Friday, August 31, 2007
Hey there,everyone.pLasma here.I found a really interesting way to download videos,mp3s directly using Google.Looks like the big brother of Search engines has something known as Directory services to use its crawler to go through the URLS it lists.I have heard of "directory services" before(remember seeing it on the net as well in Forouzon ;))Basically,all sites have a directory(group of files) called "index of" which contains everything the site has.So if you can search this "index of" directory you will be able to get direct links for the file(mp3/mp4/avi) you want.And what better way doth we know to search a site's directory?We'll call this the "index of trick"...
OK,enough sermon,on with the show.
1.Go to www.google.com.
2.In the Search box,type this EXACTLY(you need to leave spaces as I've done):
intitle:"index.of" (mp3) your_song_name
Click Search.You should be getting a whole load of searches.Lets see what happened when I put in "sivaji" in the place of your_song_name.
There.You get a whole directory listing of sites that have Sivaji songs.Cool huh?
One note:If your search string consists of more than word(unlike "sivaji"),its better to put a period(full stop) between the words.
intitle:"index.of" (mp3) akkam.pakkam
You can take this even further.
intitle:"index.of" (mp3) akkam.pakkam -html
The "-html" i.e. "minus html" means that you're telling Google to leave out all searches of type html.This makes Google to list results that have direct links,without displaying web pages.
Most of the links I got through this method are FTP ones and most of them are ultra fast-faster than any P2P networks like Limewire.This should be helpful for those who have an aversion for P2P software.And of course,this should come in handy when you aren't allowed to use P2P networks(like in our college).
Penned by Sriram at 7:39 PM
Princess Diana's family solemnly marked the 10th anniversary of her death Friday at a service organized by her sons, while admirers tied scores of bouquets, poems and portraits to the gates of her former home.
"To us, just two loving children, she was quite simply the best mother in the world," Prince Harry, her younger son, said in a eulogy.
"When she was alive, we completely took for granted her unrivaled love of life, laughter, fun and folly," Harry said.
"She was our guardian, friend and protector. She never once allowed her unfaltering love us to go unspoken or undemonstrated."
It was a day for broadcasting video snippets of one wedding and funeral; for rehashing the rights and wrongs of the failed marriage of Diana and Prince Charles.
It was one more day for dredging up questions about how she came to die in a car crash in Paris with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, and for the Daily Telegraph to publish an essay which explained "why we were right to weep for Diana."
Harry and his brother, Prince William, were credited with organizing the noontime service at the Guards' Chapel near Buckingham, but Charles was blamed by many for the furor over an invitation to his current wife.
Camilla, who was blamed by Diana for breaking up her marriage, decided to stay home. That decision followed quickly after the Mail on Sunday published a commentary by Diana's friend, Rosa Monckton, saying the princess would have been "astonished" that Camilla was invited.
"Actually, she would have been astonished to learn that her former husband had married his longtime mistress," Monckton wrote.
Camilla's first wedding, to Andrew Parker Bowles, had been at the Guards' Chapel.
A few hundred people had gathered outside by midmorning, in contrast to the masses who lined the route of Diana's funeral procession to Westminster Abbey 10 years ago.
"She reached our lives deeply, even in America. She brought life to the palace and warmth, and that's what the monarchy needed," said Arlene Fitch, 54, of Boston, one of the early arrivals.
Fitch and her sister, Marie Schofield, 46, from Florida, said they planned their vacation to be in London at the time of the service.
"She (Diana) got married the same year as me, she had children the same year as me and, as her boys have grown up, they have done just the same kind of things as our boys would do," Schofield said.
Diana's most ardent admirers tied scores of bouquets, poems and pictures to the gates of Kensington Palace, Diana's former home, but the display paled in comparison to the vast carpet of blossoms that accumulated in the days immediately after her death.
Rev. Frank Gelli, who has led an informal service outside Kensington Palace every year, said this probably would be the last one. "It would be good if the princess was allowed to rest," he told a reporter.
Eileen Neathey, 56, of London, treasured the memory of a chance encounter with Diana at a hospital, where Neathey's mother was a patient.
"I had been up all night and was very upset, and when I bumped into Diana I burst into tears," said Neathey, who was outside Kensington Palace. "She put her arm round me and comforted me — that's the way she was."
John Loughrey, 52, had painted "Diana" on his forehead and "the truth?" on his cheek. "We must get to the bottom of how she died," Loughrey said.
"I saved up money to be here today," said Susan Chickowski, 38, a florist from Saskatchewan, Canada.
"When she passed away, I felt like I'd lost my best friend. She's been such a big part of my life," Chickowski said. "Now it's time to move on, 10 years on, for myself personally."
Queen Elizabeth II headed the list of guests at the service, along with her husband Prince Philip. Prince Edward, Charles' younger brother, and his sister Princess Anne — who reportedly didn't intend to come — were in the congregation.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Prime Minister John Major, who was in office when the royal marriage broke up, also attended. More than 110 representatives of charities and other organizations that Diana supported.
Sir Elton John came, but would not reprise his reworking of "Candle in the Wind," which he performed at the funeral.
Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, who wrote two gossipy books about his years in her service, was not invited. Nor was Patrick Jephson, the princess' former private secretary, who also wrote two books about her.
Mohamed al Fayed, who accuses Prince Philip of masterminding a plot to kill Diana and Dodi Fayed, also was not on the guest list. He observed his own two minutes of silence at Harrods, his department store, an hour before the memorial service. His daughter, Camilla al Fayed, attended the official service.
"There's definitely something more to it than meets the eye, and I think Mr. al Fayed is probably right that the government were involved," said Alison Wormall, 46, who traveled from central England to join the observance at Harrods.
A poll commissioned by Channel 4 television found that 25 percent of the public believes Diana was murdered, but 59 percent thought it was an accident. The telephone poll of 1,016 adults conducted this week had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
A prayer written for the memorial service by Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, recalled "her vulnerability and her willingness to reach out to the excluded and forgotten."
The royal family had refrained from any public remembrance of the anniversary of the princess' death.
This year, however, William and Harry took the lead in organizing the memorial service, as well as a rock concert on Diana's birthday, July 1, which drew 70,000 paying fans.
Penned by Sriram at 5:46 PM
A girl's mind works in strange ways-as if you didn't know-and the things that attract them to men are mostly NOT what you expect . Here's what they are( not necessarily in order of importance ) :--
Sense of humor
Looks (this one is definitely in the right place in order of importance!)
Ever noticed how a girl goes completely berserk when she finds out you've lied . What's all the fuss about? you think . The big fuss they make tells you something crucial -- HONESTY is very very important to girls. Remember this if you are naturally honest and use your honesty to full advantage. Be honest with her even if your natural instinct in a particular situation is not to be . If you are naturally dishonest conceal this at all costs-you're probably good at that anyway!
A good sense of humor is amazingly attractive to most girls . They want a man who is FUN to be with .If you can make a girl laugh you're 90% there . If you have a good sense of humor-use it at every appropriate opportunity . If you haven't- WORK on it - and develop one . This can be done - watch those that have this and use their techniques - try the one that suits your personality best-experiment .
EYE-CONTACT is in my opinion the single most important factor in your success and for this reason I will go into this in more detail later . (similarly with SMILES )
A strong personality draws most girls . They really do go for a man who knows what he wants to do - no matter what anybody else thinks about him .
Girls are also drawn to confident men who are assertive , positive and don't dither . If you are less than confident - don't show it . LOOK CONFIDENT . How do you do this? TRY-study body language , either get a book on this or just observe & imitate any confident men you see around you . Stand up straight ,never fidget , head up high , slow ,steady movements and above all EYE to EYE contact at all times. You know the things I mean -observe & learn & apply .
Maturity is a big turn on with most girls . This is one reason that quite a lot find older men attractive . So it usually pays to act pretty sensibly when you're with girls ( not to the extent that you lose your sense of humor and fun of course ). Drinking beer until it comes out of your ears, falling over senseless and going on the rampage might be a good laugh when you're with the lads but it won't impress her. She might laugh but inside she'll be eaten up with embarrassment.
