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Convert Images to Ascii letters or Squares

ASCII-O-Matic is a Flash based web application that lets you convert any images into Ascii code or in the form of squares.

Shown below are images converted into both forms; letters and squares



Besides converting, there are options provided to add colours to the text or squares.

However, there are drawbacks. You can only upload jpeg or jpg files with a 60 x 50 pixel dimension.

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Via Times of India

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, March 29, 2007
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VDOOGLE! Search videos from YouTube, Metacafe, Google Videos, MySpace and more


If the 'OOGLE' in VDOOGLE sounds a 'bit' familiar to you, don't be surprised. After all, Vdoogle's search is powered by Google.

What's that?
VDOOGLE is a shared video search engine that let's you search video content from most of the popular video sharing websites. And the list of supported video sharing websites ain't small either.

Vdoogle searches content from :

www.youtube.com
video.aol.com
video.google.com
vids.myspace.com
www.metacafe.com
www.ifilm.com
www.videocodesworld.com
www.videocodezone.com
www.bolt.com
www.dailymotion.com
www.break.com
stage6.divx.com
www.clipshack.com
www.vsocial.com
www.youare.tv
www.veoh.com

Apart from this, there exists a featured video section where a random video of the day is displayed to the user.
So if you're looking for a quick video search, you know where to go.

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More Reading:
Download YouTube Videos with a 'Kiss'
View, Recover videos deleted by YouTube

Via Times of India

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, March 26, 2007
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Add Google Talk Gadget to your Firefox Sidebar

1Ever since Google launched the new Google Talk Gadget, a lot of options are emerging like adding Google Talk in Orkut83, adding Google Talk to a blog or webpage84.

As you must have guessed from the title, Google Talk can also be added within the Firefox Sidebar.

1. Right-click the link talkgadget.google.com/talkgadget/client85 and click Bookmark this link..
2. Go to the bookmarks menu and find the bookmark you have just added. Right-click the bookmark and click Properties.


3. In the Properties window, tick Load this bookmark in the sidebar and click Ok.

That's all. I still have the old Google Talk IM installed in my desktop and I'll be removing it soon. This new Google Talk gadget has kinda made the old IM obsolete.

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Via Digital Inspiration [Thanks to Amit]

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, March 23, 2007
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Enable Auto Login in Windows XP

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1Do you enter your login and password everytime you start your Windows XP machine?
Well, if you are the only user in your computer there is no need to enter the password each and everytime you login.
Removing the password prompt will also speed up the boot process.

You can set Windows XP to automatically login with your password. And here's how:


1. Go to Start >> Run
2. Type control userpasswords2 and press Enter.

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3. The User Accounts screen appears. Uncheck Users must enter a username and password to use this computer checkbox. Click Ok.

4. The Automatically Log On screen appears. Specify the Username for which you want to set auto login. Also, don't forget to include the password for the user.

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5. Click Ok and Restart your machine.

Additionally, if other users are added, you may want to disable auto login by repeating all the above steps, except that in step 3; where you'll have to tick the check box.

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Source: Times of India

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, March 23, 2007
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Copy Contacts from other Email Accounts to Yahoo

183If you haven't noticed yet (like me), Yahoo Mail is currently running a teaser within the mail box that allows you to transfer your email contacts, address book and calender from other email accounts to your Yahoo mail account.

This wizard of Yahoo actually uses a third party service called TrueSwitch to copy information from other email accounts to Yahoo.

How do ya do this?

1. Click on the link provided in Yahoo and you'll be taken to a page where Yahoo will request for your permission to proceed. Read the details/disclaimer from the page and click I Agree if you intend to go ahead.

2. The Transfer your info to Yahoo Mail page appears. Enter your old email id from where you want to copy information and select the domain.
Presently you can copy from 14 different email domains which include Gmail, Hotmail, Msn, AOL, Yahoo, Cox, Comcast, Earthlink, cs.com, Juno, Netscape, Netzero, OptOnline and WorldNet.

3. Choose what you want to transfer, like Email, Address Book or Calender.
You are also given the option to notify your old email contacts about this change.
Agree to the Terms of Service if you indeed agree and click Start Transfer.

The email, address book and calender will be transferred to your Yahoo! Mail account within the next 24 hours.

