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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Competing with Google with Swicki

First of all, thanks Google for having this wonderful technology called blogspot.

Swicki has a new strategy to compete with Google...

The following message comes from Swicki.

Hi,

How do you make your swicki better than Google? By getting help from the experts in your swicki community!

This is a quick note to let you know about a great new "Community Features" in your swicki.

It is estimated that people find what they want from general search engines only 40-70% of the time. We want to make that closer to 100% and your swicki's new tools will allow your community members to fill in any gaps in the search results.

Your swicki uses the information you give it, along with the best indexing technologies, to gather search results about your topic. No matter how good the automatic tools it uses, there will still be gaps that you and other experts can now easily fill. This means your swicki can become the definitive search destination on the web for "it-sideways".

Your swicki's users can now:


  • Vote for results directly on a new results page (http://it-sideways-swicki.eurekster.com).

  • Easily write an answer directly into the search results (see the "Write your own search result" link at the top of the swicki results page).

  • Use the new WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor for writing great looking search results, including: URL links and embedded video.

  • See a list of unanswered questions that includes search terms people have searched for or asked on your swicki but didn't find good answers for.

  • Subscribe to your swicki for the latest questions and answers using your swicki's RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed.


As moderator, you can:


  • Click on the "write an answer" link beside each new search term in your Buzzcloud activity emails to quickly write answers.

  • Approve or exclude answers contributed by your community members.
    Search is becoming increasingly verticalized and our aim is to help you use your expertise to turn your swicki into a valuable and useful search engine and to help you earn your part of the multi-billion-dollar search industry.

We always appreciate your feedback so let us know your thoughts. Send all feedback to swickifeedback@eurekster.com.

Kind regards,
Grant Ryan
Co-founder
http://www.eurekster.com

Check out the Swicki search features for IT-Sideways.

what people are searching for in Jan 2007 at tech blog malaysia

Starting from this month, IT-Sideways will be providing a new type of monthly content which is about what the world is searching for and landed on this tech blog. It is very interesting, useful for market research companies and for marketing professionals to see what people are interested in and best still, what they think might be happening and hope to see positive result.

To argue this point, if you don't think that information about "Malaysia information technology spending" is important, why would you care to search for it ?

Thus, let IT-Sideways presents to you what people been searching for in Jan 2007.

Check out this link. Thanks to Google's docs for making this happen.

This shows the strenght of weblogs and what other media(s) can't provide to and SATISFY the ever sophisticated Internet users and may not be lies after lies most of the time. Thanks lucialai for the heads up.

Conventional media(s) will not have the energy to publish content about things like what happen to accessing itunes in Malaysia, or really what happen too and etc...

If anyone interested to get more comprehensive reports such as users' originality and even up to 500 keywords searched for, please contact IT-Sideways. Information may be provided for a fee.

IT-Sideways encourages other bloggers to do the same and to make some revenue from providing contents.

We will also take this opportunity to thank viewers for their comments, usually are junkies or spams. Anyway, thanks for visiting this blog.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It is Interim, not long-tail or glitches

A few months ago, IT-Sideways' Google Pagerank has been reduced from 4/10 to 1/10. We consider it as a dispute and calling it either due to long-tail, glitches or just interim process.

Now, the pagerank for IT-Sideways has been reverted back to 4/10 as according to the measurement provided via iwebtool.

Thus, this proves that it is just an interim adjustment arised from Google's system.



Or could it be other reasons ?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SOA Potentials for entrepreneurs

IBM Knows it best ..

To understand SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), read this article from IBM, as it is being best explained. IBM is by far the most faithful advocate for SOA in the ICT industry world-wide. Why? because of the right timing and perhaps it fits. Check out our latest discussion about IBM here.

Many people have tried to explain SOA and failed miserably. Either the boundary is too big or it is just too loose (every possibility is relevant) and in fact SOA is not created by IBM. So, there is no such thing as SOA guru as opposed to Java guru and creator James Gosling, Microsoft to Bill Gates, web browser to Marc Andreessen or search algorithm to Google's founders. This is the same problem with Artificial Intelligence (A.I) research, which after so many years of hard work, nobody yet claim to have significance break-through. We have talked about this before because the problem is that the boundary is too large, no one knows where it is going to end and thus it is hard to define where to start, when to start and etc. Someone (An A.I programmer) once told me that up to date, A.I cannot even mimic the simplest of a fly's brain (as small as nothing), which is far more complex than you think.

