DYK Thursday – Barack Obama is The First US President Whose Portrait Was Taken From a Digital Camera

In United States, they follow a tradition of keeping portraits of all the presidents who lived in White House. The tradition  started with Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington, which was made of oil paints is followed till now.

Bill Clinton, an early president of the US, was the first person to get his portrait painted by an African American, Simmie Knox!

But, as “Change is always a constant” there has been a change in this tradition too. The latest president of US, Barack Obama’s portrait is not painted with oil paints, but is taken from a digital camera!

Compare with the other two, you will see the difference

The camera that was used to take the photo of Barack Obama was a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.  But, even the painted version of Barack Obama’s portrait would be available at the end of his tenure as a president. You can also find the pictures of all the portraits here.

Wow, that’s really amazing! Did you know that?

And BTW, DYK that Elephants are afraid of Mice? Watch this video if you don’t believe me!

Thanks Amit and Clif!

DYK Thursday – Using Single Gmail Account With Multiple Email Addresses

In today’s DYK, I will be explaining about an interesting feature in Gmail, which I thought many newbies might not know. You can use single Gmail account with multiple email addresses (variations of your emails id).

The trick is based upon this fact: Gmail does not consider the DOTS (.) in between the email addresses. For example, if an address like [email protected] is registered, then all the following addresses are also considered to be registered.

  1. [email protected]
  2. [email protected]
  3. [email protected] and so on.

So, Google gives no importance to the dots in the address. Another fact is that, you can add anything after a “+” sign in your email id, it doesn’t really matter. Example, if your email id is something like “[email protected]” then this address is equivalent to “[email protected]”.

Using this fact, you can do a trick to automatically segregate all mails into their respective labels. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Let us consider that you have a email id as [email protected]
  2. Let us consider you use the same id for many purposes.
  3. In such cases, you can distibute different versions of your id to different people. For example, you can add “+friends” and distribute it to your friends. Similarly, “+work” and distribute it your colleagues.
  4. After this, you can create a “to” filter in your Gmail account. In the “to” filter, enter the email address, [email protected] Click “Next” and apply the label, “Friends”.
  5. The next time anyone sends you an email to “[email protected], it will automatically get the label “Friends”.

Like this, you can use a single Gmail account for multiple purposes. Share your comments on this trick. Is this trick new to you or an old one? Do you find this trick helpful and useful?

DYK Thursday: Roundups and Some Tidbits

Okay, this is the fourth official DYK Thursday and I hope you people are enjoying reading what I write. This time it’s more of a collection of different things. You might have already read some of them. So, this is also a roundup of some amazing facts that we found out this week.

Everyone knows Twitter has a 140 character limit. But DYK that Facebook had a 420 character limit?!

Yes. You might already know this, if you are a regular reader here. Kieth has already written a post on this. (Click the link above). Keith came to know about this limit while he was trying to tell his friends about a feature request he wanted on Facebook, through his update. Bad luck, Keith! ;)

History of Twitter is Awesome!- A few facts about it

Ya, I know. History is boring always-but when it comes to Twitter you will crave for more. Tehseen has compiled some awesome set of facts about the history of Twitter like – Twitter was initially called as “Twttr”, Ashton Kutcher was the first tweep to get a million followers and many more. Go ahead and read the post!

Google Chrome has an extension to remove profanities from webpages!!

Google Chrome’s extension gallery is day by day getting filled with lots of extensions. Now, there is also an extension that “censors” the profanities on the web. The name of the extension is called “F Off”! Go ahead and install it if you have kids at home. [Thanks ChromeStory]

Google Chrome has an extension that does NOTHING!

Yes, you heard that right! This extension does nothing. Okay, you are asking me what’s the deal with it? It has about 1408 users and “weekly installs” of about 4823. Now, is it funny, ridiculous, WTF or what? Another point is, how did it get into the extension gallery?! ! Won’t Google check before accepting any addon? Leave your comments below. [Thanks ChromeStory]

DYK Thursday: Some More Awesome Google Search Tricks

In the last DYK, I had talked about some hoax pages that Google had created on April Fool’s Day. This time too, it’s about Google but I have brought some more interesting stuff that you would surely like.

