December 28, 2006

The Day The Web Almost Came To A Standstill

Trying to figure out why the Web almost came to a standstill early Tuesday and Wednesday? Wonder no more. It's the quake with a magnitude 7.1 that rocked southern Taiwan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The BBC reported that telecommunications across Asia were severely disrupted. Undersea cables near Taiwan were damaged, causing major communication disruptions in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, China and Southeast Asian countries.
Internet connections were greatly affected. Be warned of slow Internet access in the next few days.

December 26, 2006

Goodbye To Godfather Of Soul

The Godfather of Soul finally called it a day. James Brown is dead at 73.

I first got a whiff of the news on
NewsCloud which I subscribed via email. Then I hopped over to for more details on the man who made rock-soul-funk his very own brand of music.

According to his management company, Brown was hospitalized Sunday with pneumonia in Atlanta. He passed away in the early morning of Christmas Day.

The legendary Brown had a long list of musical accolades including two Grammy awards in his career that seemed to last forever. You can count famous names like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Ray Charles among his peers.

If Bob Dylan is known for his lyrics, Brown was the quintessence of rhythm and dance music. He had more than 100 R&B chart hits to his name.

The soul king had his ups and downs making wrong kind of headlines but he always bounced back. His rambunctious style is well documented - from his boyhood days in Georgia to reform school and eventually a legend.
Would we have rap, hip-hop and disco today if not for James Brown? Would we have Michael Jackson with his fancy rapid-footed dancing if not for James Brown?

Some of James Brown's classics:

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

I Got You (I Feel Good)

Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine

Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud

...and many more.

December 22, 2006

Blogger Drops Its Beta Tag

We're out of beta and ready to go.

That's the message you see when you log in to Blogger beta. So finally the beta tag gets a cross over it. All this happened over the weekend without much fanfare.

For users of Blogger beta, it's just a matter of carrying on blogging as usual in the new Blogger. There's not much change in the user interface.

For those still using the old Blogger, they have been advised to hang on for a while. Not everyone can switch over immediately. They will be notified on the Blogger dashboard when it's time for them to do so. So keep an eye out.

December 19, 2006

Hot Diggity Digg!

As they would say, things are coming out of the woodwork. But they don't have to be the wiggly types. That's the happening now at Digg. It sounds good for Digg-ers.

The user-driven social content website...ok, the technology focused news site where stories are picked by Digg (community) members are just about ready with their new interface design.

According to Digg-er Kevin Rose in his post on the
Digg blog, they are digging out "tons of new features" to share with fellow Digg-ers.

Among the dug-up items to come your way are:

  • Flexible layout on screen (good news for those with large monitors)
  • Quick switching between sections (navigation becomes a breeze)
  • Quick view of the top 10 hottest stories on Digg, dated in real time (that's moving stories in the fast lane)
  • Added cool features include Digg video previews and Top 10 hottest videos (simply click the play icon)
  • Digg your favourite podcast series and individual podcast episodes (yes, you can share all this with your friends)

    P.S. is among the top 100 sites on the web — in any category — according to Amazon's Alexa metrics.

December 8, 2006

Little Fatty, China's Unlikely Cult Hero

What would it take to become a cult figure? Some people work hard at it to seek publicity. But for 19-year-old Qian Zhijun, it was kind of accidental. Qian has become a sensation in China with his pudgy face appearing everywhere online.

The overweight teenager from Shanghai, who works as a gas station intern, has become famously known as "Xiao Pang" or "Little Fatty." The China Daily newspaper described Qian as "the face that launched 1,000 clicks."

Not that Qian liked it when he first discovered that some Adobe Photoshop smarts had posted his porky features on the Internet in 2003 by superimposing his image onto movie stars and politicians. He was really upset and felt hurt.

Qian's superstar status shot up as his large head started appearing on the shoulders of famous names like Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe, Jim Carey, or even Mona Lisa! Witty webizens are having a field day using Photoshop's image editing ability to manipulate his image.

You can see Qian's face superimposed as the Roman general Maximus in Russell Crowe's Gladiator. a Brokeback Mountain gay cowboy and a roly-poly Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.

One of my favourites is the hilarious image of Qian sitting next to President George W. Bush, holding up his two fingers behind his head.

"Xiao Pang" has a website promoting him at He's now being managed by web designer Gao Feng who was himself once overweight.

P.S. The news about "Little Fatty" has been circulating online for sometime now and I couldn't resist not posting it here for those who may have missed out.

For more on "Little Fatty"...

> Little Fatty's spoofs gallery

> How Little Fatty made it big

> "Xiao Pang" tells of growing pains

December 7, 2006

It's Not Working, Mr President!

It's that time of year to rejoice as Christmas Day is just around the corner. Yuletide will be celebrated in most parts of the world. Families will be planning a get-together for holiday fun. There'll be plenty of gifts but...

It's also a time to remember all those who are suffering in Iraq where we still have that wretched war going on. Not a day passes by without news of despair and horror.

A high-level 142-page Iraq Study Group Report, now out, recommended that President Bush's policy in Iraq "is not working" and urged the US to stabilize the country diplomatically.

Co-chairman of the bipartisan panel, former US Secretary of State James Baker, was reported as saying that "a strategy of staying the course in Iraq was no longer viable."

In a nutshell, the gloomy report says:

  • There's "no magic formula" to solve the problems
  • Americans cannot win the war themselves
More than 2,900 U.S. troops had lost their lives in the nearly four-year war after toppling Saddam Hussein.

However, the Christmas spirit lives on and this bloghound
wishes all its visitors who just happened to drop by....

Thanks Parmilla G
for the lovely logo!


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