Archive for May, 2010


Ana Ivanovic crashed out of the French Open on Thursday, suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Alisa Kleybanova. I am very disappointed woith her performance since she had played her last tournament well, and also in the first match she won comfortably. What is even more disappointing is that the champion of this very grand slam 2008 could not make it to the third round also. She lost this game 6-3 6-0, as the second set was almost one sided. She was at least competitive in the first set and in some points showed flashes of her true ability.

She in fact had a good first game winning convincingly, and I was expecting that she will make it to the fourth round at least as she did last year. But her second round exit has really broken my heart. But I now feel that I thisnk I was expecting at too much from her this time, she is really not on the top of her game.

Ivanovic has slipped down the rankings to 42nd in the world over the past 18 months after an awful run of form. When she won in Paris, two years back she had climbed to the world number one spot. With the second roundd exit one can expect her to fall down even further in rankings.

Well with French Open gone, I can only hope that she comes back very strong later this month on the grass court in Wimbledon. Here I have put in some of her pics from the French Open 2010.


During my final year of engineering, I had to make a project, the final-year project. I planned to make it in JAVA. I was using a database, a text file, an xml file, and an html file. While making the project I faced a lot of problems in which parser to use, the DOM or the SAX. In fact while submitting my first report to my guide (that is after planning out my project), she asked me what exactly is the difference between the parsers, and which one will be more useful to use. I could not actually answer it at that time (I had thought of deciding on this part at the end). So I got down to study the difference between the two, and I found this very good article at that time. It helped me a lot, and in fact I ended up using both these parsers in my project for different reasons. So now I thought that I should put up this article here on my blog. Though this is a very old one, but it still is very helpful, as it clearly gives you the difference between the two pasers.

Why they were both built
SAX (Simple API for XML) and DOM (Document Object Model) were both designed to allow programmers to access their information without having to write a parser in their programming language of choice. By keeping the information in XML 1.0 format, and by using either SAX or DOM APIs your program is free to use whatever parser it wishes. This can happen because parser writers must implement the SAX and DOM APIs using their favorite programming language. SAX and DOM APIs are both available for multiple languages (Java, C++, Perl, Python, etc.).

So both SAX and DOM were created to serve the same purpose, which is giving you access to the information stored in XML documents using any programming language (and a parser for that language). However, both of them take very different approaches to giving you access to your information.

What is DOM?
DOM gives you access to the information stored in your XML document as a hierarchical object model. DOM creates a tree of nodes (based on the structure and information in your XML document) and you can access your information by interacting with this tree of nodes.The textual information in your XML document gets turned into a bunch of tree nodes. 

Regardless of the kind of information in your XML document (whether it is tabular data, or a list of items, or just a document), DOM creates a tree of nodes when you create a Document object given the XML document. Thus DOM forces you to use a tree model (just like a Swing TreeModel) to access the information in your XML document. This works out really well because XML is hierarchical in nature. This is why DOM can put all your information in a tree (even if the information is actually tabular or a simple list).

The image here is overly simplistic, because in DOM, each element node actually contains a list of other nodes as its children. These children nodes might contain text values or they might be other element nodes. At first glance, it might seem unnecessary to access the value of an element node (e.g.: in “<name> John </name>”, John will be the value) by looking through a list of children nodes inside of it. If each element only had one value then this would truly be unnecessary. However, elements may contain text data and other elements; this is why you have to do extra work in DOM just to get the value of an element node. Usually when pure data is contained in your XML document, it might be appropriate to “lump” all your data in one String and have DOM return that String as the value of a given element node. This does not work so well if the data stored in your XML document is a document (like a Word or Framemaker document). In documents, the sequence of elements is very important. For pure data (like a database table) the sequence of elements does not matter. So DOM preserves the sequence of the elements that it reads from XML documents, because it treats everything as it if were a document. Hence the name DOCUMENT object model.

If you plan to use DOM as the Java object model for the information stored in your XML document then you really don’t need to worry about SAX. However, if you find that DOM is not a good object model to use for the information stored in your XML document then you might want to take a look at SAX. It is very natural to use SAX in cases where you have to create your own CUSTOM object models.

What is SAX?
SAX chooses to give you access to the information in your XML document, not as a tree of nodes, but as a sequence of events! This is very useful as the SAX chooses not to create a default Java object model on top of your XML document (like DOM does). This makes SAX faster, and also necessitates the following things:

  • creation of your own custom object model
  • creation of a class that listens to SAX events and properly creates your object model.

These steps are not necessary with DOM, because DOM already creates an object model for you (which represents your information as a tree of nodes).

In the case of DOM, the parser does almost everything, read the XML document in, create a Java object model on top of it and then give you a reference to this object model (a Document object) so that you can manipulate it. SAX is not called the Simple API for XML for nothing, it is really simple. SAX doesn’t expect the parser to do much, all SAX requires is that the parser should read in the XML document, and fire a bunch of events depending on what tags it encounters in the XML document. You are responsible for interpreting these events by writing an XML document handler class, which is responsible for making sense of all the tag events and creating objects in your own object model. So you have to write:

  • your custom object model to “hold” all the information in your XML document into
  • a document handler that listens to SAX events (which are generated by the SAX parser as its reading your XML document) and makes sense of these events to create objects in your custom object model.

SAX can be really fast at runtime if your object model is simple. In this case, it is faster than DOM, because it bypasses the creation of a tree based object model of your information. On the other hand, you do have to write a SAX document handler to interpret all the SAX events (which can be a lot of work).

