Free Computer Help - Geeks To Go

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Something about Smart Card

A Smart Card is a plastic card the size of a credit card with an integrated circuit built into it. This integrated circuit may consist only of EEPROM in the case of a memory card, or it may also contain ROM, RAM and even a CPU.

Most smart cards have been designed with the look and feel of a credit or debit card, but can function on at least three levels (credit - debit - personal information). Smart cards include a microchip as the central processing unit, random access memory (RAM) and data storage of around 10MB.

Friday, September 29, 2006

hey heard abot pirate radio?!

Pirate radio is broadcasting outside of the rules laid down by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Pirate radio usually occurs on the FM band because that is where the most receivers are.

Under Part 15 of the FCC rules, you can legally broadcast on the FM band if you broadcast using less that 100 milliwatts of output power and and antenna less than 3' long. In contrast, commercial FM broadcasters are required to broadcast using at least 100 watts of output power. 100 milliwatts will give your signal an effective range of less than one mile.

You can build the gear needed to transmit pirate radio, or you can buy much of what you need from Radio Free Berkeley. An entire pirate radio broadcasting system can be put together for well under $1,000.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Optional packages in Java

Optional Packages are packages of Java classes which are used to extend the core Java platform.

Optional Packages are created by Java developers much like any other Java code. Optional Packages are then made available to the Java Virtual Machine.

Java classes stored within Optional Packages can be used by the JVM without the need to be explicitly included in the CLASSPATH.

Optional Packages are usually stored in JAR files.

In earlier versions of Java, Optional Packages were known as Standard Extensions.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's BREW ma!!

BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) is Qualcomm's open source application development platform for wireless devices equipped for code division multiple access (CDMA) technology. BREW makes it possible for developers to create portable applications that will work on any handsets equipped with CDMA chipsets. Because BREW runs in between the application and the chip operating system software, the application can use the device's functionality without the developer needing to code to the system interface or even having to understand wireless applications. Users can download applications - such as text chat, enhanced e-mail, location positioning, games (both online and offline), and Internet radio - from carrier networks to any BREW-enabled phone.

BREW is competing for wireless software market share with J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition), a similar platform from Sun Microsystems. The initial version of BREW is solely for CDMA networks; later versions could be enabled for time division multiple access (TDMA) and Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) networks.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

(Power)PC Problem

This is an imaginary setting in a BPO.. Let's see what happens..

* Customer: "I installed Windows 98 on my computer, and it doesn't work."
* Tech Support: "Ok, what happens when you turn on your computer?"
* Customer: "Boy, are you listening? I said it doesn't work."
* Tech Support: "Well, what happens when you TRY to turn it on?"
* Customer: "Look, I'm not a computer person. Talk regular English, not this computer talk, ok?"
* Tech Support: "Ok, let's assume your computer is turned off, and you just sat down in front of it, and want to use it. What do you do?"
* Customer: "Don't talk like I'm stupid, boy. I turn it on."
* Tech Support: "And then what happens?"
* Customer: "What do you mean?"
* Tech Support: "Does anything appear on your monitor? I mean, the TV part."
* Customer: "The same thing I saw last time I tried."
* Tech Support: "And that is what?"
* Customer: "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
* Tech Support: "Yes, sir. What is on your screen?"
* Customer: "A bunch of little pictures."
* Tech Support: "Ok, in the upper left corner, do you see 'My Computer'."
* Customer: "No, all I see is that little red circle thing with the chunk out of it."
* Tech Support: "You mean an apple?"
* Customer: "I guess it kind of looks like an apple."

Then it took me fifteen minutes to convince him that he had a Mac. Even after showing him "About this Macintosh." I spent another fifteen minutes trying to convince him that Windows 98 wouldn't work on his Mac. He said it should work because Windows 98 is for PCs, and he had a PowerPC. I think he's still trying to get it to read that CD, because I never could convince him.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What is Webcast?

