Saturday, December 29, 2007

Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep

In what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness.
A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests. The discovery's first application will probably be in treatment of the severe sleep disorder narcolepsy.
The treatment is "a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign," said Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a co-author of the paper. "It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess."
Orexin A is a promising candidate to become a "sleep replacement" drug. For decades, stimulants have been used to combat sleepiness, but they can be addictive and often have side effects, including raising blood pressure or causing mood swings. The military, for example, administers amphetamines to pilots flying long distances, and has funded research into new drugs like the stimulant modafinil (.pdf) and orexin A in an effort to help troops stay awake with the fewest side effects.

Friday, December 28, 2007

AOL kills Netscape

AOL LLC today pulled the plug on Netscape Navigator, the Web browser that once owned the lion's share of the market and that was the focus of a landmark federal antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. In an announcement posted to AOL's blog for the browser, Tom Drapeau, the director of the company's Netscape brand, said the team is ending development and would cease issuing security updates as of Feb. 1, 2008. "Given AOL's current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it's the right time to end development of Netscape-branded browsers, hand the reigns [sic] fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox," Drapeau said. I guess beating of a dead horse is finished -At last! A moment of silence please!

SCO bumped off Nasdaq

The SCO Group has been removed from the Nasdaq Stock Market because the company declared bankruptcy in September. The stock market delisted SCO and suspended trading of its shares (SCOX) at the beginning of trading on Thursday, SCO said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Nasdaq had told the company in September that it would be delisted, and SCO's subsequent appeal of that determination was turned down.
WOW! The have been out since Sept 2007 and it took the Commission nearly 4 month to bump the off of the stock market? Talk about red tape! They should have thrown this evil company with all these wrong doing a long time ago! SCO is a complete 'fail' and not it is dead! Whoohooo!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Serious Flash vulns menace at least 10,000 websites

Researchers from Google and a well-known security firm have documented serious vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash content which leave tens of thousands of websites susceptible to attacks that steal the personal details of visitors.
The security bugs reside in Flash applets, the ubiquitous building blocks for movies and graphics that animate sites across the web. Also known as SWF files, they are vulnerable to attacks in which malicious strings are injected into the legitimate code through a technique known as cross-site scripting, or XSS. Currently there are no patches for the vulnerabilities, which are found in sites operated by financial institutions, government agencies and other organizations.

Its amazing that with all this vulnerabilities, how does insecure sites like USTREAM.TV and STCKAM.TV actually still functioning? If so are they infected too? If they are, then how many clients machines have they infected? It is getting scary out there, even for protected systems. in fact, the question is: Who is 'really' protected? No one?

Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML


If you figure that preliminary design is all about object discovery, then detailed design is, by contrast, about behavior allocation - that is, allocating the software functions you've identified into the set of classes you discovered during preliminary design.
When you draw sequence diagrams, you're taking another sweep through the preliminary design, adding in detail. You use sequence diagrams to drive the detailed design. We advocate drawing your sequence diagrams in a minimal style.

Case Driven Object Modeling - This is what I have beens saying for the past 5 years to my Colleagues and co-working Engineers: 'Visually define Behavior and Allocation of your Objects and Classes so the next person who looks at your Design / Procedures and Code can easily and quickly understand what you are trying to do and what were "your" state of mind when you designed what you did.' But I guess, at least most of us, are either too lazy to add this one extra step to our software cycle or we are looking for job security. The harder the code is to understand the more job security we have with the company that we work for.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Malware Bumps Google Ads From Web Pages

A security company has identified a Trojan horse program that replaces Google text advertisements on Web pages with ads from another source, depriving Google of revenue and potentially causing problems for end users.

Is this a orchestrated effort on part of other advertising companies to take Google out of the dominant position? Yes yes yes! I know...This is a conspiracy theory - but what if someone - somewhere in the world that had enough money and power and decided to knock off Google off it's dominant throne of online advertising! It is possible.... nahhhh! Google is too big for anyone to fool around with, or is it?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

IBM rolls out new search tool for e-mail: ComputerWorld Says!

December 20, 2007 (Computerworld) -- IBM rolled out new search software from its research labs today that's aimed at allowing users to find information that may be buried in the vast amount of e-mail many people now store on the desktop.
The new IBM OmniFind Personal Email Search (IOPES), which can be downloaded for free, is a semantic search tool aimed at bringing the search mechanisms made famous on the Web by Google Inc. to the desktop, said Douglass Wilson, distinguished engineer and chief technology officer of IBM's Lotus Development Corp. unit.

Call me old fashioned, but I still think that IBM, quietly, is the king of the computer world! Is there an aspect of computers that I BM is not involved in? FYI, IBM is the largest Software Vendor! I bet you thought that title belong to Microsoft, right? Seriously...Am I right?

Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting: Says The Register!

48167 Days and 23 hours to create CD!!
t's been almost nine months since we first reported on Windows Vista's inability to copy, delete and move files without stalling indefinitely, and yet the problem continues.

What caught my eye in this story and when you read it, I am sure it will get your attention that MS has had nearly a year to fix such a basic problem as Copy & Move and they still refuse to fix it. Since if they fixed it, they have to admit to fact that developed such a dead duck that can't perform even the basic OS operations like 'copy' and 'move'! Unbelievable! Can someone measure the size of these Mircrosofties egos! Is it Ego, or is it marketing and damage control? Does Microsoft really think by ignoring these problems, they would really go away or the Users magically are hit by total and instantaneous dementia? How advises these people and why are they listening to their advise? Come on Microsoft! Grow up and take responsibility for your actions! Please copy the core code from XP and review it against vista! You will find many of your questions will be answered! But the dumb thing is the fact that you refuse to acknowledge the existence of these basic problems! Do we really have to wait for Service Pack 3 to to get a working Copy and Move functions? Seems so! But can you imagine if Microsoft decides not to acknowledge the existence of these problems and would refuse to fix them? Then we will all be sure that Vista is a DEAD Horse. As it is, Most people think that way and the best proof of it is the fact that people are staying with their existing Windows XP systems (hence not upgrading to newer hardware) - They down grade from Vista to Windows XP or they down right ask for a brand new machine to come with Windows XP on it (Dell decided to offer their systems with XP)!
Well there you have it, in a nut shell - Microsoft is too big to even care about such basic problems in their OS. Here we are expecting that complex matters like security and scalability be improved? Maybe we, as buyers of Microsoft's products, should demand for basics, first...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Facebook settles text-messaging suit! Yahoo_Tech says...

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Pressured by a lawsuit, Internet social network Facebook Inc. will adopt new measures to prevent its 58 million members from sending text messages to recycled cell phone numbers. The settlement was announced Tuesday by attorneys for an Indiana woman who claimed Palo Alto-based Facebook had been profiting from text messages sent by its members after the intended recipients had given up the phone numbers. The lawsuit filed by Lindsey Abrams of Patriot, Ind., said she received text messages with explicit comments and other upsetting content — and had to pay 10 cents each time. Facebook received a share of the fee, according to the complaint.

Well that was quick - too quick for comfort, if you'd ask me! Does this mean that Facebook was profiting from this scheme somehow - hence the quick turn around? Nothing is proven of course, but isn't this a very quick about face for FaceBook (no pun intended)?

Adobe! Optimize Flash (Server and Client)... Pretty Please!

Adobe Flash client / Shockwave server, both have made wonders for Internet and Internet content as we know it. But they are resource Hogs! CPU - Memory and Bandwidth! Does Adobe think that we all have unlimited resources and CPU powers and huge internet bandwidth at our finger tips? The answer is no and they know it! So how about some Optimization Adobe? Will help a lot. Who? Users of such contents (nearly all of us) - Producers of such content (all of them). makes a lot of sense to me. What would you say to Adobe if they had all your attention?

Google Wants To Index Your Videos! TechCrunchs says!

Google has launched Sitemaps for Video, an extension of their webmaster sitemaps program that will assist webmasters in having their videos indexed by Google.
To be indexed, webmasters must create a sitemap page that provides a list of videos on each site that is compliant with Googles sitemaps protocol, which since November 2006 is standardized with Yahoo and Microsoft as well. Webmasters then simply submit the URL of their video sitemap to Google for indexing.

"Do no Evil"! hmmmm! Is this not the motto of Google? But it seems that google has it's hands in everything that we are doing. Google is now in the Alternative Fuel - and now they want to get their little grubby hands on the videos that you have 'IN YOUR COMPUTER'! Question is: Why? Why does that interest Google and what is the long term profit that Google sees in it? Google is turning to a multi-tentecles monster, connected to more and more aspect of our lives! Is this not Evil in itself? I guess we have no choice, expect to wait and see! One thing is for sure: "Absolute Power Corrupts Absolytely!"

UStream.TV Gets Some Cash And General Wesley Clark Says TechCrunch!

ustream-logo.pngWhat does General Wesley Clark know about live Web video? Apparently enough to land him a seat on Ustream.TV’s board of advisors. Or maybe they just liked his shiny medals. The company also announced a funding round today from Band of Angels and Western Technology Investors, which specializes in debt financing for startups. The amount was not disclosed. Are these the same people that bellyache that they can't hire a janitor to clean their offices but they get a 4 star retired general on the board of advisors? WOW! Who they kidding? They are 'phishing' for some credibility and they are willing to pay for it! What also is interesting that we found out they don't have a "hiring Freeze" as they say they do. Ustream you getting so obvious. A bit of tact goes a long way!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Apple keeps critical security fixes to itself???

