Friday, December 22, 2006

The New Version of Blogger

find this @
The New Version of Blogger
The new version of Blogger in beta is dead!
Long live the new version of Blogger!
(P.S. The old version of Blogger is not dead, but it would like to retire for a little while... maybe go to Hawaii or play World of Warcraft all day? It begs you to let it play World of Warcraft all day.)

I am overjoyed to announce that today we have o'ficially graduated the new version of Blogger from "in beta " to "." Why is this significant? Allow me to explain via analogy:
Battlestar Galactica with Lorne Greene : Battlestar Galactica with Edward James Olmos :: Old Blogger : New Blogger
The new version of Blogger is metaphorically bursting with features, from the big guns like drag-and-drop template editing and post labels (which are perfect, by the way, for indexing the 131 historical figures you may have written about), to little polishes like a better-designed Dashboard or that you no longer need to solve a word verification CAPTCHA to post a comment on your own blog.

We're excited about the new version of Blogger, both for what it can do now (which also includes access control for blogs and better input fields for post dates) and what we'll add to it in the future, now that we have a new, stable, powerful infrastructure to work with. We're done with "beta," but we're far from done with the new Blogger.

It'll still take a bit more transition time to move everyone from the old version to the new, so for now we ask on our homepage which version of Blogger you use. If you've been using the beta, either because you switched or because you created your account after 10 November 2006, click "New Blogger" and sign in with your Google Account.

If you haven't yet switched, click "Old Blogger" and use the same Blogger account you've always used, or — and this is the better choice — click "Switch Now" button. After you sign in with or sign up for a Google Account (free!), you'll be switched over to the new Blogger, which is both reassuringly the same (your blogs will keep the same URLs, and your templates and profile will be the same too) and significantly better (see above sampling of new features and comparisons to a masterful science fiction television program).

Finally, shouts out to all of the people and teams who have made this possible; the new Blogger is the combined effort of engineering, QA, support, management, product, marketing, PR, infrastructure, [music swells] design, partners, clients, users, hackers, Blog*Stars, cats, dogs, ferrets, and everyone and everything else that helped, assisted, or enabled. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Getting Win XP Tools Faster

Getting Win XP Tools Faster :Start> Run
compmgmt.msc: Computer Management Console
devmgmt: Device Manager
diskmgmt.msc: Disk Management
dfrg : Disk Defragmenter
fsmgmt : Shared Folders
gpedit.msc : Group Policy Editor
lusrmgr.msc : Local Users and Groups
perfmon.msc : Performance Monitor
secpol.msc : Local Security Settings
services.msc : Manage Service
You don't really need the Registry Editor or third party tolls for every single tweak you want to make to the Windows. gpedit has most of 'em included. Do and get things done well.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Switching to beta- blogger: Not too Late

I have been blogging about 4 years for now. Many blogs were regular and then desserted for want to change but finally some of my writings really work on the Blogger. The ease of posting, editing and customising the templates has been the easieist of all with the Blogger.
I don't think it's too late. I have been working with two of my blogs with beta version as soon as it was declared but yesternight I switched all of my 19 blogs to the beta version. Though I still love the old version because this new beta is still beta. Not all complete plug ins work fine. Profile section is the most worst of all I believe. But for the purity of blogging spirit I thought and finally transformed because it's never too late to play the piano.
< Check out the new version of Blogger (in beta) > big words always ran in luring me to fix everything with he Googling aspirations, you check it yourself here. But do not forget these three things before migrating: you'ii need a Google Account, your third party applications need to be updated (the most tedius of all) and the worst of all you can't undo once you get into the migraine land.
Also the terms of conditions has been more provoking in my words, it must been not too personifying. Anyway do not forget to read few points to made yourself forced to beleivet hat you are agreed.
Good luck folks!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another blog - blog banned by Google

Is this all right? Once again the freedom of freedom and what about the personal propositions. I would better suggests all servers to quit the job. No more blogs, please. Ths is extrememly surprising job.
I've read the page and it's a personal freedom. Or let you delete or be defeated of your morals, yes I am talking to Mr Google, Yahoo and whoever might be creeping!!! I am not going to remove this post from and whatever else will matter.
Well Done,  Eugene
----- Original Message -----
Hi. My name is Eugene Gershin. Perhaps we have met online, but more probably you don't know me from Adam. I monitor blogs for SamsonBlinded, and came across your post.
I'd like to welcome you to look at Obadiah Shoher's blog. Obadiah - an anonymous Israeli politician - writes extremely controversial articles about Israel, the Middle East politics, and terrorism.  
Shoher is equally critical of Jewish and Muslim myths, and advocates political rationalism instead of moralizing. 
Google banned our site from the AdWords, Yahoo blocked most pages, and Amazon deleted all reviews of Obadiah's book, Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian erspective on the Middle East Conflict.
Nevertheless, 170,000 people from 78 countries read the book.
Various Internet providers ban us periodically, but you can look up the site on search engines. The mirror currently works.
Please help us spread Obadiah's message, and mention the blog in one of your posts, or link to us from I would greatly appreciate your comments.
Best wishes,
Eugene Gershin

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Humor from the Semiconductor Industry...

Pathetic Jokes

Which IC packages are insincere? The plastic ones.
How do defective diodes cheat in exams? By leakage.

What is an affair with a Process Statistician called? Correlation.
Why is a biscuit maker like a Die Prep engineer? They're both afraid of broken wafers.

How did the metal atoms move out of their country? By electromigration.
Which station is always after big-time criminals in the US? FVI.

What do DTFS engineers with marital problems apply for? Singulation.
Why are failure analysts not popular? Because they're fault finders.

What is a husband who abandons his wife called? A reliability failure.
Which assembly station always starts good in a game but loses in the end? Lead Finish.

Why do big capacitors earn more than small ones? Because they charge more.
Why is soggy die overcoat terminally ill? Because it wasn't cured.

What do swimmers and narrow metal lines have in common? They're both afraid of large currents.
How did the magnetic coil get into the Hall of Fame? By induction.

What did the integrated circuit say when it was enlightened? IC.
What did the diamond wheel say after it has been mounted? Close the door, I'm dressing.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Is Bill Gates a Genius?

Is Bill Gates a Genius? A history of Microsoft successes...
     By: David K. Every


I''ve heard it 10,000 times. Someone in a store or a party talking about how Bill Gates is a Genius, and how that lead to Microsoft's success. If I hear it one more time, I'm going to have to start dishing out the wedgie of death; turning one person into two, by tugging really hard on their undergarments!

I know, I know -- because I don't want to kiss Bill Gates ring, I am some biased Microsoft hater or Gates basher. Honestly, I don't like a lot of things that Microsoft does, but they are just a Company. I can't say I admire how they've always operated. I'm one of those weird people who think that the ends doesn't justify the means, and how you play is as important is if you win. But honestly, there are worse evils in the world than Microsoft.

Just because you are successful doesn't mean you are smart (or THAT smart). Let's start at the beginning of personal computers.

In the beginning

A bunch of geeks got interested in computers because they were fun, and they didn't have much of a social life. Many of these people were sharp -- but not THAT sharp. They geeked around and played with electronics and computer BECAUSE THEY LIKED IT! Now some of these people happened to be in the right place at the right time, and had the wisdom to take advantage of it. Let's not pretend these guys were that insightful! They were doing what they enjoyed, and it just happened to be in an industry that took off. This has happened in the past with cars, planes, the industrial revolution, ad infinitum. If you are at the right place at the right time, and you aren't stupid, you can succeed.

Bill Gates was one of these. He was lucky, had connections (and wealthy parents), and happened to be in the right places at the right time. Oh, yeah, and he wasn't stupid either, and took advantage of opportunity.

The 70's

Bill Gates (after dropping out of college) and a friend (Paul Allen) started making software (Mid 70's). They had a few nothing projects to make pocket change, and then stumbled on one that made them more. They saw this proto home computer kit (the Altair from MITS), and they decided that BASIC would be perfect for it. BASIC was a language that had been around for years, and made computers easier to program than programming the machine code. So they stole computer time from a College (you aren't supposed to use University resources for private commercial projects), and they reworked some stolen (er, borrowed) BASIC code (you aren't supposed to sell things derived from public domain code). So the ethics were a little shaky, but they ethics never got in the way of Microsoft's business.


