Friday, October 21, 2011

Facebook smileys you wished to have forever

Emoticons and smileys are the key essence to online chatting and communication. It lets us express ourselves a lot better with them. Facebook till now doesn’t have a clear cut display as to the list of emoticons it supports. So for your information here is the list of emoticons that you can use right now while you chat in Facebook.

Shortcut Key
Shortcut Key
icon smile icon smile :] =)
icon razz icon razz :-p :p =p
icon biggrin icon biggrin =D
3:-) 3:)
8-| 8| 8-| B|
icon neutral ]
icon cool 8) B-) B)
:-* :*
O:) O:-)
>:( >:-(
icon wink icon wink
icon sad icon sad :[ =(
:/ :-/
o.O O.o
:-O :O
>:O >:-O

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Amazing Android App #1 - Gesture Search

Have you ever fantasized to search your contacts, applications, games, settings, and everything on your phone by just using 3-4 swings of your finger? Well, all of us have, and here is just the app which will make your fantasies come true. Look through any of the contents in our mobile to search using gesture search.

Click here to get this app. Stay tuned for the entire series of amazing android applications to empower your android mobile phone. ‘Like’ this page for more amazing android apps. Google’s mobile operating system has already taken the market by storm is sure enough to blind us from other operating systems with it’s array of open source apps and tools.

Android has evolved to such a level that even if you are not a techie, you will love its apps!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bing bleeding millions, as Google remains at top

Microsoft’s Bing search engine has been one of the most recent disasters by any giant organization. Microsoft spent millions of dollars on it’s search engine, advertising it to the fullest potential it can. It integrated Bing search into Internet Explorer, but still, Google continued to firmly stay at the top. Guess why? 

Google has become a strong brand household name, and more than that, it’s a verb now! No amount of advertising bucks can beat that. You need years of solid performance to become a verb such as Google. And to topple Google, you not only need to consistently be at your supreme best, but also need to make immense sacrifices which Bing is making right now by bleeding millions. As of now, Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since its 2009 inception.

It is already yet another failed experiment by Microsoft. Not that Google had been successful though in all their attempts (remember Buzz?). But such a loss in a massive scale as Microsoft is having currently is unheard of in recent times. But it’s always nice to see competition around, it gave Google a kickstart to revamp their own interfaces and designs. We Googlers love it now, don’t we!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Importance of Communication Skills in the global upfront

This is a guest post by Ashish Nandwani.

The need of effective and potent communication is becoming more and more cardinal in today's global arena, No doubt the companies spend a lot of  money on training individuals to make them presentable for cross cultural communication. Intercultural or cross-cultural communication substantially considers how to greet , manage and work together.  However  as sometimes wrongly perceived ,communication is  not only verbal but full of other factors like tone , body-language , gestures  and what not. One may say something but may not mean it so it's important to write and say what you believe in. As someone has rightly said ' Read is to write where listen is to speak' , Good writing skills can come with a lot of reading while one has to be a good listener in order to speak well. No one ever wants to come out of his / her comfort zone but' instinct also comes with experience ' as they say ( so better keep learning)

I remember attending a seminar on 'Requirement Analysis' and that embarked upon communication bridging different cultures. We were told that training was specifically given to say 'No' to employees working with foreign clients because we as Indians sometimes are inclined to reply in the affirmative even when the requirements can't be fulfilled.We were also told a humorous situation in which the foreign client nodded his head when he meant something else.. Thumbs up is considered vulgar in Argentina where as in French it says to be Okay. Non verbal communication comprises maximum of exchange of ideas between persons . As studies show , one is more likely to believe what he/she watches rather than what he/she listens. Learning such subtle responses and tones help you to earn respect even if you are not able to converse in the verbal form(Local language).

