Friday, September 26, 2008

An open letter to Mr. Kevin Rose

Dear Mr. Rose, I am just one of the millions of users of your website and I just wanted to say that I love Digg for many reasons and I have always felt that it's a great concept. But there are some things which I don't like. I know this has a high chance of getting buried in digg, but I have decided to go with it. Are you gonna read it?

1) Power Diggers

You might say ''who are they''? Well, they are the users of digg who have the highest number of submissions that has reached the front page. People like MrBabyMan, msaleem, MakiMaki and others. For example, MrBabyMan has hit the frontpage about 2900 times! So if an article get submitted by these guys, it has a much higher chance of hitting popular than the ones submitted by me or a newbie, mainly because they have a huge fan base and their fan's digg whatever they submit. It was said that top 100 diggers control 56% of Digg's homepage content!

the top 100 Digg users posted 56% of Digg's frontpage content

List of top 100 diggers


As I pointed out previously, the power diggers enjoy enormous success. So, many companies are reaching out to them with cash and are asking them to promote their story. These diggers in turn have a huge network with many friends on the instant messengers. They follow the '' I scratch your back and you scratch mine'' policy. So sometimes stupid stories get popular. Don't you think that the power diggers have a undue advantage over someone new?

The politics of digg

3) Burying Option

Why does this option even exist? You like something, digg it and if you hate it, don't digg it. It's that simple. In elections, you can vote for Obama but can't you bury McCain. As it ain't democratic. Moreover burying is also anonymous, why is that? People should be held accountable and there should be two sections for comments for a particular article, one for the diggers and one for those who buried it. Otherwise the burying option should be done away with!

The bury button

4) Blogs and small websites have a smaller chance of reaching the frontpage

Blogs or small websites have a much smaller chance of reaching the frontpage. I will not say that it doesn't have any chance whatsoever but it is really slim. I have seen that the front page of the technology section regularly featuring articles from established websites like wired, cnet, techradar, torrentfreak, linuxhaxor, lifehacker etc but I rarely see domains from blogspot or wordpress or the lesser known websites. Now some of us don't have enough money to get a domain for themselves and blogs are the only way to express and write articles. But in that way, the chances are really small of hitting the fp even if the article deserves to be popular. I don't know exactly if digg is responsible for it. Are you?

5)Social Networking

Does digg wanted to be a social networking website? There are many other options availaible like Myspace, Facebook, Orkut etc. So why this whole friend's and fan's concept? I know that it helps a digger to promote their story but it has also like poisoned the whole system. Some diggers get a bigger and better platform to promote. But is that what the digg concept is about? Digg has over a million people, but increasingly the stories which are hitting frontpage are coming from established diggers who have a huge networking base in digg. Is this what Digg set out to be? Or was it more in the lines of ''Let the best story,win''?

I also like to add that fanboyism pretty much exists in Digg. You write something good about Apple or Linux, you get huge diggs. You write something
BAD about Microsoft, you get also get a huge digg count :) See what I mean.

I know that many of these problems doesn't have a solution. But I can guess we always take the first step!

Thank You.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Only 5 Sites You'll Ever Need to Know for Downloads!

What would a computer be without downloads? The problem is finding the tough ones. You can't trust the search engines, as they can send you to a site that adds malware or spyware to their downloads. You can't always trust torrents for the same reason. When in doubt or in need of something obscure, these are the "goto" download sites.

If you can't find it at one of these sites, it probably doesn't exist.


The big momma of all the download websites. This is the best looking and the most feature rich among the five. It is divided into four main categories which are Windows, Mac, Mobile and Webware. The sections are further divided into mp3 and audio software, video software, browsers etc. You can also check out the most popular and the editor's pick among the applications. The site also features a nice and big review section. All in all a must visit!


The first time you take a look at this website, you will be overwhelmed, even somewhat intimidated by the sheer number of sections! Windows, Games, Drivers, Mac, Linux, Scripts, Mobile, Handheld....whew! It even features a cool gadgets section. But the one thing I always loved about Softpedia, is it's news section. It is really comprehensive and is divided into Science, Technology, Microsoft, Security, Apple, Linux, and what not!


This website is mostly garnered towards a Windows user but it also has a nice Mac section. It features both shareware and freeware downloads. The Windows and Mac section are further divided into files which comprises of Admin Tools, All In One Tools, Appearance, Backup, Benchmarking, Data Recovery, Networking, Messaging, etc. I must say that this site has quite a substantial amount of applications.


