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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

BMTC Volvo introduces SMS service

Technology has come right down to the streets with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) introducing SMS alert service on the exact location of its buses.

The service, appropriately called "Yelli Iddira," entails a message "Where are you," eliciting the answer in the likes of "I am near Corporation bus stop now."
Initially, the service will be available on two Volvo routes — V356C between Kempe Gowda Bus Station and Electronic City and V335E between KBS and Kadugudi via ITPL. To avail oneself of the facility, one has to send an SMS from the mobile phone in the following manner — YI {lt}Volvo Route Number{gt} {lt}U or D{gt} to 9945634666.
For instance, to know the location of Route No. V356E, send an SMS reading YI V356E U, where YI stands for Yelli Iddira? V356 stands for the Volvo route number and U stands for `up' direction. Buses heading out of the starting station are designated as `up' and in reverse direction as `down.'

The Hindu sent two SMS for the two services at 7 p.m. on Saturday to test the same. For V356C, the reply was "At Kempe Gowda Bus Stand, near Kempe Gowda Bus Stand" and for V335E, it was "At 1.07 km southwest of Ulsoor bus stand." The idea was conceptualised by Muralidhar Rao, co-chairman, BMTC Commuter Comfort Task Force and the service was designed by Sujit Kumar of CL InfoTech Pvt., Ltd., Bangalore, a BMTC release said. Apparently, the service is being offered with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) that are integrated through GPRS.

Service Provided by CL Infotech Pvt Ltd. For details on its services, please click here.

GMail - No more waiting for someone to invite!

Yes! Its true, you no more require a GMail Invite to open Google Account. The Search Engine Leader -, officially opened its GMail to public for Free Online Accounts on Valentines day (14-Feb-2007). There's no reason you should struggle to reach the ones you love, and Gmail helps you communicate fast and easily. Gmail is available in over 40 interface languages.

Visit, and click on the Sign-up link to create a New Google Account. Also checkout the Video at YouTube.

Source: Official Google Blog

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Daylight Saving Time (DST) changes in 2007

Whats DST?
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a system of handling the changing amounts of daylight throughout the year. The goal of DST is to maximize the daylight hours available during typical waking hours. By adjusting clocks ahead a standard amount, usually an hour, people can have more daylight available during their typical work day. For example, suppose you wake daily at 7:00 AM. In the spring, the sun rises earlier each day. Instead of waking up at 6:00 AM to take advantage of the daylight, DST observers move their clocks ahead an hour. The effect is that they can continue to wake at 7:00 AM according to the clock and enjoy more daylight. In the fall, people set their clocks back an hour as sunrise happens later each day.

Whats the problem with DST in 2007?
Because of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the start date and the end date for daylight saving time (DST) in the United States will change in 2007. DST in the United States will start three weeks earlier and will end one week later than in previous years. DST will start at 2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March and will end at 2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November.

Due to this, many software applications require patches to be installed. I have collected the Patch/Update information related to various software/tools:

1) Microsoft Visual Sourcesafe
2) Microsoft Visual Studio
3) Windows Mobile Update
4) Sun Java
5) Oracle
6) IBM Lotus Notes and Domino
7) Cognos position statement regarding DST readiness

Also found this link, which covers the DST information in detail.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Spice - DO NOT SMS Offer

SCOOOBY DOOOBY DOOO0OO... My Mobile Service Provider introduced one of the Best Offer for Prepaid Customers like me. I am ready to celebrate Dry Days. Check out the Offer Details below :

In order to enhance customer service and ensure customers get undisrupted service while messaging, we would like to inform all concerned that w.e.f 12-Feb-2007 (00:00 hours), no Free or Discounted SMS would be available to Spice Prepaid customers on the following days between 00:00 and 24:00 hours, i.e., New years's day (1-Jan), Pongal (15-Jan), Valentine's Day (14-Feb), Holi(4-Mar), Ugadi(19-Mar), Eid Milad(1-Apr), Friendship Day(5-May), Independence Day(15-Aug), Raksha Bandhan(28-Aug), Ganesh Chaturthi(15-Sep), Dussera(21-Oct), One day prior to Diwali(8-Nov), Diwali Day(9-Nov), Christmas Day(25-Dec), New Year Eve(31-Dec).

