Tag Archives: Computers

What Do People in the IT Companies Really Do?


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Sometimes back I came across on Facebook the following thought-provoking conversation between a father and his son working for an IT company. It was in Tamil. I have embellished it for your reading pleasure.

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Source:- pronetusa.biz
Source:- pronetusa.biz

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Dad: “By the way, what do people working in IT companies do?”

Son: “Why do you ask?”

Dad: “Because I see them strutting about like the peacocks – aloof and serious.”

Son: “Appa (Dad), do you include me also in your remark?”

Dad: “In a way, yes. Is it because you guys earn hefty salaries?”

Son: “Appa, these westerners, especially the Americans, want everything done in a jiffy. And, for this, they are ready to spend any amount.”

Dad: “Yes. Yes. Loaded as they are, they can afford to spend on such things.”

Son: Almost all companies and banks in the US, UK, and other European countries are ready to spend any amount to develop software  to do this thing or that thing. We call them ‘clients’.”

Dad: “OK”.

Son: “The IT companies have their offices and personnel in those countries to sniff out such clients who are ready to dole out heavy amounts. We call such personnel ‘Pre-Sales Consultants’, ‘Sales Consultants, etc.”

Dad: “What do your sniffers do?”

Son: “On approaching a potential client, our consultants will first introduce our company. They will highlight the pros where we excel more than our competitors.”

Dad: “So, your consultants will cast the bait and wait for the fish to bite!”

Son: “Yes. While nibbling the bait, the potential client will ask 1001 questions. They will want to know whether we can do this, do that and so on.”

Dad: “And…”

Son: “Our Consultants will assert that our programmers can develop whatever they want. They will eulogize the members of our IT personnel as demigods who can create any kind of software for quick and efficient conduct of their business.”

Dad: “Then, you are a demigod?”

Son:  “Hired as consultants at exorbitant salaries, it is their duty to say so.”

Dad: “What educational qualifications should a consultant have?”

Son: “Most of them are highly qualified MBA, MS, and such other degree holders.”

Dad: “What! Do you need people with such high qualifications to just say ‘can do’?”

Son: “Yes. Their qualifications carry much-needed weight to inveigle a potential client.”

Dad: “And then what? Will the potential client transform into a loyal client?”

Son: “Appa, it is a bit difficult to predict. There is a lot of competition in the IT field. Like our firm, other IT companies in India and other eastern countries too would have approached the potential client.

Dad: “So, how will you secure the project?”

Son: “Here comes the power of persuasion. Our consultants will promise the potential client that members of our software development team being demigods would complete their project in 60 days what in reality would take more than a year to complete.”

Dad: “How can a project that would take a year to complete be accomplished in just two months? Would it be possible even if they work 24 hours a day? Doesn’t the promise amount to cheating?”

Son: “I won’t  call it cheating because, during those 60 days, the client would be hazy about what the real needs are, neither will we be. Even so, we will deliver ‘a completed project’ in 60 days.”

Dad: “Then what will happen?”

Son: “The client will moan and say ‘This is not what we wanted’. They will then demand  that we incorporate this, that, and so forth.”

Dad: “And, then…”

Son: “Our consultants will ask them to raise a ‘CR’.”

Dad: “A CR?”

Son: “Change Request.”

Dad: “What does that mean?”

Son: “Our consultants will tell the client that during the stipulated 60 days our company had accomplished work for the amount paid, and if the client requires anything else, then the client will have to pay extra.”

Dad: “Will the client agree?”

Son: “Yes. The client has to agree. Can you face the world with a half-done haircut?”

Dad: “Ok. Now tell me what your company does once they secure a project.”

Son: “First, we will form a team for the project. A Project Manager will head the team.”

Dad: “That means, the person appointed as the Project Manager will know every aspect of that project.”

Son: “Not at all. The Project Manager knows nothing of what the programmers under him do.”

Dad: “If so, what is his work?”

