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Google Knol vs wikipedia

Google is working hard on it new project Knol

Knol stands for knowledge. If your are guessing it as wikipedia then you are right. Unlike wikipedia google will soon open it up for everyone. Currently it is on invitation only, as it is on testing. There is this wikipedia where there are articles on a subject written and edited by two or more people whereas knol is a user based ‘wiki’ edited and written by a ‘particular person’. Google will give advantages like showing up adsense or advertising from third party.

Though this will be a success in itself but question arises that will it be a quality article?.
Wikipedia has done incredibly well because it a subject is edited by many people and thus has a good share of knowledge and balancing its quality and accuracy of correctness on a subject . Now that knol is written and edited by one person sharing his/her id – there is a small risk. But that should not be worrying  much!.

Rest see after its launch! How it works…..

How You Can Spot Email Scams

by Paul Wilcox

We’ve all received spam trying to sell us things such as prescription medications, cheap mortgages and internet gambling. Most people just hit delete and move on, but there are some scams that are a little more serious.

One of the most common ones has been around for many years – the Nigerian bank scam. The person sending the email pretends to be the wife, brother, lawyer, banker or have some other relationship with some kind of government official in Nigeria. They tell the sad story of money that was deposited in a bank account but can’t be accessed because the person has died. They offer to give you a share of the wealth in return for accepting a transfer of the money to your bank account. The catch is, you need to give them your bank account information and transfer several thousand dollars to them first for “expenses”. Naturally, you never see any of the money that is promised after sending the expense funds. It sounds obvious, but people fall for this scam year after year, even though it has been going on for so long.

Some Internet scams offer investment opportunities with huge paybacks. They usually claim to be risk-free, but once they have your money, you’re very unlikely to see any return. Another common scam involves offering credit cards for those with bad credit ratings – just send a security deposit and processing fees. In return you get – that’s right – nothing. And by the time you start to investigate, the scam artist has disappeared.

Remember these offers are worse than even ordinary spam. Legitimate businesses do not promote their products by spamming. They e-mail selected groups, generally those who have purchased from them before or voluntarily offered an e-mail address. Other offers should usually be ignored. Simply hit your delete button. However, even highlighting the e-mail in order to delete it can signal a spammer that you received one.

How To Avoid Getting Stung

Never reply to spam. Doing so simply indicates to the spammer that your e-mail address is valid, and you’ll receive more spam than before. Some spam contains a message offering to remove your e-mail address from their mailing list. Don’t use even this service – it’s nothing but another method for verifying e-mail addresses.

Never send any private information like credit card numbers or username & passwords by email. Legitimate companies like Paypal or your bank will never ask for these things directly through email.

Spam isn’t an easy things to stop, but if you don’t recognize the person sending you the message, and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Besides, how many dead Nigerian dictators with huge bank accounts can there really be?

 

Some thoughts on passing as an extrovert

A lot of professional project management consultants choose to pass rather than reveal their true colors. We choose to pretend to welcome people to our cubes, to speak up during the unending roll of meetings, and to actually leave our space in order to find out what is going on. In other words, we choose to pass as extroverts rather than the introverts we truly are. In some cases this transformation is so extreme that our friends and family would not recognize us inside the business environment.

It gets worse. Almost all of the business advice is written by extroverts for extroverts. The structure of business emphasizes the skills of extroverts (e.g. willingness to communicate trivial details, ability to endure the company of a number of people for hours on end) rather than the talents introverts bring to the table. So, where is the reference for the rest of us?

So, what is a dedicated project manager who also happens to be an introvert to do? I don’t mean in terms of passing. I mean what do we do in terms of genuinely aligning our personal preferences with the needs of our project teams? How do we stop pretending and start really getting involved?

First, we have to accept that an introvert who leads does not do so in the same way that an extrovert does. An extrovert leads by using his charisma and ability to connect to draw others into his circle. It’s kind of like encountering a jamming field inside of which the target’s mind doesn’t work quite right. An introvert leads by understanding and assisting others in understanding what needs to be done.

Second, we have to toss the PMBOK in the circular file. Yes, I know it’s popular with project management wonks and introverts of all descriptions. It gives us a handy reference and the ability to create hundreds of useless documents to hide behind. At it’s worst, we can use the thing as a “cookbook”, a step-by-step guide to miserable failure.

