New Google website translator gadget

It was International Translation Day on 30th September and Google gifted users a new version of their website translator gadget.

From usability point of view this version is far more better then previous one and supports 51 languages. Earlier version of this gadget was a bit ugly in the manner it worked. It used to load the entire page in an iFrame which appeared like a full page reload every time user changed the language. It seems that the new gadget translates the page of text asynchronously. There is a progress indicator too which shows percentage of translation done. It is certainly faster then previous version.

There is one more feature to it. According to google if the language of a users browser visiting your page is different than the language of your page, they will be prompted to automatically translate the page in their language.

To use the gadget in your website just visit google at http://translate.google.com/translate_tools and follow these 3 steps:

  • Select the language of your website.
  • Select languages in which you want the translation.
  • Copy the generated code in your webpages and you are ready to go.

Although the translation is not 100% correct, it is a great help to read and understand text of foreign languages.

My funny mail collection

Some time ago, just for fun I started to collect all funny and crazy mails that friends sent to me. Later I thought of putting them into a single place. I sat down to code and in a couple of hours created  http://www.vijayjoshi.org/humour/.

This page displays all the content that I have collected till now with the name of friend who sent it to me. (Some of them are insisting me to remove their names (read Bhuwanesh) which I will not do 😉 . I keep on updating it as I get new mails from friends.
Click on the story title to see the contents.
Yesterday I added one more feature to it. Now you can comment on individual stories as well. So please add your funny/crazy comments. Planning to add a recaptcha to comments soon as there will be lots of spam too.

Also, I request all of you reading this to send lots of crazy stuff to be included in the collection.

Creating a countdown timer in javascript

On one of the projects I am working upon currently, we needed a countdown timer in JavaScript. User had to fill in a form and we wanted to restrict that time to 5 minutes and simultaneously show him how many minutes/seconds are left now. After the set time limit is crossed user is informed that a timeout has occurred.

Here is the code for timer(call it timer.js):

To start the timer put these lines after you have included the timer.js

On the markup side create an element with id=container

init function accepts 3 parameters : minutes, seconds and the id of html element where the countdown will be displayed.
You will also need a function which will run after the timer’s execution has completed. For this purpose there is the function timerComplete included in the timer.js file. Write any code here that you would like to execute after timer has terminated (like redirect the user).
Also make sure that you have an html element with id set to container on your html page.
Above timer will do a countdown for 55 seconds. After 55 seconds, function timerComplete will be executed.
You can see a demo here and if you wish you can also view page source code for javascript code.

Download timer.js from this link

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What will happen to your online life after you die?

Its off topic but the concept is so great I could not resist blogging it. A traditional business model implemented over the web in these Web2.0 times which is sure to succeed.

Before you die or any unfortunate incident occurs in your life, you make sure that all your assets, property goes into right hands. To take care of it, you make a will and assign a beneficiary to pass your assets to the correct person. Now try mapping it with the web. You have an online life. Don’t you? You exist on Gmail, Hotmail, FaceBook, Twitter and numerous other services. You have some personal pictures stored on flickr, some lovely mails on your Yahoo or Gmail account which you would not want to go into any other hands. Ever wondered what will happen to your all these accounts in case you die or something happens to you?

Here comes Legacy Locker. Legacy Locker is a service that will store your credentials to mail services, social networks and other important services on the web and will pass them to a caretaker chosen by you in event of your death. It is kind of protecting your online life after death.

The service is not available yet and will be opening in April 2009. Of course there will be money charged for the service .The pricing is kept at $300 which can be paid as one time fee of $300 or yearly payments of $30.

The list of sites/networks that Legacy Locker has already covered is impressive. The list already includes Gmail, Flickr, Facebook, Paypal, Yahoo! Mail, Ebay, iTunes, ING, Snapfish, YouTube, AOL, Amazon, Kodak Gallery, WordPress, GoDaddy, Hotmail, Netflix, Blogger, LinkedIn, Photobucket, 12seconds, Box.net, Friendster, TypePad, Party Poker, Mint, Twitter and many other sites.

The service seems to be useful. Let’s see how many users consider it for managing their online identities after death.

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