Today, I am gonna tell you some easter eggs in Google Search. Check out!

  1. Nice trick: Go to Google.com. Search for “ascii art”. You will see that the Google logo has turned into a ascii code.
  2. The loneliest number: Searching for “the loneliest number” on Google will give you the result in calculator as 1!
  3. Wondering what is life? Google answers it!: Searching for “the answer to life, the universe, and everything” on Google will give you the answer from the calculator as 42! This was related to a film called “The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy” in which they find out some answer through complicated calculations. Sorry, i don’t much as I haven’t seen the movie.
  4. Hmmm, I can see that!: Searching for “the number of horns on a unicorn” on Google will give you the answer as 1. [The actual reason behind this is that Google sometimes considers these words as strings. You can verify this y multiplying those words with another number. This applies for the above example too]
  5. Oh, is it?: Searching for “once in a blue moon” on Google search will give you the result as “1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz” in the calculator.

That looks like a small list, isn’t it? That’s all I could get for the “search tricks” this time. Will update it as and when I come to know about new ones.

To make this post a little longer, and entertain you for some more time, I have added some cool easter eggs here.

Picasa Easter Egg

If you are using Picasa, to process your images, then here is a cool easter egg.

Keep pressing Ctrl + Shift + Y, and you will see something really cute and cool! Check out the screenshot below. Thanks for the screenshot, Keith! [ Click on the screenshot to enlarge.]

Wow, that's so cute! I am sure girls who are seeing this are the first to try it! :)

Google Reader Easter Egg

Google Reader has a secret mode called the Ninja Mode. We had already covered it in one of the earlier posts. If you have missed that out, go ahead and check it here.

So, that’s it for today!

“Submit This To Google Buzz!” Does Exactly What It Says!

Not every webpage or blog has a “Buzz This!” button. Just like you tweet, you can now send any page to Google Buzz with a google chrome extension.

“Submit this to Google Buzz!” is a Google Chrome extension that helps you to buzz any page to Google Buzz right from the page you are on.

"Submit this to Google Buzz!" does exactly what it says!

This extension sits on the top right corner of your browser. It has the same functionality as a “Buzz This!” button.  It shares the link in Google Reader, which in turn, gets posted to Buzz

Note: Let me inform you here that you should have Google Reader connected to Buzz to post it on Google Buzz

Go ahead and download the extension here.

DYK Thursday: Some Amazing Hoax Pages That Google Has Created

Google has a habit of fooling its users on April fool’s day every year. It has created lots of hoax pages. Every page that Google has created so far has been excellent and mind blowing. I couldn’t just stop laughing after looking at these hoax pages. I hope you enjoy reading through these pages.

Did you miss our previous DYK? Go and check out what the “Book of Mozilla” is!

PageRank is fake…PigeonRank is real!

Nopes, I am not going to write here whether Google PR is fake or real! Leave the PR aside. Here is a new concept that SEO experts have to learn. The PigeonRank!

Some interesting facts about Google PR (Not PageRank, it’s PigeonRank!)

  • PigeonRank’s success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of  spatial orientation.
  • By collecting flocks of pigeons in dense clusters, Google is able to process search queries at speeds superior to traditional search engines, which typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl to do their relevance rankings.
  • Google says that the PigeonRank is tough to crack or tamper with. The pigeon-driven methods are difficult for a human to understand.

You could visit the Google’s page to know completely about this concept.

Gmail Custom Time

Wow, that's an amazing hoax!

With Gmail Custom Time, you can send mails into your  recipient’s inbox at a previous time. You can even set whether the mail has to be read or unread in the recipient’s inbox.  This would be a great feature to get excuses from your boss, girlfriend or wife when you forget to send a mail!

It’s a hoax, but don’t you think we need this feature in real? :P

Gmail Paper

That's an interesting one!

