Technology Article, Issue I

TECHNOLOGY MINUTE…I Spy – Satellite imagery is a wonderful resource, now available to you via the Internet (of course!). If you ever wondered how the earth looks from far above, you need not imagine, now you can experience it. A good resource to start off is www.keyhole.com, billed as “The Ultimate Interface to the Planet”. Simply download their 7-day trial and you can spin around the globe, with the scanned and mapped images of the planet (subscription starts at $29.95 per year). Some rural areas and metropolitan cities are photograph to the street level, can you can make out cars and pedestrians and dustbins. Notable experiences via the Keyhole are Chicago, Paris, Niagara Falls, Orlando (Disney World), etc. Pakistan has yet to be scanned to the street level, but its is being worked on. Type in words like “Tarbela”, “Mangla”, “Gwadar”, “Islamabad” and you can see how our country looks from above. Pretty colorful I might say so. Karachi is not fully mapped…yet, so you’ll have to wait for a while. Keyhole was recently acquired by Google, so this company is definitely going somewhere. As Keyhole puts it – “think magic carpet ride”.

Another equally fascinating resource is www.digitalglobe.com where you can view (and purchase) high-resolution space imagery of virtually any spot on earth – click on the “sample imagery” link on the main page and feast your eyes with excellent imagery of Riyadh, Mecca, Mina (Tent City) in Saudi Arabia, The Great Pyramid (Giza, Egypt), Karachi, The Three Gorges Damn in China, The Palm Islands in Dubai, New York, Boston, some cities in Iraq, etc. Fortunately for us, Karachi has been scanned to the street level, but unfortunately this is a paid service. From the sample image you can see the Quaid’s Mausoleum. Paid inclusions include Sea View, Karachi Airport, Karachi Port, to name a few in amazing detail. Some other notables websites offering space-based imagery are www.infoterra-global.com and www.intecamericas.com. Dial-up users, you will have to be patient, as some of the images are large and take time to download, but its well worth the wait.

SECURITY
What if your laptop gets stolen? What will you do (besides the obvious). Nothing much is the answer – or is it. For starters, zTrace (www.ztrace.com) is your friend – the website claims “Is your laptop lost or stolen? You can feel secure. Your data is safe and your laptop will be recovered and returned to you”. With a simple software installed in your laptop, even after being stolen and formatted, once it connects to the Internet, it will be recovered for you by the efforts of Interpol (or FBI). zTrace also offers the ability to protect your directories so that they cannot be formatted. Individual subscriptions start at $50 for one-year’s worth of protection. Another handy alternative is Securikey (www.securikey.com). This handy USB token provides adequate security for your files – “SecuriKey is simple to use. Simply install the software (it takes less than 5 minutes), plug in your SecuriKey USB Token, and you’ll never have to worry about your precious data getting into the wrong hands”. Cost of the USB token is about $110. Both these products are well worth looking into – after all its not your hardware that needs protection, but your data.

DOT.PK
PIA has a long history – so it was no surprise that a website like www.historyofpia.com would eventually be made. With a very rich library of photographs, history, write-up, active forums and milestones of PIA, this website was indeed an interesting read. If you have a passion for flying or are/were connected to PIA in any manner, this website is for you. Kudos to Abbas Ali who is the author of the website.

In Brief
Bandwidth rates reduced to $2,000/2Mbps …Government announces Broadband Policy …KSE launches Online Trading called iKATS (www.kse.com.pk) …Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) (www.pasha.org.pk) elects new Central Executive Committee for Y:2005/2006 …Hotmail drops Mcafee in favor of Trend Micro for antivirus scanning …New iMate JAM Phone/PDA now available in Pakistan …NCR Pakistan achieves CMM Level 5 Certification …Firefox browser for the first time causes a dent in Mircosoft’s Internet Explorer market share (and is a lot more secure and stable too) …Bill Gates’ PC has no viruses, but had spyware, no wonder Microsoft acquired an Anti-Spyware company recently …Money Magazine finally has a technology column & a website.

This Article was originally written for Money Magazine

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  • I have a question about the security of the GSM, thing is my mobile was stolen and i canceled the SIM card and got me another one, and i called the Telecomunication company (Etisalat) U.A.E, and they said that they are sorry they cant do anything about the stolen mobile, i asked them if they can locate it by the IMEI number and they said no… is there any way i can find out?

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