Update Ping.fm status messages from Terminal

Ping.fm is a web service that lets you update status messages across social networks at one go. No doubt its popular and saves lot of time and there are plenty of apps out there. But i was looking for something different, thats lets me update the status message to ping.fm. I use Gwibber on my ubuntu, but for some reason the ping.fm doesn’t work at all in Gwibber.

So i was searching around i found this cool python program that lets me update messages from commandline. cool isn’t it.  Its really simple program, the author calls it Terminal Pings. Terminal pings is commandline client written in python. With it you can easily send updates to ping.fm from your terminal

Download the package here and extract it.

1) open pingfm.py
2) add your app key to line 19 (get your key from http://ping.fm/key)
3) run it with “python pingfm.py”

If you want fast access to it anywhere on your computer add this line to your .bashrc:

alias pingfm = ‘python /home/username/full/path/to/pingfm.py’

Screenshot-tanveer@tanveer-laptop: ~-terminal_pings_final

You can find the author here

Get the Best out of Bing

Screenshot

Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine which was launched few months back is slowly picking up its share. I have been using google for long, was reluctant to use Bing. However as tech savvy i thought i should give it a try. To my surprise it performed pretty well. There are some bing features that Google lacks. Still i use Google as my primary search engine, since its the best 🙂  however i use bing also depending on what im searching.

Here are some cool things about Bing

First of all to get most out of bing, change your local settings to US. Most of Bing’s mash-up functionality is embedded in the US version of the site. All you need to do is click the country link at the top right of the main page. In the UK it will say “India” by default. Choose “United States” instead. Done.

Search for wallpaper

Using Bing Image search to find desktop wallpaper? Do your search by keyword, then click “Size > Wallpaper” in the sidebar. Not only is the search narrowed to desktop wallpapers – it’s narrowed down to your computer monitor’s current screen resolution. If it’s set to 1280 x 1024, for example, it only returns images with those dimensions.

Find Instant Answers

This is like Wolfram alpha. Try “define computer” for a dictionary definition or “$20 into pounds” to sample Bing’s conversion capabilities. Want to know the weather in your local area? Try the term “weather” followed by your nearest town or city.

Save results for later

“Save and Share” is an experimental feature powered by Silverlight. Click “See All” in the Search History section of the sidebar – then “Save and Share”. Select the search query you want to save in the list then click “save to”. Choose “Saved searches” or create a new folder. Searches can also be emailed or published to you Facebook wall. If you decide you no longer want to use the service, click “return to your history”.

Convert Search to RSS

An RSS feed of a search result is a handy thing to have – whether you’re keeping tabs on a developing news event or want to track the performance of your web site. Like Windows Live Search before it, Bing results pages can be saved as RSS feeds.

On your results page, click the RSS symbol in IE then click “Subscribe to this feed”. In Firefox, you can choose to add the feed to Google Reader instead. To add to other feed readers, select and copy the URL in the address bar, paste it into your RSS reader and add “&format=rss” to the end of the address before saving.

Bing  Search history

You can Turn on Bing search history to start remembering your searches. This feature is different from Google, you don’t even to login to use this cool feature in Bing.

Watch Video Preview in Bing Video Search and Search Results

If your search is related to some videos or use Video search, bing will show you Video Preview in Search Results. When you hover the mouse over the video thumbnail images, it will automatically play a short preview of the video so you don’t have to visit the website where the video clip is hosted.

Find Web Pages That Link to Documents, MP3s, Videos, ZIPs or other file types

The contains: operator in Bing Search helps you find web pages that link to other online documents and multimedia files like music and video. This is different from Google’s filetype: search operator (which is also available in Live Search) that looks for content inside PDF and Office documents.

For example, if you are looking to download a Microsoft Word report from MSDN site that is about SQL, just type: site:msdn.com contains:doc SQL

Similarly, if you like to find all pages on Wikipedia that link to MP3 files, type “site:wikipedia.org contains:mp3″

Google finally has some competition. I doubt people would sacrifice google for this, but still having a healthy competition is a win for everyone.

Show items you liked in Google Reader

Google reader recently got updated with some new social features, among them was ‘Like’ feature. Though it looks more like existing starred items, however Liked items counter is displayed before every feed. Its more like popularity definer. 🙂

Google reader has links for viewing started items, shared items but there is no link for Liked items. I guess google would have forgot to put the link 🙂 anyways there is way to watch all your liked items. Just click on this link.

http://www.google.com/reader/view/user/-/state/com.google/like

Display Just the Items You Liked in Google Reader

Getting started with Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha is an answer engine developed by Wolfram Research. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.

According wikipedia, Wolfram|Alpha is written in 5 million lines of Mathematica (using webMathematica and gridMathematica) code and runs on 10,000 CPUs!

Wolfram is really powerful. Only disadvantage being, to get most of the it, you’ll have learn the pre defined queries. This is not necessary, however if you know them you’ll have the results right in front of you. Here i’ll show you some of the predefined queries that you can use with Wolfram alpha.

First lets start with my favorite query. IP trace back. Suppose you have an IP and you wanted to know which country it belongs to or where it is located. Just type that IP into Wolfram Alpha, it will give you where it belongs to. Cool isn’t it ? Check it out in action

wolframapha

The following are some predifined queries. Left side describes the query and right one is the actual query. You’ll need to enter this in Wolfram alpha to get results.

Currency Conversion »

Convert between currencies – 1000 rupees in USD

Weather Information »

get current local weather information – weather

get current weather information for a specified location – weather Bangalore

Geography »

generate maps of a specified country – Bangalore map

Distance between cities – Bangalore to Delhi

Mathematics »

do basic arithmetic = 125+324

Bar codes generate a bar code corresponding to an ISBN – 1-5795-5008-8

Time »

get the current time in another time zone – Time in Tokyo

generate a calendar for a month – this month, next month, March 1850

Words & Linguistics »

find definitions and other properties of a word – word march

find the definition of a word – define triangulate

look up synonyms of a given word – synonyms granular

Word Puzzles »

find anagrams of a word or phrase – anagrams trace

find words matching a pattern – _al__la__

find words with a specified ending – words ending with ager

Movies »

get information about a movie – Goodfellas

Genealogy »

compute a family relationship – father’s mother’s sister’s son, grandmother’s aunt

Color Names »

compute properties of a named color – chartreuse

specify an HTML color – HTML green

For more tip & tricks check out examples here These examples are divided based on the subject like mathematics, Statistics, Date and time.

Wolfram Alpha Easter Eggs

The brains behind the Wolfram|Alpha answer engine have an an appropriately geeky sense of humor, anticipating that the crowd would ask some unanswerable questions and those which can only be understood through the prism of pop culture.  🙂

For example check out this

wolfram-chicken

You can find more such Eater Eggs here

Do comment if you have some interesting queries or eater eggs 🙂