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Friday, September 29, 2006

Silver Foil on top of Sweets :: A Health Hazard ::

A couple of years ago, Indian Airlines, the domestic air-carrier of India had issued instructions to its suppliers to supply sweet without silverfoil called VARAKH. Do you know why?

Silver is widely used for various purposes in the market today. Silver is considered precious and its utility is enormous. The reason behind this is that silver reflects back 95% of the light energy that falls on it. The silver foils used for edible purposes is called VARAKH So what's so special about VARAKH?

This is what I would like to bring to your notice.

If you keenly observe this VARAKH under a microscope don't be perturbed if you happen to see traces of blood, stools and saliva of a cattle or ox.

VARAKH is a silver foil and we have no second questions on this, but to prepare this VARAKH important parts of the CATTLE/OX is made use of.

Intestines of Cattle/OX are obtained from the slaughterhouse. This is obtained after butchering to death the cattle/ox for beef and the part, which cannot be consumed: the intestines are pulled out of the animal and handed over to the manufacturers of VARAKH. Before handing over the intestines, they are washed in the slaughterhouse
to get rid of the blood and other remains on these intestines in the limited facility that is present in the slaughterhouse. We are not sure how neatly this job is carried out. Intestines are cut into small pieces and then are bound together as pages in a notebook.

A silver block is placed in the middle of these bound intestines, and the whole thing is placed in a leather bag and sealed. Experts, who know how to make VARAKH, pound the bag with wooden sticks, till the entire bag flattens out. The silver block would by this time be turned into silver foil. This Silver foil would now be separated from the intestine pack and will be placed on paper.

This is VARAKH, which reaches the market ready for use. Even staunch vegetarians, who shy away from egg, unknowingly consume this as a part of sweet, pan and arecanut. Some unknowingly consume this because of the additional taste that VARAKH provides.

Now the question is "Why the intestines of the cattle/ox? Why not something else?" The reason behind using the intestines of the cattle/ox for preparing the VARAKH is because of the elasticity of the intestines. They do not get cut even after a severe pounding.

This aspect is brought out in the magazine "Beauty without cruelty" and the Television show of Maneka Gandhi, "Heads and Tails". In India, on an average an estimate indicates that 2,75,000 kilos of "VARAKH" is consumed. Can you estimate how many cattle/ox are sacrificed for just a bit of taste?

If you are surprised as I am, after reading this article please inform as many as possible so as to ensure that we unknowingly don't consume beef.

I would like to thank the authors of this article in Taranga, a weekly magazine in Kannada, for enlightening us.

Microsoft Formally announces the Shipping dates for Zune

Microsoft has announced the official release date of Zune. Microsoft's portable media player will drop on November 14, 2006 and the US software giant estimates that it will retail for $249.99.

Microsoft has announced that concomitantly with the Zune launching, the afferent digital media content online service will also debut on November 14.

“For $249.99, consumers will get an incredible entertainment experience right out of the box. 30GB digital media player will come equipped with wireless functionality for Zune-to-Zune sharing of music, pictures and home recordings; a bright, three-inch LCD video screen that works in portrait or landscape mode to view pictures and videos; and a built-in FM transmitter. The device will be available in three colors: black, brown and white.

A selection of preloaded content including songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device’s hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment,” stated Microsoft.
Via the Zune Marketplace service, the possessors of $14.99 per month subscription will be permitted access into a music database containing millions of songs, as Microsoft promises.

But the Microsoft also provides an alternative purchasing system that enables users to acquire individual items for 79 points per track, through the Microsoft Points stored value system.
“On Nov. 14 we’re delivering not only a device, but a shared, social experience that will be shaped by the collective imagination of consumers,” said Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune.

“We’re infusing the spirit of discovery and sharing into everything we do — from the experience we crafted around the device and service to pre-loading music and videos on every device to expose people to something new.”

The best part is that Zune will be preloaded with image, music, films and video content. Audio Tracks like: Band of Horses, “Wicked Gil,” Every Move a Picture, “Signs of Life” and The Thermals, “A Pillar of Salt,” Music Videos: 30 Seconds to Mars, “The Kill” and Serena-Maneesh, “Drain Cosmetics,” and short films such as: Radical Films: “Kranked — Progression” are a selection of the titles automatically delivered by Microsoft with each Zune device.

“We’re offering a compelling experience right out of the box and providing customers with a solid base to customize and personalize their entertainment,” Stephenson said. “This is just the beginning.”
Microsoft will also make available a plethora of Zune accessories, either sold as bundles the Zune Home A/V Pack, the Zune Travel Pack and the Zune Car Pack or retailed individually with price tags ranging from $19.99 to $99.99.

