Digit February 2010 by sourabha9

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                                 A different beat
                                                    hen Team Digit sat down this       didn’t like their identity questioned, because
                                                    month to create the issue          they found it insulting or embarrassing.
                                                    you’re holding in your hands,          Why would I be embarrassed or insulted if
                                                    we actually had a very regular,    someone took the trouble to secure a transac-
                                 run-of-the-mill security issue planned. We were       tion on my credit card? However, a quick poll
                                 thinking PC security all along, and the more we       of friends later, I’ve found that this is, sadly,
                                 talked about the stories we’d cover, the less we      true. If we can accept frisking in airports as a
                                 liked our own ideas.                                  necessary means to safeguard our lives, why
                                     Finally, we decided to go out and get some        can’t we apply the same logic everywhere else?
                                 more real-world stories, and write a report or            The first step we can all do is change our-
                                 two. Over the past fortnight or so, the Digit Team    selves. I suggest you start by pointing out when
                                 has been out on the town. We searched for and         cashiers don’t check your signature. Also, before
                                 found unsecured Wi-Fi connections, then rang          you leave, tell them that you will have to recon-
       Robert Sovereign-Smith    doorbells and told people about them. We’ve           sider shopping there in the future, as they don’t
                        Editor   gone out and shopped using credit cards that          seem to care about their customers’ security.
                                 aren’t ours, and then signed ridiculous names         That ought to get them to consider checking sig-
                                 on the purchase slips, just to see if we’d get away   natures, at least for the next few people in line.
                                 with it. We decided to look at everyday life, and         If you come across an unsecured Wi-Fi con-
                                 find security flaws in the technology we use.           nection in your building, follow signal strength,
                                     I actually had a friend ask me, “Why?”. He        ring a door bell and help your neighbours secure
                                 was referring to the effort the team was putting      themselves.
                                 in to do all this. Could we really change any-            We just have to lead by example, and march
                                 thing? Would malls really start training their        to a different beat. Four or five Digit employees
  “Four or five Digit             cashiers to do even cursory checks on credit          may not be able to do much, but four or fi ve
employees may not                card signatures just because Digit decided to         lakh Digit readers and your friends, will make
                                 buy a few things with fake signatures? Would          a difference. Trust me.
be able to do much,              all Indians magically start caring about securing         On a different note, we also decided to try
but four or five lakh             their wireless routers, or even know how to, just     and make Digit more interactive this month,
   Digit readers and             because of an article in Digit?                       with our Crack the Code contest (details on page
   friends will make                 Sadly, the answer is no.                          109), and since a lot of us are pixel art fans, we
                                     However, if dreamers let reality and inertia      figured what better way than to start the game
       a difference!”            get in the way of trying, the world would still       from the cover itself, with clues hidden in a pixel
                                 be rubbing flint together to start a fire, taking       art cover. Our design team worked overtime
                                 shelter under a rock somewhere in Africa. Per-        this month adding in all the little details we
                                 sonally, I’d rather dream and try to make a dif-      demanded — we hope you like it.
                                 ference, than sit around and crib about what’s            I hope to get feedback from you on this issue
                                 wrong with the world. I’m pretty sure you want        — about the cover, the thoughts on this page,
                                 to do the same, but where and how do we start?        and all the stories within — so write in to the
                                     One huge difference that I think we can all       email address below, or use one of the other
                                 make is to be a little more patient and under-        interaction points and share your experiences
                                 standing. I’ve noticed people being restless          and ideas with the team and me.
                                 when waiting to pay a bill, or when we’re in line
                                 waiting to be frisked when we enter a mall. One
                                 cashier that I confronted, when he didn’t check
                                 my credit card signature actually felt that people                                      editor@thinkdigit.com

                                                                                                          Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 1
                                                                        February 2010 • Volume 10 • Issue 02
                                                                                                                                       PRODUCTS REVIEWED THIS MONTH

                                                                                                                                     Security suite .................. 38
                                                                                                                                     AVG Internet Security 9.0
                                                                                                                                     Comodo Internet Security 2010
                                                                                                                                     eScan Internet Security Suite 10
                                                                                                                                     F-Secure Internet Security 2010
                                                                                                                                     K7 TotalSecurity 10
  Managing Director                                                    Production and Logistics                                      Norton Internet Security 2010
  Dr Pramath Raj Sinha                                                 Sr. GM - Operations                                           Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2010
  Printer and Publisher                                                Shivshankar Hiremath

  Kanak Ghosh                                                          Production Executive Vilas Mhatre
                                                                       Logistics M P Singh, Mohd. Ansari,                            External storage ............. 60
  Publishing Director
                                                                       Shashi Shekhar Singh                                          A-DATA Nobility NH92
  Asheesh Gupta
                                                                                                                                     Buffalo Drive Station HD HX 1.0TU3-AP
                                                                       Sales and Marketing
  Editorial                                                                                                                          Buffalo Mini Station HD-PX 320/BK-AP
                                                                       VP Naveen Chand Singh
                                                                       Product Manager Navneet Miglani
                                                                                                                                     Iomega eGo RPHD-TG
  Robert Sovereign-Smith
                                                                       Manager - Product Marketing                                   Iomega Prestige LPHD-UP
  Editor-at-large and Online Architect
                                                                       Chandan Kumar Singh                                           Seagate FreeAgent ST310005FDA2E1-RK
  Ahmed Shaikh
                                                                       Assistant Brand Manager                                       Seagate FreeAgent Go ST905003 FAA2E1-RK
  Head - Copy Desk
                                                                       Arpita Ganguli
  Nash David                                                                                                                         Transcend StoreJet 25M TS500GSJ25M
                                                                       Co-ordinator, Scheduling,
  Writers Aditya Madanapalle,                                          Deepak Sharma                                                 WD MyBook Elite WDBAAH0010HCH-NESN
  Siddharth Parwatay                                                                                                                 WD MyBook Studio WDBAAJ0010HSL-NESN
                                                                       Circulation and Subscription — Sales                          WD MyPassport Elite WDBAAC5000ARD-NESN
  Test Centre                                                          Co-ordinator Vijay Mhatre
  Mgr - Test Development and Sourcing                                                                                                WD MyPassport Essential SE
                                                                       Customer Service Prerana Panchal,
  Michael Browne                                                       Vrushali Londhe, Poornima Tendulkar                               WDBABM7500ABK
  Mgr - Testing and Processes                                                                                                        WD MyPassport Essential
  Rossi Fernandes                                                      Customer Service (Helpdesk)                                       WDBAAA5000ABK-NESN
  Trainee Reviewer Nimish Sawant                                       +91-22-4078 9612/13/14

  Multimedia                                                           Head Office: Editorial, Marketing                             Netbooks ........................ 66
  Project Head Robert Sovereign-Smith                                  and Customer Service                                          Acer 532H-2Bb
  Content Head Aditya Madanapalle                                      Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt. Ltd
                                                                                                                                     ASUS Eee PC 1201HA
                                                                       C/o KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30,
                                                                       Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station),                         BenQ Joybook Lite U121 Eco
                                                                       Navi Mumbai 400 703                                           Gateway LT2002I
  Sr Creative Director Jayan Narayanan
                                                                       Phone: +91-22-4078 9666
  Art Director Binesh Sreedharan                                                                                                     HCL Mileap MH06
                                                                       Fax: +91-22-4078 9540,
  Associate Art Director Anil VK                                                                                                     MSI U130
                                                                       +91-22-4078 9640
  Lead Designer Vijay Padaya                                                                                                         Olive Zipbook x107h
  Manager Design Chander Shekhar                                       Cover design
                                                                                                                                     Zenith Z Book Dock
  Sr Visualisers PC Anoop,                                             PC Anoop and Anil T
  Santosh Kushwaha
  Sr Designers TR Prashanth, Anil T,                                                                                                 Bazaar .............................. 72
  NV Baiju                                                                                                                           ASUS Radeon EAH5850
  Sr. Photographer Jiten Gandhi                                                                                                      Belkin n52te
                                   The Digit Community Advisory Council                                                              Cowon iAudio E2
        Ejaz Ashraf                              Natraj Kadur                              Anuvrat Parashar                          Epson Stylus Office T30
        Mayur Gaikwad                            Rohan Mathew                              Dipankar Saha                             EPSON STYLUS TX210
        Bhuveneshwar Gupta                       Amitabh Mishra                            Dilip Sanghvi                             Gigabyte MIB T3140
        Prashant Joshi                           Abhineet Mittal                           Suvra Sarkar                              HTC Hero
        Romin Joshi                              Dev Mukerjee                              Arun Sriraman                             Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P80
 Disclaimer                                                                                                                          Olive Zipbook x107h
 For every Digit contest, there will be only one winner, unless specified otherwise.
 In the event of a dispute, the Editor’s decision shall be final.                                                                    Panache Smile PC T1610
                                                                                                                                     Sony Ericsson Yari
                                                                                                                                     Synology Disk Station DS410j
   Printed and Published by Kanak Ghosh, for Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt. Ltd. C/o KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near
   Sanpada Railway Station), Navi Mumbai 400 703                                                                                     XFX HD5970 Black Edition
   Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur, C/o KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station), Navi Mumbai 400 703
   Printed at Silverpoint Press Pvt. Ltd, Plot No. A, 403, MIDC, TTC Industrial Area,Mahape, Navi Mumbai 400709

2 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
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Interact with Team Digit

    Digit India                  SMS Join DigitIndia                      Digit Club
twitter.com/digitindia                to 567678                          alturl.com/rznc

        Digit                              Digit                             Digit
facebook.com/digitindia               youtube.com/digit               thinkdigit.com/forum

                                                                                                        Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 3
                               FEBRUARY 2010                          VOLUME 10 \ ISSUE 02

             Industry Connect
             Mood of the Community
             Enrepreneurship watch

024 Mobile Watch
             Web Watch

    Drool Maal
             DIY: iPod without iTunes

054 SCI TECH the Skies
    Reaching Out to
             How stuff works

    Tips and Tricks

    Agent 001
             Killer Rigs
             Price Watch                        032

104 ESC
             Office 2010 worth it?
             Developer corner
                                                  STORAGEin the
                                                  External storage options
             Reel Vs Real
             Valentine Gifts
             Community                                          market get benchmarked
             Consumer Protection

             Digit 101

 TRIED                                     &
  TESTED                                       072
                                               HTC HERO
                                               Is this the
                                                                             074                      075
                                                                             XFX HD5970 BLACK EDITION BELKIN N52TE
                                               iPhone killer?                The one to rule them all   Quivering palm

4 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                         IG TO
                                                                                                                                           IT 5
                                                                                                                                               S SCRI8
                                                                    ON THE DVD

                                                                    Tools                               Entertainment
                                                                    FREEWARE ONLY APPLICATIONS FOR A    Movies
                                                                    BETTER DESKTOP EXPERIENCE           • The man who knew too much
                                                                                                        • The night of the living dead
                                                                    • Avast! Professional Edition       Trailers
                                                                    • AVG Internet Security 9.0         • Alice in Wonderland
                                                                    • Avira Premium Security Suite 9    • Furry Vengeance
                                                                    • F-Secure Internet Security 2010   • Harry Potter 7
                                                                    • G Data InternetSecurity 2010      • Ironman 2
                                                                    • Kaspersky Internet Security       • Knight and Day
                                                                    • Norton Internet Security 2010     • Marmaduke
 048                                                                • Trendmicro Internet Security      • Robin Hood

 Drool Maal                                          PLUS
                                                                    • K7 TotalSecurity 9.8              • Shrek Forever After

                                                                    Internet                            Operating Systems
 All the must have gizmos to take with you when            RK       • WeatherBug 7.0.2                  Penetration testing
 you go travelling                                                  • AnyClient 2.0                     distros
                                                                    • Video Snooper
                                                                    • Inspic 2.5.2
012 Mood of the community                                           • BitComet 1.17
                                                                    • Sparknotes Downloader 1.6.1
          What does the technology community have on its mind?      • GigaTribe 3.00.020
                                                                    • Mipony 1.0.3

050 DIY:              iPod sans iTunes                              • TweetDraw 1.2
                                                                    • Writemonkey 0.9.6                 • BackTrack 4
          How to live with an iPod, without using iTunes            • SkyDrive Explorer 1.4             • Frenzy 1.2
                                                                    • TVTrigger 1.2.5
                                                                    • Darq Software Transmute 1.66      Gaming
                                                                    Internet                            • Avatar Demo
                                                                    • SmoothDraw 3.2.4                  • GREED Demo
                                                                    • Altarsoft Photo Editor 1.5        • Kino Demo
                                                                    • Photo Slideshow-ShowMe 2.0
 014                                 051                            • GIMP 2.6.8
                                                                    • TwistedBrush Open Studio 16.11    • Battlefield 2 1.41
                                                                    • FotoSketcher 1.95                 • Dragon Age 1.02A

Buzz                               F1 Cars                          • WPanorama 9.4.2
                                                                    • Falco Auto Image 4.2
                                                                                                        • Far Cry 2 1.03
                                                                                                        • PES 2010 1.02
                                                                                                        • Wolfenstein 1.2
We bring you all the trends to hit We bring to you all the tech     • Fresh View 7.86
CES 2010                           that goes into designing the     • PhotoFiltre 6.4.0
                                   aerodynamic F1 cars              • Quick Slideshow Creator 1.1       Drivers
                                                                    • On-screen Ruler          LATEST NVIDIA AND ATI GRAPHIC CARD

                                                                    • Merge 2.1                         DRIVERS
              FREEWARE, VIDEOS,                                     Operating Systems
              MUSIC, GAMES AND
                                      CONTENTS LISTED
                                                                    OPERATING SYSTEMS FOR YOUR
                                      ALONG THE SIDE

                                                                    • Easypeasy 1.5
                             077                                    • gOS Space 12.2.6
077                          EPSON STYLUS                           • Jolicloud PreBeta
COWON                        TX210                                  • Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10
iAUDIO E2                     An all-round good                     • XPud 0.9.2                                            inside
Screenless marvel            all-in-one!

                                                                                                        Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 5
                                                        Industry Connect                                                  Mood of the community
       Enter                                   08       We feature AVG and Appin technologies - companies
                                                        involved in the business of online security                  12   We asked and you answered. Here’s what the digit
                                                                                                                          community thinks of the future

u I am a new fan of Digit magazine.
I picked up my first Digit copy this
December and was amazed to see the
fantastic world of Digit. The issue was
great and the four DVDs were an added
incentive. Tips and Tricks on Windows 7
was really useful, as I am a new Windows
7 user. Now I am searching for the back
issues of Digit.
    I want to build my career in animation
and produce some really breathtaking
CGI animated movies. So, I really want to
say a big thank you for packing in “Fast
Track to Maya” with Digit January 2010
    It helped me a lot to learn the basic
concepts of 3D modeling and animation.
The Maya 2010 software on the DVD
was like an icing on the cake. Maya 2010
tutorials videos made it easier for me to
learn the software.
    Thanks once again and keep on
teaching more about animation. All of                                                                                 ence, the introduction of Fast Track gave
you are really doing a great job.                               The GeForce 9600GT is a good GPU to consider.         my knowledge a further boost. I always
                                 Banti Debnath               The card should just about run on the 250W PSU.          keep every copy of Digit and Fast Track in
                                                             Just make sure you have a 6-pin PCI-E power              case someone else needs them.
   You will find the back issues of Digit in the              connector on it. The GeForce 9400GT and 8400GS                My subscription ends next month. I
January Playware DVD. Fast Track to Maya was a               are entry-level graphics solutions for HTPCs and         can’t renew as I’ll be joining Infosys on
very popular demand made on our forums at www.               for very basic gaming. There have been so many           29th March, 2010 in Mysore. I’ll really
thinkdigit.com/forum. Join in to make your own               games. Start with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,          miss my favourite magazine for sometime
requests, and interact with other members of the             Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age, Assassin’s            till I’m placed post-training.
Digit community.                                             Creed, Borderlands and Fallout 3. If you are looking          Finally, I want to thank the Digit Team
                                                Rossi        forward to games in 2010, check out Aditya’s             for providing us all with quality content
                                                             article on page 114 in this issue. Also, check out       and helping us keep up with the fast-
u Six months back I bought an                                the security suite comparison review this issue.         paced tech-world over the years. I’ll be
upgraded ACER PC having following                            There are several free suites you can find in this        looking forward to an unbeatable innings
configurations Processor: Dual core                           month’s DVD.                                             with you soon.
E5300@2.6GHz, Motherboard: Intel                                                                             Rossi                                   Dibyendu Mondal
DG41RQI, RAM: Kingston 2 GB DDR2,
SMPS: 250Watt, LG CD Writer & LG                             u I got my first desktop way back in the                  u I have been an avid reader of Digit since
DVD Writer, HDD: Seaget 40GB &                               late nineties. Back then I used to buy                   I was in Class 5. Now I am in class 11. It has
320GB.                                                       Digit from my newspaper vendor and                       been a great experience to learn and grow
    Which graphic card suits my configu-                      sometimes from magazine stalls since I                   with Digit over the years and I would like
ration?                                                      never felt the need to collect every issue.              to wish you all the best for the future.
    NVIDIA 8400GS 512MB, 9400GT                              I was more interested in the contents                       One main thing that Digit has taught
512MB or 9400GI 1GB, were suggestions                        of the CDs as there was no broadband                     me is the curiosity for computer knowl-
by my service guy                                            then. With time I became more and more                   edge. As a result, I started experimenting
    What about the SMPS? Is it sufficient                     addicted to your esteemed magazine and                   and in the process learnt many new
for the Graphic Card? Could you please                       finally realised that it was not possible                 things. However, most of them have
suggest some good games for the above                        to miss even a single issue and ended up
configuration. Also I don’t have internet                     subscribing.                                               CRACK THE CODE
connection so could you please suggest                           Every test, review, problem solutions,
                                                                                                                        Subtract 12x this page number from
some free antivirus software for my                          tips and tricks is brilliant. They have                    the page number you came from, to get
system?                                                      always helped me in some way or the                        the page number of the next clue...
                              Ivan Fernandes                 other. Being a student of Computer Sci-

6 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                            Buzz - CES special
                                                    14      Emerging product trends and a few
                                                            informed predictions                                                                               Inbox

already been discussed by Digit. But this                                                 LETTER OF THE MONTH
                                                      u Did you know that I may be one of the                the best for having taken an old fellow
one, Digit hasn’t mentioned so far and for            oldest subscribers of Digit? That’s right,             like me on the journey. An old fellow who
a change, I am going it to share it with you          I’ve been a reader of the magazine from                can compete with any youngsters. I am
guys rather than the other way round.                 Day One. Now here’s another surprise - I               also a childhood photographer and artist.
                                                      am aged 76 and a graphic designer! So                  But for Digit I cannot be what I am now.
    Well, this trick is harmless and a                                                                       Thank you.
                                                      I may very well be the oldest subscriber
great practical joke if executed prop-                in the literal sense too. I am into graphic                                          Vidhasagar
erly. It works on Windows XP only.                    designing just for the love of the art,
First, while the computer boots, go                   and not so much for the money. If and
                                                      when some one approaches me I just do                  Thank you sir, for your kind words. Your
to the BIOS setup. Then, go to power
                                                      it for the love of it. I now know about 11             story should be an inspiration to all of us.
management and find the ACPI option.                  applications thoroughly. All on my own.                It’s always good to know of sprightly senior
There, disable the ‘ACPI’ features, save              Digit helped me a lot in this technical
                                                                                                             citizens who aren’t intimidated by tech.
the changes and restart your system.                  navigation. I don’t have words to say any
                                                      thing to Digit except to say wish you all                                                           Robert
Watch the fun. Windows won’t load.
The computer will keep booting itself
but Windows won’t load into the                          You seem to be paying a lot of attention to the     thrill of inspiration. Thanks for sharing
memory. Now, if you again ‘enable’                   magazine. You will have a great headstart for what      your anecdote with us. In that editorial,
the features which you previously                    is in store for you this month. Keep the feedback       you’ve mentioned about mIRC client.
disabled, your computer will breathe                 about Digit TV coming in, we are trying to improve      Please provide more details on mIRC in
life again and everything will be back               the overall audio quality and the presentation as       forthcoming issues as internet relay chat
to normal. To a layman, or the local                 well. Let us know what you think of episode 04 in       is the most promising online media for
computer dealer it will appear as a                  this month’s Playware DVD.                              social communication now.
system crash and he will be at his wit’s                                                            Aditya       The January issue contents and
end trying to solve the problem which                                                                        articles were exhaustive and very useful.
he dosen’t even understand. Great                    u I’m from West Bengal. I have been                     Glad to see that you have minimized
trick, isn’t it?                                     reading Digit for the past four months. I               product reviews to a limit and given
    I would like to thank Digit for my               have a few questions.                                   more emphasis on feature articles. An IT
newly discovered trick. Thanks a lot                 1) What is an HD Movie?                                 security and hacking related issue is still
guys! It’s a great magazine and keep up              2) What is its extension ?                              awaited. Recently I read in the news that 1
the good work!                                       3) What is the ideal resolution for a 15                Mbps broadband web access a legal right
                                     Anish Pal       inch LCD monitor while playing games?                   in Finland and countries like France,
                                                     4) What is the extension of a game                      Estonia, Greece are on the same road
  Keep tinkering! But don’t get too naughty.         trailer?                                                map. But still India, being a developing
                                           Robert       I would love to have some audio                      country, is in its infancy as far as internet
                                                     enhancers in the DVD as I am a huge                     speeds go which is a matter of worry.
u Well a very Happy New Year to all                  music enthusiast.                                           People now-a-days use the online
of you first. Digit always surprises me                                                 Sushanta             media to facilitate most important and
with its innovation and dedication.                                                                          useful transactions. Internet is the
Every issue is better than the previous                 The HD in HD movie stands for high-definition.        gateway to future. But still our ISPs claim
one. I have no idea how you guys do it.              HD video content is usually high-resolution. So         that broadband is a scarce resource.
    But you know nothing is perfect.                 while a DVD movie would be 720x480, HD movie                Digit, the leading tech magazine,
There was an improvement in audio                    resolutions go up to 1920x1080 (also known              should present this matter of worries to
quality of Digit TV, though it could                 as 1080p/i). HD file extensions are named by             the Indian government and bring about
have been much better. Why don’t you                 containers they use. AVI, MOV, HDMOV, WMV,              an internet revolution in the country.
use those costly handy cams to review?               and MP4 are some of the common formats used.                                        Biswa Ranjan Nayak
They might work better.                              The ideal resolution on a 15-inch is 1024x768 or
    Please add a little humor to Digit TV            1152x864 if your monitor supports it with a refresh         Thanks for writing. IRC is unfortunately, not
presentations. People on screen seem                 rate of over 60Hz. Game trailers are just movies so     the “most promising online media for social com-
like robots sans expression / emotions /             they can be .mp4 or .avi, etc. Not sure what you        munication.” Newfangled services such as Twitter
feelings. They should smile more often.              mean by audio enhancers but you should look             and Facebook have that distinction. You will really
Maybe some good looking with better                  at DSP effects we provided with the DVD in the          like this issue, which specifically addresses the
on screen talent should do it. The DVD               December 2009 issue.                                    security issues in modern technology. You could
interface needs some renovations as its                                                             Rossi    also follow the latest happenings in technology
looking repetitive. I would like to sign off         u Another inspirational note from you                   and stay updated by following Digit on these social
by saying that you guys are the best.                -”If Yan Can Cook .....” I’ve read it at least          media platforms.
                                    VR Deepak        15-20 times and each time I feel a new                                                                 Robert

                                                                                                                             Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 7
                                               Spam Volumes                                           Password woes
                                               According to a latest ENISA report, less than          Most users keep default passwords or ultra simple ones, says
                                               5 per cent of mail is actually delivered to            security vendor Imperva after analysing 32 million passwords
Industry Connect                               mail boxes. 95 per cent is simply spam                 that emerged from the recent rockyou.com breach

Backdoor to AVG
We spoke to Gareth Williams (VP-Sales, Emerging Markets, AVG) and Karel
Obluk (CTO, AVG) and got a feel of where we stand in terms of security
preparedness and what to expect in the future. Here are excerpts
  What are the potential threats
expected in the near future?

  Gareth: It can be safely predicted that
in 2010 the threat environment will
witness higher volumes of web-threats
and be even more transient, agile and
organised! Internet security threats that
we expect to have significant impact this
year would be more diverse automati-
cally generated malware. Cyber criminals
in the cloud, and emerging nations going
online without adequate security
measures will be a matter of concern.

  What measures should one take to
avoid being attacked?

   Gareth: It’s necessary to use multi-lay-
ered protection beyond traditional                         Gareth Williams (VP-Sales, Emerging Markets, AVG) and Karel Obluk (CTO, AVG)
anti-virus solutions. An anti-virus engine
combined with real-time web scanning                       for exploits on web pages, rather than the                How does one make a career in this
and a good behaviour layer will ensure that                actual payload, we believe that we offer a              field (technology)?
businesses are protected from so many                      very advanced protection even against
attack code variations every day.                          new, so called 0-day threats.                              Gareth: Of course there are several
Cyber-security, however, foremost is a                                                                             different areas in the technology industry,
personal responsibility. Employing basic                      Cloud computing is one of the latest                 some highly technical and some more
hygiene measures will keep cyber-crimi-                    trends online in recent times. Do you                   commercially oriented. Whatever the
nals at bay. The following tips are useful:                view this is a breeding ground for                      chosen direction, the most important
- Think before you link                                    infections?                                             thing is a solid and relevant education.
- Stay current on security software                                                                                Then it’s about looking for the first
- Keep your private information private                      Karel: Cloud computing definitely brings               opportunity to gain experience and to
Above all, users should make sure that                     some significant advantages especially to                prove that you can do a great job. If it’s a
they use reasonable judgement when                         small businesses, but equally to enter-                 technically oriented career then there are
operating online.                                          prises. Virtualisation techniques that are              of course several specific training options
                                                           used on these systems are very advanced                 available to increase skills and knowl-
  How do you test your anti-viruses                        and I am confident that vendors that offer               edge, but this still does not substitute for
against attacks yet to be experienced?                     various cloud computing services invest a               experience and the need to build up a
                                                           lot in proper security. However, no                     track record. So, my suggestion for
  Karel: AVG has several protection                        program is perfect and thus I expect that               someone looking to develop a technology
layers, some of them are designed                          these services will also be exploited by                career is first to complete a solid educa-
specifically to cope with new threats that                  attackers and used for distribution of                  tion, second to choose a direction that’s
have not been seen yet. Emulator and                       malicious programs and to attack other                  genuinely interesting (it’s always easier to
generic scanner based on statistical                       systems. Still, since these systems are                 do a good job if you enjoy the work), third
methods is one such layer, behavior                        usually managed very carefully by                       look out for the first opportunity to prove
monitoring that observes behavior and                      experienced admins, the likelihood of                   yourself, and fourth stay open-minded to
actions of running process is another one.                 infecting these systems is much lower than              take new or adjusted directions should
Together with LinkScanner, that scans                      for a typical home computer.                            the opportunity arise.

8 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                McAfee, Facebook tie-up
                                                Facebook and anti-virus company McAfee have joined hands to
  Industry Connect                              create awareness about security threats in social networking

  Appin Technologies
  An interaction with Mr. Rajat Khare, CEO of Appin Technologies, a company
  that offers security services as well as training for students

     Tell us something about yourself.                                                                             In the 90s, there were an increasing
  How and why was Appin Technologies                                                                            number of youth getting into hacking as
  formed?                                                                                                       a fun thing/hobby? Do you think it
     I am a guy next door who was inspired                                                                      should be encouraged, or is hacking be
  by people who changed the world                                                                               a big no-no, or has that phase passed
  Entrepreneurs. I entered IIT Delhi                                                                            already?
  Computer Science not to become just an                                                                           I think a right balance is required.
  engineer but to set the right base to                                                                         However, ethics need to be imbibed for
  launch a revolutionizing business.                                                                            using hacking to secure. It’s like saying,
  Personally, entrepreneurship is my                                                                            should nuclear technology be developed?
  passion, writing is my hobby and                                                                              The answer is Yes. Should it be used for
  adventure is my diversion. My vision is                                                                       energy production the answer is Yes.
  to make a name for myself and India in                                                                        Should it be used for destroying cities like
  the world.                                               Mr. Rajat Khare, CEO of Appin Technologies with ex   Hiroshima, the answer is No. Similar, is
      Appin stands for “approaching                        president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam                        hacking. It’s a great art if used for the
  Infinity” and was formed to make Innova-                                                                       right cause.
  tion reach infinity which means never                     about security after the November 2008
  ending and always improving. Our motive                  attacks. Also with Chinese cyber warfare               Are there any other companies training
  is to revolutionise the research of security             strategies, everyone is on their toes.               their employees in ethical hacking?
  in India and be a leading provider of                    However the private corporations are                   Yes. In fact recently a lot of our alumni
  security services / products/ training                   slow in implementing security due to                 were hired by IBM, Religare, Verizon etc.
  in India and export it in the world.                     recession but have picked up after market
                                                           improvements.                                           What is the demand of ethical hackers
     What does Appin focus on? Do you                                                                           in the country? What kind of renumera-
  provide security services as well? Tell us                  How insecure are e-commerce sites                 tion can one expect? What are the areas
  about some of your clients.                              and companies in general? Is cyber                   that are most in demand?
     Appin focuses on information and                      terrorism a threat to them?                             The demand is increasing but should
  communication security product,                             Our evaluation about this is that                 be coupled with knowledge of security.
  development, services and training. Our                  e-commerce sites in India face a lot of              Most of the ethical hackers are not
  clients include almost all defence and                   threats and have been victims of cyber               taught security. What Appin does
  paramilitary forces, policing, ministries,               terrorism and are still insecure. We need            differently is that we teach information
  PSU’s and corporations. Some of the                      to take steps of 24/7 security monitoring            security and ethical hacking together. It
  pioneer clients include the Indian Army,                 and implement anti-hacker methods to                 gives person the right perspective. A
  Navy, Air force, CBI, Ministry of External               secure them.                                         person who understands both is in
  Affairs, Delhi airport, Hyderabad airport,                                                                    high demand and one can expect
  Bangalore airports and the State Bank of                   What is the syllabus for ethical                   salaries beginning from
  India. These clients range from security                 hacking courses and what is their future?            Rs. 12,000-50,000 depending on the
  audit, security implementation, security                   Ethical hacking course covers all aspects          profile, and their background. Most
  management services/                                                   of penetration testing and             important areas are penetration testing,
  products including special               “…corporations                some aspects of exploitation           ISO 27001 implementation and
  services only provided to
  the government, and not to
                                              are slow in                over web, networks, and
                                                                         servers. The objective is to
                                                                                                                auditing, network security and
                                                                                                                managed security.
  consumers.                                implementing                 help access real security
                                              security…”                 threats, prioritize threats             CRACK THE CODE
    How serious are                                                      and counter them. A                     ‘Gender’ (Noun)
  companies and the government in India                    student typically takes the job of security           1 The state of being male or female (with
                                                                                                                   reference to social or cultural differences).
  about security today?                                    auditor/ penetration tester or security               2 The members of one or other sex.
    The government has become serious                      administrator

10 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                       HYDRA comes alive                                                             Crysis : NYC
                                                       MSI’s Big Bang Fuzion motherboards appear                                     The upcoming Crysis 2 game won’t be set in
  Mood of the community                                on online shopping sites                                                      the jungles, but instead in New York city

  M☺ d
  of the
  The year 2009 was filled with surprises and expectations. We wanted to know what
  the Digit community thought of the year to come. 2009 was going to be the year of
  broadband but it wasn’t. Would we see cheaper internet connections in the future?
  Will IPTV finally take off? You’ve given us your opinions and here are some of the
  results of the polls. For more, visit www.thinkdigit.com/d/mood_community

                                                                           UPBEAT :)

                                                                                                                                  Will we be making more online purchases in
  Which of the following will become a                            Do you think we will see better bandwidth                       India in 2010?
  disruptive technology in 2010?                                  and broadband connectivity in 2010?
                                                                                                                                    Yes, online transactions will increase significantly (52.1%)
     WiMax (33.3%)                                                  Availability should improve (1Mbps lines will be                Slightly more people will purchase online (37.2%)
     3D television sets (30.1%)                                     common) (64.4%)                                                 Online purchase will remain the same (10.6%)
     NVIDIA Fermi GPU (23.6%)                                       It will be the same as last year (25.2%)                        It will reduce next year (0%)
     Intel Larrabee GPU (9.6%)                                      Available bandwidth will increase significantly (5 Mbps
     Others (3.2%)                                                  lines will be common) (10.2%)

  Will we be playing more MMOG games like                                                                                         Where will we be playing games next year?
  Farmville and World or Warcraft, or single-                     Will WiFi usage at home proliferate in 2010?                      The latest and greatest on the PC (50.5%)
  player games like Gears of War or Half-Life?                                                                                      On a console (Xbox 360/PS3) (25.5%)
                                                                    WiFi penetration at home should marginally (56.1%)              On the mobile phone (9.4%)
    Only free MMOG games will do better (43.9%)                     I think most people will use WiFi at home (21.4%)               Through a browser (Flash based) (6.3%)
    MMOG browser-based games will be more (39.5%)                   I do not foresee any appreciable change (15.3%)                 Others (5.2%)
    MMOG games are a fad which will fade away (8.7%)                Government regulations will almost stop WiFi (5.1%)             On a handheld (PSP / DS) (3.1%)
    MMOG games are too costly to increase in mind share (7.6%)      WiFi at home should decrease given security concerns (2.0%)     On a Wii (0%)

12 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
Radeon 6000 series                                                                  PS3 hacked
Next generation of ATI’s Radeon cards expected                                      Hacker who hacked the iPhone at the age of 18
in second half of 2010                                                              claims he has hacked the Sony Playstation 3                      Mood of the community

                                               MEH :|                                                                                      VERSUS
                                                                                                                                          Google vs. Bing

 Will HDTV penetration at homes change                        Will there be a high-profile, high-quality
 significantly?                                               game from an Indian game studio next
   HDTV sets will remain too costly to change things much
                                                                 No, Indian studios will still focus on backend work                Google (88.7%)
   HDTV penetration should increase marginally (27.8%)
   With increasing content and falling prices, penetration       (50%)                                                              Bing (11.2%)
                                                                 Yes, Indian developers will shine in 2010 (32.9%)
   will increase significantly (21.6%)
   HDTV will almost become the default for everyone
   purchasing a set (14.4%)
                                                                  No, I dont think Indian studios have the necessary
                                                                  skills or talent (17%)
                                                                                                                                             CPU vs. GPU

                                           SUCKS :(
                                                                                                                                    GPU (56.1%)
                                                                                                                                    CPU (43.8%)

                                                                                                                                      Android vs. iPhone

How likely are you to access the internet              How safe will our online life be in 2010?
from your television set in 2010?
                                                         Online threats will increase exponentially next year
  Not very likely (58.8%)                                (35.6%)
  I don’t think this is even a good idea (17.7%)         Threats should be the same in 2010, no significant change
  Somewhat likely (15.8%)                                (32.1%)
  Very likely (7.4%)                                     Viruses and spam will be less of a problem next year (16%)
                                                         We should be safer in 2010 due to the online and live
                                                         protection services from big vendors (16%)
                                                                                                                                    Android (70.7%)
                                                                                                                                    iPhone (29.2%)

                                                                                                                                      Facebook vs. Orkut
                                                                What are you most
                                                             likely to buy in 2010?
                                                    Smartphone (22.7%)                   Blu-Ray Player (3.4%)
                                                    Laptop (22.7%)                       MP3 Player (3.4%)
                                                    High Capacity Storage (11.3%)        Gaming Console (2.2%)
                                                    Gaming Rig (Desktop) (6.8%)          Netbook (2.2%)
                                                    Others (6.8%)                        Camcorder (1.1%)
                                                    Digital Camera (still) (6.8%)        Photoprinter (1.1%)                        Facebook (77.5%)
                                                                                                                                    Orkut (22.4%)
                                                    High-end graphic card (5.6%)         Home theater (0%)
                                                    HDTV (3.4%)                                                                            Tweet vs. blog
                                                                                                                                    Tweet (69.6%)
                                                                                                                                    Blog (30.3%)

                                                                                                                                               Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 13
                                                                   Vacuum tubes still around!                                        Ford puts cars online
                                                                   Japan’s Air Tight showcased these vacuum tubes at
                                                                                                                                     Plug in a phone to a USB port on the new
                                                                   CES this year, for use in high-end amplifiers
        Buzz                                                                                                                         Ford cars, and they become mobile hot spots

        at CES 2010
        We bring you the winning technologies
        and top trends of CES 2010
        A farewell to                                 tive display. It works on the
        keyboards                                     Android UI. And the user gets
        The Consumer Electronics                      all this for around US $300
        Show (CES) 2010 was an even                   (Rs 15,000) Although most
        that finally saw many tech com-                of the products were on the
        panies launching the Tablet                   higher end of the price
        PCs. It was finally good to see                spectrum, Adam
        many manufacturers out with                   can be had under
        their version of the newest                   Rs. 15,000. So will
        form factor. The icing on the                 this be a game changer in
        cake being the presence of an                 the tablet PC market. Lenovo’s
        Indian tech start up among the                Ideapad UI touchscreen is a                                                                  raised. With integrated
        best names of tech world in that              concept that turned around                                                              graphics and memory
        list. With laptops, netbooks and              many heads at CES 2010 due                                                         controller on the processor,
        smartphones already offering                  to its unique form factor, which         Lenovo Ideapad UI, a netbook-tablet       netbook users can expect a
        most of the functionality                     works even when detached. It             hybrid                                    richer multimedia experience.
        expected in a tablet, it seems                is a hybrid in the sense that it             For the Tablet form factor            Keeping this in mind we take a
        there is still a gap in the market            works as a laptop and also as            to be accepted, there are two             look at the interesting Netbooks
        somewhere. Many people want                   a standalone tablet when the             schools of thought. We have               launched at CES 2010.
        the portability of a cellphone,               11.6 inch screen is separated.           convergence evangelists,                      Extremely low power con-
        but with increased computing                  As a laptop it runs on a Core            for whom smartphone with                  sumption seemed to be the USP
        power. For many others tablet                 2 Duo CULV processor with                internet capability is the ulti-          of many netbooks thanks to the
        PC may just mean glorified                     Windows 7 and has a 128 GB               mate device. But others feel              Pine Trail platform. Toshiba
        e-reader or glorified touch-                   SSD drive. But when the dis-             that the limited screen size of           Mini NB305 is loaded with
        screen smartphone. So is 2010                 play is detached, it becomes             a phone seriously hampers the             an Intel Atom N450 1.66 GHz,
        going to be the year of the tablet            a stand-alone Linux tablet               whole user experience when                1GB of RAM, 250GB of HDD.
        PC? We will look at three of the              PC with a 1 GHz Snapdragon               dealing with media playback.              It has a 10.1-inch TruBrite LED
        tablet PCs that were launched                 ARM processor having 16 GB               So a Tablet is a device that tends        backlit display with 1024×600
        at CES 2010 which created a                   flash memory. These features              to bridge that gap of portability         pixel resolution. It promises an
        lot of buzz.                                  come at a hefty price of around          and user experience. With                 11-hour battery life and has a 6
            The Adam has been devel-                  US $1,000.                               Apple slated to announce its              cell battery.
        oped by an India based startup                    ICD showcased the 15.6-              iSlate, it looks like 2010 is set             Samsung’s N series of net-
        called Notion Ink comprising                  inch Vega and a 7-inch Ultra.            to be the year of the tablets.            books namely N210 and N220
        six IITians and an MBA.                       The Vega has a 1366 x 768                                                          offer battery lives of 12 hours
        On first glance it looks like a                resistive touchscreen working            Netbooks get a                            whereas N150 and NB30 reach
        widescreen version of the iPod                on a 1 GHz nVidia Tegra T20              performance boost                         8.5 hours and 11 hours respec-
        touch. It’s based on the nVidia               chipset like the Adam. It comes          Netbooks are meant for basic              tively. They also offer support
        Tegra T20 chipset and supports                with a 32GB SSD and the con-             computing tasks but with                  for 720p graphics. Each of
        1080p Full HD video playback,                 nectivity options range from             Intel announcing the Atom                 them have a 10.1 inch screen
        has integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth               Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with optional           N450 Pine Trail platform                  and it features Easy Resolu-
        and UMTS/HSDPA and an                         3G and HDMI, a device that is            for netbooks and nettops the              tion Manager, which adjusts
        innovative Pixel Qi transflec-                 market ready.                            performance bar has been                  the screen resolution based

Samsung debuts IceTouch, a PMP with a transparent screen         The screen of the Lenovo Ideapad U1 works as a separate tablet        Microsoft says Linux won’t offer quality

      14 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                      LCD screens on headphones                                    Netbooks go a little retro
                                                      Vizio made its foray into the headphone market with a
                                                      pair of Bluetooth headphones with an LCD screen on each      Acer and Gateway announced netbooks with optical drives
                                                                                                                   bridging the gap between netbooks and notebooks
        Buzz                                          earpiece that displays album art and other images

                                                               GX640 and GX740                 Television sets to                     means that whatever device
                                                               are powered by                  get a dimensional                      you are using as a source has
                                                               i5 processor and                lift soon                              to output twice the amount of
                                                               features the ATI                Over the past year, 3D has             image information in the same
                                                               radeon HD directx               been slowly gaining ground             amount of time, as there is a dif-
                                                               11 supporting video             as a home theatre experience.          ferent image for each eye. None-
                                                               card. The Gx740                 Concert videos of U2 and Miley         theless, a few of the 3D HDTVs
                                                               has five speakers for            Cyrus were released in 3D, and         showcased at CES are market
                                                               what MSI calls “The             the year ended with the release            ready. Samsung’s wafer
                                                               ultimate 3D sound               of Avatar. At CES, 3D HDTV                              thin    (1/3rd
                                                               experience in note-             was dominating trend, with                              of an inch)
                                                               books.” They both               the biggest television manu-                           LED9000 was
                                                               will start retailing            facturers in the industry                            also quite a spec-
                                                               in UK in 2010 and               including Panasonic,                               tacle. The remote
                                                               will have a price tag           LG, Sony, Philips,                               that controls this
                                                               of £999. Dell also              Vizio, Samsung and                              device may just be the
                                                               showed its 11 inch              Toshiba, all show-                            long awaited iPhone
                                                               alienware notebook              casing 3D HDTV                              killer. You can stream
                                                               that will cost less             products.                                 videos, use Wi-Fi, and even
                                                               than $1000. It has                  The                                 watch a secondary channel on
                                                               nVidia’s GT335M                 definite                                the remote itself.
                                                               graphics and is                 showstealers                               Sharp came out with a
                                                               capable of running              amongst these The LED9000              stunner in the form of three
                                                               Crysis at 50 FPS. It            was Panasonic’s          remote        Aquos LED LCD TVs, sets that
        MSI’s Gx740 offers surround sound in Netbooks         has a battery life of            158 Inch plasma                        uses four basic pixels instead
                                                              2 hours in gaming                behemoth, a device that can            of the standard three. A yellow
        on the application running on             mode, although it goes up                    churn out video at 4K resolu-          pixel has been thrown into the
        your system.                              when the game runs at lower                  tion. 1080p resolution is 1K,          array, to give a better colour
            HP Mini 5102 went a step              levels. Sony also revealed its               and 4K is the standard at which        representation. Sony had show-
        further in the netbook seg-               Vaio F series notebook which                 the best cameras in the media          cased 3D models in CES 2009
        ment by coming out with a                 will cater to both home cinema               industry record, which is basi-        itself, and some of the sets in
        touch-enabled netbook. With               and powerful office users. It has             cally what you see in theatres.        the Bravia range is already 3D
        features like face recognition            a slick black chassis and a Full             The only heavier format around         ready. The models showcased
        for logging onto windows and              HD 16.4 inch display. It runs                is IMAX. This of course, put’s a       in the 2010 exhibit used an
        multi touch sensor, HP Mini               on Windows 7 home premium.                   lot of pressure on the consumer        OLED screen. Sony announced
        has raised the bar for netbooks.          Dell also wowed the crowd                    in terms of getting together the       that they would tie in with
        It comes with a four-cell or a            with the demonstration of its                resources necessary to                            content providers
        six-cell battery, the latter can          OLED notebook. The Studio                    feed this monster. If you                            such as Discovery
        last up to 10 hours.                      XPS has an OLED display with                                                                           channel for
            ATI also revealed the much            a depth of just 2mm. It has a
        awaited range of its Directx 11           pretty impressive contrast of
        supporting notebook graphic               10,000:1. HP also displayed
        cards. The entire announced               a concept notebook running
        range of laptop graphic cards             Android with a Qualcomm
        include ATI Mobility Radeon               processor and full 3G support.
        HD 5800, ATI Mobility Radeon                  Netbook purchases have
        HD 5700, ATI Mobility Radeon              seen a steady rise in 2009 and               got yourself a Blu-
        HD 5600 and ATI Mobility                  this growth is bound to con-                 Ray player already, there’s bad
        Radeon HD 5400 series                     tinue with more performance                  news for being an early adapter,
        graphics. MSI unveiled note-              being packed in. With tablet                 as you will need ports on it                                   Panasonic’s 3D
        books based on the Intel Cal-             PCs about to make an entry in                which are in the new HDMI                                      HD camcorder
        pella platform. The C-series              the consumer market, the battle              1.4 standard, something that
        and G-series range of laptops             for portable computing is just               supports the 3D HDTV Blu-
        use Core i5 processors. MSI’s             going to heat up.                            Ray format. 3D Blu-Ray also

for mobile devices      PrintShop sees a new version after more than 20 years      Asus announced the flamboyant Bang & Olufsen-designed ICEpower notebook            The AR. DRONE

      16 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                    High Bandwidth Routers
                                                                                    D-link announced two new Wi-Fi routers, the Touch DIR-865 is a true dual band
                                                                                    router with throughput of upto 450 Mbps while the Wireless N Pocket Router
         Buzz                                                                       minimobile router is for people on the go

         delivering 3D content to these                                                                                                      Digital Interface), which is a
         screens. DirectTV and Foxtel,                                                                                                       network of communication
         are just two providers report-                                                                                                      through which devices such
         edly getting ready to start                                                                                                         as PMPs, Camcorders, and
         broadcasting 3D in the United                                                                                                       Laptops can interface with the
         States as early as next year.                                                                                                       televisions and home theatre
             For all the movies that you                                                                                                     set ups in a home. LG, West-
         love and were never made in                                                                                                         inghouse and Celeno, all tel-
         3D, the converting boxes that                                                                                                       evision manufacturers, show-
         sprouted at CES can come to                                                                                                         cased a range of products that
         your rescue. JVC and Toshiba                                                                                                        could catch video content in
         both showcased mechanisms                                                                                                           a wireless manner. Celeno’s
         through which a normal video                                                                                                        demo installation involved a
         stream could be converted to                                                                                                        common box through which
         3D. This practically solves the               Samsung’s ebook reader                                                                media content was streamed to
         problem of 3D content creation,                                                                                                     a number of television screens
         but how well this works across                use. There are two lenses, and           was for “Mobile Professionals”,              in and around the house.
         a range of movies remains to                  two memory storage devices to            known as the Que. This is still a            Almost everyone already
         be seen. We wonder what these                 capture and record the streams.          category which has been domi-                owns an HDTV, which is why
         boxes would do with something                 Panasonic will start taking              nated by the Amazon Kindle                   the real numbers were seen
         like “The Lion King”. Some                    orders for these from April.             for long, and the entry of giants            in devices that acted as mid-
         media companies can probably                                                           in this market benefits the con-              dlemen between a source of
         do a better conversion at their               Kindle gets some                         sumer by competitive prices                  video content, as in the internet
         labs, then release the content                competition                              and greater variety.                         or a HTPC, and the television.
         on DVDs, which is something                   Though not a very popular                                                             Belkin had a range of switches
         that Sony announced it would                  category, it also had its share          Home wireless                                that could stream wireless
         get into. Sony also said that they            of limelight in this CES. It was         explores new                                 content from say a laptop, to
         could put a patch in the PS3                  started by Samsung which                 territories                                  a small attachment to the tel-
         firmware that would make the                                                            One element common to all the                evision itself. These switches
         console ready for 3D gaming, at               Why it might not happen                  major trends at CES this year,               had USB ports as well, if that
         1080p resolution at that. That is                You cannot really relax in            from 3D TVs, to tablets to the               was necessary. Belkin was
                                                          front of a television with
         double the output of the device                  those glasses on                      superphones, were the wireless               one of the few manufacturers
         in the same time, which is a                     The frame of the Television           capabilities of these devices. A             that could support 1080p
         pretty tall claim. LG rolled out                 restricts the effect of the 3D        range of wireless technologies               video streaming, the best that
                                                          The novelty is not worth the
         their Optoma range of projec-                                                          have matured, with open fre-                 most of the rest could do was
         tors, which is something for the                 Might work for gaming, but            quency radio and Wi-Fi being                 stream at either a 1080i reso-
         home cinema enthusiasts who                      not for television                    the most used. Blu-tooth and                 lution, or at 720p. Intel used a
         do not prefer screens. Unlike                    The 3D experience can be              infra red took a back seat, as               technology called WiDi (Wire-
                                                          nauseating to some
         previous 3D projectors, these                                                          they do not offer the bandwidth              less Display), to stream across
         ones source the image infor-                                                           for some of the applications.                HD content through laptops
         mation from the same lens. All                unveiled two new E-book                  Around our homes, and in                     which used their core i5 and i7
         of these technologies use the                 readers with a 6 inch and a              our pockets, we interface with               processors. Roku, Boxee and
         shutter model for the glasses,                10 inch display. Both of them            a number of devices, PMPs,                   Kula were all services that con-
         which means that the screen                   ship with a stylus to scribble           cameras, netbooks, television,               nected directly to the internet
         and the glasses have to be syn-               on the device while you read it.         and even the GPS devices in our              for video content, delivered in
         chronised. A few glassless 3D                 Sony’s had an entire line-up of          vehicles. Manufacturers have                 a range of ways. Mediaroom 2.0
         screens were around, but these                e-book readers, some of them             began to exploit the applica-                by Microsoft let’s you save mul-
         were nowhere near as effective                with touchscreens and a down-            tions of wireless technologies               timedia, stream to televisions,
         or market ready as the ones that              loadable applications. Spring            only now, and we can expect to               transfer the content wirelessly
         did use the glasses. Panasonic                also showed some innovation              see a lot of these devices com-              to PMPs, and even access the
         seems to be really intent on                  by adding a second, coloured             municating to each other using               content over the cloud if nec-
         bringing 3D to every home,                    screen for web access, to its            invisible channels.                          essary. Cydle’s Mobile TV i30
         as it even rolled out a range of              E-book reader. Plastic Logic                One buzzword that emerged                 works the other way around
         HD 3D camcorders for home                     also showed an E-book which              was WHDI (Wireless Home                      by streaming television

is a helicopter that has four blades (a quadricopter) and can be controlled by Wi-Fi from your iPod touch or the iPhone          RCA showed off their concept Airnergy capable of

