Madhawa's Blog

i'm Madhawa Ranga following BSc. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Moratuwa.

Microsoft Testing Vine Beta – Not Exactly Twitter April 30, 2009

Filed under: microsoft vine,twitter like vine,Vine beta — madhawa.h @ 6:08 am

What Are the Chances it Will Become As Widely Adopted?

Microsoft has launched beta testing for a service called Vine, which was originally conceived after Hurricane Katrina. Some are comparing the service to Twitter, but I don’t exactly see the connection other than it lets you communicate with your friends, which could pretty much be said of any social network, email service, or telephone.


That said, I’m not sure many people will jump on the Vine bandwagon being how they already are communicating via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, email, phones, etc. While it can actually work with most of these, the fact that you have to download software to use it and create a new profile is already a strike against it.

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Google Has Digg on the Brain

Filed under: digg on google,Google's Digg-Like Gadget,what's popular — madhawa.h @ 6:06 am

Is Google’s Digg-Like Gadget an Indication of Future Plans?

Google has released a gadget called What’s Popular for iGoogle. You may draw some connections between it and a certain site called Digg, and some are speculating that it is even an indication of a broader plan from Google to creep into Digg territory. What would a Google-owned version of Digg mean to you? Tell us.

Google says the What’s Popular gadget uses algorithms to find interesting content from a combination of user submissions and trends in aggregated user activity across a variety of Google services, like YouTube and Google Reader.

What's Popular Gadget from Google

Users can rate items that they like or dislike by clicking the ratings buttons next to each item. The gadget then looks at what users liked and disliked to adjust the ranking of items.

Users can directly submit URLs, and if they become popular, they can rise to the top of the list. You can associate your Google user name with your submissions, and edit titles and descriptions. You can also keep track of what you have submitted in the “My Adds” section. Yep, that sounds about like Digg.

What Happens if Google Launches it’s Own Digg? (What do you think?)

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Top 10 Materials Moments in History Announced April 27, 2009

Filed under: materials,materials moments in history — madhawa.h @ 5:39 am
More than 4,200 materials science and engineering professionals from 68 countries attended the TMS 2007 Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, Feb. 25-March 1, as the results of voting among the scientific community and the public at large revealed the Greatest Materials Moments in History.

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Filed under: Uncategorized — madhawa.h @ 5:26 am

Finished “Avatar” – Book 1… waiting for Book 2…


April 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — madhawa.h @ 10:38 am

Watching “Avatar” Book 1


YouTube Makes More Homepage Changes April 25, 2009

Filed under: changes of youtube,youtube,youtube new channel layout — madhawa.h @ 4:57 pm

Tweaks Video Sections

About a month ago, YouTube changed the names of some of its video sections. They introduced Spotlight, Featured, and Promoted Videos. Now YouTube has made some more changes to its homepage when users are signed out. YouTube Product Manager Brian Glick gives the following rundown of what’s new:

– We’ve streamlined “Spotlight Videos” and given it greater prominence on the page. It won’t appear every day, but when it does, videos will be organized around a theme, such as today’s Earth Day videos, or a community trend. Feel free to suggest themes in the comments below. (Oh, and if you’re signed in, whenever we show Spotlight Videos it’ll appear wherever it does today, according to your settings.)

– “Videos Being Watched Now” got a makeover; we hope this gives greater emphasis to the videos that are rising up right now, according to what people are watching.

– The new “Most Popular” section features the hottest video in each category at the moment, in addition to the overall Most Viewed and Top Favorited video. This category display should help surface a wider variety of videos.

YouTube of course recently added full-length feature films and television shows into its mix as it strives to better monetize itself in Hulu-like fashion. The site is also testing a new channel redesign that users can get to by going here.

YouTube continues to dominate the online video picture in terms of total number of video streams and unique viewers, by a wide margin. Monetization is a different story however. We can likely expect to see a lot of changes with YouTube in the foreseeable future as we have over the last several months.


