Friday, October 19, 2007


For those who came in late (or were just living under a rock for a while):

FOSS.IN in India's largest and probably best known Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) conferences, and is now spoken about as one of the the four primary, grassroot-level FOSS conferences in the world, the other three being being, OLS and

The conference sees thousands of participants coming together from across India and from many parts of the world, to listen to talks on cutting edge FOSS technologies, given by leading FOSS developers and contributors from across the world. They also participate in discussions, BoFs, workshops and just a lot of honest-to-goodness fun, meeting people, exchanging ideas, hatching plans for world domination.

FOSS.IN differs from other conferences by being completely developer and contributor focused. There are no "preaching to the choir" evangelism talks, no bandwidth-robbing introductory talks, no boring "I could have read this on the web" talks - this conference is hard-core developer/contributor oriented.

FOSS.IN will help professional and student developers, who have development experience but no prior FOSS experience, to become successful FOSS contributors, by exposing them to the minds of some of the most brilliant developers in the world. They will learn about cutting edge technologies that come out of the FOSS community to literally change the world, and they will learn what it is like to work in a team of geographically dispersed people.

And existing FOSS developers and contributors will get together and fine-tune ideas and projects, learn new and interesting ways to change the world they live in, and help new developers to come up to speed.

The newly introduced Project Days give you a chance to get involved with eight of the most talked about FOSS projects on the planet, and will learn to contribute to them.

But most of all, participants at FOSS.IN have an unbelievable amount of fun.

At FOSS.IN, you are not artificially kept at the fringe by unreal, self-serving commercial interests - you are mainstream. This is one of the most anticipated technical events every year, and there is a good reason for this.

So how do you participate?


If you are a FOSS developer/contributor, you should submit proposals for sessions for the Project Days and/or the Main conference. But you better hurry up - the last date for submission is October 8th, 2007.

If you are not (yet) a FOSS developer/contributor and want to learn how to be one, you attend the event as a delegate - i.e. part of of the audience of thousands of people who are there to learn, interact and have fun.

If you are an organization that would like to see India producing more and more FOSS contributors, whose razor sharp skills will also show up in their work in your organization, then you should consider sponsoring the event. While many of the sponsor slots are already filled, there is room for a few more.

And finally, if you are a member of the FOSS community, and want to be at one of the most happening (technically and socially) FOSS events in the world, then make sure you have your calendar marked for December 4th through 8th, 2007.

We guarantee that you will have the time of your life.

You can find lots of information about the event on the FOSS.IN website.

See you at FOSS.IN/2007!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tutorial: Install Ubuntu Studio Theme

The Ubuntu Studio theme is a cool and amazing theme for your Ubuntu!

Recently, I described how to get your Ubunto to clone the Vista glass effect and other effects introduced by M$. However After an experience of beryl and Ubuntu Studio, I was convinced this is more stylish!

Ubuntu studio is generally targeted at users who need to be creative and productive. And its got the added style factor to it too. (Although many are content with standard beryl effects, which outperform vista's aero any day :)).
Here is a better description:

Ubuntu Studio is a variant of Ubuntu that concentrates on three creative tasks: video editing, audio recording and graphics.

Ubuntu Studio is based on the Feisty Fawn release of Ubuntu but does away with Ubuntu's default orange/brown theme in favour of a sexy charcoal gradient affair with highlights of a nice neon blue.

Certainly for audio recording, people should pay Ubuntu Studio a look-in. There is a large array of tools preconfigured on a low-latency kernel making real-time recording and processing manageable.

Well that was about Ubuntu Studio itself(Read more abt it here); this tutorial will tell you how to install the "theme" on Ubuntu 7.04.

Get to the good old terminal and follow these steps:

  1. Add a new repository:
    $ sudo su -c 'echo deb feisty main >> /etc/apt/sources.list'
  2. Get the key and Install it:
    $ wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -
  3. Update the repository:
    $ sudo aptitude update
  4. Install the new theme:
    $ sudo aptitude install ubuntustudio-look

...And that should just about do it! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


On Aug. 10, Redmond submitted the Microsoft Permissive License to the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Should the license be approved, Microsoft would receive the "open source" seal of approval that only the OSI – by self-proclamation – can okay

Many open source watchers have applauded Microsoft's OSI approach. You'll remember that Microsoft has dubbed some open source software the work of cancer-ridden communists. So, seeking "open source" approval shows the software maker has come a long way.Of course, one could argue that Microsoft – once blessed with the open source label – will only abuse its status.

