Sunday, November 30, 2008


Online gamers, bow before the king.
According to developer Blizzard, the recently released World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King sold over 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability, making it the single fastest selling PC game in history.
In an official statement, Blizzard CEO and co founder Mike Morhaime expressed thanks.
"We're grateful for the incredible support that players around the world have continued to show for World of Warcraft," he said. "Wrath of the Lich King contains some of the best content we've created for the game so far, and we look forward to seeing even more players log in to experience it in the days ahead."

He didn't, however, express much surprise. That's because the second fastest selling PC game of all time is none other than the first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade, which sold through roughly 2.4 million copies in its opening day.
Those numbers are just as stunning as they look. To give some context, it took EA's chart-topping evolutionary simulation Spore a good three weeks to hit the two million mark. And with 11 million active Warcraft subscribers out there, expect more records to be broken before the year is over.

By Ben Silverman

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In observance of this year's World Aids Day, I decided to pause, reflect and pay respect to those suffered and died, not the numbers and figures in the statistics, but the real people who are unwilling victims of this dreadful disease. As I was preparing and gathering resources for my World Aids Day post, with a mindset that this is a usual post with statistics and everything, I came upon this very disturbing Aids In Asia photos, taken in Cambodia. Truly a single picture speaks a thousand words, and it presents me with the harsh and painful reality.

Here's the reality and some words from the photographer:
"Numbers and statistics are just that, nothing more than markings on paper or words on a news program, the human side however is truly disturbing. Patients wait to die alone, coated in flies and nursed by family members. Understaffed hospitals are in such disrepair that they have been deemed biohazard and HAZMAT threats and workers refuse to even enter the premises, much less make necessary repairs and provide care to patients. In several well known hospitals I found myself literally wading through ankle deep piles of disposed needles, catheter bags and soiled linens, as patents navigated hallways with potholes that dropped through to the floors below."
He further dedicates his photos and closes as saying:
"This photo story is dedicated to my new friends who sit quietly and wait to die, those who choose not to sit quietly but fight for the lives and the health of their friends, family, and complete strangers. This photo story should also serve as an attack on the organizations, governments, corporations and pharmaceutical giants who quite simply are doing too little."

Maybe after posting, I will take a short walk outside, take a deep breath and find a quiet corner where I can be alone, maybe mumble a few prayers, and ponder on this lousy overasked question, but weighs a ton at this moment....WHY?

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Friday, November 28, 2008


Nokia's 6260 is the company's first phone with support for both faster download and upload speeds using HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), at up to 10.2 M bits per second and 2M bps respectively.
Nokia has been dragging its feet on support for more bandwidth, but there is now enough demand from consumers and support from network operators for the faster upload and download speeds to make it worth the effort.
Users will be able to take advantage of the higher speeds when uploading images and videos to Web sites, blogs and social networks, and the faster download speeds when, for example, watching videos, according to Nokia.
So far Nokia phone users have been limited to download speeds of 3.6M bps and upload speeds of 384K bps.
Other phones that support faster speeds include the T-Mobile G1, Research in Motion's BlackBerry Storm and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.
The 6260 slide is expected to retail for €299 (US$386) before taxes and subsidies, and will ship at the beginning of next year, according to Nokia.
The phone runs Nokia's Series 40 software and offers quick access to search engines from the home screen. Other features include support for Wi-Fi, a 5-megapixel camera and A-GPS (Assisted Global Positioning System).
"Nokia is looking at the current downturn, and I think it sees an opportunity to really consolidate and capitalize on its scale, and keep coming out with more and more feature-rich, aggressively priced devices to put more pressure on its competitors," said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008


