Pakistan court wants ban on Google, Hotmail and Yahoo

Pakistan has recently had a bit of a love hate relationship with the internet and companies that provide internet services. First Pakistan had banned Facebook over a controversy and then also ended up putting the clamps on Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia.

Most people think bans do not serve any purpose as in today’s time the internet is very symbiotic and content is not always URL specific. It is usually shared across various mediums which might end up making the ban pretty ineffective.

According to a report in Times of India, a Bhawalpur bench of Lahore High Court ordered Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Amazon, YouTube and Bing to be blocked or banned on a petition against these websites that they were publishing sacrilegious material.

The Pakistani authorities have not carried out the court order suggesting it has not received the orders but heard about it through media reports.

Hopefully these websites will not be blocked in Pakistan as such objectionable material is often unnoticed until its banned or a issue is raised. This I guess is probably counter productive.

Do you think these bans really serve any purpose? Can the internet be regulated? Do let us know through your comments.

Link: Times of India

Bing Adds Full Music, Movies, Games and TV Shows

Bing has done one of the biggest investments on the area of entertainment. As you all know, we use mostly search engines for finding out things that entertain us mostly such as music search, movies, games or tv shows. So bing has targetted these areas to make our search more refiner like from deciding what movie to buy or see, which TV shows to watch online or on your TV, what music to listen to, how to find and safely play your favorite casual games.

Bing has started rolling out more than 100 new features on the search engine, Bing Entertainment. It adds more than 100 new features that would help us to better search for music, movies, tv shows and games.

1st Feature – Music :

Their statistics says that over 70 percent of people look for lyrics online, so it’s now easy to safely find lyrics to all in one place. More over the partnership with Zune will let you to stream full length songs more than 5 million songs. You can also get photos, videos, and even tour dates for your favorite acts.

2nd Feature – Gaming :

Bing provides more detailed information on over 35,000 games, including in depth reviews, cheats and walkthroughs for all your favorite games. You can just play more than 100 popular games online safely from right within Bing.

3rd Feature – Movies :

Bing brings together all of the information and tools you need to get to the movie right from Reviews, Pros, cons, real time facebooka and twitter information, nearby restaurants and even parking information from Bing Maps etc.

4th Feature – TV shows :

Their stats tells us 30% of people watch all of their TV episodes online, and over 60% of people have used a search engine to look for full-length TV shows online. So Bing collects full length TV episodes and visually organized them for easier search. With thousands of episodes from over 1500 shows including lots of HD content, watching your favorite shows online is easier than ever before.

Ultimately, the use of this new feature is you spend less time searching for entertainment and more time doing the stuff you love.

Do you think this could be where Bing gets an advantage over Google? Do let us know through your comments.

Show Your Support to Your Favorite World Cup Team Using Bing’s Flair Facebook App

World cup has been started on 11th of June and its fever is already gripped the whole world. Sites like Google and Twitter already brought new flavors to enjoy the event. The latest addition in the list is Microsoft Bing. It launched a new Facebook application known as Fan Flair by which you can edit your photos. You can visit Facebook fan page of Microsoft Bing and add an application easily.

It lets you add  some effects on your Facebook photo. Effects include flag, football and scarf of your favorite team to support it. To start with the service you have to visit a Bing’s official Facebook page.

1. Go to Fan Flair tab and click on “Get started” button.

fan flair

2. It will redirect you to “Request for Permission” page. Click “Allow”.

allow-facebook-application

3. Now the application will ask you to select your photo. You can use your profile picture or choose one of the photo of your own albums. Here I selected the profile picture.

fan flair photo

4. Now select your favorite team. Mine favorite is Brazil therefore I clicked on Brazil’s flag.

team fan flair

5. Select your flavor. There are total three flavors: scarf, ball and flag. I selected all the three. ( You can see it in the screenshot given below). You can select only one of them or two of them.

fan-flair

6. After selecting the flairs you can post your photograph to your wall to show your support to others. If you don’t want to show it in your wall then you can save it to your Facebook photos.

fan flair info

That’s it. You can encourage your friends to add the application share the edited photographs. You can also check out 5 websites to watch FIFA World Cup 2010 live online for free.