Marriage:

So, SOA is really married to web services. In fact, to put it in simple manner, SOA is a software architecture for web services' systems. Means that if you are going to deploy web services to your systems, you are starting to move into SOA and vice versa.

SOA vs SAP:

SOA is trying to solve the problem of inflexibility in software systems. This is the reason why SAP doesn't need to market the idea of SOA because flexibility is built-in into the architecture of SAP. As for non-SAP system, there will always be issues such as ...

1. How long this system can last ?
2. How flexible it is in terms of scalability?
3. What is the flexibility of support requirement ? Must it be supported by only one vendor ?

SAP solves all these because once you deployed SAP, you are going to use it for a long time. If you need new modules, you will just have to add to it and just in case you are wondering what sort of modules you can experiment with, check out this link. So, IBM SOA is a good contender to counter-strike the ever increasing market size of SAP in the industry of enterprise business solutions.

Do you know how big is SAP ?

It is predicted to grow into a US$70 billion company. That was last year. Period.

Opportunities:

One way of providing software solutions to the banks without insiders' information is to identify its needs through public medium such as the Internet. In particularly, I suggest that we take a look at banks' web site for its career sections. Eon bank, public bank, citibank and etc.

Through these information, we know that they have needs to perform certain functions and they require flexibility and therefore they would rather hire human than to create systems for it. This is not suggesting that they have constrained budget for IT systems, rather it is about handling flexibility and other human elements which IT systems have yet to master.

And I strongly envision that with SOA, for its vision to cater for flexibility of enterprise solutions, it is possible that in the near future, these banks would not have to continuously seek out for human resources to fill up such roles in its business ecosystems.

How to start ?

Grab yourself a certification from IBM.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

GoDaddy not fine with FireFox - Reboot your routers

Yielding the same results for the pass 2 days, accessing GoDaddy's sub-URLs is not successful at all via FireFox web browser. The version which was used is 1.5.0.9

However, things were working fine with Internet Explorer with the following details:

Version: 6.0.2800.1106
Cypher strenght: 128-bit
Product ID: 55736-852-5224942-04050
Update versions: SP1, Q823353

I suspect that the problem is due to default security settings of FireFox browser. This is because GoDaddy uses secure connections for all its sub URLs such as webmail, whois and etc. The problem should be that FireFox has stricter security settings as compared to IE which the later has higher tolerance for timeout settings.

GoDaddy also disable the "ping" ability of its domain. Such is also witnessed from skype.com, where both are accessible through web browser(port 8080) and not ping.

C:\Documents and Settings\brandon>ping www.godaddy.com

Pinging www.godaddy.com [64.202.188.201] with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 64.202.188.201:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

C:\Documents and Settings\brandon>tracert godaddy.com

Tracing route to godaddy.com [64.202.188.201]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 3 ms 3 ms 3 ms 192.168.1.1
2 30 ms 17 ms 19 ms 219.93.218.177
3 14 ms 44 ms 15 ms 219.93.216.165
4 * * 17 ms 210.187.133.83
5 13 ms 17 ms 15 ms 58.27.124.62
6 16 ms 16 ms 17 ms 219.94.9.25
7 * * 12.118.124.41 reports: Destination net unreachable.

But GoDaddy service is not down and this is a last-mile problem.

Interestingly, GoDaddy's theme of making the Internet works for you (under the 10-point value plan) suggests that they are have 100% uptime. This is a good document for Internet newbies to learn about web site, e-commerce and web marketing.

Will continue from this trail once more is discovered about FireFox security features. In the mean time, one may be able to check out its features under 'Tools/Options../Advanced/Security"

Updates

It is not a last mile problem.... but Internet provider's problem.

The solutions is to reboot your local routers.

After routers are rebooted ... The complete IP trace for godaddy.com is shown below.