You can learn more about what you didn't realize was wrong with your PS3 from reading these updates. Did you know the browser couldn't play Flash videos? The system couldn't be set to turn off automatically after a given period of inactivity? You couldn't print to network printers? That the mini panel for music playback didn't have a pause icon?
Neither did I. I also had no idea what "mosquito noise" was until I looked it up. Actually I knew what it was, I just called it something else. You'd know it as "fuzz" around the edges of objects in a compressed video or picture. It's technically a subset of the sort of general artifact degradation that can occur when complex data gets dropped or misplaced during an aggressive compression process. The update adds a feature to reduce it on videos saved to the hard disk or played from other media.
Wait. Stop. Back up. What I meant to say, was the last few updates added all that stuff. Seems some sites are confused about what's new and what isn't. In the v2.53 update, the only change is apparently this one:
An update to the PS3™ system software was released on November 26, 2008. You can use this update to upgrade your system software to version 2.53.
New to 2.53: The Internet browser now supports full-screen mode for Adobe® Flash® Player content.*
Support for Adobe® Flash® Player 9 has been added.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Coming up with a great technology product or service is only half the battle these days. Creating a name for said product that is at once cool but not too cool or exclusionary, marketable to both early adopters and a broader audience, and, of course, isn't already in use and protected by various trademarks and copyright laws is difficult--to say the least.
The makers of these 10 tech products--the iPod, BlackBerry, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X and the "Big Cats," and Red Hat Linux--all have displayed certain amounts marketing savvy, common sense and fun-loving spirit in settling on their products' names. Here are the intriguing, surprising and sometimes predictable accounts of their creation.
ThinkPad: Simplicity Wins Out

The venerable line of PC notebooks rolled onto the scene in 1992. While the concept was spot on, there was turmoil at IBM as to what to call it. IBM's pen-computing group wanted to keep it simple; they liked ThinkPad. But IBM's corporate naming committee didn't--it didn't have a number, and every IBM product had to have a number, and how would ThinkPad translate into other languages? Due to the chutzpah of the IBMer who unveiled it, ThinkPad won out, and it was a huge hit for IBM, which eventually sold it to Lenovo in 2005.
Android: Secretive, But Still Not Exciting

You'd think the story behind the naming of the Open Handset Alliance's new open-source platform for mobile devices, which includes the brand-new G1 loaded with Google's goodies, would be cool. But, uh, not so much. Back in 2005, Google quietly acquired a mysterious startup named Android Inc., which had been operating under "a cloak of secrecy" on "making software for mobile phones," reported Businessweek. The result of all Google's secrecy and Internet hype was the debut of T-Mobile's G1 on Oct. 22, 2008.
Wikipedia: Just What It Sounds Like

According to Wikipedia, the name Wikipedia is a portmanteau of wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and encyclopedia (you remember, those large books that, as kids, we ruthlessly plagiarized for school book reports). FYI: a portmanteau is a fancy way of saying that we're going to take two words, jam them together and (hopefully) create a new concept that people will love. So far, so good. In an illustration of the axiom "the more things change the more they stay the same": Today, kids and adults now ruthlessly plagiarize Wikipedia instead of encyclopedias.
Mac OS X and "The Big Cats": Catlike Sleekness and Style

Apple's popular Mac operating system X actually denotes the Roman numeral 10, since it is the OS's tenth release, following Mac OS 9. To the ire of Apple fanboys, many people do refer to it as letter 'X.' More interesting have been the "big cat" code names assigned to each succeeding X release that have stuck with Apple's marketing: Cheetah (10.0), Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and current kitty Leopard. Snow Leopard has been assigned for the 10.6 release, with rumors that Lynx and Cougar are in the works.
Red Hat Linux: A Name Rich with Meaning

Cofounder Bob Young has given multidimensional origins of the red fedora name:
1. It was named after red, which in Western history is "the symbol of liberation and challenge of authority."
2. Cofounder Marc Ewing wore his grandfather's red Cornell lacrosse hat in college and became known for this tech expertise--those with problems went to see the guy in the red hat.
3. Ewing named his software projects Red Hat 1, Red Hat 2 and so on. "So, when he started his Linux project, he just named it Red Hat Linux," Young said. All righty then!

