Deciding To Argue Effectively

Succeeding is just a bonus. The key to a successful argument lies in our ability to understand that an argument is not a competition, as opposed to what almost all people might believe.

Why Hobbies Are Good for Us?

Hobbies reduce stress, says Alice Domar, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. They distract you from everyday worries...

Get Fit and Healthy With Fruit Vinegars

If traditionally, fruit vinegars were only considered as food ingredient or as delicate flavor enhancer, these new findings and information suggest that they can also be regarded as potential functional foods.

Can Money Buy You Happiness? | Learn From What Experts Say

The secret to using money to buy happiness is to spend money in ways that support your happiness goals. There are ways to spend money that are likely to help give you enduring happiness.

What Piggy Banking Taught Me?

Teach your kids the importance of money, start with piggy banks then get them a savings account later when they are ready. Let them understand the basics of savings before infusing a more complicated concept.

30 November 2007

Group Chatting in Gmail's GTalk?

Yes! Recently, Google has included a new feature to their Gmail webmail service. Gmail now wires in a "Group Chat" capability inside the email client via GTalk. The newly added goody lets you chat with many friends at once in a single window, a feature very much present and have been very useful in Yahoo group chatting long time ago. One thing unique in the application, though, is that anyone involved in the chat can invite any other member to the group chat. There is also no limit to the number of people you can chat with. Moreover, enhanced emoticons have also been added to make the chatting experience more bubbly and lively.

To initiate a group chat, click "Group chat" from the "Options" tab in the lower left corner of the chat interface when chatting. Enter the names of the people you want to add, and, bingo, you are in your very own chat room. All the familiar features such as chat archiving and taking the chat off the record still work as well.

According to gmailblog writer Sergey Solyanik, these features only work with the latest version of Gmail, which they are still rolling out to IE6, international and Google Apps users.

Although people always expect a lot of things from Google whenever they launch a new product, these new features seem to be “million miles” behind when compared to Yahoo’s YM and other popular chat applications. However, as they say, better late than never.

For a Gmail fanatic like me, I find this development rather totally disappointing. Primarily because I am looking for unique features or breakthrough applications in chatting which other contenders, like YM and MSN Messenger, have not yet implemented.

I don’t know. Maybe I was just craving for too much.

What do you think?

Do you like these new GTalk chatting features?

Did you find this post useful? If so, you might want to subscribe to my RSS feeds so that you will be automatically alerted once a new post comes around.

Happy weekend!

18 November 2007

Are You Ready for Gmail v2.0?

Nearly 44 months ago since Gmail first surfaced online. I got my free account roughly 38 months ago, though. Throughout this period, this blockbuster webmail application has remained in beta-testing status. Recently, however (sometime late October or early November this year), I have been receiving feeds that, finally, Google is gearing to release Gmail v2.0, although I hardly recall if there was ever a launch for v1.0. Nevertheless, it is still something to look forward to for passionate Gmailers like myself.

So, what are the reported new features then?

I found a comprehensive review about this release from googlesystem blogsite. After reading this review, I went on to see if my account is already active with all the features that have been mentioned.

So far, I am convinced that it loads faster than the “previous version”, although I still find some slower performance each time I get to load the inbox interface. Once the interface is loaded, however, it simply works like a charm for the pre-fetched emails and other known new features.

The best new feature IMHO is the integration of IM networks (with option to select from Gtalk, AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, & Jabber). I haven’t tried it, though, but since it is clearly visible in the new Contact Manager module, I guess it is going to be one of the new killer applications Gmail v2.0 would be very popular about.

What is my general impression?

Google has made important changes in its Newer version of Gmail, but its too early to provide general comment/s on its performance.

Now, are you ready to switch? Go ahead and load your mail interface and see for yourself if you are one of the privileged few who can start playing around with Gmail v2.0.


  1. You have the new version if you can see a link to an "older version" at the top of the page (as shown in the image below), which means you can enjoy the new features: mail pre-fetching, updated contact manager and other small updates.
  2. If you don’t see the "magic word" in tip #1 try loading this link:

What do you think?

If you find this post useful, kindly leave your comment/s and rate the entry.

03 November 2007

Some Cosmetic Enhancements for Stitches™

While on a short "Halloween" vacation, I tried spending my free time toiling around on some cosmetic improvements for my blogsite. The last time I added some goodies was when I posted the Cool Rating Widget. That wasn’t ages ago, though. But I personally and generally like CHANGES; therefore, do not be surprised if "continuous enhancements" will always be one of the dynamic activities of this blog.

Among the new enhancements that I recently implemented here were:

Peek-A-Boo View: I thought of finding a way to make it easy for my readers to go through all my recent posts within the main page of my blog. This is because if the entry is too long (more than 2 or 3 paragraphs), the viewers will find it very hard to quickly locate the topic of interest to them since they need to scroll down a lot. The solution to this, of course, is to show only the summary rather than the entire article in every post. In this way regular and irregular visitors alike can choose which of the recent posts appeal to them the most.

In Peek-A-Boo View the main page will show only post summaries and when you click "Read More", the full post appears in the main page itself. It is also possible for the reader to go back to the summary mode by clicking the "Summary only..." link with which they can collapse the post back to summary.

I managed to find this "post-enhancing" hack from Ramani and Hans. They collaboratively worked on the codes and made them available on their sites.

Social Bookmarking Widget: Social bookmarking, according to Wikipedia, is a way for internet users to store, organize, share and search bookmarks of web pages. Social bookmarking, likewise, allows you to suggest something worthy of note to people who share your interests.

Maintaining your bookmarks on a host site allows you to access your favorite websites from anywhere. This makes your bookmarks reachable and always backed-up no matter which computer you use.

Why is this widget important?

If people find the posts you wrote in your blog useful and informative they may want to share it with others. Making it easy for them to recommend and share may bring tremendous visit or steady flow of traffic in your site. Therefore, it makes sense that a widget to bookmark articles in your blog comes in very handy. By bringing in a social bookmarking widget in you site, your visitors can conveniently click on it to submit your site to their favorite Social Bookmarking networks.

I found a solution to this using the hack created by Hans. It is relatively easy to implement and looks very cool and bubbly at the foot of every post. For a working example, you can view the footer of this post.

Tag/Label Cloud Widget: A tag cloud (or weighted list in visual design) is a visual depiction of content tags used on a website. Tags are typically listed alphabetically, and tag frequency is shown with font size or color. [1] Thus both finding a tag by alphabet and by popularity is possible. The tags are usually hyperlinks that lead to a collection of items that are associated with that tag.

The advantage of using Tag/Label Clouds is that it takes up a whole lot less vertical space than the default label/category list in Blogger, especially when you have a lot of labels to show. You can also vary the colors & font sizes of the "clouds" according to the number of post in each label/category to make your presentation more enticing.

The codes I used for my label cloud were from phydeaux3. The implementation instructions are very easy to understand. All you have to do is visit his site and follow the procedures very carefully.

There you have it all folks!