C:\Documents and Settings\brandon>tracert godaddy.com

Tracing route to godaddy.com [64.202.188.201]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 3 ms 3 ms 3 ms 192.168.1.1
2 20 ms 41 ms 15 ms 219.93.218.177
3 17 ms 31 ms 14 ms 219.93.216.173
4 12 ms 17 ms 19 ms 210.187.133.83
5 29 ms 15 ms 15 ms 58.27.124.54
6 14 ms 14 ms 15 ms 219.94.9.25
7 566 ms 551 ms 566 ms 12.118.124.93
8 444 ms 449 ms 499 ms tbr1-p012101.la2ca.ip.att.net [12.122.2.250]
9 492 ms 498 ms 575 ms ggr2-p340.la2ca.ip.att.net [12.123.222.33]
10 516 ms 516 ms * 192.205.34.70
11 528 ms 529 ms 501 ms so1-0-0-2488M.ar4.PHX1.gblx.net [67.17.68.26]
12 2051 ms 2026 ms 2065 ms 67.17.199.142
13 517 ms * 503 ms ip-64-202-161-53.secureserver.net [64.202.161.53
]
14 279 ms 301 ms 287 ms ip-64-202-160-1.secureserver.net [64.202.160.1]

15 * * * Request timed out.
16 * * * Request timed out.
17 459 ms 467 ms 468 ms corpweb-v01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net [64.202.
188.201]

Trace complete.

Using IP Address Locator, we found that the IP of 12.118.124.93 belongs to US with City Code = USCAMVIE. While the IP of 58.27.124.54 belongs to Malaysia with City Code = MYKLKLUM.

Ok. This shows that there some problems with the Internet server provider's exchange. It is possible that the hardware buffers responsible the broadband session is overloaded (since my office broadband connection is on for 24 x 7).

Internet Explorer is able to yield positive results during times of difficulties shows that the broadband session is not totally dead, just slower.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Task Force for public sector competitiveness

The PM of Malaysia stressed that "Malaysia needs to move into international league".

Crying fouls over Malaysia's responsiveness towards foreign investing interests, it is time for Malaysia to have a major consolidation of public services to improve transparency and efficiency.

However, let's not just think about having web applications which are AJAX enabled. The bigger issue would be information security.

According to Redhat, the following are potential security threats to information.

  • Eavesdropping
  • Tampering
  • Impersonation
  • Spoofing
  • Misrepresentation
And the solution is encryption and digital certificate, which SKYPE proves that it is how SKYPE has gotten so far.

Fundamentally, a thorough security framework would consists of the following features:

1. Basic Security (Database security at programming level)
2. Encryption and digital certificate
3. Hacking endurance
4. Strong backup
5 . Offline browsing

Let Malaysian anticipate more information services projects as a result of 9th Malaysian Plan.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Software Web Framework ?

What is a Software Web framework ?

Frameworks are best practices. Period.

Thus once you have the best practices, you will build an engine.

Therefore, a framework is an engine based on best practices.

Types of Frameworks

Since frameworks are best practices, it cannot be an omnipotent framework. Frameworks are meant to be generic but yet it has to vertical-oriented. Thus there are frameworks for enterprise web solutions, content management, portal and etc. Of course, there can never be solid lines drawn between these types.

Characteristic of Enterprise Web Frameworks:

1. Model-view-controller (MVC), separation of business rules, server logic and presentation views. According to Symfony, it states that..
  • compatible with as many environments as possible
  • easy to install and configure
  • simple to learn
  • enterprise ready
  • convention rather than configuration, supporting fallback calls
  • simple in most cases, but still flexible enough to adapt to complex cases
  • most common web features included
  • compliant with most of the web "best practices" and web "design patterns"
  • very readable code with easy maintenance
  • open source (Very important)
2. Multi Database apability

3. Object-oriented… because object-orientation is the far most effective and proven methodology to establish relationships between entities.

In the case of Symfony.. it relies on three distinct layers.
  • Database abstraction
  • Object-relational mapping
  • A MVC model for front and back-office
4. Built-in automations for common web features. According to Symfony, it states that..
  • internationalization
  • templating with helpers
  • form validation
  • cache management
  • shopping cart management
  • smart URLs
  • scaffolding
  • email sending
  • Pagination
  • AJAX interactions
5. Development environment configurable into different coding guidelines and project management rules.

