April 30, 2007

Chandigarh Aims to be New IT Hotspot

Fed up with traffic snarls and scarred roads, a software engineer in India's flagship IT hub of Bangalore took to the streets in protest last year—doodling on his laptop while trotting along on a bullock-cart.

While Bangalore continues to host the bulk of India's IT business and is home to more than 1,500 top firms, poor roads and traffic woes are now pushing IT firms to look beyond Bangalore—to newer cities like Chandigarh, hundreds of miles north.

Chandigarh is joint capital of Punjab and Haryana—better known as India's "breadbaskets". The city is now taking tentative steps to become a new corporate destination.

"The IT industry is excited about Chandigarh's potential as an emerging IT destination," said Kiran Karnik, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), India's top trade body for the IT industry.

"Already, many IT companies have begun operations there or have plans of doing so, making it one of the new 'hot spots' for the IT industry," he told Reuters by email.

Infosys, India's second-largest software company, was among the first to move here and began full operations from its complex spread over 30 acres in the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP).

The office currently employs about 1,500 people and plans for more than 5,000 staff to work in the glass-walled building.

At least 13 other companies operate from the 123 acres of the park, including Wipro Ltd., Bharti Airtel, Tech Mahindra, and eSys.

"When fully functional in the next few years, the park is expected to have 25,000 IT professionals," said Chandigarh's IT director Manjit Brar. "It will be the IT hub of north India."

Current investment in the park, located on the outskirts of the city, is 7 billion rupees and in two years it is expected to touch 30 billion rupees, Brar said.


Hackers Successfully Hijack Google AdWords

Google recently admitted that hackers successfully hijacked AdWords, which allowed cyber criminals to use affected links to redirect users to web sites that contained malicious software. Google immediately shut down the offending links once they were discovered early last week.

At least 20 specific search terms that appeared on Google as legitimate ads, redirected users to smartattack.org, which distributed the malicious code. Users were sent to the legitimate site thereafter the damage was done.

The flaw appears to only have affected users of the Microsoft Windows XP operating systems. The web exploit was discovered by Exploit Prevention Labs, a security firm. They said they found the threat earlier this month when searching the phrase “how to start a business.” One of the hyperlinks related to the search term led to a site that attempted to install a keylogger.

"This is an issue we've taken very seriously and will continue to monitor. We are evaluating our systems to ensure that the appropriate measures are in place to block future attempts," Google said.

It is unknown how many people were affected by the exploit. The Mountain View-based company declined to disclose which search terms were involved.

April 27, 2007

Tech-Crunch:-Plug-n-Play Hardware KeyLoggers - Useful but Dangerous

If you are using a public terminal in an internet cafe, college library or even inside the posh business center of an hotel or airport lounge, do check the connection between your keyboard cable and the desktop - the white AA battery sized hardware device in the picture is actually a keystroke logger.
Hardware Keyloggers
Hardware keyloggers may soon become a challenge in schools and offices as these devices get affordable and widely available.

These deceptive KeyGhost hardware keyloggers plug-in between your keyboard and Desktop PC and will largely go unnoticed by the computer user. Once plugged in, it tracks and records all computer keystrokes in it's internal Flash memory. The keystrokes can later be retrieved using any text editor.


Nokia Ships N76 With Travis' Music

Nokia has started shipping the Nokia N76 to key European, Asian and Middle Eastern markets and has tied up with Sony BMG Music Entertainment to bring the award winning music of Travis to new owners of the Nokia N76 in these markets.

onsumers who purchase the Nokia N76 will have as part of the Nokia N76 sales package, a special voucher that gives the owners the rights to download 5 pre-selected Travis songs from the MSN music shops in their countries.


Yahoo!'s India Our City & India Maps

Yahoo! India has launched two new exciting products for the Indian market, including Yahoo! India Our City, and Yahoo! India Maps.

The company said the Yahoo! India Our City beta is an innovative, next generation Web 2.0 mash-up application from Yahoo!.

According to company sources, this is the direct outcome of the internal Hack Day event organized at Yahoo! India R&D, where the idea was first conceived.

David Filo, Co-Founder of Yahoo!, said, "Yahoo! India Our City provides an interesting, rich, and dynamically updated perspective of a city as seen and experienced by people at large. Users can use 'Our City' to explore photos, videos, events, news, weather, blogs, and share events, photos, videos, and trip plans with others.