A lot of men think that girls are turned on by very macho men - but most girls think completely the OPPOSITE . Girls like their men to be sensitive . Don't take this too far , girls want their men to act like men but try and mix being a man with being caring and sensitive . A heady cocktail that girls find irresistible ! If you find something 'nice' or 'pretty' or something upsets you - tell her. You'll be surprised how much she warms to you . Especially if the something nice or pretty is about her!!
Whilst girls obviously go for good looks and a decent body it comes surprisingly LOW on THEIR list of priorities . By itself it doesn't turn them on like it does men . Ask a girl if she is turned on by these things , she will probably say yes but deep down a girl knows she can't find any man a turn-on unless he CARES for her too.
Penned by Sriram at 3:18 PM
Although the announcement comes a little late (in its official form), XboxGameZone is said to have recently revealed that The Battle of the Sexes - Part II is on its way. Since first hosted in the summer of 2005 in the UK (when Girls and Boys saw 25 matches played across 9 Xbox Live titles), the girls have been out for revenge. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the girls lost back
Well, as it turns out, thanks to the success of the original Battle of the Sexes, XboxGameZone now confirms the support of leading publishers such as Microsoft, Ubisoft and Codemasters, as well as the full support and involvement of community partners and the all girl team PZ Fallen Angels.
"XboxGameZone’s previous Battle of the Sexes was a warmly received change from the normal tournaments we see online, and this was reflected in the strong reaction from the community taking part. We're eager to see their reaction again to this fantastic tournament and we hope that the community steps up to the challenge," said Chris Easton Online Marketing Manager, Ubisoft UK.
As for Samantha "Satine" Russell, Senior Community Manager from Codemasters...: "We're delighted to be able to support sites such as Xbox Game Zone who are fundamental in the growth and the support of our gaming community. Additionally and perhaps more importantly, it's obvious that the girls will win :)"
For everyone interested in the event, the Battle of the Sexes – Part II starts Friday, 7th September, to last a whole week in which the Girls hope to come out on top of the Boys, across a range of Xbox & Xbox 360 games such as Bomberman Live and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, as an official press release confirms.
Oh and just in case you got all excited, yes, you can find yourself competing in Battle of the Sexes – Part II as well. If you're a girl, knowing that you've got it going on as far as Xbox Live games are concerned, get your name on the list right here and kick the s**t out of your egocentric male enemies!
And if that's not enough, not only is the entry FREE, but you also get the chance to win one of 5 bags filled with gaming goodies. Full details on the competition can also be found at the same address. Good luck!
Penned by Sriram at 3:14 PM
MUMBAI: NDTV Group is set to bring four channels on air in September. The package includes NDTV Lifestyle's Good Times, a news cum infotainment channel in Kuala Lumpur for joint venture partner Astro, a channel for the Middle East, and Metronation.
"We are launching a channel in Kuala Lumpur on 4 September for Astro, while NDTV Good Times will be up on 7 September," says NDTV Group CEO Narayan Rao.
NDTV has come together with the Kingfisher brand (Kingfisher has the tagline 'King of good times') in a first of its kind media alliance for the promotion of the channel. The logo bears the characteristic Kingfisher bird at the top left corner against a red backdrop.
Though NDTV chairman Dr. Prannoy Roy did not divulge the details of the deal with Kingfisher, it is understood that the advertisement commitment would be Rs 1 billion over a period of five years.
"NDTV Good Times will leverage the NDTV Group's proven programming and broadcasting skills in partnership with the lifestyle appeal of the Kingfisher brand. The strength of the Kingfisher brand combined with NDTV's depth will give our new lifestyle channel a distinct edge," said Roy while addressing the press here today.
Added UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya, "The Kingfisher brand has come to epitomise a lifestyle that encompasses some of the finest things in life and is synonymous with delivering a premium experience. The NDTV Good Times channel would leverage the editorial credibility of the NDTV group and the strong lifestyle appeal of the Kingfisher brand and icon. The shared values of both the brands are highly complementary."
The lifestyle channel will be free-to-air. Said NDTV Lifestyle CEO Smeeta Chakrabarti, "The channel will target a largely cosmopolitan, socially upbeat audience and the programming includes a wide range of aspirational lifestyle programming on health, fashion, food, pets, travel and luxury."
When asked over the necessity of a dedicated channel in this genre in India, she replied, "India is young and increasingly affluent. With money to spend on living better - on leisure, travel, eating out and dressing stylishly - on having a good time! Yet strangely enough there is no Indian lifestyle channel. This channel has all the answers to your questions from food to fitness, travel, leisure, gadgets and from marriage to parenthood."
NDTV lifestyle creative head Shibani Sharma said, "The content creation is majorly inhouse and 40 per cent of the content has been outsourced to production houses like Contiloe Films, Miditech, and Camera Art, amongst others. We'll be going on air with five to six hours of fresh content daily, which also includes a reality show The Great Indian Love Challenge."
The channel has roped in experts in various fields like tech guru Rajiv Makhni, cocktail queen Shatbhi Basu, Rajat Kapoor, Manju Malhi, spa queen Devika Anand and NDTV own 'Chhupa Rustam' anchor Arun Thapar.
Penned by Sriram at 3:11 PM
Wondering who's this weirdo? Well,he's not exactly weird.This teenager is the first person to unlock the famed Apple iPhone and use it over a network other than AT&T.
George Hotz, a 17 year old teenager from New Jersey has unlocked the iPhone and connected it to T-Mobile network. George Hotz is the first person who successfully hacked Apple's iPhone and connected it to non-AT & T network without any special equipment.
George spent around 500 hours on the project and posted his experiences and unlocking process in Finding JTAG on the iPhone blog. His 10 steps to unlock the iPhone are very complicated and also requires skills with both soldering and software. Any missteps in the process of unlocking may result in the iPhone becoming useless.
The amount of time and hard work spent on this project has paid him lot. George became popular across the world as almost all the major news channels aired his interview and also he traded the unlocked mobile for a trendy sports car Nissan 350Z (worth of $38,070) and 3 8GB iPhones.
Read more about it here.
Penned by Sriram at 2:49 PM
A R Rahman composed a new Ringtone for Airtel to mark India's 60 Years of Independence. Again A R Rahman at his best. Enjoy the download.
Right click and select Save As to download the ring tone from India's best mobile network - Airtel
Thursday, August 30, 2007
This took everybody by surprise: the largest space gap, about a billion light years across and around 6-10bn light years from Earth. This vacuum does not only lack the matter which stars, planets and other space bodies are made up of, but also the so-called "dark matter" too.
"Not only has no one ever found a void this
big, but we never even expected to find one this size," said Professor Lawrence Rudnick of the University of Minnesota.
"We are in the business of discovery, of doing research that is exciting, mind-blowing. So when there’s a discovery like this, it’s really just fun." said Rudnick.
There are also other known space voids empty of all matter, but all are much further located and much smaller than the newly found "WMAP cold spot", detected on a map of the universe made by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.
This satellite assessed the temperature differences in the space microwave background, a remnant of the Big Bang revealing the temperature pattern in the early Universe.
"What we've found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the Universe," said Liliya Williams, also of the University of Minnesota.
"Astronomers have known for some time that there are empty spaces in the sky, devoid of planets, stars or much else. But they never imagined anything this large." said Rudnick.
The newfound gap is 1,000 times bigger than any previously found.
"In our own Milky Way galaxy, we have 100 billion stars. If we were to go off in a spaceship traveling at the speed of light, you would only have to go a few years before you find another star. What we found is a place where you’d travel for a billion years before you found another concentration of mass. It would be a very boring journey of a billion years." explained Rudnick.
Penned by Sriram at 8:44 PM
As fall approaches rapidly, an increasing number of manufacturers are launching all sorts of products, just in time for what's commonly known as the "back to school" season, when most students go nuts and start purchasing electronic devices like there's no tomorrow. And one of the latest announcements of this type comes from Panasonic, who has just launched an important addition to its D-snap series, namely the SV-SD950N model, which provides certain
interesting playback features but, most importantly, advanced Bluetooth-related features.
The SV-SD950N is not exactly fantastic, as far as the external looks go. Thus, we're talking about a basic candybar design, with an LCD display on the top-side and touch-sensitive controls, available in either black or white. However, as mentioned earlier, it's not the design that counts in the case of the SV-SD950N, but rather its very impressive features.
