Thursday, December 31, 2009

Translate Hindi Blog or Website to English

Hindi is the National Language of India, spoken by approximately half a billion people. Hindustani (a form of Hindi) is one of the three official languages of Fiji (English & Fijian are other two).

Few weeks back I had written two articles on free online automatic translation How to auto-install Google  Translate Widget to blogger. I also introduced Microsoft Bing Translator, one more widget from Microsoft  that does the same. But these articles were primarily meant for English language blogs/websites i.e. English to other language translation.

Today, while surfing the web I found many fabulously well-written blogs in Hindi. I was wondering how wonderful will it be to have those blogs/websites translated to English or other major language of the world! The same ready to use free tool from Google can be used with a little change in parameter to translate any Hindi language blog or website to following 7 major languages of the world:

  1. English
  2. Arabic
  3. Chinese (Simplified)
  4. Chinese (Traditional)
  5. French
  6. German
  7. Spanish

Why you need Hindi to English & other language translation?

Willy Brandt, a former German chancellor, once said: "If I'm selling to you, I speak your language. If I'm buying, dann muessen Sie Deutsch sprechen [then you must speak German]."

Look & Feel of the Translator

Dropdown-Hindi-English-translate

It’s a simple drop-down box, powered by Google. It looks and function similar to the Google Translate drop-down box widget used at the top right side bar of this blog. With a little customization, it can be used to translate an Hindi blog to 50 other global languages. For any help, you can contact me or can visit the Google Translate URL provided in reference at the end.

How to auto-install Google Translator to your Blogger blog

  • It takes 2 mouse clicks and hardly 15 seconds to install.
  • Click on the [+Add to Blogger] image button.
  • If you’re not logged into your Blogger account, it will prompt you to log into your account. After logging in you’ll find the following blogger interface:

Google-Hindi-English-Translate-Widget 

  1. You can select any of your blog from the dropdown list (if you’ve multiple blogs)
  2. You can add / edit the Title of the widget / gadget.
  3. Click the ADD WIDGET button as shown in screen shot above.
  4. You will find the widget added in your Layout > Page Elements > somewhere at the top at side column
  5. View your blog and translate it to the language of your choice.
Now you can click the following [+Add to Blogger] and proceed for auto-installation of Hindi to English & other major languages Google Translate to your Blogger blog.

Add Hindi to English & other language translator to Wordpress Blogs / Websites

Simply copy & paste the following code in your webpage somewhere after <body> and before </body> tag.

<div id="google_translate_element"></div><script>
function googleTranslateElementInit() {
  new google.translate.TranslateElement({
    pageLanguage: 'hi',
    includedLanguages: 'ar,zh-CN,zh-TW,en,fr,de,es'
  }, 'google_translate_element');
}
</script><script src="
http://translate.google.com/translate_a/element.js?cb=googleTranslateElementInit"></script>

How to remove Google translator from Blogger

In case you didn’t like it, remove it in the same way as you remove any other widget. Go to Layout > Page Elements > Click Widget’s Edit > Click Remove. Enjoy playing around with world languages and free online automatic translation, Powered by Google! Contact me for any query

References

Friday, December 25, 2009

Compare Google Public DNS, OpenDNS & ISP DNS

2 weeks back Google launched it’s Public DNS. The electronic media in general and the blogosphere in particular were all singing in favor of Google Public DNS. Many users claimed they have noticed significant improvement in their Internet speed after switching to Google Public DNS. Today, Google is undoubtedly the Most Powerful Brand in the world, but does it mean we should blindly follow what ever comes from Google?

Many excited Internet users have already configured their settings to Google Public DNS. Before Google’s launch many users were shifting to OpenDNS from their ISP’s DNS. We always have a doubt on the capability of our local ISP DNS server. The question which keeps up popping in web users mind is:

  • Which one is the fastest DNS server, Google Public DNS or OpenDNS or your ISP DNS Server?

Optional Info:  Let me simplify DNS (Domain Name System). Most of the human beings are more comfortable in remembering say for example google.com than 202.12.12.12. The domain name of this blog www.techno-pulse.com is more human friendly, as it helps us to remember it easily. What happens behind the scene when you type www.techno-pulse.com in your browser’s address bar?

  • Browser will request the IP address for www.techno-pulse.com
  • The above request will go to a DNS server, if you’ve not changed the settings, by default it should be your local ISP’s DNS server.
  • The DNS server will check it’s cache for the IP address of www.techno-pulse.com
  • If it’s not available in the cache it’ll query root servers for authoritative DNS server of www.techno-pulse.com
  • The IP address of www.techno-pulse.com is resolved, your browser will connect to port 80 of destination IP address and will render the requested page.

In plain English we can define a DNS server as a Translator, sort of, from the human readable language to machine readable, i.e. it converts domain names into machine understandable IP address.

Which one is the fastest and the best: Google DNS or OpenDNS or your Local ISP DNS

How fast response comes back from a DNS server may significantly depend on where the server is located. DNS servers are located hierarchically in the network and DNS queries (name resolution) is done from the closest server (if DNS entry is valid). The following factors may affect the performance of a DNS server.

