Wordless Thursday – History of Marketing

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How to Download movies from the Internet using BitTorrents

A Beginners Guide

I have been asked a few times, how people are downloading movies from the Internet, People with nearly no technical skills want to but don’t really know how to download movies. Before I can do a how to on this one I definitely need to mention that I quite frankly do not support downloading illegal content from the Internet. You have to be careful when downloading torrents as many of them are copyrighted and illegal. Now that that is out of the way, lets see how we can download a movie from the internet. For this How To I am going to use a website that hosts free public domain movies like http://www.publicdomaintorrents.com/ which do not carry copyright infringement in doing so.

Step 1 : Get yourself a Bit Torrent ‘client’

Bit Torrent is a process where you can share files with many people called lechers, through a process known as peer to peer networking. Peer to peer is actually a form of networking where unlike accessing google.com or yahoo.com where you request information from the Google server, you would request this information from a private user connected to the internet elsewhere in the world. Since this is different from just plain ‘browsing’ you would need a specialist software to actually connect with many peers or seeders. Unlike browsing where you use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome which are browsers, what you would need is a Bit Torrent ‘client’ software. There are possibly hundreds of free Bit Torrent Clients out there, but the most popular among these are Vuse, uTorrent and BitTorrent. The process that you would use for downloading would be more or less similar regardless of what client you use. I would however suggest using uTorrent as it is not only the most popular but also the best of the lot according to me. To download uTorrent, Go to uTorrent.com and click on the big Free download button to get the Bit Torrent client. Once it is downloaded you could follow the procedure to install the software on your computer, it’s pretty straight forward to do so. Now you are ready for step 2.

Step 2 : Get the torrent file

Once you have the Torrent Client installed on your computer, you will then need to tell the client what file you want to download and from where. For this very purpose seeders or people who share for information on the internet, create a file with extension .torrent. Just like your word or excel files have an extension .doc or .xls and open in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, the .torrent file opens up in your Bit Torrent client when you open it. There are many hundreds of torrent sites on the internet and most of these offer various downloads like music, movies, documentaries, books, games and even software. You could search for your choice of downloads on these sites and obtain the .torrent file. This is usually marked with, “download torrent here” or “Download this Torrent”. Examples of sites which provide torrents are http://www.thepiratebay.org, http://www.mininova.org, http://www.demonoid.com and then there are other websites that act as torrent search engines that actually bring together the torents from various torrent sites online, these might be http://www.torrentfreak.com, http://www.cinematorrents.com/ and others.

Step 3 : Open the .torrent file in your client and wait

Once you have downloaded the .torrent file from the site that you want, Usually, the web browser’s file download manager will ask what to do with this file. You want to open the file with your torrent client. If it doesn’t open that way, just save the .torrent file to an easy to locate place. Then open your torrent client and use the “Open Torrent” feature(Most torrent clients support click & drag). Now you can let your Bit torrent Client do the work for you while you can go away and do something else on your computer or kill time, because torrents do not require your attention and will download in the background. How long a torrent takes to complete the download is completely dependent on how fast is your internet speed, How many people are sharing the file (seeds) and how big the file that you are trying to download is. Usually movies are about 700 MB – 1.37 GB and this would mean that it would take about 8 hours of download on a 512KB connection with a few hundred seeds.

Tips and Warnings

· You can close your torrent program and turn off your computer when you need to. Most torrent programs will resume download process automatically when you start them back up. If the download doesn’t resume automatically, there should be an option to start downloading, by either right clicking on the file and choose “Start” or a button somewhere in the program.

· There are other torrent clients (programs) that can be used so do your research on these also. The most popular torrent programs are uTorrent, Azureus and BitTorrent.

