Saturday, June 30, 2007

7% GST In Effect As Of 1st Jul 2007

As of 1st Jul 2007, 7% GST (Goods & Service Tax) will be in effect. It's up from 5%. This means no more dining in restaurants.

Apple's iPhone Is Launched

The iPhone... Was It Worth The Wait?
(Larry Magid Gives His First Impressions Of Apple's Much Hyped iPhone)

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/30/scitech/pcanswer/main3001487.shtml

iPhone will only be available in Asia next year.

Make Thread-Safe Calls to Windows Forms Controls

Recently, I encountered problems when trying to access properties of Windows Forms Controls when doing multithreading with C#.

Refer to below link for the solution.

Customize Windows XP Default Icons

IconTweaker - Give your desktop a personal look by changing the default Windows icons. You can also modify individual icons of drives and folders to be able to recognize their contents easily.
http://joost.endoria.net/home

Ubuntu IconTweaker Theme (Nice Theme)
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/44658210/

Windows Vista IconTweaker Theme (Not as Good)
http://www.crystalxp.net/galerie/en.id.239.htm

Google Answers Returns, But Only in Russia

I doubt I am going to use it in the near future.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Website That Passed XHTML Validation

Every single page from the site is tested using W3C Validator and all yield "This Page Is Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!'.

This 3/4 day effort site was created without using a single table. The site is tested on IE 6.0, IE 7.0, FF 1.5 and FF 2.0.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Google Docs & Spreadsheets Revamp

The new look just looks smashing!

http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/06/better-document-management-in-google.html
http://docs.google.com/

NETS Fee Hike To Proceed As Expected

I don't remember any complaint towards a hike being supported as far as I can remember. As expected, this one just follows the trend.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Top 100 Web Applications By Webware

Google logo is just everywhere!

eBay VS Google

eBay is one of the biggest buyers of keyword ads on Google's leading pay-per-click advertising system, AdWords, using them to promote its online auctions. It canceled all Google ads 10 days ago in protest over the Web search company's bid to woo eBay customers to a rival payment system.

Hani Durzy, a spokesman for San Jose, California-based eBay, said his company later Friday would begin advertising on Google, but at reduced levels than previously. EBay had been buying tens of millions of keyword ads on Google each year.

5 things you probably didn't know you could do in Google Docs & Spreadsheets

  1. Live lookup via Google and Google Finance
  2. Google search inside a spreadsheet
  3. Color-coded live comments
  4. Revisioning
  5. There are many copies. And they have a plan

Ms Vista More Secure Than Linux / Mac

News Analysis: Windows Vista only had 12 vulnerabilities in its first six months, making Linux distros look buggy by comparison, but analysts aren't convinced.

Read for yourself.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2149391,00.asp
http://blogs.csoonline.com/windows_vista_6_month_vulnerability_report

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We Need to Work More Years

Does this mean we have lesser years to enjoy?

Efficient Swap

Usually, when we wish to do swapping of values, we usually use a temporary variable like below (C# syntax but can easily be converted to other programming languages). However, it is not that efficient especially if you have lots of swapping to do.
// May use other datatypes like int
byte a, b;
byte temp;

a = 1;
b = 2;

// Do swapping now
temp = a;
a = b;
b = temp;

// Now a and b are swapped
////

A more efficient swapping of variable values (C# syntax but can easily be converted to other programming languages) is illustrated below.

byte a, b; // May use other datatypes like int

a = 1;
b = 2;

a ^= b;
b ^= a;
a ^= b;

// Now a and b are swapped
////

Google Increasing Presence in China

Google is going to get bigger and richer. That's for sure.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Edit Video Using YouTube Remixer

The "remixer", which is branded with an Adobe logo, enables users to create more professional-looking videos by splicing together media such as video clips, photos, music, graphics and other effects, according to information found on the site.

http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9730480-7.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5
http://youtube.com/ytremixer?turn_on=next

Singapore is 14th most expensive city to live in

It is going to get worst when the new 7% GST kicks in on July 2007.

TrustCentral: Learn Cross Cultural Practices

Central Singapore CDC launched a website – http://www.trustcentral.org.sg/ – on cultural dos and don'ts on Sunday to allow youths to glean more information on races and to appreciate different cultures.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

ASP.NET Master Pages Tips and Tricks

Google Lodge Complaint to Microsoft

View Webpages on Different IE Versions

IE NetRenderer allows you to check how a website is rendered by Internet Explorer 7, 6 or 5.5, as seen from a high speed datacenter located in Germany. Just type in a URL in the field above and try it out - it's free!

