Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Google Drive: Quick Notes

Today Google introduced much speculated Google Drive using this blogpost - http://googleblog.blogspot.in/2012/04/introducing-google-drive-yes-really.html. Some said that it is brilliant product and other rejected it saying that it is just a dropbox clone.

Here are my quick notes -
  1. It is not available to all. It still is a limited release. It looks like it is available to the users who purchased paid storage for GMail. 
  2. It is also available to Google Apps users. Though I am not able to download PC app from my Google Apps account. I guess PC app is not available for Google Apps yet. Though after downloading PC apps from my regular GMail account, I was able to sign-in using Google Apps account. 
  3. Android app has crossed 5,000,000 downloads. Quite quick. That tells that Google Drive is an instant success. 
  4. It has SDK/ API available, so you can write your own apps. It looks like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups apps are already out using those APIs.
  5. If you have purchased storage for GMail, it will be available to Google Drive as well.
  6. Google Drive announcement also impacted Google Docs and GMail. Free storage for GMail has been increased to 10GB and 5GB to Google Docs. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

SEO: How to Find Webpage Age

Ever wondered how old is a page on web? Want to know age of a webpage? When a page was first published? Surely Google Cache is not an answer because it shows the latest date and time, and NOT the date and time when it was first published. There are many tools, plug-ins and add-ons but none worked up to my satisfaction. So here is a quick solution -

1. Search the keyword or the page URL in Google.com
2. In the results, on the left panel, you will find "Any Time". Click any option there, say "past year"
3. Now Google will start showing date of publish below each search result.

Enjoy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

An additional plugin is required to display some elements on this page - Google Chrome Problem

If your Google Chrome shows this message - "An additional plugin is required to display some elements on this page" even after clicking"Install plug-in", then here is a quick solution -

Disable Disable Skype's Click-to-Call extension

Above error message generally appears if you have Flash content on the web page being displayed. Lots of people reported this problem with Facebook.com but it is common across all the websites using Adobe Flash.

You can disable Skype click to call extension it as follows -
  1. Click on the "Customize and control Google Chrome" icon on the top-right
  2. Click on Tools => Extensions
  3. Uncheck checkbox infront of Enable for "Skype Click to Call" extension
Here you go!!! The error message will not appear again.

Alternatively, I guess, you can also upgrade "Skype Click to Call" extension from Skype's website.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Google Wave is Dead

Yesterday, Google announced that they are discontinuing Google Wave product development. Lack of the user adoption was stated as the primary reason. Here is the excerpt from the blog post -

"But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects."

I am very sad hearing this news. I liked Google Wave a lot and always used it for team collaboration and collaborative document management. Now I am eager to see what Google has to offer to migrate this content.

I also feel that Google Wave didn't pick up because of lack of proper promotion from Google. Google is always bad in promotion and lack of promotion is killing this great product. I hope they do it better in future.

I guess, they will migrate all the content to Google Apps. Some of the innovations like "character-by-character live typing" are already part of Google Apps, so it is safe to assume that Google Wave will be used in parts in Google Apps in future.

let us wait and see.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What are users and weekly installs on chrome extension gallery

Recently we have created a chrome extension (Chrome browser plugin) from my Online astrology software named MyKundali.com. This means that all astrological details and charts are just one click away. If you are Chrome or Chromium user, you can install plugin - MyKundali Chrome Extension.  I am sure you will love it. Don't forget to share your feedback.

Though this post is not about the the astrology extension but the stats that it shows on the extension page. After two days when I go to the extension page, I found following figure "26 users - Weekly installs: 43"

I was wondering what exactly are the "Users" and how they are calculated. Weekly Installs looks straight forward. Though chrome extension website doesn't give any official information, this is the explanation of both the terms based on my understanding -

"Weekly Installs" Count
As the name suggest this gives number of installs in the last seven days. So if I have 43 installs, it means that 43 people installed my extension in last 7 days. Remember this is not an average, so two weeks can have altogether different values.

"Users" Count
This is computed from update pings in the last week, so this gives you active users in last seven days. Remember, this is also a weekly figure and gives good indication of how many people are using your extension.

By the way, you can also use Google Analytics for more accurate analytics. So if you are a Chromium extension developer, you must use it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Klinnk – The PayPal of India?

Today I come to know that TimesOfMoney, the company behind many payment and money transfer services including Remit2India.com, has announced Klinnk.com. According to the information –

“Klinnk is a revolutionary new way to manage one’s online transactions in India. Klinnk users could either be individuals or merchants looking out for a more safe, secure and faster way of processing online transactions.