  • There are Torrent search engines that search the popular torrent clients (programs). This saves you time by not having to search each individual torrent client site. The most popular torrent search engines are TorrentReactor.net, Nowtorrents.com and Qtorrents.com .
  • When looking for torrent files, try to find ones with plenty of Seeders. When searching for torrents, you can often sort the results by seeds, simply by clicking on the seeds column header.
  • Seeders (Seeds): Are people who have a complete copy of the torrent’s files and are only uploading (sending) data to the people who are downloading (peers).
  • Leechers (Peers): Are people who have a portion of the torrent’s files while they are downloading they are actively uploading to help others download more quickly.
  • Downloading torrents can slow your computer down depending on how well your computer performs. Recommended specs for each client vary, but on average you should have at least 512 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz CPU. You will also need space for the files you want to save.
  • In certain jurisdictions it is illegal to download content through peer to peer networks such as bittorrent. There is a program which blocks certain IP addresses from communicating with your computer and can help protect you while downloading. PeerGuardian can be found at:phoenixlabs.org/pg2or [1]
  • Keep your anti-virus program and its definitions fully up-to-date, downloaded software from ‘sharing’ sources carries a high risk of infection.
  • Downloading torrents can slow your overall internet connection down if you don’t properly tweak your upload rate. DSL and Cable modems have problems downloading if you’re uploading at your maximum rate. Set your clients maximum rate to 80% of your maximum upload rate if you can adjust it. If you set your upload rate too low, your downloads will slow to a crawl.
  • It’s important to know about bittorrents so that you know the risks, consequences, and best practices.
  • Make sure you check the comment section before downloading, if there is one, to see if the torrent is real or not.

All I can say now is Happy Downloading .

Websites that create .. fun

Bored out of your mind, looking for some time pass stuff online ? Or just want to get your creativity juices flowing ? Or just want to check out the new offerings from the internet ? I thought it could be an interesting time to actually bring up a list of time killers.

Make your own Batman and Robin Comic

The Batman franchise is really revived after the Dark Knight as well as Batman Begins, interestingly though the older batman toons actually look like fun to read and we all grew up on them. So trying to get your hand at making your own version of the Batman comic strip, albeit a single clip is still fun.

Head over to their website to get your creativity flowing and generate your own : [ Batman and Robin ]

Create a Picture Story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, how about one word. Imagine you could get a picture for every word in your story and that can be made into a photo collage. Enter FlickerPoet.

Go to FlickrPoet and type a sentence. When you click on the ‘Show Story’ button, FlickrPoet will browse the Flickr database and pull an image for each word/phrase used in your sentence. These images will be organized to provide you with a picture story.

[ FlickrPoet ]

Always thought that one liner comeback that you gave to your co-worker might just be a good interesting t-Shirt ? Well here is a chance for you to actually design it that way and wear it off to rub it in their face for a long time.

[ T-Shirt Maker ]

The Generator Blog

I have to admit it, I spent more than a few hours on this site, it lists more that a thousand generators like the one listed above. From Victorian Sex cries right upto Your very own Oscar Speech. Definitely something worth trying. I just listed out the ones that appealed to me in the first look. Dont forget to Bookmark it !!
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Good Free Software Packs …. Found It !!

Although commercial software have a lot of features built into them, its mostly the small open source software that are my favourite. They are free completely, legal, and what’s more they give you a combination of all the utilities that you might need to achieve from your paid software. I wanted the people that read this blog also to have the advantage of using all the awesome open source software, so I started working on a list of websites that provide these software so that I can start posting about them. The list became so varied and long that I started what if there was one application that just listed all these out, version control included. Found It !! ZuApp.

ZeuAPP is essentially an installation dashboard for 82 applications. You can navigate to application types like CD Burners, P2P apps, Office apps, and more. Under each tab are applications for that category with a “Download” and “Visit Website” button which allow you to download the application and automatically launch the installer or visit the web site for more info. ZeuAPP is freeware, portable, and Windows only.

ZuApp can be downloaded at http://blog.zeusoft.net/zeuapp

Now since a lot of the software that ZuApp brings is not portable, I again started on a lookout for portable version of ZuApp, guess what? Found It ! WinPenPack was the answer this time.

If you’re interested in packing your flash drive with portable apps but you’re dragging your feet getting around to downloading them all, winPenPack fits over a hundred applications into a single portable package. Although I did write about others here before, this seemed like a great application to find all in one zone.

WinPenPack can be downloaded at http://www.winpenpack.com/

Ok, you dont want just open source but free software. Twell the answer is … Fount It!! Ninite is the name, free software is the game.

If you’re upgrading to Windows 7 from XP, you’ll spend a lot of time grabbing installers and Next-Next-Next-clicking through setup wizards. Unless you use Ninite to check off the best free software and install it all at once. Ninite works exactly as advertised. Head to Ninite’s web site, check off the free downloads you want from each category, grab the custom installer download that it serves up, and run it. Ninite runs through each installation with an absolute minimum of pop-up questions—none of them, in face, with most installs—and then it’s done.The selection is pretty great, too, with many of the must-have apps like VLC, Audacity, IrfanView, Paint.Net, uTorrent, and many more.

Ninite can be downloaded from http://ninite.com/

So go ahead fill up your USB / Computer with awesome software for free !!

