Sunday, 20 November 2011

Smartphone OS Comparison

Every OS in the market has its own share of strengths and weaknesses. I believe in the "whatever floats your boat" school of thought when it comes to choosing a smartphone. Still, evaluating the popular platforms looked like a good idea to me. I have given points to each platform based on the following factors:

Features - The rating in this section is based on the support offered to technologies such as NFCUSB-OTG (On The Go)FM transmitter, and stereoscopic display.

User Interface - Here, the contenders get points for user friendliness. Lesser the magajmaari, better the score.

Aesthetics - It's all about eye-candy these days. An uncluttered and seamless look helps in getting a better score. Originality wins brownie points as well.

Optimisation - If the OS is optimised, it runs smoothly even on a CPU under 800 MHz and with 256 MB of RAM. If not, it requires dual cores and a gigabyte of RAM.

Battery Life - Do I really have to explain this one?

Apps - This is about the number of apps available for each platform.

Freedom - Includes aspects such as file sharing, customisation, file management, and the availability of mass storage mode.

Here's the scorecard. Note that all scores are on a scale of 1 to 5. The top scorer in each category has been circled in red.

As you can see, there's no clear winner. However, BlackBerry has lost the contest by a big margin because of its average performance across the board. Android is good, but suffers badly from dismal battery performance and due to its resource-hungry nature. Surprisingly, the black sheep of the OS family, Symbian, turns out to be the most mature OS by virtue of getting the basics right - all thanks to the Belle update. Its fans need not celebrate though, as it has no future.


iPhone 4S, the most expensive in India; why so?

The new iPhone 4S is creating a nationwide buzz with the telecom operators Airtel and Aircel opening the device for pre-booking in India. The pricing of the new iPhone 4S has certainly taken the Apple fans in India by surprise. The 16GB variant, which is the lowest model of the iPhone 4S, has been priced at whopping Rs. 44,500, while the 32GB model is available for Rs. 50,900. Currently, the 64GB model has been listed as the ‘sold out’ at the Aircel website.
With price hovering around Rs. 45k, the iPhone 4S could be the priciest iPhone launched ever in India. Considering the pricing of the iPhone 4S in other nations, it could be the costliest iPhone 4S in the world right now. The official carriers of the iPhone 4S in India, Airtel and Aircel, have also not given any respite to the iPhone enthusiasts. None of them has yet announced any bundled offers with the new iPhone 4S.
It's notable that the iPhone 4S was launched at the same price as the iPhone 4 in the U.S. And this time Apple had been the quickest to bring its device to the Indian market, which is approximately a month. With India already bearing the brunt of price rise, it’s unlikely that people will shell out more than Rs. 40k for this device.
It’s learnt that the iPhone 4S is available at much lower price tags in other countries and even you can get a factory unlocked iPhone 4S for Rs. 43,100. is offering factory unlocked 16GB iPhone 4S for Rs. 43,100
Meanwhile, check out a comparison between iPhone 4S’ India price and global price:

RegionPrice in USDPrice in Rs.
India$868Rs. 44,500
Hong Kong$655Rs. 33,559
Canada$627Rs. 32,124
Singapore$685Rs. 35,096
UK$ 775Rs. 39,707
US$649Rs. 33,251

*except India, the prices for other regions are of factory unlocked iPhone 4S
*prices are exclusive of taxes
It’s quite surprising to see Apple keeping the price of the iPhone 4S highest in India. The iPhone 4S is certainly a top-end smartphone with various new and improved features. But are you willing to pay Rs. 45k for a locked iPhone 4S, especially when you have other options to get it at lower price?

