Thursday, 31 May 2007

Google Developer Day 2007 in Beijing

here is my take on the interesting parts of Google Developer Day's English speakers at the Beijing, China session.

The Keynote speaker, Narayanan Shivakumar, Engineering Director, talked about Google's hardware, software, and basically described the building blocks they've developed for all their services and APIs. He mentioned the Sitemaps Protocol which allows you to inform search engines about URLs on your website.

Jon Trowbridge, gave a very "exciting" talk about Linux and OSS. He mentioned that google has built a free project hosting site.

Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, talked about some cool Firefox 3 features: work offline mode, better bookmarking, and SQL Lite for full-text and image history indexing.
He discussed two very useful web development tools:
Firebug, an add-on that allows html, javascript, and css editing for on-the-fly debugging and also, web page optimizing to see which elements are taking the longest to load.
Aptana IDE, a web IDE developed by a start-up that has taken eclipse + firebug + firefox to create a very cool webdev app

Guido van Rossum, the author of Python, introduced it and gave a glimpse of what to expect in Python 3000. Also, he mentioned his favorite web framework for python was django.

Bob Lee, the co-author of Guice gave a technical talk on the use of Google's internal Java dependency injection framework.

there are pictures available

and if you haven't seen google maps new street view check it out!

I would have preferred to hear more of the technical talks but they were given by the Chinese speakers.

Nevertheless, it was an interesting day...

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Keep your files secure

Use Truecrypt to protect your confidential data. It is secure, easy to use, open source, and free! First create a virtual encrypted disk, mount it, and then simply put your files in it as you would any regular directory.

However, to be even safer, copy the sensitive data to the TrueCrypt folder and then secure delete the original file. In Windows, use Eraser to securely move the file. Eraser is also easy to use, open source, and free!

In Linux, use wipe. Under Debian and Ubuntu, just 'aptitude install wipe' to begin having fun!

If you require the destruction of all hard disk data beyond forensic recovery then the best solution is to run the drive's internal secure erase command. This can only be accomplished on ATA/IDE drives with the free Disk Drive Secure Erase program or on any type of drive with EDT's Digital Shredder.

All other software overwrite programs take 8x as long and can not erase reassigned user blocks. If this acceptable then I recommend the free and open source DBAN program. Get DBAN and many essential utilities on the Ultimate Boot CD, a freely downloadable boot CD.