Dual SIM Variant of HTC One Launched in China

HTC One is currently the flagship device of the company in 2013 launched back in February. The device is one of the best made in terms of build quality and performance it even gives proper competition to the all time famous Apple iPhone which is known for its supreme build quality and performance.

HTCONESilver_Left_BIG

HTC One is available in some countries while some are still waiting to get the device like India meanwhile HTC launched the Dual SIM variant of the device in China.  The phone also has support for micro SD card slot along with removable back. Phone is available in three variants such as 802w, 802t and 802d. The reason for this Dual SIM variant with exceptional support for micro SD card and removable back is that the country has high demand in this category and HTC surely don’t want to lose this share of market. All other features in the device remain same as in with Global version expect that Chinese version running on TD-SCDMA network.

To remind you guys of the features it runs on Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7GHz which is also released this year only along with Snapdragon 200,400 and 800. It has Adreno 320GPU for intensive gaming. Phone has 4.7 inches Super LCD3 1080P capacitive display. It comes in 32GB and 64GB variants each with 2GB RAM. Phone has new 4 Ultra Pixel camera and 2.1 Mega Pixel 1080P front facing shooter. It has IR blaster along with all other usual stuff such as Bluetooth, WI-FI, NFC.

Using Google Chrome – Think again!

google-chrome-hacked

As most of the internet users, I am a heavy Chrome user while surfing the world of internet. But while this surfing I came along an interesting news from MWR Labs which work in security research activities. They demonstrated a full sandbox bypass exploit against the latest stable version of the Google Chrome browser at the annual Pwn2Own competition at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver. The researchers from MWR labs showed their hack which took a fully patched version of Google Chrome browser, hacked it, and then took control of Windows 7. They explained:

By visiting a malicious webpage, it was possible to exploit a vulnerability which allowed us to gain code execution in the context of the sandboxed renderer process. We also used a kernel vulnerability in the underlying operating system in order to gain elevated privileges and to execute arbitrary commands outside of the sandbox with system privileges.

According to MWR InfoSecurity managing director Ian Shaw:

The reason Chrome was chosen as the target for the demonstration is to encourage understanding, as a security breach of this nature could expose millions of users to serious risk.

MWR Labs decided to share the holes with the vendors so that they can be patched and didn’t provide specifics on the code it exploited to take control over Windows 7.

So, here is an opportunity for you to exploit Google Chrome browser vulnerability if you can, before they fix it in upcoming updates.

Source: http://labs.mwrinfosecurity.com/blog/2013/03/06/pwn2own-at-cansecwest-2013/

Facebook Working On #Hashtags!

There was a time when Facebook and Twitter were two separate entities in social media world. Facebook, the personal space to share with friend and family while Twitter was the domain for real-time ‘news’ and discussion along with the opportunity to follow celebrities. As the world rely more and more on mobile devices for internet access, the two social media giants starts rubbing shoulders with each other to get bigger piece of mobile advertisement pie.

Hashtag

The #rumour has it:

According to WSJ, Facebook is now working on a hashtag feature similar to Twitter. People who do not know, hashtag is sort of highlighter in tweets where you can put emphasis on a particular word by placing a ‘#’ before it. This also allows users to use it as a tag to search in real-time for all the tweets containing this hashtag. You can think of these hashtags as a ‘keyword search’.

Google Plus has also incorporated the hashtag feature even since its beginning. Facebook has been avoiding it for long. But the introduction of Graph Search has shown that Facebook has few arrows (even if borrowed from somewhere else)  in its quiver. Facebook has announced that it will start including statuses and posts as well in the Graph Search. Keeping that in mind, it is quite viable that Facebook will start including hashtags for keyword specific Graph Search.

What’s the fuss?

It’s all about moolah. By means of hashtags, Twitter provides a real good way to see the tweets in real-time and thus gets advertisers more focused on advertising on current/real-time moments. Also, as hashtags emphasize on certain keywords, it will help in a more accurate targeting for advertising.