My earlier blog on Zune is available here - It has some sneak peek videos on Zune : http://jsbi.blogspot.com/2006/09/zune-multimedia-player-from-microsoft.html

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

"Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud." 


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

"The wise learn many things from their enemies." 

                                                                                 -  Aristophanes

Microsoft Releases Windows Power Shell to Challenge Linux head-on

Microsoft has revealed that Windows PowerShell Release Candidate 2 is available for download via the Microsoft Help and Support website. Designed as an update package for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), the PowerShell 1.0 update package is scheduled for release by the end of 2006.

“Windows PowerShell RC2, is the command line shell and scripting language that helps IT Professionals achieve greater productivity and control of system administration. Using a new admin-focused scripting language and consistent syntax and utilities, Windows PowerShell accelerates automation. Windows PowerShell is easy to adopt, learn, and use, because it works with existing IT infrastructure and scripting tools,” revealed Microsoft.

Microsoft also added that the Release Candidate 2 comprises a number of changes introduced by the customer feedback related to Beta3 and RC1.

The alterations are as follows: Direct ADSI support to allow IT Pros to more easily administer Active Directory, Improved support for Windows Management Instrumentation through ability to change WMI properties via methods, Additional logical operators (XOR and binary XOR) that make it easier to write sophisticated scripts, Improved help content and help functionality, including new views that make it easier to find the right information, Windows PowerShell 1.0 will release-to-web in late 2006, Windows PowerShell will be leveraged by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and System Center Operations Manager 2007.

Motivation and Self-Development - A Few Tips

The ability to motivate action from within is one of the most important skill you will ever learn, here are a few ideas that will give you a great start to making this skill a part of your daily life.

1. Let Go of the Past
Before you can create a better future, you must let go of the pains in your past. Failing once does not mean you will fail forever. Learn from your history, but don't let it stand as an obstacle between you and your dreams.

2. Remember Success
Just as important as learning from and overcoming past failure is recalling past success. It doesn't matter who you are, you have succeeded at something at sometime in your past. Don't gloss over these moments. Use them to remind you that you can in fact achieve your goals.

3. Realize the Possibilities
It's possible. The dreams you hold in your heart but push to the back of your mind are within your reach. Accept the fact that you can create a better life. This will serve as the springboard of belief you need to succeed.

4. Dream the Big Dream
In order for dreams and desires to inspire you to action and achievement, they need to be big. If you don't get excited about what you have planned for the future, you will never find the inspiration you need to change your life. Powerful dreams can move the soul, and when you dream the big dream, you will be driven to make the compelling picture a tangible reality.

5. Thinking Your Way to Change
No matter how bad you want it to happen, change will never result from thinking alone - you must take action. The world is swimming in dreamers, but only those who act on their desires achieve truly remarkable results.
6. A Daily Habit to Begin Today
Set aside at least 30 minutes each night to review your day and plan for the next. It's a simple way to add an element of control to your life. Also, beginning this habit today will help tremendously when you begin to work toward your exciting and inspiring goals and dreams.

7. Mix It Up
The wrong routine can spell certain doom for your goals and dreams. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, add at least one new step to your daily routine to help break up the pattern. One new activity will set the stage for many more in the future, making it possible for you to break free of any negative routines.

8. A Team Sport
Don't go at this alone. Achieving a goal or dream requires a team effort. There will be times when you feel like giving up, when you feel like it's too much to take. One of the surest ways to overcome these small setbacks is to have the support and guidance of your goal partner.

9. Get excited about what's to come
You are on your way to getting everything you have ever wanted! Now is the time to get excited and inspired about what your future holds. Imagine living your ideal life - now make it happen!

10. Raise Your Standards
It's time to raise your standards. It's time to expect more out of yourself than anyone else. Accept nothing less than your absolute best in all that you do and you'll have no problem creating your ideal life. After all, you'd expect nothing less than living the life of your dreams.
11. Take Ownership
Before positive changes can take place, you must take responsibility for your position in life. You are in control of your future and are the only one who can guarantee a better life. If you play the role of a victim, giving up control and ownership of your life, you will never enjoy the amazing opportunities that life offers to us all.

12. Write in a Journal
A million thoughts may rush through your mind each day, but if you do nothing to capture them, they often disappear as quickly as they came. Take time to write in a journal each week. This will not only help you overcome obstacles you are facing in your life but also help you discover what you really want.

