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Archive for November 2010

Image Mapping: Add multiple hyperlinks in an image

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Ever wondered how a particular image contained multiple hyperlinks?

Image Mapping in web programming terminology refers to adding not one, but multiple images in a hyperlink. There are many images on the web on which if you click, they direct you to some particular URL. But there are some images which have multiple hyperlinks and clicking a particular part of that image directs you to a particular location.

Today, I’m talking about the latter type of images.

Consider the following image.

Note that, the ability to click inside the image is restricted to the words – iPod, iPhone and iPad only. The rest of the area has no hyperlinks. Clicking any of the links will direct you to the respective product’s official website.

So, how did I do that? Well, it’s simple. All you need to know is some basic HTML.

In basic HTML, you use <img> tag to insert an image. And then this tag contains various attributes like src for source, border for borders et al. If you want map an image, you have to add one more attribute named usemap=”value”.

Here the “value” equals the name of the map. Confused?

Continue reading.

Just after you are done with the <img>, do not close the image tag. Follow it with the <map> tag.

Basically, a map tag needs only one attribute i.e. name. So if you are naming your map as “Apple” in this case, the value of the usemap attribute as mentioned above has to be “Apple”.

To define each hyperlink, you have to use another tag called Area. An area tag has the following important attributes: shape, coords, href.

Shape can be a circle, a rectangle or a polygon depending on the shape of the area you want for the hyperlink.
href is the link (url), of course.
coords are a lil bit confusing. Using MS Paint to figure out the co-ordinates should help.

Open the image concerned in Paint. Remember, the size of the image in MS Paint has got to be equal to the size of image you are using at your webpage.

Now, if your shape is a Rectangle, you need four co-ordinates. Two for the top-left corner and two for the bottom right corner.

To figure out the co-ordinates: Take your mouse pointer in MS Paint to that point concerned, and note down the numbers mentioned in the status bar (the bottom most bar of the window). Coordinates are always mentioned in the form of x,y and not x X y; here x and y are two arbitrary numbers.

A circle has three co-ordinates. Two for the center and one is the radius. A polygon has multiple co-ordinates depending on the shape. If it’s a triangle, it has six co-ordinates as triangle has 3 points (and 3 sides). Similarly, a pentagon has ten co-ordinates (five points and five sides).

The co-ordinates are the most important part of Image mapping. Following is the code that I wrote to map the above image on the right.

<img title="Apple" usemap="#map" src="https://awesometechblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/apple_20cent.png"/>
<map name="map">
<area shape="rect" coords="47,48,94,66" href="http://apple.com/ipod" target="_new"/>
<area shape="rect" coords="130,47,203,63" href="http://apple.com/iphone" target="_new"/>

<area shape="rect" coords="248,49,293,66" href="http://apple.com/ipad" target="_new"/>
</map>

</img>

One thing to note, don’t type out the above code in the Visual mode of your web page editor. You need to type out the code in the HTML editor to render changes.

Fun part is, WordPress.com allows image mapping. See, I’ve done it right?

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Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm

“I am not a freaking cricket match”, says Twitter girl

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So it has now become a global level news story that how a woman from United States got terribly furious after her twitter account was misunderstood as the Twitter account of a cricket series. 

Her Twitter handle is @theashes and unfortunately for her, The Ashes is cricket’s greatest bilateral series – wherein England and Australia compete every twice year and the first game of the 2010-11 edition just ended today.

It was sometime day-before when cricket fans started tweeting with @theashes mentions, inquiring about the match score. Soon she tweeted the following to a touch too many users.

I am not a cricket match. Stop mentioning me and check profiles before you send messages. Its really annoying.

And when it didn’t stop, she wrote…

I AM NOT A FREAKING CRICKET MATCH!!! That means you @matywilson @zandertrego @thesummats @ atonyboffey @faz1988 and MORE

Ha ha ha! Awesome, eh?

On the other hand, her number of followers saw a steep increase and some Twitter user started tweeting with hashtag #gettheashestotheashes.

Her followers crossed the 5K mark today but the biggest twist came in when Qantas offered her a free trip to Australia and not just that, Vodafone, a prime sponsor for the Ashes, offered her a free phone so that she could continue tweeting if she came to Australia.

Tweets by Qantas, Vodafone and @theashes

And not just that, other sponsors and even individuals started offering her car trips and what not just to get her to the Ashes.

Apparently though, she wanted her boyfriend to be included in the offer!

FYI, the naming of the cricket series “The Ashes” has a history. It dates back to 1882 when Australia for the first beat England in England. Considering that, a group published this in the Brit newspaper The Sporting Times.

After this, English media tagged the next series as “the quest to regain the Ashes”. Read more about Ashes on Wikipedia.

