Archive for the 'General' Category

Open Source Alternatives to PGP Desktop/SDA

PGP Desktop products (Pro/Home) provide a neat set of features for all your email encryption, file and disk encryption needs in one nice package but for a price. However there are open source alternatives that offer similar features, which are more than enough for home and small business users. PGP Desktop offers great set of features for Enterprise customers with server based management and recovery features, but these features are rarely needed in a small business or home environment. The tools presented here have existed for a while but even then the security and small business community seems to gravitate more towards PGP Desktop, this entry is merely a reflection to say that all the features of PGP Desktop are available for free and in open source if your willing to work with 3 well developed applications.

Public Key Email Encryption/Signing/Decryption/Key Management

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OVS makes debut in the US and Canada

What better to start the year than to write that my last post (SaaS with a twist) is a reality in the US under the name OVS – Open Value Subscription. Wow that was too soon! MS does really think it is a business model that they can pull off well in the US and Canada. The news appeared in MS Small Business Community blog:

Open Value Subscription launching in the U.S. and Canada! Attention Microsoft Partners… We are thrilled to announce that on March 3rd, 2008, Microsoft will be launching the Microsoft Open Value Subscription Program in both the U.S. and Canada.

I caught it on Redmond Channel Partner, read more at:

It will be interesting to see the pricing model of these offerings, considering that it was designed to attract bargain hunters and occasional MS office suite users in developing countries.

SaaS with a twist

With all the buzz lately about SaaS (Software as a Service) Microsoft seems to have introduced a new twist into the game. Microsoft India is offering Office 2007 as a pre-paid edition. More like pre-paid phones the thick client application suite is available for purchase at ~$30 (Rs. 1500) for 6 months and can be renewed every 3 months thereafter. While a model like this may not work out well in markets that demand perpetual licences. Seems like a nice way to attract students and small business that just want to pre-pay when they cant deal with Open Office or Google Docs! Will we see such a model in the US? Time will tell !!

VMWare and Bridged networking failure

I was using VMWare Workstation 6 for Linux and figured a weird thing that with Wireless connection on the host machine, the guest could not obtain an IP address in bridged mode. The Windows guest would throw an error “An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection : unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out.” This is a weird phenomena. I’m not quite sure what the reason is for this failure, but it does work if the host has a wired connection. May be VMWare Workstation would get better with these things in future. Do we see any patches coming soon? Or may be it is a “limited feature” software and a marketing gimmick to sell other (more expensive versions such as GSX server).

Do hollywood screen writers read IEEE Spectrum?

The other day was going through some of my old books and noticed a copy of IEEE Spectrum from Feb 2002, the cover keeps me wondering do Hollywood screen writers read IEEE Spectrum? Having seen the movie Transformers (ya! I also know its adapted from a comic) I wonder whats next probably an old IEEE Spectrum should tell !


IEEE Spectrum to Transformers

SketchCast your thoughts!

Have you been having ideas lately but no time to write about them? Now you can cast them to the world no I don’t mean podcast just sketchcast it! A pretty neat idea that transforms the traditional white board drawings to the Internet. Hmm! I wish the service morphs into a free WebEx type service where you can collaborate and share the white board.

SketchCast = White Board + Voice + Broadcast

Here a thought for SketchCast 2.0 -> Interactive Sketchcast + Share Whiteboard + Multiplexed Voice Chat

SSH Proxy without root privileges

There are myriad of tutorials available that spoon feed how to setup a SOCKS dynamic proxy connection using SSH. The problem with all of these setups is they assume you are in control of the SSH server and can run as root (dynamic proxy only works as root) and the application that you intend to tunnel has SOCKS proxy support.

If you have tried to tunnel any traffic through university SSH accounts or tried to tunnel IM clients through SSH SOCKS proxy you will soon realize they don’t work with any of the SOCKS proxy instructions.

Most IM clients don’t support SOCKS or if the do they don’t work well. On the other hand HTTP proxies work universally well with all type of applications. Read more »

Example of an interesting example!

An example post about an example website, that has an URL, apparently an example domain that cannot be used for any other purposes other than for examples as defined in the example RFC 2606 (Section 3) not bad for an example post huh!