Category - Web

And the Winners of the BestWeb 2014 Competition are…

The 5th Annual competition was conducted for 2014 , and award winners were announced last week.  In the BestWeb Overall category, the Gold went to Mount Lavinia Hotel, the Silver to SLT and the Bronze to Avirate Fashion.  In the Best Web developer category, 3CS won the Gold award, Pyxle the Silver while Saberion obtained Bronze.

It is also a pleasure to announce that bagged an award for the first time by obtaining the bronze award for the Non profit Category.

The entire list of Winners are listed below

Overall Winners

Gold Winner – Mount Lavinia Hotel

Silver Winner – SLT

Bronze Winner – Avirate Fashion

Advertising and Marketing Winners

Bronze Winner – Farlin

Bronze Winner – Lego

Commercial Winners

Gold Winner – Wall Art

Silver Winner – 3CS

Bronze Winner – Colonial Tea

Corporate Banking, Finance and Insurance Winners

Gold Winner – SLT

Silver Winner – Sampath Bank PLC

Bronze Winner – DFCC Bank

E-Commerce Winners

Gold Winner – Avirate Fashion

Silver Winner – Jessica Fashion Shop

Bronze Winner – Vijitha Yapa Book Shop

Government Winners

Gold Winner – Parliament of Sri Lanka

Silver Winner – LLRC Action Plan

Bronze Winner – Laksala

Media Winners

Gold Winner – ITN

Silver Winner – News First

Bronze Winner – News Radio

Non-Profit Winners

Gold Winner –

Silver Winner –

Bronze Winner – Techwire

Merit Winner – Prasad

Sports and Entertainment Winners

Gold  Winner – Island Cricket

Travel and Tourism Winners

Gold Winner – Mount Lavinia Hotel

Bronze Winner – The Kingsbury

Best Sinhala Website

Bronze Winner – Parliament of Sri Lanka

Best Tamil Website

Gold Winner – Parliament of Sri Lanka

Bronze Winner – News First

Best Web Developers

Gold Winner – 3CS

Silver Winner – Pyxle

Bronze Winner – Saberion

Capy – An user friendly CAPTCHA

How many of you have thought why this people want me to fill different kind of letters which are really difficult to read? Are they testing my English knowledge? Or else my eyesight? And how many of you have tried entering it several times and left the website due to this couple of words with distorted letters that are challenging to read? honestly I have done it some more years back.

Simply CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is used to identify whether user is a human or not.

What if I say that now you don’t need to worry about CAPTCHA anymore? Yes, you really don’t need it because of CAPY.

Here we go….. What’s CAPY? Another crappy solution which makes you to leave website trying after several times? Not really. CAPY is a patented and unique hassle free solution which can replace CAPTCHA. It’s all about security and design. This solution is available for both PC and smart device users. With a smart device, verification can be done with just a swipe of a finger.

CAPY offer four different kinds of CAPTCHAs

1. Puzzle CAPTCHA

Here user will be receiving an image with some empty space. The puzzle CAPTCHA peice will be displayed seperately and user need to drag and drop it in the white space correctly.


2. Free Style Puzzle CAPTCHA

The difference between Puzzle CAPTCHA and Free Style Puzzle CAPTCHA is, Free style Puzzle CAPTCHA allows the website developers to change the CAPTCHA background image and puzzle CAPTCHA piece as they want.



What if you think shapes and puzzles are not your thing? Here text CAPTCHA comes… All you need to do is enter the letters display inside the image in to the text box. You may think this is the same crappy CAPTCHA which exits now. May be you think it is very easy to track this. In fact if you are a human. But this puzzle CAPTCHA contains some complicated details, edges etc which prevents bots from tracking the code.


4. Text – No JavaScript CAPTCHA 

This is for the lovers of previous generation web browsers and smart devices which do not use JavaScript. This verification is based off of an image tag. Functionality of this CAPTCHA is same as Text CAPTCHA.


CAPY is available for major web development platforms including Word Press, PHP, Rudy and Python. All you need to do is register and login to CAPY and generate the JavaScript code from it. The generated code needs to be added to the webpage where you need to have the CAPTCHA.

Following Image shows how display and verification process happens using CAPY.