The term "Webcasting" is used to describe the ability to use the Web to deliver live or delayed versions of sound or video broadcasts. NetTalk Live! is an example of the former. CNet and some other Web sites use the term "Webcast" to describe delayed or preview versions of movies, music videos, or regular radio and television broadcasts as a way to promote the live broadcasts. Each sample is known as a Webisode. Viewing Webcasts requires having an appropriate video viewing application such as the NetShow, RealVideo, or VXtreme streaming video players; these can usually be downloaded from any site offering a Webcast.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What is OneWebDay?

OneWebDay (OWD) is a celebration of the Internet's ability to foster communication, collaboration and participation. Susan Crawford, a professor at the Cardozo School of Law and board member of ICANN, came up with the idea for OneWebDay and wrote about it in her blog in 2005: "OneWebDay is not just about pictures. It's about action. We'll be encouraging global efforts to wire villages, connect schools, put up more hotspots, build collective online artworks, write and perform collective online music, show 'days on the web,' and many other barn-raising and creative and connecting projects. We will have a major offline component, with people telling stories about how the web has changed their lives, and showing each other special OneWebDay artifacts."

Friday, September 22, 2006

What is Podcasting?

Podcasting is the preparation and distribution of audio files using RSS to the computers of subscribed users. These files may then be uploaded to digital music or multimedia players like the iPod. A podcast can be easily created from a digital audio file. The podcaster first saves the file as an MP3 and then uploads it to the Web site of a service provider. The MP3 file gets its own URL which is inserted into an RSS XML document as an enclosure within an XML tag.

Once a podcast has been created, it can be registered with content aggregators, such as or, for inclusion in podcast directories. People can browse through the categories or subscribe to specific podcast RSS feeds which will download to their audio players automatically when they next connect. Although podcasts are generally audio files created for digital music players, the same technology can be used to prepare and transmit images, text, and video to any capable device.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Network Mapper

Nmap ("Network Mapper") is a free open source utility for network exploration or security auditing. It was designed to rapidly scan large networks, although it works fine against single hosts. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. Nmap runs on most types of computers and both console and graphical versions are available. Nmap is free and open source.

Nmap is flexible, powerful, portable, easy, free, supported, acclaimed, popular and most importantly well-documented.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Copyright Law Key to Global Free Software Model

Open source development has always been an international phenomenon. After all, the killer app of the movement -- Linux -- was born in Finland, and the quintessential dual licensing business was started in Sweden with mySQL. Companies like Red Flag have stepped up in Asia to take Linux into double-byte territory.

The very essence of collaborative development is to break free from arbitrary or geographic barriers like the borders of the nation-state. But attempts to internationalize free software licensing -- the legal paradigm as opposed to the development model -- have been less successful.

We lawyers are accustomed to provinciality in legal matters. Legal systems are, by definition, carved up by boundaries of national sovereignty, so most attempts to harmonize international laws are not terribly successful. Uniformity of law always runs up against pesky consideration of national independence.

here is only moderate uniformity of law in the intellectual property area -- in part because intellectual property as a social construct is deeply embedded in the ethos of some nations (like the U.S., where it is in the constitution) and not in others (such as Laos, where there is no copyright law).

There are treaties intended to harmonize the law of copyright, such as the Berne Convention, and patent, such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). However, these do not by any means make IP in the U.S. the same as copyright protection in Uganda. The Berne Convention provides for certain minimum copyright protections above which the protections in individual signatory countries can vary. Even the Berne convention, first issued in 1886, was not adopted by the U.S. until more than 100 years later in 1989 -- which should give you some idea of how difficult it is to bring nations together on the subject.
Isn't It About Time?

The move to internationalize open source licensing has been afoot for some time, but it has acquired some piquancy of late as part of the "license proliferation" debate. People outside the U.S. have begun writing their own open source agreements. Now, internationalization efforts are partly an attempt to avoid the license incompatibility and Balkanization that will probably result.

The goal to internationalize was the genesis of some provisions of GPL version 3. The draft license, for instance, refers to the act of "propagating" rather than distributing. The word "propagating" was chosen purposely to avoid using the words that embody the enumerated rights of U.S. copyright law, such as "distribution." In addition, most open source licenses avoid a governing law provision. This too is an attempt to make open source licensing work in any jurisdiction.

