Author: nocturnalknight

Trouble due to Twitting!!

Trouble due to Twitting!!

We’ve all had that moment — you’re in an emotional state, and if you could shout from a rooftop, you probably would. The problem with social media such as Twitter is that it gives you the outlet to speak before you think, especially when you have your cell phone handy.

A few weeks ago, James Andrews was on his way to facilitate a workshop on social media at a large client’s headquarters; he posted on Twitter: True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say “I would die if I had to live here!” Fairly innocuous, I would have thought, however it drew the attention of one of the client’s employees, who decided to write a lengthy email response and copy their management in on the reaction.

It was quickly picked up on blogs where the situation escalated out of control. It seems FedEx (the client) and most of Memphis were offended, and the attention it gained spiralled towards madness.

James responded shortly after, explaining how it came out differently to what he intended, however the perceived damage was done. The moral we can all learn here is to be acutely aware of how your status messages or tweets may sound, especially when traveling to a client’s office. However, if you’d like to ramp up your followers you may want to consider such a stunt — this graph shows that James had a surge of followers after that infamous tweet.

Six ways IT consultants can build their reputation

Six ways IT consultants can build their reputation

You may be one of the best IT consultants in town, but if no one knows about you, it’s impossible to ever be successful. So how exactly do you build a reputation?

The obvious (and most simplistic) answer is to do good work. You should also: be honest and responsible; solve actual problems instead of imagined ones; look out for your client’s best interests; and complete each job. Every time you follow these basic tenets of being a good IT consultant, your reputation improves.

As the Billie Holiday song “God Bless The Child” goes, them that’s got shall get — but what if you’re one of them that’s not? Here are six strategies that can give your IT consulting career a leg up.
#1: Word of mouth

Most of my clients learned about me by word of mouth; this is the oldest and, in my opinion, the most effective channel. Think about all the people who know about your abilities: former employers, former coworkers, classmates from college, and current and former clients. Ask some of them if they’ll give you a recommendation, or if they know anyone who is looking for an IT consultant. (Do not cold call or spam people you don’t know, or send uninvited copies of your resume without a recommendation from someone the client already knows. It’s a waste of time.)
#2: Specialize

A number of readers of the TechRepublic IT Consultant blog consider themselves “jacks-of-all-trades,” but the continuation of that saying holds a lot of truth: “master of none.” You may cultivate a reputation for being the go-to guy or gal to fix any problem that comes up, but you can only take that role so far. To really drive up your demand, become an expert in one specific area. You should select a topic/field that you’re passionate about because you need to immerse yourself in it day and night. Ideally, you want to know practically everything you can about the topic and be able to contribute your innovations, while maintaining a good general knowledge of all related fields.
#3: Web site

You must have an Internet presence — you’re in IT for crying out loud. When potential clients search online to find authoritative help, you want them to be able to find you. Web sites that are updated frequently (such as blogs) tend to get a better search engine ranking. Blogs are great for another reason: You can establish a level of authority on a specific topic by researching and frequently writing about it. If people who are considered authorities in your field start linking to you, this enhances your authority.
#4: Conversation

Read blogs and forums that discuss your specialty (and related topics) and comment frequently. Link to them from your blog, and make sure you pingback or trackback so that your thoughts get included in the conversation. The more you think about and discuss your specialty with others in the field, you’ll build a better reputation — and rightly so, because you will have learned a lot in the process.
#5: Free samples

If you really want to convince people of your worth, post examples of your work on your Web site. This doesn’t apply very well to networking or security consultants, but it really works for software. If people learn something from your site, and they use it, like it, and marvel at the simple elegance of its design, they’ll probably want to hire you for related projects in the future.
#6: Insider

The ultimate level of reputation you can achieve is to be the person who helped create the technology the client wants to use. While this may disqualify some potential clients because they can’t afford your price, it’s a nice problem to have. Believe me, there will be plenty of other clients who can’t get enough of you. Insider status used to be extremely difficult to achieve in packaged software — it still is for proprietary software, where you basically have to be an employee or a long-term contractor to gain that experience. If you get involved in an open-source project, you can easily become an insider on one of the products that drive development these days. Pick your product well, though, because you’ll be spending a lot of time working with it.

