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Digit magazine January 2009

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					                            Publisher’s Note


Change is in the air


D
Dear Reader,                              In keeping with our endeav-
                                      our to bring more value to you,
I take this opportunity to convey     we are increasing the number of
best wishes for a very happy,         dual-layer DVDs to two from this
prosperous and safe new year to       issue onwards, thus giving you
you and your family from Team         even more content to enjoy every
Digit. In the new year, we at Digit   month. We are also enhancing
look forward to bringing you all      the Fast Track content.
the latest excitement in the area         As we were entering the new
of technology, computing, gadg-       year, we were faced with an
ets and a lot more.                   important question: should we
    In my last letter to you, I had   keep raising the quality and
asked you for feedback and sug-       value of what you get, even if it        Asheesh Gupta
gestions — to talk to us and let      means adjusting the price a lit-         Publishing Director, Digit
us know how your favourite            tle, or should we maintain the
publication could serve you           price and the offering?
even better. A lot of you                 Over the last few months, we
                                                                              “It has been our constant
responded and reached out             have implemented all possible             endeavour to raise the
through letters, emails, the          cost-reduction and austerity meas-      standards and justify your
ThinkDigit web site and person-       ures to help hold the price, while        trust which has made
al calls. It became quite clear to    enhancing        the     magazine.      Digit the No. 1 Technology
us that you are not just readers      However, this was not enough to             Magazine in India”
of Digit, but rather a part of a      allow us to continue our innova-
vibrant, well-knit community          tions and enhancements. Based on
of technology enthusiasts who         your feedback and inputs, we came
not only care for Digit a lot, but    to the conclusion that we could
are also highly demanding in          stay true to our commitment to
terms of quality. It has, there-      innovate, and to our community’s
fore, been our constant endeav-       expectations, only by increasing
our to raise the standards and        the price. Although Digit will now
justify your trust which has          be available on stands for a slightly
made Digit the No. 1 Technology       higher cover price, the subscrip-
Magazine in India.                    tion price will remain the same as
    We have been constantly           before. I am confident that we can
investing in strengthening our        continue to count on your support
editorial team. Last month Ahmed      and goodwill.
Shaikh joined us as Editor-at-large       In the coming months, you
and Online Architect for Personal     will see several innovations in the
Technology. With Robert as Editor     magazine, as well as online at
of Digit, Edward as Editor-in-chief   ThinkDigit.com.
for Personal Technology and now           Assuring you of our best
Ahmed, I can say without doubt        efforts, I once again wish you a
that you are being served by the      very happy 2009.
most formidable tech-editorial
team in this country.                              asheesh.gupta@9dot9.in
     YO U R T EC H N O LO GY N AV I G ATO R                                                                                 January 2009 • Volume 9 • Issue 1
      Managing Director                                Sales and Marketing
      Dr Pramath Raj Sinha                             VP Sales and Marketing                            To advertise
                                                       Naveen Chand Singh
      Printer and Publisher                            Product Manager Navneet Miglani                   South                                            East
      Kanak Ghosh                                      Assistant Brand Manager Arpita Ganguli            Sanjay Bhan                                      Jayanta Bhattacharyya
      Publishing Director                              National Marketing Manager                        E-mail: sanjay.bhan@9dot9.in                     E-mail: jayanta.bhattacharyya@9dot9.in
      Asheesh Gupta                                    Vikram Duggal                                     Mobile: +91 9341829285                           Phone: +91 9331829284
      Editorial                                        Marketing Communication                           Phone: (080) 25546370-73                         (033) 22317344/46
      Editor-in-Chief                                  Thomas Varghese                                   Fax: 41518330
      Edward Henning                                   Co-ordinator, Scheduling,                         Phone: (044) 28235186/88                         North
                                                       MIS and Ad-sales Aatish Mohite
      Editor                                                                                             Fax: 28230731                                    Pranav Saran
      Robert Sovereign-Smith                                                                             Phone: (040) 27894167/ 55221051                  E-mail: pranav.saran@9dot9.in
                                                       Production and Logistics
                                                       Senior GM - Operations                            Fax: 27720205                                    Phone: +91 09331829284,
      Writer
      Aditya Madanapalle                               Shivshankar Hiremath                                                                               (011) 41608655/56/57/58
                                                       Production Executive Vilas Mhatre                 West
      Test Centre                                      Logistics M P Singh, Mohd. Ansari,                Arvind Ambo                                      International
      Manager - Test Development and                   Shashi Shekhar Singh                              E-mail: arvind.ambo@9dot9.in                     Navin Chand Singh
      Sourcing Michael Browne                                                                            Mobile: +91 9819904050                           E-mail: nc.singh@9dot9.in
      Manager - Testing and Processes                  Circulation and Subscription — Sales              Phone: (022) 40373636/                           Mobile: +91 99013 00772
      Rossi Fernandes                                  GM Circulation Milind Prabhughate                 40373626/24494572/24467130/1
      Reviewer Kumar Jhuremalani                       Co-ordinator Pramod Patil                         Fax: 24482059/24481123
      Product Co-ordinators                            Customer Service Prerana Panchal,
      KP Nambiar, Yogendra Bagle                       Vrushali Londhe

      Design                                           Customer Service:
                                                                                                          Advertisers’ index
      Creative Head Kabir Malkani                      022-40789612/13/14
                                                                                                         Client                            Page No         Client                      Page No
      Art Director Rohit A Chandwaskar
                                                       Head Office: Editorial, Marketing
      Senior Designers Vijay Padaya,
                                                       and Customer Service
                                                                                                         Canon                Inside front Cover           Microsoft                          17
      MV Sajeev, U Ravindranadhan
                                                       Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt. Ltd                Cricket Today                              59     Microworld                         25
      Illustrators Shrikrishna Patkar,
                                                       C/o KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30
      Ashwini Baviskar                                                                                   Dell                                       15     MTNL                             109
                                                       Near Sanpada Railway Station, Vashi,
      Sr. Photographer Jiten Gandhi
                                                       Navi Mumbai 400703                                Epson                 Inside back cover           Nvidia                             33
                                                       Phone: 40789666
      Multimedia                                                                                         Fortune                                   115     Ricoh                              23
                                                       Fax: 022-40789540, 022-40789640
      Project Head Robert Sovereign-Smith
      Content Co-ordination                                                                              Gigabyte                       Back cover         Rx -Tech                          117
      Aditya Madanapalle                               Cover Design Andre Rodrigues
                                                                                                         HP                                         04     Seagate                            19
                 Tell us what you feel about Digit                                                       i-Ball                                   11,77    Texonic                            31
                 Each month, Digit walks through the technology maze to                                  Iomega                                     99     Top-Gun                            57
                 bring you the most relevant, and the most researched
                                                                                                         Kingston                                   27     Wyse                               31
                 stories. If you have an opinion about anything published
                 in Digit, or about technology in general, please write to
                 editor@thinkdigit.com                                                                    Products reviewed this month
                 Product testing                                                                         Business Laptops Test . .97                      Motherboard Comparison Test . . .66
                 Want your product reviewed by Digit?                                                    Dell Latitude E6400                              ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe
                 Contact our Test Center at                                                              HP Elitebook 6930P                               ASUS P5E3 Premium
                 testcenter@thinkdigit.com                                                               Lenovo T400                                      ASUS P5E64 WS Evolution
                                                                                                         Lenovo X300                                      ASUS P5Q Premium
                 Software on DVD/CD
                                                                                                         Sony Vaio VGN-Z13GN                              ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe
                 To submit and suggest software for
                 inclusion in the Digit DVD or CD, write to                                                                                               ASUS Rampage Extreme
                 cdcontent@thinkdigit.com                                                                Bazaar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60           ASUS Rampage Formula
                                                                                                         Billion BiGuard 30                               ASUS Striker 2 Formula
                 Help!                                                                                   Brother MFC-7840N                                ASUS Striker 2 NSE
                 For subscription or copy-related issues,                                                Canon Pixma MP198                                BioStar T-Power I45
                 send an e-mail to help@thinkdigit.com                                                   HP Photosmart C4588                              ECS P45T-AD3
                 Endorsements / reprints                                                                 Intex IN 2266                                    EVGA 132-CK-NF78
                 Interested in ordering article reprints,                                                Motorola Motozine ZN5                            EVGA 132-CK-NF79
                 or using our logos? Contact                                                             Nikon D90                                        Gigabyte EP43-DS3L
                 reprint@thinkdigit.com                                                                  Norton Internet Security 2009                    Gigabyte EP45-DQ6
                                                                                                         Sony Ericsson W595                               Gigabyte P45-DS4P
                 Business enquiries                                                                      Thermaltake Xaser VI                             Gigabyte X48-DQ6
                 For any business-related enquiries, contact                                             Zebronics Air Gear                               Intel DX48BT2
                 business@thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                  MSI K9A2 Neo2
                 News and new product launches                                                           GPS Test . . . . . . . . . . . . .54             MSI P43 Neo
                 To announce new product launches, and press releases,                                   Garmin Mobile 10                                 MSI P45 Platinum
                 email us at pressrelease@thinkdigit.com                                                 Garmin Nuvi 350                                  MSI X48c Platinum
                                                                                                         MapmyIndia 430 Classic Navigator                 XFX MB-N780-ISH9
     Disclaimer: 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.               MapmyIndia A-MAX 06GP5A                          XFX MB-N790-IUL9
                                                                                                         Satguide Bluetooth Receiver                      ZOTAC NF-780i Supreme
    Printed and Published by Kanak Ghosh, for Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt. Ltd. C/o KPT House, Plot
    41/13, Sector 30, Near Sanpada Railway Station, Vashi, Navi Mumbai 400703                            Satguide Mio C230                                ZOTAC NF-790i Supreme
    Editor: Sujay Nair, C/o KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Near Sanpada Railway Station, Vashi Navi   Satguide Mio P360
    Mumbai 400703
    Printed at Silverpoint Press Pvt. Ltd, Kohinoor Estate, 165, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel,
    Mumbai 400 013