Thomas Wailgum, CIO

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Monday, November 24, 2008


Microsoft said that the anti-malware tool it pushes to Windows users as part of Patch Tuesday removed fake security software from nearly a million PCs during nine days this month.
In a post to the company's malware protection center blog on Wednesday, three of Microsoft's security researchers spelled out the impact this month's edition of the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) has had on phony security software. In the period from Nov. 11 to Nov. 19, said Scott Wu, Scott Molenkamp and Hamish O'Dea, MSRT purged more than 994,000 machines of what the tool recognizes as "W32/FakeSecSen," the malware label for a broad range of bogus security program with names such as "Advanced Antivirus," "Spyware Preventer," "Ultimate Antivirus 2008" and "XPert Antivirus."
Windows users have been plagued with a flood of worthless security software in recent months as criminals have discovered that they're money-makers. According to one researcher, cyber-crooks can pull in as much as US$5 million a year by installing the rogue programs on PCs, then dunning users with made-up claims that the machine is infected. Unless consumers fork over a payment -- usually $40 to $50 -- the constant stream of pop-up messages continue, making the machine hard to use.
Windows users may install the fake programs because they've been duped into thinking that they're real -- at times, bogus security software has been ranked high in Internet search results -- although the rogue applications are also often secretly installed by malware that's infected a system.
The clean-up job was one of Microsoft's biggest ever. In June 2008, MSRT sniffed out 1.2 million PCs infected with a family of password stealers, while in February, it scrubbed the Vundo Trojan from about a million machines. Over several months at the end of last year, the tool hit the then-notorious Storm Trojan hard, eventually eradicating it from a half-million PCs, something Microsoft bragged about later.
This time, Microsoft took the opportunity to pat itself on the back again. Although each FakeSecSen installation normally contains an .exe file, one or two .dat files, a control panel applet and other components, the MSRT found that only about 20% of the infected PCs it uncovered still harbored the .exe. (Other components remained, however, as evidence of the bogus program's installation.)
Microsoft speculated that the .exe files had been removed by other anti-malware software that had overlooked the other pieces. "Microsoft was able to thoroughly clean systems of FakeSecSen while other malware detection tools may not have caught and cleaned as many executables," said Bill Sisk, a Microsoft security spokesman, in an e-mail.
Windows users can download the MSRT manually from Microsoft's Web site, or via the Windows Update service

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Friday, November 21, 2008


Thank you Rockstar, it's about time we're finally talking release dates for the Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable content you promised ages ago. We won't hold your tardiness against you, though you are rather tardy here. February 17, 2009? That's stringing things out a bit, no?
The first of two episodes, "The Lost and Damned" will be exclusive to Xbox 360 and include a new main character and plot that intersects with GTA IV's central storyline. Rockstar says it'll include new missions "that offer an entirely fresh way to explore Liberty City with new multiplayer modes, weapons and vehicles, and a diverse soundtrack with additional music."

“Making these episodes has enabled us to expand the narrative and the experience of interacting with a game world in really innovative ways,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “We hope fans of the game enjoy the new way of experiencing life in Liberty City contained in this first episode.”

Great if belated news for Xbox 360 owners, but why no love for PlayStation 3 or PC (the PC version ships in just a few weeks on 12/2)? Or is all this ballyhoo just a smokescreen for timed exclusivity?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Coming up with a great technology product or service is only half the battle these days. Creating a name for said product that is at once cool but not too cool or exclusionary, marketable to both early adopters and a broader audience, and, of course, isn't already in use and protected by various trademarks and copyright laws is difficult--to say the least.
The makers of these 10 tech products--the iPod, BlackBerry, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X and the "Big Cats," and Red Hat Linux--all have displayed certain amounts marketing savvy, common sense and fun-loving spirit in settling on their products' names. Here are the intriguing, surprising and sometimes predictable accounts of their creation.
iPod: "Open the pod bay door, Hal"

During Apple's MP3 player development, Steve Jobs spoke of Apple's strategy: the Mac as a hub to other gadgets. Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter Apple hired to help name the gadget before its debut in 2001, fixed on that idea, according to Wired. He brainstormed hubs of all kinds, eventually coming to the concept of a spaceship. You could leave it, but you'd have to return to refuel. The stark plastic front of the prototype inspired the final connection: pod, a la 2001. Add an "i" and the connection to the iMac was complete.
BlackBerry: Sweet Addictiveness

Canada's Research in Motion called on Lexicon Branding to help name its new wireless e-mail device in 2001. The consultancy pushed RIM founders away from the word "e-mail," which research shows can raise blood pressure. Instead, they looked for a name that would evoke joy and somehow give feelings of peace. After someone made the connection that the small buttons on the device resembled a bunch of seeds, Lexicon's team (see profile) explored names like strawberry, melon and various vegetables before settling on blackberry--a word both pleasing and which evoked the black color of the device.
Firefox: Second Time's a Charm

