Google
You could also try tk Social Bookmarking Search or tk Video Search!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Look at that - the new Microsoft packaging!

1 comments Backlinks



I know the small picture doesn't do much justice to the awesome new looking packaging, but just click on it for a larger picture. Anyway, what can I say about the new packaging other than it looks Vista-like and is a huge improvement over the old ones. Hope Vista turns out as good on the inside as the outside.

Categories:
Cool

 

Monday, October 30, 2006

Latest AllofMp3 0.64a DRM cracked!

Comments Backlinks

Well, well ,well, what do we have here? Nothing much really, just a crack or shall we say a very useful addon for the latest 0.64a MusicForMasses application. Like the previous FMod hack, it provides you with a plain old un-DRMed Mp3. However, it is currently unstable and converts only one song at a time. In Weird Al's words, "What a bummer!". No worries, the author is working on that right now. In the meantime, if you really need those Mp3s, grab the alpha version of the addon for 0.64 alpha (pun intended!) MusicForMasses.

Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for anything that happens to you or anything related to you (no matter how insignificant) in the process of using this addon. This post is meant to increase the general awareness about the ease in circumventing DRM. Educational purposes only!

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Search nearly 50 video sites at once!

Comments Backlinks

Have you ever searched online for that elusive video clip but was distracted by all those other search results? Well, I have and was really pissed at that time. So I wanted something to easily filter out or include only certain sites into my search. At that time, there was no custom Google search engine so tough luck for me.

Recently Google launched its custom search engine where anyone could personalise the results of their own search engine and thus That tk Video Search was born. It searches only specific video sites such as video.google.com, youtube.com, break.com, www.ifilm.com and media.putfile.com. Currently there are nearly 50 (47) sites listed, but I'm sure there're more sites around.

This is where you can help make That tk Video Search a better search by volunteering to contribute to That Video Search. Simply goto That tk Video Search and click on "Volunteer to contribute to this search engine". You may need to sign up or sign in with Google first.

Update: Here is a shorter link - That Video Search
Update2: I've added more sites (70+ now) and it has been renamed to tk Video Search and you can bookmark it for easy access.

Categories:
Cool Videos

 

Friday, October 20, 2006

(Free) Music For Masses

Comments Backlinks

AllofMp3 has just launched music for masses, a free download extension of their music catalog. All you need to do is register for free, select the tracks you want, download them and you can start listening to them. The only downsides to this are that you can't share the music files, an internet connection is required to listen to the music and only their music player can be used for listening. All of which can be countered with one development - software that can convert the music to other unrestricted formats, which will probably happen some time soon.

In the meantime, I think this is a great way to preview albums in relatively high quality (128 kbps) at home. Sometimes 30 second previews just aren't enough to judge the entire song. I definitely know of songs that I grew to like after listening to them fully.

This is something that record labels should have released a long time ago. In fact, they could release an improved system where users could share music and playlists that they like. The music files would still be locked to each user, but they could share playlists with other users. These playlists could then be played directly in the music player without accessing the music store. This creates an easy way for users to share their music, unlike in the current system. Of course, this is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Have fun listening to free music!

Categories:
Cool

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Virtualized browsing with GreenBorder

Comments Backlinks

GreenBorder is a piece of software that virtualizes your browser only, as far as I can tell. Its sole purpose is just to keep your browser and system separated. Other than the fact that there are other software that do this and more, it also claims to stop malware and other nasty stuff.

I'm not sure how that works, but I think using a free solution might not be a bad idea. Altiris, Virtual PC and VMware come to mind. They could probably keep most virii at bay while costing nothing to download. GreenBorder is $29.95 annually. Which one would you choose?


Categories:
Tech

 

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weird Al - White And Nerdy Music Video

Comments Backlinks



Here it is, Weird Al's new music video - White and Nerdy.

Categories:
Cool Funny Videos

 

Howto: Currently playing Last.fm song as status message in Miranda

2 comments Backlinks

Background
A few months back I asked if this was possible. No one seemed to know back then.

At first, I tried to do this by retrieving it from the recently played rss of audioscrobbler. But I bumped into some problems when I realized there was no way of accessing a rss contact (at least not for the RSS News Popup plugin).

Solution
Yesterday, after much trial and error, I finally figured it out. I was playing around with Last.fm, trying to figure how to use an external player with it. I figured that one out eventually, but I found out something else. By opening C:\Documents and Settings\Your Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Last.fm\Client\webservice.log and searching for "WebService::requestMetaDataRadio", you will see a url like "ws.audioscrobbler.com/radio/np.php?session=xxx" where xxx should be an md5 checksum. When you load this url into your browser, guess what you see (I won't tell you, try it yourself).

With this in mind, I proceeded to work. You'll require the Webview plugin, Variables plugin, New away System plugin (or an away system that supports Variables) and My Details plugin (optional, to check your status message).

Webview
The first thing you need to do is make a Webview contact with the url above, "ws.audioscrobbler.com/radio/np.php?session=xxx". Set it to update data every 1 min.

In contact options, set display to Between start and end strings. Fill the start box with "artist=" and end box with "track_url=", w/o quotes.

In alert options, tick enable alerts. Choose Alert when, a specific part of webpage changes. Choose Alert Type, Log to File. Fill the start box with "artist=" and end box with "track_url=", w/o quotes. Under Log to file, choose where you want the log file to be and remember where you placed it, this is needed later on. DO NOT tick append data to file.

Variables
1st version:
?if(?stricmp(?substr(?txtfile(`C:\Program Files\Miranda IM\last.fm\track.txt`,3),1,6),artist),Now listening to ?substr(?txtfile(`C:\Program Files\Miranda IM\last.fm\track.txt`,3),8,99) - ?substr(?txtfile(`C:\Program Files\Miranda IM\last.fm\track.txt`,5),7,99),?nas_predefinedmessage(?mstatus()))

2nd version:
?if(?stricmp(?substr(?txtfile(`C:\Program Files\Miranda IM\last.fm\track.txt`,3),1,6),artist),Now listening to ?substr(?txtfile(`C:\Program Files\Miranda IM\last.fm\track.txt`,3),8,99) - ?substr(?txtfile(`C:\Program Files\Miranda\last.fm\track.txt`,5),7,99) on Last.fm,?if(?and(!processrunning(xmplay.exe),?not(!stricmp(!findwindow(XMPLAY-MAIN),xmplay 3.3))),Now listening to !findwindow(XMPLAY-MAIN),?nas_predefinedmessage(?mstatus())))

The 1st version shows "Now listening to Artist - Track name" if something is playing on last.fm, otherwise it shows the predefined message for that status.

The 2nd version also shows "Now listening to Artist - Track name on Last.fm" if something is playing on last.fm. If nothing is playing on last.fm, but something is playing on XMPlay, then "Now listening to xxx" will be shown. If both are not playing, the predefined message for that status is shown. If both are playing, Last.fm takes priority.

Choose which version you want and paste it into the Variables test area and tick Auto parse. You'll have to change "C:\Program Files\Miranda\last.fm\track.txt" to the name of the log file you chose in the webview section. If you choose the 2nd version, you'll have to change the code to fit your player if it is not XMPlay.

Launch the last.fm player and start playing. Within a min, the text should change to the track currently playing.

New away System
Make a new status message and paste your modified code in. Switch to that message and you're set.

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The weird stuff you see...

Comments Backlinks

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

in your field of vision actually has a name. They are called floaters. Generally they are harmless but irritating. In some (thankfully rare) cases you may require the services of a doctor.

This is something that I've always wondered about but never bothered to find out. Guess I can cross this one off my list.

Categories:
Cool

 

Monday, September 11, 2006

Just got my "Get SVS" Shirt!

Comments Backlinks

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Sent via UPS and free shipping too! Nice of them to do that for a free shirt. It got here in just four days (not in the US btw). I'm not sure if 100 people already got shirts, but you could always try!

