Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cyber crimes on the high. Don’t be the prey.

Cyber crimes are finding new targets everyday, be very careful if you are one of those users using credit cards or bank accounts online.

Sample of how this works.
You receive an email that looks like this...
Paypal fake logo
PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of customers. To protect the security of your account, PayPal employs some of the most advanced security systems in the world and our anti-fraud teams regularly screen the PayPal system for unusual activity.

We are contacting you to remind you that on 5 March 2005 our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. In accordance with PayPal's User Agreement and to ensure that your account has not been compromised, access to your account was limited. Your account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved.

To secure your account and quickly restore full access, we may require some additional information from you for the following reason:

We have been notified that a card associated with your account has been reported as lost or stolen, or that there were additional problems with your card.

This process is mandatory, and if not completed within the nearest time your account or credit card may be subject for temporary suspension.

To securely confirm your PayPal information please click on the link bellow:

We encourage you to log in and perform the steps necessary to restore your account access as soon as possible. Allowing your account access to remain limited for an extended period of time may result in further limitations on the use of your account and possible account closure.

For more information about how to protect your account please visit PayPal Security Center. We apologize for any incovenience this may cause, and we apriciate your assistance in helping us to maintain the integrity of the entire PayPal system.

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team


Here is another version of the mail.. with another address..received few hours back. Do not enter any information in the site.. as it could still be active.
Paypal fake logo

Dear PayPal Member!

Attention! Your PayPal account has been violated!

Someone with ip address tried to access your personal account!

Please click the link below and enter your account information to confirm that you are not currently away. You have 3 days to confirm account information or your account will be locked.

Click here to activate your account

You can also confirm your email address by logging into your PayPal account at Click on the "Confirm email" link in the Activate Account box and then enter this confirmation number: 1036-8535-4511-9500-3892

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team


Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the "Help" link in the footer of any page.

You click on the link(Now you can safely click it as its already banned)
It takes you to a site that exactly looks like paypal.
That asks you to enter all your details including credit card details, paypal account details etc. It behaves exactly like paypal and at last shows up a page saying our servers are under maintenance, please try after some time.

Whats exactly happening.
The link that’s shown is different from the link to which user is taken on clicking it. Whole paypal site is simulated on the site very intelligently and your account details are stored in their databases which is used to lift money from your account.

Life of these sites are very small. Most of such sites are banned as soon as they are found involved in cyber crimes.

How to fight back.
  • Before clicking on any link from your email, think for a while. If it’s not worth a click don’t (They could be mails from email farms which are just validating existence of your email ids).
  • If you are tempted to click (Recently I received an email related to an offer from ICICI bank that which was pointing to such a site) Check the link to which its taking you to. Observe the URL in the above example (take the mouse pointer on the link, url of that link is shown in your status bar of the browser)… don’t get carried away with paypal in the URL. It should exactly begin with and not just a part of that else essentially it’s an illegal one.
  • If you find that a site is illegal, inform the concerned people and get the site banned so that others wont fall pray. Your few minutes of social

    I had another such mail, which had an interesting title. I clicked on the site, and it went to a yahoo site. As usual I entered my id and password. It showed me message asking me to try after some time. After verification I found that it was a fake site collecting my yahoo id and password. (That site got banned within 24 hours of my complaint to ban it) So be watchful about before giving out any of your passwords.

    Lets make use of internet as a safe and effective means.
    Here is a sites where you can lodge your complaints against cyber crimes
    A nice detailed Indian article related to cyber crimes
  • Friday, November 25, 2005

    Whidbey refactoring feature.

    One of the many cutest features that appealed to me in Whidbey was code refactoring. So here are some of my comments on few of those code refactor options that I tried this week.

    Rename: You select a variable or method and choose rename from refactor, it renames all instances of that variable. Its different from find text in solution option. It smartly searches, and shows only matching variables or methods rather than just showing every possible instance of text match.
    Change signature : lets you add, modify or delete parameters from method signatures.
    Extract method: This is another neat feature that developers often need. Extract method creates a new method out of code that you selected. It creates required parameters and all automatic formatting and calls it from the code.
    Encapsulate Field: This is another feature that saves us from coding properties. Just choose the private variable and select Encapsulate field and eureka your property is ready.
    Extract Interface: lets you create an interface and its implementation from your class.
    A must see- 3 minute online demo of refactor feature on microsoft site.
    Refactoring is just one of the many new additions to the visual studio 2005. Will add some more soon.