Choosing a name that evokes a product's essence and is available can be quite complicated, as the Mozilla folks found out. The early version of Mozilla's browser was called Firebird, but due to another open-source project with the same name, the Mozilla elders renamed their browser Firefox, which is another name for red panda. Why? "It's easy to remember. It sounds good. It's unique. We like it," they said. Best of all? Nobody else was using it.
Twitter: Connecting the Digital Flock 140 Characters at a Time

When cofounder Biz Stone saw the application that Jack Dorsey created in 2006 he was reminded of the way birds communicate: "Short bursts of information...Everyone is chirping, having a good time." In response, Stone came up with "twttr," and the group eventually added some vowels. It's hard to think of a more evocative name in the tech world than twitter, but what began as what Stone described as "trivial" bursts of communication developed into a powerful means of networking, breaking news, and forum for the 44th U.S. president's campaign.
Windows 7: Counting on the Power of 7

While Microsoft's next OS is kind of a "Ho-hum" name, one has only to look at what happened with the most recent Windows release to understand why Microsoft might have gone back to a tried-and-true naming philosophy: Vista? Ouch. Windows 95 and XP? Those have done much better. Microsoft's Mike Nash announced the name this way: "Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore 'Windows 7' just makes sense." We're betting that Microsoft execs are hoping that number 7 will deliver on its promise of luck--they could sure use a win after Vista.

Thomas Wailgum, CIO
{end of first installment - watch my future posts for the second part installment}

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Nokia's E63 smartphone, announced Wednesday, will cost €199 (US$250) before any subsidies -- a price that puts the phone maker ahead in a burgeoning price war and which one analyst described as "eye-popping."
The E63 is a qwerty messaging device, with a 2.36-inch display, a 2-megapixel camera and two customizable home screen views for both business and personal use. Nokia promises easy e-mail setup and users can surf the Internet using a WLAN.
The phone also comes with support for Files on Ovi, so anyone buying the handset will have access to 1G byte of free online file storage, according to Nokia.
"Nokia has never made any secret of the fact that it wanted to take S60 to aggressive price points and with a retail price of 199 it is certainly showing Nokia can do that," said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.
Other phone vendors will have no choice but to follow Nokia's lead. Companies that want to be competitive have to match the best prices in the market and with the economy being what it is pricing will become increasingly important, according to Wood.
"Given the current economic climate, price is becoming more important than ever before, because what we are seeing is that the major network operators are starting to take subsidies out of phones, so if you want well-featured phones bought by consumers you have to supply them at an aggressive price," Wood said.
Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, has identified the same trend -- the price war will only intensify at a time when new entrants into the market are increasing their pressure on competitors to reduce prices, mainly for feature phones and smartphones, he wrote in a recent research note.
Nokia isn't the only company that plans to put smartphone pricing under pressure. Huawei and newcomer INQ are also getting into the game. Huawei -- a company that has already turned mobile infrastructure pricing on its head -- said last week that it plans to launch both Android and Symbian phones during the first half of next year. And INQ is launching Thursday, with its devices designed to stimulate mass-market mobile data use, featuring a select set of geographically relevant social networking, e-mail and instant messaging applications, according to a company presentation.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


Google Inc. has patched Chrome to prevent attackers from stealing files from PCs running the open-source browser.
The update, however, has not been pushed out to most users yet.
Google quashed the bug in a developer-only version of Chrome that has not been sent to all users via the browser's update mechanism. Chrome users, however, can reset the browser to receive all updates, including the developer editions, with the Channel Chooser plug-in.
Chrome, which was released Tuesday, fixes a vulnerability that could be used by hackers to read files on a user's machine, then transfer them to their own malicious servers. "We now prevent local files from connecting to the network with XMLHttpRequest() and also prompt you to confirm a download if it is an HTML file," Mark Larson, Chrome's program manager, said in an entry to the browser's developer blog.
Google also enhanced Chrome by adding several new features to the build, including a bookmark manager, more granular control over the browser's built-in privacy mode and a revamped pop-up blocker.
Larson warned users, however, that Chrome continues to have problems synchronizing offline data using Gears, Google's platform for building Web applications that can be used offline as well as when the user is connected to the Internet. "Sites that use Gears to synchronize offline data may occasionally hang," Larson said. "You should disable offline access for sites until a fix is released."
Chrome also includes a newer version of V8, the name for Google's JavaScript interpreter.
The current "official" beta build of Chrome is
Google's browser accounted for only 0.74% of the browser usage share last month, according to data from Web metrics company Net Applications Inc.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008