I think it would be near impossible for an outside observer not to take Microsoft's side here.

For one, Microsoft has done all the OSI asks by submitting its license in the proper fashion for review. If the license meets the OSI's open source definition, does it really matter who submitted it? Is this Russia? This isn't Russia, Danny.

Beyond that, Google hardly stands as a model open source company – a point noted by Hilf. Google has become the poster child for the software as a service (SaaS) abuse of open source software. The ad broker uses copious amounts of open code but gets around returning changes to "the community" by claiming it does not redistribute the code. Instead, Google simply places the software on servers and ships a service to consumers.

The Free Software Foundation avoided closing the SaaS hole – a problem caused by an archaic notion of distribution as being tied to a diskette or CD – with GPL v3. Google couldn't care less about that though, since it will avoid any problematic license

"We have enough engineering resources that, if the license has obligations we are not interested in, we can just not use it," DiBona said, at the recent OSCON conference.

Google's secretive nature leaves us in the dark as to how much code it has turned back to "the community." The best statement I've seen thus far has a Google official claiming to have put back 1 million lines of code.

Monday, July 16, 2007

MAC OS-X: The Greatest Operating System Ever?

I dont know...whether it is the superb interface, or the next-gen technology behind it; The constant innovation, or the rapid imitation of its features among other competitors, the user experience, or the very discovery of what defines user experience...

Here another justification to just that..enjoy.

A recent paper on "Secretly Monopolizing the CPU Without Superuser Privileges." demonstrated how normal non-administrative programs could steal more clock cycles from the CPU than the scheduler normally allocates.

The researchers presented a proof-of-concept program that allows a specified task to "cheat" and consume more CPU cycles than the operating system would normally permit. The program was designed for Unix-based systems, though it could theoretically be altered to affect any multitasking operating system(Probably also includes our old buggar M$ Windoze). The program in the paper, called "cheat," can run as a regular non-administrative user.

How is it done? Simple. A task could hide itself by arranging for its process to run immediately after the CPU interrupt "tick," and stop running right before the next tick.
By avoiding the ticks, the standard operating system would never notice the task is running. Without any modification to an operating system, all methods of monitoring tasks would not display the cheating task.

Seven different Operating Systems were tested and guess what?
only Mac OS X was immune to the cheat attack!

The explanation was that it uses a slightly different scheduling algorithm for its timers. Isnt it analogous to saying that it uses a superior scheduling algorithms? (Atleast in respect of this particular anomaly under consideration :)).

The researchers say they doubt cheat-like attacks will become common because while they could be used to avoid detection, using most of a computers CPU would noticeably slow the computer and raise suspicion. However, programs could be written to cheat a little bit, and would be extremely difficult to detect and remove. The researchers say it is possible to protect the operating system against cheat attacks, but performance suffers as a result.

So say it. Mac rules. End of story.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Apple iPhone Nano: Hoax or Reality?

Theres a lot of storm brewing over whether Apple is bringing out a 'Nano' version of the iPhone.

The thought obviously has followed Apple's trend with the iPod.
In this post I will analyse the fact sheet as stated by several sources.

News reports began appearing yesterday(09/Jul/07) that Apple may be planning to build a cheaper and smaller version of the iPhone, following the slim and sleek modeling design of the iPod nano. According to reports, Apple is silent on the subject.

About two weeks ago (the night before the iPhone was available in stores) David Letterman did a skit on his CBS program which featured an iPhone sneak peek. According to Dave, the nano version would not be cheaper. On his broadcast he stated the nano version would be $1100. You can watch a clip of Letterman's skit on youtube.

Lets build a background about what we are talking about first:

The EETimes Online News Reports:
LONDON — Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.) is working on a second iPhone, based on the form-factor of the iPod Nano music player, according to online reports that reference a note to clients written by J.P. Morgan analyst Kevin Chang.

The iPhone Nano would be much lower cost than the iPhone and come to market in the fourth quarter of 2007, the reports said.

