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20 December 2014

5 Reasons for Pakistani Computer Science Students that they should love Programming


Choosing a right profession is one of the most critical decisions of any one's life. As the structure of the society in Pakistan is such that parents have more influence on this decision. So, it’s even hard to select the profession which is more aligned to the student's own aptitude. That's why most of the time professions are chosen based on trends or wishes instead of aptitude. Common professions, mostly parents want their children to go into are Medical, Engineering, Telecom and Information Technology. Nevertheless each profession has its own merits and demerits but growth of the IT industry is incredible in the past one decade. Although it’s comparatively new to Pakistan but it has become the top professions people like to go in. Here are 5 reasons why this profession should be given highest priority and parents should encourage their children to become programmers and software engineers.

1) IT Industry has unlimited Capacity

Every industry has its capacity to accommodate professionals and resources; this capacity depends upon many factors.

Number of consumers
Overall situation of the country's economic condition
Annual Growth of that specific industry.

As most of the work in IT industry is through internet and clients are located outside Pakistan so IT Industry has unlimited capacity. Any IT professional with good communication and technical skills having a high speed internet can earn a handsome amount. European and American clients prefer to hire programmers from third world countries. In United States average salary of an IT professional is more than double of average national salaries. So, Companies in US prefer to outsource their IT work to Developing countries.

2) Among the one of prestigious professions

Software Engineering profession is among very prestigious professions in Pakistan. Software Engineers and professional related to computer industry are very respected in the society. As it’s a white collar job so developers/software engineers are being paid very high salaries as compare to other professions and above all there is no upper-cap on the salary increments for IT professionals. Although starting pays are not very high but as the developer grasp all the technique of the programming he works in, he starts making handsome salary.

3) Students/Professionals of software field are more aligned to the latest research than any other field

As most of the development and programming work is done for the customers that are located in the countries that are technological advanced than Pakistan. That is why all the practitioners/students are automatically up to date with the tools and techniques that are needed by their customers. Contrary to other fields in IT industry change is so rapid that software developers and other IT professionals have to work hard and study extra to survive in the market. So, their learning process remains active throughout their career and its direct impact is on their earning.

4) Incentives from Government

If you have a hidden wish to be an entrepreneur and want to be your own boss. Then “IT” is the right field for you. This industry is exempted from income tax until 2016. PSEB (Pakistan Software Export Board) is very active body and time to time initiate incentives for it registered companies and protect their rights. PSEB propose many facilities e.g. workspace to the IT companies in STPs (Software Technology Parks). These straight of the art STPs have 24/7 power backups, high speed internet at very affordable cost and in-house banking services. PSEB contributes in the cost if any of its registered company wants to enroll for any certification to improve the quality measures.
Remember because of the power situation in the country, only the software industry is growing. Textile industry which was once the hallmark of the country has been moved to other countries like Bangladesh and Malaysia because of power/electricity issues.

5) Global exposure

If you are a software developers and programmers eventually ends up working for the foreign clients (i.e. American, European or Australian nationals). So, this cross cultural business/professional relationship is always helpful to learn different aspects of work ethics. This opportunity is rarely available in any other profession in Pakistan unless the professional personally visit/settle in other country. Many good habits, professionalism, mentor ship, cross cultural attributes, healthy work habit, improvement in communication and latest programming tools and development skills can be learned being an IT professional.

