Friday, 27 November 2009

Find the Latest Mobiles on

Are you worried of what mobile phone you have to buy? Don't know which is best? Worried of its features? Want to know if that phone will fit your budget? Want to know about the latest deals and offers around? Dont Worry! Find answers to all these questions and much more on, a 9.9 Media initiative, provides comparison for Laptops, Mobiles and LCD TV's. Although it was initially launched with only a Laptop category, it has been widening its horizons ever since, by including new categories, features, sections etc. And the latest is the launch of Mobile Phones category. This new category boasts of having data for more than 20 different Mobile Brands like Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Etc. It has the latest data regarding new Mobile Launches, up-to-date street prices etc. It also lists out the latest hot deals available in the Mobile Section.

You can find and compare models from the Compare Models Section. With this feature, it will become easy for you to zero in on a particular mobile. You can find reviews and ratings on every mobile that you find. All these ratings are provided by Digit Test Center, India's No.1 Research Lab. Also the Consumer can know about the latest technology through the Know the Basics, Mobile Buying Guide and mobile guru sections. If you have any queries you can take a look at the FAQ's(Frequently Asked Questions) page and if you still have doubt you can ask your query in the ASK US section.

So Why waiting? Log on to ConsumerMate, find your mobile and get it in no time. Happy buying!

iPhone Worm Creator Hired as Developer

Just like Michael 'Mikeyy' Mooney, the Twitter Worm creator got lucky by getting hired, now first jailbroken iPhone worm creator Ashley Towns aka "ike_x" got a job as iPhone Developer. Recently, Towns had alarmed the jailbroken iPhone owners with first iPhone worm. The first worm created by exploiting the loop hole in iPhone OS surely grabbed attention of employers.

 (image courtesy: Sophos Blog)

Ashley Towns aka ikeeex on Twitter tweeted that he got a job as iPhone Developer. Graham Cluley, security analyst at Sophos Labs, once again criticized this development just like he did in Mooney's case. Cluley pointed out, in the blog post, that the first iPhone worm lead to creation of a new dangerous worm that steals financial information from iPhones and iPod Touch.

Towns will be joining Mogeneration, an iPhone App development company based in Australia.

It is indeed surprising to see the overnight hiring of the worm creator whose prank must've bothered thousands. These young folks exploit the loopholes in the codes of websites or software and then grab attention. And now, with Town getting hired, several other teenagers may get into such nefarious activities to get money or to be hired by some development company.

Not always one can expect to be rewarded for pointing a loophole and high chances of getting behind bars always exist. Finding and reporting loopholes should be encouraged by companies of the affected product rather than letting some third party reap its benefits.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Upgrading your DDR2 Memory

Through my recent posts i have given you tips on upgrading your system's memory and in more specific- upgrading you Apple Memory. So now in this post i am gonna shift my focus onto upgrading your DDR2 Memory. Before you upgrade your system's memory, take time to visit this site, where you can get detailed information about upgrading your DDR2 memory.

If you plan to buy a 2GB DDR2 memory, it is really wise to buy it from this site. They not only sell the product at an affordable price, but also ensure customer support and give tips in maintaining your system. If you think that you only have to buy it from a branded company like Apple, Dell etc., by shelling some extra bucks on the product than its actual price, then its really pity that you are misconceptual.

A DDR2 memory upgrade will speed up what your system can do for you. By going for a PRO Memory Upgrade from this site, you can deliver the best in laptop & notebook, desktop for PC & Mac and ECC Registered & Fully Buffered server modules as well. And by buying from them, you won't have to compromise on anything as they buy all their products directly from factories who supply memory components to OEM manufacturers like Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Sony and Toshiba, thereby ensuring that your system will always run at peak performance. Trust your 8GB, 4GB, 2GB and other RAM module expansion options to PRO Memory Upgrade, and upgrade your computer memory like a PRO!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Fake online anti-virus growing

fake_anti_virusFor users seeking to quarantine their computers by using anti-virus software available online, fake anti-virus (FAV) is a growing, invisible threat.

While it’s much easier to identify a malicious software code received through spam mail, or other suspicious attachments, fake anti virus (FAV) are making it difficult for users to escape from them, because such ‘pop ups’ usually offer to remove viruses from an ‘infected’ computer.

