Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The new Facebook? Not exactly - Microsoft's social network So.Cl gets a mixed reception

Microsoft has launched a test version of its own ‘social search engine’ which could take on Facebook and Google+ 
The computing giant hopes the community, which it claims ‘is an experiment in open search’ can help it move into the lucrative social network space.
The service lets people share search results with other users, and has a ‘video party’ mode similar to Google+’s hangout feature.
Microsoft's new social network is billed as an 'experiment in social search'
Microsoft's new social network is billed as an 'experiment in social search'
Members can also create ‘collages of content’ using the firm's Bing search engine technology and external links which they can then share with others, in a feature similar to Pinterest.
Microsoft has been testing the service privately with students and researchers at a small number of universities, but today opened the doors to all.
‘The fact that is targeted at students echoes Facebook's beginnings and has made many assume it is a Facebook clone,’ said Eden Zoller, principal analyst at technology consultants Ovum.
‘But is, as Microsoft stresses, an experiment designed to be a layer on existing social networks.
‘Microsoft is being sensible in positioning in this way - the opposite approach of Google, which entered social networking all guns blazing with a full on service, and is having modest success.’
Experts say Microsoft faces a tough battle.
‘ isn't for everyone and convincing users to fit this site into an already busy online life with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn will be a tough sell for Microsoft,’ wrote Ian Paul of PC World.
‘ is a curious take on social networking and is definitely not for everyone. I'd say if you're life is already filled with tweets, Facebook likes, and LinkedIn status updates, you can safely skip without missing much.’
‘ is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people,’
said a Microsoft spokesperson.
‘We’ve been really busy over the weekend,’ said Lili Cheng, general manager of FUSE Labs, which created the site, calling it ‘great to see how much interest there is.’
It is also believed the service is designed to make Microsoft’s Bing search engine more popular.
A study by Comscore suggested that Microsoft had a 15.4% share of the US search market in April compared with Google's 66.5% lead. Earlier surveys have suggested the gap is even wider in the UK and parts of Europe.

Microsoft launches, a social networking website

Microsoft has silently though officially launched their new social networking website called (Social) which has been devised by its FUSE Labs. This new social networking site (like others) will allow users to share images, links and posts. However it integrates all of these feeds onto one visually appealing profile page.

Microsoft says that it combines social networking and search, to help its users find and share interesting web pages. Additionally it also provides rich media sharing and real-time video sharing. is something you might get by combining Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It is a place where you can share videos, pictures, links and other updates together in one single post.  It also allows users to view a video with their friends and followers by using a feature called Video Party. also includes Facebook authentication, which means all Facebook users can easily access the new social network using their Facebook details and can choose to allows to post automatic updates on their Facebook stream.

Microsoft has also introduced a new button which goes along with and helps user to share all the interesting content from the web. This works similar to the Facebook Share or Google’s +1 button. will use search data from Bing’s public API.

The company has mentioned that their plan is to create and develop an experimental research project using minimal set of features for the purpose of learning.

Users can now request their invites simply from It looks like a decent and appealing social network, but do we really need it?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

How to Speed up Your Site

When we’re talking about site speed the aesthetics boils down to the page load and its capability to withstand sudden traffic spike from incoming linking from highly trafficked sites such reddit or your post get sourced to a post of Engadget. The page load is even more crucial as mighty Google is using site speed as a signal in its search algorithm even Yahoo! and a small deviation on a normal 3-second rule can kill your conversion rate. In the process, slow-loading page can turn away visitors or even they could never come back again. So here are five effective ways to tune your site’s speed making your visitors and search-engine robot happy in the process.

If you’re running WordPress it’s good to know that there are handy cache-plugins that will keep your site up when it got hit by enormous seasonal traffic. We recommend WP Super Cache for beginner as it’s less complicated and technical, then the other one that helps me bring‘s page load to 1.23-second –the highly integrated W3 Total Cache where it also feature Minify for HTML, CSS and JS. You can go and tweak each plugins settings to suit your needs. I’ve tried usingPingdom tools to benchmark the pageload and I got great improvements afterwards.

