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Monday, January 31, 2005

Pingomatic - One click ping

Category: Professional

Ping multiple blog search engines with one click from Ping-O-Matic. (via SearchEngineJournal)

Ping Technorati

This post is tagged as for Technorati.

PDFs of books

Category: Misc

Does anyone have a PDF of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Please let me know. I want to read that book. We can exchange PDFs.

Personal

Category: Personal

People aren't mean. Maybe, I'm expecting too much from them. I need to change my outlook. I don't have to think of changing 'x', 'y' , or 'zee'. I need to change myself. I have to be the change I look for in the world.

An email reply that was terse made me write this. People have their own views, and they are entitled to it. It's all-right.

A Thought for Today

Category: Misc

To disbelieve is easy; to scoff is simple; to have faith is harder.
~ Louis L'Amour

This post is tagged as on Technorati.

Apple is the world's most influential brand

Category: Misc

According to an article on Reuters, Apple has displaced Google as the world's most influential brand.

World's most influential Global brands.

1. Apple - Mac, iPod, iPod Shuffle

2. Google - Search Engine

3. Ikea - Furniture

4. Starbucks - Coffee

5. Al Jazeera - Media

Read more from Reuters.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Shayari

Category: Misc.

Mirza Ghalib's Urdu poetry.

hazaaroN KHwahishaiN 'eisee ke har KHwahish pe dam nikle
bohot nikle mere armaaN lekin fir bhee kam nikle


A thousand desires such that each takes a lifetime (an eternity)
I found many desires and yet they aren't enough

nikalna KHuld se aadam ka sunte aayaiN haiN lekin
bohot be_aabru hokar tere kooche se ham nikle


I have heard of Adam coming from Heaven
Disgraced a lot I came from your street (home)

magar likhwaaye koee usko KHat, to hamse likhawaaye
huee subah aur ghar se kaan par rakhkar qalam nikle


If someone wants to write (her) a letter, let me write it
It is morning and I have started from home with a pen on my ear

mohabbat meiN naheeN hai farq jeene aur marne kaa
usee ko dekh kar jeete haiN jis kaafir pe dam nikle


There is no difference between living and dying in love
I live by the sight of that unfaithful (infidel) taking whose name I die

KHuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se uThaa zaalim
kaheeN 'eisa na ho yaaN bhee wohee kaafir sanam nikle


For God's sake don't remove the curtain from Kaaba tyrant
Lest that unfaithful (infidel) sweetheart appear from there too

kahaaN maiKHaane ka darwaaza 'GHalib' aur kahaaN waaiz
par itana jaante haiN kal wo jaata tha ke ham nikle


Where a door to the tavern 'Ghalib,' and where the preacher
All I know is yesterday he was going (in) when I stepped out

Tagged as .

Lyrics of Piano Man

Category: Misc

Lyrics of Piano Man by Billy Joel

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin

He says, "Son, can you play me a memory
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man's clothes"

La la la, de de da
La la, de de da da dum

Chorus:
Sing us a song, you're the Piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feelin' all-right

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there's someplace that he'd rather be
He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me."
As the smile ran away from his face
"Well I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place."

Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da dum

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he's talkin' with Davy, who's still in the navy
And probably will be for life

And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinkin' alone

Chorus
Sing us a song you're the Piano Man
sing us a song tonight well we're all in the mood
for a melody and you got us feeling all-right

It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see
To forget about life for a while
And the piano sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, "Man, what are you doin' here."

Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da dum

Chorus:
Sing us a song you're the Piano Man sing us a song tonight
well we're all in the mood for a melody and you got us
feeling all-right

This post is tagged as .

Lyrics of Making Love Out of Nothing At All

Category: Misc

Lyrics of Making Love Out of Nothing At All by Air Supply.

I know just how to whisper
And I know just how to cry
I know just where to find the answers
And I know just how to lie
I know just how to fake it
And I know just how to scheme
I know just when to face the truth
And then I know just when to dream

And I know just where to touch you
And I know just what to prove
I know when to pull you closer
And I know when to let you loose
And I know the night is fading
And I know the time's gonna fly

And I'm never gonna tell you
Everything I gotta tell you
But I know I gotta give it a try

And I know the roads to riches
And I know the ways to fame
I know all the rules
And I know how to break 'em
And I always know the name of the game

But I don't know how to leave you
And I'll never let you fall
And I don't know how you do it
Making love out of nothing at all

Out of nothing at all, out of nothing at all
Making love out of nothing at all

I've gotta follow it 'cause everything I know
Well it's nothing till I give it to you

I can make the runner stumble
I can make the final block
I can make every tackle at the sound of the whistle
I can make all the stadiums rock
I can make tonight forever
Or I can make it disappear by the dawn
I can make every promise that has ever been made
I can make all your demons be gone

But I'm never gonna make it without you
Do you really want to see me crawl
And I'm never gonna make it like you do
Making love out of nothing at all

This post is tagged as .

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Amazon's A9.com launches Yellow Pages Search with images

Category: Professional.

Amazon's A9.com search engine launches Visual Yellow Pages search.
Amazon's amazing A9 Visual Yellow Pages search.
A Local search engine with images.

- Search locally (Address, City, Zip)
- Find maps
- Get step-by-step driving directions with the distance and time.
- View images
- This is amazing - Take a walk up and down the street
Feels like you're sitting in a cab.