“The programmers will create websites with almost any major event like Obama’s swearing in, Michael Jackson’s death, major terrorist attacks, or any natural phenomenon including solar eclipse,” said Mr Abhinav Karnwal, product marketing manager, APEC at Trend Micro an AV company. “They will even make up events like the meteor shower which was a hoax and ensure their websites figure within the first two pages of a search result. When one clicks on any of these links he may be forced to download these FAVs,” he added.

Experts tracking cyber crime say these FAVs can cost anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 6,000, with malicious code writers making around $10,000 on a good day.

According to computer security firm PandaLabs, only 1,000 samples of FAVs were reported during the first quarter of last year. However, by the second quarter of this year, such instances have reached 3,74,000. Malware, which is short for malicious software, has been growing exponentially during past few years. Last year, over 1.5 million attacks were detected by McAfee, and the number has already hit 1.2 million for the first half ending June this year.

When, Nirmalya Gupta, a teacher by profession from Kolkata and a home PC user was trying to gather some knowledge about the meteor shower, his PC suddenly got a pop-up saying the computer was infected. A dialogue box prompted him to click and start a new browsing session, which made him download ‘anti virus’ software.

“I was asked to pay around Rs 500 for downloading the full version, and cleaning the entire PC, I did that because my documents were important,” he said.

12 little-known facts about IBM

Few companies are as well known as the IT giant IBM. The US-based company popularly known as 'Big Blue' is the global leader in hardware, software, services and consulting space. The company has who's who of the global business world as its clients and is among the top chipmakers in the world.

But few know that IBM is also the highest patent earner, has a long list of tech inventions to its credit and makes 35 of the world's 100 most powerful supercomputers.

eWeek has compiled a list of little-known facts about IBM. Here are few from the list.

Humble beginning
IBM was founded in 1896 as Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith in New York. It was incorporated as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation on June 16, 1911, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. It became IBM in 1924 when Thomas J Watson took over.

Headquartered in Armonk, Town of North Castle, New York, the 283,000 square foot IBM building is located on a 25 acre site. With presence in more than 170 countries, IBM Global Services is among the world's largest business services provider.

Highest patent earner
In 2008, IBM became the first company to ever earn more than 4,000 US patents in a single year. According to the company, 2008's patent issuances were nearly triple that of Hewlett-Packard's and exceed the issuances of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Accenture and Google combined.

Inorganic kitty
Since the acquisition of Lotus in 1995, the company has been on an acquisition spree. IBM has bought more than 130 companies since then. Some of the companies acquired by the Big Blue include: Mainspring Business Strategy consulting, Informix Corporation Database Software, CrossWorlds Software, Metamerge, Trellisoft, Think Dynamics, Aptrix, Daksh e-Services, Venetica, Network Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Tech edge
IBM has a long list of technologies to its credit. The list includes: magnetic stripe, UPC bar codes, floppy disks, hard disk drives, vacuum tape drives, relational databases, Random Access Memory, RAMAC, the world's first computer disk storage system. IBM introduced the first computerised golf scoreboard at the 1967 Greater Dallas Open.

With over 4 lakh employees worldwide, IBM is among the largest IT employer in the world. The company also boasts of a high number of senior women employees. According to reports, the company employs more than 1,000 senior women executives from mere 185 in 1997. Also, 65 per cent of IBM’s women executives are working mothers. More than 130,000 IBM employees and retirees are registered with the company's global volunteer programme called 'On Demand Community'.

Powers gaming giants
IBM provides processor chips that power world's top gaming giants, including Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360. In May 1997, Deep Blue (chess computer), a chess-playing computer developed by IBM created history by defeating world champion Garry Kasparov.

Global banks use IBM's mainframe
IBM's mainframe, the company's line of business computers, continues to be the choice of almost all top banks in the world. IBM in the first quarter of 2009, announced that its System Z mainframe business grew 37% in emerging markets such as China and India.

Nobel winners
Five IBMers have won Nobel Prizes for physics. Their names include Leo Esaki (1973), Gerd K Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer (1986), J Georg Bednorz and K Alex Mller (1987),

In addition to Nobel prizes, IBM researchers have been recognised with seven US National Medals of Technology, five National Medals of Science and 21 memberships in the National Academy of Sciences.

Supercomputer leader
According to TOP500 list of Supercomputers, IBM is a provider of 35 of the world's 100 most powerful supercomputers. Till recently, IBM's supercomputer Roadrunner held the top spot on the list of the World's top 10 fastest supercomputers.

However, according to the recent ranking, the world's fastest supercomputer is Cray XT5, also known as Jaguar. Jaguar bags the no. 1 spot, beating IBM's Roadrunner, which has been holding the top crown since past 18 months.

