There are many ways in which spammers can get your email address. The
ones I know of are :
1. From posts to UseNet with your email address.
Spammers regularily scan UseNet for email address, using ready made
programs designed to do so. Some programs just look at articles
headers which contain email address (From:, Reply-To:, etc), while
other programs check the articles' bodies, starting with programs
that look at signatures, through programs that take everything that
contain a '@' character and attempt to demunge munged email addresses.
There have been reports of spammers demunging email addresses on
occasions, ranging from demunging a single address for purposes
of revenge spamming to automatic methods that try to unmunge email
addresses that were munged in some common ways, e.g. remove such
strings as 'nospam' from email addresses.
As people who where spammed frequently report that spam frequency to
their mailbox dropped sharply after a period in which they did not
post to UseNet, as well as evidence to spammers' chase after 'fresh'
and 'live' addresses, this technique seems to be the primary source
of email addresses for spammers.
2. From mailing lists.
Spammers regularily attempt to get the lists of subscribers to
mailing lists [some mail servers will give those upon request],
knowing that the email addresses are unmunged and that only a few
of the addresses are invalid.
When mail servers are configured to refuse such requests, another
trick might be used - spammers might send an email to the mailing
list with the headers Return-Receipt-To:
. Those headers would cause some
mail transfer agents and reading programs to send email back to
saying that the email was delivered to / read at
a given email address, divulging it to spammers.
A different technique used by spammers is to request a mailing
lists server to give him the list of all mailing lists it carries
(an option implemented by some mailing list servers for the
convenience of legitimate users), and then send the spam to the
mailing list's address, leaving the server to do the hard work
of forwarding a copy to each subscribed email address.
[I know spammers use this trick from bad experience - some spammer
used this trick on the list server of the company for which I work,
easily covering most of the employees, including employees working
well under a month and whose email addresses would be hard to find
in other ways.]
3. From web pages.
Spammers have programs which spider through web pages, looking for
email addresses, e.g. email addresses contained in mailto: HTML
tags [those you can click on and get a mail window opened]
Some spammers even target their mail based on web pages.
I've discovered a web page of mine appeared in Yahoo as some spammer
harvested email addresses from each new page appearing in Yahoo and
sent me a spam regarding that web page.
A widely used technique to fight this technique is the 'poison' CGI
script. The script creates a page with several bogus email addresses
and a link to itself. Spammers' software visiting the page would
harvest the bogus email addresses and follow up the link, entering
an infinite loop polluting their lists with bogus email addresses.
For more information about the poision script, see
4. From various web and paper forms.
Some sites request various details via forms, e.g. guest books &
registrations forms. Spammers can get email addresses from those
either because the form becomes available on the world wide web,
or because the site sells / gives the emails list to others.
Some companies would sell / give email lists filled in on paper
forms, e.g. organizers of conventions would make a list of
participants' email addresses, and sell it when it's no longer needed.
Some spammers would actually type E-mail addresses from printed
material, e.g. professional directories & conference proceedings.
Domain name registration forms are a favourite as well - addresses are
most usually correct and updated, and people read the emails sent to
them expecting important messages.
5. Via an Ident daemon.
Many unix computers run a daemon (a program which runs in the
background, initiated by the system administrator), intended to
allow other computers to identify people who connect to them.
When a person surfs from such a computer connects to a web site
or news server, the site or server can connect the person's computer
back and ask that daemon's for the person's email address.
Some chat clients on PCs behave similarily, so using IRC can cause
an email address to be given out to spammers.
6. From a web browser.
Some sites use various tricks to extract a surfer's email address
from the web browser, sometimes without the surfer noticing it.
Those techniques include :
1. Making the browser fetch one of the page's images through an
anonymous FTP connection to the site.
Some browsers would give the email address the user has
configured into the browser as the password for the anonymous
FTP account. A surfer not aware of this technique will not
notice that the email address has leaked.
email address with the email address configured into the browser.
Some browsers would allow email to be sent when the mouse
passes over some part of a page. Unless the browser is properly
configured, no warning will be issued.
3. Using the HTTP_FROM header that browsers send to the server.
Some browsers pass a header with your email address to every web
server you visit. To check if your browser simply gives your
email address to everybody this way, visit
It's worth noting here that when one reads E-mail with a browser
(or any mail reader that understands HTML), the reader should be
well as web bugs.
An E-mail containing HTML may contain a script that upon being
read (or even the subject being highlighted) automatically sends
E-mail to any E-mail addresses. A good example of this case is the
Melissa virus. Such a script could send the spammer not only the
reader's E-mail address but all the addresses on the reader's
A web bugs FAQ by Richard M. Smith can be read at
7. From IRC and chat rooms.
Some IRC clients will give a user's email address to anyone who cares
to ask it. Many spammers harvest email addresses from IRC, knowing that
those are 'live' addresses and send spam to those email addresses.
This method is used beside the annoying IRCbots that send messages
interactively to IRC and chat rooms without attempting to recognize
who is participating in the first place.
This is another major source of email addresses for spammers, especially
as this is one of the first public activities newbies join, making it
easy for spammers to harvest 'fresh' addresses of people who might have
very little experience dealing with spam.
AOL chat rooms are the most popular of those - according to reports
there's a utility that can get the screen names of participants in
AOL chat rooms. The utility is reported to be specialized for AOL due
to two main reasons - AOL makes the list of the actively participating
users' screen names available and AOL users are considered prime
targets by spammers due to the reputation of AOL as being the ISP of
choice by newbies.
8. From finger daemons.
Some finger daemons are set to be very friendly - a finger query
asking for john@host will produce list info including login names
for all people named John on that host. A query for @host will
produce a list of all currently logged-on users.
Spammers use this information to get extensive users list from hosts,
and of active accounts - ones which are 'live' and will read their
mail soon enough to be really attractive spam targets.
9. AOL profiles.
Spammers harvest AOL names from user profiles lists, as it allows them
to 'target' their mailing lists. Also, AOL has a name being the choice
ISP of newbies, who might not know how to recognize scams or know how
to handle spam.
10. From domain contact points.
Every domain has one to three contact points - administration,
technical, and billing. The contact point includes the email
address of the contact person.
As the contact points are freely available, e.g. using the 'whois'
command, spammers harvest the email addresses from the contact points
for lists of domains (the list of domain is usually made available to
the public by the domain registries). This is a tempting methods for
spammers, as those email addresses are most usually valid and mail
sent to it is being read regularily.
11. By guessing & cleaning.
Some spammers guess email addresses, send a test message (or a real
spam) to a list which includes the guessed addresses. Then they
wait for either an error message to return by email, indicating that
the email address is correct, or for a confirmation. A confirmation
could be solicited by inserting non-standard but commonly used
mail headers requesting that the delivery system and/or mail client
send a confirmation of delivery or reading. No news are, of coures,
good news for the spammer.
Specifically, the headers are -
Send a delivery confirmation
Send a reading confirmation
Another method of confirming valid email addresses is sending HTML
in the email's body (that is sending a web page as the email's content),
and embedding in the HTML an image. Mail clients that decode HTML,
e.g. as Outlook and Eudora do in the preview pane, will attempt fetching
the image - and some spammers put the recipient's email address in the
image's URL, and check the web server's log for the email addresses of
recipients who viewed the spam.
