Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gmail: A Behind the Scenes Video - Final Video Released

The final video of Gmail's collaborative video campaign is out.

It depicts how an email message travels around the world in a creative way. The video clip features a red Gmail M-velope.

They have selected the final video clips from the numerous creative clips they have received from Gmail users around the world and it seems they had a tough time selecting clips for the final video!

Watch the final collaborative video here >>>

You can also check out all of the submissions on YouTube, and read more about it on the Official Gmail Blog.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Result of Orkut's India Independence Day Poll

The result of Orkut's India Independence Day poll is out now. The poll received votes from more than 15,000 Orkut users.


Ex Indian President Abdul Kalam has been voted as the most inspiring Indian. Most of the users selected 'themselves' as their favorite global Indian. Hindi movie 'Sholay' been selected as the most popular movie. Majority of users believes that Poverty should be the most important focus area during the next 10 years, hope that India will have permanent UN Security Council seat by 2010. Also majority found that India is synonymous with a Global IT Center.

Read it here >>>


Orkut Scrapping Updated

Now you can use HTML codes in Orkut scraps, but restricted to scraps meant for friends. 'Scraps to everyone' remains the same.

You can now paste in photos, videos, audio, and flash widgets in scraps to your friends.

Here's how:

1) To add images

Copy and paste urls ending in .jpg, .gif, .png or .bmp and the image will appear in the scrap. For example,

2) To add videos from YouTube and Google Video

Copy and paste the url and the video will appear in the scrap.
For example,

3) To add podcast/audio

Copy and paste the url of an audio file and an audio player will appear in the scrap.
For example,

4) To add html-embeddable objects

Create or upload your content at sites such as,, or Copy and paste the html embed code to share it with your friends.

Related links:

Spice up your Scraps!

Orkut Scrapping Tips and Tricks


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Orkut Celebrates Indian Independence Day with Special Logo -the major social networking community website has changed its logo, specially for India on the eve of Indian Independence Day. India is going to celebrate her 60th year of Independence on 15th August 2007. The site now sports a tricolour logo matching the Indian national flag colour on their login page. See the figure given below.

This is the result of the ongoing efforts by Google to keep Orkut on the top of Social Networking Platform which is facing tough sites like competition from Myspace, Hi5, Facebook etc. It is interesting to note that on Orkut, India counts third in terms of number of users after Brazil and US.

Orkut has also started an opinion poll, targeting Indians globally. Orkut users are being asked various questions like - Who is their favourite global Indian? Which is their favourite movie and Where should India focus on in the next 10 years for economic growth?

Follow the under given links to take part in the opinion poll:

Which Indian inspires you the most?
India is synonymous with...
Who is your favorite Indian fictional character?
Will India be a permanent member of the UN Security Council by 2010?
What should be the most important focus area for India during the next 10 years?
Which is the most popular movie since independence?
Your favorite "Global" Indian is....

CLICK here for more info from the official Orkut Blog >>>

Friday, July 27, 2007

Switch networks with NetSelector

NetSelector is a very useful program for people on the move, who frequently need to connect their Laptops to different networks (LAN/WAN/WiFi). NetSelector allows to change network settings like IP address, DNS, Gateway, network shares, network drives and proxy servers in one click.

NetSelector is not limited to a specific browser for setting the proxy, there is a plug-in interface that allows to configure nearly any browser. At the moment, there are plug-ins for Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Visit the NetSelector homepage.

You will need the .Net Framework 2.0 to be able to run NetSelector.
[ Download from HERE]


Monday, July 23, 2007

Promising HIV Vaccine Ready For Clinical Trials

A group of Russian researchers announced that a dual action human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine is ready for clinical trials. The team from Vector State Scientific Center of Virology and Biotechnology, Kol'tsovo, Novosibirsk reported their research on the CombiHIVvac in the journal Doklady Biochemistry and Biophysics in May 2007.

The vaccine is an artificial virus-like particle whose outer casing consists of the TBI protein constructed by the researchers combined with the polyglucin protein. The protein contains more than 80 HIV proteins fragments selected in the optimal way, which should activate the immune system.

The researchers claimed that the combiHIVvac vaccine not only stimulates antibody production but also destroys the cells infected by the virus. Thus, this vaccine can be considered as both prophylactic and therapeutic one. Results of preclinical trial gives a hope that the combiHIVvac vaccine will effectively fight even against modified HIV-1 variants.

More >>>


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Japan develops a chewing gum that can enhance breast size

A chewing gum banded as 'Bust-Up gum' that was developed by B2Up found to enhance the size, shape and tone of the breasts and has proved to be a big hit in Japan. B2Up says its Bust-Up gum, when chewed three or four times a day, can also help improve circulation, reduce stress and fight ageing.

The gum works by slowly releasing compounds contained in an extract from a plant called Pueraria mirifica. (Pueraria mirifica, also known as Kwao Krua, is a species found in Thailand and Burma. It has long been used by indigenous hill tribe people as a traditional medicine and it helps to keep the muscle tissue in good order).

