Monday, April 30, 2007

How to become a better blogger?


Do you want to be a better blogger?

Or, do you want to improve your blog writings?

Problogger Darren Rowse alongwith b5media were organizing a one day workshop kinda thing at NYC on dated 9th June 2007. Had I lived any near nyc, I had attended that workshop at any cost.

The entry fee seems resonable - $60-70 and that includes cost of lunch.

According to ProBlogger, sessions will be like these-

informative - I'm not interested in any ‘fluffy' sessions - I want ‘how to' and practical stuff

fun - yes bloggers can let their hair down

a chance for lots of networking and collaboration

attendee driven - lots of Q and A

informal - I'm a pretty casual guy and hope that while there'll be a structured schedule that it'll be relaxed

So, if you are going to be near NYC during that period and do write blog, PLEASE attend this workshop. It is worthwhile to learn anything from Problogger.

Read more here

Picture - courtesy Problogger

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

$3 Windows + Office Suit is NEARLY free to me!

Yes, indeed, it is. Even if it is severely limited, and stripped down version of original software. As a personal computer user, I hardly use those advanced functions like networking anyway. Hats off to Microsoft and Bill Gates for providing Legal copies of Windows Vista starter edition and Microsoft Office 2007 for $3 only. Presently, the scheme is declared only for China, but I see no reason that the scheme will not be extended to whole of the world soon.

This step of Microsoft is seen by many as shrewed attempt to stop spreading Free-Open-Source software like Linux and OpenOffice. Particularly, with the news of its inclusion with OLPC (One laptop per child) project. With $3 Windows software, Microsoft will still make a lot of money. For example, where piracy is in the tune of 95+%, and presently where only some government bodies purchase leagal copies of software, ANY additional sale will boost the earnings of Microsoft. Even in India, where estimated 80+% piracy exists, I had witnessed in numerous occations - hardware vendors were of firm opinion that - if Microsoft will sell its OS and Office suit for $10 each, every body will be happy and oblized to purchase leagal copies of Microsoft product. Ultimately, in result, piracy may go down to about 10-20% or even less.

On the other hand, every services is going web-centric. Now you can find online applications to perform every task you can imagine - from Office suit to paint program to 3D design and what not, and that too for free- free as beer. All you need is an OS kernel, capable to run an advanced browser like Firefox. In such scenario, Microsoft will have to re-position itself, else it will go redundant sooner than expected!

There is an interesting article - The real cost of $3 Windows - however, I do not subscribe to the writer in many count. $3 Windows + Office suit is nearly free to me in many count!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

How to read blogs in other Indian languages

You can read Indian Language blogs such as this in many other Indian language scripts

Thanks to Bhomiyo, now you can READ this blog

Raviratlami Ka Hindi Blog (http://raviratlami.blogspot.com/ )

in Roman-Hindi (English script) as well as in these following Indian Language scripts :

రవిరతలామీ కా హిన్దీ బ్లాగ Telugu
ರವಿರತಲಾಮೀ ಕಾ ಹಿನ್ದೀ ಬ್ಲಾಗ Kannada

ਰਵਿਰਤਲਾਮੀ ਕਾ ਹਿਨ੍ਦੀ ਬ੍ਲਾਗ Punjabi
ரவிரதலாமீ கா ஹிந்தீ ப்லாக Tamil
રવિરતલામી કા હિન્દી બ્લાગ Gujarati
രവിരതലാമീ കാ ഹിന്ദീ ബ്ലാഗ Malayalam
রবিরতলামী কা হিন্দী ব্লাগ Bangali

Ravirathalaamii kaa hindhii blaaga Roman-Hindi,

And, Sindhi

Here is how :

Just follow these two simple steps -

1 ) Go to Bhomiyo.com's transliteration page through this link :-

http://www.bhomiyo.com/xliteratepage.aspx

2 ) Provide the URL of any Indian Language blog, such as this - http://raviratlami.blogspot.com (or any other Indian language blog or web page you want) in to the input box of the web page that appears, select the desired language, and then click the GO button. Finally, click on Xliteration tab to view transliterated page. Your blog is now transformed in to that language. Woila! Isn't that simple?