Before this time, most commercial software wasm written under contract for big businesses and mainframe and minicomputers, so writing software for Microcomputers was a bit of a risk. If Gates had been really smart, they could have made a fortune by programming professionally for others. But Gates and Allen didn't fit the corporate mold, and more wanted to play on their own things than be smart and make good money. But Micros took off, and they happened to be there. This was probably more ego or for fun than insight or business sense. Don't get me wrong, people knew that Micros were going to have some business; but no one knew they were going to take off like they did. It is also easier to take risks like this, when you are a College kid with no overhead, and living off of Mommy and Daddy.

Computers weren't mainstream yet -- so writing thislanguage was not about money it was fun. They got some prestige
in the geek circles, and they made a few bucks, but were not exactly wildly successful -- just college kids playing big-shots.

Bill Gates made some major mistakes, and managed to piss off most of his market when he and MITS charged more for the language than the computer itself cost. This pissed many off, that they started pirating Gates BASIC, and they started fixing the many bugs in it, and adding features. Soon the pirated versions were better than the 'for sale' one.

Gates threw a fit, and wrote a letter than called all the people improving his product thieves for stealing his software. The irony was lost on Bill, who had borrowed the software he was selling, as he had the computer time he'd built it on. This tirade pissed off his customers, and last time I checked, knowing your market would be a part of being a "marketing genius" that Gates is credited with, but I digress.

BASIC was better than programming in assembly language, so they had some sort of business going and that was the beginning of Microsoft. Once they had some market, they immediately made their BASIC non-standard, and kept adding incompatibilities with the standard. That way code written for Microsoft's BASIC wouldn't run on anything else.

Gates thought Languages were cool and was going to be where the money was. So they produced a couple (mainly flavors of BASIC for different machines). They sold OK, but their BASIC never really followed the standards -- but when you are the only game in town (as they often were), even bad implementations would sell. So part of Microsoft's early genius was just that there was little or no competition for languages in Micros.

Gates was smart enough to be ruthless though. When someone would offer any language, he'd drop the price of his, or do anything to "get the business", until he starved them out. Then he'd raise the price back up again. He seemed to have an ego problem where he had to win, no matter how little business sense it made. Luckily for him, he was able to starve out all the small fry's before he went bankrupt; but in most markets, that is not a practical business plan.

Microsoft continued to grow. There weren't many commercial applications back then, and so people had to program to make things useful; and so there was a demand for BASIC. And soon, Microsoft was licensing their BASIC to computer makers as a "must have". These royalties paid the bills (pun intended). Even back then, the big money was Applications; something Bill (and Microsoft) didn't learn for nearly a decade.

So after 6 years of having a Software Business that was puttering along, in an industry where Millionaires were being made daily, Microsoft (and Bill Gates) got their big break. Notice that Microsoft was not a huge Company (going in to 1980) -- Apple had far outgrown them (in less time), as had many others. Up to this point in time, there doesn't seem to be any Genius or Magic to Microsoft or Bill Gates. Then the fortune of the company changed.

Things will never be the same again (the 80's)

Mary Gates (Bill's Mom) and a high level Executive at IBM (Akers) were chatting (they were both involved in the United Way), and it became known that IBM was looking at getting into the Microcomputer business. Well one thing lead to another, and Bill got a visit from IBM. And IBM chose a product that Bill didn't even have, and gave him an awesome contract. This is another big secret to success -- be born into the right family, and get the right contacts. Some call it genius -- I guess it takes a smart kid to pick the right parents.

IBM left their brains back in Boca Raton Florida when negotiating a deal with Bill Gates for their Disk Operating System (DOS). Bill Gates didn't even have a DOS, but he convinced IBM he was almost finished with one. (Another element of business Genius seems to be being a pathological liar). Perhaps it had something to do with the President of IBM telling the small team creating the PC to "see Mary Gates son Bill" that influenced them to be blind. Or that IBM had just gotten out of a huge lawsuit with the Department of Justice about being a monopoly, and so they wanted to outsource something. Or that IBM didn't think that Microcomputers were going anywhere, and they wanted to make a lame one to try to sell more mainframes. But for whatever reasons, they made a deal where they'd license DOS from Bill, but Bill got to keep the rights to everything and sell it to anyone else he wanted. So another secret to success if find a rich (but dumb) sugar Daddy that's willing to finance you, pay you to develop a product for yourself, and let you borrow the biggest name in the business (IBM's) for your own success.

Microsoft then bought DOS off someone else (Seattle Computings' Quick-and-Dirty OS, QDOS). This product was actually a cheap rip-off (clone) product of a friend of Gates (Gary Kildalls' CP/M), and Bill knew it. They had actually had a gentlemen's agreement; that Bill Gates wouldn't do Operating Systems, and Gary Kildall wouldn't do languages. Also Seattle Computing was mislead on the value of the contract, and the intent of it's usage, and sold cheap for $50,000 (a fraction of what it was worth). But therein lies another part of Genius; the lack of integrity/scruples, and stumbling on multiple opportunities.


Gary Kildall was quite offended by the whole ordeal. Imagine Gary's surprise when Gates not only did an OS, but it was really a poorly ripped-off copy of his own OS. Once again, Microsoft lacked the imagination to write their own OS or think of anything new. Why should they, when they could just steal someone else's code? Then, Microsoft continually evolved things to be different and incompatible with the standard they'd borrowed from; just like they had with BASIC. Do you notice a patterns?

There were better Operating Systems out there for micros before DOS, and IBM ignored that. I still think they wanted the "lame" thing to not compete with their big iron. And there were better Operating Systems while IBM was selling DOS on their PC's. But IBM really only leant their name (enthusiasm) to PC-DOS (Microsoft IBM labeled version), which starved out all the competition except Microsoft (since they were the only one compatible); and guaranteed Bill's success. Then IBM continued to pay Microsoft for improvements, that Microsoft repeatedly delivered late, if at all, and most were buggy; but Microsoft got to sell in their own product.

As they used to say, "no one ever got fired for buying IBM".

The Killer App

Around the same time as IBM was getting into the microcomputer business, a guy, named Dan Bricklin, created VisiCalc; the world's first "Killer App". VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet for computers. Basically a spreadsheet allowed for business people to lay out numbers into columns and make the computer add them up for you, enabling it to do all sorts of wonderful things (for accountants and business people). It was just a common sense version of an electronic ledger or columnar sheet. But VisiCalc was so popular, that it not only sold itself by the tons, but people bought computers (Apple]['s) just to run VisiCalc on. VisiCalc revolutionized Microcomputers and brought them from hobby devices into many more businesses and far more homes -- and seriously contributed to the success of Apple.

Not only did Bill Gates not invent this revolution, but Dan Bricklin went to Microsoft (Bill Gates), as well as Apple Computers, and asked them to sell the package for him. Gates didn't think it would sell. At least Apple had a lame excuse; they were in the hardware business; but Bill sold software. You seldom hear that Bill Gates turned down what was the most revolutionary Application in the history of Microcomputers.

Why innovate when you can steal? Later Microsoft ripped off the design and undercut the VisiCalc (and the copies of it), using the profits from DOS and Languages to subsidize himself and starve out everyone else. Sadly, they did this because Apple asked them to, and gave them computers and help to break into the Application market. Apple did this because they wanted support for their new computer (the Macintosh), and Apple didn't want to compete with their software developers. Microsoft had a big name, and it leant credibility, and seemed like a good idea at the time. (Did I mention silly partners seems to be a secret of Microsoft success?).

Eventually, Microsofts rip-off of VisiCalc (first named Multiplan, and later renamed to Excel) became the only man left standing. Oh, and at first, Multiplan was compatible with everything else. Over time, it became more proprietary and non-standard. (Think of patterns). Also Microsoft started a new pattern, tying. They had started tying sales of DOS to licensing their BASIC, both to the sale of new hardware (to get DOS you had to sell it on every computer you made), and their version of Multiplan (or Excel) to their Word Processor, and so on. They would use their proven products in one market to wedge their new products into the market and drive everyone else. This is not a new trick, it was one of the things our Anti-Trust (Anti-Monopoly) laws had been written to stop, nearly 100 years earlier.


