Archive for August, 2011

Secret cameras and more fines

August 14th, 2011

Dubai police have installed secret cameras on all major roads across the emirate  to immediately identify drivers who violate the law,Police will be able to use the new technology to zoom in and out of various locations, enabling them to issue fines.

The number of fines issued to motorists through the remote control cameras totaled 6,213 during the first six months of 2011, Dubai motorists were fined an additional AED72m in driving fines in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2009, the city’s Roads and Transport Authority said last month.

The most common offences among drivers include exceeding the speed limit by up to 40kph, and disturbing traffic flow,

The ebst aoprt of this is that Dubai’s police chief Lt General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said in July that the emirate’s traffic police aimed to cut fatalities on the roads from 70 per 100,000 people, to zero in the next nine years.

DATA Leakage – Synergy offers a unique, award winning solution for Dubai companies

August 11th, 2011
  • Have you ever wondered what your colleagues are printing at the office ?
  • How sensitive documents flow through or aretreated within your organisation ?
  • What about confidential information that is  leaked out without most people even realizing it ? 
  • What are you commercial and legal compliance liabilities? 

 Weo ffer a truly innovative solution and in a class of its own that gives  full control and visibility on every print job, inclusive of ALL print contents.

It allowsyou  to conduct full forensic investigations on any selected print jobs which can be specified under your organization’s own security policies. This is a printer agnostic solution which  intercepts a print job even before it reaches the printer driver,and  subjects the print job to  policies.

In the case of sensitive documents, Pit ould be used to block documents that contain key words like secret, confidential, internal …etc. from being printed (even to PDF), to enforce a watermark e.g all fiance orginated docuemnts woudkl have a ‘Finance’ watermark or simply to forward the jobs for further authorization before they can be printed.

Support processes for post print management like transfer, safe archival or destruction of physical documents. Log  these actions for audit purposes.

 Though the soltuion complement sany existing Managed Print Solutions (MPS) in the market today, this is not the same . There is no other solution in the market today (that actually capture what you’ve printed. For example, if I’ve printed a document then  the full content of what I’ve printed is captured as an encrypted and compressed log file. At some point in the future, should there be a need for a forensic investigation into my past print activities, an authorized person say, an auditor would be able to see what I’ve actually printed in full details. Therefore, this  is more of a DLP (Data Leak Prevention) and audit complaint logging  solution for Printing.

The solution can be deployed for exanple with a policy to authorize only certain group/number of users to perform color printing while all other unauthorized users would be “forced” to print in monochrome mode, even if they’ve selected to print in color.

When users are made aware that their print jobs are  monitored they are more responsible with the use of their printing resources. A fully deployed solution could cut printing activities by 70%; hence, delivering a stellar ROI for the customers than any MPS in the market. In an organization that has already deployed a DLP solution, this is the piece  to complete the jigsaw for this enterprise security landscape.

 The main objective to  deploy solution  is to instill responsibility printing within the organization, especially where confidential or sensitive documents are concerned. There is ’much more that can be achieved  coe.g. I could do a keyword search like “confidential” to find all documents printed by all employees within the organization that contains the word “confidential”  

We’re fully aware that to deploy a compliance/security solution like this could prove to be quite daunting for many organizations .That’s the reason why we do not propose that you go the big bang way. Early adopters have chosen is to deploy PAM in monitoring (Gaia Edition) mode. This allows you to have an overview of your organization’s print behavior without having to put anyone under undue stress. You can still track for potential policy violations and be notified via email/reports accordingly.


Hacking, spamming and DOS – it can happen to you

August 9th, 2011

The UK News of the World phone hacking scandal stole the headlines from the more traditional IT problems.

An 18-year-old man was  arrested in the Shetland Islands in July  as part of an investigation into hacking groups, Anonymous and LulzSec.  The man is suspected of using the online nickname Topiary and presenting himself as a spokesman for the groups. The arrest of Topiary is the third made in the UK in the search for members of the group, following that of Ryan Cleary, in Essex, in June, and the arrest and release in London last week of a 16-year-old known online as Tflow. The apparent ringleader of the group, known online as Sabu, remains at large.

