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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Personal


A personal post after a long time. I had stopped writing personal posts, because there wasn't a point in writing personal posts and then deleting them after a few days.

Things to do:
- Bring more discipline in my life
- Not feel bad, even if a friend doesn't reply
- Whatever time I sleep, whether it is 12am, 1am, or 3am; I need to get into the habit of waking up early, atleast 6:30am.
- Do something with my life other than sitting in front of the computer, like I am now, writing this.
- Remove bitterness (It's easy to write, I need to implement)
- Be happy whatever happens maan, tomorrow is always another hopeful day and good times are going to come.
- Learn a new language - I'm interested in Spanish and Portuguese. Need to find classes.
- Join a datawarehousing course.
- Find another job
- Try for some freelance writing opportunities from US. Search on Bangalore Craigslist.
- Buy a laptop in two months.
- Buy a camera cell phone (I've been writing this since the last one year)
- Plan to honeymoon in Brazil (sipping Caipirinha by the beach) ;-) Need to save money and yeah, find a gal ;-)
- I want some hands on work. Instead of supervising people to do something, I'd rather do it with them.
- It's not what degree you have that matters, it is your passion for work. And with Google as a friend, what's there to stop me?
- It's a big world and I need four good friends to make life meaningful. Right now I can name one—Nilesh—he too speaks of work and job now; need to find three more. Friends with whom you can talk anything other than work or how much one earns or plans for the future.

Let the future unfold itself, hum jaayenge jahan kismat le jaayegi.

Sitaaron se aage ek jahaan aur bhi hai
Abhi ishk ke imtihaan aur bhi hai

There's a world beyond the stars
There are more travails to come in Love

Tu shaheen hai parwaaz hai kaam tera
Tera saamne aasma aur bhi hai

You are a falcon and flight is your life
There are innumerable skies before you

Cheer up, maan. Good times are going to come, and well for the bad times, credit card can always last a month. :-)

This is how I used to write and I planned to write when I started blogging in Feb. 2004. Write to feel happy, to put thoughts online, to make action plans, to share my feelings (with no one in particular and with the world in general).

And I feel I should write this way. Write to be happy, not to make money or to see how many people read my blog from where. Write because I like to, I want to and not to show people how usable, concise, informative, and relevant my writing is.

Go to work because you want to, not because you have to. Finding such a job is not impossible.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wallpaper of the Day


Click image to enlarge. Screen resolution: 1024 by 768. File size: 600KB.

Ana Beatriz Barros sees Snake river, Wyoming USA
Ana Beatriz Barros turned 24 on May 29. Happy Birthday, Ana.


Note


This is an advertisement free blog. There are no advertisements on my blog.


Mood


You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today...—doesn't hold true any more.


Lyrics


Beautiful lines in the song, Mere haath main tera haath ho, from the film Fanaa.

Rone de aaj humko tu aankhen sujaane de
Baahon mein le le aur khud ko bheeg jaane de

Let me cry today, you let my eyes glisten
Take me in your arms and soak in my longing#

Hain jo seene mein qaid dariya woh chhoot jaayega
Hain itna dard ke tera daaman bheeg jaayega

Let the ocean (of love, longing, and desire) imprisoned in my heart free itself
There's so much pain that it will drench your dress* (your soul)

# khud ko bheeg jaane de - literally means 'you get yourself drenched', figuratively it means 'feel my longing/desire'.

* daaman bheeg jaayega - daaman literally means the end of a 'saree', figuratively (here) it means the pain of my heart, that appears as my love and longing, which seeks to reach your soul

Of course, different interpretations are possible, but this is what I felt.

This is the week of pre-monsoon showers. It is drizzling since midnight. A cool breeze is blowing. Wow, I like the wind on my face; whether it is hanging out a train, standing on the terrace, or looking out the window, ahh...the breeze is getting stronger. Pre-monsoon showers have started. It's raining, the wind is blowing, the music is on, and I don't wanna sleep at 2:20am. But I have got to go now, there's a power cut. Everything can't be perfect.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Always time for a cup of tea with friends...


There's never a wrong time to do the right thing in life.

No matter how busy you are, there's always time for a cup of tea with friends


PhotoQuote

Pencil sketch of beautiful Alessandra Ambrosio from BrazilShe walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,

And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes...


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Flowers and Usability


Thoughts after reading a part of the user manual of Sony Ericsson K750i cell phone.

A panorama image taken with Sony Ericsson K750i.

Weekend flowers on my window sill.

Flowers

Sony Ericsson should have given an example of a photograph in their documentation to make it an interesting read, instead of a few plain lines that say Camera Menu provides different Shoot Mode options and various Effects.

