Category Archives: Photolog

Got a Flock invite!

Flock was supposed to post this on my blog….but it never did, so I am just copy n pasting the post manualy.

Here is the post:

grrrr…..had written this long post, but as usual didn’t save it (darrrnnnn…..this is a preview version, it is supposed to crash)

Let me try recalling what I wrote :(

A few days ago, I signed up for flock and today I got an invite for a preview, so far it looks good (yea, it crashed on me atleast once so far)

Flickr Photo

1. They were successful in making me signup @ delicious, flock uses delicious as favs (wrote a lot of stuff b4, now dunn feel like)

2. It has a create a blog post button and you can post on ur blog thru it (thats wot am doin rt. now.) I was really impressed by the way it found my xmlrpc.php as I gave it my blog url. One dosen’t need to know rocket science to do that, you prolly need to research a bit on the common blogging platforms and you can find out a way to locate the rpc files automatically, but it was cool!

Flickr Photo

3. You can Enter Tags, along with the post. I am not sure, what will be done with the tags? I have a tags plugin @ WP, would they be posted there? I guess not. Most prolly they are for technorati, but how would they be used? Also, it is not mentioned if the tags have to be space seperated or comma seperated or somethingElse seperated. I think it will be cool to see something like this in the input field (instead of that Enter Tags) [“Enter Tags” Related Tags]. This would describe the way tags need to be formatted.

4. There is a Flickr Photos bar, which can be enabled thru the blog post. It shows all the thumbnails of images of a specified flick username. From what I have observed, it loads all the images as soon as you click “Get Photos” button, while it just shows 9-11 latest (depends on the size of ur window) images only and the rest can be scrolled horizontally. The sudden downloading of bunch of thumbnails froze my system for a sec or 2. I have abt 100 pix, may b more) but I am wondering if there is a limit to the # of images downloaded or does flock dls all the images. What if someone got 1000+ images? That would kill the comp. I think it will be helpful to download the first (say) 15 images right away and the rest, either when the person scrolls, or at a very slow rate. I was hoping to get latest images for a specified tag, but I am sure it might be under dev. as it makes more sense to get images sorted using tags, than users.

5. Don’t like flickr? there is a thing called “Blog Topbar” for you. It is a list of latest posts from your blog (the one u r posting to, I think). Initially I couldn’t understand its use…..but now I noticed that you can rite click the posts and edit/delete them thru flock’s UI. It also has a tiny button at top right (w/o any alt tag, I think it shud have 1), which is a refresh button for the posts. I haven’t tried the box called “Drop Stuff to blog it!” yet, I’ll try it once I post this post successfully.

6. Flock blog post has a few buttons for formatting. All with alt tags, except the last 2 (link and unlink). I think they were missed somehow. I was kind of upset that the blog post doesn’t have an HTML view of my post and then “by accident” I found the hidden HTML frame. Its really hidden. Its good 2 c HTML.

Flickr Photo

7. Saved my post once again now, “Save as Draft” shows a message something – publishing your post. I think it shud be changed to something like “saving draft”. Also, I would like the window, not to be closed when I click “Save as Draft”, instead it should simply save it and let me keep writing more stuff, if I need to close the wondow, I can use the X button anytime.

Random Fact: I missed it earlier, you can have more than one blogs configured w/ flock, but I don’t think that u can post the same content to a bunch of different blogs by clicking a single publish button. That would have been a boon for the spammers….

8. Flock also has a feed aggregator, which seems to show some weird results. It shows that on 12th Oct. I posted the iPod Video post, but it also shows that I posted the same post on 19th, along with bunch of other posts 😐 What I suspect is that it is retrieving data from technorati or pingomatic, wich might have been pinged yesterday, but I think it should say that. Also, the Feed Aggregator doesn’t show the url in status bar on mouseover + the links are broken. Instead of redirecting me to a particular post, it is forwarding me to the homepage.Switch to webview button doesn’t seem to work at this moment.

Random Fact: The UI seems a hybrid of FF n Opera. Ctrl+T is used for new tabs (like FF), yay!!! while each tab has the close X along with it (like Opera)

I need to sleep now, but I have a few sceenshots and a lot of other stuff to write about it. I guess, I’ll add the screenshots to flickr and link them w/ the post.