Good interpersonal skills , innovation will always lead to a better economy , better business for a company. Collocation , strategic decisions , responsibility are all complimentary to neat communication.One must be aware of the budding errors which occur in communication , One might say something but it may mean something else. Good orators enhance their skills using the right attitude , tone , respect and panache.Global communication requires sensitivity , subtlety and appreciation for one's culture. You should be clear and easy to understand , Many of my friends have an inherent feeling to speak quick and mean nothing.(In English). In every circular of job openings , must have good communication skills is something which is always present.Today's competitiveness in global upfront ensures that employers value communication skills more than the technical aspects ,The dexterity to mix with other people , the notion of being gregarious ,  the organization and the management of words at the right time gives an edge. I must confess , I hate articles and people who smell of bad grammar. If you are not sure , better don't try to be fancy but never make a mockery of the language. I have personally seen some of my friends fall down dramatically in a telephonic or face to face interviews only because they meant something but their words meant something else.

With the boom and advent of Internet , communication structure has taken a new turn , there is a different process altogether now for advertising and showing your presence. This demands apt use of words , images at the right place. Web is notching as something very powerful and you don't have a second chance to 'How you want to make your presence felt'. it can lead to reduction in costs , quality content , lot of traffic and thus a rise for the business. The more people a business can jump onto , better the sales , better the revenue. It's possible to get a pool of talent regardless of the geographical distances only because of better understanding , better knowledge , better attitude  in a way leading to better communication.Also known as 'cross cultural or interpersonal communication , Communication has the potential to make a significant contribution to an individual and an organization.

This post was written by Ashish Nandwani of Exuberance.

If you'd like to guest post for Insight Crunch, check out the Write for Insight Crunch for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Engineering years - The ideal approach

This post was written by Ashish Nandwani of Exuberance.

This article is all about how to approach your engineering years henceforth my own experience. I was not able to get into a very good college , I would have thought . I found it very difficult to adjust and adapt to this new environment of college. Not to forget , The teachers were not even close to the one's I would have imagined (After I was able to meet some really good teachers while preparing for IIT's). First two years of college , I never thought I would ever become an engineer in some sense or credibility. Information Technology is Of-Course not only about programming , I knew I was definitely missing something , We always tended to waste most of the 'Lab periods'(Of 3 hours) , Making programmes always took less than 20 minutes.

Then came a transition , I was introduced to Java and I fell in love with it. I started reading e-books and blogs , followed some really good people on Twitter and was just entering into a whole new world of WEB. I must confess , I never liked reading text-books more often than not and would you-tube every time i came across something new in the class. I started enjoying this interaction. I must advice everyone in this phase to watch videos and study from if you are not able to understand or digest anything.

My juniors always ask me , 'Which language to do in the first training period and which in the second? ' I always reply them do anything but with full utilization of the WEB. I got interested in Java but someone else may develop a passion of Networking , Database ,Linux.And once you get into it , Don't move out , Learn , Invent , Innovate and enjoy.Live with it and get into it's core. There is no limit , Nothing. You may not always invent but you always learn when you try. Once you know one language , you will almost know everyone. For example if you have started with JAVA SE(standard edition) then you must go for JAVA EE (Enterprise edition) later on , No point in starting with .NET and then going to learn JAVA from a scratch or something like that.

Obviously you need to test all of your skills and the best way to do it is to participate in The Great Mind Challenge(TGMC) organized by IBM every year.( This is something ,I will be proud of whole my life. You will never find a better competition than this.TGMC has been a great initiative taken by IBM to inculcate professionalism among students , Not just the technical aspect , Making an industry standard project can take you and your mind to a level! You will be only allowed to use IBM tools and thus it would remove each and every ignorance of yours regarding WEB. We did learn WEBSPHERE(An application Server) administration and Struts Framework , My friend used to make beautiful aesthetic designs and we both used to make the database which is the foremost requirement engineering step in making a project. For database you will have to use DB2. There are E-mentors you can hire for free (From IBM) to help tou start from a scratch and a DVD which includes all of their tools will also be sent to you on your request , You can also download them.We did feature in top 10 state teams of India, something I am very happy for. Not because of the destination but because of the journey.

