30 October, 2004

Gmail accounts 'wide open to exploit' =The Register
A security hole in GMail has been found (an XSS vulnerability) which allows access to user accounts without authentication. What makes the exploit worse is the fact that changing passwords doesn't help. The full details of the exploit haven't been disclosed. The vulnerability was reported by Israeli news site Nana. They were tipped off by an Israeli hacker. Google has been notified and they are working to close the hole.

29 October, 2004

Online registration for .in domain names from Jan 1st -ZdNet:
Internet domain names having .in can now be registered online from January 1, 2005, to generate greater traffic within the country. This initiative is expected to increase the speed of the Internet and reduce the tariffs for subscribers. The minimum fee charged by the .in registry will be Rs 250 and Rs 750 per year for registration at third and second levels, respectively.

The .in registry will offer a 90-day 'sunrise period' to the registered trademark owners, registered companies and owners of intellectual property to secure registration of their domain names. At present, there are 60 million domain names globally, out of which 40 million constitute the .com names and the remaining 20 million are country-specific. In India, however, the .in domain number is less than 7000, department of information technology (DIT) officials said.

28 October, 2004

Plague carriers: Most users unaware of PC infections -ZdNet
A study of home PCs released Monday found that about 80 percent had been infected with spyware almost entirely unbeknownst to their users. Spyware can allow unknown intruders steal important personal or financial information from victims' computers, and some allow the attacker to have full control of the systems. When networked together, the systems can form a digital army, known as a bot net, that can be used to attack other networks.
Hindu: Comparison shopping
All you have to do is take a picture of the product's barcode with your camera-phone and the software will automatically pull up prices for the product from PriceGrabber and Amazon.

24 October, 2004

The Hindu: Cartoon

"Come over for a chat, you said, didn't you?!"

16 October, 2004

Techtree: Resistance Is Futile !:
"It amazes me to see to what extent people are ready to go to in order to protect intellectual property. Especially Americans.

Did you hear the 'We declare war on Intellectual property theft' statement made by the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft? What age does that man think he is living in? This is the civilized world; you can't go 'Declare War' on every conflicting idea you see around you.

The man wants to build specialist units to fight intellectual property crimes in Eastern Europe and Asia. What are they going to do? Put Indian, Korean, Malaysian, Hungarian kids in jail for downloading a Britney Spears MP3?

I may sound prejudiced when I say this, but it seems Americans are going a little mad. As they begin to realize that others have found ways to supersede America's powers with means and ideas they do not approve of, they seem to declare a unilateral war on the idea itself. "

15 October, 2004

ZDNet: Broadband policy announced:
What: DoT has defined broadband as an always-on connection that allows downloads at a minimum of 256 kbps.

How: Through a variety of technologies like DSL, ADSL, wireless, cable.

The Big Deal: Video-on-demand is tip of the iceberg in entertainment. Small business will also benefit.

Charges: Rs.500-800 per month.

12 October, 2004

Wired: Can Math Help in Terror War ?:
A small group of thinking men and women convened at Rutgers University last month to consider how order theory - a branch of abstract mathematics that deals with hierarchical relationships - could be applied to the war on terror.
ZDNet: Kazaa loses P2P crown
Kazaa rival eDonkey was the most widely used peer-to-peer application last month. Kazaa's lead on rivals has been sliding for more than a year--at least since the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) started filing lawsuits against individual file swappers, with a focus on the Kazaa network. Several of the new file-trading software packages, including eDonkey, have created their technology in order to speed the transfer of large files of this kind. Kazaa's core technology, by contrast, is now several years old.

10 October, 2004

Om Malik: Asians buying up phone networks:
Asian phone companies are buying up optical networks world wide on the cheap ..at 10 cents on a dollar, sometimes even cheaper.Since last year Global Crossing has been purchased by Singapore's ST Telemedia, Flag by Reliance of India. Now Tata of India is bidding for the network built by scandal-ravaged Tyco.

"Instead of being small players who have to pay big fees to use the international networks of companies like MCI or AT&T or France Telecom, some of the Asian telecoms can now sit down as equals and simply swap the use of the networks for free," notes OECD economist Sam Paltridge. The result, he says, is "cheaper calls for all of us."