These events fired by the SAX parser are really very simple. SAX will fire an event for every open tag, and every close tag. It also fires events for #PCDATA and CDATA sections. You document handler (which is a listener for these events) has to interpret these events in some meaningful way and create your custom object model based on them. Your document handler will have to interpret these events and the sequence in which these events are fired is very important. SAX also fires events for processing instructions, DTDs, comments, etc. But the idea is still the same, your handler has to interpret these events (and the sequence of the events) and make sense out of them.

When to use DOM
If your XML documents contain document data (e.g., Framemaker documents stored in XML format), then DOM is a completely natural fit for your solution. If you are creating some sort of document information management system, then you will probably have to deal with a lot of document data. An example of this is the Datachannel RIO product, which can index and organize information that comes from all kinds of document sources (like Word and Excel files). In this case, DOM is well suited to allow programs access to information stored in these documents.

However, if you are dealing mostly with structured data (the equivalent of serialized Java objects in XML) DOM is not the best choice. That is when SAX might be a better fit.

When to use SAX
If the information stored in your XML documents is machine readable (and generated) data then SAX is the right API for giving your programs access to this information. Machine readable and generated data include things like:

  • Java object properties stored in XML format
  • queries that are formulated using some kind of text based query language (SQL, XQL, OQL)
  • result sets that are generated based on queries (this might include data in relational database tables encoded into XML).

So machine generated data is information that you normally have to create data structures and classes for in Java. A simple example is the address book which contains information about persons. This address book XML file is not like a word processor document, rather it is a document that contains pure data, which has been encoded into text using XML.

When your data is of this kind, you have to create your own data structures and classes (object models) anyway in order to manage, manipulate and persist this data. SAX allows you to quickly create a handler class which can create instances of your object models based on the data stored in your XML documents. An example is a SAX document handler that reads an XML document that contains my address book and creates an AddressBook class that can be used to access this information. The first SAX tutorial shows you how to do this. The address book XML document contains person elements, which contain name and email elements. My AddressBook object model contains the following classes:

  • AddressBook class, which is a container for Person objects
  • Person class, which is a container for name and email String objects.

So my “SAX address book document handler” is responsible for turning person elements into Person objects, and then storing them all in an AddressBook object. This document handler turns the name and email elements into String objects.

Conclusion
The SAX document handler you write does element to object mapping. If your information is structured in a way that makes it easy to create this mapping you should use the SAX API. On the other hand, if your data is much better represented as a tree then you should use DOM.

CAPTCHA

Posted: May 26, 2010 by Shishir Gupta in Computer Articles, Technologies
Tags: ,

I have been using CAPTCHA for sometime now. About a week back when I was trying to implement it in asp.net I faced a few problems as I could not display the image. After a lot of troubleshooting I could get it done. Then one of my friends also happened to get the same problem, after that I searched over the net and realised that this is a very common issue that many developers are facing. So I thought of putting up the procedure here on my blog. But before I do this I thought of telling everyone about CAPTCHA. So I found this very informative article over wikipedia and I am putting it up here.

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WHAT IS CAPTCHA
A CAPTCHA or Captcha is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. Thus, it is sometimes described as a reverse Turing test, because it is administered by a machine and targeted to a human, in contrast to the standard Turing test that is typically administered by a human and targeted to a machine. A common type of CAPTCHA requires that the user type letters or digits from a distorted image that appears on the screen.

The term “CAPTCHA” (based upon the word capture) was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas J. Hopper, and John Langford (all of Carnegie Mellon University). It is a contrived acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” Carnegie Mellon University attempted to trademark the term, but the trademark application was abandoned on 21 April 2008.

CHARACTERISTICS
A CAPTCHA is a means of automatically generating new challenges which:

  • Current software is unable to solve accurately.
  • Most humans can solve
  • Does not rely on the type of CAPTCHA being new to the attacker.

Although a checkbox “check here if you are not a bot” might serve to distinguish between humans and computers, it is not a CAPTCHA because it relies on the fact that an attacker has not spent effort to break that specific form. (Such ‘check here’ methods are very easy to defeat.) Instead, CAPTCHAs rely on difficult problems in artificial intelligence. In the short term, this has the benefit of distinguishing humans from computers. In the long term, it creates an incentive to advance the state of Artificial Intelligence, which the originators of the term view as a benefit in its own right.

APPLICATIONS
CAPTCHAs are used to prevent automated software from performing actions which degrade the quality of service of a given system, whether due to abuse or resource expenditure. CAPTCHAs can be deployed to protect systems vulnerable to e-mail spam, such as the webmail services of Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail.

CAPTCHAs found active use in stopping automated posting to blogs, forums and wikis, whether as a result of commercial promotion, or harassment and vandalism. CAPTCHAs also serve an important function in rate limiting, as automated usage of a service might be desirable until such usage is done in excess, and to the detriment of human users. In such a case, a CAPTCHA can enforce automated usage policies as set by the administrator when certain usage metrics exceed a given threshold. The article rating systems used by many news web sites are another example of an online facility vulnerable to manipulation by automated software.

ACCESSIBILITY
Because CAPTCHAs rely on visual perception, users unable to view a CAPTCHA (for example, due to a disability or because it is difficult to read) will be unable to perform the task protected by a CAPTCHA. Therefore, sites implementing CAPTCHAs may provide an audio version of the CAPTCHA in addition to the visual method. The official CAPTCHA site recommends providing an audio CAPTCHA for accessibility reasons. This combination represents the most accessible CAPTCHA currently known to exist, but it is far from universally adopted, with most websites offering only the visual CAPTCHA, with or without providing the option of generating a new image if one is too difficult to read.

