Safri Duo

Safri Duo plays fantastic music, good drum and percussion skills, mixed with strong electronic dance beats.

I started to hear their music last year. Frankly, I have not heard any music as enjoyable as those played by Safri Duo. If I have to rate, I must say Safri Duo is the best drum and percussion player in the world.

Here are the best songs I love :

1. Played-a-live
2. Samb-Adaigo
3. Snakefood
4. Meets Ayla Sunrise


Blog Statistics

According to the Pew Internet study, it is estimated that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers. A new weblog is created every 7.4 seconds, which means there are about 12,000 new blogs a day. Bloggers — people who write weblogs — update their weblogs regularly. There are about 275,000 posts daily, or about 10,800 blog updates an hour.

With that amount of new web content, there must be some blog search engines tailored design to search the blogopshere. Fortunately, I find technorati and Bloogz that serve my need.


Ultra 20 workstation

Do you believe it ?

Sun microsystems has released the Ultra 20 workstation using a single-core 64-bit Opteron processor and the price is just US$895.

This is an unprecedented price for 64-bit workstation even it is an entry-level workstation.

Ha ha ha …. Shall I buy one for playing around with Solaris 10 ?


Spamcop RBL

As a further effort to reduce spam, I decided to link up my sendmail.cf with the Realtime Blocking List (RBL) of spamcop.net. This requires adding "FEATURE(`dnsbl', `bl.spamcop.net', `"Spam blocked see: http://spamcop.net')dnl" in sendmail.mc and then using m4 to recompile sendmail.mc to sendmail.cf.

The blocking capability of spamcop RBL is astonishing. Within the first day, the RBL successfully rejected over 100 junk email from suspected spam sites. The amount of spam delivered to my mail server is reduced by over 60 %.

I note that major ISPs and big companies are also using the Spamcop RBL. Wooo... Spamcop has done a great work to the Internet world.


Relay hosts by country

ORDB.org (Open Relay Database) has published the statistics of mail relay hosts of individual countries. Amongst the first 20 countries, US is ranking the top. Hong Kong is ranking 14 with about 3000 relay hosts. Are these hosts careless configured or the network administrators of these hosts purposely enable the mail relay function ? I think the answer should be the former !!


Firefox awards

Mozilla Firefox Browser continues to win several distinguished awards in the IT industry.

PC World - Product of the Year awarded in June 2005

Forbes Best of the Web awarded in May 2005

PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, May 2005

“...Firefox is a great little browser. It's a quick download, occupies very little disk space, and has a clean, no-nonsense interface.”


Father of DNS

Dr. Paul Mockapetris, the Father of DNS, was granted the ACM Sigcomm lifetime award in May 2005.

In 1983, he foresaw the problem in the early Internet (then ARPAnet) of holding name to address translations in a single table on a single host, and instead proposed a distributed and dynamic DNS database: essentially DNS as we have it today.


Whois Search

When we want to check if an IP address belongs to which ISP or owner, we will try whois search of one of the Network Information Centers (NIC). There are five NICs in this world handling the global IP address allocation, namely APNIC for Asia Pacific Region, ARIN (America Registry for Internet Number) for USA and Canada, RIPE for Europe, LACNIC for Latin America NIC and finally AFRINIC for African region. The IP address belongs to a UK company, and if we try to use whois search in APNIC page, it will say hey this is not handled by me, goto RIPE. We will then goto RIPE and re-enter IP address in whois search box again and then get the registration information. This is quite inconvenient as we may need to access two NICs in order to find the registration.

At present, there is no one single NIC that stores up all the IP address allocation/registration of the whole world. Recently, I notice a site http://www.whois.sc which perform a single search for all IP address registration. I think this site will try a NIC at random, say APNIC, if APNIC says the IP should be interrogated at RIPE, it will goto there. This seems to be a great help to those who need to find IP address registration frequently.


Highest Price PCI Fibre Channel Card

This PCI Fibre Channel Card, QLogic's SANblade QLA2342, is sold at price of US$1,900, the highest price in Froogle online shopping for similar products. It offers two independent channels of 2-Gb Fiber Channel combined with 64-bit, 133-MHz PCI bus. Fbire Channel Cards are important in implementing storage area network (SAN) solutions which requires extreme high speed to store large amount of data over network interface.


40 million visa card accounts in the hands of hackers

Woo.. at last, we see the biggest criminal security breach of credit card information in history. The names, numbers and passwords for some 40 million credit card accounts appear to have been stolen from the computers of CardSystems Solutions.

How could CardSystems Solutions lose control of 40 million accounts?