2    DIGIT JANUARY 2009
            Editorial
Let Big Brother watch


A
ALL OF US pored over the papers and          could always choose to secure and
were glued to the TV, as reports             encrypt their work mail, and not use
updated us on the sophistication of          “free email” services.
the Mumbai attacks. GPS devices,                  I expect people to brand me
Russian re-mailer servers and                insane for welcoming the idea of Big
Blackberry devices were used by the          Brother into my life, but I think it’s
terrorists. It must have been infinite-      only logical given the times we live
ly easier to find someone to teach           in. I’d rather some government com-
them how to use a GPS device or a            puter network pick out a billion
Blackberry, than to fire an AK-47…           innocent messages that we send,
even if they are, allegedly, from poor       than let even a single mail from a
families in little villages. That’s the      terrorist go unnoticed.
beauty (or the horror, in this case) of           What have we really got to           Robert Sovereign-Smith, Editor
technology today — absolutely any-           hide? I’m sure the government or
one can learn to use it (for good or         its computers will not care about                “I’d rather some
evil), with very little in terms of a for-   how much porn you surf for —
mal education required.                      unless it’s underage nonsense, in             government computer
     While most of us have lambasted         which case you deserve life impris-         network pick out a billion
our politicians and intelligence             onment or worse. A government
agencies, and played armchair                computer will not care about your
                                                                                        innocent messages that we
Prime Minister for a few days, the           affair with your secretary, or what            send, than let even a
real question that remains to be             you were up to on your last holiday
                                                                                        single mail from a terrorist
answered is what are we willing to           either. Besides, with a billion peo-
lose to make sure that our country           ple online world-wide, which gov-                 go unnoticed.”
and our way of life is more secure?          ernment is really going to have
     After events like 26/11, people are     time for irrelevant rubbish?                  YouTube videos that spread
generally more accepting of security              You’ve probably heard the           hatred, terrorists who use sat-phones,
measures, and patiently wait in line         phrase, “The internet’s biggest flaw     BlackBerry services, and Google
to be scanned and patted down at             is also its biggest draw”. This refers   Earth, paedophiles that lurk in chat
public places. Unless you’re a crimi-        to the lack of a governing body for      rooms waiting to prey on your kids,
nal, and are carrying drugs, guns or         the net, and the freedom and             and vengeful, lovelorn idiots making
explosives, you have an air of accept-       anonymity it offers. Like little chil-   indecent profiles of their exes on net-
ance about you when your “privacy”           dren in a fancy dress competition,       working sites; how much more idiocy
is being violated by these checks.           we don different costumes online,        do we really need to see before we
“It’s for the greater good”, you say to      and always wear a mask. However,         welcome a change that will stop
yourself, and move on.                       terrorists, paedophiles, stalkers and    allowing the law to throw up its
     So why is it that you don’t feel        other sick people do exactly the         hands in helplessness whenever tech
the same way about your online               same thing. Isn’t it time we started     is involved in a crime? In this day and
activities being monitored? Why is           to realise that without some form of     age, we need more preventive than
the world so paranoid about Big              governance, chaos rules?                 reactive measures. I don’t think my
Brother, and the techniques he may                How is it a good thing that just    desire for “online privacy” is stronger
employ to keep us in check?                  anybody can Google “How to make a        than my desire to never again bear
     I, for one, couldn’t care less if my    bomb” or “homemade bomb” and             witness to a sorrowful candlelight
mails and social networking profiles         get over 4.4 crore and 4.5 lakh          vigil at the Gateway of India.
were being monitored — personal              results, respectively? How can we
IDs of course. Monitoring work com-          shout about privacy and freedom,
munications might not be such a              when some innocent eight-year old
good idea, because most businesses           is being made to act out sick fetishes
survive on privacy and secrecy of            on film, by some of the same people
intellectual properties, and leaks           who stand next to you in this self-
could ruin them. So, companies               righteous picket line?                                    editor@thinkdigit.com
CONTENTS                                                                                                                                         DIGITAL BUSINESS                                            Regulars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     January 2009
                                                                              DIGITAL PASSION
                                                                             35                                                                 97                                                           Tech Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Security Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
                                                                             Main Story                                                         Business Laptops Test
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Hot Not . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
                                                                             The tech that powered evil                                         Suited and booted
                                                                             As we recover from the horror of the Mumbai attacks, we            We test a very select bunch of the most elite business       Digital World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
                                                                             are now horrified by another thought: how did this gang            notebooks around.                                            Stat Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
                                                                             get the technological one-up on our forces? And how must                                                                        Buzzword Of The Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
                                                                             the good guys fight them?
                                                                                                                                                103                                                          W5H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
                                                                             39                                                                 Security Challenges
                                                                                                                                                Threat defence                                               Tips & Tricks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Tech Quiz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
                                                                             Main Story                                                         New attack vectors threaten the business network. We take
                                                                             Digital rights management                                          a look at the evolving security landscape and chart out a    Whatever Happened To . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
                                                                             A necessary evil or an evil that’s not necessary?                  new paradigm for defence against these threats               People Who Changed Computing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Bluff Your Way Through . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

                                                                             44                                                                 105                                                          Wild Wild Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Blogwatch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
                                                                             Main Story                                                         Security Challenges
                                                                             Social engineering                                                 Bomb alert                                                   Digit Diary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
                                                                             Watch out for those millions of dollars from Nigeria waiting       A well-drafted plan for bomb threats — tested and evaluat-   Inbox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
     21                                                                      for you...                                                         ed with trained staff — will enable your organisation to
                                                                                                                                                respond promptly and minimise loss
                                                                                                                                                                                                             The Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
     Cover Story
     How secure are you?
     Beware: enticing email subjects and images could lead your system and   46 maal                                                                                                                         Enter
     security to peril...                                                    Drool
                                                                             Headphones with bling, a keypad for smileys, and more
                                                                                                                                                 DIGITAL LEISURE
                                                                                                                                                                                                             12                                                16
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Who is Google?                                    War on piracy — ver 2.0

                                                                              DIGITAL TOOLS                                                                                                                  13
                                                                                                                                                                                                             No more jobs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Undersea cables cut again

                                                                             54                                                                                                                              13
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Data retention
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Microsoft launches BizSpark
                                                                             Test
                                                                             GPS Devices Tested                                                                                                              14
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Chrome vs. IE8
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               New lease of life for
                                                                             Now, getting lost is also a thing of the past...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Windows XP
                                                                                                                                                                                                             16
                                                                                                                                                                                                             3Gs are better than one
                                                                             60
                                                                             Bazaar                                                             Game On
                                                                             We test the latest hardware and software products                                                                               Escape
                                                                             available in the market
                                                                                                                                                107                                                          112                                               113
                                                                                                                                                Left 4 Dead                                                  YouTube made me famous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Gmail stops you from drunk
                                                                             66                                                                                                                              112
                                                                                                                                                                                                             NY Gov proposes iPod tax
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               mailing

