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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The War Between Mediafire and Rapidshare

Have you ever heard of Mediafire or Rapidshare? You may have already used them and downloaded many GBs of stuff. These websites offer something called “one-click file storage”. One-click file hosting is an internet based service that allows users to easily upload whatever they want, except copyrighted materials, from their hard drives or from another similar file hosting provider (called remote upload). This is usually free or very cheap.
These sites have many users utilising their services every day. So I thought it would be a great idea to explain these websites further for people who are curious to learn more. In this article I will explain some of the features of Mediafire and Rapidshare and compare them.
There are a few popular one-click file storage services, the market leader right now is Rapidshare. Rapidshare.com is a German one-click storage website operating from Sweden and financed by paid Premium members. They still offer a free service to non-premium users with some restrictions. A non-premium user cannot upload more than 100Mb of files. The user is then supplied with a URL where the file can be downloaded which allows anyone to download the uploader’s file.
Another popular one-click web hosting site Mediafire started up in 2006 and is located in Texas, USA. The domain Mediafire.com has received plenty of internet user’s attention in a short time because of its rather few limitations for non-premium users compared to similar service providers.

Mediafire vs. Rapidshare

Comparison of Traffic:

According to the Compete.com study, Mediafire gets 1 visitor for each 2 Rapidshare visitors. The figures are misleading though. Lets see how many links there are on the internet for each site.
Link Counts:
All the Mediafire links on the internet: 17.900.000
All the Rapidshare links on the internet: 140.000.000
According to Google search results Rapidshare has over 140 million incoming links on the internet although Mediafire only has approximately 18 million links. So why – according to Compete.com results – does Mediafire seem much more popular than the Google results suggest? As I mentioned before, Mediafire’s rather few limitations attracted many more downloaders than it would if it has the same restrictions as Rapidshare. Also, Rapidshare encourages their users to share more Rapid links with their point system.
Are you wondering why I searched “Mediafire.com/?”? Because all the download links from Mediafire.com are in the same format which starts with “Mediafire.com/?”. The same is also currently true for Rapidshare links, which start “rapidshare.com/files”. Of course, a forum/blog poster may link to the file with another name, or the same links may have been shared more than once. Also note that Google results are not constant, you might be reading this post a while after I wrote it. Ignore this for now thought because we are just making a comparison.
What is Rapidshare Point System?
Rapidshare started a service called Collector’s Zone. This Zone allows users to gain free membership and some gifts. The more your links are downloaded the more points you will gain. Users are able to gain 1 point for each successful download as long as the file is larger than 1MB and the downloader generated less then 5 points in the last hour. This system though has also caused some unusual uploading habits; Users started to make 100MB files to 120MB just to bump up their link count (from 1 to 2) and to upload files which are already available on the Rapidshare servers. Despite this Rapidshare didn’t give up their promotion system. By contrast Mediafire has no promotion system for their users and this has prevented file uploads from Mediafire fans who always use Mediafire to download their files for free.
Conclusion:
Each service provider has their own upsides and downsides. Mediafire has less restrictions for free users like allowing download accelerators (something which is very rare among similar web hosting providers). Rapidshare use collector’s zone to increase their available link count while focusing their attention improving the experience for Premium users.

Free simple way to capture Images from Windows Media Player

Free simple way to capture Images from Windows Media Player

  • Open Window Media Player
  • Then go to Tools | Options
  • In Options, select the Performance Tab
  • Way below you click on the Advanced Button
  • Uncheck “Use Overlays’
  • Click Ok
  • And you are ready.
Now run your movie in any size or screen resolution. Use the standard ‘Print Screen Key’ Method  and you have captured a snapshot from your favourite movie on windows media player without using any special multimedia software. Enjoy!

More Ways to Capture Screenshots from WMP

Update: Some users have given excellent suggestions in the Comments which provide an alternate method if this does not work.
  • Instead of the Print Screen Method – try pressing “CTRL+I”. This pops up a save as window after capturing the screenshot
  • After you open Window Media Player. Go to Tools | Options | Performance Tab. You will see a picture similar to the first image above. Reduce the “Video acceleration” from the default Full to None, click ok and then close down media player. Next open the file you want to take a still using the Print Screen method – from press ALT and the PrintScrn key to copy an image of media player to the clipboard.

