Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The new Facebook? Not exactly - Microsoft's social network So.Cl gets a mixed reception

Microsoft has launched a test version of its own ‘social search engine’ which could take on Facebook and Google+ 
The computing giant hopes the community, which it claims ‘is an experiment in open search’ can help it move into the lucrative social network space.
The service lets people share search results with other users, and has a ‘video party’ mode similar to Google+’s hangout feature.
Microsoft's new social network is billed as an 'experiment in social search'
Microsoft's new social network is billed as an 'experiment in social search'
Members can also create ‘collages of content’ using the firm's Bing search engine technology and external links which they can then share with others, in a feature similar to Pinterest.
Microsoft has been testing the service privately with students and researchers at a small number of universities, but today opened the doors to all.
‘The fact that is targeted at students echoes Facebook's beginnings and has made many assume it is a Facebook clone,’ said Eden Zoller, principal analyst at technology consultants Ovum.
‘But is, as Microsoft stresses, an experiment designed to be a layer on existing social networks.
‘Microsoft is being sensible in positioning in this way - the opposite approach of Google, which entered social networking all guns blazing with a full on service, and is having modest success.’
Experts say Microsoft faces a tough battle.
‘ isn't for everyone and convincing users to fit this site into an already busy online life with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn will be a tough sell for Microsoft,’ wrote Ian Paul of PC World.
‘ is a curious take on social networking and is definitely not for everyone. I'd say if you're life is already filled with tweets, Facebook likes, and LinkedIn status updates, you can safely skip without missing much.’
‘ is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people,’
said a Microsoft spokesperson.
‘We’ve been really busy over the weekend,’ said Lili Cheng, general manager of FUSE Labs, which created the site, calling it ‘great to see how much interest there is.’
It is also believed the service is designed to make Microsoft’s Bing search engine more popular.
A study by Comscore suggested that Microsoft had a 15.4% share of the US search market in April compared with Google's 66.5% lead. Earlier surveys have suggested the gap is even wider in the UK and parts of Europe.

Microsoft launches, a social networking website

Microsoft has silently though officially launched their new social networking website called (Social) which has been devised by its FUSE Labs. This new social networking site (like others) will allow users to share images, links and posts. However it integrates all of these feeds onto one visually appealing profile page.

Microsoft says that it combines social networking and search, to help its users find and share interesting web pages. Additionally it also provides rich media sharing and real-time video sharing. is something you might get by combining Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It is a place where you can share videos, pictures, links and other updates together in one single post.  It also allows users to view a video with their friends and followers by using a feature called Video Party. also includes Facebook authentication, which means all Facebook users can easily access the new social network using their Facebook details and can choose to allows to post automatic updates on their Facebook stream.

Microsoft has also introduced a new button which goes along with and helps user to share all the interesting content from the web. This works similar to the Facebook Share or Google’s +1 button. will use search data from Bing’s public API.

The company has mentioned that their plan is to create and develop an experimental research project using minimal set of features for the purpose of learning.

Users can now request their invites simply from It looks like a decent and appealing social network, but do we really need it?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

How to Speed up Your Site

When we’re talking about site speed the aesthetics boils down to the page load and its capability to withstand sudden traffic spike from incoming linking from highly trafficked sites such reddit or your post get sourced to a post of Engadget. The page load is even more crucial as mighty Google is using site speed as a signal in its search algorithm even Yahoo! and a small deviation on a normal 3-second rule can kill your conversion rate. In the process, slow-loading page can turn away visitors or even they could never come back again. So here are five effective ways to tune your site’s speed making your visitors and search-engine robot happy in the process.

If you’re running WordPress it’s good to know that there are handy cache-plugins that will keep your site up when it got hit by enormous seasonal traffic. We recommend WP Super Cache for beginner as it’s less complicated and technical, then the other one that helps me bring‘s page load to 1.23-second –the highly integrated W3 Total Cache where it also feature Minify for HTML, CSS and JS. You can go and tweak each plugins settings to suit your needs. I’ve tried usingPingdom tools to benchmark the pageload and I got great improvements afterwards.