"We believe it's a strong sign that Apple could potentially convert every iPod Nano into a Nano phone," Market Watch quoted Chang as saying. (He obviously meant the market share of iPod Nano, not to really 'convert' every iPod Nano into Nano phone! ;-) )

Chang expects the iPhone Nano to have a scroll wheel interface, limited functionality and be priced at about $300. Chang concluded that Apple could potentially ship 30 million to 40 million units of the iPhone Nano in the 2008 financial year, the report said.

Alright, if there's a fire, there has got to be a spark behind it. This might be it: Apple submitted a patent today that could be direct evidence that a downscaled Nano-like iPhone is in the works. Here is the patent application for you to see.

This patent clearly depicts a rotary-styled keypad that works in conjunction with the already existent scroll wheel in iPods. Not only that, it displays a direct correlation between the numbers being selected and the classic 3 letter to a number layout (i.e abc, def, ghi, etc.)

Here is the reaction it got from online news agencies:

An Apple patent application dated Thursday has sparked speculation among bloggers that the computer maker may be planning an iPhone light that would focus only on voice communications and music.
"The invention pertains to a user interface for controlling an electronic device, particularly a multifunctional device that is capable of operating in multiple modes as for example a phone mode for communications and a media player mode for playing audio files, video files and the like"

My personal Opinion:

I dont really know whether the iPhone Nano is in the works or not, but id definitely say that if it is, this patent application is not the clue to it.
After Having revolutionized the gadget industry with its touch interface, I wouldnt think that the rotary interface would be such a big indication towards iPhone Nano.
Chances are Apple is simply patenting all embodiments of iPhone knockoffs so a few hacks in Japan and China don’t get silly with themselves.

Anyways, If it does come out with an iPhone Nano, these possible models may be just what I expect, given Apple's innovative edge to creating cool gadgets:

Lets wait and see if, when and how Apple chooses to surprise us!

Slideshow on KDesktop Background (KUbuntu)

This is for the Linux users out there. (Im on KUbuntu thats the reference Ill use)

If you want a little variety in your desktop background without continually having to change it yourself, use a slide show for your KDesktop Background.
You can set the time interval that you want the background to change, the order and the images that the slide show will use.

  • - Right-click the desktop and select Configure Desktop.
  • - Select Background from the left pane.
  • - On the right, in the Background section, select the Slide Show radio button.
  • - Click the Setup button.
  • - Select the time interval (in minutes) that you want the desktop background to change.
  • - To show the images in random order, check the Show pictures in random order checkbox. Leave this unchecked if you want to determine the order that the images will be displayed.
  • - Click the Add button.
  • - Browse to the directory containing the desired images.
  • - Select the images. You can select multiple images by holding down the ctrl key while selecting.
  • - Click OK.
  • - You will then see the images that you selected in the list for the slide show. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to place the images in the order that they are to be displayed.
  • - Click OK to close the Setup Slide Show window.
  • - Click OK to close the Configure KDesktop window.

Monday, July 09, 2007

How to bypass Rapidshare download limits and time limits

For those ignorant amongst you, is a file sharing website which allows you to upload and share large files with anyone over the internet for free.

Rapidshare is frequently used to transfer large video files. Programs, music, videos, and other such files are frequently available from download this way.

Rapidshare traces the users IP address to limit each user to a certain amount of downloading per day. To get around this, you need to show the rapidshare server a different IP address.

Here are some methods for doing this:

1. Short-Out the JavaScript:
Note: This method is to get around the 1 minute delay before your download starts. I hate it when rapidshare tells me to wait 45 seconds before my download begins. (Or else, get a premium paid account ;))

    1. Goto the page you want to download
    2. Click on the Free button to initiate the download when prompted to choose
    either Premium or Free.
    3. In the address bar put the following:
    or this:
    javascript:var c=0;

    4. Click OK
    5. Click OK to the pop-up box
    6. Enter the captcha
    7. Download Your File

    Note: You can right click on the above link and click on Add to Favorites (IE) or Bookmark this Link (Firefox) to add the hack as bookmarklet.

2. Crack & Disable Download limit: Request a new IP address from your ISP server.
Here's how to do it in windows: (For Linux users, is a detailed version)
  1. Click Start
  2. Click run
  3. In the run box type cmd.exe and click OK
  4. When the command prompt opens type the following. ENTER after each new line.
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ipconfig /release
    • ipconfig /renew
    • exit
  5. Erase your cookies in whatever browser you are using.
  6. Try the rapidshare download again.
Frequently you will be assigned a new IP address when this happens. Sometime you will, sometimes you will not. If you are on a fixed IP address, this method will not work.

