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Archive for August, 2008

Google Suggest has graduated

While I still haven’t, Google Suggest has graduated and is live at Google.com. Google Suggest is the “type ahead search keyword suggestion” which had been lying at Google Labs for a long time.

Please note that I could see Google Suggest working at www.google.com and not at www.google.co.in (as of this writing). May be it will come to the latter a little later.

If you are browsing from India and you type in www.google.com you are redirected to www.google.co.in. To go to www.google.com click on the link “Go to Google.com” (found on the bottom right, below the search text box).

Once you are at google.com, try typing “open s” technology and you would get suggestions like “open source”, “open source software”, “open suse” etc. along with the number of Google search results these keywords may yield. Saves you from typing and misspells!

Google Suggest gives a type ahead suggestion for known (or well known keywords) along with the search results. That is, typing in shekhar Suggests “shekhar kapur” (famous movie director), “shekhar suman” (TV celebrity) and others but does not Suggest “shekhar govindarajan” (grrrrrr).

Google Suggest (though not at google.co.in) is live @:

  • www.google.co.jp
  • www.google.fr

Other titbits

  • As of this writing. Google Suggest is also not implemented at http://www.google.com.pk/ (Google Pakistan). Its not available for Google Australia and Google UK too, so definitely not a third world treatment.
  • The Google Suggest only works on the first page (e.g. www.google.com). When you search again using the search box on search results page, its the same old, “non type-ahead typing-in”. I wonder why?  I’m used to firing a completely different search/keywords based on the results fetched from the first (or subsequent) searches. Perhaps, a type ahead search could be nuisance if implemented across? But let the user decide this via options/preferences (see below)
  • Noticed a new option named “Query Suggestions” in Preferences (link on the right side to the search box). This can be used to turn the Google Suggest on or off. But this again works only for the first page (as said above).
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Buzz my posts, Yahoo!

Now you can Yahoo Buzz my Blog posts.

So what is Yahoo Buzz ? It is similar to Digg. More the Buzzes on a story (a web article or blog post), more is the story popular. The first buzz (clicking on the Yahoo Buzz icon) on a web page adds that web page to the Yahoo Buzz’s list. Subsequent, buzzes increases its popularity ranking.

But Yahoo Buzz had been there for while, then what’s the big buzz about it now ? Earlier Yahoo Buzz was accepting buzzes (i.e. accepting URLs) only for selected (by Yahoo) websites. Now it is open to any website, including this Blog :-)

When you click on one of my blog posts to view the full  post, you will find an icon “Share/Save” (at the bottom of the post, but before the comments). By clicking on that icon you can add my blog posts to Digg, Delicious, Google Bookmarks etc.

This icon shows up on my Blog posts because I’m using a WordPress plugin called Add to Any. This plugin uses the Add to Any service which allows a Web article (like a Blog post) to be added/submitted to various social bookmarking sites. The cool about this plugin is the list of social bookmarking sites are updated very frequently and this list automatically updates on my Blog – without requiring any change in the plugin code and without the need to update the plugin. The Yahoo Buzz was opened to all web sites on 18th, “Add to Any” incorprated it on 19th and I noticed it yesterday (on 20th).

Happy Buzzing :-)

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Microsoft launched a ringtone for Indians

Following is the link to the MP3 file of the ringtone:

condom-a-cappella

I must admit that the post title is just meant to be catchy. The ringtone was launched, day before, by a campaign funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates is ex CEO and founder of Microsoft. That’s the one and only connection with Microsoft :-)

http://www.condomcondom.org/ is the website of this campaign. The ringtone can be downloaded from this site too.

The website is meant for Indian masses and aims to create awareness about HIV and AIDS, But note that the website is Flash based and slow to download. Most people in India use slow (slower than broadband) Internet connections, many are on dialups and Flash is not installed by default. Could have been a normal, fast loading, HTML site.

Nevertheless the ringtone idea seems to be a killer idea to spread awareness and kill the condom taboo. The mobile penetration is ever increasing in India. People esp. youngsters always want to do something new with their mobile – which includes setting up an interesting new ringtone.

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HOW MUCH is your Website Mobile ready ?

Score it @ http://ready.mobi. On the site type in the URL of your website (for example: www.shekhargovindarajan.com) and hit the GO button. Read the interesting tips on mobile optimization till you see the results – “Page results”.

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Mobile friendly Websites with Google

While browsing the Web on your mobile phone/PDA, you will come across many web sites which are not readable, do not fit in your mobile screen or are graphic intensive. Following is a quick and Google way to see a mobile optimized view of any Website:

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Using Google as a Hindi to English dictionary

Recently, an employee at a client’s place was trying to understand an article in Hindi. She came across a word मूल्य वर्धित (Mulya Vardhit) in Hindi. She wanted to know its meaning. Me and other people in the room started guessing and arguing, based on the context, in which the term was used. But no one was sure. Leaving others to guess, I did the following:

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Open Office 2007 files in Linux

Occasionally (or often), when one sends you Office 2007 files (docx, xlsx, pptx) and you are using OpenOffice, you wonder how to open it?  I can suggest, my tried and tested solution on OpenOffice, on Linux.

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Clipart for OpenOffice Draw

The closest  to Visio in Linux is OpenOffice Draw. This is, going by the convention that a diagram tool is an integral part of an office or productivity suite.

I have myself done two comprehensive SRS (System Requirement Specification) documents – about 50 pages in length and full of UI diagrams – using OpenOffice Draw. The connectors, the basic shapes and  numerous the export options (or file formats) are all indispensable. But what was missing was a clipart of common shapes and elements.

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