A scary security flaw that would allow malicious worms to infect one PC and then automatically jump to others prompted Microsoft to release a rare out-of-cycle patch in October. The glitch is critical for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, and for Windows Server 2000. Microsoft says that targeted attacks exploited the hole prior to the patch's release, and that "detailed exploit code" is currently available online.
This marks the first time since April 2007 that Microsoft has released a fix outside of its normal Patch Tuesday cycle; it wa s sparked by lessons learned from worm epidemics like Blaster and Slammer, which cost users billions of dollars to disinfect in 2003.
Though the new hole is a huge risk, protections put in place since the worms surfaced make another epidemic far less likely. Most important is Windows XP's default-on Windows Firewall: A worm crafted to attack the new flaw would have to establish an external connection, which firewalls usually block. If a PC has no firewall, however, or if it is set up to permit file sharing and an attack comes from an infected PC on the same network, the conquering worm could take over the targeted PC. Business networks, which typically have many PCs configured for file sharing, are thus at high risk.
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 have mitigating factors that reduce the risk from "critical" to "important," as rated by Microsoft. The company distributed the fix via Automatic Updates, but alternatively you can download it from Microsoft's Bulletin MS08-067 page. That page also provides further information on the situation.
IE Fixes, Too
On its regular Patch Tuesday schedule, Microsoft supplied fixes for six bad holes in Internet Explorer, underscoring the need to upgrade to IE 7 as soon as possible.
The wide-ranging flaws affect IE 5, 6, and 7 on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003, and Server 2008, but they're most serious if you use an older version of IE on Windows XP or 2000. In those cases, an attack could run any command and have its way with your PC. If you've upgraded to IE 7, the flaws permit miscreants to steal user names or other cookie-based data, but nothing more.
Two of the bugs rated as most dangerous in Microsoft's new "exploitability index assessment," which gauges how likely an attack is against a given vulnerability. Get the fixes through Automatic Updates, or download the patch (and read more info on the new exploitability ratings) from MICROSOFT TECHNET.
Insecure F-Secure
Once again, security software has created an insecurity. If an F-Secure's program--ranging from Internet Security 2008 to Anti-Virus 2008 to Home Server Security 2009, in versions dating to 2006--scans a poisoned compressed file, your PC could be compromised. F-Secure says that no attacks have occurred, but if you use any of these versions, make sure that it has picked up the latest program updates (which should happen automatically).

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The dangers of headphones now extend beyond accidentally walking into traffic: a new report released today suggests that pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) may react negatively to the magnets inside MP3-player headphones.
After testing eight different models of earbuds and clip-on headphones, Harvard researchers determined that patients with pacemakers and ICDs should keep headphones at least 1.2 inches away from the device. The magnets inside the headphones send false signals to the heart that may result in skipped beats or, in the case of ICDs: shutdown. According to the Washington Post, "15 percent of patients with pacemakers and 30 percent of those with defibrillators had a response to the magnets."
Keep in mind these problems arise from internal magnets, so the danger exists even when the MP3 player is not operating.
Some doctors are saying that this news sounds far more ominous than it is. Dr. Spencer Rosero, an associate professor of medicine in the electrophysiology unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told the Post that while this information good to know, it's not immediately life-threatening. "It would not kill you," he said. I don't know -- "defibrillator shutdown" sounds pretty dangerous to me.
Though the report suggests that iPods themselves do not interfere with pacemakers, previous reports say otherwise. It's important to remember the breadth of these studies do not encapsulate huge portions of the population and can be easily misread. Still, it's best to be safe and keep those earbuds tucked in your pocket.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm taking a time out from my usual blogging post for my blog group, BLOGGERS WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, to turn our attention to the plight of refugees worldwide with this brief situationer. Everytime armed conflicts escalates anywhere in the globe so does the refugees population. We also witnessed a significant rise of various humanitarian groups/persons-celebrities along with UNHR helping to find a solution to the this rising refugees pop. and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Refugee definitions are defined in 1951 Convention and 1969 OAU Convention, wherein 140 countries incorporated their refugee in their national legislation and keeping track of refugees easier. Besides this, there here has always been a conflict of definition of a refugee between UNHR, NGO's and the host country. In line with this, and for a refugee to be adequately protected and documented, a refugee must be registered. With this UNHR often supports countries in register and documenting refugees and categorized them into 7 groups and sub groups:

Refugees - Refugees include individuals recognized under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; its 1967 Protocol; the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, except some 4.6 million Palestinian refugees residing in areas of operation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Asylum-seekers - Asylum-seekers are persons who have applied for asylum or refugee status, but who have not yet received a final decision on their application.

Returned Refugees - The population category of Returned refugees refers to refugees who have returned to their country of origin

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) - are people or groups of individuals who have been forced to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of, or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural- or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an international border.

Returned IDPs - Returned IDPs refers to internally displaced persons who have returned to their place of origin or habitual residence. In returnee situations, UNHCR seeks to reintegrate former IDPs as soon as possible by targeting both returnees as well as receiving communities.

Stateless persons - Stateless persons are individuals not considered as nationals by any State under relevant national laws. UNHCR statistics on statelessness also include people with undetermined nationality.

Other groups or persons of concern - Other groups or persons of concern refers to individuals who do not necessarily fall directly into any of the groups above but to whom UNHCR has extended its protection and/or assistance services, based on humanitarian or other special grounds. Until 2003, this category also included stateless persons.

Georgian women refugees sit on a straw-laden farm transporter as they rest before continuing their flight from Russian troops.

Basing on UNHR's 2007 Global Trends, refugees and IDPs falling under UNHCR’s responsibility was estimated at 25.1 million, available information suggests that a total of 67 million people had been forcibly displaced at the end of 2007. This includes 16 million refugees, of whom 11.4 million fall under UNHCR’s mandate and some 4.6 million Palestinian refugees under the responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The number of IDPs is estimated at 51 million worldwide; some 26 million were displaced as a result of armed conflict and another 25 million were displaced by natural disasters. In addition, while often not considered as being displaced per se, it is estimated that there are some 12 million stateless people worldwide.

Against this global refugee backdrop, how are we Bloggers placed. Keeping in mind, that DOING NOTHING IS DOING HARM. Besides individual financial contributions wherein your $80 can provide 20 wool blankets to protect refugees from the cold, and your $100 can already provide a survival kit to a refugee family, with essentials such as blankets, cooking and heating stove, we can also use our individual talents, although each of us bloggers, originating from different countries and religions with diverse political beliefs will unite in one call - Bloggers Unite !!!

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Sunday, November 9, 2008


Intel has scheduled the launch of its first Nehalem chip for Nov. 17, which also will be the day several PC makers begin shipping desktops running the new processor.
Steve Smith, vice president and director of operations for Intel's digital enterprise group, told Computerworld earlier this week that the first Nehalem chip, officially named Core i7, will be a quad-core designed for high-end desktops used by power users and gamers. Intel has been shipping previews of the chips to hardware vendors since September.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at the Enderle Group, said this week that he's been test-driving an Intel-built desktop running the quad-core chip with the hyper threading turned on, so it's virtually an eight-core. "It's fast. It's really fast," said Enderle.
The analyst also noted that the chip shows "significant improvement" in power efficiency, a key requirement for high-performance computing.
The Nehalem architecture features a 45-nanometer, four-core processor with an integrated memory controller that eliminates the need for a front-side bus. The new architecture is modular, which officials say will make it easier to scale from two to eight cores.
The Core i7 chips also are being designed to have two-way, simultaneous multi-threading, use Intel's QuickPath interconnect, and have a three-level cache hierarchy, Intel said.
Smith said an eight-core Nehalem is slated to ship in the second half of 2009, while two-core and four-core Nehalem chips for laptops should ship at about the same time.

