Windows XP … Reloaded

Despite Microsoft’s repeated denials, the company will indeed release an interim version
of Windows XP that will bridge the gap between the initial XP release and Windows
Longhorn, which is currently due in late 2005 at the earliest. The interim XP version
will ship as a new retail product that replaces existing retail boxed copies of XP
and as a set of updates, called XP Reloaded, that existing XP users can install separately.
According to sources I contacted this morning, XP Reloaded will include all the features
from XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is due by midyear, as well as a host of other
unique features, including Windows Media Player (WMP) 10.

Other details about XP Reloaded are unknown at this time, although the update kit
apparently will include a Web-based installer application that will let users choose
optional features. Reports about an XP version 2 release first cropped up more than
a year ago, but Microsoft officials repeatedly denied that the company planned to
issue such a release. In early 2004, when the company revealed the new security features
that XP SP2 will include, the rumors resurfaced. But the XP Reloaded OS refresh will
clearly include a lot more than security updates, possibly in a bid to revive consumer
excitement about XP while Microsoft preps the ever-delayed Longhorn release. [WinInfo]

Windows XP … Reloaded

Radio Lovers

Listed to old time radio shows for free.

These guys offer hundreds of vintage radio shows for you to listen to online
in mp3 format, all for free. Before the days of video games, shopping malls, MTV,
and the Internet, families used to sit in their living room each night to listen to
radio shows such as Abbott and Costello, Superman, Groucho Marx, The Avenger, Gunsmoke,
Sherlock Homes, and many others. When TV become popular in the 1950’s, most of these
shows went off the air, but they now live on at websites such as this one and on weekly
nostalgia radio broadcasts worldwide.

Radio Lovers

activePDF Unveils FREE PDF Creator

PrimoPDF is a free tool for high-quality PDF creation. With a user-friendly interface
that enables “printing” to PDF from virtually any Windows® application, PrimoPDF also
offers users the ability to optimize PDF output for printing to standard laser printers
or for onscreen viewing. The product is completely free – not just a trial – eliminating
cost barriers for those users requiring basic creation of high-quality PDF files.

Download PrimoPDF!

activePDF Unveils FREE PDF Creator


MVC apparently is way too simple 😉

Now we have “WARS
– Worflow, Action, Representation, and State. The implementation example described by Rupp is
pretty simple, which I like. The notion that presentation can be ignored, and boiled
down to a detail of “representation” I find to be a little extreme (of course!), but
overall this seems like a somewhat sane model.

That said, still not sure how many people would “get” this model –
but if you are into MVC, WARS might be a reasonable alternative… [link from TheServerSide]



Qantas Flight Reports

Nadeera forwarded this to me and I almost fell of my chair while reading it!

After every flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to
the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair
or correction. The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing
on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews
the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor.

Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by Qantas
pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers.

By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.


 (P = The problem logged by the pilot.)

 (S = The solution and action taken by the engineers.)


 P: Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement.

 S: Almost replaced left inside main tyre.


 P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.

 S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.


 P: Something loose in cockpit.

 S: Something tightened in cockpit.


 P: Dead bugs on windshield.

 S: Live bugs on backorder.


 P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.

 S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.


 P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.

 S: Evidence removed.


 P: DME volume unbelievably loud

 S: DME volume set to more believable level.


 P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.

 S: That’s what they’re there for.


 P: IFF inoperative.

 S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.


 P: Suspected crack in windshield.

 S: Suspect you’re right.


 P: Number 3 engine missing.

 S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.


 P: Aircraft handles funny.

 S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.


 P: Target radar hums.

 S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.


 P: Mouse in cockpit.

 S: Cat installed.


 P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on
something with a hammer.

 S: Took hammer away from midget.

Qantas Flight Reports

Microsoft to Provide Antispam Technology, Foster Email Standards

At the RSA Conference 2004 Internet security conference in San Francisco yesterday,
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates outlined his company’s
plans to work with large email partners to eliminate spam. Gates said Microsoft will
give those partners free technology that will emulate the caller ID functionality
in today’s telephone systems and prevent spammers from hiding their identities and
forwarding mail through anonymous sources. The plan, which involves backers such as, Brightmail, and Sendmail and calls for a global registry of legitimate
Internet email sources, might have to compete with similar but less sophisticated
initiatives in the works at Yahoo! and AOL. Microsoft correctly notes, however, that
for the scheme to work, a large number of email providers must adopt it.

Microsoft’s antispam effort, the Coordinated Spam Reduction Initiative (CSRI), will
include numerous policies and technologies that the company will use to curb the spam
threat. Microsoft is working to establish standards that will help legitimate email
senders differentiate themselves from spammers, developing new email filters, and
working on a micropayment system that would make spam financially ineffective. “Spam
is our email customers’ number-one complaint today, and Microsoft is innovating on
many different fronts to eradicate it,”

Gates said. “We believe that Caller ID for E-Mail and the Coordinated Spam Reduction
Initiative will help change the economic model for sending spam and put spammers out
of business.”