       18 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                       Baby don’t cry                                                     USB fanatics see this
                                                       A new iPhone application named ‘Cry                                Silex Technology has come out with an adapter that
                                                       Trasnslator’ developed by paediatricians claims                    allows users to connect upto 15 USB devices using
         Buzz                                          to translate infants cry with 96 per cent accuracy                 Gigabit ethernet

                                                                                                    internet access. The Palm Pre          conducted by Samsung, which
                                                                                                    Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus,           says that 45 per cent consumers
                                                                                                    are two market ready phones            are more likely to buy products
                                                                                                    that can be used as Wi-Fi              from energy efficient compa-
                                                                                                    hotspots over Verizon’s 3G net-        nies (Though 60 per cent of
                                                                                                    work. The logic of receivers for       them said that it was due to
                                                                                                    televisions applies to portable        lesser strain on their wallets
                                                                                                    devices as well, and the inno-         and had nothing to do with
                                                                                                    vation has come through the            environment concern). Direct
                                                                                                    memory sticks used in devices          Energy launched a touch screen
                                                                                                    such as mobile phones, PMPs            product called Home Energy
                                                                                                    and cameras. Eye-Fi, released          Master, which has a dashboard
                                                                                                    some time before the CES,              that tells which appliances are
                                                                                                    received the international CES         using electricity, when and how
                                                                                                    innovations design and engi-           much is it costing them. It is
                                                                                                    neering award. The cards are           also programmable to allow
                                                                                                    regular memory sticks, which           user to switch off appliances
         Toshiba showcases wireless HD streaming                                                    also allow you to transfer data        during peak times, and has
                                                                                                    to computers, or upload them           support for internet access for
         content to a mobile phone over         technology into its top end                         directly to the internet. Sony’s       social networking, movies and
         Wi-Fi. Most of the technology          EOS range of dSLR cameras.                          TransferJet technology works           music. The device will be tested
         discussed so far, were ideas           The capabilities of these wire-                     on similar lines that transfers        late this year, and promises
         thrown around in the previous          less enabled cameras are pretty                     data wirelessly, as soon as the        consumers to bring down their
         CES events, but never really           useful for both the enthusiast                      host computer is detected on           monthly bill by 25 per cent.
         implemented. Toshiba has               and the professional. Photos                        a network.
         already started shipping some          at events can be remotely                                                                   CES 2011 Forecast
         of Intels WiDi laptops, but the        saved to a computer, instead of                     Green Tech at CES                           Glassless 3D: The next
         best bit is wireless spreading to      locally, which allows for faster                    Although the Copenhagen cli-                step in the evolution of
                                                                                                                                                3D television, is glassless
         some unconventional devices,           printing and distribution. In a                     mate meet didn’t do anything                3DHDTV. While this might
         for some pretty spectacular            studio environment, up to 10                        to control environment deg-                 seem a pipe dream right now,
         applications.                          cameras can be synced and                           radation, our favourite com-                adoption will be slow without
                                                                                                                                                this important factor.
             Right on top has to be Can-        fired together, allowing for                        panies look all set to embrace
                                                                                                                                                Motion Control: Gaming
         on’s incorporation of wireless         precise multiple-angle shots.                       environment-friendly and                    controllers will become more
                                                             When paired with                       energy-efficient devices. This               natural, with Microsoft’s Natal
          Wireless Keywords                                  GPS devices, the                       year has a showed us quite                  coming in, and expect some
            Amimon: Developer of HD wireless                                                                                                    innovation in this area.
                                                             location can be                        some “Green products” like
            streaming technology. Large companies                                                                                               Twitter and Facebook:
                                                             written into the                       the Sony Ericsson Hazel phone,              Hardware integration
            such as LG use Amimon modules for their
            devices.                                         EXIF data of the                       Dell OLED laptops, the next                 for Web 2.0 services will
            WHDI: A wireless high definition standard         image while it is                      generation of Tegra processor,              increase exponentially, with
            developed by a consortium including                                                                                                 the content and interaction
                                                             being saved.                           that has 8 independent proces-              available on multiple screens.
            Amimon, Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung,
                                                                 Verizon was                        sors and delivers a 10% faster              Augumented Reality:
            Sharp, Sony and LG Electronics.
            WiDi: Intel’s wireless solution for viewing      at the forefront                       performance than a smart                    We have talked about the
            HD content from a PC or a laptop                 of utilising wire-                     phone and consumes 20% less                 Sixth Sense between these
            on television, involves a receiver box                                                                                              pages, expect more of such
                                                             less technologies                      energy than a PC, among many                technology to show up at
            connected to the HDTV.
            1080p: Pure 1080 lines of image
                                                             on a larger scale.                     others. In fact, this CES has a             CES 2011. This could entirely
            information, also known as True HD,              Applications                           dedicated Sustainable Planet                be through innovations only
            is similar to the industry standard 2K           included sur-                          Area which houses more than                 at the software level.
            resolution for recording, the entire frame                                                                                          Flash memory: We can
                                                             veillance from a                       30 exhibitors. This area pro-               expect a drastic increase in
            is sent as once, which requires a higher
            bandwidth when it comes to wireless
                                                             number of cam-                         vides a chance for exhibitors               flash storage technology, and
            transmission.                                    eras, gaming,                          to display world-changing                   it’s reliability.
            1080i: Interlaced 1080 lines of image                                                                                               Wireless power: Some
                                                             and converting                         technologies which benefit the
            information, the image is sent in parts over                                                                                        prototype wireless chargers
                                                             individual mobile                      environment in any way. This                were showcased this year.
            wireless, requiring a lesser bandwidth.
            720p                                             phones into Wi-Fi                      environment-centric approach                Devices can probably charge
                                                             hotspots       for                     may be partially due to a survey            up while they surf.

converting energy in transmitted Wi-Fi signals to DC power       Twitter launches location based trending topics, which is available as a beta feature for some select locations

       20 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                Facebook goes GupShup                                      Networking overdrive
                                                Facebook users in India can now connect and share          Get to know all the options you have with
  Entrepreneur                                  using SMS GupShup’s text messaging platform                social networking in this issue

                                                           Let’s GupShup
                                                           Since 2004, the founders of SMS GupShup had
                                                           been struggling to find the right product for the
                                                           mobile platform

                                                           people’s fancy. When it was launched          the country and they didn’t just follow
                                                           in April 2007, GupShup had 100 users          the format. “We got replies of all sorts,
                                                           – mostly the family and friends of its        instead of getting the format we had
                                                           founders, Beerud Sheth and Rakesh             asked for,” recalls Sheth. The team
                                                           Mathur. “By December 2007, GupShup            was stumped but learnt an important
                                                           had a million users and was, at times,        lesson: keep things simple and don’t ask
  Beerud Sheth, Founder.                                   growing at 1 per cent a day,” says Sheth.     too many questions. Now using their
                                                               Today, the service has more than          mobile phones – and thumbs – alone,
  Pooja Kothari                                            15 million users, of which nearly two-        users can do everything: from creating a
  readersletters@thinkdigit.com                            thirds are active on a monthly basis.         group to inviting others to join, joining
                                                           It generates nearly 12-15 million mes-        an existing group, and even leaving a

             ost launch, there was no money                sages a day. “That’s 6-7 per cent of the      group. Once created, the group is a social
             for big marketing gimmicks.                   entire SMS traffic in the country,” says       networking platform for its members
             The team did not even have                    Chirag Jain, VP (India operations).           where they can share all sorts of content.
             a winning business model.                         “Initially, we focused on the smart-          The only problem was that GupShup
  However, this unique product did its                     phone market. But as we spent a couple        didn’t have much money to spend on
  own talking. It got mobile users hooked.                 of years developing that product, we real-    advertising. The company had to upgrade
  The result – in less than two years,                     ised that the market was not as developed     its infrastructure to carry more traffic and
  GupShup has a user base of 15 million                                                                  also pay telecom carriers for every SMS
  and some cool funding in its kitty.                        What you can do on GupShup                  sent by them. Revenue was scarce, so
      Rajasthan Royals, one of the eight                         Start/join a group                      word-of-mouth was the only way to grow.
  teams in the IPL cricket league, wanted                        Invite your friends to join a group         Luckily, their business model made
                                                                 Build a community
  to build a community around its fans                                                                   sense to two venture capital firms. Last
                                                                 Play teenpatti and another card game
  for the upcoming season. So, in January,                       Develop and launch a card application   September, GupShup received $11 mil-
  it signed up with SMS GupShup to                               Solicit feedback                        lion in funding – the ultimate dose of
  create RR, a group for its fans. Those                         Hold an opinion poll or survey          confidence in their business plan. And
  who join this group get to stay in touch                       Start a loyalty programme               they intend to invest more in sales and
                                                                 Send an update
  with the team, interact with the players,                                                              marketing, as well as in the product.
                                                                 Ask a program
  and even vote for its cheerleaders;                                                                    They also hope to develop a revenue
  all this through a mobile phone.                                                                       stream. “The opportunities for growth
      Similarly, when not-for-profit                        and the device capabilities were limited,”    are enormous. We have six lakh com-
  organisation PRS India wanted to use the                 says Sheth. But basic phones were the         munities across categories. We realise
  mobile platform to launch its “No crimi-                 preferred by the masses. “We turned our       that every brand can have its own com-
  nals in politics” campaign, it logged on to              focus to figuring out an interesting appli-    munity on our platform”, asserts Sheth.
  GupShup. Subscribers to its group could                  cation for lower-end devices,” adds Sheth.        In message ads, paid inteactive
  send their pin codes and get information                     That’s how GupShup came about.            services, and leasing their infrastruc-
  about local MPs with a criminal past.                    In late 2006, the prototype of SMS            ture to firms – are their main revenue
      Not to be left behind, corporate                     GupShup was tested at an IIT alumni           streams today. “We hope to break even
  India too is waking up to the potential                  event. The participants were sent a mes-      this year,” adds Sheth, confidently.
  of this new networking tool. Unique in                   sage, which required them to share the        “Monetisation takes time on a new
  its ability to deliver content “anytime,                 name of the campus they attended and          medium. Even Google, despite its rapid
  anywhere and to anyone”, GupShup                         the year of graduation. The response          growth, took a few years to figure out
  has also managed to attract firms such                    was to be sent in a specific format.           what its business model should be.”
  as Nokia, PVR Cinemas and Pepsi.                         GupShup would then tell them who else             For him, getting a loyal user base
      Its growing user base is testimony                   from their batch was in the gathering.        is the harder part. And he’s cracking
  to the fact that the product has caught                      These were the brightest minds in         that everyday: one SMS at a time.

22 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                  Laptop manufacturers all over release new                                   Intel’s Moblin operating system has support
Connections                                       netbooks following Pinetrail launch                                         for netbooks with WiMax connectivity

 Made to fit
  The search for a tailored netbook OS ends here...
  Rossi Fernandes                               ating system at all. There have               They’ve also been designed to         wouldn’t want to buy a cheap
  rossi.fernandes@thinkdigit.com                to be a few tweaks and modifi-                 keep computing really simple.         little netbook and then spend
                                                cations before that OS can be                 Google’s Chrome OS is one             a bomb on an operating system

            o you’ve bought a                   deemed usable. Netbooks were                  of the first to approach com-          that isn’t properly designed to
            brand new netbook                   designed for people using the                 puting this way.                      be used. Google’s Chrome OS
            and you’ve got Win-                 internet for browsing, chat-                      These pages should intro-         isn’t fully ready as an OS for
            dows XP Home on                     ting, downloading, etc. Quite                 duce you to some of the best          download. Some of the distri-
  it. If you chose a really cheap               a few distributions have come                 netbook operating systems             butions have been put on this
  netbook, you would have one                   up in the last few months with                available for free on the             month’s DVDs and some in
  with Linux or maybe no oper-                  cloud computing kept in mind.                 internet. Obviously, you              the past.

    Jolicloud                                                                                  Ubuntu Netbook Remix
  www.jolicloud.com                             about Jolicloud is that it’s not
  Jolicloud is one of the more                  just a cloud-based OS. Appli-
  flamboyant Linux-powered                      cations are available locally
  netbook operating systems                     and many more can be down-
  around. It’s definitely not light-             loaded with its built-in installer
  weight or compact at around                   that downloads programs for
  600MB. Something about the                    you. Web-based addons are
  interface makes it look very                  available as well – the number
  much like a very sleek phone                  of applications keeps on
  or PDA interface - fine lines,                 increasing. With these apps,                  www.canonical.com/                    tion that allows saving and
  colourful icons on a black back-              you can now open up your                      projects/ubuntu/unr                   accessing files stored on a local
  ground on a compact netbook                   Twitter and Facebook accounts                 When you first start up Ubuntu         drive than using the cloud.
  screen.                                       like you would say, Google Talk.              Netbook Remix, it’s almost like       There is however, Cloud One
      The OS can be run as a Live                   The end result is a very                  Ubuntu’s desktop but with             that you can register for. Cloud
  OS on a USB drive and also                    interactive, yet very usable                  the same layout as some of the        One is Ubuntu’s online web
  can be installed easily on a                  computing experience. The                     other netbook distros around.         space that can be used to sync
  flash drive. Performance once                  interface and way of doing                    The panels contain most of            all of your important docu-
  installed is decent – bootup and              things is simple for anyone to                what makes up the desktop             ments. This has been integrated
  loading of the user interface is              get used to. Data is still stored             Ubuntu distribution. The              well with UNR. Being Ubuntu,
  slow though. The great thing                  locally.                                      default Ubuntu theme is also          you have loads of applications
                                                                                              maintained. It feels as light or      from the repository that can be
                                                                                              heavy as the default desktop          installed. Oneof the hiccups we
                                                                                              distribution as well. Installa-       noticed was the short period
                                                                                              tion steps are also very similar.     of time where the application
                                                                                                  When you get it running,          starting runs in a window
                                                                                              you’ll notice many more set-          mode and then maximizes.
                                                                                              tings you can fool around with.           Easy     Peasy      (www.
                                                                                              Unlike Jolicloud or some of the       geteasypeasy.com) is another
                                                                                              other netbook operating sys-          Linux distribution based on
                                                                                              tems, Ubuntu Netbook Remix            Ubuntu. It’s almost identical
                                                                                              doesn’t hide away all the set-        to Ubuntu Netbook Remix but
                                                                                              tings dialog boxes – it simply        with a different theme. There
                                                                                              puts them in a format that net-       are a few additional packages in
                                                                                              book distributions have come          comparison to other operating
                                                                                              to use.                               systems. It comes with Skype
                                                                                                  This is another distribu-         and Picasa for example.

24 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  ZOTAC shows off Mini-ITX H55 and Ion                                   Acer’s Aspire One netbook runs both
  solution for new Pinetrail processors                                  Windows and Google’s mobile Android OS                                     Feature

 Moblin                                                                          gOS

                                                                               www.thinkgos.com                     tion called Netbook Launcher
www.moblin.com                            ensure you have all the width        gOS by itself looks like any         allows users to transform the
Unlike most of the other dis-             of the screen to use. The panel      other Linux distribution. The        gOS interface into the similar
tributions, Intel is the one that         gives you access to the applica-     one difference is the dock below     layout found on Ubuntu Net-
backed the Moblin project.                tions, settings and connectivity     – similar to the one found on OS     book Remix. gOS is more of a
After all, it was Intel’s Atom            options. It autohides, letting       X. All of the applications are put   cloud-computing OS than the
that drove the netbook phe-               you use the entire screen as         into shelves within this panel.      rest. For those with speedy con-
nomenon. While a lot of people            much as possible. Netbook            There are fewer desktop appli-       nections, it’s not a hurdle. For
were excited about Moblin at              users know all too well that         cations and a lot of emphasis is     those with limited bandwidth,
first because it was one of the            there isn’t a lot of it.             on web based content. A com-         surely, the rest of the distribu-
first of its kind, it’s no longer              It’s also good to see sup-       munity developed applica-            tions are worth looking at.
the case anymore. Many more               port for most netbooks – for
alternatives are available.               example, all the shortcuts the
    Still, Moblin puts up a               EeePC 1000H worked and also           Conclusion
very good fi ght. For those                the multitouch functionality!         When you keep everything in mind, there is no doubt that Jolicloud
who haven’t seen it yet, it’s             Once online, installation of          and Moblin are some of the best netbook operating systems around.
clearly one of the most unique            applications also is simple –         Ubuntu Netbook Remix feels like Ubuntu in Jolicloud clothes
looking operating systems and             simply press the Install button       and it’s the same story with Easy Peasy as well. If performance
it has no resemblance to Linux            next to the application you                and simplicity is what you want, Xpud is the netbook OS to
whatsoever. Installation to a             want. With your Twitter and                          use. Honestly though, they’re all good fun to use
flash drive is simple and once             last.fm accounts setup right,                         and I recommend everyone with a netbook to give
you boot into the OS, it’s all            your dashboard shows updates                          them all a try. All you need is a flash drive and the
very quick.                               from all your friends - it’s a                         disc ISOs. Look up this month and some of our
    A simple panel at the top             very nice experience.                                      previous DVDs to find them.

                                                                                       and space used up is         few programs that come pre-
                                                                                       unnecessary.                 installed owing to its low
                                                                                            The settings menu       download size. Multitasking
                                                                                       contains the very            between applications is a little
                                                                                       basic configuration          difficult as well.
                                                                                       programs. Data can              The number of download-
                                                                                       also be backed up            able applications isn’t very
                                                                                       and recovered from           impressive either. This is then
                                                                                       it. It’s kept very min-      a very minimalist OS for those
                                                                                       imal and you could           who are looking to browse,
www.xpud.org                              for that matter. The distro          possibly have problem with           chat and maybe watch a few
Xpud, a 64MB distro is the                loads quickly into a simple          drivers on unusual hard-             videos on YouTube every now
featherweight champion for                four menu interface. The             ware. The main menu is for           and then. It isn’t as slick as
netbooks or even desktops                 menus are basic but the size         programs and it too has very         say Jodicloud.

                                                                                                                     Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 25
                                                Two-in-one                                                                   Google squared
                                                Fly Circle, a dual-SIM handset with querty keyboard, 2.2 inch                A new service which will help in answering your search
  Mobile watch                                  QVGA display wieghing 104 grams. now avaible in India                        queries by highlighting the search results

                                                       A Superphone
                                                       without multitouch
                                                        There is a lot of hype around the Nexus One. Does it live
                                                        up to expectations?
                                                       of now Superphone just seems                        One really shocking thing              Nexus One by more than 12
                                                       like another addition to the tel-               amidst all these features is the           times whereas Apple iPhone
                                                       ecom jargon.                                    absence of multi-touch. If the             3GS had 80 times the sales
                                                            Nexus One looks like any                   Nexus has to compete with                  of Nexus One. Did it fail to
                                                       other HTC touch phone but                       the iPhone, this factor can                deliver on the insane buzz that
                                                       more like a flattened and curvy                  really make all the difference.            preceded its launch or is the
                                                       hero. A zippy 1GHz Snap-                        For the tall claims of being               Nexus One going to be a dark
                                                       dragon CPU from Qualcomm                        a Superphone, the absence                  horse and capture the market
                                                       powers the phone – a first in                    of multi-touch will sorely be              in the coming months? And by
                                                       the Android world and being a                   felt. Imagine how annoying                 how much will you be poorer to
 Google Nexus One                                      Google product Android Eclair                   it will be if you have zoom in             have this phone in your pocket?
                                                       is the operating system. It has a               and out of Google Maps, and                The dollar converted price is

             he much awaited                           large 3.7 inch AMOLED display                   no pinch gestures will work.               a sweet Rs 24,000 but by the
             and speculated                            which has a capacitive touch                    And of course you can forget               time the poor guy reaches our
             Google Phone finally                       sensor. The Nexus One come                      about multi-touch games. The               shores it’ll probably be in the
             launched on January                       with a lot of bells and whistles.               phone features a 5 MP camera               vicinity of Rs. 32,000. Only
  4th, 2010. No phone in recent                        One such feature is the Live                    with autofocus, and LED flash,              time will tell.
  public memory had generated                          wallpapers – basically, wall-                   and can capture video at up
  so much hype as the Nexus                            papers that move. Some of the                   to 720x480 resolution (DVD                 HD video capturing
  One managed to create. Nexus                         pre loaded ones are quite cool                  quality), which is quite a decent          on your cellphone
  One was the trending topic on                        actually. There’s one that has                  addition to the feature set.               The Sony Ericsson phone that
  the micro-blogging site twitter                      lines and squiggles running all                     But for the hype sur-                  was formerly called Kuraraz has
  since early December. With                           over the screen, which respond                                                             been officially named Vivaz and
  Google entering the phone                            to touch. Another shows a slow                                                             will launch by the end of the first
  market, be prepared to see                           swirling image of a galaxy, and
  some cutting edge technology                         others that show wave form
  in the cellphone. In fact Google                     visualisation of the current
  seems to be trying to create a                       track being played. Not quite
  new product category. The                            the functional feature, but still
  Nexus One is being touted as a                       fun while the novelty remains.
  Superphone. But what exactly                         If it functions the way it should,
  does a superphone mean, and                          then one of the better features
  is it really different from the                      is voice recognition, so the user
  Smartphone?                                          can call out his text message,
      A Google search on Super-                        giving rest to the thumbs.
  phone revealed results with                               As far as connectivity goes,
  Nexus One in the same line,                          Nexus packs in a punch. It                      Sony Ericsson Vivaz
  and the definition goes some-                         supports UMTS Band 1/4/8,
  thing like: a phone which has                        HSDPA 7.2 MBps, HSUPA                           rounding its launch, the Nexus
  increased computing power                            2 MBps, GSM/EDGE, WiFi,                         One has not really cracked the             quarter of 2010. It features an 8.1
  and a more evolved platform.                         AGPS and Bluetooth. It has                      sales numbers. According                   MP camera, works on a Symbian
  According to Google’s claim,                         512MB of both RAM and ROM.                      to Flurry, an analytics com-               S60 operating system with a user
  the Nexus One is as powerful                         A 4GB Micro SD card is bun-                     pany, Nexus One sold just                  interface which is quite similar
  as the laptop of an older era.                       dled along with it and expand-                  20,000 units in its first week.             to Satio. Vivaz is optimized for
  Quite a claim we must say. As                        able memory upto 32 GB.                         The Motorola Droid outsold                 HD video capturing. Though it

26 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                          LePhone                                                      YouTube goes commercial
                                                          Lenovo’s Andorid powered smartphone                          YouTube to start charging for online content starting with $5
                 Mobile watch                             will be available in a few months time                       for indie movies from Sundance Film Festival.

                             We bring you the world’s most popular apps for the world’s four
                                          most popular platforms
                                         BeeJive 3.0                                                LoseIt                                                 Shazam
                                         Its a multi client mes-                                    A popular fitness app                                   A music recognition
                                         saging service that                                        that allows you to keep                                app that is quite

                                         makes use of the push                                      track of your calorie                                  handy while listening
                                         notification feature of                                     intake, set weight loss                                to radio or any music
                                         iPhone, allowing you to                                    goals and a means to                                   source
                                         keep in touch with your                                    track them
                                         IM friends

                                  Fring                                     Handy TaskMan                                                              ShoZu
                       One of the most                                      A mobile version of                                    It lets you tag, catego-

                     popular VOIP and                                        the Windows Task                                        rize, and upload your
                          data chat app                                      Manager, this app                                     media to these popular
                    which also supports                                   lets you to check out                                          services like Flickr
                        Twitter. Besides,                                   apps running in the                                        and YouTubes in the
                       you can log into                                  background and close                                                  background
                      most chat clients                                                   them

                                        Ringdroid                                                  Google Listen                                        WaveSecure
                                        An app that allows                                         Allows you to create                                 Its an innovative secu-

                                        you to make your own                                       your personalised                                    rity app that provides
                                        ringtones by editing                                       podcast magazine and                                 complete data protec-
                                        music clips while on                                       also lets you save your                              tion and also has a
                                        the go                                                     favourite episodes to                                remote lock down and
                                                                                                   the phone’s memory                                   data backup feature in
                                                                                                   card                                                 case of lost phones.
Windows Mobile

                             Bejeweled                                              Journal Bar                                                   Viigo
                      The popular online                                  An app that puts up                                      Free, fast and easy
                      game on your cell-                                   details like weather,                                    to use RSS reader
                    phone coming in the                                 stocks, news based on                                         for your mobile
                     Relax mode for easy                               your location onto your                                         which provides
                      games and Frantic                                                  screen                                      instant access to
                         mode for timed                                                                                                blog, news and
                                 games                                                                                                     other feeds

                 may not necessarily be the first,       Moon Silver, Cosmic Black,                    Mobile Digital TV                         Mobile DTV standard provides
                 since reportedly some phones are       Galaxy Blue and Venus Ruby                    on the horizon                            for an IP stream tunneled into
                 capable of 720p capture.               with a 3.2 inch WVGA display.                 The dream of being able to                a broadcast channel. That IP
                    The phone belongs to the            It has a built-in microSD card                watch digital TV on a mobile              stream will primarily carry
                 communication and entertain-           slot with expandable 75MB of                  phone or a portable device has            MPEG-4 AVC video at 240x416
                 ment category of smartphones           internal memory.                              been pretty much a dream for              resolution with HE-AAC audio.
                 from Sony Ericsson that aims               The screen resolution of                  a long time. But going by one of          A few tests done in an initial
                 to bring together CyberShot            the phone is 360 x 640 which                  the more interesting announce-            test, were able to broadcast upto
                 and Walkman lines in one               is not quite HD yet and is still              ments at CES this time, it seems          30 miles from a tower. Now the
                 phone. Vivaz comes in a curvy          less than the Nexus one. All                  DTV is going to be a reality              technology is mature enough
                 form factor in four colours            in all this is a phone to watch.              sooner than you think. The                for implementation.

        28 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                     Microsoft plays advocate                                           Firefox personified
                                                     Worried about the future of cloud computing, Microsoft             Firefox 3.6 released, a good six months after 3.5, introduces
       Web watch                                     appeals US government to step in, enact laws                       light weight skinning with Personas, developers rejoice too

                                                                                                                                              happens wherein Google is

       Google’s red shift                                                                                                                     not able to protect sensitive
                                                                                                                                              information, they will face the
                                                                                                                                              same public ire. Maybe Google
      In a blog post with many implications, Google                                                                                           doesn’t want this kind of blood
      announced plans to review their situation in China                                                                                      on its hands. As of now Google
                                                                                                                                              continues to censor results in

                    n the 12th of Jan-                      enough of China’s interference          tion with government authori-             China, and has expressed “we
                    uary this year,                         with the beautiful anarchy that         ties. Whether China calls this            remain quite committed to
                    Google put up a                         is the internet. Enough sacri-          a bluff, is yet to be seen. What          being there”.
                    rather long and                         fices have been made to the              will happen if China doesn’t
       startling blog post about how                        freedom of information.                 blink? Is this decision truly             Sign out forever
       and why they plan to review                              In an effort to speculate                 driven by ethical compul-           Suicide is not so bad when it
       their business operations in                         on the motives and                                  sions? Or does busi-          comes to a virtual suicide. In
       China. The post announced                            implications of                                         ness have some-           fact this web service – sui-
       that Google has been the victim                      this announce-                                            thing to do with        cidemachine.org - couldn’t have
                                                                                        Love Digit?
       of a highly sophisticated and                        ment, blog-              Like Facebook?                    it. Lets look          made such a morbid subject
       targeted attack on its corpo-                        gers all over             Become a Digit fan                at some of            funnier. Their logic is pretty
                                                                                     on Facebook and win
       rate infrastructure originating                      the     world            the hottest movies of               the implica-         simple – people have started
       from China that resulted in                          are      going            2009. Head to www.                tions. China          substituting their online lives
       the theft of intellectual prop-                      on about all              thinkdigit.com/d/fan to          is one of the          with their real ones, and the
                                                                                          find out how
       erty from Google. But further                        sorts of things.                                          few markets             creators of this website don’t
       investigations revealed that                         From how this is                                        where Google              like the way things are going.
       the attack was not so much                           a blow to commu-                                    is not numero uno.            The Web 2.0 suicide machine
       to steal intellectual property                       nism to how Google is the                     The reigning king of                allows you to completely and
       assets but to gain access to                         only humanitarian corpora-              search in the land of dragons             irreversibly delete your online
       the Gmail accounts of Chinese                        tion in the world. Is the China         and emperors is Baidu, which              presence. Yes it’s real and it’s
       human rights activists. Google                       pull out a retaliation to the           commands a 60 per cent share              forever. Once you sign up and
       also announced that at least                         attack or is there something            as compared to Google’s 30 per            activate it, the web site will run
       twenty other large companies                         deeper? Google.cn has been              cent. (Baidu also was inciden-            scripts that will first change
       from a wide range of busi-                           operational since 2006, albeit          tally attacked – by the Iranian           the password to your social
       nesses including the internet,                       adhering to censorship laws             cyber army). Although 30 per              networks and will physically
       finance, technology, media and                        that the country enforced on            cent is not bird feed, it still           unfriend all contacts and physi-
       chemical sectors have been                           the company. Even back then,            seems a revenue worth loosing,            cally delete all the tweets you’ve
       similarly targeted. The attack                       Google had announced “We                when faced with intrusion                 ever made. The web site has a
       on Google resulted in only two                       will carefully monitor condi-           attacks, especially when more             funny video promo about how
       email accounts being compro-                         tions in China, including new           than half of Google’s revenues            a middle aged man opted to
       mised. While the figure seems                         laws and other restrictions on          come from outside the US.                 delete his online persona and
       hard to believe, this whole busi-                    our services. If we determine                There is another angle               now spends more time with real
       ness of human rights activists                       that we are unable to achieve           though that is hardly being               friends and family. Seems like
       being targeted, puts a whole                         the objectives outlined we will         explored. Some time ago Yahoo!            a rather good alternative than
       new spin on the matter. Google                       not hesitate to reconsider our          had come under a lot of inter-            poking and prodding people
       goes on to say that its decision                     approach to China.” Looks like          national humanitarian flack for            you don’t really care about
       to review its position in China                      that time has finally come after         handing over an email sent by             right? Well maybe it is. So far
       is because of a larger issue at                      four long years of pandering to         a Chinese journalist to a pro-            about 1,300 people have opted
       hand – China’s censorship and                        Chinese censorship.                     democracy web site. The mail              for this service – a drop in the
       restrictive stance on free speech                        One of the first things to           contained only guidelines on              pond considering more than
       on the internet. In line with                        understand is that Google has           how the Chinese govt wanted               200 million people are still on
       this, Google announced that it                       nowhere mentioned for a cer-            journalists to cover the 15th             Facebook obsessing over that
       will no longer censor results on                     tainty that they will pull out of       anniversary of the Tiananmen              special someone’s profile or
       Google.cn – the Chinese version                      China. This is may merely be            Square crackdown. He was                  commenting on inane status
       of the popular search engine.                        a threat. The official blog post         charged with disclosing state             messages. Still Facebook cant
       As we noted on thinkdigit.                           only suggests that they will            secrets and is serving a 10 year          be too happy with this right?
       com, perhaps Google has had                          review the situation in coopera-        sentence. If a similar situation          You bet. They blocked the sites

Brain and brawn – Lenovo extends it’s Thinkpad range with the Thinkpad Edge which has chic looks while retaining the ruggedness and utility                    Virgin mobile made its

     30 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
   Google’s safety recommendations
   As President Obama recently stated, cyber security is a shared
   responsibility. Go to this link to read Google’s cyber security awareness
   post: http://www.thinkdigit.com/d/ggr/                                                      Web watch

IP address for a while and even sent sui-                      the rescue. In a first of its kind initiative,
cidemachine.org a legal notice. “Cease and                     Google and IPL recently announced that
Desist violating Facebook’s statement of                       YouTube will broadcast 60 matches over
rights and responsibilities” it says.                          45 days live in the 2010 IPL season through
    So what do you do after you’ve done                        a dedicated channel – www.youtube.com/
killing yourself online? The website has                       ipl. According to the contract, Google-
an FAQ with the answer:                                        owned YouTube shall have the exclusive
    “Try calling some friends, take a walk                     rights to the online content for two years,
in a park or buy a bottle of wine and start                    with the two companies splitting the rev-
enjoying your real life again. Some Social                     enues from advertising and sponsorship. A
Suiciders reported that their lives have                       fact worth noting is that the deal involves
improved by an approximate average of                          all the countries except the US. So, if you
                                                               are a cricket fan in US, tough luck! This
                                                               news comes in at a great time with the 3G
                                                               auctions around the corner and increased
                                                               proliferation of high speed wireless broad-
                                                               band connections. So now you can watch
                                                               the IPL on the go on your mobile phones or
                                                               netbooks without having to miss a single
                                                               moment’s cricket mania. Hope your boss
                                                               is a cricket fan too.

                                                               Make your own identity
                                                               There are many websites, free as well paid
                                                               that offer logo creation tools. One which we
                                                               found particularly feature rich yet simple to
                                                               use was www.logoease.com (pictured along-
                                                               side). After a free sign up, you get access to
                                                               their flash based utility. Browse through a
25%. Don’t worry, if you feel empty right                      categorised list of clip art images and work
after you committed suicide. This is a                         your way from there with drag and drop
normal reaction which will slowly fade                         ease. It took us no more than 10 minutes
away within the first 24-72 hours.”
    Of course we don’t recommend
taking this step, only because like
real life, this too is irreversible. Yet
it might perhaps be put to good use
in certain situations. Say you want
to get away from a cyberstalker or
maybe you want a fresh start. It
might actually be able to help you
come back with a bang, in a new
and improved version of yourself,
especially on sites like twitter that
don’t really care about people reg-
istering with fake names.

IPL Live ! On a YouTube                                        to come up with a simple yet professional
near you                                                       looking logo. If you’re short of ideas, you
Stuck at work or in a traffic jam or maybe                      can always take a peek at their catalogue.
in a different continent altogether and that                   Once you are done designing, you can save
fanatic cricket fan in you is kicking and                      and download a zip file which has the logo
screaming at the notion of missing out                         in different formats like jpeg, tif, png and
on a cricket match? Fret not, Google’s to                      eps with different resolutions.

foray in the South Indian GSM market by entering in a partership with TTSL (Tata Teleservices)

                                                                                                                Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 31
                                                       Is your e-money safe?                                            Invaders from outside
 Cover story                                    34     In this age of cyber crime and fraud, are you sure of
                                                       your safety? Are you safer online or in a shopping mall?   38    How do you stay safe despite your exposure to
                                                                                                                        harmful viruses out there?

  Insecure Airwaves
  After the series of terror threats and attacks
  emerging out of unsecured wireless networks, it's
  high time we learnt our lessons. We take a look at
  the state of our society when it comes to secure

  Nimish Sawant                                          that message has somehow not really
  nimish.sawant@thinkdigit.com                           penetrated. The next victim is just around
                                                         the corner. Unsecure Wi-Fi networks
                 ireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) pen-            can make you lose much more than just

  W              etration is growing by leaps
                 and bounds with, not only
                 business houses, but also
  a lot of residential users opting for this
  facility. As most households nowadays,
  have a laptop along with a desktop, it
                                                         your internet bandwidth and money.

                                                         Digit Wi-Fi security test
                                                         We went to societies in and around
                                                         our office to check for open unsecure
                                                         networks. We used a Gateway netbook
                                                                                                                   many people are still ignorant of secu-
                                                                                                                   rity regarding their wireless networks.
  makes sense to have a Wi-Fi router within              for the test which has an internal Wi-Fi                  A study conducted by the Data Security
  homes for flexible internet access. As with             network adapter. We did not hack into                     Council of India and Deloitte states that
  the internet, proliferation breeds vices. If           any account by second guessing the                        over 80 per cent of the wireless networks
  the number of cyber crimes occuring in                 user name / passwords or used any                         across the country (out of the 35,000 net-
  the country is any indication to go by, the            tools to gain entry into a Wi-Fi hotspot.                 works tested) are vulnerable to attacks.
  possibility of unsecure Wi-Fi networks                 The test was very basic where we just
  being compromised is also high.                        used our netbook to check for any open                    Encryption woes
      Just a year ago, an American citizen,              unsecure network. Once an unlocked                        Data transfer over wireless networks is in
  Kenneth Haywood, residing in Navi                      network was recognised, we opened                         the air and not confined to any wire. Due
  Mumbai didn't secure his Wi-Fi con-                    it. After surfing the web for some time                    to this it is easy for a hacker to snoop into
  nection. The result — hackers accessed                 to check if the security of the network                   the information that is being transferred
  Mr Haywood’s account to send a terror                  could be breached, we disconnected.                       over the wireless network. To prevent
  email. What followed made front page                       As expected we came across two open                   this there is a need to encrypt the data in
  news in the city's dailies. Police per-                wireless networks having speeds upto                      a way that it can only be deciphered by
  sonnel carried out mock Wi-Fi security                 54Mbps. These networks had abso-                          someone who has the decryption key.
  checks. Awareness campaigns were                       lutely no security. They showed up as                         Now the wireless routers have two
  launched to inform people to secure                    unsecured networks when the wireless                      kinds of encryption: Wired Equivalent
  their Wi-Fi networks. But till today                   connections page was refreshed. So                        Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected
                                                                                                                   Access (WPA). WEP is considered to
                                                                                                                   be a weak encryption mechanism as it
                                                                                                                   has many loopholes. It uses 64-bit or
                                                                                                                   128-bit security keys to encrypt data
                                                                                                                   of which 24-bits are called Initialisa-
                                                                                                                   tion Vector (IV hereon). Since 24-bits
                                                                                                                   give only 16.7 million variations, it is
                                                                                                                   comparitively easier to decode the keys.
                                                                                                                   Also the possibility of using the same
                                                                                                                   IV key more than once is high making
                                                                                                                   the system vulnerable to hack attacks.
                                                                                                                       WPA on the other hand is considered
                                                                                                                   much safer than WEP because it has a
                                                                                                                   48-bit IV which gives over 500 tril-
                                                                                                                   lion variations, which is very difficult
 A hotspot close to our office where we found an open, unprotected Wi-Fi network                                    to crack. Also the IV keys are better

32 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
         Look before you click                                                            Time to watch out
45       There’s more to using software than “I Accept...” Reading the
         average EULA once would take you a long way                              46      You don’t need expensive equipment to monitor your
                                                                                          own premises, especially when freeware is available            Feature

 Common Wi-Fi Hacking software                             Plugging the loopholes                               What the law says?
                                                           The hackers take advantage of the many               We spoke to Karnika
NetStumbler                                                loopholes that users tend to overlook                Seth, Attorney at
A Windows-based tool used to locate open                   while securing their Wi-Fi networks.                 Law and Chairperson
wireless networks                                          Configuring the security settings on                  - Cyber Laws
                                                           your Wi-Fi router is time consuming.                 Consulting Center on
Kismet                                                                                                          the subject. Here’s
Displays SSIDs that are not broadcasted                    Administrator password                               what she had to
                                                           All the routers are shipped with default             say: "Under the IT
Airsnort                                                   factory settings which many users do                 Act 2000 there is no
Cracks WEP encryption keys                                 not change, while connecting to the                  provision as such, to fine individuals who
                                                           internet. These default settings are                 leave their Wi-Fi connections unsecure.
Cowpatty                                                   commonly known, as they are specific                 But if a terrorist uses the open network
Cracks WPA- pre-shared key                                 to manufacturers. The first thing you                to conduct his nefarious activities, then
                                                           should do while setting the router                   the owner may be called in for ques-
Wireshark                                                  is change the default username and                   tioning. The user has to ensure that his
Sniffs data transferred over a wireless                    administrator password, so that it is                connection is secure and should invest
network                                                    only known to you.                                   some time in securing the network.
                                                                                                                Leaving your Wi-Fi network open is anal-
protected and never re used. WPA2 is the                   Enabling WEP or WPA En-                              ogous to leaving a signed chequebook
advanced version of WPA. Since WPA                         cryption                                             unattended. Its vulnerable to misuse."
is a newer technology it is possible that                  As discussed above, the need to
many routers may not support it, so the                    scramble data while using a wire-
user needs to do a firmware update.                         less network is paramount. You
                                                                                      unt.                                  network where there are
                                                                                                                   a home netw
    WPA Key can be enabled by going                        should activate the neces- es-                                 limited number of users it is
in the Wireless Setup tab and selecting                    sary encryption key. It is                                        better to find out the MAC
WPA Security option. Using a Pass-                         advisable to choose WPA  PA                                         addresses of all the
phrase which is an alphanumeric key-                       or WPA2 encryption                Rs. 10 off on Digit                 machines connecting
word, we can generate one or more WPA                      rather than WEP if                 Pre - order today!                 to the network (enter
keys. The passphrase should be greater                     your router supports               Order the March 2010                ipconfig/all in the
                                                                                               edition of Digit. Book
than 16 alphanumeric characters and                        it. To configure the                 before 20  th Jan and            command prompt to
should only be known to the administrator.                 WPA encryption you                    get Rs. 10 off. Go to           get the whole list) The
                                                           have to enter a unique               www.thinkdigit.com/store        administrator should
Wi-Fi Jargon                                               passphrase.                                                        then feed these numbers
                                                                                                                            under the “permit only”
 Encryption                                                Broadcasting SSID         ID                                 tab in the Wireless Network
 Its the process of scrambling legitimate                  SSIDs are public names of wireless                  Access tab. This will ensure that any
 information using algorithms called                       networks. All the client machines                  system whose MAC address does not
 ciphers, such that the information                        communicate within a network using                 pass the filter, will not be able to access
 can be decrypted only by someone or                       similiar SSIDs. Router manufacturers               the network.
 something that has the encryption key.                    generally give default SSIDs eg. Linksys
                                                           router will have a default SSID 'Link-             Positioning the router
 Service Set Identifier (SSID)                              sys'. A user should change this default            The range of wireless routers may
 It is a name that identifies a particular                 SSID. Broadcasting SSID is a feature               exceed the boundaries of your house, but
 802.11 wireless LAN network. For the                      that is ideal for businesses and mobile            its stength reduces with distance. It is
 client machine to connect to the net-                     hotspots where users move in and out               deemed best to have the wireless router
 work its SSID should match with that of                   of networks. For home broadcasting                 inside the house rather than on the win-
 the router.                                               SSID may make the system vulnerable                dow so that there is very little leakage.
                                                           to attack if the router is not protected by
 WarDriving                                                a username and password.                           Switching off the router
 Its the act of locating and logging onto                                                                     This may seem a very trivial thing to
 wireless access points from a moving                      MAC address filtering                              be included in this section. But many
 vehicle using a laptop or a PDA or a                      Media Access Control (MAC) address                 users just do not bother to switch off
 cell phone.                                               is an identification for all the hard-             the router when its not being used for a
                                                           ware connected to your network. In                 long period of time.

                                                                                                                               Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 33
                                                Virtually a breeze                                               Kernel at risk
                                                Square, founded by Twitter co–founder Jack Dorsey is a new       Microsoft warns of an unplugged security flaw in the
                                                mobile payment company which in essence allows making            32-bit version of Windows allowing a hacker to install
  Report                                        payments from any mobile device, securely                        programs, tamper data, or create new accounts

                                                            Is your
                                                            e-money safe?
                                                            With plastic money fast replacing cash transac-
                                                            tions, we look at what could happen if your card
                                                            falls into the wrong hands, both online and offline
                                                                                                             run in the background and record infor-
                                                                                                             mation in real-time as it is being typed
                                                                                                             into a web site by a user. The software can
                                                                                                             store the information locally on the com-
                                                                                                             puter or forward it to a remote malicious
                                                                                                             2. Key logger applications: These are
                                                                                                             slightly more sophisticated spyware
                                                                                                             applications that can record a user’s key
                                                                                                             strokes as they are being typed on the
                                                                                                             keyboard. They can capture sensitive
                                                                                                             information such as passwords or credit
                                                                                                             card numbers even when a web site and
                                                                                                             browser have set up a secure, encrypted
                                                                                                             channel of communications.
                                                                                                             3. Proxy servers: Proxy servers are like
                                                                                                             filters through which all the internet con-
                                                                                                             nections in a cyber café are sent. Based
                                                                                                             on the various settings within the proxy
                                                                                                             server, data from unencrypted browsing
                                                                                                             sessions can be captured. This could lead
  Nash David and Siddharth Parwatay
  nash.david@thinkdigit.com                                 buying in India is still in a nascent stage,     to personal user information tracking
  siddharth.parwatay@thinkdigit.com                         it is growing at a promising rate of 38 per      that can be extracted from web sites and
                                                            cent according to figures by JuxtConsult.         stored for later use.
               ndoubtedly, there is sufficient               Today 8 million people transact online,          4. Phishing: With this rapid growth in the

  U            information out there to scare
               you from using your debit/
               credit card. We’re not here
  to add to that. We’re here to give you the
  much needed advice and information from
  the experts. India is considered one of the
                                                            with 38 million still ‘window shopping’.
                                                            15 per cent of Indians are now transacting
                                                            online. According to the Internet and
                                                            Mobile Association of India, the e-com-
                                                            merce market in India is worth Rs. 9,800
                                                            crores.” Window shopping online is an
                                                                                                             online space, you have two ways of being
                                                                                                             duped. You’ll either be scared to revealing
                                                                                                             critical personal information or enticed
                                                                                                             into greed. Phishing is a rising menace.
                                                                                                             Thomas adds, “Don’t fall for those mil-
                                                                                                             lions you’ve won in lottery from far off
  fastest growing markets in the world.                     interesting subject. You don’t even have         Sierra Leone. In fact, these days, in what
      Average businesses prefer money on                    to bother stepping out of your house.            is known as social engineering, scammers
  paper in the form of cheque or better still               380 lakh people visit shopping sites.            track your movements and are now using
  cash. However latest statistics show the                  This means they’re interested in buying          cellphones, emails as well as phone calls
  trend is now changing. Both online credit                 online, but either don’t have the instru-        to connect with you and get you trapped.”
  card usage and real word plastic money is                 ments to trade, or don’t trust the web site          Remember to check for the genuine
  on the rise.                                              enough. Why is that?                             signs of a true and verified web site. We
      Last year, we carried a Digit Web                                                                      came across one such spam email of a site
  awards special and in the category on                     Tricks of the black trade                        that tricks you into revealing your details
  tech shopping, eBay won our award. We                     1. Spyware: Spyware is malicious soft-           of Punjab National Bank. After the unin-
  spoke to Deepa Thomas, Senior Manager,                    ware that gets downloaded to a computer          formed bait enters his/her vital informa-
  Corporate Communication, eBay India to                    without your knowledge when you visit            tion, the page directs all the information
  find out the trends they see in their visi-                a web site that is either malicious, or has      to an IP address based somewhere in
  tors. According to her, “Although online                  been compromised. Spyware programs               Australia, before returning the home

34 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
   Mac OS X plugged                                                              Gmail leaks
   Apple released a securtiy update which secures close                          Misdirected emails reveal priveledged information,
   to twelve security loop holes                                                 the recipient is liable if the information is disclosed                             Report

page of Punjab National Bank. We got                      Besides, you can also track the status of
in touch with the Head Office of Punjab                    your order through SMS.
National Bank in Delhi, but the response                      We spoke to Rajiv Chadha, VP, Veri-
we got was these emails were common                       Sign who shared some startling figures
and people should be educated about it.                   with us — “38 per cent of Internet users
                                                          in India do not use different passwords
Online has its own                                        for multiple log-ins. A minuscule five
advantages                                                per cent adopt virtual keyboards to log
It would be unfair to blame the online shop-              in their details. Merely 11 per cent of
ping space for scams and frauds. There                    internet users in India look out for the
are stringent measures in place to prevent                authenticity of the web site by looking at
users from logging in fraudulently. This has              the security provider. Only as many as 32
been a blessing in disguise for online shop-              per cent internet users in India create a
ping. It’s easier shopping with a stolen card             secret question that only they can answer.
than it is to commit fraud online. Recently,              As many as 83 per cent Indian internet
the Reserve Bank of India has made it                     users do not look for secure web sites                    Deepa Thomas, Senior Manager, Corporate
mandatory for all transactions online to be               (https:). Only 9 per cent of internet users               Communication, eBay India
registered by either credit service providers             in India are aware of green URL bars as                   custody of the card and log-in details is
— Visa (Verified by Visa) and MasterCard                   the sign of a secure web site.”                           your responsibility.
(MasterCard Secure).                                          It doesn’t end there. By being so casual
    Essentially, all credit card users in                 about financial matters, Indians are just                  But what about the real
India would have to register with their                   staying vulnerable to scams online. Mr.                   world?
banks and be assigned an additional                       Chadha added, “There are many ways in                     With plastic money fast replacing cash
password to serve as one more level of                    which compromised credentials can be                      transactions, what if your card falls into
added security.                                           used fraudulently — and without the end-                  the wrong hands? Of course the bank will
    At any point in time, eBay India has                  user’s knowledge. It is very important to                 disable the card as soon as you intimate.
around 3,50,000 items available that you                  also note that these activities might not                 But it’s this interim time period that we’re
can sort by price, make, style and several                occur immediately after the information                   concerned about.
other factors – all in the comfort of your                is captured. The information could be                        There are certain safety measures that
home. Ebay is protected by PaisaPay,                      sold to different parties and can be used                 have been built into the system. Possibly
which differs slightly from PayPal. While                 over a long period of time”. This makes it                the most fool proof of them all is having
PayPal is a wallet of sorts that behaves as               all the more important to be aware of the                 a photo debit/credit card. If the mug shot
an interface between your bank accounts/                  various ways in which personal informa-                   on the card does not match the person
credit/debit cards and the merchant,                      tion can be captured and take precautions                 handing over the card, counter staff can
PaisaPay is a secure payment gateway                      to lower the risk.                                        easily figure out if something is amiss.
exclusive to eBay India. With PaisaPay,                       You can email spoofs@ebay.com and                        The second important safeguard is in
all your information to and from Ebay                     mention any seller you feel cannot be                     the form of a PIN number that has to be
India’s servers is encrypted, and secure.                 trusted. All intimations at this id are shared            entered each time to validate a transac-
                                                          with the Indian Computer Emergency                        tion. Again there are a few banks such
                                                          Response Team (CERT) which is a watchdog                  as SBI that offer this facility. But the
                                                          that alerts users of frauds and infections and            most basic protection is the signature at
                                                          attacks we need to be aware of.                           the back. You would’ve probably noticed
                                                              If you have an online account, an                     a block print underneath the box on the
                                                          internet banking account, or a credit/                    rear of the card that says AUTHORISED
                                                          debit card then ensuring privacy and safe                 SIGNATURE — NOT VALID UNLESS

                                                            CRACK THE CODE
                                                            Note down every Nth letter of the following sentence (ignore punctuation marks), starting
                                                            with the first letter of the sentence. The letters you have are an anagram. Unscramble
                                                            them to get the answer (three words). Go back to the place that directed you here, and
                                                            enter the answer there. If you played by the rules, you know what the value of N is.
                                                            Eg. if n=5, you get CDAROUD

Rajiv Chadha, Vice President, Verisign India
                                                            Can code be hacked? Race to a cloud can do it.

