How President decided on retaliation

It was his brother and Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa who broke the bad news to the President. He said over the telephone, in a voice choked with emotion that Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka has been attacked by a suicide bomber at his own headquarters. It was around 1.45 p.m. on Tuesday April 25.

The mood at Temple Trees changed. A grim faced President Mahinda Rajapaksa began receiving a stream of visitors. First to arrive were the two brothers, Basil and Gothabaya. Among those who followed were Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Deputy Minister Sripathi Sooriyaratchchi and Jathika Hela Urumaya`s Champaka Ranawaka. Moments later, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who had first rushed to Colombo`s National Hospital where Lt. Gen. Fonseka was taken for emergency surgery also turned up. They were all gathering in the upstairs lounge.

`I gave him a bullet proof car and warned him to be careful on a number of occasions,` lamented Rajapaksa. He was aware Lt. Gen. Fonseka was a very high profile target and had released a bullet proof BMW car from the Presidential fleet. These vehicles were imported when former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was in office. The new President opted to distribute them to those who needed these vehicles most. The Army Chief was one of them. Brother Gothabaya intervened to say the Commander used that bullet proof vehicle only when he moved around outside Army Headquarters. For travel within the precincts of the Army Headquarters, he was using a more fuel efficient Peugeot 406.

Soon, the military top brass began to arrive. There were Chief of Defence Staff, the controversial Admiral Daya Sandagiri, Army Chief of Staff Major General Nanda Mallawaratchchi, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and Air Force Commander Air Marshal Donald Perera. When they walked upstairs, the politicians realised it was time now for them to walk down. A crisis session of the defence and security top brass began. Views expressed reflected shock, anger and revulsion.

If the Government had grinned and borne the sporadic claymore bomb blasts that took a toll of more than 150 troops since President Rajapaksa was voted to power, here was a more shocking one. A female suicide bomber had not only infiltrated the heavily-fortified Army Headquarters but also badly injured the Commander. There was no doubt in their minds that this was the work of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). That it came on the eve of the Government wanting to talk peace with them in Geneva exacerbated the anger. In fact, the attack came when the LTTE was meant to be in Geneva for peace talks.

There was a knotty issue that confronted the Government`s top brass. Can the defence and security establishment keep silent in the wake of Tuesday`s attack' Would such stoic silence make Sri Lankans believe the Government was weak, and demoralise its troops' Would the public conclude that even after infiltrating the Army Headquarters and making an attempt on the life of Lt. Gen. Fonseka, the Government was succumbing to terrorist acts and not asserting its right to govern' What was the acceptable level of tolerance' These were just a few of the many questions they sought to find answers to.

It was strongly felt that a limited strike on a guerrilla target was necessary to send the message the Government was not going to remain quiet in the wake of mounting terrorist acts. Its commitment to the Ceasefire Agreement was one thing. An overriding factor and a more important aspect was the exercise of the Government`s sovereignty to demonstrate its ability to respond to major acts of terrorism. It was decided to strike at guerrilla targets in Sampur, overlooking the strategic harbour in Trincomalee and adjoining Mutur. The Air Force would conduct aerial sorties whilst the Army would fire artillery. On the opposite page our Defence Correspondent gives a detailed account of the events of Tuesday.

By then, President Rajapaksa had already recorded his address to the Nation over Rupavahini, the national television network. He was to explain the Government`s position vis-à-vis the second round of talks with the LTTE in Geneva scheduled for three days beginning April 18. He was to tell the nation that despite all the Government`s efforts, the LTTE had not shown a positive response. He ordered that the recording be recalled and a fresh one done. In that he pointedly accused the LTTE of carrying out the suicide attack and added they had unilaterally broken all efforts towards peace. `No type of terrorism will frighten me. I and my Government will not be brought to our knees by whatever challenge that we face,` Rajapaksa declared.

But his message at a critical moment of the nation`s history did not reach some parts of Sri Lanka, or the world. It was not due to enemy action. His army of media experts, considered avowed political loyalists, had thought it fit to distribute the text only the next day. This was how best they could treat the issue. And all this, while some western media, especially the BBC, was on a trip about the casualties and displacement because of the aerial bombings at Sampur.

That same Tuesday evening, Rajapaksa chaired a poorly attended emergency Cabinet meeting. One would have thought that the 40 something Cabinet would have been over-flowing, but most Ministers had not turned up. It seemed that the incident at Army Headquarters had made them think twice about travelling on the road. He told those present that he had remained very tolerant with the LTTE despite their orgy of violence. Now they have brought the war to Army Headquarters. He had ordered strikes on guerrilla targets, he told them. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera cautioned that it would have a snowballing effect since there would be counter attacks. However, the Minister added that the Government would have to face all of them.

But late that same day Samaraweera had received an urgent telephone call from his British counterpart. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had inquired about the Air Force bombings and expressed his Government`s concerns over civilian casualties. That call came so fast from London that some of the Israeli-built Kfir intercepter jets had not even returned to base at Katunayake after their mission. He knew of civilian casualties even before the sorties had returned. But the irony of it was that our own Foreign Minister seated in Colombo did not know about the bombing raids, and promised to get back to Straw with the details. It was only at the evening`s Cabinet meeting that Samaraweera in Colombo knew what Straw in London was privy to.

A Foreign Office wag was to say that Samaraweera was stuck for a reply, not so much because of the fact that he did not know what was happening in his own backyard in Sampur, but that he was confused if Straw had got his wires-crossed and thought he was speaking to one of his air commanders in Iraq.

Had Straw at lease mentioned the blatant act of terrorism at Army Headquarters that nearly took the life of the Commander, Samaraweera might have known he was talking of the situation in Sri Lanka.
The Foreign Minister was not alone in being in the dark about the Sampur bombings. A foreign correspondent had telephoned Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa that Tuesday afternoon to ask for his response on aerial raids by the Air Force. He was unaware too.

`What bombings'` seemed to be the general response from Government heads, including the many spokesmen on the subject on war and peace. After Minister Yapa made inquiries, the Information Department put out a news release. It said:

`Following the suicide bomb attack on the Army Commander this afternoon, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) positioned in the Sampur area launched an attack on the Navy in Trincomalee. The security forces have carried out an operation to deter further attacks by the LTTE.`

The Government`s media responses to Tuesday`s incident at Army Headquarters seemed a muddled up circus than a focused one. Many who were `spokesmen` spoke in different voices on the day of the incident and the days that followed. The contradictions no doubt created serious questions for Government`s credibility. One was the remarks by Military Spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe to the Reuters news agency that claymore mine blasts would not provoke air attacks. Senior military officers were irked that the remarks were offensive to ground troops who were made to feel that attacks on them were a different matter. Ironic enough, they wanted their own spokesman to say less and save them greater heartburn. Officials at the Ministry of Defence expressed the same sentiment.

