Monday, January 30, 2006

My CNY Resolution

I did not make any resolutions the last New Year (1st Jan 2006) and now, I am making mine on this Chinese New Year.
  1. Settle my NUS school fee asap.
  2. Try to save up for future.
  3. Settle down for a permanent working position.
狗年旺旺旺!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

送你一首旺旺曲

身旺体旺身康旺
运旺气旺一生旺
爱旺情旺幸福旺
家旺人旺合家旺

我的祝贺比认何人
早到又早旺

祝你旺旺又旺旺

Saturday, January 28, 2006

狗年 Goof Goof Goof

Microsoft Tricks Hacker Into Jail

Nobody was ever arrested for leaking the secret source code for parts of the Windows operating system in 2004, but a hacker who sold a copy online afterward was sentenced to two years in federal prison Friday.

William "IllWill" Genovese, 29, will serve three years of supervised release following his prison term, during which he'll be subject to electronic monitoring through special software installed on his computer, under the terms handed down by federal Judge William Pauley in New York. He remains free on bail, and is scheduled to report to prison March 14.

Genovese ran a popular hacking-oriented community website called IllMob.org in February 2004 when two 200-MB files containing incomplete portions of the source code for the Windows 2000 and Windows NT operating systems hit the internet, flooding dodgy websites and peer-to-peer networks like some hard-core geek version of the Paris Hilton video.

Like many others, Genovese downloaded a copy. Unlike others, he posted a note to his website offering it for sale.

According to court records, an investigator hired by Microsoft took Genovese up on his offer and dropped two Hamiltons on the secret source code. The investigator then returned and arranged a second $20 transaction for an FBI agent, which led to Genovese's indictment under the U.S. Economic Espionage Act, which makes it a felony to sell a company's stolen trade secrets. After consulting with his public defender, Genovese pleaded guilty last August.

Genovese would have had a viable defense had he gone to trial, because the documents were widely available on peer-to-peer networks at the time of the sale, said Mark Rasch, a former Justice Department cybercrime prosecutor.

"This guy didn't participate in the misappropriation, and probably didn't conspire with anybody to misappropriate it," said Rasch, a vice president at security company Solutionary. "Once it's posted online, it's just not secret anymore. At some point it becomes public information."

But Genovese's public posting, coupled with his long rap sheet, made him an obvious target for prosecution. Government court filings show the Connecticut man has an extensive record of mostly petty crimes, beginning with a 1996 conviction for criminal trespass for spray painting a bridge, followed by a rash of thefts from motor vehicles and a burglary conviction. In 1999 he was convicted of "breaching the peace" by assaulting the mother of his child, according to court records.

At the time of the source-code sale, Genovese was on probation for computer trespass and eavesdropping after breaking into some private computers and installing keystroke-logging software.

"Basically, everything I do, I do ass-backwards," Genovese said in an instant-messaging interview ahead of Friday's sentencing. "I like drawing, so I spray paint. I like music, so I took some radios of kids I hated in high school. I like computers, so I hack."

Microsoft also asked for an "appropriate amount" of financial restitution, which the government estimated at $70,000. The judge declined.

The company has long maintained that the source code to Windows and other products are its crown jewels, and that making the code public could cause serious harm by stripping it of trade-secret status, and allowing competitors to duplicate the functionality of Microsoft software.

The company has also expressed fears that making its source code public could allow hackers to find security holes in Microsoft products -- though, so far, intruders are doing fine without the source.

Microsoft had no immediate comment on the case.

Genovese said Thursday that he shut down IllMob.org temporarily this week after Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Southwell cited it in his request that Genovese receive a 30-month sentence -- the maximum under federal sentencing guidelines.

In addition to providing free hacking tools, the website has played host to candid photos stolen from celebrity cell phones and Sidekicks. And Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst recently blamed IllMob for stealing and releasing his sex video last year.