Son: “If any of us make a mistake, we will point our finger at the Project Manager. He is the proverbial Redeemer, ‘The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world‘, the martyr, and the scapegoat. He is always under stress wondering who in the team might be next trying to bury him. “

Dad: “Poor fellow.”

Son: “The success or failure of a project is in the hands of the Project ManagerIf it is a success, the team gets the accolade, but if it fails, then he gets the boot. “

Dad: “I pity the poor soul.”

Son: “If we have any problems, we approach him.”

Dad: “Will he solve your problems?”

Son: “What! Solve our problems? Never. The company pays him to shake his head in the affirmative and mumble, ‘I fully understand your problem‘. It’s like you shake your head before Amma (mom).”

Dad: “I am glad to know that you at least accept me as the manager of this house. Carry on.”

Son: “Under the Project Manager are the Tech Lead, Model Lead, Program Developers, Software Testers, etc.)”

Dad: “You come under the category of…”

Son: “Developer. Most developers are from Tamilnadu, Andhra, and Karnataka.”

Dad: “What do the Testers do?”

Son: “The sole object of the Testers is to find fault with the work of the developers.”

Dad: “What! Your company pays Testers to find fault in the work of others?”

Son: “Yes.”

Dad: “So, with the combined efforts of all these staff, the project would be easy to complete, isn’t it?”

Son: “It’s not so. Only the developers and the testers work. Others, from my point of view, just idle.”

Dad: “Will you complete the project before the due date?”

Son: “Of course not. It would be a shame if we complete the work by the due date and it would rather be better to commit suicide because the management would think the work is just simple and start the process of retrenching.”

Dad: “But, won’t the client question the company about the time lag in completing the project?”

Son: “Yes. The client will! But, we will counter the client by saying, the computers they gave us were dusty; their staff coughed during the team meets infecting our staff; inclement weather; unpleasant working environment; toilets not clean;  cobwebs on the ceiling, etc., and flabergast the client.”

Dad: “And then…”

Son: “The confused client, with no other option left, will give us some more time to finish the project.”

Dad: “And will you complete the project in time and hand  it over to the client?”

Son: “Not at all. If we do that, then half the computer savvy people in our country will have to beg on the streets.”

Dad: “So?”

Son: “A few weeks before handing over the completed project, we will stage a scene before the client. We will throw a hint that we had accomplished something stupendous in our project that only our developers could understand and manage.”

Dad: “And?”

Son: “Like a new bride, the flabergasted client will beg us to not to leave and will request us to provide them a few of our developers who could stay with them to run and take care of the project. This additional process called ‘Maintenance and Support‘ will be an ongoing project for years to come.”

Dad: “Now, I understand the workings and strategies of an IT company. It’s not only marrying a woman, but also maintaining her for an indefinite period in the future!”

Son: “Yes, Appa.”

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Free Utility to Clean Your Computer Screen


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Cleaning computer screen manually

I wipe my computer screen every other day with a soft cloth and use a small brush to dust the keyboard.

I was wondering whether there was any easy way out to do this task like the windshield wipers found on vehicles.

Windshield wiper

Yesterday, I came across a message asking me whether I clean the inside of my computer screen.

I was flabbergasted. Till yesterday, I never knew that you have to clean the inside or the backside or the other side or for that matter any side other than the front side of a computer screen.

The message then said:

This online utility to clean the inside of the computer screen is absolutely free.
Click this link —>  
Free Utility to Clean Your Computer Screen

I clicked the link and the utility licked my screen clean.

This online utility is completely free now and will be as long as that website is in existence – alive and running.

The utility works on all types of computer screens: desktop monitor, laptop, or whatever. Moreover, the creators of this utility claim that it is virus free.

Click the link, and decide yourself whether to pass this utility to your friends or not!