Thus, first of all, the SV-SD950N is capable of playing MP3, WMA and WAV files (much like any other player currently available on the market) and it can generate an audio output of around 3mW per channel. It has no internal memory, but the people over at Panasonic have thrown in an SD card slot, which also supports SDHC memory cards with capacities of up to 8 GB. Moreover, it comes packed with a very powerful Li-Ion battery, which is capable of providing a whopping 60-hour functioning life after just a 90-minute charge.
As mentioned earlier, the most important component of the portable player from Panasonic is represented by its built-in Bluetooth module, which allows it to connect to mobile phones or other Bluetooth-enabled devices for transferring files. The module supports Bluetooth Ver.2.0 + EDR and is a Class 2 device, which means that it has a maximum range of around 10 meters. Moreover, the device is compliant with the A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), but also with AVRCP (AV Remote Control Profile) and HFP (Hands-Free Profile).
As any portable player, this device is quite slim and lightweight, measuring around 35 mm x 90.7 mm x 11.4 mm, at a weight of around 38 grams. The device retails for around 25,000 yen ($218) and is available for now solely in Japan.
Penned by Sriram at 8:35 PM
Try these 4 techniques for fast, but healthy, weight loss...
1. Get very strict with your diet.
When bodybuilders and fitness models want to lose fat quickly before a show or photo session they eat a very strict diet for at least 2 or 3 weeks. That means no refined carbs, sugars, fried foods, or alcohol... but lots of high-quality protein, carbs and "good" fats. For best results, eat mostly lean meats, raw nuts, veggies, and healthy oils (e.g. virgin olive oil) with one or two servings of high-fiber carbs (whole grains, oatmeal, etc.) and no more than 2 servings of fruit per day.
To learn everything you need to know about dieting for fast and healthy weight loss click here.
2. Eat frequently.
By eating a small snack or meal every 2-3 hours you'll keep your metabolism going very strong plus you'll avoid getting hungry and giving in to food cravings. It will also help you maintain the all-important lean muscle so that the dieting doesn't affect your metabolism.
3. Stay very well hydrated.
When trying to burn fat and lose weight quickly you absolutely must stay hydrated. That means drinking lots of water all day long. This will help you maintain your energy levels, control hunger, and maintain a healthy metabolism. Drinking lots of water also helps to keep hunger at bay.
4. Do strength training.
Many people make the mistake of focusing only on cardiovascular/aerobic exercise when trying to lose weight fast. That's a mistake. The best workouts for fat burning and fast weight loss combine both cardio training and strength training. These types of workouts burn more calories and more body fat both during and after the training session. Strength training, like frequent eating, is also important in maintaining the muscle tissue that's going to keep your metabolism strong and give you the great looking body you want.
Penned by Sriram at 8:12 PM
1. Changing Orkut Background
If you use firefox you can change the orkut backgroung by using the greasemonkey firefox extension. First install greasemonkey from here(http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/extensions/greasemonkey/greasemonkey-0.6.4-fx.xpi) and then install Bluekut hack from here(http://www.vsrdesigner.com/bluekut/bluekutmod.user.js).
2. Orkut Cute
Orkut cute is a program that let you send scraps to all your friends in orkut. It also alerts you when you receive new scraps send notifications when forums are updated. Orkut cute can be downloaded here(http://www.apcsoftware.com.br/ingles).
3. Sorkut Firefox Extension
This is a toolbar to search for the threads with specific words in the title. Just give the commumity id of the community you want to search, enter the search term and click Search.
Sorkut can be downloaded from here(http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/extensions/search_orkut_communities/search_orkut_communities-0.3-fx.xpi).
This is a freeware program that let you browse orkut and know when you or your friends receive new scraps. You can add emoticons, colour and formatting to your scraps with ease. Sending scraps from your desktop is also as easy as writing an instant message. Scrapboy can be downloaded from here(http://www.scrapboy.com/en/).
5. Orkut Scrap Helper
This is a cool firefox extension that let you scrap faster by providing messaging options in your own scrapbook page. It also reduces the number of steps to scrap someone who has scrapped you to just one!. Scrap helper can be downloaded from here(http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/extensions/orkut_scrap_helper).
6. Scrapbook Flooding
An Indian dude named Rahul created this Firefox extension for Orkut scrapbook flooding. The extension is compatible with Firefox1.5+ and can be downloaded from here(http://dl2.uploadgalaxy.com/files/4fd020fd7aca/scrapper.xpi.html). For more information you can visit Rahul’s weblog here(http://rb286.blogspot.com/).
A good compilation can be found here:
Penned by Sriram at 6:31 PM
You can log into multiple yahoo accounts on yahoo messenger using this simple Registry edit.Open the Registry editor (Start->Run,type regedit and hit Enter).Navigate to the following path:
On the right pane,right click and select New->DWORD Value.Name it as "Plural" (without the quotes).Now double click on the newly created DWORD to open up the Edit DWORD Value window.Give it a hexadecimal value of 1 and press OK.
That's it.You're done.Exit the Registry Editor.You can now log into Y! Messenger with multiple accounts simultaneously :)
Penned by Sriram at 6:21 PM
Hi Friends.I just came across with a site which gives you user names and passwords for almost every site.
I thought of sharing it with you.So,just check it out.I am sure you will love it.
The Site is
Just enter the address of the forum or any site you want to access and get the pass to enter.
I found this while surfing the web..Intrigued,I tried it on several websites.Some worked while some didnt..Seemed interesting so I thought I'd include this in my daily blog entires :)
EDIT: I was initially trying this out on warez sites..Doesnt work with email providers though ;) But my college-mate Arun Raja tested this on IEEE..and it worked! Nice find,Arun :)
Penned by Sriram at 6:17 PM
Just when one begins to think that the hype and adulation that she draws fail to justify her form and fitness, Sania Mirza stands up and gives an account of her prowess. The 20-year showcased this last week when she won the Pilot Pen doubles title, along with Italy’s Mara Santangelo, ahead of the US Open tennis tournament.
Seeded 26th at the New York event, Sania steamrolled Estoria’s Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 to advance to the second round on Tuesday night.
With her scintillating drives and powerful forehand, Sania has been sensational in the run-up tournaments, with her ranking rising to a career-high 27. Did the Hyderabadi do anything different to hit such superb form?
Says Sania from New York, “Nothing. I just did what I have been doing all through my career — continued to work hard. That is the only path to success.”
Five top-25 scalps in the last two tournaments, breaking into the top-30, the first ever-Indian woman to reach such heights... everything seems to be falling in place for Sania this year. Life surely has travelled a long way for the lass who began her career with a world ranking of 987 in the year 2001.
“I’m having a great year. I’m playing my best tennis. I never thought of reaching here when I started playing tennis. “But after breaking into the professional circuit, I did think that with a lot of effort I could get there,” said Sania, who will team up with Mahesh Bhupathi for the doubles tie at the US Open.
Though Sania beat Kanepi with elan on Tuesday, consistency is one thing she is not too well known for. Superb on one day, the all-powerful forehands give way to ordinary play as she lets the momentum slip away. Explains Sania, “If you closely follow the career graphs of the top 100 players on the WTA circuit, you will find that apart from maybe, the top 5, all the rest of them constantly have their ups and downs.
“Tennis is a truly global sport and intensely competitive. Besides, each player has her own style of play and my biggest strength is my aggressiveness, which has brought me to this level. This style requires that I take a lot more chances and the margin of error is small. “I can never become as consistent as a defensive player like, say Patty Schnyder, but I continue to make an effort to improve to the best of my ability,” she said.
Consistency or not, there is no denying the fact that Sania’s rise has been the fastest in the sports history of the country. If she can maintain top fitness, there is no stopping her upward surge. “Tennis is a very competitive sport with players from more than 200 countries vying for top honours. It is slippery at the top, for sure, but I’ll spare no efforts to sustain my success,” she said with confidence.
As Sania now prepares to face American Laura Granville in the second round, there will be huge expectations from the millions back home. “Of course, I’m conscious that there are a lot of expectations. “But I’d like to believe that the pressure of expectations is a privilege that I’ve earned with my performances,” she signs off.
