Victor's Blog about the Web, Security and Life

The web for me is a hobby where standards and best practices are daily bread. Security is a concern that everybody must be aware of its details for IT in general, and the web in particular, to be a safer place. My life, on the other hand, is that of a regular Lebanese citizen where politics and social issues are discussed on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and make sure to drop me a comment about any topic you find interesting.

NASA Satellite to Crash Back to Earth this September

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victor | 21 September, 2011 09:49

NASA has recently announced that an out-of-control, retired satellite will come crashing into the earth's surface "sometime" towards the end of September. Furthermore, the satellite, which is about the size of a school bus and weights over 6 tonnes (6.6 tons), will impact the earth in an unknown location between Canada and South America. The exact time and location will remain a mystery until two hours before the event, and that's with six thousand miles (10,000 km) of uncertainty.

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Google Desparate for Gmail?

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victor | 29 July, 2011 09:04

Today, I received an email message from http://www.emailintervention.com/ The message is simply asking me to switch from my "traditional" email service to the "modern and spam-free" Gmail service.

While this request may sound normal, a quick question popped into my mind.

"Why would Google build a website to ask people to join Gmail if Gmail originally started on an invitation-only basis?
More precisely, why would Google build this website now and not when it first opened Gmail for the public?"

Is Google desparate to advertise Gmail?

Is this just another indirect way of advertising Google Plus?

Is it just a sub-service provided by Google to Gmail users to allow them to invite their friends?

 

Shortcuts to Official Exam Results on www.schoolnet.edu.lb

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victor | 05 July, 2011 10:42

UPDATE
I just learned that one of our clients is also providing a copy of the official results for the Lebanese exams.
Check their website out:
http://www.sawtelfarah.com/

ORIGINAL POST

I think some of you have faced this before. You want to check your kid's results in the official exams and cannot open the website www.schoolnet.edu.lb because it is under too much pressure. The URLs below will save you from having to wait forever to reach the page where you fill in the form to get the result. Simply pick up the URL that is for you and replace the <CHILD_ID> with the number and paste it into your browser and voila.

I hope this helps.

For BREVET RESULTS:

Beirut: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/brevet.asp?idd=1&id=<CHILD_ID>
North: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/brevet.asp?idd=2&id=<CHILD_ID>
South: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/brevet.asp?idd=3&id=<CHILD_ID>
Mount Lebanon: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/brevet.asp?idd=4&id=<CHILD_ID>
Nabatieh: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/brevet.asp?idd=5&id=<CHILD_ID>
Bekaa: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/brevet.asp?idd=6&id=<CHILD_ID>

For SG RESULTS:

Beirut: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sg.asp?idd=1&id=<CHILD_ID>
North: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sg.asp?idd=2&id=<CHILD_ID>
South: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sg.asp?idd=3&id=<CHILD_ID>
Mount Lebanon: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sg.asp?idd=4&id=<CHILD_ID>
Nabatieh: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sg.asp?idd=5&id=<CHILD_ID>
Bekaa: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sg.asp?idd=6&id=<CHILD_ID>

For SE RESULTS:

Beirut: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/se.asp?idd=1&id=<CHILD_ID>
North: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/se.asp?idd=2&id=<CHILD_ID>
South: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/se.asp?idd=3&id=<CHILD_ID>
Mount Lebanon: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/se.asp?idd=4&id=<CHILD_ID>
Nabatieh: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/se.asp?idd=5&id=<CHILD_ID>
Bekaa: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/se.asp?idd=6&id=<CHILD_ID>

For SV RESULTS:

Beirut: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sv.asp?idd=1&id=<CHILD_ID>
North: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sv.asp?idd=2&id=<CHILD_ID>
South: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sv.asp?idd=3&id=<CHILD_ID>
Mount Lebanon: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sv.asp?idd=4&id=<CHILD_ID>
Nabatieh: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sv.asp?idd=5&id=<CHILD_ID>
Bekaa: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/sv.asp?idd=6&id=<CHILD_ID>

For LH RESULTS:

Beirut: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/lh.asp?idd=1&id=<CHILD_ID>
North: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/lh.asp?idd=2&id=<CHILD_ID>
South: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/lh.asp?idd=3&id=<CHILD_ID>
Mount Lebanon: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/lh.asp?idd=4&id=<CHILD_ID>
Nabatieh: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/lh.asp?idd=5&id=<CHILD_ID>
Bekaa: http://www.schoolnet.edu.lb/exam1/lh.asp?idd=6&id=<CHILD_ID>

I will try to add a form to simplify this but you can use the links above for now ;)

 

10 Dirty Little Secrets You Should Know About Working in IT

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victor | 14 December, 2010 10:21

This article discusses 10 dirty littles secrets about working in IT. It was shared with me through email by my friend Dominic Halajian. I liked it, so here it is.

10.) The pay in IT is good compared to many other professions, but since they pay you well, they often think they own you

Although the pay for IT professionals is not as great as it was before the dot-com flameout and the IT backlash in 2001-2002, IT workers still make very good money compared to many other professions (at least the ones that require only an associate’s or bachelor’s degree). And there is every reason to believe that IT pros will continue to be in demand in the coming decades, as technology continues to play a growing role in business and society. However, because IT professionals can be so expensive, some companies treat IT pros like they own them. If you have to answer a tech call at 9:00 PM because someone is working late, you hear, “That’s just part of the job.” If you need to work six hours on a Saturday to deploy a software update to avoid downtime during business hours, you get, “There’s no comp time for that since you’re on salary. That’s why we pay you the big bucks!”

9.) It will be your fault when users make silly errors

Some users will angrily snap at you when they are frustrated. They will yell, “What’s wrong with this thing?” or “This computer is NOT working!” or (my personal favorite), “What did you do to the computers?” In fact, the problem is that they accidentally deleted the Internet Explorer icon from the desktop, or unplugged the mouse from the back of the computer with their foot, or spilled their coffee on the keyboard.
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Turkish Airport Smoking Terrace

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victor | 16 November, 2010 07:11

One thing I really liked during my trip today is my smoking transit in Turkey. The airport has a Smoking Terrace where you smoke in open air within the airport. What I really liked about it is that for the first time I don't really feel that I am jailed while smoking in an airport or that Cancer is really polluting the air all around.

Yet, I can imagine a small debate taking place between anti-smoking activists who push hard to make the life of the smoker so miserable as to stop and what the Turkish airport did by giving smokers a privilege (somehow) by smoking in open air.

Oh and the view out there was great that you will barely want to go back inside.

Go Turkey Go!!

ps. Of course, my favourite airport still is Beirut International Airport where you can smoke while checking in or at Passport control while, at the same time, a recorded message keeps asking everybody to smoke in designated areas only with no signs about where these designated areas are :)

 

10-10-10 10:10: TEN DIGITAL CHEERS!

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victor | 10 October, 2010 09:13

Ten Cheers to Bits!We all know that computers understand only bits: 0s and 1s. Since their inception, computers have worked hard to try to recognize dates that we use in our daily life. Human life was never fair to them in return until today.

Today, we are giving PCs two dates that are written purely in their own language using 0s and 1s:

10-10-10 10:10 am
and
10-10-10 10:10 pm

If you are reading this out there and love PCs, grab a beer and shout out loud: 10 Cheers to Bits ;)

If you read this later after it's too late, remember that you lived through these two moments at least. These are unique dates at least for PCs.

Let us all spread this through sharing.

Alfa Statement Roaming Charges

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victor | 01 May, 2010 09:08

I just got off the phone with Alfa Call Center regarding a weird charge that occurred on my detailed bill where I found many roaming charges for the number +9613488888 each being charged at $0.299. The charge occurred within the period of my my last trip to Tunis. The weird thing about it is not only that I don't know what this number is, but also that the invoice is for the period 27-March till 27-April while the charges in question are for the period of 21-23 March.

After spending 34 minutes with the Alfa Customer Service representative on the phone, below is the conclusion for how your Alfa Invoice displays charges as well as the detailed explanation about this issue.

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