IBM's 3D avatar
In 2007, IBM researchers in Switzerland unveiled details of prototype visualization software that let doctors view medical data of patients using a 3D avatar of the human body. The Anatomic and Symbolic Mapper Engine (ASME) provides an interactive 3D model of the human body that displays health information at a glance. This helps doctors to visualise the medical history of their patients.

The company is also credited for playing a key role in developing the heart lung machine, for having invented the first continuous blood separator which is used to treat leukemia patients, and has helped develop the field of relaxometry which plays a role in medical magnetic resonance imagery (MRI).

Smart toll project
The company is credited for implementing a project that brought down traffic emission in Stockholm and channelised traffic movement. IBM worked with the City of Stockholm, Sweden to implement a smart toll systems to reduce gridlock, lower emissions and save the city’s residents time and money.

The system reduced traffic by 25%, and the city saw a drop in emissions from road traffic up to 14%. Greenhouse gases have fallen 40% in the inner city.


IBM announced its third-quarter 2009 net income was $3.2 billion compared with $2.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008, an increase of 14%. Total revenues for the third quarter of 2009 was $23.6 billion, 1% up from the second quarter of 2009. IBM ended the third quarter of 2009 with $11.5 billion of cash on hand and generated free cash flow of $3.4 billion, excluding Global Financing receivables.

At the end of 2008, IBM recorded $103.6 billion in revenue, $12.3 billion net income and $109.5 billion total assets.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Upgrade your Apple Memory

Hi everyone. I've already written about upgrading your computer memory in general. And this post is somewhat specific revolving around upgrading your Apple Memory. If you are planning to upgrade your Mac's memory then i recommend you to visit this site where you can learn how to upgrade it. Computer memory upgrades are done just like they do in Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Sony and Toshiba.

If you are thinking to upgrade your Apple MAC memory you should better try out this site before taking further decision. Do you know, that, more recent Apple iMac's comes with 4GB RAM but, it can support upto 16GB of Memory. But going for an Apple RAM can cost you quite a lot of bucks. At an unbelievably affordable price, you can easily buy an Apple Memory without the slightest loss of quality. And that's because Quality is their main Motto. All their RAM's are ECC Registered, Fully Buffered, SO-DIMM and desktop DIMM modules and are highly reliable. Moreover these RAM modules are factory original which means that these are the RAM's that manufacturers like Apple, Dell etc install when building a new computer.

Install more MacBook memory modules with the best in Apple RAM expansion options. Installing these identical DDR3, DDR2 and DDR part numbers and branded memory that top OEMs do, will ensure that your Mac always runs at peak performance. Trust your 8GB, 4GB, 2GB and other RAM module expansion options to PRO Memory Upgrade, and upgrade your computer memory like a PRO!

Six-core Intel Core i9 Gulftown Processor tests shows Boost in Performance

Intel's six-core Gulftown processors got delayed to second quarter of 2010 and was tested by Polish site PC Lab. This six-core Intel Gulftown processor is from the 32nm Westmere family flagship with 12MB shared L3 cache and compatible with Intel Socket LGA1366 based motherboards. As per the tests, this multi-core Gulftown chip showed 50 percent boost in the performance. These Gulftown lines up CPUs are likely to be dubbed as Core i9 chips.

PC Labs found that 2.86GHz clocked 32nm Core i9 'Gulftown' CPU showed about 50 percent faster video encoding and 3D modeling than the Core i7 with the same clock speed. Other multicore core tests didn't show large gains for the non-optimized tasks. Only when more multi-core utilization friendly applications will be released, the maximum would be made off the six cores. The memory speed and performance may not be as high as anticipated. Though BIOS for the available motherboards didn't offer any support, PC Labs guys managed to over clock the chip to 4.3GHz on the air cooling.

The 32nm die shrink brought significant reduction in power consumption and used less power as compared with its Core i7 and Core 2 Quad counterparts. The current engineering sample was able to carry maximum load at a temperature lower than the Core i7 chip. More efficient transistors are packed in the smaller 32nm die shrink so they will give power efficient performance as compared with the other Socket LGA1366 chips.

It's the additional two cores and hyperthreading support backed by appropriate power consumption that will prove true prowess of Gulftown chip. Intel is rumored to release this hexa-core chip in first quarter of 2010 and might get delayed to early second quarter.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Dell Favors AMD over Intel Chips

Dell has announced that it will begin using processors from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in place of those from Intel, as part of a broader plan to regain its lost market share.

