28 December, 2005

Blog Plagiarism -OmMalik

This had to happen. Some people simply lift articles from other blogs, make slight changes and post it as their own writing. These blogs ONLY exist because they can make money from Google AdSense. The issue is important enough for Google to step in, and do something.

Even I do it, but I post only excerpts, give full credits and link to the original site, and ya there ain't any google ads on my site.

25 December, 2005

Same Language Subtitling - Google's Philanthropic Efforts

PlanetRead, an organization seeking to improve literacy in India is using an extremely simple concept: same-language subtitling. By adding subtitles to Bollywood films and popular TV shows, people who have low literacy skills are able to get regular reading practice based on songs and shows they know by associating the words on the screen with their meanings. Results have been very positive, and the program will expand across 10 states in India, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of people.

21 December, 2005

Sell CPU Cycles to CPU Share -Om Malik

CPUShare has been founded with the goal of connecting together the computers of the Internet in order to create a general purpose Low Cost and World Wide Supercomputer available to everybody to use in a matter of minutes, controlled by a market for the CPU resources that chooses the price of the CPU resources using the supply and demand law in real time.

The likely buyers of these CPU cycles can quickly build their own grids for a few million dollars. During the 1990s bubble many grid/distributed computing companies raised hundreds of millions of dollars in an attempt to build a processing marketplace. Almost all failed.

The problem here is CPUShare works on linux and there aren't too many Linux desktops out there. And another big big factor is electricity - the cost of power exceeds the cost of the hardware!

10 December, 2005

2005: Year of the Balance of Power -Emergic

This year has been a year that has underscored several...balance of power developments.

In Politics and in Economics, the US dominance has been partially normalized by China and India, both emerging superpowers.

Close to home, in high tech, Google�s absurd rise has stopped Microsoft in its track, posing an alternate power block that challenges many existing assumptions.

In Silicon Valley, Google and Yahoo have even started challenging the power that Venture Capitalists have commanded thus far against entrepreneurs, and by encouraging entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups, followed by exiting into one of the two (or into one of their competitors).

And one last balance of power example : the dominance of mainstream media has been shredded by the emerging democratic new media publishing trends and their supporting infrastructure that has rapidly matured this year (Blogs, Podcasts, Video-on-Demand, Microcontent, Micropayment, acceptable DRM standards, viable ad-supported business models, etc.).
Now Phirangs can’t Work in Desi BPOs -Economic Times

In a written reply to a query raised in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, minister of state for information technology, Shakeel Ahmed, said requests from foreign nationals for employment visa for jobs, for which a large number of qualified Indians is available, will not be considered.

He said that only such foreigners who are skilled and qualified professionals and are being engaged or appointed by a company or an industry will be eligible to get an employment visa in the first place. Nearly 2,000 foreigners are working in the domestic ITES sector.

I think this is absurd and a totally irrational decision. Just to garner a couple of votes, these babus are putting entire BPO industry at stake.

23 November, 2005

Stain Free Colored Bubbles -PopSci

Chemical burns, ruined clothes, 11 years, half a million dollars—it's not easy to improve the world's most popular toy. Yet the success of one inventor's quest to dye a simple soap bubble may change the way the world uses color.

Unlike the soap bubble, it is a single colored bubble which doesn't even leave stains if it bursts on clothes !

15 November, 2005

Learn to Disconnect -Deepak Chopra

In order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it. This doesn’t mean you give up the intention to create your desire. You don’t give up the intention and you don’t give up the desire. You give up your attachment to the result.

This is a very powerful thing to do. The moment you relinquish your attachment to the result, combining intention with detachment at the same time, you will have that which you desire. Anything you want can be acquired through detachment, because detachment is based on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self.
Parikrama Rock Band

Checkout the song 'But It Rained' by Parikrama. Thousands are reported missing each year... the song is about those who are left behind. This is what they have to say about the song..

"Amid reports of illness, injury and threats of death, was the uncertainty of not knowing what to believe ... she did not even get to say goodbye" said the wife of one of the hostages. More appeals have been made some even by other militant organisations, but the message is ..."

This is an excerpt from a magazine report published more than 5 years ago. It hit us in the face then, it still tingles in the spine each time. We wrote this song then, in an effort to feel the uncertainty, the futility, ourselves. To share the yet shimmering hope of those who are left waiting for a loved one. At times forever. It's worse still, not having even said a goodbye, or caught the last eye. As funerals are. Ceremonial farewells, perhaps?

Five long years, not a word, nor a trace. Some of them have still not given up, as we read in the papers recently. They wait, even today ... we can hear the strain ...

Just read the lyrics, they pierce thorough the heart...

Wrapped in a polythene tucked away safe in my mind
A little goodbye maybe or just a passing smile

The birds fly away to the southern sky searching a home
A bunch of paper flowers or a little boy left all alone
Can somebody hear me I'm screaming from so far away
Morning who will calm you now, the evening is eclipsed again

Well does life get any better
More yesterday than today
How I thought the sun would shine tomorrow
But it rained . . .

They justified the cause for which Daddy might give up his life
It's been so long, so long a time, still I miss Daddy at night
The ache is long gone but the never keeps staring along
The waters in the seas are high
and all the sand castles have drowned

Well does life get any better
More yesterday than today
How I thought the sun would shine tomorrow
But it rained . . .

Make sure you read the story behind the song first and then download it for free from their website.
From Warren Buffet's Speech...

When the scientist Max Planck was touring Europe giving speeches about his theories, he gave the same lecture so many times that eventually his chauffer memorized the speech. For fun one day Max and his driver swapped clothes, and the driver delivered the speech flawlessly while Max looked on from the side of the stage in a chauffer's uniform.

To open the Q&A the driver received an extremely complicated technical question from an audience member, shook his head, and said replied in an exasperated tone: 'that is such a simple question I'm going to let my chauffer answer it.'

On that note, please ask me anything you want, simple or complicated, anything except for what I'm investing in.

The Pillars of Self-Mastery -Robin Sharma

The Pillars of Self-Mastery -Robin Sharma

Few tips from a mail that had some inputs from Robin Sharma's book.. Robin Sharma is the author of the best-seller 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari'

  • Sleep less: This is one of the best investment you can make to make your life more productive and rewarding.

  • Laugh for five minutes in the mirror each morning. Laughter activates many beneficial chemicals within the body that place us into a very joyous state. Laughter also returns the body to a state of balance. A 4 year old laughs 500 times a day while the average adult is lucky to laugh 15 times a day.

  • To enhance your concentration and power of focus, count your steps when you walk. This is a particularly strong technique. So many people allow their minds to be filled with mental chatter. All peak performers appreciate the power of a quiet clear mind which will concentrate steadily on all important tasks.

  • Enhance your will-power. You must first exercise it and then push before it gets stronger. When you are hungry, wait another hour before your meal. When you are labouring over a difficult task and your mind is prompting you to pick up the latest magazine for a break , curb the impulse. Soon you will be able to sit for hours in a precisely concentrated state. Newton had a remarkable ability to sit quietly and think without interruption for a very long period of time. If he can develop this so can you.