Ultimately, writing a one-size-fits-all international license agreement is impossible, though the efforts to come close are both noble and useful. Still, there is a much bigger problem with making open source licensing a truly international paradigm.
Countries Without Copyright

Free software licenses like the GPL operate on the strength of copyright law and the ability of the licensor to enforce that law. The GPL even goes so far as to say it is a license, "not a contract," meaning that its entire strength flows from copyright law. Without the license, the licensee could not exercise the broad rights of free software, particularly the right of distribution; thus the license terms must be obeyed.

If a licensee does not adhere to the terms of the license, the licensor has a remedy -- which is to terminate the license, sue for copyright infringement, and seek an injunction to stop infringing distribution. Because the document is not a contract, at least ostensibly, it cannot be enforced under contract law -- only under intellectual property law.

The problem is that while most countries have some tradition of enforcing contracts, in many nations of the world copyright law is a joke. There are basically two categories of countries -- those with IP law and those without. In the latter category, I include those countries that have a copyright law on the books but don't actually enforce it.

One could be lofty and talk about the ideals of Thomas Jefferson (a lifelong inventor who championed the patent system, and was responsible for the defining the U.S. tradition of intellectual property) and the virtues of copyright for protecting the individual author against mighty and greedy media companies. However, most practitioners of realpolitick would say that a country starts enforcing intellectual property laws on the day it becomes a net creator of intellectual property rather than a net consumer of it -- and not a day before. Today, in some of our favorite software developing countries, that day has not yet dawned.

So, let us take the example of China -- the source of most of the pirated software CDs on the market today. This is according to the Business Software Alliance whose numbers one might take with a grain of salt, given its agenda. Nevertheless, anyone who has been to China will tell you that counterfeit CDs and DVDs are still freely available on many streetcorners. This is unsurprising, considering an ancient tradition in China that copying of others' work is a compliment rather than a crime. (Wow, school exams are going to be really funny :D)

Enforcement Realities

Or, let us take the example of India, where changes to the copyright law clarifying that computer software was protected came as late as 1995. While the government carries out raids to catch intellectual property infringers, "the court system simply does not work," and there have been few convictions. Counterfeiting and piracy of software accounts for about 75 percent of the product on the market (again, per the BSA).

While Russia has copyright laws, "many of the Russian facilities capable of producing pirated materials are on military-owned property, protecting them from international scrutiny," according to a piece. When the government itself is breaking the copyright law for profit, it's naive to expect that copyright will be enforced.

The facts cited above largely concern retail software. Does anyone out there really think developers in countries that operate like one big CD swap meet are fastidiously compliant when it comes to tasty morsels of software downloadable from the Web for free? Yes, Virginia, I'm sure all those outsource developers are following the GPL to the letter.

At least in India a great many people speak English, so they have a snowball's chance in hell of understanding what it says. It seems inhuman to make a developer in China try to read any English license agreement -- much less the GPL -- and understand it. Chinese students are packing English classes in droves these days, but the kind of English fluency required to interpret complicated license agreements eludes even many native speakers.

Software Laundering

The point of the above examples is not to point fingers at, or criticize, legal systems outside the U.S. The point is that the existence of legal systems without robust enforcement of copyright law, in countries where software development is a highly robust enterprise , is a serious threat to the free software model.

Countries whose lack of functional copyright law has jeopardized their membership in WIPO have touted open source as the inexpensive alternative that will allow them to comply with copyright while living within their means. Yet free software doesn't come free -- it has strings attached: the strings of copyleft, strings being pulled via a license written with a strong U.S. copyright enforcement landscape in mind.

