Category Archives: Latest technology News

This category is about latest technology news and happenings across the globe

Is Kindle Fire really good? Can it beat iPad in popularity?

Yes and yes, it can. Amazon has launched a new tablet, Kindle Fire. It is a hybrid and portable device which has features of both an ebook reader and an Android tablet. Basically it is giving you the best of both worlds. Be honest and think what do you use iPad for? Watching movies, reading books etc? Let us be real. Not many of us are jet setting executives who use the Apple tablet for video conferencing calls.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire

Amozon Kindle Fire Review

Amazon is the first company to recognize this and has given us a product which gives us exactly what we want. Yes, Kindle Fire keeps us entertained. You can read thousands of books, watch movies, listen to songs, play games and download apps. You can also access internet and check your mails and Facebook. And all this at a price you would not believe. Kindle Fire is priced at just 199$. Compare this with the price of cheapest iPad. To be fair, it lacks features like camera, microphone and GPS because of its low price. But I can live with that. It has a 7 inch wide display with a screen quality which is exceptional for the price.  It has a web browser, Amazon Silk, which gives good speed. It has Wi-Fi internet connection.  It is powered by 1GHz processor which is fast and efficient.

Kindle Fire uses a heavily modified custom version of Android, Android 2.3, which is basically for phones. You can use the Android app store to download popular apps like Zulu, Pandora and Netflix etc. Yes, you can play Angry Birds on this. You can read thousands of books available on Kindle library. Amazon has an enviable collection of more than 17 millions of songs which you can listen to using your tablet.  You can read your favourite magazines in color. I am sorry if this has started sounding like an ad for Kindle tablet, but I am smitten by it. Yes, it was love at first sight. On a serious note though (because it’s a review), THE Amazon tablet has two cons. First it has only 8 GB of memory, which is, alas, not expandable. But fear not thee kindle fire lovers, because Amazon has offered free digital content storage on Amazon Cloud. Its second irritating lack of feature is no 3G wireless connection. But it has Wi-Fi. As I getting a neat 300$ discount, I will adjust a little bit and though the lack of 3G connection pains me but I will live. Kindle Fire is totally worth your money.

Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 – just Better than Average!

During 2009, when the Microsoft Security Essentials came into play, many were amazed by the simple, ease of use UI (user Interface), but for its lethargic scanning speed. The problem is still persisting on the latest released Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 as well. The capability still is comparatively low, when compared to other latest anti-virus software(s)’s ability to detect malware.

The Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 looks better designed with its ease of use UI. The installation is uncomplicated and easy, but it does check if the Windows copy is original along the process. When the installation is done and when opened, you will see an apt welcome message on its home screen. The screen has 4 tabs namely: Home, to display status info, scan options, and update button to keep your virus database updated; Update: to check if all the components are up to date or not; History: the scan logs and the details of malware removed in the past; Settings: to setup the setting of the MSE 1.0.

MSE 1.0 has a red/yellow/green colour code status bar at the top of the window (common feature in many antivirus) that shows your current protection status and the Home tab give you more info on the computer’s protection details.

Microsoft Security Essentials is considered as only to be moderate among other antivirus software, when considering the malware detection process using a standard scanner based detecting methods (that works with the help of malware database), thus detecting a reasonable 92.7 % of samples only. This is actually the 2nd best score for a free antivirus software (whereas, Internet Security Premium free from Comodo detected 92.4 % samples), whereas the best products were able to detect more than 99 % samples.

Security Essentials has achieved a less score during test when on detecting original, active malware attacks. During real time attack testing, it fully blocked 64 % of attacks and partially blocked another 8 % of the attacks. None of the other free antivirus software(s) were capable of fully blocking all attacks, except for Comodo’s Internet Security Premium that achieved 96 % complete blocking score.

Security Essentials was able to detect all attacks on PC test and removed all live infected parts 70 % of time (average score of all products). Security Essentials were able to remove 50 % of infections (best among others).

Considering the on-demand scan test for manual scanning 4.5 GB data, it took 3 min and 24 sec for Security Essentials (2nd slowest). Avira AntiVir Personal was the top in completing the test in 87 seconds. Considering the on-access scan test used for scanning opened files or saved files, Security Essentials completed the scan in 5 min, 41 sec (2 min slower than the best one).