A CDN can run laps around your server, speeding your media content to your visitors. You can check out Amazon or CacheFly content delivery network as significant options. Some CDN use cloud technology to bring your resources close to your visitors’ geo-region.

Most Popular plugins
Plugins can make or break site’s speed, I remember one on that brought the site’s speed to insane 24-secondpage load and after my investigation the cause was only a single plugin. It’s better if you do research before adding a new toolbar, social widget or WP plugins. Look whether it’s highly used or recommended by other webmaster through its ratings and download count.

I know if you’re a webmaster for quite sometime now, you’ve already read these 35 great tips for ensuring high availability under all traffic circumstances.

Try Cloudflare which uses the cloud to do a bunch of optimization that improves the performance of your site and protection. Your site’s is entitled with speed enhancements of a CDN, code optimization for reduced server load and latency, and security protection that squashes spam and protects you against malicious attacks.

Pinterest + Instagram = Pinstagram

If you can beat them, ‘join’ them! It seems Pek Pongpaet and Brandon Leonardo has take this literally as the two have officially launched a website that mash up a two popular and fastest-growing websites in the world.
The catchy title equates to an official photo viewing website called Pinstragram. The site uses the famous waterfall layout of Pinterest to create a platform for viewing your Instagram photos on the web.
“Pongpaet and Leonardo say the idea for the project was actually kind of a joke that only came to them last Friday. Over lunch the pair, who are also co-founders of the startup, said they were joking about the famous “X for Y” pitches that often happen when companies are pitching venture capital firms. Take Spotwag, for example, which could be called an “AirBnB for dogs,” as reported by Wired.
At the moment, there are plenty of other apps that will let you view Instagram photos on the web, however Pinstagram seemed to have inherited the popularity of the two known services, already luring thousands of visitors for short period of time.
Watch out as it conquers the known platform, such Android and iOS with devices such iPhone and iPad which sure to be a catalyst of growth for Pinstagram. The iPad app is in the works, teaming up with Aditya Herlambang, an iOS developer

