Asfaar Burhaniyah 2.0

Asfaar Mubaraka of al Dai al Fatemi Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin (tus) across the globe since 1424. (previous asfaar shall be added too insha allah as soon as possible.)The Placemark centered is the Current Location of His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin (TUS). comments are welcome.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blogger Adds Geotagging

Blogger in drafts adds Geotagging to the posts.... That means Bloggers are on the move...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Trip to Matheran

Returned from a short trip to Matheran. Here are a couple of panorama pictures taken during the trip.
This is Saifee Villa, a historical place in

Matheran, which has special significance for mumineen. Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb R.A was very fond of Matheran. He used to frequently visit Matheran for its tranquility, beauty, prayers and zikr of Allah, so much so that he started his last journey from Matheran.
Likewise, his successor Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb T.U.S. frequently visits Matheran. His Holiness Dr. Syedna Taher Saifuddin Memorial Hall is his noble gift to mumineen. We pray for a long and healthy life to Aqa Maula T.U.S.
Here is another one showing a Beautiful Valley.

Click here for Original Image.
Comments are Welcome!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Read Quran Majeed Online

We do have Quran Majeed as word documents or Pdfs, but its not always as pleasing as reading with Quran Majeed in the traditional book format. So here is a website where you can read the Quran Majeed in the book format. you can flip its pages one by one or go to certain page or juz or surat. Some key features include:
  • Fullscreen mode for more visibility
  • Various types of Quran Majeed to choose from including tajweed and tafseer.
  • Page Bookmarking
  • Multiple resolutions for different internet connections.

iPhone 3G Launch on August 22 by Airtel India & Vodafone

airtel iphoneBharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar have just confirmed the launch date of iPhone 3G in India.
Both cellular companies will start selling this much awaited phone in India from August 22. Am still thinking whether or not to replace my trusted BlackBerry Curve with an iPhone.

There’s no word on the pricing of the phone yet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Google for the Colorblind

According to the Colorblind Web Page Filter, above is what looks like for users with protanopia (red/ green color blindness). Perhaps Google should run this as their logo one day to raise awareness of color blindness. Out of interest, does that logo look normal to anyone here/ is there anyone who’s colorblind here?
The Colorblind Filter site is a bit slow at the moment but if you created a website and you’re not color blind, you can check how well your intended color scheme fares. The site also has more information on how to select safer colors.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Free Alternative to 3ds Max, Google Sketchup - Microsoft trueSpace

3d software
trueSpace is a 3D modeling and animation software for Windows that lets you create realistic 3D scenes from scratch, walk-throughs, games, etc. You can also import characters created in other software like AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Adobe Illustrator, etc.

trueSpace used to sell for $600 but then Microsoft acquired the company and released trueSpace as a free download probably in response to SketchUp that’s owned by Google.
The idea is to let users create building and landscapes for Virtual Earth just like one can use SketchUp to create 3D models for Google Earth (SketchUp review).
If you are from the education community, you’ll especially love trueSpace for simulations.
Like with any other 3D authoring software, there’s a steep learning curve involved with trueSpace but if you are looking for a good alternative to 3DS Max or Blender, Microsoft trueSpace is available at a price that may be hard to beat.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Export data from Zoho Invoice to Zoho Sheet

Yes, three easy steps are all it takes to export your data from Zoho Invoice to Zoho Sheet. You can export and view all of your invoices, quotes, contacts, customers and items in Zoho Sheet. I am sure most of you would be using this feature already, exploring it for the benefit of others-
Let’s say you want to export and view all your invoices in Zoho Sheet, all you have to do is-
1. Select the “Invoices” tab.
2. Click on the “Export Invoices” link at the top.
3. Click on the “View” link in the Spreadsheet/CSV/TSV format.
That’s it! All your invoices will be exported and will be shown in a new window in Zoho Sheet. Now you can play with it as any other sheet document.
Hope you find this feature useful. We will be happy to hear your comments.
Just like Zoho Sheet, we will also be supporting Google Sheet shortly.

