Posts Tagged ‘Google’

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!

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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



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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.

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Quite some time back I posted the alternate URLs that you can use to get to Google, now its time to do the same for Digg. All the following urls point to Digg. Be creative in their use!!



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As you might be knowing from quite some time you can go invisible while chatting on Gmail. The invisible status is available in Gmail Chat, Google Talk gadget, Google Talk Labs Edition and Google Talk for iPhone .

What to do if you want to know if someone in really offline or is playing Mr. Hideous or as we call here in India – "Mr. India" ?

Follow these steps:

Step 1:

Open the chat window for the contact you want to confirm is offline of invisible

Step 2:

If you see a message "The chat is off record" then proceed to step 3, else click on options in the chat window (Gmail) or the down pointing arrow (Gtalk) and choose "Go Off Record" You will now surely see that "The chat is off record"

Step 3:

Now you need to interpret what you get.

  • If you get a message in red like below, this indicates that the user is really offline.
This shows the contact is offline
  • If you get nothing then the user is invisible, or any status updates in gray it means the user is online but invisible.
This shows the contact is invisible




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The thing with Firefox is that its our Loved Browser. IE may have the largest share, Opera may have some nice features, Maxthon may be hugely under rated but in a bunch of Internet/Computer enthusiasts its inevitable that Firefox makes its way into the conversation! One of the main reasons for this is the vast amount of customizations and productivity enhancements that Firefox has to offer.

Smart Keywords is one of them. Smart Keywords are an easy way to access, search and do more with your favorite websites right from the Location bar. Here is how to use them:

For Quick Searches

Say you want to Google (everybody does!), now the most obvious way would be to go to the search box, select Google as the search engine if its not already selected and then type in your query and press enter.

Now have a look at the "Smart Keyword Way" to search. Go to the location bar, write "g <space> <your query>" press enter and you have the search results. Which one is better? The thing is that you would have to associate "g" with Google once and then you can search right from the location bar. Not only this you can create search for any site that you want to search. Just right click on the search box and choose Add a Keyword for this Search… , type the keyword you want to associate with the site and that’s it, from now on you can search the site using that keyword. So if you Google a lot you can create a "g" smart keyword to Google.

add search
How to add a search

For Quick Access

Not only search you can easily associate keywords with any of your bookmark, so anything that you can bookmark you can access it easily through the location bar through a keyword. To add keywords to the search click Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks

organize bookmarks
Click on Organize Bookmarks

Click on the bookmark you want to associate a keyword with and then Click on the More button, now you can enter and customize the keywords.

Add a smart keyword

Bonus Tips

  • While using smart keywords you can get rid of the search box and thus have more space for location bar or toolbar buttons
  • Pressing Alt-Enter instead of Enter when you search or type in a URL opens the search or the site in a new tab, you can use this to open search results and bookmarks in a new tab while using smart keywords




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As you may be knowing Gmail rolled out a labs feature some time back, Gmail users can soon expect a new addition to their accounts. The new addition is aimed at increasing the security and privacy of users. Soon Gmail will allow your to remotely log out of your account and also view the recent account activity so that you can track down if your account has been accessed from elsewhere, or if you are logged in from another computer or if someone other than you has accessed your account.

Consider for example that you log into your Gmail account at office and then leave in a hurry, forgetting to sign out, now when you log in again from your home or another computer you will be able to see that you are still logged in from your office computer in the Gmail footer (it shows "This account is open in 1 other location"). This is what it will look like:

gmail footer detail
from Official Gmail Blog

You can then click the details link to get some more details about your account activity, clicking on details presents you with tables that will look like this:


detailed view
from Official Gmail Blog

You can now view two sets of information one regarding the concurrent session which gives you the details of all the open sessions, what is the IP address of the computer from where you have logged in, the access type. The other table is the recent activity table which shows you the IP addresses, access type and the time of recent logins into your account. You can thus verify that it was indeed you who has accessed the account recently and if you would like you can log out of all other open sessions (eg the one you created when you logged in at office) by clicking "Sign Out All other Sessions" button.

The new feature will be available shortly in the latest version of Gmail which is best accessed from Firefox and IE, no luck for Opera users again!

UPDATE: The features are live now, look at the footer of your Gmail page.

Terms Used in the article

  • Open Session – A session is open if you have logged in but not logged out. – back
  • Access Type – Access type refers to the method by which you log into your account like if you use Firefox, IE, opera etc than access type is browser, on the other hand if you use your iPhone or other mobile device then access type is mobile – back

Related: Gmail Hacking

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wedding ducksNow this is what we can call a Google Marriage. This is a nice story around on the Internet about "The Boyles" who extensively used Google Services to plan their wedding and share information with each other and with their guests. The Groom even set up blogger to post the story to appear as they would be walking down the aisle. Quite an Idea, don’t you think?