On these days normal SMS charges will apply for all Spice Prepaid customers. All concerned may please note.

Spice Telecom

Source: Spice Telecom

Thank you Spice for not including my favorite Baapu's day in your above list. I am hoping that other Service Providers are sweet and have not implemented the same.

For those customers, who are on the same boat as me, here are some tips:
1) Send SMS one day in advance or a belated SMS after 1 day. You can keep reminders for above mentioned dates on your Mobile Phone Calendar.
2) As per my experiences with Delivery Reports, I noticed that the Spice SMS Server Date usually runs behind. So do not take any change - please send the SMS 15 minutes before/after the above said Dry Days.
3) If your plan permits low rate calls, use Phone Calls instead of SMS on these Dry Days.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Air Show 2007 - Bangalore

The Air Show of 2007 is back in Bangalore. I am hoping to see it again this year. My first visit to Air show was two years back with my friend Ganesh. Unfortunately, we were not Blogging that time :)

This year, Chairman of the Tata Group Ratan Tata (right in picture) flew the F-16 fighter aircraft at the Aero India show in Bangalore on Thursday 08-Feb-2007. He termed the experience "exhilarating."

Latest Update >>> I visited Air Show on Sunday and will put the update soon...

New phishing technique discovered

A new ‘undetectable’ phishing tactic has been hijacking the web pages of a major UK bank, according to security vendor Envisional.

Until now customers have been able to check a link in an email by moving the mouse over it, thus revealing a fraudulent URL addresses. But this new method shows the legitimate web address of the bank in question.

'This is a completely new and very dangerous threat,' said Envisional’s chief executive officer, Michael Wheatley. 'Even wary, sophisticated online banking customers will be caught out by this latest form of attack.'

The new approach exploits a vulnerability in the web site of the bank, allowing a link to look like it directs the user to the legitimate site. Actually the link sends the user to a framed mock-up of the bank's page that is really part of the phisher’s web site.

Source: Computing UK

Monday, February 05, 2007

Troubleshooting Performance Problems in SQL Server 2005

Found this informative article which provides step-by-step guidelines for diagnosing and troubleshooting common performance problems by using publicly available tools such as SQL Server Profiler, System Monitor, and the new Dynamic Management Views in SQL Server 2005.

Source: Microsoft Technet Website
Click Here for Direct Link to 108 pages of Word Document

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Wow starts Now

Microsoft launched Windows Vista on 30-Jan-2007 and tells us “The ‘Wow’ starts Now”. The world's largest software company spent some 6 billion dollars and 5 years to develop the programme, and is offering a smorgasbord of different versions designed to fit everyone from the web-surfing granny who needs just basic functionality to the media and gaming- obsessed geek.

Vista users can actually expect several thousand new functions, Microsoft claims. Most of them are hidden underneath the hood, so to speak. One eye-catching element is the new graphical interface, dubbed Aero. It is remarkable first for its semi- transparent windows. Open several windows at once, and you can still see which other folders and documents are open beneath them. This is not exactly trailblazing in the world of operating systems, though. Transparent windows are also available in Apple's Mac OS X and with various Linux versions.

Read complete article at

Also checkout the Vista Launch post at VJ's Blog.

Google Earth agrees to blur pix of key Indian sites

President APJ Abdul Kalam's concerns over Google Earth providing detailed and unhindered view of ‘sensitive' Indian establishments have been addressed, courtesy a formula which allows users uninterrupted access to the ‘eye in the sky' while camouflaging key installations.

At a recent meeting between ministry of science and technology officials and Google Earth representatives, it was decided that installations identified by government would be carefully camouflaged. This, it was felt, was better than an outright blackout. Apart from well-known sites like BARC, there are many less prominent ones, and blacking them out would only attract attention to their locations.

Images of these locations will not be of more than 25-50 metre resolution, more like the older generation pictures provided by Indian Remote Sensing satellites. Official sources said Google Earth would distort building plans by adding structures where none existed or masking certain aspects of a facility. This could be done without attracting attention to such establishments, which range from laboratories, mines, military sites, space and atomic centres and residences of high-profile VVIPs.

The government list of such sites would be accepted by Google Earth. The controversy over Google Earth's images had gained momentum after Kalam, in October last year, expressed concern that unrestricted pictures on the web could have worrisome security implications.