Microsoft Vista Software | Microsoft Vista Books | Linux Books | Ubuntu Books | Ruby On Rails Books

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WC 2006 Friendly Games: Iran Beats Bosnia 5-2

Bosnia took the lead with with 2 goal within the first 20 minutes. Iran came back and scored 5 goals, 3 in the first half and 2 in the last 2 minutes of the game to win the game 5-2
Right now Paraguay is leading 1-0 at half-time with a goal by N.H. Valdez in the 41st minute

Iran [5 - 2] Bosnia-Herzegovina
05' [0 - 1] Z. Misimovic
17' [0 - 2] S. Barbarez
25' [1 - 2] M. Madanchi
44' [2 - 2] R. Rezaei
45' [3 - 2] V. Hashemian
89' [4 - 2] R. Enayati
90' [5 - 2] R.P. Khatibi

Estonia [1 - 1] New Zealand
03' [1 - 0] R. Klavan
27' [1 - 1] Hay

Georgia [0 - 1] Paraguay
41' [0 - 1] N.H. Valdez

Saudi Arabia [0 - 1] Turkey
59' [0 - 1] N. Ates

Slovenia [3 - 1] Trinidad & Tobago
04' [1 - 0] M. Novakovic
16' [2 - 0] M. Novakovic
26' [2 - 1] C. Birchall
77' [3 - 1] M. Novakovic

Switzerland [1 - 1] Italy
10' [0 - 1] A. Gilardino
32' [1 - 1] D. Gygax

France [2 - 0] Denmark
13' [1 - 0] T. Henry
76' [2 - 0] S. Wiltord (pen.)

Morfik Defends JST (Javascript Synthesis Technology) Against GWT (Google Web Toolkit)

A couple of weeks ago Google released its Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and almost immediately there were rumors of an alliance between Google and Morfik, the Web OS vendor which has a Javascript converter as one of its main products. The reason? GWT bore more than a casual resemblance to Morfik.

GWT is basically a Java-to-Javascript translator. Programmers can write their front end in the Java programming language and the GWT compiler converts the Java classes "to browser-compliant JavaScript and HTML". Morfik has a similar product called JST (Javascript Synthesis Technology), which was shown off at the last Web 2.0 Conference in October 2005. It turns out there is a patent pending on Morfik's JST and today they issued a press release in defence of it. In the press release they describe JST as follows: "JST allows developers to use a high-level language of choice and have it compiled directly and seamlessly to JavaScript."

What triggered this press release appears to be the release of GWT a couple of weeks ago. At that time rumors of a partnership between Google and Morfik proved to be false. The press release seems to imply that Google may've infringed on Morfik's IP

Read more here

Visit the Morfik website

VG: Vonage Scrambling To Reassure Investors

Vonage, tarred by a disastrous initial public offering last week, is scrambling to reassure investors.

The company, which provides Internet phone service, said Tuesday that it would reimburse the bankers who handled the sale if any Vonage customers refused to pay for shares that were allotted to them.

Vonage gave its customers a chance to buy as much as 15 percent of the 31.25 million shares that were offered last week. About 10,000 of the company's 1.6 million customers ultimately received shares, which were sold at $17 each, according to a person briefed on the deal. Customers had until Tuesday to open an account with a specified broker and pay for their shares.

Some customers who participated in the "directed share program" were reluctant to pay for their shares after the stock fell. The shares have lost more than 26 percent of their value since their debut last Wednesday. They fell 52 cents, to $12.50 on Tuesday.

Read the rest here

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Perpendicular 750GB hard drive

ince the first time "Get Perpendicular" got stuck in our heads, we've anxiously anticipated the arrival of perpendicular recording technology. The wait has been long, especially on the desktop, but perpendicular recording has finally arrived in Seagate's Barracuda 7200.10 hard drive. And it's arrived in style. Seagate has exploited the new recording technology to offer a drive with a monstrous 750 GB capacity—50% more than any other drive on the market.
Perpendicular recording does wonders for storage capacity, and thanks to denser platters, it can also improve drive performance. Couple those benefits with support for 300 MB/s Serial ATA transfer rates, Native Command Queuing, and up to 16 MB of cache, and the Barracuda 7200.10 starts to look pretty appealing. Throw in an industry-leading five year warranty and a cost per gigabyte that's competitive with 500 GB drives, and you may quickly find yourself scrambling to justify a need for 750 GB of storage capacity.

Perpendicular recording is believed to be capable of delivering up to 10 times the storage density of longitudinal recording, on the same recording media. There was some interest in using the system in floppy disks in the 1980s, but the system was never reliable. Today there is renewed interest in using it for hard drives, which are rapidly reaching their fundamental limits.

Current hard disk technology with longitudinal recording has an estimated limit of 100 to 200 gigabit per square inch due to the Superparamagnetic effect, though this estimate is constantly changing. Perpendicular recording is predicted to allow information densities of up to around 1 Tbit/sq. inch (1000 Gbit/sq. inch)

The main challenge in designing magnetic information storage media is retaining the magnetization of the medium despite thermal fluctuations. If the thermal energy is too high, there may be enough energy to reverse the magnetization in a region of the medium, destroying the data stored there. Since the energy required to reverse the magnetization of a magnetic region is proportional to the size of the magnetic region (where a larger magnetic region is more stable), there is a minimum size for a magnetic region at a given temperature. If it is any smaller it is likely to be randomly de-magnetized. Perpendicular recording keeps the same region sizes as in standard magnetic media, but organizes the magnetic regions in a more space-efficient way.

The popular explanation for the advantage of perpendicular recording is that it achieves higher storage densities by aligning the poles of the magnetic elements, which represent bits, perpendicularly to the surface of the disk platter, as shown in the illustration. Aligning the bits in this manner takes less platter than what would have been required had they been placed longitudinally. So they can be placed closer together on the platter, thus increasing the number of magnetic elements that can be stored in a given area. The true picture is a bit more complex, having to do with the use of a magnetically "stronger" (higher coercivity) material as the storage medium. This is possible due to the fact that in a perpendicular arrangement the magnetic flux is guided through a magnetically soft (and relatively thick) underlayer underneath the hard magnetic media films (considerably complicating and thickening the total disk structure). This soft underlayer can be effectively considered a part of the write head, making the write head more efficient, thus making it possible to produce a stronger write field gradient with essentially the same head materials as for longitudinal heads, and therefore allowing for the use of the higher coercivity magnetic storage medium. A higher coercivity medium is inherently thermally more stable, as stability is proportional to the product of bit (or magnetic grain) volume times the uniaxial anisotropy constant Ku, which in turn is higher for a material with a higher magnetic coercivity.

Read the rest here (including pictures) here

RHAT: US Marshals Switching to Red Hat Linux

The U.S. Marshals Service is switching the databases at all 94 of its district offices in the United States and its territories to Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) Linux.

The Marshals expect to have as much as 80 percent of their production databases and all of their data running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux by the end of June, said John Campbell, an information technology specialist for the Marshals' Justice Detainee Information System. The move will include all databases for prisoner information, some financial databases and decision-support systems.

Red Hat Enterprise Server is cheaper and has better features than the Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) OS the Marshals have used for years, Campbell said. "It was a natural for us to consider Red Hat as an [operating system] to run on," he said.

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt -- described as the "World's Most Beautiful Family" by 'People' -- have had a baby daughter in one of the most anticipated celebrity stories of the year, the magazine said on Sunday.

A representative for the couple said Jolie, 30, had given birth to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt on Saturday in Namibia, a sparsely populated desert country in southwest Africa. There were no further details available, People reported.

The couple, dubbed "Brangelina" by the tabloids, have been closely followed by the paparazzi in Namibia since arriving there weeks ago to have their baby.

Ubuntu:Dapper Drake Coming This Week

The next version of its Linux distribution, code-named "Dapper Drake" is due to be released this week, June 1 to be precise. Dapper Drake will be supported for three years for the desktop version and five years for servers, compared to 18 months for the current 5.10 "Breezy Badger" version.

