New: Orkut Extension for Google Chrome

orkut_chrome_extension_2Today, the folks at Orkut released an extension of their own for the  Google Chrome browser. The extension provides a fast and easy way to access different features of the service and stay updated about the activities of your friends on the social network.

After you install the extension, a small icon will appear on the toolbar, which when clicked, will provide various options to choose from. For one, there’s a Share this pageoption, which will let you post the current page you are on to your Orkut profile.

You can search and open profiles of your contacts, check updates to your account and get alerted of the scraps you’ve received.

As a matter of fact, the extension supports notifications that will alert you of new pictures, status messages, videos and scraps from your friends as well as application updates.

Download the new Orkut extension for Google Chrome here.

If You Are A Good Shooter On The Console, You May As Well Be In The Field

03 Recent studies have shown that good gamers are good soldiers too. Which apparently means that earning all of that virtual reputation, virile gold stars and experience may as well help you out in the real, bad world too.

According to work done by the U.S Office of Naval Research, regular gamers are more able-bodied and capable when it comes to encountering real-world battlefield situations. The U.S Defense website said that video games can help adults process information much faster and improve their fundamental abilities to reason and solve problems in novel contexts. As per research, gamers perform 10 to 20 percent better, when it comes to perceptual and cognitive abilitythan non-gamers. Moreover, tactical games also result in increase of short-term memory retaining capability.

The research on gamers has been put into place due to the increasing challenges that American soldiers face, and to find tactics to train these soldiers better for the constantly changing fields of battle.

Ray Perez, an officer at the Office of Naval Research’s warfighter performance department said "I think we’re at the beginning of a new science of learning, that will be the integration of neuroscience with developmental psychology, with cognitive science, and with artificial intelligence."

I smell Iron Man.

Thanks, CNet. Extension For Google Chrome

greenshot_2010-01-28_23-21-50 Most of us here at Techie Buzz use Google Chrome (the rest use Firefox, so don’t throw IE bombs at us). And we are pretty crazy about Chrome extensions. When Chrome was new in the game, extension support was one thing that was keeping many users at bay from using it. But now that it has, in fact thousands of extensions, there is nothing stopping users from enjoying a mix of speed, features and reliability.

We have written about a few useful Chrome extensions before, many of which were greatly received by users. Coming to our entry for today, we have an extension for to talk about. Now is a very simple file hosting service, over which people can quickly share files of any type and then share the drop’ with whoever they want using a short, dedicated link. has come up with a Google Chrome extension today, that allows creating drops’ on the fly. It lets you add data to an already specified drop or you can let it make a new drop every time. Moreover, the extension can scrape off all types of data from a page and then throw it into a drop. Although, the extension is pretty young and doesn’t yet support drag and drop like its Firefox counterpart (Google Chrome doesn’t yet support drag-drop for extensions), even so it is a fast way of uploading files on the web.

Download for Chrome

So What’s Making Me Sleep Early These Days?

Believe it or not. I should have been an owl. I bet while I was being made, God’s assistant mistakenly handed over an owl’s sleep-processor instead of a human’s. But anyway, I have been able to adopt some human-like sleeping characteristics in the past few weeks. Thanks to F.lux.

[All platforms] F.lux is a program for your computer that adjusts the screen color temperature according to the time of the day bright like sunlight during the day, mild and warm during the night.

F.lux does not change the brightness of the screen, but the color temperature of the display. Artificial   or indoor lighting is warm or yellowish in tone and natural or sunlight is always blue (theoretically). So while using the computer in the day, F.lux automatically adjusts the color tone of the display to a cooler, brighter level matching it to the sunlight outside. Similarly, the application warms up the display and gives a milder tone during the night.

Due to the similarity between the natural color temperature in your vision and the color temperature on the screen that you may sit in front of for hours, the eyes are not strained. When the eyes are not strained, are instead relaxed, you are more likely to sleep early.

The FAQ page on the application’s website gives answers to some obvious questions:

Isn’t this exactly the same as the Macbook ambient light sensor?

No, but they do work together. The ambient light sensor measures the brightness of the light in your room and adjusts the brightness of your screen based on that. f.lux changes the color of your screen and warms it up according to the type of light you’re using and the time of day.

f.lux doesn’t use ambient brightness to adjust colors. You might be in a dark room with very cool light, you wouldn’t really want your monitor to look warm, but you would want your display to look dimmer. We’ve found that when your screen colors match the color of your ambient light correctly, you don’t need to adjust monitor brightness as much.

What is color temperature, exactly?

