Blogs Blocked!

This is terrible. Very terrible. Our government has made a blanket ban on popular blogger site, including this, in the wake of terrorist attack in Mumbai. This means I or any fellow Indians cannot view this site (actually this can be accessed by hundreds of trick methods). This has been done due to intelligence report that terrorists are using blogs for coordinating attacks. If banning innocent blogs did help in curbing terrorists acts then I would had been with the Government, but, unfortunately this is not the case; bans can be by-passed. Furthermore, there are hundreds of other ways, other than the blogs. This looks like a desperate attempt by the Government. I only hope that they don’t ban the internet altogether.

This is not a good news India.

For news reports on Blog banning goto:-
1) ndtv
2) infoworld.nl
3) www.theinquirer.net

Goto http://www.withinandwithout.com/?p=854 for record of gradual unfolding of this ban drama.

A new forum has been created to protest the banning of innocent blogs by the Indian Government at censorship.wikia.com. (Register your protest here)

Update: If you are accessing this from India using the www.pkblogs.com then you may have problem seeing the pictures. At least I am having problems. Sometimes they show-up sometimes only a blank bar instead of the picture is visible.

Google Services Unearthed. (Updated 6 Oct 06)

I had kept it on hold for a long time. While browsing through internet or in magazines I stumbled upon some of these nice services of Google. Many of them have been unearthed by me using a simple trick of mine. 😉


This is a comprehensive list of them. Well without any delay browse through all of them.

Key:-
(beta) -> Product still in developmental state, but is usable. Take GMail for example.
(labs)
-> Product in very early stage of development. The ones I have listed, I found them usable.
(?) -> I am not sure of its usability state.

Google Search Services

Google Trends (beta): Search how popular is a keyword. This gives a year-wise, country and region-wise break-up, of how many times a particular keyword is used for searching. Type in there “Britney Spears”, look at the graph; has her popularity has risen or plumed. A great tool for ego searching. (Look at “AppleGrew Apple Grew” for more.)

Google Voice Search Demo (beta): This is one nice thing. You can search by calling Google from your phone! This service is now available at (650) 623-6706.

Google Search: Custom : I don’t know what its use is. It looks like a minimalist Google Search site, but already there such a site which loads very fast too. Read just below.

Google Search: ie : For Irish people, this is not Ireland’s Google Search I am talking about. It is a minimalist Google Search which loads very fast. Try it. If you are a dial-up user then you must give it a try.

Google Blog Search (beta): As the name suggests. It is for searching blogs.

Google Book Search (beta): Search from within books in Google’s archive. Google has started the project to make a cache of books by scanning them from different libraries around the world and by partnering with book marketing agencies.

Google Scholar (beta): Quoting Google – “Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.”

Google Suggest (labs): This is actually Google Search but it searches and shows the results as you search in a drop-down menu. Well you already have this feature in Google toolbar for Firefox.

Google Music Search : The name says it all. Search Music.

Google Video (beta):Search video. Now Google has started providing videos for free which are available else where for a fee; everyday. Great. Now you can post the videos from there on your Blogger.com, My Space, etc. blogs. Check this blog post for example. After you read that read this for a helpful tip on Google Video.

Google U.S. Government Search : Pretty self-explanatory. Quoting Google – “Google U.S. Government Search offers a single location for searching across U.S. government information, and for keeping up to date on government news.”

Google Maps : You heard of Google Earth? Yes it is actually that but without the fancy interface and it even shows maps (it also shows satellite image like Google Earth) which is not in Google Earth. What’s more, you can integrate this feature in your site for FREE! Have look here.

Google Ride Finder (labs): Quoting Google – “Find a taxi, limousine or shuttle using real time position of vehicles.”

Google Transit (labs): Plan trips using public transportation (currently in Portland only).

Google Co-op (beta): Google Co-op is a platform which enables you to use your expertise to help other users find information. This is a work in progress. You can expect to see evolution in both the Co-op’s structure and the platform’s features.

Google Search Sponsored Links : Search within the ads provided by Google.

Inactive Cobranded Google Search (?): This one mysterious service I don’t know about. It is currently in-active.

Google Services for All

orkut (beta): Create network of friend. Very good. I am a member of it. 🙂 You can join only by invitation. Don’t ask me for invitation. I will invite you only if I know you.

Blogger: Create your Blog Now — FREE (beta): Need I say more. This post you are raeding on is on Blogger.com itself. What’s more you can earn also. All the ads that you see around are for earning revenue to me, not to Blogger.com (directly). Why don’t you click on them and try it. 😉

Google Spreadsheets (labs): You loath MS Excel or you are on the move and have weak PDA or smart phone which can’t take the burden of today’s MS Excel? Well, Google is your saviour again! Try this new spreadsheet service from Google.

Google Reader (labs): Maintain online records of subscribed RSS and Atom feeds. BTW, did you notice the Atom feed on this page? If not then subscribe it. If you are a user of ancient Internet Explorer 6 then you may not know what I am talking of. Do yourself a favour and download Firefox. Did you see the download icon at the side?

Google Checkout : No need to repeatedly follow the same lengthy steps to buy online. Use Google Checkout. See http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/06/find-it-with-google-buy-it-with-google.html for more info on it.

Language Tools : Found some interesting site but could read it because it is in a language you don’t know? Let Google translate that for you.

