Mirror Magazine


Techno page

Ain't no way to hide those prying eyes?
By Harendra Alwis
Most of us who use computers on a daily basis use passwords to access our personnel email accounts and other such restricted or privileged information. When it comes to online security your password is your first line of defence. Now simple programs are being used to retrieve other people's passwords especially over networks of computers.

It is shocking to notice how few of us keep our private passwords to ourselves. It is a common habit among most of my friends to give their email passwords to their 'significant others'. Not only do people forget to look after their passwords but sometimes they forget their passwords alltogether.

One of the most common mistakes committed by many of us is to use one password for everything. Then if your password is cracked, you run the risk of losing practically everything.

So how do you choose one that's memorable but not obvious?, easy enough to remember but hard to crack?

Making it a mixture of numbers and letters and potentially some random characters such as "@#)+_(&%" would certainly help. Another solution would be to change the language we use. Perhaps yet another solution is to replace words altogether. Recently I heard of a software package which uses pictures as passwords. Maybe we could come up with devices that can detect unique and distinct features in individuals such as retina scans that are already available and use them as passwords.

As our deepest secrets go digital, choosing a good password becomes more important than ever, but many people don't take their password security seriously enough. New technologies like biometrics will help, but the fact remains that if you want to keep your private information from prying eyes you must choose a password that's hard to crack and then not say a word about it to anyone.

VB Script - mean anything to you?
By Kushan Amarasiri
Visual Basic Scripting is a scripting language used with HTML to create dynamic and interactive web pages. The pioneer software giant Microsoft developed VB Script based on Microsoft Visual Basic.

A scripting language instructs your computer to perform a specific task. To create Active Server Pages any web developer should be familiar with VB Scripting. Other scripting languages include Java Script and Pearl Script. Each of these scripting languages has distinct features.

Microsoft developed VB Script to create documents for the Internet. VB Script provides ease of use, versatility and active server pages support. Java Script offers more advanced scripting features than other scripting languages. Pearl Script is most useful when creating code that processes or manipulates text.

Compared to other scripting languages VB Script is easy to use. Many scripting languages require the web developer to adhere to strict syntax rules including the requirement of semi colons at the end of each line and the use of case-sensitive names.
Any typing error can return errors in the code. VB Script does not require you to abide by these strict syntax rules. This makes VB Script easier to use when compared to other script languages but it also makes it more difficult to troubleshoot an error in the script.

VB Script can be used on a computer running on UNIX, Windows or Macintosh operating systems. This makes VB Script more versatile.

Many programming languages require the use of complicated software tools such as compilers and development environments in order to use the languages effectively.
When using VB Script we are however allowed to write the script code by the use of programs which are already installed in the computer such as Microsoft Note Pad.

We can run scripts that we coded using the latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. This allows any web developer to run and test the scripts without much of a hassle. For Netscape we may have to install plug-ins that provides VB Script support.

The web browser will process HTML code as well as VB Script code. This process is known as client-side processing.

The web browser is considered a client of the web server storing the web page. The advantage of client-side processing is that a web server does not have to use its resources to process the code used to create the web page.

Active Server Pages technology was developed by Microsoft and is used to create powerful dynamic web pages. Therefore we have to use a scripting language such as VB Script to access and use information from ASP objects.

An Active X Control is a small program that we could add to a web page to add functionality to the page. For example we can add a text box to a web page and allow users to enter their user name. VB Script enables your web page to communicate with these active X objects.

"Deep Fritz" Vs. chess champion
A German developed computer especially designed for chess called 'Deep Fritz', has outsmarted world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik in 35 moves last Sunday. This has been the first game that was won by the supercomputer, programmed to evaluate 3.5 million instructions in a second. It narrowed the 27-year-old Russian chess wizard's lead to 3-2 to keep the $1 million eight-match "Brains in Bahrain" challenge series alive. Kramnik had earlier won the second and third games of the series, while the first and fourth ended in draws.

Playing with black pieces he made the worst blunder of his career to lose a piece with 15 minutes on his clock to make six more moves and then resigned admitting defeat soon afterwards.

Beware of the not so cute bear
Bugbear is considered to be one of the worst viruses to ever hit the computer world. It inactivates anti-virus software and steals passwords, leaving your computer wide open to hacker attacks. When this worm infects, it sends emails to as many as 170 addresses in the computer's address book, spreading itself through attachment files.