Facebook has been copying Twitter features for a long time

It;s not the first time that Facebook has copied something from Twitter. Facebook started copying Twitter’s feature around two years back when it introduced the feature of “subscribe” on the line of ‘follow’ of Twitter. Later  Gradually it also introduced the feature of tagging anyone (person or page) in comments and status by using ‘@’ before the name. Twitter users know very well the use of ‘@’ to ‘mention’ (read, tag) anyone in a tweet.

I have felt the need of hashtags for a long time. The news of Facebook hashtags is a welcome sign. Though it won’t be coming any time soon, it still is a positive change. By the way that makes me thinking if hashtags were first used by Apple instead of Twitter, how many lawsuits would have we seen?

Windows Blue To Succeed Windows 8!

It’s not even a year since Windows 8 has been released and rumours are doing the round that its successor codenamed ‘Windows Blue’ might be shipped by the middle of this year. This indeed is weird keeping in mind that Microsoft has termed Windows 8 a ‘success’ despite many people switching back to Windows 7 (not sure if someone went back to Vista).

Windows Blue Logo

Where did it start?

The report was first leaked with a official Microsoft job announcement (link removed from the site now) that sighted an experience engineer. The job description read as:

Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.

Microsoft declined to comment on it and thus neither denied it nor accepted it.

Is it really a new OS?

As reported by  Win8China the new Windows Blue is a major update to Windows 8 rather than a full fledged system. In other words, it could be termed as Service Pack to Windows 8. But no confirmation has come to whether the Windows 8 will renamed to Windows Blue after wards or not. As speculation goes, it should be free for current Windows 8 users.

Features of Windows Blue:

Windows Blue is supposed to have the following features to provide improvements on Windows 8:

  • A better search for online contents such as Windows app, fully integrated with Bing (gauche! Kill me please).
  • Built on new Kernel
  • Equipped with Internet Explorer 11 (like I’m gonna use it)
  • Will support smaller (6-8 inches) touch devices. This could be for Surface Mini.
  • Will be faster and consume less power (I don’t trust it)
  • Better integration of apps to Windows environment

I sincerely hope Windows Blue to be an improvement on Windows 8 rather than reminding us of Blue from the notorious Blue Screen Of Death. The news about Windows Blue has at least proved one thing, Windows OS are good in alternate version only. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the curios case of Windows OS (Courtesy: 9Gag):

Windows OS Funny

Facebook To Replace Your VoIP Provider? May Be In Near Future!

Facebook has been experimenting a lot lately. A multi-billions dollar company should not be content with what it has, should it? Last month Facebook started the voice messaging for its iOS Messenger app. Today it has brought voice calling option in its main iOS app. Now users in US and Canada have option to call their online Facebook friends in the main Facebook app.

What is this voice call?

You can see this option when you tap on a friend’s name. If he/she is online, you can do a voice chat from your phone by clicking on the “free call” button. Of course it will cost you more data charges. No, you cannot call a friend on his/her phone number if he/she is online. At least not now. When a user is not online, the “free call” option is greyed out.

Facebook Voice Calling
Pic courtesy: TechCrunch

Bah! Sounds more like Skype and Gtalk

Yes! This was my first reaction as well. What’s the big deal. Skype and Gtalk already has this option where you can voice as well as video chat with online users. With Skype, you can also call on a friend’s phone number (using Skype credits) if he/she is not online. So what’s the fuzz about Facebook providing voice calling option?

Tip of the Zucker…oops…iceberg!

Look at the bigger picture. It could be just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook may be (and it should be) planning to roll out complete voice and video chat option in its mobile app. VoIP is a growing industry and $8 Bn selling price of Skype is a confirmation. Facebook is a social network with over a 1 billion people worldwide. It is the de facto standard in social media industry.

