Monday, November 30, 2009

What are the 200 variables in the Google Algorithm?

I chanced upon an interesting thread over at the Webmaster World forum. At the recent PubCon, Matt Cutts is supposed to have mentioned that there were over 200 variables in the Google Algorithm. This isn’t news actually. We know that are an embarrassing number of factors that determine the position a page on Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). However, this time there is a list - a partial one, but no doubt, an insightful one.

Free license of WinSysClean 2009

WinSysClean is a Windows System Cleaner that automatically optimizes your Windows System by optionally removing temporary/unused space wasting files, unused registry locations, invalid shortcut links, and many more. WinSysClean remove specific types of files that common disk utilities, uninstall, setup, defrag, scandisk, and other cleaner type programs will miss, at least according to the publishers.

ZoneAlarm 9.1 Free firewall for Windows 7 released

After staying in beta for last several months, ZoneAlarm, one of the most popular free firewall for Windows, quietly released the first stable version of the product to be used with Windows 7. In fact, the release was so quiet that the publishers have still not updated their download page. The download being offered at the time of this writing is still the earlier version 8 of the firewall.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

3x3Links – Speed dial type start page for browsers

I have been using Speed Dial from the very first time it was introduced in Opera 9. Anybody who uses Opera invariably uses Speed Dial. Firefox has a Speed Dial extension too. Then Chrome came up with a Speed Dial like start page, and overnight it became a hit. Undoubtedly, Speed Dial is one of the coolest addition for the modern browser.

Free license giveaway of Handy Backup Standard

Handy Backup Standard is an easy-to-use robust backup software that performs automated backup of your computer. It can backup your data to a variety of storage media including DVD, CD, local or external HDDs, network drives and remote FTP servers. A user-friendly wizard guides the user through a 7 step backup process through which even the most novice user can create or schedule backups, restore or synchronize their data.

Friday, November 27, 2009

5 short links for today #21

1. Maggwire: Read articles from over 600 popular magazines online. Plenty of big names like Fortune, PC World, Sports Illustrated, Time, People and so on. One small snag – you can’t read the whole issue, only selected articles.

2. 100+ free games from Microsoft: Small, casual games that can be played online for free. If you want to download, you have to pay. [via Shell Extension City]

gPDF – Open PDF links directly in Google Docs Viewer

Google Docs Viewer is an online tool that lets you open PDF files online without downloading it. With the gPDF browser plugin, viewing PDF files in Google Docs Viewer becomes easier. Upon installation gPDF rewrites all links to downloadable PDF files on a webpage to open automatically in Google Docs Viewer. This makes accessing PDF files on the web a lot faster, since you don’t have to wait for it to download first.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Free 1 year license of Advanced SystemCare PRO

Advanced SystemCare Pro is an automated, all-in-one PC security package with anti-spyware, privacy protection, performance tune-ups, and system cleaning capabilities. This powerful tool fixes stubborn errors, cleans out clutter, optimizes Internet and download speeds, ensures personal security, and maintains maximum computer performance automatically.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Easily remove background from photos with FotoMix

One of the tricks every new Photoshop user wants to try out is erase the background from an image and add another background in it’s place. Say you take a picture of yourself standing in your backyard and superimpose it on top of another picture, say the Pyramid of Giza, to make it look like you are vacationing in Egypt. Composite images are used often in magazine covers, posters, advertisements, movies etc. No wonder we have a childlike fascination for them.

miniMIZE turns minimized windows into desktop thumbnails

miniMIZE is a small application that catches windows that you minimize and puts a thumbnail of the application window on your desktop. miniMIZE has the ability to clear the taskbar of minimized windows and instead put floating thumbnails of minimized application on the desktop. miniMIZE comes handy if your taskbar gets congested.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to find the best time to watch meteor showers

meteor If Wikipedia is to be believed, millions of meteors hit the Earth's atmosphere every day. That’s impressive. However only a small percentage of these are visible because half of them happen during the day, and many are too small to be seen. The rest are obscured by air pollution and light pollution. Meteors are hard to catch because of the complete lack of predictably when the next one is going to strike and strike bright enough to be visible with the naked eye.