Top 10 Most Anticipated Gadgets of 2012

It’s that time of the year again, and we’re not talking about Christmas here. It is that time where the beginning of the new year means a whole new slew of gadgets to look forward to. Now, as far as 2011 is concerned, many were thrilled upon the news of the iPad 2 and many were also disappointed with the iPhone 4S not being the iPhone 5. For the other end of the spectrum, we got a slew of Android devices like the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note, as well as the release of Ice Cream Sandwich to end the year. 2011 also saw the tie-up of Microsoft and Nokia to hopefully bring in new gadgets, as well as bring Nokia some hard-needed revenue. With all of these said, what could we expect in 2012, the year when the world’s supposed to end?
iPhone 5
Despite the iPhone 4S being a great device overall, the lack of physical changes, as well as the simple addition of “S” to the predecessor’s moniker made people skip this release. It is in this vein that many are really anticipating and eagerly waiting for an “actual” new iPhone. Speculations like the aluminum backing and a bigger 4 inch screen is making many excited. Will Apple actually make this wishful thinking a reality?
iPad 3
The iPad was a sure game-changer when it came out a couple of years ago. Then it just got a lot better when the iPad 2 got released during the first half of 2011. So how will they improve on this tried and tested device/concept with its third iteration? Add to that the fact that we lost Steve Jobs late in 2011, will there be chances that the iPad will go on a different route under a different direction? Well, everyone’s hoping for a quad-core processor to power this thing, making it the next best mobile gaming device. Again, another wishful thinking for the Apple fans?
Samsung Galaxy SIII
Ok, don’t get us wrong on this, but while the Galaxy Nexus is a nice phone in itself, it doesn’t have the vibe that the Galaxy S, or the SII had when they were released. Given that Samsung really got a lot with the SII, selling around 10 million copies of the phone, many are left to predict that they’ll continue the winning formula with the third installment of the Galaxy S series of phones – hopefully to catch up with Apple and it’s flagship device.
Xbox 720?
It’s been a while since the latest generation of gaming consoles were released and we believe that they’re nearing the end of their cycles. With that said, the loudest of all these rumored next-generation consoles is Microsoft’s Xbox 720. It’s a no brainer how they came up with that name but here’s the rumored specs for the console. It is said to have an 8-core processor, supports 3D, multiTV, live TV and webcam functionality (i.e. a built-in Kinect?). In any case, Microsoft is rumored to release the 360′s successor in 2012.
Nintendo Wii U
Being at a technological disadvantage against the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 didn’t stop the Wii from being a household name in gaming and entertainment overall. It’s focus on interactivity even forced the competition to release products similar to the Wii’s concept. So how will Nintendo up their game? Simple, just add a “U” to the Wii. Yeah, that name still makes us do weird reactions, but Nintendo is betting that the Wii U will once again dominate the gaming scene with the addition of a new controller with a built-in 6-inch touch screen among the other improvements they’ve placed in it. Nintendo is set to release the Wii U in March 2012 and until then, we can only speculate of how it will fare.
PlayStation Vita
Trying to forget the gadget that was the PSP Go, Sony is eyeing on the success that the PlayStation Vita will bring as much as the original had which sold almost 90 million units in its entirety. And this is one small beast never to be underestimated with its quad-core processor a front touch screen and a rear touch pad, two analog sticks and the socially-integrated UI that still is a lot of getting used to. And while the PSP Vita recently got a Japanese release in mid-December, those in the western hemisphere would have to wait until February to get their hands on this gaming device.
Quad-Core Mobile Phones/Tablets
With Nvidia introducing their Tegra 3 quad-core processor, gone are the days where desktops and high-end laptops were the only ones to get the quad-core treatment. ASUS immediately jumped on the gun with their Transformer Prime (despite being sued for the name) and placed the Tegra 3 chipset to power this device. This proved to be a great choice as the Transformer Prime was indeed a very fast tablet and this sets the precedence for more quad-core devices to come out of the market, hopefully in 2012. So yeah, mobile computing will really be a notch higher with these kinds of devices coming.
MacBook Pro + Retina Display
There’s no denying that any Apple device that has Retina Display in it gives out the most beautiful of screen visuals. And people are actually wishing that devices other than the iPhone be equipped with the same screen. Specifically, they wanted their MacBook Pros to have a resolution on par with the Retina Display or something at a resolution of 2880 x 1800. Now recent rumors were pointing to this feature and people are hoping that they’ll be gettng this one in 2012. But again, keep your grains of salt handy.
You’re probably wondering, "What the heck are UltraBooks?" Well, take the concept of NetBooks and make them thinner yet powerful. Not much is known of how portable or how powerful these UltraBooks may be, but the leading manufacturers (i.e. ASUS, Acer, Samsung) are further making their devices thinner and at the same time, with the dawn of the more powerful mobile devices, it is possible to have these cheaper laptops on higher-end specifications.
Apple HD-TV
The list makes a full circle with another possible offering from Apple. This time, it is the expected release of their Apple HD-TV. Yep, it’s not just that small box that you’ve known Apple TV to be. This is an actual TV set, ranging from 15 to 19 inches that is bundled with iOS inside. Add to that, you can actually play games, run apps and integrate social networking sites as much as you do with your iPhone or iPad. So yeah, even in TV sets, Samsung and Apple are destined to be rivals

