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  • My Google Page and the .mobi Domain

    Posted on May 17th, 2006 Sandeep 1 comment

    … is actually called My Google Brin. I figured Larry already had PageRank, and last time I checked, Sergey Brin did not have any Google-related thingy named after him.

    The page creator is a bit buggy (it’s a beta, D-OH!), but far better than Geocities. Anyway, aren’t people supposed to be creating blogs, these days? The past few days, I had been getting a message saying I could not create my page yet (forgot what it was exactly), but today I checked on a whim – since http://www.google.com/notebook was working, why not give this a try as well?

    In other news, .mobi domain registration opens up May 22, although the public will only be allowed starting August 28. GoDaddy’s listing shows $99.99/year for a .mobi domain. For a complete list of accredited registrars, check out http://pc.mtld.mobi/switched/findaregistrar.html.

    Some great tips on mobile web design can be found here:

    Here’s hoping companies don’t register and redirect to their .com websites.

  • Google Health

    Posted on May 15th, 2006 Sandeep No comments

    Well, well, well – http://www.google.com/health is currently redirecting to http://www.google.com/ads/ and not giving a 404.

  • Current Status

    Posted on May 15th, 2006 Sandeep 3 comments

    What’s worse than being stuck in a city that, let’s just say, is not exactly your favorite? Having a fever, a nasty cold and a sore throat all at the same time – when in that city.
    Thankfully the fever has subsided but the cold refuses to go away. This is the third time in the last one month where I have worked on weekends – and let me tell you, that’s not a healthy feeling. Weekends in Bangladesh are Friday and Saturday, but I was working anyway.

  • New, err, non-portal tools from Google

    Posted on May 11th, 2006 Sandeep 2 comments

    Google Co-op, beta
    A community where users can contribute their knowledge and expertise to improve Google search for everyone. The user first subscribes to a provider’s content. The provider’s labels and subscribed links are then added to the user’s search results for relevant queries. Google claims that these contributions will then serve as meta information that helps Google’s algorithms connect users to the most relevant information for their specific query.

    Google Trends
    An extension of the Zeitgest, allowing users to track Google usage across the world. Take a peek into the brains of a few million people across the world. I’m kidding, of course.
    Google Notebook
    Was this needed, really? Of course, I am still getting a 404 – so I don’t know if its the fancy AJAXy stuff from Google or something else.

    Oh, by the way, Google Desktop 4 was released too.

  • Gmail enhancements we can live with

    Posted on May 5th, 2006 Sandeep No comments

    The following are a few Gmail enhancements that I’d like:

    1. When creating filters, remember you can “Test Search” to see if your search criteria match any existing messages in the Inbox? Well, I’d like a “Select All” button when matching messages are listed – so I can go right back to the Inbox and, since they will still be selected, do whatever I want with them.

    2. How about moving the “New Label” option to the top? I have a whole lotta labels, and when I want to create a new one, it’d save me the trouble of scrolling down.

    3. Ads on messages in the Spam folder: do we really want those? Come on, Google – get rid of ‘em already! Not that many ads are displayed since most messages are about getting laid or enhancing certain body parts, but there are messages from the occasional 419er or software peddler, and these will have ads. And I bet any inadvertent click makes Google a bit of moolah.

    What’s your most-wanted Gmail enhancement?

  • Off to Bangladesh again

    Posted on May 4th, 2006 Sandeep 1 comment

    Should be getting my visa on Sunday. I’m off again starting next week. The last two times have been hectic, and to add to it, the food there did not agree with my stomach. Heck, I survived on biscuits and water (and the occasional canned juice) for almost a week and lived to tell about it.

    The usual route is Bangalore-Kolkata-Dhaka. If I’m lucky, I’ll fly Indian Airlines (now just Indian, apparently) from Kolkata to Dhaka. If I’m really, really unlucky, I will have to take Biman – Bangladesh’s national carrier.

    Just to give you an idea of Biman: they’ve been told to upgrade their fleet within 6 months or they will be denied permission to land at JFK, New York.

  • Artha Options health card: Is it for real?

    Posted on May 3rd, 2006 Sandeep 244 comments

    We’ve been getting several calls lately from Artha Options, coaxing us to go in for the Artha Card. This is not medical insurance per se, but a card that allows you to get regular health check-ups done at a discounted rate. For just Rs.1,995 per annum, a family of four can get this card, and a whole lot of “benefits” – dubious to say the least.

    Here’s what they claim you get free after signing up:

    • Four dental cleanings worth Rs.650
    • Health evaluation worth Rs.5,000
    • Two master health check-ups worth Rs.1,500
    • Food coupons worth Rs.13,000 (wtf?)
    • Lifestyle coupons worth Rs.5,000 that can be used to purchase apparels and accessories

    All this for Rs.1,995? Who do they think they’re kidding? Just to play along, I asked them if they can include medical insurance and/or hospitalization costs for the same amount. Apparently, I struck a nerve with the sales agent, and the call was terminated ;-)

  • Using GDB to do on-target debugging of Symbian S60 apps

    Posted on May 3rd, 2006 Sandeep No comments

    That’s right, I resorted to good old GDB for on-target debugging of Symbian S60 applications. Of course, I did it some time back, and have not done active mobile development after that.

    The key to using GDB lies in a SIS file shipped with Borland C++BuilderX (which Borland had kindly put up for free download), called gdbstub.sis. This installs a stub on the S60 phone which receives Bluetooth serial port requests. On the PC, load the application you want to debug, specifying the serial port GDB has to use for remote debugging, and if things go right you should get the familiar prompt. Of course, you have to ensure the PC and phone are paired up for Bluetooth operation.

    It’s no fun to use GDB for on-target debugging, trust me. One of the problems with GDB is that it cannot use any port above COM4. So if your Bluetooth driver assigned COM5 or COM6 to the virtual serial port on the PC, tough luck. I tried using a port mapper to map these to a lower numbered port, but for some reason, GDB would hang.

    A couple of weeks after that, I moved on to a different project and haven’t done much of mobile development since then, save for the occasional PyS60 hack. Now, I’ve got a reason to get back to C++, and that reason is Carbide.c++. Rock!

  • Flash Lite

    Posted on May 2nd, 2006 Sandeep No comments

    iRiver U10Flash Lite, while a boon to mobile application developers, is an ideal platform for other portable devices. Case in point: the iRiver U10. The U10 is an MP3 player sporting a large touch-screen LCD and uses Flash Lite for the UI. The display is QVGA, and allows U10 to have its own set of Flash games as well.

    While iRiver has done a great job of putting Flash Lite onto their MP3 players, I still believe that Flash Lite on mobiles will be much bigger than on other devices. Especially those that run the Nokia S60 platform. If you are planning to get on the Flash bandwagon, check out Adobe’s Flash Lite 1.1 Development for Nokia S60 handsets.

  • The first (and probably last? I hope not!) Kannada rap song

    Posted on May 1st, 2006 Sandeep 1 comment

    Presenting the first rap song in Kannada (my mother tongue) by Shreyas – Auto Soori:

    http://www.mech.utah.edu/~shreyas/autosoor.mp3

    Awesome song, dude!