Category Archives: Google/Yahoo

My thoughts on search engine giants. I love both Google and Yahoo equally and I also hate them equally.

Changing the playback speed of Youtube videos

I generally like to watch lot of conference videos and lectures in youtube. Most of the time these videos are long (> 1 hour) and sometimes the speakers speak slowly. I wanted to see if there is a way by which I can increase the playback speed of the videos.

Luckily I stumbled upon the HTML5 experiment page of Youtube, which allow you to control the playback speed.

So, if you are interested in controlling the playback speed of youtube videos, then just go to youtube html5 experiment page and enable it. You should also be using one of the latest browsers for this feature to work. I think youtube is saving this setting per browser and not per user account.

Once you enable the experiment, there will be a small settings icon in your video player which will allow you to vary the playback speed.
Varying youtube playback speed
Hope this small tip is useful for you :)

Posted in Google/Yahoo | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Hardware hacking in Yahoo Open hackday

The annual Yahoo Open Hack day is back and this year it is going to happen on 30th and 31st of July.

This hackday is special for me, for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, I am going to see my idol Douglas Crockford in person :) He is one of the reasons why I started loving JavaScript and I am really excited about meeting him in person and to listen to his talk.

Update: Here are the photos

Me and Doug

Me and Doug

And the second reason is that, we are going to have hardware hacks during the event. Yes you read it right :) This time we are planning to have tech talks about hardware and let people do hardware hacks as well.

Regular readers of my blog would know that I hack around hardware (especially Arduino) as a hobby and you could understand my excitement.

I am also going to give a talk on Arduino and Android ADK and will be demoing some of the hacks which I have created using them.

If this hasn’t convinced you, then there is more. Yahoo is also going to sponsor 50% price for the hardware that you need for hacking. Yes, you read it right again. ;) We have arranged this offer with 9 Circuits.  Head over to the Open hackday wiki to get more details about it.

See you guys at Open Hack day next weekend.

Update:

My Slides

More information

Posted in Arduino, Events/Camps, Google/Yahoo | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Slides from my talk at HackU about YAP

This past weekend, Yahoo conducted HackU (Hackday for university) at IIT – Bombay and I was part of the Technical crew that conducted the event.

In the event, I talked about Yahoo Application Platform (YAP) and thought of sharing the slides here so that it could be useful for others as well.

For the talk, I also created two sample YAP applications. You can find their complete source code at my github page.

Update: You can also read the official blog at YDN about the event.

Posted in Events/Camps, Google/Yahoo | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

One year at Yahoo

On June 15th I completed one year at Yahoo and Bangalore.

I sat around to write about my life in the past one year and then I read about Derek’s experience.

Now, all you need to do is to replace *Sunnyvale* with *Bangalore, *Yahoo Hack Day 2008* with *Yahoo Hack Day 2009* and *Kansas City* with *Chennai* in this post and you will get my story ;)

Thanks to everyone at Yahoo for making this past one year as one of my best years and also for Derek for saving a couple of keystrokes for me. :)

Posted in Google/Yahoo, Random/Personal | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Google Wave invites available

Well, I guess now is the time for me to decide my top 20 dear friends ;)

Got around 20 Google Wave invites to share and if you want one, then send me your email address either by sending an email, or by posting a comment below or by sending a DM in Twitter (BTW I am sudarmuthu in Twitter), or by snail mail or by sending the note in a dove or by whichever way that is faster. :)

Will send them on first come first served basics and off course you can bribe me ;)

While you are waiting for your invite (or if you already got access), you can also checkout my other posts regarding Google wave.

Update:

For all those who left a comment below, I have invited you. But it seems that the invites are not sent in real time. This is the response from Google. So I guess, you might have to wait for sometime, before waving ;)

Google Wave is more fun when you have others to wave with, so please nominate people you would like to add. Keep in mind that this is a preview so it could be a bit rocky at times.

Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick.

Happy waving!Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick.Happy waving!"

Update 2:

Sorry guys, I have run out of invites. Will let you know if I get some.

A request for those who got invites from me. I would really appreciate if you could spare some of your invites for those who have commented.

Posted in Google/Yahoo | Tagged , | 86 Comments

Google Wave – First Impressions

After getting excited watching the Google Wave demo video, I signed up for Google Wave developer account. I finally got an invite today morning and I here are my first impressions about Google Wave. google-wave-logo

It is still in Alpha

Or to put it in Google’s words, it is a developer preview account. There is lot of rough edges and occasionally you get warning about wave exploding. ;)

google-wave-exploding

Real-time Inbox

Your wave inbox updates in real-time, much like your gmail inbox, but it somehow distracts you when you are quickly going through the list of waves. May be the list view (which is not available yet) will be less distracting.