Btw Thanks to the Altiris team!

Categories:
Cool

 

Riddle me this, riddle me that

Comments Backlinks

AntiRiddle | Hints
There's a new game up and about on the net and it's very time consuming. The name is not terribly creative, but the puzzles are hard. How hard? Well there's a short tutorial to prep you up, then you're on your own (unless you seek some help). The first few puzzles are quite easy, think of them as warm-ups. Then it gets really hard unless you're like Grissom(CSI). Yup, there's quite a bit of CSI work to be done, ranging from analysing images to sound files. I gave up after realising I may need to download apps to figure out some puzzles.

XBox 360 laptop | Video



You have to see it to believe it. An Xbox 360 modded into a laptop! If you're asking why, it's because you can. :)

Software that slows Windows

Ever wondered what type of software causes Windows to boot slower? Someone did a benchmark on various apps and the final results don't surprise me too much, except for BitDefender and the IM software. Generally, security software and tons of fonts are bad for fast boots. I've no idea why some IM apps seem to slow booting by quite a bit. I'm glad I'm running Miranda.


Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why windows takes so long to start up? Because you followed the advice of the article!

Comments Backlinks

If you read digg regularly, you should have read a recent article about speeding up Windows boot times. I'm referring to this article, for those who have no idea what I'm talking about: Why windows takes so long to start up

Well, there's just a small problem. It tells you to delete all the files in your prefetch folder. And I can tell you right now if you do that it could make your computer slower. If you've read my recent post, you'll know that deleting layout.ini in your prefetch folder may prevent prefetch from running ever again! Yes, prefetch will be gone from your computer forever and you can change all the registry keys you want (I'm talking about prefetch registry keys, which you shouldn't be touching anyway) and it won't come back. You can confirm this by looking in your prefetch folder if you have already done this. If it's still empty, then prefetch is not working. Another consequence of this is that some defrag programs (probably the Windows one as well) rely on layout.ini to know where to optimally put your files. So deleting all the files in your prefetch folder is really a double whammy on your computer. Lastly, if layout.ini doesn't exist, Windows defrag will crash trying to defrag the drive Windows is installed on.

So what's the solution if you already did this? Once again from that post, make sure the task scheduler service is running (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services -> Task scheduler -> set it to automatic), run this command "rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks" without quotes in command prompt or Windows run (Win+R). This command as it says, tells Windows to process idle tasks like prefetch or System Restore. Normally it's done every 3 days while Windows is idle, but for some reason if layout.ini doesn't exist, prefetch isn't run. After you've run the command, wait a bit for it to create the prefetch files. If you check task manager or process explorer, you should see defrag.exe and dfrgntfs.exe(if you have ntfs disks) running. Some other processes such as wmiadap.exe and rundll32.exe may also be running. Wait till your harddisk activity is low (should only take a few minutes) and everything should be done. Check your prefetch folder and layout.ini should be there, possibly with some other files. You can safely restart if you want or you can continue using your computer.

To wrap up, you shouldn't touch the prefetch folder. If you want to change the prefetch registry keys, use this program. If you want to clear your prefetch folder, do it manually and leave layout.ini there or clear everything out and run the above command.

Categories:
Tech

 

Oops, I closed the page before Blogger told me it was done

Comments Backlinks

If you saw a garbled page for the past couple of hours, it's because I closed my browser and logged out of Blogger before it was done publishing. I always thought that dynamically updating screen was just for show, so this time I decided to log out while it was publishing. Turns out it published only a part of the template, resulting in a very badly garbled page. I guess I learnt another idiosyncrasy of Blogger today.

Categories:
Funny

 

Friday, September 08, 2006

New Weird Al song and video for download

Comments Backlinks

Lyrics
Fan-made Music Video
Chamillionaire's MySpace

This is an excellent Weird Al parody of "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire. This is one of tracks from his new album, "STRAIGHT OUTTA LYNWOOD", releasing Sep 26. Visit his site for more great downloads.



Categories:
Cool Funny Videos

 

Finally got Technoratied

Comments Backlinks

Just signed up with technorati and added this blog to the listings. I've been wanting to do this for some time but forgot all about it. Guess I have to improve my memory quite a bit.

Categories:
Cool

 

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Task scheduler speeds up Windows?

3 comments Backlinks

Like many people, I like to disable unnecessary Windows services from starting up to free up system resources. One of them happens to be task scheduler. I have always disabled task scheduler since I have never found myself requiring its services. However, I was surprised to learn how task scheduler is actually a useful service that should not be disabled in most circumstances. Here's the story:

My computer has been taking a long time to cold/warm boot for quite a while now. Generally, I'm not too bothered by it until I actually reboot, which may take days since my preferred shutdown option is hibernate for obvious reasons. I've always thought the cause of this excessively long boot time was because I hadn't defragged in months and had very low disk space left - 2 major performance killing suspects.

Today I decided to schedule a 3 hour continuous diskeeper defrag to see if that would help things a bit, along with clearing up some needed disk space. Since diskeeper can do its thing even while other processes are accessing the disk, it wouldn't affect me much. As always, diskeeper did a fine job of reducing 20,000 to 30,000 excess fragments to just 70+. During that time, I surfed around trying to find a way to populate my prefetch folder, since I realised that the folder has been empty for a long time. I remember clearing the whole folder a while back since it was filling up with old programs that didn't exist.

Here's the stunner: Apparently, Windows prefetch will not run any more if you clear out the entire prefetch folder including layout.ini. Here's another: Task scheduler must be running for prefetch to work. With these pieces of info, I set out with one aim in mind - getting prefetch back.

What I did was to enable task scheduler and run this command - "rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks". That actually runs if your computer becomes idle, but only every 3 days. It writes prefetch files among other stuff, like System Restore. This takes about 2 -3 minutes for me.

After the defrag was done, I ran the idle task command and prefetch files appeared for the first time in a long while. Upon rebooting, the time taken was shortened significantly, taking about one third or half the time normally taken to boot. To optimize it further, reboot a couple more times along with running that command each time you reboot.

In the end, you should get a faster Windows, at least I did. And I learned not to disable services that I think are unnecessary, as well as leaving layout.ini intact.

Categories:
Tech

 

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mp3Tunes Fast script

2 comments Backlinks

Firefox version
Opera version

After the Mp3tunes script, I wasn't very impressed with the speed of it. In fact, I was sure that the code was going very slowly, so I decided to see what was causing it. So after looking at it for 10 - 15 min, I finally realised that it would run approx 1/2(n+n^2) or n/2(1+n) times, better known as the formula for the summation of an A.P. starting at 1 and ending at n. Obviously, this was not an ideal implementation as I've first hand experience of Firefox locking up on pages with a quite a bit of mp3s. Opera doesn't lock up, but it still takes a while to populate the links with those sideload icons.

So I took matters into my own hands and wrote the scripts above, which run a lot faster than the scripts by Mp3Tunes. And by faster I really do mean that the difference is great. You may not see much difference with 10 links, but 50 links or so should do the trick. There are around 50 "mp3" links below, try it with the old and new scripts, I'm sure you'll see a difference.

Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3
Fake mp3

Categories:
Cool

 

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mp3Tunes Greasemonkey script for Opera

Comments Backlinks

I've been playing around with Mp3Tunes for quite a while now and webloading mp3s is quite irritating. You need to copy the url and paste it into the webload form. Yeah it seems simple at first, but when you do it often enough, it becomes a chore to do those repetitive and mundane tasks. There is a plugin from Mp3Tunes available to make that easier, but it's only available for Firefox. What a bummer!

So after seeing a digg post about a script that embeds a flash player to autoplay mp3s on webpages, I was inspired to make this script. Well, I thought of making it earlier, but procrastination held me back till today. There are some things you should know though.