YouTube Launches YouTube RealTime Beta

Filed under: changes of youtube,youtube,youtube beta — madhawa.h @ 4:56 pm

Makes YouTube More Like Facebook In Some Ways

Today YouTube has launched the beta version of YouTube RealTime, which comes in the form of a toolbar that resides in the lower right corner of the page on YouTube.

YouTubeFrom this toolbar, users will be able to see which YouTube friends are currently online (much like Facebook) and what they’re watching. A history of their recent activities on the site are also able to be viewed as well as real-time notifications when they perform activities like commenting, favoriting, and uploading.

At this point, YouTube is only offering the feature to the first 100 people that say “Yes! Sign me up” in the comments section of this post on the official YouTube Blog. Each of these 100 people will get an invite.

“Please keep in mind that you will need to have friends on YouTube for this to work — the more you have, the richer the experience, so be sure you accept friend invites and actively manage the list,” says Ryan Junee, a Product Manager on the YouTube Team.”

Junee encourages those who get the invites to give feedback via theforums or in the same comments section.

YouTube also announced some changes to its home page for signed out users today. More on that here.


Google Launches Gadget to Get Users to Engage On Your Site

Filed under: friend connect,google friend connect gadget,google gadgets — madhawa.h @ 4:54 pm

Get Answers Gadget for Google Friend Connect

This week, Google launched a gadget for Google Friend Connect that encourages visitors to ask questions from the community as well as answer questions posted by others. In other words, this is a gadget that can potentially get people more engaged while visiting your site.

Get Answers Gadget

The “Get Answers” gadget lets site members do the following:

– Ask questions, submit answers, and vote on the answers they think are the best

– Read other questions and answers from the community, sorted by popularity or date

– Quickly view only their own questions to see the answers they’ve received

– See what Google search says about their question

“With the Get Answers gadget, new members can ask questions and get up to speed quickly, current members can share information relevant to your site topic or other topics of interest to them, and you (the site owner) can learn more about the interests of your community, which can help you tailor your content to your visitors’ needs,” explainsSocial App Developer Barry Welch on Google’s Social Web Blog. “As the site owner, you remain in full control and can moderate the gadget by deleting any inappropriate questions or answers.”

More information about it is also available here.


Should Companies Restrict Employees Use of Facebook, Twitter?

Filed under: Uncategorized — madhawa.h @ 4:49 pm

Gannett Restricting Employees from Social Network Use?

Update: The original title of this article was "USA Today Publisher Restricting Employees from Using Social Networks?" USA Today called WebProNews requesting a change because it made it look like USA Today itself was discouraging social media use, which is apparently not the case. 

"I can’t speak for the posting on Gannett Blog, but I can say that we at USA TODAY have been working extensively on our social networking efforts," says USA Today Communications Manager Alexandra Nicholson. "USA TODAY was the first national newspaper to offer reader comments, and we continue to expand our community tools by allowing readers to communicate with each other directly, add 'friends' through and through social networking tools like Facebook Connect. Additionally USA TODAY has recently launched a series of moderated communities targeted specifically to our readers, this includes a recent MMA community launch.

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Role of nanotechnology in brand protection

Filed under: brand protection,Converting magazine,nanotechnology — madhawa.h @ 3:11 pm

–Converting Magazine,09/01/2007

Despite its high cost, new nanoscale developments can provide covert authentication and track-and-trace features for consumer packaged goods.

The key to designing a good brand-protection technology is to make it easy for brand owners and their investigators to identify genuine goods, while making it very difficult for counterfeiters and crooks to know how that is being done. Nanotechnology can provide such a solution. Using nanotechnology, companies can now apply covert information, such as batch information, directly onto products and packaging. They can, for example, encrypt nanoscale codes onto pharmaceutical pills for tracking and tracing. They can also create nano bar codes, which are invisible bar codes that are technologically complex but can be used to easily authenticate products and packaging. Many more significant advances in nanotechnology are on the way, and the possibilities are almost endless.

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