Attempts at more accessible CAPTCHAs
Even an audio and visual CAPTCHA will require manual intervention for some users, such as those who have visual disabilities and also are deaf. There have been various attempts at creating CAPTCHAs that are more accessible. Attempts include the use of JavaScript, mathematical questions (“what is 1+1”), or “common sense” questions (“what color is the sky on a clear day”). However they do not meet both the criteria of being able to be automatically generated and not relying on the type of CAPTCHA being new to the attacker.

CIRCUMVENTION
There are a few approaches to defeating CAPTCHAs:

  • exploiting bugs in the implementation that allow the attacker to completely bypass the CAPTCHA,
  • improving character recognition software, or
  • using cheap human labor to process the tests.

Insecure implementation
Like any security system, design flaws in a system implementation can prevent the theoretical security from being realized. Many CAPTCHA implementations, especially those which have not been designed and reviewed by experts in the fields of security, are prone to common attacks.

Some CAPTCHA protection systems can be bypassed without using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) simply by re-using the session ID of a known CAPTCHA image. A correctly designed CAPTCHA does not allow multiple solution attempts at one CAPTCHA. This prevents the reuse of a correct CAPTCHA solution or making a second guess after an incorrect OCR attempt. Other CAPTCHA implementations use a hash (such as an MD5 hash) of the solution as a key passed to the client to validate the CAPTCHA. Often the CAPTCHA is of small enough size that this hash could be cracked. Further, the hash could assist an OCR based attempt. A more secure scheme would use an HMAC. Finally, some implementations use only a small fixed pool of CAPTCHA images. Eventually, when enough CAPTCHA image solutions have been collected by an attacker over a period of time, the CAPTCHA can be broken by simply looking up solutions in a table, based on a hash of the challenge image.

Computer character recognition
A number of research projects have attempted (often with success) to beat visual CAPTCHAs by creating programs that contain the following functionality:

  1. Pre-processing: Removal of background clutter and noise.
  2. Segmentation: Splitting the image into regions which each contain a single character.
  3. Classification: Identifying the character in each region.

These steps are easy tasks for computers. The only step where humans still outperform computers is segmentation. If the background clutter consists of shapes similar to letter shapes, and the letters are connected by this clutter, the segmentation becomes nearly impossible with current software. Hence, an effective CAPTCHA should focus on the segmentation.

Several research projects have broken real world CAPTCHAs, including one of Yahoo’s early CAPTCHAs called “EZ-Gimpy” and the CAPTCHA used by popular sites such as PayPal, LiveJournal, phpBB, and other open source solutions. In January 2008 Network Security Research released their program for automated Yahoo! CAPTCHA recognition. Windows Live Hotmail and Gmail, the other two major free email providers, were cracked shortly after.

In February 2008 it was reported that spammers had achieved a success rate of 30% to 35%, using a bot, in responding to CAPTCHAs for Microsoft’s Live Mail service and a success rate of 20% against Google’s Gmail CAPTCHA. A Newcastle University research team has defeated the segmentation part of Microsoft’s CAPTCHA with a 90% success rate, and claim that this could lead to a complete crack with a greater than 60% rate.

Human solvers
CAPTCHA is vulnerable to a relay attack that uses humans to solve the puzzles. One approach involves relaying the puzzles to a group of human operators who can solve CAPTCHAs. In this scheme, a computer fills out a form and when it reaches a CAPTCHA, it gives the CAPTCHA to the human operator to solve.

Spammers pay about $0.80 to $1.20 for each 1,000 solved captchas to companies employing human solvers in India, Bangladesh, and China.

Another approach involves copying the CAPTCHA images and using them as CAPTCHAs for a high-traffic site owned by the attacker. With enough traffic, the attacker can get a solution to the CAPTCHA puzzle in time to relay it back to the target site. In October 2007, a piece of malware appeared in the wild which enticed users to solve CAPTCHAs in order to see progressively further into a series of striptease images. A more recent view is that this is unlikely to work due to unavailability of high-traffic sites and competition by similar sites.

These methods have been used by spammers to set up thousands of accounts on free email services such as Gmail and Yahoo!. Since Gmail and Yahoo! are unlikely to be blacklisted by anti-spam systems, spam sent through these compromised accounts is less likely to be blocked.

LEGAL CONCERNS
The circumvention of CAPTCHAs may violate the anti-circumvention clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the United States. In 2007, Ticketmaster sued software maker RMG Technologies for its product which circumvented the ticket seller’s CAPTCHAs on the basis that it violated the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA. In October 2007, an injunction was issued stating that Ticketmaster would likely succeed in making its case. In June 2008, Ticketmaster filed for Default Judgment against RMG. The Court granted Ticketmaster the Default and entered an $18.2M judgment in favor of Ticketmaster.

IMAGE-RECOGNITION CAPTCHAs
Some researchers promote image recognition CAPTCHAs as a possible alternative for text-based CAPTCHAs. To date, only RapidShare, Linux Mint and Ubuntu have made use of an image based CAPTCHA. Many amateur users of the phpBB forum software (which has suffered greatly from spam) have implemented an open source image recognition CAPTCHA system in the form of an addon called KittenAuth which in its default form presents a question requiring the user to select a stated type of animal from an array of thumbnail images of assorted animals. The images (and the challenge questions) can be customized, for example to present questions and images which would be easily answered by the forum’s target userbase. Furthermore, for a time, RapidShare free users had to get past a CAPTCHA where you had to only enter letters attached to a cat, while others were attached to dogs. This was later removed because (legitimate) users had trouble entering the correct letters.