    After blogging on refactoring i went on reading more about it and found that it is stripped off from Visual Basic 2005 release. Microsoft came up saying that it was not possible to finish work on refactoring along with the numerous other goals and projects for the 2005 release, and suggested to use Refactor! for visual basic 2005

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Visual Studio 2005 first look at MSDN Day

    Awesome developments to IDE and ASP toolbox in Visual Studio 2005. VS 2005 is becoming a kind of swiss army knife - All in one tool for .net development. Intellisense for almost everything you do with VS 2005. Had a first look at it today at MSDN day conducted at The Continental by Satyam.

    Visual studio 2005 is releasing in November. with this version has lot of [50+] new controls to help you with almost everything you wanted.

    Some great improvements to vs 2005

    • Controls can be dragged in source mode (Note earlier only design mode allowed you to drag and toolbox was disabled in design mode)
    • Intellisense for every XML having valid DTD.
    • Clean application folder - creates files only when required (eg. web.config)
    • Error helper pops up with various options (details of the error, exception class details etc) - In earlier versions you had to go to msdn or google to help yourself with the exceptions raised.

    • Standard validations to make the code compatible with selected compatibility option. Intellisense makes sure options are valid.
    • Allows mixed development of and c# in different pages, they can be compiled together to make one dll.

    Links related to visual studio 2005

    Summary In short lot of intelligence is built around the IDE keeping developer in mind. Thats what is needed to make a developer's life easier and which inturn helps in reducing the development time.What next after visual studio 2005 ? -Here is the Roadmap by microsoft


    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    .net SmartNavigation

    What is SmartNavigation?
    SmartNavigation is a feature provided by When enabled this makes sure your pages are shown smoothly and last position of cursor location, scroll etc are restored effortlessly.

    Why this feature deserves a mention here?
    Because of the problems it creates. It isn’t very reliable because of the following reasons.
  • All versions of IE do not support this feature properly
  • Other browsers are totally unpredictable with this feature.
  • It creates mess with other user interfaces on postback.

    Smartnavigation removes CSS after postback
    This was the sole reason for blogging this. Yes smartNavigation strips off css after a postback.
    Solution - you need to explicitly specify the path of css as absolute path instead of relative path. You can keep it dynamic by adding some server side code as below LINK href=''< =Request.ApplicationPath %>/Styles/Sanjay.css''

    Microsoft's documentation of SmartNavigation

    If you still wish to use smartnavigation on other browsers take a look at this code project (Free source) Crossbrowser SmartNavigation Alternative II

    Conclusion: Use this feature only when you are sure of your audience using latest IE (at least IE 5) only. And make use of it when its absolutely necessary to make your application work better. And do take care of css paths etc.
  • Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Hoax mails..give away phones, bill gates sharing his fortune !

    Ah! another spam mail.. asking you to spread word of mouth and they are giving away cell phones free... Or bill gates is sharing his fortune..and you need to cc to some one.
    I keep receiving such hoax mails and finally thought let write something on this topic.

    Here is a sample mail.

    Dear ALL ,
    I just want you guys to take hold of this opportunity from Ericsson . Ericsson is distributing cell phones for free over the internet to compete with Nokia, which is doing the same. They want to be better known through the Internet by word of mouth and so they are giving away their new WAP phone.
    All you need to do is mail this to 8 of your acquaintances. In two weeks you will receive an Ericsson T18. If you send this email to 20 people or more, you will receive an Ericsson R320 Wap Phone. Don't forget to mail a copy of this email to to ensure that your participation is noted.

    What do they get?
    The company or the product gets benifited, surely word of mouth will spread their name to every corner of the world. But people wake up! You are just distributing the garbage..

    How can you avoid spreading such mails
    Thumb of rule! There is nothing called free lunch. Always strings are attached. So before expecting anything free think again. If you are in doubt, just search few keywords of that mail on any search engine, that will reveal the truth.
    Checkout some similar mails collection at

    And finally if you still want to try your luck sending these mails.. here is a good list of such letters in circulation.
    :p Hehe just kidding..