Zoho Projects Updates

Zoho Projects underwent an update just now and the below features are now available.
Multiple Admins : Till now, Zoho Projects followed the single admin concept. But from now on, there can be multiple admins. The one who created the Zoho Projects account is assigned the super-admin / portal owner role. And he/she can designate other members as Administrators. These administrators have all the previleges as the portal owner except upgrading/downgrading the Zoho Projects account & changing the credit card details.
Task-Documents and Task-Forums Mapping : Along with adding Notes to a task (which is useful for knowing a task’s status etc), documents uploaded to Zoho Projects and discussion forums created for a project can now be associated with tasks. Multiple documents/forums can be associated with a task and a forum/document can be associated with any number of tasks.
Managers can add Clients : Project members in Manager role can now add (external) client members to the projects they manage. This gives a Manager fuller control over the project(s) he/she manages.
Separate iCal link for Google Calendar : Google Calendar follows the VEVENT component as againt the VTODO component that needs to be followed for tasks/tasklists/milestones. To support GCal, Zoho Projects now has a separate GCal link. Clicking on the links, you can download an .ics file which you can import into your iCalendar / Google Calendar.

Offline Support For Gmail and Google Calendar

It seems that this year Google's most popular web applications will work offline. After Google Reader and Google Docs, two other services will integrate with Gears. Andrew Fogg saw a preview of the integration at Google's offices and found that Gmail and Google Calendar will add offline support in approximately 6 weeks.

In the past months, Google accidentally enabled the option in Google Calendar and some users saw the dialog illustrated below: "To view and edit the next 3 months of your Google Calendar when you're not connected to the Internet, click OK."

Screenshot licensed as Creative Commons by NOTICIAS-TIC.

Andrew also found out that Google will add SyncML support for Gmail contacts next month. He thinks this is "related to the sync that they worked on with Apple for 3G iPhone". SyncML is a standard for data synchronization supported by a lot of companies. "SyncML is most commonly thought of as a method to synchronize contact and calendar information between some type of handheld device and a computer (personal, or network-based service), such as between a mobile phone and a personal computer."

Full-Screen Mode in Google Docs

Pixelisation in the forum and Ionut at the Google Operating System blog mentioned the Google Docs documents editor now has a full-screen mode (not to be confused with the older full-width page view). You’ll find it in the menu View -> Full-screen mode, and hitting escape switches back to the default view. Does anyone know how to bookmark a Google Docs document so that it always opens in full-screen mode though?

Beijng Olympics - Google Mapified

Google Maps now has detailed map tiles for the major cities in China.

screenshot of Google Maps China

If you want to have a good look around the stadiums built for the Beijing Olympics 2008 you should visit EarthSwoop's Beijing Olympics collection of 3d buildings. EarthSwoop use the Google Earth Browser plug-in to show 3d buildings built for Google Earth.

I also received an e-mail today from to say that Google Maps in Japan has been updated to show the names of some houses and commercial locations. You can see this change in the screen-shot below where some buildings seem to have been tagged with little red dots.

screenshot of google Maps in Japan

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MS Office Alternatives - Analyzed

InfoWorld did a good analysis of MS Office alternatives (Slideshow here). They picked couple of vendors from the cloud (Zoho and Google) and couple from the Open Source world (IBM and OpenOffice) and did some analysis to see if they stand any chance against MS Office. Full article is available here. Here is the summary.

InfoWorld Office Alternatives
Glad to see Zoho lead the pack (along with IBM) with our current apps.
Bottom Line:
If you’re ready to embrace the SaaS future, then Zoho could be the productivity suite you’ve been waiting for. Zoho can provide both personal productivity and business back-end applications, and with Google Gears, you can keep working on documents even if you can’t find the Internet. Zoho is the only suite here that you could easily use to run a complete business. It’s also the only one that can run virtually all the Excel macros you might have developed
The good news is, the applications are improving at a very rapid pace. If you have noticed, its been a while that we rolled out a new app. The focus lately has been more on integration between apps and enhancements to the existing ones. In the longer term, we think cloud based productivity suites can go far beyond desktop software. We’ll see this happen over the next year or two.
While InfoWorld looked at Word Processor, Spreadsheet and Presentation apps, the productivity suite goes beyond these three (Wiki, Email etc are others). Also, you’ll need more apps to run your business than a productivity suite. In the bigger picture, we are trying to build a suite of apps to run your business. As we often say, we want to be your IT Department.