  • A contented mind is a continual feast. Greed and material desires must be curbed to achieve lasting happiness and serenity. Be happy with what you have.

  • Every day, get away from the noise, the crowds and the rush and spend a few hours alone in peaceful introspection, deep reading or simple relaxation.

  • Empty your cup. A full cup cannot accept anything more. Similarly, a person who believes that he cannot learn anything else will stagnate quickly and not move to higher levels. Even the teachers have teachers.

  • Always remember the key principle that the quality of your life is the quality of your communication. This means the way you Communicate with others and more importantly with yourself. What you focus on is what you get.

  • Never argue with the person you work for – you will lose more than just the argument.

  • Keep well-informed about current events, the latest books and popular trends. Many peak performers read five or six papers a day. You don’t have to read every story of every paper. Know what to focus on & the more you know, the less you fear.

  • When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take-choose the bolder,said WJ.Slim. Take chances, take smart risks and you will meet with success beyond your dreams.

  • The essence of a person is his character- make yours unique, unblemished and strong. Do not say you will do anything unless you will indeed do it. Speak the truth and measure your words wisely. Be humble, straight forward and peaceful.

  • Remember and use people’s names when you talk to them. A person’s name is a uniquely sweet sound to them.

  • All individuals who have attained the highest of levels generally have cultivated the essential mental habit of optimism. Without optimism, life loses its lustre and hardships appear at every step.

  • As we can take nothing with us when we leave, when you wake up early in the morning, repeat the mantra:
    * I will serve others today
    * I will care for others today
    * I will be kind today
    This kind of living will bring you huge returns if you stay on the purpose of aiding others rather than on the outcome of personal gain.

  • Be known as someone with a cool head, warm heart and great character. Your presence on this earth will long be remembered.

  • Recognize the power of mantras and the repetition of positive, powerful words. Indian yogis have employed this technique for over 4000 years to live tranquil, productive and focused lives.

  • Build a mystique around yourself.

14 November, 2005

The Human Genome & the Theory of Karma -Dharanidhar Sahu (TOI)

Time for some spiritual stuff. This is the first non-technical article on the blog, and I will be putting up more soon..

Scientists decoding the human genome may persuade us to re-examine our belief in fate, predestination, free will and the law of karma. Some genes, we are told, determine our mood swings, some predispose us to diseases, some determine how faithful we are to our companions, while others the intensity of our religiosity. If genes predetermine our behaviour, if karmic destiny is encoded in our genes, do we have a choice?

By exercising our free will, we could change the nature or quality of our genes. Through our effort dormant genes could get activated. For example, the creativity gene can lie dormant till a person is past her middle age. At a later stage, she might have found time and suitable circumstances to activate her dormant creati-vity gene. Similarly, the spirituality gene (VMAT2 or God Gene) gets activated when a person feels an inner need for God and devotes herself wholeheartedly to spiritual pursuits.

Krishna assures Arjuna in the Gita that the deeds of a person are never annulled even when they are disconti-nued; that in his next birth the negligent seeker of excellence recollects his unfinished project and resumes where he had left off; that he is born again in such house-holds that are congenial to his inclinations.

Our free will and dedicated efforts could be guided by what is encoded in our genes, what the religious call as "latencies". The karma theory only attempts to make sense of the mysterious; to systematise the randomness of happenings and to give a sense of purpose to life.

Our ideas of heaven and hell will make sense if we situate them not in an imaginary elsewhere but here on earth. We see people living in conditions that surpass our idea of a hell; likewise, we find people living in conditions that surpass our idea of heaven.

It is not poverty or wealth, disease or good health, old age or youth and external circumstances alone which give people hell or heaven, but our proneness to envy and anger, propensity for evil, pleasure, power, money and fame, and our desire to possess what rightfully belongs to others by neglecting what we possess, give us hell sooner or later.

13 November, 2005

Capture still images from Windows Media Player Screen -Amit Agarwal

Why you cannot capture?

When the video plays, it is actually displayed on a different surface/layer called overlay that is produced by hardware acceleration. When you take a normal screen capture, you're taking it of the normal surface where the video isn't displayed. That's why it comes out black as it is invisible to the screen capture software.

1. In WMP, at least since version 9, you can use Ctrl-I to capture a frame, either when playing or when paused for greater accuracy. It brings up a Save Captured Image dialog which handily defaults to a jpeg. This works only if the video you are watching is using a Microsoft supported movie file.

2. Turning off hardware acceleration in the application that is playing the video, or disable hardware acceleration system wide.

3. Or simply use another media player such as Power DVD, WinDVD or BSPlayer which can take screenshots or use a screen-capture software.

11 November, 2005

STD calls at Local Rates !! -Deccan Herald

In a move aimed at giving a major push to telecom and Internet penetration in the country, the government on Thursday ushered in Internet telephony and also massively reduced the National Long Distance (NLD) and International Long Distance (ILD) entry fees from Rs 100 crore and Rs 25 crore respectively to an uniform rate of just Rs 2.5 crore. Also, the annual licence fee would be reduced from 15% to 6%.

Not only that, the current networth requirement for NLD licences, standing at Rs 2,500 crore along with a paid-up capital of Rs 250 crore, has also been reduced to just Rs 2.5 crore in order to promote competition and induction of new players and eventually lower tariffs.

So far, Internet telephony was not permitted in India. It has now been decided that Access service provider can provide Internet telephony, Internet services and Broadband services. If required, Access service provider can use the network of NLD/ILD service licensee.

06 November, 2005

Jobs galore for 60,000 Usability Pros -Economic Times

With a shortfall of almost 60,000 usability professionals, Indian IT and ITES companies presently face a real threat of missing the current boom in this sector.

"Our usability staff represent the increased value offered by an offshore alternative. The Indian operations are more systematic than any other group in the world and our personnel are better trained, mentored and certified," Human Factors International (HFI) Managing Director and Vice President (Asia) Apala Chavan told reporters here today.

Infosys Communication Design Group Associate Vice President and Head Sridhar Marri said, "We have around 100 usability professionals at this junction and have decided to hire 100 more people in the next two years. There are around 3,000 projects happening right now and only 150 usability professionals produced in a year."

04 November, 2005

The Everywhere Displays Project -IBM Research

The Everywhere Displays project aims to develop systems that allow the transformation of every surface in a space into a projected "touch screen". You can actually use the projected surface as a touch screen!
Cybercrime Gangs -ZdNet

Superzonda have been known to be a threat for at least the last two years. The BBC reported in July 2003 that Superzonda operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all over the world. Until recently they were sending 50 million spams a day, but recent anti-spam legislation has reined them in.

The BBC also reported that Superzonda used British Airways without its knowledge to host a Web site advertising Russian mail order brides.

HangUp, based in Russia, is suspected of writing viruses that steal financial information. Reports claim that they plant software bugs to steal passwords, and rent out huge networks to send out viruses and spam. HangUp allegedly has 4,000 members operating worldwide, including Americans, Brazilians, Britons, Russians, and Spaniards.

