Blogial was ignored for a long time and soon was infested with lots of spam comments and users. At last I cleaned up all the blogs and even had to use PhpMyAdmin for some posts. Now I have also changed the settings to close comments after 30 days of a post being published. I guess this should prevent the thousands of spammers till I am ready with the new reboot of Blogial. Stay tuned for more announcements about the Blogial V2.
I had said previously that there is an interesting announcement to be made for the new year. Its just a small project I am going to take up called “App a month”. Actually its 12 small projects one for each month.
Yes, in the year of 2011, I am going to develop and release an app every month. The reason I am going to try this experiment is simple. I guess many of you must have experienced this.
- I waste loads of time reading hacker news and Google Reader.
- I read about lots of cool stuff, but never end up building something.
I am going to see if atleast by publicly announcing this app-a-month project, I will be able to beat my laziness and get some value out of the hours of seeing the laptop.
And Happy New Year to all you guys. Have a great year ahead.
Its time to clean up all the users (read bots) who had registered on Blogial. There are 77 users in total, and only 4/5 would have posted anything at all. Others will be permanently deleted.
If you checked any of the Blogial Network’s blog’s source, you can see
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 3.0.3" />
Which means, we are running on the latest stable release of WordPress. Previously this blog was running the mu version of WordPress. But from 3.0, the mu version has been merged into the main wordpress code with support for multisite.
Now that the blog is updated to this latest version, all future upgrades are just two clicks away. A big relief from the horrible manual steps of backup, download, copy.
And by the way, wait till the new year begins for an interesting announcement.
We have all used several wireless networks for multiple tasks, yet one thing they all lack is the concept of singularity in communication. For cellular we use HSDPA/HSUPA( our latest 3.5 G) or 2G networks in some countries, WIFI – IEEE 802.11a/b/g for our Internet access also some of the land lines are wireless differing in technologies. For each of this technology to exist different equipments and frequency bands are used. What LTE does is unify all this into a single entity for communication making the end-user save money and feel the comfort. WiMAX is a serious competitor to this technology but it loses to LTE one all grounds except for its deployment, which is complete in few countries.
LTE – Long Term Evolution is one of the latest communication technology that is currently being tested and deployed. LTE falls under 3G dubbed as 3.99G and LTE-Advanced is 4G compliant. 3GPP Release 8 defines the standards for LTE and Release 10 pertains to defining the standards for LTE-Advanced. LTE was formulated as a result of study on Evolved UTRA(Universal Terrestrial Radio Access) done by 3GPP. The System Architecture Evolution(SAE) – all IP based network is the core Network Architecture for establishing a LTE Network.
There has been a new member added to blogial – Sudharshan (@sup3rkiddo). He just finished his college and now works with me.
He is a pretty good programmer, codes in C and Python for his openmoko phone, has a permanant tab for reddit on his browser and also likes to get into trouble by tweeting about it and getting the website blocked in office.
He came to blogial because he was tired of wordpress.com and the inability to post snippets of code. So I suggested that he began posting all his programming related posts here and use his wordpress account for personal stuff. I have even installed a code syntax highlighter plugin.
It is now easy to post snippets of code in codelog now. Wrap code blocks with <pre lang=”LANGUAGE”> and </pre> and you are done.
Anyway, happy blogging and once again welcome Sudharshan.
I am planning to start a new series in codelog, DoUNo — Do You Know. Its a tit bit kinna section that gets you quick facts about a programming langauge (anything related to computers, may be). Check more about DoUNo and post in your comments. We can even change the series name if you don’t like it.
I have been having fslog.com registered at Yahoo Domains for over 3 years and there hasn’t been any technical problems so far. But when it comes to other things like billing, website interface, customer support, etc., they just piss me off.
The problem all started with the credit card charge for renewing the fslog.com domain. I have setup Yahoo to automatically renew the domain and this has been done without any glitches. The normal charges for domains is $9.95 per year, but today I saw that they had charged $34.95 for a one year renewal.
I decided to email the customer support for an explanation of this and started my search for the usual “Contact Us” link in the website. After searching for the page for a while, I got to this page.
For a minute or two I was worried whether my reading skills were gone – for there were no way to “contact” them. I had to choose something from three list boxes and press a button to be taken to the next page (4 clicks).
I must admit that I should have learnt from the previous page’s experience that there would be nothing useful in the second page too. But I tried to be a bit optimistic in finding an email address where I can plead them to give an explanation and stop making me to click through these numerous pages. I was wrong in expecting such a huge favour to the users from Yahoo. The only thing I found was some phone numbers which asked me to call them at 6AM – 6PM PST. I don’t even know whether that number is toll-free or they will be charging me money for calling the number.