Last Random fact: It uses Y! as default SE + has a Y! search box (sad…) but the good news is, that the FF like google query works “google my query here”. Y! as the default SE and flickr photos? is flock owned (read as funded) by Y! ? BTW doesn’t flickr n flock sound like cousins.

Rest tomorrow (or whenever I get time.)

Yahoo Ads Beta – Review

What happens when you try to implement something real quick inorder to compete with a competitor? You end up with Yahoo Ads Beta.

I applied for them a cpl. of weeks ago (thanks 2 Puneet for letting me know about it) and I got approved yesterday (or may be day before). So, I thought I’d give them a shot. I read the TOS and found some lame stuff:

9g from here

you are a US-based business and you are operating Your Site solely for viewing and use by users within the US; and

How the hell do you operate a site “solely” for viewing and use by users within the US on the Internet? Should I ban all the darnnn non-US IP addresses? Thank god they didn’t ask me to check if each of my viewer is a valid US citizen or Permanent Resident.

11 l (as in ‘L’)

Abuse of Services. You agree not to:
…..
display all or part of the Ad Unit to any user located outside the US

Well……can non-US bots view the Ad…?…….please please let them…….ok may be just one glimpse……

To Yahoo – Please implement your Ads like this

check if user = US-located
if yes
display Ad
else
Get lost you looser, don’t waste the bloody bandwidth, you aren’t worth a penny.

And it will be great if publishers can customize the last message.

I haven’t read Adsense’s TOS lately, but I don’t think they have TOS like this (or may be they do 😐 )

Anyways, I somehow manage to make myself understand about that TOS, I agreed to it, that I won’t ask any non-US to view the Ads, if they do, then its Yahoo’s lack of implementation. I agreed to remove Adsense from my site and created a Yahoo Ad. I didn’t miss my Adsense, cos the Yahoo Ad is a clone of Adsense.

Yahoo Ad Preview

They use javascript for to display Ad preview and it is neat. They also have a “Select Your Ad Code” button for those, I guess, who do not know how to select text in a textarea.

They have a Ad Targeting section, where you can choose a category and a sub-category and can even display those Targeted Ads to a certain page or whole site or a subdomain. I think its good. Its more like an addition to the contextual Ads. Here is what the tag line says: “You can display ads that are based on your users’ interests to complement your site’s contextually matched ads.

And then there is Ad Blocking, where you can block certain domains, usual competitors n stuff.

They also have a Content Setup section, where you can:

Embed Y!Q into your site. What is Y!Q?

Y!Q lets you search from any web page you’re on so you don’t have to interrupt your workflow to find more information. Traditional web searches force you to go to a specific search page and type in a query.

It’s the thing that Y! has introduced in its latest YIM. where you highlight some text and can see the results in a small pop-up-like-a-thing.

They also have Add Your RSS Feed to My Yahoo!, which is nothing but just adding your XML feed to viewer’s my.yahoo.com. Right now they don’t have RSS advertising, but it seems like they are working on it.

Link to a Yahoo! Map from Your Web Site is another lame thing that they have in there, which is simply creating a link to Y! maps from your site.

Y!Q, RSS to My Yahoo and Links to Y! Maps don’t pay u anything.

Payment options are more or less same, but they also allow you to transfer funds to your overture a/c. I do have Adsense and Adwords a/cs but not sure if they allow that or not.

Reports are more or less similar to Adsense. There is one feature called URL Tracking.

What it does is: Track the performance of the ads on your site by domain, directory, or page. which is similar to pages in Adsense. They also have “categories” which are similar to Channels in Adsense.

My problems aren’t over yet……

I backed up my Adsense code and clicked the “Select Your Ad Code” button on Yahoo publisher to replace my Adsense.

I put the code like:

Original Code

and what I see on the site is:

On IE

IE

On FF

FF

did I miss something?