Image source –

9 things you may not know on Google Products

These are very basic things on Google Products that you might already know, but if you don’t, try out these features/products and get familiar on them. It will help you to utilize Google Products efficiently to your benefits. Now it is time to take a look!

#1 Gmail Features

No, it’s not a mistake. Gmail is full of hidden features. If you get a chance to take a look at Gmail, you would be amazed what Gmail can really do. So what can Gmail do other than sending and receiving emails?

*It can save your contacts! Your mobile contacts. If you are using an Android phone you might know about this. But even if you are an iPhone user, you can access to these contacts from adding a Google Account to it. So you don’t need to worry about your sim capacity or your phones when Google does the job. Now you will never lose a contact eh? 😀 You can access to these contacts from Gmail by clicking Gmail button, left hand upper corner, and selecting Contacts.

*Tasks. It is really helpful if you use Gmail often and need to complete certain tasks at certain time. It shows you uncompleted tasks and time due so you can keep in track with your work. It can be access the same way as Contacts, but Tasks button would be below Contacts button.

#2 Google+ Photos.

This is a cool method to sync and save your photos in the Google+ profile from your Android mobile phone. If you choose full size photos to upload, you use Google’s free 15GB storage. However, if you choose 2M photo size you can upload unlimited photos. Well, something is better than nothing eh! Now you won’t miss your sweet memories all thanks to Google.

What’s so special? Google automatically enhance your photos. You can choose whether to share these photos or not. Auto Awesome feature detects the special photos from your gallery and make them standout over others. Such as moving pictures with Motion feature. You mean like in Hogwarts? Yes, like in Hogwarts. 😛 This feature activates if you shoot multiple shots within a short time interval or simply known as continuous shots. Twinkle feature will give you glitter effects if needed. Mix and combine multiple photos within one photo frame. If you take whole bunch of photos and videos in a day, such as an event or an outgoing, the Movie feature automatically create a short video by collecting those pics and vids.

#3 Google Keep

Name says it all. It keeps your notes and other stuff, like to-do-lists and reminders, synced and saved for you. You can access it by your Android mobile or from Google Chrome from your desktop. It is simply like Evernote, but Evernote requires a separate login while Keep, logs in with your Google Account. It is a very simple and handy app to keep your day to day life, well organized.

#4 Google Calendar

This is very useful if you want to keep in track with your important dates such as appointments, cheque payment days, birthdays, anniversaries, events, and many more. So even if you change your mobile phone or format it, you still have it saved in your calendar. You can put a widget on your home screen so you can see what’s coming up or you can put a reminder to notify you about the event.

#5 Hangouts

Hangouts acts as a replacement for Google Talk. Main advantage about this application is that you can message through your Google account. As many people uses Android phones, you can simply activate this by Turn-on-SMS option. It will allows Hangouts application to overcame your ordinary SMS application but allows you to send messages to those who online consuming only data charges. That way you can reduce the cost for messaging.

#6 Android Device Manager

Android Device Manager is a very helpful app to find your Android device if you lost it or misplaced it. Not even that! You can remotely ring, lock and reset device password, and even erase all data. You can keep your GPS on for better location accuracy and if you have connected to a Wi-Fi connection, it’s even better. Install the app on your device and simply log in to the web address to locate your device.

#7 Google Business

You want your business in Google Search? Who doesn’t want eh? So you can go to Google Business and simply follow the steps and make it happen. You can choose your business from any categorize form of local business or place, product or brand, company, institution or organization, art, entertainment or sports, and other.

#8 Google Quickoffice

This is something like MS Office where you can create docs, excel docs, presentations, drawings and to create online forms. This would be helpful to you if you have no option to create a document instantly. It is integrated with Google Drive or you can download an app separately if you want. Well, you might be thinking who wants to create a doc in middle of nowhere, but still, it’s good to know eh? 😀

#9 Google Goggles

This works as your eye. You can search, get information, recognize famous landmarks, books, paintings, and scan barcodes or QRcodes, etc. It would be great if you cannot identify the item or place you are looking at so you can simply use your camera to capture it and get information through Google Goggles.