So it's good advice to set the mail client to *not* preview rich media
emails, which would protect the recipient from both accidently confirming
their email addresses to spammers and viruses.
Guessing could be done based on the fact that email addresses are
based on people's names, usually in commonly used ways
(first.last@domain or an initial of one name followed / preceded by
the other @domain)
Also, some email addresses are standard - postmaster is mandated by
the RFCs for internet mail. Other common email addresses are
postmaster, hostmaster, root [for unix hosts], etc.
12. From white & yellow pages.
There are various sites that serve as white pages, sometimes named
people finders web sites. Yellow pages now have an email directory
on the web.
Those white/yellow pages contain addresses from various sources,
e.g. from UseNet, but sometimes your E-mail address will be
registered for you. Example - HotMail will add E-mail addresses to
BigFoot by default, making new addresses available to the public.
Spammers go through those directories in order to get email addresses.
Most directories prohibit email address harvesting by spammers, but as
those databases have a large databases of email addresses + names,
it's a tempting target for spammers.
13. By having access to the same computer.
If a spammer has an access to a computer, he can usually get a list
of valid usernames (and therefore email addresses) on that computer.
On unix computers the users file (/etc/passwd) is commonly world
readable, and the list of currently logged-in users is listed via
the 'who' command.
14. From a previous owner of the email address.
An email address might have been owned by someone else, who disposed
of it. This might happen with dialup usernames at ISPs - somebody
signs up for an ISP, has his/her email address harvested by spammers,
and cancel the account. When somebody else signs up with the same ISP
with the same username, spammers already know of it.
Similar things can happen with AOL screen names - somebody uses a
screen name, gets tired of it, releases it. Later on somebody else
might take the same screen name.
15. Using social engineering.
This method means the spammer uses a hoax to convince people
into giving him valid E-mail addresses.
A good example is Richard Douche's "Free CD's" chain letter.
The letter promises a free CD for every person to whom the letter is
forwarded to as long as it is CC'ed to Richard.
Richard claimed to be associated with Amazon and Music blvd, among
other companies, who authorized him to make this offer. Yet he
supplied no references to web pages and used a free E-mail address.
All Richard wanted was to get people to send him valid E-mail addresses
in order to build a list of addresses to spam and/or sell.
16. Buying lists from others.
This one covers two types of trades. The first type consists of buying
a list of email addresses (often on CD) that were harvested via other
methods, e.g. someone harvesting email addresses from UseNet and sells
the list either to a company that wishes to advertise via email
(sometimes passing off the list as that of people who opted-in for
emailed advertisements) or to others who resell the list.
The second type consists of a company who got the email addresses
legitimately (e.g. a magazine that asks subscribers for their email
in order to keep in touch over the Internet) and sells the list for
the extra income. This extends to selling of email addresses a
company got via other means, e.g. people who just emailed the company
with inquiries in any context.
17. By hacking into sites.
I've heard rumours that sites that supply free email addresses
were hacked in order to get the list of email addresses, somewhat
like e-commerce sites being hacked to get a list of credit cards.
If your address was harvested and you get spammed, the following pages
could assist you in tracking the spammer down :
1. MindSpring's page explaining how to get an email's headers
2. The spam FAQ, maintained by Ken Hollis.
3. The Reporting Spam page, an excellent resource.
4. Reading Mail headers.
5. Julian Haight's Spam Cop page.
6. Chris Hibbert's Junk Mail FAQ.
7. UXN Spam Combat page.
8. Sam Spade, Spam hunter.
9. Penn's Page of Spam.
A. WD Baseley's Address Munging FAQ
B. Fight Spam on the Internet site
C. The Spam Recycling Center
W. The Junk Busters Site
X. The Junk Email site
Y. BCP 30: Anti-Spam Recommendations for SMTP MTAs
Z. FYI 28: Netiquette Guidelines
FYI 35: DON'T SPEW
A Set of Guidelines for Mass Unsolicited Mailings and Postings
Several sites on the web will help in tracing spam :
1. Sam Bretheim's list of traceroute gateways
To find traceroute gateways in any country, visit here.
2. Allwhois.com gates to whois on any domain world-wide
3. A list of whois servers, collected by Matt Power
4. Alldomains.com site - links to NICs worldwide.
A similar page can be found at
5. The Coalition Against Usolicited Commerical E-mail.
The European CAUCE.
The Coalition Against Unsolicited Bulk Email, Australia.
The Russian Anti-Spam organization.
Y. No More Spam - ISP Spam-Blocking Interferes With Business
Z. Removing the Spam
By Geoff Mulligan
Published by O'Reilly
A good book about handling spam.
Legal resources :
1. FTC Consumer Alert -
FTC Names Its Dirty Dozen: 12 Scams Most Likely to Arrive Via Bulk email
2. Report to the Federal Trade Commision of the Ad-Hoc Working Group
on Unsolicited Commercial Mail.
3. Pyramid Schemes, Ponzi Schemes, and Related Frauds
4. The AOL vs. Cyberpromo case
The AOL vs. the Christian Brothers (the apricot seeds as a cancer
cure spammers) case.
5. "Intel scores in email suit", by Jim Hu, CNET News.com.
6. The John Marshall Law School spam page
7. First amendment issues related to UBE, by Paul L. Schmehl.
8. Hawaii's Anti-Spam Law
9. Washington's Anti-Spam Law
Also see the WA State Resident site
A news story about a relevant court case can be found at
A. California's Anti-Spam Law
B. Virginia's Anti-Spam Law
C. Nevada's Anti-Spam Law
D. The UK Data Protection Law
E. The Italian Anti-Spam Law
F. The Austrian Telecm Law
G. The Norwegian Marketing Control Act
Thursday, 28 February 2008
samundar ka kinara ho
jahan saath tumahara ho
haatoon main haath ho
aur ankhoon se baat ho
teri zulfoon se chuke nikle hawa
tere chera se chulukta hua yeh nasha
teri woh meethi husi
aur woh dheer se nazaroon ko churana
kabhi ho befikr
toh kabhi pyaarse sharmana
bus yoonhi hum kurte rahe baat
aur baatoon hi baaton main raatho
haaton main haath ho
aur aankhoon se baat ho.