The influence of Security Essentials on startup times is 1 sec more, but other scans’ scores were better than average.

Microsoft has better the threat detection and removal capability in its next update for Security Essentials for it to have at least a chance to compete against its competitors.

Top 10 Free Windows Backup Software

Having a Best Free Windows Backup Software to back up data is an essential task that all PC users must follow. Unfortunately most users do not follow it. Hardware Failures like hard disk crashing, damaged CD / DVD, PC Malware, Human carelessness are some common causes that could lead to data loss on your PC, whereas a worst problem would be to format the hard disk unintentionally.

Below are the Top 10 free windows backup software that you can use to back up your data to avoid any data loss.

Windows backup Software

Cobian Backup

Open Source Backup Software

Corbian Backup is a Local / Remote backup supporting software used for personalized backup for free. Developers are continuously working on it to produce more and more features for it. It provides differential, incremental and full backup, file compressing service like 7 Zip format and strong encryption to provide security for data.

DeltaCopy

It is Open Source Windows Backup software that deals with incremental backups, single click restore feature. Task scheduler, and email notifications. Authentication, Scheduling, Connecting to rsybc Daemons and SSH tunneling and connection through hostname or IP are notable significant options.

It works like a client server model. Several servers might be running server version on them to manage backup data, whereas the client version on computers will regularly backup their data to the dedicated servers.

Cucku Backup

Referred to as Social Backup, Cucku Backup provides backup locally or to your friend’s PC. It takes care of backup automatically and provides constant and full backups. The encryption algorithm makes it impossible for backup partners to view names or contents of files being backed up, to ensure integrity and security. It can work both on Networked PCs or high bandwidth Internet connections.

Backup Maker

It has 2 modes for amateurs and professional users namely, Stand and Expert. Backup Maker provides partial and full backups, remote and local backups, execution of backups at some intervals or actions like USB detection, Startup or Shutdown of the PC, etc.

Ace Backup

Ace Backup is a wonderful free backup product that offers multi versioning, local and remote backups, file encryption and compression.

Microsoft SyncToy

Microsoft provides SyncToy for Windows OS as a freeware. It is used to synchronize data between PCs. This product provides 5 kind of sync options that could be used to select from, along with the a preview of the option you want to select.

Mozy

Mozy offers backup service online for client using Mas OS X or Windows NT PCs. Registered members can get 2 GB for data backup. When signed up with USD 4.95, you can get unlimited backup storage. Expert mode allows you to select files that are to be backed up.

Personal Backup

Personal Backup provides professional users with options to do file filtering for remote and local backup, log file generation, file encryption and compression, and status reports.

Allways Sync

Allways Sync provides file sync by offering backups for local drive or network or the internet. It is available as portable or setup version that would work on single or multiple systems.

Comodo Backup

Comodo Backup provides a free backup to backup to local PC to disks, networked PCs, FTP server and storage media, compression, incremental and multi session backups, and data recovery. Backups could be scheduled and will notify when its done.

DriveImage XML

It is a Drive Imaging Software to fully backup hard disk and to partition to other disk. Volume Shadow Service provides runtime backups and later can be restored from Windows or during boot up.

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Google Chrome 8 Overview

The internet world is now vibrant about the Google Chrome OS and Chrome Web Store from the last week, whereas the Search Engine Giant Google is targeting its main Chrome product: Google Chrome 8 browser.

Google Chrome 8 Browser

On Thursday Afternoon, Google said about the release of Google Chrome 8.0.552.215 on its Chrome Official Blog. This update comes with lots of new things and betterments that would provide good foundation for the future.

New Features in Google Chrome 8:

What are the new features? It has got many new features, but most of them are under cover. Google Chrome 8 will be more stable than its predecessors, as it had nearly 800 bug fixes. Along with additional features, the security related patches make Google Chrome 8 highly stable.

In-Built PDF Viewer was one of the noticeable features that developers were working on for many months. Marc Pawlinger, the Chromium Engineering Director said that ‘the in-built PDF Viewer will help the browser “render PDF files as easy as it does for HTML web pages”, even without the need to install the Adobe Reader standalone. The PDF files are placed in the Sandbox and then rendered, which will allow the PDF files to be kept isolated and will not distress the performance or security of other parts of the browser or system.

