Grab your free Backupify (online backup) account before January 31st, 2010

Backupify is a new cool service that automatically performs secure, unlimited and scheduled backup of your data from most of the common online services like Flickr, Twitter, FaceBook, Gmail etc. to a server cloud (Amazon S3)  for a nominal fee.

However, till the 31st of January, 2010 they’re offering these accounts for free to anyone who cares to signup with them. Following this date, they’ll revert back to the paid pricing plans – but those who have signed-up before this date will continue to enjoy unlimited free services (for good).

The list of currently supported services include:

  • Gmail
  • Twitter
  • Google Docs
  • Flickr
  • Facebook
  • Basecamp
  • WordPress
  • Delicious
  • Photobucket
  • Blogger
  • FriendFeed

… with YouTube, Tumblr, RssFeed and XMakrs coming soon.

Backupify creates daily / weekly (your choice) automated backups from all of these services using a “Set it and forget it” mode.

While providing extremely useful services, quite a few of the online services in this list do not employ adequate security measures. As a results they’re coming under direct attack by various hacker groups. Incidents like this invariably end up in huge loss of data – data consisting of pictures, videos, documents, blog posts that are an integral part of your lifestream. Hence, one cannot adequately stress on the importance of maintaining a regular backup of this data. Moreover, most tech-savvy folks subscribe to a multitude of these services and maintaining individual backups of each profile can prove to be a nightmare.

So hurry and grab your free account before we hit Jan 31st. Spread the light as you see fit, as this can prove to be a cool gift to share with your family and friends this New Year.

Besides, as Whitson Gordon states, “It can’t hurt — after all, it doesn’t get much cheaper than free.”

Quick Tip: Uncompress / defalte your zip archives online with WobZIP

WobZIP LogoWobZIP is a cool new (and free) solution to bypass any sort of installation restrictions that your sysadmin may have placed on your school computers thereby limiting your ability to unzip certain types of archives. WobZIP lets you upload and uncompress files on-the-fly.

The service is very easy to use and can come in handy not only in the situation mentioned above but wherever you’re in need of quick decompression and a desktop based decompression utility is not ready at hand. It could be your friend’s computer, at a cybercafe – virtually anywhere. Just select the file you wish to decompress and hit wobzip.

WobZIP Screenshot

The decompression procedure is pretty fast and you’re presented with the list of files which you’ve to individually click to download. This can prove to be a pain specially in case of large archives with a whole bunch of files – but then again, one can’t grumble given the scenario in which you are forced to use WobZIP. Password protected archives are also supported and there’s a virus scanner running behind the scenes that ensures that you don’t accidentally download and execute infected files.

The service supports a wide variety of file formats like, 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZHCHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS – though there’s a file-size limit of 100MB (for the archives).

Another rocking feature of WobZIP is the ability to unzip remote URLs – which in other words means instead of uploading a zip file, you can make WobZIP read it off another webpage directly. This can prove to be a very powerful tool for previewing the contents of a zip file prior to download, selectively downloading a couple of files (that you require) from an archive… the list of possibilities is quite large.

Try WobZIP and see for yourself.

Found via: TheySay

Dumpr: Another great addition to your online graphics toolbox

Dumpr LogoThis seems to be the era of online graphics tools. As computing power and  coding paradigms (read software capabilities) evolve, online tasks that were earlier deemed next to impossible are being delivered right to your doorsteps – most of them at the single click of your mouse. Just last week, I had reviewed this online tool named beFunky, that helps you cartoonize any given still picture and video. Today I came across another one called Dumpr – that adds a horde of PhotoShop like filters (effects) to your toolbox.

Generating any of the effects is a 3 step process.

  1. You select the desired effect (some of which are reserved for the paid Premium Membership level) from a pretty large library.
  2. Upload your image & specify the effect variation you want (if applicable). You can also pull in images directly from other URLs and a couple of Social Networking / Image Sharing sites like MySpace, flickr, Picasa, Zoomr etc.
  3. This is the step – where you are handed out the final image (with the effect applied). You can either download the image or use the provided code to embed it in other sites or even re-upload a whole range of Social Networks.

Here are a couple of examples (different effects applied on the same starting image)…

Dumpr Effect - Cellphone CameraDumpr Effect - Museum
Dumpr Effect - Easter EggDumpr Effect - Rubik's Cube

Pretty slick, eh? The coolest part is that if you decide to sign-up for the service (registration is FREE), all the resultant images are automatically saved in the space allocated to your profile. The only thing I found lacking in their service is the ability to re-use these saved pictures for application of a different effect (you need to manually re-upload the image again). That would have covered all the aspects.

If you decide to opt-in for the Pro / Premium Membership – which, at $3.99 / month is quite cheap – you get added benefits…

  1. A larger selection of effects are made available to you.
  2. You get to be the first one to be able to use any new introductions (effects).
  3. All advertisements are taken-off your account.

Found via: JeetBlog

befunky: Cartoonize your favourite pictures in a jiffy

Here’s the latest addition to the Web 2.0 bandwagon – befunky – a quick & dirty way to cartoonize your favourite snaps in a jiffy.

The site sports a simple flash interface that allows you to upload your snaps (either from your Desktop or by direct capture through a webcam) and convert them to cartoon caricatures. There are a couple of easy-to-understand parameters like Sketch, Colour, Warp and Goodies which can produce widely varying end-results. You can crop or rotate the picture once you’ve uploaded it, adjust the brightness & colour levels, apply different warp brush sizes as well as do a multiple variations of flipping & layering. You can even add frames, modify facial features (hair, lips, eyes etc.), throw in accessories like jewelry, eyeware & hats and top it up with some custom funky text. The resultant pictures are really cool! Here’s a simple example with the most basic effect applied.

befunky: Before & After

Soon to come is a new feature that’ll allow you to transcend the boundaries of static pictures and apply the same effects to videos as well. Oh Yes! Full-length running videos. Ain’t that awesome?

The site sports a comprehensive Tips & Tricks section which gives you creative tips on how to best utilise the toons you’ve just created, which range from personally branded merchandise to e-cards and ways to spice-up your costume parties. All in all a very easy-to-use and useful web-application that can find a large audience – specially in graphically challenged people, like me 😀 Can prove to be a viable option for those who don’t have access to Adobe Photoshop and it’s plethora of filters.

Found via: System Hacks

QuillPad – Taking English to Indic Transliteration one step ahead

Red PenFor those who have read my earlier posts on Avro Keyboard and Google’s Inidc Transliteration service, here comes a pleasant surprise for you. Tachyon Technologies – an Indian software firm brings to you QuillPad, a really advanced online (and free) English to Indic transliteration tool.

The interface is pretty similar to Google’s Indic Transliteration page. You have this text-box where you key in words of the Indic language of your choice using English (based on the phoenetics of the word) and they instantaneously get converted to words in the corresponding script. Where you’re unsure about how to spell a word in English, Google offers you pop-up suggestions. QuillPad takes this one step further by automatically inserting words that come closest (spelling-wise) to the words you’re trying to type. There’s probably a pretty powerful dictionary search algorithm working silently behind the scene. And then there are the pop-ups too, in case their auto-spelling mechanism cannot spot the right word for you.

Lets take for example, the word ?????¸ which means things or stuff. This would be spelt as jinis in English. Minus the ‘s’, the word would spell as jini (or যিনি) which means who. As long as you’ve typed up to jini, the transliteration tool spells out who, starting with a য. The moment you add the ‘s’ at the end, the য gets magically transformed into the correct জ. This means that you don’t need to follow any hard and fast transliteration rules. You can fire away at the keyboard in a totally casual way and yet come out with a document that gets a perfect A for spelling.

Another cool feature of QuillPad is automatic transliteration of common English words that have migrated to the Indic vocabulary. A sizeable bunch of English words are found in our colloquial tongue and for many of them there aren’t any counterparts in the Indic languages to convey the correct connotation. Such words are used as they are. With QuillPad in action, you won’t have to grope around to figure out the correct phoenetics. The AI engine automatically does that for you.

QuillPad supports a large selection of Indic languages. That includes Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali & Gujarati. QuillPad also supplies the engine that powers Rediffmail and Rediff Bol.

If you own a site in any of the major Indian languages, QuillPad may be able to help you out on the Searh end. They offer a Indic Search Widget for websites which sure can come in handy.

All in all, this is one awesome example of coding that needs to be checked out immediately.

OnlineCasinoBluebook: Your ultimate guide to online casinos

Online CasinoDoes that risk-taker in you makes its presence felt every so often? Does that involve gambling? Lets face it – all of us would squirm inwardly with pleasure at the prospect of making a quick bundle online. And many of us have tried out their luck sometime or the other. To cut our work short for us, there are millions of online casinos sprouting up at every nook and corner of the net. But do you even know for sure that the casino you’ve blown up a fortune at is for real and not just some scam site designed to make you part with your savings in the shortest possible time? If you’ve had panic attacks on such issues – fear not, cause Online Casino Bluebook is here for your rescue.

The site maintains a nice list of the top ten (and legitimate) online casinos along with a couple of pertinent factors that can help you choose the casino that is right for you. These include the world rankings, welcome bonuses offered, payout percentages as well as solid reviews. The listed casinos are the ones where players will be able to play number one Vegas style casino games like craps, baccarat, blackjack, slots, poker, keno and bingo. The site maintains separate listings of casinos that offer a single type of game only (Poker, Bingo, Roulette etc.). They’ve even dedicated a section to No Deposit Casinos where you don’t have to pay up a bundle beforehand to start playing.

If you’re in a dilemma even after studying the list, you can always get in touch with their support team – who’ll guide you through the process of picking the best casino tailored to meet your needs.

Been cheated/scammed by an online casino ? They can advise you in this regard too, or just point you to sites which act as the casino watchdogs on the net.

The site has a very simple yet easily navigable layout – with easy access to all the important links that you may ever want. However, it could definitely do with a face-lift (a better template, that is). End of the day a bulk of the netizens tend to trust more of eye-candy sites.

For all th gadget freaks, Fat Statement’s here with an online custom button & badge designer

This isn’t about those shiny Web 2.0 badges spotted abundantly around the web these days. Rather these are real-world badges that gadget freaks and people with that individualistic trait would love to show-off on their apparel. These custom buttons and badges are brought to you by Fat Statement AB – a Swedish company specialising in print media.

The badges come in two different sizes – 25 and 45 mm (1 and 1 3/4″) and are made from stainless steel with a protective plastic mylar that covers the picture. Buttons & BadgesTalking about the picture brings us to the coolest part of this service – a fully interactive flash-based designer with which you can create and submit your design in a jiffy. Ordering your own button involves 4 steps. Design, Choose Size & Quantity and Add to Cart. As simple as that. Note that you’ll require Flash Player 9 installed on your computer to be able to work with the designer. Also, for some weird reason the designer didn’t quite finish loading a couple of times. The buttons are printed at 300dpi resolution on high-quality matte photo paper using high-end inkjet printers – so you won’t be wrong in expecting sharp colours and print.

Another cool thing I liked about the service is that it employs an IP-based geo-location service that (on most occasions) correctly identifies your region and immediately tells you the shipping costs. The price for a custom button (of either size) is quite decent – USD 1.5. Shipping is worldwide and as I mentioned earlier comes as an extra that depends on your geographic location.

As for warranty, they do make some sincere promises on their site regarding the replacement of defective shipments. Orders upto 1 kg in weight (approx. 150 medium sized or 450 small badges) are handled with ease.

For more information and ordering, visit Fat Statement.

Hits4Pay: Get paid to read commercial emails on topics that You choose

An average internet user comes across plenty of Get Rich Quick schemes floating around on the net. Almost all of these lure members in with promises of delivering an insane amount of riches in just 3-4 days while you just sit at your computer building up your referral list. You’ll notice something strangely similar about their advertising methods – all of them put substantial emphasis on words & phrases like FREE, FASTEST MONEY MAKING MACHINE EVER, LIVE A DREAM LIFE EVER AFTER etc. and denounce all others in this business. Reading their income outline compels many of us to rush head on and sign-up immediately. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long to realise that this “dream opportunity” isn’t really all that free as it claims to be. to get any real advantages out of it you’ve to build a massive list of referrals / affiliates and pay a monthly membership fee in order to gain any real benefits out of your down-line. The monthly payment part is what most of these services very conveniently forget to mention in their advertisements. Ah well !

Multi Level MarketingI had played around with a lot of these online money makers before I launched this blog (and started earning advertisement revenue). These schemes operate on the principles of MLM (Multi Level Marketing) or Network Marketing – which means that in order to make some serious money you need to have a large networked down-line. Initially you can always lure others into signing up through similar advertisements. But when it comes to fishing out cash from their own pockets you’ll find a lot of your down-line vanishing into thin air overnight – coz it’s evident to everyone that there’s no guarantee that the scheme would work as advertised. Why waste hard-earned money of such a thing? While I am still interested in making those few extra bucks online – I’ve lost faith in all such schemes long since.

In comes Hits4Pay. I found this site through an AdBrite advertisement that popped up on my site. The catch-phrase sounded interesting but I was quite apprehensive about it. Anyway, there was no harm in spending a couple of second signing-up for it – so I went ahead with it. To my surprise this turned out to be the first ever scheme that doesn’t ask you to shell out anything from your pockets. You pay absolutely nothing for a membership with them – and never need to pay anything for upgrades either.

Hits4Pay operates on a much simpler principle. While signing-up you choose a bunch of topics that you’re interested in. They’ll keep sending you emails from advertisers about 2-3 times a week. To read the emails, you’ll need to log in to your Hits4Pay account and check your inbox. Once you’ve read the mails, your account gets credited with $0.02 – that is you receive 2 cents for every email you read. Admittedly this isn’t a big amount – but then again, this isn’t a get rich quick scheme either. There’s a scope to earn more by building a down-line. For every email read by your affiliates (1st and 2nd level), you receive $0.01. Having a large down-line can really boost your income – so that’s the only area you need to concentrate on.

What more – as of now they’re offering a $10 sign-up bonus. Your account gets padded with $10 the moment you sign-up and all emails you read after that goes towards topping up that amount. Payouts happen for as low as $25 and get sent directly to your PayPal account.

Here are the key features:

  • Free Sign-up
  • $10 bonus for just signing up
  • No membership / upgradation fees ever
  • Receive paid emails on topics that you choose
  • No spamming
  • A flat income of $0.02 per email you read
  • Earn $0.01 from every email read by your 1st and 2nd level down-lines
  • Minimum Payout $25
  • Payouts occur instantly through PayPal
  • Only limitation – 1 account per household

That more or less summarises the idea. If you’re interested in making some extra cash online, this could definitely be the scheme you’re looking for.

Instead of reading commercial emails for free receive emails on topics that interests you and Get Paid For It! Hits4Pay is one of very few highest paying advertising program in the industry.

Signup for free and receive $10 as a Free Reward.

PrepLogic: Your guardian angel for software / programming certification courses

ExaminationPrepLogic is an online certification training site that delivers a solid combination of quality and convenience at the most reasonable rates. Be it CompTIA, Microsoft, Oracle or Cisco certification training – PrepLogic offers a full range of products that can see you sail through the CBTs (Computer Based Tests) with utmost ease.

The training is disbursed through audio, video and text accompanied by plenty of mock practice exams. Every certification topic comes with a wide selection of “Printables” – which are compilations of question and answers with detailed explanations of each topic. Thrown in together are quick reference answer keys.

PrepLogic LogoPrepLogic also offers Exam Vouchers – which get you an exam ticket for any of the courses at substantially discounted prices (upto $25) than what you would pay for while registering directly through an exam center.

If you’re unsure whether you should sign-up with them, you can always take a look at the free audio and video lessons that are streamed from their site and assess the quality yourself.

Need an upper edge over all your colleagues for that much coveted promotion? Try PrepLogic.

Stripemania: A free online striped background generator for your site

Stripemania LogoEver felt like giving your site’s theme a cool, striped look but didn’t know how to go about it? Are the graphics tutorials on stripes too complex for you to follow? Here’s you quick and dirty way out. Stripemania is a free online tool that generates striped background images for use with your site’s theme in just a couple of quick, easy steps.

The interface is pretty simple. To get your desired stripe, you choose the width of the stripes, the distance between each stripe, orientation and a couple of colours and hit refresh. Thats it! Your custom stripe is ready to download. If you don’t like vanilla stripes (alternating coloured stripes) – you can choose multiple gradients for the stripes and get some pretty snazzy effects. There’s a quick full-screen preview option that lets you test your background out even before you download it.

Stripemania Screenshot

Stripemania falls within the recent Web 2.0 genre of online graphics design tools and is one of the better designed tools in this category and pretty much devoid of the ubiquitous AJAX timeout errors. It’s a must-add in any aspiring web-designer’s toolbox.