                                                                             Test
                                                                             Brick and mortar                                                   108                                                          113
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               114
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Linux joins the OS advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               battle
                                                                             High-end rigs, multi-GPU systems and world-record beating          Need For Speed - Undercover                                  CCTV focuses on Google and
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Yahoo!
                                                                             benchmarks need the best boards. We’ve tested them...                                                                                                                             116
     49                                                                                                                                         110
                                                                                                                                                                                                             113
                                                                                                                                                                                                             China courts rule against dead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               kids take traffic policing system
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               for a ride
     Feature
     Where on earth am I?
                                                                             78                                                                 Far Cry 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                             woman’s friend and blogging
                                                                                                                                                                                                             site
                                                                             Agent 0001
     The answer to that question lies in technology we call GPS...
                                                                             Digital cameras
6   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                     www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                       JANUARY 2009 DIGIT    7
    Contents Interactive                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Contents Interactive


    DVD Contents                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       January 2009

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                                            “Star Trek,” featuring a young, new
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8   DIGIT JANUARY 2009            For any queries regarding the CD or DVD, e-mail help@thinkdigit.com with “CD/DVD” as the subject.                               www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                              DIGIT JANUARY 2009       9
                                  If the subject is not mentioned, your mail might not reach the right person.
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         FEATURED REVIEW FROM THE DIGIT FORUM (www.thinkdigit.com/forum)




                             Just bought HTC P3400i...
                              The first thing anyone notices             Memory usage is high with no       PDA but the mids are over-         supports Java as well as
                              in the P3400i are its looks. I was         programs running. Very little      emphasised. I used Metallica’s     Windows Mobile applications.
                              surprised that it looks pretty             free memory is left at startup     Nothing Else Matters as the test       I definitely am in love with
                              good when you have it in front             (just 33 per cent)                 track. I hate the propietary       this device. It may be because of
                              of you. The touchscreen is                      Camera is just okay for       jack. A 2.5-mm jack would have     my first experience with
                              responsive in most cases but               posting photos to blogs and for    been tolerated. You can buy        Windows Mobile. I have used
      IronMan                 the stylus is not comfortable              for emergency uses. Despite the    extensions which plug into the     Symbian 7.1 and Symbian 9.0 on
      Forever                 enough for my taste. I am                  2MP sensor, quality is not         phones jack and give you with      some of my earlier
      Join Date: Jun          currently using an empty pen               much better than my age-old        3.5mm jack.                        smartphones. There are
      2008                    with a big tip and this is much            Nokia 6600’s VGA camera.                The phone allows creating,    differences but I have adapted
      Location: Metal
      City                    better for navigation as well as                Music quality through the     viewing and editing Word and       to them in a short duration of
      Posts: 721              writing on-screen.                         single speaker on the phone is     Excel files. Viewing PowerPoint    one day.
                                   The user interface is a bit           fair for soft numbers, it just     files is supported but is              The only major advantage
                              erratic. It isn’t slow at all times        isn’t the thing for heavy metal    sluggish. The Adobe PDF Reader     the HTC Touch has over this is
                              but sometimes it slows down                stuff. The treble is more          also makes an appearance. For      the WiFi but that isn’t so
                              erratically. Once I learned it;            emphasised through the             all practical purposes, it isn’t   important yet as there is a lack
                              the erratic-ness has gone. Still           external speaker, as is the case   very usable because of the slow    of WiFi hotpots to use this
                              the overall speed is not                   with many mobiles. Music           processor. The games that come     feature. In short, if you are
                              anything to talk home about. It            quality through the provided       along are pretty nice, but one     thinking about buying this
                              is always somewhat slow.                   headphones is pretty good for a    can install more games as it       one, don’t hesitate.


          10      DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                                           www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Enter
     Another one for the Eee PC                                              Search may become passé
     Eee PC the ultra-light, ultra-portable and ultra-cheap                  Contextual browsing may become the new avatar of                                         Security Watch              ground-level, 360-degree        then having to compete
     Netbook from Asus just bagged itself another award. It’s                search. With browsers and web sites becoming
                                                                                                                                                                                                  views of streets in 12          with hundreds or                  BBC allows
     now crowned Forbes Asia’s Product of the Year for 2008.                 increasingly aware of what you are looking at, all your                             Critical security                Japanese cities and is also     thousands of other                YouTube to
     The product was chosen for its Innovation and Market                    web content needs will be custom delivered to you in                                flaw in IE (again)
     Disruption.                                                             the future.                                                                                                          offered for some 50 cities in   companies for press and           carry content
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Small sections of programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                  the United States and           industry attention, are
                                                                                                                                                                 The problem                      certain areas in Europe.        making the shows less and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and promotional segments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    of BBC videos have been
                                                                                                                                                                 Microsoft recently issued a
     Enter                                                                                                                                                       critical security warning
                                                                                                                                                                 regarding a malicious code
                                                                                                                                                                                                      As for the Android, we’ll
                                                                                                                                                                                                  wait and watch. At the time
                                                                                                                                                                                                  of going to print, Kogan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  less compelling. Goes to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  show that the trade show
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  biz isn’t exactly a growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    allowed to stay on YouTube
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    in exchange for a share of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the advertising revenues of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the video sharing web site.
                                                                                                                                                                 that is making the rounds
                                                                                                                                                                 and attacking vulnerabi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agora Pro, the second           industry these days and,
                                            WHY IS ANDROID?                                                                                                      lities in Internet Explorer 7.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Android phone was               with tough economic times
                                                                                                                                                                                                  launched in Austrialia for      ahead, luxuries like your
                                            Who is Google?                                                                                                       The infection had the
                                                                                                                                                                 potential for wide-spread
                                                                                                                                                                                                  $399 AU (Rs. 13,000). Unlike    precious keynote are the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Viacom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    removes
                                                                                                                                                                 damage since IE 7 is the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  T-Mobile’s G1, this phone       first to go. Apple now            content from YouTube
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Viacom and subsidaries MTV,

                                            N
                                                    o there’s no             Having said that, there is            Google code pack. In a                        latest non-beta version of
                                                                                                                                                                                                  comes unlocked for use on       probably plans to go in for
      Eugene V. Kaspersky                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Nickelodeon and Comedy
      CEO, Head of Antivirus Research,              grammatical error        also a lack of basic features         recent US survey of the top                   Microsoft's browser and is
                                                                                                                                                                                                  any carrier.                    its own exclusive product
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Central have pulled more than
      Kaspersky Lab                                 there. Well, although    like video recording. Is it a         20 most trusted companies,                    bundled with XP service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  launches. Although Mac            100,000 clips from YouTube.
      One of the world’s leading            there is, it’s intentional.      miss out, or more like an             Google has fallen off the list                pack 3 and also Vista. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                  WHAT WILL APPLE DO?             and Apple are synonymous,         The lawyers are unsure of the
      experts in antivirus protection       Think about it. Since the        opportunity for                       entirely from its spot at 10                                                                                   it is worth mentioning here       website is actually giving a
      What were you thinking of             time Google announced its        independent app                       on last year’s list. Google’s
                                                                                                                                                                 code, infects a users'
                                                                                                                                                                 system with a Trojan horse.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  No more                         that the Macworld Expo is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    boost to the content owned by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Viacom or dealing it a blow.
      doing after your degree, how
      did you think your career
      would go, had you thought of
                                            open source android
                                            operating system for
                                                                             developers? Google has                fall is probably due to the
                                                                                                                            big company syndrome,
                                                                                                                                                                 It may even start down-
                                                                                                                                                                 loading other malicious
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jobs                            run by IDG World Expo.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Knowing Apple’s penchant
      going into this kind of work or       mobiles, people have                                                            where people just                    elements into the users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  for control, chances are that
      were you planning on doing            wondered — why is                                                               start trusting big