08 October, 2004

ET: Grill in US, Chicken your accounts in Kolkata:
"This eastern Indian city has neither a McDonald's nor a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet, but the accounts of both fast food giants are maintained through a business process outsourcing (BPO) agency here. "
Secunia: .png, .jpeg and now .doc !:
HexView has discovered a vulnerability in Microsoft Word, which can be exploited by malicious people to cause a DoS (Denial of Service) and potentially compromise a user's system. This can be exploited to crash the process when the user opens a specially crafted document.

Microsoft is concerned that this new report of a vulnerability in Word was not disclosed responsibly, potentially putting computer users at risk.

06 October, 2004

ET: Gates too casual about outsourcing:
"Gates was too casual about the outsourcing issue as he said, 'It is not like a war where you have one winner and one loser. China and India are the big change engines for the years ahead, and we should embrace that and understand our new role in that'.

So what do we get to assume from his statements? Well, as the Microsoft man himself puts it across, jobs will continue to move overseas and salaries for computer engineers will fall as a result of great competition with countries offering cheap, yet skilled labour.
The US will have to compete with China and India on merit and not through protectionism."
Hindu: It's all coming back to us
Chinese IT prowess may have been a trifle overestimated. Faced with a shortage of high-end skills, Indian companies working across the Great Wall are, in fact, moving work back to India.

05 October, 2004

FT.com: N Korea’s computer hackers target South and US
North Korea has trained as many as 600 computer hackers to be capable of launching a cyber-war on South Korea, the US or Japan, South Korea’s defence ministry said on Monday.

04 October, 2004

Computerworld: User interfaces of the next generation
..a technology that lets users of PDAs and similar mobile devices put data into their handheld systems by simply typing on an image of a standard-size keyboard projected onto a desktop or other surface. The "electronic perception" technology captures the user's finger motions via emitted light photons that form 3-D real-time images that are then processed and translated into keystrokes.

..projection keyboard heralds the way to much more powerful user interfaces that are based on hand gestures. You could open up a filing cabinet and pick up a file and sift through it with your fingers, using gestures from your hands as if you were actually picking it out of the file cabinet.

This technology is not about replacing the keyboard and the mouse but to supplement them. In 20 years, gesture technologies will be as common as the mouse.

02 October, 2004

Examples of Bad Email Messages
Virus Cat and Mouse, Phishing, Classic Scam, Spam, Bounced Emails. Read it. It may save you a Format or Fortune !
Wired: The New Face of the Silicon Age - How India became the capital of the computing revolution

Project manager Aditya Deshmukh, Patni, worked in Baltimore and New Jersey for three years but has no desire to return to the States; India's where the action is.

More than half of the Fortune 500 companies are already outsourcing work to India. One reason: Nearly every educated person here speaks English. For India - especially in its competition with China, where few have mastered Western languages - English is the killer app.

Today, even innovative firms spend too much money maintaining products: fixing bugs and rolling out nearly identical 2.0 versions. Less than 30 percent of R&D spending at mature software firms goes to true innovation, according to the consulting firm Tech Strategy Partners. Send the maintenance to India and, even after costs, 20 percent of the budget is freed up to come up with the next breakthrough app. The result: more workers focused on real innovation. What comes after services ? Creativity.

From Indian side...
Where is it written that IT jobs somehow belong to Americans - and that any non-American who does such work is stealing the job from its rightful owner ?

Patni's head of human resources, Miland Jadhav, compares the Pissed-Off Programmers' efforts to the protests that greeted Pizza Hut's arrival in India. When the chain opened, some people "went around smashing windows and doing all kinds of things," but their cause ultimately did not prevail. Why? Demand. "You cannot tell Indian people to stop eating at Pizza Hut," he says. "It won't happen." Likewise, if some kinds of work can be done just as well for a lot cheaper somewhere other than the US, that's where US companies will send the work. The reason: Demand. And if Americans don't like it, then it's time to return their iPods (assembled in Taiwan), their cell phones (manufactured in Korea), and their J. Crew shirts (sewn in Indonesia). American's can't have it both ways.

From American side...

"We can't stop globalization but outsourcing, especially now, amounts to contributing to our own demise. If we keep going in this direction, we'll have just two classes in our society - the very, very rich and the very, very poor. We're going to look like some of the countries we're outsourcing to."

..Some US firms now outsource their PowerPoint presentations to India, a blow to the pride of managers everywhere !!