Catching Phishes

A great and free way to prevent your system and networks from phishing attacks is to route your DNS through

The website says it all- Screenshot belongs to .It handles more than 9.4 billion DNS requests daily.


Nice and Impressive stuff  offers this service especially for DNS kind of attacks and botnet attacks specifically.By authenticating the website it thus helps your network from accidently downloading any malware or Trojans right at the entry stage itself.

Modeling : R Code,Books and Documents

Here is an equivalent of Proc Genmod in R .

If the SAS language code is as below-

MODEL BS/OCCUPANCY = distcrop distfor flh distcrop*flh /D=B LINK=LOGIT


Then the R language equivalent would be :

glm(bs/occupancy ~ distcrop*flh+distcrop,
   family=binomial(logit), weights=occupancy)
where flh needs to be a factor


Credit to Peter Dalgaard from the R-Help List 

Peter is also author of the splendid standard R book


Speaking of books Here is one R book I am looking /waiting for


A similar named free document ( Introduction to statistical modelling in R by P.M.E.Altham, Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge)  is available here –

It is a pretty nice reference document if Modelling is what you do, and R is what you need to explore.It was dated 5 February 2009, so its quite updated and new.You can also check Dr Althams home page for a lot of R resources.

SAS adds support to R

From the official website itself

R Interface Coming to SAS/IML Studio

While readers of the New York Times may have learned about R in recent weeks, it’s not news to many at SAS.

R is a leading language for developing new statistical methods, said Bob Rodriguez, Senior Director of Statistical Development at SAS. Our new PhD developers learned R in their graduate programs and are quite versed in it.

R is a matrix-based programming language that allows you to program statistical methods reasonably quickly. It’s open source software, and many add-on packages for R have emerged, providing statisticians with convenient access to new research. Many new statistical methods are first programmed in R.

While SAS is committed to providing the new statistical methodologies that the marketplace demands and will deliver new work more quickly with a recent decoupling of the analytical product releases from Base SAS, a commercial software vendor can only put out new work so fast. And never as as fast as a professor and a grad student writing an academic implementation of brand-new methodology.

Both R and SAS are here to stay, and finding ways to make them work better with each other is in the best interests of our customers.

We know a lot of our users have both R and SAS in their tool kit, and we decided to make it easier for them to access R by making it available in the SAS environment, said Rodriguez. Our first interface to R will be in an upcoming version of SAS/IML Studio (currently known as SAS Stat Studio), scheduled for this summer.

The SAS/IML Studio interface allows you to integrate R functionality with IML or SAS programs. You can also exchange data between SAS and R as data sets or matrices.

This is just the first step, said Radhika Kulkarni, Vice President of Advanced Analytics. We are busy working on an R interface that can be surfaced in the SAS server or via other SAS clients. For example, users will be able to interface with R through the IML procedure, possibly as soon as the first part of 2010.

SAS/IML Studio is distributed with SAS/IML software. Stay tuned for details on availability.


Note-SAS/IML ,Base SAS and SAS/Stat are  copyrighted products of SAS Institute.

This is a welcome step from the industry leader SAS Institute and also puts an effective stop to rumors of it being too arrogant or too conservative to change.

Perhaps no other software maker has dominated the niche in which it operates for as long as SAS has ( even before I was born !) without getting into any kind of hassles. The decision to stay  private as a company also means an incredibly wise decision given the carnage on stock markets today ( but it requires a lot of will power from the founders to say no to the easy billions that investment bankers would have lined up for the IPO).

This decision would also help the R project greatly as SAS support definitely means the matrix part of the R language has come to stay.However R is not just a matrix based programming language , it has capabilities for data mining and other statistical analysis as well. Would SAS extend SAS /Stat capabilities to R / What does recent decoupling of the analytical product releases from Base SAS mean ( is this due to the WPS challenge) .

Either way the consumer is the winner.Kudos SAS Institute !!

Interview :Doug Savage ,Creator

  I was searching for a New Year cartoon , when I happened to hit .It was an amazing site with almost 20,000 readers a day, very well designed ,and the cartoons were hilarious. Dog normally doesn’t give interviews, but he has a great fan following for the cartoons he draws on sticky notes and his story of entrepreneurship as well his creative web design were something we could all learn from.Ladies and Gentlemen, the amazing Doug Savage.