Why is documentation always boring? Does it have to be? Shouldn't a manual be written for the User? Shouldn't it engage a user? Does it always have to be in black and white? Why is a Camera cell phone promoted without showing an actual picture in the manual?

If people get what they're looking for with documentation they would prefer to read it. Let the documentation be an A4-size book instead of a pocketbook, spend some money in printing, but make it worth reading.

Why does the advertisement look so slick and the documentation so drab? Shouldn't writing be joyful? Is it necessary for technical documentation to be always dull?

"Shoot Mode: Normal, Panorama, Frames, and Burst."

How about showing how each image looks in different Shoot Modes? Why not give examples of the funny frames in the cell phone and the humour it adds to images that can be shared with family and friends.

Had these thoughts after reading the Shoot Mode features of K750i from the pocketbook black and white documentation of the camera cell phone.

What's the use of writing that people won't like to read? How do we make Technical Writing beautiful? To borrow a football analogy, it's time to do a 'Jogo Bonito' (play beautiful) on technical writing (write beautiful).

Technical writing is like the defence of Italy's 1990 football World Cup team—solid, dull, drab, and boring, which meets with its own downfall. Italy played an ultra-defensive game and lost to Argentina on penalties in the semi-finals of the 1990 world cup and the bane of penalties followed Italy in the 1994 and 1998 World cups.

It's a manual, it's documentation so it has to be dull and boring. Let's change that mindset. Let's write beautiful. Let's try.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Football searches rise on Google


Football search trends on Google provide interesting statistics for tourism marketers targetting the Football World Cup crowd.

Football searches are rising steadily on Google since April 2006. The FIFA World Cup 2006 starts on the 9th of June in Germany.

English, French, Polish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Turkish, German, and Spanish are popular languages for Football searches on Google with England, Ireland, France, Australia, U.S., Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, India, and Poland the top regions searching for Football on Google.

Surprise why aren't Brazil, Italy, Germany, and Argentina in the list of top regions or maybe the normalized language search makes up for it; as Portuguese, Italian, German, and Spanish language searches for football are among the top languages for 'football' searches in 2006 on Google.


Search Engine Usage in U.S.

Nielsen//NetRatings statistics for U.S. searches in April 2006Google accounted for 50% of all searches in U.S. in April 2006 according to a search engine usage market research report by Nielsen//NetRatings.


Haikus


5-7-5 and 3-5-3 Haikus

Cloudy grey evening portends rain
Friday makes people rush home faster
Earth awaits kisses from skies

Breeze ruffles hair
Still leaves and glowing bulb
Silence stretches far


Friday, May 26, 2006

Wings of Fire


The Russian-make Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jet aircraft is the latest acquisition of the Indian airforce. The Lohegaon AirForce Station at Pune, 8 miles from home, is the base for the Sukhoi squadron of fighter planes.

Last evening I was watching the manoeuvres of pilots from Lohegaon Airbase practicing sorties in Sukhois ahead of the 50th anniversary celebration of their AirForce Base on the eighth of next month, when President Dr. Abdul Kalam would be flying in a Su-30MKI combat jet.

The fighter planes looked so sleek, smooth, powerful, and graceful in air. The noise with the adrenaline rush when they fly low-altitude, and then take a graceful curve that steadily rises high, with a straight 90 degree cut that cleaves through the clouds, up and above the plane goes only to be back with a roaring noise after a few minutes.

Maan, what does it mean to be a fighter pilot—free like the wind, cleaving through clouds faster than the eye can see, rushing across the sky—with no one to stop. Reaching for heavens on wings of fire with the earth as its playground.

An inspiring quote from 'Wings of Fire' the autobiography of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India.

We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness.

I googled for images of Sukhoi Su-30MKI and learnt some Photoshop. Sitting in front of the computer, watching life go by... and the fighter planes vroom in the sky.

Image Editing: Give a Night Vision look to images.

Give a night vision (greenish-grey, blackish, and grainy look) effect to images with Photoshop.

This is a Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jet aircraft.

Wings of Fire - Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jet aircraft

Let's see how it would look when viewed with a night vision device.

1. Open the image in Adobe Photoshop.

2. Convert to Grayscale.
Image -> Mode -> Grayscale

3. Choose Image -> Mode -> Duotone

- In the Duotone Options window, select Type as Duotone
- Choose a green colour as Ink1 - Example: #00ff33
- Choose a lighter shade of green as Ink2 - Example: #66cc99
- Click OK

4. Convert the image to RGB Color
Image -> Mode -> RGB Color

5. Add a Duplicate Layer from Layer -> Duplicate Layer -> OK

6. Select the Duplicate Layer

7. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
- Set Duotone Input Levels as 75, 1.00, and 240.
- Click OK

8. Add Noise filter.
- Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise
- Amount 2.5%
- Distribution: Uniform
- Check Monochromatic checkbox
- Check the Preview checkbox to preview your image
- Click OK

8a. You may add Blur and Burn to blur and blacken the image.