ShadowCrew were a massive underground network of criminals who bought and sold credit-card details, social security numbers and identification documents. They sold credit-card numbers, email accounts, passports, driver's licenses and student IDs, and were estimated to have caused over US$4 million in losses for card issuers and banks. However, the US Secret Service broke up the gang in 2004.

02 November, 2005

Google: Thinking about the future of TV ads -ZdNet

It is very possible that Google is creating their own branded digital television DVR / satellite service.

A DVR that lets you "Log In" with your Google Account before you begin your television watching would allow Google to serve up relevant ads based on: the program you are watching, your search history, the type of emails you have received in the past 24 hours (excluding spam hopefully), or anything else Google can track.

Imagine the possibilities… You are watching Google Satellite TV through your "internet ready" Google DVR:

1) You receive a new Gmail and it pops up automatically on your TV (if you choose to see new messages of course).
2) A ticker at the top of the screen shows recent news that interests you… or better yet, it shows new items from my Google Reader!
3) A more personalized TV experience which will serve up relevant commercials on commercial breaks based on your interests.

This is just the beginning, a service like this could easily tie into Google Talk, Google Base, Google Calendar… the possibilities are endless.

People love to watch TV, almost as much as they like to surf the net. Why not make them one?

13 October, 2005

New Media Brands -Forbes

Forbes lists the fastest growing brands. This is a FAR more interesting list than the usual Coke and Mc Donalds. It's also indicative of the power of new media .. 7 out of 10 are new media brands!

1. Apple Over 400 million songs have been purchased at the iTunes store.

2. BlackBerry Users average a 53-minute-a-day productivity gain, says Research in Motion.

3. Google World's largest search engine sorts through 8 billion Web pages.

4. Amazon.com New service lets users pay $79 annually for unlimited shipping.

5. Yahoo New online music subscription service gives access to 1 million songs.

6. Ebay 150 million users are registered at the online auction site.

7. Red Bull Sponsors extreme-sports athletes and parties on college campuses.

8. Starbucks Opened four stores a day on average in 2004.

9. Pixar The Incredibles is the bestselling DVD of 2005 to date.

10. Coach Business in Japan now accounts for 22% of company sales.

via Emergic
Microformats -Emergic

Information is often the most useful in bite-sized pieces. Storing information in convenient, tidy bundles sometimes called microcontent is still uncommon but this is changing quickly. Indeed, Web 2.0 trends will only increase the popularity of microformats that support discrete bits of lightly formatted information. This is one reason why Web 2.0 concepts strongly encourage small pieces, loosely joined: Monolithic specifications generally make for information that's trapped inert behind large, hard to consume, and brittle walls of formatting. Microformats seek to add just enough structure to make the information easy to create and use as well as eminently repurposable.

One example of microformat is the REL attribute in anchor tags, so that your relationships with those you link to on the Web can be provided.
MS, Yahoo to link message services -Economic Times

Microsoft and Yahoo are preparing to link together their free instant messaging services as they take on entrenched messaging leader AOL and market newcomer Google. The deal, the first major alliance between two of the Web's main providers of instant messaging, will allow users of Microsoft's MSN Messenger service and Yahoo Messenger to swap instantaneous text messages with each other.

09 October, 2005

Google Playing Mind Games -Emergic

Google wants to provide the means of getting to the information and create its own kind of lock-in over time, just as IBM and Microsoft did in their day. As Google releases more technologies for creating, storing and accessing information, the company's products and services grow stickier. How sticky they will eventually become will depend on a number of factors, including Google's execution and the response of companies like Microsoft.

Google is engaging in some misdirection, clearly aimed at Microsoft. I believe the Google folks are smart enough to recognize that when Microsoft fixates on a competitor the corporate personality becomes obsession. Google can lead Microsoft all over the place, with the software giant chasing the search/information company like a dog being led after a bone. Google can't be everywhere, even if information might seem to be everywhere. But the company can appear to be interested in everything and cause Microsoft to waste resources, be distracted chasing Google, while the rival executes brilliantly where the Redmond folks aren't looking.

04 October, 2005

Coming soon: Mobiles for the masses (Rs.1000 only) -Times of India

The mobile industry today is excited not just by the fact that over 2 million new mobile users are being added to the network, but more so because the entire network today covers only 20% of India. The 63 million plus mobile subscribers are a minuscule group when compared to what will happen when networks span out. Out of 6000 towns, only 3000 are covered today; out of 6 lakh villages, only 50,000 have mobile phone access. In a country of a billion plus, such coverage gaps mean immense opportunity.

So, apart from asking what else you will do with your phone today use it as a computer, a jukebox, a television—the industry has realised that there are millions of new users who may want to put a mobile to use quite differently. To start with, the new population may be largely technophobic. Just like us, who were unsure of sinking money into a gadget we didn’t know would be useful beyond voice calls when we first stumbled upon them. The challenge the industry is facing is to bring this population into the network in order to achieve its goal of bringing 200 million (roughly one fourth of the population) under mobile telephony by 2007.

All of a sudden, there is a spurt of announcements from the likes of Motorola and Philips that they are making low-cost handsets for emerging markets including India. Technology has shown that a feature rich mobile phone can be produced and sold for as low as Rs 1,000 in the Indian market.

03 October, 2005

Beware of fake Google, MSN & Yahoo websites and toolbars ! -Economic Times

People with infected machines who try to visit those popular search sites are redirected to spoof versions. The spoof sites serve up bogus search results intended to generate traffic and revenue for other sites that are presumed to be in on the scheme. This is a business, this is organized crime. People are making money on it.

Machines can become infected with the programme, called PremiumSearch, when visiting Web sites that distribute pirated software and pornography. The programme also installs a fake Google toolbar that similarly interferes with results.

26 September, 2005

Armed and dangerous: Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina -Guardian:

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.
Your keyboard's clatter can reveal your e-mail's content! - Newindpress.com:
Next time when you are typing something secret on your computer keyboard, make sure no one is snooping around, as even if the person is not in sight, the very sound of your typing can reveal all the secrets of your confidential text, with researchers in America now claiming that eavesdroppers can decipher your messages just by listening to the sound of your keyboard.

Using a 10 dollar microphone, which needn't be placed in the same room as the typist, they are able to recreate up to 96 percent of what was typed. Our algorithms require no information about the typist, keyboard, room, or text typed," New Scientist quoted Tygar, as saying. The method relies on the 'tap' produced when your finger strikes the keyboard, as keys at the edges sound different to those in the centre. Every key makes an ever so slightly different noise. It's a very clever attack.

Thanks Ayan for the link.

21 September, 2005

Speakers till 10 ..Earphones after then ! -Midday
This happens only in Mumbai. Members of the Naidu Club Navratri Mandal in Kora Kendra, Borivli, have found a unique way to play garba till the next morning, without violating the Supreme Court order of the 10 pm loudspeaker deadline. All the dancers will be given wireless earphones and the music will be relayed through a radio frequency.