Hosting your own wave server through Google Apps

The sandbox account is hosted on Google Apps. So this implies that you can have your own wave server installed in your domain using Google Apps like hosting gmail in your own domain.

Better in Chrome

In my limited testing, I found out that Google wave is really fast and stable in Chrome. Firefox 3.5.1 crashes when I leave Google Wave open for some time due to the large number of AJAX calls made by Google Wave. But in chrome it gives a nice error message.

google-wave-chrome-error

I guess Google Wave might increase Chrome’s market share ;)

Real-time chat updates

The one feature which excited me more when watching the Google I/O videos was the real time chat updates and now I am much more excited after experiencing it first hand.

It will surely reduce the time you take to reply by more than half. The updates are very fast and it updates for every character typed. I tried it with a FriendFeed friend, and I was able to type the reply before he could finish it.

But I am not sure whether everyone will be excited about it. It clearly exposes the speed and accuracy of your typing skills. Like how body languages and mannerisms expose more than your words in a face to face conversations, the way you type (and correct) your IM message might expose more than the words. So you may have to be careful when you are saying the truth ;)

Folders not labels

I was actually very surprised, when I found that Google wave has Folders and not labels like Gmail. But a little digging showed me that each wave can have a set of tags associated with it. I guess these tags will be visible to everyone who has access to that wave. google-wave-folders google-wave-tags

Right now Google wave doesn’t have automatic filters to assign waves to folders like gmail, but I guess they might be added in future.

Extensions, robots and Gadgets

There are lot of Extensions, robots and Gadgets available already. Most of them are created by non-Google developers. You can find some of them at the wave sample gallery. Most of them have their source code, which will help more developers to create their extensions.

Adding a bot to a page is as simple as inviting someone else to the wave. You can see the Tweety the Twitbot in action below.

google-wave-twitter

Playback

Playing back a wave is really awesome. I am able to play back each and every change (even typing corrections) made to the wave by everyone. You feel like watching your actions back.

Will it replace email – may be

After playing with Google wave for sometime, the question which came to my mind is, “Will it replace email”. Google Wave is not just better than email, but much more than that. But the question is, will every one need all the new features. And also it doesn’t mach well with email metaphor. Most people still treat email like postal mail, a one to one conversion. But Wave is more about many to many conversation. So it might take sometime for the mass outside the nerd crowd to accept it.

So will Google wave replace email? May be. Only time can answer. :)

Posted in Google/Yahoo | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Google Wave related videos

My crush for Google Wave didn’t stop by watching the Google Wave keynote video alone. I watched other videos related to Google wave and thought of indexing them here, so that it may be of help to others like me :)

First is the granddaddy of all, the Google I/O keynote video

Technical Details about Google Wave

Programming With and For Google Wave. Google I/O video, which explain how to use Google Wave with demos, samples and code

Google Wave team talks about their experience in building Google Wave entirely using Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

Google engineer David Wang explains how collaborative editing through concurrency control and operational transform work in Google Wave.

Google Engineer Casey Whitelaw describes the natural language processing behind Google Wave’s spelling correction on the deck of the Sydney office.

Interviews

Google co-founder Sergey Brin about Google Wave

Google Wave founding Team Interview by TechCrunch

Vic Gundotra, VP Engineering of Google talks about Google Wave

Interview of Stephanie Hannon, Program Manager for Wave

Fun

And at last, a video about how the Google wave team got played off by keyboard cat ;)

Posted in Google/Yahoo | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Summary of Google Wave Keynote video

After watching the Google I/O keynote video about Google Wave, I got really excited Google_Wave_logoabout it and have been talking about Google Wave to most of my friends and colleagues. Some of them asked me to explain about it. I tried, but I am not sure whether I fully succeeded. ;) In the end I said, go watch the keynote video and after sometime they replied, “Damn! it’s about 80 minutes long and do you have a summary”. And so guys here is the summary of the Google Wave keynote video given at Google I/O.

Google Wave

Google Wave is a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

People behind Google Wave

Google Wave is the brain child of two bothers from Sydney, Lars Rasmussen and Jens Rasmussen who were the original developers of Google Map. You can also know about the Google Wave team from the team bio pages.

Just a developer preview

Google wave has been under development for more than one and a half years now and it might take another year before a beta version is released for the outside world. This is the first time, people outside Google are seeing the demo. The reason for showing the demo now is to woo the developers and to build an ecosystem around it. Google Wave was fully developed using Google Web Toolkit and the code is going to be released to the open source world.

