Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Google Maps 4.1.1 and Buzz

(sorry, no screen caps)

Today, out of boredom and courtesy Telenor's data package (no, they haven't sponsored this post), I decided to download Google Maps on my S60v3 phone.

There are minor changes in the Maps program. The cellphone doesn't feature a GPS receiver so cellphone triangulation was used.

I decided to check out the app (since I took the bundle* ) and see what's new - and saw the option to Buzz about a place.

And so I did. I was at Kamran Market (an area in Rawalpindi, Pakistan) at that time. The Buzz interface was actually fairly neat - it gave me a portion to insert text and an option to take a picture. I snapped a picture of the road leading to Kamran Market and decided to upload it. It worked fine - and it seemed to upload a relatively small picture (55K). Considering the low quality camera, the picture actually came out fairly nice!

But cellphone triangulation was a mess. Yes it's not perfect, but I didn't realize that the center point was mistaken for some other place. I wasn't in a mood to reupload the image and Buzz - it costs money, y'know!

Anyway - I was happy. You get to see what people have Buzzed about (on your laptop or PC, not the phone) and can buzz about places as well. I actually felt happy (yes, you read that right!).

I'm hoping Google could improve upon Buzz and Maps. It would make a really good combination.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Google Buzz - too much?

Everyone's been complaining on the internet saying Google Buzz is way too much for them to handle due to various issues such as lack of privacy, or "just too much". If it's not for you, you can try these solutions.

Drag and drop the label in to your "hidden labels category"

This will stop highlighting any unread Buzzes in your Gmail account.

Turn off Buzz Completely from the bottom of the page

This will remove the Buzz integration (not permanently). It's a quick fix, and if you ever want to check it out again, you can - by turning it on.

Delete Buzz

In Gmail's Settings, click on the Buzz tab, and you can delete the service from there altogether. Note - by doing this, you're severing any Buzz-related connections and posts.

Hide your followers from prying eyes

Everyone who has Buzz has to make some form of a profile in order to be followed or be a follower - or even Buzz. All your (public) buzzes are made available on your profile - but you can tweak some information on that.

Head over to your profile and disable the "Display the list of people I'm following and people following me" option. 

There are a few other tips that you can take note of, but for now, these four items should help you do what you want with Buzz. Stay tuned for more later on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From Blogger to Tumblr, and back

I don't know what to do. But in short:

1) I've already "publicized" my Blogger blog on places, so doing the same with Tumblr would be too daunting a task.
2) Tumblr has lovely themes. So does Blogger. No edge on that.
3) Both aren't really Search Engine Optimized
4) Tumblr's interface is a little cluttered (but nice in another way) - either way, I think the advantage still goes to Tumblr
5) I tried posting with Tumblr, and the linebreaks are awful - I can't distinguish between one paragraph and another!
6) Images are restricted to 500pixels at max. That's not the case in Blogger (although Blogger has it's own host of issues)
7) Blogger posts can be written from many places - considering it's old, established, and well-known. That's not the case yet with Tumblr.
8) I really really like Tumblr, and I think it's got a lot of potential - but what do you do when you don't have a basic comment system up and running on each post you make over there? Inserting HTML code should NOT be necessary :/

So I ended up switching back to Blogspot. Yeah - not the best interface and all (and I know my blog is uglyyyyyyyyyyyyy!) but - atleast it works!

Multi purpose email address

It's one of the underhyped feature of Gmail - everyone who has a Gmail username has a multitude of options in terms of the email aliases they have.

Let's get down to business, shall we?

Gmail doesn't recognize dots in your login. For instance, if your email address was (note, this email address does not work), inserting a dot anywhere won't matter - the email will come to you.

If I send an email to or or or, it'll still arrive at one place - your email address.

But it doesn't end there.

At times, you may want to send invites to a whole bunch of people, but at the same time, you're in no mood to get your inbox cluttered with the countless number of potential emails that may pour in. And you're too lazy to go searching for a website that does invitation handling for you.

No worries - there's another tool for that: add a +keyword, and after it, key in a word. For instance, if I want to invite people to a party, all I have to ask them to do is email me on (if they are) or (if they aren't).

From Caffeine and Quirks!
In Gmail, I can easily set filters and labels, and any email that is SENT to will get archived AND labelled to one specific label, and the same goes for the other email address.

It doesn't stop just there - you can use it for filing mailing list subscriptions (I have a jokes subscription that sends me an email with a +jokes email address, and labeling is as easy as it gets in Gmail).

What may be other uses for this? While I don't encourage spamming, certain websites don't accept certain types of email addresses - some websites may not accept email addresses with a +keyword appended, so the dots come in use. Some websites aren't friendly with the dots system - so the +keyword system helps. And if you're a target of spam, just see which email address was used, and you can instantly recognize where the spammer got the address from.

There are a few issues people face. Some say that they're getting someone else's email - that's not the case. The systems have been designed as such that all possible dot-combinations of your username/login are assigned to you from the moment you sign up till the moment you delete your Gmail account (if you ever decide to). If you do, it's most likely a spam attack - but that's a story for another day.

I'll discuss general tips on what to do if you think you're being asked for certain information from Google - or any other website for that matter - in a later post. But for now, I hope this taught you that

a) you don't receive anyone else's email, and
b) you don't own just one email address, but an infinite combination of email addresses - all with one username.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ovi Suite

I have yet to use Ovi Suite, released from Nokia. Apparently, it's the successor to PC Suite, and the major reason why I haven't gotten around to using it is because it's around 90MB big (I have DSL btw, but laziness has gotten the better of me).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rumors, or is Google actually serious?

Turns out Google is actually coming ot with it's own phone! It's based on the Android 2.1 operating system, with hardware from HTC. Rumors are surfacing on the internet, and they started showing up a few days ago, actually.

Click on the post title to read more.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kanye West, Charlie, Baloon Boy...

I'm not even going to explain this. Someone created a mashup of popular cult - easily found on Youtube, and on television.

Office 2010 Beta - out (and for free too!)

I'll make this a quick one: in case you haven't followed the blogosphere, the Office 2010 beta is out. And as with Windows 7's release candidate versions, this is free! Microsoft will ask you to sign in, and long story short, it'll give you the license key to use with the software, and a link for downloading.

Office itself is around 700MB in size, additional files will increase the download obviously.

What's new? It's an iteration of Office 2007 (similar to what Windows 7 is to Vista). Got new graphics, layouts, animations (page transitions, that is) and a few other things. Haven't been able to check everything as of yet, but I liked the Technical Preview (I got access to the Technical Preview from Microsoft out of the blue).

The direct download link (not sure if they'll allow direct links, or need a Microsoft page referral, but here it is anyway):

Are scary movies actually scary?

The other day, I watched Paranormal Activity on the recommendation of a friend.

Now while everyone says it's the scariest piece of work they've seen in a while, I'll say "I've seen better". Admittedly, there were a few places where the movie gave a somewhat eerie feel, but nothing that would make me adore the movie's brilliance. Read more

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is LUMS really all that pure and worth it?

A blog post that I managed to snap from Facebook regarding the plight of the students in LUMS, one of the top-notch universities in the country.

The sad part is that people are being rebels - not just socially, but religiously, crossing the boundaries of what should happen and what is an outright indecent move. Clearly, these guys haven't heard of "Do in Rome as the Romans would do".

The blog post is a litte long, and those from the Pakistani background would probably find a few interesting things about LUMS (and a video in which a person is trying to dirty dance... and she fails, MISERABLY!).

Let Us Build Pakistan: Love Life at LUMS