Dapper Drake will be able to be downloaded from Ubuntu's Web site.

Friday, May 26, 2006

SQLite: The Definitive Guide to SQLite

SQLiteTraditional relational databases and embedded databases both have shortcomings that can leave a developer perplexed. So for many people, the solution resides in SQLite, an open source embeddable database with an amazingly small footprint (less than 250 kilobytes). SQLite packs a powerful array of features and can handle databases as large as 2 terabytes. It offers a flexible set of datatypes and the ability to perform transactions, and it is supported by languages like C, PHP, Perl, and Python. And because SQLite's databases are completely file based, privileges are granted at the operating system level, allowing for easy and fast user management.
The Definitive Guide to SQLite is the first book to devote complete coverage to the latest version of this powerful database. It offers you a thorough overview of SQLite capabilities and APIs, while remaining cognizant of newcomers who may be making their first foray into a database environment with SQLite. This book serves as both a first-time tutorial and future reference guide.

You’ll learn about SQLite extensions available for C, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Tcl.
The book thoroughly covers SQLite internals to help you take full advantage of its features while minimally impacting resource consumption.
Author Mike Owens is coauthor of Pysqlite, the popular Python extension for SQLite.

Table Of Contents
CHAPTER 1 Introducing SQLite
CHAPTER 2 Getting Started
CHAPTER 3 The Relational Model
CHAPTER 5 Design and Concepts
CHAPTER 7 The Extension C API
CHAPTER 8 Language Extensions
CHAPTER 9 SQLite Internals
APPENDIX C Codd’s 12 Rules

Download sample chapter 1 here

The Amazon link is here

GOOG: Google Picasa For Linux Released

Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your computer. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot you had) and sorts them into visual albums organized by date with folder names you will recognize. You can drag and drop to arrange your albums and make labels to create new groups. Picasa makes sure your pictures are always organized.

Picasa also makes advanced editing simple by putting one-click fixes and powerful effects at your fingertips. And Picasa makes it a snap to share your pictures – you can email, print photos home, and even post pictures on your own blog.

Download Picasa for Linux

Thursday, May 25, 2006

MA: MasterCard Up 15%, VA: Vonage Down Another 11%

Quick update:

Vonage Hldgs Corp(NYSE:VG) is down another 11% today
13.23, -1.62(-10.91%)

While Mastercard Inc(NYSE:MA) is up 15%
44.75, +5.75 ( +14.74%)

MA: MasterCard Inc IPO Priced Below Forecast

MasterCard Inc., the world's No. 2 credit-card association, priced an initial public offering of stock worth about $2.4 billion on Wednesday, amid expectations of strong demand for one of the financial services industry's top brands.
MasterCard's offering of 61.52 million shares, or 46 percent of the company, was priced at $39 apiece, below a $40 to $43 forecast range.
The lower-than-expected pricing comes on the heels of the poor opening day performance of Internet telephone service provider Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG), whose shares plummeted 12.65 percent in the worst market debut of any U.S. IPO this year.
MasterCard is second only to Visa among credit card issuers worldwide.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

FIFA World Cup 2006 Friendly Games

World Cup Soccer Germany 2006- United States loses to Morocco, Madihi scored in the 90th minute
- Uruguay beats Romania 2-0, Vargas scored in the 47th and 59th minute
- Hungary beats Zealand 2-0, Husztit scored in the 48th minute and Szabics scored in the 80th minute
- Paraguay and Norway tied 2-2, Johnsen scored for Norway in the 22nd and in the 61st minute
Gamarra scored in the 48th minute and Valdez scored in the 54th minute for Paraguay

- Turkey is leading Belgium 2-0 in the 31st minute with goals by Ates in the 2nd minute and Kabze in the 27th minute

VG: Vonage Holdings Corp Drops 12% In IPO Debut

Vonage Holdings Corp drops 12% in IPO debut
The IPO, which priced Tuesday at $17 a share, its midpoint of a previously established range, raised about $531 million.

The Holmdel, N.J., company's IPO, one of the highest-profile stock debuts of 2006, opened at $17 a share, flat with its offering price, before dropping to $14.96, a dip of 12%.
If the losses hold, Vonage will ring up the steepest opening day loss of 2006, worse than the 6.7% drop by Resource Capital Corp. (RSO) on Feb. 6.

Vonage's IPO is the second-richest offering from the Internet sector in five years, according to Thomson Financial. In 2004, Google Inc. (GOOG) raised nearly $2 billion.

PostgreSQL 8.1.4 Released To Plug Injection Hole

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group released versions 8.1.4, 8.0.8, 7.4.13 and 7.3.15. This is an urgent update to close a serious security hole which can permit a SQL injection attack on some applications running PostgreSQL.

Users are urged to apply the update as soon as reasonably possible. Since the update affects client functionality, most driver projects will be updating this week as well.

Technical Information on Encoding-Based SQL Injection Exploit

An attacker able to submit crafted strings to an application that will embed those strings in SQL commands can use invalidly-encoded multibyte characters to bypass standard string-escaping methods, resulting in possible injection of hostile SQL commands into the database. The attacks covered here work in any multibyte encoding (but see also CVE-2006-2314). Affects all PostgreSQL versions before 8.1.4, 8.0.8, 7.4.13, 7.3.15.

The widely-used practice of escaping ASCII single quote "'" by turning it into "\'" is unsafe when operating in multibyte encodings that allow 0x5c (ASCII code for backslash) as the trailing byte of a multibyte character; this includes at least SJIS, BIG5, GBK, GB18030, and UHC. An application that uses this conversion while embedding untrusted strings in SQL commands is vulnerable to SQL-injection attacks if it communicates with the server in one of these encodings. While the standard client libraries used with PostgreSQL have escaped "'" in the safe, SQL-standard way of "''" for some time, the older practice remains common. As of PostgreSQL versions 8.1.4, 8.0.8, 7.4.13, 7.3.15, the server has been modified to reject "\'" when the client is using one of these encodings. This does NOT in itself fix all variants of the problem, but it will make it obvious that such a client is broken and in need of repair. A possible workaround for affected clients is to avoid use of the vulnerable character encodings.

The fundamental problem is that client-side and server-side code may have different behaviors when presented invalidly-encoded multibyte data. Given that client-side escaping has often been done by ad hoc code, the solution of "make sure they always act the same" seems unworkable, and we have instead tried to close off the problem at the server side by rejecting potentially-corrupted queries.

The particular issue described as CVE-2006-2313 stems from the fact that client-side escaping code commonly doesn't use any encoding knowledge at all, just treating any byte with the high bit set as a single non-ASCII character. In encodings such as UTF8 there is not anything obviously wrong with this practice (but see below for other encodings). However, the PostgreSQL server behaves differently, and that mismatch opens a hole. As an example, suppose that the client is operating in UTF8 encoding and an attacker submits a data string containing
0xc8 ' some text
(where 0xc8 represents a single byte with that hex value). In UTF8 0xc8 begins a two-byte character, but the second byte is supposed to have a value within 0xA0-0xFF; the above string is therefore not validly encoded. A non-encoding-aware client will ignore this problem and try to escape the quote mark, producing either
0xc8 ' ' some text
0xc8 \ ' some text
Previous versions of the PostgreSQL server would accept 0xc8 followed by any byte value at all as a two-byte character, so that the server would see the above as a two-byte character followed by a string-literal-ending quote mark. The text "some text" would then be successfully injected into the SQL query string supplied to the server. (In some contexts the server would warn about the invalid two-byte character, and then drop it, but a mere warning does not stop the attack.)

Our solution for CVE-2006-2313 is to modify the server to check multibyte encoding more carefully, and to treat invalid input as a query-stopping error rather than merely a warning. It will now reject 0xc8 followed by a byte that is not within 0xA0-0xFF. This closes off the problem without needing any assumptions about whether the client has been patched to understand about multibyte encodings explicitly. In "safe" encodings such as UTF8, we can now be sure that the client and server agree about which characters in the string are quotes and backslashes.