PS: All applications mentioned above are freely available in the Android app market, Play Store, or downloadable from the internet.

Well, I guess that’s all. If you know any cool Google features, let us know so we can use those to simplify our day to day needs. 😀 Adios amigos!

Bringing the Cloud Down to the Ground

Earlier when people were thirsty, they had no other option other than digging a well. However with the population growth and urbanization, it was impractical to build wells to address each family’s need. Instead people created tanks where a huge volume of water could be stored. The stored water is supplied to the citizens of many towns and villages. This method has many visible advantages over the traditional way. All families don’t have to put an effort in digging wells for themselves, no need of time to maintain wells, and no dedicated and suitable place is required. An established and dedicated organization such as Water board does everything necessary to take water from a river, pump to a tank, purify and deliver to the end consumers. Consumers only pay for the volume of the water they consume which covers the overhead costs of the producer as well.

Cloud Service

The above scenario is an analogy to the base concept of cloud computing. Earlier, when computing facilities or computer systems are required by an organization or an individual, they had to buy computers and the network infrastructure. In addition they had to buy licenses for necessary software and install them, allocate dedicated space and employ necessary personnel to maintain the system.  This requires a considerable initial setup cost and recurring maintenance cost. Scaling up and down based on market and business needs is not easy as it involves direct costs as well as management overheads associated with it. When the power of the internet was practically proven, the concept of cloud computing was emerged. As the water is received via pipes, computing power is received via internet. Thus the cloud computing can be explained as “computing via internet”.

Flavors of cloud computing

Cloud computing comes in different flavors. Following will be discussed in this article.

  • IAAS – Infrastructure As A Service
  • SAAS – Software As A Service
  • PAAS – Platform As A Service


IAAS – Infrastructure as a Service

Dedicated or shared computing infrastructure is provided with the basic features such as the OS and other domain specific features installed. Users see these services as virtual machines with comprehensive administrative powers or hosting service with limited administration capabilities. Amazon EC2 is the most popular IAAS provider providing virtual computing power in the cloud. There are thousands of web hosting service providers such as,,

For instance let’s consider Amazon EC2. After creating an account in Amazon EC2, users can create virtual machines with his preferred OS, disk size, virtual memory size, firewall etc. Thereafter we can access those machines just as we access normal physical machines in a remote location.  We can stop or terminate the machines when we are done with it or restart later when we need them again. In addition a snapshot of the machine can be created at any point so we can boot up another machines from the same state later. Following is a screenshot of the management console of EC2.

Amazon EC2 console

There are more services such as load balancing, scaling up and down etc. based on the user needs. Users are charged according to the resources they consumed such as virtual memory, storage and the time the machines were active. Another advantage of having an IAAS is we can scale up the system instantly.  We can add and remove more hard disk space, memory or machines themselves or database instances easily; no ordering, no deployment, no baseline etc. Just play without even plugging. Coolest thing is that resources can be added in rush hours and removed when things go dull. Dynamic resource management to its max! These systems also support automatic scaling up and scaling down so application developers don’t have to think of typical constraints of the shared computer architecture.

SAAS – Software as a Service

Adding another layer on top of the computing infrastructure, users are given a valuable service through a single piece of software or a collection of software. Google’s collection of SAAS is the most famous free services stack among the general public. Gmail and Google Docs are the popular example applications for free SAASs. Even this article itself was started in the clouds as a Google Doc first – in favor of cloud computing. There are thousands of other paid services which provides services like online time management systems, online POS systems etc. Paid services charge in different ways like per year, per user and PAYG. PAYG or pay as you go is the cost model that charge for the resources (computing power, storage etc.) consumed. Users have the freedom to choose the cost model that best suits them.  So you might question how free services generate revenue. The answer is it depends. Let’s consider Gmail as an example. Their main revenue model is advertisements.  Gmail has more than 500 millions of users which imply Gmail make more than 5 billion advertisements display if we assume one average user sees 10 advertisements a day. Although it is impossible to assume how much they make for a year, but it should be a plenty.  Additionally Google offers only a limited email and document space. Normal users can live with that. However for large corporate users needs to pay for additional email and document space when they grow. For e.g. there are numerous organizations in Sri Lanka uses Google services by paying subscription fees.