With the rise of smartphones, a huge population has their contacts synced with Facebook. What do you see here? An immense opportunity to utilize them for a VoIP project. After all if you have calling options straight in Facebook, why would you go and search for the same friend in Skype or Gtalk?

With its messenger service for SMS it already has reduced the phone bills for many. And with the calling option, it surely is going to reduce it further. What is your opinion on it? Will it be a hit or a miss?

Give Birth To A Baby After 9 Months From Today, Get A Free Crib From Ikea

Australian mates! Try a bit harder while having sex this valentine and don’t use any protection for you could win a $99 worth crib for your baby born on 14th November 2013 (exactly after 9 months from today). No kidding! This is the Valentine’s gift from Ikea, world’s largest furniture retailer. Ikea Australia advertised this in newspapers:

ikea offer free cirb for babies

It reads the following:

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, IKEA is offering parents-to-be a free cot if your baby is born on November 14, 2013. Limit of one cot per baby. Proof of birth must be provided. Voucher must be presented to redeem offer. Delivery not included.

Check the last line of the advertisement. Delivery (neither for product’s nor for the baby’s :P) charges are not included. Quite obvious. Many people may argue that there is no certainty that a baby will be born in exactly nine months. Right! But here is the thing, IKEA doesn’t care when you made out and when you conceived. If you are so much interested in it, just keep this cutting of newspaper if you are remotely hopeful of ‘achieving’ parenthood on 14th November.

And no, I don’t know any such offers on diapers.

Minecraft Available For Free On Raspberry Pi

Minecraft Raspberry Pi Edition LogoThe legendary $25 micro computer Raspberry Pi has another feather in its cap, Minecraft. One of the most talked about geek games of recent times, Minecraft is now available for free to download in Raspberry Pi app store which is called Pi Store. Minecraft for Raspberry Pi was announced back in December when it was available for free in beta version but it was never mentioned that it will be free even in the final version.

Liz Upton of Raspberry Pi today announced the arrival of Minecraft on Raspberry Pi official blog and thanked Mojang, the creator of Minecraft, for their effort:

Thanks to all at Mojang for all the work you’ve done on this, and greetings to those of you who are coming to the Raspberry Pi platform to play this new edition – we’re really happy to be able to welcome all you Minecrafters to the Pi family!

Minecraft Raspberry Pi Edition

Earlier, Owen wrote on the official Mojang blog:

You might remember us mentioning Minecraft: Pi Edition a few months ago. It’s a free version of Minecraft that will run on the Raspberry Pi – a credit card-sized computer that can help you learn to program in an accessible, fun way. They’re cheap and relatively easy to set up.

So if you for any reason thought that Raspberry Pi sucks, you have one more positive point to buy Raspberry Pi, especially when it has announced free RAM upgrade on all Raspberry Pi.

Ubuntu Phone OS- All that you wanted to know about it

Joining the band wagon of innovators to the “post-PC era”, Canonical has come up with its mobile version OS “Ubuntu Phone OS” which is specifically designed for smartphones.

Alex Williams of TechCrunch stressed on the downside of entering late to the market:

Even if the new Ubuntu Phone OS that Canonical launched today looks pretty, it still is late and oddly tied to the desktop

Ubuntu_for_phones

However, as Mr Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical (parent company of Ubuntu), believes:

…we have the great fortune to be coming to market late, in the sense that Moore’s Law has given us at least seven or eight generations of performance improvements since Android came to market and we’ve been able to take advantage of that

What is “Ubuntu Phone OS” anyway?

The mobile version of Ubuntu OS, a Linux-based open source software, is currently built on the existing Android kernel and drivers that supports both ARM and x86 processors. This Phone OS promises to use “the full power of the phone” providing rich and innovative features which “I believe” are by far the most user-friendly features provided by any other Operating Systems for smart phones.

With little adaptation, Ubuntu Phone OS can be compatible enough to run on Android phones.