Here is the summary of which Google Service they used to perform which wedding task:

They used Google docs to store "the to dos" for wedding, draft documents, list of invites, RSVPs and such similar things. That way the parents and the couple had the latest documents at all times. They used the Google Page Creator to share information with their friends. Google Maps to specify where the wedding was and hotels and stuff in that area. They used the forms in Google docs to get song ideas from their guests, Google Calendar to coordinate their schedules and ultimately pick their wedding date and now they are sharing the wedding photographs at Picasa.

What’s more that as a wedding gift The Boyles’ story appeared at the Official Google Blog! You can read the full story in their own words here

Indian weddings are a lot different, so no chance of a Google Marriage for me, or may be? Not anytime soon, anyways! 😉 Let’s wish them a Happy Married Life!

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Your favorite webmail – "Gmail" has got a new set of features. Yes really. Didn’t you notice? No problems we will find them and enable them! Actually this time there is no link on the top right corner letting you know that you can try some of the new features.

[UPDATE: The link is now there, it was not at the time of writing. I am faster than Google!]

The new set ( yes there is a complete set of new features) can be found in a tab named "Labs" if you to the "Settings" page. As you know with all Google Labs products, these products mature and make their way into the mainstream line. See the graduates of Google Code.

Where to find the features


Back to the features at this moment there are 13 features which you can use. You can enable or disable every single one of them independently. Here is a complete list of the features you can use:

Some of the features


  • Quick Links
    • Adds a box to the left column that gives you 1-click access to any bookmarkable URL in Gmail. You can use it for saving frequent searches, important individual messages, and more.
  • Superstars

    • Adds additional star icons. After enabling this feature, you can choose which icons you wish to use in the "General" Settings page.
  • Pictures in chat
    • See your friends’ profile pictures when you chat with them.
  • Fixed width font
    • Adds an option to the reply dropdown menu that lets you view a message in fixed width font.
  • Custom keyboard shortcuts
    • Lets you customize keyboard shortcut mappings. Adds a new Settings tab from which you can remap keys to various actions.
  • Mouse gestures

    • Use your mouse to navigate with gestures. Hold right-click and move the mouse left to go to a previous conversation, move it right to go to the next conversation, and move up to go back to the inbox view. Works best on Windows.
  • Signature tweaks

    • Places your signature before the quoted text in a reply, and removes the "–" line that appears before signatures. Can’t use this and the "Random signature" Labs feature at the same time.
  • Random signature

    • Rotates among random quotations for your email signature. Can’t use this and the "Signature tweaks" Labs feature at the same time.
  • Custom date formats
    • Adds options to the general settings page allowing the date and time format to be changed independent of language. For example, you can use a 24-hour clock (14:57) or show dates with the day first (31/12/07).
  • Muzzle

    • Conserves screen real estate by hiding your friends’ status messages.
  • Old Snakey
    • Kick it old school with Old Snakey! Enable keyboard shortcuts and hit ‘&’ from the main page to play a game of snake.
  • Email Addict

    • Lets you take a break from email and chat by blocking the screen for fifteen minutes and making you invisible in chat.
  • Hide Unread Counts

    • Hides the unread counts for inbox, labels, etc.

As you can see these are developed by different people(Gmail Engineers) , but more importantly what this suggests is that sometime in the future may be you will be able to write your own addons for Gmail. How cool would that be? Something like Firefox addons may be? Who knows. For the moment this seems a welcome addition to Gmail and don’t forget to send your feedback about the features to Google and about this article to me (you can send it to Google too but write good things!)

By the way do mention in the comments here which ones do you think you will use and which other features if any would you like to see in Gmail.

See Also:
Gmail Hacking

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Gmail Hacking

I know this post will get lots of clicks, because of its name. Now for the people with mischievous intents who managed to reach here, I m sorry to say that i don’t know how to get the password of someone else’s gmail account(unless the other person is careless enough to fall traps to social engineering). This article is a collection of tips and tricks that help to increase your Gmail productivity! Thats also known as hacking by the way.

Meanings of hacking (these are not all)

Hack #1: Address
Almost everyone knows about the "." trick with gmail addresses. Okay just in case you don’t know I will quickly point out that:

  • mickeymouse@gmail.com
  • mickey.mouse@gmail.com
  • mickeym.ouse@gmail.com
  • m.i.c.k.e.y.m.o.u.s.e@gmail.com

all refer to the same address. In other words mail sent to any of the above will go to the same inbox.