-------------
From
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/1,70106-0.html

Interesting Quote on Piracy

Regarding Napster, Kazaa, file sharing, et al, and the evil RIAA, I think the one thing that people seem to forget is that stealing is stealing; be it a 12 year old or a soccer mom downloading music or pirated software, the criteria still fits. I mean, come on, the only thing you get for free is SPAM.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You are visitor 44375

1 week has passed and it's time for me to do a check on traffic to my wap webbie. A total of (44375-44324)-1 (myself) which is 50 visitors have visited my site.

Google puts muzzle on itself in China

I kind of like the columnized newspaper style of paging articles and their page navigation concept.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/24/business/google.php

Zodiac Signs 雞 Rooster

Rooster Born in: 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005

Personality
Dramatic but a reputable person who works systematically Hardworking, resourceful, talented and confident. Vivacious and popular socially, but may have a tendency to brag insensitively. Outspoken and loves to attract attention. Always take good care of their family and can handle money well.

The Rooster, or Chicken as he is called, is the Don Quixote of the Chinese cycle. The dauntless hero who must look to the earth to survive, he is the most misunderstood and eccentric of all the signs. outwardly, he is the epitome of self-assurance and aggression, but at heart he could be conservative and old-fashioned.

The Rooster-born, especially the men, will be attractive, even dashingly handsome. The princely fowl is radiant and proud of his fine feathers and has an impressive carriage. You don't find any roosters slouching; they strut about with dignity. Even the shyest member of the Rooster family will cut a neat, trim figure and maintain a special bearing wherever he goes.

There are two distinct type of Roosters. The rapid-firing, extremely talkative ones and the deadly solemn observer types with the X-ray vision. both are equally hard to deal with. The Rooster has many outstanding qualities to crow about. He is sharp, neat, precise, organized, decisive, upright, alert, and most direct. He can also be critical to the point of brutality. Don't ever ask him his frank, candid opinion--you may never recover from his comments.

He loves to argue and debate, showing how knowledgeable and smart he is, some- times with little regard of the feelings of others. But when his feathers are ruffled in return, he is insufferable. He isn't cut out to be a diplomat. Situations regarding tact, delicacy and discretion will cramp his style. His way is to go about trying to convert everyone to his way of thinking with a missionary zeal. He shines when he is the center of attraction.

Tremendously imposing as a personality, he could well pursue any career that exposes him to the public eye.

The Rooster likes: Hard works, Fresh Air, Neat but Casual, Challenges, Nature and Control.

The Rooster dislikes: Laziness, Weakness, Technology, Illness, Practical Jokes and politics.

Your Luck In Year 2006

Overall Forecast

This year is the time for the Rooster to shine their career achievements in the prosperous wealth luck. However, even in the presence of lucky stars in the life cycle, their success will still be ruined by their rash, impatience characters and lack of proper planning. Improve this weakness and be cautions in all documents like contracts in order to meet the excellent wealth luck, beware of epidemic or infectious disease. The luck this year is not so favourable to the females “Rooster”. There is nothing special in the emotional luck but you may have to spend some money on the health problem.

Health

As there is a unfavourable star in your life cycle, take care of health condition. Apart from taking note of food hygiene, do some exercises and take sufficient rest.

Career

There shows considerable progress and prospective investments in the career development. Ensure of modest attitudes, steady tactics and proper planning. Handle your finance and legal documents personally.

Love

Generally, emotional luck is not so optimistic. Lovers will have to spend more time in their family life but be careful of the gossips caused by the mean person which may destroy your family bond.

Wealth

Wealth is very good. Profit will be made from investments and other dealings through proper channel. For the working class, you will receive gratitude apart from salary raise. When helping others, beware of being used by them to avoid financial loss.

Zodiac Signs 鼠 Rat

Rat Born in: 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996

Personality

Charming and humourous, honest and meticulous. Although they can give good advice, they cannot necessarily decide for themselves. May be power hungry, petty or greedy, Bright, sociable and highly ambitious. A true opportunist to reach the target. Passionate and good to her lover. Yet likes to gamble and spend lavishly.

The charm of the Rat personality is as universally known and loved as the Walt Disney character, Mickey Mouse. He could be forthright and honest but in such a disarming manner that you find yourself at a disadvantage.