Says the mandal’s chairman Ganesh Naidu, "Recorded music will be relayed through a transmitter in the earphones. We are going to use radio frequency for which we have got a license. We are also getting permission from the Telecom Department. People will have to pay a deposit for the earphones, which they have to return when they leave".

Thanks for the link Amrita :)

16 September, 2005

Price fears for next gen games -BBC
The games for the new consoles, such as the PS3, Xbox 360 and the Revolution, are set to wow players with heightened realism and cinematic graphics.

Some of the next-generation games showcased at the E3 games expo have already drawn gasps of amazement from the audience. But there is a price to pay for getting to play something that is years ahead of current games.

New games are set to cost twice as much as current ones to make, say analysts. With the bill for some big budget games now reaching $10m, producers are facing costs of up to $20m a title. EA has teams as large as 200 people or potentially as large as 300," he said, "but we also have teams as small as 50.
Nintendo plans one-handed joypad -BBC
In a demonstration at the Tokyo Game Show, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata showed off a wireless controller that closely resembled a TV remote control. Motion sensors on the controller translate its movements into game action, allowing it to be used as a virtual sword, baseball bat or racket.

09 September, 2005

Oh my God, Google hires Vinton Cerf !! -OmMalik

Google just announced that Vinton (Vint) Cerf, the longtime technologist who is widely known as a “founding father” of the Internet, as Chief Internet Evangelist. This is their continuing bid to acquire the best brains in the world. Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet clearly qualifies. The kind of stuff that forces Steve Ballmer to throw chairs at office walls. Cerf, 62 will will remain chairman of ICANN and will continue as a visiting scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has been focusing on a very Google-like project - trying to figure out a way to connect the Internet to outer space. He will help Google build network infrastructure, architectures, systems, and standards for the next generation of Internet applications.

Google has already made tremendous strides in making access to information on the web a reality for users across the globe, but we’re still in the Internet’s early innings,” he said. “This medium will enjoy wider-spread use than television, radio or phones, and will ultimately expand beyond planet Earth. Google has always believed in doing things differently, and I believe that places us in a unique position to help bring even the wildest Internet visions into reality.

03 September, 2005

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: 'I'm going to f***ing kill Google'

Dunno how much of this is true, but this is what the article says.

Probably due to the Microsoft suit against Google over human resources, some very heated exchanges have turned up in some court documents. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has apparently vowed to kill Internet search leader Google, according to documents filed in the increasingly bitter battle between the rivals. From the article: At some point in the conversation, Mr. Ballmer said: 'Just tell me it's not Google,' Lucovosky said in his statement. Lucovosky replied that he was joining Google. 'At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office,' Lucovosky recounted, adding that Ballmer then launched into a tirade about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. 'I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google.' Schmidt previously worked for Sun Microsystems and was the CEO of Novell.

Also, google hired former Microsoft executive Kai Fu-Lee to oversee a research and development centre that Google plans to open in China. Lee started at Google the day after he resigned from Microsoft. Microsoft is trying to demonstrate that Google wanted Lee largely because he knows intimate details about Microsoft's strategy for expanding in China and for the booming search engine market. Microsoft alleged that Lee sent confidential documents about the company's China strategy to Google a month before he was hired.

Google paid Lee a $US2.5 million signing bonus and promised a $US1.5 million bonus after one year, plus a $US250,000 salary and options on 10,000 shares of Google stock, according to court documents. If he stays for four years, Lee also will receive another 20,000 Google shares, currently worth $US5.8 million. Lee also demanded that Google pay all his legal fees if Microsoft sued, a request that was granted.

01 September, 2005

Fake Yahoo site phishes for identities -ZdNet
The fake site, which was still live on Wednesday afternoon, is being hosted on a Yahoo Geocities account and asks users to log in with their Yahoo user ID and password. Victims are being lured to the Web site by spam sent over Yahoo's instant messenger service. This means a user will receive a message often from someone on their friends list telling them to visit the site, which makes the scam more believable.

Viruses making use of instant messenger are becoming far more popular. This is really showing that identity theft is where the next big threats are heading. The only reason for this site to exist is, it is not stealing credit cards or taking any money off you in any way, it is just after personal details.
Mobile Middleware -Sadagopan

Mobile middleware allows mobile devices with different capabilities to communicate with the complex programs that reside on the enterprise server, regardless of compatibility issues that might otherwise thwart a direct connection between the two. These compatibility issues include differences between operating systems and applications, or even the memory and processor characteristics of the accessing devices.

Mobile middleware market includes a broad range of different application types like CRM for customer information or helping field workers get the information they need. Then there is mobile-workforce management, a set of middleware applications designed to track time and travel expenses. Also, there is a growing number of mobile security applications, the foremost being centrally controlled mobile-device lockdown, encryption and authentication.

27 August, 2005

Rs 1 lakh car taking shape at NID -Rediff

Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design is designing India's smallest and cheapest four-seater compact car. "This is India's smallest car which will cost around Rs 100,000. It will run on both petrol as well as liquefied petroleum gas and will revolutionise the Indian car market with its unique design and technology," Pradyumna Vyas, principal designer, NID.

Avinash Belgamwar, managing director of Conex AvioAuto, added, "We had given the project to NID for designing a small car as it is a pioneer in design. The company is evaluating the market viability of the car and has plans to hit the market with the new car within two years." The car was designed by two NID students, Abhinav Tiwari and Amit Patankar, who are doing the final diploma project sponsored by Conex AvioAuto.

Talking about NID's focus on new avenues in designing, Dr. Koshy, executive director of NID, said the institute was concentrating on animation, computer game designs, automobiles and jewellery, as these segments needed more experiments with designs.

25 August, 2005

Intel VIIV -ZdNet

Intel, happy with its success launching the Centrino brand for mobile computers, on Wednesday introduced a new brand called VIIV (rhymes with "strive") for entertainment PCs. VIIV includes a dual-core processor, a chipset and a network controller and will require Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition.

One feature of VIIV will be automatic transcoding -ensuring that audio or video encoded in one format can be translated into one the user's computer can actually handle without user intervention. Another feature will be instant shutdown and start-up that will work as fast as it does in consumer electronic devices such as DVD players. PCs today have suspend-and-resume features that bypass sluggish start-up and shutdown processes, but still aren't as fast as a typical television.

24 August, 2005

10 years of mobile telephony in India -New Delhi Times
Exactly ten years ago, Jyoti Basu in Calcutta called Sukh Ram in Delhi in what was the first mobile phone call in India. Brick sized cell phones used to cost Rs. 45,000 and each call costed Rs. 16.5/minute. Back then, cell phone was a status symbol. Today, there are over 60 million mobile connections in India (expected to double in number in next 12 months). A local call costs around Rs 1/min and a cell phone can be purchased for less than Rs. 3000.

Wireless technology has been a boon for India. In a country where setting up wired infratstructure is very expensive and time consuming, wireless is the perfect solution to connect remote villages. The timing was also just right as India escaped the burnden of legacy technology and reaped the benefits of latest GSM technology.