- Filter -> Blur -> Blur -> Strength 20% to blur the image
- Burn tool -> Range Midtones, Exposure 50%, Brush 13px to 19px

9. Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
- Move the Input Level Slider from the left to the right
- Keep the Input Level in the first box between 60 to 75

Night vision look to Sukhoi Su-30MKI

10. Image -> Apply Image -> Blending -> Normal -> OK

11. Save the image.

- File -> Save As... .jpeg with quality as 4 for a small file size, 7 for a medium file size, or 12 for a large file size.
OR
- File -> Save for Web... with quality 100 for a better quality image with a large file size; or quality as 75, 80 for a medium quality image; or quality as 60, 50, or less for a small file size.

Take a look at the original and night vision images of Sukhoi SU-30MKI.

Original and night vision images

Related Photoshop posts on this blog:

- Convert an image to Sepia colour
- Give an image a faded and weathered look
- Convert a photo to a pencil sketch

Read more Photoshop tips and tricks from Jennifer Apple's PhotoshopSupport.com.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Microsoft Maps


Microsoft Maps, Windows Live Local (Beta), puts India on its radar faster than Google Maps.

See road maps of Indian cities on Windows Live Local (Beta).

Feedback for Microsoft:

- Some areas of Pune are misspelled on Microsoft Maps. For example: Sindhi Colony is Sindh Colony, Gang Peth is Ganj Peth, and so on.

Let me know if you need help with the correct and locally used spellings of areas in Pune.

- Find driving directions and traffic didn't work for the example, of Pune, that I tried.

Note for Google:

Isn't it time for Google to map India with a separate http://local.google.co.in/ interface? They've already mapped Australia and New Zealand.

View a road map of Pune on Microsoft Maps.

Microsoft Maps - Pune road map

Related Links:
- Google Maps
- Yahoo! Maps
- Google Local:
USA, UK, Canada, China, and Japan

URL of Microsoft Maps—Windows Live Local (Beta) is http://local.live.com/


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Google Search Interface in Hindi


Google Trivia:
Did you know? Google provides a Hindi interface on its Trinidad and Tobago Web site. That's smart localization, as almost 40% of Trinidad and Tobago's population is of Asian Indian origin. Browse Google in your local language. Use Google in Hindi.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Video Ads on Google AdWords


- Google Video Ads: Good news for small and medium business owners.
Advertisers on Google's contextual advertising network—Google AdWords would soon be able to select video ads for their products on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis.

Google's video ads aim to provide opportunities to small and medium business owners that want to take advantage of multimedia advertising at their own budget. Here's an example of a video ad on the Google AdWords network.

Video ads would follow Google's policy of unobtrusive advertising and would play only when a user clicks on the static image to watch the ad. Advertisers may choose to show video ads on specific Web sites or target ads by selecting keywords for their products and services.

Well done, Google.


Reading and SEO Crossword


- Reading: David Cameron's speech to Google Zeitgeist Europe 2006 conference at Hertfordshire, UK.

- Something nice, interesting, educative, and different. Solve the SEO crossword. Nice work, Bill.


Image Editing: Give Images a Sepia Look


Give your images a 1940s, reddish brown (sepia), look with Adobe Photoshop.

1. Open the image in Adobe Photoshop.

Colour photograph of a lake

2. Choose Image -> Mode -> Grayscale

Click OK in the Discard Color Information window to convert the colour photo to a black and white image.

Grayscale image of lake

3. Choose Image -> Mode -> Duotone

In the Duotone Options window:

- Select Duotone from the Type dropdown box
- Click the box to the right of Ink1
- Choose an orangish colour from the Color Picker and click OK
- Name Ink1 as Orange
- Click the box to the right of Ink2

- Click Picker button on the right of the Custom Colors window

Choose Picker from the Custom Colors window

- Choose black colour from the Color Picker and click OK
- Name Ink2 as Black
- Click OK in the Duotone options window

Image -> Mode -> Duotone -> Duotone Options window

4. Choose Image -> Mode -> RGB Color

5. Choose Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation

- Drag the Saturation slider to the left
- Keep the saturation between -30 and -40
- Adjust saturation to give a reddish brown look to the image

Adjust saturation and make it negative between 30 and 40

6. Save the Sepia-coloured image.

Give an image a reddish brown, sepia, colour with Adobe Photoshop

Read Photoshop tips and tricks on PhotoshopSupport.

Related Image Editing posts on this blog:

- Give an image a faded and weathered look
- Convert a photo to a pencil sketch

Colours of Udita Goswami - Udita in pink, black and white, sepia, and a pencil sketch

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Books


List of paperback fiction best sellers from The New York Times.


