Sunday, November 27, 2011


We watch inspirational movies like The Social Network, we read success stories and biographies of great and successful people, we get motivated and most of us end up being wishful Mark Zuckerbergs or Steve Jobs’ or insert any person’s name you idealize. It takes some real pounding from inside to actually bestir oneself and start coding.
About a year ago, a Stanford student Feross Aboukhadijeh drew his inspiration from the then recently launched Google Instant search and created a real-time search engine for YouTube videos called YouTube Instant. Besides creating a successful search service, Feross also succeeded in inspiring Deepanshu Mehndiratta, a second year engineering student at BITS-Pilani KK Birla Goa Campus, to create a similar real-time live search service for Wikipedia, one of the most popular and used sites on the web.
Deepanshu says that it was during some research he was doing for one of his course related projects that he had to go through a lot of Wikipedia articles and found it very cumbersome to browse the articles through Google or the default Wikipedia search page. He thought it’d be quite easy to search for an article if you could get a preview of the page you are about to visit by just typing into the search box. And thus the idea of a Wikipedia Live Search struck him. Using Wikipedia’s APIs, Ajax, jQuery libraries and Javascript he set out on this project and 5 hours later, was up and running. For those into web development, the application base consists of AJAX to the Wikipedia Search Engines and jQuery library & Javascript for a pleasant and user friendly view.
I hope that Wikilive helps you browse Wikipedia the way Deepanshu intends it to and that this story motivates you to take that first step into creating something really awesome.
You can find more about Deepanshu on his webpage -

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Google Side Wiki - New Tool from Google

Google has introduced a controversial new tool that allows the public to comment about any web site in a side bar displayed in their browser. It is integrated in the latest version of Google Toolbar and works with both Firefox and Internet Explorer but ironically, not yet Google Chrome. To use Sidewiki, download the most recent version of the Google Toolbar and set it to enhanced.

There are pros and cons associated with every product. Here are few points:

It happens a lot of times that we come across some poorly written and misleading articles where we strongly disagree with the content or with the author's opinion. And even frustrating thing is, they do not allow any comments on their page!! May be this is an excellent alternative to express our opinion about those web sites or the quality of their articles.

The same point can be interpreted as:
Google has now forced a blog onto every web site on the Internet without asking the owners permission. They also have not even offered a way for the site owner to opt-out of inclusion. People may not like to be forced into something without their approval, especially when it pertains to their own property.

Another thing that comes to the mind is spamming. It's inevitable that we will see SPAM on here, this is the internet. I think this tool will open a wave of problems with spammers talking rubbish about great sites, there is also nothing stopping someone’s competitor using this tool for creating a hate campaign against its rivals. It totally decentralizes web authors' authority, anyone can now say anything about anything on your site, and all the world can see it. I think that Google's will have to work hard to bury spam etc. hopefully through user ratings and Googles "SPAM control" it won't be as bad as one might think

Although there are probably millions of people who have installed the toolbar, there are millions more who have NOT installed the toolbar, which means the overall impact of sidewiki will be somewhat limited.

It can be used to help others save time. For instance, if I searched through a site trying to figure out something specific about a product or topic on the site, and after spending much time I still never ended up discovering what I was looking for; I could post a short comment explaining that experience and possibly a link to a site where I found such info. This not only could help save time of future visitors, but could give feedback to the author of the site on how to better the site.

So it can be very helpful if used correctly. With crowd sourced monitoring it could turn out to be a super dynamic wiki. It will be interesting to see how things work out...!

Feel free to add on points ...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nokia announces new Mobile (N900) that runs on linux (Maemo)

We have always had linux for mobile devices. But use of linux as mobile OS has mostly been limited to enthusiasts who like to fiddle around with technology and somehow it has not been able to break into the mainstream mobile market.

But all that is going to change with Nokia, one of the largest mobile companies in the world, announcing their forthcoming release of N900 which runs on linux based Maemo platform. It not only has the capabilities of supporting the normal smartphone features but also utilizes the limited resources available in mobiles optimally (which comes naturally to linux :P). It has all the regular linux desktop features including multiple desktops. Just go through the N900 feature set and you will get an idea about its capabilities. And although it already has so many apps made for it ,as it is an Open Source you can expect regular improvements and loads of free apps as it catches on in popularity.

Another aspect of this release, which excites me the most is that finally linux will be used by common people who usually get scared hearing the name of linux (although unknowingly they use it very often, maybe directly or indirectly). Even though linux for PCs have become more user friendly over the years and still most people have the misconception that it isn't like that and is meant only for geeks.

So lets wait and watch the impact of this release.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How to enable voice and video in pidgin (linux only :D)

Finally we have voice and video support in pidgin. It had always been so hard to understand why it is taking them so much time to implement it. Better late than never.

The new pidgin (version 2.6.1) has been released with media support in linux only at the moment. It was done by someone as summer of code project. You can find the list of new features and the whole story about it on their site.

Now coming to the real point. As soon as found out about this release it soon tried installing. Now the issue is that it had been released as source and though it works perfectly on most distros, it wasn't working on ubuntu 9.04 (working with earlier versions) . The problem was that jaunty isn't having the right versions of libraries needed to compile it and so the debs available on the net didn't install pidgin with voice and video support.

But things move fast in the open source world ... someone managed to compile it successfully on jaunty and has added it to ppa.

So here are the instructions:

To add the sources, go to the main menu, click System, then Administration, then Software Sources. Click on the Third-Party Software tab, then click the Add button.

Paste Code:
deb jaunty main

Click Add Source, then click the Add button again and add the PPA:
deb jaunty main

Close that window then open up a terminal and put this in:

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install pidgin

This is it. It should work now :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Opera Unite: a Web server on the Web browser

There has been quite a history of browser wars. Till sometime back each browser claimed to change the way you browse the web and claimed their superiority for the same. Now they claim that they will change the way you are a part of the web. Opera recently announced their plans for Opera 10 , their upcoming version , and they have introduced a new technology which they call Opera Unite.

Opera Unite is a web server on the web browser. It allows you to take control of what you share online. Opera Unite allows you to easily share your data: photos, music, notes and other files. You can even run chat rooms and host entire Web sites with Opera Unite. It puts the power of a Web server in your browser, giving you greater privacy and flexibility than other online services. Opera Unite services can be accessed from any modern browser, including mobile browsers. This video showcases their vision.

As it is a fully fledged web server integrated to your browser ,you can do all kinds of things like hosting websites, host chat rooms, share files, etc. 
from your very own computer. Read the following opera labs blog to find out more.

The Web is changing and changing fast !