Cell phones have not been just about technology. They have brought about a cultural change in the country. SMS is the favorite means of communication for everybody today. Most television programs now come with an SMS contest. A recent headline in a Hindi newspaper read Cell phone companies to ban gayi, ab kaun banega crorepati (Cell phone companies already became millionaires, now who wants to be the next millionaire) in reference an SMS contest to gain entry into Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Of late, cell phones have brought the citizen journalism revolution to India, albeit in an unexpected way. Camera phones and MMS have created our own desi papparazi which spares neither bollywood personalities nor corrupt government officials. The recent DPS MMS scandal even led to wrongful arrest of the CEO of Bazee.com.

Urban India has transformed completely in the last 10 years. Indians have demonstrated that they are not afraid to embrace technology and illiteracy doesn't hinder adoption of technology, provided it is useful to the masses. We have yet to see the same revolution in the computing space. May the next 10 years witness the computer revolution!

23 August, 2005

Transfer files upto 1gb for free. I haven't fiddled with any of these but they look legit.

www.mytempdir.com (25 mb)

www.yousendit.com (1 gb)
Beware of Ctrl+C !

We copy various data by ctrl+c for pasting elsewhere. This copied data is stored in clipboard and is accessible from the net by a combination of Javascripts and ASP.

Just try this:
1) Copy any text by ctrl+c
2) Click the Link:
3) You will see the text you copied on the Screen which was accessed by this web page.

Do not keep sensitive data (like passwords, creditcard numbers, PIN etc.) in the clipboard while surfing the web. It is very easy to extract the text stored in the clipboard to steal your sensitive information.

To avoid this, do the following...

1. Go to internet options->security

2. Press custom level

3. In the security settings, select disable under Allow paste operations via script.
Now the contents of your clipboard are safe.

Other option is to use Mozilla Firefox and get rid of the above and many other security problems.
Execution matters, not just the idea

It's so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. People who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea. Ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.



SO-SO- EXECUTION = $10,000
GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000

To make a business, you need to multiply the two. The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20. The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000. That's why I don't want to hear people's ideas. I'm not interested until I see their execution.
Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs -Wired:
Hackers have found a way to bypass a chip designed to prevent the Mac OS from running on non-Apple PCs, which are often cheaper than Macs. Some of the hackers are running the tweaked version of the operating system on their PCs natively.

OSx86 is designed to run on Apple Computer's next generation of hardware, which some call "MacIntels" and others "MacTels" because the machines will run on Intel microprocessors rather than the PowerPC processor used in current Macs. The hacked version of OSx86 is based on pirated software, which came from copies of the operating system sent to participants in the Apple Developer Connection.

No one knows exactly why OSx86 appears to be running faster on the PCs than the Mac OS does on today's Macs. The hacked OSx86 bypasses a chip, the Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, that is intended to prevent the system from running on ordinary PCs.

22 August, 2005

Tagging -The Hindu:
THE euphoria of quickly unearthing loads of information by using search engines is often watered down by the problem of plenty. If only the contents were organised in neatly-labelled piles, tracking and discovering things digital may no longer be a grind. This is where `Tagging' helps.

Tagging has taken off on a few Web sites such as Flickr, Furl, del.icio.us, and Rojo. Even while storing the addresses of Web pages of interest, and ensuring they can be revisited subsequently from any computer or browser, the ever-increasing member-base of these Web sites is voluntarily classifying and categorising diverse pieces of content. In doing so, these members add descriptive tags to their bookmarked pages to swiftly rummage through the heap of bookmarks and zero in on their favourites the next time. More importantly, these tags are visible to the other members and help all of them swoop down on content they may never have found on their own.

What sets tagging apart from the search keywords or metadata that Web sites have long embedded is its social facet. In understanding and categorising something for yourself, you are also benefiting hundreds and thousands of other users. More than depending on computer search algorithms, tagging unveils the larger benefits of collective human wisdom.

04 August, 2005

Time To Abolish Patents For Software -Sadagopan:
Microsoft has filed very high number of patent applications in the US, which are under review currently - the pace of filing: 60 fresh, non obvious patentable ideas every week. Reason for sudden increase in applications - Microsoft says it finds that others file about two patents for every $1 million spent on research and development. If Microsoft was spending $6 billion to $7.5 billion annually on its R&D, it would need to file at least 3,000 applications.

Abolishing software patents would be a very good thing, as increasingly the current system actually impedes the advance of software technology, at the same time that it works quite nicely to enrich patent holders.A patent goes well beyond copyright and trademarks - It protects even the underlying concepts from being used by others - for 20 years. The article highlights that had Dan Bricklin, the creator of VisiCalc, the spreadsheet that gave people a reason to buy a personal computer, obtained a patent covering the program in 1979, Microsoft would not have been able to bring out Excel until 1999.

28 July, 2005

Free Web Hosting a Fount of Malware -ZDNet:

Web sites offering free hosting services are increasingly being used by hackers to store and distribute malware such as keyloggers, Trojan horse downloaders and spyware. These fraudulent, free personal Web sites have an average lifespan of two to four days, making them difficult to trace. One of the sites included music that accompanied a greeting-card message which runs while your computer is being infected.

26 July, 2005

Turn video into an animated cartoon -Amit Agarwal

Microsoft Research has invented a way to turn digital video into an animated cartoon. They've also developed techniques to combine animation with a still picture.

To define more meaningful regions, the user outlines the shapes on keyframes in the video, such as the pants on the girl swinging. He does this on several keyframes. "We rely on the user to circle things like the girl's pants. There's different shading on the pants, and some stripes. We can't group them automatically," said Cohen. The system can then interpolate between the keyframes, maintaining smooth trajectories along the time dimension, without jerky transitions or the need to draw on each frame.

The more complex the movements, the more keyframes the program needs to make the transition smooth. However, even the 300 frame video of the girl swinging on the monkey bars only needs a keyframe every 10 or 15 frames. By blending in the original pixels, the cartoon ends up being mixed - a real girl swinging through a cartoon landscape, or a cartoon girl swinging through a real landscape. The possibilities are endless.

In the future, the team would like to improve the user interface and make it possible to create other animation styles. They'd also like the program to work better with hand-held cameras. Unfortunately, it won't be on your computer store shelf anytime soon, though the researchers would like this eventually.

05 July, 2005

Structured Blogging -Rajesh Jain:
'Aggregation' in its current form means bringing a bunch of posts together from different places and showing them in a convenient way - usually either on one page, with three panes or two panes. Structured blogging is about letting the aggregator understand what you are talking about, and present things more intelligently. For example if you blog an event notification - maybe you're talking about a concert next week - it might be shown on a calendar along with everyone else's events.

03 July, 2005

Never underestimate the power of a good night's rest -Rajesh Jain:

SKIMPING on sleep does awful things to your brain. Planning, problem-solving, learning, concentration,working memory and alertness all take a hit. IQ scores tumble. If you have been awake for 21 hours straight, your abilities are equivalent to someone who is legally drunk.