Facebook acquires MailRank

Ayear-old, mail prioritizing tool, MailRank, has been acquired by the popular social network, Facebook, according to a blog post on former's site. "We’re thrilled to announce that MailRank's co-founders will be joining Facebook in December!" states a post on MailRank's blog. Facebook, with this acquisition is looking at strengthening its position in the smartphone arena. MailRank, like mentioned above, essentially is a mail prioritizing tool that sets up the user's mail list on a priority basis, placing the most important mail right at the top. 
The announcement on MailRank
The announcement on MailRank

Team MailRank, according to the post will assist Facebook in solving technology issues, an area they specialize in and in turn, better support the platform of 800 million users - Facebook. MailRank has also stated on its blog that when with Facebook,  it will discontinue the private beta of MailRank for Outlook to get complete focus into the new project at hand. 

At the moment, financial details of the deal between Facebook and MailRank haven't been disclosed. 

World's first Win 8 malware 'bootkit' to debut next week

A security researcher said that he has developed malware for Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 operating system that is able to load during boot-up when it's run on older PCs.

Peter Kleissner said Stoned Lite – as the latest version of his bootkit is called – doesn't bypass defenses that will be available to people using Windows 8 on newer machines.

Specifically, he said in a series of Twitter messages, it doesn't work against PCs using UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), which is being held out as a replacement to Bios ROM firmware. Stoned Lite also doesn't attack a low-level security feature known as Secured Boot, which scans boot drives for invalid signatures prior to starting up.

A previous boot kit – which Kleissner called Stoned – works on Windows 2000 through Windows 7 and is able to load before Windows starts by attaching itself to the master boot record of a targeted PC's hard drive. Stoned Lite is able to do the same thing for Windows Server 2008 and Windows 8, the Vienna-based developer and researcher said. It works by bypassing the Windows User Account Control, and with a footprint of just 14KB, it can easily be unleashed from a USB or CD drive.

Kleissner said he plans to release further details at next week's Malcon conference in India.

Microsoft's announcement in September that it planned to use UEFI was almost immediately met with suspicion from open-source boosters, who claimed the feature could make it impossible to run systems such as Linux and FreeBSD on computers that had adopted the alternative firmware. Microsoft has denied such claims, but many critics still aren't convinced.

Whatever the merits of that argument, the inability of Stoned Lite to penetrate UEFI and Secured Boot are the strongest endorsements to date that the features work as advertised. At least for now. ®

This article was updated to clarify UEFI and Secured Boot.


25 Worst Passwords of the Year 2011 – Compiled List by SplashData.

Even in 2011 people are so predictable in choosing their passwords and use shockingly weak passwords to protect their accounts. Password management application provider SplashData released a list from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers. The list contains the 25 worst passwords of the year. ‘Password’, ’123456′, ‘qwerty’ are in the list of worst passwords of the year. If you see your password on this list, please change it immediately.

List of Worst Passwords of the Year 2011

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. monkey
  7. 1234567
  8. letmein
  9. trustno1
  10. ragon

  11.  baseball
  12. 111111
  13. iloveyou
  14. master
  15. sunshine
  16. ashley
  17. bailey
  18. passwOrd
  19. shadow
  20. 123123
  21. 654321
  22. superman
  23. qazwsx
  24. michael
  25. football
There are numerous password generator and password manager softwares available that helps a user organize passwords. Google’s new resource ‘Good to Know‘ provides security tips including how to select a safe password or keep their online accounts secure. And for those who are very weak at remembering passwords can use OpenID to use an existing account to sign in to multiple websites, without needing to create new passwords.

Aakash Tablet’s Commercial Version Gets 3 Lakh Pre-Orders.

Aakash TabletAakash tablet – World’s cheapest tablet in the world costing about Rs 3,000, has received about 3 lakh pre-launch bookings for its commercial version that goes on sale later next month. A subsidised version of the much hyped cheapest tablet in the world from India made by UK-based Datawind, is already being distributed free in schools and colleges. Aakash’s retail bookings exceed India’s estimated 250,000 tablet PC market, dominated by Apple, Samsung and Reliance.
Datawind has supplied about 10,000 tablets to the government’s National Mission for Education at a price of Rs 2,250. The devices are being used by students from colleges such as the IITs, RECs, BITS Pilani, Teri University and others.
Aakash, in its next version, will be upgraded with a capacitive touch screen and a processor with double the speed. Datawind plans to supply an attachable Rs 400 keyboard, turning the device into PC-lookalike at Rs 3,400. The government is also considering a proposal to procure the next lot, called Aakash 2, with a faster 700 MHz processor, albeit at the same price. Tuli says there have been invitations from other nations for their digital inclusion programs, seeing India’s success.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