How to Customize Google Search Background

There has been an announcement of launching Customized Google Background option throughout the net. We are happy to announce its launch in India.

Today, Google came up with custom background option in Google Search. I’m really impressed with the addon and hope that every googler will like it. Previously, it narrowed its gap with Yahoo by bringing I-Google and now it has left Bing far behind by bringing the Custom Background option. Now the other search engines don’t have a unique feature other than Google. It seems that Google has started to grab the entire Internet World and Business.

I’m adding the screenshots having details how to add it.

Step 1 : Click : ” Signin to use background image”

Step 2 :  Sign in your account

Step 3 : Choose your picture. You can select over various sources like Google Image Search, Picasa, Public Gallery and Editor’s Picks.

Step 4 : Make a selection from previous step. I chose a picture from Editor’s Picks and it look like below.

Features : You can set multiple images over multiple accounts. Whenever, you login a Gmail Account, you will get your customized wallpaper at Google Search.

This feature is really cool and now Google has met up the only difference which Bing had.

5 great ways to search for PDF documents online

Ruchi wrote a nice post a few days ago detailing 10 websites to download free E-books. It got me think and looking up other ways to search for PDF files online. E-books are fine but there are also many online forms, documents, pamphlets all in PDF format which someone might be interested in look up.

Here are some tips and websites to search for PDF files online.

#1. Search for PDF files with Google Search

  • You can search for PDF files using Google. It searches the web for files with extension being PDF rather than links.
  • For example when you want to search for PDF files regarding CSS just type in “CSS filetype:pdf” without the quotes into the search bar.
  • This will make Google pull up relevant PDF files on CSS. ;-)

#2. Search for PDF files with Bing

  • What works with Google also works with Bing search engine.
  • To have Bing search for only PDF files need to write the keyword first and then file type has to be defined.
  • I searched for PDF files on CSS with this query “CSS Filetype:pdf” without the quotes.

#3. PDF Search Engine

  • PDF Search Engine is a website which has been covered before on DW.
  • It allowed me to search for only PDF files online. No fancy filetypes had to be defined as this website only searches for files which are in PDF format. :-)

#4. Search PDF Geni

  • Search PDF also looks up a decent list of PDF files with any keyword. It is pretty similar to PDF search Engine.
  • The only downside is that it supports multiple languages and sometimes with keywords like “CSS” it can give you results which are not necessarily in your language.

#5. Search PDF files on Yahoo Search

  • Just like we can search for only PDF files with Google and Bing, I could also search for PDF files with Yahoo Search.
  • With Yahoo the example to use for the query is “CSS originurlextension:pdf” without the quotes.

Do try out these tips for searching PDF files, documents and manuals online. Drop in your comments with any more alternatives and tips you might be using or finding useful.

Create RSS feeds of search results with Bing

There is a lot that Google can do and it seems Bing Search is a poor cousin of Google when it comes to innovation. But I really liked this feature with Bing which allows your to save your search results as a RSS feed. (You can use Google Alerts for similar RSS feed of search results from Google)

How to make RSS feed of Bing Results?

  • This is quite simple. All you need to do is search for something with Bing and create a RSS feed buy clicking on the RSS symbol at the address bar. You can only do this with Bing and not with Google. :-|
  • Below is an image of how you can subscribe to the search Results as a RSS.

  • If you do not see the RSS Icon in the address bar, you can always create a RSS feed by appending the URL of the results page with “&format=rss” and a feed is created.

Why RSS feed for search result can be useful?

I like subscribing to search results mainly to see when exactly does Bing index a post that I have published. I usually search for relevant keyword within the blog url and subscribe to the result’s RSS feed.

It is also a great way to follow a trending topic or for that matter a tutorial. You can search of something specific and monitor it to see if something new is being indexed and sought after highly with Bing search.

