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Showing posts from December, 2004


The first mail I received this new year from my friend read:


H ours of happy times with friends and family
A bundant time for relaxation
P rosperity
P lenty of love when you need it the most
Y outhful excitement at lifes simple pleasures

N ights of restful slumber (dont' worry be happy)
E verything you need
W ishing you love and light

Y ears and years of good health
E njoyment and mirth
A ngels to watch over you
R embrances of a happy years!

Happy New Year 2005

Content Filtering with AdBlock

The Adblock project has all it takes to be crowned the "Revenue Killer" on the web for the sole reason that it has the ability to filter elements at the source address. So everytime a page loads, Adblock intervenes and then disables the items that have been added to your filter.

Now, that should make the whole process of a page load slightly faster, and it relieves us of a LOT of ADs. And yes, if you decide to block out 'certain elements', then the big-G begins to lose money too, for a major revenue for the big-G comes now through it's AdSense program. I decided to install this extension and give it a try. The filter that I added was /

The results are here:

Screenshot of the page with Adblock DISABLED

Screenshot of the page with Adblock ENABLED

I have uninstalled Adblock, for the Google Adsense has never been any botheration to me, but ...
What NOW?

Every Effort Counts

The devastation that has been caused by this Tsunami is heart-gripping. The death toll just keeps on mounting and in force is one of the world's largest relief effort. If there's any way you can help, please do.

India: Prime Minister's National Relief Fund(Tamil Nadu State, India) Chief Minister's Public Relief FundAssociation for Indian DevelopmentThe South-East Asia Earthquake and TsunamiHOPE - NDTV's trust fund

Any explanations?

It is true that India has not witnessed a Tsunami for over a hundred years, and this Black Sunday it took all by a shock. But still, how will they explain this?

‘‘Tsunamis are never recorded in Indian history, so it did not occur to us,’’ said R S Dattatrayam, director seismology at IMD, who arrived after 8.30 am to the station after being informed. ‘‘I don’t recall the exact sequence of events.’’

Google putting Libraries Online

Recently came across this comic strip: Foxtrot from Bill Amend

Source: uComics website featuring Foxtrot

Spare a moment

The number of casualties just keeps rising, in thousands. These numbers are just shuddering. Please, take a moment to pray for all who couldn't survive this terrible disaster and also for all those who are still missing.

CERNET2: China's IPv6 Network

This Sunday China's first IPv6 network formally came into operation. The China Education and Research Network is now the world's biggest next generation Internet network in operation connecting 25 universities in 20 cities.

The backbone network reaches speeds of 2.5 to 10 gigabits per second and connects the universities at 1 to 10 gigabits per second, with a trial on CERNET2 between Beijing and Tianjin on December 7 achieving a speed of 40 gigabits per second, the highest in the world in real applications.

Sensex hits 6500

Celebrations for the new year have already begun for some. The 30 share Bombay Stock Exchange sensex ended over 6500 for the first time today closing at 6,513.03, while reaching a maximum of 6,566.64.

Google Cafe


Image source: Devnotes

Higher education in India

The status of higher education in India has always remained a debatable issue, an issue that has always intrigued some of the best policy makers and administrators in the country.

Ancient India had been a world renowned centre of learning. Universities at Nalanda and Takshashila had students who came from across the continents to come and study. But somewhere down the line, perhaps with changing social and economical aspects in the country, the quality of education in the country deteriorated. It is true that present day India can boast of some elite institutions in the field of technology, art and design. But if we were to see the country as a whole, the situation emerges out bleak.

Some of the countries best universities today face a crisis. A crisis that involves funding, faculty shortage, bureaucratic issues and ever so inexplicably, political interventions. Immediately after independence, the Government of India decided to establish certain institutions that would impart speciali…

10 Things about Blogs

In its recent issue, Time lists 10 things about blogging. The world of blogging did witness many colours this year- from being the #1 word on Merrim-Webster's list of most searched word to getting an air hostess fired. And yes, my blogging experiments too ;)

Radio had its golden age in the 1930s. In the 1950s, it was television's turn. Historians may well date the golden age of the blog from 2004—when's most searched-for definition was blog. How long can it last? Who knows? Here's what we discovered about the new medium this year
10 Things We Learned About Blogs

Should you trust Firefox

Recently, some questions were raised about security and Firefox.

