Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Yahoo messenger 7 beta

The beta version of Yahoo messenger 7 is available for download.
It has several interface enhancemants.
All the already available features are streamlined for better access and usability.
The interface has some more eye candy in it.
I believe its worth downloading.
Try it and comment on it.
9:42 AM 5/31/2005

Yahoo! Messenger has the following other editions available: Yahoo! Messenger for Mac OS X, Yahoo! Messenger for Linux and Yahoo! Messenger for FreeBSD.



Download Now
File Size: 8,399 KB


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Friday, May 27, 2005

The next Internet


<!- Read with preference to highlighting -->

Techies Ramp Up For Internet's Next Incarnation

By Ellen McCarthy

Thursday, May 26, 2005; Page E01

The 500 technologists hunkered down in the Reston Hyatt this week are plotting the best way to push us onto the new Internet.

They assume everyone's heard that there's a new Internet coming. Didn't know we needed an upgrade? Yes, the one we're working on now is a bit antiquated, they say nonchalantly, and it's about time we moved to a sleeker model.

"What we've found over the last 10 years is that we need to do a number of things to improve [the Internet]," said Rod Murchison , senior director of product management for Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale, Calif. The current Internet simply wasn't designed to handle the volume of users and devices that are tapping into it, he adds.

But out there in the ether, waiting to be accepted and adopted, Murchison says, is an Internet that can handle all the needs of the growing digital society. Those in the know call it " IPV6 ," short for Internet Protocol Version 6. (For the curious, we're currently using Version 4 -- Version 5 never really got off the ground.)

The essential advantage of Version 6 is that it can expand to give Internet addresses not only to every cell phone, iPod and BlackBerry that will eventually come online, but also to Web-enabled sensors that will someday be scattered around our homes, cars and communities, allowing users to control more of their world through the Internet.

The current version has about 4.3 billion available addresses; the new one has so many it is expressed in exponents (3.4 x 10 to the power of 38).

The average consumer may never know the switch is occurring, because the two versions interact seamlessly with each other. Most modern computers are already enabled to use IPV6, but for network service providers, like Comcast or America Online , it can require significant and costly equipment upgrades, Murchison said.

Enthusiasts at this week's conference, called the IPV6 Summit and attended by many representatives of local tech companies and government agencies, expound fervently about the days when the sensors on a car's timing belt will send an alert through the Internet to a consumer's cell phone, informing the owner that it's time for a tune-up. Or when an e-mail will show up with the message that the freezer in a user's vacation home has risen above a certain temperature, putting that expensive buffalo meat at risk of spoiling.

The new Net is also more secure, its proponents say, because the simplicity of its structure makes it easier to identify potential trouble spots. And streaming video images played on IPV6 are far more clear than those shown on the old model.

American corporations have been slow to adopt the new standard, which was developed by a consortium of public- and private-sector technologists, but the Pentagon isn't giving its units the option to ignore it. By 2008, the Defense Department intends to deploy Version 6 and is requiring that all of the new devices purchased by military buyers are equipped to work on the new network.

"As the network gets bigger, they want more reach. They want more end-to-end communication. . . . The goal is ubiquity," said Chuck Lynch , technical director of the DOD transition office.

Rep. T homas M. Davis III (R-Va.) stopped by the conference Tuesday morning to promote the advantages of the new Internet, and last week the Government Accountability Office issued a report recommending that federal agencies start planning their transition strategies.

"Honestly, I think it's inevitable" that the switch will be made, Murchison said.

[non technical part removed]

Ellen McCarthy writes about the local tech scene every Thursday. Her e-mail address ismccarthye@washpost.com.


Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/25/AR2005052501760.html

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Space Junk

*Space Junk**

**Orbiting junk, from old satellites to space gloves, has scientists
worried for spacecraft - and engineers working on ways to clean it up.*
*Thousands of nuts, bolts, gloves and other debris from space missions
form an orbiting garbage dump around Earth, presenting a hazard to
spacecraft. Some of the bits and pieces scream along at 17,500 mph.

The distribution of space junk around Earth.

*Profile of space junk*

*> 8,927 *man-made objects officially tracked* *(up from 8,841 in July 1999)

*> 4 million *pounds of stuff

*> 110,000 *total objects* *1 centimeter and larger

Space Junk Highlights

*. Oldest debris still in orbit*

The US Vanguard 1 satellite, which was launched on March 17, 1958, and
worked for six years.

*. Most dangerous garment*

US astronaut Edward White's glove, lost during a Gemini-4 spacewalk in
1965, orbited Earth for a month at 17,398 miles per hour.

*. Heftiest garbage disposal*

The Mir space station, where cosmonauts jettisoned more than 200
objects, most of them bags full of garbage, during the station's first
10 years of operation.

*. Most debris from the destruction of a single spacecraft*

The explosion in 1996 of a Pegasus rocket used in a 1994 launch. The
blast generated 300,000 fragments bigger than 4 millimeters (0.15
inches). Some 700 of these objects were big enough to earn entries in
catalogs of large space debris. The explosion doubled the Hubble Space
Telescope's risk of colliding with a large piece of space junk.

*. Most heavily shielded spacecraft in history*

The International Space Station.