13. Who Do You Admire?
Make a list of at least three people that you admire. With your list in hand describe what it is that you most respect about each individual. Often pinpointing what we admire in others offers insight into what we wish to become ourselves.

14. The Moment
Remember a time when everything seemed to be going just right? When nothing could get you down? When you thought to yourself, 'This moment, right now, is what life is all about.' We all have moments in life when we feel we are at our best, but most people don't utilize them. Use the special moments in your life to bring to light goals and desires that are sure to fulfill your needs. Learning from and building on these times will help you create magic moments on a daily basis for the rest of your life.

15. A Friendly Brainstorming Session
Gather a group of your closest friends, the ones who know you better than anyone else, and use their knowledge about you and your life to help you brainstorm goal and dream ideas. They will likely offer ideas you never considered yourself.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How to SEARCH and DESTROY malicious Processes in your PC - An Insider's Guide

You see lots of processes when you start your taskmanager, svhost.exe, csrss.exe, winlogon.exe and many more. A user who never dealt with those executables before has a hard time figuring out which are safe and which could be malicious because normally you can’t say which program is using those files. A question like “Is svhost.exe a virus, is it safe ?” is normal and can be answered using the methods described below.

One way to find out additional information is to use a program like process explorer which displays more information about the processes currently running on your system. Process Explorer adds a description and company tab which reveals some information about the process.

You can configure process explorer to replace the task manager. Still, you might have information about the company and a description but sometimes there is no information about the process. What if there is no description but a company name like CMCEI. Would you be suspicious abot it ? I definately would be and now we come to websites that contain process lists of nearly every process on windows machines.

I would like to start with the list of the websites that are not spam, some websites give you some information but their main purposes is to sell a product. Two of the following sites have buttons to purchase products but they contain valuable information that make up for that. Don’t click on those buttons and you have nothing to fear.

All but one of the websites mentioned above have a site search - simply enter a filename that you don’t know about and they will display the information they have about it. It is a very good idea to cross-check the results before you take action.

If the information states that the file could be a virus, trojan or worm you should take appropriate measures. The first one would be to download a anti-virus program like Free AV (AVG Antivirus, Avast)and scan your system using that tool. Make sure the antivirus software is up to date. You might also want to take a look at my article about free online scan websites, most require Internet Explorer but some work in Firefox as well.

You should also download and run anti-spyware programs like Spybot Search and Destroy or Adaware.

To sum it up:

  • Download process explorer
  • Use the websites mentioned above to find out more about the process in question
  • Scan your system with antivirus software
  • Scan your system with anti-spyware software

The Electronic clock at your desk can SPY on you

Wilife has recently introduced a desk clock that can spy on you. The site says

Use it to monitor and record your employees, the nanny, the babysitter or other activities

The Spy Camera masquerades as a sleek, fully functioning digital clock, yet it’s a powerful security camera in the LukWerks Video Security System. This hidden camera is perfect for coverage of any area of the home or small business that requires discreet observance. Its design gives you the ability to place the camera on any flat surface and adjust the built-in camera’s view by tilting the clock up or down.

The Spy Camera is portable – just plug it into any electrical outlet and the camera sends recorded video back to your PC!

The Spy Camera is available in a Starter Kit, if you don’t have LukWerks, or in an Add-on Camera package, if you want to add this camera to your existing system.

This sounds really weird!!! Now who's tracking you....

MSN to have featured LIVE concerts to users

Microsoft promises to bring MSN's 465 million worldwide monthly visitors live performances via a partnership with Control Room. Formerly Network LIVE, Control Room has already been producing MSN, and the multiyear agreement regarding the distribution of live content is an extension of their previous collaboration.

Microsoft revealed that the relationship is scheduled to debut officially on October 2, 2006 with a live performance of singer, songwriter and pianist John Legend, live from the Royal Albert Hall in London.
“With the video content market surging as it has been in the last year since Live 8, we have proven that there is a robust market for a company like ours to change the way live entertainment is consumed, now and in the future,” said Kevin Wall, CEO of Control Room.
“With MSN, we have found a global partner that sees the value and profit in providing our rich and cutting-edge live entertainment content to its consumers worldwide.”
“By working with Control Room to add original, exclusive content, we create an even deeper engagement with our global audience, thus unveiling significant new opportunities for advertisers,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN.

“With this collaboration, artists now have an extremely valuable, cohesive, global marketing and promotion avenue to reach and connect with fans worldwide, while in turn it creates another key access point for consumers to get high-quality content from the musicians they love.”