The term color temperature is a way to numerically describe how much red or blue light is illuminating a room. Color temperature is measured in Kelvins, and is determined by the kind of light you’re using.

Confusingly, warmer (more red) light sources are described in lower degrees Kelvin. Compared to indoor lighting, sunlight is cool – very blue. A candle is around 1800K, while a sunny day might be 6000K. An overcast day will seem more blue, so it might be around 7000K.

Most computer monitors display around 6500K. If you are using incandescent task lights behind your computer, those are around 3000K.


F.lux automatically detects your location and time zone and can then adjust the display settings accordingly. You can also slide the buttons and set the display settings as you desire.

Most certainly, F.lux is not made for graphic designers and other colors-sensitive work, so keeping that in mind, there is also a checkbox in the program settings that disables the program for an hour.

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.

F.lux is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Download F.lux.


I hope I achieve my sleep-early goals soon. People should get used to it! This one also gets a 5/5 Rating on the Techie Buzz scale and a stamp of high recommendation!

F.lux has been created by Michael Herf – the one who created the Picasa software.

How To Run Multiple Instances Of Dropbox

At Techie Buzz here, we are all great fans of the Dropbox application. It’s like a super-synching application on steroids (I don’t care if that’s greatly exaggerated =D) It works on PC, Mac and Linux and even on the iPhone. It not only syncs files, but also does a lot of other nifty helpful stuff.

greenshot_2009-12-30_04-35-26 With Dropbox, you can create collaborative folders that can be synced between multiple user’s computers and kept up-to-date in real time. Although, you can create any number of folders and do as many collaborations, it is not currently possible to run multiple instances of the Dropbox application and in turn simultaneously run multiple Dropbox accounts on the same computer. For some reason, someone might like to create different accounts for different purposes. For example, if a folder that syncs between friends has maxed out the entire account limits, the user could make another account just for business.

If you find yourself in such circumstance, treat your computer to Dropboxen. Dropboxen is a Dropbox addon that lets you run multiple instances of the application at the same time. Each running instance can then sync with different accounts.

The catch here is that, for any new instance you wish to run, you’ll need to make a different Windows User Account for it. When you run a new instance of the application, the Dropbox folder for that instance will be created in that User Account’s My Documents directory. Adding to that, you’ll also need to make some simple editing in an xml file provided.

To install the Dropboxen addon, follow the instruction here. It requires .Net Framework 3.5 and unlike Dropbox, it ain’t multiplatform.

NASA Orders Nikon Cameras For Use at ISS

The folks at Nikon were apparently very happy last week, because NASA had ordered some photographic equipment from them for use at the International Space Station. I bet it must be thrilling to hear that your product will be used in space, in the ISS, by astronauts taking pictures of their drinks flowing out of their esophagus, up in the air. OK, cut that esophagus part.


So apparently, NASA made an order for eleven Nikon D3s cameras and seven AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses to be used for photographic documentation. Nikon reported that no modifications will be made to the equipment and they will be used as-is like consumer products sold to any one else. This is perhaps not the first time when NASA has done shopping with Nikon. Nikon made their first sale to NASA in 1971by selling them Nikon Photomic FTN which was used on Apollo 15. Just last year, NASA also bought Six D2XS cameras for shooting inspection and maintenance activities in the space. Moreover,

Already about 15 types of NIKKOR lenses (more than 35 lenses all together) are kept aboard the International Space Station for intravehicular and extravehicular photography to provide continued support for NASA’s space activities.

Nikon certainly feels so cool about it’s top-class regular customer.

The Nikon D3s is a 12.1 mega pixel full-frame camera. It was announced in October this year and also features HD video recording. It would probably be used by astronauts to shoot amazing Discovery Channel like pictures of earth, if not pictures of Transformers or aliens.

The 100 Worst Movies of 2009 According To Times Online

harry_potter_and_the_half_blood_prince_potter The year has almost come to and end and most of us are packing our bags for chilly vacations, making resolutions or planning parties. However, some people like to rate movies in this beautiful season. Such are the folks at Times Online and their readers, well, movie critics to say. The critics at Times have brought up a list of the worst movies of 2009. They advice you to drop all the enlisted movies at any cost for your own good.

Personally, I believe one movie can’t really suit everybody’s taste and interest everyone. You just can’t compare all the movies of a whole good year, belonging to different genres and scratch out a worst of the lot list.

For an example, I gave Inglorious Basterds four-point-five stars out of five. I am not any influential movie critic, but I considered it a very good movie. I liked it very much. But look, oh! It’s on their worst movies list! I was certainly disappointed.