The seductive allure of process, any process, needs to be discarded in favor of honest self-reflection and analysis. Most processes serve to record information for extroverts, who have memories like mayflies anyway. What we need is to focus our attention on understanding what is happening, why it is occurring, and how we can get our teams to act in a way that will restore blessed silence as quickly as possible.

To do this we need data. Lots of data. Fortunately most modern introverts are class-A infovores, and we have access to wellsprings of information exceeding our ancestors’ fondest dreams. While the extroverts go out and glad-hand, we have the ability to figure out what’s really going on. Don’t let your lack of knowledge regarding “accounting” or “technology” or “fruit-juice” stop you either; it’s all data and it all obeys structured rules regarding its analysis. Learn the rules, sort the data into models, and work it out.

Finally, get out of the front lines. We are introverts, not extroverts. It’s not necessary for us to speak with everyone, all the time, everyday. Find an extrovert on the team, appoint him “team leader” or some such nonsense, and let him speak up and field questions. This kind of front-office/back-office approach to project management (whether done with a team leader or two project managers) can produce impressive results.

Good luck, my fellow introverts, and remember: it is no longer considered ok to growl at the person who comes into your cube for the fifteenth time that day to discuss his potted plants.

Using NASA’s World Wind Component in Your Java Technology Applications

World Wind is open-source software, developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that allows you to zoom from satellite altitude into any place on earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data, World Wind lets you experience any part of earth’s terrain in visually rich 3D form, just as if you were really there. For instance, you can use World Wind to zoom in on the Himalayas or Mount Saint Helens, as shown in Figure 1. The combination of Landsat 7 imagery with SRTM data allows World Wind to display dramatic views of the earth at eye level. Users can literally fly across the world in any direction.

Mount Saint Helens

Figure 1. Mount St. Helens, Washington


As fun as World Wind is to play with, that is not its purpose. Instead, World Wind is a Java technology component that you can integrate into your applications to incorporate 3D earth modeling. World Wind does all the hard work for you, such as dynamic image selection and retrieval for images of the earth’s topography.

In addition, because the software is open source and written in the Java programming language, you can build into the NASA World Wind Java 3D visualization technology. You are also free to extend or embed the component architecture for business, research, or education. The possibilities for portable, high-performance 3D graphics rendering are wide open.

What World Wind Is and Is Not

NASA World Wind visualization technology is not just cool software. Instead, it is a component that can be included in any application or applet that needs access to NASA’s world data and imagery. In addition, NASA has partnered with several organizations that also provide valuable data that you can use. World Wind has tremendous potential in science applications, educational software, and business and government use.

World Wind is not a copy of Google Earth, nor is it in competition with that software. Both NASA World Wind and Google Earth are sophisticated programs with amazing feature sets, and each has features that the other would benefit from. Despite how similar the programs seem, they differ significantly in focus, development history, and philosophy. Many people use both programs, depending on what they wish to accomplish. Google Earth is great for looking up any location on earth, and viewing earth data in different ways. But with World Wind, you can incorporate the component into your application to bring together your own data with data from other companies, or to use NASA data in new and innovative ways. For instance, World Wind can be use to create flight simulators, using earth or other planets, or it can be used to view data on specific diseases worldwide.

In addition, World Wind is not limited to information about the earth. In fact, you can use this component and modules to view the moon and other planets, or to look out into the universe, as shown in Figure 2. Because it was written to be extensible and replaceable, you can conform World Wind to whatever your needs are, and it will deal with complex and difficult image manipulation and handling.

Universe

Figure 2. View of Universe


World Wind also includes a myriad of advanced functions and capabilities. In addition, World Wind benefits from diverse input from the open-source user community, which has the power to shape its development. This has led to a proliferation of add-ons and plug-ins.

NASA has released World Wind, written in the Java programming language, to improve its quality through peer review, maximize public awareness and the impact of NASA research, and increase dissemination of World Wind.

