Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Best of Open Source Software

The Infoworld had selected this year best open source software under eight categories covering business and productivity applications, development tools, middleware, networking, security, and storage. They have chosen 60 products.

Among the easy picks for this year’s winners were OpenOffice.org for office productivity suite, Snort for network intrusion detection, and Splunk for security log analysis. Although, these applications were already believed to be solutions ahead of their competition, InfoWorld’s editors, analysts, reviewers really had a difficult time choosing between other solutions in all eight categories that included the following: enterprise applications such as CRM, ERP, BI, and reporting; collaborative applications, including mail/calendar, wiki, and social networking; desktop productivity apps from office suites to 3-D modeling; platforms and middleware, including operating systems, databases, virtualization, and SOA integration; developer tools from AJAX and rich Internet apps to Web service testing and version control; networking, including server monitoring, routing, Wi-Fi scanning, and VoIP software; security software, including firewall, IDS, disk encryption, and security testing; and storage which includes monitoring and administration, backup, and NAS.

Three sun products won the awards in two different categories: My SQL as best database and the recently acquired VirtualBox as best desktop virtualization both under the Best of Open Source Platforms and Middle category and OpenOffice.org as best productivity suite under Best of Open Source Productivity Apps category.

A partial list of the winners as listed in the InfoWorld website is as follows:

Best of open source in productivity applications

Audacity, Sound Editing
Blender, 3D Modeling
Firefox, Web Browser
GIMP, Image Editing
OpenOffice.org, Productivity Suite

PDFCreator, PDF Creation

Best of open source in enterprise applications

Alfresco Community, Content Management
Compiere, Enterprise Resource Planning
dotProject, Project Management
Hyperic HQ, Application Monitoring
Intalio BPMS, Business Process Management
JasperReports, Reporting
Liferay Portal, Enterprise Portal
Magento eCommerce, E-Commerce
Pentaho Open BI Suite, Business Intelligence

SugarCRM, Customer Relationship Management

Best of open source in collaboration

Elgg, Social Networking
MediaWiki, Wiki
VNC and Chicken of the VNC, Remote Control
Scalix, Mail and Calendar

WordPress, Blog Publishing

Best of open source in networking

Asterisk, IP Telephony
AWStats, Log File Analyzer
InSSIDer, Wireless Network Scanner
Nagios, Server Monitoring
NDISwrapper, Wireless Network Interface
Vyatta, Router, Firewall, & VPN
Wireshark, Network Protocol Analyzer

Zenoss Core, Network Monitoring

Best of open source in platforms and middleware

CentOS, Server Operating System
JBossESB, Enterprise Service Bus
MySQL, Database
phpMyAdmin, MySQL Administration
Puppy Linux, Small-Footprint OS
Talend Open Studio, Data Integration
Ubuntu, Desktop Operating System
VirtualBox, Desktop Virtualization

Xen, Server Virtualization

Best of open source in security

AppArmor, Application Security
Metasploit Framework, Penetration Toolkit
Ophcrack, Password Cracker
SmoothWall Express, Network Firewall
Snort with BASE, Network Intrusion Detection
Splunk, Security Log Analysis
TrueCrypt, Disk Encryption

Untangle Gateway Platform, Gateway Security

For complete coverage and the rest of the winners see the article at InfoWold.

Source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/08/04/32TC-bossies-2008_1.html

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Software Defined Radio : The radio for the next era

While searching for a research oriented project for the final year at the university i come across some interesting topics. Among them the software defined Radio was some thing i have never heard.

What is software defined Radio ;

We all know of the radios. And often we know that radio cards provide the hardware capability to use radio via a PC. And we have a software running to control the sound the channels. But cant we just go beyond that. Software defined radio is the proposed mechanism for doing that. Its simply implementing the hardware capabilities via software. Dont get it. lets pay a Closer look.