                                                                                                                                      Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 35
                                                Tightning the net                                           McAfee and Facebook
                                                Not taking any more chance, Google announced                Not to be left behind, Facebook has
                                                HTTPS will be will be activated by default for              partnered with McAfee to instill confidence
  Report                                        Gmail soon                                                  in its 300 million userbase

                                                                                                                case there was none). The name that was
    If you missed out on the list of security features to identify a trustworthy web site, have a               signed was drastically different from the
    look at this quick checklist.
                                                                                                                one that appeared on the card.
    1. Avoid following links when it comes to shopping online. Always key in your own URL. It
        is better not to follow search engines when it comes to transacting online.                             Alertness — Nil
    2. Never share any personal or financial information on a non-secure web site.
    3. Always personally verify email pleas to donate or plans of earning a quick fortune (even                 Target 2:
        if it be from a known person).
    4. Always ensure your transactions occur with an encrypted connection.
                                                                                                                Tata Croma, Vashi, Navi Mumbai
    5. Look out for a golden lock on the bottom of the screen, and https: in the address bar.                   Here we used a signed debit card. The
    6. When online users equipped with current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari,                  counter person had the card with him
        Google Chrome, Opera and other browsers visit a site protected by EV SSL Certificates,                   for quite a while but there was no effort
        the top address bar turns green and displays the name of the company operating the
        web site. This green bar offers immediate reassurance that they’ve reached a site whose                 to verify the signatures. As soon as the
        authenticity has been verified by a certificate authority such as VeriSign, the world’s                   printed slip was signed the slip was
        leading EV SSL certificate provider.                                                                     returned without any kind of verification.
    7. Never respond to emails of urgency. They’re usually phishing.                                            Alertness — Nil
    8. Block all spam emails you receive.
    9. Regularly login to your online banking accounts to check for any suspicious activity.
    10. Do not sync your financial passwords with your regular email passwords.                                  Target 3:
    11. When using a public computer, restrict browsing to information-only web sites such                      eZone, Bombay Central
        as news sites. Avoid accessing any e-banking, e-brokerage, e-commerce web sites that
                                                                                                                Here we used a photo debit card.
        require you to divulge personal information such as usernames or passwords.
    12. Never store usernames and passwords in Internet Explorer                                                Strangely, the card was in the possession
    13. Use an up-to-date anti-virus program, and ask the cyber cafe attendant on a public                      of the counter staff for close to five min-
        computer to check the toolbar to ensure it is safe.                                                     utes. In the whole time, no one bothered
    14. Always logout from transactional web sites to be sure your safety will not be compro-
                                                                                                                to look up and verify the photograph.
        mised after you have left the system.
    15. Finally, clear browsing history and cookies after your session.                                         The counter person noticed however that
    Source: Deepa Thomas and Rajiv Chadha                                                                       there was no sign on the rear of the card
                                                                                                                and asked the customer to sign it, but the
  SIGNED. This needs to be taken seri-                     Target 1:                                            matter wasn’t enforced. Although in this
  ously, as the signature is a low tech                    Reliance Digital Store, Vashi                        case the staff was slightly more alert than
  first line of defense against credit card                 The store had very few customers and                 the other times, it was only pointed out
  misuse. However it needs to be imple-                    there was no queue near the payment                  after the transaction was completely over.
  mented to be effective. Do merchant                      counter. We used the unsigned card                   Alertness — Somewhat
  establishments that have card swiping                    at this location. The clerk behind the
  machines, ever match signatures? We                      counter went about completing the                    Target 4:
  decided to put this to test at some of the               transaction without bothering to even flip            Tata Croma, Lower Parel
  biggest technology stores in the hope                    over the card to verify signatures (in this     Here again we used the unsigned card
  that we’d be proved wrong. We chose                                                                       with the photo id. Neither the signature
  large technology retail chains based on             BE THE WISE CONSUMER                                  nor the photo was verified at any point
  a simple logic — outfits dealing in high             As Arun Saxena President, International Consumer      of time. There was no sort of verification
  value products that are on the cutting              Rights Protection Council advises “always read the    whatsoever. The transaction was quick.
  edge of technology, need to up hold tech-           fine print. Rather than being driven by your instinct  Alertness — Nil
                                                       to own a credit card, remember the interest rates
  nological safeguards right? We created               associated with credit.” A smart tip he gives us is to
  several scenarios to test real world secu-           strike out points that could be used against us on        Implications
  rity measures in the area of electronic              the printed agreement. As he puts it, credit card         This raises a lot of questions. Are
                                                       companies live on consumers defaults, without
  transactions. Two digit team members                                                                           merchant outlets so eager to effect a sale
                                                       which they wouldn’t be able to survive in this
  went to four different electronics retail            competitive market.”                                      that they don’t really care where the
  stores throughout Mumbai. At their                      Avoid shopping for high value products from            money comes from? Besides, what are
  disposal, were two debit cards, both of              online shopping web sites that you don’t trust, as        the protections in place for the consumer
                                                       you can never be sure of the final product being
  which were unsigned. In fact one was a                                                                         if his card is stolen and purchases are
                                                       delivered. Saxena feels “for low value items, ebay
  photo id card. This is worth mentioning              seems to be a good web site because your pay-             made from the card. Abroad, if the card is
  because two operatives couldn’t look                 ments are safe through PaisaPay. But it is prefer-        stolen and used, the credit card company
  have looked so unlike each other even                able to buy from a mall as you can touch, feel, and       reverses the charge (once the user com-
                                                       see the colour and working of the unit you are
  if they tried. When the undercover                   buying.”
                                                                                                                 plains) and the merchant has to prove
  operatives used the cards they made no                  He adds, “Keep your credit card account,               that the owner of the card actually used
  attempt at forging the signature of the              Savings account and Loan account in different             it. If the merchant cannot prove it then he
  card holder. Instead they simply signed              banks so that they cannot take out money from             has to pay a heavy fine. The credit card
                                                       another account.”
  their own names.                                                                                               user is protected as long as he reports the

36 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Popular web site Twitter crashed and was down                                              Cell-phone banking
  for about an hour and a half displaying a funny                                            Soon all you would need to send money to someone
  cartoon nicknamed fail whale                                                               would be their mobile number                                  Report

loss and contests the charge on the bill.           CREDIT CARD INSURANCE                                       and the picture says a lot doesn’t it?
On MasterCard’s India Learning Center               Some credit card companies provide insurance at             We signed “Mc Donalds Rocks” at a
web site it is stated that “As a Master-            very low premium rates. We spoke to customer                Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet.
Card cardholder in India, most card                 support executives of a few banks. The HDFC Bank            The person behind the counter looked
                                                    executive said they have recently stopped all such
issuers will not hold you responsible for           theft insurance services and that we could get any          at the signature and still continued with
unauthorised purchases charged to your              relevant information we need from the bank’s web            the transaction.
account, after the card issuer is notified           site. According to the web site, by informing the               We began to wonder if this problem
                                                    24-hour customer care, any fraudulent transaction           is unique to India. Turns out the situ-
of any loss, theft or disclosure relating
                                                    is borne by the bank. When we spoke to Citibank,
to your card. If you discover any loss or           we were informed that they do have a theft                  ation is no better in the US either. We
theft, or suspect unauthorised activity on          insurance program, but that it is a relatively new          came across a hilarious blog (zug.com)
your account, stop using your card and              service. They haven’t received any reports of theft         in which a frustrated customer by the
                                                    or loss arising after starting this service. Also, they
contact the issuer immediately.”                                                                                name of John Hargrave, went to great
                                                    advise the consumer to inform them of the loss
    There are legal issues here too.                and get the card blocked. Simultaneously, they              lengths to answer the question “How
Apart from the extent of punishment                 conduct an internal investigation on their own and          crazy would I have to make my signature
a fraudster receives it is important to             stay in touch with the relevant authorities.                before someone would actually notice?”
know whether the merchant establish-                                                                            He then goes on to narrate a rib tickling
ments are required to verify or cross                  credit card company will not be liable in a            tale complete with pictures, of how he put
cheque the signature. We asked Karnika                 such a scenario unless it acts negligently             down signatures ranging from mindless
Seth, Attorney at law, and Chairperson of              by not blocking the card when once an                  doodles to elaborate grids, musical notes
the Cyber Laws Consulting Center what                  immediate notification of card being lost               and in one case hieroglyphics depicting a
the situation is from a legal standpoint.              is made to the Bank. The banks gener-                  snake, birds and mountains, in an effort to
“As far as the imposter or person who                  ally bear the ‘zero liability’ on lost card            elicit some sort of reaction. Not once was
impersonates the rightful holder of the                clause” she said.                                      he questioned. Not once did he hear from
card is concerned, he could be charged                     On Master Card’s Indian web site it                his card issuers.
under Section 416 of the IPC and liable                is clearly mentioned that “retailers must
to punishment under Section 417 with                   follow specific data security require-
imprisonment for a term of 1 year or fine               ments in order to accept MasterCard
or both. The actual holder of the card may             cards. MasterCard Worldwide rules and
also be guilty of contributory negligence              recommendations apply to all transac-
if he had negligently kept the credit card             tions – whether they occur in a store,
which was then misused by the accused.                 online, or over the phone.” Under the card
As regards the merchant, he may not                    fraud checklist there is specific mention
have an explicit obligation to check and               of comparing signatures. “The back of
verify the identity of the card holder                 the card must be signed, and the signa-
unless specified in the contract with the               ture should reasonably compare to the
                                                                                                              For the signature it says “Mc Donalds Rocks” on a
card issuer. But under Torte law there is              cardholder signature on the sales receipt.
                                                                                                              KFC charge slip
a duty of care. An hence it is in their own            Check to make sure that it has not been
interest to check as if there is a credit card         taped over, mutilated, erased or altered in               From our own experience too we are
fraud, the merchant loses the goods or                 any suspicious manner. The word “Void”                 beginning to wonder if the entire signature
services sold, the payment, the fees for               on the signature panel indicates that the              process is a useless mechanism designed to
processing the payment, any currency                   signature panel has been tampered with.”               make you just feel safe, like security checks
conversion commissions, and the amount                     There is also the possibility of asking            at malls. Perhaps the safety measures in
of the chargeback penalty. Usually, a                  for photo identity for transactions. It is             the online world are actually better. We’ve
                                                       worth noting that at one of the establish-             written to each of the retail chains we made
                                                       ments we noticed a board stating that a                purchases from to understand this issue
 Security tips from the American Federal
 Trade Commission to avoid card frauds                 photo identification will be required for               further. We’re yet to get a reply.
    Sign your cards as soon as they arrive             purchases above Rs. 7,500. We wonder if
    Keep an eye on your card during the
    transaction, and get it back as quickly
                                                       this will work since here customers might                CRACK THE CODE
                                                       get anywhere from offended, annoyed
    as possible                                                                                                 On the cover, find the name of the
    Save receipts to compare with billing              and even embarrassed if they’re asked for                building that has the hacker on the
    statements                                         identification.                                           roof. Enter that name and the Digit
    Notify card companies in advance of a                  What about those little slips that                   page number you came from (to get to
    change in address                                                                                           this clue) in the following manner:
                                                       you sign? How do they fit into the whole
    Report any questionable charges                                                                             thinkdigit.com/d/<name_pagenumber>
    promptly and in writing to the card issuer         process? Are they ever checked? In fact                  to get your next clue.
                                                       we decided to go ahead and try this out

                                                                                                                             Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 37
                                                Avast Antivirus 5.0                                         More patching
                                                Avast Antivirus’ latest version has improvements            Microsoft to release a patch to plug security
  Test                                          in virus detection techniques                               holes in its flag ship browser – Internet Explorer

  Invaders from
  Rossi Fernandes

                et’s face it. Viruses, worms,

  L             roots and its other many
                forms will always be a
                problem for PCs and all
  computing devices. While most of this
  so called malicious code exploits holes in
  the operating system, we as humans are
  partly to blame. All antivirus and secu-
  rity suites do is offer that additional layer
  of prevention. If we were wise enough
  to avoid all the obvious threats by not
  clicking on that very oddly named .exe
  file or executing that mail attachment, we
  wouldn’t need a security suite, would we?
      As it turns out, very few of us avoid
  all of these mails and files, and some-
  times because of the security bugs in the
  software and operating systems we use,
  they do get infected. And when they do,
  we have no one to save us! Security suites                The threats may have reduced but
  simply ensure that these viruses and                      for how long? We review some of
  worms don’t intrude into your system.                     the suites out there and see if their
      With the kind of viruses and worms                    claims hold any truth...
  being designed to hit every security
  suite out there, once a worm or virus
  is in, hope is lost. There starts the long                    When you start the installation, K7     network traffic, but you can manage an
  and painful journey to fix. Most worms                     TotalSecurity does a preliminary scan       allow list for critical applications such
  will disable access to sites to ensure you                to ensure there are no threats pre-         as your browser and different com-
  can’t find a fix or update to disable the                   existing on the system. After the instal-   ponents of the security suite as well.
  paralysed suite. Therefore, one of the                    lation, and with the suite registered,      There is also support to protect popular
  key things companies have had to do is                    updates are downloaded and installed.       instant messengers such as AOL, MSN
  to update the virus definition and use                     There is little to go wrong here.           and Yahoo messengers. It also inte-
  more intensive techniques to detect such                      K7 TotalSecurity is a thorough          grates with Outlook to take care of any
  threats and disable them first.                            security suite, but the interface isn’t     spam.
      In this feature, we look at some of the               enticing. K7 has gone with a very              Separate logs are maintained for
  most popular security suites, many of                     traditional and simplistic approach but     events related to each of the compo-
  which are available in India. We are also                 the quality and design of the icons and     nents that make up the security suite.
  aware that people have their favourites                   layout could definitely be improved.           Memory consumption crossed over
  like with any other product category —                        The interface looks as if there are     120MB while scanning the system for
  only in this case, there are no clear ones.               only a limited number of features and       viruses. With our system running on
                                                            also a limited amount of settings avail-    1 GB of memory, it showed noticeable
  K7 TotalSecurity 10                                       able for each of those features. When       slowdown. All in all, a decent solution
  K7 Computing is one of the lesser known                   you get into each of the settings and try   but one that people might ignore just
  players in the security solution market.                  to modify the parameters, you notice        because of the appearance.
  Their product called K7 TotalSecurity is a                the complex menus and terminology.          Price: Rs. 600 , (single user – 1 year)
  complete security suite for desktop users.                    The firewall allows blocking of                 Rs. 1,500 (3 users – 1 year)

38 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Attacks from next door                                                     Fearful of Facebook
  Chinese tried to hack into India’s computers, says                         Careful what you click on. Facebook is susceptible to certain attacks
  National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan                                  which allows someone to take over your account or your life!                         test

                                                                                                                 This is a good option if you want some-
                                                                                         6                       thing that is thorough and that lets you
                                                                                         10                      make fine changes to the behaviour of
                                                                         Features:.........................6     the suite.
                                                                         Performance: .............5.5           Price: Rs. 1,599, (single user – 1 year)
                                                                         Ease of use: .................6.5              Rs. 7,099, (5 users – 1 year)
                                                                         Value for money...........7
                                                                                                                 Comodo Internet
                                                                                                                 Security 2010
                                                                          virus definitions.                  Comodo has one of the nicer looking
                                                                              Like in many of the            interfaces among security suites. Comodo
                                                                          other suites, protection           is generally known for its firewalls than
                                                                          for instant messengers             antivirus and security suites. A nice touch
                                                                          is also present for                is also the Proactive Defense mode which
                                                                          Yahoo!, ICQ and MSN,               sets a security level to be maintained on
AVG Internet Security 9.0                              but only for the official clients.                     your system. The suite is stricter and if
Business Edition                                           The advanced menus have many                      you set the level to Paranoid, the suite
AVG became well known and popular                      more features like the very simple to                 shows up alerts for every possible threat
among most users because of its free                   use dashboard, which just shows you                   it detects. There are also presets to set the
edition. This Business Edition of their                all of the components of the suite and                suite’s functions. The suite can behave as
Internet Security suite is designed for                their current status. Double clicking on              only an antivirus, a firewall or a complete
larger offices and has protection for                   it shows you some of the settings and                 suite on demand.
things like a local anti-spam server and               exceptions you can allow. Click on the                     The suite allows users to use some
the e-mail server itself.                              Advanced settings menu and you find                    of their DNS servers to avoid any kind
   The interface itself hasn’t changed                 an indepth range of settings. Each of the             of domain spoofing that might happen
from previous versions. Updating of the                menus and options are very simple to                  on other public DNS services. This
suite can be done from within the soft-                understand, so you don’t have to be some              is something new to security suites.
ware. For those on dialup connections or               kind of a security expert to figure your               Comodo’s Internet Security suite focuses
connections with bandwidth limits, you                 way around it.                                        on the network aspect a lot probably
can also update through a folder — this                    As for performance, the memory                    because of its networking security focus
way your friend could download the                     consumption while scanning didn’t cross               in the past. The main dashboard displays
updates for you. For some reason, there’s              10 to 20 MB, but the CPU utilisation                  network statistics and programs that
even an option to rollback to previous                 kept spiking between 30 and 80 per cent               are accessing the internet. Constant
                                                                          which can be annoying              updates from Comodo’s network are also
                                                                                                                 displayed on one side.
                                                                                          7                          Even starting a system scan is
                                                                                                                 simple – you can choose between
                                                                                          10                     just the critical areas of the PC or the
                                                                          Features..........................7 entire system. Advanced scans can
                                                                          Performance ..............6.5 be run using the Antivirus tab on the
                                                                          Ease of use.....................7 interface. Schedules can also be setup
                                                                          Value for money...........7 and presets for the same can be cre-
                                                                                                                 ated. The same ease is available with
                                                                         as it slows down older              the antivirus feature.
                                                                         PCs by a fair bit.                       There are no performance issues
                                                                             The standard                    whatsoever with this suite. Memory con-
                                                                         desktop edition of the              sumption stays under limits at around
                                                                         same suite is almost                10 MB at idle. Features such as data
                                                                         identical except for                protection, identity protection or even
                                                                         some of the mail server             parental control don’t seem to be on the
                                                                         and spam server pro-                list of priorities. Although, those aren’t
                                                                         tection. The memory                 features absolutely essential, it’s still
                                                                         consumption and                     something most customers would look at
                                                                         CPU utilisation hasn’t              while purchasing a suite.
                                                                         changed a lot either.               Price: Rs. 2,250

                                                                                                                                Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 39
                                                Google China troubled
                                                The cyber attacks on Google originating from                             Phishing on the rise
                                                China were a ‘water shed moment in cyber                                 Recent victims include Punjab National
  Test                                          security’ according to McAfee insider                                    Bank, Bank Of India and HDFC Bank

                                                                                               7                     Price: Rs. 1,450 (single user – 1 year)

                                                                                               10                    Rs. 2,495 (three user – 1 year)

                                                                             Features..........................7     Trend Micro PC-cillin
                                                                             Performance ..............7.5           Internet Security 2010
                                                                             Ease of use.....................7
                                                                                                                    Trend Micro’s PC-cillin Internet Security
                                                                             Value for money...........6
                                                                                                                    2010 is considered to be one of those top
                                                                                                                    antivirus and security solution devel-
                                                                                                                    opers for more than a decade. Many of us
                                                                          and their system resource                 might know Trend Micro from Hotmail’s
                                                                          consumption over the last few             official email scanner for a long time.
                                                                          months is displayed in a very                  Their desktop security suite uses
                                                                          fashionable manner.                       around 25 MB of RAM over three serv-
  Norton Internet                                               Like all the other suites, instant mes-             ices. With the scans running, this goes up
  Security 2010                                             senger protection support is available                  to 50 MB.
  Symantec has been at the forefront of                     only for the official clients                                                The Trend Micro

  security solutions for a long time and for                of the popular messen-                                                   interface doesn’t simply
  many people, Norton Antivirus or Norton                   gers. In this case, Trillian,                                            show all of the advanced
  Internet Security is the first thing that                  a third party, all-in-one                               10               settings in one big window
  comes to mind when you talk viruses.                      messenger, is also sup-            Features.......................6.5 leaving the user lost. It
      The new Internet Security 2010                        ported. A lot of emphasis          Performance .................7 has separate menus and
  has an evolved version of their new                       is laid on the protection of       Ease of use.....................7 windows for each of the
  interface that they’ve been using for                     privacy online, so the suite       Value for money...........6 components.
  the last few releases. It’s one of the                    contains a lot of features                                                  The Parental control
  fanciest looking interfaces around. A                     designed to protect your
  bright tick mark confirms that the suite                  identity through cards and
  is up-to-date and the system perfectly                    logins. Phishing is also
  fine. SONAR2 is the updated system                        one of those things.
  designed to prevent virus attacks well                        This security suite is
  in advance by using the cloud.                            designed for streamlined
      NIS 2010 comes with many unique                       workflow — it shows up
  features. One of them is the application                  all the scan schedules in a
  ratings window which shows ratings for                    table. Memory consump-
  applications running and installed on                     tion at idle is around 15MB.
  the system. This is information gath-                     With the scans running, it
  ered from Symantec’s online database.                     shoots to about 90MB.
  Similarly, application performance is also                    Norton Internet
  displayed in one of the menus and also                    Security seems to evolve
  on the main dashboard interface. There’s                  every single year and the
  even an Optimize button to tweak the                      changes are visible. The
  system. A proper history of applications                  focus has now moved towards protecting                  feature is built into the suite. It’s easy
                                                                                        people’s identi-            to use because it allows you to simply
                                                                                        ties and infor-             allot a set of rules for a particular user
                                                                                        mation on the               account in Windows. The data theft
                                                                                        internet. It sure           protection feature stops you from
                                                                                        does the job well.          giving away sensitive and important
                                                                                                                               information. Like Comodo,
                                                                                                                               Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet
                                                                                                             7                 Security 2010 also allows cre-
                                                                                                             10                ating of customized scans and
                                                                                         Features..........................7 scheduled scan tasks.
                                                                                         Performance .................7            The Pro version of the same
                                                                                         Ease of use.....................7 suite is also available. Some
                                                                                         Value for money...........7 of the features of that ver-
                                                                                                                               sion come with the option of

40 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                       Don’t even TWEET about it!
                                                Securing DNS                                           A disgruntled traveller was arrested at an airpoirt in UK
                                                DNSSEC extensions or DNS security to make the          after he tweeted to his friends that he was going to blow
  Test                                          ether waves more safe to surf for everyone             up the plane

    USB Flash drive has a worm in                the process name is a little sus-          ([Windows] +
    it. How do I check and remove                picious, it could be a worm or             [R]). Browse to the
    it?                                          virus. Google up the process to            Software\Microsoft\
        Press [Windows] + [R], type              be sure – whether it’s a legiti-           Windows\
    CMD and click on OK. At the                  mate application or something              CurrentVersion\
    prompt, type E: (if E is the flash            that doesn’t exist at all. Next, do       Run path under
    drive letter) and press Enter.               a system wide search for that             HKEY_LOCAL_
    Then, type DIR/AH to list all                application or by using the com-          MACHINE and
    hidden files. If you find the files             mand – DIR <file>.<ext>                   HKEY_CURRENT_         TCPview — a free connection monitoring tool
    AUTORUN.INF and VirusRemoval.                /AH /s from the root of the               USER. Delete any entries of that       when you’ve identifi ed any
    vbs, type ATTRIB –r –s –h                    Windows partition. Try forcing            process.                               worms or viruses and you need
    <file>.<ext> to unhide and                   the application to close and                                                     to delete it. Unlocker can help
    remove the read-only permis-                 quickly delete using Windows              Applications to use                    delete them on next bootup
    sion from it. Then, delete the               Explorer. If that doesn’t work,           Unlocker                               before the process loads.
    file using the DEL command (eg.               use Unlocker to do it.                    Unlocker (http://ccollomb.free.fr/
    DEL AUTORUN.INF) or using                       Next, open up the Windows              unlocker/) is a free application       TCPView
    Windows Explorer. RECYCLER is                Registry Editor using the regedit         that allows users to unlock stub-      TCPView (http://tinyurl.com/2pc3vq)
    another folder that is home to               command in the Run dialog box             born executables. This is useful       lists all the applications making
    some other worms.                                                                                                             connections to the internet.
                                                                                                                                  Assuming that you have no
    Curing the common virus                                                                                                       browsers, P2P clients or down-
    infection                                                                                                                     load managers running, this
    The easiest way to find a worm                                                                                                 program can help identify and
    or virus is to look at the trusty                                                                                             suspicious behaviour. Look out
    Windows Task Manager. Look                                                                                                    for processes sending tons of
    for processes taking up the most                                                                                              requests to PCs on the network
    memory or CPU utilisation. If                Unlocker helps unlock and then delete unremovable files                           and the internet.

  backing up of up to 2 GB of data online,                     eScan Internet Security                                       eScan Internet Security Suite uses
  instant messenger protection and also                        Suite 10                                                  Team Viewer as a remote support pro-
  wireless network security. We feel                           eScan Internet Security Suite 10 from                     gram. By enabling it, registered users can
  instant messenger protection should                          Microworld is another suite that is                       get remote help from eScan. You obvi-
  have at least been part of the package                       popular in India. They have most of the                   ously need to be connected to the internet
  since almost every computer user today                       features bundled with other competing                     for those to work.
  on the internet uses some kind of instant                    anti-virus suites.                                            The USB Control feature blocks
  messenger or the other. There’s also the                        The interface looks uninspired —                       access to USB flash drives and even
  included network management tool to                          there’s use of a simple plain blue colour                 allows disabling of the Autorun
  remotely control other PC-cillin suites.                     with very boring buttons that are pretty                  function. USB drives are one of the
  This is a growing trend with many secu-                      much the same as previous versions.                       easiest ways to get your PC infected.
  rity suites.                                                 There are two buttons Update
      Like many other companies moving                         and Product Key that could
  towards the cloud and using their                            have been hidden away instead
  software users to contribute informa-                        of being positioned right with
  tion about suspicious files and services,                     the system scanning button.
  Trend Micro too has a similar system up

  called Smart Protection Network.
      This is another suite that uses the
  cloud to its advantage. A few missing                                         10
  features but other than that, it’s a solid                     Features.......................6.5
  suite to consider especially for easy                          Performance .................7
  operation.                                                     Ease of use..................6.5
  Price: Rs. 2,500                                               Value for money...........7
  (three user – 1 year ($55))

42 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                Memory loss                                           New Opera CEO
                                                Kingston Technology recalls some DataTraveler         Lars Boilesen succeeds Jon Von Tetzchner
  Test                                          models after a security flaw is discovered             as CEO of Opera

  In the same manner, suspi-
  cious applications can also be
  blocked.                                                    10
       There’s even remotely                Features.......................5.5
  checking on other installations           Performance .................7
  on the network. With its non-             Ease of use.....................8
  flashy user interface and pretty           Value for money...........7
  low system resource needs, it’s
  a solution for SoHos running
  slightly older hardware. The pricing is                    Other than
  pretty impressive as well.                             that, F-Secure
  Price: Rs. 1,250 (single user – 1 year)                doesn’t look like
           Rs. 1,600 (three user – 1 year)               it does a lot more.
                                                         Data identity
  F-Secure Internet                                      and protection
  Security 2010                                          are out of the
  F-Secure’s Internet Security 2010’s                    question and
  installation starts with a bang. Once the              there is none                                            a new virus or a new virus definition is
  automated installer reboots the PC, the                of the online storage services
                                                                                      rvices                              released.
  suite starts updating while you’re shown               allowed. The other usual      al                                        The suites from F-Secure,
  a display to set up all the parental con-              components are present.       t.                                       Trend
                                                                                                                                Tren Micro and Symantec
  trols. Speaking of which, there is a very              With the fancy interface      e        Rs. 10 off on Digit                were
                                                                                                                                   we some of the best as
  good level of settings made available.                 comes more memory                       Pre - order today!                  far as ease of use were
  For example, you can choose how many                   consumption. F-Secure                   Order the March 2010                 concerned. A security
  hours in a day and the period during                   uses close to 35MB of                   edition of Digit. Book               suite which uses compli-
  which browsing is allowed. You can                     memory on idle and                       before 20th Jan and                 cated terms and menus
                                                                                                   get Rs.10 off. Go to
  choose to restrict or allow browsing on                around 60 MB during                                         /store         isn’t
                                                                                                                                    is a great idea with the
  weekends and also set a period for that.               scans.                                                                   slightly non-geeky crowd.
  Finally, a list of categories of sites is dis-         Price: Rs. 1,400 (single     e                                        These suites are suitable for
  played to choose from. Simply tick mark                user – 1 year)                                                     home ususers.
  the category of sites to be allowed.                   Rs. 2,700 (three user – 1 year)                              It was also good to see suites using
       Just when you thought the user                                                                             less than 100MB of RAM. CPU utilisa-
  interfaces of these suites couldn’t get                Conclusion                                               tion was a little higher in the case of
  any classier, F-Secure does one better.                It’s difficult to conclude a comparison                   AVG Internet Security. Trend Micro was
  Just like its streamlined installation                 review of security suites. Updates and                   very efficient as well. When compared
  procedure, the user interface has a really             their range of detection really govern the               with the others, F-Secure lacked in
  classy look with just three buttons –                  performance of a suite. It’s something                   features. eScan did too but it had some
  Status, Tasks and Statistics.                          that changes every couple of days when                   nice unique features such as the remote
                                                                                                                      No matter what anti-virus suite you
    The security suites were          no matter how large a virus            to confuse a user. The com-          use, you’re never absolutely free from
    installed on a Windows 7          set you use. With the number           parison review is specifically        vulnerabilities. It’s only a matter of time
    system running a Pentium          of viruses that come out every         meant for home users and             before one of these are exploited. An
    4 3 GHz processor and 1 GB        day, performance ratings for a         also some small offices.              unpatched operating system, an instant
    of memory. We did this to try     security suite could be invalid            Every security suite             messenger or email client are just some
    and simulate what the majority    the very next day.                     needed the prerequisite              of these loopholes. Moving viruses
    of users would be running in           We were looking for a             feature set – it had to have         detection techniques and databases to
    terms of hardware, as well as     light security suite. A secu-          an antivirus, a firewall and         the cloud allows for real time detection
    check compatibility with the      rity suite that slows down the         preferably spam filtering            of threats. It’s a step in the right direction
    latest platform.                  system to a standstill is of           and other similar features           but getting quick fixes is a different story
         The test was prima-          no use at all. We looked for           were an added bonus. We              altogether. That’s left to the developers
    rily focussed on features.        suites that would be simple            tried out all these features         to ensure there isn’t another one of those
    Performance is something          to use without throwing up             to determine how useful              chaotic scenes where PCs all across the
    that’s very difficult to gauge     all kinds of technical terms           they were.                           globe are infected by a computer virus

44 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Analyse this                                                                   Alternate names
  An online service that lets you paste EULAs and helps
  you identify phrases that should interest you. Head                            The EULA may often be referred to as the software license,
  over to www.spywareguide.com/analyze/analyzer.php                              user license, terms of service or terms of use (as in the case
                                                                                 of online services)                                                           feature

                                                 Look before you click
                                                 We help you understand the really fine print
                                                          clicking through. This whether you know                 (through multiple tiers), any User
                                                          it or not is the dreaded EULA or End                    Content you (i) Post on”. Or in plain
                                                          User License Agreement. Ideally, you’re                 English, “Anything you upload can for-
                                                          supposed to read this lengthy piece of                  ever be used by Facebook for whatever
                                                          legalese to know your rights as a user.                 reason, no matter what”. Following the
                                                          And also to know if by clicking “Agree”,                strong reactions from users TOS was of
                                                          you are inadvertently signing over your                 course altered later.
                                                          life savings to a con artist from Nigeria or                 Through the EULA you get to know of
                                                          giving rights to the software company to                all such possible pitfalls. You need to know
                                                          break into your sock drawer should they                 if the software you’re about to install or
                                                          choose to. If you’ve never bothered to read             the service you’re signing up for, displays
                                                          an EULA before you should know that                     pop-up ads, transmits personally identifi-
                                                          safety begins by being informed, of every-              able information, uses unique identifiers to
                                                          thing — especially the fine print.                       track you, whether there is a time sensitive
                                                               Many EULAs now have clauses that                   expiry, does the software automatically
                                                          prohibit you from benchmarking the soft-                update itself via the internet or whether
            nless you were born                           ware or engaging in any sort of compar-                 certain features disable suddenly.

U           yesterday you’ve probably
            signed up for an online
            service or installed software
on your computer. While flying through
endless “Next” clicks, there is usually
a point where you need to switch an
innocuous radio button to “Agree” before
                                                          ison. Other stipulations state that users
                                                          cannot publicly post criticism or deroga-
                                                          tory remarks about the software. Back
                                                          when the Windows 7 beta build came out,
                                                          its EULA restricted users from revealing
                                                          results of speed tests or benchmarking.
                                                          Popular blogs then had to find alternate
                                                                                                                       Coming to the flip side of this coin,
                                                                                                                  do the software makers accept damage
                                                                                                                  liability? When you have got yourself
                                                                                                                  software that is badly coded and results in
                                                                                                                  data loss, you should be able to pin dam-
                                                                                                                  ages on the software providers. However,
                                                                                                                  in defining the manufacturer’s liability,
                                                          ways of comparing it with Vista and XP                  many EULAs absolve them from taking
EULALYZER                                                 — some did not give exact timings (with                 any responsibility for damage. All EULAs
                                                          units of measure) but gave information                  have one thing in common, you have to
 Even after giving you all this gyan, we’re pretty
 sure hardly anyone reading this is ever going to         through visually represented bar graphs.                accept the terms or relinquish the right to
 go through a cumbersome and confusing tome                    EULAs also contain important                       use the software. Still, many EULAs get
                                                             details about the impact on the user’s               challenged, and at times violations on the
                                                             privacy. These include things such as                part of the vendor can also be brought out.
                                                             the kind of data that will be sent back              Take the case in point of Amazon’s Kindle
                                                             to the developers and whether the                    ebook reader device. The device lets you
                                                             data is personally identifiable. Face-               buy electronic copies of books that you
                                                             book too came under the scanner for                  can keep on your device. But a while back
                                                             the draconian terms of its EULA (or                  due to some copyright issues Amazon
                                                             Terms of Service in this case) several               retracted copies of George Orwell’s 1984
                                                             times. A long time ago, Facebook’s                   from users’ devices. Users had no idea that
 like a EULA. While it’s true most of it is standard
 boilerplate nonsense, there are some bits you
                                                          TOS said it owned user generated                        such kind of functionality was even built
 must go through. Fear not. Here’s a little software      content even after the user disables                    into the software and device. Apparently,
 that will help you weed out the legalese and zero        their account. Later it read something                  under the Use of Digital Content section,
 in on the parts that are most relevant (and juicy).      like this “You hereby grant Facebook an                 its EULA had clearly mentioned that
 Find EULAlyser in the DVD and throw any tough
 nut EULA at it.                                          irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive,                  Amazon had the final say on the right to
     The app will break it down and give you a list       transferable, fully paid, worldwide                     keep a permanent copy of any digital con-
 of attention phrases with convenient “go to” links.      license (with the right to sublicense)                  tent on the device. Prima facie this seems
 There is even a submission facility to harness           to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store,               like a breach of contract, doesn’t it? Bottom
 community knowledge on a particular EULA. We
 ran the EULA of a harmless open source software          retain, publicly perform or display,                    line is — be an alert user and know what
 called DVD Flick though it, and it was still able        transmit, scan, reformat, modify,                       you’re getting into, and for the last time
 to point out phrases like “Third Party” with an          edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt,                 — read the fine print — please — you may
 interest level rating of one to five for each phrase.
                                                          create derivative works and distribute                  thank us later!

                                                                                                                                    Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 45
                                                Dorgem                                                         Advanced Eyespyfx
                                                Another streaming application to try out is                    If your webcam has a mount and rotor, you
                                                Dorgem, it has some pretty advanced features                   can use Eyespyfx to remotely pan and tilt the
  DIY                                           and is Open Source.                                            camera as well.

                                                           Time to watch out
                                                           If you need a simple, straightforward way to mon-
                                                           itor a location using basic equipment, locally or
                                                           over the internet, read on...

                                                           of features. The software also has motion      Click on Browse to change a path to a
                                                           detection, a feature that can be used to       suitable location on your hard disk. The
                                                           trigger recording as and when there is         Image quality option allows you to reduce
                                                           any activity in the area under surveil-        the file size of the stored images if you are
                                                           lance.                                         conservative about disk space. The Type
                                                                                                          option has a few file formats, JPG is an

                                                           Step 1:             On first start after
                                                                               the application is
                                                           installed, you will have to select a source
                                                                                                          ideal format. The interval option speci-
                                                                                                          fies a number of seconds after which an
                                                                                                          image will be saved.
  Aditya Madanapalle                                       for the video. An inbuilt camera on

              ou do not need expensive
                                                           the system, a video camera attached
                                                           through USB, or a web cam can all be
                                                           detected by Yawcam. Go to Settings
                                                                                                          Step 3:               Enabling motion
                                                                                                                                detection saves a
                                                                                                          photo every time there is some change in

  Y           equipment or software to set
              up a simple video surveil-
              lance system at your home
  or office. Any standard web cam and a
  computer will suffice for the basic sur-
  veillance setups outlined below. There
  are two scenarios under consideration,
                                                           > Device(None) > Change to and
                                                           select the source of the video. If there is
                                                           no option here, make sure that a camera
                                                           is connected, and all the relevant drivers
                                                                                                          the image on the webcam. Unfortunately,
                                                                                                          there is a “click” sound when the image is
                                                                                                          saved. There is no easy way to turn this
                                                                                                          off, and reducing the system volume is
                                                                                                          the only alternative. Be sure to select this
                                                                                                           option at the very last moment, before

  one that stores data locally, for set-ups
  without internet access, and another to
  stream the video over the internet onto
  various platforms. If you don’t already
  have a web cam, look for one with a
  long cord, and something small and
  discreet, as well as a mount, if you need
  to locate the web cam against the walls.
  Many web cams come with clip-mounts,                                                                    Motion detection in Yawcam
  which can be used to place the web cam
  at strategic locations. If you’re using                                                                  the surveillance begins, as there will be a
  devices such as netbooks with inbuilt                                                                   few images saved as and when you move
  cameras, be sure to change the battery                                                                  around after enabling it.
  settings in a way that the machine does
  not go into sleep mode on inactivity. If
  you are using a laptop or a netbook for
  long periods of surveillance, which is
                                                           Selecting a video source

                                                           installed. Once selected, the video
                                                                                                          Step 4:              Yawcam also allows
                                                                                                                               you to save the
                                                                                                          images on a remote location, such as
  not advisable, remove the battery from                   window will immediately start showing a        an FTP server. For online surveillance,
  the casing and use the power cable only,                 live stream.                                   a better option would be to stream live
  to lengthen the life of your battery.                                                                   video, but if you do want to save to a

  Using Yawcam for offline
                                                           Step 2:              In the main Control
                                                                                Panel tab of Yawcam,
                                                           are five basic toggles. File, FTP, HTTP,
                                                                                                          remote location, enable the FTP toggle,
                                                                                                          go to Settings > Edit Settings >
                                                                                                          Output > FTP and enter in the details
  Yawcam stands for Yet Another Webcam                     Stream and Motion. Click on File. This         of your FTP account. You will need an IP
  application, and is a small software that                will start saving the stream onto the local    address, a password, and the authentica-
  can be downloaded from www.yawcam.com.                   hard disk, in a temporary directory. Go        tion details. While Yawcam also allows
  It is a small program that packs in plenty               to Settings > Edit Settings > Output > File.   you to stream content online, there is a

46 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                 If you are looking for something a little more fun, try Yoics, a
                                 software that let’s you Tweet images from the surveillance, and
                                 upload videos regularly to a configured YouTube channel as well.                                                          diy

                                                      have to copy paste into the software, along    someone is watching over your shoulder.
                                                      with the email ID you provided. Along          Click on save and Sync. Now your stream
                                                      with the registration key, you will get a      cannot be accessed without a password,
                                                      secure pin number, which can be used to        but a stream with the name of your
                                                      access and identify the camera.                camera that you specified in Step 2 will
                                                                                                     still be listed on the site. This is presum-

                                                      Step 2:               You will be asked to
                                                                            choose a name for the
                                                                                                     ably for easy access to you as a user.

Uploading to FTP
better software for doing that, known as
                                                      camera. This is to identify the camera, in
                                                      case you are using multiple cameras on the
                                                      same account, which is also possible. Once
                                                                                                     Step 4:                You can try out the
                                                                                                                            live stream right
                                                                                                     away. Go to easyspyfx.com and search for a
Eyespyfx.                                             you enter in a chosen name, the camera         camera using the pin number that you
                                                      goes live, and starts streaming the video
Using Eyespyfx for online                             online. At this stage, the video stream
surveillance                                          can be viewed by anyone lurking on the
While Eyespyfx does not have motion                   Eyespyfx site, so proceed to the next step
detection, it has a very simple approach
for streaming video from a camera online.
The client for broadcasting the video is
free to download and use. Once a stream
is set-up, a browser window from any                  Choosing a name for the camera
location can be used to keep an eye on the
streaming video, including WAP enabled                quickly. There are various streams of video
mobile phones. There is a dedicated                   to browse through on the site, so your
mobile app available also, which comes at             stream is likely to be buried somewhere in
a price.                                              the list, however, it is a good idea to make
                                                      the video stream private.

Step 1:              Download and
                     install the Eyespyfx
broadcaster client. The client automati-              Step 3:               Click on Camera
                                                                            Settings and go to       Password protecting your video stream
cally picks up a video stream from any                the Password tab. Check the Password
connected camera, and displays it on the              protection On / Off checkbox and enter         received in Step 1. A page will open which
desktop. On first run, you will be asked               in a password. This screenshot shows a         will give you code for embedding the
for an e-mail id and a registration key.              line of asterisks, but the software does not   stream from the video cam on any web
This is free, and is a method to tie in your          hide the password, so be careful of this if    site or blog and a tinyurl link to directly
video stream to you, and allow for secure                                                            access the video stream online, or your
access. You will be directed to the web site                                                         mobile phone if it supports viewing video
for sign up, which just requires a name                                                              on a web site over GPRS. If you entered a
and email id. A registration key will be                                                             password in Step 3, you will be asked to
supplied to you immediately, which you                                                               key in this password before you can start
                                                                                                     viewing the video.

                                                                                                     Step 5:               You can archive
                                                                                                                           snapshots of the video
                                                                                                     stream as image files. The images will be
                                                                                                     stored on the Easyspyfx server. This feature
                                                                                                     is there to keep a track of what is going on
                                                                                                     in the area under surveillance if you are not
                                                                                                     constantly monitoring the video stream. Go
                                                                                                     to Camera Settings > Archive, and
                                                                                                     check the Archive On / Off checkbox.
                                                                                                     There are a number of interval options
                                                                                                     available, but you cannot specify your own.
                                                                                                     Unfortunately, there is no motion detection
Keying in registration details                        View your video stream online                  mechanism for this feature.

                                                                                                                    Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 47
                                                      DIY                                        Social Networking Overdrive
  Digital life
Section opener                                   50   Update your iPod without
                                                      iTunes across platforms          52        From extensions to mobile apps. A look at different ways
                                                                                                 to connect different

   A Gorillapod is a must-have travel accessory. The Gorillapod is a range of tripods manufac-
   tured by Joby, which has a tripod head attached to three flexible legs. These can be placed
   on uneven surfaces, wrapped around poles, hung from branches and even attached to
   windows in moving vehicles. Apart from cameras, there are Gorillapods available for PMPs
   that let you use the tripod as a stand for watching or recording. There are also many sizes
   available. You can order one for anywhere between Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 7,000 depending on
   the kind and size of Gorillapod you want

                                                                                                    Garmin Zumo 665
                                                                                                    Fresh from CES 2010, the Garmin Zumo
                                                                                                    665 Motorcycle GPS is a bike-enthusiast’s
                                                                                                    wet dream. Even if you totally ignore the
                                                                                                    GPS capabilities of the device, which has
                                                                                                    an impressive line up of traffic watch,
                                                                                                    turn by turn guidence and NavWeather
                                                                                                    for North America, the fact that this is
                                                                                                    a waterproof device that also streams
                                                                                                    radio, plays back mp3s and audiobooks
                                                                                                    is enough to get any biker salivating. The
                                                                                                    Zumo 665 is priced at a Jaw-dropping
                                                                                                    $999 (Rs. 45,280), but then there have
                                                                                                    been i-Phone apps that cost as much

 48 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Speed of light                                                                 Shuttle for sale
  Siemens breaks old LED light powered                                           NASA selling off old space shuttles at
  data transfer speeds at 500Mbps                                                $28.8 million dollars a piece                                 Droolmaal

Jetboil Flash
No more waiting till you’re grey for water
to boil on your outdoor adventures. The
Jetboil Flash Gold is the compact, ready to
go cooking solution for you. It gets water to
boil in under two minutes, and has a tripod
base stand for stability. The canister can be
used as the utensil for consumption itself,
and there is a colour indication for when
the food is ready. The fuel comes in pro-
prietary containers that you’ll have to get
from Jetboil. Showcased here is the Gold
version. The Flash comes in Violet, Sap-
phire and Carbon as well. You can pick up
one of these for Rs. 4,500

                                                Kodak Playsport
                                                Ever worried that your camcorder is not as extreme as you? Scared of sand particles in the
                                                ports or water ruining the screen? Fret no more, the Kodak Playsport is just the thing for
                                                you. Waterproof for upto three metres (10 feet), this recorder stores your most extreme
                                                memories at full 1080p resolution. There are a bunch of nifty features just for adventurers
                                                too, a Glare Shield for better clarity and a grabber for obraining images from video. There
                                                is also built in Facebook and Twitter functionality, so you are always connected no matter
                                                where your adventures take you. The device costs a measly Rs. 6600, but picking one up
                                                can be a problem because Kodak is always out of stock

Panasonic DMP-B15
Pick up the Panasonic DMP-B15, and you will be in the small club
of people who can watch Blu-Ray discs on the go. The world’s first
portable Blu-Ray player doubles up as a regular Blu-Ray player as
well, with ports for interfacing with HDTVs. There are also straps
for attaching the device to the back seat of a car. The screen of the
player is pretty small, a shade under 9 inches, but the player can
still throw out videos in 1080p HD resolution through the HDMI
port. You can pick one of these up at the launch price of Rs. 33,000

                                                                                                                     Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 49
                                                             Misa Guitar Surface                               Cantata
                                                             Misa Digital Guitar surface is an electric        The Cantata is a digital preamp/DAC that includes a
                                                             guitar with buttons instead of strings and is     built-in CD player and networking for external NAS
  DIY                                                        based on Linux                                    drives or computers

                                                 iPod Survival Guide
                                                 The iPod is one of the most sought after PMPs
                                                 around. We look at alternatives suites, especially if
                                                 you use a non-proprietary OS and don’t have iTunes
                                                 of iPod including the very latest iPod                      one is auto-fetching of missing ID3 tag
                                                 Touch (1st, 2nd and 3rd Generation) and                     information from internet databases
                                                 the iPhone (2G, 3G and 3GS including the                    including CD covers. The second way is
                                                 3.x firmware). One interesting feature                       manual update, MediaMonkey has a full
                                                 of note is that it can level volume of the                  featured tag editor with a very intuitive
                                                 tracks while syncing and will hence play                    interface. Complete ID3 tag informa-
  Nishith Rastogi                                at one normalised volume even on your                       tion is very important from the Point of
  readersletters@thinkdigit.com                  iPod. MediaMonkey also has a dedicated                      view of playing your music on your iPod
                                                 feature for downloading and managing                        because it stores and searches them based

         f you plug your iPod into a USB port    your podcast subscription. It can even                      on the meta data only as your directory
         and use its Disk Mode functionality,    sync it with your devices. One limitation                   structure is eliminated.
         it gets recognised as a mass storage    regarding iPod support is, as with many                        In terms of playback support Media-
         device where you can still copy your    other media players, that it needs iTunes                   Monkey doesn’t disappoint one bit. It
  files onto it, but it won’t play them. This     installed on your system to detect your                     belongs to the class of players which play
  happens because iPod uses a song Data-         iPod (especially iPhone/iPod Touch)                         anything you throw at them from MP3
  base called the iTunesDB to recognise the
  files stored in it. If you explore your iPod
  contents under the disk mode you will
  notice many folders named in a sequence
  such as F00, F01 and F02 with randomly
  named MP3 files.
      If you manually transfer a song from
  your computer to your iPod, this direc-
  tory structure is destroyed and the files
  are stored in a rather random pattern.
  This is precisely why you need an iPod
  manager (iTunes) to share music between
  your iPod and PC. The reason for such          A rock solid Windows based alternative for iTunes with a clean and intuitive interface
  a distribution is not officially disclosed
  and the guesstimates run from avoiding        as it uses the same device drivers. You                      to FLAC and everything in between.
  casual piracy to speed and efficiency          don’t need to use iTunes, but it should be                   So if you are looking at a Windows-
  gains.                                        merely present on your system.                               based alternative to replace iTunes as
      Many users find iTunes too bloated              One fun feature it boasts of is “Party                  your iPod manager and media player,
  for their needs and hence we now explore      Mode” where basically your player                            MediaMonkey offers itself as a rock
  a couple of alternative iPod managers for     runs in kiosk mode. So your guests can                       solid alternative with loads of options of
  both Windows and Linux Platform.              play/request songs themselves without                        customisation via plug-in support. It’s
                                                modifying your playlist, supporting this                     feature rich and has a snappy interface
  MediaMonkey                                   feature is the Auto-DJ, which automagi-                      even with dealing with huge collections.
  MediaMonkey is available in the
                           le                           cally selects tracks to play once
                                                              selec                                          If you can live with limited disc burning
  Free and Gold version. The
                           he                               the playlist runs out.
                                                                play                                         and ripping support, look no further for
  Free version is amply ablee                                     If you own a collection                    an alternative to iTunes.
  and the Gold version onlyy     Rs. 10 off on Digit             of more than 5,000 songs
  includes minor enhance-         Pre - order today!               collected from various
                                                                   c                                         SongBird
  ments in the area of Disk       Order the March 2010              sources you have obvi-
                                                                    s                                        This is a cross platform solution and
  Burning, MP3 encoding            edition of Digit. Book           ously faced the problem
                                                                    o                                        works well on both Linux, Windows and
  and Folder Monitoring.          before 20th Jan and get          of incomplete ID3 tags.
                                                                   o                                         even Mac. It has been made on the same
                                   Rs.10 off. Go to www.
     It supports syncing           thinkdigit.com/store           MediaMonkey handles
                                                                  M                                          core as Mozilla Firefox, and that itself is
  content with all generations
                           ons                                  this in two awesome ways,                    reason enough to be excited about this

50 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Hearing loss, what’s that?                                                                                      Hindsight
  The law suit against Apple holding it responsible for                                                           This here is the first ever CD player
  hearing loss allegedly casused by iPods may finally                                                              manufactured by Sony back in the 80s.
  be dismissed                                                                                                    At the time it cost $1000!                          DIY

product. It is an audio player with the
functionality of a web browser too, which
has been utilised properly to provide you
with augmented information about your
current playing file and a music store.
     It’s a complete feature by feature
match for iTunes and more. Like most
modern day players, it support skins
and plug-ins, a function which seems
obvious, given its roots in the Mozilla’s
XULRunner framework. Nearly four
years into development it has become
a player of choice today for users on all
platforms.                                                Foobar - strong competitor to MediaMonkey and extremely customisable
     iPod support comes in form of an add-
on, which is also currently one of the most               iPhone/iTouch, it must be jail broken for             Floola
download add-ons for songbird. Func-                      Amarok2 to support it properly.                       The simplest of all iPod managers men-
tionality includes syncing and transfer for                                                                     tioned here, it runs as a single executable
your music as well as videos. It can also                 Foobar2000                                            file. It’s so light on system resources that it
sync your playlist between your iPod and                  It prides itself at being the most customis-          can even work on old Celeron 400 MHz
hard disk based collection. Support for                   able audio player on the planet. You can              systems. If you have a netbook and all you
firmware 2.x and above on                                                   turn Foobar2000 into a               want to do is share music with your iPod,
iPhone/iPod Touch is a little                                              full-fledged music manager            floola should serve as a good alternative.
sketchy and will require a                                                  or ultra-light bare bone            Support for newer iPods is an issue.
jail broken version.                                                        music player via add-ons
     To sum it up, we’d say                                                 and plug-ins. Its feature           GtkPod
it’s a stable feature-full
                                            Read our detailed               rich, but just that setting         This one’s a Floola for Linux. One point of

                                           L C D monitor test
player with active develop-                                                 up Foobar2000 with                  note is that after editing your /etc/fuse.
ment and immense com-                                                        correct and complete cus-          conf by removing # from #user_allow_
munity support, but nearly                     next month                    tomisation can be a bit of a       other and installing a few libraries (gvfs
as heavy as iTunes in terms                                                  pain for a new user.               gvfs-backends gvfs-bin gvfs-fuse
of resource usage.                                                                                              libgvfscommon0 ifuse libgpod-dev
                                                                               Winamp                           libgpod-common libiphone-utils
Amarok2                                                   Considered as the de facto alternate media            libiphone0 python-iphone lib-
Available for the Linux platform, Amarok2                 player for a Windows-based system, it                 plist++1 libplist-utils python-
is a KDE-based music player with an                       supports music transfer, Via its iPod                 plist libusb-1.0-0 libusb-1.0-
interface to die for. It is widely regarded as            plugin (ml_ipod). Winamp though like                  0-dev libusbmuxd1 usbmuxd) this
the best Audio Player around in terms of                  iTunes, is extremely bloated and very                 is one of the few Linux software that can
interface and features across the gazillion               heavy on system resources for a media                 support iPhone and iTouch transfer and
choices in the Linux and Windows world.                   player. The interface can also be slightly            sync music.
If you want to sync the latest iteration of               overwhelming for a new user.

