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Showing posts from April, 2009

Windows 7 Test Release From Thursday

Microsoft will send out a release candidate (test version) of the latest Windows, Windows 7, next week for tests. The test version is available from Thursday for developers, though the public will get it from the fifth of May.

The good news is that the system requirements of Windows 7 are almost similar to that of Vista. So, most users won't have to worry about upgrading the hardware in order to run it.

ClickBank Ads Reloaded!

Now, as we reported earlier in this CB ads post, ClickBank has come up with the new way to earn more money. You can now create keyword-specific CB ads and display them on your blog through HTML/JS code. The new feature added is called Hop Ad Builder. Here's what you do.

1. Go to ClickBank, and sign in.

2. Click Account settings and then click Hop Ad Builder, the new item added.

3. You will find two options, two choices, Text Ad Builder or Tabbed Ad Builder. I recommend you use the second, as it can be better monetized. The former option looks just like Google Ads and may get lower CTR altogether.

4. Research the most appropriate keywords and use them to automate the ad creation process. Customize the ad box looks and get the JS code to add to your website.

That's it. You got the new CB ad code, which will update itself according to the keywords and settings you have chosen and display them. Look at my sidebar, which has a similar tabbed ad system.

Microsoft Vine: A New Contestant in Social Warfare

Tuesday, Microsoft announced its new social tool, MS Vine. It's private beta now, and you need an invitation to start on it. You can request one from the Vine home page. With pretty much everything to connect social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Vine will be a new social tool.

With Facebook on the top of social networks and even Google having its not-so-popular-in-the-US social network, Orkut, it was high time for MS to start one.

Vine can help you get alerts about your family, friends, and places you care about through a dashboard with a map-studded architecture. Vine, as envisaged by MS, is to keep people connected at the time of crises. This is why Vine connects you to about 20,000 news and public safety sources, which will update you about everything you care about.

Vine also works closely with Facebook and Twitter, sending status updates of your friends and family. In order to know more about Vine, check out the TechCrunch story.

Foreword and Forward

These are two often-mistaken words. Some people believe that there is only one word, forward, which means 'ahead', 'toward the front', etc. They believe the same word is used to denote 'the introductory note' of a poetry or anthology. Some other people believe the word for introductory note is foreward. No, there are two words, foreword and forward.

Foreword comes from two words, 'fore' and 'word' (not 'for' and 'ward' or 'fore' and 'ward'), which hence means, a word that comes before other words, an introductory word or a collection of words that form the introduction. That's why the word, foreword means 'introductory note'.

Forward has several meanings, but only one of them corresponds to a noun. It's always an adverb, adjective, or a verb, but not a noun (except in football (soccer for Americans)).

Here are the meanings:

Adjective: ahead, toward the future, at the front, lacking discipline.

Literally, Practically, and Virtually

It's literally freezing in there.
It's practically freezing in there.
It's virtually freezing in there.
You may have seen sentences similar to these used every now and then. The words, literally, practically, and virtually, are all used in these instances to convey emphasis to what's being said. For this need for emphasis, literally and virtually were originally used a lot, but somehow practically also found its way to this and is getting popular.

But despite this common meaning, each of these words has its specific place in English; let's see it now.

1. Literally:

Literally has actually held the meaning, "in a manner that accords with the literal sense of the words", as the American Heritage Guide tells. In that sense, we should not be using literally in the sentence above. But it went on to be used as a word for emphasis and stayed so.

But actually, literally should not be used when a metaphor is present, as in the above sentence. A way to know this is …

Artist and Artiste

Artist, pronounced in the same way, can mean "creator or performer of any kind of art form". Another meaning the word is applied to is "a deceitful person".

There is a separate word, 'artiste', in existence, which in popular belief is the feminine form of 'artist'. But it is not true. An artiste is either a professional performer or someone wanting to be recognized as having artistic talents. This word is pronounced, 'arteest'.

According to Oxford, previously artist was not used for the meaning of 'performer of art'. But now that the word covers both meanings, artiste has almost gone out of use or finds use only in the most formal of occasions.

The Crystal Egg: Short Story By H G Wells

'The Crystal Egg' is a short story from H G Wells, one of the most celebrated of SciFi writers of the last century. Read below and type your opinions at the comments. To read more such classic short stories, please follow the topic, English Classics.

The Crystal Egg
by H G Wells

There was, until a year ago, a little and very grimy-looking shop near Seven Dials, over which, in weather-worn yellow lettering, the name of "C. Cave, Naturalist and Dealer in Antiquities," was inscribed. The contents of its window were curiously variegated. They comprised some elephant tusks and an imperfect set of chessmen, beads and weapons, a box of eyes, two skulls of tigers and one human, several moth-eaten stuffed monkeys (one holding a lamp), an old-fashioned cabinet, a fly-blown ostrich egg or so, some fishing-tackle, and an extraordinarily dirty, empty glass fish-tank. There was also, at the moment the story begins, a mass of crystal, worked into the shape of an egg and brilliantly p…

Is Your Twitter Account Affected Too?

