Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Your own cool music station

The site did not try to sell you anything. It offered a nice way to choose your favorite band or song and create a radio station. They have technology that matches your choice to similar artists and songs and adds them to your station. Don't like the songs they have added you can right click and choose the options.

Pandora.com is a great site. Enjoy.

Monday, December 26, 2005

4 yr old who knows all the 50 states

Over the holidays my neice visiting me from Texas taught me a great lesson. Children learn geography in school and my niece is not evenin school. She knows all the 50 states and where they are physically located. Thanks in part to being the daughter of two software engineers and a nice site where any kid can play a easy to use and highly educational game Map fun and test

Needless to stay I passed after 3 tries.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Google AOL Deal

More companies are using blogs to spread the word or clarify issues. In this new Blog posting on Google's official blog.
Google explains what the recent investment in AOl means. I am happy they are goign to maintain the look and feel of the Google's search results.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Google into music

Google is getting into our lives more and more. I was trying to see how many people I knwo have heard of the group Boney M. When I googled them i was surprised to see a search result with a music icon next to it. Click the icon and it gives you all the tracks and also links to where you can get the tracks. pretty neat.

In case you have not heard of Boney M here is a link

Friday, December 02, 2005

Microsoft announces launch of Windows Live Local Next week

Erik Jorgensen, general manager for MSN search announced at the Kelsey GRoup Interactive Local media conference that they are launching Windows Live Local next week.WIndows live will have features that the users can interact with more.Example : show all the favorite restaurants in a town. From Erik's speech it looks like he already has his mother's arroval as a user. WIndows Live also can be integrated to the Messenger so two people talking on MSN's messenger platfrom can look at a map and talk about the locations and the services available in the location. See more at Greg Sterling of the Kelsey Group

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Finding a Deal

The quest for bargains can be quite addictive. I have a RSS feed to slickdeals.net which means that every time I open FireFox the deals are just a click away. The deals that I have got using this site are:

a) A free laptop bag from BestBuy.
b) USB cord for $.99 incl. shipping.
c) Countless coupons for 10% off.
d) LLBean backpack for $20

Buy be careful this can be extremely addictive.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Yahoo Site Explorer

Yahoo! introduced a new search tool that allows you to see all the pages of your site that are indexed by Yahoo! Another cool information that this report returns is the ability to see how many inbound links you have to a page.

Yahoo! Site Explorer is a cool tool for businesses to make sure all their pages are indexed. Check it out at http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/

Google Search Tips

I have prided myself as being a expert in searching Google. I am trying to impart my knowledge to my daughter but I am scared she will use these skills to complete her home work.

Some of my favorite exciting queries to google are:
"What is the population of West Virginia"
"1 million INR in USD"

It does look like I have a lot of time on my hands :) But Google is making it easier to search and I am going to use it to the fullest.

The article on Google Search here is a great resource to learn more http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2005-09-29-n85.html

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Digital Dentistry

Visits to the dentist usually conjure images of pain and suffering for me. I just returned from a visit to the dentist and the experience was amazing.

The office of Dr.Shobha Daney is almost paperless.The registration form was prefilled with all the details the assistant had got from me on the phone the previous day. I had to sign a electronic singature pad and complete the digital "paperwork". Dr. Daney has a practice in Rockville, MD. (Mddental.com)

I was a new patient so Dr.Daney had to X Ray the teeth. She explained that they use a technology called "Digital Radiography" that shows the doctor the X_Ray on a screen and she can see it immediately and is recorded digitally.The next part of the examination consisted of taking photographs using a "Intra Oral Camera". After taking several pictures she showed them to me on a LCD TV monitor placed in front of the Patient's chair and explained each tooth and its state to me.

In the teeth that have cavities she used a laser to judge how deep the cavities were. This helps her to judge the treatment. I was amazed at the gadgetry and was happy that I knew so much more about my own teeth. These gadgets also made the treatment interesting and less painful and I think I will be able to muster enough courage to revisit.

I left the dental office with my teeth cleaned and enough knowledge of how to take care of my teeth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Finding / Tracking a flight

I was expecting my in laws to visit me today. I decided to track their flight. The easiest way to do it was to enter the flight number into goggle. Check it out enter "LH 418" into the search bar and see the results.

