Monday, October 30, 2006

Build Your own toolbar By Conduit

A classic example by Conduit about customizing and packaging existing things in to a resourceful product.
This product helps you build your own toolbar with your links and images that you can share with your friends and customers. Take a look at a sample toolbar created.

I still remember those days when i tried myself creating such a toolbar and there was hardly any documentation about how to do it. Now even a newbie can create a toolbar and for free.

These small utilities add value to your website(s). Here is a list of few features offered by this toolbar.

  • Offer one click access to your websites/blogs and other resources to your loyal customers.
  • Shows your site to your customers as long as they're online. Host of other services like Chat, Weather, Radio can be plugged in to this toolbar.
  • Chat with other users who have the same toolbar installed.
  • Add Contact Us link and the feedback about the toolbar is sent to you as an email.
  • Add search capability to your toolbar just like google toolbar and choose the search engine too.
  • You can set up your mail boxes and Get notified when you receive new e-mails to your POP3, Yahoo!, Gmail, or Hotmail accounts

    I created a toolbar for my blogs and website. Take a look at it and feel free to use it. Its free from adware, spyware and promotional stuff.
  • Monday, October 09, 2006

    Tintucso virus, removal

    Tintukso virus - Very little is known about this virus as of now. It comes to you through Yahoo messenger as a link when one of your friend’s pc gets infected. Once you click the link, it installs itself at attaches itself with the OS to keep you bugging :d It sends the link to all your active contacts once it infects. This was found (on a friend's pc) just today, 09th October 2006.

  • You cannot change your homepage (options for changing homepage are disabled).
  • You cannot launch regedit; PC re-boots as soon as you try to edit registry.

    Virus/trojan not yet explained in detail on the net yet. it sends a message saying test the site and shows up the folowing url
    Please do not launch the above url unless you have a good firewall and antivirus (and enough courage to open it).

    My official PC categorized it as a dating/unwanted site and blocked it. Didnt take a chance on my Home pc.

  • Scan with your antivirus or adware , if it can detect it; chances are that it will also clear it.
  • If above fails, on a windows box, restore your PC to the last known good configuration. here are the detailed steps to restore your operating system on a XP system.

    Update from Symantec as on 12th October 2006
    Symantec Japan has confirmed the virus and documented the details of the virus here

    Thanks Arvind for your valuable feedback on this virus.

    I shall keep updating this post with the new findings on the virus.

    Have a safe computing :)
  • Saturday, September 30, 2006

    Orkut – Googles answer to Yahoo 360 degree and Hi5

    Orkut Google comes up with its awesome rival product to yahoo 360 degree, Hi5 and lots of other such network building portals. If you do not know about yahoo 360 degree and hi5 read my previous article on yahoo 360 degree and hi5.
    As usual google has come up with a crisp strait forward and intuitive interface compared to any of its competitors.
    You can build network of your friends and view their network too. All your visits to other’s orkut page are tracked and they know who came to their site.

    Some cool features of Orkut
  • Orkut testimonials option lets your friends write about you. This feedback is shown to all your visitors.
  • Orkut scrapbook is like your note pad where others can write messages for you. Scrap book is the most common option that everyone uses to talk to each others.
  • Orkut private messages can be sent your friends individually or to the whole group.
  • Orkut birthday alarms informs you about birthdays of your friends in your network (so you wont miss any one whos on your network).
  • Orkut rating lets you rate your friends how trusty, cool and sexy they are ;) In addition you can declare yourself as a fan of your friend(s).
  • you can export list of your friends to excel (CSV) format.
  • Recent visitors to your orkut home page. It gives you clickable profile link.
  • Orkut album lets you add your photos to share with your friends on your network.

    Orkut works on invitations, so some one needs to invite you to create an account in orkut. Ask me for a free orkut invitation.

    How to Log in to orkut in invisible mode
    I am finding lot of people coming to this post searching for logging in to orkut in invisible mode, so thought i will add a few words on this topic too.

    1. If you'd like to check out orkut members anonymously, you can prevent other users from knowing you looked at their profile by visiting and checking "Disable Profile Visitors."