AOL One Step Behind Again: New Home Page Identical To Yahoo

AOL has started beta testing a new home page (the main AOL.com portal). AOL Senior Product Manager (and occasional TechCrunch contributor) Frank Gruber introduced it on his personal blog earlier today, although he is not the product manager for the product.

Nice portal…but it is nearly identical to Yahoo home page, which was redesigned last year. Click on the image above for a larger view. Internally, I’m hearing AOLers refer to the new portal as “the Yahoo Portal” although its official name is AOL 3.0.

Internet companies like to copy things from their competitors that work, but as we’ve seen even the largest companies sometimes get caught copying a little too much.


'$100 Laptop' to Cost $175

The founder of the ambitious ''$100 laptop'' project, which plans to give inexpensive computers to schoolchildren in developing countries, revealed Thursday that the machine now costs $175, and it will be able to run Windows in addition to its homegrown, open-source interface.

Nicholas Negroponte, the former director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab who now heads the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child project, updated analysts and journalists on where the effort stands, saying ''we are perhaps at the most critical stage of OLPC's life.''


100 Million S60 Devices Shipped

Nokia has announced that over 100 million S60 devices have cumulatively been shipped by to date. S60 software built on Symbian OS is smartphone software, developed by Nokia and licensed by some of the industry's top mobile device manufacturers.

"This announcement represents a significant landmark for S60. We believe it inspires further innovation on S60. The open platform gives mobile users more choice and provides a platform upon which new applications and services can be built", said Matti Vänskä, Vice President, Mobile Software Sales and Marketing, Nokia.


AOL Announces India Portal

America Online (AOL) has launched its India portal to offer next-generation e-mail service with unlimited storage and spam blocking.

The company said that the Web site, www.aol.in, offers a host of Web services such as instant messenger, Google search, videos, Bollywood channels, City Guides, education, international music, and access to mobile devices for e-mails, chat, and downloads.


April 26, 2007

Philips Launches GoGear Range of MP3 Players

Philips Electronics India Ltd, has announced the launch of its new range of 'GoGear' digital audio/video MP3 players for the Indian market.

Representatives of Philips say the digital audio/video MP3 GoGear range is designed to be user friendly to cater to personalized needs of the consumers. Philips GoGear range offers MP3 and WMA playback, voice recordings, more music with Digital FM Radio with 10 station presets, 1.8" colour screen for navigation and photo viewing, video support for files up to QQVGA (160x128 pixels) resolution and Philips Video Converter software to convert your video files and a battery life of 10 hours.


Microsoft Releases First Public Beta of "Longhorn" Server

Microsoft Corp. is posting the final beta and first publicly available and feature-complete version of Windows Server "Longhorn," marking the final time the product will be available for testing and feedback before the long-awaited server update is available later this year.

Microsoft will post Longhorn beta 3 code on a special Web page sometime Wednesday evening Eastern Time, said Ward Ralston, senior technical product manager for the software. It's the first time anyone who's interested can get their hands on the product, which has been in private beta release only until now.


Yahoo! Music Launches Licensed Lyrics Service

Beginning today, song lyrics for hundreds of thousands of songs from major publishers will be incorporated into Yahoo! Music through Gracenote’s growing database, thanks to a new licensing deal between the companies. Through the agreement, consumers can search for song lyrics from the Yahoo! Music Search bar, simply by entering even a partial lyric from the song.

“You mean Bob Dylan isn’t actually saying ‘The ants, my friend, are in a bowling pin?’” asks Ian Rogers, general manager of Yahoo! Music. “Finally, a free, legal and definitive way to settle a bet with the guy sitting next to you at the bar who is certain the Ramones’ most famous anthem declares, ‘I wanna piece of bacon.’”

All is not beer and skittles with the new lyrics service, however, as the database is far from complete. Yahoo! says it has lyrics for over 400,000 songs, and a quick test reveals that it contains lyrics for only four songs from The Doors, while Justin Timberlake has 15, and Jessica Simpson has 40 songs.


Create Animated GIFs Online - Photo Slideshows without Flash

GIF Animations [multiple picture frames in one file] can be used for creating image slideshows, screencasts, text banners or evenmovies. Some MySpace and MyBlogLog users also use animated GIF avatars to attract eyeballs.