  • Response Time,
  • Number of hops traversed
  • DNS server diversity
  • Load-balancing factor
  • Time-of-day effects,
  • Impact on web-security etc.

Geographical proximity is not essential for better performance always.

CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and DNS Server

There’s one more important factor to take a note of, especially with the growing trend of Cloud Computing. Every major website (Yahoo, Microsoft etc) have their CDNs or use some CDNs (viz Akamai CDN) nearest server will fulfill the request. If this is the case, Google DNS may route the request to a server which may not be the nearest one. Your ISP will at least be in a better position to provide the exact location & hence request will be routed to the nearest server… Since most CDNs have servers in ISP point of presence, clients’ request can be dynamically forwarded to topologically proximate replicas i.e.

Optional Info:CDNs attempt to improve web performance by delivering content to end users from multiple, geographically dispersed servers located at the edge of the network. Content providers contract with CDNs to host and distribute their content. Since most CDNs have servers in ISP points of presence, clients’ requests can be dynamically forwarded to topologically proximate replicas. DNS redirection and URL rewriting are two of the commonly used techniques for directing client requests to a particular server”. Akamai CDN is perhaps the biggest CDN provider operating in 69 countries.

---Northwestern University

How to Test or Compare DNS servers speed

There’s a tool and that too from Google which will help you in comparing & benchmarking DNS Servers. The tool is known as NameBench.

GoogleDNS-OpenDNS-NameBench-Compare

How to use the benchmarking tool: Namebench

  1. Download Namebench. (Light weight, Approx. 5MB)
  2. Run it. It’s very smart and will populate your default DNS server.
  3. Even with a dial-up connection, It won’t take more than 30 minutes to render the result.

I got the following results for a test performed in Hyderabad, India on 13 Dec 2009.

Result-Compare-DNS-Servers-Fastest

It also recommends you 3 fastest + Nearest DNS Servers for your location

Fastest-DNS-Servers-Recommended

Optional Info: With reference to the above screen-shot:

You can uncheck the blue colored encircled check box if you are not interested in other DNS Servers of your region. Moreover, if you are on a slower connection it’s better to uncheck it.

For best results keep the Number of tests (Encircled in Red) to default i.e. 200. But if you are on a slower connection you can run a test for less number of tests i.e. 50 or 100 etc.

Analysis of the Result

Why ultraDNS was faster than Google Public DNS? I explored a bit more about it and I found out that UltraDNS has a DNS server in Noida (India). It also seems that UltraDNS is a paid service. Though Google claims to have DNS Servers hosted world-wide in its data-centers, I am not sure but it seems they are yet to host a DNS server in India. May be the Geographical proximity lead to a faster ultraDNS Server. I am not sure.

Perform your test and find out yourself as which one is the best and fastest DNS server for your location. Let me know.

The debate of GoogleDNS vs. OpenDNS vs. ISP DNS ends here~~~

References

Dhiman Barman

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cloud Computing: A Basic Introduction - 2

This article is part - 2 of the Cloud Computing Introduction series. To follow this article and understand the scenario based discussion, you are advised to read Cloud Computing Service: A Basic Introduction – 1.

At the end of the previous article I had pointed out something very important, briefly discussed below.

The Scenario

The organization/entity discussed will have a spike in traffic on some particular day or days, i.e., the spike is a bit seasonal in nature. They need a large number of servers to meet that kind of traffic, perhaps 1000 times more than what they would need during normal days, yet it’s not advisable to buy and amass a large number of servers and put them on standby to be used only on those heavy traffic days. This would be a sheer waste of valuable resources. Moreover, only an astrologer can predict when your business will pick up and you’ll need 1000 times more infrastructure/server than you needed in your last quarter! The reverse can also happen, i.e., a recession can strike again and you may need to reduce your infrastructure drastically, because you don’t need it until the government announces a billion $$$ bailout!

In technical terms the competition and economics has lead to a scenario where a business needs the following when it comes to computing as a whole:

● Dynamism

● Abstraction

● Resource sharing

Note: Curious to know how the above concepts are practically implemented? Read:

Dynamism: It’s quite simple, something like the way you use your mobile phone connection. If you want to talk more, you’ll buy a top-up card (if you are a pre-paid customer like me). If you are a post-paid customer you’ll change your plan to meet your requirement. Your need is dynamic, so should be your infrastructure to support the changing needs.

Abstraction: From an end user’s perspective, they don’t need to care for the OS, the plug-ins, web security or the software platform. Everything should be in place without any worry. The business/consumer should focus more on its core competency rather than worrying about the OS and Software.

Resource Sharing: The whole architecture should be implemented in such a way that provides you the flexibility to share applications as well as other network resources (hardware etc). This will lead to a need based flexible architecture where the resources will expand or contract without any major configuration changes.

The Solution

There’s one model or style of computing (Gartner's phrase) which satisfies the three requirements mentioned above, and is becoming the technology trend of future. It’s known as Cloud Computing. Let me ask you a simple question. Have you ever used Cloud Computing? Most of you will answer in the negative. Maybe you’ve been hearing the Cloud Computing buzz from the last few months, but you don’t think it has anything to do with you.