3 Funny Computer Pranks

Want to play pranks on your or your friends computer? In this post I will show you 3 funniest computer pranks, by my opinion. So let’s begin …

1) Warning Message


Here is one of coolest joke programs called Message Manager Lite. This program allow you to setup a message dialog for display on another user’s computer and it is great for making someone think an error has occurred on their computer. How you can use it ? For example, when you have access to friends computer, download Message Manager Lite and install it, write warning message and set the time for displaying. It looks like this :




At 23:36:11 will be shown




 

 

 

2) The Blue Screen of Death

This is probably the last thing we want to see on our screen. If you want to watch your friend freak out, download BlueScreen screensaver.  After you’ve downloaded the screensaver, take the file SysInternalsBluescreen.scr and copy it to C:\Windows … Now just apply the changes by right clicking on the Desktop/Screensaver > you’ll find the Bluescreensaver in the list




















Save image from this link , apply the picture as the background.

















There are a few things we still have to do and those are to remove the icons and the taskbar from the desktop. To remove the icons right-click on the desktop and in the “Arrange Icons By” uncheck “Show Desktop Icons” option.



















To remove the taskbar, right-click it, unlock it and drag the border of the taskbar to the bottom of the screen.





3) Switch keys on keyboard

In this prank we will use SharpKeys. It is simple and small software built as a registry hack, which can easily change your keyboard keys. Just install SharpKeys and change numbers or letters on your friends PC and have a fun.
Download SharpKeys. Open SharpKey and click Add. After this will open window, with two sides, from key to key. There are list of keys that you can change, but you can type your own key, click type key.

Open SharpKey and click Add. After this will open window, with two side, from key to key. There are list of keys that you can change, but you can type your own key – click type key.
























Restart your computer and change will take effect.


Free Google Adwords Promo Code : Rs.1000 Discount Coupon

If you want to show your advertisement online, there is no better service than Google Adwords that lets you show contextual ads and pay only for actual clicks. I recently started trying out Google Adwords and realized that Google Adwords coupons or promo codes can get some starting discount for new Adwords users.

Top tech magazines in India like PCWorld and Digit are running full page advertisements by Google Adwords encouraging readers to use Google Adwords to promote their business online. The fine print points to an Google email address where you can request a Rs 1000 (INR 1000) promotion code that will provide you that much credit. This code can only be used once and is valid only for new advertisers. You still need to pay the Adwords activation fee of about Rs. 60.

Though the incentive is not much, just over $22 when converted, but it is a good option for new advertisers to get an idea of what Adwords is all about, and when they get motivated enough, they can always continue to spend much more.

I cannot reveal the email address here since I believe it might not be allowed and is rightfully available to these tech magazine readers. Just incase you need the Adwords discount coupon, you know where to find it.

These promotions are not new in India. Last year also they had offered new Adwords users Rs 1000 coupons online. Maybe if you become a big Google Adwords advertiser, they might gift you a Google mini fridge someday.

Update: It seems the promotion has ended. The magazine latest issues do not have the ad anymore. But Google keeps on promoting Adwords with such coupons and promos often, just keep a lookout.

How to Create Fake Google Adsense Earnings Screenshots

Beware of huge fake Google Adsense income screenshots being posted in forums by bloggers. You will be surprised how easy it is to create a fake Adsense earnings screenshot without any photoshopping skills and mislead unsuspecting readers.

I had earlier shown you a fake screenshot from our Adsense account boasting our million dollar Adense earnings. Had it been a few hundred dollars, maybe you might have believed it.



This an example of how easy it is? to edit any web page live in your? web browser, and then easily capture a screenshot using Print Screen, or any other screen capturing software. We captured that screenshot using the free Snagit, courtesy a limited time promotion.