I tried searching through almost all the help pages and had to stop the insanity. I then decided to call them in the night (I am in India).
Before trying to call, I tried to find whether someone else were successful in finding out the email address. I found a person in Yahoo Answers who had the same problem and found one email address (similar to the one in my whois info). I tried emailing to both, but it failed to deliver. Good – Yahoo doesn’t even maintain their own domains and emails properly.
I decided to get the phone number and found that instead of calling them, you can schedule a call for their support team to call. This option magically enables only whent he tech support team is awake. I tried that and got about 30 minutes waiting in the queue. I started to write this post while waiting for the call. I refreshed the page which showed the time left, and I was taken back to the Contact Us page. Again click continue, get to page 2 and click another link to get to actual timer. Rinse and repeat till 30 minutes is over and you get back the old page 2 which asks me to schedule a call from their support team.
I was getting so frustrated with this, that I have started to type really fast and I don’t know how many speling mistakes and grammatical errors are there in this post.
This is why I hate using most of yahoo’s services. Most of their services have the worst user interface and doesn’t have a proper channel for communication. Of course I do like flickr and delicious – but they were acquired and not developed inside Yahoo.
But take Google, they have the most simple user interface (except orkut maybe). They have a help link somewhere near the top and the help page is the best I have seen so far. They have a blog for most of their popular services where people can see what new features have gone into it.
This is a lesson well learnt and now I should start moving all my domains to a better company which doesn’t try to steal money (any suggestions?).
The worst part is that I am yet to find a proper email address for asking about this issue. I hope that someone from Yahoo reads this and instead of just commenting about how wrong I am about yahoo, takes some action to show that Yahoo really cares for their customers.
Today evening I was in my friend’s house and saw some Indian Gooseberry(நெல்லிக்காய்). I immediately thought of a tamil song which is about how the berry is bitter, but would be sweet if you drink water. I couldn’t remember what the song was and called up another friend asking the song. She was sleeping (at 9:30 itself) and told that she would find the lyrics and call back. I thought that she would ask some one else, but instead she chose to Google for it. After she found out the two lines, she messaged it to me.
First I was surprised at her having to boot up the computer and search for such a task, which had no use to me (other than to get the song out of my head). But later when I thought about it, I realised that how easy it would be if there was some service which people can use to send small snippets of web pages as text messages to mobiles. Of course there are lot of websites which can send free sms, but they are very limiting and depend purely on advertising.
My suggestion is to ask the user to deposit a very small amount of money (say $5) and expose a bookmarklet which can send a piece of text selected from the webpage. I have been in many situations when I have to find out the address or phone number of some place and message it to a friend.
I think this looks like a good idea and doesn’t depend on advertising. I don’t know whether such a service exists or if someone plans to taking this idea and implementing it. I would definitely pay for some service like this which has a really usable interface and works without any more than pressing a send button.
Please do leave your comments on what you think about this idea? Anyone game for it?
Today I was uploading some of the pics taken during a marriage into picasaweb and just now I found out that there was something new in picasaweb called Name Tags. I tried out the face detection in Picasa 3 but wasn’t very impressed with it.
But when I tried the name tags, it automatically detected most of the faces and also grouped together most of the people together. All I had to do was to click on the “Setting” link in picasaweb and had to click the Turn name tags ON button. It does some processing (which is blazingly fast) and presents you a film strip to view the different faces and assign them names from either your contact list or new names on the fly.
Even if some of the faces are missed, you can add them when you view the individual photo. Very easy to use interface for organising the world’s information. I wish all the applications (online/offline) were this easy to use. I should also remember this while developing my applications.
Here are some reasons why this will be a huge hit:
- People like to look at old photographs and try to remember everyone’s names. It is fun to do during a sunday afternoon with your family
- Google does most of the initial work for you. Though not very accurate, it does help a lot. Also as you keep updating the photos, it tries to guess the name of the persons in the photo automatically.
- The interface can’t be easier than this. Facebook has such a technique, Flickr also allows you to tag parts of your images. But automatically marking up the images are so easy.
- I found one pic in which I was present which I didn’t know till that point. You could easily identify who were all in a particular event by allowing google to match the faces.
However it all depends on the number of people who use picasa. I find that flickr still holds the number 1 position in image uploading services. Google needs to do some serious marketing for picasa and should also open up some APIs for the other services to upload pictures through it.
Now all google has to do is wait for a few years and let people tag the photos and get a huge collection of people’s images and their names which can be used by Big Brother to rule the entire world. Simple. You also get a report of who was with whom at what time. Easy way to identify your friends when you are gone into hiding after committing a thought crime.
I am going to start using picasaweb for all of my images – would probably need a storage upgrade sometime later.