Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview is now available for developers and IT Pros to download and evaluate.


Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta Preview


"Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview will only run on Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) systems, but will ultimately be available for Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and Windows Server 2003."

Who had imagined that one day even "Betas" will have a "Preview"?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Live Messenger Beta Invites Available

Interested in trying out Windows Live Messenger?

I have a few Live Messenger Beta invites with me to give away. Let me know if you want them.

Google Toolbar 4.0

The new version of Google Toolbar would come packaged with a host of new features that surely sound useful. According to the Revision History, the new Google Toolbar for IE would feature:

Version 4.x.x.x

New Feature

  • Custom buttons: Add custom buttons to the Toolbar to search your favorite websites
  • Bookmarks: Create bookmarks that are accessible from any computer
  • Enhanced search box: Get query suggestions as you type in the enhanced search box
  • "Send To" feature: Send web pages to friends via Gmail or SMS, or post directly to a blog
  • Log into your Google account from the Settings menu
I am not too sure what the Bookmarks feature is all about? If it is only about accessing your personal bookmarks from any computer, then it is no big deal. But if Google manage to do a del.icio.us with bookmarks sharing and tagging, it could be an interesting proposition.

But one just wonders what usefulness will these features have with the release of Internet Explorer 7 as it has an integrated search tool (like Firefox) and with Windows Live Favorites looking better by the day, bookmarking in IE is sure to undergo a major change. But then, just how many would switch to IE7?
Go Google Toolbar!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

enginerd v2.01 with a Web2.0 Template

With everything around me looking so web2.0, it was time the blog too had a web2.0 look to it! And so the enginerd Weblog is now in v2.01

So what has enginerd v2.01 got? Well it has really large headings, white background (tons of whitespace thrown around), Trebuchet font, simple underlined links with hover style highlighting the full link, and the flavour of the season: selective highlighting in the lightest yellow possible.

If that isn't enough web2.0, enginerd v2.01 also switches to a content-rich footer. Now that definitely make it web2.0 styled!

And, if you would like to have a modified version of this template for your Blogger blog, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Another Gem from The Times Of India

Here is how Times Of India ePaper defined Podcasting:
All downloadable audio files are now called ‘podcasts’.
But while all those who download music from the net are indeed ‘podcasting’...
Only The Times Of India in this world could have run a whole article on Podcasting without even mentioning terms like RSS, web feeds, or subscription!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

iPod - Lame

Here is what Slashdot had to say on the original iPod:
No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
Apparently, "Lame" turns out to be the most coveted pocket gadget ever!

via Infectious Greed, Mashable

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Enhance Computer Security with Graphical Passwords

Researchers at the Rutgers University have developed a unique system to safeguard your computer and online accounts by using images, and not digits and alphabets as passwords.

In one of the solutions proposed by the group, the user is required to pick certain 'click-points' that he had selected initially while setting the password on an an image. The other solution requires the user to select certain icons scrambled within hundreds of icons and then click inside the "convex hull" formed by connecting imaginary lines among these selected icons.

In the first method, the user sets the password by selecting an image of his choice and then selecting a number of regions in that picture. Now to authenticate himself, he will have to click within those regions in the picture.

Graphical Password
Example: To login, the user is required to click within the 4 circled red regions in this picture.


The second method requires the user to select a number of pass-icons from a large pool of icons and memorize them. Now to authenticate himself, the user will have to locate a minimum of three pass-icons from the randomly moving icons pool and click anywhere inside the "convex hull" formed by connecting imaginary lines among these pass icons. The user is required to click inside these regions perform this a predefined number of times and only then is he defined access.

Icon Based Graphical Password
Icon Based Graphical Password: The user has to click inside the area shown here as highlighted


Visit:
The Graphical Password Project Homepage
Graphical passwords for better security

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Logos 2006

Intel, AT&T and Kodak, all three changed their logos recently. Even Hutch, provider of GSM mobile services changed its 'orange everything' to 'pink everything'.

I might have found these "swanky" new logos thoroughly disappointing but who's complaining. The corporate suppliers are surely in for some serious money now with new business cards, letter heads, and all the stuff that would have to be done sporting the new logo.

My quick thoughts:

AT&T: Everything lowercase is not always cool.




Intel: The least horrible change of all three, mixing the 'Intel Inside' and the intel original logo.




Kodak:
The less said about it, the better.




What next? Which company do we have next going for a new logo, a new image? Microsoft, or Yahoo! with its all new taste for tagging? btw, which logo redesign did you like the most?


Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Time is Now for Front-End Architects

Garrett Dimon writes that with the developments in the front-end technology which allow increasingly complex possibilities, the web needs more front-end architects today than it ever did.

Garrett attributes this to factors such as better cross-browser support of advanced technologies, an increased focus on user experience, and a greater awareness in topics like accessibility which makes it almost mandatory for a front-end architect to be comfortable with topics such as XHTML, CSS,DOM Scripting, AJAX, Flash, Accessibility, Usability, Information Architecture, Interface Design etc.

In the article, he also makes the point that a front-end developer must be able to programme or have a programming background, the lack of which, very often acts as a bottleneck to the whole integration of the front-end and back-end.

Read The Time is Now for Front-End Architects

Friday, January 13, 2006

iPod Ready Jeans

Here's what I came across recently, an iPod ready jeans!

Levi Strauss has designed jeans that are compatible with the iPod, featuring a joystick in the watch pocket to operate the device, a built-in docking cradle for the iPod and retractable headphones.

via Yahoo News

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Apostrophe catastrophes

Ara has posted a link to 5 Embarrassing Grammatical Mistakes by Martha Brockenbrough

In Martha's words. "it is a catastrophe of apostrophe to make a plural with an apostrophe-s." But there is this particular problem she mentions and which I faced only three days ago when I had to write to my Academic Dean:

"You can't easily write home about all the A's you got in English class if you don't stick the apostrophe in there. (It reads as though you're saying, "I got all As." As what? As if?)"

(You can work around this by putting the A in italics, but if you aren't careful when you change your typeface, you might lose it in the editing phase.)


Any ideas?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ganguly about to get into another controversy

It looks that Saurav Ganguly just cannot avoid controversy!

Just came across this snap of Ganguly signing an autograph for a young Pakistani fan.

Ganguly sporting Adidas
Image courtesy: Cricinfo


Nope, the board can't ban him for three test matches for this. But it most certainly could for Ganguly sporting Adidas headgear when Nike is paying it a whopping $27.2 MILLION an annum as "kit sponsors"!


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Sunday, January 08, 2006

boards.live.com - Live Message Board Service

Another Live Idea from Microsoft! It has launched a new message board service at Live.com

This new service is intended to enable people to discuss support and feedback issues with other members and developers from MSN/Windows Live.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Wrickr

Update:
From the wrickr Developer Blog:

web 2.0 + microformats + your browser » wrickr.com

Sounds interesting!


What could wrickr be all about?

The wrickr developer blog has no post as of now and the homepage itself leaves no clue as to what it could be. And not surprisingly, one has to submit the email address to be notified about Wrickr's features and launch!


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The First post of 2006

Now that it has been established that I am not what *one* would call an "obsessive" blogger, it is time for the first post of 2006.

Wishing all an exciting 2006!