3. Use an anonymous service:
    Running your system through the tor network should in theory work; however, it is difficult to use and setup. Plus, you allow others to run their evil deeds through your system as well by using this system.

    JAP is another free anonymous proxy service that you can use. (search for it on google).

    Anonymizer 2005 is inexpensive, easy to use, but not free. Other pay services would likely work as well.

    You could various proxies that come as addons for firefox as well

There is another method that uses a MAC cloning software to change your MAC address so that your ISP provides you a different IP Address next time you connect. You can avoid the 1 hour gap bw downloads using this method.

I know these methods are not the greatest, but I have not found anything else that works as painless as these.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Larry Page(Google Owner) with his Gf?!...Hawaii?!?!?!

(Update: the pictures of larry page that i put here, was banned by google and they removed it from blogger's image directly without permission - I should have used flickr or something else - but anyways I do not intend to infringe stupid copyright issues and so the post remains as it is -though i have the images on my comp :P )

Alright, after the Ballmer craze I posted earlier, here is another shocker I found while random surfing over that huge web we call the internet.

Im not sure whether they are genuine or staged or even downright fake...but it sure as hell looks real to me.

Check them out yourself:

Ok..when u see stuff like this you cant stay ignorant.
So I searched over the web (guess what..I used Google!). Seems like the name of the girl is

Lucy Southworth on a trip to Hawaii in Sep 2005

If that seems unheard of, check THIS OUT!:

hmmm....Strange, but I don't think the news got the kind of publicity it demands.

And no, Larry didnt tweak Google to censor the news...I searched all over yahoo as well :)

Heres an anonymous comment on pics ;)

"He is about to do move 110 from the googlesutra. Step one: embrace your partner. Step two: lace her drink with a ruffi. Step three: smell her bottom lip when she falls asleep".

And mine? Well, lets keep it simple:

"LOL :-D"

Lemme know anything else you might find...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Website and other Templates

Some free website template download sites...Im trying to build a list for future reference and this is the starting point. Ill add on to it as time progresses...

Add on any other sites you might know of as comments...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s Office

I dont know how true this is...just couldnt resist myself from writing this down! See it yourself: is that really Steve Ballmer?

Alright...first thoughts...Dont you think the CEO of Microsoft deserves a more lavish and magnificent place to dwell? Or is it that Ballmer has done enough to deserve this (:D).

If this is true, then it does show one thing, these guys don’t care about money or fame, all they want is to kill off their enemies, and I quote Genghis Khan, the mongolian king that ruled the world’s biggest empire ever -

“It is not enought that I win, all others must lose!”

Ofcourse, The Mongol empire was superceded and defeated and It is where it is today because of that ;) (pun intended!)

Make Ubuntu look like Vista

Get the best of both!

Whats so good about Vista besides the **grafix**? Arguably, not much.
And we all know whats so Good about Linux, dont we? Everything.
Get the best of both - The Vista Grafix on you Linux Distro! Since ive been using Ubuntu as my lean, mean and reliable OS, here are some steps for getting the 'Aero' glass effect on Ubuntu:

1.Get Ubuntu

If you are not already using it,
download Ubuntu from

2.Get the Vista fonts

You need the microsoft segoe UI font.
Look at the second post in this Forum

Unzip the downloaded archive and place the two .ttf files in your .fonts directory.
You can find it in your user folder ./home/$USERNAME/.fonts/
For example: /home/kimmik/.fonts

If the directory .fonts does not exist, create it.

3.The Aero Clone Theme

Download the Aero-clone theme from

Go to the download site >>

Install the Beryl and GTK theme as usual


Download the nuoveXT-aero iconset

Go to the download site >>

Install the nuoveXT-aero iconset


Change the gnome-panel size to 32px height

6.Vista Start Button Screenlet

Download and install "Desktop Screenlets"

Go to the download site >>

Install the "orb" screenlet (The orb screenlet is included in the .tar.gz from

Place the orb screenlet above the main-menu button and lock the position.