                                                                                                                                                                                                  M
                                                                                                                                                                 system. Microsoft says that
                                                                                                                                                                                                           id December news       Macworld Expo didn’t offer       is quitting Macworld.
      something else?                       Google launching a                                                              companies less.                                                                wires are abuzz        Apple enough control.                For Mac enthusiasts
      I have done my degree in                                                                                                                                   the code can creep in even
      Cryptology. I think I was             product that has no                                                             Perhaps Google                       through legitimate websites
                                                                                                                                                                                                           with the hullabaloo         Also interesting is what    what Steve Jobs’ departure
      planning on doing something           apparent revenue                                                                should treat these                                                    of Steve Jobs quitting          these expos do to the share      means is that there will be
      else, I didn't enjoy myself, it                                                                                                                            in which the script has been
      was just antivirus systems, it        model? The question                                                             signs as early                       inserted to run in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Macworld and Apple opting       price of Apple Inc. A            no more jazzy stunts in the
      was just my hobby. I got into it      has come to the                                                                 warnings. Besides                    background. Earlier
                                                                                                                                                                                                  out of the event altogether,    prelude to all of Apple’s        Keynote, which Jobs was
      by accident. My computer was          forefront once again                                                            this, there is a lot of                                               after the January               media events is crazy rumor      famous for. During the
      infected back in 1989 with a                                                                                                                               versions of IE are also
      cascade virus, back when there        with the launch of T                                                            fuss being kicked up                 vulnerable. It is being said
                                                                                                                                                                                                  installment. Mac fanboys        mongering and speculation.       launch of the iPhone he
      was such a virus. That’s why I’m      mobile’s HTC G1. The                                                            about Google Maps                    that Microsoft Corp.'s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  cried themselves to sleep       The result is that almost        pulled out the phone from
      here.                                 phone is pretty nifty                                                           post the Mumbai                                                       speculating whether Job’s       every Apple extravaganza         his jeans pocket and called
                                                                                                                                                                 developers missed the bug
                                            and we especially                                                               terror attacks. An                   because they didn't have
                                                                                                                                                                                                  health is behind the move,      since Macworld 2007, no          the local Starbucks Café for
      How do you tackle human
      gullibility, which is one of the
                                            like the flip-slider                                                            Indian lawyer filed a                the right testing tools.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  but the more plausible          matter what news comes           4000 Lattes to go. But
      greatest vulnerabilities out          opening keyboard.                                                               petition in the                      Microsoft's testing tools —
                                                                                                                                                                                                  reason is that, like many       out of it, has triggered a       realistically speaking, Mac-
      there when it comes to internet       Android works fairly                                                            Mumbai High Court,                                                    companies, Apple is getting     massive sell-off of Apple        lovers can probably rest
      security?                                                                                                                                                  including “fuzzers,” which
                                            smooth too. But                                                                 arguing that Google                  are automated tools that
                                                                                                                                                                                                  tired of trade shows. For       stock. Initial reports suggest   assured Apple’s not going to
      There are three things you could
      do against cyber terrorism, cyber     coming back to what                                                             Earth and similar                    drop data into applications,
                                                                                                                                                                                                  many companies, the             that Apple stock may have        come apart cheap the
      criminals and against all threats     Google is upto —                                                                services “aid                                                         expense and complexity of       dropped nearly 7 per cent        minute Jobs leaves.
      — education, law enforcement                                                                                                                               file formats or operating
      and protection. We have a special     perhaps its recent                                                              terrorists in plotting               system components to see
                                                                                                                                                                                                  exhibiting at huge shows,       on the news that Steve Jobs
      education system for kids and         announcement that                                                               attacks”. The                        if and where they fail — also
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   NO MORE RECORDS
      students about this. We do it and     the iPhone and T-                                                               petition is
      we do it for free, because we take
      it as part of our mission to spread   Mobile G1 can now                                                               demanding a
                                                                                                                                                                 missed the bug.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Data
      the news. We have presentations
      given by about 80 experts and
      this method works.
                                            show Google search
                                            ads sheds a little light on      come up with a mobile
                                                                                                                            removal of Google
                                                                                                                   Earth satellite images of
                                                                                                                                                                 The solution
                                                                                                                                                                 Microsoft has released an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Retention
                                            the question. Is Google then     application store of its own,         India, or at the very least,                  emergency update patch
                                            going the Microsoft way?         called Android Market ala             blur images of sensitive

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   P
      Isn’t it difficult to make                                                                                                                                 MS08-078 which addresses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ost 26/11, security
      people sit up and listen and          Monopoly being the name          iPhone. Besides, some of              places in the country, such                   the vulnerability. The patch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         measures and privacy
      take notice for such a thing to       of the game. For instance,       Google’s latest antics                as Indian nuclear plants                                                                                                                              issues are much talked
      work?                                                                                                                                                      fixes a flaw in the data-
                                            reports suggest T-Mobile’s       include asking broadband              and defence establishments.                   binding function of all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   about. So the news that
      The problem is that they don’t        G1 works fine with many          carriers to create a special          And it’s not just Indians. A                                                                                                                    search companies are
      pay enough attention in social                                                                                                                             available versions of the
      networks. They think they trust       online services, but it works    fastlane exclusively for its          group of Japanese lawyers                     popular browser. Users who
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   cutting down on search-
      everyone in a community, and          especially well with             content. This would be done           and professors have also                      have automatic updates
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   data retention time, is of
      give out data, some personal          Google’s. It delivers a lot of   by placing Google servers in          asked Google to stop                                                                                                                            much relevance.
      information, which is enough for                                                                                                                           turned on will receive the
                                            the basic core functions and     the ISP’s technical facilities.       providing detailed street-                    patch automatically while
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Search companies keep
      to see some serious
      repercussions. It is one of the       of course, tight integration     Another somewhat                      level images of Japanese                      others can access it via a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the IP addresses of their
      greatest threats, probably one of     with Google’s products,          alarming warning sign is              cities. Google provides this                  download from Microsoft’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   users for a period before
      the most serious because there        including Gmail, Google          the removal of Firefox as             through its Street View                                                                                                                         making them anonymous.
      are millions of people who are in                                                                                                                          web site.
      this network.                         Maps, and Google Calendar.       the default browser in the            service, which offers                                                                                                                           Until they anonymise the


                   I China blocks access to New York Times I Dell to launch ultra thin laptop to compete with Macbook Air                                   I Snowboarder Shaun White and swimmer Michael Phelps to feature in video games I Lawyers use Facebook to serve legal papers
12   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                                www.thinkdigit.com       www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                              DIGIT JANUARY 2009   13
      Enter
          The Digital World                                                       A Round-up Of Technology News From Across The Globe




                                                                                       CHINA
                                                                                       Lenovo’s oPhone handsets
                                                                                       to have OS developed by
                                                                                       China Mobile

                                       US
                                       Apple TV sued
                                       for patent
                                       infringement by       EGYPT
                                       EZ4Media              The first Nuclear                                                JAPAN
                                                             power plant in                                                   Panasonic and Sanyo
                                                             Egypt contracted                                                 announce a capital
                                                             to Bechtel, a US                                                 and business
                                                             company                                                          partership

                                                                                          INDIA
                                                                                          Lok Sabha passes
                                                                                          bill to improve the
                                                                                          Information
                                                                                          Technology Act




                                                                                                         AUSTRALIA
                                                                                                         Authorities to
                                                                                                         curtail P2P and
                                                                                                         torrent access
                                                                                                         across Australia



     identities of its users, the       reduction in retention times       the bits in the user IPs               WHO WILL WIN?
     information is used                is a response to pressure          stored on its servers. But
     alongside other data, such         from the European                  that’s it. The plan would              Chrome v/s
     as search queries, to improve
     relevance of search results
                                        Commission’s data
                                        protection advisory group,
                                                                           leave cookie data alone.
                                                                               Let’s leave search                 IE 8
     and target advertising to the      the Article 29 Working Party,      companies and privacy
     user, among other reasons.         and other data protection          issues alone for a minute

                                                                                                                  G
                                                                                                                         oogle recently went
     The most recent                    officials to do more to            and look at what risk Data                    away from its
     announcement came from             protect the privacy of users.      retention could pose to                       perpetual beta
     Yahoo!, saying it would cut        The commission is also             National Security. Even                convention by finally
     down data retention to three       pushing for the sector to          Internet service providers             bringing Chrome out into
     months in most cases, from         adopt an industry-wide             can retain certain data.               the real world. Google’s
     the prior norm of 13               standard. Currently, there is      Back in 2006, this very issue          notorious beta label on
     months. “This was our              disparity in the method            was being debated in the               their products is a great
     attempt to put a stake in the      companies are adopting in          US. A major concern was                umbrella cover for them to
     ground” Anne Toth, Vice            the process of                     that the ISPs retaining data           receive forgiveness when
     President of Policy and            anonymisation. Microsoft           would also retain traffic              things go awry.
     Privacy Chief at Yahoo said        said it welcomed the move,         information of federal, state          Unfortunately, the same
     on the issue, thus making          but made a distinction             and local governments.                 practice can be a major
     its retention policy the           between the timeframe and          Classified federal systems,            problem when looking to
     shortest among peers. It is        the method of making data          which generally don’t use              gain serious market share.
     reserving the right to keep        anonymous. Yahoo! will             the Internet, may be the               OEMs won’t touch you with
     data for up to six months if       delete the final segment of        exception. What problems               a 10-foot pole if your
     fraud or system security are       the IP address, which it said      could arise if commercial              product is still in beta. And
     involved. Earlier this year,       makes it no longer unique          ISPs hold detailed records of          once OEMs preinstall any
     industry leader Google Inc         or identifiable. Microsoft is      all the communications to              product, its market share is
     halved the amount of time it       deleting all of the Internet       and from government                    exponentially upped.
     stores personal data to nine       address, which it said will        agencies? Data retention               Consider IE 8 — it is
     months, while earlier in           break any potential link to a      may increase the risk of the           currently not bundled with
     December Microsoft Corp            particular set of search           exposure of undercover                 any version of Windows.
     had said it will cut the time      queries. With its nine-month       police or confidential                 The only way to get it is by
     to six months if its rivals did    anonymisation, Google              informants. And this is just           download, so market share
     the same. The spate of             intends to change some of          one example.                           is sure to drastically change

