Saturday, May 31, 2008

World's cheapest airbags at $10 a piece

Autoliv IFB India will develop the world's cheapest airbags for Tata Motors's Nano at $10 a piece. The Nano is likely to have two frontal airbags for the high-end variants. The cheapest airbag which will be made for the Nano will cost about 10 USD, which is around Rs. 400. Autoliv is a global leader in automotive safety components, being the largest airbag manufacturer.

Compare this typical airbag that would cost anywhere between $400 to $1000 (see wikianswers and page 6 of this document).

Way to go Nano and Autoliv!

More news here and here.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Twitter and TinyURL

Twitter is now probably as ubiquitous as blogging. It’s been used almost as a real-time-blogging-platform. Which is cool – I love Twitter.

If Twitter is ubiquitous – so is TinyURL. TinyURL is a service that will shorten long URLs and make them look good. If you use Twitter, you will know how common it is to find kind of URLs. TinyURL is using a 6 digit base-36 shortened representation of a URL, which means they can shorten as many as 2,176,782,336 URLs – they claim to shorten 74 million URLs at the moment.

I did a quick research on how many times TinyURL is used on Twitter, and compared it with 12 of it's competitors. Following is a chart compares the number of times a 'shorted-URL-service ' is used on Twitter (it's a logarithmic chart):

I was wondering – How is TinyURL making money?

I see that there are ads on the page, but the ads don’t seem very relevant. In fact on the right side (below the fold) there is a Google-link-unit that shows competitors’ ads, such as "Cloak Urls", "URL Redirecting" and "Smaller URL".

1. It will be cool if puts ads that are relevant to the previous-page where the user is coming from. Typically, I would browse a page, find the content useful, and then go to with the intention of making the URL shorter. So, if TinyURL were to show ads relevant to the previous-page where I come from, that’ll be a lot more relevant, and I will be more likely to click on those ads. From a technical standpoint – this is not going to be very easy, but it should be possible.

2. Also, it might be better if TinyURL puts the “donate” links at more relevant places, and maybe put some logic such as – if this is a repeat user, then be more proactive in asking for a donation (modified screenshot attached). If, I was using TinyURL for the 4th time in the day, I would definitely like to donate some money to TinyURL. In the screenshot below, when somebody clicks on "Donate money & Make TinyURL", TinyURL give the options of PayPal and Amazon payments:

Great service – TinyURL + Twitter.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Storage shipments - 1 Billion Gigabytes a year!

Stephen Lawson reports on Computerworld - Demand for storage is doubling every 18 to 24 months, and within five years, Roberson expects to see a "yottabyte year" when the industry as a whole ships 1 yottabyte (a billion gigabytes), or 1,000 zettabytes, of storage capacity.

HP’s new HP StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System (ExDS9100) has a base configuration will consist of four blade servers and three storage blocks, with 246TB of storage. Customers will be able to add either type of capacity independently of the other. With two racks, a system can have as much as 820TB of storage capacity.

The ExDS9100 is scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter. HP predicted that it will cost less than $2 per gigabyte in a typical configuration.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How to - Convert Word Docs to Web Pages

Useful ...

Convert Word Docs to Web Pages

Microsoft Word has its place, but that place isn't the web. If you've ever tried to convert a Word document to an HTML document, you know that Word's built-in tools can have disastrous results -- bloated files, proprietary markup and exposed personal information are among the gems you'll get with Word's "Convert to HTML" function.

To get to a semi-sane starting point, try using Word's "Save As: Web Page, Filtered" rather than the regular web page option. This will strip out many of the proprietary tags and won't include potentially personal and revealing info contained in the File Properties dialog.


Another viable option is TinyMCE, a JavaScript Rich Text Editor that offers a "Paste from Word" option. Paste From Word is intended to be used by those who would like to just "Select All" in Word and paste the content into TinyMCE. Depending on the complexity of your document, TinyMCE may be able to fix some of Word's styling quirks and output usable HTML.


The good folks over at Textism have a tool that will, to quote the Textism website, "strip Microsoft's proprietary tags and other superfluous noise from Word-generated HTML documents." The results are not only much closer to standards compliant web markup, they also create much much smaller, quickly loading pages.

I used Textism to convert this document from Word to clean HTML. I think, it did a pretty good job.

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