Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Google Hindu Calendar with Timezones!

Starting from 2010, the Google Hindu Calendar is being published in different versions for seven different timezones. You can click on the links below to open the calendars for the timezones you are interested in. At the bottom right-hand corner of each calendar, you will find a button which will let you add the calendar to your Google account.

Google Hindu Calendar Timezones:

The above calendars display dates of Hindu festivals, New Moon days, Full Moon days, ekAdashi (11th day of the fortnight), Hindu months and years.

Thanks to Pandit Mahesh Shastriji, of the My Panchang fame, for all his hard work in calculating the data for these calendars and providing the data to me in a format that could be easily imported into Google Calendar.

If there are any questions, please ask them in the comments to this post. I will answer as soon as I can.

Edited on 1/17/2010: Added Hindu Calendars for Australia and New Zealand timezones.

Edited on 1/27/2017: Added Hindu Calendars for Dubai and Singapore timezones.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

THE gPhone could be imminent

About 18 months ago, I called for Google to make a super phone it could call its own. Looks like that could become a reality soon.

The blogosphere has been abuzz in the past few weeks with rumors of THE Google Phone coming to the market early next year. The Google Mobile blog lent a lot credence to that rumor when it admitted:
We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.

Sounds like there may be some really innovative features/services on this device. Google wouldn't be announcing companywide dogfooding, while keeping the specific details of the device a secret, if this was merely an incremental improvement to existing Android phones. There could indeed be some truth to the "iPhone on steroids" quote.

The next few days are going to be exciting. You cannot distribute something to thousands of people across the world and expect everything to be in the dark for long. You also wouldn't get only a small batch of several thousand units of an expensive phone manufactured for just a company gift. So, we will see this phone on the market sooner rather than later.

Update on 12/13/2009:
That didn't take long! By now, it's confirmed that the phone Google gave out to its employees is the previously leaked HTC Passion, now being called Nexus One. Pictures on Engadget.

Hardware-wise, there doesn't seem to be any revolutionary features in this phone so far. We'll have to wait for details about the software and service to see if there's anything of interest there. I wouldn't be surprised if my theory from yesterday that this might be a major step forward in the Android stable of phones is proved wrong. This might be nothing more than a small incremental improvement on existing Android phones.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Update your Facebook privacy settings ASAP!

If you are a Facebook user, you should review and update your privacy settings ASAP.

Today, Facebook has changed most of your settings to be public by default. Public not just to everyone on Facebook, but to everyone on the Internet! As if that douche move was not enough, they are busy making deals with Internet search engines and assorted other marketers to sell your dirt. What that means is that, someone like say a prospective employer, could search for your name online and find your not-so-professional Facebook status messages!

Facebook claims on their blog that for "sensitive information, like photos and videos in which you've been tagged and your phone number, we'll be recommending a more restrictive setting".

I don't know what they mean by "recommending", but on my Facebook profile, I found that they had selected photos to be shared with everyone (on the Internet!) by default. This was true of almost every other setting, except for my email address.

Once your data is published to others, deleting it from Facebook won't delete it from other places. Facebook makes this clear in its privacy policy, which 99.99% of Facebook users don't bother reading:
If you delete “everyone” content that you posted on Facebook, we will remove it from your Facebook profile, but have no control over its use outside of Facebook.