World Wind as Application or Applet

You can deploy World Wind within an application with Java Web Start software, or you can deploy it as an applet through the browser. World Wind has eight packages, and more will be available in the future:

  • gov.nasa.worldwind — The top-level world wind package.
  • gov.nasa.worldwind.awt — Classes specific to use with Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT).
  • gov.nasa.worldwind.formats.gpx and gov.nasa.worldwind.formats.nmea — Both are classes specific to GPS track formats.
  • gov.nasa.worldwind.geom — Geometry and math classes.
  • gov.nasa.worldwind.globes — Globes with earth, Mars, and so forth.
  • gov.nasa.worldwind.layers — Imagery and other data to display on globes.
  • gov.nasa.worldwind.layers.Earth — Layers specific to earth.


Creation of a World Wind Component in an Application


To create a World Wind component, simply create a frame and a window canvas, then listen for events.

  1. Add a WorldWindowGLCanvas object to a JFrame object:
  2. Class MyWorldWindFrame extends Jframe
    
    {
    
     WorldWindowGLCanvas wwc = new WorldWindowGLCanvas();
    
     this.getConentPane().add(wwc, BorderLayout.CENTER);
    
    }

  3. Listen for World Wind events:
  4. wwc.addSelectListener(new SelectListener()
    
    {
    
     public void selected(SelectEvent event) {...}});

Starting the World Wind brings up the component as a single application as shown in Figure 3.

Opening Screen

Figure 3. Opening Screen.


The WorldWindow and View Interfaces

Following is the WorldWindow interface:

  • set/getModel(Model)
  • set/getView(View)
  • getSceneController(...)
  • pick(java.awt.Point)
  • set/getInputHandler(...)

To add or remove listeners, use the following:

  • PositionListener
  • SelectListener
  • RenderingListener
  • repaint()

Following is the View interface:

  • Fields
  • Position, direction, field of view, altitude, heading, pitch, roll, and so forth.
  • Actions
    • apply()
    • goto(lat/lon/elev/altitude)
    • project(Point 3Dpoint)
  • Compute
    • horizon()
    • positionFromScreenPoint(...)
    • rayFromScreenPoint(...)

Use of World Wind Within an Applet

To create an applet, you use the Java APIs for OpenGL (JOGL) Applet Launcher. The new JOGL Applet Launcher enables the creation and deployment of applets using 3D graphics through OpenGL without requiring the applet to be signed or performing any manual installation of software on the user’s computer. It works on any combination of operating system and CPU supported by JOGL, with a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.4.2 or later installed into the browser.

The following code snippet is typical of what you would use on the applet page to launch the World Wind component within an applet.

<applet code="com.sun.opengl.util.JOGLAppletLauncher"

     width=400

     height=260

     codebase="http://www.tomgaskins.net/applet"

     archive="jogl.jar,gluegen-rt.jar,jogl-demos.jar">

  <param name="subapplet.classname"

     VALUE="worldwinddemo.Applet1Up">

  <param name="subapplet.displayname"

      VALUE="WorldWind Applet Demo">  <param name="progressbar" value="true">

<param name="cache_archive"

      VALUE="jogl.jar,gluegen-rt.jar,Applet1Up.jar">

  <param name="cache_archive_ex"

  VALUE="jogl.jar;preload,gluegen-rt.jar;

  preload,Applet1Up;preload">

</applet>


Note that the Applet1Up.jar file, which contains the WorldWindApplet class, does not need to be signed. Sun Microsystems, Inc., signs the jogl.jar and gluegen-rt.jar file, which contain the JOGL Applet Launcher and supporting classes. This is the only Java code that needs to be signed to deploy applets using JOGL, and it is the only certificate the end user must accept.

Architecture and API

NASA’s extraordinary wealth of data, which can be measured in terabytes, comes from sources such as satellites orbiting earth and telescopes peering into deep space. NASA World Wind visualization technology can readily deliver geospatial data in the most compelling and accessible manner possible. Figure 4 is a simplification of how World Wind interacts with data systems.

World Wind System Architecture

Figure 4. World Wind System Architecture


World Wind is a collection of components that interactively display 3D geographic information within applications using Swing, Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT), Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT), or other user interface toolkits. Figure 5 shows World Wind’s small number of replaceable components.

World Wind System Architecture

Figure 5. World Wind Architecture


The World Wind API is defined primarily by interfaces, so you can selectively replace components with alternative components.

The application interface at the highest level is WorldWindow. Toolkit-specific implementations of the interface are provided for Swing/AWT.