    Note that this will also prevent you from seeing who has viewed your profile. To add this feature back to your profile, you will need to allow orkut members to see that you have viewed their profile by un-checking "Disable Profile Visitors" in your settings.

    2. You can create a another temporary id which should be used only for browsing invisibly. Do not add any of your friends or yourself to this new id. do not accept any friends and you will remain anonymous. Others who see this new id on their recent visitors list, can send you message. But its up to you to decide whether to reply/ignore or delete.

    There are lots of groups like orkut India, orkut Satyam etc, virtually every possible group. You can create your own and participate in the discussions and events.
    Visit my orkut page at

    Have a great bonding with your friends :)
  • Sunday, June 11, 2006

    How to create, write and promote blog?

    How to blog?
    In my last post I wrote about why one should blog (its advantages) Lets see how you should begin writing your blog.

    Before you begin
    • Prepare a theme for your blog and have a few topics around that theme. It could be anything from your hobbies to day-to-day happenings in your city.
    • Research and read about what others have written on the same topic before you begin.
    • Take a look at few blogs to get an idea of different templates available.

    How to create your blog
    • Choose a good site where you want to blog. List of them with some reviews are listed at my personal recommendation is blogger offered by google and is free (You can be sure that it will not popup or add ugly advertisements).
    • Register yourself to create an account and a blog.
    • Choose the template that matches your tastes from list of available templates. Most of them also let you customize with your own html code (you can tweak it if you know else don’t bother default templates are good enough)
    • Create your first post on the blog. Use html codes whenever necessary.

    What to write.
    • Have a theme of your blog and let the topics be around that theme, so that people come to your site repeatedly if they are interested in similar topics.
    • Try to keep it brief and effective but there are really no rules.
    • Although you are free to say whatever you want, remember that you are accountable for what you say.

    How to write effective blog
    • Add pictures as applicable. They speak out lot more than what words can describe.
    • Enable comments in your blog to get feedback from users.
    • Enable user verification - This helps lot of automated Spam comments getting added to your blog.
    • Blogs are meant to be fun, so write with passion and everything else will fall into place.
    • Use bold, italic and other text formatting to highlight the importance of certain contents.
    • Blog regularly – ideally few times a month. More the content, more visitors, at the same time do not disappoint your visitors with contents available on other site/blogs.

    Now created/have a blog. What Next?
    • Add counters to keep track of visitors of your blog.
    • Promote. Add link to your blog in your email signatures.
    • You can add advertisements to your blog to earn residual money.

    What are you thinking? Jump start and make you presence felt. Happy blogging.

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Blogging & its Advantages

    What is a Blog?
    weblog (usually shortened to blog, and occasionally spelled web log) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles, most often in reverse chronological order.” – wikipedia

    Blogging is the act of writing in one's blog.
    A person who keeps and/ or writes a blog is called Blogger.


    Advantages of blogging

  • Voice
    This is the simplest, easiest, quickest and most affordable way to share your voice/opinion/ideas with your audience.
  • Information Sharing
    Sharing your learning is the essence of blogging. Most people (i do) research on the topic before blogging, which extends their learning on the topic.
  • Reach
    Blogging lets you reach people worldwide from person sitting next to you to person sitting on the other part of the world.
  • Expressing
    You can express your views on everyday topics like politics, music, technology, hobbies or movie reviews. The list of topics is endless.
  • Knowledge management
    Blogs can be used to as an extremely effective knowledge management tool. You can keep your posts well documented for years to come.
  • Instant feedback
    People give you instant feedback on your posts (also called articles of the blog) which helps you refine your understanding on the topic.

    In my next post i will discuss on how to create, write and maintain a blog.
  • Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    PMP - Project Management Professional course.

    Ravi’s insightful views helped all of us to get broader perspective about project management and the path ahead.
    Another advantage of being in larger companies like Satyam.
    Company helps you to get certified.

    Whats the significance of PMP?
    It means to current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.

    Our group that finished project management workshop.

    Some Facts related to PMP
  • Named as one of the top 4 certifications for 2006
  • Has more than 120,000 certified members in more than 135 countries, 75,000 + PMPs till September 2004
  • PMBOK is the globally recognized bible to prepare for PMP exam.