Image recognition CAPTCHAs face many potential problems which have not been fully studied. It is difficult for a small site to acquire a large dictionary of images which an attacker does not have access to and without a means of automatically acquiring new labelled images, an image based challenge does not meet the definition of a CAPTCHA. KittenAuth, by default, only had 42 images in its database. Microsoft’s “Asirra,” which it is providing as a free web service, attempts to address this by means of Microsoft Research’s partnership with Petfinder.com, which has provided it with more than three million images of cats and dogs, classified by people at thousands of US animal shelters. Researchers claim to have written a program that can break the Microsoft Asirra CAPTCHA.

Human solvers are a potential weakness for strategies such as Asirra. If the database of cat and dog photos can be downloaded, then paying workers $0.01 to classify each photo as either a dog or a cat means that almost the entire database of photos can be deciphered for $30,000. Photos that are subsequently added to the Asirra database are then a relatively small data set that can be classified as they first appear. Causing minor changes to images each time they appear will not prevent a computer from recognizing a repeated image as there are robust image comparator functions (e.g., image hashes, color histograms) that are insensitive to many simple image distortions. Warping an image sufficiently to fool a computer will likely also be troublesome to a human.

Researchers at Google used image orientation and collaborative filtering as a CAPTCHA. Generally speaking, people know what “up” is but computers have a difficult time for a broad range of images. Images were pre-screened to be determined to be difficult to detect up (e.g. no skies, no faces, no text). Images were also collaboratively filtered by showing a “candidate” image along with good images for the person to rotate. If there was a large variance in answers for the candidate image, it was deemed too hard for people as well and discarded. Currently, CAPTCHA creators recommend use of reCAPTCHA as the official implementation. In September 2009, Google acquired reCAPTCHA to aid their book digitization efforts.

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I just hope that this information will be very useful for everyone who use CAPTCHA. Also I will be writing about implementing CAPTCHA in asp.net very shortly.

REFERENCES
www.wikipedia.com


I had written in my last post about MJHT going to take a leap of 3 years. I had the news that Uday and Benji will not be part of the show. But now it has been confirmed that even Diya will not be a part of the show. Also shocking is that one of the four main characters will be shown dead. So in a way they have removed more than half of their lead cast. They are also planning to get in new faces into the show, I guess to bring freshness to the show. Hopefully these steps do not backfire as they did in the case of Dill Mill Gayye. There also similar steps were taken between season 1 and 2. And it badly backfired, and so they had to bring their two leads back into the show. Here is the complete article.

Star One’s Miley Jab Hum Tum will go in for a major revamp, with the introduction of few new characters…

Star One’s Miley Jab Hum Tum, produced by Sunshine Productions and Endemol will be going in for a major revamp with some fresh new characters entering the show. The show will have a new set of students, and along with it the old popular faces will be seen in a new avatar.

The show will also complete a milestone of 400 episodes on May 26th, and the big makeover has been planned to kick start around this time!!

According to our source, “Rapid changes in story line will be aired from May 24th to May 31st, and in the first week of June, a leap will be shown with which the story line will go ahead in time, by three years. This will be called the Season 2 of Miley Jab Hum Tum”.

However, very popular characters of Season One, Uday, Benji and Dia played by Jas Karan Singh, Abhishek Sharma
As per our source, “The trio have been informed that they will no longer be part of the show. They will be shooting for the show for another one week or so”.

Jas Karan Singh confirmed the news and said, “Yes, Uday will not be seen in Season 2”.

Naveena Bole too confirmed that she will not be part of the show. Abhishek Sharma was unavailable for comments.

A little birdie from the sets tells us, “The makeover will also be in terms of the sets. A new set is being erected for the Season 2. The old actors will be seen in new avatars, and their costume would also see a sea-change”.
When contacted, Producer Sudhir Sharma confirmed the revamp and said, “Yes, Miley Jab Hum Tum is going for a major revamp. Few new characters will be introduced. We will see fresh and exciting story lines, and the viewers will surely not be disappointed”.

As per our source, “None of the new characters have been finalized, and auditions for the same are going on. But the biggest shocker for the audience will be that, one amongst the four principal characters, Mayank (Arjun Bijlani), Nupur (Rati Pandey), Samrat (Mohit Sehgal) and Gunjan (Sanaya Irani) will be shown as dead at the end of Season One. And this will change the lives of the other three forever. However, the character who will be killed has not been decided yet”.”

Well I have anyways stopped watching both the shows, but I try to keep myself updated by reading on what is happening around. I just hope that the season 2 works well; maybe I will give it a try to the show once again when the season 2 starts.


Now it is heard that Miley Jab Hum Tum will go the Dill Mill Gayye way, and take a three year leap. Another thing that MJHT follows is that it too removes it’s characters from the first season. Jas Karan (Uday) and Abhishek (Benji) have to bear the brunt of having been dropped from the show. Here is the main article.

“Miley Jab Hum Tum one of the most popular serials on air currently is in for a change. The makers have decided to go in for a season 2 for this youth show. In view of this change, two of the most popular actors Jas Karan (Uday) and Abhishek (Benji) have been dropped from the second season.

Sources have informed TellyChakkar that there will be a major twist in the story line. One of the popular characters amongst the four (Mayank, Nupur, Gunjan & Samrat) will die in an accident followed by a three-year leap in the serial. If sources are to be trusted, this leap is going to happen in the next couple of weeks.

If this was shocking enough, think of how to react to a Miley Jab Hum Tum sans Jas Karan and Abhishek Sharma. Their characters Uday and Benji are no longer there in the storyline for the second season.

Sources inform us that both the actors were told of the development and the fact that this was a creative team’s decision yesterday.

