Zynga Comes To India

If you have used Facebook even once in past six months, you must have heard about games like Farmville and Fishville. The company behind these games, Zynga, has taken the world’s most popular social network by storm with over 200 Million monthly active users. Now, it is coming to India by opening an office in Banglore. This will be company’s first office outside of the US and it plans to hire around 100 people by the end of the year for this new location.

Currently Zynga has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Baltimore with over 800 employees. Zynga has raised around $220 Million in funding so far and is believed to be the #1 social game developer in the world. Zynga believed India has 81 Million internet users and will be the 3rd largest internet market by 2013, following US and China. Zynga is following a popular trend of tech companies opening offices in India to utilize the relatively economical conditions and drive down costs.

All the games offered by Zynga are free to play. The company, instead, makes money by selling virtual goods and is expected to generate around $400 Million in revenue for 2010. Here are some of the job listings related to Banglore that have already appeared on Zynga website:

1. Software Engineer (Flash)

2. Web Developer – PHP

3. Product Manager

Click here to read the detail requirements and apply for these positions.

Twitter Tuesdays | 5 Great Tools To Analyze A Twitter Profile

You came across somebody on Twitter that you think might be interesting to follow, but you are afraid of following the wrong type of user and filling your timeline with weird tweets all of a sudden. What if you could get to know more about the person before following him?? Here are some excellent tools to do so:

1. TwitGraph:

We recently told you about TwitGraph as a great tool to get an overview about a Twitter profile. Information about what apps they use, what topics they commonly tweet about and how many tweets do they post on average. TwitGraph displays all this and more in colorful graphs so you can know that user a little better in just a glance.

2. Twitter Analyzer:

Want to know how active the user really is, how many tweets he makes each day and how many people actually ReTweet their stuff? Twitter Analyzer tells you all that along with showing that user’s tweets for any specific day. You can see all this activity in a nice chart along with the user’s readers reach and unique readers reach.

3. TweetPsych:

So you know about the user’s activity, but how about knowing the person behind the profile in detail? TweetPsych does that for you by parsing and analyzing the tweets based on different psychological aspects such as control, social, constructive, positive e.t.c.

4. Twitter Grader:

Let’s say you understand things better when they are in numbers. So exactly how good is a particular user on a scale of 0-100? TwitterGrader tells you that based on number of followers, type of followers, number of friends, number of updates and whole lot of other factors.

5. Twiangulate:

At times, you can only understand something by comparing it with something else. Twiangulate does that for you by telling the common friends and common followers of any 2 or 3 Twitter profiles. It also tells you if any influential people are following a certain user and the number of obscure friends that user has.

These tools can definitely help you analyze a Twitter user and form an opinion about them. You can also use it to see where you stand compare to other users and how people would perceive you if they analyze your profile.

Analyze Any Twitter Profile Using TwitGraph

If you have ever wished for a tool that can provide useful info about a Twitter user, check out TwitGraph. It is a nice little app that gives a comprehensive analysis of any Twitter user including their recent activity. Just enter any Twitter user name and click submit.

TwitGraph starts by showing the number of tweets the user has made in last 1 week, broken down by days. The second section shows the list of users you have mentioned in last few days, followed by the app used for your tweets such as TweetDeck or Tweetmeme. TwitGraph also analyzes the words you have mentioned most in your tweets including hashtags and the links you have posted. Each section also contains a nice colored graph showing your activity in an easy to read manner.

It is an excellent tool to judge if a user is worth following or if somebody is just there for sending spams. It also gives you a nice breakdown of apps a user tweets from, something which can tell you a lot about a user. You can click on any app, username or link shown in the analysis to go to the actual web page.

Note: It would not work for users who have made their profile private and lock their tweets.

Google Maps Just Got a ‘Labs’ Feature, Expect New Things

We are all familiar with the Labs feature in Gmail, it allows Google to gradually introduce new features without burdening the user. The strategy has worked very well for Gmail and now Google has brought it in for Maps as well. Starting today users are noticing a small Labs icon on Google maps allowing them to add a number of new features including:

Drag ‘n’ Zoom: Zooming on a map just got easier. Just click the Drag ‘n’ Zoom button, draw a box on the map and zoom.

Aerial Imagery: How about adding a rotatable, high-resolution overhead imagery to your maps. Currently available for only certain areas though.

Back To Beta: Like your maps with the beta tag? Get it back by enabling this feature.

Where In The World Game: Play a game witin Google maps. Guess the name of the country by looking at satellite images.

Rotatable Maps: Turn your map upside down or sideways with this feature.

LatLang ToolTip: See the latitude and longitude of any point on the map.

SmartZoom: Get rid of the stupid zooming errors. This feature would only allow you to zoom if imagery exists at that level.

All these features can be enabled or disabled through the labs. However, keep in mind that these are all experimental features and might change or disappear at anytime. If any of these features break your Google Maps, you can use this alternative link to load a version without any extra features. This also means we would be seeing a lot more features for Google Maps in the coming days. This will get rid of whatever competition existed between Google Maps and other services like MapQuest and Yahoo! Maps.

FlickrPress: Display Flickr Photos On Your WordPress Blog

WordPress bloggers often need to integrate Flickr photos with their blog. There are a number of ways to do that but if you want to go the simple way, FlickrPress is a great option. It is a simple WordPress plugin that can be installed on any blog having WordPress version 2.6 or higher. Using FlickrPress you can display Flickr photos on your Sidebar, Footer and even your posts and pages.