Animate GIF Photo Creator
To create an animated GIF online, all you need is a set of images (in any format like jpg, png, etc) and Glickr.com, a free site that will convert them into an animated GIF movie of predefined sizes that you can use as profile avatars or post them on blogs.


April 12, 2007

Blogs cry for code of conduct

NEW YORK: Bloggers are facing some high-profile peer pressure to please be a little more polite.

Blogs, online journal-style Web sites, are growing in popularity on the Internet and so has the bad posting behavior that has sparked a call for a code of conduct.

"We have a lot of people who wrap themselves in the mantle of free speech when they're really just being childish," said Tim O'Reilly, a Web pioneer who amended the draft of his bloggers' code of conduct on Wednesday after a backlash of online posters cried censorship over civility.

O'Reilly, the innovator behind the term Web 2.0., recently posted the code's first draft on his own site and on wikia.com, which is run by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.


Google Zooms in on Darfur Atrocities

Google's much talked about online mapping service, Google Earth, will now draw public attention to reported continued atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The project was flagged off yesterday by Google along with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Under the aegis of this project, Google Earth has been updated with high resolution satellite imagery of Darfur that documents destroyed villages, displaced people, and refugee camps, among others.

So, Google Earth users will now come across icons when they scour the Darfur region. The icons represent destroyed villages with flames and refugee camps with tents.

Clicking on flame icons will lead users to information on the villages destroyed. The resolution for some areas has been enhanced to the extent that users can see the burnt remnants of houses.


Opera 9.20 - More Homepages at Your Fingertips

The latest version Opera (a free browser from Norway) brings the speed dial from your phone to your browser. You can configure a start page with nine boxes where you can add frequently visited sites. The page shows up everytime you open a new tab, but the sites added to the start page can be opened by simply clicking on Ctrl-[number from 1 to 9].

Opera shows real-time thumbnails of the selected pages and lets you reload them at a custom interval so it's a cool way to monitor changes.

April 11, 2007

Its Now Viacom & Yahoo! Vs Google!

In a significant development, Viacom has announced Yahoo! as its online advertising partner in a multiyear deal that might prove beneficial to Yahoo! vs-a-vs its younger rival, Google.

Financial terms of the deal are not yet disclosed. But Viacom will likely get 70 to 80 percent of the revenue generated from Yahoo! ads, based on existing commissions in the Internet industry.

As per the agreement, small text-based adverts will appear alongside search results and other such content on nearly 33 Web sites owned by Viacom, including MTV.com, VH1.com, ComedyCentral.com, Nickelodeon.com, and BET.com.

That Viacom and Google are embroiled in a legal tussle over copyrights issues only adds an interesting twist to the Viacom-Yahoo! association.


Open-Source OCR Software, Sponsored by Google

Google sponsors the development of an open-source OCR software at the IUPR research group. "OCRopus is a state-of-the-art document analysis and OCR system, featuring pluggable layout analysis, pluggable character recognition, statistical natural language modeling, and multi-lingual capabilities."

"The goal of the project is to advance the state of the art in optical character recognition and related technologies, and to deliver a high quality OCR system suitable for document conversions, electronic libraries, vision impaired users, historical document analysis, and general desktop use," explains Thomas Breuel, who leads the project.

The software is partly based on Tesseract, the best open source OCR engine available for now. While the project is expected to be released at the end of next year and will be used for Google's book scanning project, the team has some interesting applications in mind:


Scribd - YouTube for Pirated eBooks, But for How Long ?

Download PDF ebooks on Scribd
Looking to download eBooks and magazines in PDF format ? Stop Googling, just visit Scribd, the new safe haven for eBook pirates.

Scribd, where anyone can upload and share documents or presentations, is slowly turning into a huge repository of popular eBook titles and a lot of them are copyright material.

O'Reilly programming books, Harry Potter novels, Adobe Photoshop eBooks, Dummies Series, Complete Idiot's Guide series of MacMillan, How-To series of McGraw Hill .. you name a book and chances are high that someone has already uploaded the title to Scribd.

Even the popular "Getting Things Done" by author David Allen is available on Scribd. Anyone can read, search or download these titles in PDF or Microsoft Word format for free without having to register on Scribd.