1) Could you describe your career journey so far? What would your advice be to young arts graduates in these recessionary times?

I don’t know if I can quite describe it as a "career journey" – maybe a "series of lucky career accidents" instead? I drew a lot when I was a kid, but I had all but stopped drawing before I started the chickens. In late 2004, after several months of migraine-addled overtime at my day job, I just suddenly started drawing these cartoons on sticky notes. It felt like the creative part of my brain was staging an intervention. A few months later, I started putting the cartoons online in a blog. Then in the spring of 2005, I got featured on Yahoo, and things just went on from there. Now the site has had 7 million visitors and more arrive every day.

Advice for young arts grads in these tough economic times? Well obviously you’ve got to worry about paying the bills, but don’t neglect your creative side. Even if you only have 5 minutes a day that you can spend on creative work, those 5 minutes will be the most important part of your day. Creativity sustains you through difficult times. It’s as essential as food and water. Also, don’t wait around for opportunities to fall into your lap. If you want to do something, start doing it. Create your own opportunities.

2) Your website is designed by you ( and its extremely nice). Could you list say the top 5 principles or learning on keeping a photo or creative blog?


Well I’ve learned a lot more about web design than I ever intended or wanted to! If you’re starting a creative blog, be prepared to learn a lot about web design. It just goes with the territory. If I had to pick top five things I’ve learned from maintaining the web site, I’d say:

1. Before you do anything else, make sure you can get the domain name you want.

2. Pick a schedule and stick to it. It gives you a bit of structure and discipline. And readers get accustomed to coming back on a regular schedule.

3. Have fun and try new things. You don’t want it to become a grind. Keep it interesting for yourself by pushing the limits.

4. Value your work. The internet is all about free sharing of content, but when a for-profit business wants to use your work, they should pay you for the right to do so.

5. Back up your work regularly. Save your web site code, copies of your work, databases – everything!

3) How many people follow Savage Chicken now? What are the other cartoons that you like or have inspired you?

People read Savage Chickens in a lot of different ways – they come to the site, or they have it sent via email, or they read it through an RSS feed reader. So it’s hard to track them all. If I had to guess, I’d say about 20000 people read it each day.

What cartoons do I read? I’ve been inspired by Gary Larson’s "The Far Side", Matt Groening’s "Life in Hell", and Charles Schulz for many years. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels. Jeff Lemire’s work is brilliant. And online, I’ve been really enjoying Kate Beaton’s cartoons – check out her web site if you haven’t seen it yet.

4) Humor is critical to formal business. Comment please.

Humor isn’t one of those things that employers generally put into job descriptions, but I think it gives you an advantage in the business world for a couple of reasons. First, humor makes you fun to be around, and people want to work with other people who are fun to be around. If more people want to work with you, more opportunities will present themselves. Second, humor gives you fresh insight into the world around you. A lot of humor comes from looking at the world in new and strange ways. Being able to take on that skewed perspective allows you to see things that you may not have seen otherwise.

5) Do you have any Asian plans, or offering merchandise? What is the best way of ordering your merchandise outside the US.

I sell merchandise through Cafepress online, and they deliver worldwide. At this time, I don’t have any local distributors of Savage Chickens merchandise.

6) Optional- Your all time favorite top 3 cartoons

Wow. It’s difficult to choose only 3 but I’ll try. Okay here are a few that I always chuckle at:

– Explosion –

– The Cactus –

– One Cloudy Day –

About Doug Savage – Doug ‘s savage chickens and his store of amazing goods are worth a dekko at

Ajay- Doug Savage and his amazing chickens can be found at .So go ahead and smell the roses , and laugh with the chickens !!

A Russian Perspective on Outsourcing

Here is an talk with an experienced  Russian software programmer M Sitnikov, who talks of his experiences in European software outsourcing. It is a raw account of the industry from a non Indian perspective on how things are in the trenches.