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“What Ever Happened to the Millennium Bug?” by Grumpa Joe


Posted on 28/11/2012 by Grumpa Joe in Grumpa Joe’s Place

Year 2000 Time Bomb Disposal Kit
Year 2000 Time Bomb Disposal Kit (Photo credit: rjw1)

Does anyone remember the millennium bug? Back in the late 1990′s the planet was a buzz about a worldwide catastrophe, “the bug.” Personal computers came into existence in the seventies. At the time, computers possessed limited storage capacity. Programmers allowed only two digits to define a year. After all, in nineteen eighty, who could imagine the world lasting until the year two thousand? Between two thousand, and the limited capacity of early computer memory, no one could imagine that using only two digits to define a year was a problem. Finally in the late nineteen nineties the world became aware. What will happen on New Year’s eve of 1999 when the calendar turns over and it becomes the year 2000? Will the year 00 mean 1900 or 2000? Imagine the confusion. What would happen to the stock market? What about our savings in the bank? Would we earn the interest of 1900 or the interest of 2000? Worse yet, would those on the verge of retirement in 2000 be set back to 1900 and not be recognized as being born?

The millennium bug caused a rash of business to change out all old computers with new ones that could handle the four digit year. I remember my company racing to check computers to decide if they contained any software that limited the year to two digits. If they identified a problem they replaced it, or bumped it down to an application where the year was not a factor. The whole world sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the clock to turn, and the computers to crash. It is now twelve years after the fact, and I have yet to hear of a problem related to the millennium bug. What that means is we converted every computer on time, or that the millennium bug was a non-problem.

Today, I hear a lot of discussion about a similar catastrophe, the “fiscal cliff.” What will happen to the economy if we reinstate the Clinton era taxes? Many pundits, Congressmen, Senators, and “we the Sheeple” believe it will destroy the economy and send us into another more deeper recession. Really? Who has any definitive knowledge or facts to back that up? I think it would make a great experiment to let it happen i.e. do nothing to avoid the fiscal cliff. Let the taxes go into effect. It is a democrat’s dream to get all that extra money into the coffers (or trough). Perhaps we would learn once and for all about economics. Is economics a real science, or is it a political folly? If it is a science, the democrats will be proven wrong and the people they profess to protect will suffer. If they are right, economics will be proven more witchcraft than science.

It might be interesting to take a simple poll and see how you feel about this argument. Click on the poll below.

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Hackers Reveal 10 PC Security Mistakes We ALL Make


No one knows security mistakes better than hackers – because for them, tiny errors in security are the ‘keys’ that allow access to home PCs and office computer systems.

And hackers are clear about one thing. Computer users make mistakes all the time – and often the same ones, over and over again. Two hackers – one ‘ethical hacker’, who tests computer systems by attempting to break into them, and one ex-hacker who now works in security – lay bare the ten errors that crop up most often.

‘People are too trusting,’ says Tom Beale, who has worked as an ‘ethical hacker’ for 10 years, protecting corporate and government systems by finding weaknesses.

‘The human element is always the weak link in the chain. People are very easily distracted – and particular attackers prey on that.’

‘People are just getting more and more stupid,’ says Cal Leeming, an ex-hacker who was convicted for a cyber crime, but now works in computer security.

‘They want their stuff to be protected, but they expect someone else to do it for them. People don’t want to know. Even for companies, computer security isn’t a priority, because it’s not a primary source of income. It’s only once the company’s been hit that they realise, “Oh we should have paid more attention than that”.’

1. Don’t use the same username everywhere

‘People often upload photos of themselves to an online library, say,’ says Cal Leeming, a former hacker who works in security at Simplicity Media, ‘But they use a username they use on other sites. They don’t realise that people can use Google to connect them across all the different worlds they visit, and then work out a way in.’

2. Don’t trust public wi-fi

‘When you go on a public wi-fi network you have no way to determine whether it’s a real network run by a reputable company, or a fake run by a spotty guy next to you,’ says Tom Beale of Vigilante Bespoke. ‘The problem’s particularly bad on mobile, where you really can’t tell if you’re on a fake network set up to steal your data. If you’re going to use public networks for business, use a laptop, because the browser will warn you of security breaches – your phone won’t.’