What's more - Scribd users have created collections of eBooks that makes it all the more easy to find and download pirated books on related topics. There are collection of O'Reilly books, programming titles, Web 2.0, sex eBooks and so on.


April 10, 2007

Tech-Crunch:-Blogging in a Land Where the Press Isn't Free

LAHORE, Pakistan -- To look at a typical newsstand, Pakistan's press appears vibrant and diverse. There are more than 100 national and regional newspapers -- several dozen in English -- and judging by the oft-fiery editorial pages, columnists and journalists are free from shackles. Compare this to other Muslim nations where journalists are routinely jailed, or worse, for the slightest slights against the ruling institutions. Egypt. Morocco.

But according to local blogger Mohammad Khan, "it's one of the biggest hoaxes there is -- the belief that the (Pakistani) press is free."

Indeed. Reporters Without Borders ranks Pakistan 157th out of 168 countries in terms of press restrictions. The Pakistan Press Foundation reported that 33 journalists were recently "detained" for protesting police action against a broadcaster in Islamabad.

So far, bloggers like Khan have managed to fly below the government's radar, but the internet is coming quickly to this nation that borders not just India, but also China, Afghanistan and Iran. A growing middle class already has DSL at home. Internet cafes, though still limited, offer decent connections for just 20 rupees (33 cents) an hour.


A Batch of Gmail Accounts, Accidentally Disabled

Next time when you can't access Gmail, be happy that Gmail is down only for a few minutes. Other people have to live days without their Gmail accounts (and you know it's hard to do that).

Last week, the Gmail team realized that a bunch of spammers found a temporary home at gmail.com. Says the Gmail team: "We have been actively investigating a batch of accounts that were accidentally disabled and are currently in the process of re-enabling these accounts. This error occurred in an effort to target a large network of spammers to keep them out of the Gmail system and keep your inbox free from spam. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we re-enable these accounts as quickly as possible."

Collateral damages, you'll say. But not if you're one of the poor souls who had the misfortune to be the target of Gmail's team raid. While some of the accounts were disabled, others didn't have links to email attachments.


New Graphic Card has Water Cooling

Asus India has introduced a new graphics card, "EN8800GTX AquaTank," featuring an innovative water cooling technology.

With an all-in-one watercooled module, the EN8800GTX AquaTank/HTDP/768M graphics card is able to push performance by 11 percent, and still remain 12" C cooler than generic GF8800GTX cards, Asus says.

According to Vinay Shetty, Product Manager of Component Business, Asus India, "With the increased power of the GeForce 8800GTX graphics processor, comes an increasing need for good cooling. A GeForce 8800GTX video card with stock cooling can reach temperatures around 80" C at full load, something that isn't ideal in the long run, especially if you want to overclock the GPU."

"Asus has chosen another route when it comes to finding a good cooling solution for an overclocked card. The Asus EN8800GTX AquaTank has combined an 8800GTX video card with a Water cooling device. So sit back and enjoy the gaming performance you dreamt about," Shetty said.


April 7, 2007

Yahoo! Alpha - Google Custom Search Engine Gets a Competitor

Yahoo!7 is about to release version 1.0 of Yahoo! Alpha beta - a new service that allows users to create personalized search engine homepage using an intuitive drag-n-drop interface.

Unlike Google Custom Search engine which is closely tied to Google Web Search, Yahoo! Alpha shows search results from various Yahoo! or third-party services on the same page.

The services currently available are Yahoo! Web search, Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube but you can build your own search modules as long as they provide search results are available in the form of RSS feeds.

There's also a special module called "Sponsored Results" that displays text ads based on your search query. This gives a strong hint that Yahoo! may be planning to share ad revenue with users just like Google's CSE.

Yahoo! Alpha is still in beta but looks very promising. You can think of Yahoo! Alpha as a start-page like Netvibes or PageFlakes where every widget is related to search.

Am Alive...

hey ppl... so how are u... no no am nt dead or nything... ya i know i hv nt updated my blogs 4 so long bt ppl i ws quite busy with annual fest of my coll.. n after that exams... bt am sorry...
hmmm bt nw am back bt nt really in action... bt still will try my best to keep my blogs updated....