However, there are several Far Eastern character encodings in which 0x5c (the ASCII code for backslash) is a valid second byte for a two-byte character. For example, the two-byte sequence 0x95 0x5c is a valid character in SJIS. In these encodings, there are two additional risks which we have described as CVE-2006-2314.

First, a non-encoding-aware client is likely to try to escape what it thinks is a backslash. For example, the attacker sends the entirely legal SJIS string
0x95 0x5c ' some text
If the client is not encoding-aware it will take the 0x5c as a separate backslash character and will double it. It then also escapes the quote mark, producing either
0x95 0x5c \ ' ' some text
0x95 0x5c \ \ ' some text
Since the server will correctly perceive 0x95 0x5c as a single character, either case succeeds in injecting "some text": the last quote mark will appear unescaped to the server. A more subtle case is where 0x95 0x5c appears at the end of the string: the added backslash will effectively quote the intended string-ending quote mark. If the attacker can also control the next string literal in the query, he wins, eg
WHERE key1 = '0x95 0x5c \' AND key2 = 'injected text here' ...

Second, if the client escapes "'" as "\'", it can produce a valid multibyte character where there was none before. Again considering SJIS, suppose the attacker is able to send the (invalid) string
0x95 ' some text
If the client is not encoding-aware, and sees the quote mark as a separate character to be escaped, it will produce
0x95 \ ' some text
which is seen by the server as
0x95 0x5c ' some text
and thus again the injection attack succeeds.

The only real solution for these problems is to fix the client: escaping has to be done with awareness of the character set encoding (so that "backslashes" that are part of a multibyte character won't be escaped), and quotes need to be escaped using the SQL-standard representation "''" rather than "\'". Note that in none of these encodings is 0x27 a valid trailing byte, so that there is no corresponding problem for "''" escaping so long as the server checks multibyte encoding validity.

However, waiting around for clients to get fixed isn't a very workable security approach. We have instead modified the server so that (by default) it will reject "\'" as a representation of quote mark when operating in an encoding that allows embedded 0x5c. This change closes the security holes associated with a non-encoding-aware client trying to double an embedded 0x5c, so long as the client escapes "'" as "''"; note that in the cases above where the client did not use "\'", the server sees "\'" as a result of the mistaken doubling of 0x5c. Notice however that in the examples where the client did try to use "\'", the server sees a perfectly valid query with no apparent use of "\'". Therefore, rejecting "\'" will NOT by itself prevent injection attacks. Rather, this is a partial solution that will also have the effect of making it obvious in normal use that clients using this representation in unsafe encodings are broken. This should allow them to get fixed before they are attacked.

(Another reason for rejecting "\'" is that it fits into our long-term plan to transition to SQL-standard string literal rules, wherein backslash is not a special character. Clients that are still using "\'" at that point would have a new SQL-injection risk to contend with.)

There are a number of mitigating factors that may keep particular applications from being subject to these security risks:

- If application always sends untrusted strings as out-of-line parameters, instead of embedding them into SQL commands, it is not vulnerable.
- If client_encoding is a single-byte encoding (e.g., one of the LATINx family), there is no vulnerability.
- If application cannot pass invalidly encoded data to the server, there is no vulnerability (this probably includes all Java applications, for example, because of Java's handling of Unicode strings).
It is clear that CVE-2006-2314 is a fairly nasty problem, since a proper fix may require changes in application code rather than just a quick update of a library or server. This is mitigated by the fact that it occurs only when certain character encodings are in use, and (at least outside the Far East) these are not popular encodings for Web-exposed applications. A workaround for applications that can't be updated promptly is to avoid use of these encodings while processing untrusted data.
The PostgreSQL Global Development Group thanks Akio Ishida and Yasuo Ohgaki for identifying and reporting these issues.

Get the downloads here:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Croatia Beats Austria, Klasnic, Babic And Balaban Score

World Cup Soccer Germany 2006Croatia began their World Cup preparations with a comfortable 4-1 away win over Austria on Tuesday.

Undefeated throughout their World Cup qualifying campaign, Croatia set up their latest victory with two first half goals from Werder Bremen striker Ivan Klasnic.

Second half strikes from Marko Babic and Bosko Balaban sealed an assured performance by Zlatko Kranjcar's team.

Korea and Senegal also played a friendly game, they tied, goals by Kim and N'Diaye

And also two European Under 21 Championship games
Serbia & Montenegro 0 - 1 Germany
Portugal 0 - 1 France

BeleniX 0.4.3a with JDK 1.5 released

BeleniX 0.4.3a with JDK 1.5 released !

Download BeleniX 0.4.3a Now !

Another release of the LiveCD this month. The significant feature of this release is the inclusion
of JDK 1.5 under the new Distributors License for Java (DLJ) as announced by SUN on May 16th in
JavaOne. See the JDK Distros Project for more details.

  1. As above JDK 1.5 has been included in the CD. However due to a licensing issue with a required SUN Studio C++ runtime library it is currently an installable bundle and does not execute off the LiveCD. This is expected to be resolved soon. The JDK bundle gets installed once BeleniX gets installed to harddisk. The required LibC patch is also downloaded and installed automatically if you have a network conection.

  2. Fixed installer bugs that caused a few troubles after installation

  3. Used the 7Zip compression technique to schieve greater compression ratio while keeping the Zlib format instact. The p7zip port is used to compress an archive in native LZMA format that reduce the archive size from 20MB to 16MB. A modified version from Advancecomp package is used to compress the CDROM filesystem to achive 1.5% extra compression while retaining the Zlib format.

  4. Re-Compressed the compressed 45MB JDK 1.5 bundle using p7zip and it reduces the archive size by 5MB !

  5. The above coupled with the removal of less used software like Graphviz and Tcl/Tk allowed us to fit in the 40MB JDK bundle on the CDROM

  6. Included a sort list for the overall CDROM ISO image so that loading of the initial GRUB menu is now faster.

  7. A bunch of installer changes to allow installing the new JDK 1.5 install bundle

  8. A new script /usr/bin/setup_jdk is provided to install the JDK (after harddisk install of BeleniX) in the event that the libC patch has to be manually downloaded. See How to Setup the JDK for more details.

  9. Added one more missing function to the ported FreeBSD math library that makes it more compatible with SUN math library

Monday, May 22, 2006

FLOSS 6 Podcast: Larry Augustin

This week FLOSS Weekly guest is Larry Augustin, the visionary who helped move Linux into the mainstream and is now working on the next step in open source: big enterprise software.

Larry Augustin was a grad student at Stanford when he started VA Linux - now VA Software. The company went public in December 1999, opening at $30 a share and closing at $238.25, a 698 percent increase on the first day of trading, making Larry a billionaire on paper. VA went on to create Sourceforge, and fund OSDN and Slashdot. Today Larry is on the forefront of open source software for the enterprise. He's on the board of open source companies like Zend, Fonality, Hyperic, Jboss, MedSphere, SugarCRM, and Pentaho. We talked with him about the history of VA Software, why he started Sourceforge and OSDN, and the future of software.

Read Larry's article on Open Source software in the Enterprise here.

Get the podcast here (

Sunday, May 21, 2006

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome ) Cardiac Genes Indentified

Recent discoveries at Mayo Clinic added two more cardiac genes to the list of potential links to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), increasing the possibility that genetic defects of the heart may cause up to 15 percent of SIDS cases. This research will be presented Friday at Heart Rhythm 2006, the 27th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society in Boston.

In the two recent separate studies, researchers examined caveolin-3 (CAV3) and the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) and found molecular and functional evidence in both to implicate them as SIDS-susceptibility genes. Researchers examined the tissue of 135 unrelated cases of SIDS -- in infants with an average age of 3 months old -- that had been referred to Mayo Clinic's Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory for molecular autopsy. In each study, two of the 135 cases possessed mutations in either CAV3 or RyR2.