Features designed to beat the competition and why you should take Ubuntu Phone OS seriously:

  1. Kernel level security promised along with all the security features of Unix making it best suitable for enterprise audience.
  2. Easy to use and instant access to important windows without having to return to home makes it user-friendly for potential common man wanting to get hands-on smooth smart phone interface.
  3. The whole world is brought at your finger tips by providing information and content not just on your phone but also from the web when you search for music or other such stuff. When searched for people, it brings up all the emails and contact information that matches with the query.
  4. Automatically load your photos as you click to your personal cloud account which you can sink to your various other devices including iOS, Windows or Android.
  5. If you are an artistic person or somebody who feel the need for personalized information on your phone screen then Ubuntu has it for you. The welcome screen keeps you updated with a lot of your personal information such as tweets, messages, etc.
  6. I instantly fell in love with this feature of being able to reply to all my emails, messages, social media conversations and more all in one place as when they drop in without having to switch from mails to my Twitter account to my Facebook app and even get your call information in the same place. That’s incredible.
  7. Thumb gestures enabled from all four edges of the screen allow users to find content and switch between apps faster as compared to other phones.
  8. The great new left edge swipe (short) gives you instant access to your favorite apps that are used routinely.
  9. Full screen swipe from left-to-right reveals your open apps in the form of tabs and a full screen right-to-left swipe will open up the last app you were using. Yet another swipe will take you to the app opened before that. Switching between open apps too easy to believe, isn’t it? You bet! Perfectly designed for multitasking freaks, right?
  10. One bottom swipe will get you all the app controls which unlike other Operating Systems do not eat up your screen all the time.

Ubuntu_for_smartPhones-300x146

Is it a threat to the existing iOS, Android or Windows 8?

Well, the only constraint I believe is getting people to shift from their current smart phones especially the iPhone users since they would have already invested a huge amount to buy the device. It surely is the first OS after iOS to bring in great new features without being just another Operating System (read as “copied cheap OS version!”). Surely the time set to release the range of devices is end of Dec 2013 or early 2014 and this could be one the draw backs making people wait a little too long.

As quoted by ZDNet, Jane Silber, CEO Canonical said:

“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability.”

Now that is indeed some power which enables work to flow seamlessly with a hand-held device.

Seriously, after browsing through some of these signature features added in Ubuntu Phone OS, no kidding! It ought to bag its place in the market. Agreed, it would definitely be a struggle to get people shifting from their iOS or Android phones mostly because of the purchased apps stocked from Apple’s app store or Google Play. But then it’s just another face of the game and there are people who love to try new features.

Do really think the Ubuntu team should bite their nails for coming up with this awesome Phone OS?

Google’s Million Dollar Question: Can you hack Chrome?

The question is, in a sense, worth Million Dollar. Can you hack chrome?

Google is offering huge prizes at CanSecWest security conference to the participants who can hack its popular web browser Google Chrome. While Internet Explorer and Apple Safari has always been easy targets in hacking conferences earlier, Chrome was the virgin no one tried to screw with.

This time Google is offering prizes worth $1 Million in total for the participants to find vulnerability and exploits in Chrome. According to official Chromium blog,

The aim of our sponsorship is simple: we have a big learning opportunity when we receive full end-to-end exploits. Not only can we fix the bugs, but by studying the vulnerability and exploit techniques we can enhance our mitigations, automated testing, and sandboxing. This enables us to better protect our users.

The prizes are:

$60,000 – “Full Chrome exploit”: Chrome / Win7 local OS user account persistence using only bugs in Chrome itself.
$40,000 – “Partial Chrome exploit”: Chrome / Win7 local OS user account persistence using at least one bug in Chrome itself, plus other bugs. For example, a WebKit bug combined with a Windows sandbox bug.
$20,000 – “Consolation reward, Flash / Windows / other”: Chrome / Win7 local OS user account persistence that does not use bugs in Chrome.

Nice moves Google. I wish you to be hacked big times. :P