A Story of Easter, Eggs and Geeks

First things first, Happy Easter to one and all, and hope you have a good celebration today. One of the oldest and famous traditions of Easter is of course Easter Eggs, and the idea of Parents hiding the easter eggs for the kids to find it was just something that kinda makes Easter fun for the kids. Dont get me wrong Christmas is still my favourite christian festival. Well what is Easter Eggs doing in a tech blog ? Well, we geeks have a good sense of humour and patience to include all things around us into geeky versions of them. I am talking about Software Eggs, or hidden pieces of code or functionality that shows up when you look for it in a software. If that was confusing then I guess you can check out the definition in Wikipedia:

A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message, in-joke or feature in an object such as a movie, book, CD, DVD, computer program, web page or video game. The term was coined—according to Warren Robinett—by Atari after they were pointed to the secret message left by Robinett in the game Adventure. It draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many Western nations as well as the last Russian imperial family’s tradition of giving elaborately jeweled egg-shaped creations by Carl Fabergé which contained hidden surprises.

Well hoping that is clear I would like to point out some cool Easter Eggs in popular software such you can go out on your own Easter Egg trail. Well these were actually by lifeHacker, I am just reposting for people who might not have had the chance to check it out there.

10. Firefox Book of Mozilla Easter Egg

How to find it: In all versions of Firefox, in the address bar, type about:mozilla.
What you get: A quote from the “Book of Mozilla” about the birth of Firefox.

9. Internet Explorer 6/7 credits

How to find it: Using Internet Explorer 7 (not IE6 or the IE8 beta), typejavascript:window.name=”TheWCEE”;location.href=”res://shdoclc.dll/wcee.htm”into the address bar.
What you get: A hidden page of IE developer credits.

8. Firefox Kitchen Sink

In Firefox 2 and higher, type about kitchensink (no colon in there, unlike about:mozilla!). Update: A commenter points out that this is Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” search in action, not an Easter egg at all. Our bad!
What you get: An automatic redirect to an animated, ASCII art kitchen sink.

7. Google Earth 4.2 Flight Simulator

How to find it: Launch the latest version 4.2 of Google Earth (free download) and hit Ctrl+Alt+A (Mac users: Cmd+Opt+A.)
What you get: A full-on flight simulator that lets you choose an airport, plane type, and lets you fly inside Google Earth. It is fun but it’s not easy; here’s more on how to navigate in flight in Google Earth.

6. OpenOffice.org Calc Tic-Tac-Toe and Space Invaders Games (also works in NeoOffice on the Mac!)

How to find it: Using OpenOffice.org’s Calc spreadsheet program, type=GAME(A2:C4;”TicTacToe”) into any cell.
What you get: A game of Tic-Tac-Toe! For Space Invaders, type =GAME(“StarWars”). Here are more OpenOffice.org Easter eggs.

5. Emacs Therapist

How to find it: In the Mac Terminal (or at any command line), type emacs, hit Enter, press Escape, type “xdoctor” (no quotes).
What you get: An interactive dialogue with a shrink named Eliza. To get out of it, hit Control+X Control+C.

4. Minesweeper Reveal Mines Cheat

(Note: Technically, this is more a cheat than an egg.)
How to find it: In Minesweeper, type “xyzzy.” Then press Shift+Enter.
What you get: A single pixel on the upper-left hand corner of your monitor will turn black when you mouse over a block that contains a mine. Get the high score on the family computer! (Note: several people report that this cheat works on Windows XP with SP2, but those with widescreen monitors like myself might have trouble. Let us know if it works for you in the comments.)

3. Excel 97 Flight Simulator

How to find it: This one’s an oldie but a goodie. Using Excel 97 (doesn’t work in later versions), create a new worksheet, and press F5. Type “X97:L97” and press Enter. Press the Tab key, hold down Ctrl and Shift, and left-click the Chart Wizard toolbar icon.
What you get: Launched into a nifty flight simulator that glides you over the surface of a planet (the moon?) and shows you Excel developer credits. (I don’t have a copy of Excel 97 any more, but definitely got this puppy to work back in the day.) Thanks to EggHeaven for reminding us of the steps to get there.

2. Picasa Teddy Bears

How to find it: In Picasa, press Ctrl+Shift+Y.
What you get: Your photo library taken over by teddy bears! Keep hitting the key combo to add more bears. Update:Apparently this is one of the Picasa programmer’s teddies, named Thomas. Thanks, telekinetyk! [via PC
World
]

1. uTorrent Tetris

How to find it: In uTorrent, go to the Help menu and choose “About uTorrent.” Press the letter T.
What you get: A game of Tetris while you wait for your download to complete. Thanks, computer joe!