And hence came the name “The Ashes”.

It isn’t clear if the Twitter girl @theashes is going to Australia but I’m sure people after reading this would have started looking out for twitter handles of upcoming sporting events. I am already looking out, in fact.

I am like hours late for the post – but only because I was wondering – where should I post it? My cricket blog (yes, I have a cricket blog) or the tech blog?

Then I realized, most of the cricket fans are already aware about the news so why not share it with the tech readers. And so here I am.

Follow @theashes on Twitter, follow me on Twitter (@snickedcricket) and check out my cricket blog here.

She is also selling T-shirts, buy em here.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 29, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Twitter

Tagged with , ,

Now Download your Facebook data

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Just a few weeks back Facebook rolled out a new feature which allowed users to download their Facebook data – like profile information, images, your wall/wall posts – in short everything that your Facebook profile has. The download takes a few minutes to process and after you request one, a link to download is emailed to your inbox. 

Your data is wrapped in a compressed zip file – and your entire account’s data – profile info, messages, photos, videos, notes, wall including wall posts, friend list and even events attended can be accessed via an index.html file located inside that zip.

Photos are included in the zip but the videos aren’t. Anyway, there is a link under every video which allows you to download the same.

I’m still trying to figure out the “good” part of this feature.

Though I can say about the bad thing. As all the conversations are located in once single .html page, it becomes easier to browse through past messages. Now there is a possibility that you didn’t delete some not so nice messages and BOOM, here you are trying to figure out how to cope up the bad memories that just flown in.

(In-post tip: Always delete things went bad –like conversations.)

The index.html file looks something like this

Another bad thing is, if in case this zip goes in the hands of someone you don’t want, well, disasters can then follow.

Anyway if you’re slightly interested in downloading your data, go to

Account| Account Settings| Click on “learn more” beside the option “Download your information”

Request for your download and you will be emailed a link as soon as the download is ready.

There is one flaw though. My download shows wall posts only until April 1, 2010. I don’t know why but it is so. Ill ask some pals to check with their downloads and will leave an update here. If in case you dig up something here, do fire in a comment.

And on a concluding note, I would like to add – when Facebook launched this feature, they didn’t even bother to do a blog post about the same. Huh, opaque people.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Posted in Facebook

The kidlike Facebook-Google war continues

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Facebook is seriously an online version of a spoiled brat, let’s say someone like a 9-year old Justin Beiber. And Google, the Internet search behemoth, is no less (well no less as far as this fight goes, else Google is a pretty mature bloke). Let’s say Google is a teen, a teen like a present day Justin Beiber.

Now just wonder what crazy things could happen if two Beibers start fighting? It will be like the brat kid is continuously annoying the teen kid, and sorta winning as well whereas the teen kid is continuously poking around and trying to flaunt his eldership.

*Messy*

So what is happening exactly, you may ask.

Let’s flashback a lil for the entire story.

It was the first week of November when Google changed its’ terms of service. Google guys decided, “We’ll share our user data only if reciprocated”.

This meant – the start of a war between two Beibers. Why? Well, you see Facebook lets you find friends via your email addresses and also lets you invite people similarly. Gmail allows Facebook to access the user’s contact list but on the contrary, Facebook shares no information whatsoever with Google.

Here, Google in return was seeking for contact numbers and email addresses of a particular user’s friends. That’ll help Google to increase its productivity and with Google already having a Voice and SMS functionality in US, it would have in-short led to an increase in Gmail’s overall usage.

But Facebook didn’t respond nicely to this. And so, Google stopped giving the contacts’ access to Facebook.

Here, Facebook tried acting smart and well, they did come up smart. They used a Google feature in order to let users import contacts from Gmail. What did they do? Facebook here allowed users to directly download a .csv (contacts) file to their system and then subsequently asked them to upload it to Facebook’s servers. This way, Facebook kept their feature running.

To this Google decided to do nothing technically and hence, they started the war of words. The official response statement from Google read,

We’re disappointed that Facebook didn’t invest their time in making it possible for their users to get their contacts out of Facebook. As passionate believers that people should be able to control the data they create, we will continue to allow our users to export their Google contacts.

To this Facebook remained quiet for a while, but later, instead of replying with words, they just removed Gmail from the list of services available to find or invite friends. They just removed it literally. How dumb?!

And still now there’s no Gmail as an available service in Friend Finder app. See it for yourselves.

Even though all this happened, peace prevailed all across but only until tomorrow when a third party developer decided to build a Google Chrome extension named “Facebook doesn’t owns my friends” – an extension that allowed users to export the Facebook contacts into Gmail.

The add-on clearly mentioned, “THIS CHROME EXTENSION IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH GOOGLE OR FACEBOOK.”

