Tag Archives: google

Google Finance bookmarklet

I use Google Finance to track stock/fund portfolios. Many of these portfolios track some investment policies and I enter the actual trades in there too. But the portfolios keep showing the old (i.e. closed) positions in the table making it look cluttered. I checked on their product blog/forum and this seems to be requested by some people (and ignored). Here is a small bookmarklet which will do this. You will need to drag the link to your bookmarks bar (Tested only with google chrome). Next, when you are on the google portfolio page, just click on the bookmark and it will hide all the closed positions! Woohoo!

Drag this link to Bookmarks bar: GFinance: Hide Closed Positions

P.S. If there is interest, I can turn this into a google chrome extension (greasemonkey) so this gets done automatically when you go to google portfolios page.

Restoring Send, Menu, Home keys on your HTC mytouch android phone

I had this frustrating experience before on my android phone (HTC MyTouch 3G). This usually happens after powering on the phone after some time, it does not respond to the physical keys like "Send", "back", "home", "menu". The keyboard lock pattern is gone and you just cannot seem to lock the phone and you need to use the dialer application to make a call! The last time this happened, the factory reset fixed it. But it's a pain trying to reinstall all of your apps and settings back on the phone. So this time I was determined to fix this somehow.

I called the customer service and convinced them to ship me a new phone. Which is nice, but I will still need to reinstall all the apps again. I just searched the forums to see if there is a solution and it seems there is! Unfortunately, many people still seem to have the issue, so this hopefully helps someone.

Basically you need to fool your phone to run the setup wizard that is automatically run when you get your phone. Somehow this kicks out the bug that disables these buttons! But there is no way you can find that wizard (maybe it is possible to launch it somehow from the filesystem, but I don't know how to do that). But this is a way to do that:

  • Go to android market and search for the application Anycut and install it. (This application allows you add a shortcut to any activity on the home screen, so it is good to have it anyway.) (Or scan this QR code: Anycut Android Application
  • On the home screen, long press and add  "Shortcuts" to add to home screen. Choose Anycut from the list.
  • Choose Activity and scroll through the long list of activities.
  • Select "Setup Wizard". I had three of them in the list, third one worked for me. (Thanks Mr. Murphy). You might want to try all of them. (First one is for enabling Google Location, second for "Backing up settings to google account and third for Initial Setup)
  • It will prompt you to edit the name of the shortcut, you can just accept the default and select it from the home screen and complete through all the screens (use the same google account as you are using).
  • Your keys should now be magically working!

The problem might be happening because of some hardware issues (bad internal flash?), but its good to know that it's possible to fix it without factory reset.

Friendconnect recommendations module

I have been thinking about adding more "social" features to my song lyrics website. Have been looking at google friendconnect for some time and had added their initial friend-wall module. But that did not quite integrate well into the website.  There is an appeal to having people using whatever identity they have (google, yahoo, aol, openID), and use it to collaborate on other websites. The recommendations module works great on such listing websites. However I did not want to club all the recommendations into a single pool, instead I wanted to keep the recommendations for songs, movies and people separate from each other. The example code does not make this clear. This post just clarifies how to do that.

Step1: Go to Friendconnect and create the recommendations widget.

Step 2: In the generated code, change the view-params parameter for the google.friendconnect.container.renderOpenSocialGadget function to use a unique docId for each of your container. Use the same string in the aggregation gadget code and the recommendation button code.

You can see this in action on the lyricsindia.net pages where I have three different recommendations containers for songs, people and movies.

First impressions on Google Wave

I was really looking forward to get a chance to play with Google Wave. If you have not heard about this, Google is experimenting with a new means of communication and collaboration (to destroy any remains of your unused time!). Watch the video of the demo from Google IO conference to get a feel for the technology.

The catch line is - How would email be if it is designed today ?

Being Google, they are fairly open about the entire technology.Google Wave is a collection of several components which work in concert to bring us this amazing way to collaborate and communicate. There is the wave server (which hosts the waves. Google provides an implementation and others are free to implement it in their own control), federation protocol (which is open specifications protocol and allows the servers to talk to each other), the client (typically your web browser which you use to interact with the wave server, but there is a sample text client and emacs based client in development as well!), the gadgets (small pieces of code that are embedded in documents and provide rich look and feel and additional functionality to the wave) and the robots (robot participants in the wave which can do cool things like correct spelling as you type, syntax highlight code while it is being pasted in the wave, translate language etc.)

I have spent some time in developing a robot called Nokar (meaning assistant or servant in Marathi/Hindi) which can do several things when invited to a conversation - Insert images based on specified keywords, translate text between a set of 20 languages among some other geeky functions. The intention was to learn about the robot protocol. I also created some pages which use the embed API. This allows any web page to embed a wave conversation (or a subset of it). I am also going to experiment with the Gadgets in the next few weeks. I will try to document my process in next few posts.

Fun with microsoft “bing”

Bing (the microsoft way of googling information) has gone live today! Seems nice and googly! Had some fun with the search suggestions: type linux in the search box (but don't press enter). Watch all the suggestions :)

Seems like they are making AJAX request to http://api.search.live.com/qson.aspx?query=linux every second or so for anything that is typed and it returns those wonderful unbiased suggestions.

It sounds like they are trying to do more than just running the search query, like adding their own interpretation to the query, organizing results, paying you money (i.e. if you buy something using the search links). I haven't seen anything here that Google does not already have (or cannot implement very quickly) i.e. except for the cash-back bait. So let's see how this goes.

Google jumps into custom hosted application bandwagon!

Google has launched appengine which provides developers with a platform SDK (python based!) and hosting with access to own Google BigTable database! This competes with Amazon.com's SQS , S3 (storage) and EC2 (hosting) services which are used by many startups... The applications will get google's massively scalable infrastructure, failover. Apps would also be able to easily use google's user authentication, analytics and other google API's.

The applications gallery points to some cool goodies... The applications would get a subdomain under appspot.com. So it is possible to run a search on google to find the existing applications.

Here is a python shell web app. You can see the loaded modules, enter and run some small programs...

Both companies are trying to entice developers from hot startups into using their infrastructure, so just in case they start getting bigger, it is easier to assimilate them! Let there be competition!

Search the web for devanagari words.

I created a small form using which you can search the web for unicode devanagari words. It is very cumbersome to actually enter unicode devanagari characters using qwert keyboards, so I have adopted the phonetic transliteration scheme from Manogat website. Do give it a try:

http://amit.chakradeo.net/search/ (Link now removed, please see update below)

Start typing devanagari words phonetically and you will see unicode characters in the input area. When you hit enter, the phrase will be submitted to google.

Update: (2009-07-14) I have taken down my link now, as there are many more effective alternatives to do this. Check out the following pages from google:
Google Indic Transliteration (Marathi, Hindi)
Bookmarklets to transliterate any text element on any webpage.
A simple form for transliterating any text.