Adds a hurt Jas Karan, “This is a very unfortunate development. We had been hearing about a leap in the show and thought that there would be newer characters along with us. I never really thought of being axed in season 2.” The popular actor still cannot believe what happened and says, “They tried the same in Dill Mill Gaye but had to bring back Karan Singh Grover on popular demand. I hope the creative team here has a plan B in case the new season 2 plan does not work. Whatever it is, I wish the team all the very best.”

While Abhishek confirmed the news that he will not be there in the second season of Miley Jab Hum Tum, he refused to comment any further.

However, the mystery of who is going to die in season 2 still continues!

The current track focuses on Mayank and Nupur’s misunderstandings, while Samrat and Gunjan have kissed and made up!”

Well I can only say is that hopefully Miley Jab Hum Tum does not fall apart as Dill Mill Gayye did. After all this has happened, one can only say that probably instead of going to the next season, they should shut down their shows and allow new ones to enter. With the season 2 no one is bringing anything new in fact they are losing almost everything.


Google comes out with another of it’s new gadget, this time a TV, called as Google TV. What I would just say is watch out for Google TV. It is said to be a combination of TV, Internet and Search – endless possibilities. Here is the article of it’s launch from the official blog site. Also I really liked the heading of the article “TV meets web. Web meets TV.”

Announcing Google TV: TV meets web. Web meets TV.
If there’s one entertainment device that people know and love, it’s the television. In fact, 4 billion people across the world watch TV and the average American spends five hours per day in front of one*. Recently, however, an increasing amount of our entertainment experience is coming from our phones and computers. One reason is that these devices have something that the TV lacks: the web. With the web, finding and accessing interesting content is fast and often as easy as a search. But the web still lacks many of the great features and the high-quality viewing experience that the TV offers.

So that got us thinking…what if we helped people experience the best of TV and the best of the web in one seamless experience? Imagine turning on the TV and getting all the channels and shows you normally watch and all of the websites you browse all day — including your favorite video, music and photo sites. We’re excited to announce that we’ve done just that.
Google TV is a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet. With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.

Google TV uses search to give you an easy and fast way to navigate to television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies. For example, already know the channel or program you want to watch? Just type in the name and you’re there. Want to check out that funny YouTube video on your 48” flat screen? It’s just a quick search away. If you know what you want to watch, but you’re not sure where to find it, just type in what you’re looking for and Google TV will help you find it on the web or on one of your many TV channels. If you’d rather browse than search, you can use your standard program guide, your DVR or the Google TV home screen, which provides quick access to all of your favorite entertainment so you’re always within reach of the content you love most.

Because Google TV is built on open platforms like Android and Google Chrome, these features are just a fraction of what Google TV can do. In our announcement today at Google I/O, we challenged web developers to start coming up with the next great web and Android apps designed specifically for the TV experience. Developers can start optimizing their websites for Google TV today. Soon after launch, we’ll release the Google TV SDK and web APIs for TV so that developers can build even richer applications and distribute them through Android Market. We’ve already started building strategic alliances with a number of companies — like Jinni.com and Rovi — at the leading edge of innovation in TV technology. Jinni.com is a next-generation TV application working to provide semantic search, personalized recommendation and social features for Google TV across all sources of premium content available to the user. Rovi is one of the world’s leading guide applications. We’re looking forward to seeing all of the ways developers will use this new platform.

We’re working together with Sony and Logitech to put Google TV inside of televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes. These devices will go on sale this fall, and will be available at Best Buy stores nationwide. You can sign up here to get updates on Google TV availability.

This is an incredibly exciting time – for TV watchers, for developers and for the entire TV ecosystem. By giving people the power to experience what they love on TV and on the web on a single screen, Google TV turns the living room into a new platform for innovation. We’re excited about what’s coming. We hope you are too.”

Well reading to this, I feel that this is not going to be any far from are regular TV.


Pakistan has banned Twitter, Wikipedia, and Flickr as well. Earlier I had updated about Facebook and Youtube. Well these are the latest additions to the list. Here is the article:

“PTA has blocked over 1000 Websites and Twitter is the most recent one to join the list. Earlier as we reported Facebook is banned in Pakistan Since 18th May and further more Youtube, Wikipedia, and Flickr are some of the Important Websites which access has been restricted in the country. We will update this post as more details become available to us.

Websites have never been blocked in such a large number before. Govt is just cracking down on any website that it finds promoting the Draw Muhammad Day this way or the other. Even the Websites promoting Facebook Proxies have been blocked too.

I managed to logon on to Twitter through iPhone and first thing I wanted to check was If there is any trending Topic which could have led to this blockage in the country, However there is not any.

Twitter is not yet fully restricted. Some users still can access it on different ISP than PTCL DSL. (Govt owned), the Ban usually takes effect on PTCL users first. It’s only matter of time before Twitter could be blocked on other ISPs too.”

Pakistan block Youtube as well!

Posted: May 20, 2010 by Shishir Gupta in Computer Articles, Technologies
Tags: , ,

Yesterday Pakistan court ordered to block the Facebook site till the 31st of May, and now they have done that with the Youtube as well. Here is the complete article.

“Many Pakistanis are angry at the ‘Draw Muhammad’ competition. Pakistan has blocked the popular video sharing website YouTube because of its “growing sacrilegious content”.

Access to the social network Facebook has also been barred as part of a crackdown on websites seen to be hosting un-Islamic content.

On Wednesday a Pakistani court ordered Facebook to be blocked because of a page inviting people to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad.

Some Wikipedia pages are also now being restricted, latest reports say.