...But the thing that makes me really not trust the browser is that it doesn't matter how secure the original code is if the typical usage pattern of the browser requires users to perform insecure actions. ·Installing Firefox requires downloading an unsigned binary from a random web server·Installing unsigned extensions is the default action in the Extensions dialog·There is no way to check the signature on downloaded program files·There is no obvious way to turn off plug-ins once they are installed·There is an easy way to bypass the "This might be a virus" dialog
Read: How can I trust Firefox?

AOL to offer free web mail

Come 2005 and you might find a new web mail offered by AOL. According to, America Online is testing a new web mail service that would rival the likes of Yahoo!, Hotmail and GMail. The proposed service, which will offer 100 MB to users, will be available early nextyear for AOL subscribers and later for general public.

I however do not see why would someone flock to this 'AOL Mail on the Web.' I mean the only reason people migrated to GMail was because of the incredble 1GB that the big G had to offer, not to mention the email search that it provided. But with the 100 MB that AOL is providing and no 'excitingly unique' feature to boast of, I have absolutely no idea why would it make sense to have an account with AOL?

RFC Humour

If you thought that the RFC (Request for Comments) document series was just a set of very technical and organizational notes about the Internet, how about these?

RFC 968 Twas the night before start-upRFC2324 Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control ProtocolRFC2795The Infinite Monkey Protocol Suite (IMPS)RFC2549 IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service

MMS rocks the country

Probably more is written and talked about a Multimedia Message (MMS) than on any other topic in the country at this moment. It just happens that a schoolboy films his girlfriend with a mobile phone camera, distributes the clip making a quick buck. Now an even more enterprising engineering student in a premier institute of the country decides to make some more money out of it and puts it up for auction at, an eBay company.

As a result, topics such as 'erosion in values and discipline', morality, 'technology aftermaths' amongst the youth are debated everywhere in the country. The fellow who puts the clip online is picked up by the Police, the student who shot the clip is not only expelled from school but is also sent to an observation home and what not. All is fine till here. Now the Police decides that it must also put behind bars the CEO of the auction site.

So, a pesonwho actually calls up the police offering his help in the investigations earns an outing a…

Firefox 10 Million

The headline on reads: "Houston, We have ignition!"

Firefox downloads have touched 10 million. Yes, 7 zeros following 1. And this has been achieved in just a tad over a month. The world is on fire!

A for Amazon. F for Firefox

That is a seemingly ridiculous title but that is what you get with the new tweak that Google has to offer.

Google Suggest tries to guess what the users actually may want to look for as they enter query in the search box. According to the FAQ section on the Google Labs site, a wide range of information is used by algorithms to predict what the users may be wishing to look for. This information, however, does not include personal search history.

The key to Educational Success

According to a Stanford education expert,
Educators who want to improve academic achievement often focus on exciting new strategies for teaching reading and math. But without a basic atmosphere of trust—among teachers, principals, parents, and students—such reforms have little chance of success.I recall the day a couple of years ago, when during the presentation of an end semester report on "Innovation, Academia, and India", my answer to a question on improving research standards at undergraduate level was trust.

Read: Trust, Not Pedagogy, May be the Key to Educational Success

Design. Usability. Learning

At the end of my course, my Professor actually asked me the most obvious of questions. And I was like stunned. I dont know how was I supposed to put in certain laced words, my thoughts that would give him an idea of what I had 'learned' in my course dealing with usability, user centered design.

Rather unfortunate, the Professor isn't taking another course next semester.

MSN Spaces: No reasons to choose over Blogger

So just like the whole world was keen to try out the latest blogging tool from the Big-M, I too decided to set up a blog on MSN Spaces and found it to be pretty decent a blogging tool.

It didn't take a great deal of time to get started with the whole act of blogging with Spaces. In fact, in under less than 15 minutes, I was able to create and configure 'my space' on the web and post an entry on it too. And in that time I also changed the layout and theme of the blog (the fact that they have pathetically restricted options in this regard is a different thing though.) The service provides some very novel integaration options with other MSN sites to the user such as an integrated photo-album and music lists. Besides these, the most notable aspects are its ability to let you restrict access to your blog and also post through IM. Now that is something that gives this blogging service certain firsts.

However, as mentioned earlier, the layout leaves a lot to be desired and theme …

Blog: #1 word of the year 2004

According to the list released by Merriam-Webster's, the four letter word 'blog' is declared the #1 Word of the Year for 2004 based on online lookups.
Blognoun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writerIt seems that the word will now be incorporated in the 2005 version of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.