They asked whether it was not the prerogative of the Defence Secretary or the Ministry of Defence to make such comments, or have one Government spokesman. Another sad saga came after President Rajapaksa had appealed to Editors and News Directors of electronic media to act with restraint. He said there was a need to report on sensitive issues with care to ensure there was no communal backlash. But even before those who took part in the meeting could reach their offices, something shocking had arrived.

The Information Department had distributed via computer gory pictures of Sinhala civilians massacred in Gomarankadawala in the Trincomalee district. Of course those who see the lighter side of every situation remarked that this must be the Government`s way of providing dis-information, and thereby confusing the enemy. Either way, those acting as spokesmen for the Government were shooting themselves in the foot in the propaganda war against Tiger guerrillas. Ironically, nothing seems to have been done to cure this malady that has lasted through successive governments, from the inception of the Eelam struggle. Though there was more international support and acknowledgement now than before for the Government, it is still unable to get its message across in a crisis situation.

Hard on the heels of the poorly-attended Cabinet meeting, President Rajapaksa had a meeting with party leaders. Though a delegation from the opposition United National Party was invited to take part in this meeting at 6 p.m, acting leader Karu Jayasuriya had preferred a separate bi-lateral meeting with a delegation from his party. They were told to come at 8 p.m.

Among those taking part in the party leaders meeting were Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Dinesh Gunawardena, Susil Premajayantha, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna`s (JVP) Tilvin Silva, Wimal Weerawansa, Anura Dissanayake, Jathika Hela Urumaya`s (JHU) Ven. Athureliye Rathana, Eelam People`s Democratic Party leader Douglas Devananda, Ceylon Workers Congress leader Arumugam Thondaman and National Unity Alliance leader Ferial Ashraff.

Rajapaksa told party leaders he was not bent on going to war. He said they (the LTTE) brought the war to Army Headquarters and a limited response therefore became necessary. He wanted the parties that were supportive of the Government to appreciate the situation and extend their support. JVP`s Tilvin Silva was the first to respond. He said President Rajapaksa would have the fullest backing of the JVP. Ven. Athureliya Rathana expressed similar sentiments and pointed out what he thought were security lapses in the City of Colombo.

Around 8 p.m. that Tuesday night a UNP delegation arrived at Temple Trees for their meeting with Rajapaksa. Earlier, acting leader Karu Jayasuriya had telephoned UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in the United States to brief him and obtain clearance. The latter had told him to go ahead. Accompanying Jayasuriya were Tissa Attanayake, Milinda Moragoda and Jayalath Jayawardena.

Jayasuriya said that the UNP`s unstinted support was on offer for the Government to curb violence. But, he pointed out, equally firmly, that members of the UPFA were overtly critical of the UNP and were making all forms of accusations. He made pointed reference to a talk show where Sripathi Sooriya-ratchchi had blamed the UNP for signing the Ceasefire Agreement and the prevailing situation. This was quoting newspaper reports. In the show in question, Sooriyaratchchi had made references to The Sunday Times too. President Rajapaksa pointed out `the media do not behave the way I want them to`, and ducked the issue.

Moragoda who was referring to Tuesday`s incident at Army Headquarters urged Rajapaksa to seek the help of the United States Government -- the panacea for all ills, according to the Moragoda doctrine. This was to obtain the help of American investigators to probe the incident and identify how it occurred. The President nodded his head in a way one was not sure if it meant `yes`, or `no`.

After the meeting ended, President Rajapaksa found there were more visitors to Temple Trees. Sripathi Sooriya-ratchchi was in the company of Ministers John Seneviratne and Pavithra Wannia-ratchchi. `What you said on the talk show has hit them (the UNP) badly,` said Rajapaksa. He said Sooriyaratchchi should not be too harsh on them since they were now supporting the Government`s acti-ons against violence by Tiger guerrillas. The Deputy Minister replied `if you say so, I will not.`

It was nearing midnight but Rajapaksa`s tasks were not over. He drove thereafter to the National Hospital where emergency surgery had just been concluded on Lt. Gen. Fonseka. He egged on the medical staff `I would like you all to ensure a quick recovery for him.`

The next day (Wednesday) Foreign Minister Samaraweera addressed heads of the Colombo based diplomatic community. Some raised issue over the Sampur air raids and the fate of internally displaced persons. This time Samaraweera was prepared. An official announcement from the Government said the population in Sampur was 16,500 and only a fraction had been affected. But a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) statement declared there were 7000 to 8000 persons displaced. Samara-weera said the air raids were only a limited response to the suicide attack on the Army Commander.

Soon after that meeting, Samara-weera met Jon Hanssen Baur, Norway`s Special envoy for the peace process and their Ambassador in Sri Lanka Hans Brattskar. He urged them to pressurise the LTTE to return to Geneva. Even before Tuesday`s incident, he said, the Government had offered the LTTE the use of a sea plane (owned by SriLankan Airlines) and even agreed to meet the costs. However, there were still problems including the issue of where such a plane should land with LTTE`s eastern leaders. Whilst the LTTE favoured the Iranamadu irrigation tank, the Government preferred a lake near Wanni located in a Government-controlled area.

Later that day, President Rajapaksa met with envoys of the donor co-chair countries individually. He explained that the air raids were a limited response and gave the reasons why it became necessary. All envoys condemned the suicide bomber attack at Army Headquarters.
Another visitor was Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao. She was to politely convey her Government`s concerns over the air raids. She said such action would lead to the influx of refugees to South India. With local elections in Tamil Nadu due next week, such a move would become damaging to the ruling Congress Party Government in New Delhi. President Rajapaksa said it was only a limited offensive and it was now over. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also telephoned President Rajapaksa to inquire about the prevailing situation. He reiterated his commitment to help the Government in protecting Sri Lanka`s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Rajapaksa sought Premier Singh`s assistance to urge the Indian Navy to curb attempts by LTTE to smuggle military hardware through high seas into Sri Lanka. The Indian prime Minister assured this would be done.
There was a fuller turnout of Cabinet ministers for Wednesday`s weekly meeting. Rajapaksa took the opportunity to explain matters relating to the air strike, in greater detail. There was also a meeting of the National Security Council where it was decided to ban May Day rallies in the Colombo district on grounds of security.