Larger screen for iPhone 5 into production by next month

iPhone’s screen size has not been improved since then and as compared to the newly released phones nowadays, they boasts much larger screen. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is ordering large screens for the next iPhone which measures at least 4 inches diagonally. Also according to them, by next month production of these larger screens will be set in motion.
During these days, screen size matters so if the news from Wall Street Journal is true, Apple’s move to produce iPhones with 4-inch screen is a plus for them. Of course, aside from screen, Apple boasts its iPhone products’ quality, well that really counts a lot for consumers but consumers will be more interested on the new iPhone with larger screens.
When Apple unveiled its first iPhone last 2007, it has become a hit. It was a ground-breaking device with a novel interface running on a 3.5-inch screen. Since then, iPhones haven’t changed a lot. As compared to Apple, other mobile manufacturers moved up in a risky way but they have become successful as I may say because so far, they can catch up with Apple’s iPhone. On the other side, iPhone was improving just little by little in the past few years since it existed mainly because Apple is keeping its focus on their tried and tested strategy.
Apple’s iPhone is still dominant in the market just like few years back and they can sell it at the same price. Consumers still wants to own an iPhone even if there are lots of newly introduced mobile phones in the market. But consumers cannot deny the fact that iPhone is starting to show its age. We can say that Android phones also have its winning piece in the mobile world because of its new look, larger screens and newer features and this is how they get the attention of many of the consumers.
As per the rumor circulating over the internet, the new and upcoming iPhone will have a 4-inch screen. There are speculations that this is not true but someone has commented on The Verge and explained how it could be done. But in case it would be done correctly by Apple, it will be an amazing feature of iPhone.
With all these rumors about the features of the new iPhone, we cannot deny that the release of iPhone 4S still got the market and sold like blockbuster. When it comes to profit and making money, they can still count on the current features of the iPhone 4S. But on the other hand, it seems that iPhone 4 has become one of the commonly seen mobile phones in the market. Other mobile phones was able to catch up with it and its like they are all leveled together.
Apple will introduce the next generation of iPhone later this year, no one knows exactly how it will look like. It may have a larger screen and it may not. But for sure, it will still have and maintain the quality that Apple is keeping on its top of the line products.

Top Tips To Unblock Torrent Sites In India

Amidst all the hue and cry originating out of the ISPs blocking access to various torrent and video-sharing websites, EFYTimes lists down a few ways you can use to unblock such sites.  
  A top Hollywood thriller that you managed to get a first look of on YouTube did not make it to the Indian theatres. Aggravating a craving to die for, it's been almost six months since its global release and a true HD copy of the movie is all over the Internet. You rush to your laptop and access a top torrent site to get your hands on to the over 1 GB HD movie and suddenly a roadblock ends the fun. 

“Access to this site has been blocked as per Court Orders.” People who are addicted to file downloads must now be familiar with this message that blocks them from accessing the top torrents and a few video sharing websites. Following a Madras High Court order, ISPs such as Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tikona and others have blocked access to some of the top torrents and video sharing sites. Among the ones, you might have difficulty accessing include ThePirateBay, BitSnoop,, Isohunt, Vimeo, DailyMotion and several others. 

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The hue and cry among Indian netizens is spreading like a wildfire. Retaliating on the situation, the Indian arm of hacking group Anonymous has in fact taken down websites of the Congress Party, Supreme Court, BJP and other top Indian websites of national importance. But to the eager downloader's community, this does not come as a solution to them. Amidst the blockage, there are several ways that can give you access to your favourite websites. EFYTimes lists down a few of them: 

1. The first and easiest way to get access to blocked sites is to use the MAFIAAFire Redirector plug-in. Once installed, the user simply needs to enter the URL of the blocked domain and the plug-in redirects to its mirror site. All this happens within milliseconds. The plug-in currently supports Firefox and Chrome only.

2. You can also change the DNS provided by your ISP to Open DNS or Google DNS. Switching to one of these can surely help you bypass the block.

3. A free VPN can also come to your rescue. All you need to do is download and install a free VPN client. After this, all the URL requests of the blocked websites can be easily bypassed through it. Among several others, providers such as freevpn, supervpn and vpnreactor give you such free service. 

4. A proxy can also be of some good use for unblocking websites. There is a wide plethora of free fresh proxies available all over the Internet that can be of some good use to access blocked websites.

Among all these ways, you might find success in downloading torrents from blocked website but it does not come with the surety of good speeds as your network traffic will be redirected. Also, you must keep in mind that downloading copyrighted material without the proper retail channel is illegal. So, we encourage using the afore-mentioned means only for content that is free from copyright. Till then, happy surfing! 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Remove your social media from Google search

About to interview for a new job or just tired of your every thought landing in Google search results? Here's how to stop that from happening in the future.