Source: European Space Agency

Further study:


An article from CSMonitor on this subject (worth reading):

Lots in space

*Orbiting junk, from old satellites to space gloves, has scientists
worried for spacecraft - and engineers working on ways to clean it up.*

*By Peter N. Spotts
*/| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor/

If you want to get rid of an old fridge or an obsolete TV, you could
call for curbside pickup. But an obsolete satellite? Or a spent rocket?

Increasingly, the space about Earth is getting cluttered with such junk.
And it's not just messy, it's dangerous. Full-size rocket bodies can
destroy. Even smaller pieces - such as a 1965 space glove that zipped
around for a month at 17,000 miles per hour - amount to more than a
smack in the face. They can puncture space suits and cripple satellites.

Fortunately, the aerospace community is giving the problem increasing
attention. Engineers are considering everything from techniques for
rendering derelict satellites and boosters less harmful, to an
international "space traffic control" system, to Earth-based lasers that
can zap the stuff.

But the problem is expected to get worse as governments and companies
prepare to triple the satellite population over the next two decades and
send more people into space.

"If we don't change our ways, this could become a serious problem," says
William Ailor, who heads the Center for Orbital Reentry Debris Studies
at the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, Calif.

As if to underscore the concern over space-junk hazards, over the past
year the United States government has adopted spacecraft and
mission-design rules to minimize the contribution its spacecraft make to
the space-debris problem. Now, the International Bureau of the US
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is putting the finishing touches
on proposed debris-reduction rules that would govern commercial
satellites as well. The drafts could hit the commissioners' in-boxes as
early as December, notes Karl Kensinger, associate chief of the bureau's
satellite division.

Ever since Sputnik, humans have lobbed more than 20,000 metric tons of
hardware into orbit. In addition, Dr. Ailor notes that the number of
operating satellites is expected to grow from 700 today to as many as
3,000 in 2020.

This hardware can yield space junk in several ways: When satellites
separate from their boosters, they shed shrouds and other bits and
pieces. They can collide. Boosters can malfunction and explode. Or spent
booster segments with still-pressurized fuel tanks can explode when hit
by debris or after joints weaken from the constant freezing and thawing.
Solid-fuel motors can give off "slag" as part of their exhaust plumes.

Even satellites parked in "graveyard" orbits can shed material over
time. Defunct nuclear-powered spy satellites launched by the former
Soviet Union are slowly leaking their sodium-based coolant. The lumps
have been tracked to lower and lower altitudes.

All of this junk can travel at sizzling speeds and packs a wallop,
according to Richard Crowther, a space consultant with the British
research and development firm QinetiQ. He notes that for an object to
remain in orbit at altitudes below 620 miles (1,000 km), it must travel
at speeds of nearly 18,000 miles per hour. It's within this region of
space that critical satellites and craft, including the International
Space Station and the shuttle, operate. A small coin hurtling along at
22,000 miles an hour hits with the impact of a small bus traveling at 62
miles an hour on Earth.

So far, spacecraft operators have experienced only one confirmed hit
from space junk and several near misses. The hit came in July 1996, when
a small French military satellite was struck by debris from an Ariane
rocket that had been launched in 1986. The debris hit the satellite's
altitude-control arm at more than 33,500 m.p.h. and knocked the craft
into a different orbit. Space shuttles have been guided out of the way
of potentially threatening debris at least eight times. The
International Space Station has performed orbital duck-and-weave
maneuvers at least three times.

In low-earth orbit, gravity and atmospheric drag help sweep a good
portion of humanity's leavings - from abandoned space stations and
rocket stages to astronauts' gloves and lens caps - back into the
atmosphere to burn up or break up. Many more of these objects at higher
orbits could remain in space for thousands of years or more.

In all, more than 9,000 objects larger than about 4 inches have been
cataloged. Within 1,200 miles of Earth, some 2,200 tons of debris
orbits. If smaller but still-lethal objects were included, the catalog
could number more than 100,000. Ailor adds that the figure is likely to
grow as the number of satellites mushrooms.

Confronted with growing space debris, the FCC is proposing that
applicants for new commercial satellites show that the craft is robust
enough to prevent fragmenting in the face of any remaining fuel,
pressurization, or sudden discharge of the crafts batteries. Ideally,
leftover fuel would be vented, as would any pressurized system. And
batteries would be discharged. The proposed rules also set guidelines
for moving an over-the-hill spacecraft into a disposal orbit.

But additional shielding or fuel add weight and thus cost. European
Space Agency engineers, for example, calculate a $2 million price tag
for the additional fuel needed to steer a 1-ton satellite from
geosynchronous orbit toward reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

Others suggest more high-tech approaches, such as using ground-based
lasers to zap orbital debris - a plan that also could have space-weapon
implications. The idea, which NASA reportedly pronounced workable after
studying the approach in the late 1990s, relies on high-powered lasers
to vaporize small bits of material from the surface of a hunk of space
junk. The vapor emitted acts like a tiny rocket motor, propelling the
junk either into a less threatening orbit or on a path toward a fiery

Others have proposed using space tethers, which a satellite could lower
at the close of its career. Taking advantage of electrical properties
induced at each end by its motion through Earth's magnetic field, the
tether would slow the satellite, dropping it into ever-lower orbits
toward reentry.