President Raja-paksa had a meeting with a JVP delegation the same day. Taking part were Tilvin Silva, Wimal Weerawansa and Anura Dissanayake. Associated with the President were Dulles Allahaperuma MP, and presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga. The outlines of a resolution at Friday`s all-party conference over peace talks and the need to curb violence were discussed.

The resolution came up at the all-party talks on Friday. Though the UNP delegation was at first reluctant to sign without winning the approval of the party, but later with a series of amendments, the joint resolution was unanimously adopted.

An equally important decision was made at the meeting of donor co-chairs in Oslo on Friday. A statement said the Co-chairs reiterated their deep concern at the recent deterioration of the situation in Sri Lanka, condemning all acts of violence and calling on this to stop.

Though the meeting gave rise to widespread speculation that talks were due to resume soon, the reality was sadly different. True enough, both the Government and the LTTE have committed themselves throughout this week to uphold the ceasefire.

There is strong evidence the LTTE is busy making preparations for a major attack. This has prompted the Government to ensure greater military preparedness. With fears of a return to Eelam War IV ominous, many may wish a Geneva meeting is round the corner. The immediate prospects are clearly dim. This is notwithstanding all the soothsaying going on about talks in Geneva.


Call girls and call boys of Fourth Estate - Media Maffia

One day an elderly elephant heard a strange noise and he summoned his two sons. `Go look what`s on!` he said. The two calves went whence the noise had come and found two hunters wending their way through. They ran back to their father panting. `Papa,` one calf said with the other agreeing, `forty hunters are coming!` The elephant family ran for dear life.

Now the question: Why did the calf say there were forty hunters, whereas there were, in fact, only two of them'

Well, we don`t want to keep you guessing. The answer is: The calf was a liar! Then why on earth did the other one repeat that lie' Well, it was very weak in arithmetic.

Replace the first calf with LTTE propagandists and the other with the foreign press, and then you have a better picture of the international media coverage of the air strikes on LTTE targets in Sampur the other day. The LTTE said 40,000 people were fleeing and some of the Colombo based foreign journalists swallowed the lie, hook line and sinker. They lost no time in disseminating the Goebbelsian lie across the globe. What they didn`t realise was that Sampur has only a population of 16,000!

Let it be added immediately that our sympathy is with those civilians who were harmed and displaced for no fault of theirs, regardless of their numbers. War is hell as we have been saying repeatedly in these columns and it must be avoided. That`s why the LTTE, which is all out to thrust war on the state, must be stopped in its tracks.

In the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, when the entire world rushed to our help, BBC had the audacity to interview an LTTE sympathiser who said when the killer waves came pummelling everything on their way, he had first thought the SLAF aircraft were bombing his area. `You know they usually bomb churches and schools,` he said to a seemingly dumb interviewer of BBC, which boasts of Hard Talk. All what a discerning listener gathered was that BBC couldn`t find someone, for an interview, who knew waves from bombers.

We don`t fault BBC as a whole for broadcasting such mistruths, half-truths, untruths and diabolical lies. It is like setting a bus on fire because of an errant driver who runs over a pedestrian. We blame its correspondents and programme directors who are behaving in a manner suggestive of hubris and chutzpah and wonder why such irresponsible swashbucklers are allowed to cover matters that are sensitive and have the potential to set a conflict-torn country on fire. And those worthies are trying to teach responsible journalism to their Sri Lankan counterparts. We would rather learn honesty from a fraud or chastity from a whore than journalism from them.

Some of those potentates are actively engaged in politics and functioning as propagandists of some political leaders in this country. Unless the leaders of their choice come to power, they vilify the successful others and paint Sri Lanka raven black. There are, of course, true professionals among them'and we raise our editorial hat to those ladies and gentlemen who have done their profession proud!'but the sordid operations of some among them have tarnished their image as well. All it takes to spoil a pot of milk is a little bit of cow dung! (Etymologically speaking, the word `dung` has a Celtic origin!)

Those know-alls in the garb of foreign correspondents peddling not-so-hidden agendas are no better than carrion crows trailing hyenas in the bush looking for carcasses and corpses. They are blind to anything positive about the country where they work. They have mistaken their mission here for heightening the conflict by lionising Tigers. BBC once produced a documentary on Black Tigers and the only purpose it served was to project those mind-erased killing machines as heroes. But it didn`t show the faces of even Sinn Fein leaders until they mellowed their stance. A CNN correspondent once tried to `balance` a story on child combatants saying that both the LTTE and the government recruited child soldiers!

One may wonder whether the brand of journalism that some foreign correspondents practise is an extension of the foreign policy of their respective countries. For example, the international terror network of the LTTE is coordinated by a British citizen from London'Anton Balasingham is his name. The British government does sweet little or nothing about his operations and permits even celebrations of terrorist events on the British soil, where the outfit is (nominally') banned. During the tsunami disaster the British Navy took an LTTE leader to one of its warships off the eastern coast! Later the British claimed they didn`t know he was an LTTE leader. Poor British intelligence! BBC appears to be following the same policy towards the LTTE, which is on a campaign to divide a Commonwealth nation.

The World Press Freedom Day is being commemorated in Colombo on a grand scale. The press must have unbridled freedom the world over and no stone should be left unturned in our efforts to achieve that noble goal. But freedom sans responsibility, like power without control, means disaster. Hence the need for holding the journalistic call girls (and call boys)'irrespective of the colour of their skin'at bay without letting them bring the noble profession of journalism to the same level as the oldest profession in the world. The sooner it is done, the better it is for the genuine practitioners.

With rancour and malice towards none!


Please complain BBC for biased reporting


Do you let some son of b******s to tarnish the image of our mother Sri Lanka?



nagulator, Microsoft to mark illegal copies

PIRATED software users be warned. Microsoft Corp is going to start “nagging” Windows users who do not have a legitimate copy of its operating system (OS).

Starting tomorrow, the software giant will permanently flag personal computers that are not running a genuine copy of Windows.

This move affects the six million Windows users in this country, as well as those in the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.

Industry sources informed In.Tech that the software giant is giving Windows the ability to tell if a user's PC is running a genuine or pirated version of the OS, via an update patch that becomes available from tomorrow.

The patch takes effect if a PC user has opted to automatically update Windows the moment he goes online. It will also take effect should a PC user manually download the latest Windows updates.