Correspondents say it remains to be seen how successful the new bans will be in Pakistan and whether citizens find a way round them.

Because YouTube is a platform for free expression of all sorts, we take great care when we enforce our policies.

YouTube statement Pakistanis divided over bans

YouTube says it is “looking into the matter and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible”. The site was briefly blocked in Pakistan in 2008 – ostensibly for carrying material deemed offensive to Muslims.

Facebook said on Wednesday that the content did not violate its terms.

There have been protests in several Pakistani cities against the Facebook competition.
‘Derogatory material’

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said it had ordered internet service providers to “completely shut down” YouTube and prevent Facebook from being viewed within Pakistan.

It said the move came only after “all possible avenues” within its jurisdiction had been used.

Zoe Kleinman Technology reporter, BBC News

Countries, companies and even individuals can easily block various websites if they choose.

China has a notorious firewall in place to control internet activity and many Western organisations choose to block access to social networks in the office.

In this case, Pakistan will probably have instructed its internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent any pages containing the phrase “youtube.com” in the address from loading on web browsers.

There are various ways of implementing a block and sometimes it can go awry – Pakistan accidentally pulled YouTube offline around the world in 2008 when it tried to implement an internal ban by “hijacking” the youtube.com address in order to re-direct links to a different page.
There are also ways to duck underneath a ban – most commonly by accessing the internet via a “proxy” server based abroad. This can fool an ISP into thinking a computer is actually based in another country and therefore not subject to the ban.

“Before shutting down (YouTube), we did try just to block particular URLs or links, and access to 450 links on the internet were stopped,” said PTA spokesman Khurram Ali Mehran.

“But the blasphemous content kept appearing so we ordered a total shut down.”

One of the links blocked is to a BBC News website article about Pakistani soldiers apparently beating Taliban suspects in a video posted on Facebook.

A YouTube spokesperson said: “YouTube offers citizens the world over a vital window on cultures and societies and we believe people should not be denied access to information via video.

“Because YouTube is a platform for free expression of all sorts, we take great care when we enforce our policies. Content that violates our guidelines is removed as soon as we become aware of it.”

The controversy began with the Facebook feature called “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”. Depictions of the Prophet are forbidden in Islam.

A message on the item’s information page said it was not “trying to slander the average Muslim”.

“We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Muhammad depictions that we’re not afraid of them.”

The page contains drawings and caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and characters from other religions, including Hinduism and Christianity.

“Such malicious and insulting attacks hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world and cannot be accepted under the garb of freedom of expression,” Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said about the page.

Facebook said in a statement that it would take action if any content “becomes an attack on anyone, including Muslim people”, but that in this case its policies were not violated.

“Facebook values free speech and enables people to express their feelings about a multitude of topics, even some that others may find distasteful or ignorant,” the statement said.

A hotline has been set up in Pakistan, asking members of the public to phone in if they see offensive material anywhere.

Islamic parties say they are planning nationwide protests in Pakistan.

Five people were killed in the country in 2006 during violent demonstrations following publication of Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

BBC website readers have been telling us what they think of the ban. Here is a selection of their comments.

I am a university student and use Facebook and Youtube as a way of interacting and staying in touch with friends. But all students are willing to give up this source of entertainment for the sake of principles.
– Zahara Sohail Khan from Lahore, Pakistan

The strict policies of Facebook regarding racism and harassment are only for individual users. Now a page on Facebook is harassing billions of Muslims world-over and Facebook’s management is not bothered. What hypocrisy.
– Maroof from Lahore, Pakistan

I am a Muslim girl, just a normal student. When my religion is insulted, it is me who is insulted. I can live without Facebook but I definitely cannot live in humiliation. I am with my country on this and if Facebook does not take action on this, then ban or no ban, I would never go back to it anyway.
– Maham Tanveer from Rawalpindi, Pakistan

As a Muslim growing up in America, I am frustrated that neither side takes the time to understand the other. For Muslims, directly insulting the sacred is beyond petty ‘freedom of speech’ privileges we mortals have. In the West, people think arrogantly that they are free to say anything without limits whatsoever, no matter how ridiculous or insulting.
– Qureshi from Florida, USA

I am now living in Karachi, Pakistan, and I never thought I’d have to endure blocks on websites ever again after I moved from Saudi Arabia. Even though I have found a way to access blocked websites, I can’t believe the government would put a ban on them.
– Omar from Saudi Arabia

I did use Youtube and Facebook but I have removed my accounts from both sites and have communicated this to all my family and friends who have been using them.
– Hassan Mehmood from Pakistan

This is ridiculous. I find these to be ill-advised measures. Blocking websites in countries does not prevent the content from existing in the first place. I think the Pakistani government should move to ban pornography (which is still easily available) before they ban Facebook and YouTube which are obviously on the better side of human development.
– Myra from Karachi, Pakistan

This has been outrageous and infuriating. I feel disconnected from the world, from my friends, and from the easiest modes of expression available today.
– Uzma from Lahore, Pakistan

It is not only Facebook and YouTube which have been blocked in Pakistan, but parts of the BBC website too, for example the link given below, many stories about Pakistan and the entire South-East Asia section. In fact, I am forced to use a proxy server just to post this comment. As a Pakistani, I feel very frustrated and angry about this crackdown on the internet and can only hope that this is temporary.
– Schyan Zafar from Pakistan”

Well I must say, Pakistan is taking big steps.