But if you are reading this page I can assume that you are web savvy enough to have an e-mail account. That’s it. You are already on the cloud. An e-mail (Not all e-mail services are cloud based; a few viz. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail are cloud based) can be the simplest example of an SaaS (Software as a Service). SaaS is a subset of Cloud Computing.

There are various definitions of Cloud computing floating on the web. I found the following to the point and simple:

Common, Location-independent, Online Utility that is available on Demand

                                                                                               --- (Chan, 2009)

The following self explanatory figure describes the fundamental elements of Cloud Computing.

Fundamental-elements-cloud-computing

Image Credit, Based on Rayport and Heyward (2009, P4).

Need Based, Real Time Scale Up or Scale Down

So, how is Cloud Computing going to help the entities mentioned in our last article’s examples? The simple solution is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). The entities (website owners, in our scenario) can simply use the services of a specialist IaaS cloud provider viz.: Amazon, Rackspace, GoGrid. This model works just like an electricity subscription, in the old days, or a mobile phone or internet usage subscription in modern times. So it’s subscription based, or Pay-as-you-go. If your demand increases, simply ask your cloud provider to add more infrastructure. Pay-as-you-go ensures you’ll never pay anything extra. This results in a happy customer, or, perhaps more appropriately, a customer who is delighted to be saving money.

Your cloud service provider will provide you cloud servers, cloud storage, reliable network and load-balancers on-demand to build and scale up or down your cloud computing infrastructure in real time. Moreover, I scanned through a few SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and I must say they are simply outstanding.

  • GoGrid SLA offers 100% uptime, free 24x7x365 support (at no additional cost)
  • Amazon S3 SLA offers at least 99.9% Uptime during any monthly billing cycle

GoGrid-SLA-100-uptime

Many of them will also offer free Anti-Virus, managed DNS, Hardware Load-balancer and DoS protection. What else do you want? The cloud war is getting more intense every day, with the entry of tech-giants viz. Microsoft and IBM. Google is already there.

Simply focus on your core business, rest assured and leave everything else to the specialist who knows how to manage it best.

Stay tuned, the journey of Cloud Computing has just begun…

Happy Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing Articles at Techno-Pulse

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cloud Computing Service: A Basic Introduction - 1

A few days back I posted an article on Top 10 Cloud Computing Service Providers. Many readers asked what is Cloud Computing? Why is there so much buzz about Cloud Computing in the tech-industry? Why is its definition so fuzzy?

I believe we understand better with examples and practical scenarios. These scenarios may help you in understanding what is Cloud Computing and how it may help your business. Also, please note, this is an introduction and cloud computing is indeed much more than what is discussed here in this article series.

Cloud Techno Toon [Updated on Nov 29, 2011]

August 2008, United States of America

At the end of August [2008], as Hurricane Gustav threatened the coast of Texas, the Obama campaign called the Red Cross to say it would be routing donations to it via the Red Cross home page. Get your servers ready—our guys can be pretty nuts, Team Obama said. Sure, sure, whatever, the Red Cross responded. We’ve been through 9/11, Katrina, we can handle it. The surge of Obama dollars crashed the Red Cross website in less than 15 minutes.

—Newsweek

Feb. 21, 2011. During ICC Cricket World Cup, India

Furious cricket fans slammed organizers of the World Cup on Monday as the official ticketing website crashed amid a scramble for 1,000 tickets available for the final…

---The Economic Times [Source]

The official ICC partner for online ticket sell, Kyazoonga, posted the following message on its Facebook Fan Page and other social networks.

We are facing absolutely unprecedented amounts of traffic from all over the world, with hundreds of millions of people hitting at once. Some of you may have trouble accessing the site. It seems that cricket fever has surpassed all anticipations and expectations. Please bear with us as our global network team works on bringing you the tickets you all have been waiting for.

--- Kyazoonga FB Page

June 2009, China

A Chinese website set up so people can inform on corrupt officials has been inundated with so many visitors that it crashed shortly after launching.

---BBC

Perhaps this example made you smile, or perhaps you are equally worried as well, regarding the level of corruption! No need to worry, because this also signifies a huge number of proactive citizens willing to report it. Look on the bright side.

Everyday 8:00AM to 9:00AM, Since ? Till Date, Online Ticket Booking - IRCTC, India

…The bookings & enquiry requests are 6-7 times higher during the peak hours than the rest of the day. So while the existing infrastructure is well equipped to handle the daylong traffic, it is the peak hour traffic that clogs servers…

---What IRCTC can Learn from redBus Cloud Implementation?

May 2009, India

The world’s largest democracy, 1 billion+ population, goes to the jumbo general election. The election commission unveiled a brand new website for providing real time results of the mega-poll. It showed off arrangements which indicated it was well prepared to handle 80.64 billion hits in 8 hours (2,800 hits/second). Obviously a decent number by any standard.

Guess what happened?

On the election result day media reported:

300,000 hits/second make Election Commission website crash.

