Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Happening

Writer-Director M. Night Shyamalan's New Film Starring Mark Wahlberg

-Movie review of the movie I last saw
(The Happening is happening)

The knives had been out and sharpened long before M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, “The Happening,” opened on Friday. A fine craftsman with aspirations to the canon, this would-be auteur has, in the last few years, experienced a sensational fall from critical and commercial grace, partly through his own doing — by making bad movies and then, even after those movies failed, by continuing to feed his ego publicly — and partly through the entertainment media that, once they smell weakness, will always bite the hand they once slathered in drool.

Something is happening in the American Northeast. A strange toxin is making people do horrible things. What could be causing these strange events in The Happening?

Since the release of The Sixth Sense, Writer-Director M. Night Shyamalan has developed a knack for delivering warped, original films that get people talking. His trademark plot twists have both angered and delighted audiences.

While his last film Lady in the Water sank like a lead weight, his new film The Happening shows a director on the creative rebound. Love it or hate it, The Happening doesn’t leave room for indifference.

The Happening in Central Park-- The Happening stars Mark Wahlberg as nerdy science teacher Elliot Moore who, along with his quirky wife Alma Moore (Zooey Deschanel), who has been having dessert dates with an unseen co-worker named Joey, is forced to flee New York or face imminent death.

A strange toxin spreads throughout New England, stemming from New York’s Central Park. First deemed an act of terrorism, the gas, or whatever has been unleashed, causes disorientation in its first stage, immediate death follows. The oddest thing about this poisonous gas is that it makes people kill themselves.

From the first graphic scenes, it becomes clear that The Happening differs from the rest of M. Night Shyamalan’s films. While he continues to use the element of surprise effectively, the images shown in this movie become increasingly interesting and make you to stick to your seats.

The movie has a boosting moment when it is revealed (or at least speculated upon) that the cause of the mysterious killer gas doesn’t come from a terrorist organization at all but rather plants and nature. These aren’t the kind of killer plants found in The Ruins, but regular trees and grass and dandelions that have decided that humans are a threat to their survival and have ‘communicated’ with one another to bond and exterminate the human race.

The Happening becomes more gripping with its overuse of scenes depicting wind flowing through trees, meant to show how the toxins are being spread .

The movie gets a jolt of bizarreness when Elliot and Alma find solace in an abandoned cabin inhabited by a crazy lady who invites them in, then begrudges their staying, accusing them of wanting to steal her stuff. From this point the movie turns into a mini, yet fascinating, haunted house story that ends all too quickly, as does the rest of the movie.

Trapped in the house as the killer wind blows through, Elliot and Alma come to grips with their mortality and reunite to die as a couple. The wind dies down and nothing happens.

Fast forward three months and Alma is pregnant. A television in the background warns that the events three months prior are the first signs that the planet is rejecting the human species. The host disagrees, saying that if this theory were true, events such as the ones experienced in the American Northeast would be occurring elsewhere.

Cut to Paris, France…Many movie goers will grumble about the lack of a twist at the end of this movie, others will roll their eyes at the killer being nature. But in the end, this movie is fascinating to watch, evenly passed, both dramatic and humorous with some wonderful and over-the-top-effects.

--A Must Watch (One of the best movies of recent times)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Are Your Employees Well Enough Trained?

No matter how well the IT infrastructure in your company is designed, you cannot avoid the basic truth that people still play a major role within your organisation.

Every single time the computer system is upgraded – whether it’s a small change to make customer ordering easier or the installation of a whole new system – it’s necessary to follow this by letting all the relevant staff members know of the changes that have been made.

How this process is done can make a big difference to how successfully your staff cope with the changes. Given the basic truth that many people do not like the idea of change, it’s a good idea to give your staff adequate notice of any forthcoming work on the computer system – as much as is humanly possible under the circumstances.

Not only will this give them time to prepare mentally, it will also ensure they have enough time to put in place any other measures or contingency plans that may be necessary to allow business to continue as normal while the IT work is carried out.

But training isn’t just required in times of change. IT training should be a regular part of life at any company if maximum efficiency is to be achieved.