There are things you can do to protect your computer. The best way is to install current anti-virus program. Once you install the programs. you must continually update it to keep it effective. Another way you can avoid computer viruses like Bugbear is to always quarantine or delete any e-mail that appears suspicious.

UML what is it?
Unified Modeling Language is a general-purpose notational language for specifying and visualizing complex software, especially large, object-oriented projects. UML builds on previous notational methods such as Booch, OMT, and OOSE. It is being developed under the auspices of the Object Management Group (OMG).

Not so sweet end for Sugar Hill
The birthplace of hip hop/rap was destroyed in a fire on Friday, October 11.

The Sugar Hill Studio, where the Sugar Hill Gang recorded the first hip hop album in 1979 was located at West Street, New Jersey.

According to reports the historic spot was completely destroyed. Nearly 80 firemen tried to battle the fire to save the birthplace of rap music. The fire which is believed to have started around 2 a.m. was raging even at 8 a.m.

Most youngsters who perform or follow hip hop/rap do not seem to know that the Sugar Hill Gang was the first commercially successful rap act. The group consisted of Michael Wright, Guy O'Brien and Henry Jackson. The group's global anthem "Rapper's Delight" sampled the Chic hit "Good Times".

There is a legal battle looming between the band Muse and Celine Dion. The band has threatend to sue Celine Dion after she took the group's name for her Las Vegas show. Muse says it owns the rights to the name and it cannot be used in the context of entertainment. Muse claims that Celine Dion has broken the law. With pending legal action, the Celine Dion camp is also not taking it lightly. They intent to fight Muse perhaps to the end. Muse claims the Canadian diva is planning to crush them.

Meanwhile, Muse is hoping to crack the US market which is generally very fragmented.

The former Limp Bizkit guitarist is holding auditions for his new band Eat Tu Day.

Wes Borland is looking for someone who can sing. So far he has not been able to find a vocalist capable of singing to a high standard. Borland says he wants an unknown to carry out the vocal duties since the group is not a Nu Metal act. Borland is also not interested in rappers.

The Ketchup Song (Asereje) by Las Ketchup took control of the No. 1 spot on the UK singles chart this week.

The jive inspired dance track with a catchy chorus turns the song into an instant hit. It should become a huge party favourite before long. "The Ketchup Song (Asereje)" is also accompanied by a very colourful video, shot partly on a beach with lots of bikini clad females including the three sisters Lola, Lucia and Pilar who make up the group Las, hence they have an appropriate name.

The song sweeping across
Europe has reached No. 1 in 10 countries. It was first available on import in Spanish - the original version and climbed to No. 49 last week. The official English translation was released last week. The lyrics of the chorus in Spanish remain intact. It is a Spanish version of "Rapper's Delight". Reports suggest there is no meaning in the chorus. But "Asereje Hey Ha" in English translates to "I said Hip Hop."

The second highest new entry of the week came in at No. 2 as S Club Juniors struck with "New Direction".

It's the third single release for the act and the third entry to peak at the No. 2 spot which is infact the runner-up position. When S Club Juniors' debut single was released in May,. "One Step Closer" came in at No. 2 behind "Kiss Kiss" by Holly Vallance the crowning hit. In August when the second single "Automatic High" entered the chart it came in again at No. 2 ,behind the Gareth Gates No. 1 track "Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)."

This week this song with a dance feel once again falls short of the crown by checking in behind "The Ketchup Song (Asereje)" by Las Ketchup. Nevertheless it's a good show by the under 12-year-olds who make up S Club Juniors.

Richard Ashcroft, the former leader of the Verve entered the chart at No. 11 with "Check The Meaning". It's a track taken from the rock artist's second solo album.

Most of us are familiar with the "Bitter Sweet Symphony" which sadly brought about the end of the Verve. Ashcroft then went solo and released "Alone With Everybody". From that album the most successful release was "A Song For The Lovers" peaking at No. 3 in 2000.

The trance track "Forever"

by Trinity X entered the UK chart at No. 19. The song which has been around for some months is mistaken for a club track.

It is a flamed track full on Synthesisers, sliding rhythm and vocals. The team behind Trinity X are Thorn, Julian Irani and Emma Dean from London.

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