If you look at your blogger profile, only the blogs that you started with blogger will be available. Lets see how to "trick" the system to have any other blog.
- Login to blogger and create a dummy blog. Give it your blog name and any address. Eg: "My Thoughts!" "dummy12345"
- Go to the Settings->Publishing of the blog
- Click "Custom Domain" & then "Switch to Advanced Settings"
- Give the URL of your blog there and click Save Settings.
I just linked this blog to my blogger profile. Have a look here.
Remember there is no validation done whether the address you mentioned there is a blog or if its a blog, whether you are a member/owner of that etc. So virtually you can have any URL there (except *.blogspot.com). Check where the "My Employer Blog!" links to :-P
Got an invitation for private beta for TinEye - an image search engine. When I say image search its not by entering some keywords and searching for images, rather giving an image as reference and finding out similar images. I've worked on a similar product for my final year project (identifying traffic signs), I know its not an easy task. The algorithm that I've used, needs proper training to identify the images. But for a search like this, you don't have a training input. You get only one chance to identify the images. Sounds pretty complex to me!
I tried this search:
And the result:
As you can see the results are accurate even thou they are cropped, added few elements etc. Sounds like a perfect target for Google to acquire :-)
We all know that Tiger is the national animal. But how many of us know the state animals? Huh, state animals? This was my first reaction when I saw in today's "Young World", a The Hindu suppliment. I was surprised that we also have state birds, flower and tree!
Here is a complete list of animail, tree, bird and flower for every state in India. Some notable points:
- Elephant is the state animal for four states - Kerala, Karnataka, Jharkhand & Orissa
- Peacock is not just the national bird, the state bird for Orissa
- Lakshwadeep's state animal is Butterfly fish and for West Bengal its Fishing Cat :-)
- Coconut is Kerala's state tree & Sandal for Karnataka. Sounds appropriate. For Tamilnadu its Palm !
Last night we went live with BaZaa beta. Download it here.
You can list items and find items, and BaZaa provides you the matches. Best of all this is that none of your queries/listings are saved in the server and that makes it very scalable. The speed and efficiency will good when there are more users and items listed. I'm not going to explain the technlogy (BTW, its patented) but just the UI, which I wrote. Here are some screenshots (Click to enlarge):
Seen all the screen shots? Now you get a picture of how to list/find right? Now close your eyes and think how many places you have the labels like "Query: [text box]", "Price: [text box]" ? Can't think of any? Well, there are only few places where we have labels. The UI was designed from the ground up in a way that the users will not have the web-based-form-filling feeling. When one of the demos a partner prospect from Zurich said, "for the first time I'm seeing a UI that I can use immediately without asking anyone how to use". Oh! yeah, if you were wondering, we are neither shipping any documentation for how to use it nor having a web page for that. Keep experimenting the UI and try out yourself :-)
Believe it or not, all the UI components are OS native components, but coded in Java! 2 months back, when I was given a demo of this for the first time, the UI was in Swing and looked pathetic. I was asked whether it can be improved. That night in the hotel I wrote the mock up as an RCP application and when I showed it to my CEO the next day, he was impressed. It was obvious that SWT & RCP is the best choice for BaZaa over Swing. Ever since that day, I worked on few hours every day for building and testing the UI and finally we are live!
As of now, we are running the servers only in US. We have purchased servers & bandwidths in other countries, soon you should see local version. Try it now and send your comments/suggestions either to me or click the feedback link in the BaZaa website.