People felt like freaking awesome then. And more awesome would have felt those guys and gals who actually exported their contacts.

You may ask here, why can’t we feel awesome? We can too, right?

To which I have to say disappointingly – NO. The add-on is out of service already.

According to TechCrunch, that add-on stopped working ten minutes after the news broke on their website. That add-on is still showing “403 Forbidden” error. See it for yourselves here.

It’s still unknown about who stopped the add-on service but very understandably, it’s a block from the Facebook’s end.

My point here is, WTF Facebook is upto? The Lamebook fight and then this prolonged fight. Indeed Facebook doesn’t own our contacts, so why not let us export it altogether at once? Instead what Facebook wants is – we open a text editor, go to each of our friend’s profile, copy their info and paste it in the text editor.

And then manage it accordingly.

WTF?

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Forget System Restore, forget registry backups; use ERUNT!

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There are times when your PC might act unexpectedly and then there are times when your PC might just like a jerk – a jerk that is continuously increasing your crankiness factor.

If at these junctures you visited some website for help, or perhaps if you tried reaching out to some one-to-one tech support, people might have advised using System Restore.

What is System Restore?

In simple words, System Restore can help you back up your computer’s registry to an early stage. Or in simpler words, system restore can help you make your computer look like, like say the way it did two days ago.

To be clear, System Restore renders no effect on your files, and folders but it does on your programs, your programs’ settings and system updates.

You see there are times when your PC might start behaving erratically just due to something. Now this something more often than not is a software change in your system. It can be a system software change or an application software change. System software change mostly includes system updates whereas application software changes include installing/removing new software (program) or making changes to them.

Now having a registry backup means what? It means you can get your system to an initial stage by the click of few buttons.

Now Windows has its own System Restore utility and it create restore points (backups) when you install/uninstall software. It also lets you manually create restore points, just in case!

But the problem is – when it comes to malware (viruses), these bad pieces of software initially target such Windows apps and make them useless. And then they become utterly ineffective.

The point is why doesn’t Windows allow saving the restore points (backup files) to a remote location or let’s just say, save into your HDD? Maybe because Windows is just like that. But then there are good people out there solving such problems.

A similar good guy named Lars Hederer so made ERUNT – The Emergency Recovery Utility New Technology and made it available for free online.

What ERUNT does? It creates a system restore point just like Windows does but ERUNT makes a folder of the same and lets you choose where to save it. You can keep it in your HDD and/or a flash drive, a DVD, on your online storage, anywhere!

It also has an Auto Backup feature which makes a restore point whenever you switch on your PC. It is an excellent feature and eliminates the need of making restore points everyday by yourself. You can however disable this option. There’s a pop up asking you about the same while the installation and so you can always suit yourself.

You can download ERUNT here. Mind me, you’re gonna love. Its freaking productive.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 26, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Facebook v Lamebook

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Before I get on the main topic I’d like to introduce you to Lamebook if you don’t know what it is. If you know, you can sure skip the next few senteces. 

Lamebook is actually a website – a nifty, and a naughty parody website of Facebook.

Lamebook is a daily updated site where users sent in screenshots of amusing, unusual and mostly hilarious (or lame) posts by them or their friends. The site, which is a brain child of two Texas graphic designers – Jonathan Standefer and Matthew Genitempo started in April 2009 and since then has been growing at a pretty freaking rate!

The site is funded by panoptic adverts and the content is categorized in various categories.

I discovered about Lamebook somewhere last week and have been a regular visitor since then and mind me, the stuff out there is either freaking hilarious or freaking lame. But no matter what the content is, it makes lol like hell! Mind me, makes me LOL!

If you are keen, you must check out Lamebook here.

But you might ask, why did I name this post as “Facebook v Lamebook”?  Well I named it so because there is actually a fight going on between guys from Facebook and between guys from Lamebook.

And I’m not kidding.

Indeed. These guys are fighting like joshes.

To understand the fight in its’ clear sense we need to flashback a bit. So here we go.

It was someday in March 2010 when Facebook sent a “cease and desist” notice to Lamebook and asked them to change their name and logo. Lamebook in reply claimed that Lamebook is “just a parody” and so it does not infringes or/and dilutes Facebook mark.

Talks after talks continued, but the parties couldn’t reach any resolution. Considering the same, in July Facebook readdressed their same concern to Lamebook, this time threatening to sue.

Then more talks. And all of them failed. This bought us close to somewhere near the end of October.

Then things got serious as just around 10 days back news broke that Lamebook had sued Facebook over infringement.

Yeah I wrote it right. Lamebook actually filed a complaint against Facebook.

Lamebook here simply intended to seek judicial declaration from the court of Texas which said “Lamebook did not infringe/dilute the Facebook mark”. Read the copy of the complaint if interested.

