Few days ago, the developer folks over at GMail had introduced the GMail Labs- the experimentation hotbed for new features in GMail. They had introduced 13 new features wherein users can change the settings to enable/disable them and try them out on an experimental basis. Though I have not exactly been too much busy all this past few days, I somehow tried not to get too close to these experimental addons. I was trying out a little experiment of my own on GMail (involving CSS & Stylish; but that’s for another day, another post) and hence didn’t try’em out. Today, however I got a little free time and was on Safari, so had the chance to check out two of these new features….
GMail Superstars: This add-on is nothing but the addition of a few more gif icons to the starred feature in GMail wherein messages can be starred so as to stand out prominently. Previously there was a plain ol’ yellow coloured star but now we’ve twelve more gifs which can be cycled through for starring a mail. User can select which gifs to use from the settings page by dragging the icons from/to the In use/Not in use selection:
Likes: Can differentiate between important mails, easier than coloured labelling.
GMail Quick Links: Feature where a particular view can be added as a quick link or bookmarked within the mail interface itself. Again, an enhancement to already existing functionality. The UI has almost every link one needs to access a particular function, be it sent mail, archived mail, labelled mail or drafts. One has to be very imaginative in thinking up links that are not present by default but can be generated via search/filters and then add that view as a Quick Link. Some that I could think of and add were Today’s Mail & My Mail:
Likes: Customisability of views that can be accessed via several clicks, quick access to tedious views not present in UI, can use to view all mails with a particular type of attachment.
Dislikes: Cannot manually add the search/view path. In automation terminology, its record and save rather than script it!
Other features will be tried out later on…stay tuned!
17th June, 2008 – the day after tomorrow – is the official release date of Firefox 3 browser. The latest version of the popular open-source browser contains “more than 15,000 improvements” and is said to be “faster, safer and smarter than before”. The Mozilla corporation is publicizing the release date as “Download Day” where they will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record of most software downloads in 24 hours. Enthused people can go here and register a pledge saying that they will be downloading Firefox 3 on that day. As of now, there are more than 1,200,000 pledges with a little over 23,000 coming from India.
Even if half of the ‘pledged’ members download FF3 on that day, it still will be a record! Why? Coz the Guinness Book of Records doesn’t have a record for “most software downloads in 24 hours” or any similar record. Suffice to say, the record will be created come Monday.
Will I download it? Well, depends on how soon I get back from work and also on whether the Mozilla servers haven’t crashed by then
Allovasudden my Yahoo! Mail interface has changed to Hindi!!! Till yesterday it was in plain ol’ English and looking all neat and tidy and now most of the labels and links have turned into Hindi. Even the pop-up messages are in Hindi!
Yahoo had launched the Hindi language option some six months ago. While I fully agree with Yahoo’s globalisation policies and fully support its endeavour to reach out to the bulk of the Hindi populace, what riles me is that I wasn’t even asked whether I would prefer a Hindi interface to the English one! One would at least expect that the final choice of the display language be left in the hands of the user and not decided based on geography or location! For I presume that Yahoo! have detected me as an Indian user and have assumed that I would be wanting the interface in Hindi only! Bah!
Funnily enough, some of the words are phonetically in English even though they are spelt out in Hindi! For example, the popup above has the word ‘delete’ spelt out in Hindi! Other similar occurrences are those of draft, spam, trash, inbox etc. Thankfully, the senders’ names and the message subject itself are still in English. Excuse me as I now go about reading some of the Hindi labels and then change the default display language back to English.
Just caught the trailer of the forthcoming Ram Gopal Varma movie – Phoonk. Seems Ramu is going back to his second-favourite genre (after the Underworld i.e.) – the Supernatural. He has directed spooky movies such as Raat, Deyyam (Telugu)& Bhoot and had a hand as a producer in Darna Mana/Zaroori Hai & Vaastu Shastra.
Come to think of it, Phoonk does bear some faint resemblances to Vaastu Shastra! I guess the common elements such as the tree in the courtyard, the maid, and the child artiste Ahsaas Channa make me feel that! Phoonk has as its backdrop, the age-old superstition of Black Magic or witchcraft as we know it. The trailer isn’t as spooky as its made out to be by some of the entertainment websites but it is in trademark Ramu ishtyle! Watch it at the official website or after the jump.
Two of the tournament favourites kicked off their Euro 2008 campaigns with clinical victories over their opposition. Yesterday evening, the Netherlands team clinically demolished World Cup Champions and highly-rated Italy, and in no uncertain terms. They slotted in 3 goals past one of the most stingiest defence in the world. The match was a highly anticipated one and rightly so, given the composition of group C. With Romania and France having drawn their game, the winner of this game would head the group and have some sorta boost towards progression. The Neds started off well with smooth passes and quick counter-attack moves whilst the Italians were made to sweat. The midfield of Netherlands is so much stronger than the Italians and this showed as the Azzurri struggled to string together winning passes. Netherlands opened the scoring via a contentious goal from Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Wesley Sneijder slotted in a beautiful second 5 minutes later. Italy’s did manage to carve out few chances but either the finishing touch was lacking or the Dutch keeper was saving them finely! The scoreline ended at 3-0 with a Giovanni Von Bronckhorst header ten minutes from time.
