Muhammad Ali is my name and I see myself as a devoted and hard working software engineer striving to keep up to date with the latest inventions and technologies in the IT world. Likeness for writing is one of the reasons that brought me here.I relish and strive on facing challenges and coming out of them with flying colors.
Posts by Muhammad Ali
China will be getting their required iPhone from Apple earlier than expected. However when the iPhone arrives, it will be lacking an important feature: WiFi. From sources it is gathered that Apple has applied and requested for a network access license so that iPhone can be sold in China.
Interestingly, the license is for customized iPhone model in which WiFi support has been disabled. If that comes out to be true, then that would imply one thing: Apple has finally accepted the demands of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. China’s Ministry demands that iPhone runs only on cellular networks.
This comes out as a surprise since Apple previously signalled its intention to provide Wifi enabled iPhones only. However since Apple has seemingly accepted China’s demand, iPhone might be coming to China 2-3 months earlier. Matt Mathison, an analyst at Wedge Partners stated:
We now expect it to come before the Spring Festival in [January] 2010
Picasa Web Albums added some new features which will be welcomed by many of you. Infact these features might be the one that many of you were looking for. Basically these features are management oriented and will enable you to manage your favorites and fans. Many of you might be possibly aware of the fact that you can add any Picasa Web user as a favorite so that you recieve notification when your favorite(s) add/upload new pics. Similarly once you add someone as your favorite, you will become a member of his list of fans and he will get an email for notification purposes
Previously, you were unable to remove users from the list of fans, but that is the thing which Google has changed. If anyone in your list of fans happens to be a spammer, now you do not need to stick with them. Yes, you can block them. Once done, that user will no longer will be able to comment on your photos and add you as a favorite. However a warning appear once you block a user which stats Blocking someone cannot be undone. Besides blocking spammers, you can also block users who post offensive comments.
Also, Picasa Web Albums added a list of suggested favorites. This list includes all of your contacts that themselve use Google’s photo sharing service. What this feature does is that it provides you an opportunity to find interesting photos uploaded by your contacts and to add them to your favorites.
If there is a list of favorite users, similarly there should be a feature to tag some image as your favorite. Well, luckily Picasa Web Album realized and allowed you to declare some image as your favorite. It did so by adding a link below each photo which says I like this. In addition it also show the number of likes. Sadly, in the current scenario there is no way to track the photos you like.
Microsoft besides releasing version 3 of Silverlight, also released Release Candidate for Expression Blend 3. In this post, I intend to bring to you the essential features that the Release Candidate brings for you. One of the interesting and my favorite feature is the Sketchflow. Expression Blend is seen as a major update and is expected to increase and enrich tooling support. More notable improvements include:
- Sketchflow: SketchFlow makes it significantly easier to create prototypes, experiment with dynamic user experiences, and incorporate feedback from customers. If you haven’t seen or tried it yet – you must. It really is a game changing new way to create great user centric applications.
- Intellisense: Blend 3 includes C#, VB and XAML intellisense support. You can now write code and event handlers within Blend without having to switch to VS.
- Behaviors: Blend 3 includes behavior support which can encapsulate complex design interactions into reusable components that can be directly applied to a control within the design surface. This enables designers to quickly add functionality and behavior to applications without having to write code.
- Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator Import: Blend 3 now has built-in support for importing Photoshop and Illustrator files. As part of the import process you can view and pick individual Photoshop layers to import, customize and regroup layers, and have Photoshop/Illustrator elements retain their original formats within XAML: including layer positions, editable text and font settings, and vector element conversion to XAML.
- Sample Data: Blend 3 adds design-time sample data support which makes it easy to mock up data-connected applications and see what they look like without requiring access to live data. You can generate sample data or import sample data from an XML file and it is available to controls on the artboard at design-time. You can customize your sample data details, and you can easily switch between using sample data and using live data at run-time.
- TFS: Blend 3 now includes Team Foundation Server (TFS) support – allowing you to use source control and enlist within projects. Blend shares the same project and solution format as Visual Studio – allowing both VS and Blend to work simultaneously on the same projects and enabling seamless editing between them.
- Other Improvements: Additional enhancements including improved animation and easing function support, 3D transform support, visual effects support, and an improved visual state manager designer.
Expression Studio 3 final release is expected during the upcoming 29 days. Expression Studio 3 will comprise of
- Blend with Sketchflow
Many of you might have heard about the release of Silverlight 3. Well this post is not about that. It is somehow related to that. Expression Encoder 3 is a part of the Silverlight 3 release. So what is Expression Encoder 3 what interesting features does it bring. This is what is exactly the contents of this post. Wait, one more thing this post will not provide the exhaustive list of features that Expression 3 Encoder provides. These details come straight from the silverlight team blog.The more significant or the highlights of the encoder package includes:
- IIS Smooth Streaming – Encode your content in high quality to multiple bitrates to take advantage of Smooth Streaming, a feature of Internet Information Server 7 Media Services. Take a look at the results at http://www.iis.net/media. Encoder 3 adds a brand new dedicated VBR VC-1 Smooth Streaming codec that has been engineered for extreme high-performance and high-quality encoding.
