Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Web Browsers for Dummies

Considering the amount of time everyone spends online today, it is funny that many people still don't know what a web browser is, even though they use it every day.

The following video is a questionnaire conducted by Google while promoting their browser Chrome, and it shows that many people don't know what a browser is, or they confuse a browser with a search engine. Only a few people answered correctly.

It also seems that Google is determined to educate people on what a browser is. The latest post on the Official Google Blog has a quick comparison showing that people spend way more time on the web than they spend in their car. However, they are more likely to know which car they are driving than to know which browser they are using.

The author of that post, Jason Toff, created a small video clip explaining what a browser is. It is intended for those who know almost nothing about the computer's technical terms. Take a look:

In addition, Toff has also created a simple site, WhatBrowser.org, that gives even more information about browsers. On this site, you can see which web browser you're using, explore links to browser diagnostic tests and read some useful tips for getting the most out of your browser.

So, do you know which browser you're using?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paint.NET is a Quality Photo Editing App for Windows

Paint.NET is a Quality Photo Editing App for Windows: "

Looking for a quality all-purpose photo editing program for everyday use? Paint.NET is a free app which is a useful addition to your Windows system.


During the installation process you will have the opportunity to choose between a Quick Install and a Custom Install. In the same install window you will also be able to specify the language that best suits your needs. Both options are very nice to have. You should also make sure you have the Microsoft .NET Framework installed first, but if you don’t the installer will direct you to the site to download it.

Note: Custom Install setup shown here.


Along with being able to choose the install directory of your choice, you will also be able to make selections for image defaults, creating a shortcut on your Desktop, and two types of automatic updates to check for.


Before the install process begins Paint.NET will create a restore point.


Paint.NET will also work to optimize performance for working on your system…yet another nice feature.



Once you have finished the installation and started Paint.NET, this is what it will look like. Except for the floating toolpad, everything else is at the top giving Paint.NET a nice uncluttered look.


Menu Set for Paint.NET

Time for a good look at the menus available for Paint.NET. Here you can see the File, Edit, View, and Image Menus…


Followed by the Layers and Adjustments Menus.


And finally the Effects, Window, and Help Menus.

Note: Notice the pre-plugin look of the Effects Menu…it will not be a small menu for long!



Plugins are one of the terrific things about Paint.NET…choose only what you like (or need). Once you have the zip files for the plugins that you choose downloaded and unzipped, simply place them in the “Effects Folder” and restart Paint.NET. Everything will automatically be ready to go!

Note: The link for the plugins repository is provided at the bottom of the article…


And here is our Effects Menu after we added in our favorite plugins. The Main and Sub Menus are filled with lots of picture modifying goodness now (very nice).


Paint.NET in Action

For our example we decided to crop an area out of a larger picture. Using the “Rectangle Select Tool” from the floating toolpad, we focused on the girl in the center of the picture. Notice the slight change in color and nice dotted outline marking the exact area selected…then all that we had to do was go to the “Edit Menu” and use the “Copy” & “Paste in to New Image” commands.


And there is our new cropped image…all ready to save and/or modify further.



If you have been looking for a free all-purpose photo editor that is very dependable and useful to have around, then Paint.NET is a program that you should definitely have installed on your system.


Download Paint.NET (version 3.36.3158.38068) – Stable

Download Plugins for Paint.NET (Listed as A-L & M-Z)

Works On: Windows XP (SP 2+), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server (2003 SP 1+)

This article from : How-To Geek

Friday, October 2, 2009

Introducing CubeSat

CubeSat is a 10cm cubic nano-satellite that weights only 1 kg and uses commercial off-the-shelf electronic components. Nano-satellites can be developed in about 1 year at extremely low costs, which creates new possibilities for space missions and business, enabling quick and low-cost demonstration of novel space technologies. Considering these effects, more than 30 universities and research institutes as well as venture businesses are currently pursuing their own CubeSat projects. It is emphasized that it is very important for [space engineering] students to experience the whole cycle of a space project, including mission conceptualization, satellite design, fabrication, ground test and feedbacks of the results, launch and operation.

So, I wish to see some Arabian students working on stuff like that soon. At least, they could build/purchase the device, develop some technology and maybe launch it or keep it in their universities for more such projects. Take Malaysia for example: 5 universities collaborated in developing InnoSat which was launched last April.

We can start by finding interested professors in Arabian universities. Then we can try to collect some capital through the available funding programs. This can be used to buy the required components, but it would be nice if we could build some of them ourselves. Hopefully, this will enable our students to learn the basic skills of space engineering. In case these efforts arrived at good results, maybe this is going to create some business opportunities for space projects in our region.

Space is fun, but this is only one area. The point is, we have to do something
instead of just watching. You have to do something! GO DO SOMETHING!!!