Remarkably easy to get along with, hard working and thrifty, he will be generous only to those he is inordinately fond of, so if you get an expensive gift from him, you should certainly rate yourself high in his esteem. However, in spite of his penny-pinching ways, he will never be found wanting for admirers as he emits such fantastic appeal.

The Rat likes: bargains, Negotiation, Winning, Trust and Gambling.

The Rat dislike: Boredom, Timetable, Poverty, Loneliness and Reprimands.

Your Luck In Year 2006

Overall Forecast

A Rat in the year of Dog should only work hard and wait for an improvement in the unfavourable luck. You could try to set up business and seize the best opportunity for its development. Do not overwork as it may harm your health. In view of the unstable emotional luck, show more concern towards your spouse.

Health

Being in the unfavourable health, you must not overwork. Be careful of the relapse of old illness and get immediate medical treatment if you feel unwell. Health luck will worsen in April and the second half of the year.

Career

You will make some profit from your business. For the working class, good relationships with the superiors will certainly help in your promotion. In trade, mutual trust between the business partners is essential.

Love

The unfavourable health and wealth luck will make you moody. Married couples should show more concern with each other. The quarrels between lovers will be solved amicably.

Wealth

No heavy investments or risky means for fast profit is encouraged. Handle your finance carefully. Do not act as guarantor or borrow money.

No. 4 Together

I am ranked No 4 for both Overall and Yr 2006 for ASP TA

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Problem Solved

My problem is solved.
Thanks a lot.

JavaScript/DHTML Question

Usually people bumped onto problem with non-IE browsers like FF/NS/Opera but this time, I got problem with IE!
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Web_Languages/JavaScript/Q_21706575.html

Whoever willing to help but do not have a EE account can just email me your solution.

Job Interview On Wednesday

My 3 months current contract job will end on 2nd Apr 2006. I will be attending a job interview for RCL Feeder Pte Ltd this coming Wednesday for a permanent job. If I manage to secure the RCL job, I will tender my resignation for my current one. My current boss is simply too cunning and narrow-minded and he certainly does not deserve my respect. But one thing I must admit him capable is his ability to secure many goverment projects and competing from other bigger companies. He even managed to get the company listed as one of NUS corporate affiliates and also be part of a "Goverment List". Companies in the "Goverment List" will be considered first for all goverment projects. He is really something.

Company Website
http://www.wph.com.sg

NUS Corporate Affiliates (Notice all are major players)
http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/corpcomm/cap/corpaffiliates_list.htm

RCL (Job Interview on Wed)
http://www.rclgroup.com/

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mini Gathering At Compass Point

I finally met up with Eddy and Zhenhui today. Long time no see guys.

"Dirty" Search Engine

This is interesting what people are actually searching on the Internet
http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl/searchspy/

FAQ: What does the Google subpoena mean?

By Declan McCullagh
http://news.com.com/FAQ+What+does+the+Google+subpoena+mean/2100-1029_3-6029042.html

Story last modified Fri Jan 20 04:00:00 PST 2006

Preparing to defend a controversial Internet pornography law in court, the Justice Department has demanded search logs from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online.

The department asked the search giants to hand over millions of records involving what search terms people have used on the sites and what Web sites are accessible via the search engines.

On one level, the situation involves a straightforward question of whether the department's demands are too onerous and therefore not permitted under federal law. On another, the dispute raises novel questions about search engines' privacy protections and the relationship that four tech giants have with the federal government.

What does it all mean, and what happens next? Read on.

Q: What is the Justice Department demanding from search engines?
A: Federal prosecutors have asked Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online to turn over two types of data: logs showing search terms used by people, and a list of Web sites indexed by the companies' search engines.

Q: Which companies have complied?
The Justice Department isn't talking, at least not yet. Google has opposed the request. Yahoo and AOL have acknowledged complying, saying that they went along with the government's request but did not turn over personally identifiable information. At the time this was written, Microsoft was refusing to say anything, but the ACLU has confirmed that the company did comply.