Dell said that the AMD-based Dell high-end servers with four Opteron processors will be introduced by end 2006.

The move has major implications for the computer industry because the Dell-Intel association has been one of the mightiest in the world of technology, and is considered a key contributor to Dell's success in the past. However, since last year, AMD has been trying to take on market dominance.

Kevin B Rollins, chief executive, Dell, said that it is a fairly small category that has been given to AMD. He also said that Intel would continue to remain supplier of the vast majority of processors used by Dell. Several pipeline projects will also utilize Intel chips.

Rollins explained that the market had intensified, and that some of the competitors had proved to be a tad stronger than what was originally perceived by the company. Rollins said that Dell is hence making investments in technology and customer experience, to resume its past pattern of growth. As such, the company has planned to speed up efforts so as to reduce costs by around $3 billion. The savings would come from improved quality to lower warranty costs, and from changes in materials and components.

Dell said it intends to spend over $100 million towards improving its customer service that the company acknowledged had deteriorated and affected its image and sales. The company said that it has hired 2,000 new sales and support staff and retrained 5,000 others for this purpose.

According to industry analysts, Dell's switch from Intel to AMD in a small portion of its server line will not go too far in solving problems. However, it is a sign of the company's willingness to change.

Comparing the market situation between Dell and Hewlett Packard (HP), HP has been giving its customers more choice over price and performance. In the earning season, Dell's desktop PC sales grew 3 percent in the quarter while HP sales grew by 1 percent. But in the laptop category, Dell grew only by 12 percent as compared to HP which grew by 27 percent.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Upgrade Your Computer Memory

Hi everyone. Today I am going to blog about how to upgrade your Computer Memory. At the time of buying, your computer might have had one of the best configurations. But as time passes by, you will find that more new and better configurations become available. One of the main innovation in all these configurations is that each boasts of better memory upgrades than their previous releases.

And if you are planning to upgrade your memory, no matter what type of system you are having PC, Laptop or Mac? Just visit this site and find out how you can upgrade. Don't worry! You can perform memory upgrade even beyond your system's capability. Computer memory upgrades are done like Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Sony and Toshiba.

What does that mean for your server, laptop, Mac or PC?
The answer is "Quality"

ECC Registered, Fully Buffered, SO-DIMM and desktop DIMM modules! Installing the identical DDR3, DDR2 and DDR part numbers & branded memory that top OEMs do will ensure your system will run at peak performance. Laptop memory upgrades for all brands are done at low cost. If you are thinking to upgrade your mac memory then logging on to this website is the wisest option you can take. Trust your 8GB, 4GB, 2GB and other RAM module expansion options to PRO Memory Upgrade, and upgrade your computer memory like a PRO!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Number portability from Dec 31

India will introduce mobile number portability on December 31, a move that could further intensify the stiff competition in th

e world's fastest-growing wireless market and push call charges lower.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP), which allows users to retain their number even if they switch operators, will be introduced in two phases, the telecoms regulator said, first in the metro cities and the so-called Category A telecom zones and in other areas by March 20.

MNP helps in "increasing competition between the service providers and acts as a catalyst for the service providers to improve their quality of service," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on its website.

The regulator also notified certain charges associated with MNP and said switching charges for users must not exceed Rs 19 rupees.

Four new firms including ventures of international telecom operators Telenor, Etisalat and Batelco are set to start services in India this year and MNP would make it easy for them to lure existing subscribers.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Some Fun Facts about Google

Google sorts billions of bits of information for its users. Here are some little-known bits of information about Google:
  • Google's name is a play on the word googol, which refers to the number 1 followed by one hundred zeroes. The term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman. Google's play on the term reflects the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the web.
  • Google started as a research project at Stanford University, created by Ph.D. candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were 24 years old and 23 years old respectively (a combined 47 years old).
  • Google's index of web pages is the largest in the world, comprising of billions of web pages. Google searches this immense collection of web pages often in less than half a second.months.
  • Google receives daily search requests from all over the world, including Antarctica.
  • Users can restrict their searches for content in 35 non-English languages, including Chinese, Greek, Icelandic, Hebrew, Hungarian and Estonian. To date, no requests have been received from beyond the earth's orbit, but Google has a Klingon interface just in case.
  • Google has a world-class staff of more than 2,668 employees known as Googlers. The company headquarters is called the Googleplex.
  • Google translates billions of HTML web pages into a display format for WAP and i-mode phones and wireless handheld devices, and has made it possible to enter a search using only one phone pad keystroke per letter, instead of multiple keystrokes.
  • Google Groups comprises more than 845 million Usenet messages, which is the world's largest collection of messages or the equivalent of more than a terabyte of human conversation.
  • The basis of Google's search technology is called PageRank™, and assigns an "importance" value to each page on the web and gives it a rank to determine how useful it is. However, that's not why it's called PageRank. It's actually named after Google co-founder Larry Page.
  • Googlers are multifaceted. One operations manager, who keeps the Google network in good health is a former neurosurgeon. One software engineer is a former rocket scientist. And the company's chef formerly prepared meals for members of The Grateful Dead and funkmeister George Clinton.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

