Saturday, August 13, 2005

AOL confused...?

AOL seems to be going multiple directions without much clue. They are on the verge of launching a service capable of using/talking to Jabber. At the same time, we know that they use SIP for their VoIP services. So I can't help but wonder, which direction would their IM protocol go. SIMPLE would be an obvious choice, but with Jabber in the fray, XMPP just stuck its head into the picture.

IE7 beta

Read here.

Shrink to print sounds like a good feature. - Nice one. The security features sound good but it is obvious from the tests done that at this point they are purely ornamental and do nothing. Security was always a pain with IE - lets see if they can bring down the patches per month values.

Humm, MS finally decided to including built-in search toolbars..! And look where they placed it... hahaha.
Doesn't quite look like the Fox yet - but its getting there. A few more tweaks, and the only diff would be the good old blue E instead of the of the fox.

Crazy month

... but now I'm back!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I extend my thanks as well..

I have been hosting a number of banners relating to the ONE campaign on my blog. The ONE campaign along with the Live 8 concerts did a great job in increasing awareness of the state of poverty in Africa. This pressurized the G8 to declare unprecedented aid packages for Africa. This is a message to everone who was a part of this campaign in any way.

Dear Friend:

This is a big thank you to all 1.5 million of you who joined together as ONE to do something extraordinary.

From the 500,000 letters you sent to President Bush to Live 8 in Philadelphia to the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, you called on eight men to do more to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty, and they heard your call. In Scotland this past Friday, overcoming the shadow of a tragic day in London, President Bush joined G8 leaders in an unprecedented deal to cancel debts and double aid to Africa.

For African nations fighting poverty and corruption, this means a $25 billion increase in aid and wiping out 100% of their debts. With this funding, Africa can halve deaths from malaria, put millions of children into school, and 10 million people across the world will have access to lifesaving AIDS drugs. Behind each of these numbers is one person, one life that will be changed forever.

This is what we were aiming for. For once, set aside the atrocities done by the G8 member countries, the wars that they brought upon the world, the people they killed, and the generations they tarnished - this is something which only they had the power to do - and we had the power to motivate.

For the first time ever, everyday Americans(and non-Americans) like you joined together to take a seat at the negotiating table, asking the world's most powerful leaders to do more to help the world's poorest people. Because you signed the ONE Declaration, wore the white band and forwarded emails to friends about ONE, you made a huge step toward making poverty history. We've come so far and still have far to go.

Keep the momentum going, email 3 friends about ONE today.

This agreement is a real victory for Africa - but promises made of words will only become promises for a generation if we keep watching, asking and acting. Much more needs to be done in Washington DC to turn these commitments into lifesaving programs, and the world must take new steps to make trade fair. More meetings will take place this year in New York and Hong Kong where a comprehensive debt-aid-trade deal can be reached and end global AIDS and extreme poverty in our time.

We can be that great generation. As ONE, let's keep up the positive pressure and make 2005 the year we joined together to make history.

Thank you,

The ONE Team

Keep the momentum going indeed.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Pak$st#n still disconnected

First it was just funny, now it is plain ridiculous. I reported in this old post about Pak's internet failure. Latest news from that land suggests that they might stay disconnected all through July - coz surprise suprise... they are struggling to fix the broken cable..!!

Seriously though, this event presents a different perspective of things. Move forward a few years, and with e-governence, wide VoIP deployment, dual-stack cellular technology, etc, a complete country could be made solely reliant on the Internet. In such a scenario breaking a cable - accidentally or intentionally - could send a country into anarchy.

Can't predict the future, but sounds like a good movie script for now.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Graphical comparison of Yahoo and Google

Graphical comparisons are usually statistically useless. This one is marginally better because of its interface. Here is a sample for the search keyword "routers".

Good investment...?

Google and GS invest in a broadband venture. Yes, IP over powerlines can work. Currently, I am working on a project(cannot disclose details) which uses this technology and very successfully too.

Can't find it on Google...?

These guys make a valid point. What you CAN find on Google is irelevant, rather what you CANNOT makes an interesting discussion board. Good one.

Google now does currencies

Google can now be used for currency conversion. That page also has a list of other newly added features. Pretty cool.