Windows Vista 64 Bit now available for Direct Download

Microsoft recently revealed the immediate availability of a new Windows Vista Interim. At that time, the Redmond Company was delivering just the 32-bit version in English, German and Japanese.

This is no longer the case as Microsoft, starting yesterday Tuesday, September 26, 2006, has made the 64-bit version of the operating system also available for download. Windows Vista Build 5728, the 64-bit version Windows Vista Build 5728 can be downloaded via the browser, or with the help of the Akamai Download Manager, as it is a 3.54 GB file that requires to be burned to a DVD prior to installation.

“The 64-bit version of build 5728 is now available in both German and English. The window is rapidly closing for download of the English build, as we're nearing our targeted download quantity. If you've not yet downloaded the build, I would suggest doing so today. Thank you to all of our beta testers who've downloaded this build to date -- we didn't expect your response to be so rapid and enthusiastic,” wrote White on the Windows Vista Team Blog.

Download available at : http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/rc1/en/download-5728.htm

Microsoft Launches .net MICRO framework Beta exclusively for Developers

Microsoft Corp. released a beta developer kit for the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework, a new development platform for use with devices that are typically constrained by cost, memory, processor and/or power consumption. Announced at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston, the .NET Micro Framework broad beta extends the advantages of .NET and the Visual Studio toolset into a class of the smallest of devices.

“The .NET Micro Framework is a natural extension of Microsoft’s embedded offerings and provides a compelling, easy-to-use solution for developers,” said Colin Miller, director of the .NET Micro Framework at Microsoft. “We have utilized this platform with several projects at Microsoft and are excited to provide this kit to developers so they can use Microsoft tools to extend their skills to a set of smaller devices.”

The managed code environment and Visual Studio integration helps increase efficiency and reliability in the embedded space as well as providing PC emulation capabilities and on-device debugging within the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment. User interface development is supported with Windows Presentation Foundation.

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

 "There is no I in team, but there is no team without individuals." 

                                                                                 -  Hannah   

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

 "Teamwork divides the task and doubles the success." 

                                                                                 -    Anonymous        


T- Together
E- Everyone
A- Achieves
M- More



Monday, September 25, 2006

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

 "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." 

                                                                                 -  Michael Jordan

Friday, September 22, 2006

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

"Do what you can, with what you have ,where you are." 

                                                                                  Theodore Roosevelt   

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

 "The race to perfection has NO finish line ." 

                                                                                 -   Jason S  

This quote is my very own one. It just goes on to say, you can never achieve perfection but can only come close to it.
I truly believe in this and run the race with faith and determination daily.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

 "The secret of happiness is not doing the things that you like but liking the things that you do." 

                                                                                 -    Anonymous   

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MSN finally launches Soapbox(MSN Video) for the General Public in Beta form

MSN has announced the beta release of Soapbox, a user-uploaded video service, in USA.

Soapbox allows users to upload, discover, and share personal videos with the Soapbox community and others around the world. It will be available on MSN Video, and will be deeply integrated throughout Microsoft's portfolio of online services, including Windows Live Spaces and Windows Live Messenger.

Commenting on the new service, Rob Bennett, general manager - entertainment and video services, MSN, said, "Soapbox delivers on a critical component of the MSN growth strategy of deepening audience engagement by enabling people to participate in the content experience. By adding a user-uploaded video service, we are rounding out our existing investments in commercially produced and original content on MSN Video."

Soapbox incorporates powerful Web 2.0 technologies, providing a dynamic, fun, and entertaining experience. It provides users with a number of benefits such as single-step uploading, background server-side video processing, and acceptance of all major digital video formats; video browsing spanning 15 categories, plus RSS feeds; and participation in the Soapbox community, with the ability to rate, comment on, or tag videos viewed, etc.

The Soapbox beta on MSN Video is available on an invitation-only basis in the US, and those interested in participating in it can sign-up for the waiting list at http://soapbox.msn.com. The beta is accessible to users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later running on Windows XP, and to users of Firefox 1.0.5 or later running on Windows XP or Macintosh OS X.

Creative Joins the iPod Killer race - To launch a new Player

Creative Technology has reportedly introduced its Zen Vision W portable video, photo, and MP3 player.

With a 4.3-inch wide-screen high resolution color TFT display, the Zen Vision W allows viewing of up to 240 hours of video, tens of thousands of photos, or storing of up to 15,000 songs.

The Zen Vision W features a built-in compact flash slot, which enables easy import of photos directly from a digital camera without a PC. The player comes with a plug & view slot on the side that supports both compact flash type I and type II media. In addition, an optional compact flash adapter plugs directly into the compact flash slot to accept other types of popular memory cards, including SmartMedia, MultiMedia, and Secure Digital cards.