The genius of Microsoft was their business plan: let someone innovate (and take the risks), then rip them off. Microsoft used their size, money and unfair advantages from the start, to bully others out of business. They were never better, just bigger. And that was something a lot of people didn't realize, just because Microsoft could do it, doesn't mean you could follow it; unless you had their resources, which no one else had.
More money, more money, more money
IBM obviously felt the problem was that they weren't paying Microsoft enough -- so they then got involved with Microsoft to make a "Windowing" Operating System (Called OS/2) -- to make the PC's more like the Mac. Over the next 10 years, IBM gave Microsoft BILLIONS of dollars to develop software for... Microsoft.

Note: I didn't say that they paid Microsoft to write software for IBM. IBM once again had agreements where Microsoft would get to keep whatever code they created, but at least this time IBM got the code as well. Since Microsoft kept most of the people that wrote the code, they were the ones that could effectively use it (support it). On top of that, Microsoft also pulled some fast ones, where some of the code they kept as "theirs" and they kept using the profits (from writing stuff for IBM), to add in their own features to their own version of OS/2 (called Windows) that IBM couldn't touch.

The real hero of Microsoft was their lawyers, and the complete stupidity of IBM's lawyers and negotiators. In the end this one way deal -- a way for Microsoft to get Billions of Dollars, and get to use the IBM name -- and IBM got, almost nothing (except mediocre code and the opportunity to make another company's executives rich).

Now I cut Microsoft a little slack there; it wasn't their fault that IBM was stupid. And some things aren't as bad as they sound. Microsoft kept two projects; Windows and OS/2. And many of the reasons that OS/2 was late and slow was because it was being done by IBM (who was always slow), compounded by two companies trying to collaborate (which usually makes things worse). But Microsoft could and did cherry pick the best people for their own project, and the best code, and so on. And they weren't innocent in delaying OS/2 in favor of their own, and stabbing IBM in the back to guarantee their own success; can you say "conflict of interest"? IBM didn't.

Needless to say, Microsoft grew tremendously in the 80's. Billions of Dollars and IBM's name has always a recipe for success. Is there Genius in getting a cushy deal and riding on someone else's coattails?

More secrets of success
Microsoft (Bill Gates) did magnify their success in a variety of ways. They were known to hire lots of high-school kids and pay them dirt to write code - then beat them into the ground. If you got kids working for you before they worked anywhere else, they didn't know any better. Of course the few that survived in that hacking environment (not engineering) got stock options and became tyrannical immature millionaires, that thought that was how business is supposed to be done. So a corporate culture was created in the spirit of the Lord of the Flies.

Microsoft then relentlessly used its position as keeper of the OS, as a way to destroy any competition -- it wasn't about being the best, it was about being the only game in town (and making sure of it). Whenever Microsoft needed to gain market share in the Application Market (where the real money started to come from) -- they would come out with a new version of the OS, that would "accidentally" break everyone else's Applications, but somehow, Microsoft Apps would always work and take advantage of the newest features (and undocumented ones built into the Operating System itself). I guess there is Genius in illegally using your position in one market to drive people out of that and other markets?

Microsoft even pulled the greatest scams of all times -- they convinced the entire industry that OS/2 was the future of IBM, Microsoft (and all computers). Then when all the competition was committed to making Apps for OS/2, Microsoft came out with Windows 3.0, and had all their apps working for that (and started saying how OS/2 was dead, and Windows was the real future). In the time it took the competition to rewrite Apps for Windows, Microsoft had already captured most of the Application market.

Microsoft claims the deception was all just an accident. And to be fair, to a small point it was. But it was not like they didn't know that writing Applications for Windows would guarantee its success, or that they didn't think pulling an end run would hurt IBM or OS/2. So it was either an evil plot (and fraud) or an accident, and neither of those is genius and planning.

Microsoft would later distribute their Apps with their OS, and make it conditional that if you wanted their OS, then you had to take their Applications as well. Further killing the competition. This succeeded too, but only through means that would embarrass a Rockefeller. So Microsoft was not so much brilliant, as it was unscrupulous. Some of the events were by accident (they certainly didn't want to break up with IBM and lose the OS/2, as long as they had such a wonderfully parasitic relationship), some by design. But they didn't care about ethics, they cared about winning - and the thing that enabled them to win was always their size, IBM's name, and later their own name.

Microsoft didn't win because of good products -- their products were never that good; but they weren't that bad either. They didn't win because of brilliant marketing; their marketing wasn't that good. They didn't win because of any ability to see the future or anticipate markets; remember things like Bob, the first two versions of Windows, passing on major markets like VisiCalc, Databases, and so on. Mostly Microsoft followed others, then used their size and name to force the others out. They basically just won because they could afford to, because IBM was paying their way. By the time IBM finally caught on to this, and broke off the relationship, it was the 90's, and IBM had paid to develop DOS, Windows, most of Microsoft's Applications, and for the creation of WindowsNT -- and turned a small software company into the "evil empire" that we all know and love.

I know that people worship success. Fine. But lets not call it Genius -- it is a combination of luck (timing) and connections. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and many others in Microsoft did create a Multi-Billion Dollar Company. Bill Gates is sharp, and was a ruthless, slightly insecure opportunist, that happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right family. But the catch is who couldn't have succeeded with Billions of IBM's Dollars, and getting to use IBM's name for over a decade?

I am sure there are many people that couldn't have made Microsoft AS successful as Bill Gates did. Gates is not stupid, and did quite well. However, I doubt there are many people that could have failed with Billions of Dollars and IBM's reputation. I am just as sure that there are many many other people that could have made Microsoft a far more successful company than Gates did, and without as being as amoral as he was (or his company was). So where is the genius?

So next time someone starts to talk publicly about Bill Gates Genius, give them this URL, and ask them to read it before they cram their foot in their mouths any further. You never know when some crazed geek is hiding around the corner ready to give them the wedgie of death!
Many people have a thing against people (Bill Gates) because of their money -- that is stupid! Why resent people over that? Bill Gates (Microsoft) has employed tens of thousands of people (directly and indirectly) -- so I could care less how rich he is. I wish him, and his company all the best (financially). I just refuse to let people forget how they got where they are, and what they did along the way. My problems with Microsoft have always been based on their actions, and how many people that got hurt along the way.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

How to Get Something for Nothing

There's truth behind the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Some freebies require that you register your address, which may bury you in junk mail. Others require your time or energy. However, for the intrepid bargain hunter, true deals make exciting prey.  
Overall Warnings:  
If you join grocery store savings clubs and give your address, be aware that you've volunteered your personal information, which will be used for marketing and sales purposes. 
Search the Web for "free stuff." You'll find Web sites that index online freebies from manufacturers and retailers.
Arrive at rummage sales, garage sales, flea markets, farmers markets and library book sales an hour before closing to find drastically reduced prices or freebies.
Shop the nurseries at jumbo retailers in the autumn. Some stores give away dormant perennials (if they don't know better) that will rebloom in the spring.
Become a mystery shopper or participate in survey groups to get free meals, products or services and, possibly, even a paycheck. Search online to find opportunities in your area.
Attend the grand opening of new stores for free samples and giveaways. Many stores take a loss in freebies on their first day to attract customers.
Go on factory tours. You'll often get free samples of whatever the factory makes, be it ice cream, tortillas or peanut butter.
Call customer service if you have a legitimate complaint on an item. You may get a replacement product, plus freebies to keep you happy.
When making a large purchase, such as a computer, sofa or big-screen TV, ask the salesperson, "What else will I get if I buy this here?" You may discover rebates, offers and giveaways.
Volunteer for concerts, athletic events and other fund-raisers for charities and nonprofits. You'll find plenty of free food, T-shirts and products donated by corporate sponsors.
Get free diapers, formula mix and baby food by disclosing your address to third parties when you register for baby gifts or sign up for new parent services.
Listen to radio stations that give away tickets and other prizes to listeners. Use speed-dial and multiple lines to better your chances when you call in.

This how-to guide is part of posted in the geek's blog.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fishing out the phishers

A new service for fighting e-mail fraud seeks to tap the wisdom of the Internet community: Anyone will be able to submit suspected scams for others to vote up or down.