World's top 10 fastest supercomputers

There's a new numero uno in the World's fastest supercomputers ranking, reveals the bi-annual Top500 list. The Top500 supercomputers list is compiled by researchers at the University of Mannheim (Germany), Berkeley National Laboratory (US) and the University of Tennessee (US).

Just as in the last time's ranking, the Top500 list is made up mostly of Hewlett-Packard and IBM computers. HP accounted for 210 of this year's 500, and IBM 185. In terms of processors, Intel still enjoys the lion's share, with 80 percent. The most popular operating system continues to be Linux, with 90 percent share.

Here's over to the world's top 10 fastest supercomputers.

The world's fastest supercomputer is Cray XT5, also known as Jaguar. Jaguar bags the no. 1 spot, beating IBM's Roadrunner, who has been holding the top crown since past 18 months.

Jaguar recently upgraded its quad-core CPUs to hex-core Opteron processors, which meant a 2.3 petaflop per second theoretical performance peak (”nearly a quarter of a million cores”), and 1.75 petaflops measured by the Linpack benchmark. This surpasses Roadrunner's 1.04 petaflop/s. A petaflop/s refers to 1 quadrillion calculations per second.

Jaguar, located at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, came close to beating Roadrunner in the two previous Top500 lists. This time, however, Roadrunner's performance fell from 1.105 petaflop/s in June due to a repartitioning of the system.

IBM Roadrunner
At no. 2 is IBM Roadrunner, which was crowned No. 1 in June 2008 after becoming the first supercomputer to break one petaflop/s. IBM’s Roadrunner managed 1.042 petaflops. The supercomputer is located at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Roadrunner which also used IBM's own chips plus AMD Opteron technology, actually decreased in performance to 1.042 petaflops due to a repartitioning of the system.

At no. 3 in the latest Top500 list is another upgraded Cray XT5 system, also known as Kraken. Located at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (University of Tennessee), Kraken supercomputer achieved a speed of 832 teraflop/s. A teraflop/s is a trillion calculions per second.

IBM BlueGene/P
The no. 4 position goes to IBM's BlueGene/P supercomputer located at the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany. The BlueGene/P is the fastest computer outside United States. It achieved 825.5 teraflop/s. The system was No. 3 in the previous Top500 list.

At no. 5 is the new Tianhe-1 supercomputer. Tianhe-1, which means River in Sky, is located at the National Super Computer Center in Tianjin, China. The system is used for research in petroleum exploration and simulation of large aircraft designs.

Tianhe-1 is the highest ranked Chinese system ever and is a hybrid design with Intel Xeon and AMD graphics processors used as accelerators. Each node consists of two AMD GPUs attached to two Intel Xeon chips.

At no. 6th is SGI Altix supercomputer known as Pleiades. The supercomputer is located at NASA's Ames Research Center (NAS).

The NAS division provides scientists and engineers with the supercomputing resources and simulation tools needed to carry out critical NASA missions and make new scientific discoveries.

IBM BlueGene/L
The seventh fastest supercomputer in the world is again from IBM, BlueGene/L. The supercomputer is located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Terascale Simulation Facility. BlueGene/L (BGL) clocked 478.2 trillion floating operations per second (teraFLOPS) on Linpack.

Built by IBM, BGL is a workhorse supercomputer used to make possible science simulation of unprecedented detail for NSA's tri-lab Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program. BGL had been used widely for materials science calculations such as assessing materials at extreme temperatures and pressures.