TRAI asks telcos to block violators

TRAI’s 100SMS/day move to ward of unwanted callers was extended, with additional 100 SMSes after almost a month. Soon after, it faced yet another challenge when telemarketers started using international servers to send pesky messages. TRAI had disclosed that it has no control over messages that came from servers overseas. However, that did not deter TRAI trying to find a solution for this problem, with the other telcos in support. TRAI now asks telcos to find and block violators using international servers, reports Business Standard.
Some relief (Image credit: Getty Images)

Block violators (Image credit: Getty Images)

"The operators have been asked to track Internet from servers outside India, which is being used by telemarketers to send unwanted messages. Telemarketers are playing a cat and mouse race. They are going one step ahead than what we do," TRAI Chairman, R.S. Sarma told reporters on the sidelines of the National Telecom Summit, 2011 on Friday.

Reportedly, subscribers of the National Customer Preference Registry (previously called the National Do Not Call Registry) have complained that unwanted calls/messages don’t seem to halt. Moreover, such pesky calls are usually related to real estate. The unwanted messages market is said to be worth more than Rs. 335 crore and service operators sell bulk packages of such SMSes.

YouTube, IPRS lock-in a licensing agreement

Popular destination for online videos, YouTube locked-in on a deal with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), a non-profit making company looking after the copyrights for artists in India. The deal would now mean that the artists, who's content feature on YouTube will be able to earn their revenue off it. Artists, in this respect would mean songwriters, music composers and music publishers. With digital content growing by leaps in bounds, both in usage and popularity, this deal shows promise. The deal invariably means that the creators of original content will be rewarded with this revenue. 
Now rewarding original content creators
Now rewarding original content creators

An official statement received in this respect reveals that while YouTube has locked-in on agreements with several music labels in India, before, this is the first time it has signed a deal with a collection society in the country. Earlier, YouTube only earned revenue when advertisements were displayed against its partner’s videos. This revenue would then be shared by its partners. 

According to a statement provided by the CEO of the IPRS, Rakesh Nigam, "We are extremely delighted to do this deal with leading video site like YouTube, as this association will benefit our publishers/music companies, author and sister societies. As more users get online, consumption and monetization of music will increasingly happen on the internet and YouTube will drive it.

This deal follows YouTube's similar deals with ASRAC in Japan, KOMCA in Korea, CASH in Hong Kong, MUST in Taiwan, APRA-AMCOS for Australia/New Zealand, FILSCAP in the Philippines, and COMPASS in Singapore.

Trail:The game


Trail is a free platform game of a unique kind. It explores the concept that you leave a trail in the world as you journey through life. When you eventually die, you are required to collect this trail to achieve moksha or final piece. It therefore consists of two states: a living world and a dead world. While in the living world, you continue to drop and leave behind memories as you progress. When you die and enter the dead world, your goal is to reach the first memory you left in the world. Your health constantly falls while in the dead world, so you have to achieve your goal within a stipulated time.

In essence, you first play forward and then trace your steps backward from the point of your death. The living world is white, while the dead world is black. In the living world, your score increases you drop memories and decreases when you touch it (symbolising that it is sometimes painful to revisit the past). Once you die, the world turns black and you start from the point of your death with your health reset, though it keeps deteriorating. You can still be hurt and health decrease by the things that hurt you when you were alive, while it increases when you collect memories. However, memories keep moving away from you, making it increasingly difficult to achieve your goal of collecting your first memory.

You win the game when you collect the first memory and achieve moksha, while your life remains incomplete and unfulfilled if you fail. Based on the score you achieve and your age, the game displays a short piece of text that sums your life.