Klinnk is a bank neutral offering to the Indian customers over Internet with many features like Klinnk on Mobile, IVR, SMS and Prepaid Cards to be rolled out in future.”

Like PayPal, there is no Setup or AMC (Annual Maintenance Cost). There is only TDR (Transaction fee) of 3.5%. Transaction fee looks in line with PayPal who charges “2.9% transaction fee + $0.30 USD.” Like PayPal they also have merchant solutions.

Let us wait and see how does it fair?

Death of Old School RT and New Rules of the Twitter Game

What is ReTweet
‘Retweet’ in Twitter is somewhat equivalent to ‘Like’ in Facebook. If you liked a Tweet or want to share it with your followers, you can Retweet it. ReTweet is also referred as “RT” in Twitspace. We can define ReTweet as “To repost another user's message on Twitter with giving credit to him”

Old and New School ReTweet
Initially ReTweets (RT in short) started as an extension to “Replies”. So if I have to ReTweet your tweet, I take your tweet, embed “RT @your-twitter-usrename” in the tweet and again Tweet it. The original author of the Tweet, can see the new Tweet in his Replies/ Mentions section. Later Twitter realized that it is not the most efficient way of ReTweeting and so they introduced a new method of ReTweeting which was quicker but had lesser control. On the Web Interface, you can just click on ReTweet and Voila, you are done. You have shared the post on your Twitter and also given credit to the original author.

Disadvantages of New School RT
But not everybody enjoyed the newer method of ReTweet and these were three primary reasons –

  1. It has less control than older method of ReTweet where you could modify the Tweet before ReTweeting
  2. The ReTweeted tweet doesn’t appear in the Mentions or Replies section of the original author and original author has to check a separate section named “ReTweets => Your Tweets ReTweeted” for seeing who all have ReTweeted his content.
  3. Twitter Clients like TweetDeck, HootSuite and Seesmic were not well integrated with the new style of RT. Some clients had no direct way to see those new style of RTs.

Due to above disadvantages Old School RT was still the most popular method of RT on Twitter.

Recent Changes on 20th April 2010
Now, Twitter has changed the rules of ReTweet again. Yesterday Twitter has made some changes to the system, so that every time someone uses the “retweet” button on Twitter web interface (or new method of retweet from his Twitter client) to retweet, original tweet author can see the ReTweeted tweet in @replies section. This seems very much logical change.

New Rules of the Twitter Game
ReTweets were the way for promotion and building relationship on Twitter. The problem number 1 mentioned above is still there with the new style RT, but the problem number 2 and 3 seems to be solved with this change. So with the time we will see -

  1. Old School ReTweets are dying
  2. More and More new style RT and hence more credit to the original author.
  3.  Easier to manage – Easier to ReTweet which means more RT.

Do you see any other implication on Twitter and Twitter user if old school ReTweet method dies?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

4 Cool New Goolge Wave Features

1. Double-click to edit a wave
It is simple, just double-click on the content area where you are reading the wave. It will show two options - reply and edit. Select "edit" and you are done, it will open-up the editor. This is much faster than selecting “Edit this wave” from the menu at top-right.

2. Read-only wave
When you make a wave public, by adding public@a.gwave.com, you now get an option whether you want to give read only access to the new user or full editable access.

Read-only participants can only view the wave and look at the history. But they can neither add anybody to the wave, nor can they make any modification to the wave.


3. Add Google Groups to wave
You can add a Google Group to a wave, set permissions and then view and edit waves with that group. This is a very useful feature for a person like me who uses wave for group collaboration half the times. In one of my astrology forum, I used Google Wiki for writing an ebook with my forum members and Google Wave is even better.



4. Revert to older version
Wave version control got better after introducing option for reverting to older version. You now get "Restore" option during playback (while checking the history)


Love you Google and Google Wave. Looking forward to the invitation for Google Wave on my Google Apps.

Important Note for New User:
While using Google Wave for any serious work, always keep in mind that you can not remove a user from the wave. Which means, that other user, even if accidently added to the wave, has as much control as you do. You do not own the wave created by you. So, be careful for using Wave for any official/ confidential kind of work that you do not want to share with the world.
(As on 22nd April 2010, now you can remove a user from the wave)

Related Articles:
Google Wave for Dummies

Friday, November 27, 2009

Google Wave for Dummies

OK, you heard about revolutionary Google Wave and you also got an invitation. You opened it with all excitement, but you are not able to understand the use of Google Wave :-)? Where to start? This article is written for laymen who want to use Google Wave but now sure where to start.