The player supports a wide selection of video formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4-SP, MJPEG, and XviD for playback of video clips and movies downloaded from the Internet. It supports digitized home movies transferred from the PC. Additionally, it comes with a convenient composite AV-out connection that enables stunning full color, 720 x 480 image output on any size NTSC TV screen, or 720 x 576 image output on any size PAL TV screen.

The Zen Vision W supports music subscription services such as Yahoo! Music Unlimited, Napster to Go, Urge, and MSN Music, and allows downloading from online music stores. It comes with a built-in speaker and FM radio that features 32 selectable station settings.
The player can be connected to the PC via USB 2.0, and comes with a removable rechargeable battery providing up to 4.5 hours of video playback.

Optional accessories include a Compact Flash Adapter, screen protector, standing case, travel charger, wired remote and IR remote, all of which can be purchased separately.

The ZEN Vision W is available in two optional capacities; 30GB and 60 GB at a price of S$649 (Rs 18,821) and S$749 (Rs 21,721) respectively. The Zen Vision W (30GB) is available online at sg.store.creative.com, while the Zen Vision W (60GB) will be available in the end of September 2006.

Creative Technology has also announced a 60GB model of the award-winning Creative Zen Vision:M MP3, photo, and video player. The new 60GB model can hold up to 15,000 songs, up to 240 hours of video, or tens of thousands of photos. It also enables transferring of photos from a digital camera directly to the player with the included USB Host Adapter cable.

The Creative Zen Vision:M (60GB), priced at S$599.00 ( Rs. 17,371), will be available online at sg.store.creative.com in the end of September 2006.

Increase your Life Span by consuming Green Tea

A new study conducted by Japanese scientists at the Tohoku University in Sendai confirms once again the multiple benefits of green tea upon human health. The team found that drinking five or more cups of green tea daily reduces the risk of death caused by various triggers, such as cardiovascular accidents and many others. However, they added that a regular consumption of green tea would not work against cancer symptoms which lead to death.

The general conclusion of this exhaustive and long-term study is that drinking green tea on a regular basis prolongs one's life span by cutting down his risks of severe diseases which could bring about death sooner or later. According to the researchers, the study is the amplest one ran until now, because it has involved and investigated the effects of green tea consumption on more than 40,000 Japanese people.

“Only four epidemiological studies in people have been conducted to date”. Those studies “included small sample sizes, and the results were inconsistent. However, our study includes far more participants - 40,350 - than the previous studies. I think our study would provide strong evidence regarding the benefits of drinking green tea in humans on cardiovascular disease,” pointed out lead researcher of the study Dr. Shinichi Kuriyama.

The research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated the health of adults with ages ranging from 40 to 79, Northeastern Japan dwellers. The research began in 1994 and was completed recently. The team analyzed the causes of people's deaths which occurred during the 11 years follow-up study and compared these causes with the individuals' green tea consumption.

Results showed that adults who used to drink at least five cups of green tea daily were 16% less likely to experience premature death from all causes. Moreover, regular green tea drinkers had a 26% lower risk of cardiovascular death than their counterparts who did not consume the beverage. Green tea's beneficial effects upon women's health proved to be even stronger, as women who drank at least 5 cups of the beverage were 31% less likely to die from heart disease and stroke.

Intel Chips to become super fast with New Laser Technology Inside

A silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams has been created, according to the New York Times. This development makes it possible to use laser light, rather than wires, to send data between chips.

With this new technology, chip-makers may be able to put the high-speed data communications industry on the same curve of increased processing speed and diminishing costs (the phenomenon known as Moore's law) that has driven the computer industry for the last four decades. You can think of it in terms related to the evolution of HDD, or RAM. HDD almost double their capacity every year that passes by.

Researched at Intel at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the chips will not be distributed before the end of the decade, but the prospect of being able to place hundreds or thousands of data-carrying light beams on standard industry chips is certain to shake up both the communications and computer industries.

This would mean we can expect a large increase in speeds of chips produced, but I still donno what's Intel gonna do about the amount of Heat generated.

News Source: softpedia.com

SAP Ranked #1 In Enterprise Software

SAP is the worldwide market leader in CRM, ERP, and supply chain software, according to a comprehensive new study by Gartner. With 26% of CRM market share, 29% of ERP market share, and 19% of SCM market share by total software revenue, SAP exceeded overall market growth rates in all three segments. It's no wonder more organizations are turning to SAP to become best-run businesses.