First, I spent only an hour making this script. That includes testing, reading code, etc. I know it should have been faster but apparently pasting in the base64 code of the image into the address bar of opera gives you nothing after pressing enter. Clicking that exact same code in the form of a link loads the image. It left me wondering if my base64 code was correct!

Anyway, this is not really my script since I didn't write most of it. Whoever made the script for Firefox did the hard work. I just ported it over to Opera by changing a single line. :) That line is simply the sideload image file converted to base64 encoding. Originally I wanted to base this script off other similar mp3 scripts, but after reading a couple, I wondered if I could port the Firefox code and got it working after a few tries.

Second, this script works quite slowly on webpages with tons of mp3s, like maybe above 200 mp3s. The good news is that it doesn't hang Opera and you can wait for it to finish loading while working on other tabs. The bad news is that it may take a min or 2 to load entirely.

Well, that's about it. I hope you enjoy using this script. Btw, I only tested mp3 and wma files. But the other supported formats should work as well as the original script. :)

Update: I added a Firefox version here.

Categories:
Cool

 

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Free Winrar on Sunday July 30

Comments Backlinks


WinRar 3.51 is free on Sunday!


WinRAR Voted Overall Best Utility for SIAF People's Choice Award

To Say Thanks and to Celebrate: Get the Winner WinRAR 3.51 for FREE on Sunday
In order to thank everyone who voted for us and made it possible for us to
win this prestigious award, we are offering the WinRAR 3.51 single user license
non upgradeable version this Sunday the 30th of July 2006 from 00:00 until
24:00 CET for absolutely FREE. Please click the following link which will become
active on Sunday. Fill out the form on that page in order to receive further
information via e-mail about how to get your FREE version of WinRAR.


Edit: Get it here - http://www.win-rar.com/bestoverallutility/
Direct Download link. After downloading the rar file from that link, open it with Winrar to register your copy!

Categories:
Cool

 

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mp3Tunes - The joys of DRM-free music

1 comments Backlinks

Mp3Tunes was featured recently on digg and I went to signup for a free locker and I've been loving it since. Here's a quick breakdown of what it allows you to do (free account):
- stream music to unlimited computers/Tivos/Nokia tablets (limited to 2 at any single time)
- sideload and webload music files of different formats and play them (may not apply to DRM music)
- unlimited storage
- Generate playlists easily
- compare locker sizes

From my experience so far, it's a great way to store music for future listening or as a backup. You could also access and playback your entire music collection as long as you have an internet connection, since the 3 major OSs are supported. This would work great for listening in from work/school or during a vacation. No longer would you need to stream media from your own (slow) internet connection.

While you're surfing the web and come across a wonderful indie song, keeping it in your locker is just a click away with the handy Internet Explorer and Firefox plugins. There are also plugins for popular music players such as Winamp and Itunes to allow you to listen to your music without loading a browser (requires login).

With no limits to stop you, you could store as much or little as you want. The top users have tens of thousands of files! You could also see how you compare to them via the lockerenvy site.

Of course this has been made possible because the music that is in the locker has no DRM. If any song in your locker has DRM, it may not even play. And this is where DRM loses in usefulness and overall functionality. As the implementation of different DRM schemes are proprietary and very likely to be closed source, Mp3Tunes is not gonna be able to play them. So that means your 0.99 tunes from Itunes aren't very useful in this case, unless u rerip them into mp3s or other unrestricted formats. If you're a hardcore ITunes users, imagine reripping everytime you buy from ITunes. Yup, not a very nice thought.

If you intend to buy a premium account, here're some coupons to save you some cash: - oboespace
- oboeside

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Free Rapidshare premium links

149 comments Backlinks

Edit: You may want to check out my other rapidshare posts, as they contain more updated info.

As you may or may not know, Rapidshare has been giving out free 2 day premium accounts recently (as recent as July 19th) and frequently. These accounts (a few thousand) seem to be available every couple of days and are gone in a few minutes (from what I've heard).

And many people seem to have extra premium accounts that they have no idea what to do with (or so I've seen). Well, here comes a site that harnesses the power of crowds just like digg. This site relies on donated premium accounts, which presumably means you don't want your account anymore, since the password has to be entered along with the login number.

Of course, if you have excess free premium accounts, this shouldn't be a problem. Currently, it appears that many people (about 1000) have unused accounts that are donated and put to good use. The site is quite nifty too, as it tells you the number of out-of-bandwidth accounts as well as giving you a direct download link. Expired accounts are purged automatically from the database so it seems everything has been covered, except when all the premium accounts expire...

Btw, at this time 300 accounts are out of bandwidth! Wow, that's like 3gb*300=900gb downloaded today!!! Insane!

Categories:
Cool

 

Friday, July 21, 2006

Free calls to 60 countries!

Comments Backlinks

Possibly in response to Skype offering free calls in the US, Gizmo has offered free landline calls in 60 countries! It's split into 17 countries with free landline and mobile calls and the rest have free landline calls. So what's the catch? Well, there seems to be a few. First, you and the receiver have to be active Gizmo members. I have no idea what that actually means, but I think I'll find out soon enough. Also, the phone numbers have to be added into your profiles, which may not be a good idea if these profiles can be publicly viewed. Finally, they have stated that calls may be limited if people are found abusing it, which is likely to happen with any free service. I have yet to register as a member yet, but I guess I'll try this out tomorrow. Hopefully it remains free for unlimited calls.

Update: I realised that I don't really have a use for this at the moment. Maybe if the need arises I'll revisit this post.

Categories:
Cool

 

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Warcraft maps (Battleships & dota)

2 comments Backlinks

Yeah, yeah I know, I haven't posted ANYTHING in a looonnnggg time. What have I been up to? Well, at least some of my time has been dedicated to warcraft 3. If you don't know, I like playing battleships on battlenet with my clanmates (or with total strangers). So I've released a complilation of the LATEST battleships maps in my collection, as well as dota, just cause it's like the most popular map around. This includes the latest release by my clan - Battleships X v2.6, which you can't find on any website to my knowledge. So if you play warcraft 3, be sure to grab this excellent custom maps!


Categories:
Cool

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New Super Mario Bros

6 comments Backlinks

Just saw the new super mario website and was impressed by it. Not so much by the website, but by the new game for the DS. It features some cool new powerups like the mushrooms that make you a lot bigger or really minuscule. It also showcases some new multiplayer options such as mario vs luigi and minigames and new mario moves. Overall it looks like a fun game to play, unfortunately there's no online demo (maybe I'm asking for too much).

Anyway there's a small easter egg on the website. If you head over to the downloads section, clicking on every coin, brick and baddie will open up a bonus wallpaper. Or if you're too lazy, just click here:
1280x1024
1024x768
800x768

Ok, if you like the addictive music, you can download it as well.
Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5
Track 6

Categories:
Cool

 

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Google Video script for Opera and Firefox

8 comments Backlinks

(Edit: If you're looking for the firefox version, go to the end of this post.)

Well here is my first post after a month or so (really busy 3 - 4 weeks). And I'm proud to release this Google video script for Opera users. No, I didn't spend an entire month working on this :), it was closer to a few hours yesterday and the day before.

So enough of that and on to what this script does. (The following instructions apply to windows users running Opera 8+.) First, installation. If you're an Opera (the browser) user, just download this user script and stick into your user script (javascript) folder. If you don't know where that is, click tools (in the menubar) -> preferences (or simply ctrl + F12) , goto the advanced tab and click on "content" on the left hand side. Click on a button called "javascript options" and you should see a text label called "My javascript files". In the textbox below it is the location of your user script files. After installing the script, make sure Opera is restarted.