Now there is an even easier way using a free online tool called Google Adsense Generator which can roll out a real-looking, but fake Google Adsense earnings screenshot, with all identifying details blacked out,? based on the income you specify. It is basically another sign generator, which asks for today’s and yesterday’s income and fills in the same image with the variables you specify.

I spotted several bloggers showing fake Adsense earning screenshots recently and it seems this tool had made this trend even simpler. Obviously if you read some more image manipulation and Photoshop tutorials, you can edit any screenshot and get whatever image output you want.

Summary – This article highlights the fact that it is very easy to create a fake Google Adsense earnings screenshot, so don’t be misled by false claims and unbelievable earnings screenshots. Seeing is believing, but not on the internet!

How to Get $25 Google Adwords Coupon Code

So how do you get a $25 Google Adwords coupon code? I recently bought the AdWords For Dummies book by Howie Jacobson, which teaches you how to create targeted, cost-efficient advertising campaigns using Google Adwords on the Web… and it has a $25 Google Adwords gift card inside!


If you buy the AdWords For Dummies book from Amazon (lots of 5 star reviews), it costs $16.49 + shipping charges (eligible for free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25), and with the $25 Adwords gift card free inside, it is really a good deal to get started with Adwords advertising and learn lots of Adwords tips from the book.

The promo code is inside the book which you can use when you register from a special url. Remember that only 1 promotional credit is given per book buyer. The promotional credit is valid only for new Google AdWords customers with self-managed signup accounts. The coupon promo code must be applied to the new AdWords account within 15 days of creating the account.

If you exceed the promotional credit amount of $25, you will be charged for advertising that exceeds the limit and you will need to suspend ads if you do not wish to receive additional charges beyond the free credit amount.

I had started my Google Adwords account a year back with a free Rs.1000 Adwords coupon ($25 equivalent) from a Tech magazine, but Google has offered Rs 1000 Adwords vouchers online before as a limited time deal. Get started with Adwords and Google might gift you a Google mini fridge someday.

Detecting and Preventing Content Plagiarism

How can you prevent and detect Content Plagiarism? Plagiarism is a serious issue in the blog world and it is a prime duty for all bloggers to prevent their content from getting copied and also take the corrective action when needed. Every blogger gets annoyed when some one copies their content and ranks higher than them in the search engines.

While it is highly unlikely to stop blog scrappers and splogs from emerging there are some simple measures that a blogger can do to tackle this effectively. As we always know prevention is better than cure and hence the first step is to take preventive steps which will make it hard for the scrappers to copy your content.

Prevent Plagiarism
1. Copyright Banners
Let everyone know that the content on your blog is copyright protected. The best way to show it is by displaying a copyright banner at a highly visible location in your blog. Adding a copyright symbol in the blog footer is also a good practice.

2. License your content
Some bloggers will not mind if their content is used partially by third parties provided they give proper credit. Creative Commons is the most common and established method to license your content. The license should clearly state the type and this will let people know how accommodating or restrictive you are with respect to your blog content. Visit the Creative Commons licenses page and choose the right one and display it in your blog home page.

3. Protect your RSS feed
A good percentage of the blog scrappers use RSS feeds to automatically copy the content and publish it elsewhere with the help of robots. One good way to let the world know that the content came from your blog is to add a copyright message to your RSS/ATOM feed. This can be automatically done with the help of the simple feed copyright wordpress plugin. The good thing about this plugin is that it will link back to your blog.

4. Provide Partial Feeds
One of the best methods to prevent feed scrapping is by providing a partial feed and making the reader to visit your blog to read the rest of the content. While this move will annoy a good number of your subscribers and even some of them might unsubscribe but it is a matter of choice.

5. Watermark your content
It is very common to find your images being stolen and a good way to prevent this is by watermarking them. This also applies to all other content like code snippets, videos etc which you publish in your blog. Picmarkr is a free online service which will allow you to add custom watermarks.