The reason I love FileHippo is mainly due to it's design and interface. It is the most clean and fastest website of the lot and has a nice, elegant, and hassle free look. On the top of the page, you can see the latest updates and most popular downloads. The main categories are Audio and Video, Browsers and Plugins, Developer Tools, File Sharing, CD and DVD tools, etc. You can also download some of the previous versions of a particular application from it's download page. Filehippo has also come up with a free update checker which checks for the latest versions of the applications installed in your system and informs you if a update is available. NICE!


Having trouble finding a driver for a particular device? Then, you have come to right place, my friend! This website features one of the biggest drivers database in the Internet and is divided into BIOS/Motherboard, Scanner, Printer/Plotter/ Multi-Office, Game Controller, Modem/ISDN, Sound Card, and many more categories. When you click on a particular category, you will see names of different brands which make that particular product. Click on the brand, you will see the most popular downloads from that brand. You can search for the driver of your particular device by typing in the search box. It is godsend for all your drivers problems and needs.

So what are your favorite download websites?

Firefox v3.0.2 Released!!!

Firefox 3.0.2 contains the following updates:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Official releases for Sinhala and Slovene are now available.
  • Beta releases for Bengali, Galician, Hindi, Icelandic, Kannada, Marathi, Telegu, and Thai are available for testing.
  • Fixed a number of minor issues with the layout of certain web pages.
  • Fixed several theme issues that affected right-to-left locales.
  • Fixed issue that caused some users with customized toolbars to have their Back and Forward buttons go missing (bug 426026)
  • Add new Extended Validation (EV) roots to Firefox 3.0.2.
  • On certain IDN sites, the password manager would not fill in username and password details properly.
  • Fixed several hangs and crashes that occurred when using screen readers.
  • Fixed Mac-specific issues:
    • Keyboard shortcuts would stop working in some cases.
    • Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Indic characters can not be entered (using IME) into text fields in Flash objects (bug 357670)
    • Firefox 3.0.1 could not be used when the user profile is stored on an AFP directory (bug 417037)


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Windows Vista : New Ultimate Extras Released

I was just searching for updates in Widows update and to my surprise, I got presented with 3 brand new ultimate extras which are:


1) Microsoft Tinker

2) Ultimate Extras Sound from Microsoft Tinker

3) Windows DreamScene Content Pack 4

I will download and try these out tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I want Microsoft to change, do you?

I am a Microsoft MVP, you can see my profile by clicking on the MVP logo in the right side. We MVP's have frequent online and offline meetings with the different product groups of Microsoft and also there is a summit every year for 3 days in the Microsoft headquarters where we can get in touch with Steve Ballmer or even Bill Gates. So the question I want you to answer is :-

Do you want to change the way Microsoft is working right now? Are you dissatisfied with the features that Microsoft is implementing in the applications it is making? Do you hate Windows Vista because it's eating up your hardware resources? Have you stopped using Internet Explorer because it's slow and lacks extensions? Do you feel that Windows Media Player should be light and have codecs installed out of the box? I surely do and I can be your voice if you feel the same way!

1) Do you want to change the way Microsoft is working right now?

I feel that Microsoft doesn't exactly know what the users of their product want. The latest adventures of Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld proves that! Surely it's not possible for them to know the needs and wants of every users but can't they setup an official Microsoft feedback forum where the people can have their say about what they want in the products? There can be categories like Windows 7, Windows Media Player 12, DirectX 11, etc where people can post their expectations and the features which they want. The respective product groups can take a look at them and implement the ones which are possible.

2) Do you hate Windows Vista because it's eating up your hardware resources and a million different reasons?

Windows Vista is a one hungry monster :) Windows 7 is coming out in 2010. Windows 7 work fast with the mid range hardware that is currently available now in 2008 so that people doesn't have to buy a new machine with Windows 7. The final build of Windows 7 should be as bug free as possible, we don't want to use it for a month and feel that it requires a service pack.It should have optimum support for applications and drivers at the time when it's released. Developers should also be given a nice platform in Windows 7.

P.S. Microsoft can do a Google Search using Vista Sucks and see the current concerns and hope it's not repeated in Windows 7.

20 Reasons why Vista Sucks! is a good place to start!

3) Have you stopped using Internet Explorer because it's slow and lacks extensions?