Hack #2: Address
Here is what most people don’t know, If you know this already go buy yourself a beer and send me the bill! The tip is that in addition to the "." hack there is also a "+" hack which is that you can add any text to your mail address using "+". eg

  • mickeymouse+minniemouse@gmail.com still is same as mickeymouse@gmail.com

Hack #3: Labels
As elementary as they can be, not many people use them somehow. If you are like them and can’t find folders to arrange you mail and always wonder what that Green rectangle is there for then this is for you. Labels are Gmail’s equivalent of folders. Infact they say labels are even better than folders as a mail can be in more than one label.

  • Click on edit labels
  • Enter the name of the new label and click create. I hate to say this but for the traditional minded, now you have a "folder".
  • Any time you need to move a conversation to the label use the "More Actions" drop down list and choose the label name under "Apply Label:"

Hack #4: Filters
The true power of the all the above tips cannot be utilized until or unless you use filters. As the name suggests filters do nothing more than filtering email. Its when used in combination with labels and the above hacks that they prove to be one of the most useful feature that Gmail has to offer.

  • Click on settings.
  • Then go to the filters tab(click on filters).
  • You will see a create new filter link at the bottom. Click on it.

Filters are basically a search criteria, any mail that satisfy the criteria you provide will land be caught by the filter, what you want to do with filter is another thing. You can apply a label, forward to another account, delete , archive and loads of other stuff. By using hack #1 and hack #2 you can actually avoid unwanted mail and spam. eg if while registering the site requires email address then you can give your address as mygmailid+sitename@gmail.com, this way you know that any mail addressed to mygmailid+sitename@gmail.com is from that particular site or person and you can decide what you want to do with it 🙂
Bonus Hack: You can also create labels on the fly by clicking on the arrow next to the reply drop down when you are viewing a message to create a filter which matches the criteria for the current mail.

filters on the fly
Filters on the fly

Hack #5: Keyboard Shortcuts
Again not many people use keyboard shortcuts on Gmail. For lazy people like me for whom moving their hand from keyboard to mouse is too much of a job this is great, actually its very fast, believe me once you get hold of it its amazingly quick. I seldom use mouse within Gmail.

  • For most people c (compose), k (next), j (previous), r (reply), a (reply to all) , enter (open conversation), x (select) would be enough but there is a complete list at Gmail help page.
  • Note that you can use C and R to compose and reply in a new window

Hack #6: Send .exe files
You probably know that Gmail doesn’t allow you to send .exe, .dll, .ocx, .com or .bat files for security reasons. Come on Google all of us should not suffer only because of some stupid people with malicious intent.
Anyway to send exe files either use some other service, or change the extension of the exe file or compress it, but zip compression wont work because Gmail can detect exe files within zipped files as well so try other formats.

Hack #7: HTML Signatures
Gmail doesn’t provide facility to add HTML signatures. However, there is an easy workaround to this. Copy the code you want to use as signature. Create a notepad file and add the following:

<head> </head>
your code here

Save the file and open it in a web browser(Firefox, Opera etc). The page will be rendered by the browser. Click and Drag the mouse to select the rendered graphic or whatever and copy it. Go to Gmail, hit compose and then press Ctrl+v, there you have it – HTML signatures in Gmail. You will have to do this every time you want to use the signature so don’t delete the file if you are going to need it in future.

Hack #8: Search
Its Google Mail and how can we not include search in this. Now you might be wondering whats great in search, actually there is. There are a number of operators(keywords) that you can combine to search mail within a label, or only read messages or only from a particular user or only from a particular date and so on. Some people complain that lack of GUI features to search with all these criteria but hey if you are a power user you don’t need a GUI plus its faster this way!!

Search using keywords

Hack #9: Bookmarks and Bookmarklets
You can use your browser to bookmark any label or message type that you see often. Suppose you often like to view all the unread messages then you can type in search "label:unread" without quotes and you will see all your unread messages, but it doesn’t end here you can save it as a bookmark and then get back to it later, not only this you can save other searches as bookmarks too. Bookmarklets are piece of JavaScript code that enhance your productivity(mostly), There is a Gmail This bookmarklet that you can add to your bookmarks toolbar, clicking on which will open up a new compose window with the link to the current page as the body and its title as the subject of the new mail.
You can even bookmark a particular mail or conversation you have to get back to frequently.

Hack #10: Chat Invisible with Gmail
This is no hack! But increases your productivity for sure (if your friends like disturbing you). Well simply mentioning this here because a lot of people dont know it yet. The much awaited invisible mode is here. You can now chat invisibly on Gmail. Yuhooo!!

invisible mode
Invisible Mode

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