PAAS – Platform as a Service

There are organizations that provide platforms to build applications in the cloud where other organizations can build software services and host them. PAAS facilitates building of custom applications using a bunch of software platforms. This includes facilitating all of the development, maintenance and retiring stages of a typical software lifecycle. WSO2 Stratos, WSO2 App Factory, Heruko, Redhat OpenShift are high standard PAAS vendors. Please read more about WSO2 App Factory in this introductory article by the same author.

As an example, WSO2 Stratos is a 100% open source, multi tenanted for private, public and hybrid cloud deployments. It provides a complete stack of middleware products as a service and also mediation, governance, security, gadgets, monitoring and more by using the capabilities of WSO2 products.  Third party runtimes such as PHP, MySQL, and Tomcat etc. can be plugged in via a concept called cartridge.  StratosLive is the Stratos version hosted by WSO2. It is free for anyone interested.                     


Cloud Features

Every service hosted in the Internet is not a cloud service. They have some common characteristics which qualifies a service as a cloud service which is listed below.

Multi tenancy

Single software is shared among multiple users or organizations called tenants. The system and the data are partitioned among tenants. Different tenants can have different configurations. But the software service provided should be the same with different features on or off based on costing model etc.

Auto Scaling

The system automatically scale up (spawn up serving instances) during the rush time and automatically scale down (kill additional services) during the free time.


System supports multiple nodes/instances running concurrently in different machines in a network, ability to save and transfer the overall state to work as a single servicing entity is also an attractive feature.

Cloud Users

Disadvantages of the cloud

As every coin has two sides, cloud computing also has some inherent disadvantages. Organizations which handle the confidential data such as government organizations, mission critical applications etc. may think twice before storing their information in a public cloud.

Though it seems to be cheaper at the beginning, cloud may be expensive in the long run. Another problem is organizations may have to tolerate cloud services providers downtimes and bugs which can hinder the overall quality of service. If you can remember recent service degradations of Outlook and Gmail, you know what I meant by that.

When looking at the current industry, more and more organizations tend to move to the cloud since organizations needs to get the competitive advantages by delivering their services or products early to the market. Almost all the popular companies like Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, IBM, eBay, Redhat etc. have stepped into the cloud. Big companies like Google are born due to the cloud computing, and all its services are available via cloud. Through cloud, companies can make their services available to the customer faster. Cloud native features help to build a more distributive, auto scaling services that that supports any number of users. Cloud let the companies to address more users.  For instance Microsoft Office what was a desktop application became more collaborative and accessible when it reached the cloud as Office 365.

Cloud is a new computing model of the era to build the applications shortly. However moving to a cloud might be time consuming initially as information may have to be separated and treated differently based on the security needs.

The Future

Rise of cloud computing is remarkable as it has made great success for this short time period. Almost every person who uses a computer or modern mobile phone, benefit from the power of cloud. Google, Email, Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive are few of the system an average person uses which uses the Cloud. According to a recent report by IBM states that the businesses that moved to use cloud have doubled the revenue compared to its non-cloud counterparts. According a survey, 75 % of the surveyed businesses uses the cloud and the global market for the cloud is $158.8 Billion by 2014 which is 126.5% growth compared to 2013. So it is clear that the past of cloud computing was bright, but the future of cloud computing will be even brighter and business will be forced to use it to survive in the industry.


Image credits :,, – Find and compare your favorite members of parliament before you vote!

“Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka” that’s the actual name of our country. So, we are a democratic country – what does that mean. Wikipedia says: Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. In most modern democracies, the whole body of all eligible citizens remain the sovereign power but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives; this is called representative democracy.

Elected representatives, in other words members of parliament are representing you and is elected by you for that reason. Ever wondered whether there could be a better way to know what how good the MPs you’ve elected has done representing you? But, who has the time and energy to spent reviewing PMs once they are PMs. We all wait for the next election to do our job. Isn’t it? Even then, aren’t we too overwhelmed with the recency effect of the media flimflams during the election time? logo

For the first time in Sri Lanka, here is a tool is available to systematically gauge performance of MPs by the use of parliament records. is a trilingual web which is designated to provide you with the profiles of MPs with a score card based on activities of the parliament. For that they use parliamentary Hansard as the source of information. Contribution to various important topics discussed in the parliament is considered a positive remark whereas disruptions to parliament and impeding its functions is considered as a negative remark.