Examples:

- Find Florists in Manhattan, NY
(For all you investment bankers who want to go out on a quick lunch date. Have you ever tried it? Make sure the food is good, served fast, and don't forget to compliment her on her dress when you're presenting the flowers, and throw in a verse or two... The world's sweetness pales in front of you. Always keep smiling. :-))

- Find Starbucks in Mountain View, CA
(A quick halt after a Google interview)

- Find Pubs in Manhattan, NY
(Head straight for a pub on a Friday night)

Say you searched for Pubs in Manhattan, NY and selected the first text link, which provides information about O'lunney's Times Square Pub.

Inside the search results page

- There's an Interactive Map. On selecting the map you can search for and find driving directions from your place (starting address) to the destination. Select the Interactive Map to enter your starting address, and get stepwise driving directions.
- A Block View that provides images of the area, and you can walk up and down the street. Select the < (walk left) and > (walk right) buttons to walk up and down the street.
- Individual images are shown under the Block View.
Select an image to view a larger image.
- Find other businesses along the same street.

Amazon's interactive features (Block View, Take a walk, Images) separates it from Yahoo! and Google's Local Searches. A9.com has great usability and it shows in their local search too. There are zoom in and zoom out features for the images, and each image has a GPS mapping, so you know where you are when viewing an image in the Block View.

Well done, Amazon and A9.com

Related:
- A9.com brings Yellow pages to life by adding 20 million images.
- John Battelle's article, A9.com's 'Walking Photos' in Business2.com
- John Battelle's blog post
- Google news search results for A9 Yellow Pages Search

This post is tagged as for Technorati tags.

Cheers
Chirayu

People and email search

Catgeory: Misc.

Business.com adds People Search.

MESA email search.

Tagged as .

Nice lines

Category: Misc

Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinkin' alone

~ Piano Man - Billy Joel

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
.
~ Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan

An interesting search, "*man lyrics"

To read a criticism of Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves in The New Yorker.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Google Video Search

Category: Professional

What's New at Google?

Google's Video Search (Beta) - Search for televised content from Fox News, NBC, ABC, PBS, CBS, WB, KNTV, KRON4, and other TV channels. Search for TV shows and programs with Google Video Search.

The results are shown in the form of still images and text links.
On selecting a text link/still image from the search results, a summary of matches is shown. The page provides information about the show, what time it airs, and upcoming episodes alongwith snippets of text and still images. Videos are currently unavailable on Google Video Search (Beta).

Examples of Google Video Search queries.

Search by keywords and channel
- Aishwarya Rai channel:cbs

Search by a keyword, title, and channel
- google title:60 minutes channel:cbs

Find shows on a specific channel
- Sports channel:nbc

Search by keyword and title of the television show
- Monica title:Friends

Search by the title of the show
- title:Fear Factor

Search by channel
- channel:nbc

Read more about Google Video and use the Video Help page for effective searching.

The URL of Google Video Search is http://video.google.com/

This post is tagged as for Technorati Tags.

Related:
- Google rolls out TV search prototype from CNET News.
- Latest news about Google Video Search
- Blinkx TV Search

A Thought for Today

Category: Misc

An action-invoking quote.

Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.
~ George Sheehan

It's been a long time I haven't felt sweat running down my cheeks, and my vest soaked with sweat. I need to start running.

Google increases search query limit from 10 to 32 words

Category: Professional

Now you can use a maximum number of thirty-two words in a single Google search query. Google has increased the limit from ten to thirty-two words.

Read a Google search example of a thirty-two words search query. The keywords are lines from Rudyard Kipling's If.

Read the last line before the Web results. "We limit queries to 32 words."

Monday, January 24, 2005

A lovely article on New York

Category: Misc

An evocative, vivid, eye-catching, realistic, vibrant, and smooth-flowing (Oh boy! These are a bountiful of beautiful adjectives. Do I love flinging them to paint the writing firmament?) article on New York City, written by Samuel G. Freedman, Professor of Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, NY; welcoming students and providing them glimpses of the work they will do, the colours of the city they will soak in, and the illustrious footsteps they will follow at the institute.
Beautiful writing that makes NYC come alive in front of you. I've read and re-read this article a number of times. I'm going to write about Bombay, I prefer the name Bombay and not Mumbai, in this evocative manner. Whenever I read this article it brings out an urge to study abroad. It's too late now. The time is gone, the song is over.

Category: Personal

When I was 24 I wanted to be a journalist. I had a chance and I didn't take it. I thought it's better to learn on my own rather than study a course for getting a job. I took the right decision, because there's no point in joining a course to get a job. If that is the sole objective of post-graduation then it better remain unfulfilled. I don't know what do I want to be now. Reminds me of, I'm 16 going on 17; and I'm 28 going sometimes slow and sometimes fast to nowhere!
I'm an employed and sometimes unemployed part-time web writer and Internet researcher, part-time web searcher and search engine optimizer, part-time web and content developer, part-time usability and search analyst, part-time poet and dreamer, part-time philosopher and lover, a full-time thinker, and a would be entrepreneur.

A beautiful quote.
It can be taken implicitly for running, and a macro view will make it a Philosophy of Life.

Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest Lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a Lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest Gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a Lion or a Gazelle; when the sun comes up you'd better be running.

Cheers
Chirayu

A beautiful Punjabi Sufi song

Category: Misc

Download and listen to the MP3 of Rabbi Shergill's Punjabi Sufi song that's rocking the nation Bulla Ki Jaana Main Kaun (Bulla, I know not who I am; or Bulla! To me, I am not known).