Even if these approaches prove practical, Ailor maintains that space
debris and growing traffic raise the need for an international
space-traffic control system. Currently, the US Air Force maintains the
9,000-entry catalog of large objects. But it warns the relevant agency
only if a manned vehicle is threatened.

Unfortunately, Ailor concludes, it may take a high-profile collision to
jump-start the kind of system he envisions.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Windows XP Game Advisor


Windows XP Game Advisor

Updated: June 25, 2004
Windows XP Game Advisor

Put more fun in your life with the all new Windows XP Game Advisor. Find game information including demos, trailers, screenshots and updates and determine if a game will work on your Windows XP powered computer before you buy!

Start the Windows XP Game Advisor


Get Game Information Now!

Check out game demos, trailers, screenshots, and even get updates for your favorite games.

Windows XP Game Advisor

Type the name of the game you are searching for in the Search box and click Go. Or choose the age group and game type to see a list of games.

Just click one of these buttons to start learning about the latest games.

Featured game interface

Find Out if Your PC Is Ready to Play

Click "Will it run on my computer?" to find out if your computer has the proper hardware to play a particular game. If not, the Windows XP Game Advisor provides links to hardware providers that can help you upgrade your system.

Featured game interface

Green checkmarks mean that you have the hardware to play that game. Red �X� means that you need to upgrade your hardware. Hover over �Minimum PC� to read the minimum requirements to play that game.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Usenet -From Wikipedia



Usenet is one of the oldest computer network communications systems still in widespread use. It was established in 1980 following experiments in the previous year, over a decade before the general public was admitted to the Internet and the World Wide Web was introduced. It was originally conceived as a "poor man's ARPANET", employing UUCP to offer mail and file transfers, as well as announcements through the newly developed news software. This system, developed at Duke University, was called USENET to emphasize its creators' hope that the USENIX organization would take an active role in its operation (Daniel et al, 1980).

Today, almost all Usenet traffic is carried over the Internet. The current format and transmission of Usenet articles is very similar to that of Internet email messages. However, whereas email is usually used for one-to-one communication, Usenet is a one-to-many medium.

The articles that users post to Usenet are organized into topical categories called newsgroups, which are themselves logically organized into hierarchies of subjects. For instance, sci.math (news:sci.math) and sci.physics (news:sci.physics) are within the sci hierarchy, for science. When a user subscribes to a newsgroup, the news client software keeps track of which articles have been read.

When a user posts an article, initially it is only available on that user's news server. Each news server, however, talks to one or more other servers (its "newsfeeds") and exchanges articles with them. In this fashion, the article is copied from server to server and (if all goes well) eventually reaches every server in the network. The later peer-to-peer networks operate on a similar principle; but for Usenet it is normally the sender, rather than the receiver, that initiates transfers. Some have noted that this seems a monstrously inefficient protocol in the era of abundant high-speed network access. Usenet was designed for a time when networks were much slower, and not always available. Many sites on the original Usenet network would connect only once or twice a day to batch-transfer messages in and out.

Today, Usenet has lost importance compared to mailing lists and weblogs. The difference from mailing lists, though, is that Usenet requires no personal registration with the group concerned (subscription is necessary only to keep track of which articles one has already read, and that information need not be stored on a remote server), that archives are always available, and that reading the messages requires no mail client, but a news client (included in most modern e-mail clients).

ISPs, news servers, and newsfeeds

Most Internet service providers, and many other Internet sites, operate news servers for their users to access. In early news implementations, the server and newsreader were a single program suite, running on the same system. Today, one uses separate newsreader client software�a program which resembles an email client (and is often integrated with one) but accesses Usenet servers instead.

Not all ISPs run news servers. A news server is one of the most difficult Internet services to administer well, because of the complexity and data throughput involved. Some ISPs outsource news operation to specialist sites, which will usually look just the same to a user as if the ISP ran the server itself. Many sites carry a restricted newsfeed, with a limited number of newsgroups. Commonly omitted from such a newsfeed are foreign-language newsgroups and the alt.binaries hierarchy which largely carries software and erotica and, in the 21st century, accounts for over 99% of the article data.

For those who have access to the Internet, but do not have access to a news server, Google Groups ([1] (http://groups.google.com)) allows reading and posting of text news groups via the World Wide Web. Though this or other "news-to-Web gateways" are not always as easy to use as specialized newsreader software�especially when threads get long�they are often much easier to search. Users who lack access to an ISP news server can use Google Groups to access the alt.free.newsservers (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.free.newsservers) newsgroup, which has information about open news servers.

There are also Usenet providers which specialize in offering service to users whose ISPs do not carry news, or which carry a restricted feed. One list of such providers is available at Jeremy Nixon's list of Usenet providers (http://www.exit109.com/~jeremy/news/providers/providers.html).

See also news server operation for an overview of how news systems are implemented.