Terms such as multi-tasking and multi-skilled are becoming a part of more and more workplaces, and with downsizing being another area of concern in many companies it is necessary and advisable to make sure that as many staff members as possible are trained to perform the roles of their colleagues. Not only does this lead to a better all round service for the client or customer, but it also lends a greater appreciation for all roles within the company.

The level of IT knowledge required by any single staff member will depend on their job role. Some people will naturally acquire more knowledge in addition to this, while others will be hesitant to learn anything new – even if it would benefit them in their day to day work.

To this end, regular and more informal advice and assistance on improving computer skills would be beneficial to most companies, giving people the opportunity to increase their knowledge without any pressure. Combined with more formal training sessions whenever required to inform and educate the staff about new updates to the IT system this can be an encouraging combination.

In an ideal world every employee would know what skills they are lacking when it comes to using computers in a working environment. But in reality things are not so simple.

That is why it’s advisable to monitor the performance of each employee periodically, so that additional training can be offered when it is deemed necessary.

A History Into Microsoft Products

Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of software operating systems by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). The most recent client version of Windows is Windows Vista. The current server version of Windows is Windows Server 2008.

Windows 1.0 (1985)

The first version of Windows provided a new software environment for developing and running applications that use bitmap displays and mouse pointing devices. Before Windows, PC users relied on the MS-DOS® method of typing commands at the C prompt (C:\). With Windows, users moved a mouse to point and click their way through tasks, such as starting applications.

In addition, Windows users could switch among several concurrently running applications. The product included a set of desktop applications, including the MS-DOS file management program, a calendar, card file, notepad, calculator, clock, and telecommunications programs, which helped users, manage day-to-day activities.

Windows 2.0 (1987)

Windows 2.0 took advantage of the improved processing speed of the Intel 286 processor, expanded memory, and inter-application communication capabilities made possible through Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). With improved graphics support, users could now overlap windows, control screen layout, and use keyboard combinations to move rapidly through Windows operations. Many developers wrote their first Windows–based applications for this release.

Windows 3.0 (1990)

The third major release of the Windows platform from Microsoft offered improved performance, advanced graphics with 16 colors, and full support of the more powerful Intel 386 processor. A new wave of 386 PCs helped drive the popularity of Windows 3.0, which offered a wide range of useful features and capabilities, including:

Program Manager, File Manager, and Print Manager.

A completely rewritten application development environment.

An improved set of Windows icons.

Windows NT 3.1 (1993)

When Microsoft Windows NT® was released to manufacturing on July 27, 1993, Microsoft met an important milestone: the completion of a project begun in the late 1980s to build an advanced new operating system from scratch.

Windows NT was the first Windows operating system to combine support for high-end, client/server business applications with the industry's leading personal productivity applications.

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (1993)

A superset of Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 added peer-to-peer workgroup and domain networking support. For the first time, Windows–based PCs were network-aware and became an integral part of the emerging client/server computing evolution.

Windows for Workgroups was used in local area networks (LANs) and on standalone PCs and laptop computers. It added features of special interest to corporate users, such as centralized configuration and security, significantly improved support for Novell NetWare networks, and remote access service (RAS)

Windows NT Workstation 3.5 (1994)

The Windows NT Workstation 3.5 release provided the highest degree of protection yet for critical business applications and data. With support for the OpenGL graphics standard, this operating system helped power high-end applications for software development, engineering, financial analysis, scientific, and business-critical tasks.

Windows 95 (1995)

Windows 95 was the successor to the three existing general-purpose desktop operating systems from Microsoft—Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups, and MS-DOS. Windows 95 integrated a 32-bit TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) stack for built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities that made it easy for users to install hardware and software.

The 32-bit operating system also offered enhanced multimedia capabilities, more powerful features for mobile computing, and integrated networking.

Windows NT Workstation 4.0 (1996)

This upgrade to the Microsoft business desktop operating system brought increased ease of use and simplified management, higher network throughput, and tools for developing and managing intranets. Windows NT Workstation 4.0 included the popular Windows 95 user interface yet provided improved networking support for easier and more secure access to the Internet and corporate intranets.

Windows 98 (1998)

Windows 98 was the upgrade from Windows 95. Described as an operating system that "Works Better, Plays Better," Windows 98 was the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers.

