Google Custom Search is Down

Google Custom search which provides websites with a much better way to allow users to search content seems to be down. I tested the same on Techie Buzz as well as several other sites with the same results.

Not sure what is wrong, but when users use the custom search box to search for content, they will see an error as seen below.

google_custom_search_down

No idea how long this has been for, but this issue might get rectified before the post hits the deck.

Update: The custom search seems to be working very slow not, 6-10 times it has been hitting the error screen, which suggests that there is something wrong with it.

Why I Don’t Like to Deal With Proto?

Well, a bit off topic, I am a guy who actually realizes and asks others to appreciate something which is created by an individual, forget about an enterprise, so you might have understood already that my views here are particularly not biased towards anyone or any organization.

Let met talk about Proto, an event which showcases Indian startups, but does not care about people who promote them. It is definitely not the first time I have been going after them, but honestly, I don’t even feel like dealing with them, leave aside writing about them.

However, when they were starting up, so were we, and I did try to promote them and like them failed at it. Yes, we were not as famous as we were back then, but they asked me to promote them and I did the job for them without even asking a single penny. Last year they forget about us? Why because we were not able to promote them when they were growing?

This year, we are big, so I get three different emails from 3 different people from Proto to promote their event. Like heck, I am doing it with this post, but I am not certainly not saying you attend their event, they will probably forget about you once they are a bit more famous.

I hope to stay one step ahead of them so that they contact me every year and I can entertain them and decline them.

Have fun at Proto, if you can.

Buck up Google Or We Need A Feedburner Alternative

Feedburner is the most widely used service by websites to deliver RSS feeds and emails to subscribers. Last year, Feedburner was bought out by Google and things have started to go downhill after that.

no_feedburner

Feedburner has had lots of problems in the past, and continues to have problems almost every week. The most recent one being a slump in the number of readers for the past two days. It would not have been a problem, but this is not an actual drop in subscribers, it is a drop in "Feedburner reporting", and this problem has continued to plague Feedburner for more than a year now.

I certainly don’t understand why Google is not improving the Technology behind Feedburner, when so many people rely on it. The only two features that were introduced in the past year were Socialize and ability to customize email subject, other than that all we have got are problems.

I believe that many publishers including me might have noticed a huge slump in numbers over the past 2 days. Thanks to Feedburner, we do not even know the problem, no blog updates, no help? Is this how you run a service. Agreed, it is free, but free does not mean we have to use a sucky service.

I am certainly looking for a good Feedburner alternative, not just for email, but for regular RSS subscribers too. This has continued for too long now, and it is time to Google to buck up and deliver or just move out of the way.

image credit: blogussion.com

Bug Spotted in Feedburner Socialize Twitter Integration

If you have started to use Feedburner Socialize, here is something that could cause potential problems and piss your followers off. The service has its share of problems. According to Zoli, Feedburner will tweet your posts multiple times if you make edits to them, no matter how minor they are. This can be a real problem if you tend to make updates to posts after they have been published.

Of course, there is no documentation as to whether this is by design or it is a real bug, however, you have been warned. This is why we had also asked you whether it was too early to dump Twitterfeed after all.

Update: This bug has now been fixed according to a comment from a Google Feedburner employee.

How to Search Without Ads in Google Chrome

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like the sponsored results and the textual ads in the default Google search results while I’m using the Google Chrome web browser. The sponsored results and ads aren’t only a distraction, they will also sometimes lead you to scams and rip-offs. It all depends on how well Google decides to police their income streams.

Here’s what the search results normally look like. Do you see the sponsored results and ads? (red rectangles)

chrome-search-with-ads

That’s exactly what I don’t like and I’ll show you how to banish these awful ads from your Google Chrome web browser.

We’ll set you up with a new search engine called Scrooglebecause it’s the only search site that does not contain advertisements or sponsored results. They don’t keep search records, they don’t leave cookies behind, and they provide completely anonymous searches even at work or on a public network. Don’t worry that you’ve never heard about them. Here’s the Scroogle story in a pictogram:

scroogle-story

To set Scroogle as your search default, follow these simple steps:

1. Use the wrench pull down menu to open the Optionsdialogs.

chrome-wrench-options

2. Click the Managebutton in the Default Searchsection.

chrome-options-search-manage

3. Click the Addbutton to add a new search provider.

chrome-options-search-manage-add

4. Add Scroogleas the search provider and in the URL field, enter the following text:

http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbw.cgi?Gw=%s

chrome-options-search-add-search

5. Click OKto save the new search engine. Next use the Make Defaultbutton to make Scroogle your favorite search engine.

chrome-options-search-make-default

6. Click through the Closebuttons and you’re ready to rock the web!

Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Mac Fans Attack Microsoft Holiday Twitter Feed #holidaywindows

Microsoft and Apple are arch rivals when it comes to operating systems. However, that war has more often than not gone out of hands, even among the closest of friends. It was no surprise then that Mac users started spamming attacking a Microsoft hashtag feed #holidaywindows on Twitter, and started posting anti-MS rants on it.

Microsoft has bought a display window in Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC and were displaying tweets that used the hashtag #holidaywindows on it. As soon as Mac fans got wind of it, they started spamming attacking the feed by posting anti-MS tweets using the same hashtag.