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More Reading:
Remove Yahoo! Messenger Insider Popup window

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, March 21, 2007
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PS3 to hit Indian stores this April

1According to Tech2, Sony's next gen console, Playstation 3 will debut in India on April 27.
The 60 GB model of the console will be made available via Milestone Interactive.

The price? Rs 39,900.
12 games titles for the PS3 will also be launched; each priced at Rs 2,799. These titles will be distributed by Milestone Interactive Software Limited.

Read full story at Tech2..

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, March 21, 2007
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New Adsense Referrals Beta! It's indeed interesting

1Yesterday, Google announced it is open to applications for testing the new Adsense Referrals Beta.
Referrals beta is likely to enchance the CPA ( cost per action) model that the present Adsense Referrals program uses. The current Referral program is very limited with only a handful of products to choose from.

A significant change in the Referral beta is the way you select products/services for your referral unit. There are 3 ways for this.

1. Browse by category for Products/Services. You can also browse through the entire list of advertisers.

2. Search for specific Products/Services by name.

3. Choose the ads based on keywords you select.

Adsense Referrals beta lets you choose multiple Ads per Referral unit, especially when you opt to show ads based on keywords. This to me is the most promising change.
Google will rotate the ads based on the keyword you specified and display the best performing one in the referral ad unit. And when a new product that matches your keyword is introduced, it will be added in the rotation for your referral unit.
Apart from keywords, you can also explicitly specify multiple advertisers for a referral ad unit.

What's more, you can now customize your referral ad unit.

Payment
You get paid when users click the referral ad unit and completes an action that is specified by the advertiser.
You'll not receive payments for conversions that occur for users outside the US unless it is explicitly enabled by the advertiser.

Add Unit Formats
The new Referral ads will be available in the following formats
  • 468 x 60 Banner
  • 728 x 90 Leaderboard
  • 200 x 200 Small Square
  • 250 x 250 Square
  • 300 x 250 Inline
  • 336 x 280 Large Rectangle
  • 120 x 600 Skyscraper
  • 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper
  • Text link
The beta test is available for US publishers only. A Google Adwords beta test is also on based on the Pay Per Action model.

From what I've read, this is all that I have understood. If is any discrepancy, feel free to chip in.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, March 21, 2007
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Themes for Google Personalized Homepage


Google has just introduced 6 different themes for your personalized Google Homepage.
Themes include classic, beach, bus stop, city scape, sweet dreams, tea house and seasonal scape.


To add any of the themes, just click the Select Theme link in the right side of your Google homepage.
This will show you the list of themes. Click any of them to try out and hit Save when you get your favourite one.


These themes are capable of changing dynamically depending on the time of the day and the weather outside.



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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, March 20, 2007
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Add Google Talk Gadget in Orkut, like in Gmail

This Google Talk Gadget stuff is driving me crazy. Although Orkut is integrated with Google Talk, there is no Google Talk gadget inside Orkut. Gmail has that.

Only last week Google announced the gadget can be used in your Personalized Google Homepage or your Blog.
Apparently,ErickXavier used the new Google Talk gadget for this script.
This trick involves a Greasemonkey script, so you must have Firefox installed with the Greasemonkey addon.
On installation of the script, a Google Talk chat window will appear in your Orkut sidebar, just like in Gmail.

How do ya do it?
Once Firefox is installed with the Greasemonkey addon, just install this script from Userscripts.
If this is too much work, you probably will have to wait untill Google embeds Google Talk in Orkut.

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Via Tech-Buzz [Thanks to Thilak]

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, March 20, 2007
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Add Google Talk IM to a Blog or Webpage


1Last week, Google announced you can now add the Google Talk instant Messenger in your blog, web page and personalized Google Homepage.
And unlike Google Talk's integration with Orkut, you don't need to download Google Talk separately.

'A line of code', is what is required. This Google Talk gadget also lets you view YouTube videos and Picasa Web Albums photos in your chat.


Add Google Talk to your Blog or Web page:

1. Go to the Add Gadget to your Webpage81 page. Enter the Display settings of your choice if needed and click Get the Code button.