Vista to come bundled in a single DVD

Microsoft will bundle all the versions of its upcoming Windows Vista on a single DVD, reports ActiveNetwork. Instead of marketing the operating systems separately according to edition, the Redmond Company has decided to include all four versions of Windows Vista on one DVD.
The sole exception is Windows Vista Enterprise that is available exclusively to Microsoft Volume License customers. But Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate editions will find their way onto the same DVD. With this initiative, the Redmond Company plans to differentiate the operating system only via license keys and color codes. The move enables customers to choose or upgrade to the operating system they want simply by acquiring the associated license key, while the application is already on the DVD.

Apparently, to differentiate among the Vista editions, Microsoft has color coded the versions: light green - Home Basic, dark green - Home Premium, blue - Vista Business and platinum - Ultimate Version. Here are the official prices announced by Microsoft the previous week:

Windows Vista Home Basic: Retail price for full package product, $199.00 USD. Upgrade retail price, $99.95 USD.
Windows Vista Home Premium: Retail price for full package product, $239.00 USD. Upgrade retail price, $159.00 USD.
Windows Vista Business: Retail price for full package product, $299.00 USD. Upgrade retail price, $199.00 USD.
Windows Vista Ultimate: Retail price for full package product, $399.00 USD. Upgrade retail price, $259.00 USD.

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

 "Two  kinds of people can damage a society: the one who knows and doesn't talk and the one who doesn't know and talks." 


Monday, September 18, 2006

Q U O T E - FOR - THE - D A Y

 "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." 

                                                                                 -  Confucius

Friday, September 15, 2006

You Tube in Big Trouble over Copyright Issues

In what should come as no great surprise, Universal Music Group is preparing to file suit against YouTube for copyright infringement, the AP reports. Discussions with the site's owners have broken down (although talks are apparently still progressing with Myspace / News Corp over similar issues.) From the article: '"We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars," Universal Music CEO Doug Morris told investors Wednesday at a conference in Pasadena. ' This development follows last month's announcement that YouTube is negotiating with labels to legally host videos. While the primary complaint is against music videos, one cannot help but wonder if this will also impact the many, many homemade videos using copyrighted UMG songs as a soundtrack

How to avoid windows genuine advantage(WGA) checks - Insiders Guide

MuBlinder is a sweet little tool that requires the net framework to function. It is capable of doing lots of things and I think it is best to list only the most interesting ones. First, it can bypass the validation check for Internet Explorer 7, Media Player 11, Windows Defender and Microsoft Private Folders. The software is able to remove the WGA Notification, can run at startup and make sure that validation and notification status is active.

Basically it offers you the ability to download and install every software and update from Microsoft without WGA checks and is updated regulary to keep pace with the updates from Microsoft. You are free to create workarounds in the software but this should be to complex for normal users.

Is it legal ? I honestly can’t answer the question for you. If you are in doubts do not download the software and use it. I’am merely linking to the freeware, what you do with this information is up to you.

Download link : http://www.p2plife.com/forums/Official_muBlinder_Page-t320.html

Zune Multimedia Player from Microsoft - More than an ipod killer

Microsoft Exchange Hosting

Microsoft's new Zune it's just more than an ipod killer. It’s a 30GB player that comes in three colors - black, white, and brown - and plays back most major file formats.

The first Zune branded digital media player will hold 30GB and will be available for the holidays. It features wireless connectivity, a built-in FM turner and a 3-inch screen. The big feature is its ability to share music wirelessly with the ingeniously named Zune-to-Zune sharing.

Of specific interest is the social sharing system. It features 802.11 b/g wireless that allows users to send music to one another. You can actually send a file to another Zune user, but it will only be playable three times or stored for three days, whichever comes first. This applies to all songs. Even if you decide to make an MP3 of your cat mewling, even though it’s your own intellectual property. The goal, obviously, is to sell music. I suppose you can connect to the Zune Marketplace - and presumably an artists home page - where you can learn more and buy music.

The Zune will include in the box earphones, a protective sleeve, a USB sync cable and a sticker. There is currently no price or release date, but Microsoft promises competitive pricing and availability by the holidays.

Preview the player , a small video clip :

Yahoo Mail Beta released finally to ALL!!!! Try it out

The powerful new Yahoo! Mail beta will open up for general use starting today. The new product will roll out to all users in 18 countries over the next two weeks. There’s a lot of cool new features, but GMail still stands apart in some important ways. You can now try out the beta at new.mail.yahoo.com.