LulzSec claims to have carried out attacks on a number of sites, including the Sun last week when it redirected readers to a fake story claiming Rupert Murdoch was dead, and others during May and June including attacks on the , an FBI-affiliated site, the US Congress, and Sony’s European network. LulzSec has previously claimed responsibility for attempted hacks made on the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the US Senate, the CIA and the Sun newspaper

Sixteen people were arrested in the United States last month in connection with hacking attacks by the Anonymous group of online activists, as well as one person in the U.K. and four people in the Netherlands, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

An indictment named 14 people accused of conspiring to intentionally damage protected computers at PayPal last December in retribution for PayPal suspending WikiLeaks’ account

Read more:

Now Hacker Collective Anonymous is developing, a more sophisticated tool called ReRefor use in its denial of service attacks to take down websites, according to a post on the AnonOps Communications blog.

 This new tool, , is  an alternative to the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) DDoS utility  promoted by Anonymous as an attack tool which attempts to flood a site with TCP or UDP packers, essentially overwhelming the site with junk traffic The RefRef tool  will use the hosting server’s own processing power through a resource exhaustion method that  uses a known, but not widely patched, SQL vulnerability to install a .js file on the server, which then overwhelms the server with requests.

The tool, which is due for release in September, is not expected to be effective for repeated use against targets because the SQL vulnerability can be patched, but the creators also don’t expect many organizations to make the effort to patch it if they haven’t been attacked already. Be warned!

 The LOIC, originally developed as a network stress testing application, has been effective in enabling DDOS attacks that overwhelm sites with junk packets and can be launched from a web browser. However, the tool does not attempt to conceal the attacker’s IP address, so if the user is sending packets from their home computer without using a proxy or similar tool to anonymise the packets, each one will contain the users own IP address. This has led to several Anonymous members being traced by law enforcement and arrested in recent months.

Meanwhile, according to the BBCSanford Wallace, a US man accused of breaching Facebook spam filters and sending out over 27 million spam messages to Facebook users has turned himself in to the FBI.  Prosecutors  allege that Wallace, known as the Spam King, developed a programme that lured users to submit their account details to a website controlled by him.  Wallace has denied the charges and has been released on $100,000 bail. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in jail.  According to prosecutors, the programme developed by Wallace posted messages, supposedly from friends, on Facebook users’ walls, telling them to visit a website where their account details were then stolen.

Hacker group Anonymous broke into the Syrian Ministry of Defence’s website, on Sunday night and left a screen with a mock up of the Syrian flag with the Anonymous logo of a faceless man in the middle, in place of normal website content. A message to the Syrian people from Anonymous was revealed in English.  There was a coutner attack and it seems that pro-government hackers in Syria  retaliated against hacktivist collective Anonymous by temporarily taking over the latter’s social networking site. When accessing Anonymous’s site, AnonPlus, earlier today, visitors were greeted with the words “Terrorist Kills, Syrian Army and Syrian Civilians” in large type against a flag of the Arab nation, which has been subject to mass anti-government protests in recent months. Since the unrest began, up to 2,000 civilians and 500 members of President Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces have reportedly been killed.

They posted the following message in both Arabic and English on AnonPlus this morning: “In response to your hacking to the website of the Syrian Ministry of Defence, the Syrian people have decided to purify the internet of your pathetic website. Your website has been hacked, and here we leave you these photos showing the scale of terrorism committed by Muslim Brotherhood Organization, whose members have been killing Syrian citizens – civilian and military. You are defending this terrorits [sic] organization and this is our response. here is photos of the Syrian Army Martyrs”

Apparel PLM – from Synergy Software Systems in Dubai

August 9th, 2011

We are pleased to announce our representation for the specialist Apparel rnage fo soltuioons from DeSL . The recently released  version 4.0 of its PLM, SRM, ERP and E-Commerce products includes many functional enhancements:

  1. Full and real time bi-directional integration with Adobe Illustrator versions CS3, CS4 and CS5.  Conect yourdesign to your libraries of materials and costs,
  2. A new interface via DeSL’s web portal to enhance end user’s experience and to support functions such as ‘my home page’ and Excel grids.
  3. Capabilities to import data directly from PDF’s and spreadsheets to create on-line tech packs and product libraries without the need for re-keying.
  4. Supplier/Vendor compliance management including standards such as CPSIA.
  5. AQL quality standards within production/procurement.
  6. Integration between Story Boards, customer sales catalogues and E-Commerce.
  7. Logistics management and direct deliveries for purchase orders.
  8. Integration between Line Planning and Sales and Demand Forecasting.
  9. 3D product visualisation. Create 3 FD views of samples from 2 D photographs to speed up design approval and

Colin Marks, CEO DeSL, states “this version represents a new vision and paradigm for PLM and ‘end to end’ fashion software. We’ve not taken the easy route of incorporating 3rd party products such as Excel grid controls into our solution. We developed our own because purchased 3rd party products are generally too slow over low Internet connection speeds such as those experienced in remote locations such as China, Indonesia, Cambodia and South America etc. Most of our customers want to include their suppliers/vendors in their collaborative network so speed of response is essential.

We have also taken huge steps with the full integration to Adobe Illustrator. Creative people don’t really want to use commercial solutions such as PLM, so with our new ‘plug in’ they don’t need to! We enable designers to create products, tech packs, BOM’s and sample requests, all from their Illustrator workspace. The single source of PLM data is actually extended into Illustrator with obvious speed to market advantages.

DeSL were appointed Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for the 4th consecutive year. despite the much  tougherMicrosoft qualifying criteria,  the only vendor in this sector with this track record.

With the move to version 4.0 of the .Net Framework DeSL is the only vendor with a ‘pure Internet architecture’ and accredited as .Net Connected.

The  full range of products are being adopted by many global retailers in addition to wholesale/manufacturing companies, with numerous new deals recently signed including Bravissimo in UK, Men’s Wearhouse in USA and GRI Retail in Hong Kong.

In the fast moving world of fashion with constantly updated ranges, and styles and multiple sizes and colourways, a specialist integrated, end to end solution,  from design to delivery is needed to accelerate the design and approval cycle, and to manage the  complex coordination of muliple purhcase orders, and manufacturing orders and sub contractors through every stage.

 Combine this with Dynamics Ax 2012 and itsadvanced  retail module and this is an awesome solution that will transform your business if you are involved in the apparel industry.

Discontinued features and modified functionality in Microsoft Project Server 2010

August 9th, 2011

Discontinued features and modified functionality in Microsoft Project Server 2010

  • Outlook add-in The Outlook add-in for Project Server is discontinued inProject Server 2010. The existing add-in can still connect toProject Server 2010, but it has not been updated for this release. 
  • Project Server 2010 is integrated with Exchange Server, so that users no longer need to download a separate COM add-in.
  • The timesheet functionality that was present in the Outlook add-in has been discontinued.

Features and functionality that have been discontinued or changed in Microsoft Project Server 2010.

Project Portfolio Server changes

Project Server and Project Portfolio Server are no longer two separate products. Relevant portfolio functionality from Project Portfolio Server is merged into Project Server 2010. The following Project Portfolio Server 2007 features and functionality were discontinued or changed for Project Server 2010:

  • Application portfolio management This includes tracking and managing applications.
  • Audit Trail Workflow activity was previously made available from the Audit Trail link in the Workflow module. In Project Server 2010, this information is available in the Workflow History list, which can be accessed from the Additional Workflow Data link in the All Workflow Stages section.
  • Benefits estimating This includes estimating and tracking financial and non-financial benefits.
  • Organizational hierarchy and aggregates This includes a security-based hierarchical data grouping and aggregation. In Project Server 2010, departments have been added to enable hierarchical data grouping based on organizational structure.
  • Dynamic charting This includes the Chart Wizard, which allows for ad-hoc interactive chart creation, including bubble chart modeling. In Project Server 2010, Excel Services support has been added, providing a new method of dynamic reporting.
  • Financial management This includes time-phased budget, actual, and forecast cost tracking. In Project Server 2010, use custom fields and Excel Services to enable cost functionality for simple estimation, tracking, and forecasting costs. Solutions for more complex estimating, tracking, and forecasting costs are offered by Microsoft partners.
  • Insight analysis This enabled users to get specific details into the factors that impact a specific portfolio selection.
  • Decision dashboard This enabled users to make selection decisions supported by a rich dashboard with live grouping and charting.
  • Sensitivity analysis This enabled users to take a portfolio selection through various what-if scenarios and figure out how close a project was to being selected.
  • Snapshotting and versioning This enabled users to create cost, resource, and benefit snapshots at any given point in time. In Project Server 2010, reporting and baselining can be used to capture data snapshots.
  • Surveys This includes flexible, user-definable survey forms, on subjects related to risk, architectural fit, and operational performance.

Other info:

Configure Project Server 2010 to work with Exchange Server 2007 SP2

This article describes how to configure integration with Exchange Server 2007 SP2, enabling Project Server 2010 users to view Project Server tasks in Microsoft Office Outlook. This functionality replaces the Outlook Add-in task status reporting functionality for non-time–phased tasks that is available in previous versions of Project Server and enables task assignment updates using % complete or total work remaining. These task assignment updates are then auto-submitted to the Task Status Manager when the tasks are updated in the Exchange client.

Activity plans and personal projects included the ability to create and manage activity plans, also known as lightweight projects, and personal projects from within Project Web Access. Instead,Project Server 2010 supports editing any project on the server using a rich, new grid control in Project Web App.

Ramadan Opening hours

August 9th, 2011

Please note that we will have the office mamned between 0900 and 1700 Sunday- Thursday throughout Ramadan and will be closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

Customer Source Scheduled downtime

August 9th, 2011

To facilitate necessary online system updates, Microsoft has advised there will be no access to Microsoft CustomerSource on Saturday, August 13, 2011 starting at 8 a.m. CST until 5:30 p.m. CST.

Project Crescent

August 8th, 2011

 SQL Server “Denali” CTP3,  introduces Project “Crescent” which  is Reporting Services’ new reporting tool to visually explore  data and to answer ad-hoc questions with ease.


Almost everything in a Crescent report is interactive – click on a column in a chart and use that as means to highlight data throughout the report or flter data from the chart.

No need to configure these feature.s There are no property pages that open up and require you to be an expert. Much of it happens due to the relationships that are already defined in the model, and as someone who is creating the report or interacting with the data, you don’t even need to be aware of that.

No wonder the newly recently Microsoft Dynamics Ax2012  moved over  to  SSRS as has the Enterprise Version of Sunsystems and of course its also used by Microsoft CRM.

Expect to see more and more convergence with Power Pivor moving forward.

Project Apollo

August 7th, 2011

Project Apollo is a new feature in CTP3 of SQL Server Denali. It provides a new columnstore index for 10-100x performance improvements for a star join or similar query.

Apollo usesthe in-memory columnstore technology (VertiPaq) from PowerPivot and a new query execution paradigm called batch processing to provide impressive speed improvements for common data warehouse queries. Microsoft  claims in test scenarios customers have experienced approximately 100x improvements in star join and similar queries

Cumulative Update pack 1 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 released

August 7th, 2011

Just days after the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a cumulative update pack has been released for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. This should be seen  s a positive sign that partners are getting hands on and that Microsoft is responding quickly. With over 1000 feature upgrades and a new report pack this is asmall amount of bugs at this early point and proably fewer than the previous release has!

This pack contains close to 80 fixes to various bugs