Current Music


Tere dil main meri saanson ko panaah mil jaaye
Tere ishq mein meri jaan fanaa ho jaaye

Let my breath find refuge in your heart
Let my life destruct in your love

Current Music: Mere haath main tera haath ho from Fanaa.
- Download MP3 of Mere haath main tera haath ho. File size: 4.5MB.


Humor


Reading comics on a Monday afternoon. See what Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang is up to. Good ol' Charlie Brown.


BSE Tumbles


Trading was halted on the BSE and NSE as shares fell more than 10% hitting the lower circuit* for the first time since May 17, 2004.

The BSE Sensex fell 1111.70 points to 9826.91 this morning prompting the stock exchange to halt trading for an hour until 12:55 this afternoon.

- BSE: 9826.91 (-1111.70) at 11:55am IST.
- NSE: 2901 (-345.90) at 11:55am IST.

Follow the ebbs and flows of the BSE.

* When a stock touches the lower circuit in a sharp downtrend, there may not be buyers at that cut-off price, as they believe the stock is headed still lower.

Let's see what happens when trading resumes in a few minutes from now.

Oh how seamless seemed love and then came trouble.

Update: 1:30pm IST.
BSE recovers 500 points.

Update 2: 5:00pm IST.
Sensex recovers to close at 10,481.77—a fall of 456.84 points.


Desktop Search


Microsoft's Windows Live Search on the Desktop, that is—Microsoft Desktop Search, is coming soon.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Panorama of Flowers


The panorama shoot mode, of Sony Ericsson's K750i 2 megapixel camera cell phone, combines three pictures into one wide picture. Take a look at the flowers on my window sill. I like flowers and on weekends I always have a bunch of flowers for company while looking out the window.

If you have a moment to spare, each window has a story to tell.

Click image for a larger view.

Panorama of flowers on my window sill


Image Editing: Give an old, faded, weathered, and antique look to images


Give an old and faded look to images with Adobe Photoshop.

Open the image in Adobe Photoshop.

Original image - We will make it look old, faded, and antique with Adobe Photoshop

1. Add a new layer. Layer 1 - Noise

a. New Layer - Noise - Mode Overlay - Fill with overlay neutral color

b. Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise - Amount 9.5% - Gaussian - Monochromatic

Add a new layer - Noise

2. Add a new layer. Layer 2 - Grain

a. New Layer - Grain - White background color
(Use the keys D+X+Alt+Backspace to get a white background colour for the Clouds layer)

Add a new layer - Grain

b. Filter -> Texture -> Grain - Intensity 75% or more - Contrast 50 to 55% - Grain type - Vertical

c. Layer Blend Mode - Multiply

Apply Filter -> Texture -> Grain

3. Add a new layer. Layer 3 - Clouds - Insert between Grain and Noise

a. New Layer - Clouds - White background color
(Use the keys D+X+Alt+Backspace to get a white background colour for the Clouds layer)

Create a new layer and name it Clouds

Give a white background color to the layer Clouds

b. Filter - > Render -> Difference Clouds

c. Filter -> Pixelate -> Crystallize - Cell size between 25 to 30

Apply Filters - Render -> Difference Clouds and Pixelate -> Crystallize

d. Filter -> Stylize -> Find Edges

Apply Stylize -> Find Edges filter to the Clouds layer

e. Layer Blend Mode -> Multiply

Apply Multiply mode to the Clouds layer

4. Give a brownish Hue/Saturation to the Grain layer and save the image.

Here's what it looks like. Compare the original image and the image with a faded, old, weathered, and antique look.

Compare Original image and photoshopped antique, old, faded, and weathered look

Read and watch Adobe Photoshop tutorials on PlanetPhotoshop.


Thoughts for Today


If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

If you don't like what you're doing, then don't do it.

Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.

I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.
~ Ray Bradbury


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Google Blogsearch Sorts Results by Date


Google Blogsearch sorts results by dateGoogle Blogsearch now offers the option to sort results by date


.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Photos of Google's new office in Sydney

What's new at Google Australia?
See photos of Googleplex, Sydney.

SCG is now only a Google Map click away. Google Maps finds locations in Australia and New Zealand.

Google Maps finds locations in Australia and New Zealand


Thursday, May 18, 2006

PhotoQuote

Daydream, delusion, limousine, eyelash
Oh baby with your pretty face
Drop a tear in my wineglass...

Oh baby with your pretty face drop a tear in my wineglass

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mobissimo, the Google of Travel Search, comes to India


Mobissimo Meta Travel Search Engine www.mobissimo.in Mobissimo, true to its name (Mobissimo means 'most mobile' in Italian), proved to be the most mobile by becoming the first major meta travel search engine to provide a special India-specific travel search engine.

