ClipGrab- A Simple Way to Grab YouTube Videos On Linux

ClipGrab is a simple open source, free software application that makes grabbing and converting videos from sites like YouTube on the fly very simple. Simple open the application, enter the url of the video you want to download and configure your parameters for conversion. Hit grab.

You can also search for the videos right from the application and download them. Supported video sites include YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Clipfish, Collegehumor, MyVideo, MySpass, Sevenload, Tudou. You can convert the download videos to MP4, OGG Theora, MP3 (audio), WMV and OGG Vorbis (audio). HD videos can also be downloaded provided they are supported by the video service.

ClipGrab can be very useful if you find the new mode of copying flash videos on Linux unnecessarily tedious. You can install ClipGrab on Ubuntu thus

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:clipgrab-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install clipgrab

[Release] MIR Translator – Translate text captured by the Nokia N900 mobile camera

MIR Translator is an application for translating text in photos taken by the N900 camera. It experiments with novel interactive techniques to perform text recognition. Currently the app supports translation to and from over 30 different languages. Video Demo:
Requires internet connection to work.
Package is available in extras-devel. Be sure to restart after installation if FCam drivers were not previously installed. Maemo packages URL:
The app relies on the text recognition happening off the device and in the cloud. This allows the application to support the maximum number of languages possible while keeping the install size as small as possible (~1.5 MB). It also improves response times, given a fast connection and server side.
  • A viewfinder is used to capture images with the camera. The user selects text to translate.
  • If the recognition is erroneous, the user is able to correct the recognition via manual segmentation, manual thresholding, and manual candidate selection.
  • Supports more than 30 input and output languages.
  • Somewhat limited performance. This is because the recognition service resides in the cloud as a web service. I am hosting the service myself, so server capacity / speed is as a result limited.
  • Recognition accuracy is currently quite dependent on the quality of the input image. That is, images should be well and evenly lit and have good contrast. It’s best if the text is sharp, with typographic-like fonts and non-complex backgrounds.
This project fell out of a project I was doing in school (its actually my first maemo app!). I’ve recently adapted it to be deployed publicly, so its in an early development phase. Naturally there will probably be some bugs, and there is much room for optimization. I don’t expect the application to be powerful enough for the general case of translating arbitrary text– but simpler cases should be do-able. Deploying it publicly is fun and I’m hoping it speeds feedback + development.
I’m keeping the web service up and running on my own student funds — its not cheap! Any and all small donations are greatly appreciated (Donate Link: Donate). Hope you enjoy the app! 
From TMO .

Three video transcoding applications for Linux worth knowing

If you are a movie junkie like me, chances are you have quite a number of movies on your computer that would be nice watching on your DVD player or home theater system, mobile phone or portable multimedia device.
Being a Linux user, the following three applications should help you with your transcoding task without resorting to the terminal.
From the site, “Transmageddon is a video transcoder for Linux and Unix systems built using GStreamer. It supports almost any format as its input and can generate a very large host of output files. 
“The goal of the application was to help people to create the files they need to be able to play on their mobile devices and for people not hugely experienced with multimedia to generate a multimedia file without having to resort to command line tools with ungainly syntaxes.”
It is available in the Ubuntu repos and that of other popular distros like Fedora. Just go to the software center and search for it or copy and paste “sudo apt-get install transmageddon” in the terminal without the quotation marks.
WinFF is a cross platform application that is a GUI to FFMPEG capable of converting any video file that FFMPEG is capable of converting. You can convert different file formats into any given format output at the same time. It is available for download from the site together with an easy to follow installation instructions.

This is one of my favorite applications that must necessarily be installed upon any Linux installation I carry out. “It is a program to create video DVDs and CDs (VCD, sVCD or CVD), suitables for home players, from any number of video files, in any of the formats supported by Mplayer
“The big advantage over other utilites is that it only needs Mplayer, Mencoder, DVDAuthor, VCDImager and MKisofs (well, and Python, PyGTK and PyGlade), so its dependencies are really small.”
DeVeDe does well what it was written to do and is available in the Ubuntu repos as well as that of other distros. Just hop to the software center and search for DeVeDe or copy and past “sudo apt-get install devede” in the terminal without the quotation marks.

The Nokia Point and Find- Add more usefulness to your phone

Unlike in North America where the iPhone is the dominant player, in most parts of the world Nokia still rules. A few hours ago I had an email from the Nokia Ovi service (I’m on the mailing list) introducing me to the Point and Find Application.
It is a really cool application that could make using one’s Nokia phone more fun and useful at the same time. Basically what it does is you point your mobile device‚Äôs camera at a landmark or barcode and receive immediate information such as descriptions, phone numbers and reviews, no typing required. 
With Point and Click, you can get instant information about restaurants, landmarks, scan barcodes to get product reviews and price comparison, tag your favorite locations and more. There is also a “growing database of user-generated and third-party content” to add to the mix. 
The best thing about the Nokia Point and Click is that it is free and available worldwide for download to compatible versions. If you have a compatible phone, just give this application a try and tell us what you think. 
Before the iUsers jump on to lambaste me about how there is an app for that, please know I am not doing any comparisons whatsoever. I just saw an application that I think may be of interest to Nokia users.