Googlers' bonus is a mobile phone?!

Googlers' bonus is a mobile phone?!

Well, I was little busy with real world issues and cannot blog for some time now, to add insult to the injury, My hosting company made a terrible mistake and misplaced my domain renewal agreement and as a result the site was offline for more than 5 days!!

I am some pro!

Ok back to the matter at hand, I was mindlessly going thru the cnet RSS feed(or was it atom??) and came across this piece An end to the Google bonus fairytale?

Gosh, I’ve known friends in google India make more than $5000 in annual bonus, now people working in BAy area to get a mobile phone for Bonus…

That will be some day, huh…This surely is an economic meltdown…

The article follows.

For Googlers eagerly awaiting their famous holiday bonuses, be warned: Santa is tightening his belt too.

Google employees, some of whom have reportedly grown used to fairytale-like cash bonuses on the north side of $20,000, apparently got coal in their stockings this year. Certainly that’s the takeaway for gossip blog Valleywag, which in a headline likened this year’s bonus to “dogfood”–a euphemism for in-house testing–because Google would like some feedback.

So how bad was it? Well, Google gave its employees a smartphone. Yep, can you believe it? Man, if I had a nickel for all the years my bosses gave me a smartphone…

But I digress. Back to Google’s gift. Apparently, Valleywag took issue with Google giving its employees an Android–its own phone! Well, actually, the memo that Valleywag reprinted referred to it as a “Dream phone.” It’s basically the T-Mobile G1 that retails for $179.99, but it’s been customized to “work anywhere in the world” on the carrier of their choice. (Google estimates its value at $400.)

The nerve!

Here, in the real world, while many in the tech industry have received pink slips, Google employees are receiving a gift–oh, yeah, it is a gift–that many people would love to find under their trees. What a bummer, man. As far as the dogfooding goes, I am guessing that this company that has a reputation for being astoundingly generous when economic realities were more positive isn’t going to can employees for not sending back the questionnaire.

Now, back to the topic of Santa…

Mumbai under attack, 104 killed, 600+ injured

Mumbai under attack, 104 killed, 600+ injured

For this one time I wish to post this (my heart’s content) here as opposed to my personal blog…..

Yesterday night, during a regular news at 10 session a small scroll began as it sad “Bomb blasts in Mumbai CST” , dismissing it to be a low intensity blast, I was surfing channels and was shocked beyond words to see live images of gore and horror, as chaos reigned and both Oberai and Taj Mahal hotel is telecasted with commotion of gun-fires and grenade hurlings I’ve never expected to see in real life. (rather than when Arnold was part of it in some hi-budget Hollywood Flick)

Now, The details are clear(to a degree)

* – Terrorists Striked in 4 different places in a coordinated attack this country has ever witnessed.

* – The beating breast of Mumbai is the financal district surrounding Oberai hotels, nearly 40 hostages are there with scores of them being British and American citizens.

* – The intensity & audacity of the attack is so giant that we should really tell the establishment was caught in unawares…

* – There were two boats ladden with explosives near the Gateway of India and was seized and deactivated in time.

* – Seems only seems that the terrorists have abducted some western nationals along with Indian Citizens..

The Saddest part of the story is , India Today lost 3 of her Heroes in the action and they were caught unprepared and Under-equipped , The famed Head of The Anti Terrorism Squad Hemant Karkarae and ACP of Mumbai were killed when their command vehicle was entering the Hotel..

They died as they lived with a carbine in hand and a bullet in chest…and once this carnage is over, theres’ going to be a hell lot of an investigation to conduct.

Right now, Entire Indian Security establishment has been mooted, INclding The NSG, ATS, Army commandos and the CRPF ….

More chaos and more confusion …My hope and Yes PRAYERS are with those holed up in those places and the more so with e brave soles who endures the wrath and trying thier bet to end this nightmare…

Wanted: Old-school IT guy to save NASA moonbase

Wanted: Old-school IT guy to save NASA moonbase

I know i get a more than cursory look from technocrats from around the world, but see if this is useful/infomative for you…

For those who hadn’t heard, NASA is gearing up to build a permanent moonbase in the next decade or so — if it can find the right legacy hard drive expert to save their bacon. Seriously.