This per second hit rate means 8.64 trillion hits in 8 hours. Is it less than Google’s hit/second? Take a guess.

Similar server crashes were reported across India during the online CAT examination conducted by prestigious IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) in November/December 2009, though they were smartly attributed to a virus and not to the number of hits.

October 2009, France

A website launched by French first lady Carla Bruni has crashed on its first day - overwhelmed by the number of users trying to access it at once.

---BBC

Online mob. Wish I was even half as popular as her!

What inference can we draw from above server crashes/failures?

These examples of server crashes are but a few among the hundreds happening almost everywhere in the world on a regular basis. What does this indicate? Just one conclusion and that is:

The situation can only get worse. Currently, only 25% of world population, i.e., approximately 1.75 billion people have Internet access. Compared to Television and other mass media, it’s still considered an elite medium of communication. If this meager Internet penetration has lead to a significant number of crashes, what will happen when the Internet becomes a mass medium? India and China currently have approximately 15% or less Internet penetration. Even a moderate increase in Internet penetration and usage, say to 50%, will add more than a billion Internet users! Definitely, too many clicks to handle. Going by statistics and backed up by almost double digit GDP growths, they are soon going to add to this number.

What’s the solution to prevent the above scenarios?

Most of you will answer:

● Add more servers to balance the load (load-balancing)

But will adding more servers solve the problem, or compound the problems of companies/organizations that are already on a tight budget?

Moreover, how many servers do you think will be enough to handle that kind of traffic? Take a guess. 100? 1000? …

Before you guess, let me provide some facts to help you make a wise guess.

Facebook uses 30,000 servers! (as of October, 2009) and it’s adding capacity on a daily basis. Sounds weird.

● An unofficial estimate predicts the number of Google servers to be an incredible 1 million in its world wide data centers!

The websites discussed above are not as big as Facebook or Google but their spike in traffic on that particular day may had beaten these giants! Given these kind of stats, in order to purchase the necessary number of servers, the organizations/entities involved will fork out enough money to make them eligible to file bankruptcy protection.

So, where’s the catch? Even if they are financially sound enough to add huge numbers of servers, just remember the following from our above scenarios/case study:

● The Red Cross will get this exponential surge in the number of hits once in a decade or maybe we don’t know when (i.e., only when there is a natural calamity of larger scale)

● The Indian election commission website will attract visitors only when there’s an election. i.e., ideally once in 5 yrs (forget regional elections, they don’t attract much traffic).

● The Chinese corruption website traffic would have gradually reduced to a normal level in a month or so.

● Carla Bruni’s fans would have mobbed her website only for a week or so.

The above description clearly shows the following trend:

Most of the traffic spikes are predictable and can be planned for. Even the Red Cross traffic surge was predictable, but you’ve got less time to react and plan for it. So adding thousands of servers to handle a few days or seasonal spikes in traffic is a humongous waste of resources.

So, what do you think is the best solution? Do share your views.

Stay tuned to Techno-Pulse for the 2nd part of this article on Cloud Computing Introduction – 2, we’ll analyze further and find the best solution.

Related Cloud Articles

 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

World in ‘Word Clouds’: The Story of a Decade

Cloud is the buzz and may not be only for the Cloud Computing. It inspired me to visually represent the decade [2000-2009] beautiful Creative Word Clouds. Hope it refreshes you and takes you down the memory lane to the beginning of the decade: 9/11 > Boom > Lehman Brothers > Recession > Bailout > to the latest Dubai meltdown... At Technology front it started with Y2K > Web 2.0 > Blog > Social Media > Cloud Computing > iPhone > Google Goggles > Continues…

Creative-Word-Cloud-Decade

So, interested to create your own fancy Word Cloud? It’s quite simple. You can use Wordle a Google App Engine application. It’s free and you can use the image in various ways: Wallpaper, Book Cover, Greeting Card, Campaign Poster, T-Shirt, Brochures, Business Cards or any other creative way you wish. Moreover, you can use it in your blog or website but you must attribute/acknowledge it.

Pre-requisites before you create Word Clouds at Wordle:

You have to download the Latest Java Plug-in and Install it to your system.

Steps to Create Word Clouds

  • Visit Wordle 
  • Enter some random text in the text area and press Create.
  • Remember, the more frequently used words will appear more prominently.
  • Your attractive Word Cloud is rendered in a few seconds.

The application is very quick & efficient. Hats off to Jonathan Feinberg, the creator of Wordle. Play around change font, layout, color scheme etc.

Have fun…enjoy your beautiful Word Clouds~~~

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top 10 Cloud Computing Service Providers of 2009

We are just 3 weeks short of for the beginning of a new year [2010] and a new decade [2010 – 2019] of 21st century. Let me share about the technology trend that dominated the year 2009 in particular, and was a general buzz almost throughout the decade. Definitely, it’s just the beginning of this emerging trend as every xyz company, big or small, is ramping-up to somehow attach this coveted cloud tag to its profile, either as a provider or as a consumer. It seems the demand of Cloud images are rising exponentially in the market as every other company is putting up a cloud image on it’s website! Just kidding. But it’s almost true that today it has become a fashion, sort of, to put up a cloud image on the company website!