If you want to make the experience complete download some Vista wallpapers for your desktop.
I found very good wallpapers on this forum:

WinMatrix-Forum: Overview of Vista Wallpapers >>

WinMatrix-Forum: Official Vista Wallpapers >>

WinMatrix-Forum: Vista Wallpapers which aren't included in Vista per default >>
As for me, Im content with my enlightenment e17 on my Ubuntu. Will try out the vista effect later. Tell me about it if u tried...or if I missed out some further customizations.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

How To Prevent Windows XP Users From Writing To USB Drives

USB drives are extremely handy tools, but in some instances it might not be a good idea to allow users to write onto these devices from their PCs.

This is especially true when working with highly confidential data or intellectual property at work.

Users of Windows XP with service pack 2 installed can disable writing to USB devices.

To do this:

Open the Registry Editor click on the Start button on your taskbar, then click on Run and type "regedit" and click on OK to start the regedit utility.

Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control.

From there right click and create a new key and name it "StorageDevicePolicies".

In the window on the right then create a new DWORD value and label it WriteProtect, give it a value of "1" and users can no longer write to USB drives.

To re-enable this option change the value to 0 and users are again allowed to write.

The modifications you made will be in effect after you reboot your PC.
Have Fun!

PS: Ofcourse, If someone has played this trick on you, you know how to get around now, dont you? ;)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

iPhone-Dismantled! : The 'Inside' story

This time round, Apple's iPhone lives to tell a different kind of story...

According to reports, just as there were enthusiasts waiting to get their hands on the iPhone, there were these tech freaks who made a mad dash to dismantle the device...

iPhone has not only been dismantled- it has been dissected part by part-by anand tech including peeling off of every layer of the display screen also.

They all but ended up revealing the innards of the iPhone -- something that Apple had tried hard to conceal...

  • Going by the revelations made by these tech revellers, pride-of-place indeed goes to Samsung Electronics, identified as the supplier of the iPhone's main microprocessor as also of NAND flash memory.

  • Intel turns out the supplier of NOR flash memory, while Broadcom is the maker of the controller chip for the iPhone.

  • Texas Instruments is identified as the supplier of a power management chip, whereas Infineon Technologies turns out the maker of parts that handle cellular communications.

  • The power amplifier is from Skyworks Solutions, while the battery charger chip is from Linear Technology.

  • Meanwhile, Cambridge Silicon Radio is the maker of the chips that allow Bluetooth wireless connectivity;

  • Marvell Technology Group - the provider of the chips that allow the iPhone to connect over WiFi networks;

  • National Semiconductor Corp - the maker of the iPhone's display chip.

Reportedly, stocks of all but a few component makers soared post the discovery. (LOL)

Chances are: if the iPhone lives up to all the hype, part/component/chip makers too will partake of the Apple-induced gravy train...

Ubuntu stays defiant of Microsoft Threat

There will be no deal concerning possible patent infringements with Microsoft, according to Ubuntu founder and Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth. His announcement follows agreements three open source vendors have signed with Microsoft in exchange for the software giant's promise not to pursue litigation against those firms.

Ubuntu will not be joining the list of open source OS and productivity suits recently linked to MS through interoperability deals.

"We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements," says Ubuntu founder & CEO, Mark Shuttleworth.

A Little background in the story so far:

Agreements Linspire, Novell and Xandros signed with Microsoft included the software giant's assurance that it would not pursue patent infringement litigation against those firms.

In all three deals, the companies agreed to work together to make their software packages more compatible. However, Microsoft recently asserted that open source operating system Linux infringes on patents held by Microsoft and that open source companies should make agreements with Microsoft to continue to use it.

...And some closing words from Ubuntu:

"In the Ubuntu community, we believe that the freedom in free software is what's powerful, not the openness of the code," Shuttleworth stated. Still, he says of the agreements recently inked, "All the deals announced so far strike me as 'trinkets in exchange for air kisses.' Mua mua. No thanks."


Face search over the Internet!

Polarrose is a small Swedish startup which promises to allow the user to identify a face from all the photographs distributed over the internet.

This means that you would have to just give the photograph of the person you want to find and polarrose will give you all the photographs of the person, distributed all over the internet.

Imagine what would happen when you give the photograph of your girlfriend and find her making out with your old class mate :D.

This has already stirred a huge privacy debate when the The Harvard Law Review, a journal for legal scholarship, recently published a short piece on the privacy implications of such online photo-tagging.
See the slashdot thread for more.