We all know the glory days of Internet Explorer when people couldn't think of an alternative to browse the internet. Enter Firefox and it's eating away it's market share. Internet Explorer is slow and resource heavy. It lacks extensions too. There is no reason why anyone should use Internet Explorer in the present scenario.But Internet Explorer 8 is coming out and I want it to to that. It should be faster than Google Chrome, support extensions and have a vast and intelligent community making the required extensions for it. Some new features like WebSlices and Accelerators have been introduced in the beta version but we want some more innovation. The best parts of the other browsers should be implemented, like the speed of Chrome, extensions of Firefox or one search or the bittorrent support of Opera!

The market share of Firefox vs. Internet Explorer See how firefox is closing in and Microsoft needs to stop that!

4) Do you feel that Windows Media Player should be light and have codecs installed out of the box?

Windows Media Player is the only media player that comes bundled with the Windows OS. It should then be the best media player around. But it's not! It doesn't have most of the popular codecs installed and is resource heavy. VLC, KMPlayer, mPLAYER are much better alternatives at this time. But I want that to change. I want Windows Media Player 12 to be the best player in the market, a player which would make all the Linux and MAC users envious that it doesn't come in their system!

VLC media player See how fast it is being downloaded by the masses, will this be the case with WMP 12?

I have made my views, opinions and suggestions known to you. Now, I want your feedback. I promise that you even if some of your feedback is not implemented, you will be HEARD! So what are you waiting for?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Windows 7, the real WOW?

Imagine painting in Photoshop with your hands, rotating and zooming Google Earth by your hand, or playing a piano using your fingers. Well, it will all be possible in the upcoming Windows 7 and I can only say, WOW and this time for real! I was stunned when I saw this D6 Conference Windows 7 Multi Touch Keynote Demo.

We can have Windows DreamScenes (Animated Wallpaper) which will change and behave in a different manner when you touch them. You can literally interact with your computer in a way which wasn't possible before. The possibilities are endless! Having a Windows Media Player 12 behave like iPOD touch or playing multiple videos on your screen, changing and resizing them using your hands just like Tom Cruise did it in Minority Report!

I also want to know what are your ideas which can bring more to this multitouch technology and what are the ways it can be used in other applications? Innovate and dream!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

5 features that can make a Windows user switch to Linux

I have been a Windows user all my life but there are certain features in Linux that makes me have some second thoughts. I am smitten by it's security, reliability, freedom of choices and many other features. I am hereby presenting you 5 features of Linux, which can make a Windows user think, ''Is it time for a change?''

1) Cost

Linux is free. You don't need to spend a single cent for getting it. Even all the software's that comes with it are free. That's completely different from Windows. You need to pay for Windows Vista, you need to pay for Office 2007, you need to pay for Nero and the list goes on and on. If money is a concern for you, Linux is the one and only way to go. Since everything is free, you don't have the nagging Windows Genuine Advantage Validation tool and also you don't have to store and keep in mind the 25 character products keys for different applications.

2) Security and Reliability

Linux is more secure and reliable than Windows. You don't get BSOD's in Linux! Most of the top websites use Linux based systems as it is not uncommon for Linux to run for years without needing a single reboot! Viruses are very few, almost negligible as compared to Windows. Linux is highly resistant to crashing, freezing and is an extremely stable and robust operating system.

3) Updating Software

Windows features Microsoft Update which updates only the Microsoft software's that are installed in your system. It doesn't update, say for instance Adobe Photoshop CS3 or Winamp. You need to manually update each and every software which are not made by Microsoft. But Linux automatically updates each and every software that is installed in your system. It saves a lot of time and effort.

4) Freedom of Choice

When you install Windows Vista, you also get all the default applications installed with it. Suppose you don't need Microsoft Paint or Windows Media Player because it doesn't come with the codecs installed, you cannot install Vista without them. There are many such applications like this which you may not use in your lifetime, but you have to install them. But in Linux, you can pick and install the applications which suits you most. You also have the chance to pick up the Linux distribution which matches with your personality! You can change and try something new everyday as it's FREE. No bloatware!

5) Support

The quality of support for Linux from the Internet is highly praiseworthy. High quality support is available from newsgroups, forums, irc's etc. People say it is as good if not better than the support that comes with proprietary software's. The best and the brightest of the Linux users are there to assist you if you run into any problems and in most cases, the solutions they provide are effective and they provide it with enthusiasm. They welcome you as a part of their family. They don't do it for money but for their love for Linux.