Bright and Big Future for Google Chrome 8:

Lot of advantageous changes on Chrome 8 might not be usable at once. According to developers, this new version will be the first browser to get the full support of Chrome Web store that is yet to be released and might be released really soon. This Web Store from Chrome will provide series of both paid and free web related apps that are developed to suite the Chrome 8 browser and its Chrome OS (in development phase) especially.

When considering Chrome OS, it is just few days away from being released in a grand fashion. Last week, a Google VP engineer in an interview to the NYT (New York Times) said that ‘Chrome Operating System running netbooks will be released by the end of this 2010’. Last summer, during the Google Chrome OS’s preview, Google said the OS will provide bare bones, browsing like interface that would be working fully on the Cloud related apps. Chrome Os and Android OS, both being from the same industry, will actually be varying in their workings and its targeted device types.

Just considering the standard Chrome Browser, Google will now apply their sandbox technique to Flash Player from Adobe as its next project. Just like the working of PDF technology, it will let the Flash contents to be placed isolated, in order to provide better performance, stability and safety.

Google and its Browser Market Share

Google working harder on Chrome and all its steps are achieving success. From the recent reports, November month is regarded as Google’s successful month, when considering browser market share. The growth of the market share was from 5.6 % before November to 9.3 % after that. It is the 2nd best gain for single month by any web browser, so far.

Go to settings on your Chrome Browser and click ‘About Google Chrome’, you will be updated automatically.

Google Launched Google Voice in India: Free calls to US and Canada

Finally, after their testing in US and Canada, Google has launched Google voice in India. The best thing is calls to US and Canada are free up to the end of December 2010.

Google voice allows you to call mobile phones or landlines direct from your browser. To open Google voice log into your Google Account and open chat

How to Use Google Voice India

There you will see a “Call Phone” button. Hit this button and it will show you Google voice privacy policy policy page. Accept the policy and then you will find a cool Google voice pop up at the right side of your browser.

Google Voice India

Google Voice charges

Google is offering special tariff for their first month. In the month of December, people can call US and Canada absolutely free. Google is currently charging 6 cents per minute for calls to India, which is relatively cheap than other mobile operators. You can view detail of rates here

Enjoy using Google Voice India and call to your relatives in US and Canada for free.

Skype – Facebook Video Chat Integration!

Skype and Facebook are going hand in hand to provide an integration of the Skype’s Video Chat function on FaceBook. Skype has confirmed its integration plan with the Facebook Social Networking Website, Last month. There was speculation on this Facebook Skype integration plan, even before the formal announcement was made.

Facebook Chat Skype Integration

But thought, it has not yet been released for service on Facebook. Tal Ater, the Facebook App Developer from Facebook has re-lightened this speculation surrounding the plan by referring to the “Video Chat” object to be used on the Facebook code.

Due to this Skype – Facebook integration, the code used would represent several Skype’s own properties and Skype user Ids. Tal Ater said that this Skype Video Chat feature from Facebook is being tested by a group of Facebook people. In most cases, the test has resulted in failure of the code to appear every time when the page is refreshed or reloaded.

It is expected that with the Skype – Facebook integration, a tab will be present on the Facebook that can be used by the members to SMS, Chat, or Call other Facebook member on Skype. All the Facebook members are hoping for the integration feature to arrive and it’s not going to take more time. Actually speaking, the Facebook code linking to the Skype user Ids, it virtually mean that FB is trying to establish their own Video Chat feature that lets FB members to allow Video Chat with their Skype Contacts as well.

In short, this Skype – Integration feature lets you to import your Skype Contacts on to your Facebook and the Facebook’s Contacts on to your Skype. This provides a bridge between the Social networking and the communication and messaging systems.

Some snippets of codes were released online by a coder. The code apparently searches either for Skype Kit SDK presence or the support for ActiveX in IE browser. The last part is the headless installation option of Skype, a means for S/W and H/W designers to utilize the basic Skype audio and video call functionality in their applications and systems, without the need to make use of a regular standalone Skype client and UI.