Ok the second and last step is to open Opera and surf down to Google videos. Choose a video you like and click on its link to watch it. When the video's page has loaded, you should see that the page has been modified to allow you to download the video as an avi file. I've changed the default download link to be the avi file (if you wish to download for ipod/psp, just choose the appropriate option). Click on the Download button and a download dialog box should appear asking you where to save the avi file (you should know where to go from here). Or even better, if you prefer to stream the avi file instead, click on the link "Kill the flash and watch the avi instead!" (this may cause some lag while the quicktime/vlc plugin loads). Sit back, relax and wait for the file to load. Once loaded, you should be watching the streamed avi :). If you do regret the decision to view the streamed avi, no worries, click on "Gimme back my flash!" to revert the action. You can switch between them as many times as you like :). (Be warned that the windows vlc plugin will terminate Opera if this link is clicked more than two times, avi -> flash -> avi. No such problems occur with the quicktime plugin.)

Some screenshots from Opera:




Disclaimer: This script has only been tested by me under windows :). Your mileage may vary when using this script under other OSes (although it should work).

Update: I've edited the script for Firefox. Get it here. A known issue is that under Firefox 1.07, you can only switch to avi once. Trying to switch back to flash would cause a harmless javascript error. Untested in the latest Firefox but it should work similarly.

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Quick Pandora fix

Comments Backlinks

So I decided to listen to Pandora again. After discovering Pandora a while back, I switched to last.fm to see what the fuss was about. And it turns out that I liked last.fm quite a bit. Then came this post about mashing Pandora and last.fm together on digg and I checked out Pandora once again.

Pandora and last.fm, if you don't already know, are basically internet radios. Pandora gives you the opportunity to discover new music through some super smart alogrithm that is able to sort different tunes based on their musical qualities. Only one song/artist is all it takes for Pandora to guess what you want or not. Sometimes, it does miss the mark, fortunately that doesn't happen too often.

Last.fm is a totally different beast. Based on the oh-so-popular tagging, you usually start off by listening to some tagged/custom/similar artist radio and begin to amass your tag collection. Or you could just add to the tag radio as well. If you're into collecting tags though, you need quite a few tagged tracks (not that many, maybe 20 or so) to listen to your tagged radio. As you listen to more tracks, you gain more functionality as well, such as neighbour radio and recommendations.

As you can see these 2 are totally different software serving different purposes. Anyway, I logged on to Pandora and realised I couldn't edit my old station at all. All it did was to pop up an error message that apologizes for its inability to do anything (lol). Well I did the unthinkable and sent them a feedback email.

Guess what? I got an email back from Vic @ pandora asking me the usual troubleshooting questions like if the station actually works, etc. I replied that it worked fine, just that editing it seemed to be a problem. That was last Friday/Saturday. Vic just replied a few hours ago that it was indeed a bug and they were fixing it. A while after that email, I saw Pandora asking me to upgrade to the latest version and editing my station works now! A total of about 1 - 2 days, not including non-working days, was required to fix the problem. If only everything else was as efficient...

Categories:
Cool

 

Monday, April 03, 2006

macZOT for free

Comments Backlinks

This is an inventive way to spread the word around. Release a popular app for sale (macZOT), get a couple of bloggers (259 or more) to blog about it and link back to you. And get on the front page of digg along the way.

Not that I'm complaining :). It's been a while since I've seen any type of creative advertising on the net, or even anywhere else (maybe I'm not looking hard enough). But seriously, it's a cheap and effective method of getting the word out. Definitely more effective than those betas that Microsoft and Google continually put out. Plus all those (positive) comments about macZOT are priceless in generating more buzz.

Everytime someone links back to macZOT, $0.05 gets knocked off the price, which will probably spur more bloggers or their friends to spread the word. At the time of this posting, it's around $9, so already about 70 bloggers have said something about it and linked back to them. And don't forget the infamous digg effect. Really makes me wish I could do something similar :P. Hey, at least I get a link back here :P.

Btw it's a Mac app in case you were wondering.

Update: It's now officially for free! Get AppZapper for $0 here.

Categories:
Apple Cool

 

Saturday, April 01, 2006

digg.com (Out of Service)

Comments Backlinks

Oops, looks like digg has run into some downtime. Or is it an april's fools joke? You can never be too sure with the many jokers around today.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Categories:
Funny

 

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sandbox your apps

Comments Backlinks

A company named Altiris has released a useful app called Software Virtualization Solution (SVS). SVS creates a sandbox for your applications to play in, so that your system remains free of any contamination of data. This allows you to do things like loading default settings of an app with a click of a button. However, the best feature IMO is the ability to save to a virtual app file. By saving to an app file (i think they call it Virtual Software Archive), you can load it onto another computer using SVS. Settings from the older computer will be retained and used on the newer computer! No reinstalls or exporting of existing settings!

And those are not the only things you can do with it. If you goto their website, you could find out how to install Firefox 2.0 so that it is sandboxed with SVS. This is important as Firefox 2.0 is currently in alpha status and installing 2 versions of Firefox is not really recommended (although lifehacker says it's ok). Of course you could do the same with other apps as well, but some apps which require low level access such as antivirus software are not officially supported right now.

In short, this is a handy utility to have, plus it's free. Not only will your registry thank you, you can create backups of your apps and associated settings. Just remember to read the manual about the different layers, to prevent loss of data that you may want to keep (once a layer is reset, data stored in that layer is deleted). The wiki is also quite helpful.

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Auto authenticate program for OpenVPN gui

15 comments Backlinks

Yesterday I was scouring the web for a way to automatically save my username and password for OpenVPN. OpenVPN, as the name suggests is an open source VPN client. While I don't really care for the TLS security that is supposed to be better than other clients, the higher powers have given strict orders to use it in order to secure my connection. Generally I hate to listen to them, but wireless security as you all may know, is not something you should bet your life on. There's no other way to connect either, so I was stuck with OpenVPN (not that this is a bad thing) or no connection at all (which is not a good thing).

So I've been using OpenVPN for a while now and everything works great. I'm using the windows gui version so the OpenVPN console won't irritate me constantly in my taskbar. And I start to notice this incredibly annoying thing that happens constantly. For some reason, my OpenVPN connection drops frequently. I do mean frequently, like 5 minutes or so. So I'll be typing stuff and this nice little dialog box will pop up asking for my username and password. Ok, it doesn't do this all the time, sometimes it'll reconnect with my authentication details and all is well. But when it wants to annoy me (and I don't know why sometimes it asks for my details and sometimes it doesn't), it'll ask me for those details everytime a connection is dropped.

And so I thought, hey, this is a gui, so there must be a way to save those details. Except there isn't any way to do that. The only way is to download around 5 packages and recompile the whole damn thing! Ok, so I stay cool headed and figure that they must offer a download with the save password option enabled. Off to their website I go, sniffing around for the hidden treasure. Nope, nothing there and I head into their forums and what do I see? A forum post stating that they do not offer that download and you'll have to go down the recompile route! The reason? They don't want users to undermine the admin's intentions by saving passwords in cleartext on their computer (I understand why). In another post, I see an OpenVPN user saying he saves his password in cleartext on his computer because he chooses cryptic passwords.

At this time, my head was about to explode. I turned to Google for help and found basically the same answer - recompile. Was I about to spend hours of my life wasted on trying to recompile something just to save my passwords? Nope. Instead Google came to my rescue once again as I found something called AutoHotkey which allows you to automate certain tasks. With this handy software, I created a simple script to fill in my username and password automatically when OpenVPN asks for it. The best part is that it allows you to build a program from that script and you can use it however you like.

Here's the script I wrote:

#Persistent
SetTimer, EnterAuth, 250
return

EnterAuth:
Process, wait, openvpn-gui.exe, 2
If %ErrorLevel% = 0
{
Run, %A_Programs%\OpenVPN\YourShortcuthere.lnk
Sleep, 2000
}
IfWinExist OpenVPN - User Authentication
{
ControlSetText, Edit1, YourUsernamehere, OpenVPN - User Authentication ahk_class #32770
ControlSetText, Edit2, YourPasswordhere, OpenVPN - User Authentication ahk_class #32770
ControlSend, Edit1, {Enter}, OpenVPN - User Authentication ahk_class #32770
}
return


What you need: AutoHotkey and the above script saved as a .ahk file.