Of course you could see the flight moving across the Atlantic if you decided to go to Flytecomm.com.


Flight view

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Ever Wondered what people are searching on Google

Google Zeitgeist

The Google Zeitgeist page is regularly updated to reflect tidbits of information related to the search behavior of Google users.

Check out which keywords are in and which are out.

Monday, August 01, 2005

7/29/05 Is it OK to run more than one antivirus utility? - Community Newsletter: Q&A - CNET Forums

If you are looking for some resources on Free anti-virus programs here is a great posting from CNET. Here is an extract from the posting

A software that will help you manage two antivirus softwares together is HandyBits VirusScan Integrator that is available as freeware from http://www.handybits.com/vsi.htm

I would also recommend AntiVir Personal Edition which again is free. You should find it at Free AntiVir . I've used this one twice too over the last 4 years and it worked great.

One of my favorites is AVG Anti-Virus by Grisoft. Their website is www.grisoft.com. As a noncommercial home user, you can download the free version which can be found in AVG Products>>AVG Free Edition. The following link should take you directly to the website of the free version: Free grisoft

A good way to test if an antivirus software is working is to do the Eicar Test. Go to http://www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm to learn more. Read the instructions before trying it.

Your homepage for domain name registration, web site design, web hosting, web site promotion and email services | Network Solutions

Do you like the color blue? Its my favorite color. I was thrilled to see the new Networksolutions website changed. Its a cool blue and its quite helpful for first time buyers. I may be very tech savvy but if I wanted my Mom to buy something I would send her to notoriously. She just has to use a couple of simple wizards and she gets what she wants.

I seem to think notoriously has changed. Their support is good and helpful. Quality for money.

Looking to host a website? Check out Network Solutions, a leading provider of internet services including:Web Hosting Packages, Web Design and Domain Registration.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites

Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites

Google takes you to the moon. You were'nt there when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon ( No connection to Lance) but you can see where he loanded on the moon.

Google gives you a mapo of the moon.

Google Maps

Google Maps

The Google Maps Engineer posted this on a Blog. A new way of at a map of your house or a photo of your house . Its pretty cool. Enter oyur address and you are there

Friday, July 15, 2005

Airport tip

TIP: Afraid of missing your flight due to delays in getting to the airport?
Have your driver drop you off (long-term parking is prohibited) at “Arrivals” instead of “Departures” to reach your terminal. You may have to take your luggage through the elevator, but it can save you lots of time because there’s usually much less traffic and commotion.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Fraud Alert - Learn How to do it

Fraud Alert - Learn How

I have a lot of praise for Bank One . I got a call today from a machine that asked me to identify a payment made in a discount store in Silver Spring. When I heard the amount value I knew I could not have bought $262 worth of goods. I rushed to my wallet and to my utter horror I found my card was missing. Meanwhile the machine had kindly transferred me to a human voice who said that they would cancel the card and issue me a replacement card. I was not to worry and they would remove the fraudulent transactions from my account.

I am normally a very careful guy. I did some thinking. The last time I remember I used the card was at the IKEA in College Park. The last thing I had used it for was to buy a coffee and a Cinnamon Bun with some candy. Thinking about it I do not remember getting the card back from the IKEA cafeteria. I remember putting the receipt into my wallet. I tried calling them but the wait was too long and when I did get through I got disconnected. I am planning to write to them.

I am not worried about the loss of the card but I am worried if there are people in IKEA who would not just shred the card or tear it up. I know I never lost it anywhere else because we went straight home and I spent the entire time assembling the sofa that I had bought.

Enough of my story. What do you do when your card is lost? First call the bank and make sure they cancel the card. Talk about the genuine transactions that they made.

Next place a fraud alert on your credit file. Credit Bureau info for placing a fraud alert I would call Equifax because they have a automated way for you to place a fraud alert and also relay the information to the other bureaus.

Once you place a fraud alert you wont get a credit card till someone calls you and verifies you have applied for credit.( I feel safe already !)