          I Ecofont, a TrueType font designed to save ink and toner launched I Warner Music pulls down its content from YouTube

14   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                         www.thinkdigit.com
     Enter

     once Windows 7 is ready for         data limit, and if so, would      for similar applications.       listening to copywrited
     consumers. A quick look at          it be ridiculously low            According to the                content, why not try to
     some numbers online                 thereby defeating the whole       Department of Telecom           squeeze some ads in
     reveals that in this sort of        point of 3G. For the              (DoT), the 2.1-GHz band will    there.” Accordingly, all
     level playing field, Chrome         uninitiated, 3G will allow        be used for 3G, while 2.3       such content on Myspace
     is doing better than IE 8 in        operators to offer high-end       GHz and 2.5 GHz have been       and YouTube wasn’t
     terms of market share.              services such as faster           earmarked for WiMax.            necessarily pulled down.
     (Though to be fair we must          downloads of video clips,         Ericsson — the biggest          Instead, the original
     consider that IE8 is still in       movie trailers and music          supporter and equipment         owners could just choose
     beta.) The battle which will        files, video calls, interactive   vendor of 3G — is laying        to put ads on it. Now in its
     now ensue to become the             gaming and even streaming         claims on the 2.3 GHz           latest installment against
     next browser of choice will         video. The existing telecom       spectrum band, which is         piracy, the Recording
     definitely be interesting.          services in India operate on      meant for WiMax.                Industry Association of
         Coming to the question          the 2G spectrum. The                                              America (RIAA) has
     of whether Chrome will be           process for the auction of        BAD BOYS - WHAT’CHA             announced that it will
     adopted by the masses, it all       3G licences in India kicks        GONNA DO?                       work with internet service
     depends on user preference.         off in January 2009. But                                          providers to sever abusers’
     Users tend to get pretty            before we get on to the           War on                          net connections. Just to
     attached to the little niche
     utilities that each browser
                                         nitty-gritties, two issues
                                         must be addressed. First, of      Piracy v2.0                     clarify, abuser here means
                                                                                                           you. Yes, you with the 20
     has. The noticeable lack of         the 300 million mobile                                            GB MP3 collection! Under
     add-on support in Chrome            users in India, how many

                                                                           I
                                                                               t seems the bigwigs at      the new plan, RIAA will
     is one of the many items            have 3G phones? These                 RIAA are ready to try       send notices to ISPs that
     people who haven’t made             high-end phones cost more             out just about anything     identify the IP addresses of
     the switch typically cited.         than Rs. 11,000 at the least.     to stem the piracy biz. First   suspected file sharers. ISPs
     But regardless of how ready         And out of all the things 3G      they began by suing people      will then send warnings to
     the browser is in the non-          enables you to do, how            who downloaded music.           their customers and then
     beta avatar, this latest move       much of it will you really        That meant suing just           cut them off if the users
     puts them in a good                 use? Perhaps the average          about every person on           fail to curb their illegal
     position to take advantage          Indian mobile user may            planet earth right? They        downloads. Details are still
     of OEMs. Having Chrome              want to watch a T20 match         managed to sue 30,000           being worked out, but
     pre-installed on machines           on the go rather than video       accused file sharers in the     most reports said
     will quickly boost its              call someone. In any case,        last five years. Clearly it     downloaders might lose
     usage stats.                        3G users will still be a small    wasn’t working, so the          their net connection after
                                         minority, at least initially.     music industry said “hey        the third notice. The
     INDIA GETS 3G                       The second issue is shortage      wait a minute, since so         termination could last
                                         of spectrum availability in       many people are                 anywhere from three
     3Gs are bet-                        many circles at peak times.       downloading, viewing and        months to a year. But it
     ter than one                        Service, is after all, as good
                                         as the calls it allows you to
                                         make, so we don’t want any


     M
              TNL recently               lagging issues there.
              announced the              Coming back to the licence
              launch of 3G               auctioning, under existing
     services in Delhi.                  guidelines, the successful
     Interestingly enough, it was        3G auction bidders will have
     inaugurated by Prime                to pay Rs 1,651 crore for a
     Minister Manmohan Singh             UASL licence that entitles
     by receiving a video call           them to offer all
     from Telecom Minister A             communication services.
     Raja. We would’ve expected          The 3G hype also brings up
     one of the private players to       the longstanding battle
     be the first one off the            between 3G and WiMax
     block, but what is important        technologies. WiMax stands
     is the reaction the                 for Worldwide
     announcement has evoked.            Interoperability for
     Message boards were actively        Microwave Access. It can
     speculating what kind of            also be used to provide voice
     plans would be available,           services and rivals 3G as
     whether there would be a            both the platforms are used


                  I       Cisco Claims About 90 per cent of All Email is Spam I Electronics Arts will sell Spore DRM Free
16   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                 www.thinkdigit.com
     Enter

                                                                        coast at Alexandria and go       webs of fibre optic cables
                                                                        on to connect to Asia, were      that cover the planet. The
                                                                        probably damaged either          lines take years of planning
                                                                        by a ship’s anchor or a          to install. To repair them is
        70% of all porn                 Only 33% of                     minor earthquake, officials      even more of a challenge.
        access on the net            households actively
                                                                        say. So if your online           As part of damage control
          occurs during                                                 gaming experience has not        for this recent incident, a
                                    protect their children              been up to the mark,             64-crew French
           office hours               from the internet                 lagging away to world’s          maintenance boat arrived
                                                                        end, then this is probably       on site, off the coast of
                                                                        why. Initial reports suggest     Sicily, following a two-day
                                                                        as much as 70 per cent of        journey from southern
            70% of all              63% of parents using                internet and telephone           France. An underwater
        security breaches           SMS services feel this              traffic between the              robot was sent down to
          are caused by                                                 continents has been              locate the cables, which
                                         improves
                                                                        affected by the outage           may have been dragged
             insiders               communication with                  affecting millions across        several kilometers off site
                                       their children                   the Middle East and south        in the incident — and lift
                                                                        Asia. International              them to the surface where
             In the year                                                telephone calls, which have      they will be repaired fibre
           2008, $865                                                   also been affected, were         by fibre.
           Billion was              50% of all returned                 being re-routed to work              Some trivia:
           invested in IT            IT products work, but              around the problem. A            1. The crack about sharks at
                                    can’t be figured out by             somewhat corny outcome           the beginning wasn’t entire-
           products and                                                 of the outage is that            ly unfounded. It seems that
               services                     buyers                      people have been getting         the very first small diameter
                                                                        less spam! Inboxes which         fibre optic cables laid were
                                                                        were being bombarded             indeed damaged by sharks
      seems identifying culprits      SHARK INFESTED WATERS?            with hundreds of spam            chewing on them on the
      isn’t so easy. There is the                                       mail a day now get only          ocean floor. Scientists found
      Catch-22 of fair use and        Undersea                          a few.                           that sharks were attracted
      besides, many of the law
      suits by the RIAA resulted      cables cut                             Despite widespread
                                                                        wireless internet and
                                                                                                         by the magnetic fields
                                                                                                         formed around the cable,
      in grandmoms being
      dragged into court, based
                                      again                             satellite connections, and
                                                                        contrary to popular belief,
                                                                                                         produced by the electrical
                                                                                                         current supplying power to
      on sometimes specious                                             global communications            the amplifiers which are
      evidence. To many, internet

                                      N
                                              o it’s not the poor lil   still rely largely on the vast   placed periodically. To
      connections are essential               sharks. At the outset
      lifelines to school, work,              of 2008, a badly
      and other important parts       dropped ship anchor had
      of daily life that we will      damaged an undersea
      not mention. Considering        Internet provisioning
      these, many of RIAA’s           telecom cable in the
      detractors will certainly       Mediterranean, disrupting
      put up a fight. Oh! by the      Internet service throughout
      way, the Motion Picture         India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan,
      Association of America is       and the Middle East. And
      also in discussion with         this year its deja-vu all over
      ISPs to adopt the same          again. The lines, which
      strategy.                       emanate from the Egyptian


                                    Green-washing
                                  n a world gripped by the              competitors, the product is simply positioned as
                                Ibio-system, Green-washing
        fallout of a degenarating
                                  fears of a disasterous                being eco-friendly and put on the market. Vague,
                                                                        untrue and irrelevent product features are
        refers to the undue exploitation of                             highlighted as being good for the enviornment. This
        enviornmentalistm by companies. For example, if a               practice is known as green-washing, which is a
        particular product does not perform as well as its              combination of green and white-washing.