With Gmail Paper, you can receive a hard copy of the mails that you get in your Gmail inbox with just a click away. There will be a button on the Gmail inbox called “Paper Archive”. You can click on that to get your mail’s phsical copy delivered within 2-4 days of the order.

Now, enough! This is a hoax. Go and read for yourself if you are so interested!

Come on folks, it’s time we destroyed other planets apart from earth – Virgle

Google had teamed up with Virgin to establish the human’s first permanent colony on Mars! This is what Virgle.

Quote from the Virgle page:

Earth has issues, and it’s time humanity got started on a Plan B. So, starting in 2014, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leading hundreds of users on one of the grandest adventures in human history: Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on Mars.

gBall – Redefining Australian Football

Google, in partnership with the official supplier of matchballs to the AFL, Sherrin, has developed the gBall.  The gBalls are integrated with many new technologies like GPS, Data transmission and other advanced technologies. To use gBall you need to create an account online by plugin your gBall into your computer. After this you can track your gBall through Google Maps.

There are many other features. I couldn’t understand them. Please check it yourself! :P

That’s it for today! How did you like these pages? Share your thoughts through comments below! Feel free to share this with your friends!

DYK Thursday: The Book of Mozilla

If you are a regular reader of Techie Buzz, you must have already seen posts like Twitter Tuesdays and Webby Wednesdays. In the same way, DYK Thursdays are themed posts that concentrate on bringing out amazing facts in the world to our readers, from various fields of technology. Every week, I will be gathering some of the most amazing facts in this section. Wishing myself best of luck!

P.S. DYK = Did You Know?

The Book Of Mozilla

Did you know that there is a book written by the world famous Mozilla group? Yes, this is true! Mozilla has created an easter egg for its users called “The Book Of Mozilla”. This book is a compilation of prophecies that refers to Mozilla. A new prophecy is added every time a new version of Mozilla is released.

At present, there are about 5 prophecies written about the Mozilla Browser – the first prophecy starting from the release of Netscape Navigator 1.0 (10th December 1994).

Apart from the official prophecy, there are some unofficial ones as well. These were associated with Flock browser.

These prophecies are written in apocalyptic literature as in Bible. If you want to see the present prophecy of this book from your Mozilla Firefox, direct your mouse pointer to the address bar and type in, “about:mozilla”. It would direct you to a page (maroon color) containing the prophecy associated with the latest release. You can even see all the prophecies written till date, through this page created by Mozilla or even the Wikipedia article here. The wikipedia article even has a screenshot of the unofficial Flock browser prophecy.

Every prophecy has a meaning hidden in it about the Mozilla. It can be understood if you have  good knowledge about the Mozilla history. Nevertheless, if you can’t crack the meaning hidden in those prophecies,  you can view the source code of this Mozilla page. (Click on the image to view it larger.)

The source code shows the details of every verse

A Wikipedia note on the prophecies,

The five verses all refer to the activities of a fearsome-sounding “beast”. In its early days,  Netscape Communications Corporationhad a green fire-breathing  dragon-like  lizard  mascot, known as  Mozilla (after the  code name for  Netscape Navigator 1.0). From this, it can be conjectured that the “beast” referred to in  The Book of Mozilla is a type of fire-breathing lizard, which can be viewed as a  metaphor  for, or  personification  of Netscape.

These prophecies were written by  Valerio Capello in May 2004 and were added to the  Mozilla Foundation site by  Nicholas Bebout in October that year.

So, this was today’s fact!

Did you know that Google has created a number of hoax pages on April Fool’s day to fool its vast base of users?! Do you want to know what those hoaxes are? Subscribe here to Techie-Buzz and stay tuned for the next “DYK Thursday”

Tips For Increasing Your Dial-Up Connection Speed While Browsing

Many in India still use dial-up connections for surfing the internet. The reasons for this may be it’s cheaper rate or less usage of internet and many others. I was using dial-up connections about 9 months back and it really pissed me of while surfing on a dial-up connection. In this post, I have listed a few tips that you can adopt if you are using a dial-up connection.