Ryan Hamlin, general manager for Microsoft’s Anti-Spam Technology and Strategy Group,
describes caller ID as a mechanism that legitimate senders of email can use to help
ensure that spammers aren’t abusing their Internet domains. “In a nutshell, caller
ID involves two key steps,” he said. “One, senders of email publish the IP addresses
of their outgoing mail servers in DNS in an email-policy document. Two, the email
software at the receiving end of a message queries DNS for the email policy and determines
the ‘purported responsible domain’ of the message. This is done by comparing the information
in DNS to ensure it matches the information on the originating mail. We believe this
technical solution gets at the root of the spam problem by helping to confirm legitimate

By this summer, Microsoft will roll out a beta version of Caller ID for E-Mail in
MSN Hotmail to test its effectiveness. Hotmail currently serves more than 150 million
active email users and is the most-used email service on the planet. Microsoft will
also work with partners to ensure that the system is in place on as many email ISPs
as possible and help develop a compliance program. The company is also working on
viable-identification alternatives for smaller email senders and says it will continue
to work on other antispam technologies, including challenge-response systems, machine
learning, micropayments, and safelists. [WinSuperSite]

Microsoft to Provide Antispam Technology, Foster Email Standards

Open Source In Developing Countries

Sanjiva Weerawarana the Chairman and
Executive Director of the LSF (Lanka Software
) and Jivaka Weeratunga (my former boss) have released a very detailed
report (114 pages) titled ‘Open
Source in Developing Countries
’. The report gives an overview of the open
source phenomenon and then outlines various business models based on open source and
implementation strategies.

I learnt quite a lot on how open source can help developing countries through an interesting
interview with Linus Torvalds in the report’s appendix.

Open Source In Developing Countries

It’s the whining Aussies now

Dammika mailed me this article from The

The English are often referred to as “The whining Poms,” particularly by the Australians,
but the term seems to be fitting them too. After Australia lost the second One Day
International narrowly to Sri Lankans by one run, the Australian captain Ricky Ponting
was seen in an angry mood, a complete contrast to the mood he was in when the Aussies
won the first ODI. On Friday, after the game, Ponting was seen sipping a cool Foster’s
Beer in the dressing room after Australia had won, but on Sunday, he was seen smashing
his pads down.

When the Tasmanian came down to speak to the media he passed a crude remark at the
Sri Lankan journalists when he said, “a huge contingent of Sri Lankan journalists
today,” Ponting was passing an obvious remark as after the first ODI only a few Sri
Lankan journalists showed up at the press conference. However, little did Ponting
know that at around 10 in the night after the first ODI some of them were working
on tight deadlines unlike on Sunday.

And when he spoke, he had a few complaints as well. “I was disappointed to get the
same wicket today. There hadn’t been a lot of cricket here and I would have
thought that there was plenty of time for the curator to bring up two wickets for
these two games,” he said. Over the years, when touring the sub-continent, the Australians
have complained about food, water, dust, security and so on and on this occasion Ponting
was blaming the wicket.

Speaking further Ponting hailed the performance of his players, whom he said would
take a lot of confidence to the next games after playing on a “very worn Sri Lankan

Meanwhile, paceman Glenn McGrath, who wasn’t picked for the series, too has
come up with a list of complaints on Sri Lanka in a column he writes for The Australian,
a hardcore nationalist newspaper back in Australia. In the column, McGrath says that
“conditions in the country can be harsh…..” and singles out security as one of the
major problems.

Among his complaints are, “Our other mode of transport is the coach and I always get
a bit of a laugh when they call it a luxury coach. To me, it’s an old bus with
vinyl seats that get hot and appear to be placed right on top of a bar that’s
uncomfortable,” he writes.

Probably it’s time to replace the idiom, it’s no more “whining Poms,”
but it’s “the whining Aussies”.

It’s the whining Aussies now

A fine gesture that will strengthen the game

World cricket woke up stronger on Monday morning. Not just because it had witnessed
a pulsating game of one-day cricket between Sri Lanka and Australia in Dambulla –
a rarity for such a formulaic version of the game – but because an ancient spirit
of the game was awoken in the fierce heat of battle. Sportsmanship, an endangered
concept in all modern day sport, blessed international cricket.

Australia had lost a flurry of wickets, slipping from 148 for 1 to 190 for 4. But
with Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist at the crease and Michael Bevan, finisher extraordinaire,
still padded and waiting in the wings, Australia were odds on winners, needing a modest
56 at a run-a-ball with six wickets to spare. Kumar Dharmasena was pinging down his
flat off-breaks and Symonds edged an attempted pull onto his pads. Both bowler and
wicketkeeper appealed instantaneously and Peter Manuel raised his finger. Sri Lanka
had struck a crucial blow.

Symonds was shocked but kept his cool and walked. Gilcrhist, the non-striker, was
equally appalled, his reaction tight-roping the definition of dissent. Sri Lanka celebrated
in a huddle but they knew it was not out. “It was an obvious nick to most of us and
it was awkward for a moment,” said Marvan Atapattu, Sri Lanka’s one-day captain. “I
mean …it was not a bump ball or something like that. We did not really know
what to do.”

But seconds after raising his finger, doubt had spread across Manuel’s face. He consulted
first with Billy Bowden, his eccentric but cool-headed partner, and then turned to
Atapattu. “He told me that he believed that he had made a mistake and that he wanted
to call Symonds (now over half way back to the pavilion) back. He asked me whether
I would have a problem with that and I said no. It was obvious to us he [Symonds]
had hit the ball and this is a game after all – we have to look after its spirit.
We were all happy with the decision.”

What goes around comes around, they say, and perhaps it was Gilchrist who sowed the
sporting seed when he walked during the 2003 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka,
a remarkable decision that was greeted with stony silence upon his return to the dressing
room. Now Atapattu has followed up with a return gesture, which in turn presents us
with an intriguing possibility: will the players of both teams now play the rest of
the series as graciously and fairly? [CricInfo]

A fine gesture that will strengthen the game