Within the settings of the plugin, you can specify if you want to display photos from a specific RSS feed, a specific user, a photoset, photos filtered by tag or random photos. The thumbnails can be either large, proportional or square. It is a multi-widget which means the widget can be embedded more than once in your blog. You can even embed it more than once in the same post or page. The plugin uses the secure Flickr API and reduces server load by caching the data locally.

FlickrPress

FlickrPress

It supports the Lightbox feature and is based on the phpFlickr library. The plugin also allows you to add custom styling while displaying photos on your blog and specify the number of thumbnails you want to display at a time. The plugin can be downloaded here.

Gmail To Add New Social Feature, Compete With Twitter and Facebook

Ever since Gmail launched, Google has been trying to make it much more than an email service. Wall Street Journal reports that Gmail may launch another social feature as soon as this week that will let it compete with Twitter and Facebook. This feature will allow users to view media and status update of their friends. Gmail still partially offers this feature but is nowhere close to what Facebook and Twitter offer. The new feature will reportedly add a separate module to Gmail, allowing users to view a stream of updates from their friends. It will be tightly integrated within various Google’s services like YouTube and Picasa.

Gmail currently has around 176 Million unique users compared to the 400 Million registered Facebook users. With Facebook launching a Gmail like Inbox and Gmail launching a Facebook like social feature, the competition is heating up. No matter what it means for Facebook or Google, it will definitely be good for the users as they will have plenty of options for all their social needs.

Some analysts also suggest that Google would be better off buying Twitter and integrating it within its stream of web services. The rumors for a Google-Twitter deal have come up many times in the past but never materialized. Do you think Google would be better buying off Twitter?

IBM Launches Power7 Processor and Systems

With the launch of a new chip today called Power7, IBM plans to enter the high-end server market currently ruled by HP. The new chip introduced by IBM would have eight processing cores in each chip, allowing each core to execute 4 tasks simultaneously as compared to Intel’s high-end Xeon processor that only accommodates two tasks per core.

IBM will also launch a number of systems based on the Power7 chip including an IBM Power 780, IBM Power 770 and IBM Power 755 systems. Both 780 band 770 systems will feature 64 Power7 cores and the 755 system would feature 32 Power7 cores. IBM also claims that the new Power7 processors would consume only half the energy of previous Power6 processors while delivering twice the performance. Along with new processors, the Power7 systems will also offer various performance-increasing features such as the TurboMode that will help the systems optimize their workload.

The launch of these new systems from IBM would heat up the war with HP which is also supposed to announce the next generation version of Intel’s Itanium chip called Tukwila, on Feb 8th 2010. Not to forget that both IBM and HP have serious competition from Oracle, who enters the high-end server market after acquiring Sun Microsystems and it’s SPARC/Solaris line of hardware, earlier this year.

What Is a VOB File? How To Open VOB Files?

If you have gotten your hands on a VOB file somehow, chances are they have been copied/extracted from a DVD. VOB stands for DVD Video Object and is the core file of a DVD containing the actual movie data, an MPEG movie stream and the supported audio.

To play the VOB files, you need to have a DVD player that supports VOB format. However, if you have the Windows Media Player (version 12 or higher) or VLC Media Player, it is good enough to play the file. Note that you will see a prompt telling you that it is an unsupported format, don’t worry about it and just play it anyways. It will play just fine.

If you want to obtain the VOB file from a DVD for some reason, just open the DVD in Windows Explorer instead of playing it through a media player. The VOB file would most likely be under the VIDEO_TS folder. Some other files that you will also see in the folder are IFO and BUP. The IFO files are the information files containing meta data about the DVD and instructions for the DVD player on how to handle the disc. The BUP file is simply a backup copy of IFO files.

If you want to convert VOB file to AVI or a similar format, aviNET is a great tool to do that.

Preview iPhone Apps In Your Browser Now

We have reviewed many iPhone apps on Techie-Buzz but previewing them was always complicated since it launched the preview in your iTunes software. It was more of a hassle for people who did not have iTunes installed on their machines. All that has changed today since Apple is now allowing you to preview apps in your browser window.

Unlike before, clicking on an iPhone app page does not open the dialog box for iTunes any more. Rather, it takes you to a nice page that lists detailed information about the app (check this for example) including customer reviews, ratings and screenshots. You can also see the price and other specifications for the app before downloading it to your iTunes. You also have the option to browse more apps from the same developer and see some similar apps that customers bought. Each app also has a view in iTunes link that takes you to the old method of previewing apps in iTunes.

It is another sign of Apple’s intention to take everything to the cloud pretty soon. It is also something that was much needed, given the huge number of apps in the app store and the ability for users to review an app without opening the iTunes software on their machine.

Tweetz.Tv: Find and Watch Videos Shared On Twitter

With thousands of links being shared on Twitter everyday, it is hard to identify images from websites and songs from videos. If all you are interested in are videos, Tweetz.tv is a great place to start. It filters out the videos mentioned on Twitter and let you play them all from a single web page.

Once you sign in to Tweetz.tv using your Twitter credentials, you will be able to watch videos mentioned on Twitter through three different channels. The My Tv channel allows you watch videos shared by your friends and he Public TV channel indexes videos that have recently been shared on Twitter. Another option is to search for videos using a keyword. Each video listing includes the actual tweet and lets you play or retweet the video with a single click.

Currently, the tool only works with YouTube videos but promises to add support for Vimeo and DailyMotion soon. It is a great tool to filter the thousands of shortened URLs and see which ones of them are videos. A couple of things that would make the tool even better are the ability to filter videos for a particular user and the option to display more than 3 videos at a time.