11 December 2014

Biodiesel crops and production, present and future scenarios in Pakistan


A liquid bio-fuel which is obtained from animal fats or vegetable oils and alcohol by chemical processes and can be used as alone, in diesel engine or by blending with the diesel oil. ASTM International (originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) defines bio-diesel as a mixture of long-chain monoalkylic esters from fatty acids obtained from renewable resources, to be used in diesel engines. The crops which are useful for the production of bio-diesel are Sunflower, Soya bean, Jatropha, Taramira, Safflower, Mustard, Peanut, Cottonseed, Sesame, Rice bran, Linseed, Castor and Canola. Bio-diesel is produced by transesterification reaction from vegetable oils or animal fats and an alcohol. Transesterification is a chemical reaction which converts an ester (animal fat or vegetable oil) into mixture of esters of the fatty acids which makes up the oil (or fat). Then Bio-diesel is obtained after the purification of the mixture of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME).
There are following advantages of bio-diesel as we compare it diesel fuel.
•    It is low toxic as compared to the diesel fuel.
•    Due to reduced emission of carcinogenic substances, it has lower health hazards.
•    As a lubricant, it has excellent properties.
•    During its production, used cooking oil, residues from meat processing can be used as raw material.
•    It can be used in conventional diesel engine without modifications.
Most of the technologically advanced countries believe on the importance of fossil fuels, however, they are successfully using energy sources which are renewable for their energy needs. Pakistan is using hydro-power technology for energy needs which is successful and renewable. In many researchers bio-gas (which is renewable energy source) is gaining interest because fuel produced from it is similar to the fuel extracted from crude oil. But the great hurdle is high cost and non-continuous supply of vegetable oil. Generally, for bio-diesel production, vegetable oil is reacted with methanol or ethanol. Methanol is cheaper than ethanol, so widely methanol is used. Methanol is obtained from coal and in Pakistan there are 180 billion tons reserves of coal. On the other hand, 76 sugar mills are present in the country with a capacity 300,000 tons for crushing the cane per day, and the main by-product for ethanol production is cane molasses. So, excess of ethanol is present for bio-diesel production.
For bio-diesel production, caustic soda is generally used as a catalyst, whereas for present country need, production of caustic soda is enough. Sodium chloride is used as a raw material for caustic soda production. Due to huge reserves of sodium chloride, production of caustic soda can be increased. India is very successful in the production of bio-diesel from seeds of Jatropha plant. While in Pakistan, Jatropha can be cultivated in saline soil with less water and high temperature. Jatropha plant can produce about two tons of bio-diesel fuel per year per hectare. If Pakistan uses all uncultivated land for bio-diesel production, then 56 million tons of bio-diesel per year can be produce, while our present need for fuel diesel is 8.5 million tons. To increase the production of edible oil Government of Pakistan is very serious and established the department of Pakistan Oilseed Development Board.
It was resulted from the economic analysis for indigenous oil that the factor which may increase the price of bio-diesel is virgin vegetable oil. In the past decade, India was successful in decreasing the cost of bio-diesel fuel by growing Jatropha plant. Other countries also tried the same and achieved some success. However, Pakistan remains behind the scene in bio-diesel production. The total energy demand of the Pakistan is 32 MTOE (million tons of oil equivalent), while the energy supply is about 63 MOTE. But most of it is imported, so country is deficient in energy. On the other hand the energy consumption is increasing at rate of 5 per cent per annum. It is necessary that there should be continuous and cheap supply of the energy for sustainable economic growth. At present, the role of sustainable sources of energy is less and more efforts are required to make it significant in country energy supply mix. It is resulted from the study which is described in paper that if indigenous vegetation that can produce in edible oil is grown on barren areas of the country then cost of feedstock can be reduced and bio-diesel can become the solution of poor energy economy. In addition to this, by developing ponds on some marginal land algal growth can be increased which may increase the bio-diesel production. To improve the socio-economic condition of the country there is need of hour to develop bio-diesel industries. The government of Pakistan created the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) with this mission. One of the scopes of work includes the employment of 10 per cent bio-diesel in diesel fuel market by the year 2025. If this target is achieved then the country may save US$ 1 billion per year by decreasing imports of fossil fuels.

Original post in Technology Times

07 December 2014

Port Forwarding on Router


Some people may not know what port forwarding is but it can be very useful knowledge to have these days. If you have a router at home this will likely come in handy at some point in time. A router works by routing the internet/network connection to all of your computers and devices. Everything is simple as all the requests are made internally and the router sends the information to the computer that requests it and, if all is well, everyone is happy. Later, you decide to set up a security camera system, a DVR host a website, or all of the above from home or office. You go to www.WhatIsMyIP.com and make note of your IP then while you are out you try to connect and it fails. All internal testing went well but outside the network nothing seems to work. In fact, one of the more common questions we receive involve port forwarding in some way. If you are in this position then this information could prove useful to get you remotely connected to your DVR camera system, or any internally hosted server or service.

What Is Port Forwarding?

A simple analogy is comparing your network to a phone system where the main phone line is like the IP address. Ports are like phone extensions. If you call the main line without telling the operator (router) which extension you want, your call will go nowhere. The router has rules to send your request on particular ports to a certain host (defined by you), which is similar to defining your phone extension. Servers listen for incoming connections on certain ports but without telling your router where to send these connections they will never arrive. 

Port forwarding sets up your router to correctly redirect external inbound service requests to the correct internal computer on your network. Setting up a router to port forward can be accomplished in a few steps. While every router brand has a different web interface that you access to accomplish these steps, the below information should get you pointed to the general area.

Do you think this is a pain? Believe it or not, your router is doing you a favour by acting as a firewall preventing inbound requests from getting to any of your devices. So with not ports set to forward, the router is another layer of protection.