Team India’s 2010 Schedule

Posted: May 20, 2010 by Shishir Gupta in Cricket, India
Tags: , , ,

India’s tour of Zimbabwe 2010

Tri-Series(Zimbabwe,Sri Lanka, India)
Fri May 28
13:00 IST: Zimbabwe v India
Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo

Sun May 30
13:00 IST: India v Sri Lanka
Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo

Thu Jun 3
13:00 IST: Zimbabwe v India
Harare Sports Club

Sat Jun 5
13:00 IST: India v Sri Lanka
Harare Sports Club

T20 INTERNATIONALS

Sat Jun 12
13:30 IST: 1st T20I – Zimbabwe v India (time TBC)
Harare Sports Club

Sun Jun 13
13:30 IST: Zimbabwe v India (time TBC)
Harare Sports Club

Asia Cup

Wed Jun 16
14:30 IST: Bangladesh v India
Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Sat Jun 19
14:30 IST: India v Pakistan
Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Tue Jun 22
14:30 IST: Sri Lanka v India
Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Sri Lanka Test Match Series

Sat Jul 10 – Wed Jul 14
10:00 IST: 1st Test – Sri Lanka v India
Galle International Stadium

Sun Jul 18 – Thu Jul 22
10:00 IST: 2nd Test – Sri Lanka v India
P Sara Oval, Colombo

Mon Jul 26 – Fri Jul 30
10:00 IST: 3rd Test – Sri Lanka v India
Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Tri-Series(Sri Lanka, New Zealand, India)

Mon Aug 2
10:00 IST: India v New Zealand
Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Sat Aug 7
10:00 IST: Sri Lanka v India
Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo

Wed Aug 11
10:00 IST: India v New Zealand
Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo

Fri Aug 13
10:00 IST: Sri Lanka v India
Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo

September-December 2010(Dates not announced)

Australia’s tour of India
Seven-match One Day International Series

New Zealand’s tour of India
Three Test Matches
Five One Day Internationals

December-January 2011(Dates not announced)

India’s tour of South Africa
Three Test Matches
Five One Day Internationals


Well I was hearing the news for quite a long time, that Neha Julka aka Dr.Naina is planning to leave Dill Mill Gayye. Well now I have the confirmed news on it, and I am pasting that article below.

“Neha Juhlka who essayed the role of Naina in Star One’s Dill Mill Gaye will not be seen anymore..

Neha Jhulka who essayed the role of Naina in Star One’s Dill Mill Gaye gained a lot of fan following in a short span of time, and her chemistry with Yuvi aka Sehban Azim has been appreciated a lot.Neha has now decided to call it quits to Dill Mill Gaye, as she is not creatively satisfied.

When contacted, Neha told TellyBuzz, “Yes, it is true that I have opted out of Dill Mill Gaye. I have nothing against anyone, but it is just that I am not happy with the way my character has shaped up; I am not getting whatever was promised when I got into the show”.

“I would want to thank all my fans, for all the support and love that I have got. I understand that they have been desperate to get Armaan (Karan Singh Grover) and Riddhima (Jennifer Winget) back in the show, and I am happy that they have got their leads back. But I somewhere felt that the creative team could not do justice to my character. I had a word with them, and they were nice enough to let me off my contract”, informs Neha.

Neha wants to get back to her first love, i.e. modelling. “I want to take a break for at least 3-4 weeks, before I take up anything new. I want to take up some modelling assignments, also enjoy a vacation (smiles)”, she states.

Ask her whether she would get back to Dill Mill Gaye at any time, and she is quick to say, “I would love to. DMG is one serial that I have loved being part of, and if the creatives have something good planned in the future, I would surely come back”.

Naina will be shown moving out of Sanjeevani, while Yuvi will remain to be part of the show.”

I have stopped watching the show for sometime now. I was very disappointed with the things the way turned out. So it does not really matter a lot to me if she stays in the show or not. Though I must say that she not being on the show is a big loss. Anyways I wish Neha all the best for her future.

Facebook banned in Pakistan!!!

Posted: May 20, 2010 by Shishir Gupta in Computer Articles, Technologies
Tags: , ,

Facebook has been banned in Pakistan for a few days, saying that it is insulting Islam in a way. I am putting the post here from where I found this news.

“Facebook Banned In Pakistan Till May 31 For The Insult Over ISLAM. Today, Lahore High Court was approached by such a group and requested to ban the social networking site in Pakistan. And astoundingly the court decided to ban the site until 31st May. Sketches of Prophet Muhammad are considered an act of blasphemy by Muslims and this Facebook page has already incurred criticism from several Muslims. The fallout has already begun in Pakistan, where in the port city of Karachi protestors have taken to streets protesting the Facebook announcement.

On the other hand Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has also ordered to all the internet service providers in Pakistan to ban all those links on facebook that own blasphemous links in it. Sources inside PTA informed that they are also considering to block Facebook in Pakistan as it has involved in the propaganda against the Muslims in past as well.

The action by the enemies of Islam in which they called to observe May 20 as the “Day to draw Muhammad’s day” on facebook, has been widely blamed by the Muslims all around the world and to protest against this action the lovers of Holy Prophed (PBUH), decided to boycott Facebook on this day as the link has been promoted on Facebook. In this regards Pakistani social organisation, students and people from all walks of life have organised protest demonstrations against Facebook, in front of Press Club offices in all four provinces of the country.

The Pakistani users of Facebook have also been asked not to use facebook on May 20 and also deactivate their accounts to show their love towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH).”

Well I really do not know if this was correct, but definitely this is a very strong decision taken.


The T20 World Cup has ended and I must say England deserved to lift the trophy. They have never won a major trophy as yet, and so this victory will be something very special for them. Although one should spare a thought for Australia as they were undefeated in the tournament until the final, and not only undefeated they had played some great cricket till the final. The feeling of the only defeat coming in the tournament was in the final must have been a heart breaking one for them. They were completely outplayed by England on that day.