A closer look

Software radio is the technique of getting code as close to the antenna as possible. It turns radio hardware problems into software problems. The fundamental characteristic of software radio is that software defines the transmitted waveforms, and software demodulates the received waveforms. This is in contrast to most radios in which the processing is done with either analog circuitry or analog circuitry combined with digital chips. GNU Radio is a free software toolkit for building software radios.

Software radio is a revolution in radio design due to its ability to create radios that change on the fly, creating new choices for users. At the baseline, software radios can do pretty much anything a traditional radio can do. The exciting part is the flexibility that software provides you. Instead of a bunch of fixed function gadgets, in the next few years we'll see a move to universal communication devices.

What took so long ?

The concept of a software radio is not new. It has lasted for sometime until recently the PC s where cable of implementing and running the complex algorithms that implements the Digital to voice conversion. This is not as simple as it seems. As the only input that the computer gains is an Analog to digital converted data form their on its all software. So we have the code at the closest level to the antenna.

So what is the best part of this ?

Well that is yet to come. Imagine a device which you can plug into your computer and provide the relevant function Independent of the device. The potential is to build decentralized communication systems. If you look at today's systems, the vast majority are infrastructure-based. Broadcast radio and TV provide a one-way channel, are tightly regulated and the content is controlled by a handful of organizations. Cell phones are a great convenience, but the features your phone supports are determined by the operator's interests, not yours.Imagine a device that can morph into a cell phone and get you connectivity using GPRS, 802.11 Wi-Fi, 802.16 WiMax, a satellite hookup or the emerging standard of the day. You could determine your location using GPS, GLONASS or both. And the antenna working as a small radar station. A software defined Radar.


forum for software defined radio

Monday, December 15, 2008

Top 10 * 5 predictions for 2009

Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009

1. Virtualization
2. Business Intelligence
3. Cloud Computing
4. Green IT
5. Unified Communications
6. Social Software and Social Networking
7. Web Oriented Architecture
8. Enterprise Mashups
9. Specialized Systems
10. Servers – Beyond Blades

Read more

Best destinations and types of travel to explore in 2009.

(By The Specialty Travel Agents Association (STAA))

1. Culinary
2. Dominican Republic
3. Ecotourism - (Srilanka , Bahamas Islands)
4. Galapagos Islands
5. Maldives
6. Mexico
7. New Zealand
8. Portugal
9. South Africa

Top 10 Blogs for Writers for 2008 / 2009

1. Copyblogger:

2. Men With Pens:

3. Freelance Writing Jobs:

4. Write to Done:

5. Confident Writing:

6. The Renegade Writer:

7. Remarkable Communication: succeed.

8. Writing Journey:

9. Freelance Parent:

10. Urban Muse:

Top 10 fastest-growing companies

Here are the companies that scored highest in their ability to grow revenues and net income, alongside the corresponding average year-on-year growth rate over a period of four years.

Company Revenue Growth (%)

1. Baidu.com 154.23
2. Lenovo Group 137.79
3. Google 73.9
4. Research in Motion 65.95
5. Salesforce.com 62.24
6. HTC 51.39
7. Huawei Technologies 48.72
8. Blue Coat Systems 48.20
9. AT&T 46.71
10. Akamai Technologies 44.89

Company Net Income Growth (%)

1. SonicWall 733.31
2. Baidu.com 328.39
3. Salesforce.com 308.72
4. CA 286.81
5. Deutche Telekom 286.33
6. Akamai Technologies 282.63
7. Lenovo Group 201.07
8. Apple 174.93
9. Sony 149.66
10. Google 137.92

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Botnets : The next generation of weapons of mass distruction

"The current issue of Policy Review has a paper by an American computer scientist and the recent Permanent Undersecretary of Defense for Estonia. Drawing on the Estonian cyber attacks a year and a half ago, as well as other recent examples, they argue that botnets are the major problem. They propose that botnets should be designated 'eWMDs' — electronic weapons of mass destruction

So what is cyber attacks & cyber warfare?