    Software outsourcing- A look from inside By M Sitnikov

    It’s been a long while I was thinking to present some thoughts, facts from my software outsourcing experience both as a service provider and as an employee of a software outsourcing company.

    The attitude here will be more negative, because I saw how one can make 1000% profit on a customer project and this article is more like a small discussion, so please don’t judge the text, its layout and my English language skills too strictly.

    Software outsourcing in brief

  • There is an opinion, a company should make approximately 3000 euros/USD on each developer per month. But of course this varies from country to country depending on the flat rate price for local resources and at least number of hours in a working week.

  • Average yearly budget for 10 people team is usually estimated about 360 thousand euros (could be also 90000 dollars, it’s not the point)

    • Typical ways of cooperation:

      • Fixed time

      • Fixed cost (Offshore Development Center)

      • The fact is that in well developed regions, where there are lots of universities and qualified resources there are also lots of big players like Intel, EMC, HP, Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens, Motorola, Google: you name it. I seriously doubt that any software outsourcing company can compete with salaries/conditions offered to top level professionals by any of the giants when they come to the local market.

        Conclusion #1: It’s quite rare that a software outsourcing company can provide top resources:

          • no giant companies locally, but then it means the place doesn’t have top education facilities in the relevant (IT in this case) industry

          • if it’s a well developed region then the giants are there

              More facts/thoughts

            • To be competitive IT-outsourcing company’s personnel should grow by 25-30% annually: how else can company that produces nothing grow? The only chance to grow is to get more projects to set up more Offshore Development Centers (ODCs) and naturally increase personnel and revenue "per head", but achieving that is not easy – see Conclusion #1

              • Companies hire students, developers from other cities and regions: take into consideration Conclusion #1 and you will see that this is a natural development for solving HR problems in software outsourcing company, but:

                • Do students hired have enough education? – not always

                • Do students work full time? – not always

                • Do students provide high quality software development? – no, that takes time

                • Do students provide end customer with the quality he paid for? – no, he didn’t pay for students, but for software professionals

              • Software outsourcing is not a very profitable business: really, if you don’t produce anything you can market, sell and expand your sales then your business cannot be very profitable, well, unless you have one big customer, or you are a major software outsourcing company in the region, but anyway, your profit is a matter of personnel growth.

                • Merges and acquisitions are typical trends: if you are a business owner of a software outsourcing company, would you sell your company for a good lump sum of money? – hell yes! One cannot increase company operations by increasing amount of personnel permanently and the business owner cares about money, not only progress of its company, but:

                  • What happens if a software company is sold? – the buyer may loose some employees, the customers may loose some key software developers, architects and even project managers (they are supporting a reliable communication and mutual understanding between the customer and the team)

                • Venture capitals are not invested into low-innovative companies: why would a venture capital be interested to invest in an outsourcing company that has no value in terms of future development, in terms of innovation or new products? – could be for some internal reasons, but unlikely:

                  • Business owners are not interested in company development, but in company profitability: outsourcing companies in many cases use their "partner" companies registered in offshore zones or their mother companies. It’s obvious – that helps to avoid paying local taxes, but:

                    • If all the income comes to an offshore company would the owner be interested to develop its local company? – no, why? This company should be working to make money and it’s not the object for investments. The key is to press the company top management: bring more clients, make more projects, increase turnover, increase amount of personnel, show me better figures next year!

                      Conclusion #2: Software outsourcing business is not a very profitable business with lots of competitors. Companies tend to increase their turnover. Owners tend to make more money out of their outsourcing company no matter whether they sell it or get projects for another 10 people. Offshore companies do not care much about their onshore offices, where actual teams are situated, the goal is to drive as much money to offshore accounts as possible.

                        What’s inside a software outsourcing company

                          • In fact your software outsourcing partner is more sales oriented than customer oriented: every company has sales director and sales managers, their income partly (in many cases it’s the main part) depends on the commission. Sales guys try to sell: they maybe doing it very hard (and sometimes horribly annoying) – they need to make money. And their typical attitude towards their technical colleagues maybe: I did my job, now you do yours! I don’t have time, because I am the manager and you are (just) a technical guy: Of course, a company may have account managers, those who would take the customer afterwards, but:

                            • Why to spend money on hiring additionally account managers? Let the sales people do the job!