Google Docs Templates Directory

Google released a layout templates directory for Google Docs*, the application suite consisting of Google Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations (Google’s kind of web-based light-weight Word, Excel and PowerPoint). You can sort templates by target application, like Spreadsheets, or by category, like “Resumes” or “Personal Finance”. Then you can look at a preview and if you like a style, hit the “Use this template” button to fill it with your own content.
Google Presentations since some time had a limited amount of basic designs available, and Google Documents also offers stylesheet editing, but this new directory presents a broader scope of layouts. There’s currently 309 different ones to pick from, and looking at the creator information you can see not all have been done by Google, but also by partnering third parties like TemplateZone or
[Thanks Pixelisation!]
*You can also reach the directory via by clicking New -> “From template”.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Computer Keyboards Made of Pure Gold

Check out pictures of some computer keyboards from Japan that are made of pure 99.99% gold. They are real.
gold keyboard

gold leaf   solid gold keys

solid gold keys

Columns Formating in Zoho DB & Reports

Zoho DB & Reports offers a wide range of data types (column types) to store your tabular data. So far, the options offered for formatting the data stored in these column types have been limited. We have addressed this in our latest update.
Zoho DB & Reports now offers a wide variety of formatting options for each data type. With these options you can choose how you would like to have your data displayed in the various reports created.
How to format a column?

  1. Select the table or tabular view in which the columns are to be formatted
  2. Right click on the column that is to be formatted
  3. Set the necessary formatting option in the dialog that pops up
  4. Click OK to apply the formatting changes
Immediately you will see the formatting options being applied over the column. Zoho DB & Reports also ensures to carry over this formatting set for a column across all the reports (chart, pivot, summary & tabular) created including this column.
Formatting options supported include Text Alignment, No. of Decimal places (for all numeric data types), Currency Symbol (for currency type), Negative Number Display (for currency type), Date display format and Include thousand separator (for all numeric data types).
Customize Chart Coloring:
In Zoho DB & Reports the colors used in charts have been system generated so far. With the latest update you can now change the colors used in a chart to suit your taste. Follow the below given simple steps to customize the color in a chart:
  1. Select the Chart whose colors are to be customized
  2. Click Edit Design and go to edit mode
  3. Click on any of the category colors listed in the legend (seen on the right side of the chart) to change the same.
  4. A color chooser will pop up
  5. Choose the color required
  6. Click Apply to apply the color Or Click on Use Default if you would like to revert to system generated colors.
Auto-recognizing currency data during Import:
Now Zoho DB & Reports has included the intelligence to auto-identify a data column as currency when you import it into Zoho DB & Reports. You do not have to manually set the data type of those columns as currency, which had been the case so far. The data could be in any of the accepted currency formats (with currency symbol or abbreviation eg., $, USD etc.,) of any country. Auto-recognition would be applied when you import data into Zoho DB & Reports from any of CSV or .XLS or HTML files
Hope you find the above features useful. As always do give it a try and let us know your comments….

Zoho Selected by Swisscom

We are delighted that Swisscom (incumbent telco in Switzerland) has chosen Zoho for a six month pilot for its Zoho Business Suite which is now available on their Software-as-a-Service portal Teamnet.
Zoho and Swisscom have teamed up to create a custom version of Zoho Business, with Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show, Notebook and Meeting now available to its 300,000 business customers. Even though Swisscom is the incumbent telco operator in Switzerland, it is taking a bold approach by extending its offerings to the SaaS space.

Increasingly, Service Providers are looking to add value on their existing networks and have started to include online applications like Zoho to their portfolio of services. In the past, one would not turn to the telephone company for productivity applications, but this is changing with the wider adoption of SaaS in the marketplace. We are glad that Swisscom is taking a lead in this regard and will keep you posted on other developments and partnerships as this trend picks up momentum in coming months.