MSN Virtual Earth To Take On Google Earth

MSN Virtual Earth To Take On Google Earth

I think MSN seems more recent at least in the pictures that I looked at. It is worthing looking at and comparing both products before you decide which Free product you want to keep.


Google Earth - Explore the World from your desktop

Google Earth - Home
Install this software and you will be able to see the world as it looked in 2002. I think thats the year currently in the database. I am sure there are plans to update this.

I am waiting for the day i can see the pictures in realtime. I will be able to zoom in to Picadilly in London and see the activity or look for my wife's car when she says she is lost on the beltway.

I used Google earth to search for places around the world. I think if nothing else it increased my Geography IQ.

It does have cool added features - You can search for the nearest gas station or pizza place to a location.

It compares with MSN's Virtual Earth - see next post

Offering email services and personalized web based email accounts | Network Solutions

Offering email services and personalized web based email accounts | Network Solutions

Google Launches Tool Bar for Firefox

Why do people use toolbars ? For me the biggest convenience is that I can search in the browser window using Google. I like the fact that the browser stops pop ups.

Sometimes I use the Page Rank to see if any of my sites have bettered their positions.

Google is an example of " Invent something and they will come " philosophy. The tool bar has new additions like word translations - I dont need that yet so I wont be using that feature anytime soon. In themeantime if the Google genie asked me what I wanted in a tool bar here's my wish list.

a) A spyware scanner button
b) A virus scanner button
c) FTP application launched from my tool bar.

Maybe its just me

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Netscape browser review

I have not downloaded this browser so I will link you to the Washington Post article

I use 3 browsers already - Opera , Firefox and IE so I hardly need another one unless it prints money. Giving you the above link brings me to another topic "permalink".

A permalink is a link that you can use to directly link to the document in the website's database. This is specially useful when you want to save a bulletin board posting or a news site article . As time passes web managers move content around redesign sites and move pages. If you link to the page the chances are that if you go back to the link after a few months you will get a apology that the page doesn't exist. A permalink solves this problem. You can use the "permalink" to be sure that the page is accessible as long as the website database is alive.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The new Google Web Accelerator

Google says the accelerator:

• Designed for Broadband – Web pages load even more quickly on DSL and cable connections
• Easy to use – Simply install and enjoy faster web browsing in seconds

I tried it and according to the meter I am saving at least 10 minutes from a few hours of browsing.

At present Google has stopped more downloads till they get some kinks out of the way. This is expected for any new software/ program.

I would highly recommend visitingGoogle Labs periodically to see what they are up to and participate in the most internet friendly company Google.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

PDAs PPCs And more

I recently got a new toy. A Dell Axim 650v. I have spent the last few days figuring it out and my wife has already started saying my Axim is my new girlfriend.

The Dell Axim is a Pocket PC. For the uninitiated there are two kinds of handheld device. Devices that use the Palm operating system and others that use the Windows Mobile operating system.

I chose the Dell Axim because for the power it packed at a bargain price. I was glad the device had bluetooth . What would I do with the bluetooth when I didnt have any other device I could connect to with the Bluetooth? It also had a infrared port which was great becaause my laptop has a IR ( infra-red port) too so these devices can talk to each other. The icing was that the AXIM came with Wifi connectivity. That thrilled me because I had a wireless network at home and I could probably us the dell to connect to the internet anywhere at home.

The AXIm connects to my Outlook at work and synchronizes my calendar. I use it a great deal to navigate my way through meetings and check the room numbers. The email option lets me pull up my inbox if I needed to.

So far I have used it to get weather at Potomac when ever I connect to the internet it updates automatically. I can compare the weather in Potomac to London, Stockholm, Kiev and Warangal.

I have two games that came with my Axim. I have two songs downloaded on the AXIM. I want to try watching a movie on the AXIM so I ordered a 256 MB Flashcard at Buy.com for a amazing price of $12.99. I plan to burn a movie and watch it. I will let ylou know how it went in a few days.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

My experiment with VOIP phones

I used to have a monthly phone bill of about $30 with just a landline. Now I have two phones and I pay about the same.