SIDS -- the sudden, unexplained death of an infant under 1 year old -- is estimated to cause 2,500 infant deaths each year. "Combined with our previous discoveries, we now estimate that defects in genes that provide the blueprints for the critical controllers of the heart's electrical system might have played a key role in more than 300 of those tragedies," says Michael J. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of both studies and director of Mayo Clinic's Long QT Syndrome Clinic and Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory. "We are continuing to expose the causes of SIDS. So far, we have now added six genes to the SIDS most-wanted list."

Read the rest here

Eurovision Russians Cry Foul

One day after five Finns in monster masks edged out a Russian heartthrob at Europe's largest and most-watched pop music contest, some Russians complained Sunday that the vote was skewed against their country.
Some callers to the Ekho Moskvy radio station proclaimed Dima Bilan's superiority to the Finnish group Lordi; one aggrieved woman said the result was the latest in a series of anti-Russian moves by Europeans.

Read the rest here

Friday, May 19, 2006

Iran Prepares Law To Require Non-Muslim Insignia

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.
"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."
Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments."
The law, which must still be approved by Iran's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.

Mr. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly described the Holocaust as a myth and earlier this year announced Iran would host a conference to re-examine the history of the Nazis' "Final Solution."
He has caused international outrage by publicly calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map."
Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons, but Tehran believed by Western nations to be developing its own nuclear military capability, in defiance of international protocols and peace treaties.
The United States, France and Israel accuse Iran of using a civilian nuclear program to secretly build a weapon. Iran denies this, saying its program is confined to generating electricity.

Read the complete article here

SUNW:Sun Announces $100k Contest for Grid App Developers

Here is you change to win 100 thousand dollars

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW), the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, announced a series of new programs for developers to take advantage of the Sun Grid Compute Utility. New programs include developer access to 100 free CPU hours on the Sun Grid; a contest in which developers can win up to $100,000 in prizes; a private project space for independent software vendors (ISVs); and a Compute Server community project. With Sun Grid, the world's first compute utility available at the low price of $1/CPU-hr in the U.S, along with Java technology, the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) and the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE), software developers now have easy, secure, affordable and flexible access to compute power over the network.

"Developers represent the single largest community with interest in and ability to leverage grid technology," said Stuart Wells, executive vice president, Utility Computing at Sun. "Since we made Sun Grid available to the public in March, ISVs and application developers have been asking for tools and programs to support their development of Sun Grid applications. With today's announcements, Sun is making it easier for these developers to create grid-enabled applications. Sun is the first and only vendor to offer developers access to enormous compute power over the network and our new programs will allow developers to easily build applications and further their Sun Grid knowledge and skill set."

"AMD has long supported Sun's leadership in bringing grid computing to the mainstream and we are pleased to work with the developer community to increase the industry's awareness and use of the benefits of this technology -- which may include better system utilization, better scalability, increased overall performance, and reduction of total cost of ownership," said Marty Seyer, senior vice president, Commercial and Performance Computing at AMD. "Sun Grid, which is powered by AMD64 technology, lets developers deliver applications more rapidly to market."

The Sun Grid programs announced today include:

  • 100 free CPU hours on Sun Grid -- Sun is offering a promotion of 100 free CPU hours for qualified Sun Grid developers who join Sun's Grid developer community at The Sun Grid developer community now provides developers with access to a full suite of collaborative development tools, such as Lifecycle Management and Source Code Control, hosted for Sun by CollabNet. In addition, the community provides documentation, code samples, sample applications, forums, chats, and newsgroups to assist Sun Grid developers.

  • Sun Grid Compute Utility Cool Apps Prize for Innovation contest -- Sun is announcing a contest where developers can compete for $50,000 in prizes. Additional contests will be announced later this year, bringing the total potential winnings to $100,000. See site for complete rules -- developers can get started today.

  • Private Project Space for ISVs -- Sun is making available private project space at for ISVs to leverage the community's collaborative development environment while porting applications to the Sun Grid -- or having Sun Grid enable their application.

  • Compute Server Community Project -- Sun is creating a Sun Grid developer community project -- the Compute Server Project -- that aims to enable developers to easily and efficiently use Sun Grid for the distributed execution of parallel computations. Inviting collaboration with the Java technology, the Solaris OS, and NetBeans software developer communities, the Sun Grid Developer Community facilitates direct and open engagement with developers who are interested in exploring how to make the leap to utility-based grid computing. Members of the Sun Grid Developer Community can download an early access version of the Grid Compute Server Plug-in for NetBeans IDE from the Compute Server project by visiting

  • Grid Compute Server Plug-in for Net Beans IDE released under Apache License, v2.0 -- The Apache license helps ensure that developers may enjoy broad freedoms in their use and testing of the technology.

For more information on developer programs for Sun Grid, please visit

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Historical Sounds In MP3 Format

Some very cool free historical sounds in MP3 Format

Get the files from the site here

Below is just a partial list of what is available

Apollo 11 - The Eagle Has Landed
Apollo 11 - One Small Step For Man
Apollo 13 - Houston We Have a Problem
Fidel Castro - Cuban Revolution
Fidel Castro - We Have The Power
Neville Chamberlain - Meeting With Hitler
Winston Churchill - Finest Hour
Thomas Edison - Electricity and Progress
Albert Einstein - E=mc^2
Al Gore - Internet
Adolf Hitler - Announcement of his death
Adolf Hitler - War Declaration
Lyndon Johnson - All Men Are Equal
John F. Kennedy - Cuban Missile Crisis
John F. Kennedy - Announcement that he had been shot
John F. Kennedy - Announcement of his death
Pearl Harbor Attack - BBC Announcement
Pearl Harbor Attack - CBS Announcement
Pearl Harbor Attack - NBC Announcement
Josef Stalin - Address
Josef Stalin - Fight Fascists
Margaret Thatcher - Falkland Islands
President Truman - Atomic Bombing of Japan
President Truman - Threatening Japan
Woodrow Wilson - 1915 Speech to Indians

BKC: Burger King IPO $425 million

Burger King Holdings Inc., the second-largest U.S. hamburger chain, on Wednesday priced an initial public offering worth $425 million
The 25 million share offering, which represents a 19 percent stake in the company, sold for $17 per share, at the high end of a $15 to $17 forecast.

Burger King (Research) plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BKC

Yesterday was also the IPO of Restore Medical and Penson Worldwide

Restore Medical
Proposed Ticker: REST
Expected Pricing Date: 05/17/2006 07:00:00
Exchange: NASDAQ
Expected Price: 9.00 - 11.00
Lead Underwriter: Deutsche Bank
Total Shares: 4,000,000
Filing Date: 3/13/2006
Est. Offering Amount: 40,000,000

Penson Worldwide
Proposed Ticker: PNSN
Expected Pricing Date: 05/17/2006 07:00:00
Exchange: NASDAQ
Expected Price: 15.00 - 17.00
Lead Underwriter: J.P. Morgan
Total Shares: 7,465,759
Filing Date: 8/10/2005
Est. Offering Amount: 119,452,100

Tomorrow Darwin Professional Underwriters is expected to have their IPO

Darwin Professional Underwriters
Proposed Ticker: DR
Expected Pricing Date: 05/19/2006 07:00:00
Exchange: NYSE
Expected Price: 15.00 - 17.00
Lead Underwriter: Merrill Lynch
Total Shares: 5,217,391
Filing Date: 3/10/2006
Est. Offering Amount: 83,478,260

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Barcelona - Arsenal: UEFA Champions League Final In Paris

So far there has been 1 red card for Lehman (Arsenal) in the 20th minute and a yellow card for Eboue (Arsenal) in the 22nd minute
Come on Ronaldinho where are the goals?
The posession is 56% against 44% in the favor of Barcelona
Barcelona had 5 shots and Arsenal had 2 with both having 2 shots on target

Campbell scores for arsenal in the 37th minute

It is still 1-0 at half-time

51st minute, yellow card for Henry (Arsenal)
69th Minute, yellow card for Oleguer (Barcelona)

Eto'o scores for Barcelona in the 76th minute

Belletti scores for Barcelona in the 81st minute, Barcelona is leading 2-1

Barcelona wins the 2006 UEFA Champions League!
Arsenal lineup:Jens Lehmann Sol Campbell Emmanuel Eboue Kolo Toure Ashley Cole Gilberto Francesc Fabregas Alexander Hleb Robert Pires Manuel Almunia Fredrik Ljungberg Thierry Henry

Barcelona lineup:Víctor Valdés Oleguer Edmílson Giovanni van Bronckhorst Carles Puyol Rafael Marquez Ludovic Giuly Mark van Bommel Deco Samuel Eto`o Ronaldinho

Google Ajax Framework Web Toolkit Released

What is Google Web Toolkit?
Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a Java development framework that lets you escape the matrix of technologies that make writing AJAX applications so difficult and error prone. With GWT, you can develop and debug AJAX applications in the Java language using the Java development tools of your choice. When you deploy your application to production, the GWT compiler to translates your Java application to browser-compliant JavaScript and HTML.