Luckily, it's reversible - and more. If you let someone who isn't sleep-deprived have an extra hour or two of shut-eye, they perform much better than normal on tasks requiring sustained attention, such taking an exam. And being able to concentrate harder has knock-on benefits for overall mental performance. Attention is the base of a mental pyramid, if you boost that, you can't help boosting everything above it.

27 June, 2005

Blocking Visual Spam -Hindu

SeeFree has rolled out its `Visual Spam Blocking System', which uses technology to filter out `visual spam.' SeeFree spectacles provide users with the ability to see the world as it would look — without billboards, signs and other commercial visual spam, thus allowing the user to focus only on the objects that he wants to see. The spectacles, resembling cool sunglasses, are fitted with an electronic binocular see-through device.

Its `brain' is a sophisticated microprocessor system that processes all visual information in your sight, in real time. This `image recognition system' can distinguish billboards, advertisements and the like from other visual elements. After the system has recognised the `unwanted' elements, it creates a `floating mask' according to their shapes to be overlapped to the actual view. In order to make the masked elements less contrasting and distracting, the system calculates the colour and brightness of the mask as an average to the surrounding areas.

01 June, 2005

Someone's checking up on you -ZdNet

Before you join an IT company, your past life will be probed thoroughly. V Narayan (name changed), 30, returned from the US and applied for a job at a Fortune 500 IT company in India. With impeccable credentials, he almost landed a project leader's post. But he had not told his future employer that he had been arrested for child molestation in the US. Narayan had assumed that the Indian company would never find this out. But it did. It had entrusted the task of screening him to Mumbai-based background screening company Quest Research.

What is checked...
  • Your general education background. Companies call up the university where you studied for your bachelor's or master's degree and check the records.

  • Your professional degree or certificates. Ditto, but this relates to your MBA degree or any certificates you may have obtained. The first point that's checked is whether your university is a recognised one.

  • Employment history. Companies call up all the companies you had worked for. Companies don't call the people you have given as references because these may be your friends. Instead, they call the HR department or others.

  • Criminal check. Companies check with the local police station and so on.

  • Address. Companies check whether you are staying at the address you mentioned in your application. They talk to your neighbours and so on.

The large IT companies now spend anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6,000 per candidate, while mid size companies shell out between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 per candidate

Investigations in India can take anywhere between 4 and 15 days per candidate. That's because information on individuals is not available at one place in India, unlike in the US where the social security number can provide leads on a person. 7 separate documents, ranging from the passport and driving licence to the ration card, identify an individual in India. Except for the passport, every document can be easily bought.

31 May, 2005

Google Translator: The Universal Language:
At the recent web cast of the Google Factory Tour, researcher Franz Och presented the current state of the Google Machine Translation Systems. He compared translations of the current Google translator, and the status quo of the Google Research Lab’s activities. The results were highly impressive. A sentence in Arabic which is now being translated to a nonsensical “Alpine white new presence tape registered for coffee confirms Laden” is now in the Research Labs being translated to “The White House Confirmed the Existence of a New Bin Laden Tape.”

How do they do that? It’s certainly complex to program such a system, but the underlying principle is easy – so easy in fact that the researchers working on this enabled the system to translate from Chinese to English without any researcher being able to speak Chinese. To the translation system, any language is treated the same, and there is no manually created rule-set of grammar, metaphors and such. Instead, the system is learning from existing human translations. All it needs is someone to feed the system the two books and to teach it the two are translations from language A to language B, and the translator can create what Franz Och called a “language model.” This is brute force AI, if you want – it works on statistical learning theory only and has not much real “understanding” of anything but patterns.

Now comes the exciting part. This translation system can have numerous applications. Apart from the usual 'website translation' services, it could be used in more advanced applications like Instant Messengers and Babelfish-It would be a smart device you plug-in to your ear, and it would have speech recognition and Auto-translation built in. You can now visit a foreign country and understand people who talk to you in languages you never learned. While the needed text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies are far from perfect at the moment, they are still realistic possibilities.

25 May, 2005

Miscreants encrypt files, hold them for ransom -ZdNet

In a new type of online attack, extortionists remotely encrypt user files and then demand money for the key to decode the information. The attack occurs after a user visits a Web site containing code that exploits a known flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. The flaw is used to download and run a malicious program that in turn downloads an application that encrypts files on the victim's PC and mapped network drives, according to Websense. The program then drops a ransom note.

Attackers could use e-mail, a Web site, or other means to distribute the Trojan.Pgpcoder and launch a widespread extortion campaign. Attackers leave a trail if they ask for money. This type of attack is not that difficult to perform. However, in order to collect money the attackers are leaving themselves open to investigation and tracing.

19 May, 2005

China's way ahead of India on software piracy list -The Economic Times:
India with 74% piracy rate has managed to slip out of the list of 20 countries with the highest incidence of software piracy, despite a 1% increase in piracy rate. China, with 90% piracy, occupies the third slot — after Vietnam and Ukraine leading with 92% and 91% piracy rates, respectively.

In India, it’s corporate end-user piracy where small and medium segment businesses use unlicensed software that is a constant worry. For every two dollars worth of software purchased globally, one dollar worth was obtained illegally.

18 May, 2005

Cartoon -Hindu

"How come you have given me only a name but no password?"

16 May, 2005

Go up the value chain or perish -ZDNet:
There's definite evidence of India excelling in the IT industry. But within this vast spectrum of IT services, including consulting, ITES, application development, what can be called India's niche area of expertise?

India needs to identify an area of specialisation in the face of rising competition from countries such as Russia, the Philippines and China. We need to excel in providing a certain category of goods and services, so we do not lose our footing when the eventual exodus starts - of countries shifting their outsourcing requirements to nations which have a definite cost advantage over India in terms of lower labour rates, better infrastructure and less red tapism.

With India having captured only 0.2% of the $180 billion global software product development market, there is still a long way ahead for us. Offshoring in the early 1990s began with product development, and not IT services. In the mid 1990s, the focus shifted to outsourcing IT services.

14 May, 2005

Microsoft tries to breathe life into older PCs -Zdnet:
Code-named Eiger, the product is basically designed to turn older PCs into a thin client, which is a terminal that gets most of its information from a central server. Unlike traditional thin clients, though, a few programs can be run locally, including Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and antivirus software.

Microsoft is pitching the software at customers who can't or don't want to buy new PCs, but are concerned that their older computers are not secure and hard to manage. Under the hood, Eiger is a hybrid of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Embedded.

03 May, 2005

An Adobe killer from Microsoft -Digit Mag

Adobe may have killed the competition in online publishing by acquiring Macromedia. But Microsoft is not keeping quite. The next version of Windows will include a new document format, code-named "Metro," to print and share documents. Metro appears to rival Adobe's PostScript and PDF technologies.

The format, based on XML (extensible markup language), will be licensed royalty free and users will be able to open Metro files without a special client. In the demonstration, a Metro file was opened and printed from Internet Explorer, Microsoft's Web browser.

The Metro technology is likely to go head-to-head with Adobe's PostScript technology. "It is a potential Adobe killer", said Richard Doherty, research director with The Envisioneering Group in Seaford, New York. "But this is just the first warning shot. Adobe could put something that is even more compelling Longhorn.