Apple has released updates for two widely distributed products that harbored a raft of security vulnerabilities, some of which were actively being exploited by miscreants. Unbelievably, the company isn't presenting either as a security fix to mainstream users despite the risk the bugs pose for its millions of users.

That statement in it self was hard to digest! Apple had the fixes for the holes that were being actively exploited, but did not distribute them? Is that what they are saying? i have a hard time believing this! Why would Apple - and for that matter - any company do that? Let's make some sense!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

IE7 installations may eclipse IE6's by end of 2007

Internet Explorer 7's share continued to grow, reaching nearly 37%. It is poised to eclipse its predecessor, IE6, which has fallen more than 14 percentage points since the beginning of the year, to 40.2%. Altogether, IE was in use on 77.4% of Internet-connected computers, down from 80% at the beginning of the year.
IE's main competition, Firefox, held a 16% share of all Internet-connected computers. That's up from 13.7% at the beginning of the year. Apple Inc.'s Safari held 5.1%, up from 4.7% at the beginning of the year.
Seems that no matter what is said about IE or what IE does wrong, it still rule by a wide margin.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Large Smartphone! Is this the Trend?

Well it seems that the mini phone are out! Brick large phones are in. Seems everyone want to consolidate music - PDA - Phone functionality in to one. But that is a hard task that most companies are failing to deliver. It seems that Phones are taking the 8GB as their adopted memory configuration, except Apple iPhone that is configured to 16GB. PDA functionality is paramount and the ability to read Microsoft Office Documents are a must. But what every company building smart phones are suffering from is - yes you guessed it - is battery life. All these functionality and all on such a small battery! Apple, prior to the release of iPhone, was toying with the idea of having two batteries in the phone. One powering the Phone and PDA functionality and the second will be used solely for the iPod build in to the phone. The Sheer excess weight of a second battery and longer charge time changed their mind. So this is universal - Batteries are not good as we know them, at least they are not good enough for these complex and multifunctional Smartphones that they are building today. May be it is high time to call on the battery companies like copper top (:)) to start working on this problem. Even the silly Rabbit that never stops can join in too!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Microsoft issues Vista, XP service pack blockers

Microsoft Corp. posted a tool to its download site today that will block automatic installations of several upcoming service packs, including Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows XP SP3.

I think this is a great idea, especially for those that are waiting impatiently for the Vista SP-1 and XP SP3. Better not install any Service Pack before it's time. Vista SP1, which enters public testing Tuesday, is scheduled to wrap up in the first quarter of 2008. Windows XP SP3, on the other hand, has a delivery date of sometime in the first half of next year. Patience!

MS rejects Web 2.0 moniker for IE

Microsoft has resisted the temptation to sip from the Web 2.0 Kool Aid with confirmation that the next version of its browser will be called IE 8.
The choice of moniker comes after the angst-ridden rejection of alternative titles including iIE and IE for Web 2.0. Confirmation that Microsoft has resisted the siren call in favour of the tried and tested comes in a posting on Microsoft official IE blog by Dean Hachamovitch, general manager.

Microsoft has rejected the idea of Web 2.0 for IE 7 and now for IE 8! Why should we be surprised? Nothing new about that!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Microsoft kills Vista 'kill switch'

While it has never recognized the term "kill switch," Microsoft's beefed-up antipiracy software could effectively render a PC running Vista unusable for anything other than paying for a legitimate product key. Microsoft called that "reduced functionality." This fall, Apple iPhone owners called the practice "bricking." In all cases, users hated the concept and haven't been shy about sharing their opinions.What changes did Microsoft make? If you're thinking that Vista's product activation -- or its validation and revalidation -- are history, think again. Only the results of not activating a copy of Vista and of failing validation have changed, according to Alex Kochis, the senior product manager for Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program.

What I like to find out is this: How many people out there really believe this? Is this this the Crocodile Tears? MS is softening up?

Apple's iPhone making its way into business use?

Although the media and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have pushed the iPhone as a consumer device, apparently some business users are finding out that they like it too. Staunch business customers who are tech-savvy, complain about the lack of email flexibility that the iPhone provides, citing Microsoft Exchange and RIM BlackBerry Server functionality being absent. To some business customers who need mobility in the first place, though, the device is still easier to use than a Windows Mobile device or a BlackBerry.