21.8 MB 
Windows (All) Freeware Homepage

Now Call Your Facebook Friends Using Skype

In an effort to further its partnership with FacebookSkype has now enabled video calling to users of the social network through its client software. The VoIP provider has released updates to facilitate video calling between the two. Earlier this year, FB had introduced a free video calling feature using Skype technology as a desperate measure to counter theHangout feature offered by rival Google+.

Skype's Chief Technology Strategist, Jonathan Rosenberg said, "We've been on a mission to connect a billion users and with this, we take a big step closer to that". This new step will allow video calls between the 170 million Skype and 800 million FB users, which makes for a user base just shy of a billion. It must be noted that the update, which is Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows and Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac will allow Skype members to initiate FB-to-FB and Skype-to-FB calls within Skype IM.

To make use of this feature, users must connect their Skype account with their FB account so that the FB Friends list becomes available as contacts in the Skype IM client. Once this is done, it is as easy as selecting the FB contact and hitting the Call button. This new version of Skype also includes smoother video rendering for Mac users and group calling, also known as Group Screen Sharing. This premium subscription feature is currently available only for Mac users, but will soon extend to Windows as well.

Check out the below video to learn more about this new feature.

Apple reports 1 million pre-orders in 24 hours

Apple had announced the iPhone 4S last Tuesday at a media event in Cupertino. Quite a few people were disappointed, since Apple took a year and three months to announce the newest iPhone and that it did not feature a design overhaul. Many analysts had estimated that due to this fact the flagship handset from Apple would not meet sales expectations. Apple started the pre-orders for the iPhone 4S on Friday and the company have announced that its pre-orders for the smartphone have topped one million in a single day, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4.
One million Apple iPhone 4S pre-ordered
One million Apple iPhone 4S pre-ordered

Speaking about this, Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing said, “We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S. The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do.”

Here’s a quick look at the features of the iPhone 4S:

  • iOS 5 running on an Apple A5 chipset
  • Dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU and PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU
  • 3.5-inch Retina Display
  • GSM and CDMA networks
  • HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps
  • 8MP AF rear camera with LED flash
  • 1080p video recording with Image Stabilization and Temporal noise reduction
  • Airplay mirroring
  • Internal memory - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
  • Siri – Intelligent assistant activated through voice command

For more information on the Apple iPhone 4S, click here.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

See Map of UnFacebook World: Where people don’t use Facebook !!

The UnFacebook map was created by visual arts grad student Ian Wojtowicz. He mashed the Facebook connections map released by facebook in December of last year and NASA's map of Earth at night.
  • The Black = heavy Facebook usage
  • The Brightest Yellow = places where people do not use Facebook.

Ian Wojtowicz said Subtracting one Map from the other by using a Photoshop difference layer, we get an image the shows only cities that don't use Facebook.

Amazing! isn't it ?

Mark Zuckerberg Stands 9th on Forbes List of 'World's Most Powerful People' !!

Mark Zuckerberg Who founded addictive social networking site Facebook in February 2004 from his Harvard dorm room Stands 9th on Forbes List of  'World's Most Powerful People November 2011.

According to Forbes

"What the CIA failed to do in 60 years, Zuck has done in 7: knowing what 800 million people--more than 10% of the world's population--think, read and listen to, plus who they know, what they like and where they live, travel, vote, shop, worship. U.S. users spend more time on Facebook--on average 6.3 hours a month--than on any other site. The Harvard dropout is now creating his own monetary system, ­Facebook Credits, to facilitate transactions and profits. With a net worth of $17.5 billion, he is now America's 14th-richest man. 2011 Highlight: The movie inspired by his life, The Social Network, which depicts Zuckerberg as a coldhearted dweeb, won 3 Oscars."

Microsoft's software wizard and the world's second-richest man Bill Gates is however 5thMost Powerful Person and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page shares 30th Spot on the list.

About Shubham..

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Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India
A cant-live-without-technology type of teen...Blogger by hobby...