How many Frameworks out there?

Numbers of frameworks out there are influenced by numbers of different programming languages, that is Java, PHP, Ruby and etc.

Java has the most types of frameworks and followed by PHP. And this blog attempts to find out which framework is the most popuplar. There is a new framework for Ruby known as Ruby on Rails.

Struts, Spring MVC - Java
Symfony, smarty - PHP
Django - Python

What about ASP.net ???

It seems that the idea of having web framework on ASP.net is not popular where there is only one popular called DotNetNuke; which is a framework for content management system.

Perhaps, the idea of creating framework based on Microsoft technology is not attractive because Microsoft by itself is not open-source. Since frameworks have to be made open-source, the resulting frameworks based on Microsoft technology will be half-open-source.

Also, Microsoft .Net technology is already a big framework; proprietary and it is very popular amongst software developers. Thus, there is really no need for such endeavour when the purpose of creation has not much merit. It would be better to create other frameworks to fight .Net as a framework.

Conclusion:

Having frameworks is not the reality of having a saviour. This is because frameworks are, first of all, open-source and secondly created by human.

Also, the learning curve for frameworks may vary according to how well it is documented. As this entry puts it, it sucks.

Therefore, knowing the most popular framework is important because one wouldn't want to waste time investing into frameworks which end up not living up to expectations.

However, for the merit of research, framework is the answer because it is best-practice and open-source.

Nevertheless, in terms of practicality, frameworks may provide developers with continuous incomes from maintenance jobs because for solutions developed on frameworks, reverse engineering would usually take longer time.

Above all, having knowledge on frameworks gives one the stamp of "professionalism". Just like how Fox Mulder puts it, "The truth is out there.." and are you awared of it ?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rich web apps to boost PC sales

Processor manufacturers keeps rolling out new product.... and they are collaborating with software companies like Microsoft and even APPLE to justify the need for more speed.

Without new software technologies, consumers don't really need to upgrade new software.

This is easy to justify if we talk about comparison between Pentium 286 and Pentium II. But how about Pentium III with Intel Centrino and Duo Core ?

Well, I need it!!!! I need to upgrade from using a Pentium III with 260 MB RAM.

Take the following real scenario....




I am running only a few applications ...

1. Firefox with 5 tabs on.
2. Outlook express.
3. Yahoo messenger
4. Google Earth
5. Network Connection (Control Panel)

Applications in the backgrounds ...
1. Wireless
2. USB
3. Java plugin
4. HP Solution Center
5. Quicktime
6. MS SQL Server (partially off)

And I almost took up all the memory available.

By thew way, kernel memory is memory used by Operating System. Refer to the diagram above, the RAM is only 260 MB (260,512 KB), and operating system is sucking around 116,372 KB. However, the memory usage shows a maximum of 634,312 KB. This shows that there is a mechanism of memory sharing. What it means is that some of the kernel processes belongs to other processes and thus the system is capable of doing more than 260,512 KB (of RAM).

Web Apps to drive the need...

I took out one application at one time and the following recorded (comparing application with commit charge). Starting from 571,052 K of memory usage.

Google Earth - 432,572 K
Outlook Express - 414,856 K
Network Connection (Control Panel) - 408,257 K
Firefox - 275,064 K
Yahoo Messenger - 231,212 K

Firefox uses the most memory... Partly because it is associated with many plugin(s) and also AJAX capability.

Well this is good for software entreprenuers because if one keep innovating richer and more complex software, there will definitely be a bandwagon ready for you. Intel will be moving along with you to push your innovations, so as with other processors such as AMD and etc.

There is also possibility of bundling web apps with new laptops and PCs. Rich web apps developers may also be able to make use of launches or champaigns of new hardwares to co-market their web apps' upgrade and new apps.

The idea is to create heavy duty web apps.

HP PSC 1402 All-in-one

Previous entry about this issue was concluded as "USB ports' software corruption".

I got this printer from my brother and he got it as a free gift from laptop purchase.

This printer is not working too fine.... I have to comment.

And there are three problems associated with it (after testing for a few months)...