As Firefox add-ons add functionality to the core Songbird player, this one adds iPod support

                                                                                                                                 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 51
                                         Facebook, twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn! Update                 StayFocusd, a Google Chrome extension
                                         all your social networks in one go. Use this                 lets you block social networking sites if
  Feature                                useful little web service called ping.fm                     you prefer to

 Social networking overdrive
 From teenagers scrapping and poking, to a useful
 enterprise tool, social networking has come a long way
  Siddharth Raman                                          like Seesmic Desktop. The client runs               feature where you can mute those
  readersletters@thinkdigit.com                            on Adobe Air, and you can download it               whose updates you temporarily don’t
                                                           from www.seesmic.com. Though it also has            care about (for example, someone live

               oday, social networking isn’t               a web counterpart called Seesmic Web,               tweeting a conference you have no
               just about reconnecting with                the Desktop client seamlessly integrates            interest in). You can also update Face-
               old friends – it’s a powerful               Facebook and Twitter allowing you                   book from the same interface.
               medium of communication for                 to update and keep track of others. It                  On the desktop front, Scrapboy is
  personal use, business communication                     allows for multiple accounts, profile                quite useful. It links Orkut and Face-
  and entertainment.                                       views, and other time-saving features               book (among others) and allows you to
      There’re many who simply go online                   like auto-complete.                                 access your groups, see updates, and
  to access their social network. However,                     While on the topic of Twitter, the              browse walls/scrapbooks. Apart from
  with the API out, several users prefer                   other extremely popular Twitter client              instant notifications, a useful stealth
                                                                          is TweetDeck. Again built            mode, it also has a P2P option allowing
                                                                          using Adobe AIR, it also             you to exchange files with friends. It’s
                                                                          allows multiple account              a 7.6 MB download available from www.
                                                                          management, and features             scrapboy.com.
                                                                          quite similar to Seesmic.                Facebook has also launched an
                                                                          TweetDeck also allows you            official application called the Facebook
                                                                          to update your LinkedIn              Desktop for Adobe AIR. The good part
                                                                          status, besides displaying           is that it merely serves as a browser for
                                                                          local trends.                        Facebook. So you can use all of Face-
                                                                              Interesting functions            book’s features without opening your
                                                                          with tools such as Power             browser. Another cool desktop applica-
                                                                          include search and auto-             tion is the Facebook – Photo Uploader
                                                                          matic URL shortening.                launched by Adobe, and allows you to
                                                                          They also have their own             chat and upload photos.
                                                                          respective photo integra-                Among Desktop Clients, however,
  You’ll never be done counting the number of networking sites online!    tion that allows you to              Digsby steals the cake. For those who
                                                                        instantly upload photos and            use social networking primarily to stay
  desktop clients. A web browser can be                    provide links. The drawback about                   in touch, the multiple IM client also
  extremely distracting. For those who’re                  having Twitter clients with Facebook                has social networking options. Apart
  on the go, sites such as Twitter and Face-               integration is that most users link their           from integrating MSN, Yahoo!, GTalk
  book have mobile versions that can be                    Facebook and Twitter updates, so you                and Facebook Chat (among others) and
  easily accessed on your mobile internet                  usually end up seeing
  browser.                                                 redundant updates.
      The iPhone, of course, offers a wide                      Mac users have
  range of applications for the same. The                  the option of Tweetie
  other ways you could connect is through                  for Mac or the Mac
  your web browser, your IM client, and                    Lounge among other
  your homepage (read iGoogle or similar).                 desktop clients for
      If you insist on using the web but                   Twitter. Tweeple
  find it too cumbersome to access, www.                    should also try out
  power.com gives you a one-stop destina-                  Brizzly (www.brizzly.
  tion through which you can access                        com). It has nice
  Orkut, Twitter and LinkedIn. It also                     features such as
  allows you to access hi5 and MySpace.                    grouping and an
  Desktop users would prefer something                     interesting mute           Seesmic Desktop vs. TweetDeck

52 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                   Networking altruism
                   Whatever happened to ICQ?                                                       An entirely social networking based viral campaign
                   Well it’s back in the game with a shiny new avatar ICQ7,                        promoted through sites like Facebook and Twitter earned
                   that integrates social networking. Ah nostalgia...                              more than $3 million for Red Cross relief work in Haiti         Feature

managing multiple email accounts, it                             For Browser add-ons, we recommend
also allows you to receive updates and                      trying out either Chrome or Firefox.
send status messages on your Face-                          Though Chrome extensions are a rela-
book, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn                         tively newer addition, and may not have
accounts. It has a real-time Newsfeed                       the varied options that Firefox does,
box with notifications. Digsby (www.digsby.                  they’re worth a try. For Firefox add-ons,
com) is more than just an application for                   go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.
social networking. Its lack of features                          Echofon (http://echofon.com/twitter/firefox/)
such as Lists and Search is compensated                     is by far our favourite when it comes
by its email and chat features.                             to browser based Twitter clients. With
    Facebook Notifier, fbQuick, Scrap                        three windows (one for timeline, one for
Notifier are some unofficial apps that                        mentions and direct messages), it also
notify you. An application such as Growl                    has multiple account support. It rests
for Windows or Snarl could integrate                        at the bottom of the browser with an
most of your networks.                                      unread message count and has a pop-up
    Of course, the above Desktop Clients                    feature for new messages.
for various networks are merely some                             Yoono is another multiple social-net-
among several. Depending on your level                      working one-stop destination that allows
of functionality, there are many clients                    a sidebar extension to Firefox. It allows
(especially for Twitter) out there that                     you to update and monitor Facebook,
you could tweak and customise to suit                       Twitter, MySpace among others and has                   Connect on your handset with Facebook’s mobile site
                                                            IM features allowing you to add Yahoo!,
                                                            Gtalk and MSN.                                          net, http://m.tweete.net among several others.
                                                                 Check http://chrome.google.com/extensions          These offer some functionalities that the
                                                            for social networking extensions that                   mobile Twitter site does not, such as the
                                                            you can plug into Google Chrome.                        ability to disable images from loading
                                                                 For those who use iGoogle or the                   and present links as plain text. They have
                                                            Google Desktop application, there are also              standard features such as bookmark as
                                                            widgets and gadgets that you can use to                 favourite, retweet and reply.
                                                            view Twitter, Facebook and other applica-                   With Mobile apps, it’s a harder list to
                                                            tions. Several IM clients such as Meebo                 gather. There’s the standard one offered
                                                            and Imo.im also allow you to integrate Face-            by companies themselves. An official
Digsby, one stop for all your networking online             book chat and Twitter updates. Gmail has                Facebook app, for example, comes built-in
                                                            TwitterGadget (www.twittergadget.com) where             with certain Nokia phones. Orkut also has
your purpose. For several users, the                        you can access Twitter right from Gmail.                a mobile application. For Twitter, there’s
amount of RAM an application con-                           There’s a Facebook gadget that works on                 a huge market with loads of competition
sumes is a major factor while weighing                      iGoogle and Gmail (http://www.brianngo.net/             each vying for the top space. You’d have
its merits.                                                 ig/facebook.xml) (though not an official one).           the best of choices if you owned an iPhone
    Moving over from the desktop,                           Orkut, being a Google product integrates                since most networks have an app custom
there’re several users who spend hours                      quite well with Gmail with options such                 built for it. There’re also several third-
online browsing web sites. Hence, a                         as Orkut birthdays and more.                            party applications. Most apps, however,
browser add-on should fit the bill nicely.                        After browsers and desktop apps,                   are platform dependent. Fring seems to be
For one, there’s the Facebook Toolbar for                   there’s the mobile. Facebook has two                    a popular one across platforms.
Firefox. Developed by Facebook (http://                     mobile sites – one for normal mobile                        On the whole, the options out there
developers.facebook.com/toolbar/), it allows you            browsers (m.facebook.com) and the other                 are several. The number of ways you can
to search Facebook from anywhere and                        for touch-enabled phones (x.facebook.com).              access your favourite social networking
get notified of new pokes, friend requests,                  Similarly Orkut, Twitter and LinkedIn                   site are numerous. We’d recommend
messages, invitation, wall posts, profile                    have mobile versions. The typical URL                   trying one of every kind. If at home, use
updates, photos and everything else.                        for most web sites with a mobile friendly               a Desktop client, if at work, use an inline
You can also open the Facebook Sidebar                      version is m.<web site>.com. So you have                browser application or a web-based
with a click of an icon to chat with those                  m.twitter.com, m.orkut.com and so on. With              offshoot, and while travelling, try both the
online. Possibly the most useful tool for                   Twitter, there are also other sites which               mobile application and try accessing it via
compulsive content sharers is the option                    have a better functionality when it comes               mobile browser. See which suites you the
to share on Facebook the webpage you                        to accessing them via mobile. Few exam-                 best. It’s not just about convenience and
are viewing currently.                                      ples include http://dabr.co.uk, http://m.slandr.        customisation, it’s also a lot of fun.

                                                                                                                                    Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 53
                                                     F1 for speed                                    Green Heights
                                                     There’s more to F1 than laps, speed, burning    Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the

      Scitech                                   58   rubber and champagne. Read to know the
                                                     technology behind designing an F1 car
                                                                                                     world, expected to be the tallest Green Building
                                                                                                     in the world in 18 months

                                                      Reaching out
                                                      to the skies
                                                      Nishith Rastogi                                   instability, and hence they are built around
                                                      readersletters@thinkdigit.com                     a central frame generally made of steel.
                                                                                                        Think of the steel frame as a three dimen-

                                                                   id you know the world’s tallest      sional lattice of interconnected steel bars
                                                                   building, the Burj Khalifa,          on which the weight of the whole building
                                                                   and mobile phone company             rests. This eliminates the need of the load
                                                                   Samsung have a connection?           bearing shear walls, and instead can be
                                                      Skyscrapers such as the Burj have come            replaced by curtain wall generally made
                                                      a long way from The Home Insurance                of glass giving massive weight advantages.
                                                      Building, constructed in 1885 and com-            This is the main reason to why skyscrapers
                                                      monly referred as the first skyscraper,            have glass walls.
                                                      which was merely 138 feet in height and               Most modern (post 1970) skyscrapers
                                                      had ten stories. Today, Burj Khalifa is           use the “Tube Frame” which was intro-
                                                      the tallest freestanding structure made           duced by Fazlur Rahman Khan. This
                                                      by man with a staggering height of 828            was done to resist lateral forces of wind
                                                      metres. If the name Burj Khalifa sounds           and storm. Here, the whole building acts
                                                      unfamiliar, that’s because Burj Dubai             like one hollow beam positioned per-
                                                      at the last moment was renamed to                 pendicular to the ground surface. The
                                                      Burj Khalifa in the honour of the ruling          exterior of the building is reinforced with
                                                      president of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa            intersecting spandrel beams.
                                                      bin Zayed al Nahyan who provided a $10                A major challenge in building a
                                                      billion bailout for the financially troubled       super-heavy skyscraper is creating a
                                                      Dubai government.                                 stable foundation for the building. For
                                                          There’s no exact definition to what            example, consider the Burj Al Arab,
                                                      qualifies as a skyscraper and is more              famously known as the yacht shaped
                                                      like a variable with time, and geographic         hotel in Dubai. It took close to three years
                                                      region as it’s dependent parameter. Cur-          to reclaim the land from the sea and form
                                                      rently, in the US as a matter of conven-          the foundation. The rest of the building
                                                      tion, buildings greater than 150 metres           was completed in approximately the
                                                      (approximately 45 stories) are classified          same time frame. To maintain stability,
                                                      as skyscrapers. As you’d know, a building         230 concrete pipes (each 40-metre long)
                                                      in India with a height of over 100 metres         were drilled in to the ground.
                                                      would be clearly distinguishable from its             Similarly, the Taipei 101 tower built in
                                                      surroundings and would earn the title of          earthquake prone Taiwan has 382 of such
                                                      being a skyscraper.                               concrete pipes (each of which is 30 metres
                                                          The ability of living and working 100         in height and 1.5 metres in diameter) drilled
                                                      stories above the ground present its own          into the ground to secure the building from
                                                      set of unique challenges ranging in domain        earthquake. Approximately 15 months
                                                      from construction to plumbing. Here’s             were devoted to the construction of this
                                                      a look at some of the problems faced by           foundation. It was the tallest building at the
                                                      designers and civil engineers while con-          time of its construction.
                                                      structing a skyscraper and their solutions.           In the case of Burj Khalifa, there
                                                                                                        were 192 pipes with lengths exceeding
                                                      Construction                                      50 metres each. Reinforced concrete
                                                      Given their height, skyscrapers either            forms the main structural system for the
                                                      sink in to the ground, or collapse due to         building, a total of 3,33,000 cubic metres

54 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Termite construction                                                                        Vertical Limit
  The Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe which                                               A single building 3,281 ft tall, 1,312 ft and a total floor area
  is inspired from termite mounds, has no air                                                 of 8 square kilometers. The concept building is to have a
  conditioning yet has regulated temperatures                                                 capacity of about one lac workers! Can it get any bigger?           Feature

of concrete is used for the building, by             aerodynamically efficient. According to                     sounding device is actually a 730 ton ball
comparison a typical water tank in a                 Wayne Boulton, GM (Wind Energy) at                         suspended by eight solid steel cables. This
household is of 1 cubic metre capacity.              RWDI, “We constructed a scale model and                    device acts like a giant pendulum and
Constructing this massive building took              put it in a wind tunnel. In the wind tunnel,               counters the motion of the building due
a total of 22 million man-hours.                     we are able to test a number of different                  to seismic and atmospheric forces. It was
    The climate of the construction site             wind speeds and directions. We can test                    designed and constructed by firm called
provided added challenges due to the                 the pressure you would get on the surface                  Motioneering. It can move to a maximum
heat in the daytime with temperatures                of the building under normal conditions                    of five feet in any direction and is sur-
exceeding 50 degree Celsius. Therefore,              and also under more extreme events.”                       rounded by a protective bumper ring to
the concrete was poured during the night                                                                        prevent it from swaying too far.
(the air is much cooler and the humidity             Safety                                                         Another example of the installation
is higher, which is essential for curing             With more than 10,000 people living                        of a Tuned Mass Damper is an oil based
the mixture evenly) mixed with ice and               in a confined space of a modern day                         hydraulic system in the Citicorp Center in
was pumped to a staggering height of 601             skyscraper safety becomes an important                     New York. The hydraulic system adjusts
metres creating a world record of its own.
Previous record for concrete pumping
was held of the Riva del Garda Hydroelectric
Power Plant in Italy in 1994, when concrete
was pumped to a height of 532 metres.
At the peak of its construction, the Burj
Khalifa was adding a story to the structure
every three days and hence it was abso-
lutely essential for the concrete mix to not
form any cracks and cause any delays.
    Constructing structures so far above
the ground faces serious wind problem.
To give an example, the wind velocity at
the top of the Burj Khalifa can be thrice the
velocity at the base. Given the climate of
Dubai, wind speeds at the base itself can            A graphic representation of Skyscraper heights along the ages
exceed 50 kilometres per hour. The Chi-
cago-based architectural firm Skidmore,               issue. There are two aspects for it – one is               the position of the a 400-ton concrete
Owings & Merrill, who were responsible               protecting from man-made mishaps such                      weight block located on one of the top
for the design of Burj Khalifa were aware            as fire and electricity, which is relatively                floors and in effect adjusting the entire
of this challenge and to counter it they             easier to tackle. The other is protecting                  weight of the building from one side to
had contracted a Canadian-based wind                 a structure more than 500 metre above                      another. A powerful array of computers
engineering firm RWDI, who was respon-                the ground from forces of nature such                      and sensors monitor the wind forces
sible for checking if the various designs of         as typhoons and earthquakes. We shall                      around the building and generate the
the building made by the architects were             look at two counter systems to get a feel of               stimulus for the movement of the block.
                                                     structural safety measures in skyscrapers.                     Burj Khalifa also has the provision of
                                                         The Taipei 101 Tower sits merely 660                   pressurised, fire-proof, structurally rein-
                                                     feet from a major fault line in Taiwan,                    forced and critically air-conditioned refuge
                                                     or in simple terms is very prone to                        chambers located after every 25 floors, so
                                                     earthquake damage. To counter this, the                    in case of any disaster, natural or man-
                                                     construction engineer first wrapped the                     made disaster occupants needn’t climb
                                                     entire building in a massive steel cage                    down more than 160 floors to find safety.
                                                     of immensely welded steel columns that                         Another unique challenge is the
                                                     is designed to flex and bend to absorb                      skyscraper causing earthquakes in the
                                                     seismic energy. The engineers proclaim                     surrounding region. Many had believed
                                                     that this can withstand the impact of the                  that the Taipei 101 tower had reactivated
                                                     most powerful earthquake in 2,500 years.                   a dormant fault line. In order to counter
                                                         A second counter measure is the inclu-                 this argument the designers and con-
Extreme engineering solutions like Wind Tunnel       sion of a Tuned Mass Damper (TMD),                         struction contractor of the tower had
simulations, generally reserved for race cars, are   which also prevents damage from lateral                    ensured that they remove equivalent
used in the construction of Modern Day Skyscrapers   forces such as strong wind. This innocent                  amount of soil from the foundation as the

                                                                                                                                   Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 55
                                                              Urban Cactus
                                                              The Urban Cactus, Rotterdam is        Riding High
                                                              a residential green project in the    Big Shot is the highest amusement ride
                                                              Netherlands offering 98 residential   located on the Stratosphere Tower in Las
  Feature                                                     units on 19 floors                     Vegas at 329m

  weight of the whole tower, a figure close       fireman’s elevator will have a capacity                national pride is aesthetically appealing is
  to a staggering 7,00,000 tons in this case.    of 5,500 kg, compare this to the elevator             taken very seriously by the designers and
                                                 in your building which generally has a                can cost a major fraction of the total time
  Mobile connectivity                            capacity of 800 kg or less.                           and money spent on the project.
  It’s not rare to see lots of people standing                                                             For example, there are over 1,000
  next to windows or in the open lobby in        Maintenance                                           pieces of art that will be on display inside
  multi-storied building hooked to their         Simple and trivial as it may look, main-              the Burj Khalifa. The lobby alone boasts
  mobile phones because of poor signal           tenance work post-construction in itself              of 196 cymbals constructed out of bronze
  strength in their offices. Imagine this         is a major challenge. Take the example of             and brass alloy, each representing one
  problem at the scale of Burj Khalifa. The      cleaning the windows in Burj Khalifa. To              nation of the world. They are plated by
  engineers at task have handled this            accomplish this seemingly simple task,                18-carat gold and individually produce a
  problem in style. Two local companies Du       a system worth more than $8 million                   distinctive sound when struck by drip-
  and Etisalat have provided complete con-       (approximately Rs. 40 crore) is installed             ping water, intended to mimic the sound
  nectivity inside the building including        in Burj Khalifa by an Australian com-                 of water falling on leaves.
  elevators and lobbies at speeds exceeding      pany called Cox Gomyl. The machinery                      On the outside stands an electroni-
  anywhere else in the region. The building      was manufactured in Airport West and                  cally controlled fountain designed by
  is equipped with state-of-the-art HSPA+        is operated in manned mode for the lower              WET Design (the California-based
  3.5G mobile connectivity that offers           stories and completely unmanned after                 company whose other installations
  speeds up to 21 Mbps for download and 11       that. It takes about 3 months to complete             include fountains at the Bellagio Hotel
  Mbps for uploads.                              the whole building, so yes, as you can                Lake in Las Vegas) at a cost of $217 mil-
                                                                                                       lion (over Rs. 1,000 crore). The fountain
  Elevators                                                                                            is fitted with over 6,000 lights, each of
  One of the primary things that make a                                                                which can be controlled electronically
  skyscraper practical is the inclusion of                                                             and has 50 coloured projectors. The
  elevators. Choosing the number, size                                                                 275-metre long fountain can shoot water
  and configuration of elevators is a major                                                             up to a height of 150 metres (that is over
  decision because increasing the number                                                               40 stories, so yes if you are reading this
  of floors in a building leads to more                                                                 article anywhere in India, the fountain
  occupants who need more elevators to                                                                 can drench you on your rooftop) is a
  carry them, but elevators occupy a lot of                                                            technological marvel in itself.
  valuable floor space and hence decreasing       So you thought cleaning your windows was tough?           The race to build the tallest and
  occupancy potential.                                                                                 strongest includes the use of wind tun-
      The Burj Khalifa, not surprisingly,        imagine, it is dirty by the end of a cycle            nels, material research which ironically
  has the fastest elevator in the world and      and the system is operated continuously.              involves use of nano particles to form
  can travel at a peak speed of 64 kmph –            Horizontal tracks are fixed on the                 stable mega structures, sophisticated
  faster than some of the first aircraft. At      exterior via which small transport hubs               digital monitoring systems, automated
  this speed, you can descend more than          move carrying workers and equipment,                  cranes and so on. As cities get ever more
  4 stories in a single second. Even the         when not in use they are tucked away out              crowded the next natural step is to con-
  relatively slow elevators in Taipei 101 can    of sight to maintain aesthetics. The tracks           struct building over 1 kilometre in height
  transfer you from fifth to 89th floor in just    are located on the level number 40, 73                and you might not have to hold your
  37 seconds.                                    and 1,009. Each track is equipped with a              breath far too long for it since the Saudi
      Most skyscrapers in order to save          1.5 tonne bucket machine which can slide              Prince Al Waleed bin Talal is already on
  space and increase capacity use double-        over the tracks horizontally and then will            the job.
  deck elevators where via the same              descend vertically using strong cables to
  elevator shaft two floors are serviced at       cover the whole building.                               If you don’t know why this is here,
  the same time. Obvious disadvantages                                                                   turn to page 109 to start playing
  include increased travel time as passen-       Aesthetics                                              Digit’s Crack The Code contest
  gers on both floors have to stop even if the    A seemingly unimportant considera-                      0111010001101000011010010110111
  elevator needs to stop at only one floor.       tion on the surface, but having the tallest             0011010110110010001101001011001
  Burj Khalifa is also one of the few build-     building in your country has become                     1101101001011101000010111001100
  ings in the world in which certain eleva-      an issue of national pride. It is similar to            0110110111101101101001011110110
  tors can be used for speedy evacuation         hosting the Olympics or Commonwealth                    0100001011110110001001101001011
  in case of fire as opposed to conventional      games and exhibits the technological and                0111001100001011100100111100100
  scenarios where elevator operation is          economic advancements of your nation.                   1011010110100101110011001011010
  stopped during fire. The building service/      The task of ensuring that such a symbol of              11001100111010101101110

56 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                160 kmph                                                     Race tracks
                                                The speed at which it becomes possible for most F1 cars to   In the Monaco Grand Prix, manhole covers had to be welded to
  How stuff works                               drive upside down in tunnels, due to high downward forces    avoid dislocation due to the downward force of the cars

                                                                                                                    There’s more to F1 cars
                                                                                                                    than powerful engines.
                                                                                                                    Aerodynamics, gravity
                                                                                                                    and smart design work
                                                                                                                    wonders on the track

                                                 F1 for speed
  Mohamed Rameez                                            the car, caused by gravity is the third                 in this direction was the realisation that
  readersletters@thinkdigit.com                             force and acts in a downward direction,                 the weights of the cars could be further
                                                            to keep the car to the ground. A fourth,                dropped (allowing them to become

              he modern formula one (F1)                    very important force, is the aerodynami-                lighter and hence faster), while the func-
              race car has a lot in common                  cally created downward force, which                     tion that weight served, of keeping the
              with an advanced jet fighter.                  acts more or less in the same direction as              car pressed to the road during curves
              A majority of these common                    the weight of the car, to keep it pressed               and slopes, could be passed on to aero-
  features come from the aerodynamic                        downward. In modern F1 cars, the down                   dynamic forces. The result of this line
  considerations that go into its design.                   force can reach magnitudes as high as                   of thought was to fit wings onto F1 race
     To truly understand aerodynamics in                    3.5 times the weight of the car.                        cars. Though similar in many ways to
  F1 cars, we’ll have to look at the various                    While the driver can vary thrust by                 aircraft wings (in their cross sectional
  forces, aerodynamic and otherwise that                    changing gears and revving the engine,                  geometries), the wings in F1 race cars
  act on an F1 race car (or for that matter,                the weight is constant. The drag and                    are mounted upside down, (in a manner
  any moving body in the atmosphere).                       downward force are largely a function                   of speaking) to create down force rather
  One of the largest forces that act on an F1               of the speed of the car (and hence not                  than lift (the upward force that helps an
  race car is its thrust - the driving force                directly under the driver’s control).                   aircraft fly).
  supplied by the engines, through the                                                                                  Alongside, the overall geometries of
  wheels, that causes it to move forward               Function of aerodynamics                                     an aircraft were also altered to reduce
  (acceleration). In an F1 race car, this              In the 1960s, with stagnation in internal                    drag, so that the total force causing it to
  force is often several fold greater                                    combustion engine                          accelerate could be increased. The result
  than regular cars, although the                                        technologies (all path                     was rapid and explosive development
  total weight is much lower than                                        breaking developments                      in these sectors often leading to cata-
  a road car.                                                            had already been made,                     strophic disasters, causing the racing
     The second force, known as                                          with further develop-                      regulatory authorities to follow up
  drag, acts in the opposite direc-                                      ments leading to only                      with strict regulations, in the interest of
  tion to its motion (backward)                                          minor refinements), new                     safety. The 1970 racing season witnessed
  and is due to air resistance. A                                        ways had to be explored                    a new set of regulations, on the size and
  core function of aerodynamics          Airflow over a Renault formula to improve the perform-                      location of wings in an F1 race car. Ever
  in F1 race cars is to minimise         1 race car, generated using the ance of a race car.                        since, the aerodynamics have played a
  this drag force. The weight of         software Fluent 6                   One of the first steps                  large, often pivotal role in F1 race car

58 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Car design                                                                                F1 computation
  A 10 per cent variation in down force leads to a difference of 2 seconds                  Some F1 teams design their cars using computational
  in lap times, making it the most important factor in F1 car design                        power comparable to those of large aerospace firms            How stuff works

design, characterised by regulations for
safety considerations, quickly followed
up by clever innovations by designers.
Today, the more popular F1 race cars
spend upwards of $100 million on aero-
dynamic design, with up to $50 million
spent on construction of wind tunnels,                        Flip ups on a Williams Formula 1 race car
much in the same way as the design of
modern aircraft.
    Today, the core function of aerody-
namic considerations in the design of F1
race cars is to:
• Reduce drag, so that the forward acting
  force, and acceleration can be maxim-
  ised.                                                       Turning Vanes
• Increase down force, so that the car is                     air smoothly along the sides of the car, so
  highly stable and can take tight cor-                       that turbulence and drag is minimised.
  ners by hugging the ground.
    Let us take a look at how it is imple-                    The Bargeboards
mented. The different aerodynamic                             Although these have been done away
components of an F1 race car are as                           with since 2009, the function of barge-
follows:                                                      boards when they existed earlier used
                                                              to guide the air sailing past the front
Wings                                                         wheels into the engine radiator intakes
The wings of an F1 race car are located                       for engine cooling.
near the nose and toward the rear                                 While the above mentioned are the
are the most important aerodynamic                            most important individual aerodynamic
components of the car. Their function                         components, many smaller ones such
is to provide a downward force, that                          as flip ups, turning vanes and nose cone
causes the car to hug the ground. The                         holes exist over the geometry of the car
front and the rear wing together provide                      as per individual requirements. While
more than 50 per cent of the down force                       flip ups are controllable components
between them and hence play a crucial                         used to increase down force, a turning
role in stabilizing the car. In many cars,                    vane produces extra turning force by
these wings are movable by the driver, to                     redirecting airflow. Nose cone holes
a large extent, so that he has control over                   serve to reduce shock and hence drag.
what component of the down force is                               Apart from specific aerodynamic
provided by each one individually.                            components, almost every part of an F1
                                                              race car is designed with aerodynamic
The Diffuser                                                  considerations. The whole body is
A component found towards the rear                            designed to act like an air foil, providing
bottom of the car, it is curved slightly                      further down force. Engine intakes and
upward and functions to reduce the                            exhausts are designed to avoid tur-
turbulence in the airflow below the car.                       bulence. Even the wheel surfaces are
The final effect is that the airflow below                      designed to avoid turbulence.
the car, being less turbulent than the                            Formula 1 race car aerodynamics has
one above, is now at a higher speed, and                      been a constant race of one-upmanship
hence lower pressure (Bernoulli’s prin-                       between the regulators, with safety
ciple by which aircraft wings create lift).                   concerns in mind and the designers who
This causes the car to hug the track (due                     immediately come up with clever innova-
to more downward force).                                      tions to avoid reduction in aerodynamic
                                                              performance. With neither side likely to
End Plates                                                    give up anytime soon, we can expect a lot
The end plates, found perpendicular to                        in the way of development in F1 race car
the front wings at both sides guide the                       aerodynamics in the future.

                                                                                                                                         Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 59
                                                           Netbook test                                               Bazaar
Tried & Tested                                    66       We’ve looked at some of the most popular netbooks
                                                           this month. Find out which one suits you            72     Exciting gadgets and gizmos
                                                                                                                      reviewed this month

        Storage is no
        longer about
       boring boxes.
     There’s style as                            Appetite for
    well as perform-
         ance. We’ve
      tested a whole
   range of external
   storage solutions
          this month

  Nimish Sawant                                  to their previous generation             bounds. Not only does it               viduals with heavy data storage
  nimish.sawant@thinkdigit.com                   counterparts. Form factors are           improve portability, it also           requirements. With more and
                                                 also reducing with the passing           makes a lot of economical sense        more people archiving their

             one are the days                    of time. The comparatively               to have some sort of external          files digitally be it music, docu-
             when external                       bulkier desktop hard drives              hard drive for purposes like           ments, photographs or videos,
             memory devices                      are now available in stylish             backing up important data.             the market for external hard
             were boring to                      rectangular cases.                                                              drives will always be on the
  look at. They’ve now become                       With digital data encom-              Portable hard drives                   rise. None of the portable hard
  a lifestyle product of sorts                   passing all aspects of our life,         Unlike internal storage devices,       drives required any external
  with companies trying to                       the need for storage other               with portable hard drives even         power connection.
  outdo each other not only in                   than the static internal hard            form factor and design aspects             We got around nine compact
  increased capacity, but also                   drive has risen. With memory             matter. This segment comprised         drives to test in this category.
  improved aesthetics. Portable                  becoming cheaper as time                 compact, sleek and stylish hard        Western Digital’s (WD) Passport
  drives are getting more com-                   passes, the storage capacity             drives that provide portability        series of external hard drives all
  pact and sleek as compared                     has improved by leaps and                which is very important for indi-      have a similar design. We tested

 60 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Eye-Fi = memory + Wi-fi                                                                 World’s first
  Eye-fi SD cards are Wi-Fi enabled letting you print photos, transfer music,             Silicon Power ups the ante, cramming 128GB
  upload videos to YouTube, all without connecting a single cable                        into a 400x Compact flash card                        Tried & Tested

                                                                                                                                                                     Photography: Jiten Gandhi
                                                                                                                                                                     Imaging: Vijay Padaya

the 500 GB WD Passport Essen-         the drive more stability. An             come with an inbuilt software            drive has an interesting form
tial, 500 GB WD Passport Elite        interesting aspect of this drive         called WD SmartWare which                factor in the sense that unlike
and 750 GB WD Pass-                          is the capacity gauge             lets users password protect their        other drives, it has cornered
port Essential SE. The                       which shows the amount            drives as well as automatically          edges. Due to the white glossy
Essential series is rather                   of free space inside the          backup data. Visual animation,           finish, the drive tend to be slip-
squarish as compared to                      drive. All the WD drives          showing the transfer in process          pery, so care needs to be taken.
                             FEBRUARY 2010
others. The 750 GB hard                                                             is an interesting feature.          The presence of FireWire 400
drive is thicker than its                                                               The interface for all the       and FireWire 800 port give the
500GB counterpart. The WD                                                           hard drives including WD’s          drive two additional interfaces
Passport Elite comes in metallic                                                    drives is the same ie. mini-        to transfer data.
red colour with a USB dock,                                                         USB. Only the Iomega eGo                The other Iomega drive is
unlike all the other drives. We                                                     hard drive has two FireWire         the 250 GB Iomega Prestige.
feel that a USB stand is just a                                                     interfaces in addition to the       It has a brushed metal finish
gimmick and doesn’t really                                                          mini-USB port.                      with the Iomega logo embossed
help much apart from giving                                                             The 300GB Iomega eGo            onto it. A tiny slit in the centre

                                            Transcend StoreJet 25M
                                                                                                                          Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 61
                                                         Realising the CES dream                                   Lightning fast
                                                         Sony releases TransferJet, a wireless Memory Stick        Light Peak is Intel’s codename for a optical technology
  Storage test                                           showcased at CES 2010                                     that can trasnfer data at speeds upto 10 Gbps

                                                                                                                                                                              FEBRUARY 2010


   BRAND                                WD               WD                WD                BUFFALO           TRANSCEND        IOMEGA         IOMEGA             SEAGATE       A-DATA
                                        My Passport      My Passport       My Passport                                          Prestige
   Model Name                                                                                MiniStation       StoreJet 25M                    eGo                FreeAgent Go Nobility
                                        Essential SE     Elite             Essential                                            Portable

                                        WDBAB-           WDBAAC-           WDBAAA5           HD-PX 320/                                                           ST905003
   Model Number                                                                                                TS500GSJ25M      LPHD-UP        RPHD-TG                          NH92
                                        M7500ABK         5000ARD-NESN      000ABK-NESN       BK-AP                                                                FAA2E1-RK

   Price (Rs.)                          Rs. 10,999       Rs. 6,999         Rs. 7,249         Rs. 9,000         Rs. 4,350        Rs. 3,199      Rs. 3,899          Rs. 5,500     Rs. 2,900

   HDD capacity (GB)                    697.98           465.11            465.11            297.48            465.76           232.88         298.09             465.76        298.09

   Interface                            USB 2.0          USB 2.0           USB 2.0           USB 2.0           USB 2.0          USB 2.0        USB 2.0 / FireWire USB 2.0       USB 2.0

   Rotational Speed (RPM)               5400             5400              5400              5400              5400             5400           5400               5400          5400
   Buffer Size (MB)                     8                8                 8                 8                 8                8              8                  8             8
   Performance                          76.39            75.81             72.36             72.41             78.74            74.92          77.45              67.61         78.68
   Synthetic Tests
   HD Tach (8 MB file)
   Average Read (MBps)                  34.4             29.6              30.9              35                33.2             34.9           34.9 / 39.7        28            32.8
   Average Write (MBps)                 24.3             24.3              23                25.3              30.2             30.6           25.9 / 5.4         23.9          30.6
   CPU Utilisation (%)                  6                4                 2                 3                 4                6              4/1                4             5
   Random Access Time (ms)              17.3             16.4              16.9              26.5              18               15.9           18.4 / 18.8        21.8          17.1
   Read Burst Speed (MBps)              35.1             35.2              37.7              36.2              36.2             35.3           35.2 / 42.1        30.6          37.7
   HD Tach (32 MB file)
   Average Read (MBps)                  34.9             34.9              34.9              34.9              33.1             34.9           34.8 / 39.7        28            32.8
   Average Write (MBps)                 27.6             27.5              27.7              29.2              30.5             30.8           29 / 5.4           25.2          30.6
   CPU Utilisation (%)                  5                4                 4                 4                 4                5              4/2                4             6
   Random Access Time (ms)              17.3             16.4              17                23.1              18.1             15.8           18.4 / 18.7        22.1          17.1
   Read Burst Speed (MBps)              35.2             35.1              37.4              35.1              35.2             35.3           35.2 / 42.2        31            35.3
   SiSoft Sandra 2010
   Drive Index, Read (MBps)             33               31.4              31.7              33                31.59            32.6           33 / 41.27         26.83         31.2
   Access Time, read (ms)               15.36            16.1              13                20                14               15.4           18.52 / 18.66      16.42         13.33
   Drive Index, Write (MBps)            27.28            26.11             24                29.26             28.52            29.15          29 / 27            25.8          28.24
   Access time, write (ms)              3.81             7.28              5.63              4.6               4.18             7              5.42 / 7.7         8.58          23.27
   Real World Tests (MBps)
   File Write 8 GB Single File          30.80            30.34             26.95             28.25             31.27            31.51          31.03 / 29.47      26.09         31.51

   File Write Test Assorted 8 GB File   27.31            27.13             24.09             22.02             29.47            29.47          28.24 / 27.31      25.92         28.44

   Read Test Single 8 GB File           32.51            32.51             32.51             32.51             30.80            32.51          32 / 40.96         26.77         32.51
   Read Test Assorted 8 GB File         30.80            30.57             30.57             31.27             29.68            31.51          31.26 / 38.64      25.76         31.51
   Photoshop CS2 (1 GB File, in
                                        83               81                86                82                72               116            79 / 150           83            74

  indicates the power and data                         This means that the drive is very               haven’t tested this aspect so we                  A mini USB interface connects
  transfer modes. The Prestige is                      rugged and can still protect the                would recommend that you                          it to the computer.
  very similar in its form factor to                   data even after being dropped                   don’t try this out). It comes with                    The Buffalo Mini Station
  Transcend’s StoreJet.                                or driven over (How- ever we                    a bright orange rubber strip                      320GB drive scores high in
      Transcend’s StoreJet 25M                                                                         running around the drive. It                      the looks department. We got
  hard drive that we tested comes                                                                      has a one touch backup button                     a white colored drive which
  with a capacity of 500GB. This                                                                       on one corner. It comes with                      has a plastic body with glossy
  drive has a rubberized body and                                                                      bundled software which is not                     finish on one side and a matte
  is US Military Standard tested.                                                 Iomega Prestige      really required for installation.                 finish on the other side. A blue

62 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
      VAIO Z                                                                  HP’s Envy
      Sony to upgrade its VAIO Z with Core                                    HP announces shipment of Envy15 series laptop
      i7 and four solid state devices                                         which have inbuilt Superspeed USB 3.0 ports

                                                                                                                                    FEBRUARY 2010             FEBRUARY 2010

    light keeps glowing when the              DESKTOP HARD DRIVES
    drive is connected to the system.         BRAND                                     WD                      WD                   Buffalo                  Seagate
    It has a flat wraparound USB               Model Name                                My Book Studio          My Book Elite        Drive Station            FreeAgent Desk
    cable which is quite useful in the
                                              Model Number                              WDBAAJ0010HSL-NESN      WDBAAH0010HCH-NESN HD HX 1.0TU3-AP            ST310005FDA2E1-RK
    sense that the user does not have
                                              Price (Rs.)                               Rs.9,999                Rs.9,249             Rs.18,000                Rs. 5,750
    to always remember to carry the
    connecting USB cable. A USB               Features
    extension wire is also bundled            HDD capacity (GB)                         930.86                  930.86               931.51                   931.51
    in to provide additional flex-             Interface                                 USB 2.0 / FireWire      USB 2.0              USB 3.0 / USB 2.0        USB 2.0
    ibility to using the hard drive.          Rotational Speed (RPM)                    7200                    7200                 7200                     7200
         The 320 GB A-DATA Nobility
                                              Buffer Size (MB)                          32                      32                   32                       32
    NH42, is the slimmest drive we
                                              Performance                               32.02                   35.46                87.57                    30.07
    tested (12 mm). It comes with a
    leather pouch, and since its mini         Synthetic Tests
    USB port is on its top edge, it can       HD Tach (8 MB file)
    be used while placed within the           Average Read (MBps)                       29.2 / 33.1             32.9                 115.5 / 35               30.8
    pouch as well.
                                              Average Write (MBps)                      24.5 / 25.1             25.5                 77.1 / 28.1              25.3
         Seagate's FreeAgent Go
                                              CPU Utilisation (%)                       5/1                     4                    1/7                      5
    series of 500 GB portable hard
    drives comes in as many as six            Random Access Time (ms)                   15.4 / 15               14.7                 13.7 / 13.8              12.8

    colours. We tested the black              Read Burst Speed (MBps)                   36.3 / 41.6             35.2                 126.3 / 35.2             32
    coloured portable hard drive              HD Tach (32 MB file)
    having a brushed metal finish.             Average Read (MBps)                       34.5 / 40.3             34.3                 115.5 / 34.9             30.6
    It is perforated on one end and a
                                              Average Write (MBps)                      23.8 / 29.3             28.2                 90.1 / 29.6              27.8
    series of white lights underneath
                                              CPU Utilisation (%)                       5/1                     5                    4/6                      6
    illuminate and pulsate under-
    neath while the drive is working.         Random Access Time (ms)                   15.5 / 15               14.9                 13.6 / 13.8              12.8
                                              Read Burst Speed (MBps)                   35.2 / 41.7             40.4                 126.2 / 35.2             32.8
    Performance                               SiSoft Sandra 2010
    Performance was divided into
                                              Drive Index, Read (MBps)                  32 / 40.15              36.2                 111.43 / 33              29.4
    two parts namely synthetic
                                              Access Time, read (ms)                    9.35 / 10.22            9.24                 13.12 / 13.5             12.63
    testing and real life testing. In
    synthetic testing we tested the           Drive Index, Write (MBps)                 27 / 30.36              29.7                 95.86 / 29               28

    hard drives on HD Tach and                Access time, write (ms)                   2.6 / 6.37              0.24                 0.02 / 0.01              4.36
    SiSoft Sandra 2010 to check               Real World Tests (MBps)
    the average read/write speeds             File Write 8 GB Single File               30.11 / 33.85           32.51                91.02 / 31.75            29.90
    and access time.
                                              File Write Test Assorted 8 GB File        25.6 / 30.57            29.90                77.28 / 29.68            27.68
       The HD Tach reading for
                                              Read Test Single 8 GB File                32.25 / 40.55           35.93                99.90 / 32.25            27.68
    most of the drives were close,
    with read speeds between 31               Read Test Assorted 8 GB File              30.79 / 39.01           34.13                93.09 / 30.8             26.95
    MBps and 35 MBps whereas                  Photoshop CS2 (1 GB File, in seconds)     75 / 67                 68                   37 / 71.8                88
    writing speeds averaged 26
    MBps to 28 MBps. However,                 the FireWire interface gave                       139 seconds as compared to 186        Desktop                           WD My Book Studio
    having said that                            Iomega the maximum read-                        seconds taken by the Buffalo          hard drives
                                                ings in all other benchmarks.                   Mini Station.                         We got four
                                                   The real mettle of the port-                    The Adobe Photoshop CS2            hard       disk
                                               able hard drives is tested in a real             image opened the quickest in the      drives in this
                              FEBRUARY 2010
                                               world data transfer scenario. We                 Transcend StoreJet 25M at 72          category,
                                              found that Transcend StoreJet                     seconds leaving behind even the       each having a
                                              25M and Iomega Prestige gave                      FireWire interface of the Iomega      capacity of 1
                                              the lowest time for a 4GB sequen-                 drive at 150 seconds.                 TeraByte. This
                                              tial write operation at 130 sec-                     Iomega eGo’s FireWire port         category gener-
                                              onds. The 4 GB assorted file was                   doesn’t add value to the perform-     ally comprises
                                              also written at fast speeds by the                ance as was expected in the real      bulky hard
A-DATA Nobility NH92                          same two drives, both clocking                    world data transfer cases.            drives in which

                                                                                                                                          Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 63
                                                 Faster data                                     And some more
                                                 SDXC cards have a data transfer rate of         Transcend’s JetFlash 600 pen drive has read speeds
  Storage test                                   300 MBps and can go up to 2 TB                  of 32 MBps and write speeds of 18 MBps

                                                HOW WE TESTED
  an external power connection
  is mandatory for the drive to                 We divided the external hard                   Buffalo drive had a USB 3.0 inter-             run on the minimum Windows
  work. In addition to this all the             drives into two main parts based               face unlike all the other drives which         Vista settings. - All benchmarks
  three drives were very impres-                on the portability and size, namely            had USB 2.0 interfaces.                        were run on Windows Vita with
  sive on the aesthetic aspect.                 Portable Hard Drives and Desktop                    External drives are meant to              system restore and paging file
      Silver bodied WD My Book                  Hard Drives. Portable Drives com-              give impressive read / write speeds            fixed to 4 GB.
  Studio has an almost circular                 prised compact drives most of                  when connected to the system, so                   In data transfer tests we fol-
  front panel with a pin hole                   which did not have an external                 the theoretical benchmarks used                lowed three test processes. File
  which shows the power light.                  power connector whereas Desktop                in the comparison tests were HD                Writing for a 4 GB sequential and
  An impressive aspect about                    drives comprised drives which were             Tach and SiSoft Sandra 2010. HD                assorted file; File reading for a 4
  this product is the e-ink display             comparitively bigger in size and               Tach measures the performance                  GB sequential and assorted file
  on the front panel which gauges               had an external power connector.               of external drives by bypassing as             and a Photoshop image loading.
  the capacity of the hard drive. It                The hardware setup was made                many software as possible. This                To simulate a write test we copied
  also displays other information               up of an ASUS P5Q3 motherboard                 helps in giving read/write speeds,             files from the HDD to the external
  like the name of the HDD, type                with an Intel Core 2 QX9650 proc-              CPU utilization and random access              drive and vice versa. To prevent
  of data and number of files. On                essor, 4 GB Corsair Dominator                  times as well as interface burst               giving drives an undue advantage
  the rear it has two firewire ports,            DDR3 RAM, 300GB WD Velociraptor                speed. Both the HD Tach and SiSoft             while reading due to the caching
  a USB port and power button.                  hard disk drive and GeForce 7300LE             Sandra tests require an unfor-                 process, we rebooted the system
  This drive has vents on the top,              graphics card. The power was sup-              matted drive to perform the Write              after completing the Write and
  rear and the bottom to allow heat             plied by Corsair HX620. This setup             testing. After finishing with these             then the Read operations. Adobe
  dissipation. The metal body is                was maintained throughout the                  two benchmarks we formatted and                Photoshop CS2 was used to test the
  quite sturdy.                                 tests except for Buffalo 1 TB drive.           divided the external hard drives               amount of time taken to load a 1GB
      WD's My Book Elite is very                While testing this drive only an               into two partitions of equal size.             image. The scratch disk was placed
  similiar to My Book Studio in                 interface card was added as this               All the benchmark processes were               on the external drive.
  appearance and has vents on the
  top, rear and bottom side of
  the hard drive. This drive           CONTACT DETAILS
  however does not have a              Brand               Contact                         Phone                       E-mail                              Web site
  Firewire port.                       Seagate             Fortune Marketing               +91-11-2641 4468            sales@fortune-it.com                www.fortune-it.com
      On connecting both               Western Digital     Western Digital Corp            -                           amarjeet.singh@wdc.com              www.wdc.com
  the WD My Book Studio                Transcend           Transcend Information Inc       +91-33-2213 1221-23         coordinator@supertronindia.com      www.transcend.co.in
  and WD My Book Elite,
                                       Iomega              EMC Company                     1-800-180 2237              -                                   www.iomega.com
  the WD SmartWare soft-
                                       Buffalo              Buffalo Technology Inc         +91-11-4153 8059            b-milinda@melcoinc.co.jp            www.buffalotech.com
  ware starts automatically.
  This software allows the             A-DATA              A-DATA Technology Co. Ltd       +886-2-8228 0886            jerry_lu@adata.com.tw               www.adata-group.com

  user to name the external
  drive and password                          Backup and Retrieve options.                     gate comes in a silver brush                   sipation. The glossy finish looks
  protect it. It also has smart               A very interesting feature is                    metal finish with a stand. It has               smashing, though it tends to col-
                                               the backup option. On clicking                  a power input and a mini USB                   lect a lot of dust and definitely
                                               on the Backup tab, we get a                     connection on the rear end.                    not suited to Indian conditions.
                                               graphical representation of the                     The Buffalo DriveStation
                                               available data on our system                    1 TB hard drive, was the only                  Performance
                                               drives (default C:) divided into                one with a USB 3.0 interface                   The external hard drives have a
          FEBRUARY 2010
                                               6 options like system, pictures,                (with almost triple data transfer              buffer size that is much greater
                                               documents, music, movies and                    speeds as compared to USB 2.0).                than the portable hard drives
                                               others. For quick backups,                      It comes in a black glossy body.               (32 MB as opposed to 8 MB
                                               the user just has to select the                 A silver line runs through the                 of portable hard drives), as a
                                               desired option and click Run                    front panel with a blue light on               result of which one gets a much
                                               Backup. The transfer starts                     top indicating power in the USB                better performance. But this
                                               which can be seen visually.                     3.0 mode and a green glow in                   performance comes at the cost
                                               However, there is no option to                  USB 2.0 mode.                                  of portability.
                                               select individual folders for                       We used the Buffalo USB 3.0                    WD’s My Book Elite gave a
                                               this purpose.                                   interface card for PCI Express to              marginally better performance
                                                    FreeAgent Desk, the 1 TB                   conduct the test. It has a vent on             with average read and write
                   Buffalo DriveStation        external hard drive from Sea-                   the rear side to allow heat dis-               speeds. But when the WD My

64 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  With less than 10 per cent IPv4 addresses
  left, we need to move to IPv6

Book Studio was connected via the
FireWire interface, it gave a better
performance than the WD Elite.                       FEBRUARY 2010
This can be attributed to the fact that
FireWire has comparatively larger
data transfer speeds as compared to
USB 2.0 interface.
    The Buffalo Drive Station on the
other hand was in an altogether dif-
ferent league with the USB 3.0 inter-
face. As boasted on the cover of the
hard drive, the USB 3.0 interface
indeed gave us three times faster per-
formance as compared to the USB
2.0 interface. Where the read burst
speed for the FireWire interface of WD
Studio tallied to 41.6 MBps, that of Buf-
falo zoomed to 126.2 MBps, a three-fold
jump in the readings. Same was true                  Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1TB
for write speeds as well.
    True performance is however               USB 3.0 interface which can be
tested in real life tests like data           brought separately. The one that we
transfer speeds. Between the WD               used costs around Rs. 4,500 which
Studio and WD Elite, for a USB 2.0            is quite an investment.
interface, Elite gave a better perform-
ance. It took less time to read / write       Conclusion
and open the 1 GB Photoshop file. But          In the desktop hard drives, we found
using the firewire port on WD Studio           that the Buffalo DriveStation zoomed
dwarfs the WD Elite scores. There             with its high data transfer speeds.
is a 15-20 per cent improvement in            But as it was the only USB 3.0 com-
performance when a FireWire port is           patible drive, we haven’t used it as
used on the WD Studio as compared             a reference point for portable hard
to the USB 2.0 ports.                         drive testing. We felt that for users
    The Buffalo drive was a winner in         who are willing to spend and who
the synthetic tests, so it was expected       expect quick data transfer, Buffalo
to be a winner in the real life tests as      DriveStation is the ideal drive to go
well. If the numbers are anything to          for. Although for Rs 18,000, we feel
go by, then USB 3.0 is going to be the        its steeply priced but its performance
next thing to watch out for. As the           is unmatched. Regular home users
capacity of the drives increases it           wanting a better cost per GB, should
only makes sense to increase the data         go for our Best Buy – Seagate Desk
transfer speeds. USB 3.0 interface is         Agent priced at Rs. 7,500.
a start in that direction.                        Among the portable hard drives,
    A sequential 4GB file took 41              Transcend StoreJet 25M was the
secs and 45 secs for a read and write         fastest drive. A-DATA Nobility gave
operation respectively. This is nearly        90 per cent of the performance of
a 60 per cent improvement from the            Transcend at a very minimal price
fastest firewire port of WD Studio.            of Rs 2,900, so we felt it deserved the
As far as transfer speeds go, there           Best Buy.
was simply no competition to Buf-                 If you’re looking at buying
falo Drive Station. But when we               external hard drive, low cost per GB
interfaced the Drive station with a           is one necessity, but that should not
USB 2.0 port we got results similiar          be the only aspect as data transfer
to the rest of the drives. So to get a        speeds also need to be considered.
performance, users need to use the            Happy shopping!