With Windows 98, users could find information more easily on their PCs as well as the Internet. Other ease-of-use improvements included the ability to open and close applications more quickly, support for reading DVD discs, and support for universal serial bus (USB) devices

Windows 98 Second Edition (1999)

Windows 98 SE, as it was often abbreviated, was an incremental update to Windows 98. It offered consumers a variety of new and enhanced hardware compatibility and Internet-related features.

Windows 98 SE helped improve users' online experience with the Internet Explorer 5.0 browser technology and Microsoft Windows NetMeeting® 3.0 conferencing software. It also included Microsoft DirectX® API 6.1, which provided improved support for Windows multimedia, and offered home networking capabilities through Internet connection sharing (ICS)

Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) (2000)

Designed for home computer users, Windows Me offered consumers numerous music, video, and home networking enhancements and reliability improvements.

Windows Me was the last Microsoft operating system to be based on the Windows 95 code base. Microsoft announced that all future operating system products would be based on the Windows NT and Windows 2000 kernel.

Windows 2000 Professional (2000)

Windows 2000 added major improvements in reliability, ease of use, Internet compatibility, and support for mobile computing.

Among other improvements, Windows 2000 Professional simplified hardware installation by adding support for a wide variety of new Plug and Play hardware, including advanced networking and wireless products, USB devices, IEEE 1394 devices, and infrared devices.

Windows XP (2001)

With the release of Windows XP in October 2001, Microsoft merged its two Windows operating system lines for consumers and businesses, uniting them around the Windows 2000 code base.

With Windows XP, home users can work with and enjoy music, movies, messaging, and photos with their computer, while business users can work smarter and faster, thanks to new technical-support technology, a fresh user interface, and many other improvements that make it easier to use for a wide range of tasks

Windows VISTA

Windows Vista is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, Tablet PCs, and media centers.

Windows Vista contains many changes and new features, including an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Windows Aero, improved searching features, new multimedia creation tools such as Windows DVD Maker, and redesigned networking, audio, print, and display sub-systems

Pinging Tricks

You’re a blogger and are constantly hearing about pinging. The thing is, you don't know what it is and what it can do for your blog. Well that's fine because a lot of bloggers don't quite understand pinging. In this newsletter, we will explain what pinging is, how it helps your blog, and what the best pinging services are. After you've read this newsletter, you'll know exactly how to use pinging to make your blog popular.

What is pinging?

When a blog is pinged, it essentially tells a web blog tracking system that the blog has been updated. Thus, pinging is the process of telling tracking services that a site has been updated.

So how does pinging work? Well, a ping service scans regularly blogs for updates. Whenever there is a new update for a particular blog, that is reported back to the pinging service’s site. You can almost think of ping services being just like search engine spiders—both scan sites looking for information, and both report that information back to their specific site. The difference is, a ping service only reports back new blog posts.

Why is pinging useful for my blog?

Pinging, in effect, tells people that there is a new blog posting available. Those who are loyal followers of your blog will see the ping and want to visit your blog. Those who haven’t read your blog before will see the ping and perhaps think “hey, there’s a new blog I haven’t been to before, I think I’ll check it out”. Pinging helps to increase your traffic because it tells people when your blog is updated. Those who visit sites with pinging services will see this information in the form of a scroll on the left or right side, or top of the page. The scroll is usually in XML format and typically includes the title and URL of your blog, as well as the date and time of the update.

OK, so now I know what pinging is. Who offers pinging?

The answer is, there are several pinging services available which you can use to have your blog pinged. We’ll go over some of them right now. is probably the most well-known pinging service. monitors sites for updates and then pings whenever there is an update to report. Virtually every blog software is available to use Weblogs.


Another popular pinging service. This one is offered by Yahoo and has a built-in integration with movable type and other tools. One cool thing about this service is that it offers the ability to give out updates via Instant Messenging services like AOL and ICQ. It is a direct pinging service, so those who sign up for subscriptions to your blog will be sent an email anytime your blog is updated.

Blogrolling allows its bloggers to manage their blogrolls (updates) through a web-based interface. Recently updated blogs are also highlighted on Blogrolling’s web site. Data is automatically retrieved from other sites like and every 5 minutes. Often times your blog is already being pinged by Blogrolling, so you might not have to sign up for it. Search on the site first for your URL before signing it up.