You can read the basic of Cloud Computing:

Top Cloud Computing Service Providers

Forget the companies, even the slow & steady tortoise Governments around the world are taking a note. As usual the lead is from the White House, and it aims to save billions with its cloud initiative with the help from NASA Ames. Vietnam & South Korea are following closely. Indian government is yet to take any significant initiative but it seems the mother of all project i.e. Unique Identity Project (mapping of 1 billion+ people) will definitely need a private cloud service to succeed!

Optional Info: The R&D for the cloud computing actively started in the beginning of this decade. Interestingly the recession hit consumers are pushing in favor of the Cloud Computing to save billions, In contrast the service providers companies are also pushing their company in favor of the cloud albeit with a little twist, to earn billions!

Rough estimate: 180+ companies providing cloud based services exist and many more are ramping up for the billion $$$ chase. Cloud based services can be broadly divided into following 3 *aaS or 3 layers of Cloud Stack:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
    • Data-as-a-Service(DaaS) is a subset of IaaS.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS

Optional Info: IaaS is all about hardware, data storage, networking and bandwidth  i.e. Server, Routers, Switches etc. Amazon & Rackspace are good examples.

PaaS is OS + Application Server Stack like .Net framework, VS.Net, SQL Server etc. Best example of PaaS, Microsoft’s Azure & Google’s AppEngine.

SaaS is simply order an application & start consuming in minutes. Saleforce.com is the pioneer in this category.

Now let’s check which are the best companies in the ongoing Battle Royale of Cloud Providers in the year 2009. Following is my list of top Cloud Service Providers of 2009 in reverse order.

Note: There’s nothing official about this ranking. It’s a logical deduction from my understanding of the cloud trend in particular & my following of the IT industry in general! Take it with a pinch of salt!

#10. 3Tera

Offers CloudWare: An architecture to provide an open framework to allow the development of a cloud computing environment that’s open enogh to work on any web/enterprise application. Lack of cloud computing standards have lead to a vendor-lock, where every cloud vendor has proprietary cloud. What if I want to share my application among different vendors/clouds? Currently I can’t.  CloudWare is a big step towards bridging the clouds, and creating standards which will lead to open environment for clouds. Hope, soon consumers will be able to move around with their application and data, that will span multiple clouds.

#9. NetSuite

Specializes in SaaS. It offers SuitCloud Platform: a comprehensive offering of on-demand products, development tools and services designed to help customers and software developers take advantage of the significant benefits of cloud computing. Also a leading provider of web-based Business Software Suite for CRM, ERP tools and Accounting.

#8. IBM

The Big Blue has announced Blue Cloud computing platform way back in the year 2007. IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud is designed to augment and enhance software development and delivery capabilities, particularly in large enterprises.  On 16 Nov 2009, IBM announced the world’s largest private cloud computing environment.The cloud will launch initially with more than a petabyte of data, the equivalent of more than 300 billion ATM transactions.

#7. Joyent

It’s the only Cloud provider company to deliver all the three layers of the Cloud Stack i.e. Cloud service for all 3 *aaS. It was in the news for partnering with Dell to provide over $3 million worth of hosting services for free to Facebook developers.

#6. Microsoft

Specializes in PaaS. It offers Azure, a Windows-as-a-service platform consisting of the operating system and developer services that can be used to build and enhance Web-hosted applications. Azure is available for VS 2008 via Web Platform InstallerVisual Studio 2010 Beta 2 has all the features you need to code, debug, and deploy your cloud service.

Optional Info: I may sound more confident than Steve Ballmer, but today I can safely predict that Microsoft has the potential & is going to derail almost all the top 5 contenders of the list to be right at the top! So, don’t be shocked if my next year’s list of Top Cloud Service Providers of 2010, ranks Microsoft at #1 or #2. Given the history of Microsoft, coming from behind, and storming the scene with its financial might, it’s possible. Moreover, Azure is going to get .Net advantage, a well established enterprise application development platform.

#5. Salesforce.com

Leader in SaaS. Offers Salesforce CRM (Sales Cloud 2, Service Cloud 2) & Force.com Platform (Custom Cloud 2, Development Platform).

#4. Rackspace

The company specializes in IaaS. It offers Rackspace Cloud, cloud services are: Cloud Sites, Cloud Servers, Cloud Files.

#3. VMware

It offers vCloud: Run, secure and manage applications in the private cloud or have them federated on-demand to partner-hosted public clouds. vCloud is giving a tough competition to more established Amazon’s AWS.

It was recently in the news for partnership with Cisco & EMC, to offer equipment called Vblocks and support a new joint venture called Acadia that will help business customers and service providers build out clouds based on the Vblock gear packages.

#2. Google

Specializes in PaaS & SaaS. As SaaS it offers Google Apps: a web-based communication, collaboration & security apps which includes, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs & Google Sites. 15 Sep 2009, Google announced that it will provide GovCloud, which will host Google Apps in a separate data environment with enhanced encryption for meeting state and government security standards.

