Sunday, May 27, 2012

What's on your desktop?

Rainmeter is the best known and most popular desktop customization program for Windows. Enhance your Windows computer at home or work with skins; handy, compact applets that float freely on your desktop. Rainmeter skins provide you with useful information at a glance. It's easy to keep an eye on your system resources, like memory and battery power, or your online data streams, including email, RSS feeds, and weather forecasts.
Many skins are even functional: they can record your notes and to-do lists, launch your favorite applications, control your media player - all in a clean, unobtrusive interface that you can rearrange and customize to your liking.
There are thousands and thousands of skins available, crafted by a large and ever-growing community of Rainmeter users.
Rainmeter is not just an application, it is a robust toolkit. Create and modify your own skins in a simple language that's easy to learn, with the help of our extensive documentation, getting started guide and skin tutorials. Skins call upon measures, a set of powerful built-in modules that do all the heavy lifting, and create interactive meters to display that information however you decide. In this way, Rainmeter brings productive innovation together with creative artistry like no other platform of its kind.
Rainmeter is a community. People in our forums are always happy to help you get started or answer questions. Over the last few years, a thriving community has built up around Rainmeter, as average users freely contribute their own original skins, their generous knowledge and support, and their inspirational ideas to a project whose scope and capabilities are constantly expanding.
Rainmeter is designed for YOUR system. Rainmeter uses very little CPU and RAM resources, has a tiny space footprint, and will run perfectly well on any hardware using Windows XP through Windows 8.
Rainmeter is free and open source. Rainmeter is open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU GPL v2 license. If you want to get involved, check the Developers page.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yahoo Announces Axis, A New Visual Paradigm In Web Search UI


We take our search engine experience so much for granted that it can be hard to see with clear eyes. Consider this: The dead-simple process of Googling something actually has three distinct phases. First, you arrive at the URL and type your query. Second, you scan the long list of blue links that are your results. Third, you hopefully find what you need. With their new search app, Axis, Yahoo is claiming to have eliminated one of those steps altogether. The insight lies in making search into a far more visual, rather than text-based, experience. "We’re focusing on the front end," says Ethan Batraski, Yahoo’s director of product. "And in the last few years, the search experience hasn’t evolved much at all. But search is no longer a destination."

Thus, Axis is a browser-like experience that comes as either a tablet app, smartphone app, or a browser plug-in. It’s the iPad experience that lays bare exactly what’s going on. Tap it, and you arrive at a search bar in the upper left corner. Type in your query, and suggested topics fill in below. Where things get different is in the results. Rather than a list of blue links, you get tiles and webpage titles on your right. You can swipe through these, and if you tap on any one result, that page previews in the browser space below. br />

Granted, Yahoo’s claim at eliminating a middle step is a bit overblown, but note that there’s a subtle shift at work here. Rather than asking that you read capsule bits of text to try and parse whether a search result is relevant to you, they’re asking to look at the website. They’re using the thumbnail image of a website as a semantic shortcut that signals all sorts of information such as how well done the website is, how media rich it is, and how well its own tastes match up to yours. "This process manages your expectations from a site," argues Batraski. Put another way, thedesign of a website is another map of its relevance to you--just as the inbound hyperlinks give you an idea of who’s most reputable.

While I don’t know whether the UI that Yahoo has built will be refined and fun enough to gain a mass following, Yahoo’s position on Axis does seem reasonable. And also interesting: The suite of apps on your computer, browser, and mobile devices all sync, so that, for example, you can resume searches begun on your iPad when you move over to your PC.
If it might seem like a niche product right now, consider two things:
  1. Screens are growing larger, to the point that thumbnail images are actually quite rich now. They contain a vast amount of information.
  2. Increasingly, we do our web browsing on mobile. And tapping on links just isn’t nearly as immediate and pleasant as tapping on images.

Yahoo claims that Axis does indeed speed up the search process for the users it has observed. But perhaps the more interesting thing is that Axis might herald a new take on ads. Batraski says he can imagine mixing in sponsored images into the list of thumbnails. For example, if you search for anything Chevy related, there might be a Camaro pictured in your listings. Click on it, and you might be able to rotate it in 3-D in the preview window below. That solution gets to a subtle problem with ads as they appear on search pages now--with tablets, which privilege unbroken panoramic images, the tiny real estate in the top right corner just doesn’tfeel as present or as well-integrated as it might on a desktop with a mouse.