2. Copy the line of code that appears and paste it where you want in your webpage or blog.


Add Google Talk to Personalized Google Homepage:

1. Follow this Personalize your Homepage link. Click the Add to Google button to embed this gadget in your Google Personalized Homepage.
That's all you need to do.

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More Reading:
Add Live TV to your Blog or Webpage

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, March 20, 2007
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How to Embed Live TV in your Blog or Webpage

Live TV channels is a widget which allows you to watch news, sports, movies, music, entertainment, finance, educational etc content from various TV networks.

The flip side is, this takes some time to load plus it requires Windows Media Plugin to work.

Steps to add this gadget

1. Go to this Google Gadget page8080. Choose the Display and Channel settings you want and click Get Code button. You are provide a line of code which will be used for your blog or webpage.

2. Copy and Paste the code where you desire in your blog.That's it.

3. You can also add this widget to your Personalized Google Homepage by visiting this link81 and clicking the Add it now button.

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Related Reading:
Add a Chat Window in your Blog
Embed Google Talk IM to a Blog or Webpage
Add Google Talk Gadget in Orkut, Like in Gmail

Via LifeHacker [Thanks to Gina]

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, March 20, 2007
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Google's got Game in mind! Acquires Adscape

Now, Google advertisements will start appearing in your games. Google has recently confirmed acquisition of California based in-game advertising company, Adscape Media.

Google has termed the deal confidential and hasn't disclosed the amount paid for the acquisition.
With this, Google clearly has set its eyes on the lucrative games market.

Adscape presently serves dynamic in-game advertising to online game platforms.
Right now, this deal certainly looks to be a smart move by Google. Till then, we'll have to wait and watch how this one turns out.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Saturday, March 17, 2007
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How to report suspect phishing mail in Gmail and Yahoo

Phishing is a type of identity theft where a genuine website is cloned to extract confidential information from unsuspecting users.
Email is one of the most popular media used by phishers.

So how do you report a mail that you believe is malicious and link's to a phishing site?

Fortunately, Gmail has a built-in link to report a phishing mail. There is a small arrow towards the extreme right of a mail message which when clicked opens up a menu.
This menu contains a 'Report Phishing' item which can be used to alert Google.


Yahoo!Mail users can report a suspected phishing mail to phishing@cc.yahoo-inc.com.
Read more about reporting a phishing email to Yahoo.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, March 16, 2007
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Download YouTube videos with a 'Kiss'

This probably is the best way to download a video from YouTube. No Firefox addons, plugins or other third-party apps needed. Just a web browser and the word 'kiss'.

KissYouTube is a website that makes this possible. To download a video, you just have to add the word 'kiss' before the words 'youtube' in the YouTube video url.

For example, here's a video url of Nora, the piano playing cat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ860P4iTaM
To download this video just add 'kiss' to the url as shown below:
http://www.kissyoutube.com/watch?v=TZ860P4iTaM

Within KissYouTube, you'll have the option to watch or download this video.

Related:
View, Recover deleted YouTube videos

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Via Techie Diva [Thanks to Gina]| Digital Inspiration [Thanks to Amit]

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, March 16, 2007
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Google Phone! It's a rumour. Wait! It's confirmed

There's a lot of ripe information flowing in the blogosphere about Google's phone venture.

Google's chief executive in Spain & Portugal has admitted the phone is one of the 18 current projects under development. The executive further adds, the phone may be designed for developing countries.Google has tied up with Samsung to make the phone (image above). This information was leaked by someone participating in the paid Google Survey Program.
A screenshot of that Google Survey page is available at Flickr. The sceenshot briefly mentions some features expected in the phone.

I'm still pretty sure this isn't the real thing. And off course, we all know what happened with the Apple iPhone picture rumours.

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Via Engadget
Picture Source Digital Inspiration

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, March 16, 2007
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Blogger 'Captcha' bug


Has anyone come across this page while trying to publish or save a post in Blogger? It's been quite an annoying experience since the last 2 days.
Even after entering the correct text during word verification, Blogger throws this page.

A workaround I figured out is to copy the html text of your post and paste it in a text file in your computer.
Close Blogger, and clear your cookies and cache.
Login to Blogger and create a new post. Use the html source saved in your computer and publish.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, March 15, 2007
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Disable Windows Vista Sidebar at Startup

By default, Windows Vista displays a sidebar in your desktop that is populated with different gadgets. Gadgets include RSS reader, Windows Clock, Puzzles etc. Users can add/remove various gadgets in this space.