As PaaS it offers Google App Engine: a platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers. Currently, the supported programming languages are Python and Java (by extension other JVM languages are also supported).

You build your application using Google’s PaaS and Google handles deploying code to a cluster, monitoring, failover, and launching application instances as necessary. Good news, Google App Engine is free, but only up to a certain level of used resources.

And the Winner is…

#1. Amazon

Specializes in IaaS. It offers through Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon SQS. It claims to have 82 billion objects stored in Amzon S3 (Simple Storage Service)!

You can debate about the ranking from #10 to #2. But when it comes to the number 1 company for Cloud based Service provider, Amzaon is the undisputed winner, without any much competition till now. You may call it an early-bird advantage! Is it?

In 2010, also watch out for the following companies:

Enomaly: Founded in 2004, The kid among the veterans, is in the news cause it provides services to the Cloud Providers.

GoGrid: Specializes in IaaS. It offers wide Variety of Ready-to-go Windows and Linux Cloud Servers. It has the most generous SLA in industry which says: 24/7 Support and 100% Uptime.

AT&T: Needs no introduction. The iconic AT&T Inc. (The largest provider of local, long distance telephone services in the United States) has already started offering its cloud services.  

Did I miss any commendable cloud service provider company in my ranking list? Feel free to share your views. Before I conclude, Thanks to Daniel Scocco for inviting me (in a way inspiring me to write this post) to join his Group Writing Project. This article is an entry for the said Project.

Cloud Computing Articles at Techno-Pulse

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bing Domain Score and Listing in BusinessWeek

Continuing the previous post on Traffic Statistics & Analysis of Techno-Pulse I’ve 2 more good news to share with my readers:

So after about 2 months and 11 articles, I am feeling happy to share that one of my blog post Web 3.0: The Intelligent Web was picked up by Business Exchange section of BusinessWeek.

Optional Info: BusinessWeek is a leading New York, United States; based weekly business magazine. Founded in 1929, BusinessWeek magazine is the market leader, with more than 4.7 million readers each week in 140 countries. It competes with the likes of Fortune and Forbes, which are published bi-weekly. In 2008, Bloomberg BusinessWeek launched the Business Exchange, an innovative online offering that aims to better serve the evolving information needs of business professionals.The site was recently named Best New Site at min’s Best of the Web Awards.

Today morning I was going through Google Webmasters Tools when I noticed the Backlink pointing to BusinessWeek. Actually it has been listed 3 weeks back but I wasn’t aware as I am not so regular with Google Webmasters Tools.

I am yet to figure out how it appeared in their listing or who submitted it. Anyways, It’s more heartening to learn that the post came with a tag that says: RWW Semantic Web Favorite Blogs- PostRank (PostRank: Best). To be frank, I don’t understand what does that mean. Any insight by fellow bloggers will be appreciated. Though, I’ve registered with BusinessWeek & playing around a bit to know more.

Web 3.0-intelligent-web-BusinessWeek

You can check the listing at BusinessWeek | Web 3.0: The Intelligent Web. Or you can also search through in the listing at BusinessWeek | BX Blogs. It should be there somewhere on 6th or 7th page. It keeps on changing as more posts are added.

Something more to cheer about:

Finally Bing has been a little impressed and it has started listing this blog from last 2 weeks or so. The Domain Score for Techno-Pulse is 5/5. You can check the 5 green boxes in the following screen shot. It seems it’s very slow in indexing or is it looking for so-called authoritative websites/blogs to prevent the listing of junk sites!

Optional Info: Domain Score & Page Score; Provides a measurement of how authoritative Bing views your webpage to be, with five green boxes being the highest rating and five empty boxes being the lowest.

Bing-Domain-Score-techno-pulse

Any tip by fellow bloggers on how to improve Bing indexing will be highly appreciated.

Cheers

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Traffic Statistics & Analysis of Techno-Pulse

*900,000 New Blogs are created Everyday!

Perhaps countless number of blogs and websites are already present on the world wild web. When I was about to start my blog few of my friends raised a genuine question, Given the above statistics:

Who is going to read my blog as there are already millions of established blogs?

My 1st post was on 1st October 2009. After 2 weeks I registered my blog with Google Analytics. Till now my blog has only 10 posts (Excluding 2 posts on About me & Contact). Google Analytics has the following statistics for Techno-Pulse during last 50 days(approx).

  • 1147 visits, 2107 Page Views.
  • Visitors from 58 Countries, 257 Cities.
  • Visitors used 29 languages. (I guess, language settings in OS)
  • Visitors used 10 Browser/OS combinations.

Country wise break-up follows:

Country-Wise-Traffic-source

I am delighted to find that Techno-Pulse is getting majority of the traffic from Search Engines (read Google) than any other source. I hope it helps in sustainability of the blog in long run.

Traffic-Sources-Overview-blog

City wise break-up in the following image: Chennai in India is leading traffic provider. Outside India it’s Jamison (USA) followed by Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

City-Wise-Traffic-source

The following Browser & OS image shows:

  • OS: We love it or hate it, Windows rules. Microsoft’s dominance is unchallenged.
  • Browser: The war is getting fierce. Firefox is catching up quickly! Chrome, perhaps more of a hype than popularity! Apple Safari is also used, more than I had ever thought of!

