RSS changes in Howstuffworks

Howstuffworks is one of the sites that I love to read, but their RSS feed was too bloated, means, I get no choice but to get updates on everything. But that will change now. They have redesigned thier RSS feeds so that I can be more selective in my subscriptions.

Due to popular demand, HowStuffWorks now has 13 RSS feeds to choose from. Pick from Future Cars, Science, Health, Entertainment and everything in-between.

RSS at Howstuffworks

Make reading online a simple experience

Whenever I get time, I tends to read a lot from the web. But it is not really as good as holding a newspaper or a nice magazine, because of the added interactivity, the flashiness and all other sort of shiny stuff. Gearfire productivity suggests using a firefox extension called Aardvark

Aardvark makes reading easier and saves paper and ink when printing. It is a Firefox extension, but is also available as a bookmarklet for Internet Explorer and Safari.

This will be particularly useful when a site dosen’t have  a printer friendly version that removes everything except the main article in question.This extension offers many features. Try it out, it is useful.

Articles i Like(d)

These are some of the stories that I find intersting these days, hope you ejoy it too!


  1. Microsoft Research investigating if the inkblots as pass remindel
  2. Logging onto Windows networks without a password
  3. How to Reveal Hidden Passoword in Firefox and IE
  4. Western Digital HDD stops sharing media files!
  5. Is Spam e-mail finally on the decline?
  6. 25 articles every student should read
  7. Teaching ancient Roman history with Civilisation IV

How to reduce the size of Adobe PDF documents

I have a collection of articles that I collected throughout the years and converted to pdf documents. But recently I have to send some of them to my friend, being on dial up, I know that it will be a messy business if I try to send them without trying to reduce the size of the documents.

Use the Save as command instead of Save

This is No. 1 suggestion for reducing the sizes of  PDFs. After you make any changes to your PDF, select Save As, instead of just Save, this will overwrite the entire PDF. Otherwise, if you just click Save, changes are appended to your file, and you’ll notice a slow and steady accretion of kilobytes.

Use the PDF Optimizer

By selecting Advanced > PDF Optimizer > Audit Space Usage, you can find out which elements in your PDF (fonts? images?) are taking up the most space and make changes accordingly.

Reduce Graphics and Images

We all knew that image files takes many times more the disk space than text. So reduce them or use optimized images, if necessary.

Vector-based graphics scale perfectly, look better and take up less space than their GIF counterparts.

If you have to insert a graphic as a bitmap, prepare it for maximum compression and minimum dimensions. Don’t compress the graphic beforehand, because distilling them in the PDF may cause the creation of noticeable artifacts in the image.

To experiment with the image compression quality to size ratios, select Advanced > PDF Optimizer, and on the images tab select compression options for color, grayscale, and monochrome images. Or, select Enable Adaptive Compression and drag the slider to balance file size and quality.

Use RGB colour

PGB uses less space than CMYK, so if you are not intending to print the documents in high quality it is recommended to use RGB than CMYK

Use Minimum fonts

Fonts use space, try to use minimal space and don’t embed many fonts as this will increase the size of the document considerably.

Use latest Acrobat

Use the latest version of the software, as there will be minor improvements in the compression algorithms that may help you to achieve the desired results. an example Acrobat 5 (PDF version 1.4) introduced JBIG2 (Joint Bilevel Image Experts Group) compression, which is superior to the CCITT or Zip algorithms that previous versions used when compressing scanned monochromatic copy. Most PDF users have made the switch to newer versions of Acrobat, but if you’re still using an old copy, it may be time to make the switch.

Use special Software

There are specialized software that can reduce the size of the document. Here are a few links that may of help.

  3.… (914kb)
  4.… (288KB)

Reference and Links

Reduce your PDF file size

How can I reduce PDF file size?

How do you reduce size of .pdf file?

Google new chart API


A new API from Google that generates information charts in a dynamic way. its usage is quite straightforward: you link to an image in the form of a parameterized URL, such as

“cht=p3” is the chart type, in this case, a pie chart.

“chd=t:90,49” are the chart values, text-encoded, and separated by a comma.

“chs=400×200” is the custom chart size, 400 by 200 pixels.

“chl=Data|Bling” are the different labels for the pie chart sections, separated via the pipe character.

chart types include: line charts, bar charts, pie charts, Venn diagrams & scatterplots.