By a general user, Google Wave can be used for two major purposes -

1. Collaborative Document Editing
"Collaborative Document Editing" means more than one person editing the same copy of the document. For example, "Collaborative Document Editing" may be very useful for writing a project report or a research paper where more than one author/ reviewer/ editor are involved.

2. Email like conversation
We all know email. Google Wave is also another way of email like conversation.

I personally find Google Wave is more useful for "Collaborative Document Editing" than "Email-like conversation". I doubt that Google Wave will be able to replace email in near future, as wished by Google.

In fact there is third application as well, which is using Google Wave for chat/ IM like Yahoo Messenger or GTalk. Though at this point of time, I do not find Chat/ IM as an important application of Google Wave, so leaving it for another article.

For the sake of simplicity, let us say that
Wave = Message = Document

Technically speaking, there are few differences, but at this point of time, let us consider all three as synonyms.

You can create a new Wave (aka Document or Message) by yourself, or other person can also share a wave with you.

Creating a new wave

Method 1: Click on a "New Wave" button on the top left side of screen.



Method 2: Whenever you come first time on Google Wave, you also see "new wave" link on the right side like this -


Just click on this "New Wave" hyperlink to create a new wave.

Sharing a wave with others
Once you have a wave (created by you or shared to you by someone else), you can share it with others. There are two primary methods to share a wave with others -

Method 1: Drag the friend's photo or name from the contact list at bottom-left corner and drop it on the opened wave that you want to share.

Note: 'Dragging' means clicking using left mouse button on some object, holding it while moving mouse to some other place. Once you reach to desired place, leave that object on that place by unholding left-mouse button (this process is called 'dropping.' Both these processes together are called 'dragging and dropping'.)

Method 2: Click on the "+" symbol on the right side of your photograph on top of the wave editing screen and select your friends name. The "+" symbol looks something like this -



Edit OR Reply?

If you are using Google Wave for collaborative document editing, you should edit a message. For example, if you are working on a project report with your team members, every member can edit the same wave (document).

If you are using Google Wave for e-mail like communication (or even chat-like communication), you should reply a message.

Editing a wave
Now if you are using Wave for collaborative document editing, you can edit a wave as follows -

1. Open the wave (you can open a wave just by clicking on the name of the wave in inbox)

2. On the top right of the opened wave, you will see time and adjacent to that you will find a downward pointing arrow. Click on that "downward pointing black arrow"

3. Select "Edit this message" from the drop down

Replying a Wave
If you are using Wave for e-mail like communication or blog like communication (comments), you should reply a wave. Here are the steps -

1. Open the wave (you can open a wave just by clicking on the name of the wave in inbox)

2. On the top right of the opened wave, you will see time and adjacent to that you will find a downward pointing arrow. Click on that "downward pointing black arrow"


3. Select "Reply to this message" from the drop down

Some of the advanced Wave users may say that I am missed an important aspect of Wave i.e. Wave as a platform. I also did not talk about Wave robots and gadgets. The reason I didn't talk about that because I wanted to talk about the present applications of Google Wave from a laymen's perspective. I didn't want to confuse people with all complexity of Wave. Once a person is comfortable with the basics of Wave, I am sure he will be able to figure out other applications of Wave by himself.

I hope it gives you enough Google Wave knowledge. Happy Waving.

== End of Tutorial - Google Wave for Dummies ==

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Google Launches Loksabha Election Website

Today Google announced a new website for 2009 Indian general elections. According to the press release today, anyone can check his/ her name in the voters list, can know about his/ her polling booth and search maps of the constituencies.

This website has been created with the help of Hindustan time and some other NGOs and can be found here -http://www.google.co.in/intl/en/landing/loksabha2009/

It is an excellent feature to search voters name in the voter list but it seems that the website is still under development. Right now covers only Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune and Nagpur. Hope to see Agra in this list soon ;-)

Also note Yahoo is already having it's website at http://in.elections.yahoo.com/. Yahoo India website looks more like a news website.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rediff, Indiatimes, Yahoo Ad-Rates for Online Advertisement

Today I was searching for advertisement rates of online ads. I was primarily interested in some of the big portal names like yahoo, indiatimes, and rediff etc. It took quite a while to come up with the search results having all these figures. I found two articles having some information and thought sharing with you -
Exchange4media article was written in 2004, so slightly outdated. Business World article is of year 2007 and gives sufficiently latest information.

