First Look at Microsoft’s Tafiti search engine

2 09 2007

Microsoft has released a new showcase of its Silverlight web development frameworks, a graphical search engine called Tafiti. Tafiti, which means “do research” in Swahili, is an experimental frontend to Microsoft’s Live Search engine. It presents search options in three panes on the screen: the left pane is for entering search queries and switching between image, RSS, Web, and News, the middle pane contains the search results, and the right pane is used to “dock” results using drag-and-drop for looking at later.

To run the Tafiti web application, you must first download and install Silverlight. Silverlight runs on Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher. A Linux version of Silverlight is being worked on by Mono developer Miguel de Icaza but is not yet available.

The installation is a one-time-only affair, with the default setting to update Silverlight automatically in the background when new releases come out—a good thing since the Silverlight frameworks themselves are still in beta. Once installed, a browser restart is required, and then the Tafiti site will run. Tafiti runs on Internet Explorer 6 or 7, Firefox 2.x, and Safari 2.x, but it will not work on Opera or the new Safari 3 beta. I had some problems with Tafiti not rendering search results on Firefox, but others have reported no difficulties. Read the rest of this entry »


Geni – We Are All Related

15 08 2007

Geni’s premise is very simple. We are all related. This idea, while theoretically feasible, has resulted in a family tree website where you map your family tree visually. If you’ve tried to create a family tree earlier – either on paper or in MS Word or MS Excel – you would have realized how painfully-difficult and error-prone it is.

Geni hits that exact problem on the head, and all you need to do is follow the visual clues to create your own family tree. What’s more, you can invite all your relatives via e-mail to join the tree. And your relatives can in turn invite their relatives to join the tree – and pretty soon you realize that your family is way bigger than you thought it possible. The data entry can be kept to a minimum – name, email address and relationship to another person in your tree – if you feel this is the way to go, or you can fill in as much detail as you wish. You can add your picture (so far-flung relatives will finally know what you look like). – Are you risking too much to get an invite?

14 08 2007

Its a great concept! A site where people can share invites for different web services which are invite-based only. Instead of searching for invites on the web or waiting for an invite you requested from that particular site, you can go to and request an invite, and usually you will soon be invited by one of the users.

But the downside is that there is no provision to protect the privacy of users. Once you request an invite, your email address will be visible to anyone who holds an account at the site. Now imagine what happens if a spammer gets hands on your email address. In fact, people have reported an increase in spam in their inboxes after they signed up at InviteShare. Well, every good thing has its price. So are you going to request an invite again at InviteShare?

ONLINE STORAGE: 80+ File Hosting and Sharing Sites

29 07 2007

From sending one document to backing up an entire business, data storage is the key to everything nowadays. Seeing this, Mashable has  put together a list of more than 80 of the leading file hosting services, many of which are completely free.

Check them out here.

Search is Good

24 06 2007

It is possible to make real dollar donations to a favorite charity without dropping a dime, just by surfing the Web. A handful of online services will route some of their profits from Internet advertising to the tree-saving, cancer-curing, kitten-rescuing, or other group of your choice.

The most popular search-for-a-cause service is GoodSearch. Powered by Yahoo, it will send half its ad earnings–about a penny for each Internet lookup you make–to your pick of 37,000 nonprofit groups and schools. You can also add its toolbar to your browser. Nearly 100 new recipients are added each day, said co-founder Ken Ramberg, who hopes GoodSearch will become one of the top 10 search engines by next year. The service sent several hundred thousand dollars to various charities in 2006. Each nonprofit group receives a check at the end of the year once users have rung up at least $20 in its name.

Good Search

On a related note, Microsoft’s “I’m making a difference” program will send ad funds amassed through your use of its instant messaging app to one of 10 nonprofits of your choice. Each charity can receive a minimum of $100,000. To sign up, visit this Windows Live Messenger site.

Go to

(Online storage): Store & Share with DivShare

28 05 2007

DivShare is a service offering you to store your files online (any types of files) and share them in a number of ways. You can create groups where you can share your files easily. You get unlimited free storage (though there is a paid upgrade available, which does not show ads on your download pages). The files you once upload will never be deleted automatically, not even due to inactivity for a long time. There are many other nice features like – the folders containing only images are converted into something like slideshows, you can preview an audio file before downloading it and so on. Overall its a great service considering the features it offers for a free account.

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Track your expenses online with Buxfer

26 05 2007

Buxfer provides you an easy way to track your money online. You can easily tag expenses or income, create shared expenses, link with your friends or family members with whom you share your transactions etc etc. The interface is clean and one can analyse the transactions. You can easily attach files with your transactions (such as bills, receipts). The credit card and bank statements can also be imported into your Buxfer account.

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