Power cuts are no big deal in India. If you ever fell victim of power cuts and wanted to do some google search in that time or just want a mobile Google Search Solution, Google India has launched the SMS search service.
The sms costs you (Rs 2 or whatever is the rate for national sms for your provider). This is a big plus because you dont have to pay for premium sms as you would have to do if you used other shortcodes.

So how do you perform a search? The number to remember (or to add to your contacts) for google search is:


Send your query as sms to this number and you will get a reply containing the results. Here is a sample reply which you would get if you search for “weather delhi”. There are special searches for trains, cricket scores and similar stuff.You can find some example queries and other details here.

Similar service existed in other countries like US, but has recently been launched in India. A welcome feature for the mobile phone crazy India! Way to go Google India!


Intrepid has been out for about a week now. Normally the ubuntu upgrades and installations work flawlessly, however when I upgraded to Intrepid there were a few problems. The most profound is what some have called the “Black Screen of Death”. It’s when ubuntu simply freezes up. So it happened that after the upgrade I was hoping to check out some of the new features in Intrepid, as soon as I logged in, Ubuntu just froze up, just a black screen with a mouse pointer that I could move but could not use. Couldn’t switch to virtual consoles, couldn’t restart X, nothing. In the end decided to use the power button to power off the machine.

Despite knowing that a restart seldom fixes an issue in Linux, I was still hoping the it would boot up just fine this time but it was not to be. Again a BLACK SCREEN that won’t allow you to do anything.


As it turned out, compiz was having issues with Intel onboard graphics on certain motherboards (845 in my case). There has been a bug report for the problem and it was mentioned in the release notes (damn I didnt read it before upgrading)


Booted up the system again, this time logged into Failsafe Terminal Session. Removed compiz

sudo apt-get remove compiz compiz-core

So no pretty desktop effects and other compiz tricks in Intrepid. Boooo… So sad as they worked perfectly in Gutsy and then Hardy. Hoping for a bug fix to be pushed into updates soon, so that we all will be able to use the compiz goodness once again.


Read the release notes thoroughly!

As you know MakeUseOf.com is one of the most popular tech blogs out there on the Internet. You might have noticed we are having some serious problems with the site right now. To be precise: I woke up to the news that MakeUseOf.com domain account with GoDaddy has been hacked and the Domain has been transferred to another web company based out of Dubai.

There have been some serious reactions and theories on digg and other blogs about how this was achieved, however we are still not sure and wouldn’t like to speculate. [UPDATE: A recent post on the MakeUseOf Status Blog provides more details and updates]

Rest assured we are working to get the domain back. Meanwhile you can visit http://makeuseof-temporary.blogspot.com for updates on the situation. If you are subscribed to the feed you will get the updates anyway so hang in there. BTW if anyone has a contact in GoDaddy or can help in someway to get things rolling it will be really appreciated. Use the form to get in touch.

Similar situation had cropped up with designer David Airey’s site some time back. He got it restored and had written a post explaining what had happened and how he got it back.

Hopefully MakeUseOf will be back sooner rather than later with quality articles that you love.

[UPDATE: Its back with it rightful owners. Yay!]

The next release of Ubuntu i.e. Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) is all set to be released on 30th Oct. However, if you don’t have a fast internet connection and would like to try Ubuntu nevertheless you should Pre-Order a free CD.
Canonical the parent company of the popular Linux distro send free Ubuntu CDs across the world. Yes you don’t pay a dime, shipping, handling and other costs all are borne by Canonical.

You can pre-order the following flavours of Ubuntu:

Please note that starting with Ubuntu 8.10, Canonical no longer ships the Edubuntu Addon CD. So if you need Edubuntu you might have to download it. The CDs have to be approved and then shipping takes 4 to 6 weeks (subject to your location). In case you are not up for the wait you might want to download the ISO and burn it yourself, or better if you are already running Ubuntu just go to the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If you are an Orkut user you probably know what I am going to talk about here. I am speaking about Transliteration, which essentially means that you can type in one language and have that converted to another language.

Google already offers transliteration in Orkut and many users know about it. However did you know that you can now chat in Indian languages in Gmail and Google Talk Labs Edition also?

Follow these steps to chat in Indian languages (currently 5 are supported) in Google Talk.

  1. Add a transliteration bot to your friend list. There are 5 of them available currently: (en2hi.translit@bot.talk.google.com for Hindi, en2kn.translit@bot.talk.google.com for Kannada, en2te.translit@bot.talk.google.com for Telugu, en2ta.translit@bot.talk.google.com for Tamil and en2ml.translit@bot.talk.google.com for Malayalam)
  2. Start chatting with your friend.
  3. Convert the chat session to a group chat and invite the particular bot (you added in step 1) to the group chat.

From now on whatever you type in english will be converted to the appropriate language by the bot. Have a look:

hindi chat
Chat in Indian Languages

You might have to enable Indic fonts if you dont see them correctly. Here is some more information on Indic Fonts



lock noteSo you are a Nuclear scientist and hold top secret information about the Nuclear Warfare of your country? (I know many nuclear scientists love to read my articles!) Want to transfer this information to someone but fear that it may be trespassed. Why don’t you try encryption? Because its complicated? Are you sure? Because what I am going to mention might just change you view about it.

Okay first off I admit the all the nuclear bla bla could be termed as exaggerating . However there are lots of things you might need only authorized person to be able to have a look on like your passwords, some important notes and so on you think, I know there is plenty of stuff. The application I am talking about is LockNote. LockNote is a document and encryption mechanism in one single application.

First off download it here for free.

Run Locknote.exe, type in your confidential text and choose Save as. Then you will be needed to enter a password and that’s it. Now to open the file you will need the password you just provided. Once you open the file, you can make changes and then save all the changes in the file. It decrypts the file when you open the file and encrypts it when you save the file all on the fly.

lock note window
The LockNote Window

Moreover you can also drag and drop any text file on the executable to quickly encrypt it. In case you are wondering how secure it is, let me mention that it uses AES 256 bit encryption, which if you don’t know what it is, I assure you it is secure for your confidential notes 🙂 LockNote is portable and doesn’t need any installation, so you can use it from your USB drive as well


Are you a blogger looking to increase your subscriber count? Well until now you needed good content to do so, but until now…
Can you Copy and Paste? then visit http://www.vimeo.com/1463913 and see how easy it is to hack your Feedburner subscriber count. Won’t take more than a minute or so to add a few thousand subscribers.

I am sure Google / Feedburner will look into the matter and probably fix it soon, you can enjoy it till then however. Even if Google fixes this its very simple to forge the image in Photoshop and display as many subscribers as you want.