Here is the summary from the Business World article -

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Switch Back to Old Facebook Design

Facebook has once again become the center of criticism of its users. This time the bone of contention is its new design. Around 1.7 million users worldwide are not happy with it and they’ve formed this group to show their disapproval. Actually, the new design of Facebook is meant to give the Twitter feel and provide more space for advertisements. New and old design, both have their pros and cons. But as far as Facebook is concerned, it has ridiculed the demand of switching back to older one. But if you have become habitual of the older design and want to keep using that, here’s an easy trick for you. You can get your dear old Facebook back in just three easy steps:
  1. Add the “Facebook Developers” application (from here)
  2. Click on “Go to application” and close the page
  3. Follow this link
It’s simple, isn’t it? Those who adore older Facebook should try it out. Although, I rather prefer the new design myself.
(Courtesy: www.hindi2.com)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Google Noticeboard for Indian Villages

Recently Google India Labs announced Google Noticeboard. Google Noticeboard is an application targeted towards not-so-technical public for sharing information. People can create text messages or record voice snippets and post them to one or more digital noticeboards. Google Noticeboard allows user to engage in public communication with communities without much technical know how.

According to Google's CEO, this could be the "poor man's email." I personally would rather call it "poor man's wiki & email." This seems an excellent idea to me and can do the same to the villages that wiki has done for general Internet collaboration. Communities with access to shared computers can use this application for exchanging messages related to community announcements, social interactions, local buying and selling, and information that is of wider interest to the community. This is probably first social media initiative of its kind which bring collaboration and communication to Indian villages.

It works as Firefox plug-in and I visualize having Kiosks in villages having Google Noticeboard pre-installed more like bank ATMs. Seeing the application design, I can guess that is definitely one of the objectives. Though the success seems a distinct future and the first priority for Google should be create technically better application. User interface and usability is going to be key for this application and more attention is required to make it user friendly. Presently the application seems confusing and difficult to use.

Though we must congratulate Google for such an initiative for Indian villages. I wish Google all the best and success for this application.

International SMS are Free on Google Voice

Today my GrandCentral account is upgraded to Google Voice account. If you don't know GrandCentral, the basic idea around GrandCentral was "one phone number for all your phones, for life." This one number works very well for me as I keep traveling to different places. Also GrandCentral can ring my laptop computer using Gizmo, so I can take calls from my laptop itself.

I was eagerly waiting for it, as I am an extensive GrandCentral user and some of the news features are very useful for me. Some of the new features are -
  • Free Conferencing (Up to 6 users. Though it is not working for me right now)
  • Free SMS (both inbound and outbound, so I can receive SMS on Google Voice phone number, which makes it true replacement of a mobile phone.)
  • Free Voice Transcription, so that I can read the voice messages in your inbox. I hope it is better than me in understanding American accent :-)
  • Free US calling. Not only I can initiate calls from the Google Voice website, but also I can use my regular US phone for making calls using Google Voice account. Also international calling is almost as cheap as skype, though not free.
Coming back to free International SMS, here are some of he key points -
  • International SMS are for free
  • Once you get a response of a SMS, Google generates a unique 406 number. This will connect to their international number but will cost Google Voice rate.
  • This Google Voice 406 number can be saved in your in your contacts and one can initiate SMS, bypassing Google Voice online.
New registration to Google Voice is available on invite only, so if you don't have existing GrandCentral account, you will have to wait for your invite.

Update March 23rd, 2009: Recently my international SMS to Netherlands are failing and I am not sure whether Google has stopped International SMS.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Windows Live Profile, Yahoo Profile and Thousand Other Profiles


Here is another proof of the fact that Internet giants Microsoft and Yahoo are now really scared of Facebook and Twitter. Today my Windows Live Messenger (MSN messenger) asked me to update my Windows Live Profile. On the Windows Live Profile, I’ll be able to share my status, notes and general profile information like my hobbies with my friends or with open public. One important feature that I found missing is that it does not allows you to get a friendly URL. For example, my Windows Live profile URL is http://cid-15e7fb5496616396.profile.live.com/ whereas I would prefer something like http://pandeypunit.profile.live.com/.

Anyways, this is another social networking platform to keep everybody posted about you and what you are doing. There are quite a few social networking tools already competing in this space. Recently, Yahoo also changed its good-old profile pages and changed them into a full flagged social networking platform. Now with Yahoo profiles, which is presently in beta, you can connect with your friends and keep them posted.

Now with so many profiles - Yahoo profile, Windows Live profile, Facebook profile, MySpace profile, Orkut profile, LinkedIn profile etc., maintaining them is becoming almost impossible. Hope there will some tool soon where we can manage all these profile at one single place.