6. Prevent Image Hotlinking
Hotlinking is the act of directly linking to an image in your blog. This is not only a copyright infringement but it will also use up your bandwidth. This can be avoided by creating a .htacess file which will display an alternative image when someone links directly to non-html objects on your site. Here is a nice step-by-step guide to prevent image hotlinking with .htaccess.

7. Use the CopyRight Pro Plugin
If you are very particular about people copying content from your blog directly, the best way is to prevent selecting and right clicking. With the help of the WP- CopyRight Pro plugin you can disable text selection and right clicking on your wordpress blog.

Detect Plagiarism
Even after taking these preventive measures, scrappers will manage to copy your content in one way or the other. It is better to stay alert and detect on a regular basis to see if some one is copying your content.

8. Google Search/Alerts
The best and easy way is to use Google Search and find replicas of your content. To automate this process you can set Google alerts for some unique terms related to your blog. A major part of this task can be automated with the help of the digital finger print wordpress plugin which will set unique finger prints at the end of each post and hence makes it easy for detection.

9. Detection Services
There are some services like CopyScape which will show copied destinations that don’t come up in Google search. Unfortunately the free version of CopyScape has very limited features. An alternative option is Tynt which is a complete copy detection and attribution service. Tynt will also aid in increasing the visibility for your content and increases your traffic and search rankings with the automatic attribution link.

Plagiarism Action
Once you find that your content has been copied the next step is to take steps to remove the copied content from the web or claim copyright infringement and make money out of it.

10. Contact the blogger/webmaster
If you see that someone is using your content without your permission or without providing credit, there is a good chance that they might have used it without knowing the implications. It is better to send a courtesy mail asking them to provide a link back to the source or remove the content.

Look for the contact form or a contact email where you send the email.
Type the domain name in a who is lookup tool and it will show the name of the registrar and the contact information. Sometimes this information might be protected but you will still be able to find a contact email address.
Alternatively you can also contact the hosting company which hosts the site and file a report with them.
11. Send a Cease & Desist Message
Wikipedia says that “Cease and Desist (also called C & D) is an order or request to halt an activity, or else face legal action”

If the blogger or the webmaster fails to respond to the previous request the next step is to send a C & D. You can use this cease and desist template and draft your own copy with ease.

12. Ask for a compensation
Plagiarism and copyright infringement are illegal and if you are the creator of the original content you have all rights to ask for a monetary compensation. FairShare is a service which will help you to do this. You can also hire copyright infringement agents like CopyByte who will take all the monitoring on your behalf and also take the necessary legal action.

13. File a DMCA
The biggest trouble which a blog can get is to get removed from the index of the search engines. If the blogger fails to respond even after sending a formal request and a cease & desist message, you can go ahead and file a DMCA with Google and other search engines. Most of the search engines have an online form where you can formally submit a DMCA complaint by furnishing the necessary information to prove that your content has been copied.

If you are serious about your blog then it is necessary to take these preventive measures and do the right action when your content gets copied.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Missing or No Security Tab Found in Windows XP Professional

Security tab for the properties of files or folders in Windows XP Professional is the important functionality that enable administrators and users to define security permissions and rights for particular user or group to the computer resources. By default, Windows XP Professional follows recommended setting to enable the use of simple file sharing that hide the Security tab, leaving you with only General, Sharing, Web Sharing & Customize tabs as in the Simple File Sharing UI.

So to see and unhide the Security tab, just use the following steps:

Launch Windows Explorer or My Computer.
Click on the Tools at the menu bar, then click on Folder Options.
Click on View tab.
In the Advanced Settings section at the bottom of the list, uncheck and unselect (clear the tick) on the “Use simple file sharing (Recommended)” check box.
Click OK.
Security tab is available only to Administrator or users with administrative rights. So make sure you login as one. And security can only be set in an NTFS partition. If you’re still having problem to reveal or display the Security tab on files or folder properties, check out the following registry hack and set the value to 0 or simply delete the key:

Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key: Software\Microsoft\windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Name: Nosecuritytab
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

If you’re using a Windows XP Professional system that is installed in a Workgroup, the Security tab is also hidden by default because in Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional, guests are forced to log on to a workgroup.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

iTracker - .Net Inventory Tracker Starter Kit - ASP.NET website

This software helps track Vendors and Products and is easily extendible to nearly any scenario. It is 100% free to reuse. It's designed around Visual Studio 2008 and Asp.Net 3.5. Download the project here.