Freedom Networks LLC's OpenDNS, which provides free directory services necessary to translate a Web site's domain name into its actual numeric Internet address, developed the system to help block its users from so-called phishing sites. Such sites look real, but are actually scams to collect banking passwords and other personal information.

David Ulevitch, the company's chief executive, said the lists of phishing sites he had weren't all that good. He launched PhishTank this week under the belief the community could collectively do better — at no charge.

Users simply submit to the messages they believe are scams.

Others then examine the message and the site to which it links and decide whether it is or isn't a scam. When an item gets enough votes and the margin is wide enough, it is either dropped or classified as a phishing message. To prevent scammers from trying to game the system, votes are weighed based on how long, how often and how accurate one has rated other messages.

PhishTank isn't the first to seek the community's input to fight scams, but Ulevitch said that unlike the others, the company is offering access to the database for rivals to use for free.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nokia still global cell phone leader

The Finnish group Nokia was the world's leading provider of mobile telephones in the third quarter, capturing 35.1 per cent of the market after 32.5 per cent in the same period last year, a study by the Gartner institute has revealed.
The US firm Motorola was in second place, with market share of 20.6 per cent, up from 18.7 per cent a year earlier. Samsung of South Korea saw its share of the world market fall to 12.2 per cent from 12.5 in third quarter 2005.
Overall, worldwide sales of mobile phones rose 21.5 per cent to 251 million units in the third quarter. Gartner foresaw total sales this year of 986 million units. The most dynamic region in the third quarter was Asia-Pacific, with sales of 80.8 million units, a 54.7 per cent increase, and notably in emerging market countries such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
But in Japan mobile sales fell 4.7 per cent to 10.7 million units.

Monday, November 27, 2006

How are you spending time at your PC?

Employees at the US Department of the Interior (DOI) spend significant time on sexually explicit and gambling Web sites and even more time shopping and playing online games while at work, according to a report released this week.

Employee time spent at Internet auction and gaming sites cost the agency an
estimated 104,221 hours in lost productivity in a year, according to the report, released by the agency's Office of Inspector General. The estimated cost in lost productivity to the DOI is more than $2 million a year, the inspector general's report said.
In reviewing one week of computer-use logs at DOI, the inspector general found more than 4,700 log entries to sexually explicit or gambling Web sites, which are prohibited in the DOI's Internet use policy. In addition, the inspector general found more than 1 million log entries from 7,763 DOI employees who accessed online gaming and auction sites, the report said.

The continued access to porn and gambling sites is "due to a lack of consistency in department controls over Internet use," Earl Devaney, DOI inspector general, wrote in the report.

Surfing porn and gambling sites not only wastes time but also could expose the agency's computers to malware such as viruses or keystroke loggers, says Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer of Web security firm Finjan. Porn and gambling sites "usually are the first ones to distribute malicious code," he says.
A DOI spokesperson didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the report. The agency sent a memo to all employees last week, reinforcing its Internet use policy.

The DOI, the agency that focuses on protecting US natural resources, does not expressly prohibit employees from going to online auction and gaming sites, the report said.

One employee computer had spent close to 14 hours at two Internet gaming sites during the week, another had spent about 12 hours at one gaming site, and a third had spent nearly 10 hours at a gaming site, the report said.

Despite three recent cases in which child pornography was found on DOI employees' computers, the agency has no systemwide infrastructure for Internet monitoring and blocking, the report said. Four of the agency's six bureaus surveyed in the report are using monitoring and blocking software programs "to varying degrees and with some success," the report said.

In the Bureau of Reclamation, the value of the blocking and monitoring software is "questionable," the report said. The inspector general found 148 computers in the bureau that had accessed sexually explicit Web sites during the week.
In the DOI's Office of Surface Mining, Internet-use reports are apparently generated only when a supervisor requests one, "rendering the system useless for any real proactive measures," the inspector general said.

The DOI has taken only 177 disciplinary actions against employees for inappropriate Internet use since 1999, the report said. "The low number of disciplinary actions reportedly taken... compared to the thousands of hits we found indicating user activity at inappropriate sites suggests that employees are not being held accountable," the report said.

The DOI should develop a unified approach to address inappropriate Internet use, including a more consistent use of disciplinary action, the inspector general recommended. — Agencies

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Billionaires and their zoomobiles

If I were the richest man on Earth, then I'd own the most expensive car, the priciest jewellery, latest high-tech gadgets... Probably at one time or the other you might find your thoughts veering in this direction.

According to the Forbes magazine Bill Gates is still the richest man on Earth and to add that something extra to your day's read, here's what the top billionaires on the Forbes 2005 list drive. You will be stunned to know the vehicles that Forbes' Top Ten richest people in the world are driving. Bugattis, Ferraris or BMWs are not driven by these billionaires. However there are cars like Lincoln, a Mazda, even a Dodge and Ford. It seems that for the super-rich, a vehicle is seen not as a status symbol. Status is something that these billionaires need not prove to others. They prefer to live discreetly, avoiding the limelight at all costs. Here's what the nine richest persons are driving.

William Gates III
• Net worth: $46.5 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1999 Porsche 911 Convertible; 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe
• Gates' daily driver — a 1999 Porsche 911 Convertible — is ripe for replacement, especially considering that Porsche totally redesigned the latest 911, the 997, for 2005.

Paul Allen
• Net worth: $21 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe; 1988 Mazda B-Series Pickup
• Allen can be found cruising the autobahn in his 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe.

Jim Walton
• Net worth: $18.2 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2002 Dodge Dakota Pickup; 2000 Acura Integra; 1998 Mitsubishi Montero Sport; 1999 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup; 1959 Cadillac
• For Jim Walton, vehicles are a means to an end. This might explain why his daily driver is a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup.

Alice Walton
• Net worth: $18 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch
• Alice Walton has a 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch, which provides her with an ideal blend of luxury and towing capacity.

Michael Dell
• Net worth: $16 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2004 Porsche Boxster; 2005 Hummer H2
• When the weather turns nasty, Dell enjoys the comfort and security of his latest toy — a 2005 Hummer H2 SUV

prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud
• Net worth:$23.7 billion
• Vehicles owned: Infiniti FX45; Hummer H1; Volvo XC90; Rolls-Royce Phantom; Daewoo Matiz
• A glimpse inside Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud's garage reveals a vehicular absurdity — parked next to two Daewoo Matizs are two Rolls-Royce Phantoms.

Warren Buffett
• Net worth: $44 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2001 Lincoln Town Car
Signature Series

Steven Ballmer
• Net worth: $12.1 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1998 Lincoln Continental
• Ballmer stays true to his Detroit roots by driving a 1998 Lincoln Continental.

Ingvar Kamprad
• Net worth: $23 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1993 Volvo 240 GL
• Founder of the Swedish furniture and home goods company IKEA, Kamprad owns a 13-year-old Volvo 240 GL. Though he may own a Volvo, Kamprad still takes the bus and even uses his pensioners' discount card.

Lawrence Ellison
• Net worth: $18.4 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2006 Bentley Flying Spur; Bentley Continental GT
• Ellison prefers the finer things in life, like the British luxury, style and refinement found only in a Bentley. As the most powerful luxury sedan, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur provides him with the perfect balance of driving exhilaration and four-door practicality.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Great Writer

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire become a great writer.

When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Inventions Bound to Fail

*The water-proof towel

*Glow in the dark sunglasses

*Solar powered flashlights

*Submarine screen doors

*A book on how to read

*Inflatable dart boards

*A dictionary index

*Dehydrated water - Just add water

*Waterproof tea bags

*The helicopter ejector seat

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ten Reasons Why TV Is Better Than The World-Wide Web

1. It doesn't take minutes to build the picture when you change TV channels.

2. When was the last time you tuned in to "Friends" and got a "Not Found 404" message?

3. There are fewer grating color schemes on TV--even on MTV.

4. The family never argues over which Web site to visit this evening.

5. A remote control has fewer buttons than a keyboard.

6. Even the worst TV shows never excuse themselves with an "Under Construction" sign.

7. "CSI" never slows down when a lot of people tune in.

8. You just can't find those cool infomercials on the Web.

9. Set-top boxes don't beep and whine when you hook up to cable.

10. You can't surf the Web from a couch with a soda in one hand and chips in the other.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ant Colony Optimization: A need of an Hour


  1. Background:

    In the real world, ants (initially) wander randomly, and when having found food, returning to their colony while laying down pheromone trails. If other ants find such a path, they are likely not to travel on at random but to follow the trail, and return and reinforce it if they eventually find food. (Details on this behaviour.)