(click on this picture to see full size)

Any Difficulty?

Please say it in your comments.

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Now you can write Multilingual blogs !

(Click on the picture to view clear, big size)

That too without an extra effort!!

Well, not really. But it can be well said as you can write true Multi-language-script blogs. If you write your blog in any of the following Indian languages, then cheer up! Your blog post can be interchanged and viewed in any of these scripts automatically. And, in theory, you can write blog in any of these script without knowing them!

The languages are -

Hindi

Roman (Indic Language)

Gujarati

Bengali

Punjabi

Telugu

Tamil

Malayalam

Sindhi

Kannada

This is possible through an online tool called Bhomiyo.com . Using Bhomiyo is very easy. All you need is to use latest Internet Explorer or Firefox browser , go to transliteration page of Bhomiyo.com and then fill up the URL of supported Indian language web site in the input box provided and then select the language to transliterate it. Finally, click on Go button and you are done.

Woila! Your Hindi pages are now converted in to say, Malayali Lipi. Now, your Mumbaiya filmi gossip that you had written in Hindi as a blog post can be read in Malayalam script by your friend who can understand Hindi but can not read it. As you can see, the first screenshot is Hindi - transliterated in to Roman-Hindi (English, Itrans script) and the other is Hindi blog transformed in to Gujarati.

(Click on the picture to view clear, big size)

The best part is, any supported Indian language can be transliterated in to Roman Lipi also - means it has capacity to open new ways for your readers!

Still, we need to fill up individual web page in to Bhomiyo's input box. Had it supply its users some proxy address that can be used as alternat web site or blog site in any other indicated languages then it will hit instantly. Till then, its use is severely limited. The feedback had been given to Bhomiyo. Let us hope for the better. Till then, you can start a new blog with a new Indic script by cut-pasting stuff from Bhomiyo's transliterated pages!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Joost : TV, the way you want to see!

TV, the way you want it

The magic of television, with the power of the internet built right in. Joost puts you in control, and TV will never be the same again.

You will find these few words on the home page of a new startup called Joost (http://www.joost.com/ ) . Now that you can find almost all kind of video and episodes of your favorite TV channels on the web services like YouTube and Blinks etc, and that too, for free - what is there in Joost which can be termed as new?

The aim of the Joost is to provide you full featured television channel through Internet. During beta testing, it looks like it had succeeded to a limited extent in what it believes - provided - a BIG provided - if you have extremely reliable BroadBand connection a minimum of 1 MBPS bandwidth. Anything low will simply and plainly not work. Joost can provide you CD quality Video and audio through internet. You can schedule, re-schedule and record your channels.

I had registered to Joost for Beta Testing about 2-3 months ago. They invited me to test their services recently. I randomly selected an episode World of Stupid from a Joost channel. I had BSNL broadband connection that claims to be of 2 MBPS. But it never goes beyond 50KBPS. Obviously, the channel show goes through heavy hiccups. But there is a work around. Simply pause the channel, and after about an hour or so, when sufficient buffer is stored in your computer hard disk, you can play and enjoy video smoothly.

Using Joost is very easy. It had about 10 MB installer (windows only) that needs to be installed in your computer, and that is all. Now you can see hundreds of channel all across from the world. You don't need cable or set-top box or a dish antenna. The best part of Joost is - it is absolutely free to watch. Joost had cleverly bundled forum and Chat window with Joost TV - to give you true Internet TV experience.

Joost is supported through contextual advertisements. You may see contextual advertisement on your video episodes. That means when you see an episode of a channel in India, you may see advertisement of an Indian Dhaba while if you watch the similar episode in London you may get advertisement of Harrods in between breaks.

