Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to download YouTube videos??

YouTube has become one of the favourite hangouts on the web today. But how do you save YouTube videos onto your HD??

Simple :-

1) KISS : - Use the word kiss in front of the video URL & you'll have a link to download the same.
eg: use instead of

2) KeepVid : - Use KeepVid & paste the video URL into the bar. A link is provided to save the video.

3) YouRipper : - Use a free desktop based utility YouRipper to save the video to the HD.

All the above approaches help you save the video in the FLV format ( Flash Video ).

There are other ways like YouTubeX, TubeStock etc aswell.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mash! Playing catchup with Orkut

Mash! A simple Google search of the term throws up references to an Online game & a 1970 film on the top.But Nah...i am not gonna talk about them. The Mash i am talking about is the new Social Networking offering from the Yahoo! stable. It aims to challenge its more illustrious siblings like MySpace, Facebook & yeah Orkut.

Well, until now, Yahoo! was nothing but lame when it came to Social Networking, what with it's hugely unsuccessful Y! 360 offering. But Will Aldrich, the project head for Mash promises to change that.

Few knew what Mash was until last month as it was available only to Yahoo employees as a closed beta service, but a New York Times journalist was accidentally informed about it. Two dayslater, on September 14, the invitation-only beta version was launched. I,like hundreds of others ( 415 to be precise ), left a plea on Mash team leader Will Aldrich's blog for an invite.

With a plethora of Social Networking pros vying for attention, what does Mash! have that would impel me to make that unlikely shift from Orkut? Aldrich has the answer.

Mash is a new approach to online profiles, Aldrich says, adding that there are some new twists that make things a little interesting and a lot of fun. It allows you to make starter profiles for your friends and you can leave your profile open for trusted friends to add stuff you usually would'nt. Now how dangerous can that be?Leave it to your imagination. In short, think Wikipedia, which millions swear by but many don't trust because it can be changed by all and sundry.

You may therefore get up one fine morning & find your Mash profile tweaked by your next door neighbour, albeit with your permission.The main section ”About Me” has questions like If I were an animal, I would be.... Other fill-in-the-blank questions include The soundtrack of my life, What's most likely playing on my iPod, Something I can't leave home without, and My celebrity look-a-likes.

And there is no Scrapbook like in Orkut; it's a Guestbook.The fun part is you have your own little virtual pet which you can feed, smack, poke, jab or kill if you get too bored with it. Aldrich says Mash still is very raw with many bugs & has a long way to go.

The big question I am asking is why would I switch to Mash, and believe me I am not alone. While trotting Aldrich's blog i have found people commenting on this very subject.

Perhaps, only time will tell!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Accessing Orkut & other blocked websites in College or at work

We often find ourselves in situations where in we need to have a peek of that particular scrap from a special someone on Orkut or find an attachment on Yahoo. But alas..Orkut & Yahoo are blocked at your workplace.

What do you do now? Don't despair!! Go through this : -

Trick1) Use a proxy server. They are in plenty on the web & a simple Google search will provide you the list. The common ones are usually blocked but some of the uncommon ones are,, etc. Go through the list here LIST.

Trick 2) Surf the web using Mowser, a new service that's free and converts any website into a mobile phone friendly format. This is a Google tool.

Trick 3) Try putting in the IP address of the website in the address bar. This may or may not work depending on your ISP.

Trick 4) Google !! Yes, your very old fav Search Engine. How?? Here's how : -
  • Use Google Mobile Search. Google display the normal HTML pages as if you are viewing them on a mobile phone. During the translation, Google removes the javascript content and CSS scripts and breaks a longer page into several smaller pages.
  • Enter the URL in Google or Yahoo search and then visit the cached copy of the page. To retrieve the page more quickly from Google's cache, click "Cached Text Only" while the browser is loading the page from cache.
  • Use the Google language transaltor tool ( available on ).
Trick 5) Use a URL redirection service like or These domain forward services sometimes work as the address in the the url box remain the redirect url and do not change to the banned site.

If all the above fail.... forget it & get back to work!!

Search Engines..look beyond Google!!

Well think Search & the first thing that comes to mind is Google. Many, including me, can't get enough of this amazing tool. Then comes Yahoo, Live Search, Ask etc etc.

But there are a few who are very good when viewed from certain facets. Here's a peek view : -

India's first Search engine, started by two fire-in-the-belly IIT grads, provides search services for Indian websites.

Started by a group of IIT grads, AskLaila caters to local needs (presently Bangalore). Key in a query like 'Mobile repair shop ' & you'll get the answer.

Powered by Yahoo, you may find AllTheWeb a lighter, more customizable and pleasant "pure search" experience than you get at Yahoo itself. The focus is on web search, but news, picture, video, MP3 and FTP search are also offered.


HotBot provides easy access to the web's three major crawler-based search engines: Yahoo, Google and Teoma. Unlike meta search engines, it cannot blend the results from all of these crawlers together. Nevertheless, it's a fast, easy way to get different web search "opinions" in one place.

And then there are other intersting one's like ( provides clustering feature ), etc.

Happy Searching !!

Tech Span? What's that ?

Well, 'Tech Span' What's that ? I am sure that's the question that crops to your mind when you go through this
post. And by the way, i am sure the first thought will be ' Another Blog !!'

With lakhs of blogs doing the rounds of Blogosphere, how is this gonna be different. Well let me list out a few of my ideas : -

  • I am constantly on the lookout for some new tech stuff, be it a new startup, a new Google product or the new website that you have been hooked to. I plan to share those over here.
  • Trips & tricks i stumble upon.
  • Reviews & all.

So lookout for more. I hope i make your Blog trotting experience a pleasant one!!