If the OS is an unauthorised copy, a pop-up dialogue box will appear on the Windows login screen, informing the user that his copy of the OS is counterfeit and that he should get a genuine copy.
DIALOGUE BOX: The notification that will appear on the login screen. It can be temporarily suppressed by clicking 'Resolve Later'.

A notification stating “This copy of Windows is not genuine. You may be a victim of software counterfeiting.” is also permanently “tattooed” to the bottom righthand corner of the same screen.

Another pop-up message which states that “You may be a victim of software counterfeiting. This copy of Windows is not genuine. Click this balloon to resolve now.” will appear at random times whenever the computer is in use.

The only way to stop the messages from appearing is to replace the OS with a genuine copy, available from any of Microsoft's authorised dealers in the country.

All together now

When contacted by In.Tech, Microsoft Malaysia said the Windows update is being released simultaneously in all five countries.

K.T. Ng, group manager for Windows Client solutions at Microsoft Malaysia, said the update is part of the second wave of the software giant's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) initiative.

The initiative is aimed at protecting its customers and partners from counterfeit software, he said.

It is not to punish anyone using pirated copies of Windows, but to better serve Microsoft's genuine users.

“Genuine Windows users are rewarded with Internet Explorer 7.0 (IE7) and Windows Defender,” said Ng.

IE7 is an even more secure version of Microsoft's web browser while Windows Defender is an antispyware tool (see In.Tech, April 18 and 20 for more details).

PC users with systems that have been tattooed will not be able to download IE7 or Windows Defender, but will still receive security patches for Windows.

Beware the 'nagulator'

Ng has nicknamed the automatic antipiracy pop-up message system as the “nagulator.”

He said it would nag users of counterfeit copies of Windows into going legitimate.

“But if you are a businessman or a corporate executive, it would also be embarrassing to have the nagulator pop-up during a PC-based presentation or during an office visit by clients or potential customers,” he said.

According to Ng, the nagulator would also alert consumers to counterfeit copies of Windows.

He said counterfeiters have been able to reproduce Microsoft product packaging to the point where consumers are unable to tell genuine from imitation.

“Those customers will now have peace of mind,” he said. “Also, users who buy a PC or laptop preloaded with Windows, will be able to check if they are victims of software piracy.”

Microsoft officially launched its WGA initiative in July last year.

It estimates that about 200,000 Windows users in Malaysia will have their systems validated tomorrow because they have opted for automatic updates.

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Former political leaders harm Sri Lanka with their rumors

Patriotism, like charity, must begin at home, said American writer Henry James. It appears that two of Sri Lanka's former leaders have yet to understand this truth, as Sri Lankans living in the UK and US have realized.

A former leader of the PA and a former leader of the UNP appear to be engaged in a mission to create a rift in the cordial relations that exist between Sri Lanka and India.

Expatriates in the UK and US have told ColomboPage that these former leaders may be twisting the truth to serve the purpose of tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa with rumors about the President’s recent visit to Pakistan.

more on colombopage


Some useful windows short cuts..will save lot of time..

When you get to hang out with other experienced computer professionals you start to realize how many things you do not know. I have been working with Windows since 3.0 came out, and I still find something new all of the time. For example, I was sitting behind one of my tech friends and he was using alt-esc to tab through windows in the order they were opened - I never even knew this existed. I set out to get a comprehensive list of all the shortcuts. Here is what I have found so far:

CTRL and A Selects all the items in the active window.
CTRL and C Copies the item or items to the Clipboard and can be pasted using CTRL and V.
CTRL and F Displays the Find all files dialog box.
CTRL and G Displays the Go to folder dialog box.
CTRL and N Displays the New dialog box.
CTRL and O Displays the Open dialog box.
CTRL and P Displays the Print dialog box.
CTRL and S Displays the Save dialog box.
CTRL and V Pastes the copied item or items from the Clipboard.
CTRL and X Cuts the item or items selected to the Clipboard.
CTRL and Z Undoes the last action.
CTRL and F4 Closes the active document window.
CTRL while dragging an item Copy the selected item
CTRL+SHIFT with arrow keys Highlight a block of text
CTRL+F4 Close the active document
CTRL+ESC Display the Start menu
CTRL and F6 Opens the next document window in the active application.
ALT+ENTER View the properties for the selected item
ALT+F4 Close the active item, or quit the active program
ALT+SPACEBAR Open the shortcut menu for the active window
ALT+TAB Switch between the open items
ALT+ESC Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened
F1 key Gives help on the active window or selected item.
F2 key Rename the selected item
F3 key Search for a file or a folder
F4 key Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer
F5 key Update the active window
F6 key Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F10 key Activate the menu bar in the active program
Windows Logo Display or hide the Start menu
Windows Logo+BREAK Display the System Properties dialog box
Windows Logo+D Display the desktop
Windows Logo+M Minimize all of the windows
Windows Logo+SHIFT+M Restore the minimized windows
Windows Logo+E Open My Computer
Windows Logo+F Search for a file or a folder
CTRL+Windows Logo+F Search for computers
Windows Logo+F1 Display Windows Help
Windows Logo+ L Lock the keyboard
Windows Logo+R Open the Run dialog box
Windows Logo+U Open Utility Manager
TAB Move forward through the options
SHIFT+TAB Move backward through the options
CTRL+TAB Move forward through the tabs
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB Move backward through the tabs
ALT+Underlined letter Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option
ENTER Perform the command for the active option or button
SPACEBAR Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box
F1 key Display Help
F4 key Display the items in the active list
Arrow keys Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons
BACKSPACE Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box
END Display the bottom of the active window
HOME Display the top of the active window
NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*) Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder
NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+) Display the contents of the selected folder
NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-) Collapse the selected folder
LEFT ARROW Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder
RIGHT ARROW Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder


Yahoo Offers 'Instant Search'

Yahoo on Tuesday launched "Instant Search" in beta, a feature that delivers results while typing in a query.
The results are listed in a balloon that appears just below the search box. A user can head to a click a search button to get the normal list of results.
The feature is the same idea as the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on rival Google that takes the user to the most commonly viewed Web page for a query, bypassing the long list of results.
People can add the Instant Search feature to Yahoo's search-oriented home page, The feature also suggests corrections if it detects the query is misspelled.