1. 15-Mar-1985 SYMBOLICS.COM
2. 24-Apr-1985 BBN.COM
3. 24-May-1985 THINK.COM
4. 11-Jul-1985 MCC.COM
5. 30-Sep-1985 DEC.COM
6. 07-Nov-1985 NORTHROP.COM
7. 09-Jan-1986 XEROX.COM
8. 17-Jan-1986 SRI.COM
9. 03-Mar-1986 HP.COM
10. 05-Mar-1986 BELLCORE.COM
11= 19-Mar-1986 IBM.COM
11= 19-Mar-1986 SUN.COM
13= 25-Mar-1986 INTEL.COM
13= 25-Mar-1986 TI.COM
15. 25-Apr-1986 ATT.COM
16= 08-May-1986 GMR.COM
16= 08-May-1986 TEK.COM
18= 10-Jul-1986 FMC.COM
18= 10-Jul-1986 UB.COM
20= 05-Aug-1986 BELL-ATL.COM
20= 05-Aug-1986 GE.COM
20= 05-Aug-1986 GREBYN.COM
20= 05-Aug-1986 ISC.COM
20= 05-Aug-1986 NSC.COM
20= 05-Aug-1986 STARGATE.COM
26. 02-Sep-1986 BOEING.COM
27. 18-Sep-1986 ITCORP.COM
28. 29-Sep-1986 SIEMENS.COM
29. 18-Oct-1986 PYRAMID.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 ALPHACDC.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 BDM.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 FLUKE.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 INMET.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 KESMAI.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 MENTOR.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 NEC.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 RAY.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 ROSEMOUNT.COM
30= 27-Oct-1986 VORTEX.COM
40= 05-Nov-1986 ALCOA.COM
40= 05-Nov-1986 GTE.COM
42= 17-Nov-1986 ADOBE.COM
42= 17-Nov-1986 AMD.COM
42= 17-Nov-1986 DAS.COM
42= 17-Nov-1986 DATA-IO.COM
42= 17-Nov-1986 OCTOPUS.COM
42= 17-Nov-1986 PORTAL.COM
42= 17-Nov-1986 TELTONE.COM
42= 11-Dec-1986 3COM.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 AMDAHL.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 CCUR.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 CI.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 CONVERGENT.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 DG.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 PEREGRINE.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 QUAD.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 SQ.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 TANDY.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 TTI.COM
50= 11-Dec-1986 UNISYS.COM
61= 19-Jan-1987 CGI.COM
61= 19-Jan-1987 CTS.COM
61= 19-Jan-1987 SPDCC.COM
64. 19-Feb-1987 APPLE.COM
65= 04-Mar-1987 NMA.COM
65= 04-Mar-1987 PRIME.COM
67. 04-Apr-1987 PHILIPS.COM
68= 23-Apr-1987 DATACUBE.COM
68= 23-Apr-1987 KAI.COM
68= 23-Apr-1987 TIC.COM
68= 23-Apr-1987 VINE.COM
72. 30-Apr-1987 NCR.COM
73= 14-May-1987 CISCO.COM
73= 14-May-1987 RDL.COM
75. 20-May-1987 SLB.COM
76= 27-May-1987 PARCPLACE.COM
76= 27-May-1987 UTC.COM
78. 26-Jun-1987 IDE.COM
79. 09-Jul-1987 TRW.COM
80. 13-Jul-1987 UNIPRESS.COM
81= 27-Jul-1987 DUPONT.COM
81= 27-Jul-1987 LOCKHEED.COM
83. 28-Jul-1987 ROSETTA.COM
84. 18-Aug-1987 TOAD.COM
85. 31-Aug-1987 QUICK.COM
86= 03-Sep-1987 ALLIED.COM
86= 03-Sep-1987 DSC.COM
86= 03-Sep-1987 SCO.COM
89= 22-Sep-1987 GENE.COM
89= 22-Sep-1987 KCCS.COM
89= 22-Sep-1987 SPECTRA.COM
89= 22-Sep-1987 WLK.COM
93. 30-Sep-1987 MENTAT.COM
94. 14-Oct-1987 WYSE.COM
95. 02-Nov-1987 CFG.COM
96. 09-Nov-1987 MARBLE.COM
97= 16-Nov-1987 CAYMAN.COM
97= 16-Nov-1987 ENTITY.COM
99. 24-Nov-1987 KSR.COM
100. 30-Nov-1987 NYNEXST.COM
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
1. Stretching - And the strangest thing about this one? Quite a few superheroes from comics have this ability: Mr. Fantastic, Elongated Man, Plastic Man, Skin, etc.
2. Ability to transform into any form of water - Zan is definitely the lesser of the two Wonder Twins. His sister can become any animal. Zan? He can become water, ice, or steam. Yipee.
3. Ability to control plants and accelerate their growth - A few superheroes/villains have this one. If you’re a vegetarian, this might be useful, having an unlimited supply of food. Otherwise? Pretty useless in any urban area.
4. Shrinking - Quite a few superheroes have this ability too. And I think it’s pretty useless, no matter how creative the comic book writers are.
5. A repulsor energy that acts as a solid force field or repels all forms of matter and energy from one’s body - Unus The Untouchable died when his force field overwhelmed and asphyxiated him. Sometimes being a mutant isn’t so great.
6. Good morals and harmonic “niceness vibes” - Created to be the antithesis of the villain Lobo, Goldstar has the powers of… a boyscout.
7. Neutralizing other people’s powers - Leech and Elmo pretty much just suck away other mutants’ powers. I think I’d rather have no power at all, than have the other mutants hate me.
8. Able to reduce oneself to a two-dimensional state where one’s body is as flat as paper - That’s right. Tommy can turn herself into… paper. Watch out for her nasty paper cut.
9. Able to release a powerful adhesive that causes anything to permanently stick to it on contact, the adhesive eventually dissipates, allowing the glued objects to be removed from his person - Tar Baby can glue things. Way to go.
10. A pariah effect that enables one to overwhelmingly compel people to run towards or away from specific target that is focused on - Tag gets the award for most randomly useless power.
11. Extend razor sharp spikes of bone through one’s skin - Absalom and Marrow are not only freakishly ugly from having bones poke through their skin, and all they can really do with it is break off their protruding bone and hit people with it.
12. Able to generate pyrotechnic flares to create brilliant light and explosive force - Jubilee and Dazzler can make fireworks. Stay back 10 feet, and you’ll be fine.
13. Exist in a gaseous state - Containing himself in a specially-designed suit, poor Dummy disappeared from the New X-Men when his suit was ripped open and his form dispersed into the air.
Additional protection for your existing antivirus software and firewall
Vista Codec Package
With this package installed you won't need to install any other codecs
Helps keep your system tray free of clutter and warns you when a program insists on loading at system boot-up
Convert video (including WMV, Flash and MP4) to put video on your web site or portable player
Brand new video editor by Pinnacle
Makes finding torrents simple by quickly searching lots of torrent websites for files
Firefox 3 (beta)
Developer preview release of Mozilla's next generation browser
Download video, music and streaming media from Myspace, YouTube and many other sites
Free Screen Recorder
Record screen activities and sound to AVI video file
Vista Transformation Pack
Get the awesome Vista look for XP today!
Powerful yet easy-to-use tool to edit metadata of common audio formats
Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC (beta)
Includes all previously released updates for the operating system. This update also includes a small number of new functionalities, which do not significantly change customers experience with the operating system.
Monday, 18 February 2008
I remember when I was about 12 years old my Mom and Dad got involved in a multi-level marketing business. They would talk often about dreams and goals and encouraged me to learn all I could about business.
Eventually they burned out and left their MLM opportunity, but the lessons I learned from that early age still apply to my life today. So what did learn?
I learned the value of having a dream. A vision for your life. Without a dream, you will just wander, literally, aimlessly through life. Big houses, nice cars, and gold watches are nice, but they're not really dreams.
No, dreams are bigger than self. Sure, materialism may intially serve as a great motivator. Afterall, if your 17 years old you're naturally going to want a cool car. But eventually you need to graduate to a higher level dream.
How can you contribute to make your community a better place? How can you help others on their path to their dreams? What can you do to show people your vision?
Once you have your dreams your next step is to develop a plan to accomplish those dreams. What business will you go into? How will get the capital to start that business? What else do you need to learn in order to make that business successful? These are all important questions and they will help you begin to design a realistic plan to move towards your dreams.
Once you have a plan, you need to set your goals. Goals are like a trail of little gold nuggets that lead right to the goldmine. You set them, reach for them, accomplish them, and the next thing you know, you're standing at the entrance to a literal goldmine ready to move to a new, unimaginable level.