One's interested in Web designing must join and read their book ' The principles of beautiful web design' for a start.(Everything should give that book a try).The book for Keithy Sierra for Java is the best I could find , I found it very humorous as well so that helps. Just don't believe in everything ot anything , If you are not able to digest it ,Help yourself with a quote , 'Either you know a thing or you know how to type google'. so Fetch that.

You will learn about the three layers of WEB and keeping them demarcated. HTML is only for content(not for designing , sometimes we tend to use <br> tag ) , Css is what you need to learn for designing and Javascript (for dynamic behavior). You should try Html 5.0 and Css 3.0 , Very vast and unbelievably awesome. We never knew a thing earlier but now we can get into any conversation regarding IT so it's the journey and the path you take.

Lastly I would also advise you to be as social as you can be . It will help you in one way or the other , Interact and gather. Never forget to give everything back to the society once you have learnt it , That's what i feel as my duty.


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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs - 10 things you did not know

Steve Jobs was an incredible genius and is one of my favorite icons in the technology world. It is his vision of innovation that has made Apple standout amongst the crowd which includes biggies like Google and Microsoft. As a tribute to his death yesterday, I would like to share 10 unusual things we never knew about Steve Jobs.

1) Nature versus Nurture. His sister is Mona Simpson but he didn’t know it until he was an adult. Her first novel, Anywhere but Here, was about her relationship with her parents. Which, ironically, was Steve Jobs parents. But since Steve Jobs was adopted (see below) they didn’t know they were brother-sister until the 90s when he tracked her down. It’s proof (to an extent) of the nature versus nurture argument. Two kids, without knowing they were brother and sister, both having a unique sensibility of life on this planet to become among the best artists in the world in completely different endeavors.

2) His father’s name is Abdulfattah Jandali. If you had to ask me what Steve Job’s father’s name was I never in one zillion years would’ve guessed that and that Steve Jobs biologically was half Syrian Muslim. For some reason I thought he was Jewish. His parents were two graduate students who I guess weren’t sure if they were ready for a kid so put him up for adoption and then a few years later had another kid (see above). So I didn’t know he was adopted. The one requirement his biological parents had was that he be adopted by two college educated people. But the couple that adopted him lied at first and turned out not to be college educated (the mom was not a high school graduate) so the deal almost fell through until they promised to send Steve to college. A promise they couldn’t keep (see below). So despite many layers of lies and promises broken, it all worked out in the end. People can save a lot of hassle by not having such high expectations and overly ambitious worries in the first place.

3) He made the game  “Breakout”. If there was one thing people loved almost as much as the games on the Apple II+ it was playing Breakout on the first-generation Atari (I can’t remember, was that the Atari 2600?) And then breakout on every version of the Blackberry since 2000. If he had never done anything else in life and I had met him and he said, “I’m the guy who made Breakout”, I would’ve said, “you are the greatest genius of the past 100 years.” Funny how things turn out. He went on from Atari to form Apple. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, went to form the greatest restaurant chain in the history of mankind: Chuck E. Cheese.

4) He denied paternity on his first child, claiming he was sterile. The other had to initially raise the kid using welfare checks. I have no judgment on this at all. Raising kids is hard. And when you have a kid you feel like this enormous energy and creativity you have for the world is going to get misdirected into a … little baby (Jobs’ parents must’ve felt that way as well. Like father, like son). But people change, mature, grow up. Eventually Jobs became a good father. And that’s what counts in the end. Much worse if it was the reverse. I didn’t know this either: that the Lisa computer (the “Apple III”) was named after this first child.

5) He’s a pescetarian. In other words, he eats fish but no other meat. And he eats anything else a vegetarian eats (including eggs and dairy). Turns out if you compare pescetarians with regular meat-eaters they have a 34% less chance of dying of heart disease. And if you compare vegetarians with meat eaters, they only have a 20% less chance of dying of heart disease. I think from now on I’m going to be a pescetarian, just because Steve Jobs is one. Except when I’m in Argentina. In Argentina you have to eat steak. Ted Danson and Mary Tyler Moore consider themselves pescetarians. Somehow, even the world “pescetarian” seems like it was invented in California.