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Microsoft outs typo-squatting menace

Microsoft has released an Internet Explorer plug-in that reveals the true scale of the phenomenon of squatting popular URLs with misspelled equivalents.
A domain can be typed into the Stryder URL Tracer tool and used to generate all the misspelled sites -- the "typo neighborhood" as Microsoft terms it -- that are hanging off it. These can be analyzed in some detail, including sub and linked domains, and blocked if desired.
According to the company, the technique of registering typos of popular domains has turned into a good business thanks to Google's AdSense for domains program.
AdSense is a free service whereby Google will bring up ads for inactive or "parked" domains, and is widely used by so-called "typo-squatters" to generate ad traffic from domains registering using any one of a multitude of common misspellings.
These can promote a range of unrelated services including, in some cases, porn, spyware and phishing. The majority of them appear to be with registered using a small number of domain-parking services, including at least one owned by Google itself.
The number of domains that can be generated from one popular URL is vast. As well as missing or adding characters near the beginning or end of a URL, they can also use missing dots between address fields, and random character permutations within the address.
The more popular and established a domain, the more likely it is to attract the interest of the typo domain squatters. Washington Post and Slashdot are two domains that appear to generate a long list of squatting domains, while even Microsoft itself has been targeted by the domain squatters.
"Our Typo-Patrol work proposes the first automatic and systematic approach to discovering and analyzing typo domains and typo-squatters," the authors of Microsoft's detailed report on the subject states.
"We encourage parking services that are really serious about enforcing their policies to use our tool to discover systematic typo-squatting domains that participate in their parking programs and to identify large-scale typo-squatters among their customers," the paper concludes.
The tool can be downloaded from the Microsoft website (installation requires IE 6.0 and version 2.0 of the .Net framework).

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Microsoft patches three 'critical' flaws

Microsoft Corp. released three critical patches Tuesday for its Windows operating system, including one to fix an Internet Explorer browser flaw that had already been exploited in some Internet attacks.
The critical patches — deemed by Microsoft to address the highest threats — fix flaws that could allow an attacker to take control of another person's computer without permission.
The Redmond software maker also released two patches to fix less-severe flaws in its products. ( is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)
Microsoft said March 23 that it was aware that a flaw in its Internet Explorer had been made public, prompting some limited attacks. The company said at the time it expected to release a patch on Tuesday, the normal day for its monthly security fixes.
Building a patch can be complex as Microsoft must make sure that fixing one part of its vast Windows operating system does not break anything else. The company also must rigorously test the patch so other applications won't stop working, something that could cripple businesses and frustrate home users.
But some outside security experts argue that Microsoft should be doing more to help users, such as providing temporary bandages, while it prepares fixes for vulnerabilities that are made public before a patch can be issued.
At least one company, eEye Digital Security Inc. of Aliso Viejo, Calif., provided users with such a temporary fix for the Internet Explorer flaw.
Users can go to to download the Microsoft patches.

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Nice photo of MJ


Blogs by Celebrities

Film and TV Celebrities
Kirstie Alley

The actress maintains her own blog to document her efforts to lose weight using the Jenny Craig weight loss system.

Dan Abrams

The anchor of MSNBC's "The Abrams Report" blogs about law-related news.

Gillian Anderson

The ex "X Files" star keeps in touch with her fans via her own blog.

Pamela Anderson

The pneumatic actress kept a production diary while making her TV series "Stacked."

Jeff Bridges

The actor maintains a site featuring handwritten notes, drawings, and photos. It's very personal and charming.

Jenna Elfman

The actress who starred in the "Dharma and Greg" TV series writes monthly letters to her fans and keeps them up-to-date on her latest TV show, "Everything I Know About Men."

Tom Green

The comic actor has his own blog where he tells fans about his day and faithfully records his coffee intake.

Arianna Huffington

The political columnist has organized a group blog populated by celebrities and well-known writers such as Larry David, Harry Shearer, and "Freaks and Geeks" creator Paul Feig who are eager to share their thoughts about politics, news, and pet causes (also see Chapter 8, "Political Blogs").

Rosie O'Donnell

The former talkshow host continues to share her thoughts with an audience through her blog. Readers may not be able to understand her rather cryptic messages, but it's a fascinating glimpse into the celebrity's state of mind.

Jamie Oliver

Chef and "Naked Chef" TV personality, Jamie Oliver, stops dashing about long enough to share his thoughts with his fans and manages to slip in info about his schedule, upcoming appearances, and his charity. Our favorite feature is the pictures he uploads from his mobile in the Moblogs section.

Al Roker

The affable NBC "Today Show" personality keeps fans aware of his latest projects.

Elyse Sewell

Remember Elyse Sewell from the first season of "America's Next Top Model"? She was the medical student who placed third. She's gone on to a real modeling career and shares her adventures traveling and posing with readers.

Harry Shearer

The comedian shares his thoughts via an area on the Huffington Post, a group blog maintained by Arianna Huffington.

Kevin Smith

Filmmaker Kevin Smith keeps fans up-to-date from his personal blog called My Boring Ass Life. Lucky for readers, Smith's conversational style makes this blog a must-read. A frequent updater, Smith tells his readers everything going on in his life. Everything. He displays photos of his house, repeats conversations he's had with his famous friendshe revealed that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were expecting a baby girland shares ribald stories from past productions.

Lisa Whelchel

The former actress who once starred as Blair on the TV series "The Facts of Life" maintains a daily online journal where she shares her thoughts on raising a family as a devout Christian and mother who homeschools her children.

Wil Wheaton

One of the first celebrities to maintain a blog, Wheaton writes about balancing a regular life in Los Angeles with being a part of the "Star Trek" mythology due to his early years acting as Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Sports Figures
Barry Bonds

The baseball great keeps a monthly journal where he shares his thoughts with fans and answers their questions.

Mark Cuban

The owner of the Dallas Mavericks blogs about his experiences running the team.

Adonal Foyle

The basketball star maintains a website that includes an online journal where he shares his thoughts on the sport, politics, and community matters. Probably the only sports star with an area to publish his poetry.

Anna Kournikova

Anna Kournikova keeps a monthly online journal where she posts her thoughts and highlights from her day.

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning answers his fans' questions and shares his opinions about how his team is doing.

Musicians and Performers
Mariah Carey

The diva uploads audio messages to her fans on a regular basis. We are not sure whether the infamous "meltdown" message is still in the archives, but you can look.

Billy Corgan

The musician and former front man for the Smashing Pumpkins has a blog area connected to My Space. Corgan shares song lyrics, dreams, and ideas on his online journal.

Margaret Cho

The comedian maintains a diary on a regular basis, sharing thoughts on her travels, shows, and life in general.

