Saturday, July 31, 2004

RFID More Hackable Than Retailers Think?

Iphtashu Fitz writes "Lukas Grunwald, a senior consultant with DN-Systems Enterprise Solutions GmbH, is warning retailers that the RFID technology that they are quickly adopting can easily be hacked with the appropriate tools. Grunwald has written a program called RFDump which lets you read and display all metadata within an RFID tag and also modify the user data using a text or hex editor. He wrote this program to demonstrate how consumers can protect themselves by wiping out RFID data after purchasing a product but he acknowledges that it would be
trivial to abuse this behavior. What, you might ask, can you do if you hack an RFID tag? Well as the technology is adopted more widely a thief could conceivably mark down the price of an expensive piece of jewelry before paying for it at an automated checkout counter, underage hackers could purchase alcohol or adult movies, and pranksters could simply reprogram the inventory of an entire store by just walking up and down the isles. 'The people who will be using this (shopkeepers) don't know much about technology,' Grunwald warned."


Friday, July 30, 2004

How to Increase Yahoo Mail Box Size From 6MB to 100MB ...

Try this at your own risk. This has been reported to be working by a large number of folks at my office. Still ... :)


Follow the steps to convert your from 6MB to 100MB.

1. Login to your Yahoo! Mail account

2. If you see only 6MB, go to Mail Options

3. Select Account Information from the left of the screen

4. You'll be asked for your password again. Enter it.

5. You will see the Membership Information page

6. Copy your url into notepad.

7. Copy the below url page also into notepad***********&.done=http%3a//***********

8. Copy your scrumb code (this should be the last 11characters of your url) from your url and place it in the two places of my url where the *********** is.Copy this url (which has your scrumb code) back into your browser. Hit Enter..

9. Change your settings to English - US.

10. Accept the New User Agreement.

11. You will be logged out.

12. Go to and relogin.

13. You will now see a 100MB mailbox.

14. Enjoy.

15. If it didn't work mail

Thursday, July 29, 2004

ICICI customer management ...

I called up ICICI's customer care over telephone for reporting an address change. I have a credit card with ICICI and two bank accounts with them. My credit card's communication had been changed (about two weeks ago) to the
"new" place I moved out to. However that was not automatically reflected in the other two entities (bank accounts) that I have with them !! How dumb ?!

How does their policy allow one to have different communication addresses ? Isn't that a violation in itself and also, how stupid can their software integration be ? Why is it that they can't see just one integrated view of me ?

The irony is that the customer representative was telling me that all are different products and have to be dealt with individually, while all their documents do state that information will be shared between ICICI entities (finance, credit cards, banking, ...) for better service !! Now, that's what I call CRM (sarcastic) !!

Looks like there's a long way to go for the banking folks to get their act right !

India Is Asia's `New Tiger'

Morgan Stanley Report :

Commentary on the Morgan Stanley report : Andy Mukherjee

M$ Newsbot apes Google News ...

There was an article in ET today talking about how M$ is aping Google News. The service is presently beta [just like Google News :)].

Cool Tool : 1 : Codesaw (for code learning) ...

Check out this pretty cool learning tool. It's free

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A long list pending and piling up ...

I have a list of things to write about !!

# A word on
# How much I liked Spiderman 2 ! :)
# On CRM - ICICI, HSBC credit card calls, where they need to get their act together
# On Airtel - customer support via call centers and the lack of ability to fix responsibility and talk to an individual. Lack of ownership.
# On Hero Honda Splendor (and supposedly Passion as well as TVS Scooty) bike key fiasco.
# On Sun Microsystems Inc support (or the lack of it) in India.
# Manipal motors, Chennai and their lack of service.

How does one build a successful technical career?

SUBROTO BAGCHI (co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, MindTree Consulting) gives you the nine key factors.

Monday, July 26, 2004

In this article, eWeek compares the different approaches to modeling tools found in IBM Rational's "Atlantic" and Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System.

eWeek: IBM Takes On Microsoft Over Modeling Tools

One key issue separating IBM Rational's tools from Microsoft's VSTS (Visual Studio Team System) solution is the approach to modeling. UML is the OMG (Object Management Group) standard for modeling. IBM said it is necessary; Microsoft said it is not.

Rick LaPlante, general manager for VSTS at Microsoft, said UML represents an unnecessarily complex model for many developers and is not a strategy Microsoft will explicitly support. "Ten years from now, modeling won't be reserved for the priests in the organization," LaPlante said. "Nor will it be this thing done on the side that requires a special organization that is the only people who do modeling. I think it will become pervasive."