Available at, Technorati is another service that pings blogs. It gets its data from a variety of places and is definitely a site you should go to for blog pinging.

These are just 4 of the many different blog pinging services available. A quick search on Yahoo or Google will reveal many other possible blog pinging services to use for your blog. It is best to sign up for as many as you possibly can to ensure that your blog is well-pinged. A well-pinged blog will definitely help your blog attract more visitors. So sign up for as many as possible and watch your blog traffic increase.

Pinging tells people when your blog is updated. It is an incredibly useful, and easy to sign up for service, so be sure to sign your blog up for pinging!

Why Is My Computer Slow?

Buying the most up to date gadgets and computing hardware may seem like a good idea, but at the end of the day are we wasting our hard earned cash?

Technology geeks (I can say that because I am one myself) go out and buy the latest gadgets at the highest prices because they all have some new fangled function or a re sporting the latest colors or designs when they haven't really used all the functionality of the one they already own.

When it comes to the family Pc however I think the technology giants like Intel, AMD, Hp and Dell for example are all missing the point when it comes to your average consumer.

A majority of computer users do not play games on their computers (they probably have a play station or a Wii), nor do they use massively processor hungry applications like computer aided design packages or finite element (fea) calculation packages.

If we listen to all the advertising blurb that computer vendors and suppliers seem happy to ply us with, we would all believe we need multiple core machines , but reality couldn't be further from the truth.

And if the processor manufacturers were entirely, open they would also tell you that there are still today very few programs that can even take advantage of the multithreaded capability of today's breed of processors.

The truth of the matter is that Pc technology and power is far outreaching the users real needs, lets face it, you probably have more raw processing capability sat in the average home than they had to send man into space in the early days!

One fact that is undeniable though is that when you go and buy your next Pc with all its raw computing power you will probably still need to by something extra to make it work efficiently within a short space of time.

A well rounded and efficient computer or laptop isn't just about the processor speed, granted that does help but only up to a point. A good analogy would be why buy a sports car that is capable of over a hundred and fifty miles and hour when the most you will ever do is 90?

Equally , with your average car a good all round performer will be the sum of all its components , tires, suspension etc. not just the power of the engine. But what good is a 150 mph engine if the tires are only rated for 70mph.

The same thing will apply to the common Pc, but where there are consumer laws governing the sale of automobiles the same level of strictness does not apply to computers . And quite often what you buy may not be quite up to the job.

Of course, what we are referring to is the amount of computer memory in your laptop or Pc.

As Pc power increases programs get more complex, and as they get more complex they use more computer memory.

The more programs you install even if only working in the background i.e. anti virus programs, music programs and system utilities the more memory is used and so on.

Simply put the more memory the programs have to access, the faster and more efficiently the Pc will work.

This is all well and good but the problem occurs when your computer runs out of memory and has to start using the hard drive as extended memory instead.

This is magnitudes slower performance wise than the system memory and will not stop your Pc from working but will certainly slow it down, sometimes to the point of almost stopping.

It's a bit like putting a block of wood under your cars gas pedal, it will still accelerate but just not as quickly as it is really capable of.

Budget driven customers often rely on the advice of the Pc reseller but quite often they are more interested in making a quick sale than giving sound advice.

After all lets face it, a little additional memory should not cost more than Rs.1500 - Rs.3000 extra and is a worthy investment if you plan to keep your hardware for more than a year, or have more than a handful of programs you want to load up.

Are computer resellers all to blame though? Expert opinion would say not , the computer manufactures should set a minimum level of memory in new systems given that they are well aware that budget machines memory levels are arguably barely adequate.

The positive side to all this is of course that there is a massive market in after sales computer memory which seems to grow ever stronger because of the need for more memory in a machine.

Computer memory upgrades are easily obtainable fortunately and something which you can do yourself. You can do an online memory scan to ensure and guarantee that the memory is indeed correct for your system and fit it yourself when it arrives a few days later if ordered on line.

Or you can contact you local computer repair professional who can also perform this inexpensive task if you have already purchased a new Pc or if your existing system is running slowly.

If you are thinking of purchasing new hardware then do yourself a favor and make sure you get a memory upgrade if you are purchasing a budget machine. If the salesperson does not give you the option ask for it. You will be the person that benefits in the long run.