Since Joost is advertisement supported, it is absolutely free. But there is a catch. It needs about 350 MB download and about 100 MB upload in an hour. It means, if you watch Joost for about 10 hours, you may end up consuming 1 GB bandwidth. And if you pay by data transfer rate, then it will be a big hole on your pocket. Therefore, unless you are having unlimited account, watching Joost is real costly affair.

Joost offers some extra facilities to watch your TV channels. You can watch your favorite TV channel any time, any place you want. All you need is BroadBand Internet connected computer. Not only this, you can create your own channels by arranging different channel episodes and scheduling them. You can record certain episodes to view later or reschedule for deferred view - just any thing is possible.

Presently, there were limited number of channels in Joost. But, in future, there may be hundreds. Due to only this reason alone, Joost is all set to rock. According to Joost Blog, talk is on with CBS Television network - all their channel will come to Internet through Joost.

Why are you waiting then? Start Joosting NOW!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Read World's first Blogger & Podcaster Magazine for free


World's first Blogger & Podcaster magazine is out. Blogger & Podcaster magazine comes with print as well as electronic versions.

You need to pay subscription fee for its print version but its electronic version is absolutely free. Blogger & Podcaster Magazine's electronic version uses innovative Olive ActiveMagazineTM format which looks like PDF format e-book but loads faster and gives you much clearer reading experience.

The pages are stacked electronic form, and you need to click on top right corner of magazine to turn pages. To navigate between pages, you can either use left or right arrow keys or page up - page down keys. You can zoom in and zoom out in pages. Anyway, it gives you near print version reading experience in its electronic form. It feels like you are reading a printed magazine in your computer monitor.

To read Blogger & Podcaster magazine online, you need to register yourself. Magazine's first ever issue - i.e. April 2007 issue suggests that the contents are rich and had variety of taste. Many articles are must read for every professional blogger.

Read Blogger & Podcaster April 2007 issue from here . You need browser that can handle java and java script (it means - it runs with default settings in Firefox and Internet Explorer but not in Opera)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

How to avoid mobile phishing attacks



They were quite active in internet using emails and web-sites. Now they have devised a new, innovative way. Phishers have started targeting innocent mobile phone users.

From now on, you may receive SMS that may read like this

"Official Microsoft ANNOUNCEMENT: Congratulations! Your mobile phone has won US$ 10 Million prize money. To claim your money, call this number XXXXXXXX tomorrow at 8 AM. Thank you. "

Obviously, steer clear of such messages and delete them immediately. If possible, lodge a report about the phone number in nearest police station.

There is a funny incident described at F-secure blog about one such mobile phishing attack.

It looks like that phishers use - the same method - they were using for Nigerian type phishing attacks - they lure targets showing they have Won money or some huge money needs to be fixed illegally on share basis. Once the target comes in their net, they extract money in the name of completing formalities.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How to write Hindi in Linux?



There are a thousand way - classic Linux way - through you can write in Hindi. But I will tell you about best and simplest.

The best way to write in Hindi in Linux in through online Hindi typing tool.

There were two most popular online Hindi typing tool that runs out of the box and does not need anything else - No preinstalled Java or anything else!

The first online Hindi typing tool is - Quillpad.

Quillpad's interface is clean and clutter free. You simply start typing in Roman Hindi in below pan and you get Hindi (Unicode) in its upper pan. It also suggest common Hindi words - a kind of spell check.

When you done typing, just copy paste this in your computer say on note pad or use in wordpress or in Blogger Blog tool - which now also has a nice Hindi Transliteration tool.

You simply type kya kar rahe hain aap? And you get - क्या कर रहे हैं आप?

So easy. Isn't it?

The other online Hindi typing tool is HindiKalam

Hindikalam has some not so intuitive interface, but it has an online demo Hindi Keyboard that helps you in typing Hindi correctly. It also gives you Hindi words as suggestion on the fly as you type. You type phonetic roman Hindi in left side and get Unicode Hindi in right pan. You can copy paste and save the data easily.