Penned by Sriram at 1:02 PM
The iPod nano has been the subject of rumors lately, as multiple Taiwanese reports have mentioned that Apple is producing 16GM flash iPods for a late September release. While iPod rumors are something to be expected especially around the time of year when Apple traditionally introduces updates,
multiple sources reporting the same information and now a leaked photo give weight to the reports.
A photo of the rumored next generation nano has surfaced today and is making the rounds. The image shows a significantly redesigned for the flash-based music player, with the entire device becoming both shorter and wider. The almost square design makes for a much bigger screen that is far better suited for watching movies without greatly increasing the overall size of the gadget. The new nano can be seen with the same miniature click wheel as the current iPod nano but one can also make out the tapered sides similar to the fifth-generation iPod. From the photo, it would seem that aluminum would continue to be used, at least for the front face of the device.
The photo contains a circle of 5 new nanos, each in one of the colors that Apple uses for the iPods, but the new nanos also seem to be getting new colors. Unlike the previous generation, this new one seems to be getting duller colors, which also seem much darker besides being less vibrant. Although it could be the quality of the image, the red nano seems to be almost brown and the green one is very milky.
Video Playback is one new feature that all rumors agree on, and seeing the new square design there it would appear to be true, but apart from this little else is known about the new models. While release dates can only be guessed, the most likely is September 25th, for an Apple Expo Paris debut.
Penned by Sriram at 12:51 PM
Electronic Arts have kept themselves awfully busy today making announcements. Another one worth mentioning today is that the developer and publisher of one of the most famous arcade racing titles ever developed has dated its latest work for Europe. Yes, dear fans of the Need for Speed series, NFS: ProStreet hits Europe November 1st. It was already known that the game's North American release had been scheduled for October 31st.
"The Need for Speed franchise has always been on the cutting edge of car culture," said Executive Producer, Larry LaPierre. "Street racing
is getting more organized and Need for Speed ProStreet is our interpretation of where we anticipate the culture to be in three to five years. We’re delivering on the ultimate proving ground, bringing you out of your neighborhood back alleys and on to the world stage. This is a next-gen game, packed with the raw intensity and visceral aggression that defines street racing at the highest level."
"Need for Speed: ProStreet is all about competing at the highest level of street racing," is how Justin Wiebe started out his latest developer's diary. And he wasn't telling lies, as Need for Speed: ProStreet is said to take the franchise in a totally new direction. For instance, instead of an arcade style of gameplay which has basically dominated the series ever since the first NFS was out, ProStreet will focus much more on realism and move closer to racing simulation, but still giving gamers the option of using driving assistants to make the game easier to play and more arcade-ish.
Also, all racing in ProStreet will take place on closed tracks, according to the same man. This is what's making ProStreet the first game in the series that doesn't feature illegal racing (first implemented in Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed), which means there will be no cops in the game either.
As it was previously confirmed, NFS: ProStreet will feature 60 cars from around 26 manufactures, while 8 of those will be super cars, making them quite rare and of course difficult to grab.
Remember that NFS: Prostreet launches across North America on the 31st of October and across Europe on the 1st of November, delivering the most promising street racing experience with a brand new physics engine and intuitively refined AI for a more realistic car behavior.
Oh and I suppose I don't have to tell you that NFS: ProStreet launches on practically every platform out there, do I?
Penned by Sriram at 12:11 PM
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
West Germany, 1989. To avoid certain collapse, the Soviet army boldly advances into Europe. NATO responds only to be met on a second front--a diversionary attack on the American homeland. You are a field commander, leading the era's most powerful military machines in the campaign to retake America's cities and suburbs.
Unleash the arsenals of the great military superpowers in a gripping single-player story. The latest version of Massive's proprietary engine allows for a full 360-degree range of camera control. Every object in the game can be destroyed-crush cars, destroy buildings, burn forests. Join on-going multiplayer games and immediately help your team take control of the map.
The World in Conflict offers one single-player mission, "The Battle of Pine Valley," and one skirmish map, Seaside, for use against computer players or in online multiplayer games via Massgate.
Penned by Sriram at 10:59 PM
If you thought the only threats on the Internet are viruses and you are well guarded from it, think again!
Picture this—you are on a lonely street in an alien land heading to your destination with no real sense of direction. Your only company is a stalking inconspicuous being, and hawk-like eyes are monitoring your every twitch. If this isn’t enough, there’s a predator around who is waiting to rob your personal details and take your identity. FLASH! In just a second, you are stranded in the middle of nowhere. If you thought, this was a Hitchcock plot, then I’m afraid to pop your bubble but this is the reality we live in every single day on the Internet.
“Every coin has two sides”, is an analogy fit for every situation in life. It is not different in the advent of computers. Initially, programs were developed to eliminate the manual handling of data, but then we live in a wild world which also has conniving people who develop programs to create havoc. Creating viruses began as a prank but soon it took an ugly turn and it was used as a tool to harass netizens. Viruses are no longer touring the cyber world in solitude. Malware has stepped in. Malware is a collection of various malicious programs that are constantly on a damaging spree threatening Internet users.
Malware? what’s that?
Malware is the collective term to describe malicious programs; these include viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Rootkits, Netbots, Backdoors, Key-Loggers, Fraudulent dialers, the list is endless. Some of the other threats include Phishing and Pharming. All this might keep you wondering whether it’s still safe to be active on the Internet with this prevailing insecurity? We bring you the answer straight from one of the market leaders in security solutions—Quick Heal antivirus, India’s only indigenously developed antivirus software.
We were fortunate to be invited by CAT computer services—the makers of Quick Heal antivirus—to their R&D facility at Pune, Maharashtra. Mr. Sanjay Katkar, the CTO and Mr. Kailash Katkar the CEO, were very co-operative in providing us information on current trends of viruses and also giving insight of how antivirus companies combat the Malware menace.
Malware development isn’t restricted to any particular country. It is mostly targeted at nations with high penetration of Internet connectivity. These include regions like US, Europe, Japan etc. Also, Malware developed in one nation can spread rapidly to another country thousands of miles away. Initially it was difficult to trace the origin of any virus, but over the years, security experts have noticed that many of the attacks are targeted towards developed nations, though the virus developers may be from other countries such as the east European bloc.
The scenario now
Though the origin of malicious programs began with viruses, some years ago worms spreading through e-mails became a major threat too. In the last couple of years the trend has shifted to Spyware, Back doors and Trojans which are comparatively greater in number as compared to viruses or worms. Earlier there were about 20-30 worms released per month but now the count has jumped to 40-50 worms per month.Interestingly the Trojan count has shot from 18-20 per month to 300-400 per month. In short any computer connected to the Internet which isn’t armed with an updated antivirus is prone to be infected by Malware.
Presently, the Malware released every month is roughly between the range of 300-400 per day. Out of this glaring figure, viruses just constitute about 5 percent of the total Malware count. In the last two years, the authors of Malware have been developing them for commercial benefits such as spamming of advertisements and stealing credit card information of users and selling them to potential buyers who misuse the acquired information. Pharming is also a major threat, for instance, a fake website posing as your bank’s website asks you to update your personal details and misuses it.
Most of the time an updated antivirus is equipped to combat Malware as the antivirus contains the virus signatures which are unique to every virus. With hundreds of viruses releasing each day, it’s not feasible to manually find the virus signature of each and every virus; hence an automated system is used.
For instance, the makers of Quick Heal developed an automated system to analyze the trapped malicious programs and find the virus signatures automatically as most of the viruses are variants of a handful of viruses. Only if a rare sample is detected, does the virus signatures get manually extracted.
To create a virus signature, an antivirus company collects the infected samples through their various honeypots (a system of computers that are made susceptible to Malware attacks but are constantly monitored) located in different countries. The malware is trapped in these honeypots and are scrutinized and categorized according to the type of Malware; for instance, whether it is a Virus, Worm, Trojan etc.
Once the Malware is categorized, a specific procedure is followed. If it’s a virus, it is required to be spread over a wide range of platforms and monitor its activities as their behavior varies from platform to platform. Later it is transferred to an analyzer to check if the virus is polymorphic or monomorphic.
The nomenclature of a Malware is done according to the guidelines set by an organization named EICAR (European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research). While naming the Malware, it is kept in mind not to include the name of the virus developer to avoid giving undue importance to such activities.