How did I do this ? The magic of VOIP. I choose Vonage .I have the $14.99 plan that gives me 500 minutes of talk time within the US and Canada and then 3 cents a minute after that. Its a great deal. I never use more than 500 minutes and if I do its only 3 cents. If there is a voicemail left on my phone I get it forwarded to me via email. ( very cool! ). I get all the bells and whistles for free - forwarding , Caller-id, voice mail etc. Since this service is based on your having already a broadband internet connection there are some drawbacks.

a) Calling 911 - To get around this you can register your address to your number and its easy.

b) Internet outages - You can specify a number that all calls can be forwarded to in case of an outage so you dont miss any calls.

I would strongly give VOIP a try. Quality may be about 96% to 95 % of regular land lines but in my case it is not a big deal.

Sign up for Vonage here .

Find out what version of Windows XP you have ?

If you want to know if your Computer has Windows XP Service Pack2 you can do this by following the steps below:

1. First, click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen. Then select Run from the menu. You should then see a screen similar to the one below.

2. Type the word winver (short for Windows Version) in the text box. You should then see a screen similar to the one below.

Not seeing some web pages

Today I was not able to reach some webpages. I have a DLINK wifi network at home. I searched the forums on DSLReports.com . There was a mention of issues with Comcast so I followed the suggestion of changing my nameservers for my computer and was amazed at the success.

The instructions are here.

To change DNS servers:

Right click on the My Network Places icon on the desktop and select Properties. (If the icon is not available, go to Start menu | My Computer | My Network Places | View Network Connections.)

Locate the network connection that is associated with your Internet connection. This may be labeled something like "Local Area Connection." If you have more than one connection to choose from, be sure you determine the right one before proceeding.

Right click on the appropriate connection and select Properties.

In the list that appears under the General tab, double click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

In the window that appears, you want to select the option to Use the following DNS server addresses...

At this point you will want to enter at least one of your personal preferred DNS servers. There are a number of public servers suggested by members of the Comcast forum; simply do a search for 'DNS' and you should get adequate results. Some more DNS servers are available at the ORSC website.

Press Ok out of all windows until you are back to the Network Connections window. You can now open your web browser and browse to a website to see if it connects faster.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Microsoft provides free Anti-Spyware tool

Here is a link to Microsoft's Beta version of spyware. I have used it and I think its a good piece of software from a user perspective. Its free and easy to install. It has worked fine so far and I am happy. I must mention that when you install this version it asks your permission to check the authenticity of the Windows software installed on your computer.
Instant Messenger

Just like e-mail I am sure everyone has multiple IM accounts. I have a few accounts on AOL, MSN, Yahoo . It was always a headache to open all the IM windows individually.

I use GAIM a open source IM client consolidator from http://gaim.sourceforge.net.

I know people use other software like Trillian , but I am happy with GAIM.
Firefox browser

Last December Microsoft's Internet Explorer usage reduced to less that 90%. One of the reasons is the popularity of the Forefox a free browser available here.

Firefox has the advantage of being able to do tabbed browsing. It is more secure. I have never had my Firefox browser hijacked or had any annoying popups. I would advice you to download it and start using it today.
The New Opera 8.0 Browser

I have been a fan of the Opera browser since 2003. I almost use it for any non corporate site browsing. It was the first browser that gave you a pop up blocker. Its very fast . I love the fact that now the browser uses voice commands to read and navigate websites.

To buy the Opera browser click here . They have a free version with ads. that can be downloaded by cliking on the download tab on the opera page. Opera is now available as a browser for many mobile phones. It almost has a version for every operating system. Linux , Mac, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, QNX.
Firewall for your computer:
Get ZoneAlarm for your computer and prevent hackers and intruders. This is specially needed if you have a broadband connection.

Prevent Pop-ups and Spyware

Take these steps to prevent your computer from being taken over by annoying pop-ups and dangerous viruses.

Remove the annoying popups:
Adware SE :http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
This is free for use for home. You can setup a scheduler on your computer to make this run everyday at a given time.

Search your Computer for spyware:
Spybot-S&D Search & Destroy scrapes bothersome software from your PC as you would barnacles from the underside of a boat. " - PC Magazine

Free Anti-virus and e-mail virus scanner
GriSoft's AVG anti-virus software excellent alternatives if you are looking for basic protection from e-mail viruses and worms

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