But you need also to be careful about your goals. Don't just set an easy goal so you can make yourself feel better about setting goals. Set goals that will challenge and change you and never stop reaching for the next level. Just like you wouldn't stop picking up gold nuggets on a trail that lead to a goldmine, you should never stop setting and achieving goals that are moving you towards your dreams.
Lastly, think about what it takes to draw people to you that will help you on your path. A powerful team can provide you with valuable insight and shave years off your jounrney.
I heard a preacher speaking on leadership once and what he said was so profound, so clear, that it blew my mind. He said that leaders do not seek out followers, they attract them. What attracts people to you is your passion, the very people that will help you on your journey will do so because you're passionate about your vision, and your vision comes to you when you understand your purpose.
So it begins with understanding your purpose. The old question, "What is the meaning of life?". You need to answer this question for yourself if you are to develop a vision and plan for your life.
Once you understand your purpose, you will get a vision (or dream) that is inline with that purpose. That vision will inspire passion inside of you and that passion will inspire others to join you. Anthony Robbins says "There are no lazy men, there are simply men who's dreams do not inspire them".
Being an entrepreneur means being a leader. A leader in your business and a leader in your community. Once you begin to apply this philospophy to your life, you'll find that you can do a lot more than buy that cool car.
© Copyright Gary L Drumm Jr.
Saturday, 16 February 2008
| Do not stand at my grave and weep|
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Friday, 15 February 2008
Talking about the projects, Rajesh Singh, Director of the college, said, "Students worked in a team of four and displayed 150 projects. Each one of them was unique, but the E-Bike grabbed lot of attention.
An E-Bike is battery powered, has zero pollution and is a zero maintenance bike. It has five speeds in a range of 5 to 40 kms hour. It can run a total of 60 kms in a fully charged condition with a cost of 10 paise per km.
"Around the world, mankind's love affair with the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle is polluting our air, depleting precious resources, and congesting our roadways. We can help solve these problems by altering our transit patterns and taking advantage of clean and efficient modes of powered transportation. My team mates Mayank Goswami, Lohit Raskar, Jay Bhatt and I then came up with this idea," said 18-year-old Govind Jangid.
Such bikes though are not much prevalent in India is popular in the US. Made on similar lines the E-Bike by the students costs only Rs 9,500 and took seven months to finish. The battery run bike is easy to handle and can easily drive you to shorter distances.
"We have made it in a way that it can be charged through a mobile charger in dire circumstances. One only needs to connect the charger with the battery and plug the charger in. The battery will be fully charged in four hours," said 18-year-old Mayank Goswami, another member of the group.
The bike also has shock absorbers for bad roads and weighs 35 kg but with a capacity to carry more than 100 kg. The outside body is made of fibre frames.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8
'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl - age 5
'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
Chrissy - age 6
'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
Terri - age 4
'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny - age 7
'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'
Emily - age 8
'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'
Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
Noelle - age 7
'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
Tommy - age 6
'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8
'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6
'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'
Chris - age 7
'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
Mary Ann - age 4
'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4
'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)
Karen - age 7
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6
'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica - age 8
And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.
The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
'Nothing, I just helped him cry
Monday, 11 February 2008
One day while walking downtown, a Human Resources woman was hit by a bus and was tragically killed. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Pearly Gates Yamraj himself.
“Welcome to Heaven,” said Yamraj. “Before you get settled in though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we’ve never once had an HR manager make it this far and we’re not really sure what to with you.”
“No problem, just let me in” said the woman.
“Well, I’d like to, but I have higher orders. What we’re going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in” Yamraj replied.
“Actually, I think I’ve made up my mind…..I prefer to stay in Heaven”.
“Sorry, we have rules…..” And with that Yamraj put the HR Manager in an elevator and it went down-down-down to Hell. The doors opened and the HR manager found herself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of her were all her friends - fellow HR professionals that she had worked with. They were all dressed in evening gowns and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the country club where she enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner. She met the Devil who was actually a really nice guy (kinda cute), and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing.
The HR manager was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everybody shook her hand and waved good-bye as she got on the elevator. The elevator went up-up-up and opened back up at the Pearly Gates where Yamraj was waiting for her.
“Now it’s time to spend a day in Heaven” he said. So the HR manager spent the next 24 hours lounging around on the clouds and playing the harp and singing. She had a great time and before she knew it, her 24 hours were up and Yamraj came and got her. “So, you’ve spent a day in Hell and you’ve spent a day in Heaven. Now you must choose your eternity” he said.
The HR manager paused for a second and then replied, “well, I never thought I’d say this. I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell.”
So Yamraj escorted her to the elevator and again the consultant went down-down-down back to Hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends were dressed in rags and were picking up garbage and putting it in sacks for the evening meal. The Devil came up to her and put his arm around her and laughed at her.
“I don’t understand,” stammered the HR manager. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a country club and we ate lobster and we danced and had a great time. Now all there is is a wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.”
The Devil looked at her and grinned, “that’s because yesterday we were recruiting you, but today you’re staff.”
Lesson Number One
A crow was sitting in a tree, doing nothing all day. A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?" The crow answered: "Sure, why not." So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Management Lesson: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.
Lesson Number Two
A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy". "Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull "They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.
Management Lesson: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.
Lesson Number Three
When the body was first made, all the parts wanted to be Boss. The brain said, "I should be Boss because I control the whole body's responses and functions." The feet said, "We should be Boss as we carry the brain about and get him to where he wants to go." The Hands said, "We should be the Boss because we do all the work and earn all the money." And so it went on and on with the heart, the lungs and the eyes until finally the asshole spoke up. All the parts laughed at the idea of the asshole being the Boss. Promptly, the asshole went on strike, blocked itself up and refused to work. Within a short time the eyes became crossed, the hands clenched, the feet twitched, the heart and lungs began to panic and the brain fevered. Eventually they all decided that the asshole should be the Boss, so the motion was passed. All the other parts did all the work while the Boss just sat and passed out the shit!
Management Lesson: You don't need brains to be a Boss - any asshole will do.
Lesson Number Four
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold that the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped a load of hot, steaming dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of shit, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung. The cat promptly dug the bird out, killed him and ate him.
Management Lesson: Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy. Not everyone who pulls you out of shit is your friend. And when you're warm and happy in your pile of shit, keep your mouth shut!
Top 10 Rejection Lines Given by Women (and what they actually mean...)
10. I think of you as a brother.
(You remind me of that inbred banjo-playing geek in
9. There's a slight difference in our ages.
(You are one Jurassic geezer.)
8. I'm not attracted to you in 'that' way
(You are the ugliest dork I've ever laid eyes upon)
7. My life is too complicate right now.
(I don't want you spending the whole night or else you may
hear phone calls from all the other guys I'm seeing)
6. I've got a boyfriend
(who's really my male cat and a half gallon of Ben & Jerry's)
5. I don't date men where I work
(Hey bud, I wouldn't even date you if you were in the same
solar system, much less the same building)
4. It's not you, it's me
(It's not me, it's you)
3. I'm concentrating on my career
(Even something as boring and unfulfilling as my job is better
than dating you.)
2. I'm celibate.
(I've sworn off *only* the men like you.)