- Improved H.264 Support – The H.264 encoding support for devices that were introduced in Encoder 2 was extended. VBR,Main Profile support and custom resolutions has been added, Enabling you to encode full HD 1080p sources. Encoder 3 also enables you to produce H.264 content for Smooth Streaming.
- Video Screen Capture – The 3rd version brings a very efficient video screen capturing tool. This tool happens to be quite efficient in compression and processor usage. It does consume the whole CPU time. Whenever you capture a high quality video, that captured files reflect the actual quality of the experience. The captured files can be opened up directly in Expression Encoder or even Export it.
- Redesigned User Interface – The User Interface has been modified and brings a different look. The interface will enable you to find the intented items more easily.
- Silverlight 3 Templates -For Silverlight 3, all the templates have been written. Those interested in doing Smooth Streaming, we have included the Smooth Streaming Graphing Player has been included which will provide you with the visual representation of smooth streaming and the ability to simulate different bandwidths
- Software Development Kit and Object Model -As expected and needed, the SDK and Object model have been enhanced. This enhacement was performed to ensure that you guys can get all the powerful features of the advanced encoding. There is an object Model for Live Encoding mode. What more do you want, just for your convenience, SDK is included with the Encoder 3 thus eliminating the need to download it separately.
The more significant or the highlights of the encoder package includes:
IIS Smooth Streaming
Encode your content in high quality to multiple bitrates to take advantage of Smooth Streaming, a feature of Internet Information Server 7 Media Services. Take a look at the results at http://www.iis.net/media. Encoder 3 adds a brand new dedicated VBR VC-1 Smooth Streaming codec that has been engineered for extreme high-performance and high-quality encoding.
Improved H.264 Support
The H.264 encoding support for devices that were introduced in Encoder 2 was extended. VBR,Main Profile support and custom resolutions has been added, Enabling you to encode full HD 1080p sources. Encoder 3 also enables you to produce H.264 content for Smooth Streaming.
Video Screen Capture
The 3rd version brings a very efficient video screen capturing tool. This tool happens to be quite efficient in compression and processor usage. It does consume the whole CPU time. Whenever you capture a high quality video, that captured files reflect the actual quality of the experience. The captured files can be opened up directly in Expression Encoder or even Export it.
Redesigned User Interface
The User Interface has been modified and brings a different look. The interface will enable you to find the intented items more easily.
Silverlight 3 Templates
For Silverlight 3, all the templates have been written. Those interested in doing Smooth Streaming, we have included the Smooth Streaming Graphing Player has been included which will provide you with the visual representation of smooth streaming and the ability to simulate different bandwidths
Software Development Kit and Object Model
As expected and needed, the SDK and Object model have been enhanced. This enhacement was performed to ensure that you guys can get all the powerful features of the advanced encoding. There is an object Model for Live Encoding mode. What more do you want, just for your convenience, SDK is included with the Encoder 3 thus eliminating the need to download it separately.
Very recently, Google Translate capabilities were increased. Google added the option to the Google Translate which will allow it to translate the uploaded documents as well. Previously what you were allowed to do is to either copy the text in Google Translate, or you could upload the document online and paste its address in order to translate it.
However the bad side to it is that it converts your document to HTML and then it translates the HTML file. I say bad because translating into HTML does not preserve the document layout and the embedded images as well.
The files that you can upload include
- Word Documents
- PowerPoint Presentations
- PDF files
- HTML files
- Text files
Considering the layout andthe images problem, is the recent added capability what the user were looking for.
Google Image has made a change that is more oriented towards the easiness with which the search engine can be used for searching images. The change is linked to the SafeSearch filter. Now you will see a drop down box for setting and playing with the various filter options.
Besides one more interesting change that has been made is the feature that allows you to report offensive images that were not filtered out by SafeSearch once you come across them. Google in regards to this matter said:
Many users prefer not to have adult sites included in search results (especially if kids use the same computer). Google’s SafeSearch screens for sites that contain explicit sexual content and deletes them from your search results. No filter is 100 percent accurate, but SafeSearch should eliminate most inappropriate material.
In total there are three SafeSearch settings which are:
- Moderate filtering excludes most explicit images from Google Image Search results but doesn’t filter ordinary web search results. This is your default SafeSearch setting; you’ll receive moderate filtering unless you change it.
- Strict filtering applies SafeSearch filtering to all your search results (i.e. both image search and ordinary web search).
- No filtering, as you’ve probably figured out, turns off SafeSearch filtering completely.