Here's the GWT development cycle:

Use your favorite Java IDE to write and debug an application in the Java language, using as many (or as few) GWT libraries as you find useful.

Use GWT's Java-to-JavaScript compiler to distill your application into a set of JavaScript and HTML files that you can serve with any web server.

Confirm that your application works in each browser that you want to support, which usually takes no additional work

Why Translate Java Code to JavaScript?
Java technologies offer a productive development plaform, and with GWT, they can instantly become the basis of your AJAX development platform as well. Here are some of the benefits of developing with GWT:

You can use all of your favorite Java development tools (Eclipse, IntelliJ, JProfiler, JUnit) for AJAX development.

Static type checking in the Java language boosts productivity while reducing errors.

Common JavaScript errors (typos, type mismatches) are easily caught at compile time rather than by users at runtime.

Code prompting/completion is widely available.

Automated Java refactoring is pretty snazzy these days.

Java-based OO designs are easier to communicate and understand, thus making your AJAX code base more comprehensible with less documentation.

Google Web Toolkit Architecture
GWT has four major components: a Java-to-JavaScript compiler, a "hosted" web browser, and two Java class libraries:

  • GWT Java-to-JavaScript Compiler

    The GWT Java-to-JavaScript compiler translates the Java programming language to the JavaScript programming language. You use the GWT compiler to run your GWT applications in web mode.

  • GWT Hosted Web Browser

    The GWT Hosted Web Browser lets you run and execute your GWT applications in hosted mode, where you code runs as Java in the Java Virtual Machine without compiling to JavaScript. To accomplish this, the GWT browser embeds a special browser control (an Internet Explorer control on Windows or a Gecko/Mozilla control on Linux) with hooks into the JVM.

  • JRE emulation library

    GWT contains JavaScript implementations of the most widely used classes in the Java standard class library, including most of the java.lang package classes and a subset of the java.util package classes. The rest of the Java standard library isn't supported natively within GWT. For example, packages like don't apply to web applications since they access the network and local file system.

  • GWT Web UI class library

    The GWT web UI class library is a set of custom interfaces and classes that let your create web browser "widgets," like buttons, text boxes, images, and text. This is the core user interface library used to create GWT applications. GWT ships with the complete source code for the library under an open source license.

Read The rest here

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Push Mandriva One Final ISO Released On Public FTP Mirrors

Push Mandriva One final ISO on public FTP mirrors. They includes all the updates and the latest kernel 2.6.12-19mdk. 4 CDs depending of the language, americas_western_europe, eastern_europe, central_europe and asia_africa

What is Mandriva One?

Live & Install CD
Everything for your office work, Internet and multimedia
Unmatched stability and hardware recognition

Mandriva One brings you a top-notch operating system and best-in-class software applications, all on one CD! Simply insert the Mandriva One CD in your CD-ROM drive to launch the system and access office, Internet and multimedia tools, with no need to install. Later, if you choose to, a few clicks are all that's needed to install Mandriva One onto your hard drive, along with any files you created while in Live mode!

Get the ISo image here Mandriva-One-Americas-Western-Europe-2006-CD.iso (659MB, MD5).

Big Love Roman Grant Interview On HBO.Com

HBO has an interview on their website with Big Love actor Harry Dean Stanton (the polygamist 'prophet' Roman Grant )
Harry Dean Stanton has starred in the following movies "Cool Hand Luke", "The Godfather II", "Alien", "Repo Man", "Wild at Heart."

Harry Dean Stanton talks about life as Roman Grant, singing with Dylan
and watching the Game Show channel.

He also has a couple of movies coming out soon
There's David Lynch's "Inland Empire," which just finished shooting. And Nick Cassavetes' "Alpha Dog" (starring Big Love's Amanda Seyfried). And a film called "Chrystal," with Billy Bob Thornton, which should be coming out in video soon.

The link is here

Trojan Troj/Erazer-A Deletes Your Porn, Music & Warez

The new Trojan/Erazor-A has an interesting twist. In addition to deleting or disabling various security products and competing malware, it deletes any porn, warez and music in your P2P directories.
It spreads by Chat and Peer-to-peer programs

Side effects
Turns off anti-virus applications
Deletes files off the computer
Steals information
Drops more malware
Reduces system security
Installs itself in the Registry

Read more here

Allofmp3 , Karl Rove, Al Gore, Grey's Anatomy, Da Vinci Code, Bush

Do you use technorati to search blogs?
Technorati is currently tracking 39.7 million sites and 2.4 billion links.

Technorati displays what's important in the blogosphere — which bloggers are commanding attention, what ideas are rising in prominence, and the speed at which these conversations are taking place. Technorati makes it possible for you to find out what people on the Internet are saying about you, your company, your products, your competitors, your politics, or other areas of interest — all in real-time. All this activity is monitored and indexed within minutes of posting. Technorati provides a live view of the global conversation of the web.

These are today's top searches
Karl Rove
Al Gore
Grey's Anatomy
America The Fearful
Da Vinci Code
Duke Lacrosse

Internet-Connected Appliances = Lower Energy Bills

Internet-Connected Appliances Could Lower Energy Bills

Pilot test in Washington and Oregon lets dryers and water heaters check electricity prices and decide if its worth waiting until off-peak times.

Dryers and Water Heaters
The GridWise Initiative, led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is testing dryers, thermostats, and water heaters that are wirelessly connected to a server, which uses a broadband connection to fetch prices. Homeowners also can set monthly energy budgets and monitor in real time whether they're sticking to them. In another experiment, 50 dryers are equipped with a chip that will respond to instability on the power grid and shut off the heating units on the dryers for a few minutes. Spread across millions of homes, this program could provide a shock absorber in the grid, giving producers the few minutes needed at times of peak demand to bring new power online.

The project takes a market approach to trying to lower power consumption--or shift it to off-peak times. That could let utilities put off building new power plants, says Don Hammerstrom, Pacific Northwest National Lab's project manager.

Whirlpool and IBM modified Kenmore dryers and water heaters so they can connect to the Internet and use the data collected from the Net. IBM also customized the middleware that enables the interaction. "This has never been done live," says Ron Ambrosio, an IBM manager on the project.

Read the rest here

Monday, May 15, 2006

FLOSS Podcast 5: Miguel de Icaza (Father Of The Mono Project)

The latest FLOSS podcast is on
This is probably the best FLOSS podcast so far. Leo Laporte and Chris DiBona are interviewing the charismatic co-creator of the GNOME desktop, founder of Ximian, and father of the controversial Mono Project, designed to port dot-Net to Linux.

The 4 books mentioned in the podcast are:
The Soul of a New Machine - by Tracy Kidder
Startup - by Jerry Kaplan
Show Stopper! - by G. Pascal Zachary
High Stakes, No Prisoners - by Charles Ferguson

You can get the podcast here

What is Mono?
Mono, the open source development platform based on the .NET framework, allows developers to build Linux and cross-platform applications with improved developer productivity. Mono's .NET implementation is based on the ECMA standards for C# and the Common Language Infrastructure

Sponsored by Novell, the Mono project has an active and enthusiastic contributing community. Mono includes both developer tools and the infrastructure needed to run .NET client and server applications. It is positioned to become the leading choice for development of Linux applications.