Technical details

Usenet is a set of protocols for generating, storing and retrieving news "articles" (which resemble Internet mail messages) and for exchanging them among a readership which is potentially widely distributed. These protocols most commonly use a flooding algorithm which propagates copies throughout a network of participating servers. Whenever a message reaches a server, that server forwards the message to all its network neighbors that haven't yet seen the article. Only one copy of a message is stored per server, and each server makes it available on demand to the (typically local) readers able to access that server. Usenet was thus one of the first peer-to-peer applications, although in this case the "peers" are themselves servers that the users then access, rather than the users themselves being peers on the network.

One difference between Usenet and newer peer-to-peer applications is that the one can request the automated removal of a posting from the whole network by creating a cancel message, although due to a lack of authentication and resultant abuse, this capability is frequently disabled. Copyright holders may still request the manual deletion of infringing material using the provisions of World Intellectual Property Organization treaty implementations, such as the U.S. Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act.


The major set of worldwide newsgroups is contained within eight hierarchies, operated under consensual guidelines that govern their administration and naming. The current "Big Eight" are:

  • comp.*: computer-related discussions (comp.software, comp.sys.amiga)
  • misc.*: Miscellaneous topics (misc.education, misc.forsale, misc.kids)
  • news.*: Discussions and announcements about news (meaning Usenet, not current events) (news.groups, news.admin)
  • rec.*: Recreation and entertainment (rec.music, rec.arts.movies)
  • sci.*: Science related discussions (sci.psychology, sci.research)
  • soc.*: Social discussions (soc.college.org, soc.culture.african)
  • talk.*: Talk about various controversial topics (talk.religion, talk.politics)
  • humanities.*: Fine arts, literature, and philosophy (humanities.classics, humanities.design.misc)

(Note: the asterisks are used as wildmat patterns, examples follow in parentheses)

See also Great Renaming.

The alt.* hierarchy is not subject to the procedures controlling groups in the Big Eight, and it is as a result less organized. However, groups in the alt.* hierarchy tend to be more specialized or specific�for example, there might be a newsgroup under the Big Eight that contains discussions about children's books, but a group in the alt hierarchy may be dedicated to one specific author of children's books. Binaries are posted in alt.*, making it the largest of all the hierarchies.

Many other hierarchies of newsgroups are distributed alongside these. Regional and language-specific hierarchies such as japan.* and ne.* serve specific regions such as Japan and New England. Companies such as Microsoft administer their own hierarchies to discuss their products and offer community technical support. Some users prefer to use the term "Usenet" to refer only to the Big Eight hierarchies, others include alt as well. The more general term "netnews" incorporates the entire medium, including private organizational news systems.

Binary content

Usenet was originally created to distribute text content encoded in the 7-bit ASCII character set. With the help of programs that encode 8-bit values into ASCII, it became practical to distribute binary content. Binary posts, due to their size and dubious copyright status, were in time restricted to specific newsgroups, making it easier for administrators to allow or disallow the traffic.

The oldest widely used encoding method is uuencode, from the Unix uucp package. In the late 1980s Usenet articles were often limited to 60,000 characters, and larger hard limits exist today. Files are therefore commonly split into sections that require reassembly by the reader.

With the header extensions and the Base64 and Quoted-Printable MIME encodings, there was a new generation of binary transport. In practice, MIME has seen increased adoption in text messages, but it is avoided for most binary attachments. Some operating systems with metadata attached to files use specialized encoding formats. For Mac OS, both Binhex and special MIME types are used.

In an attempt to reduce file transfer times, an informal file encoding known as yEnc was introduced in 2001. It achieves about a 30% reduction in data transferred by assuming that most 8-bit characters can safely be transferred across the network without first encoding into the 7-bit ASCII space.

Internet jargon and history

Many terms now in common use on the Internet�so-called "jargon"�originated or were popularized on Usenet. Likewise, many conflicts which later spread to the rest of the Internet, such as the ongoing difficulties over spamming, began on Usenet.


The first newsgroup experiments occurred in 1979. Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis of Duke University came up with the idea as a replacement for a local announcement program, and established a link with nearby University of North Carolina using Bourne shell scripts written by Steve Bellovin. The public release of news was in the form of conventional compiled software, written by Steve Daniel and Truscott.

As the mesh of UUCP hosts rapidly expanded, it became desirable to distinguish the Usenet subset from the overall network. A vote was taken at the 1982 USENIX conference to choose a new name. The name Usenet was retained, but it was established that it only applied to news.[2] (http://communication.ucsd.edu/bjones/Usenet.Hist/Nethist/0111.html) The name UUCPNET became the common name for the overall network.

In addition to UUCP, early Usenet traffic was also exchanged with Fidonet and other dial-up BBS networks. The Network News Transfer Protocol, or NNTP, was introduced about 1985 to distribute Usenet articles over TCP/IP as a more flexible alternative to informal Internet transfers of UUCP traffic. Since the Internet boom of the 1990s, almost all Usenet distribution is over NNTP, obsoleting the earlier dictum that "Usenet is not the Internet."

Early versions of Usenet used Duke's A News software. At Berkeley an improved version called B News was produced by Matt Glickman and Mark Horton. With a message format that offered compatibility with Internet mail and improved performance, it became the dominant server software. C News, developed at the University of Toronto, was comparable to B News in features but offered considerably faster processing. In the early 1990s, InterNetNews was developed to take advantage of the continuous message flow made possible by NNTP versus the batched store-and-forward design of UUCP. Since that time INN development has continued, and other news server software has also been developed.