It would be helpful to Web Developers when doing browser compatibility test.

GMail Support View PPT As Slideshow

It's now official. Google's GMail now supports open and view powerpoint file as slideshow.

Cheat Sheet of Cheat Sheets

Pretty comprehensive.

Google's Privacy Practices Among the Worst

Google Inc.'s privacy practices are the worst among the Internet's top destinations, according to a watchdog group seeking to intensify the recent focus on how the online search leader handles personal information about its users.

Back from 1st ICT

I am finally back from my 1st ICT (11th - 15th June 2007). I shall elaborate more on my ICT experience soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

YouTube To Target Chinese

In the near future, YouTube will be launching a Chinese language version for the convenience of Chinese users.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Microsoft Hires Former Linux Engineering Director

Microsoft has quietly hired Tom Hanrahan, formerly the Linux Foundation's director of engineering, to become its Director of Linux Interoperability. As part of his responsibilities, Hanrahan will manage the Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab that Microsoft began staffing up earlier this year.

Spam King Held in Seattle

Feds say computer users will notice decrease in junk e-mail following arrest. Spam King, Robert Alan Soloway, is capable of sending 15 million email advertisements in a period of 15 days for you if you pay him $495 for his service. Read on the article and you will know how rich this guy is!

Critical Security Microsoft Fixes (Jun 2007)

Microsoft is releasing 4 *critical* fixes this coming 12th June 2007. Please be sure to download and install the updates. For Singapore users, we should expect them coming on 13th June instead.

Denial-of-Service Attack Targets Windows XP
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2143242,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594

Four Critical Fixes Coming for Windows, IE, Mail
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2143449,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594

Camino Web Browser for Mac

Camino, a browser with the speed and integration of Safari and the functionality of Firefox, it is an ideal internet browser for Mac Users.

http://www.caminobrowser.org/
http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/06/camino_15_new_f.html

YouTube New Embedded Player

With the new YouTube embedded player, you need not leave the current page to view related videos. Try out below link and then after the video clip ends, hover over the player and you should see related videos appearing in frames. Click on them and watch them on the same page!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Origin of Word Computer "Bug"

This is pretty interesting.

Force Delete Undeletable File

There are times when a file just cannot be removed from your harddisk. You keep getting errors like the file is in use by another program/process. To overcome this, we just reboot our PC.

However, there's a better solution.
http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2007/06/04/how-to-delete-an-undeletable-file/

Google Calendar Public Calendars

It has been some time since Google released public calendars for public holidays. On top of that, Google has released calendars for events, entertainment, sports, etc.

I have tried adding Singapore's Calendar for public holiday but many days are incorrect. For example, Vesak Day is shown on 2nd June 2007 but in fact, it should have been 31st May 2007. I have informed Google about this months ago but apparently, this problem is not attended.

Google Calendar
http://www.google.com/calendar

Google Calendar's Public Calendars
http://www.google.com/calendar/render?mode=gallery&cat=POPULAR&pli=1

My EE T-Shirt Is Finally Here

From Experts-Exchange:

We're using Royal Blue 100% cotton 6.1 ounce Gildan 2000 shirts, available in S, M, L, XL and XXL. Shirts will be different for each rank in that they feature your earned graphic rank on one sleeve and your certification level on the back. All shirts will have the Experts Exchange "X" logo and our web address on them as well.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

JavaScript How To Get QueryString

Below is written by my EE friend, ryancys. Happen to see this piece of code (posted in Experts-Exchange) and so might as well post it here. Below JavaScript function will return the value part of a querystring given the named value.

function querystring(name) // returns a named value from the querystring yourpage.html?xyz=123
{
    var tmp = location.search.substring(1);
    var i = tmp.toUpperCase().indexOf(name.toUpperCase()+"=");

    if (i>= 0)
    {
        tmp = tmp.substring(name.length+i+1);
        i = tmp.indexOf("&");
        return unescape(tmp = tmp.substring(0,(i>=0) ? i : tmp.length));
    }

    return("");
}

Edited on 10 Nov 2007: The post was made by respected expert ryancys but original author is someone else.