3Ps

The presentation consists of three parts

  • Product
  • Platform
  • Protocol

Product

Email is the most used communication tool of the present day internet. But email was created around 40 years back, before the internet was developed. The internet has evolved and the network has improved in these 40 years, but email is not taking advantage of them.

Google wave is what email will look like if it was developed today. It is the new way of communication in the internet.

Every typed character is transmitted in real time

Traditional email works like snail mail, but Google wave is real-time. At this point, they showed a demo of Google wave, where every character typed by one person is visible to the other person in real time, without waiting for the Done button to be clicked. Google wave is transmitting a packet for every character that is typed, and it can be disabled if needed. (This was my first wow movement :) ). See the demo.

Google_Wave_concurrent_edit

Step by step playback

When a new person is added to the wave (conversation) he can playback all the changes that have been done from the time it was created. You cannot understand it unless you see the demo. (This was my next wow movement). See the demo.

Drag and Drop attachment

Adding attachments to the wave is as simple as drag and dropping them. When a image is dragged and dropped, even the thumbnail is transmitted in real-time to the other person. If the caption is changed, even that will be reflected in real-time. See the demo.

Platform

Google Wave can also be considered as a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services. They can also build new extensions that work inside waves. More information about the Google wave API can be found at Google wave API page.

Most of the features of Google Wave are developed as extensions. The following are some of these extensions.

Bloggy

Bloggy is an extension which acts like a blog client. Bloggy lets you make a blog post as a wave. These posts reflect the state of the wave in real-time and when people comment, they join the conversation and these conversations are immediately reflected in the wave and the blog post.

Spelly

Spelly is an extension which acts as a spell-checker. Spelly not only compares the current word but it is contextual and checks the entire sentence before offering suggestions. It uses the entire corpus of the web as its dictionary.

Google_Wave_spelly_steh

Linky

Linky is a link-recognition engine that is clever enough to recognize that the link you just entered is a YouTube video, or a link to a photo, and give you the option to embed the target of the link into the wave.

Buggy

Buggy is a bug-reporting tool. When Buggy is added as a participant in a wave, it can be used to file bug reports directly from the wave.

Polly

Polly is an extension which lets you to incorporate polls into a wave. In the wave shown below, participants are asked whether they can make it to a party. As soon as someone replies the responses appear immediately in the wave.

Google_Wave_yes_no_maybe_inbox

Game and Twitter Extension

There is an extension for embedding interactive games like chess in a wave and also an extension to integrate your tweets.

Google_Wave_inbox_chess

Protocol

The Google Wave protocol is the underlying format for storing and sharing waves. This includes the “live” concurrency control, which allows edits to be reflected instantly across users and services. The protocol is designed for open federation, such that anyone’s Wave services can interoperate with each other and with the Google Wave service. This means that anyone can operate their own wave server and it can interoperate with other wave servers. To encourage adoption of the protocol, Google will open source the code behind Google Wave. More information about Google Wave protocol can be found from the site dedicated to wave protocol.

Video

Hope I have given a good summary of the video. But in order to fully experience the “wow” movement, you must watch the video. I have embedded the video below.

Links

Some useful links about Google Wave.

Credits

Screenshots and Video from Google.

Posted in Google/Yahoo | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

CustomizeTalk.com Takeover

I have happy news to share. I am going to be the new owner of customizetalk.com. :)

customize-talk logo

CustomizeTalk.com is a community site for Google Talk users, with loads of tips and tweaks, news about Google Talk and also information about Google Talk Addon development.

Recently there is been some slight decrease in the activity at the site, due to the fact that Google has slowed down its Google Talk development and has started concentrating more on the browser based chat client embed inside Gmail.

My first step as the new moderator is to increase the activity in the site (after removing spam posts ;))  and I am looking for suggestions. So guys do have a look at CustomizeTalk.com and let me know what can be improved.

I am planning to cover other Google Talk related topics like browser based chat client inside Gmail, XMPP, Jabber etc. Also let me know if you feel that other topics could be added.

Looking forward in meeting you guys over at customizeTalk. :)

Posted in Google/Yahoo | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Running multiple instances of Google Talk

Ever since I moved my mails from Gmail to Google Apps, I was using my Google Apps email address in Google Talk. But still some of my old friends are added in my Gmail address. So I was searching for a way to run multiple instance of Google Talk in the same machine and found this tip. I thought of noting it here so that I know where to search if I reinstall Google Talk in my system.

To run multiple instances, all you need to do is to pass the parameter nomutex to the Google Talk Exe file.

c:\program files\google\google talk\googletalk.exe" /nomutex

If you want, you can create a new shortcut in your desktop with this parameter.

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