Friday, March 31, 2006

Beware of a new form of SPAM greetings

Just yesterday I was going through an article which shows ways by which spammers try to evade bayesian filters to get into your inbox. Today I got a first hand experience of another new way of getting into the inbox by fooling the spam filters. I got a mail from greetings@reply.yahoo.com and if you look carefully this is just one of the email address which Yahoo! will not filter and the mail lands into your inbox. This mail is sent by Yahoo! Greetings so there is nothing to suspect. The DomainKey-Signature also points to Yahoo! Greetings so there is little to suspect in there.

Received: (qmail 14714 invoked from network); 30 Mar 2006 21:08:14 -0000
Received: from pre-smtp05-02.secureserver.net (HELO pre-smtp05-02.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net) ([64.202.166.15])
(envelope-sender )
by smtp03-01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net (qmail-ldap-1.03) with SMTP
for <*****@yahoo.com>; 30 Mar 2006 21:08:14 -0000
Received: (qmail 957 invoked from network); 30 Mar 2006 21:08:14 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO n30a.bullet.scd.yahoo.com) ([209.73.160.88])
(envelope-sender )
by pre-smtp05-02.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net (qmail-ldap-1.03) with SMTP
for <*****@yahoo.com>; 30 Mar 2006 21:08:13 -0000
Comment: DomainKeys? See http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws; s=gcom1024; d=yahoo.com;
b=T3S7EetKgarz3oqISx7o81d04bWE3pSCjlhR/rymRp3TLcqTHOsvHZtLFMNcsTbV6TooBNE8zRwzPP6z0CqHriAgOPG5Izd+0j/rBu3Bh7hHje0er7KIgaVRJ2TUf0NoLPRqZFq5zmkQoRYuKQ1Eomch1W8m42T4eb0H3Yxo+L4=;
Received: from [66.218.69.3] by n30.bullet.scd.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 30 Mar 2006 21:08:12 -0000
X-yahoo-newman-property: greetings
X-yahoo-newman-id: null
Received: from [66.163.186.252] by t3.bullet.scd.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 30 Mar 2006 21:08:12 -0000
Received: from [127.0.0.1] by web8.greet.sc5.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 30 Mar 2006 21:08:12 -0000
Received: from [59.114.214.185] by web8.greet.sc5.yahoo.com; Fri, 31 Mar 2006 05:08:12 +0800
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 05:08:12 +0800
From: greetings@reply.yahoo.com
Errors-To: greetings@reply.yahoo.com
Reply-To: alice99785412@hotmail.com
To: donate@viamatic.com
Subject: ªüªÚ ¦b "Yahoo!©_¼¯¶P¥d" ¬D¤F¤@±i¥d¤ù±Hµ¹§A¡A§Ö¬Ý³á¡I
X-Nonspam: None

"ªüªÚ" (alice99785412@hotmail.com)¦b "Yahoo!©_¼¯¶P¥d" ¿ï¤F¤@±i¥d¤ù±Hµ¹§A³á¡I

¥d¤ù»â¨ú¿ìªk¡G

½ÐÂI¿ï¥H¤Uºô§}«e©¹¦¬¨ú(30¤Ñ¤º¦³®Ä)¡C

http://tw.view.greetings.yahoo.com/greet/view?7FNQ948STKCXR

¦pªGµLªk³sµ²¡A½Ð¨ì http://tw.view.greetings.yahoo.com/pickup ¡A¨Ã±N¤U­±ªº¥N½X½Æ»s«á¶K¦bªÅ®æ¸Ì¡G

7FNQ948STKCXR

¯¬§A¦¬¥d´r§Ö¡I

Yahoo!©_¼¯¶P¥d»s§@¤p²Õ

-------------------------
"Yahoo!©_¼¯¶P¥d" ¥d¤ùºØÃþ»ô¥þ¡A±i¼Æ¶W¦h¡I §Ö¨ì http://tw.greetings.yahoo.com/ ¬D±i¥d¤ù±Hµ¹¿ËªB¦n¤Í§a¡I


So far so good. There is nothing to suspect in there. Since I could not understand much I opened the link and since it points to http://greetings.yahoo.com/ there was little to suspect. I opened the greeting card and there I saw nice little advertisments in the greeting card. It was in the extra message space that the greeting card companies provide.