The normal time required in finding the solution to a virus outbreak is 6-8 hrs. In the initial 2-3 hrs of a virus outbreak there is no solution by any antivirus company. In 48 hours all the antivirus companies are out with the solution. But what happens till the virus updates are released and the Malware spread is going great guns causing menace? The solution is ‘Heuristics’, and is used by some antivirus programs today.
Heuristics is a process in which the detection of previously unknown Malware can be done up to some extent. Heuristics analyzes all programs running in the computer and detects if any one of them is functioning in an abnormal manner. In order to do this it quarantines a sample of the infected file and uses an emulator or a virtual environment within the OS known as Sandbox, wherein the infectious sample is tested. If the program is found guilty it is eliminated from the system or else it is let go.
Nowadays, antivirus developers need to think beyond heuristics, as it requires a lot of system resources; also this process can’t be achieved in real time. For instance, when you receive an attachment with an e-mail it is not possible to create a sandbox and check for the unknown Malware. To resolve this, Quick Heal has come up with an ingenious solution called the DNA scan technology. What it does is, it senses each and every change effected by an application in the computer and analyzes the code that is executed in the computer. If it comes across an application whose behavior is suspected to be malicious, it quarantines the file and also traces all the changes done by the application in the computer. The sample is then sent to Quick Heal labs automatically after the user approves of it and the sample is analyzed automatically.
DNA scan technology can also detect those applications whose coding appears suspect. For instance, if a programmer used to develop Malware earlier, and if he has mended his ways now, and written a genuine application, his coding pattern might be the same and might not have followed the standard coding procedure. Even this is detected by the DNA scan.
In one such incident, a Quick Heal client in France stated that he has a genuine program but the DNA scan detected it as a virus. Quick Heal developers analyzed the application and found that the application was genuine but it was not coded using standard procedures of EICAR. It was later found that the application was written by a developer who had a past in developing viruses. The application was written partly in assembly language, visual studio and at some instances, encryption was used. Now the antivirus developers in their forum have decided not to recruit a person if he has ever been involved in the development of a virus unless he serves his term and assures he would not get in to such criminal activities anytime in the future.
Shareware or freeware
Most of us might be satisfied with the free antivirus products which are only meant for home users. These same antivirus software also have a shareware version. In case of a virus outbreak, the shareware users get the first priority to download the updates followed by freeware users. Hence, the freeware user is prone to get affected by the virus outbreak. Also for the shareware users, the updates are hosted on high priority servers hence the antivirus can be updated in less time as compared to the freeware users that get updates from a low priority low bandwidth server. So if your computer has critical data and is always connected to the net, a shareware or paid version is always advised.
Future of Malware
Earlier viruses were developed to gain fame, but these days Malware is being developed for commercial purpose. Hence, the trend of developing more deadly Malware is going to continue in a big way. There has been an upsurge of programmers who develop and sell Malware for financial gains.
For instance, a Bot is developed to track a PC not patched for certain vulnerability and is connected to the Internet. Once these PCs are detected, the Bot is loaded into all these PCs and when these are spread over a network of thousands to a million PCs they are known as a Botnet. The author of the Bot now has control of all the PCs that are infected by the Bot created by him and now he can get various viruses or Trojans downloaded into the various infected PCs. This Botnet is then sold to a potential buyer, such as an adware developer who wants their ads to appear across all the PCs. The adware developer in this case instructs the Botnet owner to download a certain Trojan that contains his ads into the infected computers and within seconds the entire set of PC’s in that Botnet are infected.
In case of phishing websites, the buyer of the Botnet can lead you to a fake website that pose as a genuine secure website, misleading you into entering your bank account details and this information is passed on to malicious users for fraudulent activities. A Botnet created in one country may spread rapidly in some other faraway nation. Bringing such Malware creators to justice is not possible because the cyber laws of all nations are not the same and worse—some nations do not have any. With the advancement in mobile networks as 3G gets introduced offering fast Internet, these new avenues will enable fraudsters get quicker access to people’s personal information. Viruses can be evolved to such an extent that they can infect devices running on a similar platform.
A piece of advice
“Prevention is better than cure”,so update your antivirus software regularly, do not disclose your personal details unnecessarily on the Internet, and if you find anything supicious do not just overlook it. Till we meet again with another update on online security—Safe Surfing!
Penned by Sriram at 10:56 PM
Run, Jason, run. The Bourne films have taken chases beyond a storytelling technique and made them into the story. Jason Bourne's search for the secret of his identity doesn't involve me in pulsating empathy for his dilemma, but as a MacGuffin, it's a doozy. Some guy finds himself with a fake identity, wants to know who he really is and spends three movies finding out at breakneck speed. And if the ending of "The Bourne Ultimatum" means anything at all, he may need another movie to clear up the loose ends.
That said, so what? If I don't care what Jason Bourne's real name is, and believe me, I sincerely do not, then I enjoy the movies simply for what they are: skillful exercises in high-tech effects and stunt work, stringing together one preposterous chase after another, in a collection of world cities with Jason apparently piling up frequent-flier miles between them.
"Ultimatum" is a tribute to Bourne's determination, his driving skills, his intelligence in out-thinking his masters and especially his good luck. No real person would be able to survive what happens to him in this movie, for the obvious reason that they would have been killed very early in "The Bourne Identity" (2002) and never have survived to make "The Bourne Supremacy" (2004). That Matt Damon can make this character more convincing than the Road Runner is a tribute to his talent and dedication. It's not often you find a character you care about even if you don't believe he could exist.
This time, Bourne is engaged in a desperate hunt through, alphabetically, London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Tangier and Turin, while secret CIA operatives in America track him using a perplexing array of high-tech gadgets and techniques. I know Google claims it will soon be able to see the wax in your ear, but how does the CIA pinpoint Bourne so precisely and yet fail again and again and again to actually nab him? You'd think he was bin Laden.
And why do they want him so urgently? Yes, he is proof that the CIA runs a murderous secret extra-legal black-ops branch that violates laws here and abroad, but the response to that is: D'oh! The CIA operation, previously called Treadstone, is now called Blackbriar. That'll cover their tracks. It's like if you wanted to conceal a Ford plant, you'd call it Maytag. Seeking a hidden meaning in the names, I looked up Treadstone on Wiktionary.com and found it is a "fictional top-secret program of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Jason Bourne book and movie series." Looking up "Blackbriar," I found nothing. So they are hidden again from the Wik empire.
In his desperate run to find the people who are chasing him, Jason hooks up in Madrid with the CIA's Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), who is given several dozen words to say with somber gravity before Jason is off to Algiers and running through windows and living rooms in the Casbah; I think I recognized some of the same steep streets from "Pepe Le Moko," which is a movie about just staying in the Casbah and hiding there, a strategy by which Jason could have avoided a lot of property damage.
Of course there are sensational car chases, improbable leaps over high places, clever double reverses and lightning decisions. Sometimes we cut back to CIA headquarters (although surely a secret CIA black-op would not be hidden in its own headquarters) and meet agent Pamela Lundy (Joan Allen), who suspects maybe there is something to be said on Jason's behalf, and her boss Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), who must have inherited hatred of Bourne as part of the agency's institutional legacy, since he wasn't in the first two movies. And then finally that shadowy nightmare figure in Bourne's flashbacks comes into focus and, in the time-honored tradition of the Talking Killer, explains everything instead of whacking him right then and there. After which there is another chase.
The director, masterminding formidable effects and stunt teams, is Paul Greengrass ("United 93," "Bourne Supremacy"), and he not only creates (or seems to create) amazingly long takes but does it without calling attention to them. Whether they actually are unbroken stretches of film or are spliced together by invisible wipes, what counts is that they present such mind-blowing action that I forgot to keep track.
There are two kinds of long takes: (1) the kind you're supposed to notice, as in Scorsese's "GoodFellas," when the mobster enters the restaurant, and (2) the kind you don't notice, because the action makes them invisible. Both have their purpose: Scorsese wanted to show how the world unfolded before his hero, and Greengrass wants to show the action without interruption to reinforce the illusion it is all actually happening. Most other long takes are just showing off.
But why, if I liked the movie so much, am I going on like this? You sit there, and the action assaults you, and using words to re-create it would be futile. What actually happens to Jason Bourne is essentially immaterial. What matters is that something must happen, so he can run away from it or toward it.The movie is complete as itself.Go watch it.