                                                                                        Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 65
                                                                 Hexa-core soon                                                       GW990 smartphone
                                                                 Intel’s new six-core processor, the Core i7 980X                     LG shows off the GW990 smartphone which is
                            Netbook test                         looks all set to break records                                       powered by the Atom processor and runs Moblin

                                                                                                                                            Choosing the right
                                                                                                                                            netbook isn’t as
                                                                                                                                            easy as it seems. We
                                                                                                                                            feature the hottest
                                                                                                                                            netbooks you can
                                                                                                                                            buy in this two-part
                                                                                                                                            test. You can read
                                                                                                                                            part two online at

                                                                                                                                                     hardware. Therefore a netbook
                                                                                                                                                     is a tradeoff of sorts, fortunately
                                                                                                                                                     it’s good at what it’s supposed
                                                                                                                                                     to do. Brands like Intel, AMD
Photography: Jiten Gandhi

                                                                                                                                                     and NVIDIA are working on
                                                                                                                                                     making netbook hardware
                                                                                                                                                     more powerful and this should
                                                                                                                                                     happen over the next year or
                                                                                                                                                     so, but the notion of playing a
                                                                                                                                                     game like Crysis on a netbook is
                                                                                                                                                     so ridiculous, don’t even think
                                                                                                                                                     of it for at least another three
                                                                                                                                                         We’ve split up our netbook

                      Small Surfers
                                                                                                                                                     test into two cohesive writeups
                                                                                                                                                     – the first part consisting of
                                                                                                                                                     seven netbooks, is what follows
                                                                                                                                                     here on.

                            Michael Browne                     CPU. NVIDIA has a solution                     screen means a small footprint         MSI U130
                            michael.browne@thinkdigit.com      that hasn’t seen many takers in                and lower weight. This, in turn,       Of sails and wind
                                                               the Ion – a combination of Intels              is the darling of many a traveller     Short of height and of wide

                                        hey were always        Atom processor and NVIDIAs                     who wishes to be connected at          girth, is how we’d like to
                                        cheap, but netbooks    own 9400M northbridge.                         all times. A netbook is lighter        describe the U130. Its foot-
                                        have become mun-       NVIDIA is also threatening to                  than nearly all notebooks and          print is small, thanks to the
                                        dane enough to         enter the netbook space with                   much cheaper; very conven-             10-inch display, however,
                            be compared to cellphones.         their Tegra range and in lieu                  ient for most cadres of people         it could have been smaller.
                            Why? – Nearly everybody has        of all the above, netbooks have                including businessmen, col-            Although any smaller and the
                            one, and those that need one       gotten much needed variety in                  lege goers, travelling executives      keypad would have become
                            have no dearth of choice. Of       terms of hardware. Intel’s own                 and almost anyone wanting the          unnecessarily cramped, as it
                            course the hardware found in       Pinetrail debuted recently. For                internet with a bit of documents       is it’s barely usable. The U130
                            netbooks isn’t as diverse as in    those not in the loop, Pinetrail               and spreadsheets thrown in.            is squat though, unnecessarily
                            their faster, bulkier cousins,     is nothing more than a new                     However the small screen is a          so, thanks to the absence of any
                            notebooks, and some might          version of the Atom CPU, inte-                 turnoff for many. After all, eve-      sort of streamlining of the body
                            feel that keypad and screen        grating a memory controller,                   rything is moving to a visual          on MSIs part and an extruding
                            size aside, there are very few     DMI link and GMA 3150                          interface and everyone likes           battery pack. It feels pretty
                            differences. Well, this was true   graphics core.                                 a large screen. Multimedia is          solid and the plastics used
                            until a few months back. AMD           Initially netbooks typically               also a big no on a netbook, the        are pretty thick and without
                            entered the netbook space early    featured 10-inch displays and                  weak hardware being the cul-           flex, unlike some flimsier
                            last year; followed by VIA (now    this underlies both, one of the                prit here. So games, HD movies         stuff we’ve seen in the past. A
                            that’s a name we haven’t heard     major plus points and pitfalls                 and multitasking is simply too         glossy black lid embossed with
                            in some time!) with their Nano     that plague them. The small                    much of a strain for such paltry       fine dark grey lines is nothing

  66 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  TSMC going 28nm                                                                             Ion2 coming finally?
  TSMC claims that their 40nm fabrication is over its                                         NVIDIA’s Ion2 based netbooks rumoured
  teething troubles and are preparing a 28nm fab                                              to launch in Q2 2010                                                Netbook test

special, but there’s something                       The control key on the left                sumption, even though MSI                  a netbook much slimmer than
about the overall effect that is                 is not the corner key – an ergo-               cheated a bit by sending us a 6            the U130 and the design sees
nice. MSI follows the glossy                     nomic goof up many netbook                     cell battery. The U130 is gener-           the battery pack protruding
lid with a smooth black finish                    vendors are guilty of, and one                 ally available with a 3 cell; the          from the rear, which is better
inside which as a whole, other                   that there is just no getting                  6 cell being optional. We were             when using the device, but may
than its thickness the U130 isn’t                used to. The speakers exhibit a                able to get over five and half              not be better when carting it
too bad looking. As mentioned,                   complete lack of bass; in fact LF              hours – not bad at all. Shock-             around. The lid is glossy and
the bezel will not appeal to our                 sounds are missed for the most                 ingly, this tiny netbook chalked           has a thin grey-silver bezel
slim-everything loving genera-                   part. The webcamera despite its                up the highest 3D Mark scores,             running around it that when
tion. Under the lid, the left/right              impressive rating of 1.3 meg-                  including the CPU score, a tes-            viewed from the top disappears
click is a single strip and while                apixels is pretty ordinary, but                tament to its new innards. Inci-           into the front of the lid. This
                                                                                                dentally, the model we received            insert provides a welcome relief
                                                                                                did not have support for a SIM,            from the body that is otherwise
                                                                                                although this is optional.                 entirely plain. Build quality is
                                                                                                    Rs. 23,000 may seem like               good and the materials used
                                                                                                a lot to pay for a netbook, but            seem good. The lid clips have
                                                                                                such is always the case with               a garish chrome trim that is a
                                                                                                new hardware. Expect a price               glaring contrast to the suave-
                                                                                                drop within the next five                  ness of the overall design, but
     MSI U130                                                                                   months as competing models                 it only looks garish from the
                                                                                                also incorporate Pinetrail.                inside. The bezel is a little too
                                                                                                However, MSI can do a lot more             wide, especially on the top – the
                                                                                                in the looks department; for               only spoiler for the otherwise
                                                                                                when blowing close to 23,000               good design. As mentioned, the
                                                                                                rupees on a netbook, we expect             battery pack protrudes out the
                                                                                                a bit of glitz.                            rear but doesn’t add much to
                                                                                                                                           the height of the device.
small, it is easy to use, though                 better than the other 0.3-meg-                 Gateway LT2002I                                Open her up and the Blue-
the button feels unnecessarily                   apixel units out there. Just                   Entry to mediocrity                        tooth button sitting amid the
clicky. The choice of material                   make sure you use it in well-                  Gateway has tried to impart                status indicator LEDs is wel-
on the trackpad is good for                      illuminated surroundings.                      the LT2002I with a slightly                come, though a Wi-Fi button
accurate tracking and there is                       Finding Windows 7 Starter                  different look. The outcome is             may have been more useful.
a great balance between grip                     Edition was a nice surprise,
and slip; the mouse buttons                      as was the performance in
are a bit hard to press. The                     the Wi-Fi test. DisplayMate
keys are slightly smaller than                   trashes the screen. At 1024 x
what is considered comfort-                      600 pixels, a product highlight
able. Key spacing is a little on                 it is not. Brightness levels are
the skimpy side. To be honest                    okay, but the colour and con-
notebook, users will struggle to                 trast is very minimal. The
adjust.Unfortunately it seems a                  resolution might be a problem
larger surface area on the top of                for hardcore internet-junkies.
each key would have helped,                      Note that the U130 is based on
instead MSI chose to have keys                   the new Pinetrail platform and
with sloping sides – meaning                     this makes it a frugal performer
a lot of potential contact area                  when it comes to power con-                               Gateway LT2002I
between your fingerpads and
the keypad is missing. Towards                    CONTACT DETAILS
the right side on the bottom                     Brands           Contact                        E-mail                         Phone                         Web site
edge of the palmrest is a group                  Acer / Gateway   Acer India (Pvt) Ltd           dinesh_nair@acer.co.in         +91-80-4070 8700               www.acer.co.in
of LED indicators. There are no                  ASUS             Mr. Stanley Wu                 media_india@asus.com           +91-22-6766 8800              www.asus.in
shortcut keys and the power                      BenQ             Neoteric Infomatique Ltd.      sales@neoteric.co.in           +91-22-4085 9600               www.neoteric.co.in
button feels clicky, thankfully                  MSI              Micro-Star Int’l Co.,Ltd.      marketing@msi-in.com           +91-11-4175 8808               http://in.msi.com
it’s black – no garish chrome                    HCL              HCL Technologies Ltd.          NA                             +91-120-4203122                www.hclinfosystems.in
here.                                            Zenith           Zenith Computers Ltd           info@zenith-india.com          +91-22-2837 7300               www.zenithpc.com

                                                                                                                                            Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 67
                                                  Free OVI maps                                                   Apple + Microsoft?
                                                  Nokia has started to offer free versions of their OVI GPS       This has got to be a something special – rumours abound that
  Netbook test                                    navigation tool with their smartphones                          that two rivals may finally team up to take on Google’s Android

  The tiny trackpad has a neat                                                                                                          this one a segregated keypad
  chrome trim, more impor-                                                                                                              that will catch your attention.
  tantly, it is pretty usable with                                                                                                      It’s a good looker but doesn’t
  good tracking and the mouse                                                                                                           function as well – the keys are
  buttons are decent, better than                                                                                                       slightly smaller than we’d like,
  MSI’s U130, with slightly better                                                                                                      and although key spacing is
  feedback; they’re bigger as well.                                                                                                     fine, the whole setup feels a
  The Function keys are smallish,                                                                                                       little unintuitive while typing.
  and people with big fingers will                                                                                                       Larger keys next time ASUS
  need to get used to them. The                                                                                    ASUS Eee PC          is all we can say. Then there’s
  rest of the keypad elicits mixed                                                                                 1201HA               the mushy feedback, and this
  reactions, for while the left con-                                                                                                    completes the suspicion that
  trol button is well positioned                                                                                                        ASUS was trying to achieve a
  and the keys appear large, they                                                                                                       Sony-like feel to their keypad,
  are actually smaller than the                                                                                                         since Sony uses the same segre-
  U130 and the spacing is also                                                                                                          gated design and soft keys. The
  a bit less. We feel the U130 is               in a pure glossy black. While                 sleek look, with designeresque            trackpad is reasonably accu-
  the smallest keys can get and                 glossy black finishes are a                   curves and edges. The display             rate; but a royal pain. It has tiny
  still retain some usability for all           dime-a-dozen these days the                   is also pretty good, and at 12.1-         dimples that immediately earn
  but the lady-fingered, pardon                  1201HA looks hot, but not as                  inches it’s larger than typical           our distaste. They are abrasive
  the expression. The problem                   hot as the pure white version,                netbooks and gloriously view-             to the fingerpads and very
  here is the fact that as a keypad             at the expense of sounding                    able. The screen resolution is            uncomfortable, and will bother
  becomes smaller, the size of the              colour prejudiced, which we                   1366 x 768 pixels – not bad.              the heck out of you, unless
  keys suddenly becomes dispro-                 are! And she’s slim as well;                  The thick bezel will bother               you’re a manual labourer. The
  portionately important. Take                  ASUS has managed a very                       some, but ASUS has given                  dedicated trackpad disable
  a much larger keypad, say one
  on Apple’s Macbook Pro and                    HOW WE TESTED
  even if the keys were 10 per
  cent closer or further from each               Netbooks need no segrega-                        For performance we used               was used to test the speed of
  other, the usability wouldn’t get              tion because fundamentally                    PC Mark 05 and 3D Mark 05                the wireless component. Our
  affected much. Gateway needs                   the hardware stays the same.                  as our primary benchmarks. PC            battery test involves using VLC
  to improve their keypad design.                The price points do differ, but               Mark, with its suite of 48 tests,        player to loop a .VOB file using
      The screen resolution is                   the difference is typically never             gives a good idea of overall and         full inbuilt speaker volume and
  1024 x 600 pixels, pretty                      more than Rs. 5,000. We logged                individual performance of each           maximum screen brightness.
  much the norm for a 10.1-inch                  all the specifications of each                 component. 3D Mark 05 gives              Every power saving feature is
  display, but we cannot help but                netbook and awarded points                    us an idea of the performance            disabled making this somewhat
  complain each time we see this.                for the hard drive size, choice               of the CPU and graphic sub-              of a torture test for the battery.
  Performance was nothing out-                   of bundled OS, number of USB                  systems. SiSoft Sandra 2010              For our music test, we used a
  standing or complain-worthy,                   ports and other ports and con-                Engineer was also used to test           couple of MP3s encoded at 320
  the LT2002I is pretty much at                  nectivity provided.                           each individual component.               KBps. For the webcamera test
  par with other netbooks. Sur-                     We also rated the build                    Our real world tests included a          we took a couple of shots, one
  prisingly, it fared badly in the               quality of the netbook, the                   couple of CPU tests – WinRAR             in dim conditions, one under
  Wi-Fi transfer test, although it               usability and intutiveness of                 3.9b and a .vob to .divx file             fluorescent lighting and took an
  uses an Atheros 802.11 chipset,                the keypad, trackpad and any                  encoding test. We also stress            average of both scores.
  as do all the other netbooks.                  shortcut buttons. We took into                tested the hard drive by doing an            We did not award a Best
  The LT2002I does have a 6-cell                 consideration how comfortable                 intra drive copy from one parti-         Performer Award simply
  battery; this allows its battery               the whole experience of using                 tion to the other. We tested both        because there isn’t much to
  to go over four hours in our bat-              the netbook was, how suitable                 sequential and random read/              choose from in terms of this
  tery test.                                     the keypad was to people with                 writes and the scores are dis-           parameter and people will not
                                                 both small and large hands – an               played in megabytes per second           simply buy a netbook because it
  ASUS Eee PC                                    important parameter especially                (MBps). The quality of the inbuilt       is 10 seconds faster at encoding
  1201HA                                         considering ergonomics is of                  speakers and webcamera were              videos. Please look for our
  Shiny lover                                    utmost important with smaller                 tested with a subjective test.           detailed tables online at www.
  The 1201HA is neat looking to                  sized keypads.                                Finally Performance Mark 7.0             thinkdigit.com/d/feb_tables.
  say the least and it’s finished

68 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Call of Duty :                           IBM blossoming
  Modern Warfare 2 makes over $1           IBM has just released Lotus Notes for Apple’s
  billion in sales                         iPhone, Google’s Android is next                                                                    Netbook test

button is a nice addition and      of equipment to behold, but                   matte black insert just above
is useful, since the trackpad      once you begin using it some                  the keypad spoils the visual
isn’t recessed.                    chinks in its armour become                   effect, once you flip the lid. The
   It’s size belies the hardware   noticeable. If you are looking                keypad while small has decent
and a 1.33 GHz Atom Z520 is        for a larger screen however, it               key spacing. Overall, people
puny indeed, especially since      is worth a look.                              used to a slightly larger keypad
given the larger screen, ASUS                                                    will have problems adjusting. In
had more space to shoehorn         Zenith Z Book Dock                            comparison, the Acer 532h has a
some higher performing             Docked for success                            similar footprint but the keypad
goodies in. In testament to        Zenith isn’t the first brand that              is a lot better – not only are the
the weak processor, the video      comes to mind when it comes to                keys larger, they feel better
encoding scores were the           netbooks but we have a surprise               spaced out. Once measured,
lowest, taking just 12 seconds     package on our hands. The Z                   we found the distance between
short of three minutes. It was     Book is a pretty neat looking                 keys to be the same, but due to
also the second last in the        netbook with a glossy finished                 the design our fingers perceived
Wi-Fi test. Not an impressive      lid. The inside is a smooth tex-              a greater distance between
show at all. But hey! – people     ture that imparts a quality feel.             keys on the Acer. The mouse
don’t buy netbooks for their       The lid is designed similar to                buttons are vertically stacked,
performance, do they? The          the Gateway LT2002I, but is of                on either side of the trackpad.        Zenith Z Book Dock
2 GB of DDR2 RAM makes             much better quality. The net-                 To be honest this design isn’t
booting up and surfing quite        book is pretty slim and feels                 too bad, but it takes a fair bit of    miles ahead in terms of com-
snappy, and this is the only       quite compact and the build                   getting used to before it can be       fort if compared to the ASUS
other netbook aside from the       quality seems good. The lid                   termed as intuitive. The keypad        1201HA.
MSI U130 to feature Windows        closes with a nice positive snap.             tracking is erratic though, def-          The Z Book has a nice dock
7 Starter. Priced at Rs. 23,990,   The bezel isn’t too narrow and                initely not as accurate as the         that stands the notebook ver-
the 1201HA is a lovely piece       this along with the textured                  other netbooks, although it’s          tically where it occupies a

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                                                                                                                         Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 69
                                                  Fish armour?                                                              New is hot
                                                  MIT scientists have created designs for better                            Valve reveals that 23 per cent of their
                                                  armour, inspiration from which is derived from                            customers are running Windows 7
  Netbook test                                    the shells of molluscs                                                    and DX 11

  minimal footprint and while                   portion. The display bezel is                and there has to be one – its         documents is actually some-
  docked the notebook manages a                 narrow. The trackpad, while                  price. At Rs. 33,000 the Joy-         thing we got pretty accus-
  look of chic sophistication. The              small, is reasonably accurate                book Lite U121 Eco, will not be       tomed to – something that
  dock features all the connects                though the mouse buttons feel                a joyful proposition to spend         didn’t happen with any of the
  of the notebook, including a                  a little clicky. The keypad is               on, particularly since the likes      other netbooks. Initally the
  VGA connect which will need                   slightly bigger than the U130,               of Acer’s Timeline series are         lack of beveling feels alien to
  to be used since the lid needs                obviously, owing to the larger               priced similarly and they have        the fingers, but after about an
  to be closed in order to use the              screen (11.6-inches), and this               better hardware and will obvi-        hour ones typing speed picks
  dock. On the box Ubuntu 8.04                  makes it much easier to use,                 ously perform better as well.         up. The display resolution is a
  is mentioned, but we got ours                 even more than the ASUS’                     Not recommended for the price         paltry 1024 x 600, the de facto
  with a clean copy of Windows                  keypad, despite the fact that                tag, which is astronomical by         resolution for this size, but the
  XP. Do remember that the cost                 it had a larger screen. Key                  netbook standards.                    display has marginally better
  of an additional OS has to be                 feedback is reasonably posi-                                                       colour rendition than some
  considered. The 10.1-inch                     tive and feedback is firm, the                Acer 532H-2Bb                         of the other displays in this
  screen is pretty ordinary and                 keys are also well laid out. The             Beauty needn’t be skin                test. The trackpad
  at 1024 x 600 pixels, it’s very               last row of keys on the right                deep                                  is larger
  basic. At Rs. 20,000 its at a                 has the Home/ page up / page                 A beautiful netbook, one look at
  sweet price point.                            down keys, typically placed as               the two-tone cover will have
                                                function-activated keys on the               you going “Oh my”! The
  BenQ Joybook Lite                             directional arrow keys – two                 glossy textured lid starts
  U121 Eco                                      currency symbols – repre-                    with a sinful black colour
  Not-so-small bundle                           senting the US dollar and Euro               that subtly gives way to a
  of joy                                        are also present, though we see              smoky two-tone and while
  A really nice looking netbook,                little use for them.                         neither the colours nor
  this one has a smoky blue col-                    The Z520 Atom CPU and                    the transition between
  oured lid that immediately                    1 GB of DDR2 RAM mean its                    them is in-your-face, it
  attracts attention, especially                performance is no scorcher, on               will draw appreciative
  since it’s finished in glossy                  par with the ASUS 1201HA.                    glances. The body is
  material. The display bezel                   From the design it’s evident                 skillfully con-
  is black, while the palm rest                 that the U121 Eco has been                   toured with
  and the region surrounding                    designed for a 6-cell battery                the lid
  the keypad is dark grey – very                as there’s no protrusion of any
  good colour combinations used                 sort. This battery is good for 4
  – kudos to BenQ for getting the               hours and 17 minutes of video
  looks spot-on. The lid design is              playback, which is very good.                                                                       than     other
  also funky with a circular rear               The speakers give out pleasant               Acer 532H-2Bb                                    netbooks, but the
                                                  sound, bass shy (as usual),                                                            texturing is a tad uncom-
                                                   but they pick up some of                  blending into the cut out of          fortable, although nowhere
                                                     the nuances. The warranty               the body when closed. Build           near as abrasive as the ASUS’
                                                      provided by BenQ is                    quality is very good – every-         trackpad. Tracking accuracy
                                                        pretty sterling – 3 years,           thing feels pretty solid. Even        is good. The mouse button is
                                                         when all other vendors              the activity and status LEDs          a single long strip that works
                                                          just cover you for a               exude quality. Opening it up,         well, but feels clicky.
                                                            year. Which brings               you’re greeted by some of the             The Pinetrail N450 makes
                                                                   us to the con,            largest keys we’ve seen on a          a second appearance here,
                                                                                             netbook, and they’re devoid           after the U130. The battery is
                                                                                             of any beveling, which actu-          slightly lower rated as well, and
                                                                                             ally works pretty fine. Thanks         the hard drive is smaller at 160
                                                                                             to the greater surface area per       GB. Performance is good per
                                                                                             key under your fingerpad, the          se, and the 532H took the least
                                                                                             keypad is a joy to use, despite       time in the file-encoding test.
                                                                                             the fact that it is cramped – a       Priced at Rs. 19,200 the 532H
                                                                                             factor that cannot be helped          is definitely a worthy purchase
                                                                                             given the tiny screen. Typing         for someone looking at some-
  BenQ Joybook Lite U121 Eco                                                                 away even longer mails and            thing really compact and more

70 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Tegra netbook                                                                     DVDs finally!
  Mobinnova to launch a NVIDIA                                                      Gateway sticks a DVD drive in
  Tegra2 powered netbook                                                            their new EC14D netbook                                  Netbook test

importantly for many people,         black. The silver coloured power
looks really presentable. The        button is a nice depart from the
excellent keypad makes it a          red-black combination. Build
useful productive tool. If you’re    quality is good and the device
shopping for a netbook, put in       feels very solid. The keys are
on your “must consider” list,        small and feel quite clustered,
though it would be nice to see       even for a 10.1-inch screen. We
Acer bundling Windows 7 on           figure the Acer 532H really leads
it. It wins our Best Buy Award       the way in this regard. The func-
award for its overall mix of fea-    tion keys are even smaller, any
tures, performance and good          smaller and you’d need to use a
pricing. The 532H-2Bb was also       stylus to use them. The display
the best performer overall.          is mediocre, typical of a 10.1-
                                     inch screen and the colours
HCL Mileap MH06                      and contrast are below what
Lookit me! I’m red                   is acceptable for any kind of
The MH06 is a very appealing         multimedia work. The display                                                                         HCL Mileap MH06
shade of red, it actually manages    although low on contrast was
to look neat, especially with the    brighter than the other 10.1-inch   from Intel. The power hungry                 is respectable. At Rs. 19,990
bold “ME” apparently splashed        displays for some reason.           945GSE platform ensures that                 plus taxes, the MH06 is a little
carelessly on the lid. The lid and       The MH06 features the now       battery life is kept at a min-               overpriced, especially consid-
palmrest have been imparted          ageing N270 Atom processor,         imum, although slightly larger               ering the ageing hardware. The
a glossy finish in the same red       which is part of the first gen-      battery rating keeps battery                 Acer 532H-2Bb is a much better
tones and the inner lid is glossy    eration family of Atom CPUs         life two and a half hours, which             deal.

 Olive Zipbook x107h
 The netbook with the always-on internet

             he Olive zipbook        any other service you’re back       offer quite a
             claims to be the first   to using a USB stick. This is       convenient
             netbook in India        a factor worth consideration        package for
             which comes with        before you opt to purchase the      internet connec-
  3G to boot. As a netbook any       device.                             tivity on the go, and
  computer is expected to have           The netbook is quite com-       the performance is quite
  atleast some claim to Internet     pact with a 10.2-inch screen        good, the build quality of
  connectivity, and in this          and is very light at 1.1kg. The     the device is unimpressive.
  department the Olive comes         screen offers a native resolu-      The plastic body feels a little                Overall, the Olive Zipbook
  well equipped.                     tion of 1024x600 which is           flimsy although it is tougher               is a pleasant experience when
      The netbook comes with         comfortable for its size. With      than it looks. Furthermore, its            it comes to internet connec-
  an internal modem which            the Intel Atom N270 processor       portability is quite hampered              tivity, however its poorly chis-
  allows it to connect to the        and 1GB of RAM, the system          by the short two hour battery              eled looks and poor touchpad
  TATA Photon+ Internet              runs the Windows XP Home            life provided by its 3-cell bat-           take a lot from its appeal. For
  service, which provides wire-      edition it comes with quite         tery, although an option for a             someone looking for a device
  less Internet access in many       well. Although Windows 7            6-cell battery is available.               with an integrated internet
  cities across the country. Since   performed admirably well on             Since this is a 10.2-inch net-         connection which will work
  the modem is integrated in the     it even with Aero turned on.        book, the keyboard is expect-              anywhere, the Olive Zipbook
  device, you do not need to pur-    The netbook also has a 160GB        edly small, however it is com-             might be the answer but most
  chase or install an additional     HDD, a 1.3MP webcam and             fortable. The same cannot be               others will be better off with a
  USB modem. While this does         mic, a 3-in-1 card reader and       said about its touchpad, which             device which is better crafted
  save on space, it does lock you    three USB ports.                    has some rather stiff and noisy            and with the addition of an
  into the TATA service, as for          While the device does           mouse buttons.                             external USB internet stick.

                                                                                                                       Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 71
                                                                                     Bootcamp 3.1                                                            Bioshock 2 coming
                                                                                                                                                             Bioshock 2 available for pre-purchase
                                                                                     Apple releases bootcamp v3.1, finally adds                               on Steam
          Bazaar                                                                     native support for all versions of Windows 7

                                                                                                                                                       Check the complete review at

          Sony Ericsson Yari                                                                                                                           www.thinkdigit.com/d/1002_yari

          Gesture gaming on your cellphone!                                                                                                             Network: Quad band GSM/
                                                                                                                                                        UMTS Screen: 2.4-inches,

                                                                            ith the Yari                   phone featuring a 5 megapixel                240 x 320 pixels, 256K
                                                                            U100i, Sony                    camera with many features and                colours Video: QVGA @
                                                                            Ericsson has                   has an accelerometer sensor.                 30fps Talktime: 10 hrs
                                                                            brought ges-                      The music output of the                   Standby Time: 450 hours
                                                          ture gaming on the mobile plat-                  phone is quite decent, but do                Connectivity: Blue-
                                                          form. A tiny camera located in                   not expect a Walkman series                  tooth, aGPS
                                                          the top of the screen on Sony                    like performance. The Styles
                                                          Ericsson Yari acts as an inter-                  option is very impressive                    Contact
                                                          face to enhance the gesture                      giving the user the option to                Sony Ericsson
                                                          gaming facility on the phone.                    select skins like the grammo-                Phone: 1-800-111 800
                                                          However, the overall gaming                      phone or LP cassette player.                 Web site: www.sony-
                                                          experience leaves a lot to be                       Conversations is another                  ericsson.com
                                                          desired.                                         interesting feature of the                   Price: Rs. 16,950
                                                             The phone has an all black                    U100i which allows threaded
                                                          body with the slider of the same                 texting. Yari integrates social
                                                          colour with a 2.4 inch screen.                   networking in the phone with                                     7
                                                          Yari has the standard Sony
                                                          Ericsson Java UI.The keypad
                                                                                                           dedicated applications for Face-
                                                                                                           book, Youtube and Blogger.
                                                          is not that great as it is very                     For Rs 16,950 we feel its                   Features..........................8
                                                                                                                                                          Performance .................7
                                                          annoying while texting.                          decently priced as there is no
                                                                                                                                                          Build quality.............. 6.5
                                                             The Sony Ericsson Yari                        other phone in the market with
                                                                                                                                                          Value for money....... 7.5
                                                          U100i is a high end camera                       as many wonderful features.

                   Processor: Qualcomm
                    MSM7200A 528 MHz
                                                          HTC Hero                                                                                           Check the complete review at
                          RAM: 288 MB                     Is this the iPhone killer?                                                                         www.thinkdigit.com/d/1002_htchero
                   Network: GSM/UMTS

                     Connectivity: Blue-                             he first thing that                   tain scenes according to his/her
                             tooth, Wi-Fi                            strikes you about                     preference, thus taking person-
                                                                     HTC Hero is the                       alisation one step further.
                                     Contact                         unconventional                            The idea to integrate various
                          Sanjay Sharma                   design. The base of Hero comes                   environments of the contact
                 Phone: +91- 9810832373                   with a 15 degree angle tilt in its               like phone details, messaging,
                            E-mail: sanjay.               form factor. Bevelled edges give                 Facebook, Flickr, Twitter onto
                         sharma@htc.com                   a good grip and the tilt helps                   one screen, prevent the user
                 Web site: www.htc.com                    in grasping the phone easily.                    from toggling between different
                         Price: Rs. 34,600                It comes with the HTC Sense                      applications thus saving a lot
                     (Maharashtra & MP)                   technology which takes user                      of time.
                 Rs. 31,990 (Rest of India)               experience to the next level.                        The phone comes with a
                                                              The 3.2 inch screen has a                    5 MP autofocus camera. The
                            8                             capacitive touch sensor which                    shutter button is the trackball
                           10                             is very smooth. Hero has as                      which is not very impressive.
                                                          many as seven home screens                       Music output is OK but FM
            Features..........................9           which can be customised                          radio is absent.
            Performance .................8                according to the user’s choice.                      For a smartphone with great
            Build quality..................8              The scenes mode of the phone                     features we felt that Hero is
            Value for money....... 6.5
                                                          allows the user to program cer-                  priced quite steep at Rs. 31,990.

Microsoft to the rescue: commits 1.25 million dollars towards Haiti relief efforts    NVIDIA’s attempt to steal ATI’s thunder - NVIDIA Fermi/GF 100 architecture revealed   Next iteration of

        72 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                          Google phone delayed
                                          Google “postpones” Android phone launch in                                           Taiwanese artist carves world’s tiniest tiger
                                          China, may pull out completely by Feb. Chinese                                       ad-measuring 1 mm in height and can pass
                                          Red curtain to be blamed?                                                            through a needle hole                              Bazaar

Panache Smile PC T1610
Portable desktop

           anache Smile PC is
           a compact desktop
           with all its compo-
           nents enclosed in                                                                                                                    Specifications
a glossy black rectangular                                                                                                                      Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz
metal box. It is quite portable                                                                                                                 processor, 2 GB of RAM,
and easy to carry around. The                                                                                                                   250GB HDD, Windows
design is very basic and min-                                                                                                                   7 Starter pre loaded.
imal. It has nine outputs on
its rear including USB ports,                                                                                                                   Contact
power connection port, audio                                                                                                                    Panache Infotech Pvt Ltd
and microphone jack, monitor                     same as the ones we have for                    a 1 GB file transfer.                           Phone: +91-93200 22012
input among other things. The                    netbooks, as this kind of config-                    Panache Smile PC is ideal                  Email: info@panache.co.in
lower part of the device tends                   uration is found on netbooks.                   for users who want to use the                  Web site: www.panache.co.in
to get hotter than the rest of it                Performance wise Panache                        browse the net, chat or work                   Price: Rs. 19,990
as there are no vents to allow                   gives scores which are slightly                 on documents. With the help
air flow.                                         less than the Best Performer                    of the LAN port it can be used
    Setting up the device is very                ASUS Eee PC 1005HA net-                         as a remote torrent client.                                       5.5
easy. Once the monitor is con-                   book. The PC Mark benchmark                     Extremely low power con-                                           10
nected the device is ready to be                 CPU score was 1396 whereas                      sumption. At a price of Rs 19,
used. It comes pre-loaded with                   the Cinebench CPU Rendering                     990, it’s expensive for such a
                                                                                                                                                  Performance ............. 5.5
the Windows 7 Starter Edition.                   test gave a score of CB 840. It                 configuration. ZOTAC’s MAG
                                                                                                                                                  Build Quality .................8
    The performance test                         took 279 secs for VOB to DivX                   is available for a lot less and has              Value ........................... 4.5
benchmarks were kept the                         file conversion and 49 secs for                  a slightly better configuration.

 1440 stream processors, core
   clock: 725 MHz, 1 GB DDR5
                                                 ASUS Radeon EAH5850
    @ 1 GHz 256-bit, 2 x DVI, 1                  Jack of all trades
       x HDM, 1 x Display port


                                                            he Radeon 5850
 ASUS Technology Pvt. Ltd.                                  is finally here. It
   Phone: +91-22-6766 8800                                  comes with twice
          / 1-800-209 0365                                  the number of
       Email: media_india@                       stream processors compared
                  asus.com                       to the older Radeon 4850.                                                                                 difficult to gauge
     Web site: www.asus.in                       In spite of this, the 5850 is                                                                         its DX11 performance.
         Price: Rs. 21,250/-                     humble at power consump-                                                                        To sweeten the deal, ASUS
                                                 tion and runs cool too. Its                                                                    has included a complimen-
                                                 performance in synthetic                        Warhead, Far Cry 2, etc. ATI has               tary copy of Dirt 2 which is
                7                                benchmarks is nearly double                     employed aggressive power                      among the few DX11 titles.
               10                                the last generation 4850 and                    saving techniques and claims                   Once NVIDIA launches their
                                                 on par with the high end GTX                    27 watts consumption on idle                   cards and the Rs. 21,250 price
 Features..........................8             285.                                            which should make the power-                   tag drops, the 5850 is destined
 Performance .................7                     Even in the real world                       conscious happy. Although it                   to be the hot favourite among
 Build Quality .................7
                                                 benchmarks, it gave 80%                         supports DX11, very few DX11                   the system builders who want
 Value ...............................6
                                                 higher fps in games like Crysis                 titles are available making it                 performance but on a budget.

   Android will be called “Froyo” - Erick Tseng, Senior Product manager of Android         France joins Germany, asks its citizens to dump Internet Explorer in light of recent attacks on Google

                                                                                                                                                  Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 73
                                                                    Playing Nostradamus                                                       USB 3.0 is here
                                                                    Acer founder and former Chairman quoted                                   WD launches its fastest My Book
                                                                    predicting end of US PC makers within the                                 series external drive equipped with
          Bazaar                                                    next two decades                                                          USB 3.0 interface

          XFX HD5970 Black Edition
          The one to rule them all


                     he XFX Radeon
                     5970 Black Edi-                                                                                                         3200 stream processors, Core
                     tion by default has                                                                                                     clock: 725 MHz, 2 GB GDDR5
                     the same core and                                                                                                       @ 1 GHz 512-bit interface,
          memory clock as the non-BE                                                                                                         2 x DVI, 1 x Display port
          edition but that’s where the
          similarity ends. The BE tag                                                                                                        Contact
          gives you exclusive access to                                                                                                      Rashi Peripherals Pvt Ltd
          the XFX ‘over volt’ tool. How-                The 5970 posted a record                 very clear that overclocking                Phone: +91-22-6709 0828
          ever, no games come bundled                   score of 21,547 in 3D Mark               the card will need additional               Email: response@
          which is not expected from                    Vantage. In real world tests,            cooling and a prospective                   rptechindia.com
          a premium product. It is a                    the 5970 beats the GTX 295               buyer needs to be sure his/                 Web: www.xfxforce.com
          dual GPU setup mounted on                     even at stock settings. This             her cabinet is large enough                 Price: Rs. 45,000
          a single dual-slot video card.                HD5970 is a little faster than           with sufficient ventilation for
                                                        the AMD Radeon 5970 we                   this mammoth 13-inch card.
                                                        tested last month. All this              We faced some instability                                    6.5
                                                        brutal power comes at a heavy            issues as well while running                                  10
                                                        cost. It comes with the refer-           some benchmarks. The 5970
                  Win DVDs ies                          ence cooler which struggles              is aimed at the enthusiast
              of  the hottest mov                                                                                                              Performance .................8
                             to www.                    to keep it cool even at stock            segment and comes at a high
             of 2009. Head /d/                                                                                                                 Build Quality .................7
                th inkdigit.com                         settings and the card gets               premium price of Rs. 45,000,                  Value ...............................3
                              t how
                fan to find ou                           really hot, which makes it               which we feel is overpriced.

                                                        Synology Disk Station
                 800 MHz processor, 128
                 MB memory, 4 x 3.5-inch
                  / 2.5-inch SATA drives,
                 8 TB overall capacity, 2 x             A multi-purporse NAS
                 USB ports, Gigabit LAN,

                  2 x 80 mm cooling fans                         ynology’s DS410j is             variety of features
                                                                 one of the coolest prod-        — everything
                                     Contact                     ucts to come around             from Windows
                        Mitesh Shah                              for those who love              file-sharing to
                  Email: info@ebm.in                    to download or have loads of             web hosting, tor-
         Web site: www.synology.com                     unmanageable data.                       rent and eDonkey
                    Price: Rs. 32,500                      The DS410j is a NAS                   client. Firmware
                                                        without drive i.e. an enclo-             upgrading is possible. Media                speeds between the device and
                                                        sure with four SATA bays.                can be streamed to any device               a PC on a 100 Mbps network.
                            7                           Indicators at the front for the          that supports flash using a                     We would’ve loved to rec-
                           10                           drive and network status are             browser. Users and usergroups               ommend this to anyone having
                                                        present. Installation of the             can be created and each one                 a good unlimited broadband
            Features..........................8         drives is very simple. Two               given privileges and quotas if              but the Rs. 32,500 price tag
            Performance .................8              USB ports are also available             required.                                   is way out of bounds. A more
            Build quality..................8
                                                        for external storage drives.                 We recorded a stable 11.7               affordable sub-Rs. 15,000
            Value for money...........3
                                                           The DS410j boasts of a wide           MB/s read and 9.5 MB/s write                would have been more suitable.

China    Samsung launches a boat load of point & shoot cameras - new SL, TL & HZ series   Google India and YouTube pony up, IPL to be streamed live on YouTube     3outube: Want

        74 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                          Out of addresses                                                                       Display Port 1.2
                          Did you know? We could soon run out                                                    It’s here to challenge HDMI with 21.6
                          of IP addresses with less than 10 percent                                              GBps throughput and multiple monitor
                          IPv4 addresses left, lest we move to IPv6                                              support from a single cable                           Bazaar

Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P80
                                                                                                                                        On page 73 of the January 2010
                                                                                                                                      issue, the performance for Corsair
                                                                                                                                      HX850 should be read as 9 instead
Exotic, lightweight-heavyweight chassis                                                                                                              of 6.5.

                                            two feet and with space for                       The motherboard back                    Specifications
                                            some six hard drives under                    panel has spaces with rubber                Super full tower case, 12
                                            its hood, it’s not exactly heavy.             border padding to prevent                   x 5.25-inch drive bays, 4 x
                                            The aluminium build with its                  damage to cables while you                  14cm LED fans, 1 x 12cm
                                            brushed metal finish give it an                route cables through them.                  LED fan, aluminum build
                                            elegant look. There aren’t any                The front panel with the USB,               Dimensions: 220 x
                                            fancy paint jobs and gimmicks                 eSATA, Firewire and audio                   633 x 641 mm
                                            to fool you.                                  connectors is hidden under a
                                                The frame inside is sturdy.               folding metal Lian Li panel.                Contact
                                            There is absolute attention to                The power button feels good                 Xtreme Grafix
                                            detail everywhere — in the                    but the Reset button is too                 Phone: +91-99875 39043
                                            buttons, the drive pays, the                  small.                                      Email: Sudhirs-
                                            expansion slots at the back,                      This is perfect for flaunting            mani@gmail.com
                                            the front connectors, etc.                    gamers who need a frame to                  Web site: www.lian-li.com
                                            Almost everything in this case                house their high-end dual-                  Price: Rs. 26,000

          ian Li’s world                    is made of metal and is intri-                graphics card rigs with water
          renowned chassis’                 cately designed and machined.                 cooling in. This is one of the                                 6.5
          are seeping into the              The front door itself has three               lighter rigs and better designed                                10
          Indian market. One                fans in it and the hinge is both              rigs to do that in. Still, you’re
of the first ones is the PC-P80              smooth and sturdy. The drive                  going to feel the pinch. At a
                                                                                                                                        Performance .................8
    The Lian Li P80 is without              bay doors have perforations in                price of Rs. 26,000, it’s too
                                                                                                                                        Build quality.............. 7.5
a doubt, a giant when it comes              them which allow very good air                costly to recommend, unless                   Value for money...........3
to cabinets. Towering nearly                flow from the front to the back.               you’re crazy rich.

                                            Belkin n52te
     8-way thumbpad, 15 cus-                Quivering palm
       tomizable keys, backlit

         keypad, scroll wheel,                          azer is the one                   in RTS games where
            USB connectivity                            behind the very                   you need to pan the
                                                        f ancy     looking                scene around.
                       Contact                          Belkin n52te gaming                  The drivers allow
               Rengith Nair                 controller. The design is simple              a good level of cus-
   Phone: +91-124-6688 813                  — a set of keys in front of an                tomisation and keys
 Email: rengithn@belkin.com                 anti-bacterial palmrest. It                   can be mapped as
  Web site: www.belkin.com                  comes with a D-pad like on                    well as assigned
              Price: Rs. 3,878              other game controllers. The                   macro functions.
                                            console is comfortable but the                There’s even the                            enthusiast. However, Rs. 3,878
                                            spacebar key is positioned at                 polling rate setting like on                is a little too pricey when
              7                             the extreme right and reaching                a high-performance gaming                   most full-fledged gaming
             10                             it with ones thumb is a bit of a              mouse. If done right, this is               keyboards with customisable
                                            problem; which is a pain while                something that can be used                  keys can be bought a similar
 Features...................... 7.5         playing intensive FPS games                   for browsing or controlling a               amount. This controller is
 Performance ............. 7.5              such as Counter-Strike, Quake                 media centre software.                      unique, however, and is defi-
 Build quality..................7
                                            3, etc. The D-pad makes for an                   The Belkin n52te makes                   nitely going to grab people’s
 Value for money...........7
                                            interesting utility especially                good sense for a gaming                     attention at a LAN party.

  to download YouTube videos? Change the ‘Y” to “3” in the URL, its that simple!   AMD’s Redwood based, sub $100 Radeon HD 5670 released making DX11 reachable to the
                                                                                                                                       Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 75
                                                                             MS Phone?                                        Striking back
                                                                             Microsoft to do a Google, might reveal its       NVIDIA’s attempt to steal ATI’s thunder –
          Bazaar                                                             own phone at the Mobile World Congress           NVIDIA Fermi/ GF 100 architecture revealed

          Epson Stylus Office T30
          More for the home than office

                     he Epson Stylus                      The T30 has an input tray                Economy modes. Text printing                 Optimised resolution: 5760
                     Office T30 colour                as well as an output tray. The               is blazing with the printer                  dpi, 3.8 kg, 73HN Ink Series
                     printer comes in an              hinges are not that strong and               taking just six seconds to                   (High Capacity Inks) 73N
                     all-black body and               the build is not sturdy enough.              print in normal quality mode.                Ink Series (Standard Inks)
          is very similar in design to the            It has three buttons on the front            Economy mode, although
          Canon Pixma series. However,                panel for power, ink feed and                faster by one second looks                   Contact
          the differentiating factor is that          removing jammed papers.                      pretty bad, with the printing                Epson India Pvt Ltd
          the T30 uses five cartridges                 The printer does not have Pict-              appearing washed out. For                    Phone: +91-80-3051 5023
          in the printer to give a high               Bridge or network support.                   continuous fast printing, the                Email: ravishankar@
          quality color print.                            Cartridge installation takes             printer took two minutes 50                  eid.epson.co.in
                                                      some time and is tedious, but                seconds to print 15 A4 pages,                Web site: www.epson.co.in
                                                      not difficult. The user interface             but the quality was severely                 Price: Rs. 5,299
                                                      software is simple to navigate               compromised as one could see
                                                      through. The software prompts                the pixels. Photo quality was
                                                      the user to change cartridges                very good, for its price.                                      7
                                                      if the ink levels are not up to                 The printer is ideally suited                               10
                                                      the mark.                                    for people who want excellent
                                                          The printer gives great                  quality photo prints, but not
                                                                                                                                                  Performance .................7
                                                      output on Normal and Fine                    fast printing. So Rs 5,299, is
                                                                                                                                                  Build quality.............. 6.5
                                                      modes, but the performance                   a decent investment for this                   Value for money...........7
                                                      reduces drastically in the                   printer.