Finally GPL v3 is released

Finally I have more value attached to June 29th than just the iPhone ;)

After an unprecedented development process that brought four drafts in eighteen months, the Free Software Foundation Latest News about Free Software Foundation (FSF) has released the third version of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), the world's most popular free software license.

"Since we founded the free software movement over 23 years ago, the free software community has developed thousands of useful programs that respect the user's freedom," explained Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF. "
The programs are in the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as personal computers, telephones, Internet servers and more. Most of these programs use the GNU GPL Latest News about GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve and redistribute the program."

Tweak as You Please: Version 3 of the GNU GPL strengthens this guarantee, the FSF says, by ensuring that users can modify the free software on their personal and household devices, and by granting patent licenses to every user. It also extends compatibility with other free software licenses and increases international uniformity.

Because the GPL license is used by so many open source projects -- about 75 percent -- it's also the most influential.

The FSF says that more than 15 GNU programs will be released under the new license today, with the entire GNU Project to follow suit in the coming months. Plus, the FSF will also encourage adoption of the license through education and outreach programs.

"A lot of time and effort went into this license. Now free programs must adopt it so as to offer their users its stronger protection for their freedom," Stallman said.

Read more here>>

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A small tip for Webmasters: Search Engine Optimization

Something New that I noticed recently is that many websites which rank highly in search engine rankings have a:

<link rel="archive" href="archive pages">
in their head.

Anything in the link is not displayed by the browser but is seen by the search bots.

In a way these links are helpful in allowing search bots index the pages in the links although the links are not displayed to the user.

You can use this feature to make search bots
index the pages which are not linked through your main page. This makes your website more cohesive and easily searchable by the search bots.

Great way to include standalone pages not referenced anywhere else!

However, Google does provide other ways of doing this, one of them being the creation of a separate index page with all links.
Check up Google Webmasters Central for more information on how you can make your site better indexed by Google.

A small note: Probably in the latest web 2.0 standards, this method has become defunct. Im not sure of it, correct me if im wrong. However, backward compatibility does remain for a long time.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Microsoft Surface - The Future is here ( productions!)


(A sarcastic productions but really neat nevertheselss)

One day, your computer will be a kickass table, with other pictures and videos and superb applications all over it in a neat technology by Microsoft - Ms Surface.

(In case you're reading it in an RSS feed, you'll have to come to the blog see the video).

The new table computer! the future is here! watch the video:

iPhone - Interesting technology, bet u d'nt know

Many of the features in Apple's new iPhone will be under-appreciated, including the accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and infrared sensor, all of which are used to gather information from the environment and adjust the phone's functions.

The iPhone can automatically change the screen from portrait to landscape, adjust the screen's brightness based on light levels in the environment, and disable the touch screen when the phone is being used for a call.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology research scientist Nathan Eagle says that although these functions are useful and entertaining, they are rather unremarkable for the technology in the iPhone. "These are trivial uses for what has the potential to provide a whole slew of new features and functionality," Eagle says.

Independent research projects at MIT, Intel, and other companies indicate that phones built with hardware such as accelerometers, light sensors, a GPS, and a microphone could provide clues about people's activities and behaviors. Such a phone could monitor exercise habits, track an elderly relative's activities, and let friends and family know if it is an appropriate time to call or instant message the phone's owner.

At Intel Labs, researchers equipped first-year students at University of Washington with an accelerometer, barometer, a humidity sensor, a thermometer, a light sensor, a digital compass, and a microphone and were able to watch social networks form as subjects with the sensors interacted.

Eagle says it would not be difficult to write consumer software that would deduce a person's basic activities, which could be used to update the status listed on an instant messenger program or a blog, for example.

Read here

Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year

Something to Ponder over. (Note that this may be true more for CRTs than other displays, but nevertheless quite thought provoking). is a site that is powered by google search (custom search). What it means is that the search you do there is actually google search displayed in a different, dark colour scheme. Why would you want something like that? Here are some reasons for starters:

An all white web page uses 74 Watts
An all black web page uses 59 Watts
Google gets 200million queries a day
Assuming each query takes 10 sec
Google runs for 555000 hrs per day (Its running simultaneously on many PCs - A Cluster)
So a shift from White to Black would save a total of 74-59=15 Watts, which would in turn lead to global savings of 8.3MegaWatt-hrs per day, or 3000MegaWatt-hrs per year.