.....and the #1 rejection line given by women
(and what it actually means)
1. Let's be friends.
(I want you to stay around so I can tell you in excruciating
detail about all the other men I meet and have sex with; it's
that 'male perspective' thing)
IN RESPONSE ~~~~~~ The male perspective on the same issue
Top 10 Rejection Lines Given by Men
(and what they actually mean..)
10. I think of you as a sister
9. There's a slight difference in our ages
8. I'm not attracted to you in 'that' way
7. My life is too complicated right now.
6. I've got a girlfriend
5. I don't date women where I work
4. It's not you, it's me
3. I'm concentrating on my career
2. I'm celibate
.....and the #1 rejection line given by men
(and what it actually means)
1. Let's be Friends
(You're SINFULLY ugly!)
All of these are companies that didn't spend quite enough time considering how their online names might appear - and be misread...
- Who Represents is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity. Their Web site is
- Experts Exchange is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange Advice and views at
- Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at
- Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at
- There's the Italian Power Generator company,
- And don't forget the Mole Station Native Nursery in New South Wales,
- If you're looking for IP computer software, there?s always
- The First Cumming Methodist Church Web site is
- And the designers at Speed of Art await you at their wacky Web site,
Sir, ” What is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank President.
“And, Sir, what are they?”
“And how do you make right decisions?”
“And, sir, What is that?”
“And how do you get Experience?”
“And, Sir, what are they?”
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine
I’m leaving my life in your hands
People say I’m crazy and that I am blind
Risking it all in a glance
How you got me blind is still a mystery
I can’t get you out of my head
Don’t care what is written in you history
As long as you’re here with me
I don’t care who you are
Where you’re from
What you didAs long as you love me
Who you are
Where you’re from
Don’t care what you did
As long as you love me
Every little thing that you have said and done
Feels like it’s deep within me
Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run
It seems like we’re meant to be
I’ve tried to hide it so that no one knows
But I guess it shows
When you look in to my eyes
What you did and where you’re comin from
I don’t care, as long as you love me, baby
I Want It That Way
You are my fire
The one desire
Believe when I say
I want it that way
But we are two worlds apart
Can’t reach to your heart
When you say
That I want it that way
Tell me why
Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain’t nothin’ but a mistake
Tell me why
I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way
Am I your fire
Your one desire
Yes I know it’s too late
But I want it that way
Now I can see that we’ve fallen apart
From the way that it used to be, yeah
No matter the distance
I want you to know that
Deep down inside of me
You are my fire
The one desire
You are, you are, you are, you are
Don’t wanna hear you say…
Don’t wanna hear you say,
Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache,
Ain’t nothin’ but a mistake,
(Don’t wanna hear you say),
I never wanna hear you say,
I want it that way
Tell me why,
Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache,
Tell me why,
Ain’t nothin’ but a mistake,
Tell me why,
I never wanna hear you say,
(Don’t wanna hear you say),
I want it that way
Tell me why…
Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache,
Ain’t nothin’ but a mistake,
Tell me why,
I never wanna hear you say,
(Never wanna hear you say it),
I want it that way
Once upon a time you actually had to pay for great software and services – hard to believe, but true.
Luckily, we no longer live in that world. The internet is stuffed with great downloads and websites offering free software and services of every kind. Want to tune up your PC, keep it safe, create graphics, or back up your system with gobs of free storage space? You can find free software and sites to do all that, and plenty more.
We revved up our modem and searched for the most intriguing free offerings out there. After we took each download or service for a test-drive, we picked the very best, and came up with the following list of 101 great freebies.
WINNER Google Desktop (desktop.google.com) Google has done more than just conquer the internet – with Google Desktop, it has conquered your PC as well. The program brings the same kind of fast, accurate searching to your desktop that Google does to the web. It searches as you type, and displays the results in your browser. One nice touch: when the program is installed and you search via the Google website, the results will also include those from your computer. PC World reader panellist Vaughan Hunt says Google Desktop is his hands-down favourite free productivity application. “It’s totally changed how I process email,” he says. “No wonder Google is now the best brand on earth.”
Copernic Desktop Search (www.copernic.com) With an interface designed for your PC rather than for the web, this search tool may be the easiest to use.
Windows Desktop Search (www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch) One big benefit of Microsoft’s desktop search program is its integration with both Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express email.
Yahoo Desktop Search (desktop.yahoo.com) Among the better features of this offering: file viewers that let you preview files with all formatting intact.
Windows XP Tweaks
WINNER Fresh UI (www.freshdevices.com) Fresh UI is a tweaker’s heaven. With it you can change scores of settings in XP, many of which you probably never knew existed. Want to alter most any aspect of the Windows interface? Go ahead. Customise the Start menu? No problem. Change global menu settings and dozens of network and internet settings? You can do them all, and a whole lot more.
Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP (www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/ downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx) Who says Microsoft can’t write great software? These easy-to-use tweaking tools allow you to customise XP in countless ways.
Tweak and Tune (www.acelogix.com/freeware.html) This freebie doesn’t have as many options and tools as Fresh UI does, but it’s simple to use and well laid-out.
Windows Vista Tweaks
WINNER TweakVI Basic (www.totalidea.com) If you want to do some serious Windows Vista tweaking, you need this utility. Microsoft seems to have gone out of its way to make Vista unfriendly to power users. But this great freebie gives you hundreds of ways to adjust the operating system, tasks that otherwise would be extremely difficult to do. Whether you want to, say, hack the Start menu, put an image on Internet Explorer’s toolbar, or optimise your CPU’s cache, this program has something for you.
VistaBootPRO (www.vistabootpro.org) Want to change how Windows Vista boots? Ordinarily you’d have to learn the ins and outs of the incomprehensible BCDEdit command-line tool. But this simple, graphical program lets you master Vista’s boot-up and start-up without ever touching the dreaded BCDEdit.
Easy BCD (neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1) Another BCD editor, this one is great for setting up a machine with Vista and other operating systems, such as Linux or XP.
Instant Messaging, Voice and Video
WINNER Meebo (www.meebo.com) How can you be in two or more places at once – that is, use multiple instant messaging services simultaneously? Use Meebo. It lets you log in simultaneously to seven instant messaging services, namely AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN Live Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger and Meebo’s own network. You see all your contacts in a single list, and you can correspond with them all from a single interface. It’s perfect for instant messaging on the road, since you don’t need to download a client; everything is available on Meebo’s website.
Jajah (www.jajah.com) Use this website to make local, long-distance and international calls using your existing landline phone, for free. The catch: both your phone number and the one you’re calling must be registered with Jajah, and Jajah users are limited to 30 minutes of talk time a day. Just type in your phone number plus the number you’re calling, and your phone will ring. Pick it up, and you make a connection to the other party.
Skype (www.skype.com) Phone other Skype members free, enjoy video calls and make cheap international calls.
Gizmo (www.gizmoproject.com) With this service you can make free calls to Google Talk, Windows Live or Yahoo Messenger users, as well as to other Gizmo users, of course.
Yahoo Messenger (messenger.yahoo.com) This IM tool is almost as popular as Windows Live Messenger, particularly for its group videoconferencing, emoticons and sounds.
Trillian (www.ceruleanstudios.com) Like Meebo, Trillian lets you log in to multiple instant messaging systems simultaneously. The difference is that it’s a download, not a website.
Pidgin (www.pidgin.im) This open-source instant messaging program for Windows and Linux lets you log in to and communicate on multiple IM networks, including AIM, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN Messenger, Yahoo and more.