3. Be careful about who you friend on Facebook

‘Facebook has been basically forced to implement privacy settings,’ says Cal. ‘But people still get it wrong. They randomly friend other people, not realising they are giving away information that could be useful in a cyber attack – for instance names of pets or family that might be a password or security question.’

4. Don’t trust people you don’t know

‘I always tell people to do an ‘offline test’ – ie would you do the same thing if you were offline? So for instance, if you’re chatting to someone online, and you tell them some information, would you give that information to someone you’d just met in a bar?,’ says Tom. ‘Online, you’re even LESS safe – because you may not be talking to who you think you are. People just seem to lose all concept of reality when they’re on a PC.’

5. Use two-factor passwords when you can

‘People resist this except when they’re made to do it – like by their bank,’ says Tom. ‘But it does add that extra layer. It does offer protection. People accept that their bank will use tokens or keycard readers, but when other sites add it, people resist it – they just want quick access.’

6. Don’t re-use your email password

‘This isn’t going to be a problem that goes away any time soon,’ says Cal. ‘People don’t realise what are the risks of using the same password. If you reuse your email password, you’re handing out the keys to be hacked and breached – giving hackers access to the information they’ll need to hack your bank account and other networks you use. People use simple passwords for convenience – memorising too many is just a pain.’

7. Don’t be fooled by ‘cries for help’

‘Some of the most effective attacks are “cries for help” from friends – sent by email from a compromised machine. It’s incredible how many people respond to that,’ says Tom. ‘If it’s someone who travels a lot, and their email is hacked, it’s more convincing when you get an email saying that they are stranded abroad, and need money. They target people with a scattergun approach, but when they find someone who IS abroad a lot, it’s very effective.’

8. Use antivirus software

‘I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t run AV software,’ says Tom. ‘It’s not a Holy Grail, but it helps you to deal with most known problems. Browsing without it is like driving without a seatbelt. It’s your first layer of defence, whether you’re using PC, Mac or Android.’

9. Remember that funny videos can be very unfunny

‘Facebook’s system doesn’t filter for malicious links, so they can be very dangerous. Often a ‘video’ link will try to fool people into visiting an infected site or downloading something in the guise of video software or fake antivirus software. Your only defence is to think, ‘Would my friend really post that?’ so be careful about people you only half-know. Facebook and Twitter need to inform users better.’

10. Set everything to auto update

‘Attackers will be actively looking for vulnerabilities – not just in your operating system, but in your browser, in plug-ins such as Flash and Java. Be sure that all of those are up to date,’ says Tom. ‘If you don’t, you are leaving security holes. Most updates don’t add functions, they just fix holes, and if you don’t get them, you still have the holes.’

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Reproduced from Yahoo! News – Thu, Sep 13, 2012

 

What Do You See?


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj
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Wake up, wake up … Your privacy is compromised.

What Do You See?

A mosquito?

NO! You are absolutely wrong.

On close scrutiny you will notice that this is something else – an “INSECT SPY DRONE”.

This tiny drone can be controlled from a great distance. It is equipped with a camera and microphone. It can land on you, and if needed, use it’s needle to take a DNA sample of you. The priclk, and the subsequent pain will be akin to that of a mosquito bite. Also, it is possible to inject into you, under your skin, a micro RFID tracking device.

It can enter your home by landing on you, attach on to your clothing until you take it inside your home; or it can fly into your home through a window.

This is already in production, funded by the US Government. Now, who is the real enemy?

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“Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845” – Nate St. Pierre


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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On May 8, 2012, Nate St. Pierre, a social media consultant and a blogger from Illinois claimed “Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845“.

Click on this image to read the post titled “Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845” by Nate St. Pierre.