The bottom line is that free software lives and dies by the sword of copyright law -- and the sword outside the U.S. and Europe is not very sharp. Enforcing free software licenses in the U.S. is hard enough. We all know that noncompliance is rampant in the U.S., though this is due less to defiance or malfeasance than to inattention, poor record keeping, or suspecting that some of the more opaque licenses were actually written by Chinese students who learned English from an official cultural-revolution-era phrasebook.
Working Model

So, who will enforce the GPL in India? Or in China? Or in Russia? In lieu of enforcement, do we really expect voluntary compliance in nations where copyright law is a nod and a wink? In those countries without copyright enforcement, software will be copied, re-used, pulled apart, rewritten, recycled and recast without preservation of any notices or any attempt at compliance. Finding where it all came from may be impossible. International outsourcing companies may become the software equivalent of money launderers. Software with copyright restrictions goes in "tainted" -- and comes out "clean."

Although copyleft is an elegant paradigm, it will unravel with neither voluntary compliance nor enforcement to effectuate it. So we must face reality: Copyleft may never be a useful paradigm in most of our world. Moreover, if code can be laundered in other countries, the free software paradigm in the U.S. may ultimately break down. Perhaps this is not necessarily a prophecy of doom, though.

Ultimately, this may be a question of whether the open source model -- as opposed to the free software model -- works. For what is open source software other than free software without enforcement? Perhaps our copyright-scofflaw brothers in Asia will show us another path -- freedom as in freely available, freedom as in free of copyright law.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Big security fixes for QuickTime, Flash Player

Apple Computer Inc. and Adobe warned Tuesday that attackers could exploit serious security holes in QuickTime and Flash Player to run malicious code on targeted machines. But the vendors have updated the popular multimedia applications to fix the flaws.

Apple said in an Advisory that QuickTime versions prior to 7.1.3 are susceptible to multiple flaws caused by the application's failure to properly bounds check and sanitize user-supplied data.

Specifically, the problems are that:

  • An integer or buffer overflow may be triggered by malicious H.264 movie files.
  • An integer or buffer overflow may be triggered by malicious QuickTime movie files.
  • A heap-based buffer overflow may be triggered by malicious FLC movie files. (This issue affects the 'COLOR64' chunk in FLIC format files.)
  • An integer or buffer overflow may be triggered by malicious FlashPix files.
  • An exception can occur that can leave an uninitialized object when handling malicious FlashPix files.
  • A buffer overflow may be triggered by a malicious SGI image file.

"An attacker can exploit these issues to execute arbitrary code in the context of the victim user running the vulnerable application," Apple said in its advisory. "Successful exploits may facilitate a remote compromise of affected computers."

One reason the threat is serious is that proof-of-concept exploit code is available for the FLC file heap-based buffer overflow flaw, Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec Corp. said in an email to customers of its DeepSight Threat Management Service.

Apple has released QuickTime version 7.1.3 to address the vulnerabilities.

Meanwhile, Adobe said in an advisory that Flash Player is susceptible to multiple remote code execution vulnerabilities because the application "fails to properly bounds check user-supplied input before copying it into insufficiently-sized memory buffers."

Adobe said attackers could exploit the problem by creating a media file with large, dynamically-generated string data and submitting it to be processed by the media player.

In its advisory on the problem, Symantec said, "This will cause the application to overwrite system memory at an explicit location. Because of this, race conditions, heap overflow and stack overflow vulnerabilities may be possible and would allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary machine code in the context of the user running the application."

The flaws affect Flash Player and prior, Adobe Flash Professional 8, Flash Basic, Adobe Flash MX and 2004 Adobe Flex 1.5. Adobe recommends users upgrade to version

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Best practices for managing secure Web server configurations

Life would be great if you could configure, harden and deploy your Web server(s), and then go and ponder more interesting tasks. However, from the moment your server is connected to the Internet its configurationneeds reviewing and updating, as new technologies and threats continuously arise. This task becomes onerous when you are running several Web servers. Let's look at ways to best manage the configurations of multiple servers to reduce this administrative burden.

It is important to start with a configuration that is secure and hardens the Web server for its role on the Internet. Review the exhaustive hardening guide produced by the U.S. National Security Agency called Guide to the Secure Configuration and Administration of Microsoft Internet Information Services. Also evaluate your baseline configuration using the free Benchmark and Scoring Tools from the Center for Internet Security. Windows-based servers can also be tested against Microsoft's free Baseline Security Analyzer. Once you are satisfied with your baseline configuration it can be used to roll out additional servers.