What is Mobissimo?

Mobissimo is a meta travel search engine; a search engine that searches various travel web sites, airline sites, and travel agencies and enables users to compare prices and airfares from multiple sources.

What is Mobissimo India?

Mobissimo India searches domestic low-cost airlines Mobissimo India, a meta travel search engine specially for India, lets users compare domestic airfares by displaying results from local airline Web sites like SpiceJet, Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara, and GoAir. It also searches Air India and MakeMyTrip.com and a 150 other Web sites for airfares, cars, and hotels.

How does Mobissimo work?

It's pretty simple, by the way, it's pretty even when not simple.

Enter your search query, get the results, compare prices, pick your preferred price, book directly at the exact price as shown on Mobissimo's Web site. Pretty simple, isn't it?

Advantages of Mobissimo Meta Travel Search

Why is Mobissimo the Google of Travel Search?

You go to Google and on most occasions find what you're looking for. Similarly chances are you go to Mobissimo and on most occasions you would find the price you're looking for because Mobissimo searches major domestic and international Web sites (more than 150, a hundred and fifty-seven to be precise) and shows search results that let you compare and pick the price that best suits your budget.

For example: Try Bombay to Hyderabad on June 14 and get search results from SpiceJet, Kingfisher, Jet Airways, and others. Choose the deal that fits your budget. Click on the 'Select' link, go to the ticket provider's Web site and book the ticket. Simple.

Mobissimo India search results for Bom to Hyd on June 14, 2006

How to use Mobissimo?

Use Mobissimo to your advantage by getting the best search results with different types of searches like one-box search, powersearch, and activity search apart from the regular search. Read about the different types of searches on Mobissimo, the meta travel search engine now in India. Visit www.mobissimo.in and take a spin in the airfares of Indian skies.

Related Links

- Visit Mobissimo.com and Mobissimo France.
- Mobissimo Airfare Search and One Box Search
- Mobissimo Activity Search
- Mobissimo Travel Search Tutorial
- Read more about Mobissimo Meta Travel Search Engine on this blog.
- Mobissimo Blog

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Yahoo! gets a new look


Yahoo! changes its home page, makes it appear slicker and smoother. See Yahoo!'s makeover.

Yahoo!'s New Look

Browse Yahoo!'s new look home page

Related Links:
- What the world is searching for on Yahoo!


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Google Notebook - Adds Notes, Saves Links; Improves Browsing


Download Google NotebookGoogle Notebook lets users add notes, links, and images while surfing the Internet.

- Save text links and images, add notes while surfing, save content from Web pages to Google Notebook

- Access saved links and information from any computer. All it requires is a Gmail id.

- Find saved links in your search results

It is a nifty tool, a post it notes plus textlinks and image saver that is readily available with a single-click without closing the browser window.

# See a Web site that you would like to browse later—add it to Google Notebook.

Adding a textlink to Google Notebook

# Found an image that you like and want to save the link—add it to Google Notebook.

Save images and image links to Google Notebook

# Want to pick content from a Web page and save for reference—add it to Google Notebook.

Adding a note in Google Notebook

Visit http://www.google.com/notebook to download Google Notebook application for Internet Explorer and Firefox.

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Blogs at Google


This makes for an interesting quiz question—How many official blogs does Google have?

  1. Google Blog

  2. Google Talk Blog

  3. Google Video Blog

  4. Google Desktop Blog

  5. Google AdWords Blog

  6. Google AdSense Blog

  7. Google Reader Blog

  8. Blogger Buzz

  9. Google AdWords API Blog

  10. Google Maps API Blog

  11. Google Base Blog

  12. Google Book Search Blog

  13. Google Code Blog

  14. Google Enterprise Search Blog

  15. Google Research Blog

  16. Google Writely Blog

  17. Google Sitemaps Blog

  18. Google China Blog

  19. Google Japan Blog

  20. Google Korea Blog

  21. Google Italy Blog

  22. Google Mexico Blog

  23. Google AdSense Blog in German

Twenty-three official blogs and it's time for another one, what do you say Google—an official Google India blog considering it's popularity here. India searches for the keyword Google more than anywhere else in the world. View the 'Google' keyword trend.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Thought for Today


Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
~ Ray Bradbury


Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Economist on changes at Google


The Economist takes a, I would say pessimistic, look at Google's future and wonders why it isn't the same as the simple and popular search engine that it was earlier.

Is Google changing from simple and popular search engine with tremendous advertising reach to a complicated, controversial, and sometimes distracted 'Beta product' company? Read the article.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Google 'Celebrity Search' Trends


Which 'Celebs' the World is searching for, as it appears through the normalized search trends for 2006 on Google Trends.