So go ahead and try out making RSS feeds of your Bing search results. Also you can check out 5 Bing search tips you should know.

Drop in your comments with your views and any tips on how to make Google search results into RSS feeds?

Bing Maps takes Google street view concept and makes it better [Video]

Some of you who love Google Maps might know about its street view feature. Microsoft has actually trumped Google with its new Bing Maps features. Not only does it have its own cameras taking photographs of selected places but has also introduced crowd sourcing. Crowd sourcing means the videos or photos you take and post of Flickr can be used against Bing photographs in a seamless way.

First time I used Bing Maps I felt it was a clone of Google Maps but I was impressed with some of their seamless products. The current new products are mainly creating a 3 D environment of whole cities. This is available with Google Earth but for Google Earth you need to install a software which uses a graphics card.

Bing Maps creating a 3D environment is similar to Google Maps and hence you need only a browser rather than a software installed for that 3 D rendering.

There are many features like historical timeline and before and after views which show streets on how they have changed over time. I think these features are a lot more important as an archive than just a mere travel tool.

Here is a video of TED talk which introduced the new features of Bing Maps.

I think Bing Maps and their new features if they get them to work right will be truly difficult to compete against but I am sure Google Maps will have something up its sleeve.

So what do you think about Bing Maps? Will it bury Google Maps and its relevance?

Face Morphing Software from Orkut: People Hopper

Face morphing is one of the technology which I personally enjoy a lot. Converting a boy into a girl, converting a man into tiger or any other animal and so on. This is fascinating to me and I’m sure those who have tried other Face morphing software will enjoy Face morphing a lot.

Google has released an application for Orkut named as People hopper which will let you morph any of your friend face into other friend face and you can see the cycle of changes.

face_morphing_orkut You can add this application by clicking on this link. Though  other orkut user reported that this application is not working into their account but it seems to be working fine for my Orkut profile. Note : I tested this on Google powered chrome browser.

Have you tried this face morphing application yet? Do  let me know if this is working for you or not.

Search volumes of Facebook, Twitter and Orkut in India

Over the last two years I have started using Facebook a lot more than Orkut and recently Twitter has become quite addictive. So it got me thinking how did these websites compare on Google Search.

I decided to compare the three websites and their search volumes over the internet using Google Insights.

The calculations are done on comparable percentile.

The high is taken as 100 and then the averages are calculated in comparison to the 100.

In 2007

insights2007

Orkut was at an average of 80 and Facebook only 3 with Twitter comparatively standing a hopeless zero.

In 2009

insights2009

Clearly Facebook has made an impact with 46 and Orkut has had a constant high of 92 as the red line shows compared to the blue. But looking at the graph Facebook and Orkut seem to be at a meeting point sometime in January next year.  ;-)

  • Orkut was at 100 at a particular high on the graph hence an average of 92 this year signals a much more consistant performance than back in 2007 when it was at 80.
  • It might also mean that this year Orkut is hit a plateau and not really managing to grow its user base in India as Facebook is doing.
  • A similar study of insights done for the whole world shows Orkut at zero pretty much for the last five years. :-|

Link: Google Insights

BingTweets: Fusing Twitter Trends with Bing Insights

BingTweets is a new website that combines Twitter trends with Bing search results, enabling you to see deeper, real-time information about the hottest topics on Twitter.

You can also search for anything in the BingTweets search box (at the top right of every page) and see Bing search results alongside the most recent related tweets. You can also share these results.

At the time of writing this post, Derren Brown was the most discussed person and on Bing, the first result was his own personal website.

This website is updated in real-time so you don’t have to refresh it again and again. Well, I think that there’s nothing more I can tell you about this website. Just visit it, and you will see how “trendy” this site is.


[Editor’s Note: This post is submitted by our guest blogger Kushagra Agarwal. He likes to blog and design. He is inspired by gaming.

If you, too would like to write for Devils Workshop, please check this. Details about our revenue sharing programs are here.]