Cyber warfare is asymmetric warfare; more is at risk for us than for most of our potential adversaries. Another asymmetric aspect is that the victims of cyber warfare may never be able to determine the identity of their actual attacker. Thus, America cannot meet this threat by relying solely upon a strategy of retaliation, or even offensive operations in general.

Cyber attacks are best accomplished through exploiting intelligence on the enemy’s networks and servers, and on those servers’ software, the current vulnerabilities of the software’s applications, and standard security practices and typical lapses. Cyber attackers can exploit their targets’ networks and servers such that those systems not only stop supporting their intended purposes, but actually work against those purposes. As evidenced by recent attacks on the Pentagon computer system, the United States must assume that our potential adversaries in the world are preparing for such attacks.

read more

What is the best experince of a cyber attack ?

In the Bruce Willis thriller “Live Free or Die Hard,” fiendish computer hackers throw the United States into a wild tailspin of fire and flood and national gridlock. But you need not to go to the silverscreen to witness this. Many banks and finacial organizations faces the treat of such attacks. In addtiion when the entire defence network depends on the communication channels an attack on that chaneel makes the user vanerable to all types of attacks.

the Estoinan experiece is a clear example. On May 2007, the events that took placein Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, proved everyone wrong. On that day, Estonia fell victim to the first-ever, real Internet war. Read more

So what is a botnet ?

Botnet is a jargon term for a collection of software robots, or bots, that run autonomously . The term is often associated with malicious software but it can also refer to the network of computers using distributed computing software.

While the term "botnet" can be used to refer to any group of bots, such as IRC bots, this word is generally used to refer to a collection of compromised computers (called Zombie computers) running software, usually installed via worms, Trojan horses, or backdoors, under a common command-and-control infrastructure.


Some of the proposed solutions are dicussed in the following article.
Read more

Saturday, December 6, 2008

UNICOS : Powering the worlds fastest Super computers

I never knew much about UNIOS untill recently when i had the idea to lean about super computers. And as i focused my attention onthe operating systems they are running UNIOS was one which powers the 9th rannking computer and is capable of powering all the Cray build super computers. (This contains 4 computers of the first ten). The latter contains what i found out about the operating system form the web. Please note these are adopted form the sites which the link is provided at the end.

what is actually UNICOS?

Unicos (officially all-caps UNICOS) is the name of a range of Unix operating system variants developed by Cray for its supercomputers. Unicos is the successor of the Cray Operating System (COS). It provides network clustering and source code compatibility layers for some other Unixes. Unicos was originally introduced in 1985 with the Cray-2 system and later ported to other Cray models. The original Unicos was based on System V.2, and had numerous BSD features (e.g., networking and file system enhancements) added to it.


The UNICOS system makes extremely flexible and robust calculating machines with support of the following hard and software characteristics possible:

Parallel processing
The UNICOS system is the first high performance UNIX based operating system which supports SMP.

Multi-processor and multi-threading operating system
The UNICOS system is scalable on more than 32 processors. Cray aims at a small CPU percentage for the consumption of system processes, also in the greatest and the most extensive configuration.

High performance I/O bandwidth and capacity.

UNICOS I/O scales with the number of processors in the system. The standard UNIX was modified around a file system for up to 8 tbyte to support large files. The support of several devices in a system, multiple types of fixed disks and memory devices in a file system (for build in memory solutions) and the file storage strategy with the used algorithm were specified. Cache support is availably for physical devices in addition to the file system. Through this a high efficiency is made possible for some devices and file systems. The UNICOS system allows combining of buffered and direct access to I/O devices without integrity loss of the data which are not natural for the devices of other systems. For Cray is performance not acceptable without data integrity.

A layered Overview of the architecture of UNICOS

UNICOS could easly scale efficiently to 30,000 processors. This consists of two primary components—a microkernel for compute PEs and a full-featured operating system for the service PEs.(Processing Element).