TheBeerHouse: CMS & E-commerce Site Starter Kit - Free ASP.NET website

TheBeerHouse is a website developed with Microsoft's MVC Framework which includes a number of features and modules that you expect from a typical CMS / e-commerce website, such as:
  • Membership system with registration, login, profile setup and complete administration.
  • Content management system for publishing and syndicating articles and photos, with support for categories, comments, rating and profile-based personalization.
  • Opinion polls with support for multiple active polls and archived polls.
  • Mailing lists with support for HTML and plain-text newsletters, background transmission and asynchronous processing.
  • Forums with support for multiple categories, custom pagination, avatars, signatures, moderation, and complete administration.
  • E-commerce store with support for real-time credit card processing, with support for multiple categories, percentage discounts, zoomable pictures, availability display and more.
  • Localization.
This website was developed by Nick Berardi, Al Katawazi, and Marco Bellinaso as a sample project for their book "ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution" (Wrox Press). The book is aimed at describing, designing, and implementing a site much like the ones you’re probably working on or will be soon, while taking the opportunity to introduce and explain many of the new features that the new great ASP.NET MVC framework offers. Difficult problems are addressed head-on so you'll be ready for most of the problems you’ll typically face when writing a modern website, and have one or more solutions ready for them.
In building the site features listed above, you'll learn these new features available to you in the MVC Framework:
  • Concept of Model View Controller
  • Creating RESTful URLs
  • Leveraging jQuery to make a lean and scalable website that incorporates AJAX
  • Using Membership & Profile modules in the MVC Framework
  • Incorporating LINQ to SQL to generate your data access layer
  • Use of inline C# code inside of your markup

Links
Note - Selling downloadable products
TheBeerHouse does not support selling downloadable products, as that needs a number of very specific features such as tracking and limiting downloads, delivering serial codes, handling discount coupons, and more. However, I've released a separate service that does just this: byteCommerce
Please take a look at it, it's probably the most convenient service of this type you can find around!

ScrewTurn Wiki - Free ASP.NET Wiki Software

ScrewTurn Wiki allows you to create, manage and share wikis. A wiki is a collaboratively-edited, information-centered website: the most famous is Wikipedia.

ScrewTurn Wiki is based on Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5, meaning that you need a Windows operating system to run it, such as Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Desktop operating systems are supported by ScrewTurn Wiki Desktop Edition.

ScrewTurn Wiki can be extended and customized with plugins and themes. It can store data using a simple, built-in file-system provider or, if you need performance and scalability, it can use SQL Server or MySQL*. If you use Active Directory, you can integrate with that too*.

ScrewTurn Wiki is free and open source (GPLv2), meaning that you can use and modify it without limitations. In case GPLv2 is inadequate for your needs, we also offer commercial licenses.

ScrewTurn Wiki - Downloads are available here

How to migrate a website from ASP to ASP.NET?

Microsoft's ASP to ASP.NET Migration Assistant

 

Do you still have classic ASP applications or websites that you need to migrate to ASP.NET? If so have we got news for you... introducing the ASP to ASP.NET Migration Assistant from Microsoft. Here's what Microsoft has to say about it:
The ASP to ASP.NET Migration Assistant is designed to help you convert ASP pages and applications to ASP.NET. It does not make the conversion process completely automatic, but it will speed up your project by automating some of the steps required for migration.
It's still in the very early stages (aka. alpha release) but it's still worth giving it a look. It's got a pretty standard setup routine:
Setup - Welcome

 



Setup - System Requirements

Setup - Installing

It can be run either from within Visual Studio.NET or from the command line.
Visual Studio.NET - Menu

Visual Studio.NET - Converter
I tried it on a few files and it worked pretty well. Like they say it doesn't make the process completely automatic, but it might help.

More Information

 
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