01 May, 2005

ASPs failed ? But are now making a comeback -ZDNet:
Some five to six years ago, Application Service Providers (ASPs) were one of the hottest categories in software. They would transform the way software would be delivered and create a win-win situation for customers and software vendors. That dream did not pan out.

ASPs offer applications over the internet using their own servers to customers, who pay a regular fee for the use. For companies, there is no need to own either the application or the underlying infrastructure.

For service providers, it helps them aggregate a large number of customers, providing economies of scale. Using the internet as the distribution medium, ASPs can reach out to customers globally.

ASPs in many respects presented a false start in the efforts to break out of the enterprise straitjacket. In particular, few of them adopted Web services architectures as their technology platform. Instead, they attempted to build businesses on the internet using traditional technology architectures. This proved a significant flaw in the early ASP model.

The big opportunity for ASPs is the long tail of enterprises in the world's developing countries. They have been largely unaffected by the internet - other than email usage and in some cases have a minor web presence.

30 April, 2005

Advertising revenues of Google + Yahoo > TV ads
This year the combined advertising revenues of Google and Yahoo! will rival the combined prime-time ad revenues of America's three big television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, predicts Advertising Age. Both Google and Yahoo! make most of their money from advertising. Auctioning keyword search-terms, which deliver, along with their own search results, sponsored links to advertisers' websites, has proved to be very lucrative. Advertisers like these links because, unlike with TV ads, they pay only for directly measurable results. They are charged when someone clicks through to their own website.

25 April, 2005

Best Articles Published Since 2003-

2005: Year of the Balance of Power

Learn to Disconnect -Deepak Chopra

Capture Still Images from Media Player


Google playing Mind games

Your keyboard's clatter can reveal your e-mail's content!

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: 'I'm going to f***ing kill Google'

Google Translator

Different types of Search Engines

The long tail of software

How to start a startup

Envisioning a leap frogged world

Ajax: A new approach to web applications

Militants planned attack on Indian software firms

Do 1 or 2 things really well

Bill Gates and other communists by Richard Stallman

Getting to the bottom of bullshit

The Typo Millionaires

Can this black box see into the future?

Interned at IBM, resigned from Microsoft, fired from Google

New markets (middle class) for future technologies

Larry Ellision on offshoring as a philanthropy

Spyware - IT's public enemy no.1

Your mobile phone too can be cloned

Porn business driving DVD technology

Sanskrit in your Sanganaka (Computer)

Game industry bigger than hollywood

Desktop search tools - A virus writer's best friend

To outsource or not to outsource

Hatching big plans

Wifi - Where's the money?

Mobile phone with a projector

Sun invities outside involvement with Java 6

Gates: World's most spammed person

Why bandwidth is costly in India?

Rural Outsourcing

P2P for cell-phones

Resistance is futile

India's broadband policy

.jpg, .png and now .doc !

IBM search engine will find video, audio on the net

Geek battles - A call for perspective

Tech specialist + business consultant rules

Data fountains

Double trouble - Virus writers + Spammers

Did your code ever make anyone deaf?

Internet 2: 2004 and beyond

Click fraud

Yahoo to Trillian: Talk to the hand

Cooool - Disc Tatto technology

The Penny black project by Microsoft to outsmart spam

Windows 2000 code posted on net

Radiation from montiors can be used for spying

A superb copy-protection technology

IE bug lets fake sites look real

Java v/s .Net : Battleground India

Hackers get novel defense - "The computer did it!"

Shift key breaks cd-copy locks

07 April, 2005

And here's a key to combat hacking -The Economic Times:
David Pearson, a division scientist at the Massachusetts-based BBN Technologies is already trying his hand at building an unhackable network. And thanks to quantum cryptography, it is possible.

It harnesses quantum physics to create encryption keys that are all but impossible to crack because they are rendered useless by simply looking at them. The keys are made from tiny bits of light called photons. Even when assuming hypothetical eavesdroppers with unlimited computing power, the laws of physics guarantee that the secret key exchange will be secure, given a few other assumptions.

02 April, 2005

Google enhances search for Firefox users -ZDNet:
Google has added a new feature to its search engine that allows Firefox users to obtain search results more quickly. The search engine's preloaded link feature is supported by Mozilla browsers, including Firefox, but because Microsoft's Internet Explorer and other browsers do not provide such functionality, they will not be able to use the feature.

When you do a search on these browsers, we instruct them to download your top search result in advance, so if you click on it, you'll get to that page even more quickly.

There are some potential issues, however. "You'll run into trouble if the first match is a porno site and your company's proxy logs it-you get all cookies of the first match without seeing the page",one Firefox user said. Another user adds,people may unknowingly download illegal content.

01 April, 2005

Finding information: Search Engines

Phil Bradley has complied an excellent list of search engines with their best of utility value identified.This is a collection of search engines and similar resources that phil says he uses on a regular basis when looking for different types of information. Excellent list indeed.

What do you need to find, and what do you already know?

What is the best resource to make use of?