These lyrics are from Baba Bulleh Shah's 18th century Sufi poetry. If you understand Punjabi/Hindi, you will enjoy listening to this song again, and again, and again. Even if you don't understand Punjabi, but if you like music, I suggest you listen to it once, and you would like to listen to it again. You've got to register to download Bulla Ki Jaana Main Kaun. Registration is free. File size: 4.94 MB. File type: MP3

Update:
The mp3 file has been removed from the above mentioned download link.

Here is another link to download the song. Go to the bottom of the web page, and wait for a minute after the page downloads completely. You will see a download link. Select that to save the file to your computer.

You may listen to the song online at Raaga.com

I'd first seen the music video of this song on MTV a couple of months back. What drew me to this song was the music, the lyrics, and the image of a tall, bearded Sardar strumming a guitar in flowing white kurta-pyjamas; singing with a background of various Indian cities, and the English translation of the song across the screen.

Read the lyrics of Bulla Ki Jaana Maen Kaun.

Read the lyrics of Bulla Ki Jaana Main Kaun with an English translation, for those who don't understand Punjabi.

--
PUNJABI | ENGLISH

Bulla ki jaana maen kaun - 4 | Bulla! I know not, who I am - 4

Na maen momin vich maseet aan | Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
Na maen vich kufar diyan reet aan | Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
Na maen paakaan vich paleet aan | Not the pure amongst the impure
Na maen andar ved kitaab aan | Not in the holy Vedas, am I
Na maen rindaan bhangaan na sharaab aan | Nor in opium, neither in wine
Na maen rindaan masat kharaab aan | Not in the drunkard's intoxicated craze
Na maen shaadi na ghamnaaki | Neither in happiness nor in sorrow, am I
Na maen vich paleeti paaki | Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
Na maen aabi na maen khaki | Not from water, nor from earth
Na maen aatash na maen paun | Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

Bulla ki jaana maen kaun - 4 | Bulla! I know not, who I am - 4

Na maen Arabi na Lahori | Not from Arabia, nor Lahore
Na maen Hindi shehar Nagauri | Neither from India, nor Nagaur
Na Hindu na Turk Peshawri | Not a Hindu, nor a Peshawari Turk
Na maen bheth mazhab da paaya | Secrets of religion, I have not known
Ne maen aadam havva jaaya | From Adam and Eve, I am not born
Na koi apna naam dharaaya | I am not the name I assume
Avval aakhir aap nu jaana | I am the first, I am the last
Na koi dooja hor pehchaana | None other, have I ever known
Maethon na koi hor siyaana | I am the wisest of them all
BullaShah khadda hai kaun | BullaShah do I stand alone

Bulla ki jaana maen kaun - 4 | Bulla! I know not, who I am - 4

Na maen moosa na pharaun | Neither Moses, nor the Pharoah
Na maen jaagan na vich saun | Neither awake, nor in a sleeping daze
Na main aatish na maen paun | Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth
Na maen rehnda vich Nadaun | Nor do I live in Nadaun
Na maen baitthan na vich bhaun | Not in stillness, nor on the move
BullaShah khadda hai kaun | BullaShah do I stand alone

Bulla ki jaana maen kaun - 4 | Bulla! I know not, who I am - 4

Bulla ki jaana maen kaun - 8 | Bulla! I know not, who I am - 8
--

Bulla ki jaana maen kaun
Bulla! To me, I'm not known
Bulla! To me, I am unknown
Bulla! I know not, who I am
Bulla, I'm unknown to myself
Bulla, I'm unknown to me
Which words sound good?

Suggestions to improve the translation are most welcome. I've taken the translation from an article on Bulleh Shah at Chowk.com.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

An interesting read

Category: Misc

NY Times criticizes American Idol. A timely article. Indian television programming is following America's way, and Indian Idol is no different from what's mentioned in the article about American Idol. Wannabe singers—some good, some bad, others just for the heck of it; being insulted by the judges, as it's a reality show, and the public lapping it up. It's exhibitionism at it's worst, and I'm happy watching something else on television.

Exalead

Category: Professional

Exalead search engine shows impressive results. Thumbnails of the web pages are shown to the right, and related categories from DMOZ, related search terms, and filetypes are shown to the left of the search results.

Punctuation Game

Category: Misc

Play the punctuation game from Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Usability PDFs

Category: Professional

Links to PDFs of Web Design and Usability guidelines.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Helmets should not be made compulsory for two-wheeler riders in Pune

Category: Misc. Pune city.

Helmets are going to be made complusory for two-wheeler riders in Pune. The date for implementing the order is not finalised. It will be this month itself.

The case for and against helmets has cropped up again, after four years. The last time around, helmets were made compulsory for two-wheeler riders in Nov. 2000. The helmet rule lasted for a couple of months before being quashed by the court.

I don't think helmets should be made compulsory for two-wheeler riders in Pune.
The reasons being:

- Pot-holed roads, uneven speed-breakers, and slow moving traffic will mean that wearing a helmet will be a liability rather than an asset.
- One has to carry it around.
- Uncomfortable in summer
- Curtails freedom
- It will be an excuse for 'traffic policemen' to make money, by catching people who aren't wearing one.
- I don't like a helmet. I like the wind on my face.

I oppose the 'helmet rule' in Pune.

Instead of coming up with such gimmicks, they should improve the infrastructure of the city.

If at all they make helmets compulsory after a week or two; from where are they going to get helmets for 30 lakh people? Pune is a two-wheeler city. Each middle-class household has atleast one two-wheeler, some middle-class households have two or more two-wheelers. If the 'helmet' rule is made compulsory, then there will definitely be a shortage of helmets, people will buy sub-standard helmets from the street sellers, and risk chances of an injury.