In addition to adding RSS subscription functionality inside your email inbox, which as MacManus points out will probably make Yahoo! Mail the most widely used RSS reader on the planet, there are many more new features to watch for.

The big picture is that Yahoo! is aiming to use ajax to make it’s mail client function like a desktop client. Email messages can be dragged from one folder to another, multiple emails can be open at one time in tabs inside Yahoo! Mail and there’s calendar integration tied to Yahoo! Maps. Blog posting, possibly to a Yahoo! domain that will run more of the company’s ads, and IM both appear to be available through the webmail client as well. These sound like powerful new features.

What’s Gmail got to offer that could top that?
A number of things, actually. Yahoo! Mail doesn’t offer the tabbed conversations Gmail does, doesn’t appear to allow emails to be tagged and will still have to prove itself in spam protection and mail search. I don’t know whether Yahoo! Mail allows attachments like PDF and Excel files to be viewed as HTML, but that’s a very nice GMail feature as well. There’s no word yet whether Yahoo! will increase the storage of free accounts from 1GB to something closer to GMail’s 2.5+GB or increase the 10mb limit on attachments.

In other words, I think there’s still plenty of reasons to stay with GMail for now, but those for whom Yahoo! Mail is well suited are likely to be quite happy with it. Several of the new features, like RSS, drag and drop organization and calendar/maps could become a new standard in future offerings from other companies. It’s a good product that will change how hundreds of millions of people experience webmail and RSS.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Foxit PDF Reader 2.0 released!

Yesterday I started waiting for an Adobe Acrobat PDF file to open. I am still waiting for the thing to open. Alright, you got me, I actually end-tasked it, 86'd it, killed the process, you get the idea. I don't have the time or patience to put up with that. Adobe Acrobat Reader has some issues, like loading a file quickly, not crashing the browser, things like that. Foxit Reader puts Adobe Acrobat Reader in its place, that's right the gar-bage. The new version was just released, now Foxit 2.0. Foxit Software's website also got a complete make-over as well. Foxit Reader is free for download, and did I mention I am un-installing Adobe's Reader right now? Ahhh, that feel better. Foxit rocks it!

How to get your computer scanned for FREE online :: No Installation ::

Many sites offer to scan your computer for viruses online which should be seen as a last resort because this method has advantages but also disadvantages. If you scan your system online you can be sure that the latest virus definitions are used while scanning your system and that the script that is running was not compromised by a virus or trojan running on your system.
Huge disadvantages exist nevertheless. Most if not all scanners do work solely in the Internet Explorer and require Active X controls to be active. This could pose a security risk by itself and it is therefor advised to use those scanners as a last resort. Only a few scanners work with Firefox and none seem to work with Opera. On to the list:

Bitdefender (IE only)
Command on Demand (IE only)
eTrust (IE only)
F-Secure (IE only)
Kapersky (IE only)
McAfee (IE and Firefox)
Pandasoftware (IE only)
Symantec (IE only)
TrendMicro (IE, Firefox and Mozilla)

How to get a Windows Vista RC1 product key

Beta and release candidate versions of Windows Vista, Microsofts latest operating system, can be download from the official Microsoft Vista website but getting a product key did not seem to be that easy. Everyone was able to download Windows Vista but this did not mean that you would receive a product key to activate the beta or release candidate. Without a product key Vista would only work for 14 days.

What you need to do to get a Vista Release Candidate 1 product key is the following: Visit the link to the Microsoft Vista homepage and sign in. If you have not signed up before you can easily create a new account by clicking signup now. You only have to provide some information, a working email address, a password and the like. Microsoft sends out a confirmation email at the end of that process.

If everything worked out fine you should be directed to a website which requires some information about your current job, filling that out brings you to a new page that links to vista downloads (English, German and Japanese versions) and displays the product key in the same window. One funny thing that I noticed is the following: If you refresh the page with the information the product key stays the same, if you open the page using the link above you will recieve a new product key. If you need more than one I guess you can just visit the website a few times.

The website with the product key looks awefull in firefox btw.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yahoo Messenger Launches Free Group Conference Calls

Yahoo Inc. is offering free group conference calling services from Vapps Inc. to the roughly 80 million users of Yahoo's instant-message and Web telephone-calling service, the companies said on Monday.

The service, called ConFreeCall, will be available for download through Yahoo Messenger with Voice service, allowing friends or families to hold free conference calls to complement Yahoo's existing text, voice and photo-sharing services.

Vapps, a supplier of conference-calling services and equipment announced a similar deal in June with Skype, the international market leader in instant message and Web-based phone calling services with more than 100 million users.