This act of Facebook bringing Video Chat is an effort to build a fault free robust communication and synchronization among different environmental platform. You can also make a guess out of this; Facebook might try to add a Video Chat mix across different service providers or at least the Skype integration for now. From the past, during May ’09, we come to know that Facebook has tested with a similar kind of codes. But, Facebook has commented that it was just a testing made on that kind of feature and it has got no plans to launch it soon for their members. The only FAQ for now on the Skype – Facebook integration looks more like “When”, rather than “If”.

Fascinatingly, Skype launched FB wall supportability on its newest release, recently named Skype v5.0 that pulls in the FB news feed in a way for members to post comments, updates or statuses.

iSlate: A ‘Pad’ for Indian kids

Though the distribution of iPad in Mumbai seems less, scientist from Singapore are trying to design a low cost, less power consuming Tablet that can be charged directly from sun’s energy, and especially for those kids living in countryside areas. Rice University and NTU (Nanyang Technological University) from Singapore are manufacturing low power consuming electronic notepad referred to as iSlate. These electronic notepad are aimed at helping hundred million Indian kids studying in schools that are still without electricity facilities.

The leading effort taker to replace the old handheld slates with these modern iSlates, Rich University’s Krishna Palem said “The economic potential of India can be balanced only by these affordable, low priced technologies that suit all people”.

The iSlate is being developed at NTU by the ISAID (Institute of Sustainable and Applied Info Dynamics). The first model of the iSlate has been developed by a team consisting of 3 UG students from Rice University, and now they are gearing up for the 2nd round of test in India by the end of November.

This device is a series of electronic tablets that are built with a new idea of green, power stingy microchips that are low power consuming, said Palem.

The ISAID partnering with Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology from Switzerland are developing these chips that are responsible for making the iSlate to work on solar energy, just like a calculator’s solar panels. The iSlate has been under test during the summer and were tested by shcoll students near Hyderabad at the start of Aug month.

ViDAL, a non profit firm in Hyderabad worked with ISAID in order to test the prototypes in a drought prone village that is present 110 km southwest of Hyderabad, named Mohd Hussainpalli. The ViDAL’s President Rajeswari Pingali said, “Village school students are just like the other students found in rest of the world, as they want to learn, tech sense and want to use educational facilities to keep their mind engaged. The iSlate is sure to bring the advantages of technology onto several village schools in a way to enhance the learning experience”.

Shelby Reinhardt and Lauren Pemberton from Rice University worked on the first iSlate app, mathematics teaching app, for over 10 weeks. During Aug, along with Vincent Mooney and Pingali, they conducted a campaign to find how much a class of 10 to 13 aged kids loved the tlablet.

Reinhardt said, “Lot of kids had not used a PC or played a Game before, so we aren’t sure of their reaction to this device”. Pemberton said, “They quickly got hold of this technology, but they did not understand some thing like button placement and love to scratch some last minute designed pad apps”.

Pingalis said, “Some kids pointed out that the stylus was thin but was writing thicker on the pad and it would be better if the stylus in thicker and writer thinner on screen”.

Su Guaning, the NTU President said, “This green electronic notepad work on less power, even from solar energy gives a bright future for all the poor communities”.

Top 5 ultraportable laptops

Nowadays, Laptops had been considered as one of the important requirement for college going students and business people. The higher the configuration or the specifics you want, the more will be the weight of the laptop. If you are a person who would take your laptop everywhere you go and depend on your laptop for all the work you do, it is best to use these ultraportable laptops. These ultraportable laptops are low in weight from as low as 1.3 kg to as high as 2 kg, easily portable, fit into your ordinary bags and still powerful and efficient laptops. Let us see the top 5 ultra portable laptops that you can buy.

Top Ultra Portable Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 13

These laptops are larger MacBook Pro Models that consists of a unibody design. These MacBook Pro from Apple are 13” inch laptops featuring 2.66 GHz or a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo Intel Pentium processor, 320 GB or 250 GB Hard Disk, 4GB RAM, Nvidia 320M Graphics, DVD Writer combo slots, all in one aluminium shell that weighs just 2 Kg only. The price of this Apple MacBook Pro 13 is from Rs. 60,000 onwards.