The question on your mind would be how its different from normal spam. Firstly this mail will not be filtered using normal spam filters and it will land inside your inbox. Secondly if you open the card like I did, you have verified your email address with the spammer. Its like using web beacons without actually using them and the greeting card companies are helping the spammer here. If you remember there is a feature most greeting companies have that informs the sender when a greeting card is opened. And since I opened it they have an email address that has been verified.

So the next time you get a greeting card from an unknown person and even if the email is in your inbox do not open it.

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Opera Mini rocks. Opera Mini != Opera Mobile

The last time I really used opera was when I used Opera 3, 4 and 5. After that I started using firefox and never looked back. I have always had opera on my system, even today I have Opera 9 on my system but I rarely use it. The only reason I use Opera is for WAP sites.

Comming back to the point I have tried to surf the net using a mobile but in more senses it sucks. It is just too slow for comfort. I have Opera 7.x on my mobile and though for surfing once in a while its okay but using it for more than 10 minutes is a real torture.

That is where opera mini comes up. Just to clarify a little "Opera Mini" is not "Opera Mobile". Both of them are very different products. The opera mobile edition that comes with your mobile phone is nothing like Opera Mini. Opera mini really feels responsive and the best part is its free to download. Opera Mini is something like Google Web Accelerator. But unlike Web Accelerator it acts both like a browser as well as a proxy server.

Okay actually the free part is not the best part but it does'nt really hurt that its free. Google is built into the homepage and that explains why its free. Got to love google for that. But all I can say is that if you use a mobile to surf you really need to give Opera Mini a try. You won't regret it. And for once I have started using my mobile to really surf the net. And in a way its faster to surf using mini than surfing on a desktop machine. Most of the websites open and render up fine. Since the actual processing is done by the opera proxy servers the pages load up really fast. Its almost like using a 256KBps line on your mobile.

With Opera Mini, finally opera has a winner on its hands. And as more people start using it, they are bound to get loyal customers who won't mind being charged for a service like this as there is nothing like this so far.

To sum it up in simple words Opera Mini is a service while Opera Mobile is a product.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Finally another release of AJAX Yahoo! Mail

I never thought there would be another release of AJAX Yahoo! Mail, but then again it will be there as long as Yahoo! does not release the new and improved version to all the lesser mortals :)

If you've not tried it till now do give it a try if you use firefox. In any case this one can act like a very good example of converting a Web 1.0 application to Web 2.0 without changing much on the server side. I have been writing an article about how I made this extension which you can use as a base for your own applications to convert them to the latest buzzword AJAX :)

For once I am writing an article which is longer than 10 pages so it will take time. And for once I am also proof reading it. Don't want too many mistakes in there. I will either post it here or on viamatic.com, in any case stay tuned and you can do so by subscribing to this blog.

I am trying to make it like a tutorial for AJAX plus also how it can help you to convert your already developed web applications.

[ Install AJAX Yahoo! Mail [0.6] ] [ Screenshots ] [ AJAX Yahoo! Mail Forum ]

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

NuSoap with PHP5

For the past few days I have been working with SOAP on a number of platforms. I wanted to use NuSoap with PHP5 and here are a few steps which will allow you to do so. As PHP5 has an inbuilt support for webservices it will clash with the names in nusoap.php. To get over this rename the class soapclient to soap_client. Also rename the constructor soapclient to soap_client.

This is all that needs to be done. Once you do this you would be able to run NuSoap with PHP5.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

HijackThis: The spyware detection and removal tool

A friend left his laptop at my place to remove spyware from his system. The regular solution I would follow would be to install Spybot S&D, but his system was infected with more spware than what S&D could remove. So after searching for many utlitites on the net I finally found HijackThis, this is like the big daddy of all the spyware applications. You should only use it if you know what you are doing, but it works so well that I had to write about it. It took less than 2 minutes to remove all possible spyware from his system and the performance of his system really went up.

