Is google sucking sometimes? Need a semantic search inbetween?

31.8.09
Have your google/yahoo/bing misunderstood your search term and produced millions of results pointing in the wrong direction? And then you were left with no other choice probably. Yes its time for a semantic search, i dont guarantee such semantic searches to be extraordinarily intelligent. but tobviously much brighter than google and yahoo. Go for a semantic search atleast whrn yahoo/google/bing fails.

here is one such search engine hakia search


PS: I dont want to argue if this is really "semantic" :).
PPS: Here is a list of original "semantic searche engines" and comparisons if u are interested in what original semantic search is : Semantic search comparisons

Free stock photo sites

i knew only a few stock photo sites before i visited this page, a wonderful list of free stock photo websites
http://www.digitalimagemagazine.com/blog/featured/25-free-stock-photo-sites/

Javascript Geo location

30.8.09
Add geo location to your site irrespective of weather it is statically generated content or dynamic. Max mind is offering both pro and free geo location services, they have also implementations in almost all scripting languages used for web. The javascript implementation makes it more useful for bloggers and other html/js users.

check maxMind for the javascript implementation
or choose the script u like from below list



Example Output:
Country Code: IN
Country Name: India
Region: 13
Region Name: Kerala
City: Kochi
Postal Code:
Latitude: 9.9667
Longitude: 76.2333

The over the phone test for UI designs

Origianl article by aza featutured in his blog


One of the design heuristics we use at Mozilla Labs, especially as we work to create a more invisible browser, is the “Over-the-Phone test”.

If your friends have ever got it into their heads that you might be good at technology, I’m sure you’ve found yourself trying to explain some aspect of computing over the phone. Probably something trivial and difficult to explain. I give you my condolences. Trying to troubleshoot a GUI over the phone is like giving driving directions to train conductor.

For instance, it’s difficult to tell Grandma how to spellcheck in a web mail application that doesn’t have spellcheck:

  • “Ok, Grandma, select everything by clicking anywhere in the text and typing Control-A.”
  • “Now copy the text by typing Control-C.”
  • “Open Word by going to the Start Menu, clicking ‘All Programs’, clicking ‘Microsoft Office’, and finally by clicking ‘Word’.”
  • “Paste your text into Word by typing Control-V… No, Grandma, I don’t know why it’s ‘V’–maybe because ‘P’ is already used for printing?”
  • “Click the little icon on the top of the bar that has a checkmark and some letters. You don’t see it? Okay, describe what you see. You see something that looks like a coffee cup? I have no idea what that is. Actually, forget it. Just select ‘Spell Check’ from the ‘Edit’ menu.”
  • “Click ‘Start Checking’. Grandma, I know you just told it you want to spell check; I don’t know why you have to tell it again.”
  • (Time passes as Grandma spell checks her document.)
  • “Click the ‘Done’ button. Or maybe it’s called ‘Finish’. Uh, just click either the ‘Done’ or the ‘Finish’ button.”
  • “Select everything by typing Control-A.”
  • “Copy the text by typing Control-C.”
  • “Switch back to the email you were writing. What’s that? You can’t see the email you were writing? Well, um… Move some windows around and try finding it.”
  • “Is the text of the email still selected? No? Okay, click anywhere in the text.”
  • “Select everything by typing Control-A.”
  • “Paste in your spell checked text by typing Control-P. Wait, no, Control-V…”
  • “You’re done! wasn’t that easy?”

At every step something can go wrong, your mental model can get out of sync with the state of the computer, or you might remember a button name incorrectly.

Thus our test: We ask ourselves, “Would I be willing to teach my Grandma how to use this over the phone?”. If the answer is “Definitely”, we know we’re doing well; if the answer is “Maybe”, we know we can do better; and if the answer is “No”, then it’s often time to rethink the whole thing.

This is one of the heuristics that informed Ubiquity.

A MAD man with his MAD friends.

29.8.09
An update i got from bitrebels, told to be worls biggest Water slide. It seems to me like worlds biggest mad people. And the man who jumped, if he exists, you ROCK MANNN!!!!

Acid Lullaby : Another great digital artist

Her introduction:
"Wen- Xi Chen paints tragedies in the dead of night to the sweet sound of Opeth and is a pathology student by day in one of the oldest and most hellish educational establishments in the UK. This leaves very little time for that activity known as sleep, and so exists in a perpetual state of spaciness.

She started to paint digitally at the age of 13 and, realising the number of expensive oil brushes she'd save from the consequence of not washing, has never looked back since.

Online, she goes by the alias acid lullaby, which is a quote from an interview with the band Placebo. So now you know, quit asking. Yeah, that's right, Wen-Xi loves to borrow names from musicians, you will notice that if you're an Opeth fan looking through her gallery."
Her work:






















Her gallery and more of her work:
acidlullaby's deviant art galery

How nature creates flowers and butterflies.

Just saw two things i never saw before in life, thanks to bitrebel blog and their great updates.

Two things i saw are

1. How a seedling become a flower
2. How a catterpillar change into butterfly

Two awesome time lapse videos you should not miss





Some great digital paintings from a great artist Dan Dos Santos

Saw this post about Dan Don Santos on Presida Creative Blog, the paintings just blew my head away!!! real awesome works by Dan Don Santos. Check Presida Creative's post for more of his works.Check the tattoo on the hand :->

A site for polaroid lovers

Love those white bordered polaroid pictures? i do. Also i love those polaroids with some faded or cooling effects, really cool things. Just happened to see a site to generate polaroids, i got it through a twitter update from @minervity It worked great for me, hope you will also enjoy making your polaroids with your name in it.