A spokeman said thieves on the inside could have helped hackers to get inside, dumping viruses, or more likely, they exploited well-known vulnerabilities in the company’s computer system, using access codes that can be found on the Internet.

Apparently, CardSystems is not operating highly secure systems that meet the security levels of processing credit cards. In case of lawsuit, will the company go into bankruptcy ?


VRFY and EXPN in SMTP protocols

VRFY (verify) and EXPN (expand) commands are considered as security loopholes in SMTP. VRFY is used to check if an email address is valid. EXPN can expand an address. If the address indicates a mailing list, it return the contents of that list.

When the SMTP protocol was created, the Internet was quite a friendly place. VRFY and EXPN were convenient method of verifying email addresses. With the inceasing spam activities, people are taking the view that the two commands could be used by spammers to hunt email addresses. By all means, such information should not be given out as a matter of security and as a coordinated effort to combat spam.


Fedora Core 4

The biggest IT news in this week is the release of Fedora Core 4 by Redhat. I tried to download this latest package from Redhat but there were too many connections out there. Wow…, will use the whole Saturday and Sunday to download the 2.4 Gbytes iso files.

The package that attracts most people's attention in FC4 is Xen 2.0. Xen is a virtual machine monitor (VMM) for x86-compatible computers. Xen can securely execute multiple virtual machines, each running its own OS, on a single physical system with close-to-native performance.



Michael Jackson 性侵犯兒童案已結束,以他的財力及知名度,被判無罪絕不為奇。雖然如此,換來的卻是在全球上損失大批歌迷,佷多人對他的人格都感到反感,他們絕不會再買 Micahel Jackson 的CD 唱碟。


Link-local IP addresses

The IP range is reserved for link-local addresses. The concept behind is to let NICs still have an IP address when the DHCP server is not available. Only Windows and Mac stations support this function.

In IPv6, a dedicated address range has been reserved for this function. Link-local addresses always begin with FE80. With the 64-bit interface identifier, the prefix for link-local addresses is always FE80::/64. An IPv6 router never forwards link-local traffic beyond the link.


MSN Search Tool Bar

So at last, Microsoft fights back against Google in the desktop search war. Microsoft has recently released MSN Search Tool Bar which is similar in function with Google Desktop Search. MSN Search tool bar is integrated with IE browsers. After installing the toolbar, some extra functions are added, such as tab-browsing and pop-up blocking.

The most powerful feature compared with the Google counterpart is that MSN search tool can locate keywords in pdf files. Woooo. very cool and fantastic tool for every desktop user.



There are some shortcomings in Winzip. For instances, it could not decompress .rar files and can not follow the original paths in handling .tar.gz files. WinRAR is a better replacement. I have switched to WinRAR already.



Nmap is free port scanner designed to scan what ports and services are opened in a host or a network. The use of nmap is controversial. On one hand, network administrators need it as a diagnostics tool to ensure no unnecessary ports or services are inadvertently opened by mistake. They can also check if malicious ports are being established as a way of detecting any hosts being compromised.

Equally, crackers can use nmap to scan ports, services and what OS version in a hosts or a network. That's why nmap is regarded as a threat by some network adninistrators. The reality is that if there is a host hooked up with the Internet, people can find out what ports and services it is running, even if the port numbers are changed to peculiar ones.


Found new functions in Google

I found new functions in Google.

"define: noise" will give a list of definitions related to noise.

"fy noise" will give the Chinese meaning of noise.

Question : How does Google know that my OS is Chinese and then return a Chinese meaning ? In fact, Google does not know the language of my OS. The trick lies in "fy" which pronounce as "fan yi" in Putonghua, meaning to translate from English to Chinese.


Ethernet Diagram

The Father of Ethernet, Bob Metcalfe, drew this diagram about the concept of Ethernet in 1976.

On the same year 1976, Intel just started to produce its 8080 8-bit MPU.


選舉工程 (2)

曾夫人費煞思量,竟可設計出如此有心思的 banner 助陣,總算是公關高人,識得做 show。


選舉工程 (1)

這是個很別具風格的 logo.



Funded by the EU, FLOSSWorld is a new project to promote global collaboration relating to Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS). FLOSSWorld launched earlier this month. It will run for two years and involves 17 partners from 12 EU countries. Partners will all share 660,000EUR, from the European Union's 6th Framework Research programme. The project aims to enable research and policy development at a global level and facilitate further collaboration between the EU and developing countries in this area.

So, finally, open source software gets the attention of European leaders.


Opera 8

When it comes to browser security, there is no doubt that Opera 8 will win. But it is not free. You need to pay US$39.

Think it this way. If you are tired of spyware, adware and pop-up nuisances, it might be worth to pay US$39 to use a security-enhanced browser such as Opera.