I tried it on my system and cleaned up a few services and statup items that I don't really need and I also saw a marginal performance increase on my system. If you feel you system is slow do give it a try but be sure of what you are removing or better still post the log file on one of the forums and ask for help in removing the spware.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I won an IPod Nano

I almost forgot about it, I won an IPod nano plus some other goodies shown in the photograph for the extend firefox contest. And the other good news is that it has been downloaded by 135399 people. Wow! thats a huge number :)



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Making a html page as googlepages homepage

UPDATE 2: You can try out Roberts way, I have also tried it and it works. Use META tags <meta HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0; URL=foo.html" /> in the first block of html and it works. A bit slow but at least Page Creator doesn't wipe it.

UPDATE 1: This hack no longer works. The new version of googlepages cleans all javascript inside CSS. Though my page still works :)

It's been almost 5 days since I have been trying to change the homepage of my googlepages to an html page. This seems like a trivial task, write a line of JavaScript and you are done. But it's a lot tougher than it seems, since you cannot use any JavaScript with the pages created with Google page creator. I searched a lot on this topic; I know it's not something to loose sleep about but then again such a trivial task umm... There has to be a way out and I was determined to find a way out.

Before I tell you how I achieved it and you start abusing me right left and center have a look at my hompage. And luckily for me if you were using Internet Explorer 6 or lower you would be redirected to index.htm. It can also work with some other browsers but I just wanted to prove that it can be done. Sorry it won't work with firefox I've tried a lot; damn those guys don't have that many bugs... err.. features in their browser.

It uses the bug/feature in Internet Explorer 6 to achieve it. Open Google page creator and select any field and click "Edit Html". Insert this code there.
<div id="expression" style="display: none; style="background: transparent url(javascript:window.location=document.all.expression.innerHTML);"
>index.htm</div>


If you have a look at source code of this page http://vivekjishtu.googlepages.com/home you will see I am using "eval", but after I created this page it stopped working. Though it works on this page but every other page I created "eval" was being stripped?

So finally I tried this magical line and it works in IE6, it can also work in another browser if you use document.getElementById instead of document.all. I have tried it out and it works, but this is just a concept to prove that somthing like this can be done.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Google Pages the second look

I know I might have trashed GooglePages on the first look. But as I have started using it, there is something about it that makes me say its awesome. Finally it is the best way to move your things from one place to the other. I really don't like the webhosting part but I really like the fact that I can use it like a web drive. So if you want to upload a file all it takes is a single click and you are done. No messy emails to take care of.

It is hard to describe why its better but only once you start using it will you know how easy it is to manage your files. That was the good part :), but there is also a problem, you cannot make directories. So if you have many files it will become difficult to manage things once the number of files increase.

They are most proabaly using the onBlur event to capture when you select any file to upload. It feels so natural, specially the way the file is uploaded in one click. No questions asked and almost no page refresh. No need for a FTP client, everything seems to go with the flow. I uploaded my site there and currently they have no adverts. But so far I have not been able to set index.htm as the default. Lets see when and how I can insert the javascript using the pages editor.

Making the blogger navbar a little cooler

I know many people hate the blogger bar, but removing it is most probably against the policy of blogger. You can only remove it if you are using a FTP based account and hosting it on your own servers. I have seen may people completely hiding the navbar but that is against the policy. While designing this new template I had tried to merge the navbar with the rest of the doucment but I failed miserably. So I came up with this.
<style>
#b-navbar { opacity: 0; filter: alpha(opacity=50); }
#b-navbar:hover { opacity: .65; filter: alpha(opacity=75); }
</style >
It will not remove the bar completely. It will only be visible on a mouseover event. It works in Firefox, Opera 9 and Safari. On IE it will show a translucent navbar, which looks better than the original bar. Add this code in the head tag of your blogger template. Incase you want to use this template on your own blog contact me.

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