Penned by Sriram at 10:55 PM
Looking for a hassle-free way to get your automobile insured? Finding it hard to select the insurance company you would like to do business with? Look no further,friends.Advantage Auto Quotes offers all types of car insurance,ranging from a student's policy to full fledged commercial ones.The online system allows a comprehensive method to make the process an easy task.The way it works is simple:YOU are the Customer;Insurance companies want to have business with you.But you want their services at the optimum rate.Advantage Auto Quotes does exactly what I just mentioned! It makes the various insurance companies compete for offering their services to the valuable customer(you,of course) and chooses the one which best suits your needs.
You are probably conscious of how important vehicle insurance is,especially in these days where speed matters.All types of automobiles(cars,trucks,SUVs) can be insured using this lucid and easy method.Insurance solutions are available for all makes and models(Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes,Jeep,Mazda to name a few).Do you happen to own a Sports car or a Classic? The site offers special plans for Sports Cars and Classic ones.Selecting a insurance company from the myriad number of ones that exist can prove to be an insurmountable ordeal.So allow Advantage Auto Quotes to guide you through the entire process, to select the type of coverage needed for your vehicle with the company most compatible for your needs.They work with all types of companies-right from Nationwide to Kaiser.
One of the biggest worries for drivers is their driving history.You may be worried about those indelible marks your not-so-good-moments-on-the-road may have left in your driving record.This is where Advantage Auto Quotes comes in.They are willing to help out drivers with bad records.Best insurance rates are offered even if you happen to have the country's worst record on the road.
And of course,for those drivers with immaculate records,the price goes down even further.The cost depends on a list of factors like accident history,type of usage,location,etc.Whether you are a budding teenager or a senior citizen, a variety of policies and low rates are offered so that you can make the best choice for your insurance-at the lowest rate,that is :)
So why wait and worry about insurance? Go ahead and get acquainted with Advantage Auto Quotes,the best way for quality insurance!
Penned by Sriram at 8:46 PM
Well,you might be wondering whats this all about..A beautiful dame by that name to whom I'm attracted? A new restaurant? A novel idea on religion? Nope.Well the next lines may not exactly make your heart beat faster if you aren't a computer freak;Maya is a professional,full fledged 3D modelling software.I was looking forward to do something in the area of 3d modelling and animation,so I downloaded 3dsmax with all the earnestness of a cat-looking-at-a-mouse.Sadly,3dsmax didnt interest me at all! To say that I felt let down would be no mere understatement.
So there I was, sitting with a PC.I'd skipped college on the pretense of preparing for the GRE.
I was rummaging in my CDs collection when this tag caught my eye: "Maya 8.5".Curious,I proceeded to install it.My curiosity was even more kindled on seeing the minimum specs-1 GB RAM,500 mb free space,etc.The installation process was over in a jiffy.The Maya interface opened.
I must confess it was love at first sight! You might be hassled by the overwhelming number of menus and windows,but once you get used to the specially-tailored-interface-for-all,there's no doubt that this is THE software for 3d modelling. I floundered about initially,but the tutorials that came along with the package proved their worth.In less than an hour(which is saying something,considering Maya to be a professional tool) I was seamlessly creating polygons,NURBS,motion frames,etc.Heard the phrase "out of thin air"? You can practically create anything with Maya,provided you're adept with the mouse and au fait with some basic graphics.
If you're a computer freak I recommend that you try this extra-ordinary softie out.Ten to one that you'll not be interested :)
Penned by Sriram at 7:18 PM
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
|Price as reviewed/starting price||$599|
|Processor||1.73GHz Intel Pentium dual-core T2080|
|Memory||1GB of 533MHz|
|Hard drive||120GB at 5,400rpm|
|Graphics||Intel GMA 950 (integrated)|
|Chipset||Mobile Intel 945GM Express|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|Screen size (diagonal)||14.1 inches|
|System weight/weight with AC adapter||5.6/6.4 pounds|
The good: Very low price; dual-core processor; full feature set, including an ExpressCard slot and S/PDIF audio-out jack; comfortable keyboard; easy-to-use system management software.
The bad: Slow performance on outdated components; display wobbles easily; glossy screen finish results in distracting reflections; lacks external media controls.
The bottom line:I recommend this for home users who want a low-cost laptop for basic computing tasks.
Penned by Sriram at 2:17 PM
Acoustimass 16 Series II home entertainment speaker system - Black
The Bose Acoustimass 16 Series II Home Entertainment Speaker System - Black is a six speaker, compact surround sound system. Compared to other compact speaker systems on the market, it is expensive at around $1,300. Comes with a 5.25" subwoofer.Description: The Bose Acoustimass 16 Series II Home Entertainment Speaker System - Black is a six speaker, compact surround sound system. Compared to other compact speaker systems on the market, it is expensive at around $1,300. Comes with a 5.25" subwoofer.
Pros: Going with a speaker system (rather than mixing and matching components) ensures your home theater will have voice-matched speakers. Matched speakers in a home theater speaker system will result in a more seamless, convincing, and full sound experience.
Cons: None noted, given available product data.
Suitability: Suited for smaller rooms.
Value: Overall, this speaker system's features are in line with its price.
Penned by Sriram at 2:13 PM
How dependent are you on your cell phone? We guessed right if your answer is ‘very dependent’. It is a fact that cell phones have become a necessity today—we’d gather a crowd of cynics if we said that cell phones will stop working in the future. But on second thoughts, there might be some truth to it. Let’s marinate on that and go back to the inception of mobile technology.
The cell phone fad hit the Indian market like lightning on a vulnerable night. The best part—for most of us—is that, it stayed, it grew and it has now engulfed us like a bush fire. Today cell phones are arguably a style statement but undoubtedly a necessity for convenient communication. But there are times when it becomes important not to be able to use a cell phone. Before delving into this situation, let’s go through a primer on cell phone technology.
‘E.T. phone home’
Did you know that the cell phones use the same principles as a radio? Well partially they do. We’re not talking about the internal FM radio in your phone that you use to hear music. Cell phones work roughly like walkie-talkies that you must have used in your adolescent years—the major difference being their need to communicate with a ‘base station’ instead of directly with each other. Also, walkie-talkies are half-duplex devices that transmit and receive at one particular frequency, while cell phones are full-duplex devices that use two separate frequencies simultaneously. Cell phones, better known as mobile phones, are 2-way radios that interchange radio signals with the base stations of the network provider (for example, Hutch or Airtel in Mumbai). The radios we use for listening to music also operate using radio waves, but those frequencies are very low, for example 98.3 MHz. In some phones, if you open the back panel (battery compartment) you’ll notice the frequencies (eg, 900 MHz) at which the phone can be operated. These frequencies are clearly much higher than our radio sets. Lower frequencies are used in several other applications such as aircraft communications and higher frequencies in microwave ovens. So this explains why we are refrained from using cell phones and electronic devices on a flight.
Picture yourself in a restaurant or in a library or any of those quiet places. There is this person next to you who is engrossed in a high-decibel conversation right in your face. This can be painfully brain-chewing. So what do you do? In a dire situation like this, using a device known as a cell phone jammer could bring you immediate salvation. Besides the fact that it’s illegal, using one can get you in trouble especially if you’re trying to play a prank. Although illegal in many countries like the United States, there are people who use hand-held cell phone jammers in other parts of the world. So before buying or using one, it is strongly recommended to check on it on the legal front. More on how this device works later on.
‘Let’s JAM it’
Shockingly, cell phones are being used to do a lot more than just make or receive calls and text messages (SMS etc). If you have seen the movie ‘The Jackal’, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Here, Bruce Willis (the jackal) uses a cell phone to control his radio controlled sniper gun hidden in a vehicle yards away.
On a serious note: Assuming that you’ve been watching the news lately, the Mumbai train blasts are alleged to have involved cell phone triggers to set off the explosives. Check out the ‘In The News’ box to know more. But guess what—if a cell phone was the cause, then a jammer could have saved the day.
Jammers are powerful and intricate devices, but unfortunately not too many people might know much about them. So let’s dive deeper and resurrect this potential savior.
Jammers! Say what?