Google Trends is an interesting medium and it may be used by International advertisers to decide on using a celebrity/personality as their brand ambassador in a particular part of the world.

Here's what the world is searching for in the spheres of movies, music, fashion, sports, and entertainment.

- Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Emiratis (UAE), Malaysians, Singaporeans, Iranians, and Moroccans are searching for Bollywood actresses Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza

- Greeks, Hungarians, Portuguese, Polish, Belgians, French, Turks, Swiss, and Spaniards are searching for Eva Mendes

- Norwegians, Canadians, Australians, Swedes, and Americans are searching for Jessica Alba

- Iranians, Greeks, Peruvians, Moroccans, Turks, Mexicans, Belgians, and Portuguese are searching for Jennifer Lopez

- Indians, Pakistanis, Emiratis (UAE), Iranians, Moroccans, Peruvians, Malaysians, Germans, Austrians, and Indonesians are searching for Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherjee

- Mexicans, Hungarians, Latin Americans, Australians, Malaysians, Canadians, and Kiwis are searching for Ashlee Simpson

- Filipinos, Latin Americans, Mexicans, Canadians, and the Turkish are searching for Britney Spears

- Americans, Canadians, Portuguese, Mexicans, Swedes, British, and the Finnish are searching for Jessica Simpson

- Pakistanis, Indians, Egyptians, Mexicans, Peruvians, Hungarians, Turks, Americans, French, and the Polish are searching for Salma Hayek

- Italians, Hungarians, Argentines, Mexicans, Danes, Chileans, Polish, and Portuguese are searching for Madonna

- Filipinos, Mexicans, Venezuelans, Canadians, Malaysians, and Norwegians are searching for Lindsay Lohan

- South Africans, Romanians, the Turkish, Indians, Portuguese, Canadians, Argentines, Swiss, and Mexicans are searching for Angelina Jolie

- Latin Americans, Indonesians, Indians, Mexicans, and Romanians are searching for Pamela Anderson

- Mexicans, Singaporeans, Americans, Canadians, Swiss, Australians, Spaniards, Indians, and Turks are searching for Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio
`
- Portuguese, Italians, Brazilians, Indians, Swedes, Turks, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Belgians are searching for Brazilian supermodel Ana Beatriz Barros

- Indians, Brazilians, the Turkish, Italians, Polish, Australians, and Spaniards are searching for Brazilian supermodel Isabeli Fontana

- Italians, Turks, Portuguese, Mexicans, Norwegians, Dutch, Swedes, Romanians, Americans, and Swiss are searching for Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima

- Slovenians and the British are searching for Neve Campbell

- Filipinos, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Indonesians, Australians, Thais, Canadians, and Spaniards are searching for Zhang Ziyi

- Italians, Mexicans, Latin Americans, Canadians, Spaniards, Australians, and the Kiwis are searching for Hilary Duff

- Greeks and Latin Americans are searching for Argentine actress Luisana Lopilato

- Pakistanis, Indians, Filipinos, Malaysians, and Indonesians are searching for Maria Sharapova

- Indians, Indonesians, Filipinos, the Turkish, Australians, Kiwis, Belgians, Dutch, Swiss, and the Finnish are searching for Anna Kournikova

- Brazilians, Portuguese, Spaniards, the Turkish, Mexicans, Americans, and Australians are searching for supermodel Gisele Bunchen

- Indians, Americans, Romanians, Spaniards, Canadians, Norwegians, Swedes, Swiss, Belgians, and Portuguese are searching for Julia Roberts

- Moroccans, Norwegians, Swedes, Italians, and Danes are searching for Karima Adebibe

- South Africans, Latin Americans, the Turkish, Mexicans, Australians, Austrians, Swiss, Norwegians, and Canadians are searching for Paris Hilton

- Indians, the Turkish, Italians, Belgians, Portuguese, Argentines, Swiss, Spaniards, Peruvians, and Romanians are searching for Sharon Stone

- Hungarians, Belgians, Norwegians, Americans, Spaniards, Austrians, Argentines, Swedes, Portuguese, and Mexicans are searching for Sandra Bullock

- Indonesians, Greeks, Croatians, Indians, Spaniards, Turkish, French, Czechs, Romanians, and Portuguese are searching for Monica Belluci

- Latin Americans, Mexicans, Norwegians, Swedes, Austrians, the French, and the Spaniards are searching for Carmen Electra

- Americans, Australians, Canadians, Danes, Indians, Dutch, Swedes, British, Swiss, and Belgians are searching for Denise Richards