If you want to type Hindi on your Linux machine traditionally, ie in any Linux application then you need to install Hindi locale files, Hindi keyboard and Hindi fonts etc. In this case, it is advised to use Hindi-preconfigured Linux distribution such as BOSS OS. Use live BOSS Linux CD or install BOSS Linux in your computer and everything will be ready for you - simply select Language Hindi from system tray language icon and you are done.

If you are using other distribution, then you must follow instructions given here -

How to install fonts in Linux?

How to set Keyboard in Linux

How to add Hindi locale in Linux

How to blog in our own language, say in Hindi in Linux

How to make blog in Hindi

How to toggle between Language

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

How to make our own blogs in Hindi?


Well, here are quick links that you can follow and learn the quickest way! And some are in Hindi as well!!!

Just, be assure that your browser had capability to display UNICODE Hindi. For this, just try this-

In your Browser Menu, Click on View>Encoding>Unicode (UTF-8) and you are done.

For many Hindi How to and Faq Links, visit this one source

How to blog in Hindi in Blogger / Wordpress - A flash video tutorial

How to blog in Hindi - A step-by-step guide

How to write in Hindi in your computer - A video tutorial on u-tube

How to type in Hindi in your computer - A bilingual tutorial - Must Read!

How to type in Hindi - Another flash Video tutorial

Hindi How To - Hindi FAQ

Hindi Computing - tools and techniques- Hindi Links - A thousand Hindi Links

Hindi Forum - Blog help

Hindi Forum - Hindi How to Help

Before you blog in Hindi - correct your style sheet!

Still confused? Comment on and we will be happy to help you out!

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

No! We were blogging in Hindi since 4 years!


In its Official blog, Google announced that Now you can Blog in Hindi.

In fact we, the bunch of about 500 odd Hindi Blogger were blogging in Hindi since last 4 years! And majority of us are in Google's Blogger platform - for which Google has made announcement.

I myself had started Hindi Blogging since June 2004 (the first one by Alok named 9-2-11) and since then I had posted about 300 posts!

What I think is that Google Blogger had added Hindi transliteration tool in its bloger writing tool, and wants to announce it the other way. But this announcement is entirely misleading.

May I hope a clarification in this regard from Blogger - err Google?

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Friday, April 13, 2007

This spam mail every body should read

I got this spam today. Initially I thought to send it on trash can. But it looks different. That is why I wanted to send everybody on my address book. Just then I though to blog it because, then everybody - other than my contacts - can read and know about it. I must appreciate the efforts of the group. I can Only say thanks by filling that form.


The mail reads:

****


We are a group of 4 like-minded people-

1. Gajraj Rao- Director (Code Red Films)

2. Subrat Ray- Producer (Code Red Films)

3. Manish Bhatt- Creative Director (Renowned Ad agency)

4. Raghu Bhat- Creative Director (Renowned Ad agency)


Apart from doing our routine jobs of creating TV commercials for our regular corporate

clients , this year we have created a three minute short film / music video titled Hostel for a highly relevant social cause.


Before reading further we would request you to click the link below to watch the film.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhwIFbB5iuo


If you are really moved after watching the film please click the link below to fill up the online form.


http://www.ebai.org/html/eyepledgeform.asp


If possible forward this mail to your relatives, friends and colleagues.

You can also send your feedback to codered@coderedindia.com


And here is the 5th week: Update of the "Hostel(Holi)" film..


1) More than 1,40,000 views of the film on YouTube within 5 weeks...( last highest views of any Indian TVC on Youtube was around 30,000 )


2) Countless people have filled up their Eye Pledge forms online..including many prominent people from corporate world e.g.Sameer Suneja of Perfetti, Ajay Kaul(CEO, Domino)...


3) Numerous people including even NRIs from remote countries of the world have sent positive feedback about the film...