I India won't levy admin tax on 3G spectrum I Windows 7 scheduled for late 2009 launch I EA titles to be available online through Steam
18   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                www.thinkdigit.com
     Enter

                                         reduce these problems, the       basically undercutting that      They first begin by pulling
                                         cables are buried in the         advantage. Besides this, the     the plug on sales and then
                                         floor of the ocean using spe-    program will also provide        eventually stop support.
                                         cial under sea ploughs.          access to technical support      January 31, 2009 was listed
                                         However, in rocky bottoms        and marketing visibility         as the last day that anyone
                                         and over undersea cliffs, the    from Microsoft, as well as       could buy XP, but Microsoft
     Universal Memory                    cables are still exposed.        support through a select         has told its system builder
     What is Universal Memory?           2. Cables with 10 Gbps           group of network partners        partners that they will be
     Universal Memory approaches         bandwidth were laid at a         — industry associations,         allowed to continue to sell
     memory storage in a radicaly        cost of $27,000 per km in        government agencies,             XP after cut-off date. In
     different way. Universal
                                         1999. Do the math.               university incubators and        what is being called the
     Memory is the term given to
     the next wave of storage                                             investors — chartered with       flexible inventory
     solutions that are about to hit     DOWN WITH OPEN SOURCE            advancing                        programme, distributors
     the world.                                                           entrepreneurialism. In           can place their last orders
                                         Microsoft                        India, these partnerships        for Windows XP OEM
     Why do you need Universal
     Memory?
     The next generation of memory
                                         Launches                         include The Indus
                                                                          Entrepreneurs (TiE), NEN,
                                                                                                           licenses by January 31, 2009,
                                                                                                           and take delivery against
     devices plan to replace the
     current generation by
                                         BizSpark                         Proto, NASSCOM and IDG
                                                                          Ventures, a venture capital
                                                                                                           those orders upto May 30.
                                                                                                           Until then, distributors
     outperforming current storage                                        firm. Other VC firms             would have to buy as many
     solutions in two basic aspects

                                         T
                                              hey say all big things      supporting the initiative        XP licenses as they could
     of memory storage. The first             begin with an idea.         include Draper Fisher            afford before the cut off
     aspect is power consumption,             And when it comes to        Jurvetson (DFJ), Helion          date and sell them after the
     and the second aspect is the
     density of memory. This             successful technology            Venture Partners and Accel       deadline. Apparently
     generation of low-power, high       ventures, some of the            Partners. Virtually              distributors are quite happy
     density memories will probably      biggest have their roots in      everything a startup needs       with the new arrangement
     be able to store memory even        India. Microsoft is now          to build a web service (many     as they don’t have to hand
     without electricity running         eyeing this very potential       of the tools and software        over cash for the new
     through them.                                                                                         licences until they have
                                                                                                           already sold them.
     Which companies are
     involved?                                                                                                 Software companies are
     The list is pretty long. IBM, HP,                                                                     still softies when it comes
     Motorola are all researching                                                                          to phasing out older
     different universal memory                                                                            products. Take the case of
     strategies. Samsung and                                                                               processor manufacturers —
     Toshiba are also in the race.
                                                                                                           Intel does not manufacture
     Companies that specialise only
     in memory solutions like                                                                              its Pentium II and III lines
     Everspin and Hynix are                                                                                anymore. Even if you were
     obviously involved. A company                                                                         to say “hey I use my comp
     called Nantero has developed                                                                          only as a word processor, I
     promising wafers with 10            market with the launch of        compete with open source         don’t need quad core speed.
     billion bits of memory.             BizSpark. The program            alternatives, such as MySQL)     Can I get a Pentium II for
     How will it be done?                targets early stage software     is being offered to startups     cheap?” Well no you can’t.
     Current research have different     startups, with resources         for free for three years. The    Not from the manufacturer
     approaches in different labs.       including access to              idea, they say, is to create a   at least.
     One approach is to use the          Microsoft platform software      vibrant startup ecosystem            About discontinuing
     nanoscale structures on the         and development tools with       in India.                        support Microsoft says this
     silicon wafers themselves.          no upfront costs. As you’ve                                       on its web site, “Microsoft is
     Other approaches include
                                         probably figured the             STILL KICKING                    retiring support for these
     molecular memory and
                                         program is a bid to keep the                                      products because they are
     magnetic random access
     memory.                             open source mafia at bay. It     New lease of                     outdated and can expose

     When will we see it?
                                         is no secret that startups are
                                         very cost-conscious. Given       life for                         customers to security risks.
                                                                                                           We recommend that
     Predictions vary from 2011 to
     2020.
                                         the relative lack of cost-
                                         effective software solutions,
                                                                          Windows XP                       customers who are still
                                                                                                           running Windows 98 or
     Will it be any good?                they often tend to veer                                           Windows Me upgrade to a
                                         towards open source.

                                                                          B
     Portable devices stand to                                                ig technology corps          newer, more secure Microsoft
     benefit the most. The memory        Microsoft understands the            often phase out their        operating system, such as
     promises to store all the data      price-attraction of open             older products to            Windows XP, as soon as
     in any DVD ever made in a           source, and hence, it is         make way for newer ones.         possible.” I
     single laptop sized box.

     I Martian bedrock analysis shows that life was once possible on the red planet I Rumors emerge of G2 following up on G1
20   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                  www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                  Digital


 35      The tech that
         powered evil    39   Digital Rights
                              Management       44   Social
                                                    engineering
                                                                  Passion
                                                                  Fuelling The Pursuit Of Technology Knowledge



Cover Story
                                                                  Enticing email subjects and images


   How                                                            could lead your system and security
                                                                  to peril...




secure
 are you?
                                                                  Edward Henning




                                                                  T
                                                                         here is no such thing as a completely
                                                                         secure computer, or IT network. The
                                                                         number of threats we face from
                                                                  pranksters, all the way to organised crime is
                                                                  growing all the time. In fact, the threats
                                                                  themselves are increasing in both seriousness
                                                                  and sophistication.
                                                                                                                      Related
                                                                                                                      story on
                                                                                                                      pg 35




                                                                      It’s not just a matter of viruses, trojans or
                                                                  worms that might come attached to an email
                                                                  and then infect your machine. If you are on
                                                                            the internet, then you are open to
                                                                              attacks of many different kinds,
                                                                               from hackers trying to gain direct
                                                                               access to your computer, malicious
                                                                              web sites tricking you into parting
                                                                             with money, tricks to get personal
                                                                          details such as credit card information
                                                                      or passwords, software slipped onto your
                                                                   PC that will do any number of things without
                                                                  detection — the list is always growing. As
                                                                  computers, software and the internet become
                                                                  more feature-rich and complex, the number
                                                                  of ways in which attacks can occur also
                                                                  inevitably increases. Everybody needs to be
                                                                  vigilant, particularly where online transac-
                                                                  tions involving banking or online shopping
                                                                  are concerned.
                                                                      The original web pages that people surfed
                                                                  early in the 90s consisted only of text format-
                                                                  ted with HTML together with images, tables
                                                                  and the like. Not much risk was involved. But
                                                                  things are now much more complex. You have
                                                                  embedded videos, JavaScript menus, PHP code
                                                                  and many more rich and interactive features.
                                                                  With this level of complexity also come
                                                                  programming errors and loopholes. At the
                                                                  best, these problems cause difficulties with
                                                                  the straightforward operation of a site. At the
                                                                  worst, they enable an attacker to take over a
                                                                  site, grab personal information or infiltrate
                                                                  hidden software onto your PC.
                                                                      The language used in security circles


www.thinkdigit.com                                                                               DIGIT JANUARY 2009    21
     Digital Passion l Cover Story