Life is great with modern day cheap laptops

The modern day computer market is a completely different place to shop than what it was some decades ago. In the current market, the bulky and traditional computers find no place and are effectively replaced by smart, sleek and performance-oriented laptops.

A laptop is an integral part for many of us for some reason or the other. While the office executives make use of it for performing their duties even while on the move, the housewives and students make use of it to search the Internet or valuable information for miscellaneous purposes.

Let us study some of the numerous benefits of a laptop over the traditional desktop computers. A laptop offers higher levels of portability, flexibility, reliability and is space-conscious. The emergence of new market players, intense competition, falling price, higher levels of customer satisfaction and favorable market trends have all contributed to the growth of the laptop market in the recent years.

The modern day cheap laptops offer exceptional solutions when it comes to complex needs, high-quality image resolution, viewing angle and contrast ratio. Most of the latest laptops score heavily when it comes to satisfying the ever-growing needs of their users.

If you are planning to buy a fresh or second-hand laptop, you must consider some critical factors such as performance, price, substitute products, prevailing market trends, customer service and brand awareness. You must demand the original bill and warranty documents from the vendor and stay away from the grey market. It is of no use to buy the cheap laptops and regret at a later stage. Do not get lured by false promises and tall claims of profit-motivated vendors who leave no stone unturned to get easy and innocent customers.

Some of the leading names in the world of cheap laptops are Acer, HCL and Compaq. The advanced and stylish Acer Laptops as the Acer Aspire 5583WXMi, Acer TravelMate 4233WLMi, Acer TM 6292 and Acer Ferrari 1005WTMi offer complete value for your money. These highly elegant and power-packed Acer laptops will never let you down with sub-standard performance and will reduce your burden with some exceptional quality and performance on a consistent basis.

Thus, it can be easily concluded that the present day Cheap Laptops are great assets for each one of us. The only thing we need to remember is that it' s better to wait for a purchase than to buy a low quality laptop.

IT Project Managers and Their Need To Make Projects Succeed

The reality in the IT working world is that most IT projects fall flat on their faces. A startling statistic of 80% (and possibly higher) reveals the majority of IT projects, despite being well-formed and planned, still end up not meeting outlined project goals throughout their planned course, both in terms of keeping with time and budgeting available money. IT Projects themselves constitute particular IT endeavors that are carried out to create a fresh technological product and/or service with intent to spur, and hopefully, continue a sense of beneficial IT change.

But, Just Who Is Pushing For Change and Managing IT Projects?

Simply, the wrong people. Sometimes, having such change-worthy aspirations to drive these types of projects forward are undertaken by those who least know how to manage and properly conduct IT projects. And with these types of lacking-individuals what's clear for them is their target; it's just that their aim is far from accurate.

With Precise IT Project Aims: IT Project Managers

But, now - and needed more than ever for purposes of actually accomplishing IT projects and their attached goals - there are specific people out there who can stop IT projects from stumbling and falling on their faces. These individuals are called IT Project Managers. Currently, their need in the industry is dire. With the constant increase of IT projects popping up throughout IT companies and organizations worldwide, the call for IT Project Managers is being bellowed from far and wide.

The need for IT Project Managers who have accredited certification are even more popularly sought after. For with certification in IT project management IT professionals and prospective employers will know you have what it takes to make projects structured, operational and successful. Having certification in IT project management tells others you can use the best possible practices, proven techniques and tested methodologies to perfectly complete a provided project, both in a timely manner and within budget parameters.

Certification Options for IT Project Managers

If you feel you'd do well at being an IT Project Manager then know that you have certification options to choose from, two in total. There is the Project+ certification and the PMP certification.

The Project+ certification is affiliated with Comp TIA. And with this certification you will gain all fundamental project management skills being able to take a project from conception to adulthood. You will be able to take projects through planning phases, execution actions, support efforts and end result finalization.

The Project Management Professional certification is derived from the highly respected PMI, Project Management Institute. This certification is the most reputable in the world. The application process for gaining acceptance to achieve PMP certification is quite involved. It requires having a university degree, 4,500 built up hours of professional project management experience and an additional 35 hours project management education.

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