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Automated VOIP calls to your rescue

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How many times have you been stuck up at a place you did not want to be in, and was only hoping that one of your other friends makes a call to your rescue. Now, you can help yourself.

GetMooh is an automated service especially for this purpose. The service works on VOIP technology. First you need to register yourself with your email id and your own mobile number. The password is sent to you via sms.

Once done, you can choose the number to call (it can also be your friend on his birthday!), and the date and time to call. There are a lot of pre-set template messages to choose from.

A nice feature that is fun as long as it is not for SPAM or other malicious purposes.


Online text summarizer

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Often, you may have to come across lengthy text that you do not have the patience to go through in totality. It is here that summarizing tools come handy. Though some of the effective Text Summarizers require you to download the software (and the most effective ones need you to purchase them), there are quite a few online text summarizer softwares.

Nling offers their online text summarizer. I found it pretty decent to use for minor purposes. In fact, most often it delivers the most important points. There is one general idea, and an option to choose how broader you want the summary to be, which is kinda good.

The only problem I had was that you cannot enter a URL for the software to summarize. You shall have to inevitably copy and paste the text. But I understand that will only dilute the quality of the summary as the software mught find it difficult to distinguish the actual text from the sidebar content and stuff.

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Face Recognition Software

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Face recognition softwares are going to be the way for future technology. And that technology has already started making news. MyHeritage is a website specializing on face recognition technology.

Upload your photo and you can view all the celebrities you resemble. My comment: Not all photos meet your expectations, but I believe that even if one picture makes you feel that this software indeed uses brain, then the future is secure.


Increasing Search Engine traffic for your website

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Generating a consistent flow of traffic to the website requires a lot of hard work. The most consistent traffic however comes from search engines. If you manage a website, then there is one aspect you might have forgotten to incorporate, which can create an extra traffic. That is through feeds.

Before I proceed further, let me explain the basic difference between a web search and a blog search. A web search is done based on spidering robots. These robots are special programs that periodically crawl through your webpages, and updates itself on what has changed on the page since the last visit. The visiting frequency is based on how important your page is;which is in turn gauged by the PageRank the webpage holds. So, when a new webpage is created, you invariably need to link it from an already indexed page, so that this page is indexed in the search engine when the older page is spidered by the robot.

Ok, that was the search engine. Now, the blog search differs in that, the results are based on the feeds. Every blog page has a feed URL, most often in either RSS or atom. For example, the feed URL for this blog is http://cyberita.blogspot.com/rss.xml. This is dynamically generated, and is used to ping the blog search engines each time you make a change or updation on your blog. That is why, Blog Searches are able to give you results of pages that were created only minutes ago, which the web searches can't.

So, coming back to the topic. Now, to increase your web traffic, you should make your site available on Blog search results as well. There are a lot of ways by which you can create your own RSS feed. Once you have your RSS feed created, add it on websites like Weblogs and Technorati. This will hence get you traffic not only based on web searches, but also from blog searches.

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Google moving to hardware? - a speculation

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It is always a question of curiosity about where Google is heading to. What began as a mere search engine is now well spread across viewing your apartment from space, organizing your computer desktop, scheduling your calendar, and a host of activities, almost one new one every week.

But, it is often speculated that Google cannot remain online for too long, and has to move offline at some point. This is because, its main competitor, Microsoft, is not only online, but also operates in the form of operating systems offline, and hence a wider scope for growth.

John Battelle, a Silicon Valley expert had a rather valid point on CBS Sixty minutes, which had last year featured Google on their programme. According to Battelle, the future of offline search, where Google could venture into could be something like this.

You have a device that looks very similar to a mobile phone. You visit a pasta store, and suspect it being overpriced. What you can do is wave the device over the products' bar code. The reader reads it, and puts in a comparative price of pasta in three other shops within a distance of one mile.

Now, I believe this is very much a possibility in the next four-five years. This could also, as a consequence, lead to a price war, thus making the customer a winner.


How much is your blog worth

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Last year, AOL acquired Weblogs for an amount amounting anywhere between $25 million and $40 million. This high amount is not because of the traffic it generated, but because of the network it created, and hence the huge number of inbound links.

So, if someone were to acquire your blog(!!), how much should you sell it for? This is based on the number and quality of incoming links. Tristan Louis, in his blog writes about how each one of us can hence find the value of the blog, making use of the incoming link details available from sources like Technorati.