How to Port Forward?

First thing to do is locate the IP address of your router. Most of the time it is either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1

We are looking for the “Default Gateway.” My router IP is 192.168.1.1. You should also do this on the computer that is the server and make note of what the IP address is. You can see that my Server’s internal IP is 192.168.1.105

Once you get the default gateway you need to enter it in to your web browser address bar. Once you enter the address and hit enter you will be brought to a login screen or prompt. You will need the user name and password for your router. Some common router default user names and passwords are:

Linksys – Use admin for both user name and password.
Netgear – Use admin for user name and password for the password.

Once you are in to the router it depends on the manufacturer’s portal as to where you will find the port forwarding settings. In Linksys you will click on “Applications and Gaming” as seen below. However in some routers you may have to go in to the “Advanced” settings. Once you get to the “Port Forwarding” section you will either have a list or a section to add a new port forwarding rule. 

You will need the IP of the computer running your server and know what exact port the server is using or broadcasting. Make entries as per need. After you are finished adding your entries make sure enable your forwarding and save your settings. 

Tip: I will highly recommend to use Static IPs on local network. Because these are easy to configure & troubleshoot. 

Your server should now be able to receive incoming connections through your router. If you are still experiencing problems it would be recommended that you re-check your settings both on the router and check your Firewall settings on your server/computer/DVR

29 November 2014

Don’t Waste Thousands of Rupees on Online Clicking Jobs these are scam


Ever heard of on-line jobs, CAPTHA jobs, ad clicking jobs, ad posting jobs or similar sort of other jobs that require initial registration worth thousands of rupees? If no, then you are probably not aware of one of the biggest on-going scams in the country.

But those who have heard about such jobs, and they are planning to get registration (that usually costs anywhere from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 100,000 or more) then please don’t waste your money as its a fraud and you will only end-up wasting your hard earned money.

Keep reading to know the details that how fraudsters track people.

How It works?

A company — usually a team of 2-3 persons — with an office and some official documents, such as NTN etc., advertises to local community that anyone with very basic computer knowledge can get ad clicking jobs (also called home based on-line jobs) with monthly salary of Rs. 10,000, Rs. 20,000 up to Rs. 100,000.

You will see a lot of pamphlets claiming that anyone with very basic computer knowledge can get ad clicking jobs (also called home based on-line jobs) with monthly salary of Rs. 10,000, Rs. 20,000 up to Rs. 50,000 but salary is dependent on the initial registration fee.

More upfront fee will mean higher monthly salary. Monthly salary is usually set at around 50% of your upfront registration fee.

These fraudsters even advertise in papers. When you call them, you will come to know about registration fee, which you can pay and get started with a monthly salary.

Here are usual registration fee structures and corresponding monthly salaries for such on-line jobs/ad-clicking jobs:

Registration Fee Rs. 5,000 = Monthly Salary: Rs. 2,500
Registration Fee Rs. 10,000 = Monthly Salary: Rs. 5,000
Registration Fee Rs. 15,00 = Monthly Salary: Rs. 7,500
Registration Fee Rs. 25,000 = Monthly Salary: Rs. 12,5000
Registration Fee Rs. 40,000 = Monthly Salary: Rs. 20,000
Registration Fee Rs. 50,000 = Monthly Salary: Rs. 25,000
Registration Fee Rs. 100,000 = Monthly Salary: Rs. 50,000
Not to mention, registration fee or the corresponding monthly salary for on-line jobs can vary from case to case.

After paying the registration fee, the company will give you an account on a website that will allow you to login and start your daily work. This work usually includes clicking on ads, entering CAPTCHAs and so on. To cut the long story short, users are asked to do dummy stuff that won’t mean much.

At the end of the month, you will get your promised salary and that will cover half of your initial investment and you can carry on with your job into second month.

During this period, especially after getting your first salary, you are going to tell about this job to all of your friends and family which will include at least 4-5 unemployed individuals who would want to do such an easy job while being at home.

Not only this, you may also think that getting another registration might double your incoming and you may end-up buying another account for yourself, with higher registration probably.

Soon, your FnF will also get themselves registered (by paying registration fee obviously) and this chain will start until the company will have hundreds of registrations coming every month.