     describes computer systems as having some                                          form of con-trick, and any such trick stands a
     kind of vulnerability that is then exploited by                                    better chance of working the more believable
     an attacker. However, the most important                                           it is. The simplistic attacks seem to be falling
     vulnerability is human gullibility and lack of                                     in number, presumably because people are
     understanding. Conversely, the most impor-                                         increasingly aware of the problem, and so
     tant form of defence is a reasonable under-                                        attackers are becoming more sophisticated.
     standing of security issues combined with                                               Perhaps the most common form of attack
     care and vigilance.                                                                used in phishing is known as cross-site script-
         If you received an email from some                                             ing (XSS). In this method an attacker will
     unknown source, telling you to click on a link                                     insert code in the embedded link — not the
     to “See Britney Spears naked”, would you click                                     link that you will necessarily see — that will
     on that link? Most people nowadays know the                                        attempt to manipulate a web application,
     danger involved and that clicking on such a                                        usually so that some code is inserted into the
     link is likely to lead to computer infection of                                    page that will be displayed in your browser.
     some kind. Unfortunately, there are still some                                     This doesn’t change anything on the server,
     who do not.                                                                        but your browser will receive an amended
         But what if the email at least appeared to                                     form of the page, and will execute the mali-
     be from a known source, and one that you                                           cious code as if it had come from that server.
     knew had your email address. What if it                                            What you see will be the correct page of, say,
     appeared to be from your own bank, and                                             your bank, but it will behave and perhaps
     included all the right graphics, logos and                                         appear differently — usually it will send you
     everything? You may be much more
     likely to click on the link in order to
     reset your PIN or password, as
     suggested. What if the link led you to a
     web page, apparently with the correct
     URL, that looked exactly like your
     bank’s correct page, complete with
     Verisign security certificate logo (the
     little lock in the bottom right of the
     window frame). Would you then enter
     your existing user name and password,
     thereby allowing the attacker to empty
     your bank account, or purchase goods
     online and send them to Africa?
         Such attacks are more rare than
     offers of naked Britneys, but the
     attackers are getting this sophisti-
     cated, and making increasing efforts
     to make money from such attacks.
     They continue to do so only because previous      This partial screenshot is       to another page that will have been crafted by
     and less sophisticated attacks have proved        of a genuine email from a        the attacker.
                                                       UK utility company
     successful. People have clicked on the links,     presenting a link allowing           In an extended form of this attack, known
     entered personal information, and lost            the user to pay a bill. The      as persistent XSS, the manipulated URL is
     money as a result.                                link is of a known and           stored on a server in some form or another —
         In the following pages, we will describe      correct URL, and the             in a database, forum content, and so forth —
                                                       actual link that would be
     the most likely types of security problems        followed — which is
                                                                                        and is then accessed by unsuspecting users. In
     that you will encounter and give you some         displayed in the window          this case, you do not have to click on a manip-
     advice on how to behave on the internet —         frame at bottom left —           ulated URL in a phishing email, but it exists
     what to do and what not to do. Software can       matches correctly the link       in some other source that you might stumble
     also of course help considerably, as long as      in the text. Even though         upon innocently.
                                                       this is clearly correct, it it
     you do not allow yourself to become compla-       better practice never to             Another variant on this kind of attack is
     cent — you may have the best known anti-          use such a link, but use         known as frame-spoofing, which can also be
     virus and anti-spyware software installed, but    your bookmarked link to          triggered by a manipulated URL in an email.
     you still need to take care.                      your utility company in          Frames have long been considered to be inse-
                                                       order to pay such a bill.
                                                       Even a small difference in
                                                                                        cure by security experts, and their use is
     Dangers on the internet                           the actual link might take       slowly fading away, but there are still a great
     The method of attack we described earlier, of     you to a spoofed site            number out there. In frame spoofing — first
     an email purporting to come from your bank                                         recognised by Microsoft back in the days of
     and asking for personal information, is                                            Windows 3.1 — an attacker is able to insert
     known as phishing. Basically, phishing is a                                        their own window as a frame within the


22   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                  www.thinkdigit.com
     Digital Passion l Cover Story

     window of a legitimate website. This means                                           the last year, is security certification. If you
     that, again, the page you are viewing is the                                         are online to an e-commerce site and are
     correct one, with the correct URL and with                                           about to enter your credit card information,
     the security icon visible, if relevant. But, part                                    the window you are working in should have a
     of it has been replaced with malicious                                               little lock icon in the bottom right corner of
     purpose. This can be very difficult to spot.                                         the frame. This is the security certificate, and
         In these types of attack, the malicious                                          strictly speaking, you should click on the
     code is inserted in such a way that it runs in                                       icon, and check that the certificate is genuine
     your browser — the server of the bank or other                                       and was issued to the right organisation. This
     service has not been compromised. However,                                           is a pain, and there must be very few people
     there is a form of attack known as remote                                            who actually bother to do this, or even know
     code execution in which the web application                                          that it might be a wise thing to do. Such
     is itself tricked into executing the attacker’s                                      checks are being introduced into browsers,
     code. Very often, this results from weaknesses                                       but this has been very slow in coming.
     in PHP, one of the most common scripting                                                 You may think these security certificates
     languages used for creating web sites. Again,                                        are rock solid and reliable, but earlier this year,
     the relevant scripts can be triggered from                                           the commonly used OpenSSL package in
     within manipulated URLs. Many program-                                               Debian — used to generate the keys for this kind
     mers have simply assumed that their program                                          of encrypted communication — was found to
     will always receive valid input data at all                                          have contained a bug since 2006. This resulted
     times, and do insufficient validation of such                                        in the creation of weak keys. This makes the
                                                                                                  keys more predictable and the commu-
                                                                                                  nication therefore open to attack; the
                                                                                                  communication over which your credit
                                                                                                  card or other details might be passed.
                                                                                                      Finally, although our list of security
                                                                                                  vulnerabilities is going to be far from
                                                                                                  comprehensive, we should mention
                                                                                                  keyloggers, which are a particularly
                                                                                                  pernicious form of infiltrated software.
                                                                                                  You might pick up a keylogger in much
                                                                                                  the same way as a virus, trojan or worm.
                                                                                                  Once it is inside your system, it will do
                                                                                                  nothing to give away its presence, but it
                                                                                                  will sit there noting the keystrokes that
                                                                                                  are made and sending these off across
                                                                                                  the internet to the attacker. Of course, it
                                                                                                  will be looking for the tell-tale signs of
                                                                                                  credit card or banking information and
                                                                                                  the relevant PINs and passwords. It is
     data: URLs, form data, and so on.                   This second partial screen-      because of attacks such as these that some
         Many, if not all, of the websites with          shot is from a phishing          banks have started supplying virtual keyboards
     which we are likely to have online transac-         email, pretending to come        when you enter your password. With these,
                                                         from PayPal. Notice that
     tions are backed by large SQL databases.            the actual link that would
                                                                                          instead of using your physical keyboard to enter
     Again, problems occur when data that a user         be followed — in the             the password you use the keyboard on screen,
     might input is not filtered and checked prop-       window frame — is very           pressing keys with the mouse. The keylogger is
     erly by the web site. If this data has been         different from the one in        blind to this activity — at least up until now!
     manipulated in some way, a skilled attacker         the email text. This would           It should be clear by now that the complex-
                                                         for certain lead to a
     can make use of special SQL characters (typi-       spoofed site of some kind,       ity of modern computer systems carries with it
     cally, the comment and end-of-command               with a request to enter          a vast number of possibilities for attackers to
     characters) and infiltrate his own commands         personal data. Always            infiltrate systems and gain access to confiden-
     in order to execute an attack. With this kind       check the actual link when       tial data. The increasing trend towards such
                                                         following a link in an
     of attack, it is the web service that is the        email, and if it is for a site
                                                                                          concepts as cloud computing and Web 2.0,
     target, rather than the user directly. However,     involving financial trans-       involving more private data being hosted on
     there have been instances where attackers           actions, never click on          the internet and ever more code and transac-
     have been able to compromise an SQL data-           such a link                      tions being passed across the internet, is only
     base and access customers’ credit card and                                           likely to make the situation worse. In the
     transaction details.                                                                 following pages we describe the steps you can
         Another component in online transac-                                             take to protect yourself in that dangerous
     tions that is supposed to safeguard such                                             online world, and the software that can help
     details, and that has attracted attention in                                         you on the way. I


24   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                      www.thinkdigit.com
     Digital Passion l Cover Story



                    Cyber crime
                The new age menace
     Pradeep Narayan                                     I Install a personal firewall and anti-spy ware to
                                                         protect your PC.