Mono includes compilers, an ECMA-compatible runtime engine (the Common Language Runtime, or CLR), and many libraries. The libraries include Microsoft .NET compatibility libraries (including ADO.NET, System.Windows.Forms and ASP.NET), Mono's own and third party class libraries.Gtk# (, a set of .NET bindings for the gtk+ toolkit and assorted GNOME libraries can be found in the latter. This library allows you to build fully native Gnome application using Mono and includes support for user interfaces built with the Glade interface builder. Furthermore, Mono's runtime can be embedded into applications for simplified packaging and shipping. In addition, the Mono project offers an IDE (, Debugging, and a documentation browser.

CentOS 4 i386 Live CD Released

CentOS The CentOS Development team has announced the availability of the first CentOS 4 i386 Live CD.
This CD is based on the CentOSPlus Kernel and the CentOS-4.3 i386distribution.It can be used a Workstation, with the following software:

Open Office 1.1.2
Evolution 2.0.2
Gimp 2.0.5
k3b 0.11.14 (for burning CDs and DVDs)
Gaim 2.0.0
xchat 2.4.0

Built in support for the NVIDIA and ATI proprietary drivers.

It is also a great recovery / rescue tool containing the following:Read / write access to XFS, JFS, ext3, ext2, NTFS, reiserfs.LVM2 graphical tool

GNU Parted CLI partition tool

QtParted GUI partition tool

PartImage partition imager

EVMS Enterprise volume management

smb4K GUI SMB tool

ClamAV < for virus scanning

chkrootkit for finding potential root kits

MemTest86+ < memory testerSystem Log Viewer

The CentOS-4.3 i386 Live CD is available for download from the following mirrors


Apple's iPhone: it's for real!

Apple iPhone launch 'imminent' says US research firm

Japans' Nihon Keizai Shimbun appears to have confirmed the persistent rumours that Apple is planning to launch a cellular phone with iPod functionality, claiming it is being developed in conjunction with Japanese company Softbank, which has just purchased Vodafone Japan.

Nihon Keizai Shimbun said that Softbank president, Masayoshi Son and Apple CEO, Steve Jobs had met and reached a basic agreement on the partnership, and that they would release a 3G iPhone for the Japanese market sometime in 2006.

It said the phone would be sold in the Vodafone shops acquired by Softbank as well as volume electronics retailers, and that Softbank would carry other Apple products at its cellphone shops.

Read the rest here

Friday, May 12, 2006

Grails: Groovy Ruby On Rails

What is Grails

Grails aims to bring the "coding by convention" paradigm to Groovy. It's an open-source web application framework that leverages the Groovy language and complements Java Web development. You can use Grails as a standalone development environment that hides all configuration details or integrate your Java business logic.

Grails has been specifically designed and developed to attract new developers to the Java platform. If you are a developer of web applications whether it be with PHP, Perl or Python the concepts in Grails will make you feel at home. Grails shields much of the technicalities away from the developer and offers a gentle introduction to the Groovy language and Grails. If you have a basic understanding of programming techniques you will be able to start using Grails straight away.

If you are a seasoned Java developer you will find Grails much easier to develop complex web based applications than other MVC frameworks. You can enjoy the seamless integration of AJAX and database access, also when using existing code bases.

Check out the Grails site (

X-Men: The Last Stand 7 Minute Sneak Peek

X-Men: The Last Stand will be in theaters on 5/26/2006
The seven-minute preview of 20th Century Fox's X-Men: The Last Stand, aired on Fox and is now exclusively available at!
Visit the Dell site here (

Download the file here:

AJAX Ruby on Rails Subversion (SVN) Browser today just released the first version of their web-based SVN browser, written in Ruby on Rails, under the GNU GPL license. Now you can browse your code repository with all the trendiness of a Web 2.0 application.

For bsSvnBrowser to work, you will need the following software installed:

Ruby on Rails: You will need Ruby on Rails 1.1 or later. Instructions can be found on Ruby on Rails’s site.
Subversion Ruby Bindings: You will need to have the ruby bindings from subversion 1.3.x (which requires SWIG). Instructions can be found in a variety of places (if you’re running ubuntu dapper or debian testing then “apt-get install libsvn-ruby” is all you need).

Component or Full?
They offer two release types of bsSvnBrowser. The component release is designed to be incorporated into an existing ruby on rails application (for example at /svn). The full version is designed to run as a stand alone Ruby on Rails application (essentially it’s an empty Ruby on Rails project with the component release installed). Once you’ve decided and downloaded the release you want, you should head over to the installation instructions

The download page is here (

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Skype for Mac Released

Skype for Mac released today, which is the first Universal build of Skype. Universal means that Skype now runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Mac computers, boosting the performance of Skype running on Intel Macs. also includes support for web presence, which allows you to showcase your online status on the web or in an email signature.

To activate web presence, go to Preferences -> Privacy, and tick the box saying ‘Allow my status to be shown on the web’. More info about web presence here.

Finally, Skype has been translated into Traditional Chinese for this version. More languages to follow in upcoming releases.

Apple Boot Camp Public Beta First Look eBook

BootCampApple's new Boot Camp takes advantage of the fact that your new Intel-equipped iMac, Mac mini or MacBook Pro uses the same type of Intel processor that normal Windows PCs use, allowing you to now run Windows XP on your Intel-equipped Mac at full speed. While most of the information currently available on Boot Camp focuses mainly on installation, in Ben Long's "Apple Boot Camp Public Beta First Look" full-color PDF e-book, Mac authority Ben Long walks you step by step through everything you need to know to get Boot Camp running effectively, including how to find your way around Windows, how to get Windows working with some of your other hardware, how to avoid Windows viruses and Malware, how to share data back and forth between your Mac and Windows systems, how to back up your Windows system, how to restore your Windows system and finally, even how to virtualize Windows using Parallels. With this Apple Boot Camp Public Beta First Look, you'll get a solid grounding in how to get Windows XP up and running on your Mac.

Get it from Amazon

Google Releases Google Co-op, Desktop 4 , Google Notebook And Google Trends

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced new technologies to enhance and improve the search experience. Three new products – Google Co-op, Google Desktop 4, and Google Notebook – advance the state of the art in search by helping users worldwide find and share more relevant information. The products all incorporate new capabilities that leverage user communities, enabling users to either share more information with others or benefit from other users' expertise to improve the accuracy of search results.

Google Co-op Beta
Google Co-op beta is a community where users can contribute their knowledge and expertise to improve Google search for everyone. Organizations, businesses, or individuals can label web pages relevant to their areas of expertise or create specialized links to which users can subscribe.

Once a user has subscribed to a provider's content, all of that provider's labels and subscribed links are added to the user's search results for relevant queries. These contributions serve as meta information that helps Google's search algorithms connect users to the most relevant information for their specific query. Users interested in contributing can get started at

For example, a doctor can label web pages related to arthritis, and users who subscribe to that doctor's information will receive options at the top of the results for more specific information such as "treatment," "symptoms," or "for health professionals" when they enter a relevant query.

As a first step, Google has worked with partners to annotate web pages related to health and city guides and to offer dozens of subscribed links to specialized content such as restaurant and movie information. Going forward, the broader online community will begin building out new topic areas and subscribed links to help improve the way people find and discover information online.

Users can subscribe to content and providers at Google Co-op is available today on all English language Google domains including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Google Desktop 4 Beta
Also announced today, Google Desktop 4 beta – available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Brazilian Portuguese – offers another way for users to improve their search experience, by personalizing their desktops with the introduction of Google Gadgets. These gadgets are mini-applications that reside on users' desktops and deliver a variety of personalized information such as games, media players, weather and news. Google Desktop can also recommend new gadgets and can automatically create a personalized homepage for users based on the subjects they frequently search and access.

Google currently has hundreds of gadgets users can add to their desktops and with the new Google Desktop Gadgets API, developers can easily create and share their own gadgets with other users.