The plant's underground tubers contain a number of chemicals called phytoestrogens - natural compounds which simulates the effects of the female sex hormone oestrogen. They are very close in chemical structure to oestradiol, the main human oestrogen.

More >>>


Friday, May 18, 2007

Yahoo! Mail Announces Free Unlimited e-mail Storage

On May 16, 2007 Yahoo! Mail began a global rollout of its new unlimited e-mail storage. The unlimited e-mail storage will reach users of the service within the coming months, a company release said. This is to commemorate the approaching 10-year anniversary of Yahoo! Mail.

Yahoo mail will be ten years old soon. When it launched in 1997 it included a whopping 4 MB of total storage (Yahoo! acquired RocketMail, one of the world's first webmail products, and relaunched as Yahoo! Mail in 1997). This was increased to 100 MB in 2004, and 1 GB in 2005.
"Both new and existing Yahoo! Mail users will receive an unlimited amount of free e-mail storage as long as they follow normal e-mail practices and abide by the company's anti abuse limits. The service upgrade will be available to users of the original Yahoo! Mail Service and the Yahoo! Mail Beta", company's Vice-President John Kremer said.
All Yahoo Mail users will have free unlimited email storage starting in May 2007. The current storage limit is 1 GB per account (2 GB for $20/year premium users). Kremer says they want their customers to be satisfied and happy with the new unlimited storage feature. Users who have paid $20 to upgrade to a premium account to get 2 GB of storage will be able to get a refund if they request one. With this change, Yahoo surpasses Gmail (2.8 GB and growing) and Mail (2GB). Yahoo mail currently has 250 million global users, more than any other online service ( has 228 million and Gmail has 51 million users).
Yahoo! Mail has a good user interface (although many users prefer Gmail), but does not support IMAP, and POP access and forwarding are premium features (Gmail offers POP access and forwarding for free). Yahoo! Mail, Rediff Mail, Google Mail (Gmail)...etc. all are going towards free unlimited e-mail space. Competition drives more features for customer at free of cost. This shows how much the online advertisement earns money! As the competition grows, we can expect rollout of more new features.
"We hope we're setting a precedent for the future. Someday, can you imagine a hard drive that you can never fill? Never having to empty your photo card on your camera to get space back? Enough storage to fit the world's music, and then some, on your iPod? Sounds like a future without limits" says John Kremer, Vice President, Yahoo! Mail.

DNA fingerprinting to find illegal whale 'bycatch'

DNA detective work has revealed that fishermen in South Korea are snaring far more whales in their nets than they admit. The "bycatch" is so large that some observers believe whales are being netted deliberately, breaking the moratorium on commercial whaling set by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
Whale meat can be sold legally in South Korea if the animals are caught by accident in fishing nets, but such deaths must be reported to the government. Between 1999 and 2003, fishermen reported snaring 458 minke whales. Now a team led by Scott Baker of Oregon State University in Newport says the true catch was nearly twice that number and threatens the survival of minke whales in the Sea of Japan.
Baker had South Korean colleagues buy minke meat from local markets and used DNA fingerprinting to determine how many individual whales the meat had come from.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Human blood may provide a cure for AIDS

BBC reports that German scientists at the University of Ulm have identified a natural ingredient of human blood that prevents the HIV virus from infecting immune cells and multiplying. The molecule, which they termed Virus-Inhibitory Peptide (VIRIP), could bring out new types of effective treatment for HIV in the future. Adjusting its amino acid components boosted its anti-HIV potency by two orders of magnitude. Tests also showed that some derivatives of the molecule are highly stable in human blood plasma, and non-toxic even at very high concentrations. A synthetic version of VIRIP also found effective in blocking HIV, excluding the possibility that some other factor was responsible. VIRIP targets a sugar molecule, which HIV uses to infect a host cell.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Do animals need to sex to create variety?

The Times Online has an interesting article about an organism which survived 100 million years without sex.

Researchers say that their study "refutes the idea that sex is necessary for diversification into evolutionary species".


From the article:

"A tiny creature that has not had sex for 100 million years has overturned the theory that animals need to mate to create variety. Analysis of the jaw shapes of bdelloid rotifers, combined with genetic data, revealed that the animals have diversified under pressure of natural selection. Researchers say that their study "refutes the idea that sex is necessary for diversification into evolutionary species".


More >>>


Creature that has not had sex for 100m years

By:  Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter

(From The Times, March 20, 2007)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Going on a 'mental time travel' ?!

If you thought memory was all about making a record of the past, think again!

Your brain is equipped with a time machine that can take you forwards and backwards at will.


Without paying a penny you can travel backwards or forwards in time in your mind's eye - what is known as "mental time travel". One of these visions - the backward travel - is about really happened things and the other -  the backward travel - is about fantasizing things.....but that too will have a time-line assigned by your mind which makes it both the instances very similar. In simple terms, you are able to 'recall' your future as you would normally do about your past!