I found this quite a handy tool at the Business Opportunities Weblog, that calculates your blog worth. You may also display your blog worth on the sidebar, using the code available there.

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How to download YouTube, Metacafe and Google Videos

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Well, copyright laws prevent YouTube and the other video sharing websites from explicitly providing a service for downloading the videos. This has led to a lot of additional sites to help download these videos.

Though there are a few scripts like GreaseMonkey that can be of use, I thought another website that I found that was pretty much easy and quick as well.

I made use of the service at YouTubex (notice the 'x' suffix). Here, simply copy and paste the URL of the video page of either YouTube, Google Video or Metacafe. And click on download. If required, give the file extension as .flv

The video downloads just like any other file download from the internet.

To view this file however, you need a flash movie viewer. I have VLC player installed on my computer. You can either use such a media player to view the movie, or you can convert the file with .flv extension to any of the standard format like .AVI or .MPEG using the FLV encoders.

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Look who's dancing!

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Last week, I had written about a piece on one of the online scam websites in my other blog. The page got indexed within a couple of days. With this came a lot of traffic from Google users who searched for the particular website. However, this new traffic lasted for not more than a day, because all of a sudden, the page got deindexed from Google again.

If you own a website or blog, then you should know that there exists only one way to remove a page already indexed by Google, and that is using meta tags in your coding page.

Since I had not observed a page getting indexed and deindexed before, I was for a moment baffled. Could this be the work of the scam site owners who got my page deindexed? However, I knew this was not possible.

It was only then that I could relate it with something I had learnt a long time back. This phenomenon is called Google Dance.

It happens because Google, while it spiders the webpages updates its indexes on over 10,000 servers worldwide. Each of them is a simple Linux PC. And Google updates each of them continuously, but individually.

Every time you query a string, the results emerge from one of these ten thousand servers indexes. And since it takes time before your page gets indexed in each of these 10000 servers, you might observe your webpage getting indexed and deindexed.

Google dance is also the cause for sometimes getting varying PageRanks for webpages. So next time you feel cheated on seeing your webpage off Google's results, remember the great Google dance!


Zamzar - Free file conversion

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If you were looking to convert your file from one format to another, most probably you might have downloaded a software that does this specific conversion. Zamzar is a website that performs this for you online.

While the website claims you never ever again have to install a file converting software again, it however seems to be a sham that Zamzar is an online file conversion tool. For one, the conversion is not made online. How Zamzar works is that you upload your file, choose the format you want it to be converted, enter the email address where you need the new format to be mailed, and then submit.

This file is passed on to the Zamzar team, who convert in offline to the new format and then email the link where the new format is uploaded. This is hardly an online tool then. It is just that Zamzar does the thing offline instead of you doing it. 24 hours for a file conversion is a poor lead time to the process. And finally, it is not foolproof. What if your file is misused?

Zamzar is free. This makes it a nice tool, if you simply want one of those rare file conversions of a not-so-important file. If not, I do not think you should be going for Zamzar.

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Don't make Gazzag a SPAM machine

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Recently I had been flooded with requests from my friends to join them on Gazzag, a social network site. The requests were not in single digits, believe me, so many. I wondered why so many of them were interested in me joining them on Gazzag, when we were so well connected on Orkut. I decided to give it a try.

It was then I realized the cause of all the invitations. Gazzag's registration page wants you to import friends from Orkut or Yahoo address book. Though this is an entirely optional feature and can be skipped, enter the main page, and you will observe that importing contacts are the predominant, if not the only way to add friends on Gazzag.

So, at some point of time, Gazzag tends to become a SPAM machine. Except for a chat feature, Gazzag has not got anything extra than Orkut. Also, now, with Orkut being merged with gmail, even this deficiency might be soon cleared.Also, Gazzag is so full of ads that it looks more like a MFA(Made for Adsense) site.So, spare your friend the pain to delete all the Gazzag spams, and stop importing your Orkut and Yahoo friends.


Utube sues YouTube

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Sometime back, I had discussed about a company called UTube which had to lose its site bandwidth because lost YouTube visitors came to UTube.

In fact, when I read that news on Digg.com , I had downplayed the news saying that if at all UTube was worried about the extra attention it was getting, it should sue the other company instead of crying over on Digg.

Now, that YouTube has been acquired by Google, UTube has probably listened to my advise and decided to milk the maximum out from the new rich parent of its namesake. UTube has hence sued YouTube to challenge its similarity in name.

Now the going is interesting!!!


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