Google Desktop 4 also enables users to:

Access their Google Gadget content and settings from other computers and protect it from computer crashes by saving it online.
Add favorite gadgets from their personalized Google homepage right onto their desktops.
Easily access other Google services from their desktop. For example, users can view upcoming birthdays with the gadget, see what's popular on Google Video, or access their Google Calendar directly on the desktop.
Manually re-index their computers or remove deleted files from search results.
Additionally, Google Desktop 4 now offers an option for network administrators to disable Search Across Computers on both the consumer and enterprise versions of the product at the network level by simply blocking access to a specific URL.

Google Desktop 4 will be available in additional languages and include more localized features for users around the world as the product evolves. Additional information on the newest version of Google Desktop is available at

Google Trends from Google Labs
Available today from Google Labs at, Google Trends builds on the Google Zeitgeist to help users find facts and trends related to Google usage around the world. Google Trends enables users to learn how popular a particular search term has been on Google over time and see the relevant news articles that ran on that subject.

"For the first time ever, Google is making it possible to sift through billions of search queries from around the world to see what people are thinking about," said Marissa Mayer, vice president, Search Products and User Experience, Google Inc.

With Google Trends, users will be able to observe the collective interests of all Google users to gain general insight into topics such as people's preferences on ice cream flavors, American Idol contestants, or the relative popularity of brands and politicians in specific countries.

Google Notebook from Google Labs
Google Notebook is a simple way for users to save and organize their thoughts when conducting research online. This personal browser tool permits users to clip text, images, and links from the pages they're browsing, save them to an online "notebook" that is accessible from any computer, and share them with others.

Google Notebook is an interactive scratch pad for every website a user visits, offering a single online location to collect web findings without having to leave the browser window. For example, if a user were planning a vacation, she could clip the most relevant materials on the pages she visits and add personal notes to help organize all of her research.

Users can make their Google Notebook public and share the notes they've taken with others. As a result, the time and effort put into their research can be harnessed by the online community as a whole.

Google Notebook will be available next week from Google Labs at

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

CSS Library Site

A very cool site, check it out

From their site: "I'm very excited to announce the launch of a new section here on Dynamic Drive- Dynamic Drive CSS Library! Since our site was first launched in 1998, we've always strived to have our two feet planted in the real world as we provide practical, usable DHTML scripts for your site. Like any technology, the definition of DHTML has been evolving over the past few years, with one component of DHTML- CSS- really maturing. What was once possible only through scripting can now sometimes be accomplished with CSS alone, especially basic menu interfaces. In these cases, it makes sense to resort to CSS to accomplish the desired task, as CSS generally translates into lighter, easier to maintain, and more search engine friendly code.

We recongize the increasing importance CSS plays in your site, and we want to be there to offer practical, usable CSS codes just as we have with DHTML scripts. And with that said, our CSS Library is born. The new section is designed with you in mind, with an emphasis on CSS menu codes, all laid out in an easy to follow, categorized fashion. Easily highlight and copy the source code, or expand it to view it in its entirety. And as always, the codes are completely free to use on both personal and commerical web sites based on similar usage terms as our DHTML scripts'.

So what's next, apart from continuing to work on the DHTML and now new CSS code libraries? Well, for the later, there are also plans to build up the new Blog Area, which includes possibily getting a few people to write for it. You can also expect CSS code contests periodically, where we'll be offering prizes to the best CSS code submitted. And then there are some crucial features we'd like to add to the CSS Library, such as the ability to rate each code etc."

Opera To Put Browser On The Nintendo Wii Game Console

Opera Software, a world leader in Web browser technology, today announced that Nintendo's much anticipated new generation game console, Wii, will use the Opera browser.

Users of the Wii console will browse the Internet using their consoles. Navigating via the innovative new Wii Remote controller, users can visit Web sites in between gaming sessions.

"Nintendo is clearly visionary in leading the gaming industry into the new era in gaming, and a wonderful partner for Opera," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Nintendo, and work with them to deliver the best gaming experience on the Wii console and the Nintendo DS™."

"For our Wii console launch in 2006, we required a browser that was fast and secure with support for the latest standards including AJAX. Opera proved perfect for our purposes and is an exceptional addition to both the Nintendo DS and the Wii console," said Genyo Takeda, senior managing director and general manager, Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Opera and Nintendo announced their partnership to deliver the full Opera browser for the Nintendo DS on February 15, 2006. The Nintendo DS browser is scheduled for release in Japan this summer. Nintendo has not yet announced its global launch plans for this product.

About Opera for Devices
Opera provides an optimized implementation of Internet technologies for handheld devices, digital TV and other devices, with innovative and powerful features that seamlessly adapt the Internet experience to suit varying screen sizes and input devices. In addition to being a full Internet browser, Opera is a high performance execution environment for Web applications and dynamic user interfaces based on interoperable open Web technologies such as AJAX.

About Opera Software ASA
Opera Software ASA has redefined Web browsing for PCs, mobile phones and other networked devices. Opera's cross- platform Web browser technology is renowned for its small size, performance and standards-compliance, while giving users a faster, safer and more dynamic online experience. Opera Software is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices around the world. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol OPERA. Learn more about Opera at

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ruby for Rails Ruby Techniques For Rails Developers Book

Manning has published their latest Ruby On Rails book:
Ruby for Rails
Ruby techniques for Rails developers by David A. Black

Ruby for Rails helps Rails developers achieve Ruby mastery. Each chapter deepens your Ruby knowledge and shows you how it connects to Rails. You’ll gain confidence working with objects and classes and learn how to leverage Ruby’s elegant, expressive syntax for Rails application power. And you'll become a better Rails developer through a deep understanding of the design of Rails itself and how to take advantage of it.

Newcomers to Ruby will find a Rails-oriented Ruby introduction that’s easy to read and that includes dynamic programming techniques, an exploration of Ruby objects, classes, and data structures, and many neat examples of Ruby and Rails code in action.

Table Of Contents:

Part 1 The Ruby/Rails landscape 1

1 How Ruby works 3

The mechanics of writing a Ruby program 4

Getting the preliminaries in place 5, A Ruby literacy bootstrap guide 5, A brief introduction to method calls and Ruby objects, Writing and saving a sample program 8, Feeding the program to Ruby 9, Keyboard and file input 11, One program, multiple files 14

Techniques of interpreter invocation 15

Command-line switches 16, A closer look at interactive Ruby interpretation with irb 20

Ruby extensions and programming libraries 21

Using standard extensions and libraries 21, Using C extensions 22, Writing extensions and libraries 23

Anatomy of the Ruby programming environment 24

The layout of the Ruby source code 24, Navigating the Ruby installation 25, Important standard Ruby tools and applications 27

Summary 31

2 How Rails works 33

Inside the Rails framework 34

A framework user’s–eye view of application development 35, Introducing the MVC framework concept 36, Meet MVC in the (virtual) flesh 37

Analyzing Rails’ implementation of MVC 38

A Rails application walk-through 41

Introducing R4RMusic, the music-store application 42, Modeling the first iteration of the music-store domain 43, Identifying and programming the actions 50, Designing the views 53, Connecting to the application 58

Tracing the lifecycle of a Rails run 59

Stage 1: server to dispatcher 61, Stage 2: dispatcher, to controller 62, Stage 3: performance of a controller action 62, Stage 4: the fulfillment of the view 65

Summary 65

3 Ruby-informed Rails development 67

A first crack at knowing what your code does 69

Seeing Rails as a domain-specific language 70, Writing program code with a configuration flavor 73, YAML and configuration that’s actually programming 75

Starting to use Ruby to do more in your code 77

Adding functionality to a controller 79, Deploying the Rails helper files 80, Adding functionality to models 82

Accomplishing application-related skills and tasks 85

Converting legacy data to ActiveRecord 85, The irb-based Rails application console 89

Summary 90

Part 2 Ruby building blocks 93

4 Objects and variables 95

From “things” to objects 96

Introducing object-oriented programming 97, I, object! 98, Modeling objects more closely: the behavior of a ticket 103

