Archive for December, 2006|Monthly archive page

Internal workings of Windows Live Messenger

In IT, Opinion, Technical on December 31, 2006 at 8:01 pm

Take a look at the way the “Messenger Relay” system relays your Windows Live messages from one end to the other. (Click on the image to see the full view)

Here is how the whole thing flies around,

1. The user starts the session by double clicking a contact.
2. The user’s Windows Live ID credentials are sent across to the Windows Live ID Credentials server for further verification
3. The information is passed through a incoming only firewall to the dispatch server. This is the first point of connection for the message being sent.
4. Depending where the user is in the world, a connection will be made to the local notification server. There are main ones in Singapore, Dublin, Redmond and Reading. This keeps the connection between the two users alive, and keeps things updated such as user status, chat requests and email notifications from Windows Live Mail/Hotmail.
5. The message itself doesn’t go near the notification servers – it is passed onto the switchboard server which is the where all the messages and files are exchanged. The user starting the chat can talk to one user, whilst using another switchboard session to talk to someone else, and another switchboard session for someone else still – without even knowing it. Invitations, file transfers and video/voice chat are also sent through here.
6. The information is then relayed back through an outgoing firewall and checks the user is still online. If the user is offline by the time the message is ready to be received, then it’ll bounce back and be saved on the switchboard session until the user logs back on again. If they are online, they will receive the message.



Microsoft’s Free Ferrari Laptop Giveaway

In News, Opinion, Thoughts, Windows Vista on December 28, 2006 at 8:57 pm

You must have heard this…it’s one of the hot news in the blogosphere. “Microsoft is giving away some of the powerful laptops around, loaded with Vista, to some of the bloggers”. That’s the story.

Lately, the blogosphere was packed with the leaders of the blogosphere talking about whether it’s ethical to accept such an offer, is it okay to keep the gift or just give it away etc.

Robert Scoble thinks that it’s an awesome idea from Microsoft to giveaway the preloaded Vista laptops. Joel at Joel on Software says that Scoble was wrong and Microsoft in essence was bribing the bloggers to write about their product. It’s kind of a war of opinions flying around in the blogosphere.

I think it might not be an awesome idea but at the same time it might not be considered as bribing. Microsoft was not forcing you to write about their product and you are not obliged to write about just because you’ve accepted the gift. They say it would be nice if they review about it but they don’t force you to do so. It’s not a cheap marketing for them as well because the bloggers who’ve got the gift was already blogging about Microsoft products. So it’s not in anyway a cheap marketing campaign.

It might not be an awesome idea because it might trigger a biased blogosphere as bloggers might target that niche to be in line for the next years gift. The reviews might be one sided and might not be true enough. That way it wasn’t a great idea to send a gift preloaded with a specific product (particularly your own).

But I would take it as being a gift from Microsoft for writing all year about their product.

PS: Sorry for not posting to my blog for a while. I wasn’t in a position to post to my blog these days. I hope I should be able to resume my regular posting habit from now on.

Firefox update is available for download

In Breaking News, Browser, News, Tools on December 19, 2006 at 1:48 pm

Mozilla today silently released a patch version of Mozilla Firefox The update is not available yet on the Firefox homepage but you can get this update thru their FTP servers.

This update includes some major bug fixes and some fixes to memory leaks. Here is a complete list of bugs that are fixed in

Firefox team indicates that some of the memory leak issues are because of the Adobe Flash Player issues and they suggest to download the latest Adobe Flash Player (version

Download Firefox (Direct Link – Approx. 5.8 MB)

Best Buy made $43 million profit in unused gift cards in 2006

In Misc, News on December 18, 2006 at 4:02 pm

Yahoo News reports that the leading retailers are making huge profits on unused gift cards. How much?…for example, Best Buy made $43 million in profit in fiscal year 2006 on unused gift cards. That’s amazing.

Read the full story here.

PS: I have 2 of my Best Buy gift cards sitting on my wallet for a while now. My 2 cents!!!

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In Breaking News, News, Web 2.0 on December 18, 2006 at 3:26 pm just unveiled a revamped design which among other things makes uses of the screen real estate to deliver more content. They’ve added 3 major Digg categories, News, Videos and Podcasts (which is still in beta as they’ve unrolled). The overall look and feel of the site looks great..

Digg founder Kevin Rose has blogged about this at his Digg The Blog and has posted a short video that summarizes the new design features.

Visit Digg.