We've addressed the most recent variant of the Mikeyy worm. Still, we suggest that you avoid viewing the profiles of users posting uncharacteristic or otherwise suspicious tweets.This appeared as one of the recent Twitter statuses. Michael 'Mikeyy' Mooney, a Brooklyn teen created the worm called Mikeyy which affected Twitter two days ago. Afterwards, Mooney also got lucky with a spot-job from ExqSoft, which probably was looking for astute hackers.

The Mikeyy worm is primarily intended to send out unnecessary tweets from hijacked Twitter user accounts. The Oprah Winfrey account (@Oprah), CNN breaking news account (@Cnnbrk), and the Ellen DeGeneres Show account (@TheEllenShow) are only some of the celebrity Twitter accounts hijacked by Mikeyy.

Protect Your Twitter Account

I had shared my recent experience in which my Twitter and Facebook accounts were hacked by the wine guy or his compatriots. It is always wise to stay safe with your accounts, no matter how less often you use…

Ain't: An Old Usage That Still Sustains

I ain't going to no school today.
She supposed that she ain't his lover anymore.
Though Jack insisted, Jill ain't moved the garbage.
As evident from these three non-standard sentences, including the double-negative one, 'ain't' is a tried-and-tested short form for pretty much all of the auxiliary verbs, except the modal auxiliaries.

'Ain't' was originally conceived in the 1700s, as a better usage of 'an't', which was the shorter use for 'are not' and 'am not'. These usages underwent their share of criticism over the centuries, for being non-standard and inelegant. But it found profuse usage even among the people of the upper class. The user needn't worry much about grammar rules since 'ain't' can be used for both plural and singular forms.

There is nothing wrong in using 'ain't' in fiction dialogs and informal conversation, but stick to the standard auxiliaries in all formal occasions. Here are…

What You Should Know About Link Rot

In the real world, you need new issues of the Yellow Pages as new businesses arrive and some of the old businesses close operations. It's the same online—new websites pop up and old ones change URLs, content, and ownership every now and then.

Link rot is applied to the situation of gradual disappearance of resources to which existing links point. When you click such a link, you can get a page not found error or an entirely new page if the target has changed ownership and content has been revamped.

Studies have estimated that every month, nearly a thousand links disappear from the Web. None of us wants the links in our blogs and websites to point to non-existent or irrelevant resources. Therefore, we should add link rot checking to our list of blog maintenance tasks. Let's see how in this article.

Broken Link Maintenance

In order to completely correct link rot, you need an intelligent application, such as the IBM Peridot, which actually replaces your outdated links with correct…

Birth of Born and Borne

There is quite a bit of confusion among readers about the words, 'born' and 'borne', both past participle form of 'bear'. Let me clarify in this post.

To mean 'to give birth to a child', we associate the term, 'bear'. But this word has a lot of other meanings, such as 'tolerate', 'to carry something', 'to support something or somebody', 'produce something', etc. These examples will show you the use:

She thought she could bear her boyfriend's child.
His class couldn't bear his lousy lectures anymore.
My apple trees bear the best of apples in the entire state.
The word 'bear' has two past participle forms, associated with 'to give birth' meaning. They are 'born' and 'borne'. These two should be associated with two different meanings as below.

1. Use 'born' if you are talking about the child, in a passive sense.

My father was born in the middle of the last century.
Adolf …

Turning Firefox Into Internet Explorer

There are quite a few online applications that still need the slower Internet Explorer browser to work better. In games such as Facebook Mob Wars, IE is the preferred browser for bounty hunting. But how can you, as a Firefox (Fx) lover, use these applications? I am definitely not going to crank up the old IE and wait to get it to do things. There is a better way for that. You can turn your Mozilla Firefox into Internet Explorer.

With a tiny add-on, you can make Firefox tabs turn into Internet Explorer tabs. The add on is the IE tab add-on available from Mozilla Add-on site. Simply click the button 'Add to Firefox' to start installation, and restart the browser once installed.

Once installed, you can convert any tab you open on Firefox into an Internet Explorer tab, which works on the IE rendering engine. You just need to right-click the title of the newly opened tab, and click the option, 'Switch Rendering Engine'. All your IE settings will be available on this tab. An…

A List of Medical Terms for Phobias (Fears)

When was the last time you climbed a fifty story building and looked at your street from the very top? When was the last time you sat inside your well closed home, alone? When was the last time you crossed the street? Have you been frightened by any of these experiences? There are fears everywhere, and so the medical community has interesting terms to refer to each. There are fear of loneliness, fear for great heights, fear for darkness, and fears you may think far more ridiculous, such as the fear for naked bodies and sex.