Tweepi- Put some sanity back into your Twitter account

The make money online for nothing spammers seem to have taken over Twitter these days. I doubt if there is a single one of you that has more than a 100 friends and is still free of those accounts. Tweepi is a very geeky (no terminal for sure) application that will help you prune out the bots from the humans in your stream.
“We created Tweepi out of our own need for some of these scripts. We’re constantly looking to follow quality tweeples, and trying to unfollow deadbeat users. We simply want to do more on Twitter in less time!”
Tweepi gives you various statistics that helps you determine if a particular account is worth following. Some of the stats include number of replies sent and received, number of tweets sent over a give period among others.
It is a free service where you log in with your Twitter credentials via OAuth. I personally used this tool recently to cut down on the number of people I follow because I was beginning to lose track of the real humans in my friends’ list. If like me you want to get rid of those make money for nothing spammers, Tweepi is definitely a tool worth giving a try.

Why does Ubuntu keep shipping with Evolution?

The Evolution mail client has been the default such application in Ubuntu since I got to know of Linux. Sure it is the default GNOME mail/calendar application, but I really am of the view that Ubuntu needs to drop it in favor of say Mozilla’s very brilliant Thunderbird
For one thing running Evolution on my machine makes me wonder if it is IE in disguise. It is, for starters, very heavy on my system resources. My hdd light keeps blinking to hell when I click on that application at any time. It also seems to take an eternity to respond to my mouse clicks.
And worse of all, it is only once that I remember ever being able to access my Gmail account via Evolution. Since that time, whenever I enter my mail credentials, it just sits there, tells me it is reading and fetching the mail. That’s it. Nothing else. It just does nothing else again after it shows me those messages in the status bar.
It may be that I am just unlucky with it. Or that my 1GB memory (that is what I use) is not for it. Mozilla’s Thunderbird on the other hand, just begs me to add my mail credentials and it takes less than a minute for it to connect to my Gmail account and fetch me my mails, including all my folders. And it is very much system resource efficient.
Evolution has become one of the first applications I remove upon every fresh Ubuntu install, replacing it with Thunderbird. If we are going to keep priding ourselves on how well Linux does on older hardware, then it would be wise to stop shipping some really fat applications like Evolution. Another intuitive way to collaborate in real time

After Google bought AppJet, the company behind the real time collaboration platform iEtherpad, we’ve seen a couple of others spring up as alternatives. is one such alternatives that seeks to set itself apart.
For starters, it has an intuitive interface and looks much polished. It is also easy to start a new note. No sign up whatsoever. Just hit ‘Create a new public note’ and get going, a feature that is common to all such platforms.
What however blew me away with is how easy it makes it to share your notes with friends on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,, Del.ici.ous, Digg, and via email. It also features the usual export feature that allows you to export your note as HTML, plain text or as a bookmark.
There is also a Adobe Air desktop app “that is available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux and has enhanced features for Pro users. The desktop client lets users create new notes and launch notes directly from their desktop. All in all, is another cool tool you can take a look at next time you need to work collaboratively with friends and colleagues.

CSSDesk- A handy tool for beginner web designers

If you are a beginner to web designing, you will welcome every single tool that will make life easier for you right? Then say hello to CSSDesk. This is a handy WYSIWYG tool that gives you a real time display of how your code looks like as you type.
There is a handy pane on the left that is divided into the the HTML part and the CSS part. You also have the option of downloading your code onto your local hard drive or sharing it with others via a handy short link that is automatically created when you click share. 
You can also change the background of your CSSDesk to suit your taste. It is a very handy tool that will go a long way to help newbie web designers hit the ground running. One thing though that I think is missing is a real time collaboration feature. That would make this tool a real jewel for many people.

Snaptu – A productivity app for the rest of us

Keeping up with one’s web activities on the go can be a real challenge if you are using a low end phone. Yup. Not all of us use Androids or iPhones. It seems nowadays that unless you are using one of the above phones, you really don’t have much of a choice when it comes to quality productivity apps.
Snaptu is one app that was designed with *every* single user in mind. It is a small productivity application that runs on any phone out there and gives you access to a wide range of sub-apps which you can install for specific functions. 
You can install sub-apps for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, latest movies and reviews, news and blogs, weather and much more. It is fast and easy to install on any handset you may have. I personally use this application a lot when I am on the go. Give it a try and tell me what you think!