“The goal of the pilot is to provide our business customers with a value added web offering they can evaluate as part of a turnkey solution from their service provider. Zoho is an ideal partner that combines a wide and very innovative range of applications as well as a very solid engineering team to deliver the capability we wanted.” said Michael Gmuer, Head Business Process Optimization of Swisscom.“.
Teamnet Integration
Zoho and its Alliance Partner Program offer service providers multiple paths to increase ARPU (average revenue per user), the holy grail that telcos seek to maximize by adding additional services to their existing infrastructure. The program offers partners a flexible means to bundle various Zoho services for both consumers and business users.
While we are starting small with the Swisscom project, it is a significant step towards a broader Zoho distribution channel in Europe. This follows our recent partnership with Baihui in China.
Thank you Swisscom for choosing Zoho and for your investment in the project. We look forward to feedback from your users and to a successful venture together.

Google Earth Imagery Update Quiz - Answers

Here are the answers to yesterday's quiz -- I'm sure you all passed with flying colors.

1) Founded in 1608, this former British possession has a decidedly French flair.

2) Once the seat of great political power, this red fortress is now a major tourist attraction.
--Alhambra, Granada

3) Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city was lost to the world for 1700 years.

4) Passing by a famous golf course and luxurious mansions, this stretch of road is a tourist attraction in its own right.
--17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach (California)

5) Legend has it that Hercules founded this major European city.

6) This city within a city plays host to an Opera House, Planetarium, Science Museum, Oceanographic Park, and beautiful gardens.
--City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia (Spain)

7) When we updated imagery of this city, we got complete coverage of another country with it.
--Rome & Vatican City

8) This city hosted General MacArthur's South West Pacific Headquarters during WWII.

9) Some of my Googler co-workers can enjoy the views from this very tall building.
--Taipei 101, Taipei

The following is a more complete list of the areas we've updated in this data push:

Updated Imagery:
- USA: San Diego, San Francisco metro area, Wenatchee (WA), New Mexico.
- Canada: Quebec, New Westminster (BC).

Europe, Middle East & Africa:
- England: Bristol
- Spain: Barcelona, Costa del Sol, Granada, Murcia, Valencia, Cuenca, Toledo, Caceres, Zaragoza.
- Portugal: Braga, new base imagery for entire country
- Italy: Rome, Naples
- Germany: Freidburg, Munich

Asia & Oceania:
- Australia: Brisbane, Great Barrier Reef
- Taiwan: Taipei, Taichung

New 2.5m base imagery for: The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Taiwan, Tasmania, and parts of Mexico, China, and Australia.

Google Lets You Search for Text in Some Videos

Google released a well-working iGoogle gadget in which they extract text information from video content. The Elections Video Search gadget – its standalone page can be accessed as well – lets you search for keywords across YouTube’s US politician channels, like Barack Obama’s. Clicking on a result item will load the video in question into the player embedded in the widget, with the specific occurrences of the word in the video color-marked on the timeline.
For instance, I searched for the word friendship and got a result titled “Obama Anniversary of Israeli Independence”. Moving the time bar line towards one of the yellow markers, I’m hearing Obama say, “... let us renew the friendship between our nations ...”. Another search for bubble sort returns a quip from a Q&A Obama held at the Google headquarters, where Obama is answering a programming question.
While the hits returned look precisely correct, hovering over the yellow marker pops up a snippet which shows Google doesn’t get it completely right... like when they transcribe a piece as “... to recognize Israel and are fighting for friendship wolf they ...”. Google admits as much in their blog post on this service, saying snippets “may not be 100% accurate”. They add that speech recognition “is a difficult problem that hasn’t yet been completely solved”.
This gadget shows that using speech-to-text technology, even when it’s very limited in scope right now, is a highly useful feature for video search. If and when Google ever rolls this out for all video content they indexed (or perhaps just for their YouTube content for starters), it could become an extremely interesting research tool. Besides just aiding search, extracting textual content from videos could also be used by Google to ...:

  • display related videos based on text content, even if that content is not available in the video’s text, description or tags
  • show other videos which contain the same quote, like a movie referenced in another movie
  • display more context-aware advertisement on places like YouTube
  • offer full textual transcripts of videos for easy, accessible copying (the quality of transcriptions must be higher for this than for the typical needs of search)
  • add PageRank to URLs being talked about
  • offer automated captions in a video
  • offer automated translated captions in a video, as Google is also doing work in statistical machine translation (and if you go a step beyond, text-to-speech technology in the future could even read the auto-translated transcription back to the user, delivering dubbing of videos)
Any of these features could have two effects: first, it could make Google Video or YouTube a more attractive place to search for and watch videos, and second, if a feature is only rolled out for YouTube (and if a content creator would like to have this feature for their video) it could make YouTube a more attractive place to upload videos.