Browser-OS-Traffic-source

Before I conclude this post, I thank my class-mates in school & college for their faith in my tech-writing ability. Special thanks to my blogger friends: Rajesh Kanuri, Izzat Aziz, Gaurav, Shekhar Sahu, Gabe, Tinh and many others for their encouragement & feedbacks.

Moreover, Thanks to Google and 100s of unknown readers who stopped by @ Techno-Pulse.

Though the stats are NOT so impressive, compared to other blogs of same age. In spite of that considering the fewer number of posts & my erratic posting frequency, I am ‘sort of’ happy by these statistics!

Reference

*Number of Blogs source: Article Alley

Monday, November 30, 2009

Add Microsoft Bing Translator Widget to Blogs or Websites



Select your preferred language from the Drop-Down box and check the live demo of this cool translator from Microsoft.  Microsoft Bing translator, Microsoft's response to Google Translate.

Recently I had a shared a detailed post on How to Add Google Translate Widget to Blogger Blog. Considering, the bitter rivalry of the two technology giants Microsoft & Google (Yes, now it’s more exciting & bigger than the traditional Coke vs. Pepsi war) I was just wondering what’s the Microsoft’s answer to Google Translate? I was not disappointed by Microsoft, and now I must say the rivalry has definitely served as the fuel for cutting edge innovations.
Google provided a tool Google Translate in 50 languages for translating website or blog content. Microsoft has come up with Microsoft Bing Translator. It’s yet to match Google translate in number of languages supported, but considering it’s a new product, I hope it soon catches up with Google Translate.

Currently, it supports the following 20 languages:
  • Arabic
  • Chinese Simplified
  • Chinese Traditional
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
As you must have checked the live demo of Microsoft Bing Translator at the beginning of this post, You may agree, look and feel is excellent (Of course no one can beat Microsoft in packaging). Color & Width of the widget is customizable. It’s a simple dropdown box where you can choose your preferred language to translate. They may enhance the number of languages supported in near future. Regarding the quality of translation I can’t comment as I don’t speak any of the supported languages. You can give me a comparative feedback on quality of translation of Google & Bing Translate.
I recommend every blog and website should use one of the two translators as it enhances your website/blog’s reach. You may not notice, But It’ll definitely help you in building a good traffic in the long run. Here’s a Click once fully automated installation of Microsoft Bing Translator to your Blogger blog.

How to auto-install Microsoft Bing Translator to blog / website

Google translate definitely scores better when it comes to ease of installation, unlike Bing Translator it doesn’t require any registration. But Bing is still in Beta, perhaps they require registration for testing and feedback. Here are the steps to install Microsoft Bing Translator:
  • Visit Microsoft Translator.
  • Provide your website/blog URL and language in Site info section
  • In Options section you can customize the Color & Width of the widget.
  • Click checkbox to Agree to terms of use.
  • Click Generate Code.
  • Copy the generated code.
This code can be used in any Blog or Website hosted on any platform. Website’s webmasters  can simply paste this code in their respective homepage. WordPress, TypePad and Blogger platform users can paste this as HTML/JavaScript Widget in their respective blog editing tool. 

How to add Microsoft Bing Translator to Blogger blog

Log into Blogger account > Go to Layout > Page Elements > Add a Gadget > Basics > HTML/JavaScript > In Content section paste the code which you have copied from Microsoft Translator website. Here, you can provide a Title in the Title section if you wish.

How to Remove / Uninstall Microsoft Bing Translator

In case you didn’t like it, remove it in the same way as you would remove any other code/widget. For Websites simply remove the code. For Blogs you need to remove the Widget/Gadget.
For Blogger, You can remove it as follows:
Log into Blogger account > Go to Layout > Page Elements > Click Widget’s Edit > Click Remove.
Play around with the free online translation service Powered by Microsoft! Contact Techno-Pulse for any query…

References

Friday, November 27, 2009

Get a Google Wave Invite

Finally, Google has opened the flood gates of invitation. May be by year end every one of us will be surfing the wave. Allowing participating by invitation is one of the most innovative, out of the box, marketing bait by Google. Everyone (including me!) who has got an invitation is spreading the word about it in some way or the other. Till few weeks back there were reports that a few wannabe entrepreneurs were selling Google Wave invitation for a price. Even now few of them are sending invites in return of some favor like promoting their blog or website.

I’ve received an invite from one of my blogger friend, who was kind enough to invite me without asking anything in return. I am on the wave now and I must say Google Wave did make an impression, the so called first impression. Let me explore a bit to check out if it is up to the great hype it has generated during the last few weeks. This is how it looks like:-

Google-Wave-Invite

Want to know more about Google Wave: Read Google Wave: The e-Mail Killer

Need a Google Wave invite/nomination?