Many of the tweets were displayed on the Saks display, before MS finally pulled the plug on the Mac fanatics fans spam attacks. Some of the tweets that were used to spam attack the feed include:

anti_microsoft_mac_rants anti_microsoft_mac_rants3

anti_microsoft_mac_rants2 anti_microsoft_mac_rants4

Well the attacks are now both ways and MS fans are seen reiterating their Mac counterparts. However, all of those are not on display as Microsoft got smarter and started to filter out the tweets. You can read all the tweets at the #holidaywindows search on .

Talk about Holiday spirits, could this get any worse? Go get or a Mac and have fun :-).

Seattle Weekly [via @Twitter_Tips]

Fix 62% Progress Issue for Microsoft Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade

Looks like Microsoft will never be able to have a smooth launch. After was launched, there were several forums which were filled with issues related to upgrading to Windows 7.

Several websites have covered issues ranging from continuous reboots to upgrades getting stuck at 62%.

If you are someone whose upgrade from is stuck at 62%, it is time to head to this Microsoft KB article for a fix. Here is the resolution, thanks to Microsoft and Lee Matthews from DSQ.

Important Do not use this resolution if the upgrade stops responding at a percentage other than 62% or if the log entries are not logged. For more information about how to open the Seupact.log file, see the More Information section.
To resolve this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Restart the computer. Then, your computer will roll back to Windows Vista.
  2. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click Environment Variables.
  4. Under System variables, click New.
  5. Type MIG_UPGRADE_IGNORE_PLUGINS in the Variable name field.
  6. Type IphlpsvcMigPlugin.dll in the Variable value field.
  7. Click OK three times to close the dialog boxes.
  8. Start the upgrade installation again.

Performing these steps should help you resolve the issues, if the Windows 7 upgrade is always stuck at 62%.

iTunes 9.0.2 Released. Hey Apple, Can We Have Intelligent Software Updates?

Apple released a new version of iTunes, build iTunes 9.02, the new update supposedly breaks Palm Pre’s sync functionality. In addition to that, iTunes has also added support for Apple TV 3.0.

Coming back to the rant, everytime Apple decides to push a upgrade to iTunes, users have to download almost 100MB of data to their PC, to just upgrade iTunes. And this happens each and  every time Apple releases a update.

itunes_902_update

Given the technology team Apple has, can’t it just provide users with intelligent updates? Why should a user have to download the a huge file, just to upgrade something that already exists on their PC or Mac?

I am certainly looking at iTunes alternatives, including DoubleTwist, which is much more better than iTunes.

Do you use iTunes? Have you upgraded the software to the latest version? What do you think about the not so intelligent upgrades provided by Apple?

For those who are interested, here are the new features in iTunes 9.0.2:

  • An improved look and feel, including a new Column Browser for easily browsing your artists or albums, movies, TV shows, and more.
  • iTunes Store has a brand new look, with improved navigation for quick and easy exploration.
  • iTunes LP and iTunes Extras create unique experiences that feature exclusive interviews, videos, photos, and more — available with select album and movie purchases on the iTunes Store.
  • Home Sharing helps you manage your family’s iTunes collection between computers in your home. iTunes can automatically transfer new purchases, or you can choose just the items you want.
  • Genius Mixes are created for you by iTunes and play songs from your library that go great together.
  • iPod and iPhone syncing now allows you to organize your iPhone and iPod touch home screens directly in iTunes. Syncing is now also more flexible, allowing you to sync individual artists, genres, or TV show and Podcast episodes.
  • iTunes U items are now organized into their own section in your iTunes library.
  • Sync with iPod nano (5th generation), iPod classic (Fall 2009), and iPod touch (Fall 2009).
  • iTunes 9 also includes many other improvements, such as HE-AAC encoding and playback, more flexibility with Smart Playlists rules, simpler organization of your media files inside an iTunes Media folder, and more.

Twitpic Suffers Major Glitch? All Twitpic Image Views Counters Reset

Twitpic the popular image share service for , seems to have silently endured a database crash or had a severe glitch in their system. While I was browsing pictures on Twitpic, I saw that all the image view counters have been reset to 1.

All of the images in my Twitpic account seems to have some glitch, most of the image counters have been reset.

twitpic_crash_1 twitpic_crash_2

There is no official mention about any problems on the Twitpic blog. We have contacted the Twitpic team to get more information about this issue. We are still awaiting information from them. We will update this post once we get a official confirmation.

Update: TwitPic responded back with the following response:

Hello, we are currently working on a new view counter for our website. In the process, you image views may have been temporarily reset to 0. We are working to restore the correct image count.

Thank you for your patience.

Have you checked your Twitpic account? Did your image view counter get reset? Do let us know about it.

Disable Windows From Restarting After Automatic Updates

We always advised our readers to activate Automatic updates in Windows as it will allow you to keep your PC safe and secure with the latest patches Windows releases.

windows_update_restart

However one of the most annoying things about Windows Update is that it automatically restarts the PC after a certain time. It does provide you with an option to delay the reboot, but if you are not near the PC it will force restart and you may lose unsaved data and open applications.

In order to stop Windows Update from automatically restarting/rebooting your PC, follow the simple steps given below.

Note: You will have administrative privileges to perform the actions below. Also the steps below will only temporarily disable the automatic restart, it may still show you the restart dialog though.

How to Stop Windows Update from Automatically Restarting PC

Step 1: Press Windows + R key and type in cmd. Press enter and a new command prompt will open up.

Step 2: In the command window, just type in net stop windows updatewith the quotes. This should stop Windows from automatically restarting.

Additionally if you do not want to follow the steps above, you can also download a software called Leave me Alone which will allow you to disable automatic reboots without changing any additional settings.