A CDN can run laps around your server, speeding your media content to your visitors. You can check out Amazon or CacheFly content delivery network as significant options. Some CDN use cloud technology to bring your resources close to your visitors’ geo-region.

Most Popular plugins
Plugins can make or break site’s speed, I remember one on that brought the site’s speed to insane 24-secondpage load and after my investigation the cause was only a single plugin. It’s better if you do research before adding a new toolbar, social widget or WP plugins. Look whether it’s highly used or recommended by other webmaster through its ratings and download count.

I know if you’re a webmaster for quite sometime now, you’ve already read these 35 great tips for ensuring high availability under all traffic circumstances.

Try Cloudflare which uses the cloud to do a bunch of optimization that improves the performance of your site and protection. Your site’s is entitled with speed enhancements of a CDN, code optimization for reduced server load and latency, and security protection that squashes spam and protects you against malicious attacks.

Pinterest + Instagram = Pinstagram

If you can beat them, ‘join’ them! It seems Pek Pongpaet and Brandon Leonardo has take this literally as the two have officially launched a website that mash up a two popular and fastest-growing websites in the world.
The catchy title equates to an official photo viewing website called Pinstragram. The site uses the famous waterfall layout of Pinterest to create a platform for viewing your Instagram photos on the web.
“Pongpaet and Leonardo say the idea for the project was actually kind of a joke that only came to them last Friday. Over lunch the pair, who are also co-founders of the startup, said they were joking about the famous “X for Y” pitches that often happen when companies are pitching venture capital firms. Take Spotwag, for example, which could be called an “AirBnB for dogs,” as reported by Wired.
At the moment, there are plenty of other apps that will let you view Instagram photos on the web, however Pinstagram seemed to have inherited the popularity of the two known services, already luring thousands of visitors for short period of time.
Watch out as it conquers the known platform, such Android and iOS with devices such iPhone and iPad which sure to be a catalyst of growth for Pinstagram. The iPad app is in the works, teaming up with Aditya Herlambang, an iOS developer

