[AI] (Tech Dose of the Day) Podcast, WinFX(.NET Framework 3.0), Spamdexing, HTTPS, blog, Android, Symbian OS, and much much more!
vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 23 23:31:20 EST 2008
Tech Dose of the Day
Podcast, WinFX(.NET Framework 3.0), Spamdexing, HTTPS,
blog, Android and Symbian OS.
Contributed by M&E (Media & Entertainment Delivery)
Group (MphasiS Software Services)
What is a Podcast?
This has been the latest kid on the internet block.
The word Podcast refers to an audio file which is
available as a broadcast over the internet. The term
arises from the words IPod and Broadcast.
Though it has reference to the Ipod, you dont
necessarily need an Ipod to listen to a Podcast. Any
audio/mp3 player will do the task provided the audio
format is supported on it. In other words, the podcast
is just the RSS feed for audio files.
Also, you can get the latest Podcasts by subscribing
to them on the internet from various websites.
Podcasting is the art of making Podcasts available on
Now for the practical part, try these simple steps
[You may try this out at home.]
1. Go to
, it is an article about Podcast and Gaming.
2. Click on the Download mp3 link on the page.
3. Save the mp3 file onto your computer (You can
transfer it to your mp3 player later).
4. Listen to your first Podcast..!!
Simple, isnt it..?!!
What is its usefulness?
Note that, your favorite songs may not fall under the
category of Podcasts. But an audio book or a news
report can be termed as one.
For techies, reading a technical article of 100 pages
might be a boring thing to do. What then? Get a
podcast of the same article from the web onto your MP3
player and you can listen to it on the go..! Note that
not all articles are available as Podcasts.
1. Easy to download, carry around and listen.
2. No software required for normal mp3 players. [But
if you use an Ipod, youll need iTunes software.]
1. Not many articles are available as Podcasts.
WinFX(.NET Framework 3.0)
What is WinFX?
WinFX (pronounced as Win Effects) is an All-Managed,
next generation API introduced in Longhorn(Windows
Vista and Windows Server 2008). In Longhorn, Win32
will no longer be the primary API. It is however still
continued for backward compatibility. WinFX has been a
significant milestone in the history of Windows API.
It puts .NET at the center of the platform as against
the traditional C-style API. Rather put in simple
words, WinFX is the set of APIs that a developer can
use to write Windows application in Longhorn. To view
the .NET Framework as being merely a wrapper around
Win32 is to ignore a large part of the benefit that it
offers. WinFX will not need to have a Win32 API to
wrap itself around, as it will directly be able to
access the low-level API, just as Win32 does today.
What is its usefulness?
The WinFX makes its point clear: managed code is the
way of the future. It is the API used to write the
next generation of Windows applications. Todays .NET
Applications will still be able to run without
modifications on Longhorn. Longhorn applications will
now be managed (though we can still write unmanaged
applications using Win32). It provides a ubiquitous
solution across process, applications, networks and
other communication boundaries. It will allow
developers to churn out better applications faster.
What is Spamdexing?
Spamdexing, coined from spam and index, is the
practice of including information in a Web page that
causes search engines to index it in some way that
produces results that satisfy the spamdexer but
usually dissatisify the search engine providers and
users. When the extraneous information appears in a
page's meta tags, it is called "overstuffing".
Some examples of spamdexing and overstuffing:
Including a key word dozens or even hundreds of times
on a Web page so that a search engine will weigh the
relevance of this page to the subject word more
heavily than pages on other Web sites. The subject
words are usually placed at the very end of the page
out of the reader's way or can even be made invisible
to the reader (but readable by the search indexing
Including one or more subject words that are totally
unrelated to the subject of the Web site for the
purpose of getting people to visit the site. In a
typical example, a word might be listed as a key word
(or spamdexed at the bottom of the page) on a site
that really sells books on "highly effective sales
Punishing someone by including their name as a key
word on a site with which they have no connection or
even a contentious connection.
Trying to capture a competitor's traffic by listing
their name or trademarks in the Meta tags (this is
often a violation of copyright law).
Spamdexing is not the same thing as properly using key
words in the body text and in the Meta tags to ensure
that search engines will index it accurately.
Unfortunately, most search engine queries result in
hundreds of matches. Since few users are likely to go
beyond the first 10 or 20 result items, a technique
that persuades a search engine to put a site near the
top of the list results in more visitors to that
What are the various techniques?
Common spamdexing techniques can be classified into
two broad classes: content spam (or term spam) and
These techniques involve altering the logical view
that a search engine has over the page's contents.
They all aim at variants of the vector space model for
information retrieval on text collections.