6) He doesn’t give any money to charity. And when he became Apple’s CEO he stopped all of their philanthropic programs. He said, “wait until we are profitable”. Now they are profitable, and sitting on $40bb cash, and still not corporate philanthropy. I actually think Jobs is probably the most charitable guy on the planet. Rather than focus on which mosquitoes to kill in Africa (Bill Gates is already focusing on that), Jobs has put his energy into massively improving quality of life with all of his inventions. People think that entrepreneurs have to some day “give back”. This is not true. They already gave at the office. Look at the entire ipod/Mac/iphone/Disney ecosystem and ask how many lives have benefited directly (because they’ve been hired) or indirectly (because they use the products to improve their quality of life). As far as I know, Jobs has never even commented about his thoughts on charity. Good for him. As one CEO of a (currently) Fortune 10 company once told me when I had my hand out for a charitable website,  “Screw charity!”

7) He lied to Steve Wozniak. When they made Breakout for Atari, Wozniak and Jobs were going to split the pay 50-50. Atari gave Jobs $5000 to do the job. He told Wozniak he got $700 so Wozniak took home $350. Again, no judgment. Young people do things. Show me someone who says he’s been honest from the day he was born and I’ll show you a liar. Its by making mistakes, having fights, finding out where your real boundaries in life are, that allow you to truly know where the boundaries are.

8) He’s a Zen Buddhist. He even thought about joining a monastery and becoming a monk. His guru, a Zen monk, married him and his wife. Trying to quiet the mind to deal with the onrush of non-stop pain that was trying to invade there. The interesting thing about Jobs being a a Zen Buddhist is that most people would think that serious Buddhism and being one of the wealthiest people in the world come into conflict with each other. Isn’t Buddhism about non-attachment? Didn’t Buddha himself leave his riches and family behind?

But the answer is “no." Its normal to pursue passions and outcomes, but just not to become overly attached to those outcomes. Being happy regardless of the outcome. A great story is the Zen master and his student walking by a river. A prostitute was there and needed to be carried over the river. The Zen master picked her up and carried her across the river and then put her down. Then the master and student kept walking. A few hours later the student was so agitated he finally had to ask, “Master, how could you touch and help that prostitute! That’s against what we believe in!” And the Master said, “I left her by the river. Why are you still carrying her?”

9) He didn’t go to college. I actually didn’t know this initially. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are the famous college graduates that I knew about. But apparently Steve Jobs went to Reed College for one semester and then dropped out.   guess you don’t need college to program computers, make computers, build businesses, make movies, manage people, etc.

10) Psychedelics. Steve Jobs used LSD at least once when he was younger. In fact, he said about the experience, it was “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”  Apple’s slogan for many years was “Think Different”. Maybe using a drug which tore him from the normal frame of reference taught him how to look at problems from such a unique perspective. I don’t think LSD is for everyone, but when you combine it with the innate genius the man had, plus the many ups and downs that he experienced, plus the Zen Buddhism and all of the other things above, its quite possible it all adds up to the many inventions he’s been able to produce.

Steve Jobs’ story is filled with nuance and ambiguity. People study Steve Jobs by looking at his straightforward business successes. Yes, he started Apple in a garage. Yes, he started Pixar and almost went broke with it. Yes, he started and sold Next and he was fired as CEO of Apple, and blah blah blah. But none of that will ever explain the man behind the genius. None of that will explain all the products he invented that we use today. None of that will tell us about the ipad, Toy Story, the Mac Air, the Apple II+, etc. A man’s successes can be truly understood only if we can count his tears. And unfortunately in the case of Steve Jobs, that is one task that’s impossible.