I know what I'm looking for, and I can describe it with some key words Google is always a good bet, since it has the largest index.
Yahoo Search is useful if Google doesn't do it for you.
MSN Search is getting better and may provide results if the other two don't work.
I have an exact phrase that I want to search for Any of the above, with "double quotes" around the phrase will do the trick.
I want a quick factual answer Microsoft Encarta provides factual information to questions
Ask Jeeves can sometimes be worth asking, if you tightly phrase your question
Brainboost is new, but seems to work quite well.
Factbites is also new. Good for very specific search terms
I want to compare results from different search engines Jux2 will compare results from Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves
Thumbshots Ranking compares results from Google, Yahoo, Alltheweb, AltaVista, MSN, Teoma, Wisenut.
TurboScout allows you to type in the search once, then run it across 23 different search engines.
I want an overview of a subject. Yahoo Directory provides 14 main categories
Google Directory provides access to 16 main categories
The Open Directory Project provides access to 16 main categories
I want some suggested categories to narrow my search Clusty suggests narrower topics to search under
Teoma suggests categories and collections of resources by experts
Wisenut also has category suggestions
I want a small collection of websites I can look at Any of the three engines above will give you access to websites, rather than pages
I need recent additions to search engines GooFresh from Research Buzz for new additions to Google
Exalead Advanced Search to limit by time
AlltheWeb Advanced Search has a date limiting function
I want to see thumbnails of pages before visiting them Icerocket automatically provides thumbnails
Exalead will show thumbnails and loads the page locally for you to see it
ZapMeta has a quick view option
I want to do a comprehensive search across search engines eZ2Find is a meta search engine with access to 6 major engines
Ixquick has a nunber of UK based engines in its collection
Fazzle gives you a percentage result
I want to re-rank or re-order my results Exalead Advanced re-ranks by date
MSN Search Builder re-orders on update/popularity/accuracy
Google Personalized will re-rank based on your interests
ZapMeta re-ranks on popularity, title, source, domain
I want a more personalised search experience Personalised Google Emphasis subject areas of importance
Eurekster is good for groups of people
My Jeeves storage, access from different computers
I don't know how to spell what I'm looking for Exalead Advanced search allows you to search for approximate spelling or phonetic spelling
The Reverse Dictionary will suggest words based on your suggestions
Dictionary.com can suggest correct spellings for you
I want a visual representation of my results Kartoo provides a visual indication of importance of results and links between them
Mooter provides an initial visual representation
WebBrain displays a visual representation above, and links below
I need to search for different file formats Google Advanced search for .pdf .ps .doc .xls .ppt .rtf
Exalead Advanced for .txt .pdf .doc .xls .ppt .rtf .wpd .swf
I need to find websites that I can trust Pinakes provides a list of Virtual Libraries with links to sites chosen by experts
Librarians' Index to the Internet sites are chosen by librarians
The World Wide Web Virtual Library provides access to virtual libraries
I need access to academic resources Infomine for scholarly internet resource collections
Scirus provides access to scientific information
Google Scholar provides access to scholarly articles
SMEALSearch for Academic business information
I want to search geographically Country search engines is my list of over 2,500 country search engines
Teoma Advanced has a regional search option
Many search engines have regional versions - replace the .com with the country code
I want to search the hidden web or the invisible web Turbo10 searches over 700 deep web search engines
Invisible Web is a small collection of high quality resources
eZ2Find suggests appropriate databases once a search has been run
ProFusion has access to hundreds of specialised search engines
I need to find images Google Images has over 1 billion indexed
Yahoo Search has over 1.5 billion images
Fagan Finder lists several dozen good engines
I need to find moving images Yahoo! Video Search broad search
Google Video Search for recent television programmes
Blinkx TV video search
I need to find sounds FindSounds for sound effects and musical instruments
I want to find out detailed information about a certain site link:www.sitename.com in a search engine tells you who links to it
The Wayback machine may be able to show you an archived version of a site
Better Whois shows ownership for top level domains
Alexa provides traffic details and related sites
I need search engines suitable for children Kids search tools wide variety of useful resources
KidsClick! directory listings, chosen by librarians
Yahooligans! for children aged 7-12
I want to find people Internet Address Finder US biased, but still useful
192 for UK individuals
British Telecom Directory Enquiries
I want people's opinions on a subject Google Groups provides access to newsgroups
Daypop searches weblog entries
Technorati searches weblogs in more depth
I want current affairs and news information Google news over 4,000 news resources
BBC it's the BBC - what else to say?
MSN Newsbot, wide variety of resources, slightly US biased
I want information on particular words Online Etymology Dictionary Large and impressive collection
World Wide Words International English from a UK viewpoint
Anagrams Very good utility for finding anagrams.
Acronym Finder is extremely good
What's new on the Internet? Neat New Stuff from an American Librarian, Marylaine Block
Librarians Index to the Internet new sites that have been discovered and listed
USA Today web guide is fairly eclectic
I want local information Google provides local information by adding in a place
Streetmap for UK information on places, streets and postcodes
UpMyStreet for UK information on particular areas/regions
I want to share or view bookmarks FURL excellent for saving pages and sharing them with others
SPURL is very similar to FURL
Del.icio.us for social bookmarking
Connotea online reference management service for scientists from Nature
My Bookmarks is the one that I've been using just for bookmarks.
Biometrics, the machete hack -News.com.au
Criminals chopped off the tip of a man's finger in Malaysia to override a high-tech security feature that required his fingerprint to start his luxury car.

31 March, 2005

Phishers change bait as IM use grows -ZdNet:
Previous phishing attacks were based around luring a user to perform an action through social engineering, primarily through spoofed e-mail and Web sites. The use of IM to spoof companies and phish for information is becoming more frequent.

Yahoo last week confirmed that users of its Messenger software were being targeted by this type of attack. According to the search giant, attackers are sending members a message containing a link to a fake Web site. The fake site, which looks like an official Yahoo site, asks the user to log in by entering their Yahoo ID and password. The scam was more realistic because the incoming message appeared to originate from someone on the victim's contact list.

Phishing without a lure is now becoming more prevalent among attack styles. The most common is malicious code which either modifies your host's file to point commonly accessed sites to the fraudulent site. DNS cache poisoning is also an alternative means that can be used to resolve information to non-legitimate Web sites. The simplest form of cache poisoning is simply sending fake answers to someone's DNS server.

Check out this site for a funny analogy to cache poisoning.

30 March, 2005

Future of Microsoft -Sadagopan:
Apple, finally price competitive with PCs, and offering software used interchangeably with other programs, the company is staging a run.Apple, with its tight, integrated interfaces cinching hardware to software has proven powerfully resistant to viruses and spyware, the poisonous infections of the Internet. Apple is today on the upsurge because its personal computing systems have been vacuum-sealed, and because the company has – to the point of fetish – delighted in producing its own devices.

A new "browser war" has been launched in the form of Firefox. Firefox is to IE, What IE was to Netscape. This application creep happens so easily – like Google -providing a new and improved search engine, splices in a few well-targeted ads, and is now capitalized at $50bn. Microsoft, despite ‘owning’ the software on which the applications run, did not get here first.

Microsoft appears to be losing customer centricity and their cultural DNA seems to be moving away from incremental innovation –particularly with the windows platform and their inexplicable delay in rolling out Longhorn are clear indications of losing steam. Microsoft will take decades to be out of business as their product basket of offering is wide.
Move over India, Bulgaria is here- The Economic Times:
Beware India, Eastern European nations like Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania and Estonia have been declared the new tech outsourcing leaders of 2005. However, India and Russia still lead the list in total certifications, while California and Texas were the largest overall within the US.
Three Indians crack Google code jam- The Economic Times:
14,000 techies from six countries in South Asia participated in the online contest, only 500 qualified for the first round and 50 of them reached the final round. Three Indians are among the top five winners of a contest organised by Google.

"We were given three algorithms problems. The first was to find out the unique URLs (universal resource locators); the second was trying to find the shortest possible path and the third was to calculate the probable winner among the two in a competition," said fifth-placed Ramachandran. "These problems were challenging. We had to choose one among two languages – Java or C++ - and were given two hours to solve the problems. Speed of thinking was the key to winning," Ramachandran added.
Online gamer stabbed for selling cyber-sabre- The Economic Times:
Qiu Chengwei, 41, stabbed competitor Zhu Caoyuan repeatedly in the chest after he was told Zhu had sold his 'dragon sabre', used in the popular online game, 'Legend of Mir 3'. Qiu and a friend jointly won their weapon last February, and lent it to Zhu who then sold it for 7,200 yuan (US$870)

Qui went to the police to report the "theft" but was told the weapon was not real property protected by law. Zhu promised to hand over the cash but an angry Qui lost patience and attacked Zhu at his home, stabbing him in the left chest with great force and killing him. More and more online gamers were seeking justice through the courts over stolen weapons and credits. "The armour and swords in games should be deemed as private property as players have to spend money and time for them," Wang Zongyu, an associate law professor at Beijing's Renmin University of China, was quoted as saying.