Q: What information was turned over?
We don't know. The Justice Department initially demanded that the four companies divulge "all URLs that are available to be located through a query on your company's search engine as of July 31, 2005." The subpoena also asked for "all queries that have been entered on your company's search engine between June 1, 2005 and July 31, 2005, inclusive."

But at least when trying to negotiate with Google, the Justice Department eventually narrowed that request to a "random sample of 1 million URLs" and "copies of the text of each search string entered onto Google's search engine over a 1-week period."

Q: So we don't know whether Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL went along with the initial request, or whether they negotiated a better deal?
Exactly. We just don't know, at least not yet, and they're not providing details.

AOL came the closest, saying it turned over a list of "aggregate and anonymous search terms, and not results, from a roughly 1-day period." But it refused to elaborate.

Q: Is there any law preventing a company from talking to the press?
Nope. If they chose, they could disclose all the negotiations that took place, release the correspondence they exchanged with prosecutors and so on. It's a little odd that they're being so tight-lipped.

Or they could have done what Google did and fought the Justice Department in court.

Q: I used those search engines in June and July. Should I be worried about my privacy?
It depends. If you typed in search terms that you consider to be private or confidential, you should be concerned. Such terms might include personal information about you, such as your name or street address.

But what's important to note is that the Justice Department has not been asking for any information that would link those search terms to your identity. It hasn't requested Internet Protocol addresses.

So if you typed in search terms indicating that you, say, have a healthy interest in marijuana cultivation, the data turned over won't implicate you.

Q: The subpoena came from the Justice Department's civil division. Will the attorneys there share the data with their colleagues at the department's criminal division or the FBI?
No law would appear to prohibit them from doing so. A protective order does say that only Justice Department attorneys "who have a need" for the information may receive it.

If the disclosed search logs show evidence of criminal activity, that language may be vague enough to let prosecutors return with a second subpoena to demand the identification of one or more Internet addresses linked with those search terms. Terror-related searches are another likely area of information-sharing--President Bush likes to talk about how "law enforcement officers should not be denied vital information their own colleagues already have."

There has, however, been no evidence that the Justice Department has or has not done this to date.

Q: So the Justice Department could end up using it in a prosecution?
Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, says it may be fair game.

"That's one of the biggest questions in evidence law," Wu says. "It's like if you subpoena a book for another reason, and you find a murder note in it. Can you use it as evidence?"

If the records are in the hands of a third party such as a search engine, Wu says, "generally speaking they can use it to find out about other crimes."

Q: What does the Justice Department plan to do with this data, anyway?
A declaration (click here for PDF) by Philip Stark, a professor of statistics at the University of California at Berkeley, sheds some light on this.

Stark says he has been "involved in conversations" with attorneys and engineers at the companies targeted by the Justice Department to find "practical approaches to sampling their databases of URLs and user queries."

The point of the exercise, Stark said, is to evaluate "how often Web users" encounter pornographic material online, and "to measure the effectiveness of filters in screening those materials."

Q: Who cares about filtering software's effectiveness, anyway?
The Bush administration, for one. It's trying to defend a 1998 law called the Child Online Protection Act before a Philadelphia judge in a trial expected to begin in October.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the COPA case in June 2004, the majority voted to send it back down to the lower court for a full trial. That would, the majority said, "allow the parties to update and supplement the factual record to reflect current technological realities."

That's what the Justice Department aims to do--by arguing in court that filtering software is not a realistic alternative to a federal criminal law because the concept of filtering is flawed and unworkable in practice.

Q: Are my search terms private?
If they're unlinked from your identity, and just part of a list of anonymous searches scrolling across a screen, the privacy concerns are minimized.

Google even displays a list of live search terms on a screen that visitors can view in its Silicon Valley headquarters. That's probably one reason why the company's lawyers have been careful not to raise privacy arguments.

Instead, in a letter dated Oct. 10, 2005, Google lawyer Ashok Ramani objected to the Justice Department's request on the grounds that it could disclose trade secrets and was "overbroad, unduly burdensome, vague and intended to harass."