Vapps—short for Voice over Internet Applications—says it can offer free conference calls with high voice quality for up to 500 simultaneous participants per call—enough to handle an extended family reunion.

A moderator can control call volume control, muting, announce participants and recording, among other features.

Closely held Vapps, of Hoboken, New Jersey, has a plan to offset the cost of providing free conference calls by offering related premium services, including conference call recording, playback and 24-hour operator support for arranging calls.

Yahoo Messenger with Voice subscribers can find the ConFreeCall application in the Yahoo Messenger plug-in gallery (http://us.gallery.yahoo.com/messenger). The service is also available directly from Vapps at http://www.confreecall.com.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How to save Real Audio in your computer - A Step-by-Step guide

Today I will present a guide on how to save the real audio format to your hard disk.

You will need either of the following tools: Real Player, Real Player Alternative or another tool / plugin that plays real audio files. I suggest Real Player Alternative

There is more than one way to save the files. I try to give an overview on all of them, there are surely more out there but I think its sufficient if you know how to save them, no one needs more than 2-3 ways for the same process.

1. Go to a webpage that offers Real Audio Streams, they normally offer a link to a .ram file which you download. The .ram file only contains the link to the .ra / .rm file, and thats what we need. Remember the .ra file contains the audio, the .ram file the location of the audio file.

Download the .ram file and open it locally with a text editor. You should see a line with a link to the audio file. If you are lucky the url starts with http://

If thats the case simply copy paste the url into your browser and you are prompted to download the audio file.

Unfortunatly most of the time the url does not start with http but with rtsp:// for example. The browser won´t download this files, there is a workaround for this though. Just a quick note, there is an older format as well, just in case, don´t worry if you find a pnm:// link, its just the old protocol. There should not be a lot of those around anymore.

You can use the flashget program to which is a download manager to save streams, it is able to handle the rtsp:// format as well as others.

Once on your hard disk simply double click to start the audio.

Microsoft's Live Search is NO more a Beta!! - replaces MSN Search

Microsoft just put out a press release announcing the release from beta of Live Search and of Live.com in 47 markets worldwide. The release also says that Live Search will now power search on MSN. The changes don’t appear to have gone into effect yet, but they could at any time.

Live is Microsoft’s key play for the future and new company leader Ray Ozzie has been a vocal advocate of Live in particular and web based software as a service in general. Live.com places new emphasis on customization, RSS, blogs, video and other areas of emerging interest. Start.com was to fulfill a similar function, but when Start lost steam last fall the team posted to their blog calling for engineers interested in working on Live.com.

The company says that MSN attracts 465 million unique users worldwide per month. It’s long been believed that the MSN brand was being fazed out and would be replaced by Live.com as the intended home page and search engine for Microsoft’s huge user base. You could say that Live.com has a much more contemporary feel to it than MSN - or you could say that it’s a weak attempt to mimic Google’s sparse interface that ends up looking unfriendly and awkward. Today’s announcement also underlines the strangeness that Microsoft’s new YouTube competitor is being launched under the MSN brand.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Dozen Tor (The Onion Routing) Servers seized

More than ten dedicated servers have been seized by the German police last Thursday. Some servers were running a version of the popular anonymising software Tor (The Onion Routing) which leads to the conclusion that those Tor Servers were most likely configured to run as Exit Nodes as well as normal nodes. As you may know a request runs through different Tor Servers with each only knowing the adjacent servers but not the starting node (you) and the destination. Only the last node in the chain knows the destination.

The seizure was justified by the fact that those end node IPs did appear on forums that were spreading child pornography. You might think that the states attorney simply did not know that those Tor servers were merely the exit node but this is not the case. What needs to be discussed now is wether the seizure of those tor servers was done deliberately to crack down on anonymizing services in Germany and the European Union or if the states attorney simply wanted to be thorough by seizing the servers.

The only information that he is receiving from analysing the logs (if logs exist) is the next node in line. If that next node is not located in Germany or the European Union he will have no means of investigating this chain any further.

This means they will not be able to trace the user who made the requests in first place. Is that good, or bad ? Public Opinion is really sensitive when Child Pornography is mentioned and it is really easy to turn the opinion that way that something legal looks to be something illegal. “Why would someone want to hide their tracks if he is not doing something illegal ?”, a common question from those who choose not to think, here is the answer:

Every step on the web is tracked nowadays and if you are really unlucky even released to the public, AOL anyone ?


Let's say its 6.15 pm and you're going home (alone of course), after an unusually hard day on the job. You're really tired, upset and frustrated.

Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to adiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five kms from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!!