It also has a profile for each MP with their educational background, contact details and social media details where ever possible which should ideally create the understanding and link between the masses and the MPs.

There is a rank derived of MPs overall performance. Top and last ranked MPs are available in the front page dashboard. You can search by MP name, district, coalition, party and topics that are being discussed in the parliament. You can compare up to 5 politicians for their profile details, contribution to different areas of discussion at the same time – very useful in selecting the next MPs that you are going to cast your valuable vote! On each topic, contributions are ranked. Its interesting to see that some of the ministers are lagging in the scope of the ministry that they are handling to other active MPs. performance Compare Transport is an initiative by Verité Research, a Colombo based research group in partnership with web technology partner Saberion.

We think this useful tool can be further improved if it can include successful projects completions, success rates and financials of those activities as well as personal financial records. It’s all about increasing the transparency of our political system. We believe that small initiatives like these can create a big difference in the time to come.

Dialog launches : Trilingual E-Learning platform

E-Learning is quite big around the world, but no so much in Sri Lanka. However local mobile Telcos are leading the way with launching their own educational online platforms. Dialog Axiata, launched their first educational platform eteacher around 2 years back, which they have now revamped and relaunched as

On first look it is much better than the predecessor with a visually cleaner layout. Courses are listed with price, rating and subscriber numbers. From the available courses it can be seen that is placed primarily as an online tuition provider.


Currently it hosts O/L subject courses, revision and past  paper modules. We expect that the variety of courses would expand in 2014. The course prices range from Rs 100 -175 monthly charge, which is quite reasonable and affordable to students. Users also have the option to pay the course fees in daily or weekly installments.(However once you have enrolled you are committed to pay for the month).

Payment methods include mobile, eZcash and Credit card. Since credit card penetration is low in Sri Lanka, having mobile payment methods is a must for platforms such as this.(mobile payments is the only type of payment you can use if installments are used) payment

So if you are an O/L student, check  out and see. Might be the difference.

For a step by step guide on registration click here.

FIT2School : Delivering IT Knowledge to local Students

In the presence of digitized global context, Information Technology is updating each and every second with novel and advance methodologies and technologies at a significant level. So we have a huge challenge in front of us in connecting the technically empowered world. As a developing nation we have the responsibility of enhancing IT literacy among Sri Lankans.

As much as the Information Technology era has opened up tremendous possibilities and opportunities for enhancing and enriching the knowledge system , making it accessible to people has become a challenge. In society there is a knowledge gap that relates to the unequal distribution of IT knowledge. One reason is the language barrier, because the qualitative learning materials available are in English medium. So there is a requirement to have a standard IT knowledge hub for Sri Lankans. If we can initiate this change, the school students learning ICT in their mother tongue, either Sinhala or Tamil medium will be benefited directly.

The requirement of qualitative and quantitative materials to support learning Information Technology in local languages raised the idea of FIT2School initiated by INTECS-INformation TEChnology Society in Faculty of Information Technology of University of Moratuwa. IT undergraduates of University of Moratuwa, receive many opportunities and sound knowledge from academia to explore the global IT industry. From the beginning the FIT2School concept was dynamically operated as a platform to interact with school students and IT undergraduates to share the theoretical and technical knowledge in Information Technology.


One of the aims of INTECS is to prepare our future generation to be competent leaders in the industry. FIT2School attempts to satisfy the intensive demand for qualitative material required for school students who study in Sinhala or Tamil medium. Focusing on A/L ICT syllabus FIT2School tries to supply number of articles covering major sections of IT as basic concepts, operating systems, digital circuits, networking and security, programming and flow charts, databases, management information systems and modern technologies and trends including the basics of artificial intelligence. FIT2School also comprises of comprehensive articles related to Java, .Net and PHP programming in order to improve the technical skills. Further INTECS is planning to expand the scope into various emerging technologies and innovative research areas of IT.