Q: Then why are privacy groups complaining? Your article includes I-am-outraged statements from the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
There are probably a few reasons. First, they'd say, private companies should not serve as convenient information repositories for trial attorneys hoping to win court cases. Second, it's not clear where this information will end up, and how far the protective order stretches.

Third, they simply believe that search engine companies are collecting too much information about their users. Google, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft set cookies, collect personal information, and retain permanent logs that could be used to create a kind of dossier about a person's search habits.

Deleting cookies is one option. So is preventing your browser from accepting them in the first place. The Firefox browser, for instance, lets you block certain sites so they'll never set cookies.

Q: What will happen next?
The ball's in Google's court. The company will have to respond to the Justice Department's request, and then a federal judge in San Jose, Calif., will rule on the matter. Appeals are also a possibility.

Q: Will there be any political fallout?
Well, the U.S. Congress is controlled by Republicans, and the Bush administration made the request, so the political math is pretty simple. It would probably take more evidence of privacy invasion or wrongdoing for congressional Republicans to do anything substantial.

But the Democrats may. Sen. Daniel Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii, on Thursday asked the Justice Department about this topic during a Senate hearing.

"On the Google case, what is your reaction to Google's position that (the Justice Department's request) is an invasion of their privacy?" Inouye asked. The Justice Department representative, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Laura Parsky, declined to comment.

Q: This law that the Justice Department is defending talks about "child protection." Is that related to child pornography?
No. Child pornography is already illegal, and the ACLU is not challenging that law in this case. Some of the initial news reports were wrong.

The Child Online Protection Act makes it a crime for a commercial Web site to post material that some jurors might find "harmful" if a minor stumbled across it.

That vague requirement has alarmed mainstream Web publishers and civil liberties groups, which have supported the ACLU's lawsuit. Plaintiffs in the COPA case include the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Salon.com, ObGyn.net, Philadelphia Gay News and the Internet Content Coalition. Founding members of the now-defunct Internet Content Coalition included CNET Networks (publisher of News.com), Adobe, Reuters New Media, Sony Online and the New York Times.

Q: What material might be viewed as "harmful to minors?"
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals looked into this when ruling the law was unconstitutional based on preliminary evidence (a full trial is scheduled for this fall).

The judges said that even portions of a "collection of Renaissance artwork" could be viewed as harmful to minors if a prosecutor was sufficiently zealous.

"Thus, in our opinion, the act, which proscribes publication of material harmful to minors, is not narrowly tailored to serve the government's stated purpose in protecting minors from such material," the judges said. (Click here for PDF).

Q: How long does Google have to respond to the government's motion in federal court?
In general, the defendant would have two weeks to reply and then the government would have one week for its response. This is an unusual case, however, because no hearing has been set. So the deadlines may be extended.

Q: Are my search results normally disclosed?
Yes, though generally in the context of "most popular search terms" totals. SearchEngineWatch.com has a long list of examples. Dogpile actually lets you review live search terms of the type that the Justice Department also wants to see.

---
Cast your vote [I says NO]
http://polls.cnet.com/polls/show_results.php?action=results&poll_ident=1792&template_set=news_fd

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bought a Pair of Shoes

Look expensive but is actually quite cheap! RM50 only!

Smooth Journey to JB Today

  1. Short queue at Singapore custom.
  2. There was no jam from Singapore to JB along the causeway for bus lane.
  3. I was number 1 to be served at JB custom.
  4. On my way back, I was again number 1 at JB custom.
  5. No jam along causeway.
  6. I was also number 1 at SG custom.

Cannot believe myself!
This is going to be in the record breaking books.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Security Awareness Seminar

I attended the Security Awareness Seminar today. It was conducted by The New Horizons to promote the launch of a new certification course - Certified Ethical Hacker. The course is of course going to be interesting but the seminar to promote the course was darn boring. I nearly fell asleep just now.