    Over time, however, the pheromone trail starts to evaporate, thus reducing its attractive strength. The more time it takes for an ant to travel down the path and back again, the more time the pheromones have to evaporate. A short path, by comparison, gets marched over faster, and thus the pheromone density remains high as it is laid on the path as fast as it can evaporate.

    Thus, when one ant finds a good (short, in other words) path from the colony to a food source, other ants are more likely to follow that path, and positive feedback eventually leaves all the ants following a single path. The idea of the ant colony algorithm is to mimic this behavior with "simulated ants" walking around the graph representing the problem to solve.

    Ant colony optimization algorithms have been used to produce near-optimal solutions to the traveling salesman problem. They have an advantage over simulated annealing and genetic algorithm approaches when the graph may change dynamically; the ant colony algorithm can be run continuously and adapt to changes in real time. This is of interest in network routing.

  2. Particle swarm optimization

    Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is form of swarm intelligence. Imagine a swarm of insects or a school of fish. If one sees a desirable path to go (ie for food, protection, etc.) the rest of the swarm will be able to follow quickly even if they are on the opposite side of the swarm.

    This is modeled by particles in multidimensional space that have a position and a velocity. These particles are flying through hyperspace and remember the best position that they have seen. Members of a swarm communicate good positions to each other and adjust their own position and velocity based on these good positions.

  3. Swarm intelligence

    Swarm intelligence (SI) is an artificial intelligence technique based around the study of collective behaviour in decentralised, self-organised, systems. The expression "swarm intelligence" was introduced by Beni & Wang in 1989, in the context of cellular robotic systems (see also cellular automata).

    SI systems are typically made up of a population of simple agents interacting locally with one another and with their environment. Although there is normally no centralised control structure dictating how individual agents should behave, local interactions between such agents often lead to the emergence of global behaviour. Examples of systems like this can be found in nature, including ant colonies, bird flocking, animal herding, bacteria molding and fish schooling.

    Two of the most successful swarm intelligence techniques currently in existence are Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). ACO is a metaheuristic that can be used to find approximate solutions to difficult combinatorial optimization problems. In ACO artificial ants build solutions by moving on the problem graph and they, mimicking real ants, deposit artificial pheromone on the graph in such a way that future artificial ants can build better solutions. ACO has been successfully applied to an impressive number of optimization problems. PSO is a global minimisation technique for dealing with problems in which a best solution can be represented as a point or surface in an n-dimensional space. Hypotheses are plotted in this space and seeded with an initial velocity, as well as a communication channel between the particles. Particles then move through the solution space, and are evaluated according to some fitness criterion after each timestep. Over time, particles are accelerated towards those particles within their communication grouping which have better fitness values. The main advantage of such an approach over other global minimisation strategies such as simulated annealing is that the large number of members that make up the particle swarm make the technique impressively resilient to the problem of local minima.

  4. Applications of Swarm Technology

Swarm Intelligence-based techniques can be used in a number of applications. The U.S. military is investigating swarm techniques for controlling unmanned vehicles. NASA is investigating the use of swarm technology for planetary mapping. A 1992 paper by M. Anthony Lewis and George A. Bekey discusses the possibility of using swarm intelligence to control nanobots within the body for the purpose of killing cancer tumors. Swarm technology is particularly attractive because it is cheap, robust, and simple.

Further Studies can be done from these external links:

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Humor from the Semiconductor Industry...

Pathetic Jokes

> Which IC packages are insincere? The plastic ones.
> How do defective diodes cheat in exams? By leakage.

> What is an affair with a Process Statistician called? Correlation.
> Why is a biscuit maker like a Die Prep engineer? They're both afraid of broken wafers.

> How did the metal atoms move out of their country? By electromigration.
> Which station is always after big-time criminals in the US? FVI.

> What do DTFS engineers with marital problems apply for? Singulation.
> Why are failure analysts not popular? Because they're fault finders.

> What is a husband who abandons his wife called? A reliability failure.
> Which assembly station always starts good in a game but loses in the end? Lead Finish.

> Why do big capacitors earn more than small ones? Because they charge more.
> Why is soggy die overcoat terminally ill? Because it wasn't cured.

> What do swimmers and narrow metal lines have in common? They're both afraid of large currents.
> How did the magnetic coil get into the Hall of Fame? By induction.

> What did the integrated circuit say when it was enlightened? IC.
> What did the diamond wheel say after it has been mounted? Close the door, I'm dressing.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

If Restaurants Functioned Like Tech Support

Patron: Waiter!

Waiter: Hi, my name is Bill, and I'll be your Support. What seems to be the problem?

Patron: There's a fly in my soup!

Waiter: Try again, maybe the fly won't be there this time.

Patron: No, it's still there.

Waiter: Maybe it's the way you're using the soup. Try eating it with a fork instead.

Patron: Even when I use the fork, the fly is still there.

Waiter: Maybe the soup is incompatible with the bowl. What kind of bowl are you using?

Patron: A SOUP bowl!

Waiter: Hmmm, that should work. Maybe it's a configuration problem. How was the bowl set up?

Patron: You brought it to me on a saucer. What has that to do with the fly in my soup?!

Waiter: Can you remember everything you did before you noticed the fly in your soup?

Patron: I sat down and ordered the Soup of the Day!

Waiter: Have you considered upgrading to the latest Soup of the Day?

Patron: You have more than one Soup of the Day each day??

Waiter: Yes, the Soup of the Day is changed every hour.

Patron: Well, what is the Soup of the Day now?

Waiter: The current Soup of the Day is tomato.

Patron: Fine. Bring me the tomato soup, and the check. I'm running late now.

[waiter leaves and returns with another bowl of soup and the check]

Waiter: Here you are, Sir. The soup and your check.

Patron: This is potato soup.

Waiter: Yes, the tomato soup wasn't ready yet.

Patron: Well, I'm so hungry now, I'll eat anything.

[waiter leaves.]

Patron: Waiter! There's a gnat in my soup!

The check:
Soup of the Day . . . . . . . $5.00
Upgrade to newer Soup of the Day. . $2.50
Access to support . . . . . . $1.00

Monday, November 13, 2006

Installing Bluetooth mobile phone in Windows XP

To install a Bluetooth mobile phone

If your mobile phone can also communicate with your computer over a Bluetooth wireless network to perform tasks such as contact synchronization or file transfer, then use Bluetooth Devices in Control Panel to install your mobile phone.

  1. Attach or turn on the Bluetooth radio adapter for your Windows XP computer.
  2. Set up your mobile phone so that Windows XP can find it. Setting up your phone includes:
    • Turning it on
    • Making it discoverable (or visible)
    • Giving it a name (optional)

    If you are not sure how to set up your phone to make it discoverable, read the documentation for the phone.

  3. Open Bluetooth Devices in Control Panel.
  4. On the Devices tab, click Add.
  5. Follow the steps in the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard.

Operating on Engineers

Five surgeons were taking a coffee break and were discussing their work.

The first said, "I think accountants are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is numbered."

The second said, "I think librarians are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is in alphabetical order."

The third said, "I like to operate on electricians. You open them up and everything inside is color-coded."

The fourth one said, "I like to operate on lawyers. They're heartless spineless, gutless, and their heads and their tails are interchangeable."

The fifth surgeon says "I like engineers . They always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bermuda Triangle

What's so special about the Bermuda Triangle?

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is an area of the north Atlantic Ocean where it is popularly believed a significant number of ships and aircraft have disappeared under highly unusual circumstances. It has become popular through its representation by mass media as an area of paranormal activity where the known laws of physics are violated. It has even been suggested that extraterrestrial beings are responsible for some of the disappearances.

Where is the Bermuda Triangle?

As its name suggests, the Bermuda Triangle is approximately triangular in shape, with three corners roughly defined by Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its size is nearly half a million square miles. The Triangle marks a corridor of the north Atlantic stretching northward from the West Indies along the North American seaboard as far as the Carolinas. The Gulf Stream, an area of volatile weather, also passes through the Triangle as it leaves the West Indies.