Many social media sites offer options to help protect your privacy on the Web. You can make your profile private, which won't allow anyone you haven't approved to see your information, or you can remove your name from the account and use a different nickname that only friends would look for.
However, these changes will only affect your content moving forward, not the stuff you've posted in the past. So if you're just seeking a quick fix to get your personal thoughts and pictures of past and present out of the results, this is how you can do that.
First you'll need to copy the URL for your profile. Using my Twitter profile as an example, the link would look like this: Once you have the link you'll need open Google's Content Removal page -- you may need to log in to Google services again when you get there. Click the Create new removal request button and paste the link. On the next page that loads, you'll be able to remove cached content associated with the page you're having removed. In order for Google to allow this, you'll need to provide a piece of information that appears on the cached version but not the live version.
After submitting the cached information (if necessary), you will see the status page load again detailing your request along with the date. You can also cancel the request if you've changed your mind.
There's no set time on how quickly the information will be removed, so if you need your information hidden from results because you're interviewing for a new job soon, submit your request as soon as possible. Also, Google notes that not all links will be removed from search (detailed here), so you may just want to be mindful of the thoughts and pictures you share on the Web if they will impact you negatively elsewhere

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Why Your Business Needs A Web Site

The first and foremost answer is: To establish a presence. Close to 500 million people world-wide have access to the World Wide Web. No matter what your business is you can't ignore 500 million people. Even if you just conduct business within your community, you want to let people in that community know that you are interested in serving them in any way possible. If you don't, your competitors will.

The next good reason to put your business on the web is: to network. A lot of what passes for business is nothing more than making connections with other people. Every smart business-person knows; it's not what you know, it's who you know. Passing out your business card is part of every good meeting and every business-person can tell more than one story how a chance meeting turned into a big deal. What if you could pass out your business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients? You can do this 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply, on the internet.
You can also make business information available to everyone who wants it without any additional effort. You can give them answers to questions like: What are your hours? What do you do? How can someone contact you? Where are you located? What are today's specials? If you could keep your customers informed of every reason why they should do business with you, don't you think you could do more business? You can on the internet.
There are even restaurants in some areas taking lunch orders over the internet. In this short space we have just lightly touched on the number of reasons to put your business on the web. The following are some more good reasons for getting your web site today.
  • To serve your customers!
  • To heighten public interest
  • To release Time Sensitive Material
  • To sell things!
  • To reach a highly desirable demographic market
  • To answer frequently asked questions
  • To stay in contact with sales people
  • To open international markets
  • To create 24 hour customer service
  • To allow feedback from customers
  • To reach the media
  • To reach the education and youth market
  • To reach any specialized market!
Many companies are placing their entire catalog of products on-line, and some have built elaborate database driven web applications that help web surfers buy their products and services and pay for them online. SOLOEnterprises can setup an ecommerce site for you, and your customers can pay by check or credit card. We make the whole process of getting your business on the web simple and easy!

Do engineers need more education to advance?

When considering the value of credentials, the best place to start is with your mid-term career goals. Are you looking to move up the ladder at your company? Join a consulting engineering firm? Or make a shift to another area like marketing or finance?
If you are thinking about more credentials, you’ll enjoy this funny video about a mid-career engineer with the same issue.
If you are interested in a career in the financial markets, the combination of your engineering background paired with a finance-based MBA can be very powerful. Not only would an MBA give you new skills, good graduate business schools have a strong employment team that can help you get the job you want. It all comes with a hefty fee, of course, so you better be really, really sure before you pull the trigger.
A similar argument holds true for a change to a marketing role. However, if you are considering a technical sales role, I would argue that those skills aren’t taught in school. Your best course of action would be to find a good mentoring sales manager and just jump in.
If you want to move toward partnership status in a consulting engineering firm, having your PE is typically a must. If you aren’t in a consulting engineering firm now, but you would like to be, the good news is that they are hiring. You won’t need to be a PE to get in the door, so you can likely defer that decision until after you decide whether the consulting life is for you.
If your goal is to move up within your current employer, then maybe a Master in Engineering would make sense. Your first questions to ask should be "Does your company reward technical skills?" and "Are they willing to split the cost with you?" Or are you looking to move to another company? In those cases, having a Masters can be helpful.

Is it Time to Leave Your Engineering Job?