1. Keyword stuffing
2. Meta tag stuffing
3. Scraper sites
Davison defines link spam (which he calls "nepotistic
links") as "links between pages that are present for
reasons other than merit." Link spam takes advantage
of link-based ranking algorithms, such as Google's
PageRank algorithm, which gives a higher ranking to a
website the more other highly ranked websites link to
it. These techniques also aim at influencing other
link-based ranking techniques such as the HITS
1. Link farms
2. "Sybil attack"
3. Spam blogs
4. Page hijacking
5. Buying expired domains
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is a
secure version of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
(http). Secure means of transferring data using the
https protocol in the World Wide Web where secure
ecommerce transactions, such as online banking
transactions and other financial transactions are
involved. In other words, https encrypts the session
with a digital certificate i.e., HTTP over SSL (Secure
Sockets Layer) which can be used by Web browsers and
HTTPS - capable client programs. So if the website
begins with https:// instead of http://, it is a
secure site. Almost 99% of the browsers can connect to
web servers either using http or https. The address
bar in the browser will begin with https instead of
http, if a web site is secured. Web browsers like IE,
Firefox etc., display a pad lock icon to indicate
the website is secure, which also displays https in
the address bar. This padlock icon is displayed only
when an SSL certificate is installed by their web
server. If the padlock icon and the web link begin
with https then it can be concluded that the site is
legitimate and secure to provide confidential
information or carry financial transactions. Hence the
HTTPS Protocol work with the combination of programs
including the browser programs which takes care of the
encryption/decryption routines that exist on the web
hosting servers. Most typically HTTP data is sent over
TCP/IP port 80, whereas SSL HTTP data is sent over
How does it work?
SSL uses a cryptographic system that uses two keys to
encrypt data, firstly a public key known to everyone
and the second is the private key known only to the
recipient. SSL an unique and effective way to achieve
data and ecommerce security. So when a SSL - Digital
Certificate is installed on a web site, a padlock icon
can be seen at the bottom area of the navigator and
also the address in the address bar will begin with
"https" instead of http during a secure ecommerce
transaction, which means that the data is
What is its usefulness?
SSL Encryption or Https is a technique used to
safeguard private information which is sent via
Internet. To prove the site's legitimacy, the SSL
encryption uses a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) -
public/private key, to encrypt IDs, documents, or
messages to securely transmit the information in the
World Wide Web. In order to show that our transmission
is encrypted, most browsers will display a small icon
that would look like a pad lock or a key and the URL
begins with "https" instead of "http". SSL Encryption
or https from a digital certification authority will
helps the secure web site with confidential
information on web.
What is a blog?
A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where
entries are written in chronological order and
commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.
"Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain
or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular
subject; others function as more personal online
diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and
links to other blogs, web pages, and other media
related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave
comments in an interactive format is an important part
of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual,
although some focus on art (artlog), photographs
(photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3
blog), audio (podcasting) and are part of a wider
network of social media. Micro-blogging is another
type of blogging which consists of blogs with very
As of September 2007, blog search engine Technorati
was tracking more than 106 million blogs.
What are its types?:
There are various types of blogs, and each differs in
the way content is delivered or written.
by media type : A blog comprising videos is called a
vlog, one comprising links is called a linklog, a site
containing a portfolio of sketches is called a
sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a
photoblog. Blogs with shorter posts and mixed
media types are called tumblelogs. An Artlog is a form
of art sharing and publishing in the format of a blog,
but differentiated by the predominant use of and focus
on Art work rather than text. A rare type of blog
hosted on the Gopher Protocol is known as a Phlog.
by device : Blogs can also be defined by which type of
device is used to compose it. A blog written by a
mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA is called a
by genre : Some blogs focus on a particular subject,
such as political blogs, travel blogs, fashion blogs,
project blogs, niche blogs, legal blogs (often
referred to as a blawgs) or dreamlogs. While not a
legitimate type of blog, one used for the sole purpose
of spamming is known as a Splog. A Slog (Site or
website log) is a section or 'slice' of a regular
business website, which is seamlessly integrated
within the regular website structure but is produced
with blogging software.
by legal status of publishers : A blog can be private,
as in most cases, or it can be for business purposes.
Blogs, either used internally to enhance the
communication and culture in a corporation or
externally for marketing, branding or PR purposes are
called corporate blogs.
Some famous blog sites :
(by Russell Beattie of Yahoo!),
(by Jonathan Schwartz of SUN),
(by Ed Brill of Lotus)
Rithish's blog :
What is Android?
Android is a mobile phone platform (by Google) based
on the Linux operating system and developed by the
Open Handset Alliance. The unveiling of the Android
platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the
founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of
34 hardware, software and telecoms companies devoted
to advancing open standards for mobile devices. When
released in 2008, the Android platform will be made
available under the Apache v2 open-source license.