- Greeks, Norwegians, and Swedes are searching for Maria Menounos

- Brazilians and Argentines are searching for Xuxa

- Australians, the British, Chileans, Irish, Belgians, Mexicans, Romanians, Hungarians, the Finnish, and the Turkish are searching for Kylie Minogue

- Filipinos, Latin Americans, Norwegians, Austrians, Belgians, Mexicans, the Danish, and Canadians are searching for Christina Aguilera

- Singaporeans, Danes, Norwegians, the British, the Irish, Czechs, Italians, Spaniards, Romanians, and Canadians are searching for Keeley Hazell

- Kiwis, Canadians, Filipinos, Americans, Australians, Belgians, Austrians, British, French, and Mexicans are searching for Katie Holmes

- Croatians, Hungarians, Filipinos, Malaysians, South Africans, Indians, Turkish, Belgians, Czeechs, and the Polish are searching for Josie Maran

- Indians, Turkish, Italians, Polish, Americans, French, Canadians, and Germans are searching for Argentine supermodel Yamila Diaz

- Latin Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, Polish, Canadians, Turkish, and Italians are searching for Carolina 'Pampita' Ardohain

- Spaniards, Indians, Mexicans, the French, Latin Americans, and Belgians are searching for Penelope Cruz

- Latin Americans, Mexicans, Moroccans, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Romanians are searching for Shakira

Find more global search trends with Google Trends.

Small world, isn't it?


A Thought Forever


There's a saying among prospectors, "Go out looking for one thing and that's all you'll ever find."

That is, always be passionate and inquisitive, open your mind.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Gmail Pictures—Coming Soon


Google adds a dash of colour to Gmail with pictures. Put a face to an email and turn a plain text drab inbox to a kaleidoscope of colours with an identity that is unique, personal, and customizable for each contact. Make your inbox colourful with Gmail Pictures coming soon on Gmail.

Talking of pictures, search for royalty-free and rights-managed pictures from PhotoLibrary.com.


Search Anecdote


An interesting read:

When Yahoo! almost bought—then didn't buy Google because they thought the founders were asking for a price that wasn't worth its value.


Friday Fun with Active Desktop


Take a break from work to have a massage.

1. Select the link given below.
http://yourname.ishavingamassage.com/

2. Enter your name in the 'yourname' of the URL.
For example: http://chirayu.ishavingamassage.com/

a. You may write the URL in the following format.
http://word1.word2.word3.word4.ishavingamassage.com/
Enter your favourite quote, something witty, philosophical, unique, special.
http://Change.is.Constant.ishavingamassage.com/
http://yourname.lastname.city.ishavingamassage.com/

3. You may set it as an Active Desktop that shows Web Content.

Show a special message as your Active Desktop Steps to set 'Your Name Massage' as an Active Desktop.
Keep a unique message as your active desktop when you're out to lunch at work.


1. Right click on the desktop
2. Select Properties menu item
3. Click the 'Web' tab in the Display Properties window
4. Check (tick mark) the 'Show Web Content on my Active Desktop' checkbox.
5. Click the 'New' button
6. Enter a url as http://yourname.ishavingamassage.com/ in the Location textbox.
For example: Enter http://vijay.ishavingamassage.com/ in the Location textbox.
7. Click OK
8. Click OK in the 'Add Item to Active Desktop' window
9. After the Synchronisation Complete message window closes; click the Apply and OK buttons in the Display Properties window.
10. Click the top of the framed web page on the desktop to view full screen or cover the desktop with the web page and icons.
11. Have Fun with a special message on your desktop

Some more fun:
- Web 2.0 Buzz Words Generator
Take a verb, mash it up with a superfluous adjective and end with a noun that completes the sweeping statement.
How about 'Syndicate invisible Web Atom feeds for folksonomies to drive business from the long tail' - that's a lengthy one :-)

- Generate your own flickr-type logo with the flickr logo generator.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Video of the Day


I am India showcases India's development as the fastest growing free market democracy and its journey as an emerging technology and manufacturing destination.


Compare search trends with Google Trends


What's bubbling at Google Labs?
Compare search trends with Google Trends. An example of comparing search trends - Bangalore, Hyderabad on Google Trends.

Update:
1. Google Coop - To check this feature.

2. Google Desktop 4 - New version with more gadgets for access to news, email, search, weather, video from the desktop search sidebar.

3. 'Google Notebook' to come soon. This would be quite handy. A scratchpad plus stick it notes kind of application available anytime while surfing the Web. Let's see what it is.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Google to expand its Local Search presence in China


Google partners with Chinese travel company CTrip.com to show hotel search results on its Chinese Local Search (Bendi Google) Web site.

Google China's local search, known as Bendi Google, would soon show maps and addresses of 3000 Chinese hotels that may be accessed through the Internet. This
information would come from Ctrip.com, China's biggest hotel booking agent with an estimated booking volume of 500K hotel rooms per month.