I checked the source of me site and what I see is:

ctxt_ad_partner = \’1214287163\’;
ctxt_ad_section = \’6620\’;
ctxt_ad_bg = \’FFFFFF\’;
ctxt_ad_width = 468;
ctxt_ad_height = 60;
ctxt_ad_bc = \’D40000\’;
ctxt_ad_cc = \’FFD800\’;
ctxt_ad_lc = \’D40000\’;
ctxt_ad_tc = \’000000\’;
ctxt_ad_uc = \’7C0000\’;

Where did these \ come from (Is it Apache?)? On further investigation, found that Adsense uses ” instead of ‘ …..but I can’t change their code, so dunno if I am thinking in right direction or not.

Acc. to their FAQ:

When will ads begin appearing on my site?

Your Yahoo! Publisher Network ads will usually begin appearing within seconds of pasting the ad code into your web pages. If no ads are available, public service announcements will be displayed. If you prefer, you may select a Substitute Color that matches your web page background so that a solid color block appears in the meantime instead.

Note: My Substitute color field has nothing in it.

It has been more than an hour and the Ads still don’t work. May be they think I am a bloody non-US located? I don’t think that is the case, but who knows. I suspect its just the lack of testing (oh well its in Beta, y am I cribbing) and may be some of the javascript used on my site is killing the Ads? But Adsense works fine. Also why the hell it shows 2 different things on IE n FF?

I am gonna switch back to Adsense and report the matter to Y! guys.

Bunty Aur Babli

I had very high expectations from the movie, but they were destroyed by the reviews pouring in from everywhere. I adjusted my expectations to a lower level and went to watch the movie. I’d have to say that the movie was fun!! It was different from the routine B’wood movies. BaB is not one of the most logical Bollywood movies, but is an entertainer. Aaina and I laughed throughout the movie along with the _almost_ housefull hall. Housefull is something not so common in theatres in USA. I was surprised to hear a seeti (whistle) in the theatre, when both the B’s started dancing together in Kajra Re. You can read the detailed review here (not written by me.)

B’s and Rani were great!! I really liked how they _tried_ to recreate 70’s style. The background songs from 70’s movies (mostly Big B’s) was a good idea. I also loved the way, they caught the _real_ India. Cinematography and the sets/locations were excelent as they portrayed the India I know. Narrow streets, a bunch of wires on the poles, the houses they lived in, the dust, the stray dogs, dhabbas, railway stations, buses…etc. Dialogues were well written and the actor’s timed them very well. It is really great that the movie was left open ended (chance for a sequel). I’d certainly love to watch Bunty, Babli aur Pappu.

The things which could have been avoided or added were: Dhadak Dhadak, Nach Baliye, Chup Chup Ke songs. They slowed down the movie’s pace, Chup Chup Ke in particular. Aishwarya could have been incorporated in the movie in a better way (say she was a victim or a crook?). The love story Big B talked about, didn’t make much sense (with the song.)

On the whole, it is not as great as DDLJ, but you would still like to watch it atleast 2-3 times.

Acc. to Taran Adarsh

On the whole, BUNTY AUR BABLI just doesn’t have the meat to enthrall the moviegoers. At the box-office, the film has taken an excellent start due to two reasons — the Yash Raj brand and the fact that the two Bachchans have been teamed for the first time. While the first weekend will witness ‘House Full’ boards outside the single screens as well as the multiplexes, the film doesn’t have the power to sustain after the initial curiosity subsides. Monday onwards, the collections should come crashing down. Disappointing!

I don’t agree with it. I think the collections for the movie would go steady. There might be a slight drop (due to negative reviews) but it would be nullified by the comments from people who have watched the movie. Moreover, Bunty Aur Babli’s music will gain more popularity.

I think Yash Raj Films have saved a hukum ka ikka so far and it is the promo for the song Kajra Re. A lot of people were surprised to see Aish in the movie. It is because, they never released Kajra Re’s promo (although they released Big B’s BnB music video). Only the people who took keen interest in the movie or in B’wood in general were aware of Aish’s presence in the movie. It seems like that the promo for the song has been saved for a time when the movie’s ratings/collections will go down. Once the trailer is repeatedly shown on the TV, Aish and both Bs dancing together in the promo would make ppl flock around the theatres once again.

Taran Adarsh has rated the movie 1.5/5 which is very low. He rated V-Z 4/5. I would definetly rate BaB above V-Z as an entertainer (not sure about the stats.) I’d give it 7.5/10.

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