25 Feb 2008

Earning money from your pictures

I am an amateur photographer. I love taking pictures of almost everything and anything. You will find me with a camera all the time. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a professional, I only have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 and some of my pictures don't always come out well. But I am learning and I even upgraded my Flickr site to a pro account by paying $24.95 per year.

I have always allowed free access to all my images and licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons license. However, I discovered that several people have been using my images for commercial purposes. I found this out through the "Google alerts" service. Not that I really mind the pics being used for commercial purposes but I would have appreciated it if they had attributed the pics to me or at least asked me for my permission before using them. Some companies did ask me for permission but a lot of people didn't.

In the end I decided to put "All rights reserved ©" on all my photographs. Now, only I can print photos and only friends and/or family can download them from my account. If anyone else is interested in using my pictures for any commercial purposes, I would have to charge them for it.

BTW, this happens to be the most popular photograph in my account:
A picture of my sister's hands covered with henna before her wedding.

20 Feb 2008

The Blue team wins

One of the biggest format battles in our lifetime has ended with the Blu-ray winning over HD DVD as the industry DVD standard, after two years.

Apparently the end came as Toshiba announced the discontinuation of their HD DVD businesses. Tsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation:
"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop."

The Blu-ray technology is controlled by Sony Corp. and is backed by Matsushita (Panasonic), Warner Bros, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Blockbuster and
Netflix. Source: Toshiba drops out of HD DVD war.

I guess Warner Bros' decision to release movies only in the Blu-ray format, led to this conclusion. The major forces behind HD DVD were Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Intel, Microsoft and HP.

Microsoft does not expect this decision to affect sales of its Xbox 360 game console but I am sure they are worried.

13 Feb 2008

Valentine's ecard virus

Be very worried if you receive an Valentine's electronic card as attachment from an unknown sender this Valentine's day (tomorrow). According to the FBI, it may contain the Storm Worm Trojan horse.

Read the AFP report:

12 Feb 2008

Dream Gadget meme

I love electronic gadgets. I love reading about them, I love trying out the latest ones in the market and will buy them if I can afford them. However, I know of some guys who are even more obsessed and will be packed from head to toe with the latest gizmos, regardless of whether they really need them or not. I guess that in comparison, I am more practical and only buy stuff that I really need and will do so after detailed research and taking my wallet into consideration.

Anyway here are some of my electronic gadgets along with the ones I dream about:

1. Mobile: 3 Skypephone.

Dream gadget: Nokia N96.

BTW, the Nokia N96 isn't out yet. It will come out in Q3 2008.

2. Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9.

Dream gadget: Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi

3. MP3 Player: I don't have a separate player. I just use my Skypephone.

Dream gadget: iPod Touch

4. Laptop: Fujitsu

Dream gadget: Toshiba Portégé R500-124

5. Satellite Navigation: TomTom ONE UK and Republic of Ireland

Dream gadget: TomTom ONE XL Europe

6. PDA: I don't use one though I have an old Palm

Dream gadget: I don't need a separate PDA, the N96 would be good enough.

So what are your dream gadgets?

I tag: Azwan / Doris / Emila / Eches / Mei /Narrowband
and anyone else who want to take part.

11 Feb 2008

Free E + A Blogger Template

Do you like the template I am using for my blog? If you are a Blogger user, you can now use it for your blog as well. It has been heavily modified from the original Adsense Tech Template by Charm Skins.

I have decided to name it the 'E + A Blogger template'. This is the first version.

Download the template

Please drop me a line if you use this template, have any problems with it, or want to modify it.

9 Feb 2008

Beyond Google

Most of the time whenever I want to find something on the web, I use my favourite search engine - Google. I am not unique as an informal survey of friends' preferred search engine reveal that most of them use Google as well. A handful use Yahoo! but none of them use MSN Live search, Altavista or Ask.

No one will disagree when I say that Google is now synonymous with searching on the net. The word "Google" has in fact become a verb and it's not uncommon to hear people use the terms "Googled" or "Googling".

Anyway, according to a trainer at a course I recently attended, only about half of web pages in any search engine's database exist only in that database, meaning that the other half will never come out in your search results.

You can see that this is true when you use different search engines to search for a particular term.

In the end, it might be a better idea to use Metasearch engines. They collate search results from several different search engines. One good example is Dogpile. Others include Clusty, Copernic, Mamma and Surfwax.

I have started using Dogpile and Copernic a lot and they do give better results than either Google or Yahoo used separately. Do try them out and tell me whether you agree.

6 Feb 2008

Ubuntu up and running

As some of you might be aware, my previous attempt to load up Ubuntu on my old computer ended in failure - read Ubuntu installation problems.

After that I discovered that the problem might be with my Maxtor hard disc, which was not being recognised at all. I was about to assign it to the rubbish bin when my tech expert friend Wolfgang asked me whether he could have a look at it first.

To cut a long story short, he found that the hard disc was in a mess and reformatted everything. Yesterday night, I put it in, reconnected all the cables, said a short prayer and started up the computer. Loaded up the Ubuntu CD and started installing it.

I would be lying if I said that I was not worried. Unlike a Windows installation, where you get a slide show telling you how Windows was going to make your life easier, here I got lines of code running down my screen before it finally got a graphics interface. It took ages to load after I hit the install icon and I even dozed off on my chair during the installation process.

Finally the installation was complete and after restarting the computer and removing the CD, I had a brief scare when the lines of code reappeared and started running down the screen. But in the everything was OK. Ubuntu comes with several applications preloaded - including the Firefox browser, GIMP, Open office, etc. There were several games as well.

Here's how my desktop looks:

Will be writing about my experience using Ubuntu later.

MyMiniCity - another great way to waste time

Go over to Adamok - my virtual city. Every visit will improve my city. The first stage involves increasing the population followed by industrialisation.

You can go over there and create you own virtual city for free as well.

Got this from the Niterider.

5 Feb 2008

Google and sponsored posts

Just heard (or should I say, read) an interesting rumour. I am actually quite excited about it. Well, according to the rumour Google is going to start offering sponsored posts. If they do roll it out, I would be among the first to try it out.

Anyway, I got this through Katy who in turn got it from Shoemoney.