Please let me know. You can post a comment with your e-Mail Id. I’ll send a mail to verify if the e-Mail Id is valid. The invitation will be send immediately after receiving your e-Mail confirmation reply. One invitation will make you eligible to invite 8 of your friends on the wave. The number of invitation will increase, once you are exhausted with your 8 invitations.

Happy Waving~~~

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Simplest way to Display Subtitles in VLC Media Player

Last week end one of my friends called me to ask a simple query:

I’ve an English movie video (.avi file). I am finding it difficult to follow the movie due to not so familiar accent. How can I display the subtitles/captioning in English or in any other language of my choice in my laptop computer?

He also informed me that he searched but couldn’t follow the instructions as there were so much information presented in a not so user friendly manner. Almost all of them were talking about some unfamiliar terms such as downloading third party codecs, framerates & strange file extension types.

I personally don’t prefer to watch a movie with subtitles until there are compelling reasons as it takes more than half of our focus from the subject of the movie to the subtitles. Yes, we miss the finer expressions and most of the background while trying to keep up with the subtitles. Definitely we enjoy it best when the most important sense organs i.e. eyes & ears are functioning simultaneously! Unfortunately, in case of subtitles only our eyes work. That’s the reason it was primarily meant to help viewers who were deaf and hard-of-hearing to follow the dialog. Same Language Subtitling (SLS) is extensively used in India by national television broadcaster, Doordarshan, with the primary aim to shore up literacy rates in India!

There are at least 100s of ways to watch a movie with subtitles/captioning in different players and in different devices. But for the scenario given above, what’s the simplest way to watch a movie with subtitles?

Here, I assume the following:-

  • No statistics to support, but I wildly guess that most of us have installed VLC media player in our laptop or desktop computers. Its one of my favorite media players and definitely NOT for the sole reason that it’s free.
  • One more wild guess, most of the movies circulated today (though unethical, it’s socially acceptable; it seems!) in public domain are avi / divx files.

Display the subtitles for avi / divx movie in only 4 Steps

    1. Google search for the following keywords: download [your movie name].srt. For example to download srt for Titanic type: Download Titanic.srt. Most popular subtitle provider is OpenSubtitles.
    2. Download the .srt file of your movie from the website of your choice.
    3. Click & play the avi/divx file of your movie in VLC media player (Preferably in the latest version: VLC media player 1.0.2 Goldeneye)
    4. Now simply *drag & drop the .srt file you’ve just downloaded into your VLC media player screen. The subtitles are there. Simple; isn’t it!

If you are finding it difficult to follow the step # 4, here’s a more formal way of doing it:-

    • In VLC media player go to Video > Subtitles Track > Open File > A dialog box named Open Subtitles will appear > Select the .srt file > Click on button Open of dialog box. You’ve successfully attached your chosen language subtitles to your movie.

How to Disable the Subtitles

  • Play the movie in VLC media player > go to Video > Subtitles Track > Disable.

How to solve Out of Sync Subtitles issue

  • Out of Sync Subtitles are a headache. The simplest way to solve any synchronization issue is to find a suitable .srt file for your copy of the movie. It may happen that a single movie is released in multiple flavors based on geographical location. For e.g. Life is Beautiful had 6 releases in 3 different languages. If your .srt file is out of sync with the movie, most often it means that you are NOT using the appropriate .srt file for your copy of the release.
  • The more sophisticated & efficient way to solve .srt file synchronization issue is by using free subtitle editing tool Subtitle Workshop.
  • Provided you’ve enough patience and you love to mess around with the settings of your software, you can explore VLC media player & change settings such as delay/timing, framerate etc to fix the Out of Sync Subtitles issue.

Subtitles support in some other popular Media Players

I am not so sure but it seems whatever is described above can be achieved using WIndows Media Player, RealPlayer, Quicktime as well. In case of Windows Media Player Subtitles means Captioning. The subtitles file format supported may be different for these players. You can drill down for more about these using the following keyword combinations in Google / Bing search to display subtitles in your corresponding media player.

  • Windows media player + SAMI
  • RealPlayer + SMIL + .rt
  • Quicktime + SMIL + .mov [or .txt] `

Optional Info.

.SRT (Speech recognition Technology) files extensions are basically text file containing subtitles used by various media players; supported by AVI, DivX, DVD & other video formats. Apart from the subtitle text they also include the time each subtitle should be displayed. They do not contain any video data. They are very small file of usually less than 100KB. It’s relatively easy to find English subtitles srt file for almost any Hollywood movie. You can also try for French, German, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Dutch & Russian and few other languages from various websites. For major Indian languages viz. Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, Guajarati, Assamese and Oriya you can explore the Internet. If you don’t find, why not become an entrepreneur and create subtitle for these languages, makes biz-sense, as the demand for these will be exponentially accelerated considering the furious pace with which Hollywood & Indian movies are transcending the geographical boundaries.

*Drag & Drop: Left click the mouse button on .srt file, then without releasing the left click button pull the file into the VLC player and then release the left click button. In a similar fashion, you can Drag & Drop using Right click as well.

Play your favorite movie in your favorite language subtitle. Let me know of any other simple tip to display subtitles/captioning in other media player. Now enable and disable subtitles as per your need…

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