Category Archives: business

Knowledge base Systems, a review on phpMyFAQ

An organization needs to maintain a repository of information. This includes common knowledge or business specific information such as white papersuser manuals, policy document, knowledge tags, or answers to frequently asked questions. A general purpose document management system can fill the void, however a single purpose knowledge base system will be a far better fit.

A knowledge base provides a means for information to be collected, organized, shared, searched and utilized. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_base)

Contents stored in a knowledge base are usually HTML; they can also be accompanied in various other formats for document and used

We can imagine a knowledge base build on articles, white papers, troubleshooting information, FAQs, manuals, policy and procedures. Following could be some of the attribute of a knowledge base.

There are various application platform that can be used as a knowledge base

Following are some of them:

Media Wiki http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki

Andy’s PHP Knowledgebase Project  http://aphpkb.org/

phpMyFAQ  http://phpmyfaq.de/

As we decided to investigate more, media wiki was one of our obvious choices but once we tried out phpMyFAQ, we found it to be interesting and easy to use. phpMyFAQ looked  like a great choice. It has all features you can ask of a knowledge base.

Details on phpMyFAQ

Managing content

  • Content management system: - You can administrate your users, groups, news, categories, FAQ records, attachments, comments, glossary items, stop words in the password protected administration backend.
  • Categories and tags: - You can create unlimited categories and subcategories for your FAQs. Your users can browse through the categories. You can tag all records and an automatically generated tag cloud helps your users, too.
  • Powerful Search: – Your users can easily find questions and answers using the search feature with search in all languages or in one category. Using the Instant Response frontend your users will find questions and answers while they are typing like in Google Suggest! You’ll also get a list of the most popular searches and you get a graphical report about the search in the administration backend.
  • FAQ Statistics: - Analyze the way of your users through your FAQ with the built-in user tracking; analyze the quality of your records with the statistics of the user voting and the number of views on each record. You can also download an extended reporting sheet as CSV download.
  • Most popular and sticky faq’s:- The start page of the public area shows an automatically created list with the most popular records and of the latest FAQ entries. You can also define “sticky” FAQs which always appear on the main FAQ page. The sticky FAQs are also the first ones in the category FAQ lists. The most popular and the latest FAQs are also available as RSS feeds.
  • Question answers with Attachments
  • Revisions: - Store the old entries in wiki-like revisions, so you can switch back to old versions of the FAQ entry.
  • User comments: - Get more feedback by your users and visitors, by allowing them to comment on your questions and answers.
  • Community modules:- All users can write questions to the system, so that other user can answer these questions. They can also answer these open questions or add translations for existing FAQ records. All these user-generated entries have to be enabled by the administrators.
  • Easy to use HTML editor:- Add your FAQ entries using the integrated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor based on TinyMCE and create rich text, links, lists directly through your web browser. Your links will also be automatically verified during saving your new FAQ record. The Ajax-powered Image Manager provides a web interface to browse for image files (JPEG, PNG, GIF, and others) on the web server.
  • User and group permissions:- You can assign permissions to users and groups, you can create users and user groups with permissions and category and even record restrictions for viewing and creating/editing content. It’s even possible to secure the whole FAQ frontend.
  • LDAP/AD support: Add your company’s OpenLDAP based user management into the system for authentication or just secure your whole FAQ by using HTTP authentication. System also supports LDAP-data mapping, e.g. against an Active Directory Server, including multi-domain-authentication, e.g. against an ADS-Global Catalog
  • Various database system support:- MySQL (libmysql and mysqlnd), PostgreSQL, SQLite, Sybase, MS SQL Server, IBM DB2, IBM Cloudscape, Apache Derby
  • Export: FAQ can be export as PDF, printed or emailed from the same screen.
  • Advanced spam control: - System uses captcha’s, bad word lists and IPv4 and IPv6 ban lists to prevent spam.

Integration aspects (with systems and policy)

This boils down to, phpMyFAQ, a knowledge base system which can be use used in various environment. For example knowledge base for a software, service, business process, educational institute or for a business.

Special thanks to Vikram for helping me out with the research work with testing and a demo implementation for the review of phpMyFAQ

Xeois helps you with implementation of knowledge base systems phpMyFAQ

Economics of the Zero day exploit

What is a Zero day exploit?

A zero-day (or zero-hour or day zero) attack or threat is a computer threat that tries to exploit application vulnerabilities that are unknown to others or the software developer

A life cycle of the Zero-day exploit

  • The developer creates software containing an unknown vulnerability
  • The attacker finds the vulnerability before the developer does
  • The attacker writes and distributes an exploit while the vulnerability is not known to the developer
  • The developer becomes aware of the vulnerability and starts developing a fix.

The problem starts when the developer does not receive information about the exploit, while the applications are exploited. Longer the exploit remains in the hands of a few the more “valuable” and dangerous it becomes.