                            • Why to spend money on hiring additionally account managers? Let the project managers do the job!

                            • We have account managers, but why to spend so much money on them – they should take care of several accounts at once! What? They say that 4 accounts is the total maximum to do the work good? Hell no, take 8 and if at least one can handle that we’ll have a case, give him some bonus and nail the others!

                          • Sales people may have a significant lack of technical knowledge: who is your sales person? What education does it have? In many cases technical people don’t have fluent English to communicate with the customer appropriately and the sales person lacks real technical knowledge (of course, that person is more humanitarian, that’s why the language knowledge is better). And this leads to internal conflicts that you may sni
                            ff only by some side effects: have you ever got a mail from your business contact in a software outsourcing company stating something like, "we’ll develop your warehouse management system in Assembler, because it will be the fastest ever!", or something like, "no, we suggest C# instead of using .NET", or anything else: really strange and even funny. This may be the first ring to you – be prepared there is a conflict between the sales guy and the development team. Programmers have a good sense of humor, so they were joking and the sales person didn’t understand that, because it knows nothing about IT and (what is even worse) doesn’t want to learn, because "that’s your job, not mine!".

                            • Eager of making super revenues by hiring students and cheaper labor: here we refer to companies hiring students and developers from other regions for your projects. A good example: so, a monthly salary for a professional software developer is let’s say 1000$, this is a person with at least 2-3 years of relevant experience, having extensive knowledge in technology etc etc (let’s not put a very high demands here), and a student is not a person who can demand such big money while still studying in his university: Well, a student has no experience in software development, no experience working in business environment, no knowledge what professional coding or SVN is: and so on and so on, but:

                              • A student would work for 100$/month, because he needs experience and 100$/month is better than nothing especially comparing to student’s scholarship

                                • The company knows what to do too (get 1000% profit!):

                                  • Get a strong project manager to work with the customer

                                  • Get a strong software architect to train the student

                                  • Press all in the team to provide deliveries on time

                                • The Customer is also happy though: he knows that top company professionals will be working for his project, he can see highly qualified project manager and software architect and he doesn’t know that other 5-10 members of the team are students: The Customer will learn about that after the first release, but the project manager will find answers and will make the Customer feel good again:

                                  Conclusion #3: Quoting Amanda Laire, "Don’t trust a pretty face:", whether it’s a company image or nice shapes of a cute and "intelligent" sales manager. There is always a way for a software outsourcing company to make 1000% profit on you, you won’t even mention that.

                                  • High stuff circulation: imagine you are a software developer, or a project manager, or a software architect working in such conditions:

                                    • Sales guys pretend they rule the World

                                    • You have to work under pressure and utilize low all resources that you receive (also low quality, because high qualify resources circulate between new customers)

                                    • You work overtime and don’t get real bonuses (see Conclusion #2)

                                    • At a certain point you realize that a project ends and another starts and it’s pretty much the same like before:

                                    • You are young, you know you can do more, you know you can earn more

                                      What would you do? – you will leave the company. How much this circulation can be? Sometimes it’s up to 30-40 or even more percent!. And in many case 70% of company employees are willing to change there job, but 10% of them are scare, because they are used to the community and environment, 20% demand more than they cost, 20% change it to a similar company or don’t know exactly what they want and 10% do leave the company and find a job in a World leading brand company or in some other, really better place.

                                      • Low level of working conditions for personnel

                                        • How can you decrease expenses on personnel, which your main asset? – you rent a cheap office space and place 15 people in a 30 sq. meters room (it’s real: 11 people around perimeter and 4 people in the center of the room)

                                        • You are liberal to your employees and let them come late and leave late, have a couple of days off on sick leave, but you don’t want to spend money for extra medical insurance for all 200 people in your company – it’s too much.

                                        • What happens to those who can find another job (that highly qualified people the company promised will be working for you!) – they leave to a better place, and they do right.