                                                      Gigabyte MIB T3140
                                                      Small wonder

                   160W Power Supply,                            he Gigabyte Monitor               on the left hand side
                 VESA compliant stand,                           Integrated Box T3140              and space for a Mini-
                  DVD drive tray, mini –                         is a small form factor            ITX Motherboard on
                ITX tray, 2 USB2.0 ports                         system with a black               the right. Heatsink has
                       and 1 audio port.              bodied chassis. It has a facility to         to be chosen keeping
                                                      attach a monitor on the chassis.             the limited height of
                                   Contact            This helps in saving space for               the chassis in mind. A
                        Kamal Thakur                  an external monitor stand. The               6 cm fan is located on
             Phone: +91-22-4220 3100                  chassis is made of strong metal              the right hand side with
          Email: sales@priyagroup.com                 and the build is quite sturdy. The           space for a slim ODD
                       Web site: www.                 glossy front panel has the power             and a 3.5-inch HDD.                          indicated on it. Once the stand is
                       priyagroup.com                 button alongwith the two USB                    The monitor stand can be set              upright, the VESA standard slot
                       Price: Rs. 3,999               ports and the speaker and micro-             up on top of the chassis which               can be inserted into the upper-
                                                      phone jacks.                                 has two grooves for the stand.               most projection of the stand to
                          7.5                            On opening the chassis with               It is screwed from behind to                 which an LCD monitor can be
                         10                           the help of thumb screws on the              provide additional stability to              attached with the help of four
                                                      rear end, we notice that it is               the stand. There is a hinge lock             screws.
           Features..........................7        neatly compartmentalized for                 system to raise the stand. It is                  This is an ideal product for
           Performance .............NA                optimum usage of space. There                done by applying pressure on                 small offices where space is at a
           Build Quality .................8           is a 160W Gigabyte power                     the stand and then moving the                premium. At Rs. 3,999 plus taxes,
           Value ........................... 7.5
                                                      supply for the entire cabinet                lock according to the direction              it is a decent buy.

masses.    Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer unveils HP Tablet. Being pre-emptive are we?   Suing frenzy - Kodak sues Apple, Blackberry over imaging technology infringement, US sues Intel

      76 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
             Gigabyte goes Android                                                 Deeper black
             Gigabyte gets on the Android bandwagon,                               Panasonic launches G2 series plasma HDTV with
             Android based handset pictures leaked                                 very high contrast ratios                                                           Bazaar

                                            Cowon iAUDIO E2                                                                           Specifications
                                                                                                                                      JetEffect modes, supports
                                                                                                                                      MP3, FLAC, OGG, WMA
                                            Screenless marvel                                                                         and WAV, Frequency
                                                                                                                                      Range: 20 – 20,000 Khz,

                                                        n first glance, one                Pressing this button longer                 Capacity: 4GB, Weight : 16.6
                                                        may be excused                    enables the shuffle on/off mode.             grams, SNR : 95dB, Internal
                                                        for thinking the                  Sound quality is crisp but it does          Lithium Polymer Battery
                                                        Cowon iAudio E2                   tend to screech at maximum
                                            audio player is a bottle opener.              volumes in certain modes.                   Contact
                                            The Circle + Square design of                 It supports MP3, FLAC, OGG,                 Lipap Systems Pvt. Ltd
                                            Cowon E2 Audio player                         WMA and WAV audio for-                      Phone: +91-22-2874 3457
                                            is     minimalistic         but               mats. A big plus is the quick               Email: iaudio@lipap.com
                                            striking. Screenless audio                    charging time of under two                  Web site: www.
                                            players come with the                         hours. It lasts for a good 8 to             cowonindia.in
                                            most      basic      features,                10 hours on a single charge.                Price: Rs. 3,600
                                            but the E2 goes a little                      A big negative is the
                                            further than that.                            absence of the ability to skip
                                               It comes with a 3.5 mm                     folders. So if you have many
                                            audio jack. This jack is                      songs then be prepared for                                    7.5
                                            also used for data transfer                   exercising your fingers. FM                                     10
                                            via a 3.5 mm to USB cable                     radio is not available.
                                            which is also bundled. As many                    At Rs 3,600, it is priced
                                                                                                                                        Performance .................7
                                            as eight BBE audio modes                      similarly to the 4 GB iPod
                                                                                                                                        Build Quality .................8
                                            are voiced out by a female                    Shuffle that has a similar fea-
                                                                                                                                        Value ........................... 7.5
                                            voice to keep you engaged.                    ture set.

                                            Epson Stylus Tx210
                                            An all-round good all-in-one!

                                                       pson Stylus TX210                  paper took 3 mins 30 secs ,                 ware CD. As the resolution
          Maximum resolu-                              makes a great                      so it takes a lot of time to give           increases, the time to scan the
    tion: 5760 x 1440, flatbed                          impression      on                 quality prints. Thus it cannot              page increases. It took 40 secs
        scanner, 1.5 inch LCD                          the first look. The                 be used in places which                     at 300dpi and 5 mins 58 secs at
      Screen, Card slot, 5.7 kg             black body with a patterned                   require fast colour prints, as              720dpi for a full A4 size pho-
                                            glossy finish on the top, the                  the quality is severly compro-              tograph with excellent quality.
                      Contact               colour LCD screen with a                      mised as was revealed in our                    The Epson Scan is a very
      Epson India Pvt Ltd                   bright backlight, the strong                  tests.                                      user friendly software and gives
  Phone: +91-80-3051 5023                   buttons onboard, facility to                      Scanning documents is a                 varying amount of flexibility
      Email: ravishankar@                   insert memory cards, sturdy                   cakewalk. The Epson Scan                    to the user depending on the
            eid.epson.co.in                 trays make this MFD score full                application comes in the soft-              mode selected. Printing via the
 Web site: www.epson.co.in                  marks in the aesthetics                                                                            SD card slot also makes
            Price: Rs. 5,999                department. It does not                                                                            life easier. No need to
                                            have a network port.                                                                               transfer images on the
                                            The printer is quite                                                                               computer.
            7.5                             good in the Normal                                                                                     At Rs 5,999, it is a
                                            and Fine modes, but if                                                                             very decent buy. Its
           10                               gives very poor quality                                                                            an ideal home printer
Features..........................8         prints in the Economy                                                                              solution and the
Performance ............. 6.5               mode. Printing an A4                                                                               scanner and copier
Build quality..................7            size photo print in the                                                                            functions add to its
Value for money....... 7.5
                                            Fine mode on a glossy                                                                              versatility.

 alleging illegal use of its market power to stifle competition   Gigabyte gets on the Android bandwagon, Android based handset pictures leaked.
                                                                                                                                       Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 77
                                                       Tips & tricks                              Porn free                                    Q&A
     Toolbox                                    81     Anti-virus suites, Windows 7,
                                                       clipboard managers revealed      89        Protect kids from the internet’s
                                                                                                  fastest growing Menace              90       Some Khatarnak viruses
                                                                                                                                               desmystified this month

  Jolicloud - the most
  Cloud ready OS
  Aditya Madanapalle                         when installed. The ISO file is
  aditya.madanapalle@thinkdigit.com          an install disc, but acts as a Live
                                             CD as well, so that you can have a

   J     olicloud is one of the
         most mature netbook
         operating systems we’ve
         seen, and it has borrowed
  the best elements from existing
                                             look at the OS without it leaving
                                             any footprints on your system.
                                             In the Live mode however, you
                                             cannot install applications.
                                                 The Windows install is
  ones to create a fresh, innova-            called Jolicloud Express,
  tive, and very comfortable OS              double-click on the .exe file, and
  for netbooks. It looks better              the installation starts. Jolicloud
  than Moblin - is fast (but not             will treat the application as an          The Jolicloud dashboard
  as fast as Chrome), and has                OS within the wrapper, so you
  recently come out of closed                have to specify all the informa-          side Windows OS, or another                   If there is only one USB drive
  Alpha testing. The version                 tion as if you are setting up an          OS, you will have to choose to                connected to the machine, that
  available now, and included on             actual OS. This includes a login          make space for Jolicloud in the               one will be selected automati-
  the DVD is a pre-beta release,             name, a network name for the              same partition as Windows. Be                 cally. To be safe, be sure to dis-
  so the OS is still pretty much             machine, and any proxy infor-             careful in this step, and backup              connect any external memory
  in development. Despite the                mation that you might have.               important data as choosing to                 that you may have. Your USB
  pre-beta tag, if you need an OS                The installation takes up             use an entire hard disc will                  drive wont be recognised as a
  on your netbook that handles               8 GB of space on your hard                wipe the Windows install, and                 regular memory drive on your
  cloud applications as well as              drive by default, but this can            all your data with it.                        Windows machine once the
                                                         be changed using                  If your netbook does not                  USB creator is through with it,
                                                         advanced options.             have a DVD drive, then you                    and Windows may prompt for
                                                         Once installed, you           can choose to install Jolicloud               a format, ignore this prompt.
                                                         can try out Jolicloud         using a USB drive. For this,                  Insert the USB drive in the net-
                                                         as just another               you will need an application                  book, hit [F12] and select USB
                                                         window. To install            that converts a USB drive into                hard disk to boot and install
                                                         the OS on a computer,         a bootable device, using the Joli-            Jolicloud. Before the USB drive
                                                         you will have to burn         cloud image file. You will find                 is usable again, you will have to
                                                         the ISO image as a            this application on the DVD                   format it.
  Using the USB creator to make a USB drive installer    bootable disc using           as well. You will first need to
                                                         a CD burning appli-           install Jolicloud USB creator                 Setup and
  desktop ones, Jolicloud is some-           cation such as MagicDisc. Once            installer on your system, then                optimisation
  thing you should try out, and              burnt, insert the CD into the             run the USB creator. You will                 The dashboard is fresh and
  we expect you to love it.                  tray, and restart the machine.            also need a USB drive that has                functional. The applications
                                             Hit the [F12] button during load          more than a GB of space. Be sure              are listed on the right, and
  Installing Jolicloud                       time to get the boot menu, and            to backup any files that you have              links to important system
  The installation process is very           select Boot from DVD Drive. If            on the USB drive, as the instal-              folders are listed along the left.
  simple. If you prefer to run it as         you have multiple media drives            lation process will wipe the                  Jolicloud offers a great middle
  an application on your Windows             installed, choose the drive with          drive clean before creating the               ground between the traditional
  desktop, then Jolicloud offers the         the CD in it. You can then either         installable drive. Start up the               desktop based interface, as well
  OS wrapped in a virtual machine,           choose to install Jolicloud right         USB creator, and locate the ISO               as a cloud OS running from the
  that you can run from a window.            away, or start a Live CD session          image for the Jolicloud instal-               web. By default, Jolicloud uses
  This is an EXE file, which is more          before using a GUI installer on           lation. Then, locate the USB                  Mozilla Prism for running all
  or less what the OS has to offer           the desktop. If installing along-         drive from the dropdown box.                  the web applications, where

78 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Tablet OS                                                                     Dropbox
  There seems to be a sudden proliferation of netbook                           You can store all your documents on the cloud using
  OSes, will the next thing be OSes for Tablets?                                Dropbox, a partner of Jolicloud                                          Workshop

each app is basically a page                obscure tabs and brought to the
loaded in a Firefox window. .               forefront, keyboard shortcuts is
    Prominently at the centre,              one example. By default, Joli-
is a “Get Started” icon. Use this           cloud should apply most of the
to setup and optimise Jolicloud             relevant shortcuts, including
for your device. You can setup              the multimedia keys, but you
a Jolicloud account, which will             can further customise the setup
be authenticated over email with            or choose options that you are
a code. You will have to setup a            more comfortable with it.
username and password, which
is different from the username              Installing
and password for the computer.              applications                        Internet applications on Jolicloud
This is a Jolicloud profile, which           To get on to the Application
you can either fill up, or you can           Manager, click on the Yellow        Games, Graphics, Internet,                   start button. The location of the
simply login using your Face-               Down Arrow along the top            Office, Sound and Video. Addi-                “close” button is right next to
book details, which does not need           bar. This starts the application    tionally, each category can be               the address bar on the window,
an authentication message.                  Dashboard, which contains a         listed according to different pri-           which is about halfway into the
    There is also an option here            large database of both tradi-       orities, either by popularity or             top bar. This minor deviation is
to select the model of the net-             tional desktop applications         date. You will find many famil-               easy to get used to, as there is a
book you are using. If you are              and web applications into a         iars such as Last.fm, Dropbox,               lot of screen real estate saved
installing Jolicloud on a desktop           single interface. This means        Facebook, Gmail and Spotify                  over for actually using the
or nettop, just choose “Other               that you can install GIMP and       among others. There are also a               web or the applications. There
Unrecognised Machine”. If you               Pixlr, one a desktop image          whole bunch of little known web              are some grey areas though.
are using a netbook, chances                editing application, and the        applications that are just waiting           Installing the desktop Last.
are that your model number                  other a cloud image editing         to be discovered.                            fm client is a little painful and
                                                                                    You can also install tradi-              roundabout. You can choose to
                                                                                tional desktop applications                  install Chrome on the machine,
                                                                                using the application manager.               instead of the default Firefox
                                                                                If there are a few must have                 if you prefer Google’s browser
                                                                                windows applications that you                for any reason. Most audio and
                                                                                simple cannot do without, then               video files play out of the box, so
                                                                                you can install Wine as well,                codecs are not really a problem
                                                                                and try to run the Windows                   with Jolicloud.
                                                                                applications on a Wine layer.
                                                                                This is not advisable if you are             Should you use
                                                                                multi-booting though, as it is a             Jolicloud?
                                                                                waste of resources.                          Jolicloud is pre-beta, so despite
                                                                                    Once web applications are                the apparent lack of bugs, there
                                                                                installed, they are pinned to                are many things left to be pol-
The Jolicloud application manager                                               the top bar in the form of tiny              ished. Jolicloud is one of the
                                                                                icons that can be clicked to open            more feature rich and easy
is listed in the long list of sup-          application alongside. When         the window. Jolicloud does not               to use free netbook operating
ported models (98 per cent of               you run a cloud based applica-      accumulate web applications                  systems available. While Joli-
all netbooks).                              tion, the web page is opened as     into tabs in a single browser                cloud offers a great range of
    Once this is done, you can              a separate Firefox window in        window. One strange thing                    net content, there is always the
head over to the Preferences                full screen mode, so there is no    that users will have to learn to             offline system to fall back on,
and Administration sections                 discernible difference between      live with is the lack of a restore           and the internet is not strictly
of the dashboard for further                a web app and a desktop app,        or minimise button. Although                 necessary to work on Jolicloud.
customisation. The view is                  which is great.                     you can open multiple win-                   Connecting to Wi-Fi is report-
similar to the Control Panel in                 There are featured web appli-   dows, they are always maxi-                  edly easier on Jolicloud than
Windows or Mandriva, so even                cations from different providers    mized, and you have to click                 on Moblin or Chrome, so if you
users new to Linux should be                with one notable exception, being   on the home icon on the top left             have significant problems with
at home tweaking the settings.              VLC. The applications are sorted    corner of the window, which is               other Linux based netbook dis-
There are some useful settings              into groups based on Accesso-       the link to the dashboard, and               tros, Jolicloud is the perfect OS
that have been removed from                 ries, Development, Education,       doubles up as a rudimentary                  to try.

                                                                                                                               Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 79
                                                                                                                                                                                      Tips & Tricks

Teamviewer                                                                                                                                                           especially when jointly col-
Teamviewer is an excellent col-                                                                                                                                      laborating on projects.
laboration tool with features                                                                                                                                            [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Delete]
such as remote access to your                                                                                                                                        As expected, this actually sends
PC, and can help you access                                                                                                                                          the three-button combo and
and share files across PCs.                                                                                                                                           allows you to access the taskbar
The setup is a small (2.6 MB)                                                                                                                                        of the other person. This fea-
file and is available for free at                                                                                                                                     ture, is however, only available
www.teamviewer.com.                                                                                                                                                  if TeamViewer is made a Win-
    The System service is                                                                                                                                            dows System Service. You can
ideal if you want to use your                                                                                                                                        do a Remote Reboot to log off,
system as a server with com-                                                                                                                                         restart or restart in safe mode.
plete remote access. Click Full                                                                                                                                      Disable Remote Input disa-
Access, during the installation                                                                                                                                      bles the mouse and keyboard
process. Frequent permission                                                                                                                                         of the remote PC. Show Black
requests get extremely irri-                                                                                                                                         Screen prevents the person
                                           Teamviewer........................................................................................................... 9
tating to most users.                                                                                                                                                from seeing what’s being done
                                           Spybot Search and Destroy .........................................................................10
    Teamviewer generates a                                                                                                                                           on his computer. You need to
                                           Ditto: Copy more..............................................................................................12
specific ID for your computer                                                                                                                                         Disable Remote Input to do so.
(not IP) based on your hard-               Anti-virus suites ................................................................................................13          View has several options,
ware configurations. For those              Windows 7 ..........................................................................................................15    allowing you to adjust and
worried about security, Team-              Process Explorer ...............................................................................................16        optimise Quality and Speed.
Viewer ensures all connections                                                                                                                                       You may also scale and change
are encrypted and protected                 Click on the Password                                          VPN must be installed, hence                              the viewing resolution. This
from external access – even              field. You may change                                             we shall skip it’s functionality                          ensures the difference in reso-
from themselves.                         the password (dynamic =                                              Enter the ID of the person                             lution doesn’t cause errors. If
                                                                                                           you are trying to connect with,                           the remote PC has multiple
                                                                                                           establish a connection with                               monitors, you also have the
                                                                                                           the Remote Support option.                                choice of displaying all of them
                                                                                                           This way you can control the                              simultaneously. Other options
                                                                                                           remote PC using your mouse                                include selecting windows,
                                                                                                           and keyboard.                                             showing the desktop, a manual
                                                                                                              In the title bar, ther person’s                        screen refresh, removing the
                                                                                                           name or ID is displayed. The                              remote computer’s wallpaper,
                                                                                                           toolbar below this has some                               and the ability to show or hide
                                                                                                           additional options:                                       your partner’s cursor.
                                                                                                                                                                         Audio/Video options allow
                                                                                                           Switch Sides                                              you to make VoIP calls, Video
                                                                                                           This allows you to change the                             Calls, IM type Chat and con-
                                                                                                           direction of control. That is,                            ference calls. The File Transfer
                                                                                                           your partner will now be able                             dialog allows you to transfer
TeamViewer’s easy-to-understand startup screen                                                             to control your computer. This                            files between the two com-
                                                                                                           has many multifaceted uses,                               puters. Other options (Extras)
    The main window, as you can          random), copy it to the clip-
see, has two major functions – it        board or set a user defined
allows you to initiate a connec-         one. To Create a session, enter
tion (outgoing), and at the same         the ID of the person you’re
time lets you connect to another         trying to connect to. Your
PC running TeamViewer.                   TeamViewer has three modes:
    To wait for a session, you           1. Remote Support: This
need to provide the person with          allows for remote control and
your unique ID and four-digit            desktop sharing.
passkey. If you wish to make             2. Presentation: Here, you may
TeamViewer a Windows System              show either your desktop or a
Service, you’ll need to provide          single window
a permanent password. This               3. File Transfer: As is obvious,
should be displayed as User              enabled for transferring files
Defined instead of the 4 digits.          4. VPN: For this, TeamViewer                                      Lend a supportive hand, remotely, using TeamViewer

| www.thinkdigit.com                                                                            | vol 10: 9                                                                        Digit | February 2010
Tips & Tricks

                                                                                   Use the Whiteboard to collaborate better

Transfer files to a remote computer easily                                         a live presentation, and a con-             program, then it could cause
                                                                                  ference call option. You can also           trouble. Once you’re done
include features to record your             your ID and password at http://       chatting via the IM interface.              with that, click next, check
session as a video. This helps              go.teamviewer.com.                        What’s cool is the literal              for updates, immunise your
in case you’re working on a                                                       use of the Presentation inter-              system (this basically stops the
project (say, a graphic design              Presentation toolbar                  face. TeamViewer allows for a               most common spyware from
scheme), so you can later ana-              Apart from moderating the             drawing palette with presenta-              attacking). Read the help file for
lyse your actions.                          flow of the presentation (pause        tion tools like markers, erasers            more support.
                                            / continue) where basically you       and an elementary MS-Paint                      Of course, the same options
File transfer actions                       control whether your screen           like setup to draw and modify               that you covered can be done
You have complete control                   is displayed live or not, you         your current presentation,                  again from the main screen. It
of both computers and can                   may also remove the wall-             similar to blackboard learning.             is recommended that you check
transfer files to and fro.                  paper (this improves perform-             So that’s how you use Team-             for updates frequently. Ensure
Your file system appears                    ance), adjust quality settings        Viewer. Advanced users can                  you have all the updated files
on the left and the remote                  like bandwidth, frames per            fiddle around with the connec-               before starting.
computer’s system on the                    second, colour depth, Win-            tion options, make groups of                    Click on Check for Problems
right. The record of all fies               dows Aero and other minor             people, try out VPN and LAN                 to begin. In case you have any
accessed and all operations                 tweaks. Similar to the Remote         connection and more.                        temporary files, Spybot offers
is recorded in a log on your                Support Mode, you may have                                                        to clean them up for you before
partner’s computer.                         one monitor or more, with a           Spybot Search &                             scanning. Scanning is usually
    In the presentation mode,               maximum of four monitors.             Destroy                                     a long process depending on
your computer shares its                    The other options are similar to      The intrusion of spyware into               how much memory your com-
desktop. If the remote PC                   the Remote Support Options.           modern day computing is                     puter has.
doesn’t have TeamViewer                         The widgets allow for video,      well known. From cookies to                     Spybot usually displays
installed, your PC can be                   where you can control your            key loggers to dangerous mal-               hints. If you’re a first time
accessed from it by entering                webcam, VoIP so you may give          ware, almost everyone who’s                 user, it would do you well
                                                                                  accessed the internet has been              to heed them. Else you can
                                                                                  warned about the dangers that               always click on Hide and see
                                                                                  lurk out there. Spybot Search               the main screen. The main
                                                                                  and Destroy is one of the most              screen shows a list of files
                                                                                  popular and most effective cli-             and bugs that it recognises as
                                                                                  ents out there, its reputation              spyware and displays them.
                                                                                  only bettered by the fact that              Hopefully, if your system is
                                                                                  it’s freeware (available at www.            clean, it should show you a
                                                                                  safer-networking.org).                      plain white front.
                                                                                      The moment you install,                     Once you start seeing a few
                                                                                  you’re asked to backup your                 entries, click on the dotted bar
                                                                                  registry. This is a good rec-               with the two blue arrows on
                                                                                  ommended step. Occasion-                    them. Then click on an entry.
                                                                                  ally, programs such as Spybot               It’ll show you the details of
                                                                                  remove items in the registry.               the item.
                                                                                  However, if these ad programs                   We found a Web Trends
Use the Presentation toolbar to choose what to display                            or cookies are essential to some            cookie in our spyware list. Read

Digit | February 2010                                                      | vol 10: 10                                                     | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                            Tips & Tricks

                                                                                           What you need to focus on      program affiliation that’s pre-
                                                                                      are the red entries, read up the    venting it from getting deleted.
                                                                                      information, or if unavailable,     2. Try a new anti-spyware
                                                                                      search for it on the Internet.      program (Unlike anti-virus
                                                                                      Once you’ve assured yourself        programs, multiple anti-
                                                                                      it is spyware, check the box        spyware programs can be
                                                                                      next to it. Spybot does not         installed, however real-time
                                                                                      insist that you delete all spy-     protection on many could
                                                                                      ware, it merely urges you to do     cause problems).
                                                                                      so. If you believe a certain pro-   3. Find the exact details of that
                                                                                      gram is vital to another’s func-    particular file and delete from
                                                                                      tioning, you can decide to keep     the registry.
                                                                                      it. Once done, you may click Fix       The last resort is recom-
                                                                                      Selected Problems.                  mended only for advanced
                                                                                           Once done, it should show      users who’ve tampered with
Updating spybot during the install process itself                                     you a bright green tick which       their registry before. For those
                                                                                      means your problem has been         who wish to try more advanced
                                                                                      eliminated. Occasionally, it        options like the ability to tell
                                                                                      does get difficult to get rid of     Spybot to permanently ignore

Whoops! Apparently, even our computers are not spyware-proof

the description to see what it               system stores. You need not
does. For example, the tracking              remove them, but if you are              Die silly spyware, die!
cookie (from the company Web                 essentially paranoid or are
Trends Live) had the following               finicky about space, you may.
description: Uses information                Note that stuff like the list of         certain problems. For this do       certain programs or file exten-
about your web surfing that                   most recently opened Word                the following:                      sions or system internals you
could include any information                documents, and other short-              1. Search for it on the internet,   may do so by configuring
like accounts and passwords,                 cuts could make it to this list.         and see if there’s a certain        Spybot in the advanced mode.
which is clearly unwanted.                                                                                                On the main menu bar go to
   Spyware and similar                                                                                                    Mode > Advanced Mode. In
threats are indicated in red,                                                                                             advanced mode, there’s one
while the green entries are                                                                                               more benefit – you may click
usage tracks. You need to                                                                                                 “Select All” as opposed to
know which are essential and                                                                                              selecting or unselecting each
which are not. Sometimes, you                                                                                             and every item found.
may be using programs that                                                                                                   You may also do some basic
send back information on                                                                                                  tweaks to your system directly
your program usage; Spybot                                                                                                from Spybot like change your
might detect these as spy-                                                                                                start-up options. A lot of spy-
ware, so instead of blindly                                                                                               ware products, especially
selecting all, select only those                                                                                          toolbars that get installed on
you know are definitely spy-                                                                                              your system start along with
ware. Usage tracks are basi-                                                                                              your operating system. Hence,
cally records or logs that the               WebTrends sounds so harmless, right? Wrong!                                  you should review them. In

| www.thinkdigit.com                                                           | vol 10: 11                                              Digit | February 2010
Tips & Tricks

                                                                                  download the installer from                           Ditto also features a useful
                                                                                  http://ditto-cp.sourceforge.net. Unzip            search function that searches
                                                                                  the file. Copy it to a folder and                 and filters as you type. Next
                                                                                  run Ditto.                                        to the filter bar is a Double
                                                                                      Ditto runs as a small tiny                    Arrow (>>). Clicking on it
                                                                                  icon on your taskbar. Now,                        collapses Ditto into a thin
                                                                                  when you use an application                       vertical bar that can stay
                                                                                  such as Office or a web browser,                   unobtrusively in the back-
                                                                                  copy text using [Ctrl] + [C].                     ground while you work
                                                                                  Click on the Ditto program and                    with your programs. Quick
                                                                                  you’ll see how Ditto copies eve-                  Paste ([Ctrl] + [V]), as
                                                                                  rything you do.                                   is expected pastes the most
                                                                                      What’s cool about Ditto is                    recent thing copied.
                                                                                  how it seamlessly runs in the                         You may even press the
                                                                                  background. Like a lot of pro-                    Close button on the Ditto screen
                                                                                  grams, it has the stay-on top                     or Exit the program entirely. On
                                                                                  feature that is useful so you                     restart, your old copied items
                                                                                  don’t have to keep minimising                     are still saved.
                                                                                  and maximising. Ditto also                            Right-clicking on the Ditto
Use Spybot’s advanced settings to stay more secure                                monitors functions such as                        interface gives you a few fea-
                                                                                  Print Screen. So press [Print                     tures. Quick options allows
                                                                                  Scrn] on your keyboard and                        you to modify basic things
                                                                                  you’ll see a miniature version                    such as the number of lines
                                                                                  of your desktop in Ditto. Ditto                   you see, the positioning,
                                                                                  also works with Cut ([Ctrl]                       the font that is being used,
                                                                                  + [X]).                                           change what happens when
                                                                                      Once you’ve copied, simply                    you double-click the caption
                                                                                  go to the program you wish to                     bar, and more.
                                                                                  paste some of the items in, and                       You may also edit a copied
                                                                                  double-click. Alternatively,                      entry. It’s features such as
                                                                                  drag and drop. Simple? To                         these that set it apart from
                                                                                  paste multiple items, select all                  the Office clipboard. Right-
                                                                                  them. You may use the mouse,                      click on Entry, and select Edit
                                                                                  press [Shift] or to select items                  Clip. It opens a Text Editor
                                                                                  which are not sequential, press                   that’ll let you change the
                                                                                  [Ctrl] and click on them.                         entry. While you’d expect a

Spybot gives you more control over applications that start with your PC

the advanced mode, click on                 effect anti-spyware cleaner and
tools. A comprehensive list of              monitor. For those who wish
tools is provided which you                 to secure their computer, and
should try for yourself once                wish to keep it clean, Spybot is
you’re completely acquainted                a must-install.
with the software. Some of the
tools are: a secure shredder                Ditto: Copy more
(to completely delete files), a             Sheer limitations in Win-
resident shield, IE Tweaks,                 dows and Office’s clipboard
System Startup Tweaks,                      such as the lack of permanent
a Scan which checks the                     memory, and other features
integrity of your registry, an              may not bug you, but it’s
Uninstall Wizard, and a list                irking sometimes to have to
of all the network drivers and              do things the long way. Ditto
protocols.                                  is a free and open source
    On the whole, Spybot                    application that serves as a
Search and Destroy is a very                clipboard manager. You can            Ditto’s simplistic interface is a breeze to use

Digit | February 2010                                                      | vol 10: 12                                                           | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                                Tips & Tricks

                                            if they do, after how long, or       the type of files allowed (Rich            Anti-virus suites
                                            are they stored in memory            Text and Unicode). The Quick               Almost all security suites
                                            indefinitely.                        Paste subcategory has more                 have anti-spyware, a firewall
                                                After you reach the max-         options as to how History is               and other features, but some
                                            imum limit, like all clip-           organised, whether text is                 minor features take the cake.
                                            boards, the oldest entry is          displayed or just the entry                It’s these that we shall focus on.
                                            removed. However, if you’ve          number and whether thumb-                  We’ll compare the features of
                                            marked it as Never Delete            nails should be displayed for              some of the most popular anti-
                                            (Right-click on Entry                image items.                               virus packages, namely, Avast,
                                            > Quick Properties >                    If on a network, you can                AVG, Norton, Kaspersky, and
                                            Never Auto Delete), it’ll            add Friends by entering                    TrendMicro.
                                            stay on in memory.                   their IP addresses in. By
                                                You may also make nice           right-clicking on an entry                 Boot time scan
                                            small tweaks. What was inter-        and using Send To, you can                 A boot time scan lets you
                                            esting is the Ignore Copies          send your clipboard to a                   scan your full HDD even
Ditto’s right-click quick options           functions. For example if you        maximum of 15 computers.                   before Windows starts. The
                                            keep [Ctrl] + [C] pressed,
                                            or if you copied the same
simple Notepad type inter-                  thing twice, Ditto will ignore
face, it’s goes one step ahead              it. It has the functionality to
by adding support for bullets               ignore copies that occur X mil-
and fonts.                                  liseconds from the last copy.
   Let’s take a quick look at               You may also choose to play
the options. Right-click the                a sound on copy.
icon on the taskbar. Click on                   On checking Update Clip
Options to see a huge list of               Time on Paste, it will set
tweaks you can make to cus-                 the Time of the entry to the
tomise Ditto.                               time it was pasted (Current)
   You may choose to Start                  and take it to the top of the
Ditto at System Startup,                    list. (Note: This works only
choose whether or not to dis-               on double-clicking and not
play the icon in the system                 on Drag and Drop opera-
tray, modify the maximum                    tion). The other categories in       Most anti-virus suites have a home screen like AVG’s, shown here
number of saved copies (500                 Options allow you to modify
default – which is quite                    keyboard shortcuts, assign           Of course, you’ll need to                  main advantage of this over a
impressive), decide whether                 quick-paste keys to the last         decide a password and use it               normal scan is that most dor-
or not the entries vanish, and              ten copied items and change          for encryption, but advanced               mant viruses and malware that
                                                                                 users can figure this out on               aren’t detected easily during a
                                                                                 their own.                                 normal scan are easily found
                                                                                     Go to Options > Status                 out and removed. Another
                                                                                 for a nice Odometer to keep                advantage is that boot-time
                                                                                 track of how frequently you                scan bypasses the Windows
                                                                                 use Ditto. Other nice fea-                 file system drivers and uses
                                                                                 tures include Theme sup-                   direct disk access that results
                                                                                 port and options to check for              in lower scan time and detec-
                                                                                 updates. On the whole, even                tion of background root-kits.
                                                                                 if you remove all the other                In Avast, open the main Avast
                                                                                 fancy features, the essential              user Interface, right-click and
                                                                                 utility in Ditto is brilliant. A           select Schedule boot-time
                                                                                 very compact clipboard that                scan from the context menu
                                                                                 stays on top of all your appli-            that appears. Next time you
                                                                                 cations allowing you to store              restart your computer, Avast
                                                                                 as much data as you need. We               will perform a full system boot-
                                                                                 would recommend it highly                  time scan.
                                                                                 as a must-use for all those                   With AVG, you can change
                                                                                 who do a lot of editing or use             the settings in the Options
                                                                                 Office or browse the web on                menu. The scanner option has
Use the options to tweak Ditto to your tastes                                    a regular basis.                           the ability to modify the set-

| www.thinkdigit.com                                                      | vol 10: 13                                                       Digit | February 2010
Tips & Tricks

                                        Other systems optimise
                                     their scanning to ensure that
                                     normal functioning is not dis-
                                     turbed while scanning. Fea-
                                     tures such as Fast Scan and
                                     optimised background scan
                                     are prevalent.

                                     Silent mode
                                     Most security suites have
                                     realised the importance of
                                     disabling notifications so as          Mail Shield settings
                                     to improve the user experi-
                                     ence. Except TrendMicro,              Silent Mode Box that appears,        to go to Expert Settings or
                                     all the security suites we            select the duration from a           Advanced Settings.
                                     reviewed for features had             drop-down list.                          The same sort of sensitivity
                                     an option, either as Silent               AVG Firewall includes a          specification is not restricted
                                     Mode or Gaming mode or a              “Game Mode”. This can be set         to the Email scanner. All Fire-
Click on Boot time scan in the       similar name.                         under Settings. Alternatively,       walls also have the same fea-
left side context menu in the user       Avast has it, in its main         click on Firewall from the Main      ture (some even have a program
interface                            user interface. In Kaspersky,         Control Center and enable            specific option).
                                     right-click on the Kaspersky          Game Mode.
tings. Kaspersky does not have       icon on the taskbar and click                                              Auto USB detect
a boot time feature.                 on Settings > Gaming                  Anti-spam                            Though the manual scan option
                                     Profile. Click on enable              If you use webmail services          is available to scan specific
Screensaver mode                     Gaming Profile. You have              such as Yahoo!, Gmail or Hot-        folder files, some security suites
Many security suites allow you       the option to disable scans,          mail, chances are email is secure.   can automatically detect when
to run a full system scan when-      disable updates, or instead of        However, if you’re using a client    an external drive is plugged in.
ever the computer is idle. For       notification, just take action        such as Microsoft Outlook or         Some can even erase malware
a lot of systems, a full system      automatically. Kaspersky              Thunderbird, you have to inde-       without notifications. If your
scan can slow down your              chooses the best course of            pendently scan your mail for         anti-virus doesn’t have this
system. In Avast, for example,       action based on the threat            viruses. This feature all secu-      function, it’s a good practice to
you can schedule a full system       rating and previous choices.          rity suites have. The new Avast      scan your removable media for
scan whenever your computer              Norton has both options –         v5, goes one up by having a fully    malware. In AVG, you can go
is idle by using the anti-virus      Full Screen Detection (Gaming         integrated anti-spam feature.        to Tools > Advanced Set-
screensaver feature. It can even     mode) and a Silent Mode. It               In all security suites, you      tings > Scans > Remov-
be run over your normal screen       activates automatically when          have the option of custom-           able Device Scan. Tick the
saver. Whenever your com-            you watch full screen applica-        izing the sensitivity level of       checkbox to Automatically
puter is idle for the time that      tions. Similarly, Silent Mode is      your detector. Go to Real Time       Heal / Remove Infections.
the screensaver is set to come       a manual operation to do the          Shields or Email Protector, or       Kaspersky and Trend Micro
in, Avast will start scanning        same. You can do so by going          Mail Scanner or whatever it is       have the same feature enabled.
for viruses and pause imme-          to Settings > Administra-             called in your antivirus pro-
diately once you come back to        tive Settings. In the Silent          gram, go to settings. Chances        P2P Protection
your computer. To enable this,       Mode Settings, set the Silent         are, to specify the level of         Frequent downloads from
go to your screensaver proper-       Mode to On. In the Turn on            customisation, you may have          unknown sources using a tor-
ties window and select Avast!                                                                                   rent tracker or a P2P file sharing
Antivirus from the list.                                                                                        program often pose a high risk.
    In other software suites,                                                                                   The security suite monitors all
it may not be called Screen-                                                                                    the recognised P2P programs
saver mode. Instead, like                                                                                       installed for downloads and
Norton, it is referred to as                                                                                    checks the files as they are
Idle Time Scanning. Norton                                                                                      downloaded (real-time). Avast
can perform scheduled scans                                                                                     has a P2P shield under its list
when your PC is idle if the                                                                                     of real-time shields. You can go
“Only run at Idle Time”                                                                                         to Expert Settings and change
option is selected. Select the                                                                                  the list of programs that should
Settings > Task Sched-                                                                                          be monitored. Kaspersky also
uling > Idle Time option.            Gaming mode settings                                                       has a P2P/File Sharing monitor.

Digit | February 2010                                               | vol 10: 14                                              | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                     Tips & Tricks

Windows 7                               If you highlight a small             Favorites to create a link there.     VPN. One more click on any of
Whenever you open a program,        button on the bottom right                   In all previous versions of       them, and you’re connected.
folder, or file, Windows creates     corner of the task bar, all open         Windows, managing your files
a corresponding button on the       windows will fade from view,             meant organising them in dif-         Old programs in
task bar showing just an icon       for a quick peek at your desktop         ferent folders and sub folders.       Windows 7
that represents the open pro-       or gadgets, Windows 7’s free-            Comes Windows 7 with its con-         Most programs written for
gram. With the new Progress Bar     floating widgets.                         cept of libraries, which makes it     Windows will work automati-
integrated into the task bar, you                                            easier to find, access, work with      cally in Windows 7, but there
can monitor on-going tasks and      Jumplists and libraries                  and organize files scattered          might be some issues with older
processes performed by their        In applications coded to take            across your computer or even          programs and some might not
applications without having to      advantage of the jump list, when         over the network regardless of        even start. If a program written
keep the programs’ window vis-      you right-click an icon, you’ll get      where they are stored. A library      for Windows Vista, XP or even
ible. The progress of functions     a pop-up menu which will give            gathers files that are stored         other older versions fails to
including file copies, but also CD   you quick access to recently             in several locations without          run, Microsoft doesn’t leave
and DVD burning, downloads          opened items, frequently opened          actually storing your items or        you in the blue. Like Vista,
and installs is displayed dynami-   items, tasks, or web sites, in           moving your files from the orig-       Windows 7 comes with a Pro-
cally via the Taskbar buttons,      addition to any favourite items          inal folder. Libraries monitor        gram Compatibility Mode that
through the Progress Bar.           you’ve decided to pin. In Internet       folders that contain your items,      simulates the behaviour of pre-
    When you move your mouse        Explorer, it shows your recent           and let you access and arrange        vious versions of Windows for
pointer to a task bar button, a     browsing history; in Windows             the items in different ways like      that program. You can change
small thumbnail appears of          Media Player, it’ll let you play         ‘documents by type’, ‘pictures by     the compatibility settings for
the corresponding window.           recent videos; and Windows               date taken’ and ‘music by genre’.     a program either manually or
This along with Aero Peek,                                                                                         by using the Program Compat-
which makes every window                                                     Connect to the                        ibility Troubleshooter.
on the desktop transparent                                                   internet                                  Right-click on a program
except the one you’re high-                                                  Windows 7 makes it very simple        and choose Troubleshoot Com-
lighting at the moment, makes                                                to view and connect to networks       patibility to launch the Pro-
sure that you find any window                                                 on your laptop. Just click on         gram Compatibility Assistant.
nearly instantly, no matter how                                              the network icon in the task          It detects known compatibility
many windows your desktop                                                    bar. View Available Networks          issues and notifies you if it finds
is buried under. To switch to                                                displays all your wireless and        anything and offers to fix it the
another window, just click on                                                wired networking options              next time your program is run.
the miniature version that pops                                              including Wi-Fi, mobile broad-        It does not make any changes
out from its task bar button.                                                band, dial-up, LAN or corporate       to your program. It merely
You can even close it by middle-                                                                                   resolves conflicts with UAC
clicking, a feature which is                                                                                       giving elevated privileges to
                                    Recent history in Jumplists
common to most applications                                                                                        your program, or simulates
that used tabbed browsing.                                                                                         an earlier version of Windows.
    You can use Aero Shake to       Explorer will give you quick
quickly minimize every open         access to frequently used folders                                              Manage your
window apart from the one           and files. You can also pin                                                     hardware
you’re shaking. It is a useless-    favourites to a Jump List, so you                                              The new Devices and Printers
but-neat feature that clears        can quickly get to the items that                                              folder available from the Start
all the clutter for you without     you use frequently. Jump Lists                                                 Menu shows you all the external
you having to minimize each         on the task bar contain several                                                devices connected to your PC.
and every window apart from         menu commands that you can                                                     It is a handy way to check on
the one you want to focus on.       use to close an item or unpin                                                  a portable device which you
It is just a mouse gesture that     the program from the task bar.                                                 carry with you and occasion-
lets you grab the title bar of      You can even drag an item off of                                               ally connect to your computer,
                                                                             View Available Networks and connect
the window you wish to keep         a Jump List to copy it to another                                              such as mobile phones, portable
                                                                             to them
open and give it a shake, and       location or folder.                                                            music players, photo frames
rejoice in a clear desktop area.        Windows Explorer has a
Of course, you can use [Win-        great feature called ‘Favorites’,
dows] + [Home] for the same         present in the left pane of the
functionality. It just adds that    window. You can add your
Zing to the new UI. You can even    frequently accessed folders
restore all of those windows by     for quick access. Just left click
shaking the open window again.      the folder and drag it on the            The new taskbar

| www.thinkdigit.com                                                  | vol 10: 15                                                Digit | February 2010
Tips & Tricks

and digital cameras besides            You get detailed informa-
all the devices connected via       tion about programs – its icon,
USB, or paired via Wi-Fi or         command-line path, image
Bluetooth wireless interface        path, memory stats, security
including external USB hard         attributes, and a lot more. You
drives, flash drives, web cams,      can even examine all the DLLs
keyboards, and mice. A multi-       it has used, the operating
function printer now shows up       system resources it’s using,
as a single device in Devices and   and even track down proc-
Printers, not as a collection of    esses that are using specific
three or four components like it    resources.
is displayed in the more conven-
tional Device Manager.              Multiple svchosts?
    Besides letting you view        Go to the wininit.exe sub-
information about your              menu, enlarge the services.
devices, such as make, model,       exe group and you will see
and manufacturer, including         several svchost.exe files                   You can see advanced details of all running processes
detailed information about          open. You could, of course,
the sync capabilities of a          go to the Properties of each                when it comes to helping us                 Suspend a service or process,
mobile phone or other mobile        and monitor everything it’s                 remove viruses.                             instead of ending it. Just
device, Devices and Printers        doing, but hovering your                       While the Task Manager                   right-click and choose Sus-
is also an excellent place to       mouse over it does the trick                gets disabled by certain                    pend. You can resume sus-
check if a specific device is       as well. Going to the proper-               viruses, and even if it’s not,              pended services from the
working properly and then           ties, has the added advantage               killing a rogue process usu-                right-click menu as well.
troubleshoot problems in case       that you’ll be able to read and
they arise.                         understand what each service
                                    actually does.
Process Explorer
Ever wondered what’s run-           View more
ning on your computer? For          If you’re not overwhelmed by
most tech enthusiasts, it’s         information overload, right-
vital to have it all figured        click next to one of the col-
out. Complete understanding,        umns headers and click on
if not complete control is a        “Select Columns”. This way,
must. Though the Windows            you can see a lot more infor-
Task Manager does a decent          mation about your processes.
job of listing processes, and
memory usage, it’s not enough       Suspend, not end
for us geeks.                       One scenario that Process
    Process Explorer by Sys-        Explorer is really handy                    The Suspend option is a life saver when you’re infected
internals, is a program for         for, is when you’re infected
Windows that gives you full         with a virus. As most of us                 ally just doesn’t help, as it               Lower the pane
control over what runs on your      have experienced, the task                  starts up again. With Process               Go to View > Show Lower
PC. Get it for free from http://    manager is all but useless                  Explorer, you can choose to                 Pane (or use [Ctrl] + [L]).
thinkdigit.com/d/procxp.                                                                                                    This will show you additional
                                                                                                                            information about processes.
Getting started                                                                                                             You can also choose between
To get started, just unzip the                                                                                              viewing Handles or DLLs –
file, and run the EXE.                                                                                                       go to View > Lower Pane
   You can see everything                                                                                                   View to choose one.
that’s functioning. Broadly,
the processes you see can be                                                                                                ‘til death do us part
divided into idle, Windows                                                                                                  If you prefer Process Explorer
and explorer.exe processes.                                                                                                 to Task Manager, just go to
Explorer.exe processes are                                                                                                  Options > Replace Task
the ones we’re interested in,                                                                                               Manager, and from now on
because that’s how most appli-                                                                                              this app will load instead of
cations are run.                    Process Explorer vs. Task Manager. Fight!                                               the Task Manager.

Digit | February 2010                                                    | vol 10: 16                                                     | www.thinkdigit.com
          How to keep objectionable content on the net at bay

Nimish Sawant                         system and works very effec-            reboot for the software to start      Words Blacklist which allows the
nimish.sawant@thinkdigit.com          tively. It can be downloaded from       working properly. It lodges itself    user to block webpages based on
                                      http://tinyurl.com/ykkk6ha              in the system tray and will be        the appearance of words on it.

          or parents across the                                               turned on as soon as your com-
          world, the internet is      Using the Filter                        puter starts. Options can be          Security
          as much a bane as it        The user interface of the software      accessed from the tray icon.          Since this software is meant to
          is a boon, thanks to a      is quite simple. It is divided into                                           prevent the visibility of porno-
massive presence of vices such        two URL lists : one for Always          Configuring PicBlock 3                 graphic images, and it allows
as online predators and pornog-       Blocked Websites and the other          The main tab in the Settings          one to unblock restricted sites or
raphy among other things. With        for Great Websites. You can             menu of PicBlock is the Con-          images, a Security tab is provided
around 260 porn sites being reg-      add URLs to the list of Always          figuration tab. To get PicBlock        to password protect actions. You
istered everyday and 25 per cent      Blocked sites or add a keyword          working, check the Enable Pic-        (as a parent) can set an admin-
of the search queries being porn      using wildcard characters like          Block option. It has options for      istrator password, so that your
related according to an interna-      asterisk (*) or question mark           setting the sensitivity levels of     kids have no control over making
tional study, it is imperative to     (?) along with words in case            the blocking images, by clicking      any changes in the settings. By
keep young children away from         one is not sure of the complete         on the radio buttons indicating       checking on the options, the
this growing menace. With the         URL. Adding and Deleting                Mild, Normal and Strict.
boom in internet penetration          URLs pretty straight forward.           Advanced Filtering allows you
and the familiarity of kids with      By ticking the Block All option,        to add more options to filtering
technology, the need for blocking     you can further filter surfing to         like face detection, blocking web
pornographic material is high.        only those sites that are men-          pages with explicit words etc.
                                      tioned in the Great Website URL         Many a times the software
NetDog Internet                       list.                                   may block images which are
Porn Filter 3.9.2                                                             perfectly harmless. To pre-
This is a very easy to use Porn       Output                                  vent this the user can Unblock
Blocker which is light on the         The software works quite well           those web sites either by right
                                       and blocks all the words in the        clicking on the PicBlocker icon
                                       URL list. As soon as the URL           in the system tray and selecting
                                       word matches the word from             Unblock content or use a key-
                                       the Blocked URL list, the web-         board shortcut like [Alt] + [F12]
                                       site does not load.                    or [Ctrl] + [F12]                     The security settings in PicBlock.
                                                                                                                    enter password prompt may
                                        PicBlock 3                            URL Lists                             appear while unblocking con-
                                        NetDog only allows you to filter       This enables the user to set cer-     tent, viewing logs, accessing set-
                                        content based on keywords, but        tain URLs as safe or dangerous        tings, disabling PicBlock among
                                        pornographic images still pop         in the URL Whitelist and URL          other things. This tab also has a
                                        up on our screens. To prevent         Blacklist tab respectively. Using     Silent mode setting which pre-
                                        such images from showing up,          these tabs the user can set certain   vent the pop ups from PicBlock
                                        use PicBlock.                         URLs which he wants to allow          when a site or image is blocked.
                                                                              or block according to his needs.
                                        Installation                          The list of URLs can be saved or      Performance
                                        The software can be down-             another list can be imported as       The blocked images will appear
                                        loaded from http://www.cinchworks.    well using the Export and Add         as pixelated areas. Sometimes,
                                         com/download.html. Installation is   & Import buttons. Apart from          you will have to unblock perfectly
Setting a URL banned list in NetDog      quick and requires a system          URLs there is another tab called      normal images though.