Top 10 Most Anticipated Gadgets of 2012

It’s that time of the year again, and we’re not talking about Christmas here. It is that time where the beginning of the new year means a whole new slew of gadgets to look forward to. Now, as far as 2011 is concerned, many were thrilled upon the news of the iPad 2 and many were also disappointed with the iPhone 4S not being the iPhone 5. For the other end of the spectrum, we got a slew of Android devices like the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note, as well as the release of Ice Cream Sandwich to end the year. 2011 also saw the tie-up of Microsoft and Nokia to hopefully bring in new gadgets, as well as bring Nokia some hard-needed revenue. With all of these said, what could we expect in 2012, the year when the world’s supposed to end?
iPhone 5
Despite the iPhone 4S being a great device overall, the lack of physical changes, as well as the simple addition of “S” to the predecessor’s moniker made people skip this release. It is in this vein that many are really anticipating and eagerly waiting for an “actual” new iPhone. Speculations like the aluminum backing and a bigger 4 inch screen is making many excited. Will Apple actually make this wishful thinking a reality?
iPad 3
The iPad was a sure game-changer when it came out a couple of years ago. Then it just got a lot better when the iPad 2 got released during the first half of 2011. So how will they improve on this tried and tested device/concept with its third iteration? Add to that the fact that we lost Steve Jobs late in 2011, will there be chances that the iPad will go on a different route under a different direction? Well, everyone’s hoping for a quad-core processor to power this thing, making it the next best mobile gaming device. Again, another wishful thinking for the Apple fans?
Samsung Galaxy SIII
Ok, don’t get us wrong on this, but while the Galaxy Nexus is a nice phone in itself, it doesn’t have the vibe that the Galaxy S, or the SII had when they were released. Given that Samsung really got a lot with the SII, selling around 10 million copies of the phone, many are left to predict that they’ll continue the winning formula with the third installment of the Galaxy S series of phones – hopefully to catch up with Apple and it’s flagship device.
Xbox 720?
It’s been a while since the latest generation of gaming consoles were released and we believe that they’re nearing the end of their cycles. With that said, the loudest of all these rumored next-generation consoles is Microsoft’s Xbox 720. It’s a no brainer how they came up with that name but here’s the rumored specs for the console. It is said to have an 8-core processor, supports 3D, multiTV, live TV and webcam functionality (i.e. a built-in Kinect?). In any case, Microsoft is rumored to release the 360′s successor in 2012.
Nintendo Wii U
Being at a technological disadvantage against the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 didn’t stop the Wii from being a household name in gaming and entertainment overall. It’s focus on interactivity even forced the competition to release products similar to the Wii’s concept. So how will Nintendo up their game? Simple, just add a “U” to the Wii. Yeah, that name still makes us do weird reactions, but Nintendo is betting that the Wii U will once again dominate the gaming scene with the addition of a new controller with a built-in 6-inch touch screen among the other improvements they’ve placed in it. Nintendo is set to release the Wii U in March 2012 and until then, we can only speculate of how it will fare.
PlayStation Vita
Trying to forget the gadget that was the PSP Go, Sony is eyeing on the success that the PlayStation Vita will bring as much as the original had which sold almost 90 million units in its entirety. And this is one small beast never to be underestimated with its quad-core processor a front touch screen and a rear touch pad, two analog sticks and the socially-integrated UI that still is a lot of getting used to. And while the PSP Vita recently got a Japanese release in mid-December, those in the western hemisphere would have to wait until February to get their hands on this gaming device.
Quad-Core Mobile Phones/Tablets
With Nvidia introducing their Tegra 3 quad-core processor, gone are the days where desktops and high-end laptops were the only ones to get the quad-core treatment. ASUS immediately jumped on the gun with their Transformer Prime (despite being sued for the name) and placed the Tegra 3 chipset to power this device. This proved to be a great choice as the Transformer Prime was indeed a very fast tablet and this sets the precedence for more quad-core devices to come out of the market, hopefully in 2012. So yeah, mobile computing will really be a notch higher with these kinds of devices coming.
MacBook Pro + Retina Display
There’s no denying that any Apple device that has Retina Display in it gives out the most beautiful of screen visuals. And people are actually wishing that devices other than the iPhone be equipped with the same screen. Specifically, they wanted their MacBook Pros to have a resolution on par with the Retina Display or something at a resolution of 2880 x 1800. Now recent rumors were pointing to this feature and people are hoping that they’ll be gettng this one in 2012. But again, keep your grains of salt handy.
You’re probably wondering, "What the heck are UltraBooks?" Well, take the concept of NetBooks and make them thinner yet powerful. Not much is known of how portable or how powerful these UltraBooks may be, but the leading manufacturers (i.e. ASUS, Acer, Samsung) are further making their devices thinner and at the same time, with the dawn of the more powerful mobile devices, it is possible to have these cheaper laptops on higher-end specifications.
Apple HD-TV
The list makes a full circle with another possible offering from Apple. This time, it is the expected release of their Apple HD-TV. Yep, it’s not just that small box that you’ve known Apple TV to be. This is an actual TV set, ranging from 15 to 19 inches that is bundled with iOS inside. Add to that, you can actually play games, run apps and integrate social networking sites as much as you do with your iPhone or iPad. So yeah, even in TV sets, Samsung and Apple are destined to be rivals