What you need to change: YourShortcuthere.lnk, YourUsernamehere and YourPasswordhere.

What you need to do:

Option 1 - If you know what an .ovpn file is and where it's located (Confident users)

1. Create a shortcut in your OpenVPN start menu folder with these parameters: "--connect something.ovpn". This shortcut will run OpenVPN gui using settings in the specified .ovpn file. The .ovpn file is a config file for OpenVPN and is normally located in the folder where you installed OpenVPN.

2. Change YourShortcuthere.lnk to whatever you called that shortcut.

3. Then change YourUsernamehere and YourPasswordhere to your own username and password and run the autohotkey compiler to create an exe file.

4. Run the created executable and enjoy!

Option 2 - If you don't have an .ovpn file, or can't find it or just want things to work (Conservative users)

1. Download this AutoHotKey script for OpenVPN gui. This assumes you have only have one type of OpenVPN connection (true for most people). Please note that I'm also assuming you've installed OpenVPN gui in the default installation directory. Otherwise leave a comment and I'll fix you up with the proper code.

2. Open the file in notepad (or your favorite text editor) and change YourUsernamehere and YourPasswordhere to your own username and password and run the autohotkey compiler to create an exe file. Don't worry about the compiling, it's very easy to use. If you need help on this step, leave a comment.

3. Run the created executable and enjoy!


ps: If you change your password often, you could change the program to ask for your username and password and save these details into a text file. As long as there is a password file, the program will use those details. Delete that file and the program will request for them again.

Categories:
Tech

 

Friday, March 24, 2006

Search 2.0?

2 comments Backlinks

Just the other day, a random thought came to my mind. All that web 2.0 stuff has been really interesting, but not much are really very useful. I remember seeing an Ajax search engine with the "show search terms-as-you-type" feature which I thought was pretty neat (this can be replicated on Google, Yahoo, Msn and some other search engines using an extension in Firefox). Next, commenting popped in my head, with people telling you about their experience on a certain subject matter. Somewhere in between, features from digg interrupted my thoughts, but in a useful way (think of digging). Finally, tagging came along with technorati and last.fm springing up as successful examples of using tags.

Something in my brain clicked and suddenly I had them all linked together. A useful Web 2.0 app was born. By now, you should be able to guess what it is. Search 2.0! I envisioned a search engine that allowed users to tag search results, enter good words on the most relevant search results and curse the evil search engine spammers. Of course it would come standard with Ajax "show search terms-as-you-type" built-in, but before you hit the enter button, it could show you how many people used that search term(s) or how popular that search term(s) was or show you a Google lucky link. Essentially it would try to guess the content you were interested in and show you how many people used those particular search terms and got relevant results or just show you a Google luck link (I hope you know what that means).

After you load your search result page, you could see results sorted in ways other than the search engine algorithm. Logged in users could "digg" results to get them up the search ranking. And like digg, users could "digg" comments as well. For non-relevant/spam results, they could also be reported by users and put in their proper place or taken off the results page. You could then sort results by the default algorithm, "diggs", number of "digged" comments, etc. A result could also be tagged and you could search within certain tags only.

I don't know about you, but all of these sounds very exciting to me and could be a way to entice users from the big G. It would definitely be quite useful to me, and I'm not sure if del.icio.us actally fits that category, since it relies on user submitted urls. This idea of mine actually changes current search engines into a much more robust tool. Hopefully someone reads this and gets enough interest in creating Search 2.0.

ps. I didn't look around much, but has such a search engine appeared on the web?

Update: Google and Microsoft launch betas that are one step closer to Search 2.0, although they really are still very far away from it.

Update: A useful Greasemonkey script that redesigns Google: Google Redux

Categories:
Tech

 

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hoobastank's new singles for download

6 comments Backlinks

Around a month ago, Hoobastank released a single from their upcoming album, Every Man For Himself, called If I Were You. A few days ago, a second single from that album was released, named Born To Lead. On its website, you can listen to the FULL songs if you have windows media player installed. However, the site does not provide you with a way to download these songs to your computer.

Before I show you where you can get these songs, are you one of those who have never heard of Hoobastank? It's likely that you've been hiding under a rock for the past year or so if you have never heard of their highly successful single, The Reason. Featured on many radio charts and TV commercials, everyone was hooked onto The Reason instantly (at least I was). Another popular song by them was the follow-up to The Reason, Disappear. Although I had heard of them since their debut self-titled album, it was really The Reason that made me (and many others) stand up and notice them. Disappear managed to keep that momentum going.

By now you should have some knowledge of Hoobastank (if not please check out the previous album, The Reason). Via the Hoobastank forums, I've found links to the MP3 versions of these songs. The following links lead to the actual page where the download links can be found. If I Were You download. Born To Lead download.

I have to admit that I was not immediately attracted to these singles unlike The Reason. If I Were You has since grown on me while Born To Lead is still trying to gain acceptance. However, I predict that If I Were You should be quite a big hit and another song from Every Man For Himself, called If Only will be as successful as The Reason. If Only has not been released yet, however I have had the chance to listen to it. Like The Reason, it is also a love song with clear and simple lyrics. Unlike The Reason however, If Only as the title suggests, tells of someone regretting over what might have been.

Hope you enjoy these singles and remember to grab the new album, Every Man For Himself, when it comes out on May 16th!

Categories:
Cool

 

Monday, March 13, 2006

Why is everyone in a frenzy over Mozilla's revenues now?

Comments Backlinks

So a former AOL guy blogged about Mozilla getting some $72million in revenues and suddenly everyone's interested. The figure happens to be inaccurate though said to be close to the actual figure. It could in fact be higher than $72million! Just joking.

What I don't get is why everyone is suddenly so interested in this as if it concerns them (Ok, so they are using the browser). Did it just occur to you that the helpful searchbar was netting Mozilla tons of money? Or did you feel like a sucker for installing Firefox and allowing others to somehow profit? Perhaps you just realised that Firefox is no more than a well-made adware/spyware that everyone is recommending to everyone else? Maybe you want Mozilla to tell you in the EULA before you install that it will make money from your searches? Could it be that no one really cares about this at all and this whole story is just over-hyped (but this just sounds too good to be true)?

Just for the record, I knew about this a long time ago. I'm also pretty sure that Opera does this and probably every smart kid is doing this. My primary browser is Opera right now and I don't use their handy searchbar. If I'm using Firefox, the handy searchbar lies there collecting virtual dust. And I know that they only earn if I click on a paid link after the search results appear. So why don't I use the handy searchbar that they so painstakingly built into the browser?

The main reason is simple - choice. My searches belong to me and it's up to me whether I want them to benefit anyone else. If they do benefit a third party, I definitely would want to know about it. In theory, this should be true since I use adblocking software and shouldn't even see any advertising. Reality wise, this holds true in most cases except for the rare ad. Still, I resort to the long and laborious method of clicking on my google button in Opera or just typing the url out.

Another reason is I really like to have as much screen space as possible and that handy searchbar is not so handy if I'm not using it. Since I've squeezed everything I want onto a single toolbar, the location bar has been complaining. Removing the handy searchbar helps, but the location bar is still not satisfied. There's only so much I can do to please it.

Now I've an interesting thought. Since Firefox and Opera come built-in with user agent spoofers, how do the search engines know which of them to credit? Is there a (gasp!) identifying key of some sort being passed around? Or do they blindly credit according to user agents?

Addtional resources: Mozilla Revenue Claim Sparks Frenzy
Mozilla's Millions?