IBM BlueGene/P
The world's 8th fastest supercomputer too is an IBMian, IBM BlueGene/P. The supercomputer was installed in 2007 in US-based Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne has four major mission areas:

One, conducting basic experimental and theoretical scientific research in the physical, life and environmental sciences; two, operating national scientific facilities to help advance the United State's scientific leadership; three, enhancing the country's energy resources; And four, finding and developing better ways to manage environmental problems.

At no. 9 is Sun Microsystem's Ranger. The Ranger supercomputer belongs to Sun's Blade System family. The supercomputer is located at Texas Advanced Computing Center. Running on AMD x86_64 Opteron Quad Core 2300 MHz processor, Rangers main memory is a mammoth 125952 GB.

Red Sky
The only other new system among the top 10 supercomputers is at no. 10. Called Red Sky, the Sun Blade system reached 423 teraflop/s.

Sun Microsystems' blade system is located at the Sandia National Laboratories. The system's main memory is 22104 GB. Processor is Intel EM64T Xeon X55xx (Nehalem-EP) 2930 MHz (11.72 GFlops).

Monday, 16 November 2009

Intel Kick-Starts Multi Core PC Era

Kicking-off the industry's multi-core PC era, Intel has introduced the Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 and Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core processor families, delivering four cores or computing "brains" inside a single microprocessor.

All new processors promise superior speed and responsiveness for workstations and general purpose servers, as also for other segments such as digital media creation, high-end gaming, etc.

At the launch, Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel, said, "The capabilities of Quad-Core microprocessors will bring new possibilities for Science, Entertainment, and Business. I'm incredibly proud of what Intel's employees have achieved with these new products."

The new Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 processors deliver up to 50 percent faster performance, with the same power consumption and cost as Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 processors that were launched less than 5 months ago.

Four such Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 processors have been launched, with clock speeds ranging from 1.60GHz to 2.66GHz; front side bus (FSB) speeds ranging from 1066MHz to 1333MHz; and thermal design power (TDP) of either 80 Watts or performance-optimized 120 Watt option.

Promising to be the world's best desktop processor for multimedia applications, the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core processor QX6700 is up to 80 percent faster than the company s current Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor X6800.

The QX6700 is the world's first Quad-Core desktop processor meant for unmatched, highly threaded performance. It is available at 2.66GHz with a 1066MHz FSB, and runs on Intel's existing 975X Express chipset family.

Besides, Intel plans to offer a mainstream Quad-Core processor, beginning Q1 of 2007 that will be an ideal choice for processor-intensive, highly threaded programs such as Entertainment, Gaming, and Multimedia activities.

The configuration and prices of the new processors are as follows:
Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor X5355 2.66GHz 1333MHz 8MB 120W: $1172
Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor E5345 2.33GHz 1333MHz 8MB 80W: $851
Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor E5320 1.86GHz 1066MHz 8MB 80W: $690
Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor E5310 1.60GHz 1066MHz 8MB 80W: $455
Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor QX6700 2.66GHz 1066MHz 8MB 130W: $999

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Redundant Features in Mobile Phones

Have you ever come across a feature in your mobile phone and wondered why its creator thought of something so useless that most people would hardly care about? We sure have felt like that about certain features and today we bring you a list of such features that we think nobody would ever want/need and would care less if it was removed from their phones.

Massive User Manuals/Software CDs
What do you see when you open the box of your brand new phone? Well, the phone of course, but other than the phone and its accessories lies a huge bundle of user manuals, some of them so thick that the user may not give it a second look.

Some of us do read them, but just once or perhaps twice and after that they are made to serve a life sentence inside the phone's box, never to see the light of day again. So what is the point of chopping all those trees and making these manuals if they are hardly going to be used?

Manufacturers should realized this by now and provide only a small quick start guide and provide the rest in the form of a PDF, either on the company website or on the phone's memory itself. Apple, for example, does this. However, the rest of them provide enough manuals in one box to make you wonder how many forests were cleared to make them!  The same goes for software CDs that you get with the phones. They would hardly ever get used more than once, after which they just contribute to the e-waste of our planet. Can't the software just be provided on the memory of the phone itself, so that when you connect the phone to the PC, the software will be installed automatically?

Proprietary ports
Standards such as miniUSB or microUSB have been available for quite sometime. For audio there is the 3.5mm jack. Yet manufacturers think it is a brilliant idea to provide proprietary ports, which restricts a user to cables and accessories that are exclusive to the device instead of just plugging in any old USB cable or headphones and getting the job done with minimum fuss. Nokia had been pushing its Pop-Port for quite sometime, until they eventually saw the light and adopted microUSB and 3.5mm audio jack a while back. Samsung is following suit. Sony Ericsson, LG and others are still in the dark in this respect.