Thanks to EggHeaven for tipping us off to many of these eggs. You can also head out to http://www.eeggs.com/ and find more for yourself.

Augmented Reality Apps that I want to see today !

and How long it might take in reality.

[tweetmeme] Everyone remembers the movie Terminator 2, where Arnold gazes around his surrounding to find a lot of information about his environment which he uses to make appropriate decisions. The viewer is told about this awesome gadget when we are allowed to view through his eyes per say. Augmented Reality is demoed sort of for the first time, commercially.

Engineers, designers and futurists have been trying to make it a reality along with making demos of how it is going to look like. Based on what we have been seeing in the past few months, it is clear that it is possible and the feasibility and working details need to be worked out. Various smartphones have started offering clunky AR apps that show you things like restaurant reviews when you point your camera at a store’s facade. But with all the crazy technology already on today’s market, we’re saying that’s not enough! Here are some applications we want to see today.

1. Augmented Reality Gaming :

The experience of gaming is to take an awesome overhauling through Augmented Reality, there are a few demos available on YouTube. With the advent of the Playstation EyeToy as well as Microsoft Project Natal the gaming industry is reaching a point where they are not only happy to embrace the technology but also make it awesome.

I Want to have awesome gaming experience like first player shooter games to be available now. But seriously I think this can be made completely available after the invention of good AR spectacles or the contact lens (See below)

2. Augmented Reality Windscreen for the Car

Yes I did write about how GM is working its way forward to getting this feature enabled in our cars. But having this instead of a normal screen is so much more cooler, getting all the information that you would need while driving around is a great feeling along with making life so much more simpler.

Driving around to not only not loose your way, but be guided to emergency services when you are lost for direction is also an advantage of Augmented Reality.

GM / Siemens already have prototypes available, so this might be available in the next 2 years on a large scale.

3. Door Peepholes with embedded AR

Augmented Reality in doors can enable to have a look at the person on the door, making it safer to check on the person. When someone knocks on our door, we want to know not only if they look like a murderer, but also their name and age. This could be possible using a facial recognition camera built into the peephole. While we’re at it, why not a quick popup of our visitor’s Facebook profile or their most recent tweet? In an AR world, ain’t nobody taking us by surprise!

We already have Business cards which make use of Facial Recognition for identifying people. This needs to get extended. Lets hope that this happens soon and the product can be available in two years tops.

4. Augmented Reality Maps

Be it the Pandora of Avatar, or just Lakshya from Bollywood, 3D maps are cool. Not to mention the fact that in the age of combat preperation and planning they provide an added advantage to be able to see the actual scene where you would be able to go. Add to it, Google Maps, Sketchup and the Google Map Builder. You have all the information available to make a 3D map of most of the  places.

This technology will not only help combat, but will be able to provide support in terms of relief as well as interesting addition to the classroom as well. I would say this should be available now, as the technology allows it to be possible.

I guess I will do more of these applications in the part 2 of this post. Look out for it 🙂

Pimp up your car with the new AR Windshield

I love technology, Augmented Reality is a favorite technology of the future and like a lot of people around the world I am insistent that it is going to be as big as technology can get. Companies are slowly realizing the potential of this platform as not just a great marketing and advertising tool, or a toy, but a definitive tool to help bridge the virtual and real world. Proof of the above statement is now car manufacturers are looking at making the technology available through Heads Up Displays on the windshield. Yes you read that right, AR is coming soon to a car near you. Well beofe we see what is available, lets see what it can look like ?

General Motors has been working with several universities to develop a working next-generation heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard. Such a system can improve safety and advance knowledge behind the wheel, visually identifying important objects in physical space like road signs and the edges of the road you’re on in conditions of poor visibility. It can even bring GPS functions right into the dashboard by outlining the exact building you’re going to.

According to Technology Review, to turn the entire windshield into a display, GM used a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors–a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. The phosphor display is then activated by tiny, ultraviolet lasers bouncing off mirrors bundled near the windshield.  Three cameras mounted on the dashboard track the driver’s head and eyes to determine where she is looking.

The HUD windshield uses night vision, navigation and camera-based sensors to gather data relevant to your surroundings as you drive, and ultraviolet lasers project corresponding images onto the windshield surface. GM says to look for this system being incorporated into its vehicles in the near future.