Here’s how it breaks down: NASA learned the hard way during Apollo that moon dust is insanely abrasive, sort of like aerosol sandpaper. Learning how to deal with moon dust is going to be a serious issue for moonbase planners. Fortunately, NASA accrued all kinds of moon dust data during the 1970s.

Unfortunately, NASA “misplaced” all its moon dust data tapes, mostly because it never thought they’d come in handy. Since NASA lost the originals — and thus never translated the moon dust data to modern media — and all it has left are backups of the original data tapes, which can only be read by a vintage IBM 729 mark 5 tape drive. For those scoring at home, IBM stopped making the 729 in the 1960s. Thankfully, an Australian computer museum had one on mothballs, but it isn’t functional.

Thus, if any of you old-school tech heads has the kung fu to get a 40 years out-of-date tape drive running, NASA has a job for you. It’s sort of like the plot of Space Cowboys, only nerdier. And they say old IT guys have nothing to contribute.

YouTube's 75 Percent Solution- Closing Down Illegal Videos

YouTube's 75 Percent Solution- Closing Down Illegal Videos

“Two years ago, illegal use of professionally created video was rampant on the Web, particularly on video sharing sites such as YouTube. Among those most visibly undercut were NBC Universal and Viacom, which filed a $1 billion suit against YouTube parent Google to stop illicit publishing of their content.”

Now, a year after YouTube introduced its Video Identification tool to stem misuse, there seems to be a considerable decrease in the illicit videos online.

For more details, head to TechRepublic and see & hear Rick Cotton, the general counsel for NBC, on how automated systems for identifying and protecting professionally produced content are working, particularly at YouTube.

Paypal Powered by a mere 4000 Linux Servers!

Paypal Powered by a mere 4000 Linux Servers!

This is yet another Linux success story. PayPal says Linux grid can replace IBM mainframes:

PayPal is currently processing $1,571 worth of transactions per second ( that is $2,262,240 per day) in 17 different currencies on about 4,000 servers running Red Hat Linux. Thompson supervises a payment system that operates on about 4,000 servers running Red Hat Linux in the same manner that eBay and Google conduct their business on top of a grid of Linux servers. “I have been pleasantly surprised at how much we’ve been able to do with this approach. It operates like a mainframe,” he said.

IRON :CHROMIUM without leaks – Fatherland's Answer to the CHROME's Privacy concerns..

IRON :CHROMIUM without leaks – Fatherland's Answer to the CHROME's Privacy concerns..

well, Sorry guys it has almost become a fetish for me to follow and write about Chrome and If you had followed my blog or any technology post for that matter , a hailstorm is averted coz’ of Google License and rights use.

And as you probably know by now, The Bundesrepublik Deutschland was really worried about the Data Collection policies of Chrome and went as far as issuing an advisory as to not use Chrome for critical usage.

So its natural to see a German GmBH taking the initiative to weed out the concerns.

Enter Iron: 
Developed by German software company SRWare is Chrome stripped of all the user ID information that gave the German government cause for concernAccording to them, Iron is essentially the Chromium source code, with the following modifications

  • No unique user-ID
  • No user-specific information is sent to Google
  • No alternative error messages
  • Crash information is not sent to Google
  • No Google updater
The above is as of the concerned website(s) I did not had a chance to verify the claims as I am a little busy with 2 deadlines for the Month. BUt, I’ve taken the time to download Iron and Install. And it seems nearly identical to Chrome with no superficial changes except for the Bootloader Screen. (splash)

Do drop me a line if you find Iron useful/resourcehog or simply if you’ve downloaded it, I’d love to hear.