Web-based archiving of Usenet posts began at Deja News with a very large, searchable database. In 2001, this database was acquired by Google.

AOL announced that it would discontinue its integrated Usenet service in early 2005, citing the growing popularity of weblogs, chat forums and on-line conferencing. The AOL community had a tremendous role in popularizing the Usenet some 11 years earlier, with all of its positive and negative aspects. This change marked the end of the legendary Eternal September.

Over time, the amount of Usenet traffic has steadily increased. A small sampling of the growth follows:

Daily Volume Date Source
4.5 GB 1996-12 Altopia.com
9 GB 1997-07 Altopia.com
12 GB 1998-01 Altopia.com
26 GB 1999-01 Altopia.com
82 GB 2000-01 Altopia.com
181 GB 2001-01 Altopia.com
257 GB 2002-01 Altopia.com
492 GB 2003-01 Altopia.com
969 GB 2004-01 Altopia.com
1.30 TB 2004-09-30 Octanews.net
1.27 TB 2004-11-30 Octanews.net
1.38 TB 2004-12-31 Octanews.net
1.34 TB 2005-01-01 Octanews.net
1.30 TB 2005-01-01 Newsreader.com
1.67 TB 2005-01-31 Octanews.net
1.63 TB 2005-02-01 Newsreader.com
1.81 TB 2005-02-28 Octanews.net
1.87 TB 2005-03-08 Newsreader.com
2.00 TB 2005-03-11 Various sources

Sociological implications

The architecture of Usenet is sometimes characterized as anarchic or as civic/democratic. Some see it as a global community or collection of online communities. While the views vary, one shared perspective among the users is of Usenet as an alternative medium to institutionalized mass communication, more open to participation from a wider variety of the general public.

Usenet can be a tool boosting an individual's ability to communicate, free from governmental and other organizational restraints. Seven major features that stand out are:

  1. In its origin, Usenet was the alternative to ARPANET (the precursor of today's Internet), created by those who could not join ARPANET. Usenet was originally proposed as a general service network (news, mail, file transfers) but it didn't really turn out that way. With the ARPANET having long since evolved into the public access Internet, and virtually all Usenet traffic traversing the Internet, the distinction as a separate network is mostly sentimental.
  2. Usenet is open to a variety of users. It does not require user registration, institutional affiliation, or a specific fee like other communication systems. Users, with proper knowledge, can post their own messages as well. The system does not require any identification and accepts pseudonyms.
  3. The content is not censored very much. Much of the process of receiving, posting, and circulating messages is automated, and the sheer number of messages makes censorship very difficult, except for categorical banning of potentially problematic newsgroups or the entire Usenet.
  4. Creation of new newsgroups is possible for anybody with proper knowledge in certain parts of Usenet, namely within the alt hierarchy.
  5. Some point out that some newsgroups are helpful in their own way because of the resources of a variety of participants. Many participants are willing to answer questions on subjects ranging from software troubleshooting, and other technical issues, to such topics as pros and cons of different medical treatments for a rare disease.
  6. Virtually all messages posted to the Usenet system are archived and made available in publicly-searchable databases on the World Wide Web. This allows for a great depth of historical records of news, information, and of the behaviour of individuals who choose to attach their real name to messages.
  7. The structure of the network is somewhat anti-hierarchical, one might argue. There is no center through which all articles go. Various news servers are connected with each other and the circulation of the articles is done in a fashion that is very similar to a bucket-relay. There is no essential set of newsgroups that a news server must carry. Some newsgroups are locally maintained. Consequently, it is very hard, if not utterly impossible, to construct a complete list of newsgroups for a given moment, let alone postings from a given week.

To some, these features are indications of what our society could become, or would likely become, when interactive information networks such as Usenet and the Internet become the dominant means of communication.

These analogies of the social aspect of Usenet are not necessarily compatible with each other. Anarchism tends to emphasize individual freedom, community values, mutual ties and cooperation. Democracy usually requires a binding 'majority rules' decision, running counter to anarchic principle, as some would argue.

There exist various indications that those analogies are either one-sided or wrong. The reality of how Usenet is used might be not as simple as some might imagine from the above descriptions. However, others claim that what functions online can also work offline. If democracy is not compatible with the anarchistic nature of Usenet or Internet in general, then it is bad for democracy.

Communication on Usenet may be perceived by some (critics or users) as not very constructive, or worse yet, undesirable. In certain newsgroups it is frequently excessively aggressive, as some people engage in flame wars. The discussion might seem unproductive, with endless disputes. It may contain offensive language and very objectionable opinions on sensitive issues related to racism, gender role, etc. The non-offensive messages might be "spam," or unsolicited off-topic postings such as advertisements for pornography sites. A group may be flooded with messages by a very limited number of participants, being not very open and friendly to newcomers. In addition, the most active parts of the Usenet include exchange of pornographic files (especially pictures) and music files (especially in MP3 format). Newsgroups with more mature audiences, however, tend to avoid nasty exchanges, focussing on discussing more productive things, such as the newsgroup topic.