Oscar Awards of Experts-Exchange

http://www.experts-exchange.com/expertAwards2006.jsp

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

You are visitor 44324

OK.. This is merely the counter message from my webbie. I wonder do people still visit my site. It used to jump real fast and my brinkster and geocities just got shut down but not nowadays anymore. I will check out the counter a week or so.

So happy

So happy that Regine managed to get the only CS3260 2nd hand textbook on sale today.

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Life Analysis

This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
7.2
Mind:
6.6
Body:
7.8
Spirit:
5.4
Friends/Family:
4.2
Love:
7.9
Finance:
7.4
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
Your Life Analysis:

Life: Your life rating is a score of the sum total of your life, and accounts for how satisfied, successful, balanced, capable, valuable, and happy you are. The quiz attempts to put a number on the summation of all of these things, based on your answers. Your life score is reasonably high. This means that you are on a good path. Continue doing what is working and set about to improve in areas which continue to lag. Do this starting today and you will begin to reap the benefits immediately. (Read more on improving your life)

Mind: Your mind rating is a score of your mind's clarity, ability, and health. Higher scores indicate an advancement in knowledge, clear and capable thinking, high mental health, and pure thought free of interference. Your mind score is not bad, but could be improved upon. Your mental health is not weak, but you are not achieving full mental clarity and function. Learn how to unclutter your mind. Keep learning, keep improving, continue moving forward. Read advice from other quiz-takers on improving the mind.

Body: Your body rating measures your body's health, fitness, and general wellness. A healthy body contributes to a happy life, however many of us are lacking in this area. You have a rather good body score, which is an indication that you take care of yourself. There is room for improvement, however. Please keep doing what works. Eat right, exercise, reduce your stress, treat any illness. Doing these things will help ensure your body will be in good working order for a long time to come. Read advice from other quiz-takers on improving the body.

Spirit: Your spirit rating seeks to capture in a number that elusive quality which is found in your faith, your attitude, and your philosophy on life. A higher score indicates a greater sense of inner peace and balance. Your spirit score leaves room for improvement. Consider making a concerted effort to redefine your attitudes and focus your beliefs. Boosting your spirit will lead to greater life satisfaction. Read advice from other quiz-takers on improving the spirit.

Friends/Family: Your friends and family rating measures your relationships with those around you, and is based on how large, healthy, and dependable your social network is. Your friends and family score suffers, yet it does not need to be this way. Strengthen your social network by reaffirming old bonds. Seek out new friendships, and they will provide you the reward you need. Try using MeetUp.com to find people near you who share your interests.

Love: Your love rating is a measure of your current romantic situation. Sharing your heart with another person is one of life's most glorious, terrifying, rewarding experiences. Your love score is in good shape, meaning that things are going well. Do all you can to maintain it, and continue to grow and move ahead. Read advice from other quiz-takers on finding and maintaining love.

Finance: Your finance rating is a score that rates your current financial health and stability. You have a rather good financial score, which is not all that common these days. Keep doing what works. Avoid common pitfalls and save for the future. You will be glad you did. Read advice from other quiz-takers on improving your finances.

Frogs heading dinosaur's way

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=2&ObjectID=10363617

Saturday, January 14, 2006

EE OLDLOOK is Down!!!

What does this mean? This means my content extractor based on the oldlook is not going to work :(
http://oldlook.experts-exchange.com:8080/

We regret to inform you that as the Experts Exchange engineering team has continued to make changes and updates to our web-site, we have come to the point where the oldlook.experts-exchange.com site no longer works correctly with our engineering infrastructure in several significant ways. Therefore, we are planning to redirect all internet traffic from oldlook.experts-exchange.com to our www.experts-exchange.com site starting on February 15th, 2006.

We would recommend for those users currently using the oldlook interface to use our live site in "Expert" mode (update this by going to the Home page -> Manage My Account after you login), which may be less of a transition in terms of look and feel than using the www site in regular mode. If you need any assistance with this process, please email info@experts-exchange.com and we can help with this process.

Thanks for making Experts Exchange the number one source for IT solutions on the internet!