Become a Chrome Guru: Part-2

Become a Chrome Guru: Part-2

Open the last session’s tabs automatically. 
Also like Firefox, Chrome can automatically restore the tabs from your last browser session. In that same Options area as above, just select “Restore the pages that were open last.”
Add the home button to your toolbar. 
Chrome’s toolbar is pretty sparse by design, but once you’ve set your homepage(s), you might want to get to them in one click. In the Options dialog’s Basics tab, you can also check off “Show Home button on the toolbar.”
Set your default Downloads save location.
 Also in Options—but under the “Minor Tweaks” tab—you can set Chrome’s default download location to something other than the “My Documents” folder.
Master Chrome’s Startup Switches
Like all good open source software, Chrome comes with a long list of “startup switches”—that is, parameters you can use when you launch the program to customize its behavior. While most of the switches are only useful to developers, a handful let power users do some handy stuff.
Quick primer: To use a startup switch, create a new Chrome shortcut on your desktop (or elsewhere). Right-click it and choose Properties. In the Target field, add the switch in question immediately following the path to chrome.exe. For example, your target using a -disable-java switch might look like:
“C:Documents and SettingsUSERLocal SettingsApplication DataGoogleChromeApplicationchrome.exe” -disable-java
Here are some things you can do with Chrome’s startup switches.
Tweak the number of suggestions the address bar offers. Increase or reduce the number of suggestions in the address bar drop-down using the -omnibox-popup-count switch. For example, to increase it to 10 suggestions, use -omnibox-popup-count=10. [via The How-To Geek]
Create and maintain multiple user profiles. Since Chrome learns so much from your usage patterns, you might want to create more than one user personality based on the task at hand. For example, you can set up a “work Chrome” and a “play Chrome” user profile (like you can with Firefox’s user profiles). While Chrome doesn’t offer a handy utility to create new profiles like Firefox does, all it takes is creating a new user directory, and then using Chrome’s –user-data-dir startup switch to point it there. The Digital Inspiration blog runs down how to create and use multiple profiles in Chrome.
Speed up browsing by disabling functionality. When you want to surf Flash-free, Java-free, or even Javascript-free (even though that’s not really the point of Chrome, but whatever), there’s a list of -disable Chrome startup switches that can block plug-ins, content, or features you don’t want,  like:

  • -disable-dev-tools
  • -disable-hang-monitor
  • -disable-images
  • -disable-java
  • -disable-javascript
  • -disable-logging
  • -disable-metrics
  • -disable-metrics-reporting
  • -disable-plugins
  • -disable-popup-blocking
  • -disable-prompt-on-repost

Dress up Google Chrome to your liking by downloading a Chrome theme and saving its default.dll file into the application’s Themes directory. Update, 9/9/2008: Link to Chrome theme download source updated.
For Windows XP users, by default that folder is:
C:Documents and SettingsUserLocal SettingsApplication DataGoogleChromeApplication.2.149.29Themes
In Windows Vista it’s:
(Note if Google Chrome updates, you may have to change the version number in this path.)
Get Extras: Bookmarklets, AutoHotkey Scripts, and More Chrome-Related Downloads
While Google Chrome doesn’t support extensions (yet), several macros, bookmarklets, and other third-party extras can make working with Chrome easier. Here’s a quick list.
Block ads in Google Chrome with Privoxy. Using free web proxy and ad-blocking software Privoxy, you can block distracting advertisements in Google Chrome.
Create Custom Chrome keyboard shortcuts with AutoHotKey. Our favorite Windows macro scripting language, AutoHotKey, can make browsing with Chrome via the keyboard even easier. Here’s a full Chrome shortcut AHK file that adds nine keyboard shortcuts (including the much-needed “Paste and go” shortcut).
Preview a web site’s RSS feeds, or print a page in one click with bookmarklets. Without toolbars or extensions, plain old bookmarklets come in very hand. Here’s a bookmarklet that auto-detects and previews a web site’s feed. Here’s one that will print the current page. (You can also just hit the Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut).
Open pages from Firefox in Chrome. If you’re browsing in both Firefox and Chrome and like to use Chrome for certain pages, the Open in Google Chrome Firefox extension does just that. With it installed, set certain links to open in Chrome, or select a link and choose “Open in Chrome” manually from the context menu.
Run Chrome from your thumb drive. When you’re in IT lockdown or traveling from computer to computer (but want to keep your Chrome settings), you want the portable, standalone version of Chrome (free download).
Anonymize your Chrome surfing. Chrome Anonymizer scrambles your unique ID and makes it impossible for anyone to track what you’re doing in Chrome.