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Friday, November 7, 2008


With no popular phones released for this holiday season, and hardly any this year, Motorola is set to revamp its entire mobile phone division with the help of Google's mobile operating system, Android.
Sanjay Jha, the company's new handset division chief, is planning large scale job cuts and will slash the number of mobile operating systems the company uses at the moment.
Six is the number of operating systems Motorola uses so far in its phone lineup and the new strategy will reduce this number by three. As reported earlier this month, Motorola gathered a 350 strong Android developers team and now revealed plans use of Google's operating system for its mid-tier phones, which constitute the company's largest volume sales.
The other two remaining mobile phone operating systems at Motorola will be Windows Mobile, which will be used for high-end phones and its proprietary system (P2K OS) for its inexpensive handsets.
Google's Android is based on Linux, an open source standard that Motorola was fancying for quite a while, so there's no wonder that the company adopted Android as its preferred platform. Also, Google isn't asking for any royalties from manufacturers that use Android, so here's another well-spent buck for Motorola.
It's hard to predict whether Android is going to save Motorola from further trouble. However, Motorola seems to be taking the right steps toward a rejuvenated future, also making users happy by providing a decent and easy to maintain software platform.
We should see anytime now an Android-based Moto prototype.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Email spams can be described in two simple words "junk e-mail". Junk as they are, which are now a common fare in everyone's email inbox, but they can rob and con you and are dangerous, malware embedded, links you to dangerous sites if you heed them. Sometimes before branding them as spam in my Yahoo Mail inbox, I took the time to read them, and found out that they are becoming more creative each day. If you have read my previous post, "One of My Fave Spams ..." you will find that some are amusing to the point of beguiling the ignorance in us. Presently these spams cluttered my inbox in various prose and forms. As usual, no point in being irritated, so, I took the time to read, 'appreciate', and research them in various anti spam sites.
Here's what I found out:

The Bait: Con artists claim to be officials, businesspeople, or the surviving spouses of former government honchos in Nigeria or another country whose money is somehow tied up for a limited time. They offer to transfer lots of money into your bank account if you will pay a fee or "taxes" to help them access their money. If you respond to the initial offer, you may receive documents that look "official." Then they ask you to send money to cover transaction and transfer costs and attorney's fees, as well as blank letterhead, your bank account numbers, or other information. They may even encourage you to travel to the country in question, or a neighboring country, to complete the transaction. Some fraudsters have even produced trunks of dyed or stamped money to try to verify their claims.
The Catch: The emails are from crooks trying to steal your money or your identity. Inevitably, in this scenario, emergencies come up, requiring more of your money and delaying the "transfer" of funds to your account. In the end, there aren't any profits for you, and the scam artist vanishes with your money. The harm sometimes can be felt even beyond your pocketbook: according to State Department reports, people who have responded to "pay in advance " solicitations have been beaten, subjected to threats and extortion, and in some cases, murdered.
Your Safety Net: If you receive an email from someone claiming to need your help getting money out of a foreign country, don't respond. If you've lost money to one of these schemes, call your local Secret Service field office. Local field offices are listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory.

The Bait: Emails boasting enticing odds in foreign lotteries. You may even get a message claiming you've already won! You just have to pay to get your prize or collect your winnings.
The Catch: Most promotions for foreign lotteries are phony. The scammers will ask you to pay "taxes," "customs duties," or fees – and then keep any money you send." Scammers sometime ask you to send funds via wire transfer. Don't send cash or use a money-wiring service because you'll have no recourse if something goes wrong. In addition, lottery hustlers use victims' bank account numbers to make unauthorized withdrawals or their credit card numbers to run up additional charges. And one last important note: participating in a foreign lottery violates U.S. law.
Your Safety Net: Skip these offers. Don't send money now on the promise of a pay-off later.
For more spams update, visit:
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Monday, November 3, 2008