    Faqs related to PMP
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Yahoo - Stealth settings

    Stealth setting is an option in Yahoo messenger that lets you choose whether you want to appear online or offline to a person or a group of people. Its essentially appearing invisible to selected people.

    Why this option needs a mention in this blog:
    This is one of the most useful and also one of the most under-utilized option of yahoo messenger (one of the top 3 most popular instant messenger in the world, and my favorite)

    Why should we use it:
    Most people log in to invisible mode when they dont want to be disturbed by a few of their friends.
    IMO ...
  • when you are invisible (and when your friends know that you are logged in) all your frineds think that you are hiding from them, but you may be trying to avoid only one or two of them. This is a typical case where you should use stealth setting.
  • When you are in office, typically you want to appear offline so that your friends do not buzz u often. And also you will inform all your good friends that they can still ping you. This is again another situation where you should be using stealth setting instead.

    How to use it:
    Create a group and move all your less important and disturbing friend to this group. Set the stealth setting so that you appear offline to all these people. You can still see them being online. You can intitiate a chat with them when you want to. Life should be much easier with them.

    Some tips:
  • Use stealth setting to keep those disturbing friends aside (i could be one of them )
  • Keep in touch with rest of your friends effectively by appearing online.
  • Use busy or other status when you want to convey your status.
  • Use voice or video chat when ever required/possible.
  • When some one is on SMS, do not expect a reply immediately as they may not be able to reply from they cellphone as fast/frequently as messenger.
  • Thursday, April 13, 2006

    Google personalize homepage

    Although this is pretty old (was added at least 4 months back) option, i dont see any one using it.
    Welcome to google personalize the the place where you can choose what you want to see on your google search home page.

    How to use it.
    You need a gmail account for this (Ask me to invite you if you need one).
  • Sign in with your gmail id, then click on personalized homepage,
  • Choose contents for your home page. There are a number of categories to choose contents for your page. Some of them are News, Business, Technology, Sports, Lifestyle, Fun and others. You can also add your favorite URLs, Last 10 gmail messages, weather forecast of chosen cities around the world or A Quick notepad.

    When you personalize your homepage it looks like a simple all in one page with your own content & google search. This is quite handy as it lets me have a glance all contents that i would like to see for the day in one page.
    I have also stopped typing those large URLs and they are my home page contents and are just a click away.

    You can also change the location of the contents by just dragging them to the desired locations. You can also edit or delete them.

    I use personalize homepage as my browser start page. Yahoo also offers similar option called My Yahoo But it also displays advertise and lot of other links which you may not want to see.
  • Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Sql Injection - Protect your applications

    Sql Injection. Whats it it?
    Its injecting sql server with scripts that can potentially break the security barriers of the application/server.
    SQL injection is a security vulnerability that occurs in the database layer of an application, Its is not a SQL Server problem, but a problem with improperly written applications.

    Any one who develops/test applications that use sql statements.
    Hey developers check it on all your applications that you have written so far (i checked it.. fortunately it didnt break any of my code)
    SQL injection - protect your applications.

    What can it do?
    One or more of the following based on your application implementation
  • Hackers easily get authenticated on your application.
  • Hackers (even a simple db aware guy can do this) can read most of your table data.
  • Change most of the data of your DB.
  • Delete records from your tables.
  • Restart your webserver.
  • Shutdown your database. Can you think of anything worse than this for your application?

    Very simple example of Sql injection.
    Most of the applications have login screen, try entering following as
    login name: test' or 1=1 --
    password: anything
    An example of sql string created by any simple application vulnarable to sql injection is

    select * from users where username='test' or 1=1 -- and password='anything'

    This is how its evaluated to true, and the first level of entry.. successful.
    Curious to know other ways of injecting sql server? Read the article

    How to avoid sql injection?
  • Limit access to admin account by creating seperate applcation account.
  • Restrict user input lengths.
  • Strip off all quotes(if they are not expected).
  • Filter out sensitive db keywords (potential threats) from your inputs (Like select, drop, _xp etc).

    With such few additional validations/coding you can make your application safe from sql injection attacks. Happy coding.