What do you think? Can modeling exist without UML?

[Microsoft community blog posts]

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Managing contacts can be a pain !!

And I mean the email address book type :)

Now, all I need is one single list of emails-ids that needs to be populated with all the people who I think I should be reached for this blog stuff (what else :)) and it's such a pain to try and consolidate it !!

Does anyone know how to export email-ids from yahoo messenger ?! I'd be happy to hear if there's a way !

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Darjeeling and Gangtok trip photos have been uploaded ...

at Captions haven't yet been put up, but it's worth a peek now :) BTW, the trip was made in the month of April 2004.

Some sites suggested for uploading photos ...

and then, there's the age old

Looking for photo hosting site ...

Are there free sites (like which offer photo hosting ? The requirement is to show thumbnails and then provide a link to the full resolution photo (not a size/resolution-reduced image like yahoo does). An option to run a slideshow, an easy (bulk) upload interface, etc is an added plus :) Any suggestions/recommendations ?

Monday, July 19, 2004

Helping one sleep for 20mins during office hours (in the anoon) is big business ! ...

It is supposedly recommended by doctors that a very small nap in the anoon helps one to gain energy and calm nerves much more than anything else ! :)

I saw a program on TV recently this weekend which showed the ingenuity of an Indian born American in trying to "help" people sleep during office hours, taking a cue from the above advice ;-)

The Empire State Building in New York is one of the largest buildings in the world and houses a lot of corporates. The said business has set up a sleeping center which allows paying members to come there and take a nap in specially designed sleeping couches, for about 20 mins, amidst absolute tranquility.

Corporates are sending their top execs by the dozen so that these people can get energized very quickly (after the catnap) and get back to work rejuvenated.

How interesting ! Now, if only ... :)

Friday, July 16, 2004

Picasa, not Picasso !!

Hmm, did you notice an announcement from google press a few days ago (I think ET covered it either today or y'day) ? It said that Google had acquired Picasa Inc.

If you've notice, now contains a line which says

"Free from Google. Organize and find pictures on your PC. Download Picasa."

And, in true Google style, it made Picasa products available for free (similar to Blogger an earlier acquistion, and not to mention the famous GMail) ! Picasa has two main products "Hello" and "Picasa". The former helps you to transfer, store images online and use them from your BlogSpot. Picasa is a cool digital image library.

Give them a spin some time :)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

I sold my bike ...

at last :( I was hardly using it for the past year or so since I got my car. My dad has this scooter which he doesn't want to give up ('cos he doesn't know how to use a mobike) and the bike was getting "rusty". It was a Bajaj Caliber 110cc (black color) and I loved it.

The 4.5yrs that it has been with me, it served me quite faithfully. Used to give me about 50kmpl or more (rarely did I measure mileage). Used to start without much ado even after leaving it idle for months together.

Of course it did give me headaches when there was the rare puncture or running of out of petrol issue, but otherwise it was a darling. It survived a crash at 90kpmh (reason - careless me) and still left me walking quite fine with not much of a bruise on me and hardly a dent on the vehicle !! Bye bye bike - I hope your new onwer takes care of you :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Photos of my trip to Gangtok, Darjeeling and Calcutta ...

should be coming up at

I got them developed, printed and scanned last week. And my trip was done in May you know (lazy bummer ?) ! Have uploaded most of them, need to figure out the order, names of places, put right taglines :) Doable for around 200 photos ? That's gonna take some more time :)

The scanning has come up quite to my satisfaction. Kudos to the place I did it in - Photonet Konica oulet located at Doshi Gardens, Vadaplani (bang opposite to the Bus Depot).

None of the folks in my circle blog ...

Most of them probably don't even know what a blog is !! Strange is my company ?! :) They don't say for no reason that internet penetration and use of latest fads don't come to my place (as in my circle) soon !! :)

Long time ?!

Have I been too lazy to write ?! Maybe, maybe not.

The gripe's about not getting enuf time to blog (ahem) :)

I need that damned broadband connection at home, and it must be cheap and offer unlimited traffic (or at least some such) and not tie me down to a damn few hours per day. After all, what is "always on" if not "always on" ?! And if it's supposed to be broadband, it better be "always on". To hell with all these ISPs who offer a combo package of a hour of unlimited traffic per day or 300Mb or so per month. What are they thinking ?!

Now, did I mention that my comp needs a surgery and that I need a table for it. Time to go shopping - waiting for that raise ;-)