Lincoln was requesting a patent for “The Gazette,” a system to “keep People aware of Others in the Town.” He laid out a plan where every town would have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing that each town build a centrally located collection of documents where “every Man may have his own page, where he might discuss his Family, his Work, and his Various Endeavors.” – Nate St. Pierre

Washington Post commented on this post:

The Washington Post May 8, 2012

A section of the blogger community was in an uproar over the claim made by Nate St. Pierre in this post that in 1845 Abraham Lincoln had requested for a patent for the visual appendix and concept of what we now call “Facebook” and that Lincoln’s request had been rejected. But many  skeptics like me had our fingers crossed.

Click on this image to read the post titled: “Abraham Lincoln didn’t invent Facebook, says the guy who wrote the piece saying he did”

We now know for sure that this story as a fake. Here it is straight from the horse’s mouth.

Click on this image to read the post titled: “Anatomy of a Hoax: How Abraham Lincoln Invented Facebook″ by Nate St. Pierre.

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THE CONFESSION OF NATE ST. PIERRE

The original story is 100% fabricated. It’s a tip of the hat to P.T. Barnum’s celebrated hoaxes (or humbugs) and Abe Lincoln’s tall tales. Absolutely nothing in it is true, except for the existence of the circus graveyard and the Lincoln Museum, both of which I would like to visit someday. The main image is a (very poorly) Photoshopped copy of a newspaper from Massachusetts. This was meant to be an easy one to debunk – there are clues throughout the entire article telling you it’s a hoax (detailed in the second part of this article).

I wrote it for a few reasons. Here they are, in order of importance:

  • I wanted to do something fun that would make me (and others) laugh.
  • I was tired of all the same old boring blog posts rolling past me that day.
  • I was officially launching my consulting services the next day, so I wanted a bigger audience.
  • I wanted to illustrate one of the drawbacks to our “first and fastest” news aggregation and reporting mentality, especially online.
  • This isn’t my first rodeo in the “poke the internet” department, but I only do it every 2-3 years or so. The last thing I did on this scale was when I hijacked the Fast Company Influence Project. The one before that I would prefer to remain anonymous on.

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Back again to square one …


This is a sequel to the article “Big Brothers are watching you…” that I posted yesterday after installing Collusion the new Add-on for the Firefox browser.

Today morning I switched on my laptop, opened my Firebox browser and out of curiosity I checked Collusion and here is the screen image of what I saw:

So, even after I shut down and switched on the computer the following day, I find that the Big Brothers are still there stalking to watch my movements on the web.

Exasperated, I clicked the orange drop down tab “Firefox” at the top left-hand corner, and then clicked “Options”:

Now on the options page I clicked the ‘Privacy’ tab and I checked the box under Tracking – “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked” and then clicked “clear all current history” and cleared ‘Browsing & Download History’, ‘Cookies’,  ‘Cache’, and ‘Active Logins’.

ext I checked Collusion and I was elated.  This is what I saw – a clean slate.

Next I logged into WordPress Dashboard.

Then I entered the web page of “The Telegraph”

And here is the screen shot of Collusion while browsing ‘The Telegraph’.

Next I searched Google. After about googling 6 sites, I checked Collusion and was confounded.So, I was back again to square one.

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Big Brothers are watching you…


You all know that there are many Big Brothers watching every click that we make, hoping to make a profit by trying to sell us something we browsed through or bought, as if we are going to buy more of the same.

Earlier today an experimental add-on for the Firefox browser called Collusion was introduced by Mozilla that shows how companies are tracking us as we surf the Web.

I installed a fresh copy of Firefox 7 today and then I installed this add-on. I was able to see all the uninvited third parties who are tracking my movements across the web.  Collusion show in real time, a spider-web of inter action between companies and other trackers.

I closed the Firefox browser and after some time I opened it. I was shocked to see a hive of trackers tracking my every move. Here is a screen shot of my Firefox screen:

I advise you to install this add-on for your Firefox browser.