How did the Bermuda Triangle receive its spooky connotations?

The area achieved its current fame largely through the efforts of Charles Berlitz in his 1974 book The Bermuda Triangle and its subsequent film adaptation. The book recounts a long series of mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft, in particular the December 1945 loss of five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bombers in the infamous Flight 19 incident. The book was a bestseller and included several theories about the cause of the disappearances, including accidents due to high traffic volumes; natural storms; "temporal holes"; the lost empire of Atlantis; transportation by extraterrestrial technology; and other natural or supernatural causes.

What about Flight 19's disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle?

One of the best known, and probably the most famous Bermuda Triangle incidents concerns the loss of Flight 19, a squadron of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers on a training flight out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 5, 1945. According to Berlitz, the flight consisted of expert naval aviators who, after reporting a number of odd visual effects, simply disappeared. However, a more likely scenario indicate that the flight commander became confused and disoriented, ultimately leading his flight out to sea where they ran out of gas and ditched in stormy night time waters. And, although his student-pilots believed he was mistaken as to their location, he was the Flight Leader, and he was in command. By the time he took one of the trainee pilots advice to fly west, they were too far out to ever make landfall.

Is the Bermuda Triangle really a dangerous place?

The marine insurer Lloyd's of London has determined the "triangle" to be no more dangerous than any other area of ocean, and does not charge unusual rates for passage through the region. Coast Guard records confirm their conclusion. In fact, the number of supposed disappearances is relatively insignificant considering the number of ships and aircraft which pass through on a regular basis. Additionally, in an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances that occur are mostly neither disproportionate, unlikely, nor mysterious.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Programmer or Engineer?

What's the difference?     By: David K. Every For the whole story browse to  
Some people call themselves "Programmers" and others call themselves "Software Engineers". "Engineer" seems to have more prestige in our society, so more people try to call themselves Engineers (even if they aren't). Of course anybody can call themselves whatever they want -- so what people call themselves makes little difference; however, there is a distinct difference between the two.

In order to explain the differences, I have to caricaturize both to the extreme -- to contrast them. Realize that most people are a combination of both attributes -- but you can at least get some ideas on what to look for, if you know the extremes.

There are needs for both (engineers and programmers) - and different tasks require more of one or the other. Most tasks require only a few engineers and quite a few programmers. The problem is that many managers don't understand the difference, or hire the wrong ones for a job.

Programming is not hard - it is tedious. You need to be able to break complex things down, into a long series of simple steps. That is it. How you approach that problem will define whether you are a programmer or an engineer. So the biggest difference between the two is philosophical -- and like most philosophical differences, it can lead to tension. Arrogant types (on either side) can get into these little ego-driven superiority complexes that drive the other side nuts, and some pretend that the "others" are idiots. They aren't idiots -- they just have different goals, different motivations, and different philosophies.

Engineers are more experienced (mature (1)) than programmers (especially in software and design theory ), but that doesn't mean that they are who you need for a task (or that they are always better). Engineers are the "designers", the ones that have been around for years and understand lots of different concepts, or understand some specialties really well. Most of an engineers knowledge is NOT applicable to the task at hand directly, but they draw on their experience and education to solve major projects -- all while avoiding pitfalls. (In complex systems there are many pitfalls, and some can cost projects "years" and millions of dollars).

(1) Don't confuse age with maturity -- many people never grow up. Just because a guy is a 50 year old coder / programmer, doesn't mean he grew past the "hacker" phase - and there are quite a few 20 year old engineers. So look at their personality and philosophy, as well as their experience and education, to figure out which they are likely to be.
Engineers are the ones that want to (or at least understand the need to) design, document, create processes and procedures to avoid future problems. They want take a project from conception to completion (with all the steps in between). They tend to be more "anal" types, who want to focus on the details (in engineering the devil is in the details). Engineers are often more academics (will to do more research before attacking a problems). Engineers will know how to set schedules, and follow them. Inexperienced engineers greatest flaw is that they will sometimes "over-engineer" a solution, and try to solve things that may never be real problems (they will spend time and money solving issues that won't be a real problem for a decade, and then the technology or company goals will have changed enough that it wouldn't have been a problem anyway). Engineers are also the ones that slow a project down in the early phases (spending more time on research, design, analysis, documentation, and debate) in order to avoid potential pitfalls (and save time and money) in the later stages of a project. This is great for long term project costs (and you do get the time/money back) -- but we have a lot of short-term thinkers in society (and business). Engineers are the mature "plodders" who will get a project done and avoid surprises (by thinking them all out before they start) -- and they make sure that its design and documentation is such that a project will be maintainable. Long-term goals (thinkers) -- they do "useless" things like put in automated test code, create "coding standards", or want to do code-reviews (which often turn out to be good ideas in the long run). Most of the surprises (and costs) in software development is because there weren't enough engineers (or they weren't good enough engineers), or people weren't listening to them.

Programmers are more the down and dirty types. They used to be called "hackers", but that now has a new meaning (2). Now days they are more likely to refer to themselves as Coders or Code-Jockeys. Programmers don't have to know everything first, they just enjoy the thrill of solving the problems as they come. They are more the eccentric artists of the computer world. They often spend days without sleep and living on junk food and Mountain Dew, just "doing" -- Go, Go, Go! Of course, they often spend those weeks solving problems that have been solved before (if they had just read a book and researched the issues before hand) -- but sometimes (occasionally) they solve problems in whole new (and ingenuous) ways (and better than the canned solutions), or they solve problems that have never been solved before. They are the impetuous youths of the world -- that used energy and vigor to try compensate for a lack of experience and design (and they succeed). They don't know what they can't do, so they sometimes do the impossible.
(2) Hacking used to mean (in the 70's and early 80's) programmers who would dive into a problem (without documentation or a full understanding of the problem, etc.) and just program their way out. Not much thought went design (because they could think and implement faster than they could design). They didn't need "no stinking manuals", they didn't do documentation (the code was self-explanatory), they just solved problems their own way. However, that name took on a different connotation when many people with this "hacking" personality, started using that persistence to break security, or to figure out how to violate the phone company in 16 different ways. (This brute force thinking is great for breaking security). Now "hackers" refers to that small sub-set of hackers that are often doing criminal acts, like hacking into places (instead of hacking code).
Programmers will dive into something before they fully understand the ramifications, and will often cost companies lots of money because of that lack of experience (understanding), and the "mistakes" or wasted energy. Engineers like to say "Work smart, not hard". Many programmers love programming so much that they will work harder, just because they enjoy programming and don't like the other stuff (designing, documenting, supporting, adding in test code, marketing, corporate politics, most of humanity, etc.). Programmers don't tend to like schedules (those are for bean counters), and they will promise the world (and find out later than they can't deliver, or will kill themselves trying to deliver). The quality of their results is all over the board (from crappy to superb, often with elements of both) -- but usually, their products are usable, but maintainable only by them. When programmers leave a company that is programmer heavy (and they do), or they go on to the next new thing (which is always more exciting than what they are doing), it cost a fortune to ever fix or change that "old" product again (since no one understands what the hell is going on in their code, and there is no documentation or design to help). posted at the geek's blog

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All-New Yahoo! Mail

The All-New Yahoo! Mail Beta Is:

  • Faster: Fewer steps to get things done.
  • Easier: Drag & drop organization.
  • Effortless: Automatically checks email for you.
With the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta, you can:
Easily organize messages by dragging and dropping them into folders, trash, wherever. Quickly scan messages in the handy Reading Pane.
Multitask with ease using tabs to switch between different messages. Keep your email safe with SpamGuard and Norton AntiVirus™.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Magic of the Internet

My friend Nancy and I decided to introduce her elderly mother to the magic of the Internet. Our first move was to access the popular Ask Jeeves website, and we told her it could answer any question she had.

Nancy's mother was very skeptical until Nancy said, "It's true, Mom. Think of something to ask it." As I sat with fingers poised over the keyboard, Nancy's mother thought a minute, then responded, "How is Aunt Helen feeling?"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hacker unlocks Apple music download protection

A hacker who as a teen cracked the encryption on DVDs has found a way to unlock the code that prevents iPod users from playing songs from download music stores other than Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes, his company said on Tuesday.