Dell Vostro 13

The Vosto 13 from Dell can be regarded as the graceful and light weighted design. These laptops are available at weights as low as 1.3 Kg and are made of distinctive pivot design with strong metal hinges. The lowest specifics that you can get from Vostro 13 is Core 2 Duo Intel Pentium processors, 500 GB Hard Disks, 2 GB RAM, a web cam, but does not feature a DVD writer. The price of these Dell Vostro 13 starts from Rs. 40, 000.

HP ProBook 4320s

The ProBook 4320s laptops from HP, features a screen size of 13.3” inches with a polished aluminium covering and weights only 2 Kg, is a value for your money. The specifications of the ProBook 4320s consists of Core i3 Intel Pentium processors, HDMI output port, 500 GB Hard Disk, 3 GB RAM, spill resistant keyboard, a dual layer Light Scribe DVD writer, a Webcam and pre installed Windows 7 Professional Operating System. The HP ProBook 4320s are available from Rs 45,000 onwards.

Lenovo Thinkpad X100E

In reality, when we consider business related machines, the ThinkPad from Lenovo is continuously evolving. The ThinkPad X100E laptops from Lenovo features an 11.6” inches LCD display and weighs only 1.5 Kg. These Lenovo laptops consist of spill resistant keyboard, multi touch TrackPad and TrackPoint, 3 USB ports and a webcam. The Lenovo laptops are known for its low priced laptops and these ultra portable laptops are available at Rs. 28,700.

Sony Vaio Z Series

Vaio Z series laptops from Sony are made up of sheathe of aluminium and a carbon fibre lid. The Vaio Z series consists of 13.1” inch display screen that feature either Core i3 or Core i5 Pentium processors and a solid state drive. The major factor here is the on the fly switchable graphics technology, you can switch between integrated Graphics and the Nvidia 330M, with just a flick. Sony is known for its high price and thus these ultra portable Vaio Z series laptops are available from Rs. 1,09,900 onwards.

Card 2.0 : Time for advanced Credit/Debit Card

Citibank will starts testing an innovative new device called “Card 2.0” for credit card and debit card which securely links several accounts by next month.

Last month in Silicon Valley this innovative credit card shawls the show at the demo start-up conference. The card consists of embedded buttons and graphic displays. This card thin and flexible as a normal credit and debit card.

What is new in Card 2.0?

This card goes beyond the “credit or debit” cards to give you more. It allows the users to choose between 2 buttons on the card at register. One button allows the users pay with the reward points and the other button allows the user to pay with credit. The person who has these cards can pay with reward points that they have in the card.

What is it named as Card 2.0?

This Card is named as 2G (it is the second generation which is similar to the name which are given for the mobile gadgets); each one consists a chip and battery with about 4 yrs of life.

According to the reports, since May the Citi’s employees have been testing 2G cards and the bank is planning to roll the cards out to the customers in the mid 2011 or by late 2011. Some cardholders will be chosen by Citi to start using 2G card now.

Citi’s Dividend Platinum selected the MasterCard and its Premier Pass Elite, the both rewards-focused cards; this will be the 1st to be offered as the 2G cards.

The technology that is used in this Card 2.0 will be combining both the credit accounts and debit accounts enabling the card issuer to remotely neutralize the card, rewriting the card’s magnetic strips and turning it into a hopeless piece of plastic. The card 2G expects to radically lower down the efficiency of card robbery, lessening the amount of fake charges for which Citi is responsible.

Jeff Mullen is Chief executive officer of Dynamics, Inc., the company behind the cards. He said to The New York Times that the Citi’s 2G cards were just at the baby steps, saying, “We’re just scraping the surface with what these cards can play with these first products… We’re trying to be the novelty arm of an industry that has never had one.

Citi is hopeful the attraction of a ground-breaking product will draw customers that may otherwise have taken their card business elsewhere, giving Citi an aggressive advantage in a competitive market.

With more and more payment choices presenting themselves each day – and several experts are viewing this mobile devices as the payment method of the future – Citi is taking the steps to stay on the technology front position with the card 2.0. I think this card will be making a big revolution in the credit card system. We will have to wait and see how these flashy cards will play around this world in the future.

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