                                                                                                                     Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 89
                                                  Multicore                                 USB 3.0
                                                  AMD to release six-core processors        WD announces USB 3.0 range of
  Q&A                                             in the second quarter of 2010             MyBook external storage drives

  Your problem is no
  problem to us!
  This month, we look at Khatarnakh viruses, master/slave
  issues with hard drives, and much more

        Khatarnakh virus!                             The virus problem is a             two system restore points, but            just Windows. You should try
  Two months back, three                        little too complicated to get rid        it is of no use in case “system           a Windows repair instead of
  viruses – Khatarnakh, Ghost                   of manually. It would be easier          restore disabled by group                 a reinstall. Viruses could be a
  and Xplorer attacked my                       to install an anti-virus solution        policy”.                                  problem. Try a different anti-
  PC. The Khatarnakh virus                      from Kaspersky, ESET or G                              Harshit H. Desai            virus or any of the free online
  spawned a process called                      DATA. You should use an anti-                                                      virus scanners to be sure.
  khatra.exe and the other                      virus to remove the infection. If             Firstly, Group Policy Editor
  two viruses spawned ghost.                    all fails, you might have to do a        is only available in Windows XP              RAM not
  exe and xplorer.exe.                          clean install of Windows.                Professional. If you’re using a           recognised
  These viruses have disabled                                                            different version, you won’t be           I just assembled my new PC
  my Control Panel and are not                       Random crashes                      able to access it. Also, update to        with Biostar TA790GXBE moth-
  letting me change any set-                    I recently upgraded my     y                       t
                                                                                                   the latest Windows XP           erboard and Athlon X2 245 with
  tings. I tried opening it from                Acer system seven to eight        Watch                                            Windows XP SP2. The problem
  C:\Windows\System32\                          months ago. It has an Intel      the Q&A                                           is that my computer recognises
  control.exe, but it just dis-                 Core 2 Duo processor, 2        on Digit TV                                         only 768 MB RAM instead of
  plays a warning window with                   GB DDR 2 RAM, and                                                                  the 1 GB installed. My older
  the message This opera-                       320 GB hard drive. It was   s                                                      Pentium 4 system recognised
  tion has been cancelled                       working fine for the last seven                                                     the same RAM stick as 0.99 GB.
  due to restrictions on                        months, but all of a sudden                                                            The PC was assembled into
  your computer. Please                         it starts giving “Generic Host                                                     a Zebronics cabinet. Everything
  contact your system                           Controller” errors while surfing.                                                   works fine, except the front
  administrator.                                Using the DOS window, Win-           Service Pack 3. Try updating all              audio-in / out ports. Even the
     In fact, there is no Control               dows closes in just five to six       your drivers for the system, and              Realtek audio manager does
  Panel icon on my desktop. I                   seconds. I’m unable to run C++       also run a thorough memory                    not recognise these ports. My
  deleted the viruses from all the              compilers and environments.          scan of the system.                           shop keeper told me this is a
  locations and even removed                         To overcome this problem,           The random closing of the                 usual problem with present day
  the registry entries. After                   I formatted my C drive and           DOS window is really odd. It                  cabinets.
  deleting the viruses, other                   installed a licenced version of      could be memory problems or                                   Rajdeep Banik
  shortcuts such as [Alt]+[F4]                  Windows XP and also activated
  have got enabled. I cannot                    it. On the second day, the same
  even set my Desktop back-                     problem occurred. So, I tried
  ground and also the title bar                 enabling system restore, but it
  of Internet Explorer displays                 is shown as disabled by group
  “Internet Exploiter” instead of               policy. I have tried to enable
  “Internet Explorer”.                          system restore using the
     The registry editor is also                gpedit.msc command, but it
  disabled. I access it from                    doesn’t work. I have formatted
  “TuneUp Utilities 2008” soft-                 the system again. At present,
  ware. My system has an Intel                  the system is running nor-
  Celeron M Processor 530,                      mally and system restore can
  512MB DDR2 RAM, and Win-                      be done also. I have checked
  dows Vista Ultimate Edition.                  for virus also. System doesn’t
                           Vinay                have any viruses. I have created     Setting the audio controller to AC97 can allow you to use audio on front ports

90 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                    Chrome 520
  Need battery?                                                                     VIA confident about their Chrome 520 graphics
  Intel’s Pine Trail platform improves battery life, but                            solution that promises Blu-ray playback using
  doesn’t match NVIDIA’s ION in graphics performance                                hardware acceleration                                                              Q&A

    Most motherboards with                       Master and                            460 W PSU should be enough                   Memtest86+ to ensure that
on-board graphics use a part                  slaves problems                          for my GPU. I also plan to get               there are no problems with it.
of the system memory as                       I have just assembled my new             a 320GB / 500 GB WD HDD                      Yes, you can install Windows
graphics memory. This has to                  PC and am facing a problem               next month. Do you foresee                   7 on your system.
be set from the BIOS itself. If               while installing the OS. The             any power issues?
you haven’t changed it, then it               BIOS detects the hard drive                          Denis S. D’Souza                    MSCONFIG
might be using the default 256                as Master, but it does not                                                            missing
MB. We suggest upgrading to 2                 detect my DVD drive. I’m                     Make sure that the hard                  My age old machine (Pentium
GB of memory anyway.                          unable to boot from the DVD              drive is set as the master                   4 – 1.7 GHz, Intel 845 moth-
   Most cabinets don’t support                drive. The HDD and the DVD               drive and the DVD drive as                   erboard, 512 SD RAM with
HD audio on the front ports.                  drive are both IDE. I am using           the Slave. Here, MA stands                   Windows XP SP3) recently
You’ll have to use the AC97                   a single IDE cable to connect            for Master, SL for Slave and                 refusing to open MSCONFIG.
codec option in the BIOS and                  them. The DVD drive powers               CS for Cable Select. There                   I run Comodo Firewall and
use those connectors from the                 up properly and I can eject              cannot be two master drives                  Avast 4.8 Home. I have also
                                                                                       or slave drives on a single                  performed full scan with
                                                                                       IDE interface.                               Ad Aware 2009, Spybot, Bit
                                                                                          A good 460 W PSU should                   Defender, Advanced System
                                                                                       be just about sufficient for                 Care, Doctor Alex, EMCO
                                                                                       your configuration. An addi-                 malware destroyer and sev-
                                                                                       tional hard drive shouldn’t be               eral others with out any help.
                                                                                       a problem.                                   All scan reports indicate
                                                                                                                                    there is no infection. All the
                                                                                            Windows error                           above mentioned software
                                                                                       My desktop PC configuration                   have been updated.
                                                                                       is as follows:                                              Sudipta Sarkar
                                                                                       • Processor – Intel Core 2 Duo
                                                                                         E7400                                          The application msconfig
                                                                                       • Motherboard – GIGABYTE S                   might be corrupted or
Deep Freeze helps prevent any kind of data damage or loss                                series                                     missing. There could be
                                                                                       • RAM – Umax 1 GB                            another reason – the PATH
motherboard to the front panel                the tray normally. I suspect a           • HDD – Samsung 160 GB                       variable might have been
for it to work.                               jumper issue here.                       • Monitor – AOC 18.5-inch LCD                changed. Try clicking on
                                                  The DVD drive has three                   I installed Windows XP                  Start > Run. Type C:\WIN-
     Frozen in place                          sets of pins labelled as – MA,           (SP3) on my system, but after                DOWS\SYSTEM32\MSCONFIG.
I had installed Deep Freeze,                  SL, CS. The jumper is on the MA          booting it started hanging,                  EXE. Check if it runs. If yes,
but it isn’t getting uninstalled.             pin. My system configuration is           showing errors and I was not                 then the variables need
It does not show up in the                    as follows:                              able to acces any application                to be reset.
Control Panel or in the system                • Motherboard – Gigabyte                 on my system. I reinstalled the                 Press [Windows]          +
tray. I have manually ended                     GA-EP45-UD3L                           OS but it failed. I would also like          [Pause]. Go to the Advanced
the process through the task
manager and deleted the soft-
ware from the Program Files.
After restarting the computer
however, it comes back. What
should I do?
                   Moshai Dada                Missing or corrupted MSCONFIG can throw up such errors

     One of the easiest ways is               • PSU – Cooler Master Extreme            to know whether I can install                system properties and look
to try installing the software                  Power 460W                             Windows7 on my system.                       for system variables. Add
once again and then removing                  • GPU – ZOTAC GeForce                       Ravi Shankar Chakravorty                  an entry for C:\WINDOWS\
it from the Control Panel.                      GTX260                                                                              S Y S T E M 3 2 \ for PATH
Also, look for an uninstalla-                 • CPU – Intel Core 2 Duo E7400                The problem might                       variable.
tion application in the instal-               • RAM – Kingston 1 GB 800                be with the hard drive or                       If MSCONFIG.EXE isn’t
lation folder or within the                     MHz                                    memory. You’ll have to run a                 present, repair it using the
Start menu.                                   Also, please let me know if the          thorough disk scan and use                   Windows installation disc.

                                                                                                                                     Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 91
                                                               Killer Rigs                                            Price Watch
Street smart                                    94             We list the perfect buy for
                                                               every budget                        95                 The most up-to-date street
                                                                                                                      prices for hardware

  Thrash those messy wires
  Wires are almost ancient technology, and choosing wireless
  peripherals is a great way to have an organised desk, and inter-
  face with your machine in a more comfortable, flexible manner

  Agent 001                                                                                         be well laid out
  agent001@thinkdigit.com                            Generally wireless devices are associated      and I liked the
                                                     with lag, which makes them forbidden           feedback on the

                      hen shopping for a             for gamers. While current generation           keys, this is very
                      wireless keyboard              wireless mice are pretty accurate and          important for
                      and mouse remember             fast, the best wireless mouse will never be    someone who
                      that while combos              as accurate as a good wired USB mouse.         is going to be
  are available and convenient, people               Therefore gamers will want wired stuff.        doing a lot of
  might have specific requirements – for              People often ask me if there is any differ-    typing – like me.
  example, a gamer might want a high-DPI             ence between buying wireless periph-           He assured me
  laser mouse and a regular keyboard.                erals from small, less known brands as         that a set of two
  Or an HTPC user might want a high-                 opposed to Logitech and Microsoft. The         AA batteries
  end keyboard with a lot of multimedia              answer goes thus – larger companies            would last me
  functions along with a simple, no frills           simply spend more on research and this         for more than
  mouse. The ultimate combo would be                 leads to better, more ergonomic, more          a year and this
  the combination of the best mouse and              durable and comfortable products. It           one supported
  keyboard, but such setups can exceed               also makes a difference in perform-            the unified receiver as well. Then I asked
  10,000 bucks. For example, I came across           ance, battery life and range for wireless      him to show me a mouse to go with this.
  this beautiful Logitech Cordless Desktop           peripherals. Bluetooth is emerging as          He asked me if I would be interested in
  MX5500. Priced at Rs. 10,800, it consists          a technology for wireless connectivity         the MX Revolution. It’s surely a great
  of the Logitech MX keyboard and the MX             and the major advantage is one saves a         mouse, but for 5000 bucks, I could get
  Revolution mouse. This is the ultimate             USB port. This makes a huge difference         a new hard drive, so I told him I wasn’t
  combo as the keyboard is really well laid          on a notebook, where USB ports are a           interested. Then he showed me the
  out. It even has a small LCD and has a lot         premium. Bluetooth also allows pairing         M305 priced at Rs. 1,100. A plain mouse,
  of shortcut keys. The dealer who had this          with multiple devices, so one mouse can        with a good 1000 dpi sensor, the M305
  initially tried to divert me to some of the        be used on multiple systems, as long as        has a tilt scroll wheel — very impor-
  cheaper offerings in his shop evidently            the PC in question supports Bluetooth,         tant for people like me who use a lot of
  hoping to make a sale. Upon seeing my              which can be added by adding a simple          MS Excel. I tried hassling a good deal,
  interest he relented. “Most of the dealers         350 buck dongle. Sadly Bluetooth offer-        but to no avail. I asked for something
  in Lamington Road will not even stock              ings are not as wide in terms of choice        cheaper and was shown the MS Optical
  such an expensive combo” he said. I had            as the dongle-based wireless devices.          Desktop 1000 for 1,950 bucks - a good
  to agree and the products do look fabu-                Logitech has a neat technology they        option except that I didn’t like either the
  lously well built, but 10 grand for some-          call “Unified Receiver” which basically         keyboard or mouse as much. Finally,
  thing I’d use for typing and an HTPC               covers an umbrella of devices that can be      sensing my reluctance, he offered to give
  remote – you’ve got to be kidding me!              used with one wireless receiver, meaning       me a discount if I purchased both the
      The Logitech Wireless Desktop                  if you buy a mouse and keyboard sepa-          Logitech keyboard and mouse – I had
  MK250 is one of the cheapest Logitech              rately from Logitech and both support          not told him I was interested in a combo,
  combos available, at Rs. 1,400 and is a            the unified receiver, they can be used          but had mentioned interest in wireless
  good choice for someone looking at a               together, with a single receiver, thereby      keyboards and then gone on to browse
  quality product. For someone looking               freeing up a USB port. I also came across      mice. Feigning reluctance I hesitated,
  at a quality notebook mouse I recom-               one Microsoft product, the Wireless            while my mind wildly calculated. I told
  mend the Logitech VX 450 Nano, that                Optical Desktop 700, priced at Rs. 2,000.      him that I would be interested in both if
  features a really tiny receiver that you           The next shop had a Logitech Wireless          he could give them to me for 3,000 bucks.
  can leave plugged in to your notebook              Keyboard K350, priced at Rs. 2,600 – I         We haggled and I finally got him down
  or netbook without fear of anything                really liked the design and the multi-         to 3,300 - a good 400 rupees less than
  getting damaged while travelling.                  media keys. The keypad also seemed to          the cost. Finally I found a solution.

92 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Where to write in                                                      Need help quick?
  Drop in a mail to agent001@thinkdigit.com,                             Head over to the troubleshooting section of the
  and Agent will do his best to solve them                               Thinkdigit.com forums, an active and helpful community              Agent 001

   I plan to buy a laptop soon which           suggest the LG KS660, although it will be               The answer is an emphatic yes. You
will be used for website designing,            priced above the Rs. 10,000 mark.                   haven’t mentioned a budget so I’m going
database management and Java                   Nokia’s 5230 is priced at Rs. 10,000 and            to assume you will be willing to spend at
programming. I am confused between             has a touch screen, it also has a good              least Rs. 4,000. For that price you can
two brands — Dell and Lenovo. My               battery and display, but a very ordinary            pick up a GeForce 9600GT from brands
budget is around Rs. 35,000 and I’d like       camera. Other than that you have the                like ZOTAC and Palit. If you can spend
to get at least a Core 2 duo and at least      option of non-touch phones. In such a               Rs. 6,500 or so, you can pick up a
2GB RAM. Also, it would be good if it          case look at Sony Ericsson’s W595, also             PowerColor or Sapphire Radeon
comes with genuine Windows 7. I give           priced at the 10K mark.                             HD 4850.
equal importance to after purchase
service of the product and I’m not                I’m all set to purchase a new                        I want to buy a cell phone with a
aware of any Dell service center here,         LCD 32-inch. I have picked Sony as a                big screen with a high resolution and
in Kolkata. Please help me on this.            brand because I’ve heard their TVs are              excellent video quality. Secondly, I
                    Rupanjan Chatterjee        better, but I’m really confused                     want very good sound quality compa-
                                               between two models. The models in                   rable to iPods and Sandisk Sansas. My
   I think from among the two brands           question are the Sony Bravia                        price range is from Rs 10,000 to
you have mentioned you will find only           KLV-32W550A and KLV-32V550A/B.                      15,000. The main thing is that it should
Pentium Dual Cores for that price range.       Which is better and is there anything               be a perfect media companion. The
For a little more, and as little as            else I can consider?                                camera quality should be decent as an
Rs. 37,000 or so, you can pick up a                                             Ravi D             over performing camera is not
notebook from Lenovo with 3 GB of RAM                                                              required. I was thinking of buying only
and a decent Core 2 Duo in the range of           Amongst the two HDTVs former has a               Sony Ericsson phones as my first phone
the T6600 (2.2 GHz).                           100 Hz display, but this does not justify           was Sony Ericsson and I would like to
                                               the price difference of Rs. 16,000 or so.           stick to the company. Please give a
    I want to buy a 19-22 inch LCD             You are better off with the KLV-                    recommendation even if the price of
monitor; that doubles as a TV. Budget          32V550A/B. May I also recommend                     the phone exceeds my range. I was
is around Rs. 13,000                           32PFL5609/98, available for around Rs.              thinking of the SE Aino.
                            Manish Saini       40,000. This is a full HD display (1080p)                                      Adi Mukherjee
                                               and is pretty good value for the
   Look at the LG M197WA, we have              performance it offers.                                              If you are looking to grossly
tested the 22-inch version (Rs. 12,990)                                                                            overshoot your budget the
and it was pretty decent.                          My current PC                   Love Digit?                       Aino is for you, but be
                                               configuration is:-               Like Facebook?                       prepared to shell out
   I was planning to buy a cellphone,          Motherboard:                   Become a Digit Facebook                  around Rs. 26,000. Else
probably a touch screen, with a decent         Gigabyte                        fan and win the hottest                 spend Rs. 15,000 and get
camera with flash and at least 1 GB of         945GCM-S2L                     movies of 2009. Head to                  the Nokia 5800 Xpress
inbuilt or bundled memory space                RAM: 2 GB                       www.thinkdigit.com/d/                   Music.
(expandable memory). It should also            Processor: Intel Core             fan to find out how
have a music player, FM receiver,              2 Duo E7500 2.93Ghz                                            I am planning to buy a
Bluetooth receiver, Wi-Fi support,             Graphics card: Nvidia                                    good sound card for around
Internet support and should be able to         GeForce 7300/7200 GS                                  Rs.3,000. It should be good for
record videos at a minimum resolution          512Mb                                          Music and OK for games. I am consid-
of 480p. Plus the internal phone               This configuration is enough accord-           ering Creative X-fi Xtreme Audio. Is
memory space should also be suffi-             ing to the recommended configuration           this OK? Also please clarify some
cient. The battery life should also be         needed for games like Batman Arkham            doubts. Is Asus Xonar DX better
sufficient to last at-least a day. My first    Asylum, Crysis and applications like           than Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio? I
choice is Nokia phones. A similiar             Maya etc. But still these games and            have a budget 5.1 speakers Creative
phone from any company would be                applications are not running to their          SBS A500, Can I experience the power
equally acceptable. My budget is Rs.           full capacity on my PC. Is it because my       of the sound card with this speaker?
10,000 and I cannot spend any more.            graphics card is old? If yes, are there        What is the price of these cards?
                            Saurabh Mittal     any better (and less expensive) options                                        C.Karthik
                                               available for my current motherboard?             I recommend the ASUS Xonar DX, a
    480p video recording is a little tough     Or would I have to give my system a            good sound card for Rs. 3,600 or so.
to find on your budget, but if you want a       complete overhaul?                             ASUS is considered to use quality
decent phone that has touch capabilities I                           Shobhit Khinvasara       materials on their soundcards.

                                                                                                                   Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 93
                                                                                            Basic rig = Rs. 23,000
                                                                                            Multimedia cum gaming rig = Rs. 32,250

 everything you will ever need to build your own PC. whatever your budget.                  High-end PC / Gaming rig = Rs. 50,950
                                                                                            Ultra high-end PC / Gaming rig = Rs. 1,10,500

   PRIMARY                                                                             SECONDARY COMPONENTS
                                                CABINET                                   POWER SUPPLY                          MOUSE

    AMD AthlonII X2 240 / Rs. 3,000
    AMD Athlon 2 X4 620 / Rs. 5,050
    Phenom X4 945 / Rs. 8,100                                                               VIP 350 Watts / Rs. 850               Logitech 3 button scroll / Rs. 300
    Intel Core i7 920 / Rs. 14,400                                                          VIP 400W Gold / Rs. 850               Logitech 3 button scroll / Rs. 300
                                                                                            Corsair VX 450 / Rs. 3,800            Logitech MX518 / Rs. 1,300
                                                                                            Corsair HX 620 / Rs. 7,100            Logitech MX518 / Rs. 1,300

                                                  Zebronics Antibiotic / Rs. 2,100        SPEAKER                               OPTICAL DRIVE
                                                  Zebronics Antibiotic / Rs. 2,100
                                                  CoolerMaster 690 / Rs. 4,400
                                                  Antec 900 / Rs. 6,500

                                                SOUND CARD
 MOTHERBOARD                                      None
    ASUS NVIDIA 7025 M2N68-AM                     None
    Rs. 2,250                                     None
    Gigabyte MA78GM-US2H                          ASUS Xonar DX / Rs. 3,700
    Rs. 4,200                                                                               None                                  LG H55N / Rs. 1,100
    ASUS M4A78-PRO / Rs. 5,850                                                              Altec Lansing VS2421 / Rs. 2,200      LG H55N / Rs. 1,100
    MSI X58 Pro-E / Rs. 11,400                                                              Altec Lansing VS2421 / Rs. 2,200      LG H55N / Rs. 1,100
                                                                                            Altec Lansing MX 5021 / Rs. 6,500     ASUS BC-1205PT / Rs. 11,010

 RAM                                                                                                                                Logitech Multimedia / Rs. 400
    2 x 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) /                                                                                              Logitech Multimedia / Rs. 400
    Rs. 2,000                                                                                                                       Logitech G15 / Rs. 4,400
    2 x 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) /                                                                                              Logitech G15 / Rs. 4,400
    Rs. 2,000
    2 x 2GB DDR2 800 MHz (Corsair) /
    Rs. 4,000
    2 x 3 GB Corsair Dominator 1600 MHz
    DDR3 / Rs 8,000

    ZOTAC GeForce                               TABLET                                    HEADPHONES                            PRINTING SOLUTIONS
    9600GT / Rs. 4,750
    Sapphire Radeon HD
    4850 / Rs. 6,900
    Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 / Rs. 25,500


                                                 None                                      None
                                                 iBall Design Tablet PF1209 / Rs. 8,900    Sennheiser HD 201 / Rs. 1,500
                                                 Wacom Intuos4 Medium (PTK-640)            Sennheiser HD 280 Pro / Rs. 5,500     Canon PIXMA iP1980 / Rs. 2,695
                                                 Rs. 21,280                                                                      Canon iP3680 / Rs. 5,595
    Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / Rs. 3,100                                                                                           Epson B-500DN / Rs. 22,999
    Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / Rs. 3,100                                                    GAMING CONTROLLERS
    Seagate 1 TB 7200.12 / Rs. 4,400            MOUSEPAD
    WD Black Edition 1 TB / Rs. 6,500                                                                                           POWER PROTECTION

     ViewSonic VA1928wm / Rs. 7,900
     AOC 2236Vw / Rs. 8,400
     AOC 2236Vw / Rs. 8,400
     AOC 2436Vw / Rs. 14,500
                                                 Razer Goliathus Speed (Oversized) /       Xbox 360 controller / Rs. 1,350       None
                                                 Rs. 1,400                                 Logitech Momo / Rs. 5,500             APC 550W / Rs. 2,400
                                                 Steel Series Qck Heavy / Rs. 2,000        Logitech G25 / Rs. 17,500             Numeric 1 KVA / Rs. 4,200

94 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
 Touchsmart netbooks                                                                       New range from Kingmax
 HP launches TouchSmart tm2 notebook - tablet                                              Kingmax launch Class 10 SDHC cards with capacities                 Price watch
 combo and three Mini series netbooks                                                      upto 32 GB and write speeds of 20 MB/sec

                Spend smart                                                                      The latest peripheral prices updated every
                                                                                               month. Go ahead, plan your configuration today

                   Digital Cameras
Model                                       Market Price        Tested in                 Sensor            Optical Zoom                     LCD Screen Size
Canon Powershot SX120                       Rs. 14,995          October 2009               10 MP                 10x                            3.0 inches
Canon IXUS 100IS                            Rs. 12,999          October 2009               12 MP                  3x                            2.5 inches
Canon Powershot A480                        Rs. 7,499           October 2009               10 MP                 3.3x                           2.5 inches
Canon A1100IS                               Rs. 9,499           October 2009               12 MP                  4x                            2.5 inches
Canon IXUS 95IS                             Rs. 10,500          October 2009               10 MP                  3x                            2.5 inches
Canon SX200IS (BEST PERFORMER)              Rs. 21,500          October 2009               12 MP                 12x                            3.0 inches
FujiFilm FinePix F200                       Rs. 17,999          October 2009               12 MP                  5x                            3.0 inches
FujiFilm FinePix S1500                      Rs. 12,500          October 2009               10 MP                 12x                            2.7 inches
Kodak C140                                  Rs. 4,999                                       8 MP                  3x                            2.4 inches
Nikon P90                                   Rs. 23,995          October 2009               12 MP                 24x                            3.0 inches
Nikon Coolpix L20                           Rs. 7,750           October 2009               10 MP                 3.6x                           3.0 inches
Nikon S220                                  Rs. 8,500           October 2009               10 MP                  3x                            2.5 inches
Olympus FE25                                Rs. 5,995                                      10 MP                  3x                            2.4 inches
Panasonic FS4                               Rs. 6,750                                      8 MP                   4x                            2.5 inches
Samsung ES55 (BEST BUY)                     Rs. 6,990           October 2009               10 MP                  3x                            2.5 inches
Sony HX1                                    Rs. 29,800          October 2009                9 MP                 20x                            3.0 inches
Sony S930                                   Rs. 7,800                                      10 MP                  3x                            2.4 inches
Sony H20                                    Rs. 17,500                                     10 MP                 10x                            3.0 inches

                   External HDDs
Model                                                      Market Price                   Capacity                        Interface                     Warranty (Years)
Seagate Freeagent GO                                       Rs. 5,150                       500 GB                             USB                            5 years
Seagate Freeagent GO                                       Rs. 3,250                       250 GB                             USB                            5 years
Maxtor One Touch 4 Mini                                    Rs. 3,200                       250 GB                             USB                            5 years
Transcend StoreJet                                         Rs. 2,725                       160 GB                              USB                           2 years
Western Digital MyPassport                                 Rs. 2,850                       160 GB                              USB                           3 years
Western Digital MyPassport Essential                       Rs. 4,100                       640 GB                              USB                           3 years
Western Digital MyPassport Studio Edition                  Rs. 7,800                        1 TB                      USB, FireWire, eSATA                   3 years

                   Input Devices
Model                                              Market Price            Tested In                        Features / Technology                             Interface
Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000            Rs. 1,950                  NA            Wireless (optical mouse)                                              RF
Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 700 V2          Rs. 1,400                  NA            Wireless (optical mouse)                                              RF
Logitech Internet Pro Desktop                      Rs. 750                    NA            Optical Mouse                                                       USB 2.0
                                                                                            Bluetooth, laser mouse with extra buttons, LCD display on
Logitech Cordless Desktop MX5500                   Rs. 10,800                  NA                                                                           RF (Bluetooth)
Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave                     Rs. 4,650                   NA           Ergonomic keyboard, with soft palm rest, laser mouse                   RF
Logitech Wireless Desktop MK250                    Rs. 1,200                   NA           Wireless (optical mouse)                                               RF
Zebronics Mmkeyboard + Mouse                       Rs. 450                     NA           Optical mouse                                                         USB
Microsoft Wired Desktop 600                        Rs. 850                     NA           Optical mouse                                                         USB
Belkin n52te                                       Rs. 3,500              February 2010     Gamepad, macro keys                                                   USB
Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard                    Rs. 4,000                   NA           Gamepad, macro keys, LCD display                                      USB
Logitech G15 gaming keyboard                       Rs. 4,400                   NA           Macro keys, backlit display                                           USB
Microsoft Sindewinder X6 keyboard                  Rs. 3,600                   NA           Backlit keys, macro keys                                              USB
Microsoft Sidewinder X5                            Rs. 2,400                   NA           2000 dpi, laser sensor mouse                                          USB
Logitech MX 518                                    Rs. 1,300                   NA           1800 dpi, IR sensor mouse                                             USB
Logitech G5                                        Rs. 2,200                   NA           2000 dpi, laser sensor mouse                                          USB

                                                                                                                                      Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 95
                                                     Office 2010                                                FB Apps
  Work@Tech                                     98   Is Office 2010 worth the money required
                                                     to upgrade?                                       102     In this month’s developer’s corner, learn how
                                                                                                               to code your own FB apps

  Devices to ease you
  With the recession and cut-throat competition, the office room has suddenly
  become one large dangerous playground. So this time, we have decided that
  it is time to equip you with the essentials for this competition on a wartime
  footing. It’s war time, soldier, and the first fact of war, as always is...

  Mohamed Rameez                                                                                        spectrum analyser. After all, the highest
  readersletters@thinkdigit.com                                                                         encryption network security packages
                                                                                                        can still be compromised, and the only
  Defence                                                                                               true defence is ensuring that no unknown
  Think someone is trying to spy on you?                                                                device transmits or receives into your
  Maybe it was the disturbed furniture in                                                               Wi-Fi network. A Wi-Fi spectrum ana-
  your cubicle or the change in position                                                                lyser is a device that detects all transmit-
  of the mouse. Maybe it is the constant                                                                ters nearby in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. It
  feeling that someone is watching you.                                                                 usually comes with bundled software
  Whatever it is, here are some cool tools                                                              that allows you to isolate each source
  for you:                                                                                              (transmitter) nearby and locate them
                                                                                                        by monitoring signal strengths as you
  Audio jammer ($100 to 150)                                                                            move closer and farther. This is the ideal
  An audio jammer works by generating                                                                   tool for the professional willing to invest
  a random masking noise that overloads                                                                 that extra bit into his/her Wi-Fi network
  and jams nearby microphones. Assured                  The Spy Keylogger available on thinkgeek.com    security and is willing to spend loads of
  to work against any microphone other                                                                  time on it.
  than one held extremely close to your                 undetectable by anti-spyware / anti-                A good choice in this arena is the
  mouth (a bug in your phone, perhaps),                 malware software, which is quite hard.          Wi-Spy 2.4x Spectrum Analyzer.
  this is the ultimate tool for anyone                  The solution is a hardware keylogger.           Available on Amazon.com and
                           who is afraid                Connected in-line between a keyboard            thinkgeek.com, this tool also
                           that someone is              and the computer (the PS/2 or USB cable         works for Bluetooth interference
                           listening in on his          from the keyboard is plugged into the           and comes packed with loads of
                           private / confiden-           keylogger, which is then plugged into the       small convenient features such
                           tial conversations           computer), this dandy little device can         as record and playback of signal
                           at office. With a             be camouflaged to look totally natural.          patterns.
                           range of up to 10            It is the ideal tool for the office executive
                           metres, this device          afraid of his terminal being accessed in
                           is ideally carried           his absence, though it will do for those of
                           on the person, but           you with more evil intentions too.                                              The Wi-Spy 2.4x
                           one may choose to                For a good purchase, check out the                                       Wireless spectrum
                           place one in every           Spy Keylogger, available from thinkgeek.                            analyzer. Comes with some
                                                                                                                      useful features such as frequency
  The KJB Security J1000   room for organisa-           com. Some more expensive models, in the                                  and amplitude markers
  Audio Jammer             tion wide security.          $100 to 200 range also have the option
                            Audio jammers               of live wireless monitoring of keystrokes.      A disappearing ink pen ($10 to 20)
  are available in many brands. The KJB                 However, these models are hard to find in        This one is straight from the spy movies.
  Security J1000 Audio Jammer From KJB                  India due to regulations.                       You might already be familiar with
  Security, available on Amazon.com, is a                                                               the invisible ink pens available on the
  good bet.                                             Wi-Fi Spectrum Analyser                         internet. The disappearing ink pen is
                                                        ($200 to 400)                                   nothing of the sort. It works perfectly fine
  Keylogger ($50 to 150)                                Think someone is snooping in on your            for one day notes, and the ink soon van-
  While software keyloggers work just fine,              office Wi-Fi network and sniffing out             ishes, without a trace. Even indentations
  there is the minor issue of making them               packets? What you need, is a Wi-Fi              on your notepad will be hard to read as

96 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
         Software encryption                                                 Monitor USB usage
         You can use software such as TrueCrypt                              To be absolutely sure that sensitive data

58       to encrypt all the data in external storage
         using military standard security
                                                                             does not go to the wrong hands, restrict
                                                                             personal memory at work                                                  Work@Tech

                  these pens require really            from up to 50 metres away by up to                      A prime example is the Rovio – Wi-Fi
                  low pressure to read.                50decibels, these are the ultimate tools                roaming bot. Small and unobtrusive, it
                     This manufacturer                 for the professionals afraid that their col-            can be used for both defence and offence.
                  claims the technology                leagues are planning something against                  Leave it roaming around in your office
                  behind the pen was                   them. These devices also often double as                / cubicle for continuous observation, or
                  developed by the actual              regular audio enhancers, allowing you to                have it slowly sneak into enemy territory.
                  KGB during the cold war.             listen in on birds/wildlife once clipped to             Interfacing through any available nearby
                                                       a binocular, or hear that lecture better.               Wi-Fi network, the Rovio can be operated
                  The KGB disappearing ink pen,            Once again, your options aren’t                     completely independently from any-
                  available on thinkgeek.com           limited and range from the cheap and                    where around the world, over the web.
                                                       unbranded to the expensive and cus-
A wireless camera / Microphone                         tomised.                                                An unobtrusive micro scanner
detector ($20 to 200)                                                                                          ($100 onwards)
This is a device for the truly paranoid, or            Offence                                                 The ideal tool for quickly copying those
the truly phantasmagorical. A wireless                 The set of gadgets in this session will give            incriminating documents, these scan-
camera / microphone detector works                     you the full power to take the battle to the            ners come in many forms, most often
                                                       other side at office.                                    that of a pen / wristwatch. Many of them

                                                       Personal Hidden cameras
                                                       ($20 to 400)                                            The Docupen personal pen scanner
                                                       Maybe it is high time you started gath-
                                                       ering evidence of all your dealings. And                come with tons of built in memory and
                                                       the ultimate solution, is a hidden camera               surprisingly high resolutions, to make
                                                       on your own person. This concept, begin-                sneaky document scanning a pleasant
                               A typical Hidden        ning with the early spy movies, is even                 experience.
                               Camera Detector         today one of the most popular forms of                     An excellent choice is the RC 805
                                                       surveillance. May it be belt buckles or car             Docupen personal pen scanner. Coming
                                                       keys, sunglasses or wristwatches, hidden                with a full 400 DPI resolution, this
by scanning for all transmitters within                cameras can be built into almost any                    device lets you scan a legal size docu-
a huge frequency spectrum (20Mhz                       innocent looking item you carry on you.                 ment in as little as 4 seconds.
to 10Ghz), so that any nearby wireless                 Almost all shopping web sites offer you a
microphones / cameras transmitting in                  plethora of choices in this regard.
these frequencies can be detected. Most of
these devices come with variable channel               Spybot
scanners for further narrowing down the                ($150 onwards)
spectrum of scanning.                                  For those of you who think hidden
    A wide variety of branded and                      cameras are for pussy cats, put a camera
unbranded products in this category can                on a robot, send it into enemy territory
be found on the internet.                              and gulp in the information. Ideal for
                                                       listening in on your co-worker’s cubicle,
A directional Accoustic Amplifier                       bots such as these are available with var-
($30 to 50)                                            ious features. While some use dedicated                  The Rovio – Wi Fi
Your grasp of office powermongering                     wireless channels, some operate through                  roaming bot
will take a quantum leap with this device.             Wi-Fi / Bluetooth frequencies.
Allowing for the amplification of sound

                                 The Sonic superear
                                 is a good device in
                                 this category                            One of the many hidden camera devices available on the internet

                                                                                                                               Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 97
                                                Save as DOCX
                                                Saving in the .docx format is a good idea, as it offers          2 Million
                                                better compression for the cloud and email over the              That’s the number of times the beta
  Feature                                       traditional .doc format                                          version of Office 2010 got downloaded

                                                                          Office 2010 has some great changes at first
                                                                          glance, but is it really worth the upgrade?

                                                                          Office 2010
                                                                          worth it?
                                                                          SharePoint support, and inte-            Backstage View is a new feature that
                                                                          gration with Windows Live.           provides information of your common
                                                                          This along with Office web apps       tasks such as saving, printing and
                                                                          means users can now access           sharing documents. One of the most
                                                                          their files anywhere provided         useful aspects of this view is the revised
                                                                          there’s an internet connec-          print preview, which combines all the
                                                                          tion, save files directly to their    previous printing and layout options and
                                                                          SharePoint server or Windows         puts them next to a sleek print preview of
                                                                          live and collaborate and edit        your file for convenient access. Third-
                                                                          documents simultaneously with        party add-ins can add features to the
                                                                          other users. Let us delve a little   Backstage view, so you can expect the
                                                                          deeper into what new Office           next generation of PDF viewers, OCR
                                                                          2010 promises to offer and what      software, and other applications to install
                                                                          it has succeeded in doing so.        their own automation and integration
  Rahil Banthia                                                                                                features inside Office applications.
  readersletters@thinkdigit.com                             Overall improvement                                    One minor change that could prove to
                                                            Office will now also be available in a              be the biggest productivity enhancers in

            ometime in 2010, Microsoft will                 64-bit version, although average users             Office 2010 is an improved copy-and-paste
            release the next version of its                 won’t notice a significant difference.              feature. When you paste anything, you
            flagship Office suite. It has taken                   Office 2010 bridges the gap between             can now paste-preview how it will look
            Microsoft a long time to integrate              the Windows Vista and Windows 7 eras               depending on your paste choice. This is
  its office suite with the web, and now that                by streamlining the Ribbon user interface          like an improvement we didn’t know we
  it is finally arriving, everyone’s asking                  and extending it to encompass all the              wanted, but realised it’s cool to have it.
  whether it will provide enough change to                  Office applications. The overall experi-                New photo-editing options are avail-
  entice an upgrade, or will it just remain                 ence has also been tweaked by bringing             able in some Office applications, like
  a routine update for those still stuck on                 its layout and structure in line with the          sharpening or softening, changing the
  Office 2003?                                               Ribbon objects from the Windows 7 SDK.             contrast and colour saturation, cropping,
       After a few days of testing the beta ver-            Users can now customise the ribbon                 remove background option, and a variety
  sion of Office 2010, we’re impressed by the                without having to delve into XML to add            of Photoshop-wannabe “artistic effects.”
  solid effort Microsoft has put in to polish               their own tabs and commands.                       There is an Insert Screenshot icon on the
  and expand upon the groundwork it laid                        The layout of the underlying button            ribbon which is kind of like [Windows] +
  with Office 2007, while continuing to add                  menu has been changed considerably. It             [S] in OneNote 2007. It lets you bliss-
  new features. The ribbon-interface has                    is now a customised, window-spanning               fully illustrate your documents with
  been refined and enhanced. Outlook now                     alternative view that combines informa-            anything on your display.
  comes with a powerful feature that com-                   tion about the currently selected object
  bines your email with social networking                   with various actions and configuration              Microsoft Word 2010
  sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.                      options. And the view is also context sen-         There’s not much you can add to Word,
       Microsoft has clearly focused a lot on               sitive, as in it adapts itself to match your       but the new interface is simple, and
  network collaboration with improved                       current work status.                               packed with some new small features

  Word now has an improved and smoother ribbon with added features

98 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Ribbon Hero                                                                  Adware Office Suite?
  Discover all the great features hidden in Office                              Microsoft will now start offering ad-supported versions of
  2010, by installing Ribbon hero by Microsoft labs                            MS Office for machines with a Windows installation                                 Feature

that makes common tasks smoother and                     Those who like to stylise their                         The conditional formatting feature has
existing tools more powerful. There is                documents will be pleased by a few                         also been overhauled, and new styles and
even a protected view that warns you                  new additions .Word still has the text                     icons have been added.
about documents you’ve downloaded and                 Effects button on the Home tab like                            One new feature in Excel is Pow-
offers to open them in read-only mode.                Office 2007 that gives you presets plus                     erPivot which lets you quickly scroll
    Backstage menu has been imple-                    custom effects. But, now you can add                       through millions of rows of data in sec-
mented well in the new word. For those                special effects such as glow, bevel, reflect                onds for large data sheets. Complicated
of you, who use some files frequently, you             and shadow to text. More sophisticated                     charts render far faster than Excel 2007
can promote them to the Backstage menu                typography, such as using ligatures and                    (which introduced a powerful but slow
itself. The new Add-Ins menu keeps your               small caps is also supported.                              new charting engine) although still not
third-party programs and add-ons well                                                                            as fast as they used to do in 2003 (lesser
organized and managed.                                Microsoft Excel 2010                                       functionality then, of course). Spread
    The new navigation pane for                       Excel hasn’t been worked upon as much                      sheets now load and save more quickly
searching is a boon. You can even search              as the other applications in Office 2010,                   (especially if you’re using the binary XLS
charts, tables, footnotes and other                   but nevertheless it gets the same general                  format). Statistical functions in Excel
content now. The search interface opens               improvements in the interface; the look                    have previously been notoriously inaccu-
as a left-hand pane, with a good set of               is simpler and cleaner, you can add                        rate. But Excel 2010 has newly accurate
option. It also displays a navigable map              Recent files to the backstage menu like                     statistical functions signed off for accu-
of thumbnails of your document like                   in Word and the print preview has been                     racy by professional number-crunchers.
Adobe Reader.                                         thoroughly improved and now lets you                           If you use pivot tables, a new fea-
    The new version of Word also makes                see the margins and zoom in-zoom out                       ture called “slices” makes it easier to
it more convenient to insert pictures.                feature has been added to see the whole                    explore the information; unlike having
You can make significant edits, such as               page or zoom in to read individual cells.                  to turn columns and categories on and
adjusting the brightness and contrast,
changing the image to grey scale,
adding drop shadows, and more even
after the image has been inserted into
your document.                                        You can now access Excel spreadsheets from a browser without having Office installed on your system

                                                                                                                                  Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 99
                                                 Banned in the US                                             Go free
                                                 Sale of Office with the DOCX extension was banned             If you’re looking for a budget alternative
                                                 in the US last year, over a patent issue. Microsoft          to Excel, try Calc by OpenOffice, the most
   Feature                                       has now released a patch to fix it                            downloaded free office productivity suite

                                                             in a browser, and create notes that are        Web App also encompasses Multi-user
                                                             automatically linked to the document in        co-authoring. With all this, something
                                                             the other application. It also finally gets    very important is missing. There is
                                                             the Ribbon interface, plus the advanced        no automatic synchronisation of files
                                                             typographic features available in Word.        between the Web-based version of Office
                                                             Navigation through notebooks has also          and the client version. This can poten-
                                                             been improved. The search feature in           tially be very confusing; you can end up
                                                             OneNote has been augmented as well,            with different versions of the some docu-
   Recording a slideshow as a video                          as previously it was not particularly          ment in different locations on your PC
                                                             useful. You can now specify some               and the web and simply not know which
   off in the task pane like in previous                     advanced options as to whether to              the latest version is.
   versions. With “Sparklines” that can                      search on a page or in a section, group,           You wouldn’t want to use Office Web
   be embedded in any worksheet, you                         individual notebook or all notebooks.          Apps instead of a full desktop version
   can add instant visualisations to your                        Earlier all the clipped information from   given the choice but they’ll be great when
   data that give you a picture of what the                  web browsers, snapshots of the screen and      you’re away from your home computer.
   numbers mean without creating a chart                     the results of “Send to OneNote” used to go    And it is Microsoft’s first direct take at
   for every cell. You might take some time                  under the Unfiled Notes section, but now        Google Docs.
   learning to exploit them, but these give                  you can now pick which section to put that
   you the kind of visualisations we’re                      information in. You can even put multiple      Final Thoughts
   getting used to seeing in Web 2.0 apps                    clips on the same page.                        The big question with any new version
   inside your spread sheet.                                     OneNote 2010 also makes it extremely       of Microsoft Office is not “how good is
                                                             easy to share notebooks and collaborate        it?”. It is rather “Is it so much better that
   Microsoft PowerPoint 2010                                 with other people in them. They can work       you should upgrade?”. It appears that
   The most useful addition to PowerPoint                    in the same page; even at the same time if     Microsoft has made extensive usability

   Quick Access toolbar

   is the ability to broadcast a presentation                necessary. Whatever they add is high-          improvements across the entire Office
   online. Others can view it on their web                   lighted and marked with their initials         suite. This version of Office adds some
   browsers without having PowerPoint                        to remove confusion. There are a host of       very useful new features, such as Paste-
   installed. There’s a set of basic video                   other small improvements like editing          Preview, a standardised Office-wide
   editing tools built directly into PowerPoint              equations, and translation tools which         reliance on the Ribbon, Backstage View,
   2010. You can now embed videos directly                   work across multiple languages. OneNote        Office Web Apps, video-editing tools in
   from online video-sharing sites such as                   2010 also has excellent ink support.           PowerPoint and much improved email
   YouTube. Although you can apply video                                                                    handling in Outlook. Even perform-
   styles to an online vide, reflections, crops               Office Web Apps                                 ance wise, it seems a big improvement
   and rotations don’t work.                                 The final major feature in the Office            on Office 2003, and slightly so on Office
       You can now merge two presenta-                       2010 is the addition of Office Web              2007 and doesn’t have significant prob-
   tions. PowerPoint 2010 is also a lot                      Apps. Office Word App lets you create,          lems. Generally, the interface feels more
   better at recovering unsaved files now,                    edit, and save Word documents. Office           polished and everything more accessible.
   and you can recover previous versions                     PowerPoint App lets you create and edit        This version of Office might not wow you,
   of your current document and record                       presentations from the web. You can            but the improvements are solid. While
   your presentations as videos, a feature                   even pick themes and slide layouts. You        most of the normal people can likely do
   which was missing in both Office 2003                      can also insert animations, pictures,          without any of these latest additions,
   and Office 2007 and was continuously                       charts, and tables into existing Power-        somewhere there’s one of you who has
   in demand.                                                Point presentations. Office Excel web           been dying for each one of them. If you
                                                             application allows you to create, edit         are still stuck on Office 2003, we would
   OneNote 2010                                              and, save workbooks. You can even use          suggest you definitely want to board the
   OneNote is powered up and now boasts                      the same formulas online like in the           train and go the Office 2010 way. For
   of a powerful “linked” notes feature that                 client version of the program. All these       those of you using Office 2007, we would
   lets you work in any Word or Power-                       applications have inbuilt Auto-correct         suggest to stick to it unless there’s some
   Point document, or while viewing pages                    and background spell checking. Office           new feature that you desperately want.