Australia entered the finals as an undefeated side. Though England did get a scare in the initial group stage when they came close to elimination, as they lost their first match to West Indies and drew the second match thanks to the rain (well they had not scored much in the first innings and could have easily lost the match to Ireland had it not been the rain). Though they also lost the first match due to the rain. They then won all there three super 8 matches to reach the semi-final stage.

They had a good team and it clicked together when they needed to do it the most. Pietersen has been their star player in the semi-finals and the finals. I must say it again that they really deserved to lift the trophy, something that has eluded them since they started to play cricket.

India did disappoint in the tournament but honestly I knew somewhere at the back of the heart that they could not win this. But having seen Pakistan make it to semis and India also were in a similar situation, I feel India had a chance if they had played a little better as they lost all the super eight matches, the last two being close finishes. India won only against Afghanistan and South Africa.

One good thing that happened this time around was that all the major teams made it to the next round, something that had not happened in the last two seasons.

The Final standings of the tournament are:
1. England – champions
2. Australia – runners up
3. Sri Lanka
4. Pakistan
5. New Zealand
6. South Africa
7. West Indies
8. India
9. Bangladesh
10. Zimbabwe
11. Afghanistan
12. Ireland

Coming towards the end I would like to congratulate the England team from my side for the great moment of glory. I hope the Indian team will rise to the occasion next time around. Although they might get a tough draw next time maybe grouped with champions England and Bangladesh, but I hope they will prove why they where the champions in the first edition. Also this time there is going to be the 50 over World Cup before the next T20 world Cup. Hopefully India will do much better there.

Rules To Live By…

Posted: May 18, 2010 by Shishir Gupta in Just For Fun

I am just putting up this post for fun. I recieved an email yesterday, and I found it really great. That is why I am putting it up here.


Once again India is out of the T20 World Cup, without qualifying for the semi-final stage. It has been very similar situation for India in the last two editions of the world cup. They entered the tournament in both the years after a very hectic IPL schedule. Last year India won both its matches in the group stage and then lost all its three matches in the super eight stage. Similarly India won both its matches in the group stage and lost all its three matches in the super eight stage in this edition. The only difference was that last year both the victories India got were against the minnows Bangladesh and Ireland. Well this year they did defeat South Africa, definitely a big team. They won the other match against minnows Afghanistan.

In both these years India has not been able to play its full strength side due to the injuries that have happened during the IPL. The players have had to undergo a lot of burnout in the 40 days before entering a major tournament like the World Cup. Even Indian captain blamed the IPL for its loss in the World Cup this time (something he had not done last year). Indian started off well defeating Afghanistan and South Africa, but then faltered against Australia, losing by a huge margin. After this they just could not recover at all. They lost to West Indies and in their final match against Sri Lanka, almost till the final ball of the match it looked that India could win, but they just gave up probably in the last over. They went into that match with a must win situation and on top of that win with a minimum of 20 runs. They started well scoring 90 runs in the first 10 overs but could not capitalize on the advantage and scored only 73 runs in the last 10 even though they had 9 wickets in hand half way through their innings. Then in the second innings while bowling they got off to a decent start picking a couple of wickets early, but again when it looked as if they would definitely win the match (not by the margin of 20 runs, but a win never the less), they lost the match. In the last four overs they had 51 runs to defend to win, and 31 runs to have a chance of qualifying for the semi-final spot. From that situation in the match having lost it would have been the most disappointing thing for the team.

If I come to take out some positives from the tournament, then definitely for one it would be the batting of Suresh Raina. He scored a hundred against South Africa, and also played well enough in the other matches. Rohit Sharma too played very well against Australia, but apart from these the batting performances have been disappointing. Especially the performance of Murali Vijay who was chosen in the team as a replacement for Virender Sehwag, just could not fire at all in the tournament. His only noticeable performance came against Afghanistan. Also Ravindra Jadeja was a big disappointment in the tournament. He did not bowl well, did not bat well (though he did not get many chances to bat), and the worst was dropped quite a few catches. His noticeable bowling performance also came against Afghanistan. The other positive in the bowling department can be the performance of R Vinay Kumar. He really played very well in his debut and the only match. He somewhat was the good only bowling performance in the match against Sri Lanka. Also the most disappointing thing was that once Sehwag was injured Murali Vijay was chosen and not Robin Uthappa. Personally I feel that the form in which Robin was in during the IPL, he would have been the best choice as a replacement for Sehwag.

Apart from this there was nothing to cheer about for the Indian fans. If I talk about the rest of the tournament, the best thing was that all the major teams advanced in the second stage of the tournament (something that had not happened in the earlier two editions). Also England and Australia have played some great cricket. Pakistan has been very lucky getting into the top four stage while the last team that is Sri Lanka also have played some very good cricket in the tournament. They have played very well and they only faltered once in the tournament against Australia. By reaching the semifinal spot one can say that Pakistan has been one of the most consistent sides in the T20 format. They were the runners-up in the first edition, champions in the second. And now they have a chance to defend their title once again. Sri Lanka too has made it to the semi-final stage for the second consecutive time. Australia had made it to the top four in the first edition, and now will be looking forward to win the tournament (this is the only major tournament they haven’t won as yet). Well this can be the first time when England can try and win the tournament (they haven’t ever won a major tournament).

Well I end this post wishing Indian team all the best in their future tournaments. Also they will have to be very careful as next year again there will be the cricket World Cup 2011 sometime very close to the IPL. Hopefully next year the team will come up with some better performances.