Google Talk (www.google.com/talk) Though Google Talk doesn’t have the big installed base of other instant messaging systems, its clean, simple interface and voice features make it a good choice.
WINNER Avast (www.avast.com) In a world filled with high-priced subscription-based antivirus programs that bog down your PC while protecting it, Avast stands out. This program is one of the few free antivirus applications that do as good a job as any of the big boys. Avast includes more than seven different varieties of shields, safe-surfing tools and real-time virus protection for your OS, as well as for Outlook. Reader panelist John Van Dam says: “It’s uncomplicated and quite happy to run in the background without nagging me to allow it to update and install files.” The program downloads and installs updates automatically, and Avast works with both Windows Vista and XP. Why pay?
ZoneAlarm (www.zonealarm.com) This free firewall still beats anything Microsoft puts into Windows, including the features in Windows Vista. It offers outbound as well as inbound protection.
AVG Anti-Virus Free (free.grisoft.com) Protecting against viruses and hackers, this app works with both Windows Vista and earlier versions. “It’s easy to use, gets the job done efficiently and quickly and offers regular free updates, says PC World reader panellist Nisha Jeyaseelan.
SMAC (www.klcconsulting.net/smac) This utility lets you change the MAC address – the unique ID – of a wireless adapter. Use it to perform vulnerability testing, or to keep your identity private.
Microsoft Windows Defender (www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spy
ware/software/default.mspx) Though not everyone is a fan of Microsoft’s antispyware program, we love some of its tools. We’re particularly fond of the Software Explorer feature, which lets you disable programs that launch on Windows startup.
Spybot Search & Destroy (www.safer-networking.org) We still adore this perennial favourite. But remember – since no single antispyware program can detect and kill all spyware, Spybot should be just one piece of your security arsenal.
WINNER VLC Media Player (www.videolan.org/vlc) If you play a lot of video and use Windows Media Player, you’ve probably come across a number of files that you can’t play – you’re told you need to have a codec to handle them. Good luck finding that codec. Instead, try the VLC media player. This software plays pretty much every media type you can think of – and likely a few you haven’t imagined. Not only will it play audio and video formats, but it will also play DVDs, VCDs and many streaming protocols.
iTunes (www.itunes.com) Perennially popular as an audio organiser for iPod users, iTunes became even more attractive following the launch of its New Zealand iTunes Store in December last year. Apple and EMI’s April announcement that we’ll soon be able to buy DRM-free music from the store was yet more happy news.
Foobar2000 (www.foobar2000.org) This straight forward audio player won’t take up much RAM or system resources, and plays a wide variety of audio formats.
WINNER Google Picasa (picasa.google.com) Why spend several hundred dollars for graphics software when you can use the top-notch free app Google Picasa? This photo editing and sharing program from Google is a big hit. Its intuitive interface and organisational capabilities make it a breeze to find and edit pictures. It’s also handy for creating slide shows, screen savers and wallpaper.
Snapfire (www.snapfire.com) SnapFire juggles all your image editing, management, and sharing tasks with ease.
Irfanview (www.irfanview.com) This one has been around a while, but it’s still one of the best free image viewers for just about any file type, showing detailed information about images, helping you create slide shows, and performing tasks like eliminating red-eye.
StudioLine Photo Basic (www.studioline.biz/EN/products/overview-photo-basic) Here’s a great program for archiving photos and for organising your collection. We were sold on the app when we found its handy “web galleries”, which are HTML-coded web pages, complete with navigation links to your photos.
Microsoft Photo Info (www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphoto
graphy/prophoto/photoinfo.mspx) This useful freebie, which integrates directly into Windows Explorer, lets you preview an image and embed metadata into it by right-clicking it.
FastStone MaxView (www.faststone.org) This petite (1.3MB) image editor is small enough to store on an old floppy disk. Don’t let its size fool you, though: FastStone MaxView sports lots of photo manipulation tools, such as those for rotating, flipping, resizing and blurring.
Media Purveyor (www.mediapurveyor.com) If you have gigabytes of stored media – including music, images, and videos – in need of some taming, this free program is for you. Not only does Media Purveyor edit images, but it also organises and sorts your multimedia library. Plus, the app indexes your library for searching and plays back video and audio, to boot.
GIMP (www.gimp.org) GNU Image Manipulation is a favourite of open-source software fans everywhere. No, it isn’t the easiest to use, but it is nearly as powerful as Photoshop.
Paint.Net (www.getpaint.net) This surprisingly powerful image editing and manipulation program includes unlimited undos and special effects, and even provides the ability to work in layers.
Email for Free
WINNER Gmail (www.gmail.com) The heavyweight champ of free email is clearly Gmail, and not just because it gives you as much storage space as you’ll ever need. Though Gmail may not have the prettiest interface of the bunch, it’s speedy, it does away with frills, and it has all kinds of features if you’re willing to do a bit of digging. For example, Gmail doesn’t handle just web-based email; unlike other free services, it can work with your existing email software. You can also use it to forward mail to other accounts. (Click Settings•Forwarding and POP to configure both of these options.) Gmail allows you to create rules to handle incoming mail automatically, and you can easily search through your messages via Google.
Yahoo Mail (mail.yahoo.com) Be sure to keep this service on your radar. During the writing of this story, Yahoo was beta-testing a new version of its mail service. We love the interface, which works more like desktop email software than traditional webmail does.
Microsoft Windows Live Mail (get.live.com/betas/home) The email service formerly known as Hotmail has received a significant makeover, becoming appealingly slick and Outlook-like.
Spamato (www.spamato.net) Tired of wading through the spam clogging your inbox? This add-on for Outlook, Thunderbird and Mozilla Mail does everything it can to eradicate the junk.
Thunderbird (www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird) This downloadable email client has a nice, simple interface, spam filtering, antiphishing features, RSS news-feed functions, quick search, and a spelling checker. It’s also from the folks who brought you the Firefox web browser.
Eudora (www.eudora.com) This freebie email favourite has been around for a long time, and with good reason: Eudora includes features like Mood Watch (which rates messages on a mood meter) that no other tool has. People who suffer from email overload (and that’s everyone, isn’t it?) will treasure the program’s unique folders-based approach to message organisation. An open-source version of Eudora is being developed by Mozilla for release later this year.
IncrediMail (www.incredimail.com) If you’re partial to animations, 3D effects, sounds and other kinds of froufrou in your email program, this downloadable software is the choice for you.
WINNER AllPeers (www.allpeers.com) Need to share files? Forget email, BitTorrent and instant messaging apps – you won’t find a better program than this. AllPeers works from within Firefox (an Internet Explorer version is planned, but not yet available), and lets you set up folders for file sharing. You can specify who has access to those files, and you can send messages to those people to alert them when files are ready. In addition, you can share web pages or images from web pages, and you can view any media files you receive from other people right inside Firefox. It’s the easiest way to share files of any kind with anyone.
Pando (www.pando.com) This peer-to-peer software lets you easily send and receive large files through email or instant messaging clients. The utility is particularly helpful because most ISPs have size limitations for sending or receiving email file attachments.
uTorrent (www.utorrent.com) Though the BitTorrent standard is the best protocol for sharing files, uTorrent is better than the BitTorrent client. This program has an array of extras, such as a tool for limiting the upstream and downstream bandwidth.