In addition, the said freedom in the alt hierarchy is limited in that unless a newly created newsgroup meets certain conditions and goes through certain procedures, it will not be carried by many news servers, potentially resulting in a wasted effort. In general, the seemingly anarchic system is indeed not without some administrative-level controls. These carriers exert influence on newsgroups' birth and survival as well. Nevertheless, if a critical mass of users requests that their server administrators allow for the creation of a new newsgroup, the creation process is more likely to succeed.

It is also noticeable that there is an obvious hierarchy in the way newsgroups are organized. While some of the other interfaces for online communication support much less hierarchical organization of information, such as the World Wide Web, Usenet is not one of them.

The more general criticisms that apply to Usenet and many other kinds of online communication include the statement that Usenet is mostly a text-based medium, empowering the literate and articulate, while being less accessible to others. The counterpoint to this argument is that being text-based makes Usenet more accessible to visually impaired computer users who use text-reading software to navigate through the Internet. The issue of the digital divide, namely that some people simply do not have access to the Internet, is another reason one might point out that Usenet is not entirely democratic or open.


"I haven't been on Usenet for very long, but it seems to be a black hole with regards to the time it requires to keep up with it." - anon. user, from a 1983 survey

"Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and Usenet is NOTHING like Shakespeare!" � Blair Houghton

"Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea � massive, difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it." � Gene Spafford

"ALT stands for 'Anarchists, Lunatics, and Terrorists'." � Eric Ziegast

"To new readers of this newsgroup: welcome to sci.math, where mathematics is sometimes different than it is elsewhere." � John Baez commenting on a flurry of responses from Ludwig Plutonium to Andrew Wiles unique post on the status of FLT.

Related topics

Usenet terms

Usenet history

Usenet administrators

Usenet personalities


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Friday, May 13, 2005

Pharming scams

Pharming scams

A new threat to online transactions called "pharming" has emerged which can illegally redirect users to fraudulent web sites. This latest form of attack redirects Internet users from legitimate Web sites to malicious ones using a strategy called DNS cache poisoning. Although DNS cache poisoning is not new, the complexity of the new pharming attacks is cause for concern.

The "Pharmer" inconspicuously hijacks your computer and coerces it into taking you to a copycat web site. The site it takes you to is most commonly a page that looks identical to that of your bank or financial web institution. From this point, they have trapped you into submitting your vital passwords and financial information straight into their databanks. The process can be compared to switching a street sign on a driver in a new city, sending them down the wrong street. Similarly it can also be compared to switching the names connected to phone numbers in a phone book, when a user goes to look up a name, they end up calling the wrong number.

More specifically, when a user types a URL, such as www.google.com, into their Internet browser, a request goes to a local DNS (Domain Name System) server, which then locates the registered IP (Internet Protocol) address for the Web server. When a hacker poisons a DNS server, they change the IP address for a domain and send visitors to a completely different Web site, usually without their knowledge.

Be aware that Pharming scams take several forms:

  • A hacker could break into an Internet service provider's DNS servers and switch legitimate addresses stored in the server's "cache,'' a temporary holding area, with bogus addresses in a practice called "DNS poisoning," as stated previously.
  • A scam artist could pretend to be a Web site's operator to persuade an Internet registrar to make the change to the bogus address in the registration database.
  • Attackers could use malicious code, such as a virus or Trojan program, planted on a user's PC to track keystrokes or change a computer's settings to take users to fraudulent copies of legitimate Web sites they request.
  • Hackers could also target the 13 "root" DNS servers that route all Internet traffic.

One way to check to see if the site you have been directed to is real is to look for the gold lock icon, usually located in the bottom right corner of your browsers screen. If the icon does appear, click on it to verify a secure connection. However, keep in mind that the lock does not "guarantee" security. It is only a temporary security solution as there is no telling when the hackers will be able to perfect this icon to look legitimate.

So, better be careful.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

History of 404 Error

What does 404 mean?
404 is an HTTP status code. Every time you visit a web page, your computer (the 'client') is requesting data from a server using HTTP, or
Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Before the web page is even displayed in your browser, the web server has sent the HTTP header, which contains the status code. Not surprisingly, your browser has sent the server its own headers, which contain a lot more information about you than you think!

For a normal web page, the status is 200 OK. You don't see this because the server proceeds to send you the contents of the page. It's only when you encounter an error that you see the actual status code, such as 404 Not Found.

So where do status codes come from?
HTTP status codes were established by the
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1992, as a part of the HTTP 0.9 spec. They were defined by Tim Berners-Lee, the same person who single-handedly invented the web and the first web browser in 1990. We at the 404 Research Lab like to think of him as The Man Who Made All Of This Possible.

Berners-Lee based the HTTP status codes on FTP status codes, which were already well established by 1990; the official FTP spec is dated 1985, although FTP has actually been in use much longer.

What do the numbers mean?
Let's dissect 404.

The first 4 indicates a client error. The server is saying that you've done something wrong, such as misspell the URL or request a page which is no longer there. Conversely, a 5xx error indicates a server-side problem. It also indicates an error which may be transient; if you try it again, it may work.