4) An Official from UN Headquarters has shown interest in this project...


5) WHO(World Health Organization,Geneva) is sending a proposal to promote this project globally..


6) CPA- Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Canada has found this project thought provoking & has forwarded the project for review by their members...


7) European Eye Bank Association is considering to support this project across Europe..


8) A Scottish Govt Executive is also in talk to promote the campaign there...


9) After seeing the film, one of the employees of Infosys is forming a volunteer group to spread awareness about eye donation. They would start with organising an eye donationcamp within their company.


10) After watching this film, Partho Bhowmick (who had initiated project-

www.blindwithcamera.org showcasing the work of the blind photographers ) has planned to screen the HOSTEL film in his forthcoming exhibition "Beyond Sight" at Zenzi, Bandra from first week of May 07.

11) Rotary Club of Bombay Hills South & ARPAN ( A Non Profit voluntary organisation) have come forward to provide the field work required locally for this Eye Donation project, after watching this film.


12) After watching the film, Maheshwari Pragati Mandal(which has 6500 members in Mumbai) now wants to voluntarily accelerate the registrations for eye donation by exhibiting the film in their programmes.


13) Bollywood legend & the Biggest superstar Mr Amitabh Bachchan has donated his voice to the film after watching it.


14) Lots of other Celebrities like Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Rimi Sen, Pooja Ghai, Koel Purie, Kartika Rane, Amrita Arora, Gul Panag, Sharman Joshi, Ashish Vidyarthi, A K Hangal, Piyush shah(cinematographer), Vidya Sagar( Tamil Music composer),Tippu(Tamil singer) have already donated their eyes after watching this film &/or have come forward to talk inspiring words about the film & the cause in front of camera... (click the links below)


Shankar Ehsaan Loy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRYVhBOigvY&mode=related&search=

Rimi Sen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLquGs1LU5Y&mode=related&search=

Amrita Arora:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX03V_vIfE0&mode=related&search=

Gul Panag:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggf8YzjT5HY&mode=related&search=

Koel Purie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRFwBQQhAME&mode=related&search=

Kartika Rane:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoUeQDAEn4U&mode=related&search=

Pooja Ghai:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qmlcOGG4rk&mode=related&search=

Ashish Vidyarthi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU3jIXEMals&mode=related&search=

A K Hangal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scdtVPcFLBY&mode=related&search=

Piyush Shah(Cinematographer):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BI4lbWcFe8&mode=related&search=

Vidya Sagar(Tamil Music Composer):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZtNDa3aTSY

Tippu(Tamil Singer):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2yWAR7_FdI&mode=related&search=


15) Indian Channels like Zoom, MTV Network, India TV Network, CNN IBN Network, Sahara network, ETC, Zee Network, NDTV Profit etc to support thecause by...Donating airtime...Placing donation forms at their website..making their VJs & Anchors to talk abt the project in their program...


16) An NRI corporate is planning to sponsor the airing of the film in UK TV channels.


17) We initially thought the film is only designed to appeal Indians...But To prove its universal appeal Recently the film has won BRONZE as Best Public Service communication across Asia pacific...in Asia Pacific Advertising festival at Pattaya, Thailand... the Multi Nationality jury panel of this award consists - A South African- John Hunt (Former Cannes Jury President), 2 prominent Thai creatives( including Wiboon - the creator Soken DVD campaign), 2 Japanese creatives (including Masahiko Ishili- creator of classic Nissin cupponoodles "Hungry campaign & Toyota Human Touch), an australian creative. (click the
link below)

http://www.asiapacificadfest.com/download/winner/awards_winners_film.pdf


17) Radio channels e.g. Radio Mirchi, Big FM etc playing the song of the film on their stations.


18) Movie Halls have asked for the reels of the film to play on their screens


19) Malls have demanded to screen the film on their LCDs.