Fred Durst

The frontman for the band Limp Bizkit has been known to pour his heart out on his blog as well as logging in dispatches from the road while on tour. He also shares thoughts on creativity or how the band works in the studio when recording a new project.


Moby communicates with fans through his online diary. He shares his thoughts while he is on tour and shares opinions about politics. He posts brief blasts of text, almost like poetry.

Rick Reynolds

Comedian Rick Reynolds has his own blog, which he calls the The Church of Rick. As expected, his posts, which he calls "sermons" are very funny. He shares some jokes but mainly indulges in humorous observations.

Julia Sweeney

Julia Sweeney's posts are earnest, heartfelt, and wry. She's very honest on her blog and treats it like a diary, confessing dissatisfactions with some answers she gave during a recent interview or her feelings about receiving angry emails from Christians furious that she's performed a show about not believing in God.


Google buys search algorithm invented by Israeli student

Search engine giant Google recently acquired an advanced text search algorithm invented by Ori Alon, an Israeli student. Sources believe Yahoo and Microsoft were also negotiating with the University of New South Wales in Australia, where Alon is a doctoral student in computer science.

Google, Alon and the university all refused to comment, though Google confirmed that "Ori Alon works at Google's Mountain View, California offices."

The University acknowledged that Yahoo and Microsoft had conducted negotiations with its business development company.
Alon told TheMarker in an interview six months ago that the university had registered a patent on the invention.

Orion, as it is called, which Alon developed with faculty, relates only to the most relevant textual results. In addition the software, which currently operates only in English, offers a list of topics directly related to the original source.

"For example, if you search information on the War of Independence, you'll receive a list of related words, like Etzel, Palmach, Ben-Gurion," he explained. The text will only appear on the results page if enough words relevant to the search and the link between them is reasonable. Orion also rates the texts by quality of the site in which they appear.


Flash Viral Marketing Tool

Recently I finished flash viral marketing tool for one of my clients. Anyone interested can be found the work from Here


Google Analytics - New service from google..

Google has recently introduced new statistical data service to websites. It seems interesting to in formormations at their website.

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Google talk new version just launched...

Now google Talk with images and themes.
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‘Ice Age: The Meltdown'

"Ice Age: The Meltdown" has strange but seemingly good news for fans of director Chris Wedge's slap-happy original "Ice Age"--of which I admit to being one. In that movie, one of the surprise hits of 2002, Wedge and his nifty creative team and live wire actors had lots of fun with an oncoming ice age.

But, whereas a real ice age lasts 100,000 years or so, the one that descended on our buddies from the first movie--including Manny the dolorous woolly mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Diego the cool saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the excitable tree-hugging sloth (John Leguizamo)--now seems more of a cold snap.

In this sequel, which also brings back Scrat the acorn-addicted squirrel/rat (Wedge), the glaciers are melting, including the icy dam that protects our pals' valley home; they and the other animals are high-tailing it to a distant ark pointed out by a helpful vulture. (The fact that the vultures' favorite song is "Food, Glorious Food!" from "Oliver!" isn't reassuring.)

Along the way to the ark, love beckons Manny in the hefty but lovable form of Ellie (Queen Latifah), another mammoth, but one raised by possums--like her "brothers" Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck). Sid handles his inferiority complex in an unusually godlike way and Diego faces his fear of swimming as the flood nears. But though we know some sort of excitement has to be waiting in the last act, the possibilities no longer seem so cataclysmic.

I'm not sure all this is a good idea. Jokes, especially in cartoons, often play better when there's seeming menace behind them, which is why the best scenes in "Meltdown" are still the ones involving Scrat's determined pursuit of that ever-elusive acorn and the cruel havoc wreaked in its wake. If we suspect the menace is a crock, it hurts the joke.

What attracted audiences to the first "Ice Age" was the buddy bonding of the Manny-Diego-Sid trio set against the notion of worldwide catastrophe, as well as the sheer visual pleasure of its snow- and icescapes, reminiscent of those gorgeously empty desert arenas in Chuck Jones' "Road Runner" cartoons.

Additional attractions included Leguizamo's great voice job as Sid, and Scrat's Wile E. Coyote-style gags, which are highlights here too--though the banter is weaker, the backdrop mostly a pretty valley. Eventually, we know, there'll be a cliffhanger. But it's not as exciting.

This "Ice Age" is still a good movie (especially for kids) with top-of-the-tech CGI. But perhaps because original director Wedge isn't doing as much (he now acts as co-executive producer besides making Scrat's squeaks), it feels more like an anonymous franchise film. There's a different director, Carlos Saldanha, and different writers.

The meltdown twist also hampers the future of the series. How can you continue an Ice Age saga when the ice has melted? And if you bring back the glaciers next time to get those jokes restarted, how will an audience ever trust you again?

One thing we can trust is the actors, especially Leguizamo. And though Romano and Latifah don't have much chemistry as a couple, you wouldn't want to see too much PG hanky-panky between a couple of woolly mammoths anyway. The three mismatched buddies (Manny, Diego and Sid) give us enough mushy, slushy bonding as it is.

As for the next "Ice Age," despite that massive problem of logic and science, I'm afraid they should bite the bullet and consider reversing the thaw. Global warming may be a hot topic now, but why let a joke cartoon version spoil the icy fun for Sid and the boys?

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What is the page rank?

Recently I came to know that my blog's page rank is 3/10. And I didnt know what that means. So I thought find what is the page rank and how did my blog managed to get at least 3 out of 10.

here are the definitions which I could found about page rank:

1. Devised by Google, it measures not only how many links point to a website, but the "quality" of the sites providing the links.

2. PageRank is a function of Google that measures the quality of a website on a scale of 0 to10. The theory is that high quality sites receive a higher PageRank based on visitors and traffic your site receives. PageRank is a “vote”, by all the other pages on the internet.

3. PageRank is a patented method (an algorithm) to assign a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set. The algorithm may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references. The numerical weight that it assigns to any given element E is also called the PageRank of E and denoted by PR(E).
(Wikipedia definition)

So I feel my blog reader have help me to get at least 3 from 0 in the blogsphere, and I need to thank all the people to help to achieve this. and I must tell that I am already getting more than 50 hits/day and I think it is a really good achievement :)

happy blogging!!!