Today’s match between Spain and Russia saw a hat-trick from striker David Villa. Coming into the tournament, Fernando Torres was hailed as the marksman to watch out for…but his strike partner showed that he’s no less lethal a force. Torres set up the first goal with a neat flick-on that Villa slotted in comfortably and then added a second on the stroke of halftime. A neat splitting pass from Fabregas found Villa with the Russian ‘keeper & three defenders to beat, and he did that just comfortably to complete the first hat-trick of Euro 2008. Pavlychenko headed in a consolation goal for Russia from a corner but Spain had just enough time to slot in a fourth – courtesy Cesc Fabregas who was in the right position to head-in after the ‘keeper had palmed off a Xavi shot.
With these two matches, Netherlands and Spain are suddenly the new Championship favourites! Of Course, Germany and Portugal have also chalked up wins…but nowhere as efficiently as these two teams! Buck Up Italy!!!
and I had completely overlooked the fact that on June 4th, the Wierd Wired World achieved its third major milestone of 300,000 Visitors.
Of course, the posts about Radio and Movie Reviews have been the neon lights that have attracted most of the fireflies but of late, the number of recurring visitors have been increasing. The blog saw few days wherein 900+ visits have been clocked but the thousand-hits-per-day mark is still somewhat away! I guess I have to package, sell & market the blog in a better way but I’ve always believed that content is the king and once I attain that another level ofwrite-ups, the day of popularity is not far!
I thank all of you who’ve diligently kept coming back even though the wierdness has waned down considerably!
BMW and Robert Kubica took their first ever Formula One victory in a very very unpredictable and topsy-turvy Canadian Grand Prix! In an incident-filled race, BMW scored a 1-2 finish with Nick Heidfeld following his teammate in 2nd position. Red Bull and David Coulthard tasted a rare success with a 3rd place finish. Toyota took the 4th and 6th places with Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa between them in 5th. Honda’s Rubens Barrichello finished 7th and Sebastian Vettel, who started from the pitlane, took the last point in 8th.
Front-runners Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were involved in a pit-lane accident and both were out of the race. Adrian Sutil’s stall brought out the safety car and the lead runners pitted, afraid that the pit lane would close anytime. While Raikkonen was at the end of the pit exit waiting for the light to go green, Hamilton ploughed into the back of him and Nico Rosberg hit the back of Hamilton! Kimi’s and Lewis’ cars were damaged beyond repair and both got out, shook hands, and retired into their garages. Rosberg was able to continue after changing the nose wing. After the shakedown, Nick Heidfeld emerged as the race leader and had a 20+ seconds gap over teammate Kubica with a pit stop still to be made. Drivers who were caught out by the marbles on the track included the Renault of Fernando Alonso whilst teammate Nelson Piquet retired with brake problems.
The race threw up a great result for BMW who are just 3 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship but more importantly, Robert Kubica is leading the Drivers’ Championship from Hamilton and Massa who’re tied on points with Kimi Raikkonen further behind in 3rd place. This sets up the battle for the title race rather nicely. The next race is in two weeks time – the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton grabbed the pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix – for the second year in a row – at the last possible instant with a blinder of a lap. On a track which was fast breaking up at the newly-relaid turn 10, Ferrari were the fastest in sectors 1 and 2 but were losing out a hell lot of time in the 3rd sector. Kimi Raikkonen did string together a decent lap on his final run but again lost time in the final sector to end up P3. BMW’s Robert Kubica took P2 at the track where he had a horrific crash last year. Renault’s fortunes seem to be on the upswing as Fernando Alonso brought round his car in P4. Nico Rosberg’s Williams is in P5 – making it five different cars in the top five positions. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was P6 with Heikki Kovalainen, Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello behind him. Rounding off the 10th position was the Red Bull of Mark Webber who had a spin n’ wall-bang in Q2 and did not run in Q3.
Drivers to drop off in Q3 were Bourdais, Sutil, Button, Fisichella and Vettel whilst Q2 drop-outs were Piquet, Glock, Trulli, Coulthard and Nakajima. Much of the attention was on the deteriorating track surface at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit and the track had to swept off the debris at the end of each qualifying session. That was the place where the Ferraris were losing much time but there were also indications that they were carrying a bit more fuel than Hamilton. If Kimi doesn’t let Hamilton get away too far ahead in the race, a superior strategy could yet see him win the race. Of course, Hamilton isn’t to be discounted. He won his first F1 race over here last year and he would want to do an encore. And in between these two, Robert Kubica could still throw in a surprise result. All’s set for a cracking Canadian Grand Prix tomorrow!!!