Categories:
Tech

 

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

First real look at Origami

Comments Backlinks

Intel has given the first peeks into how the Origami looks like. They showed it off at their developer forum yesterday. The important points are that it has a 7inch screen, runs full versions of Windows, lasts for 3 hours and is expected to cost $1000 initially. Intel hopes to increase the battery performance and Microsoft could develop a special version of Windows for it. The price is expected to drop in 2 years.

Ok, so this is not looking too optimistic. $1000 and a 3 hour battery life? The battery life is still tolerable I think, but the price is way too high. Who would want to fork out 1k for a hybrid tablet pc? I admit that I thought no one would buy the Ipod, but look how that turned out. But seriously, 1k? By the time it drops to $500, and I assume they're not gonna upgrade anything in the mean time, it'll be practically nonsensical to pay that much for a 2 year old product. Drop a couple hundreds off the price now and I might consider. I bet many more will too.

Link: Betanews

Update: Origami Portal analyses the Intel UMPC video. UMPC video here.

They also have an analysis of Microsoft's Origami.

Finally, there are some (upcoming) videos of the UMPC/Origami at Origami Portal.

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Get an Xbox® 360 for Six Bucks?

Comments Backlinks

So you didn't get the Xbox 360 because it was too expensive and wanted to wait till the price dropped enough to fit into your budget. Now you have a chance to get an XBox 360 at a very low price of $6 (if you live in the US, you lucky bastards). Sounds too good to be real? Well, that's a catch, sort of.

Out of the thousands of boxes that Midnight Box will be shipping, only 1 will contain an Xbox 360, another will have an Advent Heritage Series five-speaker home theater surround sound system. The actual price is really only a buck, but $5 goes towards shipping. Still, the minimum retail price for any box will be $20 and the maximum is $650, so it's quite a bargain.

So head on down to Midnight Box and get registered. Go there at 12:01am on Mar 10 and grab your boxes. Wait again for your Mystery Box to get delivered and hopefully PROFIT!!!

Categories:
Cool

 

Pearl Jam's latest single available for free

Comments Backlinks

I just found out a while ago that Pearl Jam has released their new single to the public for download. It's called World Wide Suicide and is a 256kps unprotected, DRM-free MP3. In case you do not know who Pearl Jam is, you should be able to remember their song, Last Kiss, that was incredibly popular just a couple of years ago. If I recall correctly, that was based on a real life car accident.

Now that your memory is refreshed, you should probably check out that song since it's free anyway. The song is listenable and should grow on you in no time. Given that their album will be released in May, if you're a fan, you should definitely grab it now. Some sources tell me that this download will only be available for a few days, so get it while you can!

Direct download link: Here

Categories:
Cool

 

Monday, March 06, 2006

A real picture of the Origami?

Comments Backlinks

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

A "leaked" picture of the Origami has appeared and it's looking better than before. Of course someone already pointed out that this is quite possibly fake as none of the indicator lights are actually on. Still, it could be a mock-up from official sources although that is highly unlikely. Why show a mock-up when you have the real thing to boast about? Nevertheless, if it looks somewhat like this, though the size could be a tad smaller and the price is around $500 - 600, Microsoft could have an Ipod in their hands.

Categories:
Cool

 

The new touchscreen video Ipod?

Comments Backlinks

This site has some great pictures of the rumored new video Ipod with a touchscreen clickwheel. Hopefully these are real pictures.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

The first one compares it with an Ipod nano and it looks like it's about the same height as the nano, although it is about 1.5 times fatter than the Ipod nano. You can also see the touchscreen clickwheel and playing/status indicator on the new Ipod. The new Ipod also has a larger screen, which means a shorter battery life? The second pic shows off the height of the new Ipod. And the last one shows it playing music.

Update: The site linked to has died, so I grabbed the images and hosted them on imageshack. Other blogs with this: gadgetall and engadget.

Categories:
Apple Cool Tech

 

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Video: The Simpsons intro made with real actors

Comments Backlinks



Someone took quite a bit of effort to act out the entire introduction for the Simpsons. Some are saying there are some inaccuracies but who really cares? It's great to watch just for the heck of it. I wonder what's next... an entire episode of the Simpsons?

Update: The original creators actually did this as a promo for a new season of the Simpsons.

Categories:
Cool Videos

 

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another remote IRC "exploit" courtesy of Symantec

1 comments Backlinks

Here's another piece of evidence that installing Symantec products, aka Norton stuff may cause more problems than they solve. Some person posted that certain keywords when typed will cause people running affected Norton products to disconnect from IRC without warning. Apparently these keywords are used by a keylogger so Norton simply kicks you off without telling the reason in order to protect you from a program that may not even exist on your computer. What a smart idea.

Categories:
Funny Tech

 

Blogmad has some serious bugs

Comments Backlinks

I have found several (what I think to be) serious bugs with Blogmad related to credit issues and some other minor bugs. These bugs are easy to exploit, ie nearly anyone can do it. I've tested them quite a bit and believe that others should have discovered them by now. Since the bugs will affect Blogmad in quite a big way, I have not listed them here or anywhere. I've requested the admin to contact me by email for more info.

Update: I did a quick check and the bugs have been fixed.

Categories:
Tech

 

Blogmad launches public beta, get an invite here!

2 comments Backlinks

Blogmad has gone into public beta, but it's invite only, which is a lot like Google's services. What is Blogmad? In short, it's a blog promoter. My previous post on Blogmad tells you more.

If you want an invite, just leave a comment with your email and name.

Categories:
Cool

 

Week 2 of Microsoft's Origami up and Intel pops a surprise

Comments Backlinks

Week 2 of the teaser is up and it hints at the Origami being a mobile PC that doesn't get in your way with more info on Mar 9 2006. The HTML source also has "Origami Project: the Mobile PC running Windows XP" added to it. And it gets more exciting. Engadget tells us that Intel has its own surprise with the ultra mobile PC, which sounds very similar. Intel's teaser says Mar 7 2006 is the date to look out for. It just keeps getting more and more interesting or frustrating depending on how you look at it.

Update: Good news: The NYT states that UMPC devices could cost less than US$1000 depending on options. They will run the tablet version of Windows, so at least there's quite a bit of functionality. Specialised versions will target certain groups of consumers such as gamers, etc. While I hope for this to be good news, I suspect that it is likely that these will cost a premium for upgraded graphics capabilities, ram, etc.

Bad news: "They will be hefty, at about two pounds, and have a limited battery life of three hours or so between charges, the Microsoft consultant said. A new generation of low-power chips, extending battery life to six hours, will come next year. Later models, he added, will come with screens of four inches or so." Intel will be supplying the chips so we can forget about low prices.


Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lesson: Don't lie on the internet

Comments Backlinks

A few days ago or so, I read about a story from digg on some dude giving away free Ubuntu cds at his local MacDonalds. So this sounds like your typical Ubuntu/Linux evangelist spreading the love around. He has since deleted his forum posts, but he claimed that the cds were well received and the manager was using Ubuntu on his 4 month old laptop the very next day. Couple of screenshots here:
Bigger version
Bigger version

It turns out that diggers did some digging and found out everything was a big fat lie except for the part about leaving some Ubuntu cds at Mac's. And while he appears to be a pretty nice guy in his forum posts, his ugly side rears its head in his agitated responses to the original story submitter. The best part is he claimed that everything was ok till digg went to screw it up and he intends to change his name, details, etc. Presumably, his original intent of posting his "story" was to encourage people to distribute the cds (ok, maybe it wasn't). What digg did was to spread this great "story" around and perhaps encouraged a couple others to do the same. Blaming digg, the story submitter and changing your particulars aren't going to help you if your story is simply fabricated.

Lesson to be learnt? Just because you're on the internet and you think no one is looking doesn't mean that you can just make up stories. Don't lie on the internet, for we are watching you (imagine Robert DeNiro doing the hand action to Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents/Fockers).

Categories:
Funny

 

Video: Vista's speech recognition feature

Comments Backlinks



A new feature from Windows Vista is speech recognition. This video shows you more about it.