Larger screen for iPhone 5 into production by next month

iPhone’s screen size has not been improved since then and as compared to the newly released phones nowadays, they boasts much larger screen. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is ordering large screens for the next iPhone which measures at least 4 inches diagonally. Also according to them, by next month production of these larger screens will be set in motion.
During these days, screen size matters so if the news from Wall Street Journal is true, Apple’s move to produce iPhones with 4-inch screen is a plus for them. Of course, aside from screen, Apple boasts its iPhone products’ quality, well that really counts a lot for consumers but consumers will be more interested on the new iPhone with larger screens.
When Apple unveiled its first iPhone last 2007, it has become a hit. It was a ground-breaking device with a novel interface running on a 3.5-inch screen. Since then, iPhones haven’t changed a lot. As compared to Apple, other mobile manufacturers moved up in a risky way but they have become successful as I may say because so far, they can catch up with Apple’s iPhone. On the other side, iPhone was improving just little by little in the past few years since it existed mainly because Apple is keeping its focus on their tried and tested strategy.
Apple’s iPhone is still dominant in the market just like few years back and they can sell it at the same price. Consumers still wants to own an iPhone even if there are lots of newly introduced mobile phones in the market. But consumers cannot deny the fact that iPhone is starting to show its age. We can say that Android phones also have its winning piece in the mobile world because of its new look, larger screens and newer features and this is how they get the attention of many of the consumers.
As per the rumor circulating over the internet, the new and upcoming iPhone will have a 4-inch screen. There are speculations that this is not true but someone has commented on The Verge and explained how it could be done. But in case it would be done correctly by Apple, it will be an amazing feature of iPhone.
With all these rumors about the features of the new iPhone, we cannot deny that the release of iPhone 4S still got the market and sold like blockbuster. When it comes to profit and making money, they can still count on the current features of the iPhone 4S. But on the other hand, it seems that iPhone 4 has become one of the commonly seen mobile phones in the market. Other mobile phones was able to catch up with it and its like they are all leveled together.
Apple will introduce the next generation of iPhone later this year, no one knows exactly how it will look like. It may have a larger screen and it may not. But for sure, it will still have and maintain the quality that Apple is keeping on its top of the line products.

Top Tips To Unblock Torrent Sites In India

Amidst all the hue and cry originating out of the ISPs blocking access to various torrent and video-sharing websites, EFYTimes lists down a few ways you can use to unblock such sites.  
  A top Hollywood thriller that you managed to get a first look of on YouTube did not make it to the Indian theatres. Aggravating a craving to die for, it's been almost six months since its global release and a true HD copy of the movie is all over the Internet. You rush to your laptop and access a top torrent site to get your hands on to the over 1 GB HD movie and suddenly a roadblock ends the fun. 

“Access to this site has been blocked as per Court Orders.” People who are addicted to file downloads must now be familiar with this message that blocks them from accessing the top torrents and a few video sharing websites. Following a Madras High Court order, ISPs such as Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tikona and others have blocked access to some of the top torrents and video sharing sites. Among the ones, you might have difficulty accessing include ThePirateBay, BitSnoop,, Isohunt, Vimeo, DailyMotion and several others. 

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The hue and cry among Indian netizens is spreading like a wildfire. Retaliating on the situation, the Indian arm of hacking group Anonymous has in fact taken down websites of the Congress Party, Supreme Court, BJP and other top Indian websites of national importance. But to the eager downloader's community, this does not come as a solution to them. Amidst the blockage, there are several ways that can give you access to your favourite websites. EFYTimes lists down a few of them: 

1. The first and easiest way to get access to blocked sites is to use the MAFIAAFire Redirector plug-in. Once installed, the user simply needs to enter the URL of the blocked domain and the plug-in redirects to its mirror site. All this happens within milliseconds. The plug-in currently supports Firefox and Chrome only.

2. You can also change the DNS provided by your ISP to Open DNS or Google DNS. Switching to one of these can surely help you bypass the block.

3. A free VPN can also come to your rescue. All you need to do is download and install a free VPN client. After this, all the URL requests of the blocked websites can be easily bypassed through it. Among several others, providers such as freevpn, supervpn and vpnreactor give you such free service. 

4. A proxy can also be of some good use for unblocking websites. There is a wide plethora of free fresh proxies available all over the Internet that can be of some good use to access blocked websites.

Among all these ways, you might find success in downloading torrents from blocked website but it does not come with the surety of good speeds as your network traffic will be redirected. Also, you must keep in mind that downloading copyrighted material without the proper retail channel is illegal. So, we encourage using the afore-mentioned means only for content that is free from copyright. Till then, happy surfing!