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New Microsoft IE Patches will release on 11-April

Microsoft is set to release five security patches for its products next Tuesday, including a highly anticipated Internet Explorer (IE) fix that will address a bug that hackers have been exploiting over the past two weeks. Along with the critical IE patch, Microsoft will repair three other issues in its Windows operating system, as well as an unspecified problem in Office that is rated moderate.Although some had called for Microsoft to release an early version of the IE patch, ahead of its previously scheduled April 11 security updates, that possibility now seems unlikely. "Our test and engineering plan for that update that we began two weeks ago is on track to have that update ready for Tuesday," wrote Stephen Toulouse, security program manager with Microsoft's security response center.
Part of the Plan
Microsoft releases its security patches on the second Tuesday of every month, a predictable process that makes corporate system administrators happy. But the schedule also has led some users to download unsupported third-party security updates in between official patch releases from Microsoft.

Prompted by the severity of the IE bug, known as the "create TextRange ()" vulnerability, security vendors eEye Digital Security and Determina have already offered free downloads that fix the IE bug. To date, eEye reports more than 100,000 downloads of its software, which is not recommended by Microsoft.

Microsoft has plenty of other browser problems to address in the patches, including a second critical vulnerability that, like the create TextRange () bug, could be exploited by hackers to take over a system. Security researchers have also reported two less-critical IE problems with the browser, including a newly discovered bug that could be used by phishers to trick users into thinking they are visiting trusted Web sites. More information about the vulnerability is available here.

Microsoft has not confirmed that Tuesday's patches will address any of these other IE problems.

ActiveX Changes
It has, however, said that the security fixes will include some ActiveX changes aimed at bringing the company into compliance with a 2003 court decision relating to patents held by Eolas Technologies and the University of California. These changes will alter the way Internet Explorer works with some multimedia technologies like Flash and QuickTime, and they have forced many Web developers to make changes to their sites.
For corporate users who are not ready for the Eolas changes, Microsoft has said that it will also issue a "compatibility patch," which will undo the changes for about two months.
Microsoft offered few other details on the other security patches expected next week, except to say that some of them will require the computer to be restarted.

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IE Vulnerability - Very Dangerours

Hai Nam Luke has discovered a vulnerability in Internet Explorer, which can be exploited by malicious people to conduct phishing attacks.

There is a test (Click to see)to see whether your browser also vulnerable. (I tested it with my IE browser and it failed. But I am helpless, because there is no patch or remedy.)

they are sugesting disabling ActiveX as a solution. But when you disable ActiveX, IE Blocks flash too, hence it is not an efficient solution. I have a smart solution than that. USE FIREFOX!!!!

Safe surfing....


Google Related Links - Newfeature from google

Google Related Links use the power of Google to automatically bring fresh, dynamic and interesting content links to any website. Webmasters can place these units on their site to provide visitors with links to useful information related to the site's content, including relevant news, searches, and pages. Learn more...


Microsoft Says Recovery from Malware Becoming Impossible

In a rare discussion about the severity of the Windows malware scourge, a Microsoft security official said businesses should consider investing in an automated process to wipe hard drives and reinstall operating systems as a practical way to recover from malware infestation.
"When you are dealing with rootkits and some advanced spyware programs, the only solution is to rebuild from scratch. In some cases, there really is no way to recover without nuking the systems from orbit," Mike Danseglio, program manager in the Security Solutions group at Microsoft, said in a presentation at the InfoSec World conference here.
Offensive rootkits, which are used hide malware programs and maintain an undetectable presence on an infected machine, have become the weapon of choice for virus and spyware writers and, because they often use kernel hooks to avoid detection, Danseglio said IT administrators may never know if all traces of a rootkit have been successfully removed.
He cited a recent instance where an unnamed branch of the U.S. government struggled with malware infestations on more than 2,000 client machines. "In that case, it was so severe that trying to recover was meaningless. They did not have an automated process to wipe and rebuild the systems, so it became a burden. They had to design a process real fast," Danseglio added.
Danseglio, who delivered two separate presentations at the conference—one on threats and countermeasures to defend against malware infestations in Windows, and the other on the frightening world on Windows rootkits—said anti-virus software is getting better at detecting and removing the latest threats, but for some sophisticated forms of malware, he conceded that the cleanup process is "just way too hard."
Microsoft says stealth rootkits are bombarding Windows XP SP2 machines. Click here to read more.
"We've seen the self-healing malware that actually detects that you're trying to get rid of it. You remove it, and the next time you look in that directory, it's sitting there. It can simply reinstall itself," he said.
"Detection is difficult, and remediation is often impossible," Danseglio declared. "If it doesn't crash your system or cause your system to freeze, how do you know it's there? The answer is you just don't know. Lots of times, you never see the infection occur in real time, and you don't see the malware lingering or running in the background."
He recommended using PepiMK Software's SpyBot Search & Destroy, Mark Russinovich's RootkitRevealer and Microsoft's own Windows Defender, all free utilities that help with malware detection and cleanup, and urged CIOs to take a defense-in-depth approach to preventing infestations.
Are virtual machine rootkits the next big threat? Click here to read more.
Danseglio said malicious hackers are conducting targeted attacks that are "stealthy and effective" and warned that the for-profit motive is much more serious than even the destructive network worms of the past. "In 2006, the attackers want to pay the rent. They don't want to write a worm that destroys your hardware. They want to assimilate your computers and use them to make money.
"At Microsoft, we are fielding 2,000 attacks per hour. We are a constant target, and you have to assume your Internet-facing service is also a big target," Danseglio said.
Next Page: Human stupidity.
Danseglio said the success of social engineering attacks is a sign that the weakest link in malware defense is "human stupidity."
"Social engineering is a very, very effective technique. We have statistics that show significant infection rates for the social engineering malware. Phishing is a major problem because there really is no patch for human stupidity," he said.
Ziff Davis Media eSeminars invite: Is your enterprise network truly secure? Join us April 11 at 4 p.m. ET as Akonix demonstrates best practices for neutralizing threats and securing your network.
The most recent statistics from Microsoft's anti-malware engineering team confirm Danseglio's contention. In February alone, the company's free Malicious Software Removal Tool detected a social engineering worm called Win32/Alcan on more than 250,000 unique machines.
According to Danseglio, user education goes a long way to mitigating the threat from social engineering, but in companies where staff turnover is high, he said a company may never recoup that investment.
"The easy way to deal with this is to think about prevention. Preventing an infection is far easier than cleaning up," he said, urging enterprise administrators to block known bad content using firewalls and proxy filtering and to ensure security software regularly scans for infections.
Check out's Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer's Weblog.