Categories:
Cool Tech Videos

 

Engadget's live coverage of Apple's Feb 28 event

Comments Backlinks

Just a quick link for those who want to know everything and anything as it happens from the Apple event.

Categories:
Apple Tech

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Video: Sticking to the speed limit

Comments Backlinks



An amusing video showing you just what happens when everyone follows the speed limit. The sound level could do with some normalization but overall it's a good video to show to law makers.

Categories:
Funny Videos

 

Video: Ipod, a Microsoft product

Comments Backlinks



Watch how the Ipod transforms into a typical Microsoft package. Note: Ipod not included.
Music: Breakfast Machine by Danny Elfman from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Sample: http://elfman.filmmusic.com/media.htm (realaudio file)

Categories:
Apple Cool Funny Videos

 

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Video of Microsoft's Origami in action

Comments Backlinks

To watch the video, go here, then navigate the flash site: Enter > Work > BrandTheatre > Microsoft Origami. The direct link for download is here in .flv and here in .mpg. You will need a player capable of playing .flv files, such as flv player or mplayer.

Or watch it here:


This video reveals a LOT about the Origami. The slogan appears to be "You are FREE". People who have watched this video have compared it OQO, PDAs and tablet PCs. While there are many similarities, there are a few differences. From the video, I gather that the Origami has the following functions/accessories:


  • Stylus

  • Short range wireless capability such as Bluetooth

  • Quick email/note sending

  • Sketching/Drawing/Doodling

  • GPS navigation

  • MP3 player

  • Touchscreen

  • Docking station

  • Dynamic photo frame

  • Wireless media controller for your Windows PC

  • Stream audio from your PC to it?

  • Long range wireless capability such as wifi

  • Gaming console with integrated controller buttons

  • Optional external keyboard with case


Obviously, it has functions that no available device in the market (that I know of) has. With regards to its size, judging by the video, it looks about the size of a personal organiser (one of those that you write in with a real pen). These are my estimate of its dimensions - length: 20cm, width: 35cm and height: 3cm.

So with the size out of the way, it's time for more important things like the OS. This is truly guesswork as the video doesn't really show much of it. It probably runs Windows XP, possibly the full version of it or the tablet version. That's nice, I just hope it can run other OSes. I'm not gonna try to guess things like the processor, harddisk, graphics accelerator or memory as that would be as useful as plucking figures from the air.

What I would like to know however, is where the optical drive is hidden or if there's even one. Or is it another external accessory? I guess they didn't include that since they figured many people don't use optical media while on the go. I know I don't.

Another critical point is the battery life. Considering that it has many things to zap battery life (wifi, color screen, playing mp3s), it had better have some outstanding, long-lasting battery. Sure a laptop/tablet/PDA/OQO probably has about the same number of power hungry components, but I expect the Origami to be an all-in-one device that I can use while travelling (since it seems to be marketed in the ad as one). I'm not sure about you, but I sure don't power up my laptop while on a bus. Even if it were a PDA/OQO, I wouldn't waste battery life unnecessarily. For the Origami however, I want to listen to mp3s while playing halo on the bus and after all that, still have enough juice to work on documents. I'm hoping for a conservative 2 hours of fun and 4 - 5 hours for dull work, which is about or a bit longer than the life of normal laptops with souped up batteries. Of course I would love longer playing/working times, but comparing with similar devices leads me to believe this is the max it can last w/o charging.

And that rounds up my take on the Origami. Btw, the website www.taikoux.com from the video points a filler site at the moment. Also, the origami reminds me of the one hundred dollar laptop, just that it's a more expensive version.

Update: The original link has been taken down. And Microsoft says that the video is a year old and more changes could be in store for us. Sadly, over at Scobleizer, it is revealed that only details of the Origami will be released on March 2, 2006.

Categories:
Cool Tech Videos

 

The IT Crowd — The complete first season!

Comments Backlinks

All 6 episodes of the IT crowd can be found here! Hosted on youtube for viewing and if you want to download them, torrent links are also available.


Categories:
Cool Videos

 

Friday, February 24, 2006

Microsoft has a mysterious project

Comments Backlinks

Visit the website and what do you see? Nothing, just an embedded flash with some intriguing questions - essentially a teaser. But it hints at something very interesting, as interesting as what Apple has in store for us on Feb 28. I found some links that describe this in just a bit more detail here and here. Everything points to some sort of portable and wearable PC that runs WinXP. But doesn't that sound like a PDA, tablet or notebooks that are already available for ages? Yup, except it sounds like it's gonna be smaller and cheaper than most tablets or notebooks and yet can still run the full WinXP. So what's the difference between this and a smaller tablet/laptop? That's what everyone wants to know.

Update: Engadget has more details here.

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

First “real” iPod video shots?

Comments Backlinks

Just an image showing what appears to be a portable video device. Bonus: Has a serial number attached.

Categories:
Apple Cool Tech

 

Monday, February 20, 2006

Self parking BMW

Comments Backlinks



Find a space, press the "auto park" button and let the car do the work! Bonus: It does parallel parking in the video.

Categories:
Cool Tech Videos

 

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I'm now a Blogmad member

Comments Backlinks

I happened to see this and decided to signup for it. It aims to help you increase the traffic to your blog. You gain credits by viewing other blogs, playing games, referring people and winning the lottery. Here's hoping that more people would stumble upon this blog.

Categories:
Cool

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MSN launches search and win contest

7 comments Backlinks

MSN just launched a new contest that rewards searchers who use their search engine. The sad part is that it is limited only to US residents. However I do notice some goodies in the price listing, such as 4 Panasonic TH-452PX500U 42" Diagonal plasma HDTVs and several cash rewards ranging from 10k to 50k. I wonder how long it'll take for someone to come up with an automated bot that attempts different keywords to grab all the prizes, since it is going to run till April.

Btw, I do think that this is not very useful at keeping searchers at MSN as I foresee those who are absolutely not interested in the search results, but in the prizes that are offered. In the end, they'll not click through to the sites listed.

Edit: Someone has created an automated searcher: here.

Categories:
Cool

 

Monday, February 13, 2006

Wikipedia goes down

Comments Backlinks

I loaded up the Wikipedia page and instead of the site loading up, I was greeted with an error message telling me they're experiencing problems! I managed to grab all the messages in the different languages just for the heck of it.

The Wikimedia Foundation servers are currently experiencing technical difficulties.
维基媒体基金会服务器现在发生技术问题。
Les serveurs de la Wikimedia Foundation ont actuellement des problèmes techniques.
Er zijn momenteel technische problemen met de servers van de Wikimedia Foundation.
Wikimedias servrar har för tillfället tekniska problem.
Los servidores de la Fundación Wikimedia están actualmente experimentando dificultades técnicas.
Bei den Servern der Wikimedia Foundation sind gerade technische Probleme aufgetreten.
現在、ウィキメディア財団のサーバに技術的な問題が発生しています。
Serwery Fundacji Wikimedia mają w tej chwili problemy techniczne.
I server della Wikimedia Foundation hanno al momento qualche problema tecnico.
Os servidores da Fundação Wikimedia estão com dificuldades técnicas.

Now it doesn't even show an error message, just a 403 message. Wonder when it's gonna come back up...

Edit: By searching Google using advanced search and specifying wikipedia.org in the domain textbox, I was able to get the necessary wikipedia info from Google's cache.

 

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Microsoft Anti-Spyware Deleting Norton Anti-Virus

Comments Backlinks

So your Anti-spyware could now start removing your anti-virus programs? Note to self: Read before clicking the remove button. I suspect those users weren't paying too much attention when they clicked on remove. (Some actually read that norton was about to be removed and did it anyway!) Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Norton products haven't exactly been hailed as speed demons, quite the contary in fact. Many including myself tend to shy away from anything Norton since Norton and speed are hardly associated with each other. Microsoft probably fixed it by now with new definitions, but who knows, maybe tomorrow it'll remove something else, perhaps *cough* starforce *cough*?