Ready to make your's here is the link
www.rollip.com
And here is the polaroid i got with some sepia tones option selected.

Ginou Choueiri : Potato portraits

27.8.09




Enjoyed these potato portraits?

Check what the artist Ginou Choueri from Beirut, Lebanon says

"Everything can be transformed into art. There is enough unused and abandoned material out there screaming for attention, as well as conventional everyday objects that would love to be pulled out their mundane environment for a more exciting existence."'

No wonder she turned those potatoes screaming for attention into wonderful faces

Check Ginou Choueiri's website for more works by the artist
Ginou Choueiri

Great way of alphabetical listing - web design

25.8.09
See the way a huge list of artists are arranged alphabetically with good aesthetic appeal, i do really appreciate the designer's creativity. The site can be viewed at Artists: Painters, Sculptors & Photographers on Artween

I am learning illustator


And today i learned ....

1. to reflect a shape

2. to apply gradient

3. a primer on mesh

4. that photoshop is far better

5. and that it is not easy to remove a mesh!! messy thing indeed!!

Some good typography sites for inspiration

23.8.09
just saw this site while i was refering some typography reated sites, there are more links bookmarked on the way im posting some of them:


Oded Ezer Typography | עודד עזר: פונטים ועיצוב טיפוגרפי








Balla Dora Typo-Grafika

Rithu Ritu or Eruthu or may be Erutu - Shyama Prasad

16.8.09

A film on relationships and their depths and changes with time. A deep look into true love at the right time, ie. when fakes are all around. The theme is fine but the film is not that fine, syama prasad wants to tell a lot of things but is his charachters telling them with the same intensity as the director has, i don't thik they have. There is no point in a simple 'audience' questioning a national award winning director. But audience is audience.
I do appreciate the man who designed those lovely posters which shuoul'd have attracted a bunch of 'visual' people to the 'cinema'. Some parts of close ups looked like the charachters detached from their backgrounds, not sure of the reason may be a bad focus or a bad color correction whatever i felt so, just "I".
There was a FAT guy probably Syama Prasads relative i think, there is no other way his charachter aride into the scene. Just joking, Shyama Prasad deliberately wants to take the issue of displaced people from IT parks into the film or may be he wants to stress the hero's Communism whatever ......It reminded me of certain Tamil movies introducing Vadivelu inbetween storyline.
The end of the story is a certain guess for those who have seen a bit of Hollywood movies, the book writer should dedicate, i was damn sure about that.
Syama, i expected a lot more, obviously my fault......
Syama Prasad told what he wanted to tell, we people heard there is no point in questioning the author.
But Syama, i spent 50 bugs to hear the story.

PS: If u ask me about the movie, I liked it much. But if Syama Prasad asks I would answer the other way.

Aug 04 2009

4.8.09
Alarm is of no use, i proved it again!! mom came from downstairs switched off alarm and called me. While walking to bus stop saw a boy running with his school bag as thogh he is going to miss his bus, if the time was 1 year back i would have stopped him and advice him not to worry about times. Somehow i dont have the "rights: to advice him right now, i ve also become a "regular" guy sticking to some time shedules. "Regular" doest but mean perfect solid state, may be its somewhere near liquid, anyway my old gaseous state(no time) is no more.

Days are great. I reach office after browsing through hundreds of young charming girls while in my 30 min journey. There starts the great job of switching on my good old brain, kept untouched for long period the crap acts weird always while starting. So it takes a while to make it run right. Once i feel i am on the rails running smooth i move on to the next job- what should i do now? I will check my recently opened document to chk wht i was doing last day. If i finds somethingin that well and good its time to furnish the half done design file, probably till i leave at evening. But if recent documents proves no good i will browse through the innumerable folder i created in my just 1 and half months works to find what i did last day, probably ill end up finding some work by myself this way. But if there is none ill have to change on to my last option, i turn over to my boss and ask him what should i actually do now?

He will be having no confusions straigh away gives off the answer and both of us happily goes deep into our works. The feeling of going deep into a work, sometimes forgetting the outside world is really enjoyable, obviously we can enjoy it only after you get out of that state and look back.

Yet another thing is the satisfaction after u gets impressed by your own works. "Did i actually do this thing myself?" I would sometimes ask after designing stuff. There is the other side also that is when you feel your work is not up to the mark, then you feel frustrated not because the work is bad but because you wasted lot of time to do that crap-this situation occur more than the other :)

Evenings are the time to decide whether to go to thattumpuram or g directly to home. Probably ill leave home as ill be tired by evening or else ill call someone to come and pick me up. Daily 5:30 to 6 is my time to leave, but i usually grab the 7'o clock bus after i found someone daily boarding the same bus, shez certainly older than me but still... :P

Once i reach home ill be doing more designs or drawing some pencil sketches. Watching movies are rare but i do find time for that too....

Waiting for tomorrow...

PS: My hair has grown beyond the limits, Now im like some Cave man

October Sky 1999

It was hard to find time to watch this movie as im getting busy with my tight shedules for some days. But after watching this film i felt really refreshed a real great movie, a movie which cannot be seen but only be felt.. wonderful...