This rule was implemented before, and it didn't work. It is going to be implemented again, and it won't work. A two-wheeler city doesn't need helmets; it needs proper concrete or tar roads, with working street lights, operating traffic signals, and education on traffic rules.

What do they want to achieve by making 30 lakh people wear helmets overnight?

Think of the practical difficulties.

- You are on your way home from work, and you want to stop at a roadside joint, for a cup of hot tea and vada pav, but wait, you can't, there's no place to keep your helmet.
- You've finally found parking space, and you're getting late for lunch, there's a single table in a crowded restaurant, but no, you can't sit and order, as there's no place to keep your helmet.
- You meet a friend and give him a lift, and you're fined by the traffic policeman, the pillion rider isn't wearing a helmet.
- You want to go for a walk on M.G. Road with your gal, instead of holding her hand, you've to hold a helmet!
- You want to enjoy the morning breeze on your face, but no, you can't as you've got to wear a helmet.
- You're sweating profusely in the 42 deg. C heat of summer, and you can't remove your helmet.
- You want to grab a quick bite on your way to work, but can't stand and eat as there's no place to keep the helmet.

A solution would be to get a helmet lock for the bike. But why should I, if I don't want to. I don't want to wear a helmet. It curtails my freedom.

Let's see what decision is taken in this matter. There are a lot of to-and-fro arguments, with leading doctors making a case against helmets, attributing neck injuries due to stress on the muscles from awkward bumps, pot-holed roads, and speed-breakers. Some local politicians are against the rule, and the ruling party is for the rule.

My question is, what is the use of a helmet, when people don't follow traffic rules?
Improve the infrastructure, educate people, bring about a sense of civic responsibility; rather than frivolously arguing for helmets. Wearing a helmet is not a panacea, not a universal remedy, for preventing accidents.

I'm not going to buy a helmet. I will use someone's helmet for a day or two, to avoid paying a fine, and the rule will fizzle out. I hope it does.

Politicians know how to make life complicated for people. There are so many things to do, to improve the city, and all they can think of is an absurd compulsory helmet rule.

This post is tagged as for Technorati Tags.

Added Technorati blog search box

Category: Professional

I've added a Technorati blog search box at the bottom right-hand side of this web page. You may use it to search this blog, and the blogosphere.

Thanks
Chirayu

Friday, January 21, 2005

Personal

Category: Personal

I may join another company from Monday. I've to collect the offer letter tomorrow. The project that I'm working on may last for only a month or so, and I'll have to search for a job again; instead of that, I may take the opportunity to join a content development company at a lower payscale, but with chances of a leadership position after three months (that's what they say, and I know it's not true). This move will monetarily put me back. :-( They're offering peanuts.

What should I do? Should I accept the offer, and with it some kind of job security at a lesser payscale or continue with my present employer and try and find a better opportunity in a month, so that once this project is done, I can take a job that offers a higher payscale. :-(

I should take a BPO job and earn money, after all that's work too, and what difference does it make if I have to check some financial statement or prepare an excel worksheet at three in the morning?

I have two meetings tomorrow, and I've to take a decision; either a content development company that pays peanuts, or a BPO operation in the night shift, or keep the status quo, and find a better opportunity.

I've big plans of starting off on my own; before that I've to take some small decisions like:

- Accepting a content development opportunity that pays less
- Pursuing a BPO operations night shift opportunity that pays more
- Maintaining the status quo and searching for another opportunity within a month.

I'll take a decision over the weekend. All I can do is take a decision and flow with the current. Making a decision is a part of the process, and one never knows where it can lead.

I use the word opportunity a lot. There aren't any opportunities here bro, they're all plain jobs to earn a living.

I'm feeling sleepy. What does tomorrow have in store that today didn't?
Why do I write a diary? And why do I keep it for others to read? I used to write, to feel happy. That was the only thing that made me happy; not the work I did or the money I earned. That's what made me write a diary.

Off to sleep. Let tomorrow come, and I'll decide what to do. Should I take the content development job? It will pay peanuts, but there's job security and there are more than 20 people working in the project, and I've a chance to lead them after three months.

Decisions...decisions...I never seem to take any right ones.
Will this be a turning point for me?

Haiku

Category: Misc

Haikus

Octavio Paz was a Nobel Prize Winning poet. He was Mexico's ambassador to India.

Writing a Haiku from Octavio Paz's verse written on Lodi Gardens, Delhi.
I've changed it to a Haiku.

Birds fly across the domes
Black, pensive, dense mausoleum domes come alive
Brighten the unanimous blue sky


This is the original verse

The black, pensive, dense
Domes of the mausoleums
Suddenly shoot birds
Into the unanimous blue


A three liner, not a Haiku, as it doesn't have a reference to nature.

Met a lovely girl Reeva
Paid her a compliment on her dress
Thought I was piling on her
(lol)

Why do girls find it difficult to accept compliments?
I like girls in light coloured salwar kameezes. I paid a compliment she didn't like. Next time, I will keep quiet. :-)

Google Search Haikus for GLAT

Category: Misc

GLAT Question No. 2
Write a Haiku describing possible methods for predicting search traffic seasonality.

I wrote these Search Haikus.
GLAT is an acronym for Google Labs Aptitude Test.