                                      • Lack of motivation for technical personnel: sales guys get a certain percentage from the project they get or a customer they sell resources to, but what would the others get? Well, they may get bonuses or may not, after all they can’t see perspectives of their growth, whether professional or administrative: developer can grow to architect, but if it’s a good architect then top management would rather increase his salary than makes him a project manager, and salary of an architect cannot be much higher than salary of a project manager etc etc: And of course even if salaries in the company is a big secret people will get know everything one day.

                                        • Tendency that employees turn into free lancers when possible:

                                          • You are a highly qualified professional that grew up from a developer to a software architect

                                          • You can communicate to customers and manage projects, but you are not promoted to a project manager

                                          • You know you can handle many projects at once

                                          • You know that your work is sold for 20-30 euros/hour and your salary is 5-8 euros/hour, but you don’t know why

                                          • Your customer tells you in emails that he would not mind working with you in the future also

                                          • You start visiting freelancers web sites and found your own customer

                                          • You are tired of sitting back to back of your colleague

                                          • You are tired to pay for medical services every time you need to visit a doctor

                                            • You are making 50% of your salary doing freelance projects, you are young, you believe in yourself:

                                              • What would you do? – you will leave the company and start working as a freelancer developing your own customer network charging them 10-15 euros/hour instead of 20-25 – everybody is happy.

                                          • Very strong social connections between employees: people working in IT companies are usually people with higher education, people who learnt a lot, know a lot and are able to do a lot. In software outsourcing companies you can find 50, 100, 200 and even more people working in the same premises. And thus people form their own unique community, they share their thoughts, hobbies, views, they form smaller and larger groups of friends and sometimes this is something that keeps that 10%+20%+20% of personnel continue working in the same company for years: But this can’t last long either.

                                            Conclusion #4: If you are willing to outsource software development, the best case for you would be to use personal connections, to kno
                                            w for sure what is happening in the company of your outsourcing partner, maybe even to own shares of that company. Otherwise try to build your own outsourcing team via freelancers if your business conditions allow that. This doesn’t mean you can’t use services of high profile or low profile software outsourcing companies, but: read all above – it’s there in a bigger or smaller amount, in one way or other as it’s part of the modern outsourcing business: or maybe it’s not as this text is nothing, but my personal opinion.

                                          • That Social Networking thing!!

                                            Many a times I am asked whether social networking is worth it ( Yes) and why it is so tough ( No, it isn’t).


                                                   Social Net Working ??

                                            All screenshots and trademarks are acknowledged of respective owners.

                                            So here I am putting together a bare bones essential set of Social Networks dos to help you be a social networking master.

                                            1) LinkedIn

                                            1. Profile – Go and create a LinkedIn profile at ( if you don’t have one, I suggest you create it and then come back to the article).
                                            2. Make sure your LinkedIn profile has the following

                                              • Nice presentable professional photo
                                              • Correct Work history
                                              • Good and Verifiable Recommendations
                                              • Enough keywords to help people searching for people of your skills
                                              • Make your profile visible with a customized URL (as in )
                                            3. Groups – Join enough enough groups of both primary skills and secondary hobbies (limited to 5) .Introduce yourself there. Create a group and invite people if you feel like doing so ( Our group now has 700 people on LinkedIn). You can export the group email addresses in a csv , put this for a newsletter from or invite them for a special networking site.
                                            4. Connections – LinkedIn will help you import your address book from email providers , and even csv files . Send invitations to people you know, a Don’t Know on your invitation will set a bar on your ability to send invitations again.
                                            5. Open Networking – Open networkers accept invitations from all, do not flag any invitation as I Do not know. They feel that the small loss of privacy is much smaller than the huge variety of contacts they get- especially since most people have shared their email address to many people. It is recommended you choose a Gmail email for open networking to handle any spam etc.You need to join groups like Top ,Invite Me, Linkedin500, LION (LinkedIn Open Networkers) and display your email address for people to connect to you.If you connect to people having a lot of connections already, you get their network as a second tier network so it is smarter to just connect to the top 50-100 most LinkedIn people.

                                            2) – This is for small communities , and you can create customized communities based on your interests or join existing ones. You can even put ads and earn from the ads, pat a small amount to to  transfer your domain name to a website. The best such community I have seen is thanks especially to the hard work put there and quality of people coming in. More interactive the community, more buzz it spreads, and attracts even more people- It is a circle of virtue.Opposite for low activity communities.You choose and create a group on a big existing community rather than re invent the wheel by creating a small community on your own.