For now though, Yahoo is staying cautious, opting not to monetize while they work out how people are actually using Axis. But they’re working with advertisers on test pilots. "This might be a lab for ad development," says Batraski. "There’s a lot of experiences that we’re thinking of down the road."

For more details, please visit:

Friday, May 18, 2012


[Saw this from a Facebook post earlier, and is sharing this on my blog]


[Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins ]

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to STARVE the cancer cells by not feeding it with foods it needs to multiple.

What cancer cells feed on:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Note: Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells will starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes t o nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.

To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water--best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines will become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.

Anger, unforgiving and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Spam Fight Back

Here is another blog that is dedicated in fighting back against spam pest.  You can read more on fighting back spam, here:

Here is my updated list of numbers that had been spamming me with their Ads.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Floppy Disk means Save, and 14 other old people Icons that don't make sense anymore

Something really interesting to me, and I definitely had to post this as a reference for my kids in future.  

What happens when all the things we based our icons on don't exist anymore? Do they just become, ahem, iconic glyphs whose origins are shrouded in mystery?

Floppy Disk - Save

Save? Save where? You know, down there. Adding the Arrow to the 3.5" floppy makes me smile. Is it pointing to under my desk? What's a floppy? Why not a USB key? Maybe a cloud icon? That will be easy since there is only One Cloud Icon in the world.

Radio Buttons - Mutually Exclusive Choices

Why are they called Radio Buttons? Because my car radio used to have buttons where only one could be pressed at any time.  I miss my 8-track.
AM Radio from Gina Hogan Edwards' Blog  The Shutdown Windows Dialog


Seriously, short of a doctor's office or the DMV when are we coming in contact with clipboards? And why is the clipboard the icon for Paste? Why not Copy? Or "fill out form?
The Paste Icon with a Clipboard


We used to use smaller flat dead trees to keep our place in between the dead trees we would read from so that we didn't lose our page. No, books didn't "keep our place when we turned them off."
A bookmark in a book

Address Books and Calendars

We would write down all our addresses and phone numbers in a dead tree and carry it around with us. Sometimes we'd manage our calendar that way also. Everything was bound together with metal spiral loops. Let me check my Filofax.
An address book with a spiral binderA calendar with a spiral binder


I assume that the Voicemail icon is supposed to be evocative of reel to reel tapes but it always look like a container of 110 Film. I suspect my voicemail is no longer stored on spooled magnetic tape. No, you've never seen either of these before, young person. #getoffmylawn
iPhone Voicemail IconReel to Reel Tape110 Camera Film

Manila Folder

I suppose the kids use Pee Chees still these days? I use folders because I use the 43 Folders organizational system but I don't see any reason that we couldn't be storing our files in abstract squares rather than folders in the sky.
Manilla Folders in the CloudsManila Folders are where you put thingsManila Folders

Handset Phone Icon

The world's most advanced phones include an icon that looks like a phone handset that you haven't touched in 20 years, unless you've used a pay phone recently. (What's that?)

iPhone Phone IconAnd old phone handset plugged into an old cell phone

Magnifying Glass and Binoculars

At some time in the past the magnifying glass became the "search everywhere" icon, but for some reason binoculars are for searching within a document. This makes no sense as magnifying glasses are for searching things that are near and binoculars imply breadth of search and distance. These two commands should have had their icons reversed!
The Find icon from Word
A magnifiying glass  A black and white icon of binoculars


Soon the envelope itself will go away and the next generation will wonder what this rectangle means and what it has to do with email. We'll still put other arrows and icons on top of these icons to mean reply, forward, delete, and other things. "Daddy, what's a 'stamp'?"

Envelope Various Envelopes with arrows superimposed on them

Wrenches and Gears - Setup/Settings

Want to indicate Settings or Setup to a twenty something? Show them a tool they've never used in their lives.
iPhone Settings is a set of gearsScrewdriver and Wrench crossed


If you don't know who Johnny Carson is, how could you know that this is a old-style microphone?
Old timey microphone
The Siri icon is an old time radio microphone


No one under 30 has seen a Polaroid in years but we keep using them for icons. Instagram sold for $1B with an icon whose subtlety was lost on its target audience. "Shake it like a Polaroid picture."

Instagram IconStack of Polaroids


Does your TV have "rabbit ears?"
A bunch of TVs with CRTs and

Carbon Copies and Blueprints

I'll "cc" you on that email. Last time I made a carbon copy I was using a mimeograph to do it.
Carbon CopyBlueprints and Carbon Copies

What other icons do we use while the original inspiration fades into obscurity?