Google Sketchup Dwell Competition

It's my pleasure to announce the launch of the Design Your Dwelling Competition. We're co-hosting this design challenge with Dwell Magazine, a stylish and modern publication that focuses on good design as a means to better living. We're asking SketchUp users – and readers of Dwell – to think about what it means to feel "at home in the modern world" (the Dwell mantra). We challenge you to think about your idea of a comfortable and sustainable dwelling, and to share it with the world.

The building site has already been selected by the Dwell editors; it's in San Francisco, overlooking the Golden Gate bridge. If the judges consider your entry to be the best, you'll win a weekend trip to San Francisco to attend the Dwell/AIA home tours and be treated to lunch by the editors of Dwell magazine and the SketchUp team. If you need an excuse to spend some time having fun in SketchUp, this could be just what you're looking for. Be sure to submit your dream dwelling by August 31, 2008.

Visit the competition website for all the rules, prize information, design parameters and submission guidelines. Good luck, and we look forward to seeing your submissions.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Facebook Profile Page Beta Is Now Live

Facebook New Profile
Facebook will soon be rolling out the much-anticipated and long-delayed redesigned profile pages. The beta version is now live and can be tried out by anyone. You no longer need to use the Developer trick to try it.
Currently this profile page is in beta, and does not cover the whole site, but you can at least take a look at what and how the new design will look like. Login to the new profile at and check it out!
You will notice many features are still not working. That’s because it’s still in beta and just opened for a quick overview. You can use it with all features enabled once it gets rolled out officially for everyone.
You can read the new Facebook profile design review here.

Google Earth Imagery Update Quiz

Today I'm happy to announce that we've just finished pushing out an imagery update for all you Google Earth fans out there. As usual, I'll drop a few hints at where these updates might be, and tomorrow I'll post the complete list of updates.

1) Founded in 1608, this former British possession has a decidedly French flair.

2) Once the seat of great political power, this red fortress is now a major tourist attraction.

3) Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city was lost to the world for 1700 years.

4) Passing by a famous golf course and luxurious mansions, this stretch of road is a tourist attraction in its own right.

5) Legend has it that Hercules founded this major European city.

6) This city within a city plays host to an Opera House, Planetarium, Science Museum, Oceanographic Park, and beautiful gardens.

7) When we updated imagery of this city, we got complete coverage of another country with it.

8) This city hosted General MacArthur's South West Pacific Headquarters during WWII.

9) Some of my Googler co-workers can enjoy the views from this very tall building.

Google Announces Indexing Support for SWFObject-embedded Flash

The JavaScripted SWFObject is a popular way to include Flash files. Recently, Google announced better support for crawling Flash files, and in an update they added to their original post, they now also say:
On another note, Google adds:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Microsoft Word Tip : Long Documents

edit word documents
This tip will come very handy if you are editing a document inside Microsoft Word that spans more than a couple of pages.

Say you are writing something on Page 9 of a Word document and then scroll down to some place on Page 16. Now if you were to go back to the previous location on Page 9, just press Shift + F5.
Microsoft Word remembers the last location of your cursor on the document just like the Back and Forward arrows in a web browser. And to go back to Page 16, press Shift+F5 again. Source: MS newsletter.

Firefox About:Config with GUI

firefox-settings-about The about:config page in Firefox allows you set preferences and tweak certain settings that are otherwise impossible to edit via the regular Firefox Options dialog. For instance, you can alter the default behavior of address bar, set your own domain guessing rules, change user-agent strings, and so much more.