Searches spike reach their zenith
Fall like leaves on a forest floor
Keywords slowly to be replaced


Nature's fury brings people together
Search shrinks the world to a village
To find, help, and learn



A Haiku has to be in a 5-7-5 form. It is a 17 syllable verse form. If it isn't in a 5-7-5 form, it is a three liner, not a Haiku. (If I'm wrong, please correct me).

There's an interesting connection between a Haiku and the encryption code in Dan Brown's Digital Fortress. Have you read it? I haven't read the novel, but I've read parts of it. I've this habit of reading pages midway through.

This post is tagged as on Technorati.

--
Jhoomta aa raha hai kyun badal
Yeh bhi shayad koi sharabi hai
Chal mastana nazar gulabi hai

~ Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Why is the cloud swinging
He too seems to be a drunkard
Walk unconcerned, the sight's intoxicating
--

Related links on this blog:
- Search Haikus, A Google search Haiku
- Haikus

Usage

Category: Misc

Thoughts on Usage.

"This CD-ROM provides a robust collection of resources."

That's a heavy duty adjective—robust. Why should a collection be robust?
Can't it be extensive, informative, useful, original, latest, or any other adjective?

What they mean to convey is, we've a huge collection of resources which is informative and reliable. So the correct adjective would be rich don't you think so?

Isn't this better, 'This CD-ROM provides a rich collection of xyzee resources, and we encourage you to utilize it to your advantage,' or 'we encourage you to use it,' or something similar.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Grammar Quote

Category: Misc

What is the difference between a cat and a comma?

A cat has claws at the end of its paws, and a comma has a pause at the end of the clause.

A cat has claws at the end of its paws; a comma has a pause at the end of the clause.


Surfing the Blogosphere

Category: Misc

- Why Google should buy Technorati.
- Why Technorati and Feedster will die.
- Blog software makers to combat comment spam.
- A lengthy quiz on What sign of the Zodiac am I?
- Take the quiz for each sign of the Zodiac. This takes a lot less time.
- What kind of Intelligence do you have?
- Read Jan Frey's b/w article on alarm clocks.
- A bookseller from Edinburgh, Scotland is fired for blogging.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

MrSapo—A Multi-Search Interface

Category: Professional

MrSapo.com is a single page Multi-Search Interface.
[via ResearchBuzz]

MrSapo searches the major web, meta, blog, image, news, audio/video, and academic search engines.

- Choose the search tab—web, images, weblogs, audio/video, news, or academic.
- Enter your query in the search box.
- Select the grey button to get results from the search engine you want to query.

Multiple search engine results are not displayed. One has to select a particular search engine to get its results. MrSapo.com isn't a meta search engine, it is a Multi-Search Interface for various search engines.

Related:
Bjorgul - A multi-search interface with different search boxes for each search engine. MrSapo has a single search box, which queries a single search engine, and shows the results, separated by a frame, on the same page. This is a useful resource for ready reference.

This post is tagged as for Technorati Tags.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Technorati Tags

Category:

Technorati, the blog search engine, has introduced tags. Technorati Tags are categories of posts. Read posts on different categories from Technorati Tags.

What is a tag?
A category.

What are Technorati Tags?
A group of categories organised in real time by bloggers.

What types of tags can be used?
Anything. Information, Personal, News, Jokes, Computers, Politics, Cricket, Sports, Misc., etc.

How to tag a post?
<a href="http://www.technorati.com/tag/tag name" rel="tag">tag name</a>

An example: The above link from Professional tags this post under the Professional category, the Professional tag on Technorati.

<a href="http://www.technorati.com/tag/Professional" rel="tag">Professional</a>

Haikus

Category: Misc

A Haiku (5-7-5 verse)

The challenge is in writing meaningful verses with nature as a theme.

An idle afternoon on terrace
A moment to view movement and motion
A sparrow flutters, then flies


Time stands still and passes
Minutes are lengthy and days get over
Summer's colour, grass turns brown


Still body, a churning mind
Hot breeze blowing in a cloudless sky
Leaves fall, touch the ground

My Blogger Profile is updated

Category: Personal

My updated Blogger Profile.
I've more than a thousand useful and informative external links on this blog.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Pune Weather

Category: Personal

I've a cold that doesn't seem to go. It's because of the difference in temperature; chilly mornings, hot afternoons, and windy evenings. The temperature varies from a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 32 degrees celsius.

Writing Tools

Category: Professional

To read-

Fifty writing tools from the workbench of Roy Peter Clark on PoynterOnline.
There are thirty-nine of them till date. Links at the end of the article.

Humour: Kids wearing Google tee shirts

Category: Misc

Cute pictures of kids in Google tee shirts. [via Google Blogoscoped]

This kid googles and so does this one. Do you?

Yahoo! Search Shortcuts

Category: Misc

Search for synonyms, find definitions, check the time, convert units of measurement, and many more search shortcuts on Yahoo!

- synonym Labyrinth
- define Portcullis
- time in San Jose
- convert 31 degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit
- Pune Weather
- Yahoo! Search Shortcuts

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Patience

Category: Personal

All you need is just a little patience.

Yes, that's right. All I need is just a little patience. I need to cultivate patience.

Google search: What roles an actor plays or played

Category: Misc. Google Search

Search for What roles an actor plays or played.

"Aishwarya Rai plays OR played a OR an *"
"Nicholas Cage plays OR played a OR an *"

"Denise Richards (plays | played) (a | an) *"
[I read the above string on Google Blogoscoped]

WebPositionGold

Category: Professional

Web-PositionGold, Related:WebPositionGold

Want to learn ID

Category: Misc

I want to read about Instructional Design. If any of you have study material on Instructional Design, please let me know. Thanks very much.