    Do continue to send/forward mails to your friends that are worth their time and attention. Happy mailing ;)

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Yahoo 360 degree vs Hi5

    Here is yahoo killing Hi5

    Whats Yahoo 360/Hi5

    Hi5 or Yahoo 360 is your site/place to create network of your friends. You can showcase your photos, interests, blog, personal information etc etc. This is exactly what Hi5 has been doing since many months. This has been one of the place for exploring (yes you can explore new friends before adding them as your friends) and also meeting lot of dates (Ah.. thats what people on Hi5 have been saying... not me ).
    In addition to most of Hi5's features yahoo has Blast message. You can call this an extension of your yahoo profile where it showed you a summary of your account.
    Yahoo 360 will show you many more details in a neat format. Checkout my Yahoo 360
    What Yahoo 360 product dev team has to say..
    Future : This is one of the effective ways of bringing people/friends together and make them stick to the website as often as possible. Google should be coming with its own 360 degree product soon.


    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Google Maps

    Another award winning google product that lets you browse the maps.
    Apart from just showing your city or streets on the map, Google has much more to offer, lets you programatically add your bookmarks and create your own maps.
    Thats right I am tlaking about Google
    Maps API
    . Google maps has a web page interface and has Zooming options and buttons provide further functionality. Map button shows maps drawn using conventional maps, Satellite shows the satellite map of the location and Hybrid shows a Satellite map and conventional map on top of it. Google earth application has similar functionality with application interface. Thats downloadable and connects directly to the google servers for maps to be displayed. This is more effective in rendering and zooming compared to the web version.

    Other interesting examples already in use...
    1. A shipping company showing their local pickup points.
    2. Sight seeing company listing the places of interest on googlemaps.
    3. This leads us to some new interesting Now here is the most interesting one TimTV: This tracks a person called Tim on the Map - He carries a mobile that has a java application that uses GPS to track the current location, and thats uploaded to his site, using which current location of tim is shown on the map.
    4. Maps of indian historical places listed.
    5. And finally my own map, :p Places that i have travelled in india.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Windows Anti-Spyware

    Do you get popus of software/websites for which you never subscribed or installed any application? That must be a spyware.
    Windows anti-spyware is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software.
    This helps you to reduce negative effects caused by spyware including slow PC performance, annoying pop-up ads, unwanted changes to Internet settings, and unauthorized use of your private information. Continuous protection improves Internet browsing safety by guarding over fifty (50) ways spyware can enter your PC.

    Supported by xp and windows 2000 series of operating systems
    Download from

    Good thing about this software, detects and lets you removes existing spywares and It will ask you before it lets any application installs itself permanently on your pc (like a shortcut on your desktop, a startup item etc).
    Such complementary applications will make your operating system more reliable.

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    Google Talk - Google's messenger

    Google's next move... Yes as you guessed google has come up with its own messenger.
    Had the first run and is quite smooooooth. It resembles yahoo interface. Much
    faster and crisper than other popular messengers. I could not test all its features
    as only one of my buddy installed it and he was busy too. There is a voice call
    feature that i havent tested yet.

    I am sure google talk will beat other messengers with this feature. Download it from Go ahead and download this yet another free and awsome tool from google. Add me to your list to try out.. My IM: sanjaykattimani
    Happy google talk. :)

    Saturday, June 25, 2005

    MCP – Microsoft Certified Professional

    Introduction : Microsoft certified professional certification helps you to demonstrate your expertise in the chosen skillset.

    Now (From 29th December 2005) I am a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) in .net track.

    List of all certification tracks -

    Before you begin
    1. MCP Exam prep and study tips -
    2. 5 Rules of microsoft exams -

    3. Avoid surprises: Get to know new MCP exam question types

    Microsoft-oriented prep sites

    Other resources for MCPs
    MCP community
  • Compare certifications
  • members site, where they can find certification status and everything related to their certification & profile.
  • Friday, February 11, 2005

    Google Video search

    Google is coming with yet another innovative search idea of oragnizing television programs. Check them out at
    Checkout about google video at
    They have not yet reached our Udaya tv, chandana etc. but yes they have started crawling TVs :p

    Good going google., Keep spinning all that infomation.