POTD: Sunset

Took this last night after doing some shopping just before heading home – awesome!


Click photo for bigger version - taken with my phone's camera

Conficker worm virus set to strike 1 April

biohazard-warning-signIf you’re like me your surfing habbits are safe and you know not to just open up any executable sent to you or visit just any website link sent to you, even from those you trust as their machines may have been compromised.

Some people, however, aren’t as diligent and will click on and open just about anything sent to them without worrying about the consequences – until it’s too late.

For some, they may be none the wiser – until midnight tonight that is.

The Conficker worm is nothing new – it’s been around since late last year and the various anti-virus companies have been keeping track of it and looking out for variations. Up until now it’s been a dormant virus like a sleeper cell just waiting for instructions to strike – and those instructions should be coming in on April 1st.

Windows Secrets have published an article freely available to paid- and non-subscribers giving more detail about the Virus and how to remove it. There’s also a report on CBS’s 60-Minutes here.

For more information about the Conficker worm check out CNET’s FAQ.

Thanks, Koukla for the tip.

Big Picture: Earth Hour 2009

As most of you know, many people in over 1000 cities around the  globe celebrated Earth Hour between 20h30 and 21h30 local time.  Photo-journalists from around the world took pictures of various attractions before and during Earth Hour 2009. Note, you can click on the various pictures on the Big Picture post to view the cities and landmarks with and without lights. Quite simply – amazing!

Started in Sydney, Australia in 2007, Earth Hour quickly grew into a global observance. More than 1,000 cities in over 80 countries observed Earth Hour 2009 on Saturday March 29th, as homes, office towers and landmarks turned off their lights for an hour starting at 8.30 pm local time to raise awareness about climate change and the threat from rising greenhouse gas emissions. Collected here are a series of before-and-after photographs – which (starting with the second one below) will fade between “on” and “off” when clicked. Let me state that again, since I know not everyone reads the whole intro here – starting with image #2 below, click on the image to see an animated fade between “on” and “off”. This effect requires javascript to be enabled. (17 photos total) – source Boston.com


The Eiffel Tower before and during Earth Hour in Paris, France on March 28, 2009. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

VOTD: Undersea Volcano erupting

You may have seen the recent pictures over at Boston.com’s The Big Picture – if not head on over quickly to see some spectacular shots (like the one below).

Today, on Damn Cool Pics I spotted a post of the volcano eruption which you can see in the embedded video below as well.

[source Boston.com and DCP]

Scientists sailed out to have a closer look at the eruptions of an undersea volcano off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean today. Tonga’s head geologist, Kelepi Mafi, said there was no apparent danger to residents of Nuku’alofa and others living on the main island of Tongatapu. Officials also said it may be related to a quake with a magnitude of 4.4 which struck last March 13 around 35 kilometers from the capital at a depth of nearly 150 kilometres. (I know this is an off-day posting, but really, thought the images were worth it – 12 photos total)


An undersea volcano erupts off the coast of Tonga, sending plumes of steam, ash and smoke up to 100 meters into the air, on March 18, 2009, off the coast of Nuku'Alofa, Tonga. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

VOTD: World's most dangerous hiking trail

worlds-most-dangerous-hiking-trailI’m sure you’ve already seen still images like this one of the world’s most dangerous hiking trail. While many have often wondered if they’re real or not.

One man, by the name of Robin took up the challenge of not only finding out whether it was real or not but hicked up as well with his video cmera in hand and has some breathtaking shots. Check out the video for yourself. It must have been ruly amazing to be up there. [via DCP]

Bring down IE6

bring-down-ie6-logoIn short what the campaign boils down to is to convince Microsoft to drop IE6 completely and allow newer versions to work on older Windows operating systems.

Ever since the release of IE7 and other non-Microsoft browsers clients have insisted that we as developers not excluded visitors with older browsers. This in turn, means a lot of time being spent doing browser compatibility and adding in IE6-specific code hacks to make sure it looks reasonably well, and still works, in IE6.