Please address any questions to expertcare@experts-exchange.com.

Congrats to Maung Maung

My heartiest congratulations to Maung Maung for obtaining the MVP award.
http://www.newhorizons.com.sg/

Bought a Shirt

I think it looks not bad :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Working Tomorrow Again

The next public holiday seems to be so far away...
Sigh...

hongjunwap Now Displays Well With FF

If there are any broken links or other problems, email me at hongjun_wap [AT] yahoo [ D O T ] com.
Website Link: http://www34.brinkster.com/hongjunwap


(Tested with Internet Explorer 5.5/6.0 and Mozilla Firefox 1.5)

JotSpot Offers a New Way to Use Excel

New Tracker service will allow users to collaborate on spreadsheets using a secure Web site.

China Martens, IDG News Service
Monday, January 09, 2006

Startup JotSpot has a new spin on Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet with its JotSpot Tracker hosted online service. The Tracker service enables users to cut and paste an Excel spreadsheet directly onto a secure JotSpot Web site so that anyone within an organization can view and edit the information contained in that spreadsheet.

JotSpot describes itself as an application wiki company. The "wiki" term describes Web sites that can be accessed and changed using a browser-based user interface. JotSpot specializes in turning wikis into Web-based applications so that users can change the applications in the same way that they'd alter wiki pages.

Tracker entered public beta testing Monday and is due to appear in a final 1.0 version within the next two to three months, according to Ken Norton, JotSpot's vice president of products. Missing from Tracker's public beta are the Excel formulas needed to perform calculations on the spreadsheet, but the company plans to offer them in the final release of the product, he says.

"We don't intend to replace Excel," Norton says. "We're removing some of the friction when you try to use it in ways it wasn't intended for [such as collaborative work]. Excel is a single-user product."

Working Together

Many organizations tend to treat Excel as a place to store information like a database rather than as a spreadsheet for performing calculations, according to Norton. Staff may use Excel to store their human resources information and project management data as well as more personal data on how to plan a holiday trip or a wedding, he says. Staff often e-mail an Excel spreadsheet as an attachment containing information needed to be updated around their organization. They then find it difficult to keep up with the different versions of the spreadsheet generated as different people make changes to the data contained in the file, Norton adds.

With Tracker, users can log into a secure Web site and work collaboratively on a particular Excel spreadsheet, Norton says. Other users can also be invited to sign on to the site by their peers and be given different levels of access to the spreadsheet ranging from read-only to full wiki capability. They can also keep track of the changes made to the spreadsheet and export the online spreadsheet back into Excel at any time, he adds.

Tracker also allows users to do things with Excel they can't do with the stand-alone version of the software. For instance, users can attach files or append notes to a given row in the online copy of the spreadsheet, according to Norton. They can also access a calendar or map view, which matches up the information contained in the spreadsheet. So, any dates listed in a Tracker spreadsheet will automatically appear in the calendar view, while any mention of cities, states, addresses or ZIP codes will be plotted in the map view which uses Google Maps, he says.

"We're exposing an API [application programming interface] to developers to create additional match-ups," Norton adds, so a spreadsheet could link to all kinds of Web data sources including weather reports.

A Work in Progress

JotSpot's closed beta program for Tracker, which ran over the past few months, attracted a few thousand testers, according to Norton. Although the company only had a couple of hundred people enrolled in the program, the testers were allowed to invite their peers to try out Tracker. Given the interest in the service, JotSpot then decided to run an open beta program as of Monday, he says.

The size of the spreadsheet the closed beta testers chose to cut and paste into Tracker varied, with the average size being 20 to 30 rows long, according to Norton. However, some testers did use more sizeable spreadsheets ranging from hundreds of rows up to several thousand rows in length. Before releasing the full 1.0 version of Tracker, JotSpot needs to work on speeding up the service since performance at the moment tends to slow down when handling spreadsheets that are several thousands rows long, he says.