Read more on China View.

URLs:
- CTrip Travel in English - http://english.ctrip.com/
- Google Local China - http://bendi.google.com/

Trivia:
What does Bendi mean?
It means 'Local' in Chinese, hence the name Bendi Google for Google Local Search in China.


Image Editing: Photo to Pencil Sketch


Convert a photograph to a pencil sketch with Adobe Photoshop.

1. Open the photograph in Adobe Photoshop
Start -> Programs -> Adobe -> Adobe Photoshop
File -> Open

Note about the image: Aishwarya Rai plays a Roman warrior in her first Hollywood film—The Last Legion. Photo from Rediff.com.

Aishwarya Rai plays a Roman warrior in The Last Legion - Her first Hollywood film

2. Apply the High Pass Filter on the photograph with the radius between 1.5 to 2
pixels.

a. Filter -> Other -> High Pass with Radius set to 1.8 pixels.

High Pass Filter with radius 1.8 pixels

Image with High Pass Filter.

Aishwarya Rai Photoshopped - Filter - Other - Hig Pass

3. Duplicate the layer from Layer -> Duplicate Layer

4. Add a new layer from Layer -> New Layer

5. Set the blending mode of the new layer to Color Dodge

6. Merge the three layers from Image -> Apply Image

a. Choose Merged from the Layer dropdown box.

b. Select Overlay from the Blending dropdown box.

c. Enter Opacity as 100%

d. Click the OK button

Photoshopped Pencil Sketch of Aishwarya Rai. Doesn't she look beautiful in this too?

Pencil Sketch of Aishwarya Rai photoshopped with High Pass filter

7. Save the pencil sketch as a .jpeg file from File -> Save a Copy

a. From the Image Options window choose 10 for a high quality image (larger size)
or choose quality as 3 or 4 for a smaller file size.

Read Photoshop tutorials from Pixel2Life and BioRust.com.


A Thought for Today


In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them...
~ From Pablo Neruda's 'In My Sky At Twilight'


Sunday, May 07, 2006

BlogBurst


BlogBurst.comBlogBurst is a RSS-based syndication service that aims to give blogs more visibility, reach, and traffic by placing content from it with their network of publishers, who in turn get content that broadens their scope of coverage.

Bloggers benefit by getting more visitors through links from publishers' sites. Publishers benefit with content from various sources.

How does it work?

A. Your Blog -> B. BlogBurst Network -> C. Publishers

1. Register at BlogBurst (by invitation only)
2. Add your Blog
3. Get approval to join the BlogBurst network
4. Keep blogging as usual
5. Publisher picks up content from your blog
6. Shows content on their Web site
7. Hyperlinks get visitors to your site from the Publisher's site


Schedule of Football World Cup 2006 in Germany


Football World Cup 2006 - www.fifaworldcup.comThe football World Cup 2006 starts on the 9th of June at Munich in Germany with the hosts playing Costa Rica and the much awaited month long event culminates with the Finals at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on the 9th of July. Schedule of Football World Cup in Germany.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Domestic Airfare Searches Popular on Google India


The Indian Aviation industry has opened its wings to private players and a number of affordable low-cost airlines have started operations in India in the last year and a half. With increasing salaries and affordable airfares more people are taking to the skies. A 2nd A/c (II tier) train ticket comes at 30% less and a 3rd A/c (III tier) train ticket is about 50% less than an economy class ticket in a low-cost airline.

This interest in domestic airline travel shows on the Internet too with people searching for cheap, affordable, and discount deals on airfares of domestic flights. According to Google Zeitgeist, the search patterns and trends tracker feature of Google; Air Deccan, Indian Airlines, and Jet Airways were the fourth, fifth, and eighth most popular searches on Google India in March this year.

Here's a list of domestic airlines of India with links to search and book tickets online.

- Indian Airlines
- Air Deccan
- Jet Airways and Air Sahara
- Kingfisher Airlines
- Spice Jet
- Go Air
- Paramount Airways
- Compare airfares within India from Rediff FareSearch—the domestic airfares search engine


Google - New Features May Come Soon


Rumours of Google Health coming next week and Google Music in the near future.

Related Links:
- Yahoo! Health and Yahoo! Music
- AOL Health and AOL Music
- MSN Health and MSN Music
- Kosmix Health Search Engine


Friday, May 05, 2006

Microsoft adCenter - PPC Advertising Platform for MSN Search


Microsoft launches Microsoft adCenter, an online advertising platform for MSN search, to compete with Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing for a bigger share in the U.S. $5 billion search engine marketing and pay per click (PPC) Internet advertising industry.

Microsoft adCenter works only with IE 6 and above. It does not support Firefox browser.