FIT2School is a noble concept initiated by the early batches of Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa. The current batches endeavor to present FIT2School as a collaborative effort with the determination of reaching the extremes with the guidance of academic staff including INTECS advisors. FIT2School is an initiative to become a bridge that connects the student to the global IT knowledge because Information Technology is impacting all walks of life all over the world.

The chance of exploring and experiencing the world of IT knowledge is opened to everybody. You can visit FIT2School using link; . You can always keep in touch with updates of FIT2School on Facebook with

UN Women Ad campaign uses Google Search to send a powerful message

UN Women recently launched an Ad campaign using Google Search to show the extent of gender inequality which exists today. The posters shows a predictive search to the prefixes Women Shouldn’t, Women cannot, Women need to and Women Should.  The predicted searches show just how bad the situation is. For example the top predictions for Women Shouldn’t are  “Women shouldn’t have rights”, “Women shouldn’t vote”, “Women shouldn’t work”. Take a look at the posters below.







So Techwire checked the same predictive text on local while also comparing the results between women and men. Women had only one positive search prediction while Men got only one negative prediction. Thus showing the inequality issue existence at a local level as well.

Women shouldn’t work

Men shouldn’t wear flip flops

Out of the lot, there were few amusing ones as well. Seriously who searches for “Men should wear Sarees”. Check out the entire predictive searches below. Kudos to UN Women for the creative Ad campaign. (Image Credits –

Sri Lanka predictive Search

Google Translate to add Sinhala translations soon

Google Translate, another one of Google’s nifty creations, lets users translate text or web between languages. It currently supports translation of over 50 languages. And according to  Rohan Jayaweera the Country Consultant for Google Sri Lanka, support for Sinhala on Google Translate will be added very soon.

Getting a new language on board is a long and hard process which comprises of creating required algorithms as well as gathering a large enough databases to tune it. It would have been particularly difficult to collect the data set for Sinhala, as the availability of the exact literature in both Sinhala and English  being limited. However seems that the Google team have almost cracked it and would be releasing Sinhala support in the near future.

The addition of Sinhala would be a great boost to the Sinhala community for using the vast amount of information on the web with the ability to read it in their own native language. Their would be some accuracy issues involved as it is hard to obtain an optimum translation algorithm at the beginning.(As seen with few other languages on Google translate.) However those can be improved with further data input and tuning.

We will keep you updated on the addition of Sinhala Google Translation, which will definitely be a major step in the Sri Lankan web space!

15 Years of Google

Happy B’day Google!!! The tech giant, who has changed our way of living, and who will continue to change it, turned 15 last week. From search to Youtube to Gmail, Google has touched every part of our tech ecosytem. We got two infographics lined up on Google, one which shows the dominance of Google in 7 key markets. The second one displays some key facts and stats on Google and also its various apps such as Google analytics and Youtube. Enjoy the read below. (Infographic credits to Mashable and wishpond)

Google Domination

Google Stats and Facts

Kandy Esela Perahara 2013 – Live on Youtube

Marking a major step for Youtube in Sri Lanka, the Kandy Esela Perahara would be broadcast LIVE on Youtube. The team (Gallezone) who brought the first public hangouts (Ripples of Music) is behind this initiative as well. The Perehera would be viewable live each day from the 11th to 20th August, 5.30pm onwards. You can view it at . It is fitting that this prestigious event is the first to be covered in this manner. The full schedule is as below.

Sri Dalada procession – Live Streaming Schedule
2013-08-11 | 5.30 PM – 1st Kumbal Perahara
2013-08-12 | 5.30 PM – 2nd Kumbal Perahara
2013-08-13 | 5.30 PM – 3rd Kumbal Perahara
2013-08-14 | 5.30 PM – 4th Kumbal Perahara
2013-08-15 | 5.30 PM – 5th Kumbal Perahara
2013-08-16 | 5.30 PM – 1st Randoli Perahara
2013-08-17 | 5.30 PM – 2nd Randoli Perahara
2013-08-18 | 5.30 PM – 3rd Randoli Perahara
2013-08-19 | 5.30 PM – 4th Randoli Perahara
2013-08-20 | 5.30 PM – 5th Randoli Perahara

Perehara on YoutubePerahara on Youtube