In this article, let's delve into some of the technical terms for these fears. The fear terms are suffixed by phobia, which is the Greek term for 'fear'.

Acrophobia—Fear for great heights
Aerophobia—Fear of air drafts, flying, and some airborne substances
Agateophobia—Fear of insanity
Agyrophobia—Fear of crossing streets
Ailurophobia—Irrational persistent fear of cats
Algophobia—Fear of pain
Apiphobia—Fear of bees
Arachnophobia—Fear of spiders

The Autograph Hunters by PG Wodehouse

Here is a short story from the great comic writer, P G Wodehouse. Hope you will enjoy it.

The Autograph Hunters
by P G Wodehouse

Dunstable had his reasons for wishing to obtain Mr. Montagu Watson's autograph, but admiration for that gentleman's novels was not one of them.

It was nothing to him that critics considered Mr. Watson one of the most remarkable figures in English literature since Scott. If you had told him of this, he would merely have wondered in his coarse, material way how much Mr. Watson gave the critics for saying so. To the reviewer of the _Weekly Booklover_ the great man's latest effort, "The Soul of Anthony Carrington" (Popgood and Grooly: 6s.) seemed "a work that speaks eloquently in every line of a genius that time cannot wither nor custom stale." To Dunstable, who got it out of the school library, where it had been placed at the request of a literary prefect, and read the first eleven pages, it seemed rot, and he said as much to the …

Which Is More Important? Content or Links?

Would you rather have content, useful to readers and able to fetch links from top sites automatically, or links, which you pay for, from any big or small websites matching your topic?

Here is what Google engineer Matt Cutts himself says about this. Crappy content and great links? It readily rings a bell in the search engine. Good content and good links is your best bet to rise high on SERPs.

Landmark for Apple: One Billion App Downloads

Apple is nearing a landmark as iPhone and iPod Touch apps have been downloaded nearly a billion times from the online Apple store. You can see the live counter at the Apple home page now.

And this is a celebration time at Apple as you could win a 10,000 dollar gift card, an iPod Touch, a Time Capsule, or a MacBook Pro, if you get an app.

If you wish to enter the contest without purchase, please fill this application form.

The iTunes App store seems to be more successful than iTunes Music store, as about 53 apps are downloaded for each device, while only 29 songs are downloaded.

Five Tips for Generating More Page Views for Your Blog

For bloggers, the traffic and ad impressions are measured in two ways: daily visits and daily pageviews. In most cases, pageviews are far more important than the visit count. A visitor can come and go, and it will be counted as one pageview. But visitors who view more than one page are the interested parties. They can give more ad impressions and more earnings. So, it is your responsibility as the blogger to gather more pageviews per visit. At least two pageviews per visit is pretty good, though too hard to achieve.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is an important measure of how your traffic is behaving. A bounce happens when a visitor exits without checking any other page of the blog. Your web analytics program will show you how much bounce rate you have. It is likely to be above 50 per cent for most starting bloggers. As you mature as professional blogger, you should reduce to as small as 20 per cent.

Tips to Generate More Pageviews

You can generate more pageviews, by making each visitor t…

Egg White Is Albumin or Albumen?

Despite their difference in meanings, albumen and albumin are two words still used wrongly by many people. Let's clarify this confusion in this post.

The word historically used to refer to the white part of the egg is albumen. This arises from a Latin word, albus, which means 'white'. In Latin, you will also find the word albûmen to mean 'egg white', with a pronunciation mark on top of 'u', which is called a macron diacritic.

The word albumin is an entirely English word, which has no connection to Latin word above (at least directly). It refers to a water-soluble protein found in many plant and animal tissues, including and prominently in the egg white or albumen. That's how it gets its name. The suffix, 'in' is used to indicate that the protein is a neutral chemical compound.

Fake Google Adsense Reports and How to Detect Them?

If you visit earnings forums, such as the DigitalPoint, you may find that several people post reports of their earnings on Google Adsense or other such ad networks. Several of these reports (screenshots) are faked for the purpose of generating more interest in their blogs or their profiles. Let's analyze this twisted psychology in this post.

In some forum threads, you may find that a guy posts a screenshot of Adsense, such as this one below, with far greater earnings than they have ever got (click to enlarge screenshot).

One reason to do this is to show off to other people in the forum that he is a master of Adsense and it is worth their while to check out his blog/website. With this sham, they can also attract more advertisers to the blog and command higher ad rates. Another reason can be his petty ego toward people earning more than him. Whatever it is, he can be successful in tricking quite a lot of the forum users, who respond with kudos in the thread.

How to Fake a Screenshot…