In July 2005, Google acquired Android Inc., a small
startup company based in Palo Alto, CA. At the time,
little was known about the functions of Android Inc.
other than they made software for mobile phones. This
began rumors that Google was planning to enter the
mobile phone market, although it was unclear at the
time as to what function they would perform in that
At Google, the team had developed a Linux-based mobile
device OS which they were marketing to handset makers
and carriers on the premise of providing a flexible,
On 5 November 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a
consortium of several companies which include Google,
HTC, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, and NVIDIA,
was unveiled with the goal to develop open standards
for mobile devices. Along with the formation of the
Open Handset Alliance, the OHA also unveiled their
first product, Android, an open source mobile phone
platform based on the Linux operating system. Google
Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt took a moment in the
official press release to dispel all previous rumors
and speculation of a stand-alone Google phone
On 12 November 2007 the OHA released a preview of the
Android software development kit which includes
development and debugging tools, a set of libraries, a
device emulator, documentation, sample projects,
tutorials, FAQ and more. With the release of the SDK,
features and specifications for Android are slowly
being released Handset layouts, Connectivity,
Messaging, Web browser, Java virtual machine, Media
support, Additional hardware support etc.
What is Symbian OS?
Symbian OS is a proprietary operating system, designed
for mobile devices, with associated libraries, user
interface frameworks and reference implementations of
common tools, produced by Symbian Ltd. It is a
descendant of Psion's EPOC and runs exclusively on ARM
processors. Symbian is currently owned by Nokia
(47.9%), Ericsson (15.6%), Sony Ericsson (13.1%),
Panasonic (10.5%), Siemens AG (8.4%) and Samsung
(4.5%). While BenQ has acquired the mobile phone
subsidiary of Siemens AG the Siemens AG stake in
Symbian does not automatically pass to BenQ this
will need the approval of the Symbian Supervisory
Board. The latest version of Symbian is Symbian OS
Symbian is not Open Source software. However, phone
manufacturers and other partners are provided with
parts of its source code. The APIs are publicly
documented and up to Symbian 8.1 anyone could develop
software for Symbian OS. Symbian 9.1 introduced
capabilities and Platform Security framework. To
access certain capabilities, the developer has to
digitally sign their application. Basic capabilities
are user-grantable and developer can self-sign them,
more advanced require certification and signing via
the Symbian Signed program; which uses independent
Test Houses and/or phone manufacturer approval.
For example file writing is a user-grantable
capability, and access to Multimedia Device Drivers
require phone manufacturer approval. TC TrustCenter
ACS Publisher ID certificate required from developer
for signing application with Test House. Signing
application with Test House is not free, Symbian
Signed provides free certification and signing for
freeware application via the mobile software publisher
There are only three companies worldwide which tests
Symbian applications and issues Symbian Signed
certificates. MphasiS is one of them!
What is its usefulness?
Symbian OS, with its roots in Psion Software's EPOC,
is structured like many desktop operating systems with
pre-emptive multitasking, multithreading, and memory
protection. Symbian OS's major advantage is the fact
that it was built for handheld devices, with limited
resources, that may be running for months or years.
There is a strong emphasis on conserving memory, using
Symbian-specific programming idioms such as
descriptors and a cleanup stack. Together with other
techniques, these keep memory usage low and memory
leaks rare. There are similar techniques for
conserving disk space (though the disks on Symbian
devices are usually flash memory). Furthermore, all
Symbian OS programming is event-based, and the CPU is
switched off when applications are not directly
dealing with an event. This is achieved through a
programming idiom called active objects. Correct use
of these techniques helps ensure longer battery life.
All of this makes Symbian OS's flavor of C++ very
specialised. However, many Symbian OS devices can also
be programmed in OPL, Python, Visual Basic, Simkin,
and Perl together with the Java ME and PersonalJava
flavors of Java.
One of the major drawbacks of Symbian OS is that it
has been subject to a variety of viruses, the best
known of which is Cabir. Usually these send themselves
from phone to phone by Bluetooth. So far, none have
taken advantage of any flaws in Symbian OS instead,
they have all asked the user whether they would like
to install the software, with somewhat prominent
warnings that it can't be trusted. However, of course,
the average mobile phone user shouldn't have to worry
about such things, so Symbian OS 9.x has adopted a
capability model. Installed software will
theoretically be unable to do damaging things (such as
costing the user money by sending network data)
without being digitally signed thus making it
traceable. Commercial developers who can afford the
cost can apply to have their software signed via the
Symbian Signed program. Currently, developers also
have the option of self-signing their programs.
However, the set of available features is smaller, and
certain operators have opted on fully disabling
certificates other than the Symbian Signed
Devices using Symbian OS:
Hundreds of phone models use the Symbian OS. Some of
Ericsson R380 (the first commercially available phone
based on Symbian OS). Nokia N-Series phones like Nokia
N70, Nokia N72, Nokia N73, N91, N92, and N95 among
others. Sony Ericsson P800, P900, P990, W950, M600,
W960. Motorola A920, A925, A1000, RIZR Z8, RIZR Z10
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