Categories:
Funny Tech

 

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A real transformer in action

Comments Backlinks



Remember Transformers? No? Maybe this real-life transformer morphing from a vehicle to a walking robot will help jog your memory.

Categories:
Cool Tech Videos

 

Friday, February 10, 2006

MacGyver in an ad

Comments Backlinks

Here's an ad starring MacGyver in a typical scenario. Relive the good old days!

Categories:
Videos

 

Monday, February 06, 2006

PC in a (whiskey) bottle

Comments Backlinks

What do you do with your empty whiskey bottles? Grow plants? Stuff them with sand? How about building a PC?

Categories:
Cool Tech

 

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Howto: AJAX for Blogger peek-a-boo content

31 comments Backlinks

Introduction: As part of my recent design changes earlier, I added AJAX functionality to this blog. More on this here. This is a howto on replicating this on your own blog @ Blogger. I'm assuming you have some knowledge of html, blogger template code and javascript. You may want to read up on AHAH here. I've split up the code into 3 parts.

Ok, I'm starting off with the last part of my code first, since it is easier to explain how everything works that way. First look at the template code below. Hopefully you understand what's happening here because it's basic html and blogger template codes.


<MainOrArchivePage>

<small onclick="javascript:toggler('<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>', this, '<$BlogItemNumber$>post')" style="cursor:hand;">Click to view</small>

</MainOrArchivePage>

<div class="post-body" <MainOrArchivePage>id="<$BlogItemNumber$>post" style="display:none;"</MainOrArchivePage>>

<ItemPage><$BlogItemBody$></ItemPage></div>


So everything starts when a user clicks on "Click to view". As you can see it calls the toggler function and from there, somehow the div class="post-body", which is the entire post appears. (The way it works for comments and backlinks are similar so I don't think an explanation is required.)

The below you see is the last part of my code, which is the toggler function. Notice that it accepts 3 variables - serverPage, linkobj and objID. Where do these variables come from? Look at "Click to view" again. Do you see '<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>', this, '<$BlogItemNumber$>post'? Yup those 3 are the 3 variables. The first variable, serverPage, contains '<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>', the post permalink url, also where you are gonna parse content from. The 2nd variable, linkobj, holds the link object itself. This is so that you can change "Click to view" to "Click to hide". The 3rd variable, objID, contains the post id, so that the script knows which post to show or hide.

Now you know how what these variables are. Let me briefly explain what the code is doing. First, it gets the element that is stored in objID and stores it in obj for later use. If objID (the post) is already shown, hide it. Then depending on whether objID contains post, blinks(backlinks) or comments, different actions will be taken. For comments, if there is no comment, the comment page will popup instead of trying to display 0 comments.

The next part does exactly the opposite. If objID is hidden, show it. The important part here is ahah(serverPage, obj, objID); that you see appearing 3 times, each for post, comments and blinks(backlinks). That is the AJAX function that requests the page from the server, which you will see later. It sends the 3 variables for processing.



function toggler(serverPage, linkobj, objID) {
var obj = getElement(objID);
if (isShown(objID)) {
obj.style.display = "none";
obj.innerHTML = "";
if (objID.indexOf("post") != -1) { linkobj.innerHTML = "Click to view"; }
else if (objID.indexOf("blinks") != -1) { linkobj.innerHTML = "Show Backlinks"; }
else if (objID.indexOf("comments") != -1) {
if (linkobj.innerHTML == "0 comments") {
window.open("http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19630625&postID=" + objID.substring(0, objID.indexOf("comments")));
}
}
}
else {
if (objID.indexOf("post") != -1) {
obj.style.display = "block";
linkobj.innerHTML = "Click to hide";
ahah(serverPage, obj, objID);
}
else if (objID.indexOf("blinks") != -1) {
obj.style.display = "block";
linkobj.innerHTML = "Hide Backlinks";
ahah(serverPage, obj, objID);
}
else if (objID.indexOf("comments") != -1) {
if (linkobj.innerHTML == "0 comments") {
window.open("http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19630625&postID=" + objID.substring(0, objID.indexOf("comments")));
}
else {
obj.style.display = "block";
ahah(serverPage, obj, objID);
}
}
}
}

function getElement(id) { return document.getElementById(id); }

function isShown(id) { return getElement(id).style.display != "none"; }

//-->
</script>
</MainOrArchivePage>


The code you see below is the main part of AJAX, which happens to be the first part of my code. It is where the magic gets done. Basically, when a user does something, the browser will request for some info from the server and update only the necessary elements. You'll see that it accepts 3 variables and these 3 variables came from the part above. What can be safely changed here is obj.innerHTML = 'Hang on...';. This is just a message telling the user to wait for changes. Next, notice this part ahahDone(obj, objID);. It sends 2 variables to the ahahDone function for processing.

The ahahDone function is just checking to see if everything is ok. If it is, well we're happy and it can send a variable to either getPost, getComments or getBlinks function, depending on what objID contains. These functions strip out the parts we want and throw the rest away. What you can change here is { obj.innerHTML="Status:\n" + xmlhttp.statusText; }. This is sort of like an error message informing the user when AJAX fails (here I left it as the status message returned instead).

<MainOrArchivePage>
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
function ahah(serverPage, obj, objID) {
obj.innerHTML = 'Hang on...';
if (window.XMLHttpRequest) { xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest(); }
else if (window.ActiveXObject) { xmlhttp = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP"); }
if (xmlhttp) {
xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function() { ahahDone(obj, objID); };
xmlhttp.open("GET", serverPage, true);
if (window.XMLHttpRequest) { xmlhttp.send(null); }
else if (window.ActiveXObject) { xmlhttp.send(); }
}
}

function ahahDone(obj, objID) {
if (xmlhttp.readyState == 4) {
if (xmlhttp.status == 200 req.status == 304) {
if (objID.indexOf("post") != -1) { getPost(obj); }
else if (objID.indexOf("blinks") != -1) { getBlinks(obj); }
else if (objID.indexOf("comments") != -1) { getComments(obj); }
}
else { obj.innerHTML="Status:\n" + xmlhttp.statusText; }
}
}



The code below is the 2nd part of my code. It appears last as it is the easiest to explain. Each function accepts a variable sent from ahahDone. This variable happens to contain a reference to the element where you want the content to appear. Next, resText = xmlhttp.responseText;, where resText contains the entire page retrieved from the server. Obviously, you only want to insert certain parts of the page inside, so you'll need to search for the things you want. The rest of the lines just do some careful searching (all those indexOf lines) and the very last line of each function does a substring to cut out the relevant parts out and stick it into the html of the post element (obj).



function getPost(obj) {
resText = xmlhttp.responseText;
start = resText.indexOf("<!-- Begin .post -->");
start1 = resText.indexOf('<h3 class="post-title">', start);
start2 = resText.indexOf('</h3>', start1) + 5;
end = resText.indexOf('<p class="post-footer">', start2);
obj.innerHTML = resText.substring(start2, end);
}

function getBlinks(obj) {
resText = xmlhttp.responseText;
start = resText.indexOf("<!-- Begin #comments -->");
start1 = resText.indexOf('<a name="links">', start);
end = resText.indexOf('<p class="comment-timestamp">', start1);
obj.innerHTML = resText.substring(start1, end);
}

function getComments(obj) {
resText = xmlhttp.responseText;
start = resText.indexOf("<!-- Begin #comments -->");
end = resText.indexOf('<a name="links">', start);
obj.innerHTML = resText.substring(start, end);
}


And that sums it up. With some luck, you should be able to do the same. Comments on this are welcome.

Edit: I added a line of code in the toggler function to fix a bug. That line is (obj.innerHTML = "";).

 
Google
You could also try tk Social Bookmarking Search or tk Video Search!