Economics of the Zero day exploits

A security whole can be around for a long time, unless it is known and fixed or the code causes the whole becomes obsolete. Our old understanding of using software product supported by an active community or a big organization makes you reasonably secured as long as you update the security patch as soon as they comes out. Providing our understanding that zero day exploits are publicly available and do not stay Zero-days for long.

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Free Clone build of Red Hat enterprise Linux

Once upon a time (not so long ago) Red Hat Binary distribution used to free. Then they changed their business model, decided to charge for the binary and started of the fedora project where free Red Hat binary took off.

Soon after Red Hat, removed freely available Linux distribution from circulation and asked us to use and work on fedora if we want to avail a free binary and updates with short support and cutting edge stable technology. So many closes of RHEL came out. People wanted a free and stable environment to continue to run their applications in a self supported environment.

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Who is tracking you online? The BIG Brothers? So many of them?

First I read about this firefox addon called Collusion at Gzimodo. This addon enables us to watch, how we are getting tracked using our own browser. Internet privacy is a widely talked about issue, however we have a little tangible understanding on how it works or how it effects us individually or as a society.

We always wonder why companies like facebook are valued so much. How Google makes so much money? The bottom line is tracking our behavior and sharing with whoever is willing to pay for whatever reason is a big business.

The good thing (!!) is we haven’t seen news on mainstream media which says all our personal information is being shared for evil purpose. What we all know is our information is valued in a way allowing us to use most of our popular internet activity for free.

I like this quote

“If you are not paying for something, you are not the customer, you are the product being sold. “

-Andrew Lewis

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Email collaboration for enterprises and Zimbra

When we think about email collaboration/unified messaging the first things comes into our mind is Microsoft exchange, probably not because they pioneered email collaboration but because they have great success of with all enterprise segments, more importantly the end users to felt the impact of email collaboration. Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 was released at 1996 something that could be integrated to directory services; it was probably the first competitor to Lotus notes released in early 90s.

Let’s not forget novel. In 1990 brought the release of WordPerfect Office 3.0, adding Macintosh and UNIX to the client mix and supporting multiple servers with cross-server email, calendaring and scheduling. The next version 3.1 even included remote sync.

Today’s email Collaboration / Unified messaging

Today when try to understand email collaborative software, we think about something more than email and address book. It is also called unified messaging. Enables us to share calendar events and task lists, update presence information, advanced email routing, global/corporate address book, sharing documents and other media without having to attach it, email auto responders; most importantly, access to all these through push notification support from of your favorite desktop collaboration application, mobile, tablet, or just any web browser. Email collaboration systems are also expected to be integrated with the directory services as well as other collaboration system running within the enterprise.

Things we take for granted, antivirus, anti spam, central authentication, high availability, monitoring, backup etc.

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Microsoft Store India has been hacked! So did your Password!!!

Password! Password!! Password!!!

What is worse then having a week password? Storing your password in clear text. Fortunately/Unfortunately It is nothing to do with you.

WP Sauce reports an attack took place yesterday, with the EvilShadow team replacing the front page to Microsoft’s online India store

with a page called evil.html. The site is still currently down.

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What is a SAN?

What is a SAN?

storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated high performance network provides access block level to Data. The in modern day data is stored in an array of hard disk drives or solid-state drive or a combination of both.

This Storage area network is usually separated from the local area network for performance and security reasons.

Over a SAN there is no access to the file systems directly; rather they are access able in a block level. The operating system will think as if the disk is attached to it directly and the access is going to be block level. A SAN can be shared across many servers.

SAN, Storage area network, raid

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Saad Faruque:

Urban car 300 km or 185 miles between refuels for 2 USD

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

This seems like an eco-dream come true, a car the runs on air developed in India. I’ve seen stories on this since 2008, but have yet to see the car hit market. Now the claim is in August 2012.

I don’t think you’ll see IPCC chairman Rajenda Pachauri driving one of these though, since he has been prone to booking posh 5 star hotel suites and won’t even drive the electric car he has. And like an electric car, that energy to charge the air tank with compressed air has to come from someplace, and that someplace if you are connected to the grid is likely fossil fuels, nuclear, or perhaps hydro. Though, with no fuel taxes, it might be a hit with anti-tax crusaders. With a claimed top speed of 60mph and range 185 miles, it should be enough to overcome the range anxiety of electric cars, and…

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An Introduction to Moodle for business:

Moodle can be used in many types of environments such as in a learning delivery tool in educational institutes, and for business settings  as a community and collaboration tool, can be used for compliance and training. The modular design of Moodle allows it to address wider range of business issues then other most closed source alternatives. Moodle is Open source and free.

The Moodle market share has seen a rapid growth over last 7 years of years. While is started from less then 100 thousand and now over 1.2 million. The reason for this with loyal user base would be Mooldes features, scalability and reliability. Open sources This eliminates the possibility of any vendor lock down. There is no requirement for per user licensing. Moodles millions of registered users who constantly share the ideas, codes, information and free support. This makes scope and possibilities enormous.

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Work from home

http://lifehacker.com/5879857/how-to-stay-motivated-and-avoid-slacking-off-while-working-from-home

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