30 September, 2004

ZDNet: Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows
About 40 percent of Linux PCs will be modified to run an illegal copy of Windows. In emerging markets, where desktop Linux enjoys wider popularity, the trend is even starker. Around 80 percent of the time, Linux will be removed for a pirated copy of Windows.
ZDNet: IBM search engine will find video, audio on the net
"To be able to index the content now requires manual labeling of the content," said John R. Smith, senior manager of intelligent information management at IBM Research. "We're trying to index content without using text or manual annotations."

29 September, 2004

ET: Foreign companies' 'permanent' arms to be taxed
The final word has been said on the taxation of business process outsourcing (BPO) units. Tax will be levied on the income of a foreign company with a BPO arm here which qualifies as a permanent establishment (PE). Simply put, if the foreign company has a fixed place of business of its own in India or functions through a dependant agent, it will be construed to have a PE in India and will be liable to tax.

26 September, 2004

TOI: An e-mail service for the dead !
A Spanish Internet company has come up with a novel idea of providing people the opportunity of writing their last e-mail, complete with video clip or photo attachments, and send it to loved ones or friends after the person dies. "Most people leave notes behind in drawers or boxes knowing or hoping they will be found after they die. This is the same, but via Internet," Alberto Iriarte, director of Global Spectrum, the Pamplona-based company which runs the service, was quoted by The News as saying.

23 September, 2004

ZDNet: Indians top list of Hotmail loyalists:
Brand loyalty may be a dying concept worldwide but Indians still seem to live by it. An online survey conducted across 13 countries by MSN Hotmail shows that Indians top the list of Hotmail loyalists. 92.3 percent Indians are 'loyal for life' MSN Hotmail users and have retained their original MSN Hotmail addresses.

21 September, 2004

CMPnetAsia: Outsourcing To India Shifts To R&D
India, the favored destination for the outsourcing of software development, is also attracting outsourced research and development projects, according to a new study.

18 September, 2004

osViews: Geek Battles - A Call for Perspective
"Linux sucks as a desktop."
"Windows is insecure."
"OS X is for rich, trendy art majors."

Depending on who's in earshot, spouting off any of these statements in the company of geeks is likely to get you anything from a dirty look to a severe tongue-lashing. Geeks tend to take their choice of operating system and applications very seriously, and this has both its benefits and disadvantages. On the good side, it’s a great feeling for developers when they see such quasi-religious followings behind their products, and it can help get the word out about potentially helpful tools. But on the negative side, many people tend to take this loyalty to an extreme - losing sight of more important truths in the process.

“Oh, you like Mozilla mail? I use Pine.” “I see you’re using Pico; try Emacs, it’s way more powerful.” The people I am talking about live for opportunities to say these things.

If someone insists on judging another person, it should be based on what they do with their tools – not what tools they use to do it.

There are people out there running FreeBSD or Gentoo as their desktop because it gives them a high to know that few people are doing the same. Well, what do these users actually produce with these highly superior environments? That’s the question. Many in this category create little or nothing at all; they instead spend their time on USENET and in forums for “lesser” products berating the mouth-breathers for not being as advanced as they are. You seldom see them using their vast powers to actually create something useful.

16 September, 2004

Do you like websites that require you to register just to view their content or access their service ? Are you fed up of feeding the same old details sites ask you to fill up on the registration form ? Do you feel uncomfortable giving out your email id and other personal or demographic details to these sites ? Do you fear spam as a result of the previous question ?

If your answer is YES to any of these, visit www.bugmenot.com. In a nutshell, it's a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information.
ZDNet: Tech Specialist + Business Consultant rules
Need a job? The growing technology services industry is hiring.
But services employers these days want more than the programming chops of unemployed software developers--they're looking for business smarts as well.

Services companies like Accenture and IBM used to be more content to hire tech specialists separately from business consultants, but now they're looking for broader skills and more versatile workers.

"What they are looking for is a professional who can understand the technology issues that a company faces...and also understand what the business issues are, and be able to link the two,"

Longtime computer programmer Bonny Berger is trying to adapt to the era, in which software skills alone don't always cut it. The New Jersey resident worked for AT&T and IBM for 24 years before getting laid off in 2002. Since then, she's landed two consulting jobs that have tapped her expertise in accounting--a field she majored in as an undergraduate years ago. When she markets herself these days, it's as a business expert first, computer specialist second. "My heading on my resume is not computer programmer or software engineer," Berger said. "It's accounting and billing analyst, with a subheading of computer applications experience."

15 September, 2004

DATA FOUNTAIN - Fountains as potential information displays !
"In the park next to my home is a fountain. I can see it from my window. Day in day out it sprays its water in the same boring fashion, no information in there. I connected this fountain to the cell phone of my secret lover. The fountain now sprays high when she's in neighborhood and low when she's far away. It sprays wild when she is receiving many phone calls. Not spraying at all when her phone is off. People in the neighborhood think it's just a randomly programmed fountain, but they are not into ambient information like I am."
ZdNet: First it was PNG, Now its JPEG !

The critical flaw has to do with how Microsoft's operating systems and other software process the widely used JPEG image format and could let attackers create an image file that would run a malicious program on a victim's computer as soon as the file is viewed.

A sample program hit the Internet, showing by example how malicious coders could compromise Windows computers by using a flaw in the handling of a widespread graphics format by Microsoft's software. More on this, here.

