Wednesday, March 23, 2005

2nd Tsunami expected !

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INDONESIA and Germany signed an agreement this week to install a tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean. Though some of the pieces will be in place by October, it could turn out to be a race against time. The quake that caused last year's devastating tsunami has increased the stress on other faults nearby, according to a study published this week. This has left the region primed for one or two major earthquakes, and possibly another tsunami.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Anger over NY woman ‘imam’

March 20: She is being called the “shock Imam”, having stunned Muslim clergy across continents. In India, the shade of opinion over a Muslim woman leading namaz ranges from anger to flippancy to allegations of an American conspiracy.

On March 18, Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, led Friday prayers in New York, where about half of the estimated 100 people were men. Clad in a hijab (veil), she also read out the Khutba (the holy sermon).

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What do u think? Is this an American conspiracy or Just lack of understanding of Islam by Muslims!!! Comment.

Google Odyssey

Google, one of the most powerful search engines on the planet, has turned into a household name. Founded in September 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, this site covers eight billion web pages, which make it the largest search engine ever.

Google comes from the word "Googol," a mathematical term for one followed by 100 zeros. Certainly the site has lived up to its mathematical derivative, for it contains a wealth of data that has turned it into the most popular search engine of our time. However, Google isn't just a search engine.Innovators at Google devote 20 per cent of their week to work on new and ground-breaking ideas. As a result, the site is continuously upgraded with various, new features that make it all the more interesting.

For scholars

An novel approach for scientists and scholars, Google Scholars is specifically designed for academic literature, including theses, books, peer-reviewed papers, abstract and technical reports from all major areas of research.

Web quotes

A few search engines (like Teoma) already provide suggestions or recommendations for thewebsites that you look up. However, Google's WebQuotes does not let you indulge in guesswork about a site, that is, whether it will be worth visiting or not.By including comments from other websites alongside your results, you get to see what other people think of the site before you click on its link.


Donate your PC's spare resources for serious medical and scientific research like SETI@home, by downloading Google's Compute tool bar. You can receive data packets which can help you find a cure for Parkinson's disease or give scientists the power to simulate protein synthesis.

Desktop search

Desktop search offers you multi-purpose full text search of email, computer files and the web pages you may have viewed. After installation, Google's desktop search can look for your personal items through all file types in your PC. It can also search chats from AOL messengers. Currently, it is available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 updates and above.


Towards the end of 2004, Google announced that it would provide details of digital books, so that worldwide users can look them up through the search engine. Working in collaboration with Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, Oxford University and New York Public library, the Google print programme helps publishers put their books and information in a searchable mode.

Voice search

This is truly a remarkable service from Google, but is still in its pilot phase. If you are tired of hitting the same key over and over again for your search, this feature is definitely for you. Through this service, Google will provide a special phone number for your query. Just say your search words and a state-of-the-art programme will understand and turn it into typed keywords, just the way you would.

Personalized search

Google is well-known for its famous page-ranking technology. Personalized web searching could be an evolutionary step in this regard. The goal is to get tailored results according an individual's search. For instance, if a fishing enthusiast enters the word "salmon," his results will be ranked so that salmon fishing tips appear highest on the list. A cook will see recipes first, while biology students will get links to anatomical data. For this to work, you will have to fill out a detailed form, quite like your personalized online profile.


Google hopes to index information throughout the world. It is perhaps for this reason that the company introduced Google Video, an amazing service in which you can search and organize thousands of TV programmes every day. Google video helps you search for a growing archive of televised contents - everything, from cricket matches to documentaries and from talk shows to news.

Source: This post is modified from an article 'Googlism explained' by Suhail Yusuf published in Sci-Tech World of 19th March 2005.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Taking pictures with your mobile phone is no longer confined to what is visible through the view finder on the phone. Sony Ericsson’s new Bluetooth controlled camera, ROB-1, can move around freely, steered....

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The world's first hydrogen-powered motorbike has been launched in Britain.

Nick Talbot unveils the world's first purpose-built hydrogen-powered motorcycle /Empics

It can reach 50mph in 12 seconds, produces no emissions and is as quiet as a laptop computer - but that could be a problem.

Anti-noise campaigners welcomed the prospect of a motorbike without the usual earth-shattering roar.

But engineers are considering adding an artificial "vroom" as they were worried its silence might be dangerous.

Harry Bradbury, chief executive of manufacturer Intelligent Energy, said: "There has never been a silent bike produced, so no one is used to it.

"As it goes forward towards production, we're going to give thought to some light noise modulation."

He is planning to introduce an artificial engine noise which could be used in an urban setting to alert other road users but switched off in the countryside to allow for a peaceful ride.

The bike is powered by a briefcase-sized cell filled with high-pressure hydrogen, which needs to be topped up every 100 miles.

Courtesy: Ananova

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Think About It !

Our love is a measure of our faith. Is our love deep enough to recognize the One we cannot see but expressions of His love are scattered all around us? Or is it so shallow that it begins and ends only with humans who often abandon and hurt us in this world when we need them the most, whose love brings heartbreak and depression and who will be the first to leave us when we depart from this world?