I would also like to add that you don't have to defragment in Linux. It can read an incredibly large number of file systems. You can modify any application according to your needs and preferences as you have the source code with you. Linux can run from a CD. The Linux kernel comes with a huge number of hardware drivers, so most of the common hardware works out of the box. Linux doesn't have a registry like Windows which is complex and hard to manage, but it stores configuration files in text files which are easy to backup/manage and transfer. Linux works faster on the same piece of hardware as compared to Windows. Linux has a much faster rate of development than Windows.

I can really go on and on, but I am letting it rest at this point. So what do you think are the features of Linux that can make a Windows user switch to it, if I have missed any.

Friday, September 12, 2008

5 reasons as to why it's wrong to hate Microsoft

People hate anything that Microsoft does. It's a common perception that Microsoft is an evil monster. If anyone writes anything good about Microsoft, he gets buried way down. But there are always 2 sides of the same coin. So here are the 5 other sides of MS which I love :-

1) The Windows Operating System

You might be thinking about BSOD's right now, but to me Microsoft is the company that has made computers come to the hands of billions of people who might not even be knowing what a kernel is. They have made computing easier and a whole lot of fun.Windows is the biggest gaming platform apart from the consoles. You will not find such a vast library of applications in any other operating system.

2) Bill Gates

I love Bill Gates. He may be the wealthiest man in the world but he also gives like the wealthiest man in the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is helping millions of people in hundreds of different countries. Microsoft may be huge and rich but it's definitely using the platform to make the world a better place.

3) Indirect wealth creation engine

They are helping millions of people indirectly to get their paychecks. The game developers and graphics card manufactures owe a great deal to the Windows platform. There are thousands of websites and blogs which are creating money by writing about or bashing Microsoft products. Adobe which is a big software developer wouldn't be so big, if it wasn't for Microsoft.

4) Innovation

Many people would say that Microsoft doesn't innovate but I beg to differ. They don't rest upon their laurels. They are constantly evolving and changing by taking feedback and improving the existing products. Microsoft Surface, Live Mesh, Photosynth, Silverlight are results of this innovation.

Microsoft Surface

5) Steve Ballmer

Steve Anthony Ballmer is not your typical CEO. He is sweaty, bald, and crazy. Even though Microsoft is not his own company, his enthusiasm and passion about Microsoft sends a signal that he truly loves and worships Microsoft as a company. His wild screamings and dancing on stage and chanting developers 14 times in front of an audience gives a different edge to Microsoft.

See some of his hilarious videos

Going Crazy


So did you find any reason to like Microsoft?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

South Asia MVP Open Day 2008

We are having the South Asia MVP Open Day 2008 in GOA from November 15-17. It promises to be a lot of fun! There will be meetings with dev product group (IDC), MVP executives and MS folks, speaker pool opportunity, a Photosynth team activity and so much more. We will get to know the MVP's up close and personal. There will also be YOGA from 6:00 in the morning, and that can suck for some of us ;) I may not be able to attend this time around as I have CAT on 16th, but all the rest of you MVP's shouldn't miss the fun!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

8 unique features of Google Chrome

Google has released their own web browser called Chrome. It is fast and has some amazing features. It's still in beta right now so the future couldn't be more brighter. Here I present to you, the top 8 features of Google Chrome which can make it your default web browser now!

1) Simple, Elegant and Effective

Chrome looks simple and clutter free. It's also beautiful because the title bar is big, and looks amazing in Windows Vista, because of the transparency. You can see that there is no menu toolbar or search bar. Chrome has only the bare necessities and that what makes it look different and unique. Even the status bar is done away with but you can see the whole url if you hover your mouse over a particular link.

2) Amazing speed and performance

Chrome is mighty fast as you can see from the benchmark results. It's the fastest browser that I have worked on. It uses the V8 JavaScript engine and WebKit rendering machine to display webpages and the results are there for all to see. This is a SunSpider benchmark for Google Chrome and it's to be noted that smaller the bar the better.

P.S. I got this benchmark test from

3) One box for everything!

Chrome has no search toolbar! The search toolbar and the address bar is unified and this is one of the most innovative features I have seen in a browser. You can just type your query and search from the address bar. It makes searching very simple and fast so you don't have to provide extra memory for a search toolbar.