Microsoft Announces Visual Studio 2008

Microsoft Office is now Box Enabled!

Just in case you are unaware of what is Box.Net, it is a free service for uploading of files onto the internet. Go to http://www.box.net now to register as a member.

Microsoft Office is now Box Enabled! Box.Net has just released a plug-in for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher that conveniently uploads any document you're editing to Box. After the plug-in is installed, a "Save to Box.net" link will appear in the "Add-Ins" section of each Microsoft Office application. Clicking on this button will save your file to Box, making it easy to access from anywhere, share with anyone, or keep safe for later. The plug-in is compatible with Windows versions of Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007.

Download the Box Microsoft Office plug-in here:
http://www.box.net/r/office3

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The User Interface of Firefox 3: Features

I myself have not been using FF 2.0 actively. I have been using IE 7.0. Let's see what FF 3.0 will offer in the future.

Ask.Com New Design

Ask.Com has launched its new design. However, search seem slow as compared to Google. This new look offers dynamic suggestions to be used as search keywords. Further more, they have tagged "binoculars" icon on search results that have page preview. Pretty cool.

Marissa Mayer - How I Work

Marissa MayerVP, Search Products and User Experience, Google - How I Work?

Monday, June 04, 2007

NETS Fee Hike

Hope CASE will win the battle and the Competition Commission of Singapore will put pressure on NETS to withdraw the fee hike. However, I am 90% sure NETS will still carry on with the hike but it could be lower than what they planned for initially.

Who is at the losing end? The answer definitely is going to be the CONSUMERS!

Panasonic Toughbook Certified to MIL-STD-810F Military Standard

The Toughbook 52 is built to withstand wear and tear, due to its magnesium alloy construction and a shock-mounted screen. It's certified to the MIL-STD-810F military standard, tested to withstand drops of up to 2.5 feet on all six sides. The hard drive, easily removable, can survive a drop of 3 feet. Even more, the Toughbook 52 includes a spill-resistant keyboard.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

.NET 2.0: Validate XML Using XSD Schema

Below class, written by myself, will validate a XML file based on its XSD file using .NET 2.0 technology. Please note .NET 1.1 is not compatible.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Data;
using System.IO;
using System.Xml;
using System.Xml.Schema;
using System.Text;
 
class XMLValidator
{
    static StringBuilder errBuilder;
 
    public static bool ValidateXML(string xmlFile, string xsdFile)
    {
        errBuilder = new StringBuilder();
 
        XmlSchemaSet xs = new XmlSchemaSet();
        xs.Add(null, xsdFile);
 
        XmlReader reader = null;
 
        XmlReaderSettings settings = new XmlReaderSettings();
        settings.ValidationEventHandler += new ValidationEventHandler(BlogSettingsValidationEventHandler);
        settings.ValidationType = ValidationType.Schema;
        settings.Schemas = xs; 
 
        reader = XmlReader.Create(xmlFile, settings);
        while (reader.Read()) { }
  
        return (errBuilder.ToString() == String.Empty);
    }
 
    private static void BlogSettingsValidationEventHandler(object sender, ValidationEventArgs e)
    {
        if (e.Severity == XmlSeverityType.Warning  e.Severity == XmlSeverityType.Error)
        {
            errBuilder.Append("Error");
            //errBuilder.Append(e.Message);
        }
    }
}

To invoke the method, do something like below:

if (XMLValidator.ValidateXML(xmlFile, xsdFile))
{
    // Good
}
else
{
    // Bad
}

Have fun!

Internet Explorer Add-Ons

Downloaded and tried out some Add-Ons for IE. Below are some I singled out that are worth trying.

Inline Search for Internet Explorer
http://windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?view=info&itemid=3012162

ieSpell
http://windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?view=info&itemid=1513531

IE7 Open Last Closed Tab
http://windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?view=info&itemid=3119163

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar
http://windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?view=info&itemid=2695980

More Add-Ons for your experimentation
http://windowsmarketplace.com/category.aspx?bcatid=834&tabid=1

Google's Shopping List For Past 12 Months

Over the past 12 months, Google has made several purchases to attempt to improve and add on to its current range of products. Many of them challenges Microsoft position.