Regards,
Chirayu

On being a salaried employee

Category: Personal

I'm working for others. Whatever I do at work, I can always do on my own. What does one require, a computer, an Internet connection, and a Project to start off.

Lyrics: Living is a One Way Street

Category: Misc

Never wanna let a chance go by
I'm gonna spread my wings and fly
I won't look back or slow the speed
cos' living is a one way street

~ Living is a One Way Street - MLTR

Beautiful song playing in the background

Category: Misc

A beautiful song is playing in the background.

Zindagi mai koi kabhi aaye na rabba
Aye to phir kahin jaaye na rabba
Dene to agar mujhe baadme aansu
To pehle koi hasaaye na rabba

~ From the film Musafir

Happiest when I write freely

Category: Personal

I am happiest when I write for myself. Write with abandon. Write to read myself, not for others. Write freely. Write what I feel at the moment, like I'm writing this.

Writing makes me happy, teaching makes me happy, and kids make me happy.

My neighbours kids are cute and some times a pain. The younger one, Mahir, he's 24 years younger than me, and he says, "Aye Chirayu, Gaana laga naa yaar, Bon Jovi sunenge," as if we're childhood friends. I like it. :-)

I'll post his picture, once I buy a scanner or a digital camera.

Kuber, the older one, he's in class II, always wants to play RoadRash and after four games, he wants to play more. I allow him, but I do get angry if he insists again.

I have always believed in letting kids play, touch the computer, at the most they will switch it off, or press some keys and hang the computer, but that will remove the fear. The best way to teach kids is to let them explore.

The best way to learn anything is to let go. Just let go of everything and work with abandon.

Going to visit Haji Ali this month

Category: Personal

I'm going to visit Haji Ali this month.

I'm also going to Shirdi, don't know when, but I will in a month or two, at least for a day. Shirdi is the only place where everyone is equal, and rich or poor, happy or sad, good or bad, fair or ugly, modest or haughty, simple or complicated; everywhere has to stand in a line, and money doesn't play a part.

Thoughts

Category: Personal

Lot of personal posts. There's time at hand, and I'm using it to my advantage.

Last afternoon I had tea at Senapati Bapat road, the joint opposite the convention center under construction. I used to frequent it a lot a couple of years ago. The owner recognised me. Used to discuss cricket with him.

India is incomplete without cricket, Bollywood, and politics. And my experience says, if you can talk on any of these, you can survive anywhere in India. :-)

Cheers
Chirayu

Lovely lines

Category: Personal

O mere humraahi
Meri baah thaame chalna
Badle duniya saari
Tum naa badalna

~ Gata Rahe Mera Dil from Guide.

Want to play cricket

Category: Personal

Feel like playing cricket. I miss those 12 overs tennis ball cricket matches we used to play on weekends. Friends are married, busy with work, and life; the ground is gone, a commercial building is coming up.




Current Mood

Category: Personal

Kabhi neem neem, kabhi shahed shahed...

Robots everywhere

Category: Personal

Robots everywhere. I helped my co-worker with a few sentences, and instead of thanks, I got, 'dont forget to mention it in your daily report'.

There are robots at work, who keep their brains at home.

I'm going to blog a lot this weekend

Category: Personal

I am going to blog, and blog, and blog this weekend.

I can already see a string of posts. :-)

It's like, I'd read in a novel, 'One could see rail car upon rail car upon rail car, and one could actually feel a trail of rail cars'.

Cheers
Chirayu

Personal

Category: Personal

Waiting for some vague tomorrow. Hoping for some one or some thing to show you the way.

What is happiness? Why am I not happy? What the f*ck will make me happy? Money - No.

I don't have any friends, that's why I'm unhappy.
Ek dost nahin hai yaar, a shoulder to cry on or a friend to just share thoughts.
How long will I write a diary, or chat on the net, or just be unhappy.

I need a friend, over and above the work I do, the money I earn, or am going to earn, the clothes I wear, the bike I ride, and a hundred other things.

Mujhe ek dost chahiye yaar!

All alone everywhere.

Loneliness is a state of mind, and one can be at ease in a crowd and one can be agitated in sylvan surroundings. Whatever is there in this world, is all between the two ears.

Whenever I work, I feel what am I doing yaar. These guys have got projects and I'm working for peanuts. What is preventing me from searching for, and sourcing work from America?

I'm going to take a broadband Internet connection and in two months I am going to get my first project. I am going to start off on my own.

BSNL is going to offer broadband Internet in Pune.

I am friendly, and I have no friends.
Bahut akela lagta hai.

A beautiful quote

Category: Personal

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
~ Louis L'Amour

BSNL's Broadband Internet Connection

Category: Personal

To check BSNL's web site.

The 256 kbps package for Rs. 500/- per month is reasonable. The
download limit is 1 GB. What qualifies as a download limit? Does a
request to a server, accessing a web page, also qualify as a download,
then the limit is less.