Mini QWERTY keypads
 QWERTY keypads on mobile phones are miniaturized versions of the full QWERTY keyboards that we use with our computers. They are smaller and hence take a while to get used to. The keys are smaller than standard phone keypads but since you have to press one key for one character, it is preferred over the standard T9 keypads. But then somebody goes ahead and creates this: 

I fail to see the logic here. Why take something that is already so small that if made any smaller would become unusable, and then reduce it in half? If you cannot design a phone wide enough to fit a full QWERTY keypad in, why not just accept defeat and fit a standard T9 keypad, which works pretty well and is definitely better than the mini QWERTY thing? Makes no sense.

Self Portrait Mirrors 

Unless you live on a deserted island with no one around to click your pictures or just too proud to ask someone else to do it for you, you would never need this. Trust me.


Digital Zoom
I think we have said time and again that digital zoom is the poor, retarded and handicapped sibling of optical zoom and if you want to zoom, optical is the way to go. Yet mobile phone manufacturers think it is necessary to provide this useless, good-for-nothing image degrading feature in their phones. And if it wasn't crazy enough, they go ahead and boast of its presence, even bragging about the insane number of time you can ruin your picture (2X, 4X, 10 BillionX, etc).

Excessive Number of Features in Cameras 
Mobile phone photography is about point and shoot ability. It is for those times when you wouldn't be carrying your camera but wished you did. It is not supposed to have any settings beyond taking a picture and perhaps turn off when you are done. But these days mobile phone cameras have so many features that had the inventor of cameras still been alive today, he'd have a heart attack just counting them!

Apart from the standard features, there are more complex features along with the fancy stuff like face detection, smile detection, blink detection, what-the-person-had-for-breakfast detection and what not! The thing is most people hardly use these features, even if they might brag about it when they buy the phone. Remove them from their phones and they probably won't even notice it. So what is the point of adding unnecessary features and making it more complicated when there are dedicated cameras available to do that?   

100000000000000000 Megapixels camera

3 Megapixels is more than enough for anyone in a mobile phone camera. We don't need more megapixels than we know what to do with. Try improving the image quality instead for a change.

Handwriting Recognition 
A quick quiz: count the number of people you know including yourself who own a touchscreen phone and use handwriting recognition for inputting text. Chances are you haven't gone beyond the fingers of one of your hands. Except for the East Asian countries, where characters are easier drawn than typed, the rest of the world prefers to type in the words instead of writing them on the screen.

Although the idea seems very good on paper, there is a world of difference between writing with a pen or pencil on a rough surface of paper and writing with a stylus on the slippery surface of a touchscreen. The lack of friction makes even a person with the neatest handwriting write illegibly. Add to it that most handwriting software require you to draw the characters with the utmost precision, and you end up with something that you use just once after buying the phone and then stick to the on-screen keypad for future text input.

Front Video Call Cameras
Few people in the world are known to have made a video call using this feature. Fewer still in India, considering the appalling 3G coverage in our country. It is just another useless thing that manufacturers make us pay for.

Holes for Lanyard
This one isn't a big deal since even if we don't use the lanyard on our phones the holes just hide somewhere in the corner and barely bother anyone. But what I find amusing is holes for lanyard on phones that weigh as much as a small dog. Do manufacturers really think we'll carry those things around our necks?

We all cried foul when we came to know that the iPhone did not have MMS support at the time of its launch. But did anyone stop and think how many of us actually use that feature? Think about this. One MMS costs me five rupees on an Airtel connection. I can add only limited amount of content to an MMS and there is a size restriction. Why wouldn't I just send an email that does not cost anything and allows me to add any amount of data to it? Most phones these days support email and if you have a data connection on your phone to send an MMS, then you can send an email as well. I suppose phone manufacturers understand this as well, so why do they still peddle this outdated technology? 

Low Quality Headphones 
This one falls in the shameful category. It is really sad to see manufacturers who tout the music playback capabilities of their phones provide such low cost, low quality headsets with their phones. It is only Sony Ericsson that has consistently given good quality headsets with their music phones.

Of late even Nokia has started including some good quality stuff with some of their phones. Rest all supply those nasty Made in China crap that you wouldn't even give your kids to listen to, leave alone use yourself. What this means is that if you care about audio quality, you most certainly would need to spend on an additional pair of earphones/headphones.  