Jon Lech Johansen, a 22-year-old Norway native who lives in San Francisco, cracked Apple's FairPlay copy-protection technology, said Monique Farantzos, managing director at DoubleTwist, the company that plans to license the code to businesses.

"What he did was basically reverse-engineer FairPlay," she said. "This allows other companies to offer content for the iPod."

At the moment, Apple aims to keep music bought from its iTunes online music store only available for Apple products, while songs bought from other online stores typically do not work on iPods.

But Johansen's technology could help rivals sell competing products that play music from iTunes and offer songs for download that work on iPods as they seek to take a bite out of Apple's dominance of digital music.

ITunes commands an 88 percent share of legal song downloads in the United States, while the iPod dominates digital music player sales with more than 60 percent of the market.

Cupertino, California-based Apple, whose profits have soared in recent years on the strength of the iPod, declined to comment.

Johansen, known as DVD Jon, gained fame when at the age of 15 he wrote and distributed a program that cracked the encryption codes on DVDs. This allowed DVDs to be copied and played back on any device.

His latest feat could help companies such as Microsoft Corp., Sony Ericsson and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which have all announced plans over the past few months for music download services combined with new devices to challenge Apple.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Design of R.C.C members


 Design of R.C.C members                                    

      R.C.C members can be design by two approaches

F  Working stress method

F  Limit state method


Working stress method

Working stress method is based on classical elastic theory and developed for purely elastic material. The method ensures satisfactory behavior of the structure under working load but doesn't give actual margin of safety at collapse. Therefore design is generally done by limit state method.


Limit state of collapse in flexure


ü      A normal section, which is plane before bending, remains plane after bending.

ü      This implies that strain at any point on the cross-section is directly proportional to it

ü      The tensile strength of concrete is ignored.

ü      The maximum strain at the outermost compression fiber is taken as 0.0035 in bending.

ü      The maximum strain in the tension reinforcement in the section at failure shall not be less than    (f y /1.15Es)+0.002


   fy = characteristic strength of steel.

   Es = modulus of elasticity of steel. 


Design Of Beam


Design of rectangular section


F  Singly Reinforced Beam:  Design of singly and doubly reinforced rectangular section shall be made as below the compressive stress block for concrete is represented by the design stress strain curve. The triangular distribution of strain and non-linear stress diagram in compression concrete are as shown in the design aids.


Properties of the singly reinforced section:


i. Compressive force and the centroid of compressive force: It is seen from this stress block that the centroid of the compressive force in a rectangular section lies at the distance of 0.416*Xu from the extreme compression fiber and the total force of compression is 0.36*fck*b*Xu.


ii.Lever arm : The lever arm, the distance between the centroid of compressive force and centroid of tensile force.

                         Zu =  (d-0.416*Xu)


iii. Depth of the neutral axis (Xu): Depth of neutral axis below the highly compressed edge is obtained by equating compression in concrete with tension in steel to satisfy the condition of equilibrium.

                                   C = T


                           Xu = (fs*Ast)/(0.36*fck*b)


                                = Pt*b*d*(0.87fy)/100*0.36*fck*b


                  or, Xu/d =  (Pt/10)*(0.87fy/0.36fck)


                          Where, fs = 0.87f


iv. Ultimate moment of resistance: The ultimate moment of resistance of a singly reinforced rectangular section is obtained by taking moment of total compression (C) or about CG of steel or moment of total tension (T) about CG of compression.


            Moment of resistance in terms of concrete strength is given by


Mu = C * Zu


        = 0.36* fck* b* Xu *(d-0.416Xu)


The ultimate moment of resistance, Mu in terms of steel and concrete strength can be found by


Mu  = T * Zu


         = fs *Ast *( d- 0.416Xu)


         = 0.87fy(Pt*b*d/ 100)* (1-0.416Xu)




Substituting for Xu/d, we get


Mu = 0.87fy*( Pt /100) * (1-1.005(fy/fck)( Pt /100)*b*d2


v. The area of steel is obtain as:


Ast  = Mu/(0.87*fy(d-0.416*Xu))


Design constants for balance or critical section: A balance or critical section is that section in which strain in concrete and steel reach their ultimate values simultaneously. As the design of a beam should be under – reinforced, the value Xu for the critical section is the maximum allowable value Xul and can be obtained from strain distribution diagram as,




Where, Es = 2*105N/mm2


Once the value of Xul is known the other design constants can be obtained from


Mul = 0.87fy* Ast *(d-0.416 Xul) and, Mul  = 0.36fck/(.87fy)*b* Xul


FDoubly reinforced beam: Doubly reinforced sections are generally adopted when the dimensions of the beam predetermined from other considerations and the design moment exceeds the moment of the resistance of a singly reinforced section. The additional moment of resistance needed is obtained by providing compression reinforcement and additional tensile reinforcement.


Properties of doubly reinforced section:


i. Depth of neutral axis (Xu): The depth of neutral axis is obtained by equating       total compression in concrete and compression steel with total tension in tension steel.


                                                  C   =   T


                                 Or,  Cs  + Cc   =    T


Or,  0.36 * fck* b* Xu + (fsc-fcc)*Asc = 0.87fy*Ast


Where,  fsc = stress in compression steel (Asc) corresponding to strain

Where,  d  = effective cover to compression steel

             fcc= stress in concrete in compression at the level of compression steel


ii. Moment of resistance: The ultimate moment of resistance is obtained by taking moment of compressive force in concrete and compression steel about the centroid of tension steel as:


             M=   Mu1 + Mu2

Where, Mu1 = Mu(lim) = K*fck*b*d2

                Mu2  = the additional moment in compression failure

            Mu  = 0.36*fck*b*Xu*(d - 0.416Xu) + (fsc-fcc)*Asc*(d-d')


iii.Area of steel: In the design of doubly reinforced section, the section is kept balanced to make full utilization of the resistance of concrete. The area of tension steel and compression steel required for resisting Mu1 and Mu2 can be obtained as follows:


1. Tension steel: Area of tension steel (Ast1) corresponding to Mul is obtained as


               Ast1 = Mu1/(0.87fy*(d-0.416Xul))


And the area of tension steel (Ast2) is obtained by equating Mu2 with the moment about compression steel.




Thus total area tension steel = Ast1+Ast2


2. Compression steel:  The area of compression steel (Asc) is obtained by equating (Mu2) with the moment of compression C2 = (fsc-fcc)*Asc about tension steel.

         Mu2 = Asc*(fsc-fcc)(d-d')

Or,    Asc= Mu2/(fsc-fcc)*(d-d')


Design of Flanged section: When the beam and slab cast together in one operation and the main reinforcement of the slab extend into the beam and the integral connection between the slab and beam is formed due to this part of slab lying on the compression zone of slab act along with the beam in compression zone. Then the resulting section is the flanged section.


Singly reinforced flanged section:


Properties of flanged section


 i. Effective width of flange:

ü      For T-Beam: b= (Lo/6 + 6*Df)

ü      For L-Beam: b= (Lo/12 + bw + 3*Df)

ü      For isolated beams, effective width of beam is given by

¯     bf = Lo/(Lo/b + 4) + bw  or actual width for T-beam

¯     bf = 0.5 Lo(Lo/b + 4) + bw  or actual width for L-beam


ii.Neutral axis: The neutral axis lie either on the flange or in web, which may be ascertained by comparing the value Xu and Df. Where Xu may be determined by assuming that the neutral axis lies either in the flange or web.


Case-1: Neutral axis lies in the flange             

               C     =    T


             0.36fck*bf*Xu =.87fy*Ast


               Xu = (.87fy*Ast)/(.36fck*bf)


  If Xu ≤ Df, then the neutral axis is within the flange. Otherwise, neutral axis lies in the web and section is analyzed as flanged section then the position of neutral axis may be determined from equilibrium of compressive and tensile forces as,


         Case 2:Neutal axis below the flange and Df/d<0.2

                        C = T


                  C = C1 + C2


       Or,      C = 0.36fck*bw*X + 0.446fck* (bf - bw)* Df


      Or,     0.87fy*Ast = 0.36*fck*bw*X + 0.446*fck*(bf - bw)*Df


     Case 3: Neutral axis below the flange and Df/d>0.2


In this case, the Df in the above formula is replaced by the term Yf .


    where,  Yf  = (0.15 * X + 0.65 * Df) or Df  whichever is smaller.


iii. Moment of resistance and area of tension steel


For case1: Moment of resistance is similar to that for singly reinforced rectangular beam.