Speed - Monthly charges
* 256 kbps - Rs. 500/-
* 384 kbps - Rs. 1000/-
* 512 kbps - Rs. 1800/-
* 1 Mbps - Rs. 3300/-

Thoughts for today

Category: Misc

Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.
~ Louis L'Amour

Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.
~ Louis L'Amour

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Frequent power cuts in Pune

Category: Personal

Electricity is playing hide and seek at home. There is this daily load shedding of three hours and now, on top of that for the last two days there have been so many intermittent power cuts. Go to work, there's no electricity at home, come home, again there's no electricity. wtf has happened to MSEB? Yesterday there was no electricity for almost seven hours. Today the lights kept on going off intermittently, as if they had been programmed to switch off for half an hour after every half an hour. 06:45 to 07:15 p.m., 7:45 to 08:15 p.m., 08:45 to 09:15 p.m. This is apart from the regular three hour load shedding that takes place in the afternoons.

Pune has gone to the dogs. Frequent power cuts, no traffic sense, roads under construction, street lights not working, pot-holed roads, pollution, traffic signals not on, no zebra crossings, bad roads, pedestrians walking haphazardly, painting and civic work during peak hours with barricades on roads; wtf is happening?

Hyderabad is a hundred times better than Pune. The density of traffic and traffic jams are worse, but it has the infrastructure, unlike Pune.

Pune needs flyovers and urban planning, not skybuses.
Because of the road under construction there's always a big traffic jam at the Kalyaninagar signal, with vehicles waiting to turn right. A simple solution is to keep a traffic policeman at the end of the broad concrete road at Shastrinagar, and allow vehicles to turn right (to Kalyaninagar) with the oncoming traffic (from Nagar road) stopped. Instead of that there's one big mess with everyone trying to turn right while the oncoming traffic doesn't stop.
All traffic problems are Usability issues.

It's a state of mind. I'm agitated and it comes across in my writing, and it's this power cut. Every half an hour there's a power cut. If this is the power situation in Pune, no one will outsource their work, however low-end it might be, to a city that cannot even offer uninterrupted power supply. Power cuts will impact SOHO. What will one work if one doesn't have a generator set, and there's no electricity for almost six hours (at least a minimum of three hours) a day for five days a week?

Are they saving power, or is this the way to compensate for free electricity offered in rural Maharashtra, as a part of votebank politics during the assembly election?

Related:
Read Jan Frey's article on flyovers in Bremen, Germany.

Content on shopping web sites

Category: Professional

I observed this when reading Amazon's shopping cart web page.
The sentences when the shopping cart is empty.


Your Shopping Cart lives to serve. Give it purpose--fill it with books, CDs, videos, DVDs, toys, electronics, and more.


Amazon's most popular line has to be, "Your Shopping Cart lives to serve."

A Google search for "Your Shopping Cart lives to serve" shows 2,780 results. Yahoo shows 1,900 results for the same sentence.


Your Shopping Cart lives to serve.
2,779 web pages have used this line from Amazon. Talk of orginal content.


A shopping web site should be usable and then think about content.
More Usability and concise Content.
All shopping web sites have to look at Usability more than Content.

People don't read on the net, they scan and click; if you've the right links at the right places, the chances of making a user purchase are more, rather than writing paragraphs, which no one will read.


Amazon is Usable. Usability is primary, and then look at Content. Wherever you are on Amazon, the add to shopping cart button is always there on the top right side of the web page.


Browse Amazon, there aren't more than two paragraphs for any product. All information is related, whether customer reviews, or people who bought this also bought these items, tables with discount offers, and gift items. The content is minimum with stress on product specs. Let the user surf and decide, don't overload the user with information. Users don't read, they scan web pages.

Concise and scan able (scannable - is this right usage?) text is better than paragraphs.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta

Category: Professional

Find emails, pdfs, doc, xls, ppt, txt, rtf, html, mp3, avi, exe, zip, jpeg, bmp, tiff, and other files on your computer with Yahoo! Desktop Search.

Download Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta.
It is only for Windows XP or Windows 2000 with SP3 or SP4.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Content Writing Links

Category: Professional

To read the articles on Content Development from Clickz.

Google search results for Content Writing Links (To read from the 2nd and 4th results).

Google Suggest for a Dictionary

Category: Misc

Google Suggest for a dictionary database. A dropdown for a dictionary search. (Source: Joel on Software)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Pune has no traffic sense

Category: Misc Pune city

There is no traffic sense in Pune.

People don't understand the difference between a red light and a green light.

This is for all those *educated* people who don't follow traffic rules.


What is the use of an education, and of earning thousands of rupees, and wearing branded clothes, using the latest cell phones, and driving the costliest cars, if your education, values, upbringing, and ethics don't make you understand the difference between a R-E-D red light and a G-R-E-E-N light?


It irritates me to find perfectly educated youngsters not following traffic rules, as if the signal is for a music show and not to control traffic.

This is for those people in Pune who are in such a hurry that they don't have a minute to stop at a traffic signal.


Bombay is a hundred times faster than Pune, and yet, even illiterate taxi drivers stop at a relatively empty road on a Sunday afternoon, even when the light is amber let alone red, so what is it that prevents people from Pune from obeying the traffic rules?


I've been to Hyderabad, Secunderabad, and Bangalore, and I've found that traffic sense in those cities is nowhere near Bombay, however, they do follow the traffic rules, at least on the major roads. In Bangalore people follow the traffic rules, Hyderabad lacks in traffic sense, but it isn't as bad as Pune.

My city needs an education about red, green, and amber lights, and the meaning of zebra crossings.

If there is one thing I'd like to change in Pune, it would be the traffic sense.

And pray, why were the traffic signals switched off at some places on Sundays? Is it because, as it is, people don't follow the signals, so why to keep them on?

Pune has pretentions to professionalism and to being a metropolis.
Inculcating traffic sense is the first step towards becoming a metropolis.