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Spyware - The Digital Avian Flu

Although spyware has been called the plague of the Internet, some people still regard the invasive software as a kind of digital Avian Flu it is bad, and potentially very threatening, but happening to someone else.
That, many experts note, is a big mistake.
The prevalence of spyware, which usually slithers onto a system undetected during a download of other content, is formidable and poses a very real danger to every Internet user.
"You name it, spyware can do it," said Craig Schmugar, virus research manager at McAfee Avert Labs, which monitors Internet threats. "Everything from stealing your identity, turning your machine into a spam relay machine to popping up ads on your system. It can degrade your system performance to the point that using your machine is unbearable."
Defining the Threat
Spyware is a term that can be broken down into two categories, Schmugar said.
In the first category are the illegal, information-stealing threats that include Trojan viruses and "keylogger" programs that track user input. These are the villains of the Internet, and they pose a considerable risk to users. These types of programs are on the rise because the data extracted can be quite profitable to sellers.
Not all spyware is designed to be so harmful, though. The second category consists of programs intended to simply redirect users to different Web sites, or to collect general information on browsing habits.
"Advertisers often use spyware to cover competitors' Web sites," said Ben Edelman, a Harvard University researcher who focuses on spyware. "Where better can Netflix get a new customer than someone about to sign up with Blockbuster?"
If Netflix wanted to employ spyware, the company would hire an ad network, which then would hire another ad network, which would buy ad space from a spyware vendor, Edelman noted. This chain of companies distances the legitimate business from spyware activity while still giving it an edge in the marketplace.
Although this type of spyware, also called adware, might not be designed to hijack a system or steal identities, it still can be annoying. Working in the background, it can gobble up processing power, severely slow down a system, and even cause frequent crashes. It might also prompt a significant increase in pop-up ads, an Internet phenomenon that is almost universally despised.
"The advertisers are profiting from this, as are the adware makers, and those affiliates who distribute the adware," said Schmugar. "A significant number of affiliates are indirectly violating adware makers' terms of service by exploiting system vulnerabilities to silently install adware."
Spy vs. You
Although some spyware is relatively benign, especially the type that simply tries to get users to view ads or visit a rival site, other types are downright scary.
Keylogging programs, for example, can capture passwords, user IDs, and personal information. This is not just the kind of stuff that absentminded people put on a Post-It note, either. Through keylogging, a phisher can read every e-mail sent, see every Web site visited, watch every e-commerce transaction, and secretly view private instant-messaging chats.
With all that information, identity theft would be child's play, and even worse, it could extend into every facet of a person's digital life. A phisher could send e-mails from a user's account, with keylogging software attached, that would then infect the person's entire network of family and friends.
As unsettling as it might be to have one's identity hijacked, the effect on someone's finances could be devastating. With this level of personal information, a phisher might set up an electronic checking account, transfer every dollar of a victim's bank account into it, and walk away. Just as a user is wrangling with the bank over what happened, the credit card bills are likely to start arriving.
Many phishing victims have reported feeling violated by the actions, as if the phisher had come into their homes while they were sleeping and cleaned them out.
But, to extend the metaphor, phishing can be even worse than outright property theft. Thanks to insurance, most valuables can be replaced. But with phishing, someone's information might be sold again and again on the underground data market, forcing a victim to spend thousands of dollars, and months of time, trying to clear his or her good name and recover financially.
Other scenarios might not be as frightening as losing one's digital identity, but prove annoying and frustrating nonetheless. A spyware creator could hijack a user's system, turning the computer into a spam-spewing zombie, or so severely cripple the machine that it is nearly unusable.
Who's At Risk?
People who surf the Web in a corporate environment usually are protected. Computer network experts have become adept at putting up firewalls, blocking suspicious e-mail attachments, and watching for dubious download activity. Well aware of the spyware problem, many companies also do periodic sweeps of their systems to remove any unwanted programs that sneaked through their filters.
But many home users are not so fortunate. Some have installed antispyware protection, but in general, many are at risk, said Harvard's Edelman. Also vulnerable are libraries, airports, and hotels, all of which offer open Internet access without spyware blockers.
According to antivirus software company Symantec, visiting certain Web sites also can affect the likelihood of being infected with spyware. In a recent experiment, researchers started with a fresh installation of Windows XP containing the latest security updates and spent an hour visiting well-known sites in major categories like gaming, shopping, travel, and kid-oriented fare.
What was left behind on the machines was compelling, Symantec noted. Sites for kids produced the most adware, downloading over 350 applications onto the system, but no pieces of spyware. In contrast, gaming sites caused only 23 adware applications to appear, but four spyware programs. Going to shopping sites resulted in no adware or spyware.
"What this experiment tells us is that if you want to avoid spyware, there are certain parts of the Web you should stay away from," said Dave Cole, director of Symantec Security Response. "They're the dark alleys of the Internet world. Basically, you visit a game cheat site, and you're vulnerable for spyware. A kids site will open you up to adware."
Tool Kit
There are several spyware blockers and cleaners on the market, and Edelman noted that many users download programs like Ad-Aware, Webroot, and Counterspy.
A company started last year, SiteAdvisor, provides a system of automated testers that patrols the Web and gives out spyware safety ratings, allowing people to see if their favorite sites are really spyware havens. After downloading SiteAdvisor's software, people will see a small box in their browser with a red, yellow, or green icon to indicate the spyware threat level.
Antispyware tools work by scanning a computer system to find suspicious-looking programs that seem to have no business being in the machine, like adware, password crackers, remote-administration tools, jokes, and other applications. Some of what is caught is legitimate, which is why everything is usually presented in list format to a user, who can then sort the wanted from the junk.
Lately, though, even antispyware programs must be viewed with suspicion. A major trend has been the use of pop-ups by firms that allegedly provide free system scans and spyware cleaning. When a user chooses to accept the offer, he gets a message informing him that his system is riddled with spyware, even if it is perfectly clean. The irony is that during the scan, spyware is actually being installed.
"Stick with what you trust," said Symantec's Cole. "Don't use something from a pop-up ad that tries to scare you into downloading it because it has a funky, scary alert message."

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Shihan Mihiranga - Photos


Sirasa Super Star final day photos


Sirasa Super Star - Paper artcles..

Since, last few days my blog getting more hits for sirasa super star keyword, Ithought to publish scanned copies of few paper articles and few photos of artists.

***Please note that I am only publishing scaned images and does not represent my opinions whatsoever***