Initial hardening and configuration is based solely on the facts known at the time of set up so you need to reassess your systems on a continuous basis to ensure that their security adapts and evolves to keep up with changes in technology and attack vectors. To make sure this happens, you need a lifecycle management process to ensure tasks are executed in an orderly and predictable manner and that none are forgotten or left incomplete. With well-defined policy guidelines you can also ensure that responses to problems are suitably covered.

You should develop and maintain a list of resources on security problems and software updates relevant to your system and application software. Establish a procedure for monitoring these information sources. Not all updates will be applicable to the configuration of your servers and to your security requirements, so you need to evaluate updates for applicability. Before installing any updates on your live servers, install them in an isolated test environment and run a series of trials.

Updates to live systems should always be done using a documented plan (which obviously includes a backup of each system), to ensure that you deploy configurations and updates consistently throughout your servers and that none are missed. It is good practice to use only an isolated network segment when propagating updates or to use something like SSH2 to provide secure access control and transmission. After making any changes to your servers' configuration or system files, create new cryptographic checksums or other integrity-checking baseline information. Maintain an archive of updates that you have evaluated and chosen to install so that you can install them on new servers before they are deployed.

Thankfully, there is software available to help you with the tasks of managing multiple servers. Windows Server 2003 supports Remote Installation Services, which lets you create and replicate server images and then roll them out remotely across a network, while the Microsoft System Center provides deployment and management tools to simplify managing groups of servers. HP provides the HP Systems Insight Manager for its ProLiant servers, and Red Hat Network allows administrators to manage and deploy configuration files, create system snapshots and manage the systems on their network. If you are running multiple servers on different Windows platforms, you may want to look at ScriptLogic's Service Explorer, which allows you to manage multiple services and tasks across multiple servers simultaneously.

Finally, lifecycle management means taking a long-term view and implementing proactive as well as reactive policies. For example, periodic vulnerability assessments will ensure that you remain secure (proactive) and assess whether your policies support quick incident response (reactive). The CIS Benchmark and Scoring Tools I mentioned earlier are kept up to date as new vulnerabilities are discovered so they can be used on a regular basis to monitor the effectiveness of your configuration.

Oracle updates free Application Express developer tool

Oracle says the newest version of its free Application Express software makes it easier for developers to build applications for Database 10g using nothing but a Web browser.

The newly released Oracle Application Express 2.2, which first debuted as HTML DB in 2004, promotes the reuse of Web applications by letting users bundle applications and dependent objects like tables, images and seed data into one file. The database giant says this makes for a plug-n-play scenario because those bundles can then be quickly installed into other Oracle databases running APEX.

Other new features of APEX include an item finder that lets users search within applications, the ability to conduct component-level export, and an Access Control Wizard for controlling who gets access to applications.

"What we liked about it was that all you needed was a brain and a browser," said Larry Foster, vice president of technology with Fairpont, N.Y.-based Paetec, a software company that uses APEX to build its Pinnacle Communications Management Suite. "In the beginning, when it was HTML DB, you had to install it separately, but now it installs with Oracle 10g and up."

Foster said that early incarnations of APEX were too lightweight and of little use to Paetec, but as the technology matured, newly added features made the software worth a second look. Today, he says, Paetec's customers are pleased that most of Pinnacle's functionality resides within the database, making it easier to support and customize the suite.

APEX now supports standard software deployment requirements such as the ability to export not only applications but individual windows, Foster said. The vice president said he's also pleased that the software includes a development environment for SQL and that creating sophisticated forms is now an easier process.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The 'hole' integration story

As much as McNichols Co. manufactures and sells perforated steel and plastic products from it headquarters in Tampa, Fla., it simultaneously sells an equal amount of information.

Service and sales reps have to be fluid with the company's order entry system, which must be agile enough to keep up with constant customer demands for information on product size, color, material and composition.