Pending Acquisitions
  1. April 2007



Completed Acquisitions
  1. May 30, 2007


  2. May 29, 2007


  3. April 2007


  4. March 2007


  5. December 2006


  6. October 2006


  7. August 2006


Web-Based Instant Messenging (IM)

What exactly is meant by Web-Based Instant Messenging (IM)? Instant Messaging (IM) is a form of electronic communication which involves almost real-time communication between two or more users who are all online at the same time. So when we say Web-Based, we mean to say users need not download and install applications on their PCs in order to use the IM services.

Have a look at below link on Web-Based IM Guide.
http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2007/05/20/webbased_instant_messengers_a_miniguide.htm

I believe they have left out Google Talk unintentionally. We can also run Google Talk as a web-based IM without having to download and install on your PC. We can launch Google Talk either from GMail or from Google Talk official site. I must admit their list is very exhaustive. Out of the many web-based IMs from the list, I have only used MSN Web Messenger, Meebo, eBuddy, and Google Talk.

Complete list
Yahoo! Web Messenger
http://webmessenger.yahoo.com/

MSN Web Messenger
http://webmessenger.msn.com/

Meebo
http://www.meebo.com/

Kool IM
http://www.koolim.com/

eBuddy
http://www.ebuddy.com/

Radius IM
http://www.radiusim.com/

I LoveIM
http://www.iloveim.com/

Snimmer
http://www.snimmer.com/

Mabber
http://www.mabber.com/

Easy Messenger
http://www.mijnmessenger.nl/

IMunitive
http://www.imunitive.com/

Messenger FX
http://www10.messengerfx.com/

Google Talk (Added by Myself)
http://www.google.com/talk/

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What is LAMP?

Often we get to hear people talking on LAMP. And so what exactly is LAMP?

It is not the LAMP we use at home. LAMP is an open source Web development platform based on Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, a programming language for which Perl or Python is sometimes substituted.

Foxit Reader 2.0 for Windows

Foxit Reader 2.0 is a free PDF document viewer and printer, with incredible small size (only 1.5 M download size), breezing-fast launch speed and amazingly rich feature set. Foxit Reader 2.0 supports Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista. Its core function is compatible with PDF Standard 1.6.

With Foxit
  • You don't need to wait for Adobe Reader to load and have your CPU "eaten" up.
  • There's an option to download and install "Foxit PDF Creator" to convert documents to pdf.
  • There's an option to download and install a COM component so hyperlinks in MsWord documents will be included as a link in PDF after conversion.

Of course good things don't come free. "Foxit PDF Creator" will result in a watermark to be displayed pdf files created by it. So, the only good thing is the speed it takes to load pdf files on internet browser.

Yahoo Mail! Integrated With Messenger

I got this notification from Yahoo! when I log onto Yahoo! Mail today.


It says "Now you can chat inside Yahoo! Mail". Am I one of the early batches to experience this service?

Yes, it is really integrated! You can do both email and chat in the same window.

Friday, June 01, 2007

EE Rank Upriding Again

I am back in EE answering questions once again for the past 4 days. My ranking fell drastically ever since I last answered a question. It was 135 4 days ago but now 131.

All the way!

Getting Bored at Work

Ever since my colleague left, I am getting so bored in my current attached workplace. Sometimes, I end up being alone in lab. Sometimes, I end up having lunch by myself. People in my attached workplace always mingle around among themselves and attached staff like me are often being disregarded. It's getting really boring at work.

Not only this, I do feel attached staff are "deprived" of the many various benefits being enjoyed by those who are in their parent company. Applying to go for courses is so much difficult.

I am often not getting updates from my parent company and I am not aware of what's happening in my parent company. At times when I need to go back to my parent company to attend some roadshows, my attached company always find means to excuse me. So sad.

I endure!

SQL Server Performance - The Crib Sheet

This applies to SQL Server 2005.
Quite a comprehensive article that discusses on how to improve, tune and monitor SQL Server performance.

Interview: Google's Eric Schmidt at D

Google Gears - Up Their Gears

Google's new product, called Google Gears, allows their existing range of products to still work even if internet connection is absent. Services like e-mail, calendars, news readers, or even word processing or spreadsheets are going to be included. Google News Reader is the first to be included in Google Gears. Once word processor or spreadsheet are included, it could change how people currently work. Microsoft is threatened.

http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2007/05/oh-sam-i-am-can-i-read-it-on-tram.html
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,2139334,00.asp?kc=PCRSS03069TX1K0001121

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