Block Images From Sites

A single image is better than thousand words – but when it comes to dial-up you would be better to stick to words or you will have to wait for thousands of hours to load an image! You can block images getting loaded by changing your browser settings.

If you are a Firefox user, go to > Tools> >Page Info>> Permissions>> Load Images>> Uncheck “Use Default”>>Select “Block”.

You could block images in a similar way in Google Chrome and Opera.

Increasing Browser Cache Size

This can be a super awesome way to increase your connection speed! Let me explain you how this can help. When you visit any website, your computer stores some information from the website as cache memory. The more space you give for cache, the more it will store, and your internet surfing will become much speedier! You could check this article out for more information on how to do this.

Saving Frequently Visited Or Important Webpages

This is another trick that could be helpful in making you more productive while surfing. We visit many sites regularly (for example Gmail, Facebook etc). Saving those webpages offine, so that you don’t have to use your precious bandwidth every time could be a nice way of speeding up your internet connection.

Small Tip: Instead of visiting Gmail, Yahoo! to check your mail every time, you could use Outlook or any other offline email client. So, this will save you some bandwidth.

Reduce Using Multiple Tabs

Now, that we have a facility to use multiple tabs, we fill our browsers with too many tabs. But, this would make your internet surfing slow on a dial-up connection. The more tabs you open, more is the bandwidth consumption. It would be better to use a single tab or at the maximum 2-3 tabs at a time. More than that and you would have to wait hours before it gets loaded!

It would be better to get one webpage loaded faster, than to wait for 100 webpages getting loaded slower.

Using Basic Modes In Networking Sites

This tip would help you a lot if you use social networking sites. Many popular social networking sites always provide you two modes/versions. One a lighter one and the other a richer one. Like Orkut – Low bandwidth mode and Orkut-Normal mode, Facebook and Facebook Lite or Zapak or Zapak Lite and so on. So, always stick with the versions that use less bandwidth so that you can experience better speed.

Using Opera Turbo

Opera has a good feature for slow internet connections – Opera Turbo. This uses a unique compression technology while loading a webpage. You could check out more on this concept here.

These are some tips, I have used while on a dial-up connection. Please add your own tips to this post by using the comment section below.

You could also leave tips by mailing them to tips here: [email protected]

Save Money While Buying Gifts This Valentine’s Day Using Bing Cashback!

The Valentine’s day is around the corner! Young guys and girls will be planning to gift their girlfriends/boyfriends something great, memorable and lovable. If you are also planning for something like that, here is news that would delight you for sure.   You can now save money while buying gifts for your beloved ones!

If you have shopped from Bing, you may already know that Bing offers a cash-back for every purchase you make through their service. Bing’s Valentine day special increases the cashback up to 30 percent.

Bing Cashback offer

This offer starts from February 10th, and  you will need to register an account at Bing cashback. After you are done with that, you need to search for the deals online and complete the deal. You will get an email from Bing about your cashback. You can check this page for more information before buying.

So, go ahead and start buying gifts!

Happy Valentine’s day!

Create Screensavers With Flash Files Using InstantStorm

InstantStorm is a tool that helps you to convert your flash (.swf) files into screensavers (.scr).

You can create screensavers using this tool, either by following the wizard it provides or manually. An interesting feature in this tool is that you can even create your own “Screensaver Settings” and “Installation”. In short, this is a complete kit to create a screensaver. In this post, I am going to list some good features of this tool.


Settings and Installation Dialog Designer:

You can create your own dialogs for installation and settings. Creating these dialog boxes is very easy. You just need to edit whatever you want to, in the dialog box and then save it. That’s all! Check the picture below.


Additional File Support:

Many screensaver creators don’t support other files associated with a screensaver. So, you can’t add audio and other files to your screensaver. But, InstantStorm even helps you to add other files. You can even add audio files to your screensaver.


Techie-Buzz Verdict

InstantStorm is a really good tool. It has many useful features as I have metioned above. It is more than a typical screensaver creator. If you want to create a complete screensaver, this is one of the best tools you can use.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 3.5/5