4) Thumbnails of your top sites

When you start Google Chrome, you get this page which has your recent visited sites. You don't have to manually add anything and you can just click and go to your favourite website. I really enjoyed this feature cause it's automatic.

5) Application Shortcuts

Chrome has a nice feature where you can create application shortcuts of your favorite websites and save them on your computer as desktop shortcuts, etc. They behave like normal programs. The saved webpage opens in a new application window which gives you as much working space as possible.

6) Inspect Element

There is a feature called Inspect Element. Right click on something in a web page and you get the option. It shows the css/html details. There is also a resource tab in the inspect element window which shows the size and also the colored time to download.

7) A nice download manager

Chrome has a nice download manager which is fast and doesn't look like a pop up window. It goes right down to bottom of the web page and shows the downloading status there. It looks much better than the normal pop up download window which the other browsers have.

8) Drag a tab to create a window

You can also drag tabs to form a new Window as you can see in the picture!

So has this article made you switch to Chrome?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

10 hilarious anti-Microsoft quotes

Love or hate Microsoft, these 10 quotes would make both a fan and a hater laugh their heart out. These are so funny and well thought out. I had a good laugh after reading them and I bet you would too!

My friend, Ashish, showed me these hilarious anti-Microsoft quotes from

I picked up 10 quotes from there and here they are :-

1) People say that if you play Microsoft CD's backwards, you hear satanic things, but that's nothing, because if you play them forwards, they install Windows.

2) The box said 'Requires Windows 95 or better'. So I installed LINUX.

3) In a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?

4) Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."

5) MICROSOFT = Most Intelligent Customers Realize Our Software Only Fools Teenagers

6) Windows has detected you do not have a keyboard. Press 'F9" to continue.

7) Use The Best...
Linux for Servers
Mac for Graphics
Palm for Mobility
Windows for Solitaire

8) Software is like sex: It's better when it's free.

9) Unix, DOS and Windows...the good, the bad and the ugly.

10) ACs are like computers- Both work fine until you open Windows!

Which is your favorite quote among these? Please let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

5 websites a Windows Vista user must visit!

As a Windows Vista user, I frequently visit these 5 websites. The websites range from getting gadgets for your sidebar to dynamic wallpapers for your desktop.


Windows Vista has introduced a new feature called the Windows Sidebar. Windows Sidebar contains gadgets which can perform various tasks like showing the CPU usage, weather forecasts, RSS feeds of news, picture slideshows, etc. This website showcases the various gadgets and they are categorized into fun and games, tools and utilities, multimedia etc. You can also sort the gadgets by downloads or rating. All in all a must visit website for all the Windows Vista users out there!

Windows Vista Sidebar


UltimatePC is for all the Windows Vista Ultimate edition holder. It has got information about the Ultimate Extras that are released, so if you want to learn about the new sound schemes, Windows DreamScene, Language packs, or Bitlocker, you have found yourself in the right place. This website also has tips to get the ultimate experience from your computer. From setting up the ultimate Home Theater to Hollywood quality HD movie editing, it makes sure that your experience is truly ULTIMATE.



If you want support while working with Windows Vista, then this is the place to be. Are you getting error messages like ''Windows could not search for new updates'', ''An internal error occured while installing the service pack'', etc, this website has all the solutions you need. It is categorized into error messages, configuring, security and privacy, and many more. You can get troubleshooting tips, guided help and articles about the features in Windows Vista. You can even search for the solution of the particular problem you are facing by using the search panel.

Windows Vista Solution Center


Do you want the latest news about Windows Vista? Do you want to know how to customize IE8 Beta 2 to fit your needs? Windows Vista Blog has all the information about the latest developments that are taking place in Windows Vista. It's as fresh as they come. It will keep you up to date with the latest information available in regards to Vista.

Windows Vista Team Blog


Windows Vista has an amazing feature called Windows DreamScene which lets you keep videos or animations as your desktop wallpapers. Sadly, it is only available to the users of the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista. But Stardock has come up with DeskScapes 2.0 which allows you to have dynamic wallpapers called dreams in the non-Ultimate editions of Windows Vista. It works in the Ultimate version too and thereby increases dynamic wallpaper gallery!

Dream Gallery

Are you a Windows Vista user? Let me know the 5 websites which you visit the most regarding Windows Vista.