Back up and File Synchronisation
WINNER Mozy (www.mozy.com) Free backup programs and websites tend to give you only the basics, hoping that you’ll then pay extra for additional features. That’s not the case with Mozy, a full-featured online backup service.
You can, for example, back up only the portions of files that have changed, saving considerable backup time and space. You can also browse through 30 days’ worth of backups to locate previous versions of files.
Techies will appreciate features such as bandwidth throttling for backups, and halting backups if the CPU usage exceeds a certain percentage. You get 2GB for free; beyond that, you’ll have to pay.
MediaMax (www.mediamax.com) You want free storage space – how about 25GB of it? That’s what you get from MediaMax. We love the feature that allows you to stream your audio and video to your desktop, skipping hefty downloads from your digital storage locker.
XDrive (www.xdrive.com) With this service, you receive 5GB of backup for free, as well as a nice, free backup client and a way to share your folders with others.
GoPC (www.gopc.com.au) The GoPC ‘virtual computer’ allows you to replicate your personal desktop on any PC with an internet connection. All your programs and files are stored online, and can be accessed by simply plugging in a USB flash-drive, iPod or other device that you’ve loaded with the connection program. “Wherever you go, you take your bookmarks, web history, emails and documents. You don’t need to carry around a laptop, just your pen drive,” says PC World reader panelist Scott Cousins. “It’s a great product that I use everyday at school, at work and even at home.”
Microsoft SyncToy (www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphoto
graphy/prophoto/synctoy.mspx) This great Microsoft freebie permits you to keep folders on different machines automatically synchronised – it’s perfect for synchronising folders on a laptop and a desktop.
Everyday Auto Backup (www.backupsoft.net/everydayautobackup.htm) If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills download that will back up your data, this is the tool to try.
Microsoft Folder-share (www.folder
share.com) Use this tool to synchronise files with multiple desktops – including Apple machines – over the internet.
Office Productivity Software & Services
WINNER Zoho (www.zoho.com) What makes Zoho the winner is that it doesn’t merely try to copy Microsoft Office functionality. It’s web-based, so you can collaborate with others on your documents, for example. But the functionality of even the base software beats Microsoft’s offering in some areas; for creating HTML and graphics-heavy documents, for instance, it surpasses Word. This is the best and most comprehensive web-based office suite you can find. Included are a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and a database builder – and plenty of other productivity applications are being added all the time.
Google Docs and Spreadsheets (docs.google.com) Like Zoho, the web-based Google Docs and Spreadsheets lets you work with others as well as create and edit documents and spreadsheets. Its collaboration features are particularly noteworthy, and it uses Google’s search to make finding any document fast.
Num Sum (www.numsum.com) While Num Sum includes all of the features you would expect it to have, it’s also a social-networking site where you can share spreadsheets with like-minded others. It’s a great setup for anyone who’s interested in sharing spreadsheets to track home maintenance, a workout schedule, or a Rugby Sevens pool, for example.
Ajax 13 (www.ajax13.com) This web suite has more features than competitors like Zoho, including everything from a word processor to a drawing program, a spreadsheet, a presentation app, and even a digital music player.
OpenOffice.org (www.openoffice.org) Not happy with the idea of a web-based office application? Then you want the downloadable OpenOffice.org, the free competitor to Microsoft Office. A complete suite, it provides a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, a database – and, for übergeeks, a “mathematical function calculator” (if you have to ask what it is, you don’t need it).
WINNER Backpack (www.backpackit.com) Juggling multiple projects has never been so easy. For every project you create a separate page, each of which can include to-do lists, freeform text, notes, links, files, images and reminders.
Backpack also has a calendar, and if you use Apple iCal, Mozilla Calendar or any program that supports the iCalendar format, your reminders will be automatically added to your Backpack calendar. You can even have reminders sent to you via email or to your cell phone.
Google Notebook (www.google.com/note
book) If you need a simple way to save clippings from the web, organise them and then search through them, look no further than Google Notebook.
Sticky Notes (www.sticky-notes.net) This downloadable program does exactly what its name says: it allows you to create virtual sticky reminder notes that you place right on your computer’s desktop.
Easy To-Do (www.xanadutools.com) With this small, simple download, you can quickly create and track to-do lists.
WINNER TweakNow RegCleaner Standard (www.tweaknow.com/RegCleaner.html) The Registry is a scary place; like Dante’s underworld, it should have a sign reading “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”. TweakNow RegCleaner Standard is your virtual Virgil, a guide into the depths of the Registry. It automatically scans your Registry and reveals problems. After you examine the changes and tell the software to do its magic, it cleans the Registry for you.
Clean My Registry (www.smartpctools.com/clean_registry) This Registry cleaner will not show you quite as much information as TweakNow does, but it is fast and it does a good job of sweeping away the junk.
WINNER Belarc Advisor (www.belarc.com/free_download.html) If you’re looking for an exquisitely detailed audit of your hardware, this is the download you need. The program starts with the basics, such as the computer manufacturer, installed RAM, hard-disk size, and processor type and speed. But it also shows you the motherboard maker, hard-disk manufacturer, chassis serial number, PC service tag, bus type and speed, multimedia devices… the list goes on and on.
SpeedFan (www.almico.com/speedfan.php) This must-download for serious overclockers touts itself as a monitor for your system’s temperature and fan speed. The real reason it’s worthwhile is that it lets you easily overclock your PC and adjust the fan speed so it doesn’t overheat.
M2 Information (msquaredtechnologies.com/m2info) This program performs a quick scan of your computer and lists details such as the processor type and speed, the RAM amount and disk information.
WINNER Pageflakes (www.pageflakes.com) Home pages are passe – what you really want is a webtop, a personal web space you can customise with news feeds, chat tools, weather info, and plenty more. With Pageflakes you build your custom webtop from a collection of components, including RSS feeds and news, plus direct feeds from Flickr, YouTube and similar sites. You also get tools such as an address book, notepad and clock, and you can even have a widget that lets you read your web-based email messages. And in the downtimes, you can try a game of poker or a Sudoku puzzle.
Netvibes (www.netvibes.com) With dozens of feeds, news sources and widgets to choose from, you’ll find it easy to build the exact web home you want.
NZ City (home.nzcity.co.nz) PC World reader panellist Alan Saks recommends the NZ City personal start page as one of the most useful local sites – and he’s not alone. The popular, 100% Kiwi home page isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as some, but it has local knowledge firmly in its favour. Optional feeds include weather forecasts for 40 towns, weekly Lotto results, news from all the major regional papers and share tracking on the NZSE.
Protopage (www.protopage.com) This site is more for play than work, with plenty of cartoons, podcasts, video feeds and widgets. But if you must get something done, it has productivity tools as well.
Google Personalised Home (www.google.com/ig) For fans of minimalism, this clean-looking webtop is mainly all text, but it has an array of feeds and tools.
Windows Live (www.live.com) Though Microsoft’s webtop is buttoned-down and corporate-looking, it offers lots of customisable content, plus access to your Windows Live Mail or Hotmail account.
WINNER Google Blogger (www.blogger.com) Blogger is home to tens of thousands of blogs, and with good reason. Because it’s template-driven, getting started is simple; posting is also a snap. But you have plenty of powerful tools here, as well, such as the ability to make RSS feeds yourself, and the ability to create posts merely by sending an email message containing the text.
