Category Archives: Technology

Fun & Instructive Online Videos

Here are few titles I’ve watched and enjoyed recently. I’d say their instructional value is immense. Most of them are from Google TechTalks.

Guy Kawasaki: The Art Of The Start

Great info, great presentation. I found ex-Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki quite funny, too. I recommend you to watch most of the videos below in your spare time but for this one, The Art Of The Start, you’d better spare some time.

Human Computation

I found this one instructive. Many good points on how human brain works and how computers cannot match (at least, not yet) with human brain.

All Marketers Are Liars

The title pretty says it all. The presenter Seth Godin makes some fine points on marketing and why Google’s way of things has been so successful up to now and what challanges they may face.

The Elegant Universe
These 3 are about quantum physics. I don’t how they come to google video since they’re commercial documentaries. Anyhow, if you like science, if quantum physics is of your interest (even the tiniest bit) or if you just want to see something awesome then just check them out. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Part 1: Einstein’s Dream

Part 2: String’s The Thing

Part 3: Welcome To The Eleventh Dimension

How To Save Google Videos

Do you know how to save those low quality google videos as avi files to your hard drives? Here’s how you do it:

For this example I’ll be doing Elegant Universe: Part 3 – Welcome To The eleventh Dimension. First go to the video page. When the page loads find the button which says “Download” as shown below:

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Click that button, some options will appear and at the same time a download confirmation will come, hit cancel and click “Manually download the video”.

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Now, save the file which should have a .gvp extension. Open it with Notepad. You will see something like this:

# download the free Google Video Player from http://video.google.com/
gvp_version:1.1
url:http://vp.video.google.com/videodownload?version=0&secureurl=wAA
AAPs1E9GWqoTq6vJKMJePOvDnCbjb9pVNoCd8WRX02GGP_6mbIKck
b__XZFrUrgqtIEPcwAbrVzD5vwXwjBC3neQTgwknXsLtgxfPcn-rjJv4GM
GveyprmYoNHNWdZWJgqgK-bjAL6gZm6DofmDo9Gj3WZvTidP4agGAyGL
s-Tp5oEKK_qVCW0y74OB82uN29MovzJJ_J_dfZlL22jEdc9g5Tc4kQekOsZL
PTe_Z21utNDAfE_rzEDodc7PPPcgFBiWuPT_GyS-X0x52cekcLwQY&sigh=Py
QV2SWHbOFxM3m-wreosQjqyvE&begin=0&len=3276506&docid=525337147
5737693133
docid:5253371475737693133duration:3276506
title:The Elegant Universe Part 3 – Welcome to the 11th Dimension
description:Welcome to the 11th Dimension,” shows how in 1995 Edward Witten of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, aided by others, revolutionized string theory by successfully uniting the five different versions into a single theory that is cryptically named “M-theory,” a development which required a total of eleven dimensions.
description:
description:Ten…eleven…who’s counting? But the new eleventh dimension is different from all the others, since it implies that strings can come in higher dimensional shapes called membranes, or “branes” for short. These have truly science-fiction-like qualities, since in principle they can be as large as the universe. A brane can even be a universe—a parallel universe—and we may be living on one right now

Now, the bit you need is the one in blue color (which holds true for all; start from “http” part till end of first “docid”). Select that bit and paste it into your browser or, preferably, download manager. These links do not support resume so beware.

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Filed under Check it out, Presentation, Technology, Video

Great Information Manager: Surfulater

If you regularly spend some proportion of your daily life surfing the web then you face this problem almost everyday: You come across some pages, sites that in some way is of your interest, sites that you need to keep track of or just that you think you may need it in the future. Often, you will not be interested in the whole web site but rather just a single page or a section of a single page. At this stage you have two options.First option is to bookmark the page, which results in a huge bookmark junk pretty quickly. And even if you try to organize your bookmarks from time to time it’s just no help. Think of me with hundreds of bookmarks (No kidding! Actually I’m scared to spell the word “thousand”). I’ve recently read that people actually revisit 2% of their bookmarks. Usually, you won’t even remember why you bookmarked that page in the first place. Furthermore, it’s not carved in stone that your carefully bookmarked page will be there when you visit next time (the standard life span of an ordinary web page is less than you’d think of). Last but certainly not least, you cannot really search your bookmarks except by their title which may not be good enough.

A second option is saving the complete web page or select some portion of the page and save it to a text file. Option two was my choice for many years and I was unhappy to say the least. I’ve saved web files, text files everywhere. I organize them once a month but to no avail. Images do not get along with text files, the formatting is gone. Did I hear Microsoft Word? It’s just not for this type of thing. Forget it.

So I googled once again. My keywords were “best”, “PIM”. In case you don’t know, PIM is the acronym for Personal Information Manager. I’ve already tried many of those but it took me 5-10 minutes to uninstall all of them. Downloaded 5 or so programs that I’ve never tried before and there it was. The software I was looking for: Surfulater.