Read More

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

E-begging: A modern trend for easy money

Early Days

Begging is known as a profession of the less satisfied or the less privileged. Since the early civilizations, begging has existed in various forms. The crippled, the disabled and the older men and women who had no wealth and couldn’t earn there bread was thrown into the profession of begging. For many years in the central Asian countries the begging has established as a profession. For each town there exists a KING beggar. He is responsible for the dispatching of beggars in various locations on what quantity & what quality. And any one to beg in any place the permission had to be taken. Finally at the end of the day the beggars have to give him some portion of the earning. The king provides safety form the urban council plus the authorities through various mechanisms so the fee is reasonable. With the king in one end the beggars also had unions and groups of operation.

In addition the beggars have developed their own codes for message transferring. The objective of these messages was to identify and pinpoint certain people & places who are more generous. What time to approach them and when not to. So the history provides proof of the begging and its establishment as a profession.

Begging with the letter E in front

Today in the electronic era the begging does exist in many forms. And the beggars been more innovative in various forms have found a number of ways to beg. And the population moving into E Begging is not just the less privileged and the orphans but educated dudes in clean suits. So what is really e – Begging are the forms of e – Begging?

e – Begging

E begging is basically an any form of electronic mechanism of asking for money directly or indirectly. And the beauty is the beggars really don’t ask for money they ask for some thing else. What is that?

The forms of E – Begging

1.Google Addsence
2.Mass email delivering
3.Fake advertising and Back door information gathering
4.Hacking and software frauds

Though there are a number of other was the major way of doing a E- begging is Google addsence. So lets check how it has become a begging.

Most of the south Asian undergraduates are short of money and are seek of easy money. So who is providing it? Well the Google does it via providing ads where you will get paid for displaying them. How is that it becomes an E-begging.

What these boys do is they create some blog at a free blog posting site (eg: BlogSpot, Multiply). Then they add some content. What ever and put some content there. Now this becomes the story of the beggar. Now the Google has lots of algorithms to catch frauds. So how are you going to get the Job done. Pretty easy. Most of the mechanisms that Google catch you are known. So try to minimize chances of getting caught. This is how it’s done.

1.Get together with a group of bloggers. And post them your URL. They will return them a set of there blogs as well which you have to visit and drop clicks and page impressions. They will return the favor. This is similar to alliance with a set of baggers for the common benefit.

2.The second is the more straight forward and easiest. Use a chat engine which is not Google mail or Gtalk. Make new friends in different countries. Once they get a bit closer ask them to visit your blog and often drop they will clicks your adds. This is a decent request and the beggar enjoys a nice gain.

3.Have multiple sites for multiple areas. Every hot topic will earn you some thing. It’s like a beggar visiting Hindu temples at the ceremony days for a free meal. So the ea beggar is the same.

4.Joining a king e-Begger. This is joining a full time addsence blogger. Usually these types of bloggers own few sites with huge traffic. The king will provide you some traffic and specially good rate of clicks which no pattern. And he will charge a rate based on the earnings. Hmm remembers the traditional king beggar.

So don’t the e- beggars get caught? Don’t they have their accounts frozen? Of course they do. But don’t you often see the same beggar caught by the police after a while appears in the same place or a place nearby. It’s common for the e- beggars too. Though they are often caught this is easy money. Two hours a day will get you enough living. So why don’t you continue. After all in the Internet creating false identity is nothing. And you won’t get imprisonment for doing so. In addition you have a 6 billion dollar company waiting to pay you.

Some times It’s a privilege to be an E-beggar. But some times there are few better ways. Often we find old men who do small sales in the pavement of a road or a station. They may sell some small items, a match box or some coffee packets to cover up. These items are costly than in the retail shops but the generous men buy them as a help. This provides them a more recognition and respect.
I would like to put my self to the latter. Who provides something valuable to the reader? Not just a click or a page impression.

(This article is based on the article published by Mr BSPDR karuanarathne. Any author who wishes to use this work should obtain written permission from the author)