December 14, 2006

Google's Patent Search : Some Suggestions

Patents. Another area Google is making it easy to search - over 7 million US Patents & they say they have just started off ! That's interesting as I expect patents from other willing countries to be included in the search.

Finding the patents for everyday devices we use will become so easy & fun.

Here's the one from the inventor of cell phone-Martin Cooper, for Radio Telephone System (Year 1973) with diagrams of the hexagonal base cells!

I understand this feature is in Beta so there are obviously ways to improve it.Here are some I think can be improved.

As of now the advanced search feature lets users specify the start and end date (of patents filed/issued) within which to search for the patents.However,I was surprised that a option to sort the result by date was not available.

For example, If I wanted to find the very first occurrence of the word "Internet" in patents ,the results quite predictably are according to the relevance. After playing around with the dates in the advanced for sometime,figured out that a patent for "Knife Grinding Machine" filed on September 1,1904 was the first patent in the US to have contained the word "Internet"!

A option to sort would have been helpful.

Sadly, the original patent that old was very hard to read as only the image was provided.Why shouldn't the digitized text be provided? That is the only way people will be able to read the patent if they are interested.

This service is called "Google Patent Search".But gives you a 404 Not found error!

And there is no indication of this new patent search when you do a search for "patents" on original Google website.

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December 11, 2006

VLC Media player 0.8.6 released

The videolan people have released the latest version 0.8.6 of the popular VLC media player after over 7 months of development.

This cool cross-platform media player and streaming server is
available for download here. (Probably the only format it doesn't play is Real video.)

Complete features list here.
As for support,their forums are quite helpful.

The future 0.9.0 version of the VLC player, currently under development is available from the nightlies section.

Full list of changes (from VLC)

Changes between 0.8.5 and 0.8.6

* Shoutcast TV listings support

* Support for RTSP authentication
* Support for adding subtitles on the fly
* Fixed MPEG-PS duration calculation
* ATSC support for DVB input
* Partial reading support for DVR-ms recordings
* Partial reading support for MXF and GXF fileformat
* Improved support for Flash Video files

* Native WMV9/VC-1 support
* WMA Speech support (through binary codecs)
* VP5/VP6 - Flash Video support
* The True Audio Lossless codec support
* WavPack support
* Improved H.264 support (interlaced, speed improvements etc)
* Fixed a problem with MPEG2 field pictures
* Fixed swapped colors on DVB subtitles

Video output:
* Additional OpenGL effects (cylinder, torus, sphere, ...)
* Experimental Direct3D 9 video output (win32). Best served on Vista :)
* Improved libcaca support

* All
* New hotkeys for crop and zoom
* Support for snapshots from the HTTP interface
* Windows
* Systray support in skins
* OS X
* Support for Apple Remote control
* Fullscreen controller panel (artwork by Simon Damkjær Andersen)
* New playmode buttons (artwork by Simon Damkjær Andersen)
* right/ctrl-click menu in video outputs
* Main Menu uses autohide when playing videos in fullscreen mode
* Linux
* Notifications using notification-daemon

Windows port:
* Support for Unicode filenames (Windows NT and above)
Windows 9x/ME users:
- Please note that these versions of Windows are not officially supported
- Unicode support for Windows 9x/ME applications is available through the
Microsoft Layer for Unicode available from the following location:
Download the MSLU package (unicows) and extract the content into the folder
* Fixed IPv6 support on the client side
* Fixed disable screensaver (Direct3D and DirectX video output)

* Add Czech
* Add Slovak
* Add Malay
* Add Slovenian

* Updates to the libvlc API
* Fixes for the mozilla and activeX plugins


December 9, 2006

Firefox 3 Alpha 1 released

The alpha 1 version of Firefox 3 (code named Gran paradiso) has been released for testing purposes.Current users of mozilla firefox were warned by Mozilla not to use Gran Paradiso Alpha 1 .

This alpha 1 version named minefield is based on Gecko 1.9.

As for the UI,there isn't anything new yet - the features of Firefox 2.0 stay.

It is available for download at Mozilla's FTP.

Final version is expected in summer 2007.

Release notes

What's new


December 5, 2006

Azureus version 3.0 released

Version 3.0 of the popular bittorrent client is out !

Another new webservice called Zudeo has also been launched to coincide with the launch of the client.From first look, Zudeo seems like a web platform to share independent videos (some are hi-definition) using torrents. Zudeo service has also been integrated with the latest version of azureus .

The layout could be said to resemble that of youtube - user friendly ,with a listing of the videos available under various categories complete with trailer.Only here the torrent files are given for the videos instead of a flash file..

As for their copyright policy they seem to be all for legal content with DMCA compliancy.


December 4, 2006

Yahoo ads in google adsense

Browsing the net today,I was surprised to see a ad for Yahoo in Google's adsense text ad as well as a image...

Why would a competitor advertise a competitor!?

I'am yet to see a google ad on yahoo's YPN.


December 1, 2006

Kannada/Telugu singers in tamil songs

Some of the Telugu / Kannada voices introduced in tamil music seem to have gone sadly
unnoticed.Not that there are many ,but they haven't been utilized by music directors other than the one who introduced them.

One such telugu singer with a very soft melody voice is Sumangali, who has sung a lot of songs in telugu films,mainly for Devi Sri Prasad's music.She has sung the hit song from Aaru "Paakatha ennai paakatha".

The other is a more recent Kannada singer Chaitra Gopinath, introduced in the tamil film "By2" for the excellent song "En Kaalgal" by Vijay Antony.

On the other hand hindi singers seem to have really caught the tamil music directors attention - Udit Narayan,Shreya Ghoshal to name a few.

I'am not against hindi singers or anything ,but I just want other talented singers to be given chances as well - instead of hearing those same famous voice over and over again in every film.