The only problem is that about:config settings are too technical and packed in a geek interface which can be slightly intimidating to most Firefox users.
Luckily, there’re some excellent add-ins that add a visual interface (GUI) to about:config settings thus enabling anyone and everyone to "hack" Firefox without being a geek.
1. GUI Config - This lets you change the default behavior of mouse clicks, browser cache, download window alerts and a dozen other settings. You can hover the mouse over a setting to know in simple English how that change will affect the browser behavior.
GUI Config is accessible from Tools -> Advanced Settings.
2. Configuration Mania - While GUI Config gives you access to only a limited set of Firefox hidden settings, Configuration Mania supports a more comprehensive list though the help system is not that great.
The extension is nevertheless very powerful and combines features of several add-ins into one. You could change user-agents (to read magazines or WSJ), perform virus-scans after file downloads, disable security checks to install older extensions, etc.
Configuration Mania is accessible from Tools -> Configuration Mania.

Ground Art in Google Earth

Dutch artist Henk Hofstra has done a couple of interesting large outdoor "urban art" projects. The first is a "Blue Road". He painted 1000 meters of road in bright blue in Drachten, The Netherlands - on top was the phrase "Water is Life" written in eight-metre-high letters. The road was painted (using 4000 liters of paint) in April of 2007, and Hofstra hoped it would show up in Google Earth - but, the imagery for Drachten in GE is still dated 2005 currently (no new aerial or satellite photo has been acquired by Google for the area). I did notice the artist had some aerial photos taken of the road. I've placed one of the photos in a Photo Overlay for Google Earth - load this file and double click on the placemark to be flown into the Photo Overlay where you can see how closely the photo of the Blue Road matches the road in Google Earth. Try the transparency slider to check the underlying imagery.
Art Eggcident by Henk Hofstra in Google EarthMore recently, in May of 2008, Henk Hofstra has done another outdoor art project called "Art-Eggcident". In this case he has created 100 foot wide fried eggs in a large square in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Some of the eggs even have 3D yolks kids can crawl on (see more photos). Amazingly, the city is allowing the art project to stay in place for the next 6 months. We can hope a proper orthographic aerial photo (straight down), or a satellite photo will capture this cool looking art project so it can be seen in the Google Earth images. But, in the meantime, I have again taken one of the aerial photos and made a Photo Overlay so you can see a photo of the Art Eggcident in its actual location in Google Earth.
This is just a reminder that if you do some large outdoor project you want to be visible in Google Earth. You can always take your own aerial photo and place it with the Photo Overlay or Image Overlay tools in Google Earth. That way it is still "immortalized".

Gmail - Suggested Contacts

Google has finally realized that it's a bad idea to automatically add to the list of Gmail contacts all the people you've sent an email. An updated version of Gmail's contact manager has a separate section for the people you've emailed: "suggested contacts".

"My Contacts is a place to import, store and view all of the contact information that's important to you. You can also create your own groups of contacts to easily email many people at once. We add people you've emailed to Suggested Contacts. You can move contacts from Suggested Contacts into My Contacts at any time."

There's an option to automatically move suggested contacts into My Contacts if you frequently email them, but the previous behavior doesn't seem to be an option.

I don't have this new version of the contact manager, so if you notice other changes, post them in the comments.

Gmail Superstars - Tip For Gmail Crazy

One of the 13 features added to Gmail Labs in May is Superstars, an extension of Gmail's starring system. Instead of using a single star to flag all the messages, you can choose between 12 icons.

After enabling Superstars in Gmail Labs and clicking on "Save changes", go to the settings and select the icons you want to use. The exclamation mark is useful to flag important messages, quotes could show that a message needs a reply, while the info icon could be used for messages that contain valuable information.

To star messages faster, enable keyboard shortcuts in the settings. "The superstars will rotate when you press the 's' keyboard shortcut or when you click successively," explains Google. "Rotating through the superstars only works when you click (or hit 's') successively. If you pause for a second, then the next click will turn off the superstar. It's designed this way so that if you never click successively, then you'll just get the original on/off toggle behavior."