Just a couple of days back, we informed you guys about the release and availability of RC1 of WordPress 2.8.1. Now Ryan Boren has informed us about the release of WordPress 2.8.1. WordPress 2.8.1 is more oriented towards various bug fixes. It also tightens the security for the administration pages of the plugins. So the major highlights or major changes made after WordPress 2.8 include:
- Certain themes were calling get_categories() in such a way that it would fail in 2.8. 2.8.1 works around this so these themes won’t have to change.
- Dashboard memory usage is reduced. Some people were running out of memory when loading the dashboard, resulting in an incomplete page.
- The automatic upgrade no longer accidentally deletes files when cleaning up from a failed upgrade.
- A problem where the rich text editor wasn’t being loaded due to compression issues has been worked around.
- Extra security has been put in place to better protect you from plugins that do not do explicit permission checks.
- Translation of role names fixed.
- wp_page_menu() defaults to sorting by the user specified menu order rather than the page title.
- Upload error messages are now correctly reported.
- Autosave error experienced by some IE users is fixed.
- Styling glitch in the plugin editor fixed.
- SSH2 filesystem requirements updated.
- Switched back to curl as the default transport.
- Updated the translation library to avoid a problem with mbstring.func_overload.
- Stricter inline style sanitization.
- Stricter menu security.
- Disabled code highlighting due to browser incompatibilities.
- RTL layout fixes.
Just like me, many of the users prefer to keep a history of the websites. The reason being quite simple: it makes it possible to access the websites fastly. Plus it assists you in finding websites that they had opened in the past. That is one kind of users. Another kind of users, which is the specific audience of this post happen to be the one who like to keep things private and place emphasis on privacy, thus not wanting to add websites to the history. One more thing this post focuses on Firefox Browser.
Get hold of the Firefox History Block add-on. What this add-on allows you to do is that you can specify domains,urls or websites that you do not want to add to the Firefox history. This add-on not only allows you to add sites that you want to block. It also allows you to unblock websites in the same way by just specifying the domain names. Here is how it is described by Mozilla
This tool will allow the user to specify a list of hosts to be blocked from the history tab, the recently closed tabs list, and the download manager (ctrl+j). HistoryBlock is a Firefox Add-on that works comparably to the newly created Chrome’s Incognito mode, but without the necessity of switching modes while using the browser (or opening in new windows, etc).
However the bad side to this is that it does not provide a way to manage the list of blocked websites in a more easy and convenient way. No way currently exists to display the list of blocked websites and domains.Get the add-on from the Official Mozilla Firefox add-on repository. Here is how to use it
- Click the “Options” button under the addon and add a hostname to be blocked.
- Alternatively, now you can simply right-click on a page and hit “Block This!” to automatically add the hostname and/or subdomain of the current page to the blacklist.
During the course of last month (June), Google announced their plans for adding options that would make is possible to search only those images that were licensed by Creative Commons. Creative Commons happens to provide various flexible licenses that allow content creators to share their works with the world. These options have been added to the advanced search page for Images: Google Advanced Image Search. The options include:
- Not filtered by license (Search for non licensed Images)
- Labeled for reuse
- Labeled for commercial reuse
- Labeled for reuse with modification
- Labeled for commercial reuse with modification
Google Image Search happens to be the first search engine to provide this interesting option.Yahoo happens to provide support for Flickr images only. Go ahead and give it a try and reuse material in a safe manner.
First of all hats off and a huge thanx to Sam Diaz for sharing this important and interesting post with us. Are you guys familiar with Twitter the ever popular microblogging network. If the answer is yes, then you might also be aware of the url shortening services. Yes, Yes I am talking about the tinyurl and bit.ly. With twitter’s upper limit for the message to not exceed 140 characters, we are quite dependent on this service. Through these url shorteners, users mask their links into a shorter one and share their favorite articles, news and other stuff.
Well, Spammers seem to have realized the significant role these URL shortening services can perform in carrying out their nasty spamming plans. According to MessageLabs ( a division of Symantec), the use and presence of short urls in spam messages has taken a significant rise since the last few days. Now it appears in 2 percent of all the spam messages.
The company informs that these URL shortening services are allowing spammers to go past anti spam tools that keep an eye on all the web domains known for sending spam. As one can guess, these services allows spammers to trick the users into clicking on false links.
Now take this thing with respect to Twitter, you never know when you are clicking on a healthy or disastrous link, and to be honest, when using Twitter, we are least bothered.
If more and more spammers start using the URL shortening services for their evil purposes, the significance of Twitter will disappear very quickly.
Twitter has got to do something about it, otherwise its own existence comes into jeopardy. May be Twitter should increase the allowed message length permitting us to post the original link in its original length and format and eliminate the need to use URL shortening services. What is your opinion in this regard. Do share with us. Thnx in advance.