Jammers are radio frequency transmitters that block radio communication between devices—in this case a cell phone. They simply disable the cell phone from making or receiving voice or data calls and messaging by preventing cellular signals from reaching it. There are different types and sizes of jammers depending on their power and coverage range. Most hand held jammers look like normal cell phones and they use cell phone batteries. Larger jammers can be as big as a briefcase and can be used with a normal power outlet.
Jammers were mainly intended for military operations to track terrorist activities by disrupting their radio communication. Although they were introduced for law enforcement, they are increasingly being incorporated in other civilian areas of use.
How does it work?
A cell phone uses two separate frequencies; one is used for transmitting (talking) and the other for receiving (hearing). The signal originating from one phone is sent to the base station and from where it is relayed to the recipient. When a cell phone comes into the range of an active jammer, the signals originating from the cell phone collide with the signals of the jammer. This effectively cancels out the phone signals. Most jammers cancel one frequency of the cell phone which does the trick. Since one signal gets cancelled, the phone interprets that there is no network and hence stops functioning. In the case of rather sophisticated jammers, all the signals that the phone can receive get cancelled. This ensures that the phone does not receive an open signal to work with.
In the near future, if you’d like to stop the usage of cellular phones at your office or your home, you’d need to simply paint it. A company called NaturalNano Inc, is in the process and development of a special type of paint that uses halloysite nanotubes coated with copper. This special paint, when applied to the exterior of a room or an enclosure might be able to block radio waves at particular frequencies, and this inlcudes cell phone signals. Other variants of this technology would also enable it to hamper the reception of WiFi communications and other electronic devices dependant on radio communication.
Penned by Sriram at 2:11 PM
No,not this one! I'm talking about quite an interesting site I came across on one of my many "surfs" on hacking. Quote :"Hack This Site is a free, safe and legal training ground for hackers to test and expand their hacking skills. More than just another hacker war games site, we are a living, breathing community with many active projects in development, with a vast selection of hacking articles and a huge forum where users can discuss hacking, network security, and just about everything. Tune in to the hacker underground and get involved with the project." Unquote.
I guess you understand pretty much what the site's about.Not really concerned with real hacking,but fun to give it a try :)
Penned by Sriram at 2:05 PM
At last, a book dedicated to alleviating the fears that users may have about the security of their wireless home network. This no-nonsense guide is for wireless home
networkers who want to protect their data from hackers, crackers, viruses, and worms. Written in non-technical language that's perfect for both novices and intermediate users, this book offers a brief introduction to wireless networking and identifies the most common internal and external pitfalls-and ways to avoid and correct them.
* The ideal reference for computer users with a wireless network who need facts separated from fiction to learn what is necessary to protect their networks
* Real-world examples help demystify viruses, worms, cryptography, and identity theft, while expert advice, cool techniques, and step-by-step instructions give readers the know-how they need to secure a WLAN and protect their privacy
* Covers the latest computer security threats and countermeasures, addressing problems that older titles do not cover, particularly in the areas of virus protection.
Download it here:
Penned by Sriram at 2:03 PM
If it's true that there's an 8-year-old boy inside every man, "Transformers" is just the ticket to bring the kid out. Big, loud and full of testosterone-fueled car fantasies, Michael Bay's actioner hits a new peak for CGI work, showcasing spectacular chases and animated transformation sequences seamlessly blended into live-action surroundings. There's no longer any question whether special effects can be made more realistic: The issue is whether disposable actors can be trained to play better with bluescreens. Paramount/DreamWorks' summer tentpole is certain to do gangbusters biz, while the sequel-screaming ending and the usual spinoffs should send ancillary through the roof.
Toy giant Hasbro will see its coffers full to overflowing after the July 4 release, perfectly timed for a consumer run on already popular Transformers figures, comic books, videogames and cartoons. "Transformers" is the apotheosis of product placement, using tried-and-true formulas in the story department as a showcase for the toys (already featured in the 1986 toon "The Transformers: The Movie"). Best of all for anyone who put coin into the production, pic builds off multiple generations of fans, from the kids obsessed with the robots at their launch in 1984 to those collecting the latest incarnations today.
Adult dweebs still enthralled by the figurines' facile mythology have flooded the Web with complaints that the franchise has been tampered with to form a (relatively) cohesive plot, but most viewers either won't notice or won't care. At the center of the tale is Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), an average 11th grader psyched about getting his first car -- a mysterious, beat-up yellow Camaro that lot owner Bobby Bolivia (Bernie Mac, in a brief role) has never seen before.
Sam's attempts to impress cool girl Mikaela (Megan Fox) are falling flat, and the car's habit of playing the right song ("Sexual Healing," "Baby Come Back") at the right moment only increases the initial tension. The machine really freaks Sam out when it drives away at night and transforms into a giant robot that communicates via light beam with a UFO.
Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers in Qatar have been attacked by a helicopter that transforms itself into one nasty robot, destroying everything in its path while an offshoot downloads top-secret files from the computers. Secretary of Defense John Keller (Jon Voight, doing a Southern version of Donald Rumsfeld) calls an emergency conference to analyze the data ("This is way too smart for the Iranians"), but one of the small robots has already hacked into Air Force One's computer.
The evil robots are after Sam -- or rather, a discovery made by Sam's ancestor, an Arctic explorer. Thanks to introductory narration by good Transformer Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), auds know what's going on before Sam does: The planet Cybertron was ravaged by a civil war between the good Autobots and the evil Decepticons. In their search for an all-powerful cube called the Allspark, both sides learn that super-evil Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving) crashed in the Arctic a millennia ago, and with him the Allspark. Sam's great-great-grandfather's cracked glasses hold the key to its location.
It's all very easy to follow. Sam's car is one of the good guys, Bumblebee. He and his fellow Autobots bond (not literally, though that could be for the sequel) with the teenager, who pledges to help them out, fighting not only the Decepticons but also the uptight feds led by Agent Simmons (John Turturro).
Scripters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, together with John Rogers, had to keep the basic Transformers stories intact while placing them in a human environment, turning to plot elements from a number of successful pics including "King Kong," "War Games" and "The Love Bug." Pic also follows the early Steven Spielberg formula (he's on board as an exec producer): Take a likeable young Joe with an ordinary upper-middle-class family and have him champion some aliens.
More than any of Bay's earlier blockbusters, including "Pearl Harbor" and "Armageddon," "Transformers" has an oddly Reagan-era feel, at times resembling an Air Force recruitment commercial. Soldiers, led by Capt. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Sgt. Epps (Tyrese Gibson), are as much heroes as Sam, fighting to rid the world not only of authoritarian regimes -- there's frequent speculation that Russia or China is involved, proving the Cold War hasn't ended -- but also secret government programs. Ethnic stereotypes abound, and there's a none-too-subtle jab at the Spanish-as-an-equal-language lobby. "Freedom is the right of all sentient human beings," intones Optimus, sounding more appropriately President Bush circa 2007.
LaBeouf is pleasantly sympathetic, but this is hardly the role to test his acting chops -- or, for that matter, anyone else's. Fox is little more than eye candy, while Bay has put together a nicely multiracial cast to broaden the pic's appeal. Among the thesps, Turturro is so over-the-top that he provides a welcome acknowledgment of the pic's cartoon origins.
But everyone involved knows the actors are mere props for Industrial Light & Magic's CGI team, which has put together an impressive show of the latest tech advances -- not only transforming cars and helicopters into enormous robots within a few thoroughly believable seconds, but also setting them in real spaces and having them interact with real objects. The premise for these fights hasn't moved beyond 1925's "The Lost World," but the digital animation has never been better.
No wonder Bay needed a team of editors, who succeed in making the fight sequences exciting spectacles, though toward the end they all tend to become just a mess of flying wreckage and random explosions -- the outcome is always predictable, if the movements themselves remain unexpected. Sound is cranked up to mega-decibels; if the action doesn't generate stomach tremors, the bass lines will. Overly grand music used halfway through, during Bumblebee's subjugation scene, seems to confuse it with the pic's climax.
Penned by Sriram at 2:02 PM
Wisely choose your audio accessory for more hearing pleasure.