If you want to find the messages that have a certain kind of star, use one of the following queries:

has:yellow-star (or l:^ss_sy)

has:blue-star (or l:^ss_sb)

has:red-star (or l:^ss_sr)

has:orange-star (or l:^ss_so)

has:green-star (or l:^ss_sg)

has:purple-star (or l:^ss_sp)

has:red-bang (or l:^ss_cr)

has:yellow-bang (or l:^ss_cy)

has:blue-info (or l:^ss_cb)

has:orange-guillemet (or l:^ss_co)

has:green-check (or l:^ss_cg)

has:purple-question (or l:^ss_cp)

You can enable the Quick Links labs feature to save some of these queries so that they are always accessible with a single click. Just search for has:blue-star or any other value and click on "Add Quick Link".

GEB announces July 2008 Imagery Update for Google Earth

I've started getting reports of new imagery available in Google Earth today! The update is occurring as I write this because not everyone is seeing the new images yet, but it will probably be fully deployed within a few hours. Here are a few places I've confirmed (I will update this list as people tell me about other places - leave comments below please):
[UPDATED 1130, 1143, 1150, 1410, 2220 EDT]

  • Catalonia/Spain - My story about 3D Roses is a popular story right now, and that's where people first started reporting the new imagery. The entire Catalonia area has new imagery mostly dated September 2006 by the Institut Cartográfic de Catalunya. Also, Murcia, Zaragoza, Toledo, Granada, Cuenca and Cáceres (see comment below). Also, Valencia. Also: Lleida, Tarragona, Barcelona
  • Portugal - Looks like areas in Portugal have new imagery.
  • Czech Republic - entire country has Spot Image (medium resolution 2.5 meter)
  • Slovakia - entire country with Spot Image
  • Hungary - entire country with Spot Image
  • Croatia - Notheastern part
  • Australia - All of western Australia has Spot Image as well! Also, some new low resolution imagery for the Great Barrier Reef area off North Eastern Australia (see dark colored imagery). Adelaide, Brisbane, Tasmania
  • USA - Looks like all of New Mexico has high resolution now. Credits to NMR GIS dated July 2005.
  • Mexico - Central Mexico has Spot Image imagery
  • Italy - Rome, Naples
  • Venezuela - Maracaibo (Thanks Gerardo!)
  • Germany - center of Munich
  • Canada - Quebec, Southern Ottawa
  • California - Areas around San Francisco, San Diego, Benicia, Solano County, Monterey, Palo Alto, Los Angeles (unconfirmed)
  • England - Bristol, Worcester, Evesham
  • Cote d'lvoire - Bouaké
You can confirm whether the imagery is new by clicking on the "View in Google Maps" icon in GE - the imagery in Google Maps isn't showing the new data yet. If you find new areas not in my list above, please leave a comment and I'll update the list.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

‘Open IT Online’ works with Zoho

Open IT Online is a Firefox extension that allows to open and edit documents and images from everywhere. Thanks to this extension, you will be able to open several types of documents directly in Firefox using online services (such as Zoho) without needing any software to be installed. In other words, it adds an option to your Firefox “Open With” dialog to let you open Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more file types in the Zoho suite, Google Docs, ThinkFree Viewer & others. You can configure defaults for every file type - nice and convenient for fans of online editing. Open IT Online is a free download and it works wherever Firefox 2 or 3 does.
Here’s more screenshots & a nice video of how to use Open IT Online to view documents online with Zoho. Install the Open IT Online Firefox add-on to view/edit files directly online without downloading them.

Google Maps For YouTube

You have been able to search for YouTube videos whilst in Google Maps for a while now but until now YouTube has not had its own geographical search feature. This means that in the past when you searched for say Paris in YouTube you would be shown hundreds of videos by someone called Paris Hilton (who my girlfriend informs me is not actually a hotel in the French capital).

Now when you search for Paris in YouTube a small map appears next to the videos of a scantily clad woman.

When you click on the map you are then taken to a larger map with a red polyline circle. You can move the circle around or you can zoom in to focus on a smaller area and YouTube will look for videos geo-tagged in that area.

This is an excellent addition to YouTube. It has been one of my biggest bugbears with the site that a search for a geographical location often returned videos that had no relation to the actual place.