You can recall what happened yesterday, like where you have been, what you ate, whom you have talked to in the morning, what you did in the evening. Same way you 'recall' your tomorrow like where you will be, what you will be eating, to whom all you will be talking in the morning, what you will be doing in the evening. That's what 'mental time travel' is all about. Now experiment with yourself, travel to the newer meadows of your future on your 'mental time machine', explore the future!


Happy journey!

Want to postpone your pregnancy?.....Egg freezing comes to your rescue!

Now women around the world can hopefully stop their biological clock for a decade or more by putting their eggs on ice. Recent advances in freezing techniques (cryo-preservation) suggest that egg survival and fertilisation success rates for once-frozen eggs may be as good as for fresh ones. Egg-freezing is still a comparatively untested technology, but now it is possible that women can 'bank' their healthy eggs for a while - till they feel its time - can have her eggs thawed and use routine IVF procedures to get pregnant.

"A woman is more likely to get pregnant at 40 with one of her eggs frozen in her early 30s than with her 40-year-old eggs" says Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midland Fertility Services in Aldridge, West Midlands, in the UK.

Egg freezing: A reproductive revolution

By: Rachel Nowak

(21 March 2007, news service)


More >>>

Monday, March 19, 2007

The "string-net liquid" nature of Universe and a new state of matter - 'Herbertsmithite'

Xiao-Gang Wen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michael Levin at Harvard University have come up with a prediction for a new state of matter, and even a visualisation of the nature of space-time itself. Levin presented their work at the Topological Quantum Computing conference at the University of California, Los Angeles, early this month.

Their 25-year-old experiment is turning everything we know about matter upside down. In their theory elementary particles are not the fundamental building blocks of matter. Instead, they emerge from the deeper structure of the non-empty vacuum of space-time. They predict that the entire universe could be made of a string-net liquid.

Joel Helton's group at MIT might have found a candidate for such a material: a dark green crystal called " herbertsmithite", found in the mountains of Chile in 1972. They have named it after a mineralogist they really admired, Herbert Smith". They didn't realise the potential herbertsmithite would have for physicists years later.

Herbertsmithite is unusual because its electrons are arranged in a triangular lattice. Normally, electrons prefer to line up so that their spins are in the opposite direction to that of their immediate neighbours, but in a triangle this is impossible - there will always be neighbouring electrons spinning in the same direction. Wen and Levin's model shows that such a system would be a string-net liquid.

The Herbertsmithite existing in nature contains impurities that disrupt any string-net signatures. So Helton's team made a pure sample in the lab. The team measured the degree of magnetisation in the material, in response to an applied magnetic field. If herbertsmithite behaves like ordinary matter, they argue, then below about 26 °C the spins of its electrons should stop fluctuating - a condition called magnetic order. But the team found no such transition, even down to just a fraction above absolute zero!

This could be just a starting point for still newer forms of matter!

More >>>>

The universe is a string-net liquid

15 March 2007, New Scientist

By: Zeeya Merali

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A new computer virus "Storm Worm" is spreading the Internet with the help of recent European Storm

A new computer virus, the "Storm Worm" virus has started to spread around the world following the storm that hit many parts of Europe on Thursday. Hackers are using the storm that killed at least 47 people in Europe this week as a "hook for the unsuspecting" to distribute a virus. (According to the Associated Press, the European storm has killed at least 41 people).

A "significant attack" was launched through the "storm worm," the Finnish computer security company F-Secure warned on Friday.

Storm Worm is a Trojan horse with an executable file as an attachment. Cyber-criminals took advantage of social engineering, using the news of the European storm to get people to open the attached malicious file, which promises more news on the weather emergency. The recipient must open the file for it to execute.

Over an eight-hour period Thursday, malicious e-mails were sent across the globe to hundreds of thousands of people, said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer for F-Secure. "The e-mail was started 15 hours ago, when the storm was peaking in Central Europe," Hypponen said. "This is unusual in that it was very timely."

The Virus was distributed in messages with subject line of "230 dead as storm batters Europe". The payload in this case was the Small.DAM Trojan that was downloaded into all vulnerable machines upon opening of the spam mail's attachment such as "Read More.exe". Once inside the machine, the Trojan creates a backdoor that can be exploited later to steal data or to use the computer to post spam by the malware authors behind the assault.

In addition to the headline "230 dead as storm batters Europe" the spam uses a number of other provocative headlines. Other e-mail subject lines for it include " U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza..." and "A killer at 11, he's free at 21 and..."

Attachments may be of the following filenames: "Full Clip.exe"; "Full Story.exe"; "Read More.exe" and "Video.exe".

The attack was first picked up by F-Secure Security Labs Kuala Lumpur during the very early hours of Friday (European time) - January 19, 2007. The timing of the assault and its detection in Asia leads researchers to believe that the assault also originated in the region.

This virus has already been sent to hundreds of thousands of e-mails IDs around the world. Updated anti-virus software can protect against this virus. So don't open any such attachments and make sure that your anti-virus software is having the latest update(s).

Related Links: