Nov 292010

I have a tendency to buy redundant gadgets. If a music player is what I was looking for, the latest iPod touch is my fourth portable ‘music player capable’ device, however, playing music is not what I bought the iPod touch for.

I always used to secretly envy others who possessed an iPod/iPhone solely for one reason – Apps. It was disheartening to see that most of stuff you do online has an app associated with it and guess what it is available only for iPhone or the iPod touch. In my honest opinion, iPhone is too expensive a device compared to to the touch. The price difference does is not justified given the differences are few [there is no phone in the touch, of course]

ipod-touch-4th-gen-control-what-you-watchIt’s been a week since I got my iPod touch from US. I still haven’t started using it frequently as the military quality ZAGG invisible shield is yet to arrive. Jailbreaking it was a piece of cake although I didn’t find a compelling enough reason to do it! I don’t understand why people pay hundreds at National Market/Sukh Sagar mall to get it done.

Initial impressions:

  • The screen is gorgeous. 960×640 resolution is splendid, you have to see it to believe it.
  • The sound output is loud and balanced. External speaker is decent and is fun to use while gaming
  • The stock earphones suck big time. It hurts my ear and shows distortion when I pump up the volume
  • The 2 cameras are decent in daylight and next to unusable during the night. Decent for 720p video recording on the go.
  • The body is slightly slimmer than the previous iPod and nice to hold. It is also much lighter compared to my Samsung Omnia Pro
  • I am still getting used to home button and feel a back button like in the newer windows phone series would have been great
  • Connecting to Exchange on this is great. Emails look beautiful unlike on WM devices where scrolling is a pain HTML content content doesn’t get displayed properly

Apps I have found so far that are useful

  • Dropbox – I have been using dropbox since it was in beta and the availability of dropbox for the touch is welcoming
  • Facebook/twitter – Only I know how much I have missed a good social networking app in the earlier generations of windows phones. Echofon for twitter and the official facebook app works like a charm
  • VLC media player – The lack of such an app was a deal breaker for me when I had considered buying an iPod touch in the past. It was great to have drag and drop without need to transcode videos on my omnia. With VLC I can effortlessly play most video formats without having to re-encode them.
  • Lots and lots of fun games – I can’t name them all here.
  • iTunes university – Lots of amazing video lectures available for download
  • Google Maps – works like a charm. But is of not much use given that it needs WiFi to work.
  • Stanza – Another excellent application to read ebooks. Reading ebooks on a portable device was never so much fun. Die mobipocketreader!
  • Shazam – Identifies music on the go, however, only 5 tries per month before you have to upgrade.

I will keep updating this list as and when I find a cool app. Tell me which app do you like and how you are using your iPod

Aug 222009

For most of us, a Search engine is the gateway to internet. We rely on it for day to day tasks. Thanks to search engines, we need not remember a plethora of domain names; a few words which you can remember from a site is all that is needed to take you to the right site.

A large population of internet users seldom click any link other than the first one the search engine throws at them. Some of them go further and explore the next page, and rarely does anyone go beyond the 3rd of 4th page. I was always wondering why Google says it found some millions of results as people are never interested in viewing the 1000th results let alone the millionth one. I was wondering why they’re waste computational resources on indexing data no one would ever use.

Today, I tried a little experiment. I searched for Apple on Google. It returned a whopping 340 Million results!! Whew.. Then I tried accessing the 2nd page.. I noticed there is an attribute which is seen in the address bar called Start, which changes for every page. e.g., for the 2nd page the PageStart value is 10, which actually says show results starting from the 10th page which is quite logical.

The URL looks something like this

I tried changing the number for 10 to 2000 to see the 201st page, but I was in for a surprise -

Sorry, Google does not serve more than 1000 results for any query. (You asked for results starting from 2000.

Here it is, Google can’t serve you results exceeding 1000 for any query! So the first question which was haunting my head was resolved..

I wanted to play around with Google more, so I tried giving another value – this time 640 to see if I actually get redirected to the 65th page.

Above is the URL I tried in my browser. It said “ Results 431437 of about 340,000,000 for apple”

Results 431437 of about 340,000,000 for apple

And it is now on page 49! Results 431- 437 should ideally be on page 42, moreover it should have actually displayed results 650-660. After all it has 340M results and it has no problem displaying upto 1000 results for any query.

Why is this anomaly present in Google? It is not specific to this search term alone. I have tried it with different search terms and all the time I see such anomaly.In some cases, clicking on the next page reloads you the same page.

All of the following URLs differ in the Start property but all point to the same page. Also you can see that the page number which is highlighted in each case. Though different numbers are highlighted in each case, we get to see the same result page everytime!!!

Go to the above URL and click on the next page (46). You will land up on the same page again! This anomaly differs with each keyword!

I don’t understand why this anomaly exists. If anyone has a clue about this, please let me know through comments.
Also, please share with me if you find any such anomalies in other search engines too!