Google Earth 4.3 (beta) Update Available - Version 4.3.7284.3916

There's a new version of Google Earth 4.3 (beta) available. This release does not appear to introduce new features, but it does address a number of issues some of you have encountered with GE 4.3 which was released in April. Since Google has had a couple of months, I'm expecting this version to be a more stable version to use. I'm still waiting for an official report and release notes, and will add the details here when they are available. See the official release notes for this update below. There's a lot of fixes to a variety of problems - many that only applied to certain OSes, or system configurations. Head on over to the official Google Earth Download page to get the latest (the "Check for Update" currently won't find this new release.)
See the initial review of Google Earth 4.3 for reasons why you should get the new version if you are still running an older version of Google Earth. Or, check out the GEB video demo of GE 4.3:


Friday, July 11, 2008

Your Gmail Contacts in Any Email Form - Greasemonkey Script

gmailcontacts1.png Firefox with Greasemonkey only: The Google Contacts Autocomplete user script adds a drop-down of your Gmail contacts on any web-based email form where you'd enter an address. You must be signed into your Gmail account for the script to work; once it's installed, just start typing into an email text field to get search-as-you-type results from your Gmail address book. The first day or so it was installed, the script did nothing for me—then it magically started working (see screenshot)—so your mileage may vary. When it is working, this is a nifty way to access your contacts quickly and easily. The Google Contacts Autocomplete user script is a free download and requires Firefox with Greasemonkey. Thanks, Matt!

Google Contacts Autocomplete


First 3D City in Spain for Google Earth - Roses

Roses Spain in 3D in Google EarthRoses is the first city in Spain to get their entire city in 3D for Google Earth. The models are currently the basic gray buildings without textures. But, they are part of the Google Earth 3D Buildings layer. Just search for "Roses, Spain" to see for yourself. Google has a program called Cities in 3D (read more) to help city planners provide Google with data so their cities can be included in the layer. The program was just expanded to several European countries (including Spain) in early June. According to GEB reader Albert Garcia, they are also working to add SketchUp models with photo-textures for Roses.
Google has dozens of cities now where a large percentage of the urban area is modeled in 3D (more in the US than any other country at the moment). Here is a list of some cities in Europe where most of the city is in 3D: Zurich, Munich, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Westport in Ireland. Berlin also has a huge 3D collection they created themselves, but it's not part of the built-in GE layer. Similarly, Dresden in Germany also did their own layer which is not yet part of the built-in layer. And, let's not forget, probably the most 3D data available for any country is in Japan. Nearly every structure for several major cities is rendered if you turn on the 3D Buildings layer and visit cities in Japan.

New Design Tests For Google News

Google News experiments with a lively and visually-rich design that shows images, videos, quotes, but also interesting and popular stories. There's a "featured photo" section that uses images from AFP, The Associated Press, Reuters, marking the first time when Google News promotes stories just because it has the permission to show associated images.

If you are logged in, the new interface personalizes all the sections, not just the front page, and you can switch to the non-personalized version to see the differences.

The homepage shows a list of "developing stories".

The Sci-Tech section, with more photos.

Front-page sections can be minimized and look like iGoogle gadgets.

Google News clusters prominently display the main title.

The footer is more lighthearted. "All the news that's fit to crawl. Auto-generated from over 4500 news sources, void where prohibited."

In June, Google News blog announced the new design, without getting into details. "Over the course of the next few weeks, you may notice a few changes to Google News... or maybe not. You see, we'll be running some experiments on the look and feel of our site, based on an accumulation of user research and feedback, as well as the evolving state of online journalism."

Guinness World Record Certificate for Mozilla - Congrats!

Tristan Nitot receiving the Guinness World Record certificate at the London Firefox 3 party!
Yesterday Mozilla received the official Guinness World Record certificate for the “largest number of software downloads in 24 hours.”  From 18:16 UTC on June 17, 2008 to 18:16 UTC on June 18, 2008, 8,002,530 people downloaded Firefox 3!
Tristan Nitot, President of Mozilla Europe, accepted the certificate from Gareth Deaves, Records Manager for Internet and Technology at Guinness World Records, on behalf the Firefox Community. The record achievement certificate was awarded in front of a 300 strong community gathering in central London to celebrate the launch of Firefox 3, and the Guinness World Record feat. The event was organized by our friends at Glaxstar.
It’s wonderful to finally have this official document - a great accomplishment for our community and one that we can all be proud. Thank you and Well Done!

Where Am I