Sony MDR-EX23LP, Sennheiser MX55
Rs 500 – Rs 2,000
Built for portability, these earphones are best suited for PMPs (portable media players) and laptops and feature really small drivers that fit in the ear canal. The vital factor to look out for in earphones is a comfortable fit as these are pretty intrusive and can cause harm if not used properly. The supreme models in this category have soft rubbery plugs that are made to have an airtight fit for the ear canal. The plugs make the air trapped inside move with the driver to provide an evenly balanced sound. Many brands include plugs of different sizes that allow the wearer to choose the best fit from 3-5 different preset sizes, which can be replaced and cleaned separately thus improving ear hygiene. It’s important to find earphones that do not overemphasize the mids and highs as it may tempt the wearer to increase the volume level to harmful levels to hear decent bass. However due to the small size, it’s difficult for manufacturers to fit in drivers that can cover most of the sonic spectrum. Earphones with extended bass response do exist but they mostly employ older technologies that have trickled down from the professional series of the brands.
Blue’s SLR-870MV, Labtec Stereo 332, Plantronics .Audio 310
Rs 500 – Rs 3,000
Perfectly suited to professional gamers, Skype and VoIP addicts, these headphones feature microphones and headphone drivers with enhanced mids to improve voice reproduction and intelligibility. The first thing to look for in a headset is a maneuverable mic that has a well pivoted joint connecting to the headphone itself. Secondly, an inline remote helps in controlling sudden volume change and switching the mic on or off when not in use. The better versions out in the market have noise cancellation on the mic: a feature necessary for using Speech recognition software. Nearly all decent headsets have their connector cables only on one side of the headphone which helps the user focus amidst the heat of gameplay. Specific VoIP use users can opt for mono-aural headsets that have only one speaker and can clip on the pinna of either ear with an over the ear design. These are of good use when the user has to monitor background sounds as the other ear is free to hear surrounding events. In this variety some versions come with microphones that can be turned around either side to put the headphone on any ear.
Sennheiser PXC450, Bose QuiteComfort 2.0, Phillips HP850
Rs 2,000 – Rs 30,000
This is the ultimate luxury segment in headphones. These headphones have large drivers and big cushions that rest on the ear pinna for the Supra-aural versions and cover it completely from all sides for the Circum-aural ones. They feature superb bass response and imaging and provide a very immersive experience. Due to the sheer size of the units, these headphones can integrate active noise cancellation technologies to counter any background sounds and provide a pristine aural experience typically with finely balanced sonic characteristics. These headphones feature microphones that capture ambient noise and add an out of phase version of this to the playback sound. This cancels out the background sound and places the wearer in a synthetic world of pure audio nirvana. Some problems associated with this class of headphones are that they are not easy to carry around besides they are not very comfortable, and hygienic to use in humid conditions. Some manufacturers have tried addressing these problems by providing foldable units and using really comfortable soft leather or washable fabric based cushions.
Penned by Sriram at 1:59 PM
Maximize the utility of your MP3 player and get much more out of it. CHIP helps you value the usually ignored functions of an MP3 player and guides you how to optimize them.
MP3 players have evolved into mighty all-in-one devices over the years. Today, these tiny gizmos have a lot more to offer than the standard audio/video playback, FM radio and voice recorder. MP3 players are now capable of displaying lyrics synchronized with playback, encoding audio on-the-fly and even recording radio programs in your absence. You may have an MP3 player that boasts all these features, but the question is how can you get the most out of your player. You will find all your answers here. If you plan to buy an MP3 player soon, you can base your buying decision on some of the features described here.
Most MP3 players, especially the solid state ones that feature an array of functions, come equipped with a microphone for recording purposes. The recorder function is usually labeled as ‘voice recorder’ in the main menu of the player because its primary function is to capture voice. Thus, it comes in handy when you want to record conversations, interviews, meetings, conferences and lectures at schools and colleges. Apart from capturing voice, the players that have a built-in FM tuner can also record radio programs on air. To record a radio program that is being aired you simply have to press the record button while being tuned into the desired radio station. Now you know what to do the next time you wish to record your favorite number that’s playing on air.
External mic support
MP3 players that feature a voice recorder use a built-in microphone to capture voice. The microphone is highly-sensitive and is hidden behind a tiny aperture on the body of the player. This aperture is usually labeled as ‘mic’ so that you don’t cover it by mistake while you’re recording. Though the built-in microphone is quite sensitive, its range is restricted due to its diminutive size. Hence, in order to clearly capture the voice of subjects that are more than two meters away, you have to place or hold the player close to them while recording. This scenario generally arises when you want to record interviews, meetings or lectures. In such cases, it’s preferable to use an external microphone with your player provided there is support for it—a computer mic that you use for online voice chat will also suffice. The external mic plugs into the line-in jack of the player and the external mic support has to be enabled by changing the player’s recording settings.
With line-in support you can hook up external audio sources such as television, audio cassette /CD / LP player to your MP3 player. If your MP3 player has line-in support, it will feature a line-in jack in addition to the earphone jack. In order to hook up an external source to your MP3 player, you need to connect the line-out jack of the source with the line-in jack of your player using the bundled line-in cable. On pressing the record button in the line-in mode you can record playback from the connected audio source. The line-in recording feature is ideal for converting audio cassettes into digital audio formats on-the-fly, on to the player.
Playback speed control
Using this feature you can adjust the speed of the playback. Though it may not make sense to use it while listening to music, it can be very useful while transcribing recorded interviews and lectures. If you’re a slow typist, you can reduce the playback speed to keep up with the pace of the playback of the recording.
If your player’s list of specifications includes lyrics support, it is capable of displaying the lyrics of the song being played. When switched to the lyrics mode, the player displays the lyrics of each line being sung while the song plays. However, note that the lyrics will only be displayed if you have added the lyrics to the MP3 file or the music folder on your MP3 player. The utility for adding lyrics to the songs should be included on the software disc that comes bundled with the player. Some of the popular lyrics websites are www.lyricsfreak.com, www.lyricsdomain.com and www.seeklyrics.com.
If your MP3 player supports direct encoding, it means that it can encode audio to MP3 or WMA format in real time while recording. This feature is a big space saver as compressed audio files take up only one-tenth the space required by WAV files. 1 GB MP3 players having support for direct encoding can record audio up to six hours which would otherwise require 3.5 GB of space. Setting the right bitrate for various functions is crucial for managing space and sound quality. A low bitrate (96 kbps for MP3 and 64 kbps for WMA) is enough for recording voice. However, set the bitrate high (between 192 to 320 kpbs for MP3 and 128 kbps for WMA) for FM or line-in recording to get better audio quality.
With support for scheduled recording you won’t miss your favorite radio programs. Settings for scheduled recording can be accessed under alarms settings in the player’s settings menu. Set the alarm mode to FM recording and specify the wake up time, the FM station and recording duration. Make sure the player’s clock is set to the right time or else your schedule will go for a toss. If you’ve done everything right, the player will automatically switch on at the scheduled time, record the radio program for the specified duration and then turn off.
Penned by Sriram at 1:58 PM
Jhannet Sejas, a 19 year old girl was immediately arrested by the police after she recorded a 20 second clip from the movie “Transformers” that she wanted to show to her little brother. She now faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Teen Arrested for Recording 20 Second Movie ClipSejas was celebrating her 19th Birthday with her boyfriend in a local theater in Arlington. A few minutes after she taped the short clip the police came rushing in and took her into custody on the charges of “being a pirate”.
Sejas and her boyfriend were promptly escorted out of the movie theater, still confused about what just happened. “I was crying, I’ve never been in trouble before.”, she later said in a response to the trip to the police station.
Of course Sejas had no intention to sell the 600 millisecond clip, she wasn’t even planning to put it on YouTube. The only thing she wanted to do was show it to her 13 year old brother, who was dying to see the movie himself. Unluckily theater owners just introduced their new zero-tolerance policy since everyone can be a pirate.
Kendrick Macdowell, a representative National Association of Theater Owners said in a response: “We cannot educate theater managers to be judges and juries in what is acceptable. Theater managers cannot distinguish between good and bad stealing.”
Good and bad stealing? Nuts!, the guy obviously has no clue what he’s talking about. If all theater owners treat their customers like this they will start to lose even more money than they already do now. And guess who they will be blaming? Right, Pirates.
Sejas will go to trial later this month for recording a motion picture without permission, and is facing up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Seriously unbelievable.
Penned by Sriram at 12:55 AM