20) we have launched an exclusive website for this project : www.giftavision.com


Sincerely yours,

Gajraj Rao-91-9821340318

Subrat Ray-91-9821073491

Manish Bhatt-91-9223231716 or 91-9820606210

Raghu Bhat-91-9223231738

YouTube Link of the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhwIFbB5iuo

Link of the Eye Donation Pledge Form:

http://www.ebai.org/html/eyepledgeform.asp


This project is initiated by:

CODE RED FILMS PVT LTD.

3/4, 2ND FLOOR,

YASHODHAN CO-OPERATIVE SOC.,

19TH ROAD, KHAR(W),

MUMBAI-52.

PH: 91-22-26496601,

FAX: 91-22-26462761,

Email: codered@coderedindia.com


This project is supported by:

EYE BANK ASSOCIATION OF INDIA

PH: 91-40-23544504,

TELEFAX: 91-40-23545454

EMAIL: ebai@vsnl.net

WEB: www.ebai.org

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blogger is Rich by Eight new languages!

Blogger buzz today reported that Blogger had added Eight new languages in its blogging platform. These are:

Nederlands, Türkçe, Dansk, Norsk, Svenska, suomi, Русский, and ภาษาไทย

It already had 11 language support, and with these new additions, a total of 19 languages will be supported now. Recently Blogger had added a transliteration tool for inputting Hindi language in its blog writing tool.

After a long hibernation, Blogger is suddenly started running with full throttle it seems ...

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Peepel Beta : A new solid Online Office suit




And, is free for you as always.

A quick look over Peepel Beta gives the impression that it has potential to grow as full fledged Online Office suit with all the necessary bells and whistles. This service is absolutely free for personal use. Registering is simple, two step process - all you have to do is fill up user name and password and provide a valid e-mail ID for account verification and you are done.

Basically, Peepel Beta gives you online word processor and spreadsheet program. Though it also has a calculator and a file manager - that manages your online stored files. You can create online directories and folder and manage them with this built in tool of Peepel Beta. The program is PHP based, yet it works real fast and gives you impression that it is Ajax based application.

Peepel Beta offer you full Unicode support and hence you can work in your own language. Complex Language like Indic is also well supported and you can save and manage your files in these languages too.


The word processor of Peepel Beta is nearly complete and had nearly all tools that a modern word processor can offer. However, its spreadsheet program is very basic and nearly unusable. Even it doesn't display formulae in the shells! Still, it is hoped that in near future, it may evolve in full fledged spread sheet program. Peepelcalculator - the calculator program too is very basic and offer you only arithmetic calculations - it doesn't have any scientific functions.

Anyway, the time for online applications have come full circle and it appears that nobody will use bulky MS Office like Desktop application anymore in near future.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Windows Vista's security busted

And, that too with its own ANIMATED cursor!

Windows Vista is hyped to be a most secure Operating System till date. It has built in antivirus tool called Windows Defender.

But, what can you say when Windows Vista's security falls with its own "Animated cursor exploit" that is known to Microsoft since December 2006! The ANI exploit is a bug in the way Windows renders animated cursor files that can allow execution of arbitrary code under the privileges of the user that downloaded the malicious file. Here is an example with Video - how Windows Vista falls and crashed with this exploit.

This "ANI exploit" can effect almost all versions of Windows. There were reports that some ANI exploits are spreading fast through some hostile domain.

Microsoft has released an update about this, and a patch may be ready by this evening.

Update 1 # Zdnet had reported that more than 150 sites had already been infected and counting...

Update 2 # And now Firefox too had this flaw.

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Get unlimited space at Yahoo! Mail



Well, you have to wait for about a month for that. From May 2007 , Yahoo! Mail will offer its user Free & Unlimited storage space . Soon to be followed is other Yahoo! services like Flickr.

India's premier web based e-mail service provider rediffmail too is offering Unlimited storage space from quite some time.

It seems that Future is without limits!

Photo : courtesy Yahoo! and Rediff

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