It’s possible to categorize Surfulater as a PIM but the main feature and strength of this awesome program is managing those web sites that I was talking about at the beginning. It’s so easy to capture those pages or clippings. Basically, you select the portion of the web page that you’d like to keep, right click, choose one of Surfulater’s saving options, which are built into the context menu once you install the program, and there you go (of course, you’re not limited to just those selections).

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Those options include: Add new article, Add article plus page, Attach page to article, Bookmark this page, which are self explanatory and covers all bases. A good news for Firefox users is that with Surfulater you’re not limited with IE (Internet Explorer). Once you capture, the title and the link of the page is automatically inserted. A fantastic feature of Surfulater is that you can actually edit the pages you’ve saved. You can even annotate or cross-reference them. Needless to say, now you can search whatever you want in any way you want (an even more advanced search option will probably be included in future versions).

Surfulater is not just saving those clippings or pages. You may as well use it as personal notebook like Microsoft OneNote. You can import your bookmarks from IE or Firefox and organize them.

The main reason why I liked this program is that it’s so easy to get organized. It’s evident that the software has come a long way and evolved into something this good.

I’ve been using Surfulater for some 15 days and I’ve contacted them a few times for assistance and always had prompt replies. You will rarely need to contact them tough as the software comes with an extensive help file. The help file even includes what you can actually expect to come in future versions. One feature that I’ll be looking for is  synchronization across PC’s.

With a price tag of $35, I don’t think that Surfulater is too expensive and I do think that it will worth every penny and then some more. Check out the difference with other similar products (like MyBase) and my general points will even be clearer.

In this age we live in, tremendous amount of information is pouring over us. On the other hand the only thing we cannot reverse, stop or buy is time. Surfulater will save you lots and lots of time. Catch my point?

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Filed under Check it out, Software Review, Technology

Have I Found What I’m Looking For?

I’ve been toying around with idea of buying a projector and a reasonable surround sound system. I’ve a big problem however; there are just too many options. Add budget issue and there I go.

I’ve just come across these two options which seem quite reasonable all around.

InFocus IN72

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Sharp’s SD-SP10

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The Infocus IN72 DLP has many attractive features. According to specifications, it uses a Texas Instruments .55 480p enhanced definition DLP chip and Pixelworks DNX PW190 video processing technology that provides for advanced motion adaptive deinterlacing for standard and high definition sources. Outputs an 854 x 480 image via its fully recessed 12 element all glass zoom lens. 900 max ANSI lumens and a nice 2000:1 contrast ratio.

Of course, the real point is that it’s quite affordable. I could locate many $750.00 at Froogle.

And for my sound system Sharp SD-SP10 has many things going for it: Instead of those 5+1, 7+1 and (God forbid) 9+1 systems, you only have two pieces (1+1). But, supposedly, you still get excellent audio performance via Virtual Surround. With an official price tag of $299.00 it’s not expensive at all.

Now, all that remains is that locating these pieces live and see whether they deliver what they promise.

If you have something better in mind just leave a comment.

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64GB Flash-drive !

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I didn’t expect to see this much capacity so soon but they did it. Buslink USB 2.0 Flash Drive is sold at CDW. However, with a price tag of $5,469.99 it can wait a little more.

Poll question: How long will it take before we see these sweeties under $100?

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Filed under News, Technology

The Ultimate Keyboard

Russian based company Art. Lebedev Studio has come up with what you’d call the ultimate keyboard.

This revolutionary new project seems set to re-define the word “keyboard” from every aspect. Despite it still being a prototype not yet in production, is has managed to send shockwaves all over the computer world – and rightly so!

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Obviously the question is “How much will this chick cost?”. Well, the company says it will be cheaper than a good mobile phone, of which i don’t find too comforting. The rumors are that it will be over $1000.

I don’t think that it will be that expensive but who knows.

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Filed under Amazing, Check it out, Technology

On Maximum Security

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Absent of proper protection lurking in the digital world is insecure to say the least. If you were to surf the internet without any anti-virus protection, firewall protection or without updated windows it would probably take five to ten minutes to get infected in some way.

All is not lost. With a bit of effort you can be protected. Below I’ll outline my way of protection. The procedures involve partitioning and formatting your hard-drive (HDD) and taking an image of it. If you’ve never been involved in such things and scared to death to try, well, be afraid not. Let’s get started.

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Filed under Technology, Tips & Tricks

Don’t Fall For Megapixels

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Technology writer and former editor of Windows Magazine Mike Elgan argues that in todays world of digital cameras the megapixel count should be the last parameter you take into account. I agree with him that for non-professional photographers the megapixel amount has reached the necessary level.

However, marketing sharks constantly bombarding the naive souls into making them believe that megapixel count is the top most important factor and that if you buy a new camera with a higher megapixel label your photos will look better no matter what.

He says that timing, quality of optic lenses, good use of lighting, optic zoom factor (instead of the totally meaningless digital zoom) is much more important for good quality photos. For instance, a camera with 3 megapixels and good optic lenses would produce better results than a camera with, say, 12 megapixels and less than good optic lenses.

At the end he adds some useful links to learn more about all these issues. Complete story here.

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Filed under Technology, Tips & Tricks