Essay - Politics and the English language

Category: Professional

An essay written by Geroge Orwell in 1946 on Politics and the English language.

Why does one write?
To convey a message, to communicate. If a sentence doesn't do that, it should not be written.

- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word, always do it.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image.
A metaphor should be used to help readers visualize.

Why are legal texts so pretentious and difficult to understand? That's because they try to make matters unclear, obfuscate it, and on that pretext get away with legal jargon. Even the non-disclosure agreements, which we sign, have a legal tone, and people don't even read them, before signing on the dotted line.

I read the complete four page non-disclosure agreement and couldn't agree more. It was a maze of legality, which could be used in any way to help the employer. Most of the non-disclosure agreements follow a similar tone.

To quote from the above essay-


"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms..."


A note to myself: When I start my company, I am going to write the non-disclosure agreement in simple English, which an English speaker can understand, without the help of a lawyer.

A thought for today

Category: Personal

A beautiful thought for today.

Every word is a poem waiting to be written.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Evey word is a poem, like this one, written right now.

Every book is a door to an experience.
Every opportunity is a chance to learn.
Every fall is a chance to begin afresh.
Every compliment is an encouragement to do better.
Every brickbat is an opportunity to introspect and improve.
Every time an eye meets another, and there's a spark, it's a chance to fall in love. And each encounter with the unknown is a chance to challenge yourself.

Top ten e-business trends for 2005

Category: Professional

Top ten e-business trends for 2005 according to emarketer.com

"RSS will spread throughout as a form of content syndication. Advertisers will attempt to leverage RSS as a platform for targeted advertising."


Friday, January 07, 2005

Everyday is a winding road...

Category: Personal

Zindagi hai bhai, uppar-neeche to hote rehta hai; bas sirf, rukne ka nahin, thakne ka nahin, life mai chalte rehne ka!

Bro, this is life, and there are ups and downs; stop not, tire not, keep on walking in life!

I always knew a job was round the corner—the lights were red, now they're green.

Next week, I will be joining a Pune based company as a Content Writer, with SEO opportunities later on, and I'm looking forward to the writing and seo work.


I am the moon that shines, the wind that blows, the bird that flies, and the rain that falls. I am the soul of the Universe and the soul is in me.

The boy spoke to the desert, then the wind, the heaven, and the hand that wrote the Universe—the soul of the Universe, and that soul of the Universe was in his soul. I love The Alchemist. I re-read it again. It is a lovely, lovely book.


Current Reads
- Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho
- The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

On the shelf
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Haven't read (will read by the end of this month)
Dan Brown's Digital Fortress and The Da Vinci Code.

I'm going to watch Swades this weekend. You guys have a nice weekend.

Cheers
Chirayu

A Thought for Today

Category: Personal

A beautiful quote.

Magar woh zindagi hi kya, jisme koi namumkin sapna na ho

What is that life, in which there is no impossible dream (to achieve).

Read this on Suneet's blog.

Thanks very much for writing that, Suneet. The poem, Raincoat, is beautiful. Very well written. I liked it a lot.

I bid her adieu,
and walked toward the bus,
the droplets making sounds,
one-by-one, slowly,
falling on the Raincoat

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Search for unsecured webcams on Google

Category: Misc. Google search tips.

Search for unsecured webcams with these search strings on Google.
[via Boing Boing]

- inurl:"MultiCameraFrame?Mode="

- inurl:"ViewerFrame?Mode="

These search strings provide links to network cameras and webcams.

inurl searches for the keywords in the web site address.
Enclosing the keywords with double quotes ("---") makes it a string—a phrase search, i.e. search for these keywords as a string in the web site address.

Related search string:
- inurl:"view/index.shtml" [via forevergeek.com]
- inurl:"axis-cgi/mjpg"

Enabled email to blog posting

I've enabled 'mail to blogger' posting to my blog.

This is an example of posting from an email address and publishing as
a new post on my blog.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

An article on blogs in the Fortune magazine

Category: Misc

Read an article on Blogs from Fortune magazine.

An article on Sachin - The Tendulkar Legend

Category: Misc. Cricket

Rajdeep Sardesai has written a fantastic article on Sachin at NDTV.

Tsunami Relief - Donations by countries

Category: Misc

How much have countries donated for Tsunami relief measures.

- America.... $350 million
- Japan........ $500 million
- Norway..... $180 million
- Kuwait...... $10 million

Related links:
Today's NYT Editorial (Free registration required).
The Cost of America's war in Iraq

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Footsteps on Clouds on the Road to Knowledge

Category: Personal

A new title in the new year.

Change from Chirayu's Online Diary. My Life, Online! to
Footsteps on Clouds on the Road to Knowledge.

Wishes for the New Year

Category: Personal

Faith makes everything possible
Hope makes everything work
Love makes everything beautiful.

Peace, love, hope, faith, happiness, and a decent paycheck at the end of the month.

Wish you a happy, successful, and prosperous New Year 2005.

Thoughts for the New Year

Category: Misc

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings,
slow to make enemies, quick to make friends.
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm on your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

New Year Resolutions

Category: Personal

My New Year's Resolutions

- Stick to a job for as long as possible
- Source SEO projects from abroad
- Read a lot
- Start jogging
- Get involved in teaching
- Learn a foreign language, either Spanish or Portuguese
- Visit new places
- Open a Demat account and trade shares
- Take a home loan
- Learn, read, write, love, search, work, live, play, and enjoy life