This Windows Sidebar is loaded when Windows starts, which considerably slows down your system.

You can disable this sidebar quite easily with a few steps.

1. Right-click the Windows Sidebar icon in the System Tray ( Image below; 3rd icon from left) and Click Properties.
Another way to access Windows Sidebar is by navigating to Start >> Programs >> Accessories >> Windows Sidebar.


2. The Windows Sidebar Properties box is shown (Image below).
Uncheck Start Sidebar when Windows starts. Click Ok or Apply.


That's all you need to do.

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Related:
Disable Highlighting of Newly Installed Programs in Windows Vista

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, March 15, 2007
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Today's Site: DOING IT WRONG

Stumbled upon this site yesterday.
If you are feeling bored and fatigued while surfing, then DOING IT WRONG is a site that is worth a look.

This site's very simple with a pretty good collection of user submitted images. The images are the funny and freakish types that you receive in your inbox.

Below is a demo of the images that I got to see:


A random image is shown when you refresh the page or click the current picture on display.
Have fun folks!

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
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Today's Freeware: Link Popularity Check


Link Popularity Check is a free program that checks the link popularity status of a given website on various search engines like Google, Yahoo, Msn, AllTheWeb and AltaVista.
You can also use this to compare the link popularity of various websites.

The interface is simple and quite intuitive. You can add webpages that you want and hit the update selected or update all buttons to check the link popularity of the sites.

May be some users find this useful. Apart from this, there is nothing much left to write about it.

Download Link Popularity Check

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, March 13, 2007
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Play Game with Your Brain! Literally

Your handheld joystick or game controller may soon be replaced by a very sophisticated helmet, a helmet that 'Reads' your brain.
That's what Emotiv systems, the developers of this technology are upto.

According to Emotiv, their brain computer interface technology can detect and process a human's conscious thoughts and unconscious emotions.


The helmet is fixed with multiple sensors to detect brain signals which are interpreted with a suite of software programs.

The Emotiv website further adds
"The technology, which comprises a headset and a suite of applications, allows computers to differentiate between particular thoughts such as lifting an object or rotating it; detect and mimic a user’s expressions, such as a smile or wink; and respond to emotions such as excitement or calmness".

Emotiv has just launched the Emotiv Development Kit for game developers to make games that repond to a player's emotion, thoughts and expressions.
Guess we'll get something out of this in the near future.

This technology is in a very nascent stage, but pregnant with a whole lot of amazing possibilities.
Just imagine! No keyboard or mouse to operate your computer and what will it bring to an already expanding virtual world.
There's a long way to go and a lot or hurdles to cross.

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More Reading:
Video display in your Eye-glasses

Via Emotive | TechNewsWorld
Image Source Philip

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, March 12, 2007
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Windows Vista: Disable Highlighting of Newly Installed Programs

Very recently, I had posted on How to disable highlighting of newly installed programs in Windows XP.
Like XP, Windows Vista too has this behaviour set as the default. Disabling this is in Vista is almost the same as in XP, but with a few minor adjustments (which really dosen't matter).

The steps below will help you to get this done:

1. Right-Click the Taskbar and Click Properties. The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties windows appears (image below).
Now, hit the Start Menu tab and click the Customize button.


2. The Customize Start Menu window is displayed (See image below). Find and uncheck the Highlight newly installed programs checkbox from the list.
Click Ok to close the window.


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Some useful Windows Tips

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, March 12, 2007
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View, Recover deleted YouTube Videos

Martin from Ghacks has posted about an interesting site, Delutube, which lets you view and even download videos deleted from YouTube.

The working is quite simple. If you come across a "This video is no longer available" message in YouTube, just copy the video id and provide it to Delutube. Delutube will try to display the video for you.
Plus, you are also provided with links to download the videos.

Another feature is to view any randomely selected videos.

This can only work if YouTube keeps the deleted videos in its servers. Once deleted from YouTube servers, Delutube may not be able to retrieve them.
Sooner than later, YouTube will sort this out. I guess!

Readers be warned when using Delutube. The contents may be illegal.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, March 11, 2007
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