as that!. Click here to install this Chrome extension. If you want to see your facebook and twitter updates straight into your Google+ account, then check out this post. If you want to add your facebook friends to Google+, then check out this post

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Google introduces 'What do you love?', gives users a mashup of results [video]

It has been around for about two weeks now, but just a few hours ago, Google officially introduced it's new product, and yes, it asks you a question you'd take out some time to answer: 'What do you love?'. This new website by Google allows you to enter a topic of interest, be it technology, animals, travel spots, your favorite rock star/rapper (oh, btw, my first query was 'Eminem') or anything you love and it shall return search results from multiple Google products like News, Books, Earth, YouTube, Images, Patents etc. Here's a video introduction of WDYL.

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Jul 12, 2011

GetJar replies to Apple, says "Steve Jobs isn't our dad"

GetJar, in a blog post has hit back at Apple's cease and desist appeal(which was seen here) to stop using the term "App Store", and I must say GetJar has screamed  "We're not gonna take it" out loud. Getjar CMO, Patrick Mork said in the post that they aren't really competing with Apple.
He said, "We merely re-direct Apple users to Apple’s App Store as a courtesy... We don’t even get much iOS traffic and our Android traffic is hundreds of times larger and strategically far more important. Why do we even do it? Because as the largest FREE app store that serves consumers on over 2,500 devices in 190 countries we don’t discriminate against Apple users although Apple apparently chooses to discriminate against us."

Mork put forth some hard facts to establish it's argument. He said that GetJar was up and running way before the iPhone came into existence. "So it’s not as if we were waiting around for Apple to come up with the idea of app stores and decided in 2011: “Apps will be big, let’s scribble together a business plan and raise some VC money!” Mork said.

Mork, in a not-so-polite tone also questioned if Apple owns the term "App Store" and again laid down facts to prove his point. Mork ended the letter with the following note, which clearly defines GetJar's stand.
"GetJar won’t be subject to this kind of bullying.  We’re not going to “Cease & Desist”.  We were here long before Steve & Co.  We were built by developers, to help developers.  Not to help sell handsets or search results. In the words of Twisted Sister: We’re not going to take it! Steve Jobs isn’t our Dad."

Mork also asked to join the Open Free App Movement(#OFAM) on Facebook and Twitter. Oh! and the movement, in his own words is to encourage every pissed off developer, start-up, carrier, OEM or NGO who is fed up with this crap to make their voice heard.

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Jul 11, 2011

Google search results to not show co.cc subdomains anymore

Google, on it's official blog, posted a report yesterday that it has found plenty of malware hosting sites registered with free subdomain provider, co.cc and hence has decided to drop them from their search results. The number of sites is reported to be about 11million. It offers bulk domains at a very low price often used by no do gooders. The korean subdomain provider must have been hit hard after this move, but is powerless in front of the Internet's almighty especially at the time when it's doing a lot of changes in it's own house. There are also a huge number of regular users who mean no harm, but sadly Google decided to look past them.

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Jul 10, 2011

How to view your Facebook and Twitter updates on the Google+ Stream

It must seem a little tiring to visit 3 different websites to check out what your friends are upto or to see what they're sharing. Your Google+ Stream may not be soaring with updates as yet, but very soon that will be the case.

With the help of a couple of extensions, Google+ users will now be able to see updates from their facebook and twitter accounts right into their G+ account as two separate streams.

For installations of the extensions, click below

This is how the updates will appear:

Shout out to Roni for this tip. Share it with your friends by clicking below.

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Jul 8, 2011

Google+ creating a different experience for businesses [video]

Google+, Product Manager Christian Oestlien, in a YouTube video said that, engineers are working to create a different tool set for businesses since the current version is only optimized for "consumer experience".

Oestlien asks businesses to hold off creating profiles for now. He points out that the business experience would allow integrating with other services like AdWords and other analytics. The feature would roll out later this year, but testing would start off with a small set of users in the coming months.

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Jul 7, 2011

Intel's low cost laptop to help school children [video]

With the launch of classmate PC, Intel plans on bringing technology to millions of children especially in the developing nations. This laptop cum tablet has full touch-screen functionality. It also has a webcam and an accelerometer also said to have 8.5hrs of battery life and has been tested for extreme conditions.

It is a part of Intel Education Service Corps program where Intel employees conduct programs for teachers and students to make best use of the classmate PCs. The nations coming under this program are Bangladesh, Egypt, Bolivia, Uganda, India, Kenya and Vietnam.

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Jul 5, 2011

How to add Facebook friends to Google+

As you'll know, for obvious reasons there is no cooperation between Facebook and Google to invite or import contacts from the former to the latter's new baby, Google+. But there are a few workarounds through which you can do it, thanks to the Contact Sync feature between Hotmail/Yahoo and Facebook.

Now there are a few ways to do it:

  • Import your FB contacts to Hotmail/Yahoo. Go to Circles in your G+ account and click on "Find and Invite" and then click on Hotmail/Yahoo, Login to your account and then the Contacts should appear

  • Import your FB contacts to Hotmail/Yahoo. Export all the contacts to a CSV file. Go to GMail and import the contacts from the CSV file, and then by default, they should appear in your Google+ account "Find and Invite Section".

You may try out any of these, but the problem I found with the first one is that, with Hotmail, you can import your FB contacts to your Hotmail account, but they won't appear in your Google+ Find and Invite Section. With Yahoo, there are high chances logging in through the Find and Invite section may result in an error.

The method that worked fine for me is the following one. The steps are as follows:
  • Login to your Yahoomail Account, click on Contacts
  • Click on "Import your Contacts from other accounts to Yahoo!" and in the next page select "Facebook". It shall give a pop up, asking for permission to share your contacts with Yahoo, click OK
  • The Importing process will begin and by the end of it, all your contacts will be added to your Yahoo Contact list. Click on Done
  • Now click on "Tools" and select "Export", you will be shown 5 Options, select "Export Now" by the side of "Yahoo! CSV". An Excel File will be saved to your hard disk.
  • Next, Login to your GMail account and click on Contacts, Click on "More Options" and select "Import". A dialog box will appear, Click on Choose File and select the excel file which was saved after the Step 4
  • You can check "Also add these imported contacts to: New Group". Now click on "Import". You will be able to see all your Facebook contacts in your GMail Contacts.
  • Now go to your Google + account and click on circles, click on "Find and invite" and you will be able to add your Facebook friends to your Google+ Circles.
Also check out these posts on How to share G+ updates on FB, Twitter and How to view your FB, Twitter updates in your G+ account. For other news and tricks for Google+, click here. Share this post, by clicking below and let your friends know!

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