Last year, it became apparent the company's 20-year-old legacy ordering application, written in the RPG (report program generator) language needed an overhaul -- and a shot of Java.

McNichols' RPG order entry app ran on IBM's AS/400 iSeries servers and called data from a DB2 database. Writing a new pick-me-up Java application was simple enough. Getting it to talk to the legacy RPG app and preserving the data investment was quite an integration challenge.

"Our information system is the lifeblood of our company," said Don Slocum, director of information services for McNichols. "We decided to rebuild our sales order management system and try to bring our staff up on Java."

McNichols stuck with IBM and used WebSphere, along with Java and XAware Inc.'s XA-iServer to connect the new application to the RPG app. The new data migration, integration and Web services platform is flexible enough to someday soon extend the company's order entry system to suppliers and customers on the Internet, Slocum said.

"It's a standard method to do I/O routines without having to custom code," Slocum said.

Slocum explained that the new platform enabled developers to create XML documents that treated multiple data sources as a single logical source. This permits the exchange of information between the two systems, partners and suppliers in a standard way.

"Our core competency is providing customers with information and doing it effectively, moving back and forth between applications," Slocum said. "One big challenge is going back and forth from the green screen to the Java GUI look and feels."

The two applications are now married, Slocum said. Customer inquiries make a database call on one application that is eventually passed to the other. Once a call is made, a trigger is set off on the Java side, for example, that says there's a similar file on the RPG side, Slocum said. Via XAware and IBM middleware, updates are made on both sides.

Once technological issues were resolved, the next issue was bringing staff up to speed on Java.

"Most of our staff is RPG-based and had to go from a process-oriented language to object-oriented language," Slocum said. "We were not as successful as we hoped."

Slocum had to bring in Java programmers with Web services experience and had to retrain his RPG experts in writing XML business documents.

"You're not getting a lot of RPG pros coming out of college," Slocum said.

Slocum added that roles in the browser-based Java application in this initial release were restricted to managers who would be able to manage accounts and process credit requests in addition to sales information. The next iteration of the application will automate special customized orders, something that is currently done manually. The application will eventually be extended to customers and suppliers over the Web. Customers, for example, will be able to see their purchase profile and retrieve old quotes and transaction records. They will also be able to see what other customers with similar needs have purchased in the past.

"We hope to take this to the Web for novice customers," Slocum said. "This system is flexible enough to extend it to customers and suppliers."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

EJB 3.0 Enterprise Beans for the JBoss Application Server

This document takes you through the basics of developing an enterprise application using EJB 3.0 technology, which is part of the Java EE 5 platform. This document shows how the EJB 3.0 technology can simplify the process of developing enterprise applications. Click to learn more..

Monday, September 11, 2006

If U luv music go to this site..

Super.. Stylish.. Slick.. That's MTV for ya.. See for yourself..

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hey.. Found this site on slabs and tiles.. Not very nicely designed but you could have a bird's eye view on these items.. Check it out..

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Transition Accomplished

Now every new Mac ships with an Intel processor. Experience delightful responsiveness from the smallest Mac mini to the most beefed-up Mac Pro. Get to know more about this.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How HTML Code Affects E-Mail Deliverability

A common email marketing misconception is email is filtered because it contains words such as "free" in the subject line or body. By itself, that won't get your email filtered. Though certain content combinations may get a message filtered, ISPs may be trapping your legitimate email for infractions you rarely pay attention to. Click to know what can be done about the HTML coding in these kinda things.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Discovery on Internet but with Pay

My fav channel on tv, Discovery is on the internet but with pay (can someone do something abot this :)). So sit back and have some reality shows on your desktop.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lower Earth Orbit

Most manned spaceflights have been in LEO, including all Space Shuttle and various space station missions; the only exceptions have been suborbital test flights such as the early Project Mercury missions and the flights of the X-15 rocket plane (which was not intended to reach LEO), and the Project Apollo missions to the Moon (which went beyond LEO). Launch to learn more..