Facebook guys sure were disappointed on Lamebook’s move. They quoted,

It’s unfortunate that after months of working with Lamebook to amicably resolve what we believe is an improper attempt to build a brand that trades off Facebook’s popularity and fame, they have turned to litigation. We are confident in our position and believe we will prevail in court.

And then it was Facebook’s time to play some tricks. Yes, Facebook sued Lamebook now. Infringement of Facebook mark was their argument. 

And then Facebook decided to do more shitty things.

Just around 48 hours back, Facebook shut down Lamebook’s fan page, blocked all the content on Facebook that directed to lamebook.com and that’s not it, they also disabled the Facebook “likes” functionalities on lamebook.com.

Yes even I felt like WTF?!

But then there was a twist to the Facebook’s final move. Just after people criticized Facebook’s move to block Lamebook, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer had the following to say…

This was a mistake on our part. In the process of dealing with a routine trademark violation issue regarding some links posted to Facebook, we blocked all mentions of the phrase “lamebook” on Facebook. We are committed to promoting free expression on Facebook. We apologize for our mistake in this case, and we are working to fix the process that led to this happening.

And hence all such lameness shown by Facebook was revoked.

As of now, sharing stuff directing tp lamebook.com works and so does “likes” functionality on lamebook.com but the official Lamebook page wasn’t resurrected. It remains shut down.

Meanwhile, Lamebook has been asking for readers support. In the latest statement on the home page of the site,

Well, Facebook didn’t like us sticking up for ourselves, so they shut down our Fan Page. In light of this, be sure to follow us on Twitter so you get updated with the latest and funniest of the lame!

The Lamebook's home page which now boasts various messages asking people to support the parody website. (Click to enlarge)

And that is what the Facebook v Lamebook battle has to offer.

The point is why Facebook has to be so rebellious? I mean wtf does a small company running on advert revenue would do the behemoth? And then the suffix “book” isn’t something that Facebook owns, do they? And then, Lamebook is nowhere in the competition with Facebook. So why the fuss? Why act like cry babies?

And this is not the first time, Facebook did sue Placebook (now TripTrace) and Teachbook for using the suffix –book in their names.

As a personal opinion, I want Lamebook to win this case and take the shit outta Facebook’s attitude. I don’t think Facebook can run around all over the web threatening people if they use the -book suffix or do something like lamebook has done.

Lamebook makes me laugh and so does to people. Facebook in literal sense doesn’t. And something that makes people laugh is very precious. Not everything or everyone can do that job – the job of making people laugh and enjoy. Lamebook is doing that, since 2009.

And I have a gut feeling that Lamebook will survive the battle!

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 24, 2010 at 1:25 am

Drop your stuff in Dropbox!

with 4 comments

During the summer I used to be always on the move – at clubs, at relatives’, at cousins’, at friends’, sometimes on a quick holiday, and sometimes just home. And that was the time I actually started writing a lot of articles. A lot means, a LOT. Writing was an integral part of my daily life and I used to do it whenever I managed some time anywhere in the schedule.

Managing documents at various locations was difficult. I had (and have) a Blackberry so I used to plug that in to my PC, save the files and took em on the move. Also I used to upload some important docs to Google Docs just in case if I got a PC somewhere. I also used to even send emails to myself with documents attached just in case if I needed something via the mobile browser.

In short, managing docs was CHAOS. And then entered DROPBOX.

This tiny lil app which sticks its butt without any fuss in your PC or Mac or iPhone or iPad or Blackberry or Windows Mobile or even Android , does all that document managing you always wanted to get rid of. Dropbox is a life saver, it is a tonic to document management chaos.

What it does?

Dropbox makes a “Dropbox” folder in your PC and the moment you copy files in that folder, Dropbox silently starts uploading all the files. And by files I mean everything – music, pictures, everything.

The Dropbox web

And don’t worry if you don’t have a Dropbox enabled handheld. These files are eventually being uploaded to the Dropbox servers and so the lovely Dropbox even allows users to see their uploads via their website.

How awesome?

Pretty awesome. All you need to do is download Dropbox, and install it.

Free users get a limit of two gigabytes which is well, too much for keeping you busy with your docs. There is a paid upgrade though – 50 gigs cost $99 a year (or $9.99 a month). A 100 gigs cost $199 a year (or $19.99 a month).

But I guess the 2gig thing should be fine for most users. It is for me anyway!

Visit the Dropbox website now! There is no reason why you should wait.

(Images and logos are respective trademarks of their owners. Used for representative purposes.)

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 23, 2010 at 12:27 am

Posted in Dropbox, Must Have Software

Tagged with , ,

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