Question is: Can an iPhone with it's present format can be useful in business? I Think not! Application written for business have to be ported to iphone and in it's present form, that can not be done. But if Apple is right and iPhone truly contains the actual sunset of OS X, then imagine how many Apps you can run on that little machine. I guess we have to wait till iPhone 2.0 before we can make a determination if Apple iPhone is suitable for Business world! I guess it all comes down to what biz will adopt! Remember Blackberry? Everyone laughed and the little Canadian company went right ahead and crated "CrackBerry" that no one can stay away from! Oh yea! Can iPhone make it that way? Yes, but Apple has to stop taking all the orders from AT&T and insert some of it's own and come up with better versions of iPhone that people can develop and test for and create all the tools for it and then introduce it to the Dev world as a plug in for XCode 3.x. Now that would take iPhone one step closer to become a legit option as a business tool. I am sure Apple knows that...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Volta Web is here at last!

Microsoft is releasing on Wednesday a technology preview of its Volta Web developer toolset, which is intended to make it easier to build multi-tier Web applications, including applications useful in SaaS environments.

VOLTA WEB! At last is here. Microsoft is releasing Volta Today. Once and for all we can write Apps directly form Visual Studio (unfortunately need VS2008 to integrate to the IDE for true visual development) - Include C# - JAVA - VB.NET or IronPython, etc. and run it as WebApps and or as WebService. Yahooo! Remains to be seen. I just downlaoded it and now I have to find the VS2008 form one of our MSDN and test the whole thing. Another question hat I have for Microsoft is this: Can I develop an Application for Local Stand alone use and then, totally transparent to me as a developer, can I recompile the whole thing, so I can make a WebApp? Am I dreaming? Could this be an early X-Mass present? LOL!

A.M.D. Delays Energy-Efficient Chip Again

The energy-efficient chip that Advanced Micro Devices was counting to win customers away from Intel has been delayed again, the company said yesterday.

The company confirmed that a technical irregularity has delayed widespread availability of its Barcelona chip for servers until early next year. The company had announced in September that it was beginning to ship it to customers
Don't you get the feeling that AMD is totally incapable of building efficient chips? that always have the hottest (consequently the lest efficient chips) and they keep promising better efficiency? Well - don't get me wrong - it is directly because of the existence of AMD that INTEL is treating us so nicely and dropping the prices left and right. If AMD was not there, INTEL would go back to being the Evil Monster that it really is. So, yes, I am grateful to AMD. Please lets make since really good chips with much better efficiency and lets do it NOW! Shall we, AMD?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ecto is Dead! At least for me! Now is the turn of MarsEdit 2.x

Well I tried my best and I was never able to get the Ecto to get an included picture back from Flickr! So I guess ecto is out for the time being. Now it is time to use MarEdit. I use to use the older version but, after the sell of blogger to Google, it never worked! So I stopped using it!. With he new version released, I am trying it now! Lets see!

Rolls-Royce reportedly hacked by Chinese spies

The agency, known as MI5, recently sent letters to some 300 banks and accounting and legal firms warning that "state organizations" of China were plying their networks for information, according to the Times of London on Monday.

The U.K. government refused to confirm the letters. However, the reported correspondence comes just a month after the U.K.'s top domestic intelligence officer warned of "high levels" of covert activity by at least 20 foreign intelligence agencies, with those of Russia and China the most active.

This amazes me! Nothing is enough for the RED Chinese Communists! They do want more and more and nothing is enough for them! We should stop trading with them! Just for 2 years and then then they will act like normal and civilized! Their Spies are the most active ones in the world! They work Anything and Everything and Anyone. They work Defense and they work even technology and Business! If this is not stopped, in 5 years we will be speaking Chinese! Worse than German.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This Ecto Text Only

Testing Ecto 3.0 beta! Can it work with Blogger? Text Only!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

How to minimize the pain of an Office 2007 upgrade?

Seems like a wired thing to say, knowing that Office 2007 has by far the best GUI than any other App made by MS. I guess we are all so used to the old and ugly way of doing things, that any changes and improvements will bring screams of pain! Strange cyber world we live in!

Ignoring dead documents, wrestling with templates, and other changeover joys!

Now that is a contradiction in term! Dead Docs? What is that? If someone created that - better said got paid for creating that - then how could it be dead? I also sure that the Doc that they called dead, would be needed by someone in the enterprise at sometime. So - NO -

California gov site invaded by smut and malware again

Raising troubling questions about the security of America's government websites, more domains ending in .gov have been found hosting links that push porn and malware.
Makes you wonder who is minding the Store, doesn't it? I always wondered who is really developing these sites and who is managing their access and security. Can we assume that this, like everything else, has been outsourced to India or is the Chinese that they have taken over that function too?  I wouldn't put it passed them to give the whole thing away, so they don't have the pay the North American Developers. Ba Humbug!