WordPress (www.wordpress.com) Another worthy blogging competitor is WordPress.com, a site that’s brought to you by many of the same people who develop the open-source blogging software available at WordPress.org.
LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com) This blogging site is noteworthy for letting you create private “journals” that you can share with family and friends, and it includes easy-to-use community features for putting you in touch with other people who share your interests.
Microsoft Windows Live Spaces (spaces.live.com) Though this offering isn’t the most sophisticated of blogging sites, both setting up your blog and posting entries are simple – plus, a big community is there, just waiting to hear from you.
Vox (vox.com) Developed by SixApart, creators of the Moveable Type publishing platform, Vox is the blogging site to watch. Vox’s elegant blog templates, powerful social networking features and strong privacy controls appeal to a more mature crowd than many web communities.
First Page (www.evrsoft.com) If you’re up for the DIY approach to blog-building, or even a bit of template-tweaking, you can’t go past webpage editor First Page.
“While not quite up to the high standards of Dreamweaver, it’s far superior to Microsoft’s FrontPage,” says reader panelist John Van Dam. “First Page has a vast array of tools and support for a variety of client-side and server-side languages, and you can’t beat the fact it’s only a 10MB download and it’s free.”
stripe.com) The buzz about this home-grown, open-source content management system is growing. It’s the first New Zealand organisation to be chosen for the Google Summer of Code; with ten international programming students working on Silverstripe projects, expect frequent refinements to the PHP-based distribution in coming months.
Online RSS Reader
WINNER Bloglines (www.bloglines.com) The web-based Bloglines loads quickly, sports a sophisticated interface, and delivers such snappy responses that you’d almost think you were using downloadable software. Bloglines makes subscribing to and reading feeds easy, as well. We’re particularly fond of the Clippings feature, which allows you to add any blog or web page text to a special Clippings tab; that way, you can keep all of your important posts in a single location for easy retrieval. We also like Clip Blogs, which are clips from blogs that you can keep private or share with others.
NewsGator Online (www.newsgator.com) NewsGator Online comes a close second to Bloglines. We particularly like the way this offering delivers feeds in a clear, clutter-free display.
Google Reader (www.google.com/
reader/view) Google excels at many things, but simple web-based software interfaces is not necessarily one of them. Though this site does the job, non-techies might be confused by the arcane interface.
Software RSS Reader
WINNER Sage (sage.mozdev.org) What’s the best way to integrate RSS news feeds and the web? Don’t use a separate RSS reader. That’s the secret behind Sage, which integrates directly into Firefox (but not Internet Explorer). Using it is simple: click the Sage icon in your toolbar; Sage will then drop down on the left. Whenever you visit a page that has an RSS feed, you click the Discover Feeds button to add the feed. The rest of the Firefox window then becomes your reader. Sage lets you organise your folders, search through feeds, and import and export feeds lists.
Active Web Reader (www.deskshare.com/awr.aspx) If you’d prefer an Internet Explorer plug-in, this simple-to-use, downloadable reader is a fine choice. Active Web Reader lets you organise feeds by category, import and export groups of feeds, and search feeds.
Tristana RSS Reader (www.tristana.org/reader.cfm) Fans of Microsoft Outlook will like this reader: it mimics the overall Outlook interface, with folders on the left and a reading pane on the right that shows RSS topics. The program can download podcasts, too.
MCE RSS Reader (mcerssreader.oabsoftware.nl) Here’s an RSS reader with a difference: it downloads RSS feeds and then displays them on your Media Centre PC. Why would anyone want such a thing? Some RSS feeds now include videocasts (sometimes called vodcasts), but Windows Media Centre unfortunately has a problem handling certain video formats; this tool, though, can deal with them all.
Web Video Site
WINNER YouTube (www.youtube.com) No need for a drum roll here: YouTube wins this one, hands down. It has the biggest collection of videos, it’s easy to search, it’s well organised, the video streams quickly and smoothly, uploading your own videos is easy… what else do you want?
Blinkx (www.blinkx.com) Rather than being a video site, Blinkx is a search engine that trolls selected sites for videos. It has partnerships with more than 100 content and media companies, so you’ll find lots of video from leading news sites.
Yahoo Video (video.yahoo.com) Here’s another ideal site for your serious video-watching habit. The stripped-down interface will please fans of simplicity.
Google Video (video.google.com) Even though Google bought YouTube, it continues to run this site too, offering plenty of videos. Oddly enough, when we last checked, videos from Comedy Central shows were still here, even though they had been removed from YouTube. That may not be the case by the time you read this.
WINNER NoteTab Light (www.notetab.com) This utility improves on Windows’ Notepad in so many ways, it’s hard to count them. Start with the basics: you can open multiple files, not just one, as you must in Notepad. Each file runs in its own tab, so switching between them is easy. The program comes with all kinds of nifty built-in tools, too, such as a feature that strips HTML out of a document, a Paste Board that saves text clips automatically, macros and plenty more.
Crimson Editor (www. crimsoneditor.com) Do you need a geeked-out Notepad replacement? Look no further. This text editor for programmers includes syntax highlighting for HTML, C/C++, Perl and Java.
EditPad Lite (www.editpadpro.com/editpadlite.html) This text editor opens multiple files (each in its own tab), opens files of any size, and allows you unlimited undo and redo – in other words, it has everything that Notepad doesn’t.
Multimedia Tools and Toys
WINNER Audacity (audacity.sourceforge.net) If you want to create media, not just consume it, try this program, which includes audio recording tools and sophisticated editing functions. You can even create audio soundscapes from scratch. You can add any of several dozen effects, use a sound mixer… in short, the app has everything you need. While you don’t have to be well-versed in sound editing to use it, people with some experience will particularly enjoy its power.
Free iPod Video Converter (www.jodix.com) This tool does precisely what it says: it converts videos from a variety of formats so you can watch them on your iPod’s screen.
PSP Video 9 (psp video9.com) Sony’s PlayStation Portable handheld makes a terrific video player. The PSP Video 9 program converts PC video files (.avi, .mpg, DivX, etc) into PSP video format for playback.
DVD Shrink (www.dvdshrink.org) If you have ever attempted to make a backup copy of a DVD movie to a DVD-R, you’ve probably discovered that you can’t do it because DVD movie discs are dual-layer and have more data than can fit on a recordable disc. DVD Shrink solves the problem by compressing the DVD data, letting you make the copy fit on a DVD.
WINNER Google Apps for Your Domain(www.google.com/a/) If you’re running a small business, why pay for collaboration software when this site can give you a lot of what you need for free?
Google Apps offers group calendaring, portals for each employee, and Gmail accounts for everyone using your business domain, and a simple web page creator for building and managing your site. Google also has Google Apps Premier Edition, a for-pay version with extra features for large companies; but Google says it will continue to offer Google Apps for Your Domain to small companies for free.
Microsoft Office Live (officelive.microsoft.com) Don’t be confused by this site’s name – the service it offers has nothing to do with the Microsoft Office suite. Though it provides much of what Google Apps for Your Domain does, it’s not as well integrated. Office Live storage can hold up to 500MB of data and email management for up to 25 accounts with 2GB of storage each. It does give you free domain registration and a better web page editor than Google’s, however.
FreeCRM.com (www.freecrm.com) If managing sales teams and contacts is all you’re after, this site will do the trick. It includes a free document repository of 10MB for your staff, as well.