Other notable movies which have found a seat in the hall of shame are 2012, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Public Enemies, Terminator Salvation, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Boat that Rocked and quite a lot more. I personally believe that all movies, and most of forms of art, take a lot of time, energy and ambition to make. Certainly, you wouldn’t have liked some movies during the year, but labeling them as the worst of the lot is no good either.

Anyway, my thoughts aside, what do you think about the listed worst movies of 2009?

The 100 Worst Movies of 2009

PS: The funniest part of the story is this comment from Collin Hoad: How is “New Moon” not in this list when “Harry Potter” is?

Songbird 1.4.2 Released [Music Manager]

greenshot_2009-12-22_21-29-51 Songbird, the popular music jukebox application today released a new update pushing it to version 1.4.2. The latest version of Songbird comes packed with several bug fixes, usability additions, new features and enhancements along with a new dark theme.

Alongside adding support for some new codecs and media formats, the Songbird teams has also made the application much more stable and zippy. Unlike its previous releases, seamless CD ripping has been added to its list of abilities. Songs can be ripped from CDs direct to the Songbird library without needing iTunes on the system as it did previously.

MSC Device support has also been added to the music application. Steve from the dev team explains it as follows: Songbird now supports MSC (Mass Storage Class) devices. Sync tracks (and playlists on compatible devices) to phones and other MP3 players with MSC mode. Tracks in incompatible formats can be transcoded on the fly to ensure your music is always with you. (Windows only, requires the MSC add-on)

As mentioned previously, CD ripping has been made as easy as a pie with the functionality being added by default. One thing I noticed in the new release is that although it is much more snappy and quick to respond, the application comes with no addons whatsoever. Previously, a few addons came with the default install itself, like scrobbler, a lyrics plugin and plugin for MashTape. But now, it’s a totally clean install. Even the CD ripping functionality has to be added with an addon! I really hope at least that comes inbuilt from the next release. On the other hand, the application now comes with a cool, dark purple-ish feather or theme.

For the developers, the major tasks at hand for the next release are video management, Windows 7 support and an improved user interface. If you feel pleased enough to try out this bird, take it for spin here.

By the way, Songbird was my favorite player until I found Foobar2000 =)

YouTube’s Now Got Its Own Short URLs:

Flickr has a url shortener. Facebook has a url shortener. And so does Google. Who’s next? Welcome YouTube to the club, please.

When Keith reported a few days back about Facebook and Google launching their own url shorteners, he mentioned that none of the large online commodities would be pleased enough to hand over web analytical and traffic data to biggies like – which is the prime url shortener for Twitter. He was no doubt, absolutely correct.

Today, YouTube has launched their own url shortener:

From now on, whenever you favorite a video or upload a clip and use the AutoShare feature on YouTube which many people already do Youtube will syndicate alerts on other social profiles of yours such as Twitter and Facebook with a shortened Youtube url along with the message. Earlier this was done with other url shorteners, but now, YouTube will directly know the source of traffic. No third party involved.

Unlike other url shorteners, the service can’t be used for any other site except YouTube itself. Apart from using the automated method mentioned above, users can make short urls manually too.

To use manually, simply take a URL like and replace the"" with "" to get: Plug that shorter URL into a browser, and you’ll see it redirects to that video. #

The new urls are already having a blast at Twitter. I guess now should be worried a little with everyone trying to make their own url shorteners.

 YouTube Url Shortener

Top 10 Services and Dictionaries to Look Up Words Online

Irrespective of whether English is your first language or not, there is certainly no damned way you could con all the words it has. Perhaps, no language can be learnt completely, for the simple fact that languages are always evolving. Munching all the words is the job of a dictionary, and technology makes accessing one super easy.

Why use dictionaries on the internet over physical, hardcopied ones? Well, the answer is simple. Dictionaries online are up-to-date, reflecting the latest inclusions and exclusions from the language. They are not heavy (well, literally). And yes, they can be accessed from something as small as a mobile phone with internet access.

There are several places on the internet where you can find word definitions. We’ll highlight the best ones in this list.


Dictionary.comPerhaps the most widely used dictionary online. The service pulls out all stops to be as feature rich as possible with a clean, easy to navigate layout (although with some ads!). When a word can mean many things, its several meanings are listed separately with definitions, synonyms, antonyms and example sentences. Each word also comes with an audio clip that speaks out the word, so pronunciation is also taken care of. The site includes several other features like a podcast, a word of the day service, cross word puzzles, word games and a sister thesaurus site.