Showing posts from February, 2006

Will Microsoft take the VMware bait ?

While listening to one of Mike poor 's SANS security talk, he mentioned the problems with untrusted third-party applications. In this age of trojans, even a security expert like him takes precautions before he downloads and tests a new security tool. In fact, he said, that even uncompiled "source code" of trojans have hidden trojans waiting for an unsuspecting security researcher to try it out. I don't download trojans everyday, but I do play around with tools which want to modify my registry. How many times have you yelled in frustration after finding out that the tool you've been trying to work with (and failed) for last 2 days doesn't uninstall anymore. I have a dozen or two interesting third party broken tools deployed somewhere on my computer which I haven't uninstalled yet. VMware is in a perfect position to fix this problem. With Microsoft right behind them, they released something called the VMware player . Its basically a stripped down VMware prod

Google CL2 : Is Google Calender finally ready ?

Its been a month since we heard of google calender rumors. Just when everything has cooled down, Paul stone dug up some links within googles code to a "Google Links" page which had a whole bunch of google services listed. What stood out on that page was a link to "Google CL2" which said "A calendar for you and the world". If you have a google account go to this link and see for yourself. Image1 Image2

Weekly updates 26 Feb 2006

Google Pages is here for everyone. I've heard people comparing it with what geocities (now owned by yahoo) used to do long time back. Google pages allows users to create pages with the help of AJAX. However, what stood out, was the hint that Google pages might be group editable, making it easy to create and manage like a wiki server. My Page Rank is an interesting service which allows you to put page rank on your website. Nothing new about it, but its there and does the dirty work of converting stats into an image. has got a lot of traction in the media lately. Zillow does one thing and does it very well. It tries to predict home prices based on the past and present price change trends. It takes into account the amenities available to the home which is used to predict its next sale price. With the house prices tanking in some places, the importance of zillow to understand trends will be of great value. Google Finance might be on the way. Search engine journal has

Secret of Microsoft Origami is out

A lot of people were wondring what Origami is all about. Seems like the secret is out of the bag... and I'm a little dissapointed. The way it was hyped it was made to look as if this is will be cutting edge, something new, which we haven't thought about yet. But this device is larger than a PDA and has less features than a small laptop. The advertisement didn't answer why someone won't buy a 12inch Powerbook, or a tablet PC. Will someone really walk around with that clunky piece of equipment ? May be they will... but doesn't the success of iPods and the failiure of Mobile CD players define acceptable size of a mobile device which people are willing to carry around ? In my personal opinion, based on what I saw in the short clip, this product could be a direct competition for sony's PSP. Other than that, with the current feature set and its size, it can't replace the laptop, cellphone, camera or the iPod/music player. If there is anything to be blamed fo

Wireless Skype handsets (802.11)

Those of you who never talk to anyone outside this (US) island you live on, chances are that you have never used skype. For others who can't buy unlimited minutes to other parts of the world, thank skype for trying to change the world. But skype world is not perfect yet. You still have to use your computer to make and receive calls. There are some skype-phone gateways available, but most of them are just hacks at best. A few companies have big plans for skype in the near future and here are some interesting details I gathered over the last few weeks. To begin with there are 4 classes of skype devices currently out there. Traditional headphone and microphones devices, using speaker/mic-in connections on the computer Intelligent wired USB devices which can interact with Skype software on the computer and make/receive calls. Some even have a lcd display on the handset. Intelligent USB devices which can do whatever the wired devices can do, but you have the flexibility of moving ar

The pain of Load balancing applications

Introduction Loadbalancing may mean many different things to different people but its all about distributing load. For me its an architecture of how some network services can be scaled by adding multiple servers performing the same tasks. If you had a popular website with static content, and if your server couldn't keep up with the request, all you had to do was setup multiple web servers and use round-robin DNS entries to divide the load into multiple servers. For dynamic web applications like search engines this plays a significant role because the number of users per node can support is much lower. Over time, as applications grew more complex and as web companies found customers outside US they found out the hardware that the only way to optimize network performance was by going local. Loadbalancing POP (points of presence) around the world provide a snappy user experience which has been important and drawing more customers. While, static content on web servers can easily be rep