Growl for Windows – Another Growl application

Growl for Windows, as the name says, is a Mac styled Growl-like application for Windows, similar to Snarl which we mentioned in the past. Those who aren’t familiar, Growl is a notification system on Mac that lets users know when things happen like files finished downloading, friends came online, new email has arrived etc. Growl notifications are subtle and it stays out of your way most of the time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PosteRazor – Print posters using a desktop printer

A free, open source application called PosteRazor allows you to print large sized posters on a standard desktop printer. The software takes the image you want to turn into a poster and chops it down into precisely sized smaller pieces which can be printed on standard printer-sized papers. After printing out all the pages, they are then pasted together to create posters of any size you want.

Never miss movie stingers with “What's After The Credits?”

Do you walk out of a theatre as soon as the movie ends and the end credits starts rolling? Many people do that. After all, who wants to know who the makeup artist’s assistant was, or who was responsible for the lights? End credits are like the bibliography at the end of a book – you have to include it but nobody reads it. And they are always like 10 minutes long.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Vitamin D turns your webcam into a security system

A working home surveillance system with motion detection can be easily setup with a cheap webcam and free software such as UGOlog, which we wrote about a while ago. But the problem with such tools, as John Biggs from CrunchGear observed, is that it captures too many blank shots triggered by false alerts like moving leaves or a reflection. Vitamin D Video solves this problem.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lunascape now supports Firefox addons

Lunascape is the only browser that includes three major rendering engines namely - Firefox’s Gecko, Internet Explorer’s Trident and WebKit (Safari and Chrome), and allows the user to switch from one to the other on-the-fly. The first time we wrote about Lunascape was back in November 2008 when the product was in alpha stage. The latest beta release Lunascape 6 ORION has received a big overhaul.

New improved Google Movies

Today Google announced some major improvements to Google Movies. Never heard of Google Movies? No surprise. It’s one of those cool toys nobody knows about. Google Movies is a movie showtime search engine that displays movie timings from local theatres no matter where on Earth you are. Previously, Google Movies showed just movie timings. Starting today, it began showing more detailed movie information with ratings, genre filters and a new map view.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Firefox addon InvisibleHand beta invites

A while back we did a review of an interesting addon for Firefox called InvisibleHand - a tool that compares prices across dozens of different online retailers and displays the best offer available for the item you are currently looking.

A new beta version 1.8 is out and we have 200 invites to give away! To try the beta just go to this page and enter the invite code “invisibleInstant”.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PrintBrush – Portable printer that prints like magic

PrintBrush is by far the most amazing printer I have ever seen. It fits in your pocket and can print full sized A4 sheets at 600 dpi (black and white only). It uses Bluetooth and rechargeable batteries to print without any wires, although it does carry the optional USB and IRda interface. But PrintBrush’s awesomeness is in the way it prints. Watch the video below.

Monday, November 9, 2009

All Adobe product shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are always useful if you want to work fast. Instead of wasting time navigating menus and looking for items and buttons, hit a keyboard combination and you are done. If you are a designer, keyboard shortcuts are an absolute necessity. But memorizing shortcuts is not easy because every program has it’s own set of shortcuts and you probably use more than a couple of products for your work.

Landcraft - Cool online landscape generator

Graphics generators are a cool thing. They are useful, they are fun. A while back I wrote about a landscape generator called Terragen. Terragen was a realistic 3D landscape generator capable of creating stunning Earth terrain, vegetation and water bodies that is impossible to tell apart from real photographs. Terragen is often used in games and movies. It was a real thing.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

FamiliLink – Simplified email service for older people

Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that even tech people have trouble keeping up with the latest trend – multi touch screens, OLED displays, ever growing social networking tools and Google Wave. Imagine how a person born before the transistor was invented must feel in this digital age. For them technology is a huge impenetrable wall. It’s a shame because computers and the Internet is such a wonderful thing. FamiliLink helps bridge the huge communication gap that exist between the older generation and today's technology.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Map of threatened or arrested bloggers around the world

Threatened Voices is a new project by Global Voices (a community of bloggers), that maps instances where bloggers and online writers have been threatened, arrested, killed, or disappeared by authorities for speaking out online since 2000. The map is accompanied by an interactive timeline that help visualize the story of threats and arrests against bloggers worldwide. The site also has extensive information and stories about those whose right to free speech were suppressed.