                                            3)  – You can create a Facebook page for your business, send invites asking your friends and customers to be fans , give updates via Facebook, even set multiple levels of what people can see or cant see in your Facebook profile to separate your friends with your business associates. The groups features on Facebook is just as well designed as for LinkedIn.

                                            4) – A very good article on using Twitter is by Sandro here

                                            Twitter can help you attract many small followers, and you can give updates of your website or your business created to your clients ,associates,colleagues,friends and the whole world. It can even be chosen as a live chat for customer service or for answering questions.It has privacy options as well so you can send it only to the people whom you choose to connect with.

                                            LinkedIn, Facebook, Ning and Twitter – 4 great ways to start social networking and get free publicity for your business and your website.

                                            5) Blogs – Blogs or weblogs can be created on and for writing about your product and service in semi informal manner.

                                            It is recommended you create your own website and do your blog there ( see previous article at )

                                            Add for communicating with people all over the world without exposing your phone number and a Website for displaying your goods and services, and your Web 2.0 strategy for a small player trying to survive the recession is ready to begin.

                                            And that my dear reader, was the social networking thing !!! Let me know your comments and thoughts below

                                            A Website in less than a hour

                                            I just created a new website ( ).It took me around 45 minutes from the time I put in my credit card information for getting new server space to getting the final look of a website.

                                            If you are a SME / Academic who has always wanted to create a Web 2.0 website but were skeptical  about the whole thing a jig, read on.

                                            1) Choosing a hosting provider (  I chose Bluehost because for a 24 month plan I get the domain name registration also free . This works out to 6.95 dollars a month.

                                            2) Choosing a domain name (This was simple and part of the sign in process above. Since my organization is Swarajya Analytics Private Limited , I chose the name as other alternatives were too long or not available.

                                            Note I tried to choose a domain name that

                                            • is easy to remember
                                              • (not too long ,
                                              • not too short,
                                              • doesn’t have similar sounding websites),
                                            • is very related to my original task/name,
                                            • and is available)

                                            3) Choosing a web software –The website I am making is just a place for people to come, read and then contact me. The number of webpages would be limited to less than 5, so I choose WordPress. If I had to choose a large website with many web pages , I would probably choose Drupal (see )

                                            4) Use Simple Scripts – When you log on to the C-panel ( arrived after logging onto with your domain name and password emailed to you), search for the Simple Scripts icon. When you click it you can then choose the software ( here WordPress) for a 2 minute installation.

                                            5) Choosing and Configuring a Web site Theme – For WordPress  I just Goggled WordPress themes (Works for even Drupal themes). Then

                                            • I find the theme which I like,
                                            • and download it to my desktop,
                                            • unzip it 
                                            • and upload it to my server using FileZilla
                                            • Go to Site Manager
                                            • Click New Site
                                            • Enter Username and Password (same as going to C-panel)
                                            • Click Connect
                                            • When you are in the website on the right side, click on www icon (top right)
                                            • Click again to wp-content and then to themes
                                            • Click and Drag and Drop you theme folder from the left top (Desktop) to Right Top (/www/wp-content/themes )
                                            • See Screenshot


                                            Use (where yourwebsite is the hypothetical name of your website ) to login with your WordPress Username and Password ( which is different from your Control Panel Username and Password)

                                            • Go to Design in the Dashboard – Activate Theme.
                                            • Go to Plugins- Activate Akismet (Anti Spam Plug-in).It will then ask you for a WordPress API key .
                                            • Create a username and password on to get a WordPress API key (Alphanumeric) ,which would be needed to activate Akismet and thus avoid Spam contents.

                                            6) Start Filling with Content – Start Posting posts or Pages ( For Separate Sections)for the content you have planned for in showing

                                            Everything said and done, this whole process should take you less than an hour , after which you can tweak the website content or even the theme or add plugins to your heart’s content.

                                            Use websites to write and express yourself, and also as a 24/7 showcase for attracting work /consulting /research assignments.

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