Google Groups (beta): Like Yahoo Groups this is Google Groups; where you can make and participate in on-line communities. Take my word; avoid Google Groups if you can. Yahoo Groups is much better. Yahoo lets you upload files in communities, but Google doesn’t and the design of Google Groups is terribly confusing.

Google Alerts (beta): Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Google Sets : This is one crazy thing I encountered. Enter a few words in its boxes and then click on create sets then from its database it will list more words which matches the most to the class your original words belong to. Scratching your head? Take this example. You enter Limousine, BMW, Ferrari and you get Ford, Jaguar, Honda, Chevrolet, etc. You are still scratching your head?! All these are names of cars. Now you got it?

Google News : What? It gives you the news definitely.

Google Downloads

Google Browser Sync (labs): Google Browser Sync for Firefox is an extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings – including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords – across your computers. It also allows you to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions. This means you need Firefox to use it. Come on download it from the right. 🙂

Google Firefox Extensions : From here you can download 3 more plugins for Firefox.

Google Macintosh Dashboard Widgets (labs): Here you will find some widgets (small programs) for Apple Mac users (only).

SketchUp – Home : This is one good software for architects. You can build here buildings really fast. Very easy to use and intuitive. As usual, you get almost all the cool features at no cost.

Google Software Downloads : Still not satisfied by downloading all of them? Well, feast of these. Enjoy!

Google Notebook (labs): Here you will be asked to download a plugin for Firefox using which you can keep notes on your browser and these notes will be automatically synced with your online Google account.

Google Services for Site Owners

Add your URL to Google : Made a new site? Don’t wait for Googlebot to find its way to your site, rather tell it that you are on internet now.

Customizable Google Free Search Services : Add Google Search to your site.

Google Sitemaps – Have a conversation with Google about your site : When you make a new site do register here. Here it will tell you whether you are in Google’s index or not, if yes then when Googlebot last crawled your site, and did it encounter any error while crawling your site. Very good and it is free.

Google AdSense : Earn money fellows. Signup here and rake in the mullah. Well, it may take time to pay really good depending on your site’s content. Fellow blogger of Blogger.com, you too can earn from this. All the ads around earn money for me, me, me…:). Even the Google Search at the side earns money for me when Google earns from the ads shown along the search there. You won’t earn when you use the slightly above mentioned way of adding Google Search to your site.

Welcome to AdWords : Sponsor Google and show your ads in Google.

Hello : Welcome : This an online service where you can upload your pictures and share them or keep the private. Much like Flickr.

Google Development

Google Project Hosting (added on 6-Oct-06) : Google has now added a facility to let you upload and host your projects on Google, but the projects must be opensource. Also you need to have a GMail account to be able to use this. Read more on this here.

Google Code – Google’s Developer Network : Go here for many freely available SDKs from Google. Google Map API too is here which I mentioned above.

Google Labs : This is one place where new projects sprout out. When they are well received by the mass then they graduate.

Google Web Toolkit (beta): This is a very nice tool. You can program in Java and can convert that into Javascript! A boon for Java developers who are not well acquainted with web development. BTW in spite of the similar name Java and Javascript are neither similar nor it is from SUN Microsystem; it is from Netscape Communications.

Google Maps API (beta): I have mentioned it above, but I should do that again. Quoting Google – “The Google Maps API lets you embed Google Maps in your own web pages with JavaScript.”

Google Maps API Official Blog :The official Google Maps API blog .

Google SOAP Search API – Home (beta): With the Google SOAP Search API service, software developers can query billions of web pages directly from their own computer programs. Google uses the SOAP and WSDL standards so a developer can program in his or her favourite environment – such as Java, Perl, or Visual Studio .NET.

Google Competition

Google Code – Google Summer of Code – Google Summer of Code : Every year Google gives scholarships of $2500 (US) to many students. All you have to do is present a project to one of the many companies there and when selected you will have to finish that project satisfactorily in 2 months. You earn $500 as soon as your proposal is selected. Go there to get a picture of it.

Google Code Jam : Google’s coding competition. 1st prize $10,000! Keep an eye on it.

Blender 2.42 released.


For a list of all the great features in this new version click on the title of this post. To download blender goto blender3d.org.

If you don’t know what is blender then read this.

Update: I should have included these links also for the lazy bones like me. Here are the direct links to all the new features’ list of Blender 2.42 at http://www.blender.org/cms/Changes_since_last_ver.727.0.html and to download go directly to http://www.blender.org/cms/Blender.31.0.html. Non-conventional OS users rejoice, Blender is available for Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris and FreeBSD too. And yes don’t forget to click on the headings of each features in the feature list for very descriptive explanations. Blender was always notorious for dearth of proper documentations, but all this has changed this year.

‘Euro English’ is coming…

Today I received a letter from my friend. Read it below.


The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English
will be the official language of the European Union rather than German,
which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that
English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year
phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will
make the sivil servants jump with joy.
The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up
konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the
troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like
fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted
to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.
Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben
a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag
is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th”
with “z” and “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining
“ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu
understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in
ze forst plas.

I juess I will have to start learning German to get a hang of this ‘English’.

‘Euro English’ is coming…

Today I received a letter from my friend. Read it below.


The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English
will be the official language of the European Union rather than German,
which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that
English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year
phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will
make the sivil servants jump with joy.
The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up
konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the
troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like
fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted
to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.
Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben
a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag
is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th”
with “z” and “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining
“ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu
understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in
ze forst plas.

I juess I will have to start learning German to get a hang of this ‘English’.