The middle 0 refers to a general syntax error. This could indicate a spelling mistake.

The last 4 just indicates the specific error in the group of 40x, which also includes 400: Bad Request, 401: Unauthorized, etc.

Room 404 asserts that 404 was named after a room at CERN (if you read about Tim Berners-Lee above, you'll know that that's where the web began) where the original web servers were located. However, Tom S. tells us:

"Having visited CERN myself, I can tell you that Room 404 is not on the fourth floor - the CERN office numbering system doesn't work like that - the first digit usually refers to the *building* number (ie. building 4), and the second two to the office number. But, strangely, there is no room "04" in building "4", the offices start at "410" and work upwards - don't ask me why. Sorry to disappoint you all, but there is no Room 404 in CERN - it simply doesn't exist, and certainly hasn't been preserved as "the place where the web began". In fact, there *is* a display about this, including a model of the first NeXT server, but the whole "Room 404" thing is just a myth."

According to the W3C, 404 Not Found is only supposed to be used in cases where the server cannot find the requested location and is unsure of its status. If a page has permanently been deleted, it is supposed to use 410: Gone to indicate a permanent change. But has anyone ever seen 410? It must be 404...

What are the other status codes?
You can find a detailed explanation

How can I use status codes?
If you have access to the logfiles for your website, take a look at them. You'll find that one of the fields is the HTTP status code. Look and see if anyone visiting your site got a 404. If you notice that there are consistent errors, look and see what the referring document is. Do you have a broken link on your site? Does another site link to you with a misspelled URL? These are things you can correct easily, which will help prevent 404 errors on your website. For more tips on 404 errors, visit
404 Pros.

  My Email :  bharath_m_7@yahoo.co.in 
  Visit My Email blog here : http://www.email2blog.blogspot.com

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Read only the mail you want - Yahoo! Mail SpamGuard.

Internet Error Codes

Internet Error Codes
Here are the most common codes and messages you're likely to see on your Web browser (HTTP), when accessing Usenet, using e-mail, or using the FTP protocol to upload or download files.

The codes can generally by grouped as follows -
100-199 - Information Codes. Provide information about the request or the servers involved.
200-299 - Success Codes. Indicate that the request was accepted or the requested file has no content (empty).
300-399 - Redirects. Requested content has moved.
400-499 - Client Errors. Cannot find content or you don't have the correct permissions to access it.
500-599 - Server Errors. There is a problem at the server end stopping the request from completing successfully.

To give you a greater understanding of these errors, here is a list of the most popular codes.

As a rule of thumb, the first thing you should if you get an error is make sure that you have typed in the URL or page address correctly.

Bad request 400
The request could not be understood by the server due to bad syntax. You should not repeat the request without modifications.

Unauthorized 401
The creators of a Web page may want only certain people have access to that page. You should only retry the request if you know that you have authorization.

PaymentRequired 402
This message gives a specification of charging schemes which are acceptable. You may retry the request with a suitable ChargeTo header.

Forbidden 403
The request is for something forbidden. Authorization will not help. This status code is commonly used when the server does not wish to reveal exactly why the request has been refused, or when no other response is applicable. (The file needs to be set with "read permissions" for all users.)

Not found 404
The server has not found anything matching what you requested. Make sure that the Web address (URL) that you typed in exactly matches the address you were given. Check that the capitalization matches, spelling, and punctuation, like dots (.) and slashes (/), are correctly placed. Be sure you are using the forward slash (/) and not the backward slash (\).

405 Method Not Allowed
The method specified in the Request-Line is not allowed for the resource identified by the request. The response must include an Allow header containing a list of valid methods for the requested resource.

406 Not Acceptable
The resource identified by the request is only capable of generating response entities which have content characteristics not acceptable according to the accept headers sent in the request.

407 Proxy Authentication Required
This code is similar to 401 (Unauthorized), but indicates that you must first authenticate yourself with the proxy. The proxy must return a Proxy-Authenticate header field (section 14.33) containing a challenge applicable to the proxy for the requested resource. You may repeat the request with a suitable Proxy-Authorization header field (section 14.34). HTTP access authentication is explained in section 11.

408 Request Timeout
The client did not produce a request within the time that the server was prepared to wait. You may repeat the request without modifications at any later time.

409 Conflict
The request could not be completed due to a conflict with the current state of the resource. This code is only allowed in situations where it is expected that the user might be able to resolve the conflict and resubmit the request.

410 Gone
The 410 response is primarily intended to assist the task of web maintenance by notifying the recipient that the resource is intentionally unavailable and that the server owners want remote links to that resource be removed.

411 Length Required
The server refuses to accept the request without a defined Content- Length. The client may repeat the request if it adds a valid Content-Length header field containing the length of the message-body in the request message.

412 Precondition Failed
The precondition given in one or more of the request-header fields evaluated to false when it was tested on the server. This response code allows the client to place preconditions on the current resource metainformation (header field data) and thus prevent the requested method from being applied to a resource other than the one intended.

413 Request Entity Too Large
The server is refusing to process a request because the request entity is larger than the server is willing or able to process. The server may close the connection to prevent the client from continuing the request.