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Seven Security Improvements in Window 7

Windows 7 does come with a lot of eye-candy, but the beauty is not just skin deep. This new OS has got some enhancements in the security features and here is a list.

Spanking new Action Center

You can access the various security configurations in Vista by opening Security Center in Control Panel, but Windows 7 has done away with this in favour of a new Action Center. Here, you have security configurations as well as options for administrative tasks such as Backup, Troubleshooting And Diagnostics and Windows Update - everything at one place.

UAC with better malware protection

Ever since User Account Control (UAC) introduced in Vista, people have been complaining about how finicky it is because it keeps asking for permissions. UAC was designed to provide better protection from malware. Not just standard users, it bothers even administrator accounts when you need to do something requiring admin privileges. The only solution for users was to turn it off completely, which results in exposure to potential threats.
While UAC is still very much present in Windows 7, it can now be configured by the user at four different levels, which decide how bothersome it would be. The four settings are:

  • Always notify when programs try to install software or make any changes to computer settings, or if you try to make changes to Windows settings (UAC completely ON).
  • Notify when programs make changes but not if you make changes to Windows settings (this is the default).
  • Notify you only when programs make changes but do not dim the desktop (turn off Secure Desktop) while the UAC prompt is displayed. (This would be preferred by most users as it is a good balance of protection and nagging UAC prompts)
  • Never notify you. (Not recommended, as it is the same as turning UAC completely off.)
These settings can be adjusted by means of a slider.

AppLocker - Control your applications

To prevent people from running certain applications that may pose a security threat, XP and Vista had Software Restriction Policies, which can be configured by the administrator. This was a bit difficult to use for many people and was therefore not used much. Windows 7 comes with a new feature known as AppLocker, which does exactly the same thing, but it is easier to use and is more flexible to control. AppLocker can be used with domain Group Policies or on the local machine with Local Security Policy snap-in. You can see it in the left pane of the Application Control Policies node snap-in. Please note that old Software Restriction Policies is also still supported in Windows 7.

Natively supported Biometric security

One of the best known methods of security authentication is biometrics, which includes the use of fingerprint scans, retinal scan, or other physiological features unique to the user to determine his/her identity. Windows 7 comes with built-in support for fingerprint readers. While you may point that Windows did have this feature earlier, and even Windows XP laptops came with such a feature, they did require a third party application to be installed to achieve this. In case of Windows 7, there is native support for this, so you do not need to install any driver or software. You can configure fingerprint readers in the Biometric Devices applet in the Control Panel.

Improved BitLocker

While Vista did come with BitLocker, it allowed you to encrypt only the drive on which the OS was present, and after SP1 came, it would allow you to encrypt other fixed drives as well. But in Windows 7, you can use BitLocker to encrypt even your removable drives. This is a great feature since it is the removable drives that are likely to get lost or stolen than your fixed hard drive. Therefore, an  encryption of this kind is warranted, especially if there is important data on the drive.

To access BitLocker, all you need to do is open the BitLocker applet in Control Panel, pick the drive you want to encrypt and click Turn On BitLocker. Better still, you can even right-click on the drive icon in Windows Explorer and do this. The removable drive then appears in a section called BitLocker To Go.

PowerShell v2 - Powerful UNIX-like scripting

Windows PowerShell is a tool to automate tasks using cmdlets (commands that perform single tasks) and scripts made up of multiple cmdlets to perform complex and multi-step tasks. It is essentially a powerful UNIX-like command-line shell interface and scripting tool, as can be seen in the figure, and is for those with a penchant for programming. While this tool can be downloaded and run in Windows XP or Vista, it comes bundled with Windows 7. PowerShell v2, which is the newer version that comes in Windows 7, has an additional 240 new cmdlets and new APIs. It also has features such as the ability to invoke PowerShell scripts and cmdlets even on a remote computer. It also lets you manage various Group Policy security settings. PowerShell is considered very powerful because the cmdlets method requires fewer steps than using the GUI method.


Another nifty new feature of Windows 7 is DirectAccess. This feature allows remote users to connect securely to their corporate networks over the internet without using a VPN. The administrator can apply Group Policy settings and manage the mobile computers or even update them whenever the mobile machines are connected to the internet. The user need not be logged in on these machines for this. Multifactor authentication with smart cards is also supported by DirectAccess and it uses IPv6 over IPsec to encrypt the traffic. This feature is available only in Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows Server 2008 R2.