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Prentice Hall PTR is proud to publish the Bruce Perens' Open Source Series with Bruce Perens, Series Editor. This Series focuses on Linux and Open Source technologies, including new and emerging technologies. It targets professional software developers, system and network administrators, and power users.

The Bruce Perens' Open Source Series is designed to give a voice to up-and-coming Open Source authors. Each book in the Series is published under the Open Publication License, an Open Source compatible book license. Electronic versions will be made available at no cost several months after each book's publication.

The books cover many useful topics, such as PHP 5, Linux programming and administration, Java, wxWidgets, Subversion version control, AJAX, etc. All of these books have free PDF versions available on this page.

Check them out; the price certainly cannot be beat. :)

Edit: A correction: some of the books (roughly 20%) have only a sample chapter available, not the full text!

General Software Discussion / Anonymous Google searches with G-Zapper
« on: December 08, 2006, 12:17 AM »
Link :

From the website:
Did you know that Google stores a unique identifier in a cookie on your PC, which allows them to track the keywords you search for? They use this information to compile reports, track user habits, and test features. In the future, it is possible they could even sell this information or share it with
others. ...

G-Zapper helps you protect your identity and valuable attention data. ...  G-Zapper allows you to delete or entirely block the Google search cookie from future installation.

Even though I like Google, I am not comfortable about the fact that it maintains tracking information for all searches, for an indefinite time. A few months ago, AOL users' search data was compromised. Even though Google might be more diligent about protecting their users' data, there is always a threat that it can be forced to share the data through a government subpoena.

I have installed this software, and sure enough, there was a 491 days old cookie on my machine. I deleted it, and will be doing so regularly now. :)


Borland USA's online shop has an offer wherein you can purchase a Turbo Professional product for just $249, instead of the usual $399. The offer seems to be valid only till 31 December 2006.

Basically, $249 is the upgrade price from an Explorer to a Professional edition, but since the Explorer editions are free to begin with, anyone can install one of those and immediately "upgrade" to the Professional edition.  8)


If the above link doesn't work, just go to and click on the "Buy Now Online" button.

It's a shame, though, that this offer seems not to be available in other countries. I am thinking of buying Turbo Delphi Professional for Win32, and could have used this discount. Well, at least I don't have to buy the full BDS 2006. :P

I know many regulars here (including me) are looking for a good firewall solution, so this article might help :)

Firewall protection fantasy doused

Free firewalls are better than their paid-for cousins. That is the surprising conclusion of a test of desktop firewalls by security researchers.

Researchers at David Matousec's carried out tests on 21 leading products using 26 assessment programs known as "leak" testers. These simulated a total of 77 test attacks on firewalls, configured using both out-of-the-box and optimal security settings. Each firewall was then awarded points based on its ability to pass each leak test in both modes.

The only two products to achieve a rating of "excellent" turned out to be free-to-use software, the Comodo Personal Firewall v2.3, and the Jetico Personal Firewall v2.0 beta.

(snip) At the very bottom of the list in 21st place scoring a resounding zero, came Microsoft's own firewall ...

(snip) The researchers also hit the products with a "fake protection revealer" (FPR) designed to catch out software that had been optimised to pass some security tests without necessarily offering real-world protection. Only one product fell seriously foul of this test, Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0 ...

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