414 Request-URI Too Long
The server is refusing to service the request because the Request-URI is longer than the server is willing to interpret.

415 Unsupported Media Type
The server is refusing to service the request because the entity of the request is in a format not supported by the requested resource for the requested method.

Internal Error 500
The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request. Your request could not be processed due to an internal server error.

Not implemented 501
The server does not support the functionality required to fulfill the request. This is the appropriate response when the server does not recognize the request method and is not capable of supporting it for any resource.

502 Bad Gateway
The server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, received an invalid response from the upstream server it accessed in attempting to fulfill the request.

503 Service Unavailable
The server is currently unable to handle the request due to a temporary overloading or maintenance of the server. The implication is that this is a temporary condition which will be alleviated after some delay. If known, the length of the delay may be indicated in a Retry-After header. If no Retry-After is given, you should handle the response as it would for a 500 response.

504 Gateway Timeout
The server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, did not receive a timely response from the upstream server it accessed in attempting to complete the request.

505 HTTP Version Not Supported
The server does not support, or refuses to support, the HTTP protocol version that was used in the request message. The response should contain an entity describing why that version is not supported and what other protocols are supported by that server.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Re: Linux XP Professional Edition

Linux XP Professional Edition
For more information about Linux XP, go here:
The target site is in Russian, and Google translation is not working with that site.
So, to  get the list of packages that are budled with it, go here:
View its screenshot here:

"Ch.Bharathradhekrishna" <radhe_titanic@yahoo.co.in> wrote:

Linux XP Professional Edition is the universal and safe operational
system based on open program decisions of the world leader in area
Linux - corporations RedHat, Inc. For the first time for 10 years the
present alternative to Windows-systems including a full set of
convenient programs under the reasonable price is given the user.

The set of the software included in Linux XP Professional, will allow
you to develop a workstation with ample opportunities of multimedia or
a small server. You can work with documents of habitual formats,
create programs, draw a picture, listen to music, look films,
communicate with friends and colleagues. Even if you are a beginner in
Linux, you can easily work in system.

The technical information:

It is completely compatible with Fedora Core and RedHat Linux.
Support MP3 and video, including mpeg4/divx is included.

In the distribution kit:

Java2 SE.
GIMP 1.3.
Mozilla Firebird.
Flash plugin.
Ed2k And many other things...

Bonuses on a disk *4:

Linux-library (clauses and the documentation).
Videodrivers from NVIDIA and ATI.
Nucleus 2.6.

Download Links for Linux XP:






  My Email :  bharath_m_7@yahoo.co.in 
  Visit My Email blog here : http://www.email2blog.blogspot.com

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Disposable Email addresses

Disposable Email addresses
  Simple, most websites ask an email address for some sort of registration,but not all websites are authentic and they may sell your email addresses to spammers.To protect your email address from such spammers, use disposable email addresses and destruct the ID after some time.Create a disposable ID , and the mails sent to that ID will be automatically forwarded to your inbox until that ID is destructed.You have the option to destruct that ID at anytime.
The list given below points to the best of such services on the NET and of course they are all free and simple.
If any doubts, PM me.
[ I have tried spamgourmet.com and mailinator.com]

1) ZoEmail

ZoEmail restores email as it must have been before spam. Easily accessible via the web and POP, ZoEmail lacks IMAP access, however, and could offer more online storage. The spam-free existence of ZoEmail also comes at the price of a bit of management.

2) Emailias

Create disposable email addresses for use on the Web with Emailias, a flexible and feature-packed disposable email address service, and reduce the amount of spam you get.

3) Spamex

Spamex provides a solid, useful, and almost feature-complete disposable email address service.

4) Spamgourmet

Before you choke on all that spam, try the feature-rich and flexible disposable email addresses from Spamgourmet for protection.

5) E4ward.com

E4ward.com is a down-to-earth and very useful disposable email service that makes it easy to prevent spam to your real email address with easily erasable aliases. You can use your own domain with E4ward.com, but address masking in your replies is a bit cumbersome and auto-expiring aliases are not offered.

6) Mailinator

Mailinator lets you use any email address @mailinator.com and pick up the mail at their site. Since there's no connection to your real address, you sure won't get spam from using Mailinator addresses.

7) Jetable.org Disposable Email

Jetable.org provides easy to use disposable email addresses that auto-expire after a certain time. Useful when you need an address just once, it's not an all-around disposable email solution.

8) GishPuppy

GishPuppy is a disposable email address service that shines with simplicity and functionality. Unfortunately, GishPuppy's functionality does not encompass replacing your real email address with the appropriate alias in replies.

9) Yahoo! Mail

Yahoo! Mail is a comfortable, reliable and secure email service with a reasonable amount of storage. A pretty good spam filter (including disposable email addresses,but only for PREMIUM accounts) keeps the junk out.

10) Sneakemail

Sneakemail is a nice and useful disposable email address service.


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My very own blog

This is bharath's Technical emails blog.
Even though i have osme personal blogs, this is the first one for public viewing and sharing.
I have decided to make an archive of my emails in this blog , so that they can be accessed anytime.
I hope that this blog will be useful.
Visitors, please leave your comments.

With love,