As per estimates, here’s the supposed cash-flow situation of the company you are working with:

First Month: 10 Registrations (with Rs. 10,000 for each registration and Rs. 5,000 monthly salary)
Cash in hand: Rs. 100,000
Month Salaries: Rs. 50,000 (or around)
Cash carried forward: Rs. 50,000
Second Month: 20 Registrations (with Rs. 10,000 for each registration)
Cash in Hand: Rs. 50,000 (carried forward from previous month) + Rs. 200,000 from current month’s registrations
Monthly Salaries: 150,000 (30 persons)
Cash carried froward: Rs. 250,000-Rs. 150,000: Rs. 100,000
Third Month: 50 Registrations (with Rs. 10,000 for each registration)
Cash in Hand: Rs. 100,000 (carried forward from previous month) + Rs. 500,000 from current month’s registrations
Monthly Salaries: Rs. 400,000 (80 persons)
Cash carried forward: 600,000-400,000= Rs. 200,000
This goes on and on.
In this example, we assumed that registration fee is Rs. 10,000 and monthly salary is Rs. 5,000. But in reality, registration fee is set around Rs. 25,000 and salary is set around Rs. 12,500.

Now if you see, the essential part for any company to keep this business running is about getting new registrations. That’s how they will pay the salaries.

Now if you see, the essential part for any company to keep this business running is about getting new registrations. That’s how they will pay the salaries. But considering the unemployment rate in our country, and a good monthly salary for almost everyone (against a small upfront fee that can be recovered in just two months), who wouldn't go and get the registration?

Things go amazing for everyone until one day, (usually on pay-day after 8-12 months) everybody is stunned as this internet job company is no-more there, office is vacated and there’s no sign of the company, which fled away without letting anyone know.

One day — after several months — you will be greeted with an empty office and ultimately knowing that company ran away with millions of rupees in their accounts

By this time, the fraudster company, that you had registered with had at least few million rupees in their account and they will never return back. This running away is the main ROI for fraudsters and that’s how they make money.

Some (old customers) might have recovered their registration fee, but majority would have lost the money that had paid as registration fee.

Things to Note

Companies offering on-line jobs, ad clicking jobs, or other internet jobs are usually strangers, however, they employ local resources as front-end of the company.
Since such companies have to run-away one day, a local resident wouldn't do such a job. If you see a friend operating such a company, then ask for the real-owner — who would indeed be a stranger to you (and your local friend).
Whatever job you do would make no money to the company. Browsing web-pages, or entering CAPTCHAs doesn't make money. Even if your on-line job providers tells you so, its a lie.
There is no job in the world that requires initial registration fee. Anyone asking for registration fee is indeed working on above mentioned model and must be avoided.
Not to mention, this fraudulent business is flourishing throughout the country and every small/big town of the country has at least few such fraud companies working on the same model to mint people’s pocket. We urge law enforcement agencies to give due attention to this matter.

So here’s the idea: Never ever register with any company that asks for up-front registration fee for offering you on-line jobs. They are simply fake. If you know someone doing this, tell him/her the same. Spread the word and let everyone know.

26 November 2014

Why energy efficient systems?


We have little doubt that history will look back on the 21st century’s going green-climate change movement as largely a fraud. Constant bombardment of stories about sea levels rising, global warming melting the ice caps and carbon-based fuels destroying the environment is now a common feature. Regular urbanization, deforestation, evaporation of agriculture lands and industrialization are all human activities that are contributing towards environment degradation and climate change. However, green revolution of the 21st century has again got a wider recognition following these human activities on an enhanced speed. This revolution is largely a bust because consumers have found that it costs too much, and they rightly question just how much the environment, rather than individuals and companies that are raking in the cash, really benefits from it. In fact, we all need to rethink about reducing our carbon footprint in a practical way. But we see a little difference in buying carbon offsets and buying 16th century indulgences. The green revolution has had a dramatic impact on incomes and food supplies in many developing countries. However, the impact goes far beyond these immediate and very important results. This revolution has facilitated institutional and social changes in rural areas and provided opportunities for self-sustaining economic growth and reduced poverty. The outcome of technological change is influenced by institutional and policy environment within which it is introduced. Where such environments have been favorable, the distribution of the benefits has been widespread, but where they have been unfavorable and appropriate changes have not been made, the potential benefits from the green revolution to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and facilitate self-sustaining development has not been fully exploited. All this has now necessitated promotion of green houses culture across the world as the more big buildings are constructed the more production of energy will be generated and released to air thus impacting the environment and global warming. During construction of mega buildings, using recycled material during construction, reducing the waste leaving a job site, and reusing materials are termed as good initiatives that need to be promoted and recognized at all level. There is a dire need to convert our buildings into energy efficient units especially in the wake of regular energy crisis as well as protect our environment from further degradation. Encouragement on the part of government should also come in terms of recognition of initiatives and projects from individuals as well as private sector. Remedial and reformed steps are the only option left with the authorities concerned.