Yahoo's job search engine coming soon

As advertised here, Yahoo will shortly launch a Job search engine very much in the mould of Indeed and Simply Hired. The combination of Yahoo Hotjobs with a job search engine could be very useful.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

RDP Question

Recently, I have been asked a question way too often - Is it possible to have Remote Desktop (RDP) connections to multiple boxes sitting behind a NAT box, like your wireless router...?

Well the answer is yes, it is quite possible. See, the issue is that RDP uses a well known port, I think it is port 3389. Now, even if you set up and application level gateway (ALG) at your router to handle RDP connections, they will be directed to one single machine.

To resolve this, you need to change the port number for your Terminal Server. This can be done by slightly tweaking the registry. Follow these steps:

  1. Select Start -> Run. Enter "regedit" to open your Registry Editor.

  2. Find the Dword named PortNumber in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\...

  3. Modify the PortNumber to any unreserved port. Preferrably stay 5000 and above. Lets say you numbered it as P.

  4. Now setup port forwarding for port P to be forwarded to the local IP of your machine.

  5. Do the same thing for all machines behind your NAT and set different ports for each

  6. Now to RDP into your machine of choice - instead of just entering the IP address w.x.y.z, you should enter the destination host as w.x.y.z:P.

Hooray..!! You have RDP for multiple machines behind your NAT.

This job listing is plain ridiculous

A lot of my friends from the CS Deptt of Columbia Univ use MICE. MICE is our internal information system and amongst many other things it also has job listings. I particularly liked the listings posted on MICE as they were specfic to our department.

Recently I saw a posting on MICE which was plain ridiculous. A company is looking for a "Skype application developer". Piece of bull*%$&. Its just an API!! and a sh*$%y one at that..!! Are modern day developers so dumb that they would specialize only in ONE set of APIs.. Such pathetic job listings shouldn't be showing at a school like Columbia.

The dirty face of terror

Earlier today, London was rocked by a series of bomb blasts. The toll is still rising with the number hovering around 30 right now. They targeted the mass transit system - hitting the underground with several blasts and also a bus. The first reports came in around 9:15 am, the peak of London rush hour. At this point, the city stand paralyzed - with all metro service and bus services shut down. There can't be enough words to condemn this attack.

Having been in and loved the city, I am extremely disappointed with this. New York is also in a state of high alert following the London attacks.

Apart from the obvious effects, the attacks have also shifted the focus of the ongoing G-8 towards security. And we were hoping this G-8 would be about poverty and its elimination.

These eye-witness accounts are chilling.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Messenger is down

For certain users, MSN Messenger is down at this time. It is returning an error code "81000377 - Your contact list not available". This is a repeat of the sporadic trouble MSN servers had during February this year.

Yahoo releases map APIs

Following Google's footsteps, and very closely too, Yahoo released APIs for their maps feature. You can find extensive documentation and example code at this link. Google's APIs of course are available here.

Its really cool stuff from both firms. I think I'll write a simple Javascript for this blog and see how they compare. Will post results sometime soon.

5 new maps for Halo 2

Today at 7am ET, Bungie released the Maptacular Pack for Halo 2. This has 5 new maps for the immensely popular online multiplayer game. At this point, the pack is available to all XBOX Live customers across the globe for a price of $11.99. The maps are only available as a bundle.

Google launching toolbar for Firefox

The Google Toolbar which has tremendously helped the usability and tolerability of IE is all set to debut for Firefox. Reports suggest that July 7th is a very likely date for launch.

Firefox though, ships out with inline support for Google Search, and a pop-up blocker. These are the two most relevant feature of the Google Toolbar for IE. Therefore, the new Toolber for Firefox will add little - a spell-checker, could be useful I guess but there are more powerful plugins for the fox, and translation tools are handy at times.

T-Mobile considering sale

Duetsche Telekom is considering selling its T-Mobile USA business unit. It is reported that they are already in talks iwth investment banks in this regard. It is being reported that the fate of T-Mobile USA will be decided by the end of the year.

They may have a tough time selling it. Whoever purchases the network, will have to provide considerable amount of investment to move to 3G services which are currently not supported by T-Mobile. This investment might prove to be a major deterrent despite the obvious advantage of adding a bulky subscriber base.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

They need your voice

P$kist$n cutoff from the Internet world

The fibre optic cable which is P$kist$an's primary internet link to the rest of the world was damaged earlier this week - reasons unknown. It is believed that the connection wouldn't be restored for another few days.

This has put a lot businesses and multi-national firms in a state of chaos. Refraining from posting a lot more in reference to P$.