Are you getting clues that it’s time to leave your engineering job? Inertia is a powerful force, and that comfort may be holding you where you are. But if you are seeing some of these clues in your workplace, maybe it’s time to make a move:
1. Does your firm value its employees? While they probably won’t go so far as to put your chair on allocation like you see in this humorous video, the Company may prioritize short-term sales over longer term team-building.
2. Another clue that it’s time to leave your engineering job is if you just don’t get along with your manager. While some companies offer the opportunity to move between teams and avoid managers with whom you conflict, that isn’t always possible. And if your manager is comfortable in their job and they aren’t going anywhere, maybe you should.
3. Sometimes it’s a business problem. If you are working for a company that has declining market share, or whose business fortunes are tied to some form of engineering that’s going out of date, then maybe you need to move to get into the right industry. Green engineering jobs, for example, are hard to fill in many parts of the world. And there has been a resurgence in infrastructure work for the past few years. Your career can advance quickly if you can get hired into a company that is working in a booming industry.
4. And sometimes your Company culture is just wrong, even if the business is good. If your company treats engineers with disdain, consider moving on. Most companies value their engineering talent highly, and keep the engineers informed of the business direction.
5. If your work is boring or beneath your abilities, you may have to quit to find more challenging work. Sometimes your manager has grown accustomed to seeing you in a certain role and doesn’t offer you an opportunity to advance. Or sometimes, the company you work for by its nature just doesn’t have interesting projects. If that’s the case, you may want to start looking.
5.5 As an engineer you may wonder whether you are getting paid fairly. And that’s a reasonable request. Compensation alone may not be enough to make you want to quit your job, but it can be an irritant. Check out online salary surveys to see whether your compensation is in the right range.

10 Sites That Every Engineer Should Know About

Here’s another post inspired by an office discussion. We were discussing our favourite engineering based websites and realised the results would make a great blog post. So after a rummage through our bookmarks and a little further debate we’ve come up with our top ten sites. We tried to keep the list balanced so you’ll find a few resource sites, a little bit of fun and one or two sites that aren’t purely engineering sites, but contain valuable knowledge for engineers. Do you have a favourite site that we haven’t included? Why not add a comment below and give your favourites a plug.


A wealth of engineering related news, videos, resources and jobs.

2. Engineering Formulas

A website packed full of formula for Fluid Mechanics, Failure Criteria, Finance and loads of things that don’t begin with F too. A great site for lovers of Greek letters and other squiggles. Other parts of the site have information on materials, units, design and maths.

3. The Engineering Toolbox

A great site, well structured into various engineering categories that lets you drill down to find the information you need. The flow of the site is a little spoiled by too many Google Ads links, but that is just a minor irritation.

4. LinkedIn

Not strictly an engineering resource, but LinkedIn is a great place to network with fellow engineers (it’s a bit like Facebook for grown-ups) and has some really useful special interest groups for sharing knowledge, meeting like-minded professionals and exchanging job opportunities.
Visit…   LinkedIn

5. GlobalSpec

Calling itself “The Engineering Search Engine”, GlobalSpec is packed full of engineering products and suppliers. Has some great email newsletters and product alert emails. You can even find Prosig on GlobalSpec.
Visit…  GlobalSpec

6. How Stuff Works

Whenever we need bit of extra background information for an office discussion this website is one of our first ports of call. Packed full of straightforward explanations
Visit…   How Stuff Works

7. Eng-Tips Forums

A fine collection of discussion forums, blogs, whitepapers and more. Covers a wide range of engineering fields.
Visit…   Eng-Tips Forum

8. Wikipedia

Again, not strictly an engineering site, but Wikipedia can’t be ignored when seeking information. Much has been made of the possible innaccuracies of Wikipedia’s articles, but genarally the scientific and engineering pages are well maintained.
Visit…   Wikipedia

9. Discover Engineering

A fantastic site for students or anyone new to engineering. Or just about anyone who enjoys quirky science projects and engineering themed games and activities. We all need a little light relief, right?
Visit…   Discover Engineering

10. Fun-Engineering

Another bit of fun to finish with. Fun-Engineering (maintained by Prof. Jim McGovern of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology) is a great little site, full of engineering gems. To my mind it is sites like this that make the WWW what it is.
Visit…   Engineering-Fun