              Mu = 0.36fck*bf (d - 0.416X)


Area of steel can be calculated by comparing force in compression to the force in tension. i.e,    


         0.36fck*bf*Xu =.87fy*Ast


For case 2: Moment of resistance is given by ,


                Mu = Mu1 + Mu2


                Mu = 0.36fck*bw*X*(d-0.416*X)+0.446fck*(bf-bw)*Df(d-Df/2)


Area of steel can be calculated by comparing force in compression to the force in tension. i.e,           


            0.87fy*Ast = 0.36fck* bw *X + 0.446fck*(bf - bw)*Df


Limit State Of Shear And Torsion


1. Limit state of collapse in shear    


i. Nominal Shear stress:  The nominal shear stress in the uniform depth of beam is given by the equation,

                                  tv = Vu/bd

Where,       Vu = Shear force due to design loads

                   B = Breadth of the member

                   D = Effective depth


i.Shear Reinforcement: The design  shear strength  of vertical stirrups is given by the following equation,

                       Vus =  0.87*fy*Asv*d/Sv


Where,  Asv = the total cross-section area of the vertical legs of stirrups

              Sv = the spacing (pitch) of the stirrups.


2. Design for torsion


i.Equivalent Bending  Moment (Me): The torsion moment acting on the member is converted into equivalent shear , which is added to the B.M and shear acting at the section . The member is designed for resulting B.M and shear.


Me1 = Mu (bending) ± Mt (Equivalent torsion)


Where , Mt =Tu(1+D/b)/1.7

              Tu    =  torsion moment at the section

              M=  bending moment at the section

When, Mt> Mu, steel will be provided on compression face to resist bending moment    

                   Me2  = Mt - Mu


ii.Equivelent Shear,




iii.Equivalent Shear stress


  tve= Ve/(b*d)


iv.Maximum Shear Stress


tcmax is from table 20 of IS:456:2000

tve should be less than tcmax


v.Design of Shear Strength of concrete: tc is from table 19 of Design Aids IS: 456:2000, for an assumed value of Pt . If the equivalent nominal shear stress, tve does not exceed  tgiven in table 19 of the code , minimum shear reinforcement shall be provided as per clause of IS: 456 : 2000.


If  tve exceeds tc given in table 19, both longitudinal and transverse shall be provided in accordance with clause 41.4.


vi.Longitudinal reinforcement: Longitudinal  reinforcement shall be provided to resist equivalent moment.


vii.Transverse reinforcement:The transverse reinforcement shall consist of vertical stirrups enclosing the longitudinal reinforcement.Its design requires determination of spacing for its chosen diameter is as according to 41.43 of I.S code.


Design of Column:

A column is a compression member subjected to compressive force in a direction parallel to its longitudinal axis .The column are further classified into various type in with the different criteria such as

Based on shape of cross-section

ü      Rectangular

ü      Circular

Based on type of footing

ü      Axially load

Based on slenderness ratio

ü      Short

ü      Slender


Design criteria


  i.  Minimum eccentricity: According to code, Emin=L/500+D/30,subjected to minimum of 20mm.

Where, L= unsupported length of column

            D= lateral dimension of column under consideration


ii.Clear cover to reinforcement: When the longitudinal reinforcement bars are not exceeding to code IS 456-1978 species that d' should not less than 40mm.


iii.Requirement Required:


a. Longitudinal reinforcement :The percentage of reinforcement shouldn't be less than 0.8% and maximum should  not exceed 4% up to 6% of the gross area of the section is allowed. The minimum number of bars should not be less than 4 in rectangular and 6 in circular column.


b.Transverse reinforcement: If the longitudinal bars are not spaced more than 75mm on either side the transverse reinforcement  needs only to go exceeding 48 times the diameter of the purpose of providing effective lateral support.

If the longitudinal bars spaced at a distance of not exceeding 48 times the diameter of tie are effectively tied in two directions by open ties.

        Where the longitudinal reinforcement bars in compression members are placed in more one row, effective lateral support to longitudinal bars in the row may be assumed to have been provided. If transverse reinforcement is provided for the outermost row and no of bar of inner row is closer to the nearest compression face three times the diameter of largest longitudinal bar in inner row.

 Where the longitudinal bars in the compression member are grouped and each adequately tied with transverse reinforcement for compression members as a whole may be provided on the assumption that each group is a single longitudinal for the purpose of determining the pitch and the diameter of the transverse reinforcement. The diameter of such traverse reinforcement need not however exceed 20mm.


FAxially loaded column: According to IS 456-1978 code following formula is used.


                    Pu= 0.4fck*Ac+0.6*fy*Asc


                Where,  Pu = Axial load

                             Ac =Area of concrete

                             Asc = Area of reinforcement


Column with unaxial bending : The formula used in this case is same as that of axially loaded column.


Column with biaxial bending: The theoretical limit strength of a section under bi-axial bending and compression is a function of three variable Pu, Mx,My which may be expressed in terms of axial load placing at eccentricity,

                           ex = Mx/Pu,                           ey =My/Pu

Moment Mx and My are acting along the x-axis and y-axis respectively.

The code IS 456-1978 utilize the load contour method and the general known dimensional method.

Equation for contour at constant P may be expressed as

(M x /M ux) æ+(Mu/Muy)æ≤1

where, Mx=Pu*ex


           Mux=maximum moment capacity for bending along x-axis at axial load Pa

           Muy=maximum moment capacity for bending along y-axis load Pa

æ= an exponent that depends upon the dimension of cross section, amount of reinforcement, concrete strength and yield stress of steel.




where,  Pu=.45fck.Ac+.155Pu/Puz



DETAILING: Ductility is capacity to take additional displacement (without collapse) even after yield.


Ductility increases in:

ü      as concrete grade increases

ü      as steel grade increases

Structural ductility can be enhanced by

ü        Regular configuration

ü      More redundancy

ü      Avoiding yielding of column

ü      Avoiding failure of foundation

     So, ductility design and detailing is done in this project work which is based on IS:13920-1993.


i. Detailing of flexural member:


ü      The factor axial stress on the member under earthquake loading shall not exceed 0.1fck

ü       Members shall have a width to depth ratio of more than 3

ü      The width of member shall  not less than 200mm.

ü      The overall depth of member not more than ¼ of clear spans


Anchorage of beam bar: In external joint anchorage length beyond inner face of the column equal to development length in tension plus ten times bar diameters minus allowance for 90 degree bend.


Lap splice: Lap length should be greater than development length in tension


Lap splice shall not be provided

(a)    within a joints

(b)    within 2d from joint face

(c)    within ¼ of member lengthwhere flexure yielding may occur during earthquake.


Shear reinforcement

Hook length >10Ф or 75mm whichever is more

 Minimum diameter = 6mm

Minimum diameter = 8mm for clear span greater than 5m

Spacing as per ductility: At distance of 2d from face of column spacing should be more than 1/4d .at mid span spacing should not be more than 1/2d.


ii.Detailing of compression member:

-         minimum dimension should be greater than 300mm

-         B/D >0.4

-         Lap splice shall be provided only in the central half of the member length.

-         Spacing of hoop within lap splice<150m


Requirement of longitudinal reinforcement

ü      The longitudinal reinforcement shall not be less than 0.8% or more than 4%of the gross cross-sectional area of column.

ü      The minimum number of longitudinal bars provided in a column shall be four in rectangular columns and six in a circular.

ü      Spacing of longitudinal bars measured along periphery of the column shall not exceed 300mm.


 Requirement ofTransverse reinforcement as per ductility design

ü      Up to distance as per ductility design 450mm, spacing should not be more than 100mm.

ü      At middle spacing should be less than ½ width of column

ü      Lap should be provided at distance more than ¼ clear height


Minimum and Maximum Sizes of Reinforcement: The minimum size of bars for column not less than 12mm in diameter.The diameter of the polygonal links  or ties shall  not be less than ¼ of the diameter of the largest longitudinal bar, and in no case less than 5mm.When a column terminates into a raft special confining reinforcement shall extend at least 300mm into raft.

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