I just got my telenor connection... having experienced all the four GSM networks of Pakistan, I think i'm in a situation where I can comment about their pricing and service.

Firstly, Mobilink (May Be Link) sent an SMS to all its custommers today stating

"Breaking News for jazz Customers: ALL calls to ALL networks, at local rates. Outgoing airtime for only Rs.3.5/min for ALL calls! Aur Sunao!"

And people thought, Mobilink was back in... It's simply a CHEAT! Do u see the word "AIRTIME"? So they dont have to give a * any more... No, not even the one which requires a 16X microscope... they are saying the truth, but a totally twisted... I tried to dial a Ufone number from my Mobilink number when the balance reached Rs.6.5, failed... Not enough balance...

3.5/min Airtime for ALL calls to ALL networks... What's Airtime? Simply the charges that you pay to speak from you phone, irrespective of where you called... It's simply for the communications from your mobile to the Mobilink server (or any other network) from where the call is re-routed through the existing PTCL infrastructure to your destination...

So do you pay only Rs.3.5/min when you call from a Mobilink Karachi number to a Lahore Land Line?

No you pay Rs.3.5/min airtime and around Rs.12/min for PTCL NWD charges from Karachi to Lahore... Mobilink just hides this, as does PaktelGSM...

I worked around with Telenor, and the case is different for Telenor Pakistan. It doesnt use the word "airtime" anywhere in its packages... After experimenting a few numbers, I have concluded that ALL calls to ALL networks (even long distance PTCL fixed lines) are for Rs.4.5/min from Telenor...

This 4.5/min also uncludes the 15% CED, NWD charges and the Air time...

Where as the rates advertised by
PaktelGSM as 3.75/min
MobilinkGSM as 3.5/min
UfoneGSM as 3/min , 1.5/min
are just AIRTIME charges...

so simply add 15% CED (tax) charges in the above mentioned rates to get the Paktel to Paktel, Mobilink to Mobilink and Ufone to Ufone Charges...

What about other networks? Besides Telenor, all other networks are also applicable for NWD/PTCL charges...

That means if you dial a local fixed line number from any of the above mentioned packages, simply add Rs.2 per 5 minutes in the above mentioned AirTime charges...
Similarly, if you make a Lahore PTCL call from a Karachi Mobilink, you will have to add Rs.12/min in addition to the above mentioned AirTime charges (Not in Telenor)

Telenor has exempted all this... In reality, PaktelGSM and MobilinkGSM have joined to Liar's club by deceiving its customers about AirTime and actual call charges...

My Choice: Telenor (if you have a plenty of long distance and other network calls)
Ufone: Girl-Friend, Boy Friend.... Both have Ufone, speak for Rs.1.5/min after 10pm
Mobilink: For people who just dial Mobilink numbers, (companies?)
PaktelGSM: Not recomended...


In less than an year of the contract for running yet another cellular network in Pakistan, the company has setup the basic infrastructure for the launch in three major cities of Pakistan. And just yesterday, the website of Telenor Pakistan also went online at Surprisingly, telenor didnt want to become an April fool and has unexpectedly launched its service in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The website claims that the service has already started in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad and would be started for the following destinations by 23rd March, 2005.

Karachi – Hyderabad Super Highway
Telenor, which will function under the area code "0345" has most of the pre-paid features you would normally get in a post-paid package. Besides the usual GPRS and MMS heavily advertised by Ufone, the norway based company has also added "Missed call alerts" to the pre-paid packages its to introduce. At the same time, Nokia in a press release has said that the 2.5G Telenor network would be upgraded to EDGE within an year of its launch (By 2006).
The following technical resources are worth a read for a detailed analysis of the Telenor setup in Pakistan
The best part about the recharging of your Telenor pre-paid accounts is "easyload". Telenor claims that you may load any amount of Money from "Rs. 10 to Rs. 1000"; not limiting you to by a minimum card of a particular amound (That explains why Mobilink brought in the Rupee 100 scratch card). Whats more?
All pre-paid telenor connections have an unlimitted account validity. So no more limits to recharge your account!

Still more? Yes, im surprised with the rates that Telenor has come up with.

PaktelGSM the LiarGSM
It certainly seemes much more than Ufone and PaktelGSM, but at the same time i'd like to point out a LiarGSM in this scenario. PaktelGSM has been advertising the 3.75/min anywhere in Pakistan air time... Hello!?! it says "AirTime". I fell for that! I was shocked to be charged Rs.50 for a 4 minute call to Lahore... I asked my friends, and the case was no different... So PaktelGSM/LiarGSM is actually 3.75/min+PTCL/Mobile Charges...

Calls to fixed line from to PaktelGSM are Rs. 3.75/min + PTCL charges (Around 5.75/min)
PaktelGSM to PaktelGSM are Rs. 3.75/min
PaktelGSM to Other Mobile networks are around Rs.7-8/min (See the catch?)
PaktelGSM to long distance PTCL Rs.3.75/min plus NWD charges (Rs.15/min to lahore!)

