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.

Al Jazeera TV: Internet Isolation Effects on Family Members

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victor | 30 June, 2008 18:16

I was a guest on Al Jazeera TV last Saturday. The topic was about the negative effects of the Internet on family members in terms of isolation. You can watch the movie by clicking on the picture below (Real Player required).


Victor Sawma, Al Jazeera TV
Sat. June 28, 2008 23:34 pm

What really bugged me about this TV appearance was the fact that I couldn't finish my topic. The result was a person who masters web technologies talking about the negatives of the web on family members in terms of isolation. I will put the whole topic in here for those who are interested in getting the whole story.

The topic that was being discussed was related to the isolation effects of the Internet on family members. We can all see many people sitting in a room together chatting, smiling, typing, etc. Although these people are sitting together, they are, in reality, not together since each member is enjoying his own virtual Internet world. This fact can cause many negative effects on family members and family ties.
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lebanese-forces.com: The Attack Was Not From Hezbollah!

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victor | 13 May, 2008 07:33

Two days ago, on Sunday night, Roland, a friend of mine, called me and said that the lebanese-forces.com website was under a heavy denial of service attack and that they were receiving emails from Hezbollah advertising the attack and asking them to shut down the website. My natural reply to his request was to meet so that I can help in any way possible. One hour later, we met at my place and the process of restoring the website started. It turned out that Hezbollah was not the party attacking the website. How was this deduced?
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PHP-GTK: Is PHP Seeking Java and .NET Competition?

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victor | 29 April, 2008 06:48

Let's face it: PHP rocks when simplicity is in mind. One major ex-barrier for PHP Software development, though, was the inability to use any graphical client except the browser. Unlike Java and .NET, PHP programs were only accessible through web browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) with support for XHTML. We all know that GUI production using XHTML is harder than normal drag-n-drop GUI editors like .NET and JAVA.

Nowadays, PHP-GTK is very promising to deliver GUI software applications using PHP. PHP-GTK is platform independent and uses an architecture "somehow" similar to that of the JAVA engine architecture. You write your program using PHP and the PHP-GTK plugin (installed separately for the Operating System) takes care of executing the program for you.

In this article, I will discuss some of the points that PHP must take into serious consideration before being considered eligible for the competition. I will also discuss the points of strength and current points of weakness in this domain.
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Google Adwords Phishing Emails

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victor | 05 April, 2008 20:13

This is just an alert about emails that are being sent to many people that I know regarding Billing Information for Google Adwords. The email is asking people to visit a website that looks exactly like the Google Adwords website and asks visitors to login and update their credit card information. Pay attention not to fall for this.

Moreover, I will list below the URLs of the emails contained in the link with the hope that they get blocked soon:

Suspicious Network Solutions Measures

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victor | 13 January, 2008 19:33

A friend of mine called me today and asked me about a "funny" problem that he is facing with domain names. He tries to search for a domain name to register it and gets two different answers from Network Solutions (domain name available for registration) and GoDaddy (domain name NOT available for registration). Performing a simple WhoIs on the domain name in question, you get that the domain name is registered by Network Solutions and is currently available for registration at Network Solutions. I proceeded to Network Solutions and tried to search for the domain name there, the domain name was still available for registration. Trying the same thing at GoDaddy again showed that the domain name is NOT available.

I tried to query the reason behind this and the result was a very suspicious protection measure put in place by Network Solutions.
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A Letter From Jesus!

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victor | 20 December, 2007 11:09

As you all know, we are getting closer to my birthday.  Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.

During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer. (More)

Sacha's 3rd Birthday

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victor | 20 October, 2007 16:41


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