1. Installation problem (detecting hardware)

Installation will come to an abrupt halt during process 3/4 (detecting hardware) every time (As far as I am concern). It just wouldn't detect the hardware; the HP PSC 1402 All-in-One. And it would trigger an error message and the installation process will be running in an infinite loop.

The trick is this, it happens only if you connect the printer to the computer via USB and powered it up before you are being asked to do so.

The workaround this, just have to unplug the USB cable and the installation process will continue by itself.

Then it will come to a point where the installation process will ask you to plug in the cable in order to detect the hardware, then only you should do so.

And it will install successfully.




2. The software won't launch after restarting the computer in Windows 2000.

If you are using Windows 2000, the software for controlling everything; known as HP Solution Center will not be able to launch successfully per se. It works fine immediately after installation, but will not work after the computer is being restarted. It will end up in infinite loop as well. The following screen won't show.


This only happens in Windows 2000 and not Windows XP. And I suspect that it has something to do with detecting the hardware also.

3. Printing takes too long...

Another problem is during printing, it may or may not take up to 2 minutes or more before a small print job starts. This is quite silly because you would not know what is happening during that 2 minutes... it is printing, or it is not ? it is out of paper, it is functioning ?

2 minutes is just too long wait for just printing a few pages of documents.

Conclusion:

Now I can guess boldly why it is being given out as free gift.

If anyone has better suggestions or similiar experiences, please feel free to drop some comments. By the way, this product is probably obsolete.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Malaysia 2007 - First Countdown

Malaysia is coming to 50th year since independence day. From 1957 - 2007, and this blog is counting down to 31st August 2007 starting from today and progressively, we will share contents from readers.

What is good about Malaysia so far ?

As far as I can agree with my conscience now is that Malaysia is best for the following few things..

1. The culture of not paying.

Nobody likes to pay anything in Malaysia, even for food. There is just this sort of "backward" culture. But sometimes, it is inevitable.

Many people feel proud of being able to dodge police summonses and other compounds for years and lives and generations. And yet, perhaps there are underlying reasons for such acts; act of not having enough taxes for public development.

But I like best about this culture is that when current government took off Saturday's duty roasters for public servants, I reckon that it is a great feeling for no-need to pay parking tickets all over Malaysia. And it is really a great feeling, you can just park anywhere and even in the middle of the road blocking all traffics and nobody will come to give you any summonses, because it is off-day! Except for private toll-cars whom might think that you needed help.

So, this culture is not bad because you feel good of being able to save some money.

2. The culture of cheap.

Forget Starbucks and imported cars, Malaysia is really a place where you can really live a cheap and healthy life.

The cheapest breakfast (healthy one) that I could get RM 1.00 or perhaps RM 2.00 for Fried Mee with some add-on(s) plus a glass of plain water and tea. And you can get this from just anywhere in Malaysia, almost anywhere you go there will be such delicacies. It can be healthy if you choose the add-on(s) properly.

3. The culture of being second best.

Malaysia, well besides people saying that it is best for its food..... I think there isn't much (correct me if I am wrong) to feel like champion.

Throw exceptions for Nicol David, KLCC, KLIA, Tun Dr. Mahathir, Air Asia, Petronas and perhaps Badminton.

There is just a notion that Malaysia is always the second best or worst. Even Malaysian thinks that the neighbor is second best one... and that there is always a greener pasture some other places.

And this culture is good because there is always room for improvements.

4. The opportunities which never fade.

In lieu with the culture of being second best.... gives rise to the phenomenon of "opportunities overloaded".

Everyday there is opportunities.... and some people made it such as CWorks, Redtone, Green Packet and etc.

I wake up each day with belief that I am going to make a difference in this country and for the ICT industry. I sleep each night with anticipation that I will, wake up again tomorrow a millionaire or at least create an impact in this society because there is just too much opportunities. Nothing seems to be in place totally per se. If you walk around, you would be able to see so much problems associating with everyday life of people of Malaysia and ideas can be generated quickly.

And there is always opportunities from the government. Everybody is thinking that there must be a way to make money from the public funds. Just have to be positive and patience; yes priceless gem.

This is what I can think of at the moment and if you have comments just drop it or email to us.

Let IT-Sideways start the countdown to 31st August 2006!