In addition to WorldWindow, there are five major World Wind interfaces:

  • The Globe interface represents a planet’s shape and terrain.
  • The Layer interface applies imagery or information to a Globe.
  • The Model interface aggregates a Globe and the Layers to apply to it. The application typically interacts with the model to create a globe of the earth, or Mars, or whatever the model needs to be. It can even be the universe.
  • The SceneController interface controls the rendering of a Model. It is also responsible for giving the scene update, timing, and events, as well as for mapping user actions.
  • The View interactively controls the user’s view of the model.

In typical usage, applications associate a Globe object and several Layer objects with a Model object. Then they pass that model to a SceneController object, which displays the globe and its layers in a WorldWindow. The scene controller subsequently manages the display of the globe and its layers in conjunction with an interactive View interface that defines the user’s view of the planet.

The objects implementing these interfaces may be those provided by World Wind or those created by application developers. Objects implementing a particular interface may be used wherever that interface is called for. World Wind provides several Globe objects representing the earth, Mars, and the earth’s moon. And World Wind provides basic implementations of the Model, SceneController, and View interfaces.

The FrameController interface enables applications to control the integration of World Wind Java programming rendering into the application’s rendering.

All data is persisted to or drawn from the local computer by the file cache. The file cache manages multiple disk storage locations and unifies access to them. The file cache is a singleton, accessible through the WorldWind singleton.

Progress and the Future

More data is becoming available all the time on the planets, moons, stars, weather, satellites, and time series. Soon more data formats will be natively supported. The useful components coming are a layer manager, animation player, drag-and-drop functionality, and user interface (UI) helpers. Additionally, World Wind will include RSS feed support and APIs for scripting extensions. Lastly, future versions of World Wind will include Eclipse and NetBeans IDE integration.

For More Information

World Wind
World Wind Forums
JOGL Applet Launcher Test Page
JOGLAppletLauncher Class
Introduction to JOGL
Java Web Start Technology

Psychopathic IT projects: a five-point checklist

The worst IT projects are ill-conceived, poorly executed, and ultimately doomed to fail. I call them psychopathic IT projects.

Psychopathic individuals are cunning, pathological liars with no conscience, who nonetheless appear completely normal. Likewise, psychopathic IT projects hold the promise of great value, but cause only pain and suffering until they finally end.

Here’s my five-point checklist to help identify psychopathic IT projects:

  1. The project promises great strategic value. These projects are promoted as potentially transforming important aspects of the organization undertaking them.
  2. The project delivers no short-term value. Truly psychopathic projects don’t produce short-term value. They may appear temporarily beneficial until it becomes clear something is terribly wrong.
  3. The project is severely disruptive. Psychopathic projects eventually cause significant disruption to the organization. In extreme cases, a company may go out of business due to consequences inflicted by the project.
  4. Stopping the project requires external intervention. Drug interventions are well-known in cases of addiction. Likewise, halting a psychopathic project usually requires intervention by an external force, such as a regulatory or other auditing agency.
  5. There’s no lasting benefit. When a psychopathic projects ends, the best one can say is, “Thank God it’s finally over.” Ordinary projects fail; psychopathic projects destroy.

Differentiating a psychopathic IT project from an “ordinary” project failure isn’t always easy. If you suspect a project is truly psychopathic, disassociate yourself from the nightmare that’s surely coming.

Have you experienced a psychopathic IT project? Leave a TalkBack comment and describe what happened!

Most security breaches caused by careless human error

Security expert David Litchfield analyzed data breaches during 2007 and came up with interesting results:

Word documents and spreadsheets mistakenly left on a web server or indexed by a search engine account for 20.6% of the 276 breaches, both physical and digital, recorded up to the 23rd of October. This means that a fifth of the breach problem could be solved if companies actively and regularly hunted out such relict documents themselves.

David points out that these numbers are certainly low, since most criminals don’t report their activities.

In a related announcement, Chris Walsh reports on two studies that showed:

60-65% of breaches [are] due to lost or stolen media and 15-25% [of breaches are due to data] exposed online.

Here’s a table showing this data:

Most security breaches caused by careless human error

Based on these reports, it’s clear the vast majority of data breaches are caused by human error: data custodians inadvertently leaving files exposed to search engines, or else losing storage media (and laptops) containing secure data.