And for those of you still not convinced, well, it seems soothing for the eyes, if nothing else ;-)

Check it out

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hugh Hefner Unveils “iPlayboy” for iPhone

No joke: Hugh Hefner today unveiled iPlayboy, “a collection of hot pics, video and sounds specifically tailored to your new iPhone.”

iPlayboy is, according to, “the next best thing to having Playmates on speed dial.” Now you pervs can take your materials with you wherever you go. :lol: But don’t get too excited: all the iPlayboy media is non-nude.

Who hasn’t capitalized on the iPhone hype these days?

Fedora 7 - comments of a spectator

Fedora 7 helps to convince me that the time when the major GNU/Linux distributions were distinctive is rapidly passing. These days, innovation seems centered on the desktop or the individual program. Major distributions have become so mature that their role is mostly integration, and they are starting to look increasingly the same.

Not long ago, Fedora was known for such firsts as implementing a philosophically free Java that allowed users to take full advantage of's features, and adding SELinux for enhanced security. Now, Fedora 7 is simply a well-rounded distribution designed for beginners, and its technical innovations are mostly minor.

Not that innovation isn't happening behind the scenes. At the release management level, Fedora 7 is the first release to merge the Fedora Core and Fedora Extras package repositories under one set of packaging policies (which explains the change of name from "Fedora Core" to plain "Fedora"). Moreover, according to Fedora chair Max Spevack, Fedora 7 is the first release in which all the software used is released under a free license, and all decision-making is made in public. In addition, Fedora 7 is the first release to benefit from the fully organized testing sub-project that was established last year under Will Woods.

However, little of these changes are observable to the average user at the desktop. If Test 4, the release candidate used in this review is any indication, what Fedora offers from a user's perspective is a mature product at every stage, from installation to the desktop through to software installation and security. Rather than being radically new, much of Fedora 7 is a legacy of features -- many polished, a few flawed -- that has been slowly built up during successive releases.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Puzzles Will Save the World

Martin Demaine, an artist-in-residence at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, believes that puzzles can save the world!!!

This has been substantiated by the fact that alternative ways of solving problems have already made cars safer, candies easier to unwrap, and may one day help cure diseases.

Research, and computer science in general is a type of riddle.

"For me, the excitement is to solve a puzzle that's never been solved before," Demaine says. "As a researcher, you don't solve things that have been done; you ask questions, you create puzzles."

Demaine and his colleagues, which includes his son Erik who is also on the faculty at the MIT lab, have used puzzles and games to make important contributions to engineering, computer science, and mathematics.

An example is the "fold and cut" problem, which asks if there is a way to fold a piece of paper so that making a single cut can create a hole of any given shape.

The Demaines created a solution that has since been used in the manufacturing of car air bags.

The MIT researchers are also working on folding nanostructures, which could be described as DNA origami. Martin Demaine says that if protein-folding can be understood, it would be possible to design proteins to cure diseases. The purpose of the Demaines' research is not to create applications, but to show there are more efficient ways to build things and that research can be fun. "Puzzles will save the world," Demaine says.

Lets hope it does! And while they get busy in creating puzzles lets just ponder over what kind of future awaits us.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Apple's iPhone - Hidden features

Alright...Its 27th June....the release date is approaching and the world is going ga-ga over the iPhone. Before you drown yourself in the countless reviews that follow, here's something for an interesting read ;)

Apparently, Apple Inc is secretly working on a draft plan to release a customised iPhone to capture the Indian market. has obtained some exclusive information about a ’special button’ that activates a plethora of amazing features.

Special Features:
Miss-call Management Service Integrated allows you to make calls to friends without giving them a milli-second to pick up your call.

Irritating Ringtone Killer allows you drain the battery of the offending phones in your area.

Misleading Voice Message Generator plays auto generated voice messages to your boss/parents/wife leading them to think that your phone is busy or out of coverage area.

Gutter & Pothole Manouevering System gives you updated reports on the size, depth and physical state of gutters and potholes on your way to work.

Emergency Feign Death Mode is activated automatically once a user in your STL (Suspicious Tresspasser List) like your dad or mom attempts to access the recent call history or some private folders.

Replace Current Wallpaper with Wife’s Photo mode is well, self-explanatory.

Bulk Conversion of all Pirated Windows Softwares is included considering public demand.

Note: Requests to imprint the price of the phone on the back will be considered in the next release.