e-mail eats Internet time, says Stanford

Recently Stanford University had conducted a survey on Internet and its usage patterns. It has revealed that around 90% of people use Internet for emailing primarily, followed by general information, and surfing. The survey finds that still E-mail rules the internet. It says the Internet today is a giant public library with a decidedly commercial tilt and the current Internet is also emerging as an entertainment utility.
The survery has been even more wider, exploring the number of activities people do online, demographic tilts, the way internet has changed people etc. It has found that on an average, people do around 7.2 activities online. And also has found that internet is addictive, people tend to spend more time on it, as they go on using it.
The most important effects of internet being, people lose social contacts, spend less time with traditional media, love to work more in office and even home and do less shopping. The survey was conducted over 4000 respondents to select among a list of 17 common internet activities.
The full report is available here.

Google My Maps!! Simple mashups for everyone.

The Google maps service lately has introduced a new feature, the new My maps mashups lets you create your own version of My maps, where you can tag your favourite cafeteria, restaurant, hang outs and add your own descriptions, picture icons and labels to them. That too with a few drag and drops and cut-pastes. It is so simple that any person, with no coding experience can create his own mashups in less than an hour. The maps can be kept private, when it is not indexed and you can share the map URL, for others to see. Or, made public when, it is indexed in the Google Maps index, and anyone can search for it, though, it would take weeks for the webcrawler to find it.
You can add markers onto the maps and label them with descriptions. To make it even more interesting, there are a quite a few marker styles available to choose from, starting from the default teardrop icon, to icons of restaurants, apartments etc. That is not all, you can simply scribble all over the map, create outlines, shade areas etc. You can also tag each location with custom pictures or even videos from youtube.
There are other similar services aimed at laymen mashups, Platial, popular as "The Peoples' Atlas," and Microsoft's Live Search Maps Collection Hub. But both does not match Google my maps ease of use and immense search indexing.
And for more technically sound people there is a version of the same, which uses data from Google Spreadsheet, this needs a bit more programming skill and also they are not indexed.

Apple all set to release torrent client : iPirate

Well, the name might look a little bit out of the box, but the features of it are going to be awesome. The whole thing is still in alpha testing phase, but I managed to get a screen shot of it from the internet. The Mac OSX exclusive bit torrent client would include built-in private tracker search, Pirate Bay and Mininova RSS feeds, bandwidth limiting, automatic RIAA and MPAA detection to ensure your torrent isn’t bugged (damn those public trackers!), and a beautiful aqua-based UI that won’t lag like Azureus. That is simply a lot to ask for.
This should be a part of Leapord when it would be released this year end or beginning of next year.

More Vista WoWs!

Sorry, I meant woes. Vista has been released under much hype and expectations and Microsoft had a very hefty campaign to get it to the mass, the "wow" being their advertising keyword. But, it has not been all that smooth for them with over a month and a half after Vista's release, it is still not on track.

Animated cursor? I am afraid of it.
Those who have been closely watching the Microsoft the earlier versions of Windows, this might not a new issue. Right from Windows 98 through Windows XP SP2. this issue has haunted the software giant. Buffer overflow can be caused by a simple, malfunctioning .ANI file, putting the system in a crash-restart-crash loop. This was partially fixed in Windows XP SP1, but this recurred in SP2 and now in Vista too. This is simply ordinary stuff from Microsoft.

Security engineers at McAfee's Avert Labs confirmed today - and posted the video to prove this. When the system detects a crash because of the faulted cursor, it tries to save the vital system information before restarting, one of the new features of Vista, but this causing system to keep trying to load Windows Explorer each time and fail. The only remedy being to switch the power off. Many hacker circles are already exploiting the flaw to jeopardize Vista systems.

It seems Microsoft is not ready to take the embarassment, they announced last week that they would release the patch sooner, than the earlier announced date of April 10. "Since testing has been completed earlier than anticipated, Microsoft has released the update ahead of schedule to help protect customers", a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail. Customers can manually download the patch, or if the Automatic Update feature is turned on, it would be automatically patched.

Lately news have rolled out that the patch has been more of a thorn for many users as it is having conficts with the audio and networking drivers. Many lost all their ethernet and audio functions once they installed the patch, and regained as they removed the update and used the system restore. The funniest part is that Microsoft admitted they knew this Realtek driver issue. They had released a support article about that and later another patch for this, along with the cursor patch.

Avert Labs video
Microsoft Advisory

Lawsuit over low-end Vista
The "Vista Capable" sticker has proved to be costly for Microsoft, a Washington State woman has filed a class action action suit against Microsoft, complaining about this. Her system would not run the full version of Vista (read Ultimate) despite of her system having the sticker.

Her lawyers argue that Vista Basic lacks many features showcased in Microsoft's marketing campaign, the company has fooled the customers. This might not be a big case that would bring Microsoft to bankruptcy, but still this has scarred their reputation.

Microsft Vista campaign
The lawsuit


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Open Source is not just for software.

It seemed awkward to me when I heard it at first, but now it seems quite feasible. Opensource is making its presence felt at all walks of life. No, not because some of the Opensource software are used in many embedded systems like mobile phone and other electronic gadgets. But it has gone even more further, in the Autoshow, AutoRAI held at Amsterdam last week, an Open source car was unveiled. It was jointly developed by the Dutch Universities: Delft, Eindhoven and Enschede.
The car can take four passengers and runs in zero emission hydrogen. Anyone can contribute to the car's design and machinery as the design blueprints and technical data are available freely over internet, and the contributions would still be under Opensource.
The name of the may not be that impressive as the very news is, it is named c,mm,n (pronounced common, I am not sure why those commas are for). The c,mm,n site provides further details about the project and technical data, though most of the content is in Dutch.
c,mm,n website


Google offers TiSP, the free wireless broadband!

Google has offered so many wonderful services like, Google Romance, Google Gulp!, Google Lunar Job, Pigeon Rank, and The MentelPlex, all of those have been wonderful, overnight hits and even have had the internet jammed for a few days from release.
Now Google has come up with a better, bigger and utilitier product, Google TiSP. Once you sign up, Google will ship you with a self installation kit with which you can set up your own Wireless broadband internet for free! This kit setup guide, fiber-optic cable, spindle, wireless router and installation CD.
The broadband is to be installed on your closet and Google will make use of your sewage lines to connect to the server and provide high speed broadband. They offer it in 3 variants, The tricke, #2 and Royal Flush. The first one being the free version. Google cleared the doubt many had, announcing that this broadband kit will in no way hamper your actual working of your closet, but insisted to take technical support of a plumber to install the kit correctly.
Anyway if still have not figured it, then you deserve the kit, because you really are the right candidate for the Google's April fool pranks. Here are the links for you to sign up.

Google TiSP sign up(free)
Google Press Release