Another issue JotSpot will sort out before releasing Tracker to general availability is pricing, according to Norton. The company will use feedback from the public beta to work out the best pricing model, he says. For now, JotSpot is offering two pricing plans. There's a free-of-charge personal plan where a user can create two Tracker spreadsheets and invite a maximum of five other people to share those views. There's also a professional plan that allows a user to create up to 10 Tracker spreadsheets and invite as many users as they like to share the views for $9.95 per month.

JotSpot is looking at providing similar services for other spreadsheets and for databases, particularly for the FileMaker database, Norton says.

Although the company is a startup, Norton claims JotSpot already has plenty of experience of hosting services with its other wiki applications over the past year. "People tend to question the security and stability of something new," he says, but they don't ask the same questions of existing applications. "How secure is Excel and e-mail?" Norton asks.

Norton also pointed to the backgrounds of JotSpot's management team as executives very familiar with operating "very, very large-scale Web-based businesses," he says. Based in Palo Alto, California, JotSpot was founded in 2004 and is headed up by two of the co-founders of Internet search company Excite--Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer. Norton was previously senior director of product management at Yahoo.

Extracted from http://www.pcworld.com/resource/printable/article/0,aid,124287,00.asp

Still Waiting for EE's Gift

I am still waiting for a surprise gift from EE.
Waiting... My instinct tells me it would be a mug.

Raining

It has been raining again and again and again...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Ghostzilla is Mozilla

Actually, Ghostzilla is Mozilla. All hail to the zilla!

My Top 10 Best Products (Renewed)

All Products Listed by Ranking
  1. Experts-Exchange IT Solutions Collaboration Site
  2. Google Gmail Web Mail
  3. Ghostzilla The Invisible Browser
  4. QuickPost Experts-Exchange New Question Auto Notification
  5. Mozilla Firefox Web Browser
  6. Visual Studio .NET 2003 IDE .NET 1.1
  7. Visual Basic 6.0 IDE for Visual Basic 6.0
  8. MSN Messenger 7.5 Internet Messenging Program
  9. Google Search Engine
  10. MSDN Library Microsoft Technologies Documentation
NJStar Communicator is kicked out of the list. Ghostzilla made it to the list for the first time and took 3rd spot. The rest of the products remain relatively the same.

Cursing and Swearing But...

If one is unable to bid a module because of lecture clashes, then that is just too bad. You will not be able to get it no matter how many times you have appealed especially if your reason is you don't attend most lectures anyway. It will not going to help even if you have appealed thrice and definitely it will not go through even if you plan to bring up to the Dean.

Make other plans, please. I am most willing to tell anyone who the person I am referring to if you are interested.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

"Measure" Sin

Your sin has been measured. Happily for you, your sin profile leaves room for forgiveness. Just below, discover your full sinful breakdown and see the areas that you must improve, to save yourself from an eternity in hell.

Greed:Low
Gluttony:Medium
Wrath:Low
Sloth:Medium
Envy:Very Low
Lust:Very Low
Pride:Very Low


Discover Your Sins - Click Here

Microsoft scrambles to patch security hole in Windows operating system

To all,
Please update your antivirus definition religiously before M$ releases their patch on Hari Raya.

Reference Site
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/technologynews/view/186515/1/.html

No Longer Doing Freelancing

I have rejected all freelancing projects. Time is not on my side. I would like to apologize. I am really sorry.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tomorrow

So sian.. Got to report to work.
It's my first full-time job since I finished serving my remaining NS term.
Hope all turns out fine.

So what have I been doing? Freelancing... 2 projects done already and 1 more to go but just not yet started. I just couldn't find the right mood.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Funny Quote

I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick. Not wounded. Dead.
-- Woody Allen

I Love Helping

Over the years, I have helped to solve technical questions online for free. It feels great especially my effort is appreciated and thanked for.
Year            Questions Answered
2005 422
2004 271
2003 779
2002 441
2001 416
2000 80
1999 5

Hope year 2006 will be a better one despite my busier schedule.

Tomorrow

I will be working tomorrow.
Others (non-tertiary) students will be schooling tomorrow.

All.. SOB SOB...

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