14 September, 2004

What is buffer overflow ?
A buffer overflow occurs when a program or process tries to store more data in a buffer (temporary data storage area) than it was intended to hold. Since buffers are created to contain a finite amount of data, the extra information - which has to go somewhere - can overflow into adjacent buffers, corrupting or overwriting the valid data held in them. Although it may occur accidentally through programming error, buffer overflow is an increasingly common type of security attack on data integrity. In buffer overflow attacks, the extra data may contain codes designed to trigger specific actions.
Yahoo! - Yahoo Buying Musicmatch for $160 Million
...San Diego-based Musicmatch will provide Yahoo with two features that it doesn't currently offer — an online music store that sells individual songs for 99 cents apiece and a popular software program that helps manage digital music on computer desktops...

13 September, 2004

ZDNet: Now Indian firms will take over Foreign firms !!
Research and consulting firm Forrester in its recent report has said that Europe's faltering economy and depressed stock prices of IT services companies make its large IT services companies an ideal target for acquisition by Indian firms.

12 September, 2004

ZDNetIndia.com: Why Web services will be the Next Big Thing
Web services establish a method of standardizing communication, making it easier for applications and devices to share information back and forth across the Internet. Web services use some standards that already exist, a bunch that half exist, and still more that are yet to be created. So when you see semi-familiar and unfamiliar terms and acronyms like UDDI, XML, SOAP, and the rest of the Web services lexicon, don't feel stupid.

09 September, 2004

ZDNetIndia.com: Google Gets the Geeks Going !

The 1000 MB capacity captures your attention, but in truth the huge storage is only the foundation for GMail. When Rediff offers 1024 MB free, and Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. chip in with their few hundred MB sops, it is not the same they still have a folder hierarchy based interface. Google throws away the folders in favour of Labels. You can 'apply' several labels to a mail, as opposed to 'putting' the mail into one folder. Once you get used to labels, folders will feel decidedly primitive. The concept and the technology have been languishing for decades, but Google is the first to implement it on a scale that makes a difference. Score one for Google.

The GMail interface is one huge JavaScript file, weighing in at around 250kB. Sign-in and wait while this downloads. But once it is on your computer, the interface is simply blazing. The JavaScript processes all your clicks right on your computer, instead of relying on the server to decide what to do next. The only data needed from the server is your email contents. Contrast this with almost all other web-mail applications that force a full page reload on every click. Yahoo recently bought Oddpost, the guys who first made this concept work for email way back in '00. Welcome to the next wave of browser-based application interfaces. This interesting approach does have it's accessibility drawbacks though, and Mark Pilgrim does a great job of presenting them at (http://snipurl.com/7ryx). These kinks too will eventually be sorted out, and you can safely credit Google with bringing yet another useful technology to front and centre.

Few tools* for Gmail :-

G-mailto: http://www.rabidsquirrel.net/G-Mailto/

Transferring mails to G-mail...
One neat way to do this is to chain a tool like the free YahooPOPs (http://snipurl.com/7ryp) with a mail redirection/forwarding tool like the free Mail Redirect (http://snipurl.com/7rys). Mail Redirect will download mails from your Yahoo account through YahooPOPs and transfer them to you GMail account with all sender information and the mail body intact.

Migrating from Hotmail is even easier with the free GetMail for Hotmail (http://snipurl.com/7ryn), that will do this in one step!

Local mail client to GMail...
GMail Loader: http://snipurl.com/7rx2

GMail account to POP3 account...
Pop Goes the GMai: http://snipurl.com/7ryj
FreePOPS: http://snipurl.com/7ryl

GMail backup script: http://snipurl.com/7rxt

* - You can't legally use most of these tools ! lol !

07 September, 2004

The Hindu Business Line : Double trouble:
Virus writers were known as the more technical group, while spammers were renowned for their commercial `acumen' as opposed to their programming skills." Their profiles were also different: "The virus writer has stereotypically been the angry adolescent male with a chip on his shoulder, writing viruses to gain approval and notoriety from his cronies. Spammers, on the other hand, had a more materialistic goal in mind - to make a profit."

Now, notwithstanding these differences in their intentions and nature of operations, spammers and virus writers are increasingly acting in connivance with each another
The Hindu Business Line : Pitch for home play:
Indian IT companies are ignoring the home market at their own peril. Especially since the backlash in the US against offshoring is set to get worse before the pressure eases up. Now's the time to play at home like never before...Indian vendors are ignoring the Indian market, at their own peril. The same Gartner report said 92 per cent of all of India's software revenues came from exports and a paltry 8 per cent from India.

05 September, 2004

Spyware Could Bungle XP SP2 Update
Programs such as Ad-Aware and SpySweeper can scour computers for spyware. Microsoft recommends that users clean their PCs of spyware and back up their data before turning on the auto update feature that automatically downloads Service Pack 2, or SP2.
Techtree.com�>>�Putting Passion Back Into Computing

Steve Jobs is arguably the shrewdest, most competent and most daring human being the computer industry has ever seen. He is a visionary, a calculated, wise businessman and no matter what people say about him, a great leader.

What surprises me most about him is how he has the ability to make the world stand up and take notice of everything he does and see it in a positive light.

Look at Apple's core principles. They're a company that believes in total domination. "Our Computer, Our OS, Our Network, Our Music Service, Our Music Player and Our Internet". Despite that, he makes hordes of Open Source developers "crazy about Apple", all because the OS-X kernel is open-sourced. This is the same group of people who hate Microsoft because they're a monopoly.

I say and many would argue, had John Scully, Apple's CEO, not been stupid enough to fire Steve Jobs rather than "Fix" him in the 80s, Apple would have been the monopoly today. And don't be surprised, they're on their way to be there again, maybe in a different market, but they're getting there fast and it's all thanks to Steve Jobs' tactics and business acumen...