Microsoft calls Zoho the “Fake Office”. Zoho responds with fakeoffice.org

One of the reason why Microsoft attracts so much bad press is their trash talk. If you follow Microsoft’s recent track record you will see a pattern. It begins with Steve Ballmer or any spokesperson from Microsoft making a disparaging comment about something, usually a competitor’s product. Later the product goes on to become a huge success and those blockheaded comments come around to kick Microsoft on their ass. More often than not, Microsoft ends up eating their own words.

ABBYY FineReader Online OCR

ABBYY FineReader, one of the most intelligent Optical Character Recognition software, is now available as an online service.

ABBYY FineReader Online which is still in beta, allows you to take advantage of ABBYY’s OCR technology to convert scanned copies of text, such as those from books or magazines, to editable documents. During the beta period the service will be available for free, although page recognition is limited to 10 pages per day for each registered user.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

TimeToGoAppi – Powerful task scheduler for Windows

TimeToGoAppi is a very advanced task scheduler application for Windows that goes beyond the capabilities of the default Windows task scheduler, which is actually rather poor. TimeToGoAppi allows you to automate a wide range of tasks on your computer including but not limited to shutdown/hibernate/restart, launching programs, terminating programs, connecting/disconnecting Internet etc.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Browse FTP sites in Windows 7 Explorer

Did you know you can browse files on an FTP server in Windows 7 Explorer just like you browse a local drive? I didn’t, until I discovered this trick on WindowsObserver.

In Windows 7 open up a Windows Explorer window and type in the address to the FTP server in the location bar. If the FTP server requires login, it will prompt you to enter the username and password. You can also select Anonymous Log in, if the server allows, and Save Password at the bottom of that dialog box.

Why it's a bad idea to send large files by email

attachement2 Email service providers continue to push the upper limits of allowed attachment size. Currently both Gmail and Yahoo supports attachments up to 25 MB in size, but people want more. Why do email service providers limit the attachment size when everything else such as bandwidth and disk space is virtually free? Because the mail protocol wasn’t created to handle file transmission. As a commenter on Google Operating System explains, sending large files through email is a very bad idea.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Simple English Wikipedia – concise and to-the-point

You know what happens when you write long winded articles in your blog or post a verbose comment in a forum? Someone will come in and say “tl;dr”. Well, some Wikipedia articles leave me with the same feeling. Wikipedia writers and editors are so thorough that they like to cram all the information that they can accumulate into the articles. Although that makes Wikipedia a great place for researching on a subject, it’s unsuitable when you need quick information – something which is short and easy to understand.

How to enable RAW image support in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Most digital cameras today support the RAW image format. Unfortunately, Windows doesn’t. RAW images cannot be viewed in Windows image viewer or Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Explorer doesn’t show thumbnails of RAW images. Thankfully, the Windows Imaging Component for Vista and 7 makes it possible for 3rd party tools to add support for RAW image formats to Windows, complete with thumbnails in Explorer.

Svchost viewer tells you what service each svchost.exe is running

What is Svchost?

Svchost is short for “Service Host”. Many components of the Windows operating system are implemented through what are called "services" - programs that run in the background that aren't necessarily associated with whomever is logged into the machine. A fair number of those services are implemented in DLLs rather than in stand-alone executables to ensure reusability. But a DLL is only a library of functions that can't be run on its own. It can only be called by executable programs. Svchost was created to fulfill this purpose.

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