100 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                 Facebook on PS3                                            Cluttered Facebook?
                                                 The release of firmware 3.10 just broadened the social      Soon, Facebook shall introuduce ‘Dashboard’ for third-party
   Developer corner                              networking horizon on the PS3, adding Facebook support     applications enabling a cleaner look

                                                            Your own
   Rahil Banthia

   Setting up
   Before you actually start writing your
   application, you need to register your
   application with Facebook and get some
   application-specific information that will
                                                            Facebook app
   be essential for your application to com-                Facebook is the latest rage in the social networking
   municate with the Facebook platform. By                  arena. With innumerable apps out there, it’s easy to
   this, we mean the API key and the secret                 get lost in Facebook. Find out how you can tap the
   key that needs to be specified in your
                                                            exciting side of Facebook by creating your own app
       Log into your Facebook account and
   go to www.facebook.com/developers. Add the
   application to your Facebook profile. On                  using the API and is run like a normal             and ASP.net by its collaborated project
   the top right corner, you will see the “Set              desktop application.                               with Microsoft – http://www.codeplex.com/
   up New Application” button. Click on it.                     Now go the Authentication Options              FacebookToolkit. The unofficial libraries of
   Give your application a name that helps                  tab. Here you can select who all can               several other programming languages
   others identify it. Agree to Facebook                    add your application to their Facebook             can also be found on the Facebook Devel-
   Terms and Conditions and click on save                   account. Specify a URL in the Post-                opers Wiki http://wiki.developers.facebook.com.
   changes.                                                 Authorize callback URL text box. It is                 Now you need to uncompress the
       Now that the basic stuff is in place,                the URL that the Facebook sends a noti-            downloaded file and copy the client file
   you’ll need a logo to associate with this                fication to, once a user authorises your            libraries in the folder that you specified as
   application. This just makes it easy for                 application. Select the wide option in             your canvas URL while setting up your
   people to recognise your application.                    the Default Profile Box column
   Let us also add a description because                    for a rich experience. Also fill in
   then it becomes easy for people to find                   the URL that you want users to
   your application through the Facebook                    get redirected to after installing
   application directory. You can also add                  your application in the Post-
   an email address that people can use for                 Authorize redirect URL on
   technical support.                                       the Canvas page. Make it your
       Head over straight to the canvas tab.                canvas URL, basically the URL
   There you will see render methods. You                   you typed in the base URL field
   have to choose between iFrame and                        earlier.
   FBML. For this example to be simple, we                      Finally, Click the Submit
   will use FBML. Choose it and click on                    button. You will be taken to the
   save changes. You also need to populate                  My Applications page where             The canvas page of settings
   the base and callback URL for your appli-                you will get access to your API key
   cation. Base URL is the just the fancy                   and the secret key along with other meta           application. The PHP client library that
   URL name that other people will be using                 information about your application.                we will be using is under the main folder
   to access your application page. Facebook                                                                   named Facebook-platform. Next you need
   will provide immediate feedback if that                  Creating your Facebook                             to create a new file named appinclude.
   URL is unavailable, in which case you                    application                                        php. You can use Dreamviewer to do this
   should pick something else. The callback                 Now that you have your API and secret              or even simple text editing softwares
   URL is the actual stuff that points the                  key, you are ready to create an application        such as Notepad. This file will contain the
   application to your server. Make sure you                using the Facebook client library. We are          Facebook initialisation code required by
   enter the URL of the folder in which your                more or less done on the Facebook site as          your application to connect to the Face-
   index.php and other pages are located                    of now. First thing you need to do now is          book platform. You will have to include
   and not the actual index.php URL.                        to download the client library files of the         this file in all other PHP files in your
       Next head over the Advanced settings                 programming language that you will be              application because this will contain your
   option. Select website for this example as               using (PHP, in our case) by going to the           API key, secret key and callback URL.
   we will be creating a traditional web app                My Applications page or http://www.facebook.       Type out the following code in this file:
   that integrates with Facebook and not a                  com/developers/apps.php. Facebook officially            <?php
   desktop app which accesses Facebook                      supports PHP and Java client libraries,                require_once ‘../facebook-

102 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Invitation deluge                                                    No jokes
  The newly elected Croatian President hit the                         Facebook helped capture an escaped convict who used
  5,000 friend limit with another 7,000 waiting                        Facebook to poke fun at the UK Police department                     Developer corner

                                                         require_once ‘appinclude.                        will be rendered back inside the Face-
                                                      php’;                                               book canvas. There’s a lot more you can
                                                         ?>                                               do with your application. For starters, we
                                                         These are basically the title of your            could do the following:
                                                      application, the PHP start and end
                                                      tags and a require_once statement to                Add content to the Profile
Set-up the application type to web                    include appinclude.php file.                         box of your application
                                                      You can play around this page as you                You probably want your application to
                                                  desire. Let us make our application dis-                have some content when it appears as a
                                                  play the user’s name. For this, you need                box of the profile page. To set this up, all
                                                  to type in the following php code in your               you need to do is add some code to the
                                                  index.php after the necessary code-                     index.php file just after the require_
The profiles tab                                       echo “<p>Your user name                             once ‘appinclude.php’ statement.
platform/client/facebook.php’;                    is: <fb:name uid=\”$user\”                                 $default_text = “<p>Hey,
    $appapikey = ‘[api_key]’;                     useyou=\”false\”/></p>”;                                <fb:name uid=\”$user\”
    $appsecret = ‘[secret_key]’;                      We are basically using the fb:name                  useyou=\”false\” />! This Digit
    $appcallbackurl = ‘[web_app_                  FBML tag to render the name of the cur-                 test Application is part of a
callbackurl]’;                                    rent user. If you want to add a list of your            sample guide to creating your
    $facebook = new
Facebook($appapikey, $appsecret);
    $user = $facebook->require_
    try {
    if (!$facebook->api_client-
>users_isAppAdded()) {
    }                                             Download the client libraries from the same application summary page
    } catch (Exception $ex) {
    $facebook->set_user(null,                     Facebook friends, you can do this by the          own Facebook applications.</p>”;
null);                                            following code in your index.php-                     $facebook->api_client-
    $facebook-                                        echo “<p>Your friends: </p>”;                 >profile_setFBML($default_text);
>redirect($appcallbackurl);                           $friends = $facebook->api_
    }                                             client->friends_get();                            Add an about page
    ?>                                                echo “<ul>”;                                  You also should add an about page for
    Replace the API key, secret key and               foreach ($friends as $friend)                 your application so that Facebook users
the callback URL wherever required.               {                                                 get to know what your application is all
    Next log on to your web server (your              echo “<li><fb:name                            about. Its also an important marketing
callback URL, remember?) and create               uid=\”$friend\”                                                    step while you are pro-
a folder for your application. This is            useyou=\”false\”             WHAT YOU NEED                         moting your application.
required because the facebook.php                 /></li>”;                     Before we begin our journey,             Go back to www.facebook.
path in the require_once statement of                 }                         there are a few things you need      com/developers, and click
                                                                                to know. In order to create
the appinclude.php file we just wrote                  echo “</ul>”;             a Facebook application, you          on See My Apps button
requires your app files to be located in a             To try out this applica-  should probably know or need         in the My applications
separate parallel folder with the Face-           tion, save the file, and       the following:                       box. Next, click on Edit
book client libraries. This step is flexible       copy it into your applica-       A place to host your              Application Profile. Here
                                                                                application, i.e. a web server,
as you can change the path of facebook.           tion folder on your web       or an access to some hosting         is where you can also
php in appinclude.php if your folder              server. Next enter the        space, or you can even use a         modify your Application
structure differs.                                canvas page URL of your       free web-hosting web site.           name and the description
                                                                                   Basic PHP knowledge,
    You are now ready to write index.php          application after making                                           which you initially gave
                                                                                although we have tried hard to
of your application. The necessary code           sure you are logged into      get through with as little coding    while setting up your
in that file has to be-                            Facebook in your web-         experience as required and you       application. Add up all
    <h1> Digit Test Application</                 browser. You will be redi-    should even be able to com-          that’s relevant to your
                                                                                plete this without any coding
h1>                                               rected to your callback                                            application and click on
                                                                                knowledge whatsoever.
    <?php                                         URL and the index.php                                              Save.

                                                                                                                             Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 103
                                                                           Heartfelt...                                 Jaago Grahak                           Skoar!
                               Esc                             107         Geek! Learn what to gift your
                                                                           valentine this month            110          Send us your queries and
                                                                                                                        we’ll answer them           112        Know the most awaited
                                                                                                                                                               games this year
 Imaging: Vijay Padaya

                                                                        Hacking in Movies:
                                                                        If all the hacking shown on the silver screen were
                                                                        realistic, then the internet would crash everyday, and
                                                                        we would live in an Airstrip One-like society.
                         Aditya Madanapalle                                any router, in any home, using something                   shows someone dying on webcam, as
                         aditya.madanapalle@thinkdigit.com                 that looks suspiciously like Google Earth.                 long as the site with the webcam keeps
                                                                           In the very laughable opening sequence,                    getting hits. Every time the FBI black-

                                     ackers in popular culture are         a hacker gets into a virtual machine trap                  holes the web site, the web site switches
                                     very different from hackers           (a honeypot) and steals passwords. As                      the hosting IP to another machine.
                                     in real life, and we do a bit of      the passwords are stolen from a single
                                     mythbusting by comparing              text file, individual passwords are seen                    Eagle Eye
                         the portrayal of hackers on screen to             to get typed out on an on-screen key-                      Another movie that assumes that given
                         hacker activity in the real world. Tech-          board! Mid-way into the movie, her own                     enough money, technology can give
                         nology seems to run very differently on           daughter downloads a “backdoor Trojan”                     you divine powers. The security agency
                         screen than in real life. Movies have gen-        in the form of a game, that was e-mailed                   that likes to pick names based on Norse
                         erally moved on from showing blips of             to her by a friend. Apparently, FBI agents                 mythology has a great operating system
                         information on a voyage through cyber-            should go through our Internet Security                    that breaks into cool waveform like
                         scapes to showing almost real windows,            Suite test. The movie has long boring                      transitions every time it wants to switch
                         and real terminals, but they still have a         sequences where a hacker on the internet                   from satellite view to a live camera view.
                         long way to go before reflecting the                                                                                Also, if you look at the maps care-
                         ground reality of technology. We                                                                                   fully, random parts of countries
                         look at some of the biggest mis-rep-                                                                               seem to glow for no good reason. We
                         resentations of technology on screen.                                                                              wonder what is so interesting about
                                                                                                                                            the northern part of Arunachal
                         Untraceable                                                                                                        Pradesh and the Rann of Kutch
                         In Untraceable, the regular, run of                                                                                that it is dazzlingly brilliant, while
                         the mill FBI agent sitting behind a                                                                                everything else in India is dark.
                         console has almost god-like powers                                                                                 Cameras in the movie seem to have
                         over the internet. Jennifer Marsh, the                                                                             interesting shaped corsairs that
                         FBI protagonist, can shut down a site                                                                              don’t really serve any purpose. And
                         at a click of a button (called black-                                                                              the beeps. Why should a perfectly
                         holing), get the username and pass-                                                                                normal aerial camera beep like a
                         word for any web site by just asking                                                                               hyperactive car alarm? There must
                         for it, and look at the Wi-Fi ranges of    The FBI agent who has not heard of an internet security suite           be something going on in construc-

104 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                Trinity using nmap in the Matrix was really great to
                                watch, but we wonder what language the Matrix is                            Last time we checked, people could not physically
                                coded in. The Animatrix shows Trinity’s activities as a                     get into machines a la Ghost in the machine, but
                                hacker much better                                                          that does not mean they haven’t tried really hard

                                                              the semantic web is here, but only acces-
                                                              sible to some sort of elite crowd com-
                                                              prised either criminals or security agen-
                                                              cies. A query string of “search for known
                                                              associates” instantly throws up a screen
                                                              of exactly enough hits to fill the screen,
                                                              in order to smoothly come on in an
                                                              orchestrated transition along with some
                                                              gibberish on the side. There is always      WMP, a part of every hacker toolkit
                                                              some random text scrolling in the back-     clearly be seen on screen. Come on, just
                                                              ground or along the sides, that resembles   a double-click, and you are in full screen
                                                              the Matrix code in almost every movie       mode. Maybe the director thought that
Eagle-Eye is watching Gujarat                                 that shows a computer screen. No one        the flashy buttons would be mistaken as
                                                              knows what it is doing there. Next step     an exotic OS shown in those foreign films.
tion companies that the rest of the world                     “Upload to WBANK” in the console. We
does not know about, because they seem                        really wish computers worked that way,      Firewall
to have sprouted LCD panels, and cranes                       uploading search hits the second we         A crack team of hackers barge into a
that can be remotely controlled. If there                     get it, directly onto remote hard disks,    house, carrying loads of equipment. Then
is a crane somewhere connected to a                           without needing to specify a location.      one of them gets out a LCD panel. Think
box that is online, we would like to get                      Email, sometimes is an elegant solution.    about it, a laptop would do as well, and
hold of the IP. While most LCD screens
have a great colour gamut, they seem                          Some South Indian Movie
to be wasted in movies, as the colour of                      You would expect South Indian movies
choice for any kind of readout or video                       to show a higher level of understanding
stream, seems to be blue for some strange                     about computers, considering that they
reason. Is it because it is creepier? More                    have contributed verbs such as “Banga-
suspense? We don’t know if there is some                      lored” to the global tech lexicon. Unfor-
cinema colour theory going on here, but                       tunately, no such luck. In one memorable
it sure does look unnatural. Notice we                        sequence, a hacker sips a steamy cup
are carefully skirting the issue of the                       of coffee and hammers away on the           The iPod - fax scanner head camera
GLaDOS like wonder machine? That’s                            keyboard while a storm rages outside,       take up less space, and give little trouble
because it brings back painful memories.                      and the random text scrolls on screen.      over the wiring. Fortunately, seconds
                                                              So far so good. Then things go to another   later, another hacker from the team gets
Ocean’s Thirteen                                              level entirely, when the hacker gets into   out a huge briefcase full of - you guessed
Ever noticed the kind of things that enters                   a database and views a profile, all within   it - wires. Back in 2006, there seem to
into consoles on screen? It’s almost as if                    Windows Media Player, which can             be a select few people who received an
                                                                                                          advanced invitation to Google Wave. The
                                                                                                          movie has a pretty amazing sequence
                                                                                                          where Harrison Ford is about to send
                                                                                                          out an e-mail. He types out a sentence,
                                                                                                          and is about to click the send button.
                                                                                                          Suddenly, the cursor starts backspacing
                                                                                                          on it’s own, and a hacker’s correction
                                                                                                          to the mail appears on screen. Midway
                                                                                                          into the movie, Ford hacks apart a Fax
                                                                                                          machine, and rips out the scanner head.
                                                                                                          Then he borrows his daughter’s iPod.
                                                                                                          He put’s them together using a conven-
                                                                                                          ient circuit board made for that purpose
                                                                                                          lying around. The device does something
                                                                                                          complicated involving scanning a screen,
                                                                                                          an OCR program, and somewhere down
                                                                                                          the line - money. Seriously, someone
                                                                                                          should inform this guy about digital
Search results animated in a way that could shame Crysis, and random gibberish along the sides            cameras. Or even better, the PrintScrn

                                                                                                                         Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 105
                                                                                            Some of the older movies had it right. Ferris Bueller’s
                                                                                            day off uses some low-tech hardware for a social
   Feature                                                                                  engineering approach to get a day off from school

   key. After the scam is done, the best way                    Department of Defense console protected
   to dispose of this odd device that no one                    with 128-bits of encryption. The machine
   will suspect of being incriminating?                         is something like a laptop that has a login
   Throw it in the trash can. Haven’t these                     screen. Now what Jobson the hacker does
   guys ever heard of dumpster diving?                          with the machine is really incredible.
                                                                The login screen just disappears, as he
   Primer                                                       tries a number of ways to... bypass the
   This movie is full of jargon from the                        login screen. Apparently the world’s best
   Principles of Quantum Mechanics text                         crackers can beat the encryption in under
   book. Some of the hardware shown in                          an hour. Not true, never been done, and                         The Interceptor doing its thing
   the movie was really strange - a switch-                     never will be. The universe will never last
   board of around twenty switches, marked                      long enough to decrypt that level of encryp-                   input, they figure out what is going on in
                                                                tion as long as procedures are followed.                       the plot, and decide to take the appropriate
                                                                Crackers have managed to circumvent                            actions. The Windows pop up on their
                                                                specific implementation of the encryption                       own, showing the random text and icons
                                                                though, and Jobson manages to do it, with                      whenever possible, and at strategic tim-
                                                                a few dozen random keystrokes, and totally                     ings, a search bar, a voice waveform or a
                                                                irrelevant text scrolling on the screen. The                   box that says “untraceable” keeps showing
                                                                last time we checked, such hacks mostly                        up. Most of the software in the movie, for
                                                                involved giving a few commands and                             example, Interceptor v2.0 don’t even have
  There is something going on here that we don’t                waiting. Actually, getting a USB drive                         an interface of any kind, no buttons, no
  know about                                                    full of magical software, and clicking a                       console, just a window that gives all the
   by single alphabets with something                           button would have been so much more                            output that you might want. We really wish
   like five wires coming out of it. There                       real. The movie makes it look like you give                    technology were this magical. Apart from
   must be some interesting permuta-                            a really good hacker enough money (and                         the interfaces, the depiction of technology
   tion/combination mechanisms here,                            other incentives), then hacking takes no                       in this movie was pretty accurate.
   but that was never really explained.                         time whatsoever, which is just not true in
   We are sure someone actually working                         real life. Hackers have to distribute work                     Live Free or Die Hard
   with whatever hokey brand of science                         over a network to break a 64-bit key, the                      This is another movie that suffers from the
   the movie portrays would punch holes                         512-bit one in the movie would keep all                        blue screen syndrome, where most of the
   in all the complicated dialogues. We’ll                      the biggest botnets in the world busy for                      terminals prefer to show information only
   pick a simple one that everyone knows.                       a few millenia. Swordfish even takes us                         in blue. The operating System used in this
   Russians never used a pencil to write in                     back to the old Ghost in the Machine days
   space, underwater or upside down. For                        for a while, with a few glorious seconds of
   those who believed that the NASA guys                        flying through cyberspace and tracking
   were suckers for spending a bomb on a                        wires. Must watch for the long, animated
   pen that could do all that, bear in mind                     demo on how to compile a worm.
   how easy it is for pencil marks to fade.
                                                                A Wednesday
   Swordfish                                                     The operating systems in this movie seem
   One really bad-ass guy threatens one                         to have a magical interface that can be
   really talented hacker to break into a US                    controlled mentally. With almost no related

                                                                                                                                Ooh, so many buttons, this must be complicated

                                                                                                                               movie is really strange sometimes, there are
                                                                                                                               just the readouts without any input options
                                                                                                                               or buttons available, and pop-ups from a
                                                                                                                               browser window seem to show up from
                                                                                                                               all the sides, instead of just one direction.
                                                                                                                               What really takes the cake is the simple
                                                                                                                               software based control over all kinds of
                                                                                                                               grids in America that exists. One guy with
                                                                                                                               access to a system can apparently send
   Somethings are, last time we checked like cracking 512 bit encryption faster than it takes to put in the password           gas down any direction in a pipeline.

106 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
GPS chastity belt                                                 Chuck the pet
Lucia Lorio from Brazil has a line of modern day                  If you are getting something together,
GPS chastity belts for women                                      picking up a Wii is your best bet                                                Feature
                                                                                                                                      Section opener name

                                                                                             If you’re trying hard to think of

Have a
                                                                                             a gift for your valentine, and all
                                                                                             you can come up with is a sand-
                                                                                             wich maker, we are here to help.
                                                                                             If your computer is your valentine

Valentine?                                                                                   however, no one can help you

                                  DIY LED heart, Rs. 500
                                  This is some strange thingamajig with
                                  a circuit board, resistors and loads of
                                  red flashing LEDs. You cannot simply
                                  buy these off the Thinkgeek store and
                                  gift your valentine though, you have to            Multi headphone jack Rs. 40 - Rs. 350
                                  painstakingly follow the instructions              Pick up a two-way headphone jack, and both of you can listen
                                  to craft the thing together before you             to music from the same PMP, provided it is powerful enough
                                  gift it. If you want something a little            to drive it. There are good models available from Belkin, and
                                  more cheeky, go for the HTTP error                 there are squid like multi-headphone jacks in the market
                                  code underwear from the same store,                with up to five ports, if you are into that kind of a thing.
                                  including the classic “403: Forbidden”.

                                  Control your Man/Woman                                                            Two way Radio
                                  remote, Rs. 1,000 each                                                            Rs. 6,500 to Rs. 9,500
                                  These are remote controls for your                                                per piece
                                  partner, and shoot out phrases like                                               The Indian website www.iconetwire-
                                  “must... have... chocolate...” or “you                                            less.com sells a range of walkie-
                                  are not going out like that” from a                                               talkies that ship with a licence. A
                                  small speaker when you press the                                                  pair of these won’t come cheap,
                                  appropriate buttons. The remotes                                                  but once you have them, you
                                  for controlling men are out of stock                                              can always have a chat within a
                                  though, the last time we checked.                                                 20 KM radius. If mobile phones
                                                                                                                    are an obsession, a pair of these
                                                                                                                    can actually be economical.

                                  Sony NWZ-W202, Rs. 4950
                                  The iPod Nano is passe now, if you want to pick up
                                  a small, lightweight PMP, go for the SOny NWZ-
                                  W202. The model is available in a range of colours,
                                  and is kind-of heart shaped if you are not using it.
                                  Although we have showcased the pink colour here, the
                                  white and black/metallic ones look much sleeker.

                                                                                                           Rs. 5,000 per year
                                                                                                           Mobile-Spy is a service that stealthily moni-
                                  Philips/Swarovski Heart Beat 1GB                                         tors a wide range of cell-phone activity and
                                  If you really must get a heart-shaped USB                                stores the data online. Once installed, the soft-
                                  drive for your valentine, rise above the crowd                           ware shows no visible signs of working, and
                                  by getting one with a little bit of bling on it.                         collects information such as GPS location and
                                  Though 1 GB might not say much in these times,                           SMS messages, and uploads them to a web site
                                  the drive at least doubles up as a pendant.                              through which you can monitor the activity.

                                                                                                                             Digit | |February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 107
                                                                                                                              Digit January
                                                   Media coder                                                     bbLean
                                                   Mediacoder (www.mediacoderhq.com) is a free media               This free, light-weight shell replacement based on
   Community                                       transcoder that supports NVIDIA’s CUDA computing                Blackbox is just a 403 kB download

                                                                               t has been three weeks since I received my spanking new graphics card and
                                                                               since then, it has been no turning back. It has been delivering visual eye
                                                                               candy beyond what I and my family imagined possible. But now that I look
                                                                               back, I nearly lost out on my chance to enter the contest. Thanks to Digit and
                                                                         Nvidia I got in. Here’s what happened.
                                                                            When I applied for the Digit and Nvidia Neighbour’s eNVy contest I was out of
                                                                         town. Since my mom is in the army, our family had planned a holiday to Manipur,
                                                                         where she is posted. So on that fateful day I saw my dad sprinting towards me.
                                                                         Breathless, he handed over the phone to me and said it was a call from Digit. I was
                                                                         instantly feeling like I was on the seventh heaven. The digit representative asked if
                                                                         we were available on the 1st January 2010 but unfortunately, we were going back
                                                                         to Kolkata on 3rd, no sooner. When I asked her about 4th but she didn’t sound
                Digit thanks everyone                                    too optimistic and I realised that probably a chance had gone down the drain. I
                who voted for the “Digit                                 started to believe it was over. But I decided to give one last try. So I tweeted Digit
                                                                         (@DigitIndia) for whom to contact for the contest and I got a reply soon enough.
                and nVIDIA Neighbour’s                                   I quickly dashed to write a message to digit to see if 4th January would be feasible.
                eNVy contest”. Here’s the                                I waited the whole evening in anxiety and finally got a call. A very polite, kind and
                                                                         optimistic person answered all my queries but unfortunately, informed me that
                story of Ankush Das who                                  finalist selection from Kolkata was already done. I was obviously shattered, and
                almost didn’t make it to                                 sensing this he said he’d see if he can do something.
                the competition...                                          I cant tell you how happy I was when I got a call back that I was officially in
                                                                         the contest. All I had to do was make sure someone was at my home to receive
                                                                         the representative with the graphics card. He reached my home at 6 in the
                                                                         morning! He got down to installing the card when of all the bad luck, there
                                                                         had to be a power cut. *Groan* That’s the last thing I wanted to hear. But he
                                                                         waited patiently and finally around 10, he told all had been done. You guys
                                                                         will be my heroes forever. Winning is secondary, all I ever wanted was great
                                                                         support and a few great weeks and yes, I am very proud to say that it was what
                                                                         I got. I can safely say, Digit and Nvidia, you guys are the best when it comes to
                                                                         commitment. It’s a very emotional and happy moment for me to be remembered
                                                                         and cherished, always.

   December 2009                         Digit is taking interactivity to a new level, and will be organising events every month. You get
                                         to meet and interact with people that you wouldn’t in the normal course of your life — industry
                                         experts, Team Digit, and other readers with similar interests. Stay updated and stay ahead of the
                                         curve by looking for this page in every month’s magazine.
                                                  Career Webinar                                                                     Virtualization
                                                      The Data Center is undergoing dramatic transformation fueled most significantly by Virtualization.
                                                      Virtualization has allowed utilization of resources to be taken to unprecedented levels of up to 90% in most
                                                      cases, which has helped drive down costs significantly. And hence Virtualization has an impact on Operating
                                                      Systems, Cloud Computing, Applications and Data Center management. Join Gaurav Makkar in this exciting
                                                      webinar, as he describes this landscape in greater depth and the career opportunities it presents. Gaurav
     FEBRUARY 5                                       is an architect, researcher and a senior engineer at NetApp - a world-wide leader in virtualized storage
     TIME: 1700 HRS                                   solutions for large Data Centers.

                                                  Digit Webinar                                                Exploring Windows 7
                                                    Windows 7 has generated a lot of interest in the Indian computer user’s community. This is probably the
                                                    first time a large section of users will be upgrading for the first time from their old favourite XP. Yes many
                                                    will actually be giving Vista a miss. So come and explore Windows 7 with us. In this webinar we’ll cover
                                                    a “7 best features of Windows 7” walk-through, and give you some secret tips for smooth sailing. If you’re
                                                    still on XP or Vista and are wondering what all the Win 7 fuss is about, this webinar is a must for you.
     FEBRUARY 13
     TIME: 1700 HRS

          For details on upcoming webinars and to view past webinars, visit thinkdigit.com/webinars

108 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
Virtualisation                                                    3D browsing
It is a computing mechanism by which multiple operating           3B (www.3b.net) is an free 3D browser that lets you browse                                                             Community
systems can be run on a single computer system                    web sites in a virtual space

                                       Buy a MapmyIndia device
                                       and get one year Digit
                                       subscription worth
                                       Rs. 2,000 absolutely free!
                    Price Rs. 14,990
                                       To avail this offer
                                       SMS DIGIT MMI <Name of your city> to 567678

                                       Purchase online at www.thinkdigit.com/store

                                       Send this coupon along with a cheque/DD payable to
                            Lx130      “NINE DOT NINE INTERACTIVE PVT. LTD”,
                    Price Rs. 11,990   mentioning your name and shipping address
                                       ADDRESS TO: DIGIT MAPMYINDIA OFFER, 9.9 INTERACTIVE PVT. LTD.,
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                                                                                         *Product will be delivered to your shipping address directly by MapmyIndia. ** Prices include taxes and shipping fees.

   Fancy Desktop? Here’s how digit
   reader Akshat Tandon from
   Lucknow did it:
   PC is running Windows 7 with desktop customising software Bump Top
   is providing all the 3D wall effects. A theme for Bump Top called Under
   the Ice is used to provide all the frosting. The two gadgets are standard
   Windows 7 gadgets, one is the clock gadget provided by default and
   other is the weather bug gadget. The Aero Firefox is created by the use
   of following addons – Strata40, Strata Buddy, App Tabs and Fission. The
   icons are arranged manually. The photo frame and the sticky note are
   simply default features of Bump Top.

                                                                                                                                                            Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 109
                                                 You are the weakest point
                                                 The weakest link in the security chain is often cited as      Phishing and Pharming
                                                 you. No amount of spam detection and internet security        Always check the complete URL of a web site in the
   Consumer protection                           suites will protect you from a good con                       address bar before keying in your login details

   Consumer Protection
   How to get help if your online presence is compromised
   Siddharth Parwatay                                            Denial of Service – In this case the             extract headers from such email. You will
   siddharth.parwatay@thinkdigit.com                         cyber criminal floods the bandwidth                   usually find this in “view full message”
                                                             of the victim’s network with repeated                or “view source” type of options in mail

                       hen we live half our                  requests. Eventually this consumes the               clients or web based mail. The Mumbai
                       lives in the cyber world,             bandwidth of the network which then                  CCIC web site gives exact details on this
                       there are bound to be                 fails to serve legitimate requests and               procedure. In case of a hacking attack you
                       cyber crimes. Today                   ultimately breaks down.                              should take along and retain:
   our life is increasingly dependent on the                     Hacking – This involves illegal /                    Server Logs, Copy of defaced web page
   online world be it electronic documents,                  unauthorised intrusion into a computer               in soft copy as well as hard copy format, if
   transactions, communication and even                      system or network.                                   your website is defaced
   livelihood. In such a scenario there will                     Cyber impersonation / Cyber                      If data is compromised on your server or
   certainly be undesirable elements in this                 defamation – If someone sets up a fake               computer or any other network equip-
   world who will try to invade your peace.                  profile of you on a social networking web             ment, soft copy of original data and soft
   Here we will give you the lowdown on all                  site and posts from that profile.                     copy of compromised data.
   the cyber crimes you should know about,                       Online Fraud – This includes any-                    Access control mechanism details i.e.-
   and what steps you should take to report                  thing from phishing web sites, email                 who had what kind of the access to the
   the crime to the proper authorities. First                scams, virus hoax emails. Fraudsters                 compromised system
   lets look at, what cyber crime means. The                 create seemingly authentic web sites                     List of suspects – if the victime sus-
   Banglore Cyber Crime branch defines it                     or email the victim to divulge sensitive             pects anyone
   as “an unlawful act wherein the computer                  information such as login ids and pass-                  And relevant descriptive answers
   is either a tool or a target or both”                     words.                                               that will give information leading to the
       Here are some of the common cyber                         In all of the above you need to report           answers to what, who, when, why, where.
   crimes and what is involved in each                       these crimes to the nearest Cyber Crimes                 You should also write a complaint
   of them. We asked Mr. Rakesh Goyal                        Investigation Cell or nearest police                 letter, with a description of what has or
   for advice on prevention methods and                      station. Certain police stations in the              appears to have happened and explaining
   reporting advice. Mr. Goyal is a veteran of               country have been assigned as Cyber                  in what way you are a victim or aggrieved
   IT Security for 18 years with 6 books and                 Police Stations. In case of hacking, intru-          party. Backup all data, as it is evidence.
   50 research papers. He is the Managing                    sion attempts and online frauds, you                 Once, the prima-facie case is established,
   Director of Sysman Computers Private                      should also report to CERT in addition to            the FIR is registered. “If the proper leads
   Limited and Director-General, Centre for                  the nearest CCIC.                                    are available, the success rate is over 90
   Research and Prevention of Computer                                                                            per cent in case of email, Orkut, Facebook
   Crimes.                                                   What do you need to                                  related crimes or harassment, if origi-
                                                             take along with you while                            nated in India,” says Mr. Goyal.
   Cyber Crimes                                              registering the complaint?                               Below, you will find a list of relevant
       Email abuse – Receiving vulgar                        In case of email abuse the Mumbai CCIC               contact details of important cyber secu-
   e-mail from a known or unknown person.                    advices you not delete the mail and to               rity centres around the country.
   This may include receipt of threatening /
   abusive / obscene content.                                 Organisation                                  Contact
       Email hacking / Privacy attack –                       Chennai
                                                              ACP Cyber Crime Cell
   Someone accesses your email or social
   networking account                                         Mumbai                                        officer@cybercellmumbai.com
       Cyber Stalking – Cyber-stalking                        Cyber Crime Investigation Cell                cybercell.mumbai@mahapolice.gov.in
   refers to the use of the Internet, e-mail, or              Hyderabad                                     cidap@cidap.gov.in
   other electronic communications devices                    Crime Investigation Department                http://www.cidap.gov.in/cybercrimes.aspx
   to stalk, follow or keep track of another                  Bengaluru                                     ccps@kar.nic.in
   person. In cyber stalking the criminal                     Cyber Crime Police Station                    http://www.cyberpolicebangalore.nic.in/
   commits repeated acts of harassment or                     Indian Computer Emergency
   threatening behaviour towards the victim                   Response Ream (CERT)
   by using Internet services such as email                   Trivandrum
   or social networking web sites.                            Cyber Crime Reporting Center

110 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  SKOAR! Special

                                                                                                 THE SKOAR

                                                                                                 sequences, you now have hover boots
                                                                                                 with booster pads strewn around the
                                                                                                 environment for increased speed and
                                                                                                 spectacular jumps. As always, there is
                                                                                                 interplanetary travel, but rather than a
                                                                                                 simple cut scene, you can now manual
                                                                                                 travel from planet to planet and complete
                                                                                                 side-missions on the way. These small
  Sameer Desai                                     that with Nefarious and Qwark around,         planets yield collectibles and power ups
  readersletters@thinkdigit.com                    the potential for humour is immense, and      and house some of the best classic plat-
                                                   this game doesn’t disappoint. The writing     forming segments in the game.

                 t a time when games are           is brilliant and the loveable characters          Weapons also feel just right. All your
                 increasingly becoming about       will definitely get a chuckle out of you at    weapons, and even your space ship, can
                 bigger guns, more blood,          least a few times.                            be upgraded to better accuracy, rate of fire
                 and bald space marines on             But this is, after all, an action plat-   and damage and the shooting mechanics
  a mission to save the world, games like          former and the gameplay is where this         feel a lot tighter and responsive than in
  Ratchet & Clank are finding themselves            game truly shines. The quirky weapons         past games. There’s a lot of potential for
  out of favour with the newer, younger            and gadgets that are a hallmark of the        big explosions with the weapons avail-
  audience. The popu-                                                                                                    able in your arsenal,
  larity of what was once                                                                                                and thankfully,
  one of the PlayStation’s                                                                                               even when there’s
  biggest franchises is                                                                                                  a lot happening,
  now on the wane. And                                                                                                   seldom is there a
  that’s a shame, because                                                                                                noticeable drop in
  Ratchet & Clank’s brand                                                                                                the framerates.
  of action platforming                                                                                                      While it’s
  and puzzle gameplay                                                                                                    always fun to play
  is still some of the                                                                                                   as Ratchet, it’s the
  best in the industry.                                                                                                  parts where you
      There have been                                                                                                    play as Clank that
  rumours that the latest                                                                                                really stand out.
  game in the series –                                                                                                   These are mostly
  Ratchet & Clank: A                                                                                                     puzzle segments
  Crack in Time – may                                                                                                    that deal with time
  very well be the last, at                                                                                              control, where you
  least for a long time. If                                                                                              will use time pads
  that’s true, it’s truly the end of an era, but            RATCHET & CLANK:                     to record your actions and replay them,
  the unlikely Lombax-robot duo go out on                    A CRACK IN TIME                     allowing you to perform multiple tasks
  top, because A Crack in Time is possibly                Developer: Insomniac Games             at the same time. There is no such thing
  the best game yet in this illustrious, long-                  Publisher: Sony                  as a puzzle game that is too hard. Some of
                                                               Genre: Platformer
  running franchise.                                                                             these puzzles will require some serious
                                                            Platform: PS3 (Rs 2,499)
      A Crack in Time is the culmination                                                         head scratching, and these are easily
  of the Future trilogy and picks up after         series are here, including, what can          some of the most unique and intriguing
  the events of Tools of Destruction and           vaguely be described as, a mini hippopot-     parts of the game.
  Quest for Booty. Clank, kidnapped by             amus that kills enemies by belching. The          If Tools of Destruction was the closest
  the Zoni alien race, is now imprisoned           deadly Mr Zurkon returns, and there’s         a game has come to Pixar-level visuals,
  by the duo’s arch nemesis, Dr Nefarious.         never a dull moment while he’s around,        A Crack in Time reduces the gap further.
  Helping Ratchet on his quest to rescue           killing everything in his path whilst         But it isn’t the graphics that will make
  Clank and stop Dr Nefarious from car-            declaring that he does not come in peace.     you love this game; it’s the characters,
  rying out his evil plans is Captain Qwark.           Platforming is at its best in A Crack     the humour, the story and above all, the
  Anyone who’s played past games knows             in Time. In addition to the fast-paced rail   classic Ratchet & Clank gameplay.

112 SKOAR! | February 2010 | www.skoar.com
                                                                           Halo Reach
                                                                           This game would have made it to our list, if not for a lack
                                                                           of local fandom. Unfortunately, the game is coming out
  SKOAR! Special                                                           only for the XBOX 360

        Games to watch out for in 2010
 There are some really high profile releases lined up this year. The year marks the maturity of modern gaming consoles in the market, and
games that have been in development for some time now are finally coming in. PC gaming is taking somewhat of a back seat, and some long
  anticipated releases are coming out only on portable consoles (Duke Nukem FTW!). There are awed whispers flying around of Starcraft
 II, FEAR 3 and Diablo 3 as well, but here we present the confirmed releases. They say that 2010 is going to be the year of 3D television, or
      of internet tablets, but we already know that it is going to be a great year for gaming, so get out your calendar and mark the dates.

    Aditya Madanapalle

                                                                         Bioshock 2:
                                                                         Sea of Dreams [PC] [PS3] [XBOX360]
                                                                         Release Date: Feb 9, 2010
                                                                         Three years after the world first saw Big Daddy, Bioshock is back
                                                                         with a sequel to the game, and it is almost upon us. The anticipa-
                                                                         tion has been building up for a long time now, and the distributors
                                                                         have been feeding the frenzy. In one promotion, Wine from the
                                                                         game city of Arcadia washed up on a few beaches that fans were
                                                                         directed to from www.somethinginthesea.com. Gamers will get to
                                                                         dive into the deep sea with Big Daddy, and there is also a 6 gamer
                                                                         multi-player mode, which seems to be very similar to Left4Dead.

                                             Red Steel 2 [Wii]
                                      Release Date: March 25, 2010
            This is one example of the perfect game for the console.
           This is a hack and slash, and uses the Wii motion plus to
         simulate accurate arcade-styled, sword fighting on screen.
           Ok accurate, arcade style sword fighting. There is quite a
          bit of gunplay involved too. The developers have actually
             worked a bit on the hardware as well, to make it reflect
         sensitive movements better. We don’t really care about the
           plot, the environment or the characters, we just want the
       virtual sword in our hands, and hoardes of enemies to slash
        up. Till the release, you can try out the trailer, which shows
             hardly any gameplay, but it is still an adrenaline rush.

                                                                         God of War 3 [PS3]
                                                                         Release Date: March 2010
                                                                         If you can name a God from the Greek pantheon, chances are
                                                                         that you will get to battle him as a boss in this upcoming title.
                                                                         Apollo, Poseidon and Zeus himself is on the list. The number
                                                                         of enemies on screen at any point of time will also increase
                                                                         in this version. We cannot wait to ruin our DualShocks.
                                                                         Unfortunately, this is the last planned instalment in the
                                                                         series, and the developers hope to give the series a nice
                                                                         wrap-up, a better approach than the NFS line of thought.

114 SKOAR! | February 2010 | www.skoar.com
                              The Duke Game that never was
                              In 2009, Duke Nukem: Forever was a game that was supposed to
                              be released almost every year since the Millennium, but never was.
                              The team finally disbanded, after providing us with over ten years of
                              screenshots and videos                                                                                SKOAR! Special

Assassin’s Creed II [PC]
Release Date: March 18, 2010
Yeah, we know, you have already played the
game many times over, you can now find your
way around Venice, and are on first name
basis with the Pope. There are however, those
unfortunate people who only have a PC for
a console, and they can do little but try to
forget all the forum posts and reviews. It’s
just a month away, and we hope that the time
has been used to make the game PC-ready.

                                                                  Crysis 2 [PC] [PS3] [XBOX360]
                                                                  Release Date: December 2010
                                                                  Warning: don’t read ahead if you have a heart condition. The Crynet Sys-
                                                                  tems Nanosuit 2.0 will make its debut. In a Nanosuit brochure, there is
                                                                  a point made about underwater ability, ability to pick up ambient data
                                                                  streams, and full spectrum acuity (it means super night/thermal/other?
                                                                  vision). There are some tantalising teasers online, but these are few and far
Star Wars: The Force                                              between. The game is very much in development, and nowhere near ready.
Unleashed II [PS3]                                                The gaming community might get their hands dirty with the CryEngine 3,
                                                                  which happened for previous releases. There seems to be a hush around the
[XBOX360] [Wii] [DS]                                              title, and we just hope that this one does not get pushed into next year.
Release Date: December 2010
There is one trailer at large for this title,
and it packs in more epic than the prequel
                                                                                                         Prince of Persia : The
trilogy put together. The trailer shows Darth                                                            forgotten Sands [PC]
Vader tutoring Star Killer (the deathstar                                                                [PS3] [XBOX360] [Wii]
could only ever do planets) in the ways of                                                               [DS] [PSP]
the Dark Arts. This bit is a little sissy, with
some really dated dialogue, but then out                                                                 Release Date: May 1, 2010
comes a gigantic gorilla, which looks like it is                                                         This instalment in the series that is bewil-
made up of ten King Kongs, and the very last                                                             dering everyone but (us) fanboys, will be
frame is Star Killer going at it with just two                                                           released alongside the PoP movie due this
lightsabres. Two Blue lightsabres we might                       Max Payne 3 [PC]                        year. The trailer looks amazing, and the
add. There was also something like Dark                          [PS3] [XBOX360]                         story will continue along the lines of the
Yoda’s voice, we are not sure what it was.                       Release Date:                           Sands of Time story arc. This game returns
                                                                 Post October, 2010                      to the old non-cell-shaded approach, and
                                                                 The official web site has only six       our biggest disappointment is that we will
                                                                 wallpapers, and a link to Rockstar      not be seeing Erika in action. But this game
                                                                 game’s RSS feed to keep a look out      is releasing in all the current consoles
                                                                 on updates. There is no confirmed        worth mentioning, so everyone is going to
                                                                 release date, and the site just says    be happy.
                                                                 “coming soon.” Well, it cannot
                                                                 come soon enough, and was sup-
                                                                 posed to be out last year. From
                                                                 what we can make out, Max Payne
                                                                 has become older, a character on
                                                                 the lines of Hartigan from Sin City.

                                                                                                                  SKOAR! | February 2010 | www.skoar.com 115
                                                                  Hackers program bacteria                                           PETA like the Na’Vi
                                                                  Ok, they were scientists actually, who programmed                  PETA is extending the definition of animals to include
                                                                  the fluorescence in bacteria to keep time, essentially              extraterrestrial furries, by awarding James Cameron a prize
             Unwind                                               turning them into tiny clocks                                      for showing Aliens as pretty nice beings for a change

                           Geek culture: Pac-Man                                                                     We have a couple of new people on the team, Nimish and
                                                                                                                     Karan who haven’t yet played a game of Quake with the rest
                           Pacman was one of the first games that a lot of people played,
                                                                                                                     of the team. This is the longest ever that new recruits haven’t
                           and the fandom for the game is deep enough for this game to                               been humiliated by the business end of Rossi’s gauntlet. In
                           have complex strategies based on movement and AI that rivals                              the virtual world that is.
                           those that have been developed by players, for say, Quake 3.                                  We moved to a new office space this month, and looking at
                                                                                                                     all the Monitors lined up gave us an idea. We were thinking
                                                                                                                     of a LAN based virtual pet, that can run across screens and

                                                                                                                     basically interact with whoever is free. The client application
                                                                                                                     should be synced in a manner that it understands the real
                                                                                                                     world positions of the screens. We were thinking it would
                                                                                                                     be great to retain or kick this pet from one screen to the next.
                                                                                                                     If you have already began coding such a thing, be sure to
                                                                                                                     send a copy of it to us, and just apply the same to software
                                                                                                                     windows and browsers as well.

                              SPLIT SCREEN             GHOST MODES                     CORNERING
                             The final level on        Scatter, Chase and           Once of the survival             Flash Games: Anti Pac-Man
                           the original game is      Fright are the three            tactics, cornering             For over 30 years, Pac-Man has been doing rounds in a maze,
                            unplayable, and it          possible ghost              involves giving an
                           once had a $100,000       behaviors. You can             instruction to turn
                                                                                                                    gobbling dots and generally giving Inky, Pinky, Blinky and
                            price on its buggy       predict these based           before the Pac-Man               Clyde a hard time. It is finally time for the ghosts to fight back.
                                   head.             on your movement.                can perform it.               In Anti-Pacman, you will have to throw three years of gaming
                                                                                                                    inertia to the bin, and play instead as one of the four ghosts.
                                                                                                                    While you are in control of a ghost, the other ghosts behave in

                                                                                                                    classic Pac-Man fashion, and be careful when you turn blue,
                                                                                                                    as Pac-Man can gobble you up then.

                            PACMANHATTEN                 BOARD GAME                    ROOMBA
                             A real world game           Milton Bradley                PAC-MAN
                             played by people           released a board           A bunch of students
                              who dress up as          game version two               implemented
                            Pac Man Characters       years after the virtual        PacMan using five
                           going around the city     release with LEDs and          Roomba vacuum
                              collecting dots.            plastic ghosts                cleaners

                                                                                                                     Stay up to date with internet lingo, so you don’t wt? the next
                                                                                                                     time you are chatting with someone

                                                                                                                     froob: A “freaking n00b”, a n00b so n00b that n00bs call
                                                                                                                     him a n00b. Not to be confused with frood.
                            PAC-MAN MOVIE             PAC-MAN SERIES               PAC MAN FEVER
                            Crystal sky pictures       The TV series was          Buckner and Garcia’s
                            announced a movie          one of the first to             one hit wonder                 frood: a variant of “cool”, to describe a person. Froody is
                              in 2004, but the        be based on a video           involved the band                the adjective.
                             IMDB page has a          game character, and            crooning to how
                             strange fan video         featured Pac-Man           addictive playing Pac-
                              which is a laugh.          and his family.                Man was                      j00: slang for the word “you”
           How we unwind

                                         Movies                                                   Music                                                 Game
                                         A Wednesday: We caught up to                             We’ve been listening to some                          AVATAR:
                                         this movie, has an unusual amount                        John Wesley, a member of                              The gameplay may suck, but
                                         of tech for a Bollywood film, and                         Porcupine Tree. Some of his tracks                    we just like to go sightseeing on
                                         it’s a pretty sensible watch                             are free to download.                                 Pandora. Demo is on the DVD

  116 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                        Move over robot dogs, Pleo is here
                                                                        What’s better than a robot dog that jumps around and listens to instructions? A
                                                                        pretty realistic robot dinosaur, that’s what. Pleo was showcased at CES this year,
                                                                        and ambles around on his saurapod legs when not playing with your kid. We
    Unwind                                                              just wish there were life sized fire breathing versions in the market

   Cubescape                                                                                                                                                 NEWS
                                                                                   Shuttle engines at throwaway prices
                                                                                   After decades of space adventures, the engines that drove the
                                                                                   NASA shuttles are being thrown away. As long as you can pay
                                                                                   for the shipping and handling, you can pick one of the three
                                                                                   remaining shuttle engines for free. This is because the Shuttle
                                                                                   program is being replaced with the Ares V launch craft, which is
                                                                                   a more streamlined vehicle that looks a bit like the Russian Soyuz.
                                                                                   This is a rare case where the streamlined version does not look as
                                                                                   awesome, but are probably safer. The Lockheed craft have wings
                                                                                   that are really retracted, and look a tad better (shown below).
                                                                                   It’s not the engines that are up for sale. If you have around US$30
                                                                                   Million lying around in the pockets of an old discarded jacket, you
                                                                                   can pick up Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis. Not all three of
                                                                                   them, just one. Don’t dream of space travel though, as the engines
                                                                                   are being removed. At least don’t dream of space travel and expect
                                                                                   to come back. We are pretty sure that the shuttles will not leave
   Cubescape is a great AJAX based web site that let’s you drop cubes in           the United States though.
   a field. This let’s you come up with elaborate isometric art, depending
   on how much time you are willing to spend on it. Till recently, users
   could save their creations, and people could browse through them.
   That functionality has been recently disabled, although there are a
   few great creations still searchable through Google images. Depth can
   be very misleading in Isometric art, as everything actually looks the
   same distance from the viewer, what you see above is not a solid block
   for example. Look carefully at the shadows, and you will see a hole in
   the block. Once you have created a cubescape, you can play it back.

                                                                                        The amazing 3MB Operating System

   The next time you look at all the lines and blips on a circuit board,
   don’t think all of it is there for a reason. There are loads of ICs with          Kolibri desktop is a small 3MB Operating System, that is written
   small, invisible designs on them, ranging from fire breathing Godzil-              entirely in machine code (CPU Language) and is not based on
   la’s to really tiny Rams. If you want to discover these on ICs that you           Linux, Windows or any other variants. What is surprising is
   find, you will have to look using a really powerful magnifying glass.              the number of applications packed into this tiny file size. There
   Just make sure that the sun is not behind you when you are hunting                are a whole bunch of games, a basic tables editor, a compiler, a
   though. Microchip art does serve a purpose however, they are there to             text editor, a bouquet of demos, a text based web browser and
   make sure that no one copies the design, as copied designs will have              more. There is also DosBox, which let’s you run almost any DOS
   a flag in the form of the chip art as well. This makes sure that piracy            game on Kolibri. While not meant for serious use, the tiny OS
   in the silicon manufacturing industry is sure to be caught. We just               shows how bloated Windows and Linux really are.
   wonder if manufacturers of all kinds of silicone products mark them
   in some way.

118 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
   Digit 101

                                                 There are many keyboard shortcuts that make          Here is a very short list of handy Windows
     Get more done                               working with computers simpler and faster.           key shortcuts. The [Windows] +[E] lets you
     in less time using                          There are some simple keystrokes that are as         open Explorer, +[D] displays the desktop, +[M]
     your keyboard                               handy as [Ctrl] + [C] and [Ctrl] + [V] when it       minimises all windows, and +[R] opens the run
                                                 comes to operating computers.                        dialogue.

    What exactly is attacking my computer?                                                                 The Jargon File
    When it comes to security threats, it’s no longer as simple as a virus. There are many
    kinds of malware that attack your machine. Here is a quick look at what they are and                     Benchmark: A software for testing a
    what they do.                                                                                          particular piece of hardware. A graphic
                                                                                                           card benchmark would render a lot of poly-
    Virus                                                                                                  gons and effects. A CPU benchmark would
    A program that piggybacks on other files,                                                               feed in a lot of calculations, and so on.
    and spreads with malicious intent, these
    are actually uncommon now                                                                                Distro: A distro is a distribu-
    Common sources: public computers, flash                                                                 tion, or flavor of the Linux operating
    memory, LAN                                                                                            system. Common Linux distros include
    Solution: Use a security suite                                                                         Ubuntu, OpenSuse and Fedora.

    Worm                                                                                                     Ethical Hacker: An ethical hacker
    Unlike a virus, a worm can spread                                                                      is someone who finds out pos-
    without attaching itself to files. It is also                                                           sible weaknesses in a network or a
    programmed to change itself, making                                                                    system before the bad guys do.
    variants more difficult to detect. Some-
    times worms are updated remotely.                                                                        GUI: A GUI, pronounced Gooey, stands
    Common sources: LAN, email                                                                             for Graphical User Interface, which
    Solution: Update the system and anti-vi-                                                               is a set of buttons, windows, panels
    rus, use a firewall, track security patches                Exploit                                      and other devices for users to interact
                                                              An exploit is an inherent “hole” in an       with a machine using a mouse and a
    Trojan                                                    operating system or software, that allows    keyboard, or other input devices.
    A Trojan is a software that pretends                      malware such as Trojans or viruses to
    to work for you, but is actually doing                    spread                                         MID: Mobile Internet Device, can be
    something else, being a part of a botnet or               Common sources: The base operating           a Mobile Phone with internet access,
    allowing for unauthorised access.                         system, installed software (such as office    or a netbook. PMPs that interface with
    Common sources: torrents, suspicious                      suites)                                      wireless networks are not MIDs. Any
    downloads, web sites                                      Solution: keep your system and applica-      device that allows significant activity
    Solution: be careful of what you download                 tions updated                                on various web sites is an MID.

       It’s not just a laptop anymore: a lowdown on portable computer form factors
    Laptop: a device                                        Notebook: It is usu-                            Tablet: A Tablet is
    that serves                                             ally sleek and light, but                       like a digital slate,
    either as a                                             bulkier than a netbook.                         with a full touch-
    desktop replace-                                        Used for documents                              screen surface,
    ment or a portable gaming rig.                          and presentations.                              and no keyboard.
    Characteristics: Large screen, full QW-                 Characteristics: Sleek and lightweight,         Characteristics:
    ERTY keyboard, good system.                             large screen.                                   Is basically a large touchscreen

    Netbook: a                                              Smartbook: Has a                                UMPC: Stands for
    small and light-                                        range of connectivity                           Ultra Mobile PC, a
    weight device                                           options, a hybrid                               tablet with a sliding
    meant for the                                           between a smart-                                keyboard, speakers
    internet and the                                        phone and a notebook.                           or other peripherals.
    cloud, for people on the go.                            Characteristics:                                Characteristics:
    Characteristics: Small size, lightweight,               Connectivity options, lightweight, long         Lack of a folding
    long battery life                                       battery life                                    screen, low processing power

120 Digit | February 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com

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