It’s tempting to believe that security data breaches result from the hands of evil hackers, secretly using advanced techniques to pry into sensitive and well-guarded computers. Unfortunately, the reality is that most breaches are caused by plain old carelessness.

7 Costly Small Business Marketing Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Must Avoid

Everybody makes mistakes and entrepreneurs are no exception. But for an entrepreneur with a limited budget, committing mistakes too often can be very costly. It is an open secret in the business world that most of the mistakes that can be committed in business have been committed; so why not just learn from them, saving you the agony of committing them yourself.

With that said, here are 7 costly small business marketing mistakes every entrepreneur must avoid:

1. An Incongruent Marketing Message

To effectively sell your product or service, your customer has to “get” the marketing message. A customer-centric marketing message educates your prospects and persuades them to become customers. Too many small businesses make the mistake of focusing their message on the product or company, instead of how the prospect would benefit by purchasing their product. Prepare the right marketing message with some of these in mind:

• Identify the prospect’s problem.

• Explain to the prospect why the problem should be solved immediately and explain why your product or service is the right solution to their problems.

• List the benefits your prospects would enjoy upon purchasing your product and provide an unconditional guarantee to allay any fears they may have.

2. “Spray-and-Pray” Marketing Instead Of Precision Marketing

The days of marketing as a zero-sum game are over. You must demand accountability from your marketing efforts, expecting tangible results in the form of a healthy ROI (return on investment). Differentiate your marketing messages and target them to meet the specific needs and wants of your prospects and customers.

Many small businesses are guilty of the dreaded “spray-and-pray” marketing ideology, which inevitably drains their resources to the point where it very often leads to their demise.

Do not commit this same mistake, but instead practice precision marketing, where every aspect of your marketing and advertising efforts are measured and tracked for maximum returns.

3. Failing To Realize Marketing Is About Value Creation

To create a sustainable small business, you have to market something of value to the prospect and customer. Marketing is your business and creating value for your customers should permeate through all your marketing efforts. Strive to always over-deliver because customers love to receive more than they expect and the easiest way to do so is to develop a thorough understanding of their wants and desires.

4. Selling Instead Of Educating

You must have heard about the age-old principle that “people love to buy but hate being sold to.” It is a principle that will continue to hold true for ages to come, but unfortunately, many small businesses still fail to adhere to it. The fastest way to get rid of a prospect is to try forcing a sale out of him or her.

Education-based marketing, however, is a powerful marketing strategy to overcome this problem of being sold to. This strategy makes use of giving away valuable information, educating your prospect about the benefits of owning your product or using your service, offered to them as free reports, video cassettes, CDs, or DVDs in exchange for their contact information.

It is a strategy that builds trust with the prospects resulting in a much higher closing ratio. So, forget about throwing a sales pitch and try educating your prospects instead for a higher conversion rate.

5. Failing To Test

The biggest mistake any entrepreneur can make with their business is the failure to test every possible variable most important to their customers. This applies to both online and offline marketing efforts.

I can understand if small businesses faced more difficulty with market testing because of limited budgets years ago, but the Internet has done away with this excuse. It has become so cheap to conduct price tests and sales copy tests and identify what campaigns, keywords, and metrics give you the best ROI online that not testing any of these has become a cardinal sin.

6. Not Following Up With Prospects Or Customers

Small businesses spend a great sum of money acquiring customers, which makes it all the more difficult to understand why many of them don’t follow up with their customers, or even their prospects after the “front end” sale.

It has been well documented that true riches are to be found in the backend sales and the reason for this is simple. If a customer or prospect raises his or her hand to do business with you, it means an element of trust has been established and a business relationship is ready to be formed. They are more then likely to buy from you repeatedly if you make it a point to capture their contact information and develop a follow-up system for communicating with them frequently.

7. Selling To The Wrong Target Market

Never assume that your product or service will appeal to a general audience because this assumption has profoundly resulted in many small businesses shutting up shop. Large businesses are guilty of this too, but you can save yourself from committing such a rash mistake by asking yourself these two questions:

• Who are your customers, or who is your target market?

• Who will use your service, or who will buy your product?

Answer these questions with absolutely clarity and segment these markets by demographics and psychographics to zero in on your ideal customer. The time spent doing this correctly will add nicely to your bottom line.

Just remember that to succeed, you must be prepared to fail, so don’t fear the eventual mistake but learn from it.

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