The innate behaviors of an object 108

Identifying objects uniquely with the object_id method 109, Querying an object’s abilities with the respond_to? method 110, Sending messages to objects with the send method 111

Required, optional, and default-valued arguments 112

Required and optional arguments 112, Default values for arguments 113, Order of arguments 114

Local variables and variable assignment 115

Variable assignment in depth 117, Local variables and the things that look like them 119

Summary 120

5 Organizing objects with classes 121

Classes and instances 122

A first class 123, Instance variables and object state 126

Setter methods 130

The equal sign (=) in method names 131, ActiveRecord properties and other =-method applications 133

Attributes and the attr_* method family 136

Automating the creation of attribute handlers 137, Two (getter/setter) for one 138, Summary of attr_* methods 139

Class methods and the Class class 140

Classes are objects too! 140, When, and why, to write a class method 141, Class methods vs. instance methods, clarified 143, The Class class and 144

Constants up close 145

Basic usage of constants 145, Reassigning vs. modifying constants 146

Inheritance 148

Inheritance and Rails engineering 149, Nature vs. nurture in Ruby objects 151

Summary 153

6 Modules and program organization 154

Basics of module creation and use 155

A module encapsulating “stack-like-ness” 157, Mixing a module into a class 158, Leveraging the module further 160

Modules, classes, and method lookup 163

Illustrating the basics of method lookup 163, Defining the same method more than once 166, Going up the method search path with super 168

Class/module design and naming 170

Mix-ins and/or inheritance 171, Modular organization in Rails source and boilerplate code 173

Summary 176

7 The default object (self) and scope 177

Understanding self, the current/default object 179

Who gets to be self, and where 179, Self as default receiver of messages 184, Instance variables and self 186

Determining scope 188

Global scope and global variables 188, Local scope 191, Scope and resolution of constants 194

Deploying method access rules 197

Private methods 197, Private methods as ActionController access protection 199, Protected methods 201

Writing and using top-level methods 203

Defining a top-level method 203, Predefined (built-in) top-level methods 204

Summary 205

8 Control flow techniques 206

Conditional code execution 207

The if keyword and friends 208, Conditional modifiers 211, Case statements 211

Repeating actions with loops 215

Unconditional looping with the loop method 215, Conditional looping with the while and until keywords 216, Looping based on a list of values 218

Code blocks, iterators, and the yield keyword 219

The basics of yielding to a block 219, Performing multiple iterations 222, Using different code blocks 223, More about for 223

Error handling and exceptions 225

Raising and rescuing exceptions 225, Raising exceptions explicitly 227, Creating your own exception classes 228

Summary 230

Part 3 Built-in classes and modules 231

9 Built-in essentials 233

Ruby’s literal constructors 234

Recurrent syntactic sugar 236

Special treatment of += 237

Methods that change their receivers (or don’t) 238

Receiver-changing basics 239, bang (!) methods 240, Specialized and extended receiver-changing in ActiveRecord objects 241

Built-in and custom to_* (conversion) methods 242

Writing your own to_* methods 243

Iterators reiterated 244

Boolean states, Boolean objects, and nil 245

True and false as states 246, true and false as objects 248, The special object nil 249

Comparing two objects 251

Equality tests 251, Comparisons and the Comparable module 252

Listing an object’s methods 253

Generating filtered and selective method lists 254

Summary 255

10 Scalar objects 257

Working with strings 258

String basics 258, String operations 260, Comparing strings 265

Symbols and their uses 267

Key differences between symbols and strings 267, Rails-style method arguments, revisited 268

Numerical objects 270

Numerical classes 270, Performing arithmetic operations 271

Times and dates 272

Summary 275

11 Collections, containers, and enumerability 277

Arrays and hashes compared 278

Using arrays 279

Creating a new array 279, Inserting, retrieving, and removing array elements 280, Combining arrays with other arrays 283, Array transformations 285, Array iteration, filtering, and querying 286, Ruby lessons from ActiveRecord collections 289

Hashes 292

Creating a new hash 293, Inserting, retrieving, and removing hash pairs 294, Combining hashes with other hashes 296, Hash transformations 297, Hash iteration, filtering, and querying 298, Hashes in Ruby and Rails method calls 301

Collections central: the Enumerable module 303

Gaining enumerability through each 304, Strings as Enumerables 306

Sorting collections 307

Sorting and the Comparable module 309, Defining sort order in a block 310

Summary 311

12 Regular expressionsand regexp-basedstring operations 312

What are regular expressions? 313

A word to the regex-wise 314, A further word to everyone 314

Writing regular expressions 314

The regular expression literal constructor 315, Building a pattern 316

More on matching and MatchData 319

Capturing submatches with parentheses 319, Match success and failure 321

Further regular expression techniques 323

Quantifiers and greediness 323, Anchors and lookahead assertions 326, Modifiers 328, Converting strings and regular expressions to each other 329

Common methods that use regular expressions 331

String#scan 332, String#split 332, sub/sub! and gsub/gsub! 333, grep 334

Summary 335

13 Ruby dynamics 337

The position and role of singleton classes 338

Where the singleton methods live 339, Examining and modifying a singleton class directly 340, Singleton classes on the method lookup path 342, Class methods in (even more) depth 345

The eval family of methods 347

eval 347, instance_eval 349, The most useful eval: class_eval (a.k.a. module_eval) 349

Callable objects 351

Proc objects 351, Creating anonymous functions with the lambda keyword 355, Code blocks, revisited 356, Methods as objects 357

Callbacks and hooks 359

Intercepting unrecognized messages with method_missing 360, Trapping include operations with Module#included 361, Intercepting inheritance with Class#inherited 363, Module#const_missing 365

Overriding and adding to core functionality 365

A cautionary tale 366

Summary 367

Part 4 Rails through Ruby, Ruby throug Rails 369

14 (Re)modeling the R4RMusic application universe 371

Tracking the capabilities of an ActiveRecord model instance 372

An overview of model instance capabilities 373, Inherited and automatic ActiveRecord model behaviors 374, Semi-automatic behaviors via associations 378

Advancing the domain model 380

Abstracting and adding models (publisher and edition) 380, The instruments model and many-to-many relations 382, Modeling for use: customer and order 386

Summary 390

15 Programmatically enhancing ActiveRecord models 392

Soft vs. hard model enhancement 393

An example of model-enhancement contrast 394

Soft programmatic extension of models 396

Honing the Work model through soft enhancements 398, Modeling the customer’s business 399, Fleshing out the Composer 401, Ruby vs. SQL in the development of soft enhancements 401

Hard programmatic enhancement of model functionality 404

Prettification of string properties 404, Calculating a work’s period 409, The remaining business of the Customer 414

Extending model functionality with class methods 419

Soft and hard class methods 419

Summary 421

16 Enhancing the controllers and views 422

Defining helper methods for view templates 424

Organizing and accessing custom helper methods 425, The custom helper methods for R4RMusic 427

Coding and deploying partial view templates 429

Anatomy of a master template 429, Using partials in the welcome view template 430

Updating the main controller 436

The new face of the welcome action 436

Incorporating customer signup and login 438

The login and signup partial templates 438, Logging in and saving the session state 439, Gate-keeping the actions with before_filter 441, Implementing a signing-up facility 444, Scripting customer logout 445

Processing customer orders 446

The view_cart action and template 446, Viewing and buying an edition 448, Defining the add_to_cart action 449, Completing the order(s) 449

Personalizing the page via dynamic code 450

From rankings to favorites 450, The favorites feature in action 452

Summary 454

17 Techniques for exploring the Rails source code 455

Exploratory technique 1: panning for info 456

Sample info panning: belongs_to 457

Exploratory technique 2: shadowing Ruby 458

Choosing a starting point 458, Choose among forks in the road intelligently 459, On the trail of belongs_to 460, A transliteration of belongs_to 463

Exploratory technique 3: consulting the documentation 464

A roadmap of the online Rails API documentation 466

Summary 469

Appendix: Ruby and Rails installation and resources 471

index 477

Sample Chapters
Sample Chapter 5
Sample Chapter 10

The Amazon link is here