My Internet Notebook

a journal on software, mobile, marketing

Archive for the ‘Testing’ Category

Increased Security but Blocked My Login

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I was trying to login to one of my online brokerage account but got the dreaded ‘invalid password’ error. Did I become the latest victim of identity theft – someone stole my login and changed my password without my knowing? Out of panic, I started dialing the 800 service number. After 5 minutes on the phone with a rep, I figured out that they changed the password security policy in the last couple of weeks during which I never logged in. My original password was only 6 digits long, but now they require minimum of 7. Ouch!

As a professional in software testing, I think there are a couple of lessons learned here.

First and foremost, communication failure. I don’t recall there were any communication that eluded to the new policy and asked me to login and change my password. This is one of the biggest online broker and just went thru a merger. I can see how this failure could happen in such a situation.

Secondly, their web development / testing team should have tested this scenario where logging in with an old password should be allowed and prompted to change the password to abide by the new policy.

With either of the above implemented, they could have saved the 5 minutes of their reps’s time and avoided a valued customer’s frustration.

As the enterprise software also moves to the SaaS (Software as a Service) model, I can see how we could run into these similar issues again and again.

Written by Y.

January 26th, 2006 at 12:59 am

Posted in Internet,Testing

Reliability: Baidu v.s. Google

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I have been wondering what sets Google apart from its competitors. Especially of interest to me is how Baidu stacks up against Google. There are obvisouly many aspects from which I can compare this two search engines. But reliability is going to be the first aspect I am going to comment on, in light of recent reports of all those Web 2.0 outages associated with and Moveable Type.

I was searching for some real estate definition in Chinese which both Google and Baidu gave me satisfactory results (more in another post). But when I clicked on one of Baidu’s sponsored links, I got a connection timeout on Ouch! This may not indicate an outage with Baidu’s servers in the US, but it does mean Baidu probably just lost a revenue opportunity. Not good!

To be fair to Baidu, I am located in the US, which is not their major focus at this point. Further, I can’t do a similar research in China w.r.t. Google’s performance. But still, being listed on Nasdaq, there is just no execuse for Baidu to be a ‘slacker’ on its service’s reliability.

Below is the traceroute info for and


Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 4 ms 3 ms 3 ms []
2 21 ms 15 ms 17 ms
3 21 ms 17 ms 17 ms []
4 53 ms 19 ms 17 ms []
5 51 ms 23 ms 27 ms []
6 41 ms 15 ms 18 ms []
7 35 ms 31 ms 29 ms []
8 34 ms 30 ms 29 ms []
9 37 ms 31 ms 58 ms []
10 32 ms 29 ms 29 ms []
11 49 ms 36 ms 43 ms
12 45 ms 39 ms 40 ms
13 366 ms 338 ms 329 ms
14 332 ms 334 ms 334 ms
15 336 ms 354 ms 332 ms
16 248 ms 242 ms 245 ms
17 * 240 ms 255 ms
18 243 ms 244 ms 275 ms
19 * 244 ms 250 ms []
20 229 ms 252 ms 228 ms []

Trace complete.


Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 4 ms 2 ms 3 ms []
2 16 ms 17 ms 15 ms
3 15 ms 15 ms 15 ms []
4 20 ms 16 ms 17 ms []
5 21 ms 15 ms 19 ms []
6 17 ms 19 ms 19 ms []
7 23 ms 19 ms 19 ms []
8 23 ms 19 ms 17 ms
9 17 ms 17 ms 17 ms
10 25 ms 76 ms 21 ms
11 115 ms 76 ms 80 ms
12 204 ms 74 ms 80 ms
13 77 ms 78 ms 76 ms
14 82 ms 74 ms 82 ms
15 82 ms 78 ms 76 ms

Trace complete.

Written by Y.

December 29th, 2005 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Internet,Testing

DEMO2005 Mobile Innovation

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Companies are demoing innovative mobile applications at DEMO Fall 2005:

EasyReach, a Campbell, Calif.-based startup that is jumping into the remote document-retrieval space. Punch a few more buttons and EasyReach users can e-mail retrieved documents to whatever address they choose. In addition, EasyReach enables a user to search multiple desktop PCs on which EasyReach’s software has been installed.

Software created by Orb Networks Inc., based in Emeryville, turns the PC into a personal network server that can stream video files and music to handheld devices. TiVo Anywhere.

Avvenu, a Palo Alto startup founded in 2004 and backed by Motorola Corp., intends to challenge Orb on both fronts, said spokesman David Trescot.

Starting next week, Avvenu will match Orb’s network server functions and soon thereafter will launch a service bringing TiVo to smartphones, said Trescot, whose company is a DEMO alumnus.

Several companies have developed smartphone applications that leverage Global Positioning System technology, which pinpoint locations anywhere on Earth through satellite triangulation.

Last March, MapQuest and Nextel Communications launched the “Find Me” Service, which uses MapQuest’s digital maps, on GPS-enabled mobile phones.

At the DEMO conference, MapQuest is expected to announce a similar service for the BlackBerry.

A rival company, Destinator Technologies Inc., is unveiling software for GPS-enabled smartphones and handhelds that automatically updates a route based on the device user’s location.

The Destinator platform, which has been available in Europe for more than two years, also allows friends and colleagues to spot each other’s locations on a map in relation to their ultimate destination and send directions via instant message.

Destinator also includes a real-time traffic-monitoring feature. Few U.S. companies aggregate traffic information but this is expected to change soon.

“We’re going to automated-live navigation,” said Jeff Kukowski, senior vice president of marketing. “Your printed directions from Yahoo or Google can’t tell you how to get back on route.”

The Destinator software takes the user’s GPS location information and compares it to the planned route. Miss a turn, and the software offers up a revised route.

Adoption of all these new smartphone functions isn’t widespread yet, probably because phone carriers such as Verizon, Cingular and Sprint make it difficult for customers to obtain services the carriers can’t closely control and profit from, analysts say.

But smartphone makers are encouraging software companies to keep developing new applications that can drive sales, says Kevin Burden, program manager of Mobile Devices at research firm IDC.

“The makers are lawyers looking for a nice hook because the phones come at such a premium price tag,” Burden said. “To sell these things, they have to offer more than a phone and e-mail.”


DEMO conference: http1://

Orb Networks:

Destinator Technologies:



Written by Y.

September 19th, 2005 at 11:28 am

Posted in Testing

Google Serving Up 404

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Google engineers have made very few mistakes in the past. Their products (web search, to be specific) has been rock solid. However, I recently stumbled on an 404 error when I clicked on a sponsored ad from just below the search field. Perhaps working on many fronts has finally made its dent on Google’s product quality.

Google home.php 404

The URL shown in the picture is

Written by Y.

September 9th, 2005 at 12:27 am

Posted in Internet,Testing

PocketPC 2003 Device Emulator

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Just downloaded and played with Microsoft PocketPC 2003 Device Emulator technology preview. Overall first impression is pretty good. Easyto install and setup. I loaded AvantGo MBA client and Offline Edition onto the emulator, and it works without a glitch. The emulation speed and screen resolution seem to be two areas that could use some improvement.

PocketPC 2003 Device Emulator

If you want to use it, here is a simple five step process I went through:

  1. Download and install ‘PocketPC 2003 Device Emulator’
  2. Register device emulator (either from Programs shortcut or command line)
  3. Start device emulator manager
  4. Start one of the device emulators
  5. Start ActiveSync (3.7.1 or above) and use “Get Connected” to establish a partnership between emulator and ActiveSync.

Written by Y.

June 29th, 2005 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Software,Testing