Search engines such as Google are increasingly being used by hackers against Web applications that hold sensitive data, according to a security expert.
Even with rising awareness about data security, it takes all of a few seconds to pluck Social Security numbers from Web sites using targeted search terms, said Amichai Shulman, founder and chief technology officer for database and application security company Imperva.
The fact that Social Security numbers are even on the Web is a human error; the information should never be published in the first place. But hackers are using Google in more sophisticated ways to automate attacks against Web sites, Shulman said.
Shulman said Imperva recently discovered a way to execute a SQL injection attack that comes from an IP (Internet Protocol) address that belongs to Google.
In a SQL injection attack, a malicious instruction is entered on a Web-based form and answered by a Web application. It often can yield sensitive information from a backend database or be used to plant malicious code on the Web page.
Shulman declined to give details on how the attack works during his presentation at the RSA Conference on Monday, but said it involves Google's advertising system. Google has been notified, he said.
Manipulating Google is particularly useful since it offers anonymity for a hacker plus an automated attack engine, Shulman said.
Tools such as Goolag and Gooscan can execute broad searches across the Web for specific vulnerabilities and return lists of Web sites that have those problems.
"This is no more a script kiddy game -- this is a business," Shulman said. "This is a very powerful hacking capability."
Another attack method is so-called Google worms, which use the search engine to find specific vulnerabilities. With the inclusion of additional code, the vulnerability can be exploited, Shulman said.
"In 2004, this was science fiction," Shulman said. "In 2008, this is a painful reality."
Google and other search engines are taking steps to stop the abuse. For example, Google has stopped certain kinds of searches that could yield a trove of Social Security numbers in a single swoop. It also puts limits on the number of search requests sent per minute, which can slow down mass searches for vulnerable Web sites.
In reality, it just forces hackers to be a bit more patient. Putting limits on search also hurts security professionals who want to do automated daily searches of their Web sites for problems, Shulman said.
Shulman said he's seen another kind of attack called "site masking," which causes a legitimate Web site to simply disappear from search results.
Google's search engine penalizes sites that have duplicate content and will drop one from its index. Hackers can take advantage of this by creating a Web site that has a link to a competitor's Web page but is filtered through a proxy server.
Google indexes the content under the proxy's domain. If this is done enough times with more proxy servers, Google will consider the targeted Web page a duplicate and drop it from its index.
"This is quite a business hassle," Shulman said.
One way Web site administrators can defend against this is barring their Web site from being indexed by anything other than the legitimate IP address of a search engine, Shulman said.

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Saturday, November 1, 2008


Let's just put it this way.. You boot your computer and you let these programs load at startup... your entire Microsoft Office, your Quicktime is always there so why not your Winamp too, and your day is not complete without your tinkering with Photoshop and with Adobe Reader as well. While you're at it, I think you're going to need some guardians, so let's include your all security tools.. your anti virus/spywares in real time. Now we know what happens next when we boot and load all these programs at startup, and it's the right after, I'm stressing here. Most likely these programs will be in the system tray, unused, still in memory usage and running in background. Personally, I have nothing against those programs, in fact I like them, I just don't want their files running around causing extra overhead everytime even when they are not in use.

With the exception of various Microsoft autoloading programs that can't be disabled, here is a brief round up of what programs I allow to autoload at startup and this changes from time to time:

- Security first for my computer, with the Windows Security Center running in background, I let go running my security tools like my antivirus and firewall, and enable my anti spyware to realtime only when I go online.

- useful utilities like MYUsbOnly, which locks my usb ports against uninvited usb devices, 3D Audio Configuration, and Web Accelerator- my accelerator sometimes tends to run long diagnostics when I go online without me enabling it first, so I put it on standby and ready.

- I let go a bit with my desktop decoratives or rather just improving my Windows' interface with WinCustomize-LogOn and Vista Start Menu.
Some Some programs' autoloading can be disabled automaticaly right during the installation stage with their check or uncheck options to appear in the system tray. On already installed programs you can disable them by going to their Menus, Options or Preferences settings, or through their icon's settings in the system tray, there is likely a " to appear in the system tray or startup" option which you can uncheck. There are also some autoloading programs whose icons never appear in the system tray but autoloads everytime are running in the background. With Glary Utilities' Startup Manager these programs are now visible and you can just simply uncheck them to disable their autoloading or even delete their entry. You can also Add Program to startup if you want to. In some cases, there are programs that need to be keep running all the time, from boot to shutdown, for them to function fully, so always be careful and gather the details first about a particular program before disabling it.

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