Up until recently, IE6 was the “previous” version of Internet Explorer and most common development practices is to support at least one major version prior to the current major released version. Now that IE8 has been released IE6 should be sent to the graveyard. It’s like the old days where we had to support Netscape browsers (before the Mozilla team brought out Firefox and Opera had a big enough market-share and Chrome was not even an idea on Google whiteboard).

Yes, there are many companies that are still using Windows 2000 on their desktops so, from a Microsoft offering persepctive, cannot use anything other than IE6 – but shouldn’t Microsoft at least have ported IE7 (if not IE8 also) to work on Windows 2000? Microsoft, I’m sure by now, knows what a disaster IE6 is and Windows 2000 users are going to be around longer than IE6 users (out of choice?) so doesn’t it make sense to make their newer (and more secure?) browsers available to older operating systems?

Developers and designers are shouting “enough is enough”. It’s time to put the old dog down. You can read more about this on the article on the Bring Down IE6 campaign website.

Get yourself fired in 140 characters, or less!

At the beginning of this month, I posted an article about having your own brand on the Internet. Last night on MSNBC was an article posted about a guy that tweeted something about his pending new employer, that quite possibly, would have lost him the new job.

Why? Because he tweeted the following:

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

Then, literally, moments later someone tweeted the following:

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

He tried changing his profile to private so that it would not be included in the public timeline but the Internet is a funny place, with caching and all. Someone even created a website in honour of him, nicknamed CiscoFatty.

It seems people just don’t understand that if you say something on the Internet, and especially so on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that someone you may not want to find out, is bound to find out. But my boss isn’t on my friend’s list, I hear you say. Yes, that may be so but the theory behind six degrees of separation means that your boss is connected to you, whether you like it or not.

The MSNBC article includes some great “case-studies” of people that have gotten themselves into serious trouble by virtue of what they said online.

Thanks for the link, Baldricman.

Earth Hour 2009

I’m sure by now you must have heard about Earth Hour 2009. It’s an initiative whereby they invite people from all over the world to switch off their lights for one hour on the 28th of March 2009 at 20h30 local time. That’s right it’s not happening all at the same time, it will be a rolling event.

Earth Hour 2009 is a global initiative by the World Wide Fund for Nature which acts as a worldwide call to action to every individual, business and community to take a stand against Climate Change. To show your support, sign up now and commit to switching off your lights for one hour on Saturday, March 28th at 8:30pm. Originating in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the Earth Hour initiative proved more than worthwhile when it witnessed 2 million people coming together to switch off their lights for one hour for this vital cause.

Following on from this success, 2008 saw an estimated 50 million people taking part. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

This year, 2009, Earth Hour will see the lights go out on some of the most recognised attractions on the planet, including Cape Town’s Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Merlion in Singapore, Sydney Opera House, the iconic 6-star hotel, the Burj al Arab, in Dubai, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the world’s tallest constructed building, the Taipei 101.

Earth Hour 2009 has one major aim: to unite the citizens of the world in the fight against climate change in order to convince governments and world leaders that our planet cannot wait any longer. There simply isn’t enough time, and therefore 2009 is a colossally important, if not the most critical year, to take action on climate change. 2009 is the year we decide the future of our planet. – source EarthHour website.

There are also various other ways you can also get involved:

  • Take a photo on the night and add it to Earth Hour’s flickr group
  • Make a video of your event and add it to Earth Hour’s YouTube group
  • Write a live blog post during the event tag it earthhour or voteearth
  • Update your Twitter status on the night and tag it #earthhour or #voteearth

Update 30 March 2009:
We spent the hour in darkness with the kids watching TV – they thought it felt like being at the cinema! According to an Eskom spokesperson, South Africa used about 400MW less electricity over that one-hour period (the equivalent of about 4.7 million 60W globes). [via News24]