Nationwide Call Rate for Telenor Pakistan

To another Telenor number Rs. 3.99/min
To any other mobile number Rs. 3.99/min
To any PTCL number Rs. 3.99/min

Inclusive of Interconnect and long distance charges

All outgoing calls/airtime usage is subject to 15% CED only

It's good to know Telenor has made this clear on its website that 3.99/min includes long distance charges (Which PaktelGSM doesnt)


Outgoing Rs. 1.50
Incoming Free
Outgoing International Rs. 5.00


While roaming in the city you would get to see the skinny versions of base stations being setup by their technical teams and mobile base station vans. So what can the Pakistani citizens expect out of this new telecom company in Pakistan? Has it really brought in more jobs?

Nokia and Siemens was awarded the contract for setting up the entire infrastructure for Telenor, Pakistan. As the sales and franchise officers engulfed the Telenor head quarters, I was surprised that not a single technical job was anounced by Telenor in Pakistan.

  1. Mobilecomms Technology
  2. Telenor Specifications
  4. Telenor Pakistan

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Key To Success

If A equals success, then the formula is

_ A = _ X + _ Y + _ Z.

_ X is work.
_ Y is play.
_ Z is keep your mouth shut.

-- Albert Einstein

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Email Privacy in Pakistan

The pakistani government has finally accepted the fact that it scans and stores all emails sent to and from pakistan for security reasons. The statement was made in the National Assembly this friday upon answering a question repeatedly put up by Muhammad Pervez Malik; a member of the National Assembly.

The CIA in the US is known to be doing the same to keep an eye on any upcomming security threats. After reading an article on SecurityFocus regarding email scanning, I now agree to the fact that the job carries a cosiderablly high price tag. I wouldnt disagree to know that the price is something near to a $100 million a month.

Well incase you are wondering how secure your email really is, its "zero" secure under normal conditions of our country.

The most vulnerable email addresses to date are the local POP3 addresses. Some of the following accounts are the easiest to trace for the government (infact anyone even working there) as they do not have a proper IS Security policy in place. Dont be surprised if you see one of your emails in the hands of a sweeper who happens to work there.

MOST Vulnerable (Local POP3s/SMTPs)


Many of us usually prefer to send the larger emails quickly by switching to our local ISPs SMTP, which normally doesnt ask for authorization if you are their custommer. But is it really secure enough? There is a 99% chance that it goes to the government too if you use the local SMTP.

However only a fraction of the internet users of this country use these POP3/SMTP accounts. They are mostly seen used at places where people dont have a permanent connection to the internet. So Rural and sub-urban places of the country have the most usage for these accounts. And atleast I wouldnt expect Osama Bin Laden to hide in the Karachi Marriot hotel! He would rather, goto a low profile area.

Most of the remaining crowd would stick to their hotmails, yahoos, gmail or any other web based email systems... Is it secure?

Yahoo Mail

Now thats a 50-50... When logging in, Yahoo Mail gives you an option to keep your entire session in SSL (Secure Socket Layer). SSL makes your connection extremely SLOW because of the heavy encryption going on, however if you use this option, there is not chance of anyone being able to read whats being sent and received from your Yahoo Mail. Only you, God and Yahoo would know whats in. (I havent seen anyone using this option to date but still its available).


I havent used hotmail that much, the last time I logged in was In 10th grade (6 years ago). I didnt have a hotmail account since then. But I registered this one to see if its supports SSL. The funny part about hotmail is that it does secure your login procedure (that means General Musharaf would not get to know your password). But he can read your emails. As Hotmail only secures the connection when u login, after ur in, hotmail invites Baba Musharaf to read your mail (Yes a copy is cached with baba Musharaf) as the communication after login is not secured.


The case of GMAIL is the same as Hotmail. It secures your login procedure using SSL (baba musharaf cant read ur password). But he gets what he needs, since gmail also doesnt encrypt your inbox/emails after ur logged in. So again a copy is most probably cached at the National Security Storage centre (Whatever that maybe).

It is not that GMAIL, Hotmail and Yahoo cant secure their connection. It simply descreases the loading speed by upto 10 times! Imagine If it takes you 3 seconds to login, it would take 30 seconds with an SSL connection. Security concious people always use the "Secure logon" option of Yahoo! Mail. Gmail and Hotmail should also provide similar options

My Choice for email security

1. GMAIL POP3/SMTP (Check this) using ports 995 and 465/587 for POP3 and SMTP respectively
2. Yahoo Mail with SSL login (Click Secure before login)

Yes, thats GMAIL POP3/SMTP on number one. The GMAIL's POP3/SMTP mail is the most secure email ive seen to date (unlike its web based counterpart). The GMAIL POP3/SMTP uses SSL even on POP3/SMTP connections and gives you the ease to manage your mail from Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook, Incredimail or any other client...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Blog is Underconstruction!

These are the initail days of my blogging & I am learning how to blog.
You will soon be able to find some unique content on my blog.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Today is the Birth Day of my first ever blog!
This is also the Birth Day of my first ever post!