     I
        n the current age of the IT revolution, more
        and more people are getting hooked into          I   Periodically change your online passwords.
        the cyber world for their various needs.
     There is a distinct reliance on computers and       I Check your credit card and bank statements
     the internet now for email, entertainment,          regularly and report any irregularities to the
     shopping (online shopping), airline and rail        relevant authorities.
     tickets, banking, trading and the list goes on.
     While it does make our lives simpler and            I  Modify Internet Explorer or other browser
     convenient, it also poses dangers to us in an       security settings to limit the amount of infor-
     unprecedented way by exposing their identity        mation you are willing to accept from a web
     in the public domain. Details of our personal       site. Microsoft recommends to set the security
     information, such as name, addresses, pass-         settings for the internet zone to medium or
     words and bank accounts are in the process of       higher.
     being attacked by various fraudsters, hackers,
     terrorists and criminals freely roaming the         The need to update your browser
     cyber world.                                        When you use the internet, you view web sites
         It makes perfect sense for users to under-      in a browser. A browser is a program that
     stand the online security threat they are           accesses and displays files and other data avail-
     exposed to while surfing the web. Just what are     able on the internet and other networks.
     those risks and threats that we are talking         Browser programs are frequently updated to
     about? Among dangers are hostile viruses, hack-     add functionality and address problems. If you
     ers accessing your system and stealing vital        are using an older version, there could be secu-
     information like credit card details and            rity issues (someone could hack into your
     committing fraud, unsecured wireless                computer).
     networks, spyware on your system, and
     identity theft.                                     How to do it?
         As a user, how can you enhance your online      Download the latest or updated browser you are
     security?                                           using from the company’s web site over the
         In the following section, we will discuss       internet. It might ask for information about
     the kind of risks that you are exposed to           your computer such as what operating system it
     and the ways in which you can tackle those          uses — Vista or Windows XP. Then follow the
     risks. There is no fool-proof system, but it        instructions on your screen.
     doesn’t hurt to be a little careful while on
     the internet.                                       I Save  it to your computer, it will be saved as an
                                                         executable file. Once the download is
     Guidelines                                          complete, go to the file where you saved it, and
                                                         double — click on it. This will automatically
     How to protect personal and work data               install the new browser on your computer.
     I Protect yourself with relevant software from
     viruses and trojan horses that may steal or         Be careful while doing online shopping
     modify data on your own computer. A trojan          I Shop online only with known and reputable
     horse program is software that claims to do         merchants; enter their URLs yourself, and do
     something genuine, but does exactly the oppo-       not click on links in emails; these may very well
     site. For example, a program that claims it will    contain hidden commands to trick you
     speed up your computer may actually be send-
     ing personal PC information to a hacker.            I Do not respond to any emails asking for
                                                         personal information
     I Update your PC with the latest anti-virus soft-
     ware and operating system patches. Make sure        I Check web sites’ privacy policy before provid-
     these updates happen automatically.                 ing any personal or financial information


26   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                     www.thinkdigit.com
     Digital Passion l Cover Story                                                                                                                                                                                     Digital Passion l Cover Story

     I Make sure your data is encrypted. Many sites       Criminals with    Tips to secure wireless networks                       secure connection, the address displayed              you can           menus. These scripts are used by hackers to
     use SSL, or secure sockets layer to encrypt                            I Change the default passwords as most                 should begin with https.                                                download or execute viruses on a user’s
     information. Indications that your informa-          malicious         network devices have a pre-configured default                                                                prevent active    computer. However, you can prevent active
     tion will be encrypted include a URL that            intent could      password and these are easily found online.            Spoofing attacks                                      content from      content from running in most browsers result-
     begins with https: instead of http: and a lock                                                                                I Spoofing attacks are as common as phishing                            ing in limiting some functionalities and
     icon in the bottom right corner of the               take advan-       I Install a firewall directly onto your wireless       frauds. The spoofed site is usually designed to       running in        features of some web sites. Therefore, before
     window.                                              tage and          devices (a host-based firewall). Attackers who         look like the genuine site, using a similar look      most browsers     clicking on a link to a web site that you are not
                                                                            directly intercept your wireless network may be        and feel to the legitimate site. The best way to                        familiar with or do not trust, disable
     I In case you doubt the legitimacy of the certifi-
                                                          access your       able to by-pass your network firewall and so           verify whether you are at a spoofed site is to
                                                                                                                                                                                         resulting in      active content.
     cate, refrain from entering any personal infor-      computer and      this does not offer sufficient protection.             verify the certificate.                               limiting some
     mation. If the site does not require you to enter
                                                          steal vital                                                                                                                    functionalities   Safeguarding online trading
     sensitive information, it probably won’t display                       I  Restrict access — only allow authorised users       I  “Lock” icon – check for the lock icon in the                         The risks involved in online trading are high.
     the lock icon.                                       information or    to access your network. Each piece of hardware         lower-right of the browser window. This tells         and features      Brokerages have information about you and
                                                          use your inter-   connected to a network has a MAC (media                you that the web site uses encryption to protect      of some web       this information is under attack by fraudsters.
     I Use a credit card instead of a debit card,                           access control) address. Restrict or allow access      sensitive personal information — credit card                            To gain access to these databases, attackers may
     because credit cards have pre-defined limits         net connec-       to your network by filtering MAC addresses. The        number, ATM PINs, Social Security number,             sites.            use trojan horses or other types of malicious
     and in case your credit card details are compro-     tion to commit    MAC address is a unique identifier for network-        etc. The lock only appears on sites that use an       Therefore,        code.
     mised this will minimise possible losses. Use                          ing hardware such as wireless network                  SSL connection, which is typically used only on
     credit cards with a low credit line.                 acts of fraud     adapters. A hacker can capture details about a         sites where you enter sensitive information.          before clicking   Tips to safeguard online trading
                                                          or terror         MAC address from your network and pretend to           The secure site lock icon when closed means           on a link to a    I You should thoroughly check the brokerages
     ICheck your statements to keep an eye on any                           be that device to connect to your network. MAC         that the site uses encryption. Double-click the                         you are trading with.
     unusual transactions                                                   filtering will still protect you from majority of      lock icon to display the security certificate for     web site that
                                                                            the hackers. Find the MAC address for your             the site. This certificate is proof of the identity   you are not       I Check through offline methods about broker-
     Cookies                                                                network adapters on your devices by following          for the site. While checking the certificate, the                       ages.
     While you browse the internet, information                             these steps:                                           name following “Issued to:” should match the
                                                                                                                                                                                         familiar with
     about your computer may be collected and                               1. Go to Start > Run                                   site you are on. In the event of the names not        or do not         I Check privacy policies of the site you are trad-
     stored fraudulently. To increase your level of                         2. Type command and press [Enter]                      matching, you are on a spoofed site and                                 ing with.
     security, adjust your privacy and security                             3. Type ipconfig /all in the command                   should quit.
                                                                                                                                                                                         trust, disable
     settings to block or limit cookies in your web                            prompt window and press [Enter]                                                                           active content    I Check about the legitimacy of the web site by
     browser. Make sure that other sites are not                            4. You can view the physical access address in         What is 128-bit SSL?                                                    checking their certificates.
     collecting personal information about you                                 the information displayed.                          SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”. It is a
     without your knowledge by choosing only to                                                                                    protocol designed to enable applications to                             I Check your accounts regularly for any suspi-
     allow cookies for the web site you are visiting.                       I Check the user documentation to get specific         transmit information back and forth securely.                           cious or unusual transaction.
     Block or limit cookies from any third-party. If                        information about the MAC Filtering process if         SSL is accepted on the world wide web for
     you are using a public computer, you should                            you have any more queries.                             authenticated and encrypted communication                               Counterfeit Web sites
     make sure that cookies are disabled to prevent                                                                                between the computer and servers.                                       Often you are guided to fraudulent web sites via
     other people from accessing or using your                              I  Encrypt the data on your network.                       Identity theft could result from both offline                       email and pop-up windows in order to collect
     personal information. In such a case, if you                           Encrypting the data would prevent anyone who           and online fraud. Offline frauds occur as a                             your personal information. You can detect such
     had been using Firefox, press [Shift] +                                might somehow be able to access your network           result of theft of your mails, credit cards, debit                      web sites if you type the said URL into a new
     [Ctrl] + [Del] and use the dialogue box                                from viewing your data.                                cards, and cheque books. You should be                                  browser window. If it does not take you to a
     that pops up to clear all personal data and                                                                                   cautious while receiving, storing and disposing                         legitimate web site, or you get an error message,
     history. It is not so straightforward in Internet                      I Protect your SSID (Service Set Identifier — An       information pertaining to cheques, ATM / debit                          it is a fake web site. Never click on a link in an
     Explorer, but, depending on the version, you                           SSID is the name of a WLAN). The SSID on wire-         and credit cards. Identity theft can happen                             email to a site involving financial transactions.
     can do the same thing under the menu Tools                             less clients can be set either manually, by enter-     even to those who do not shop, communicate,                             Either enter the URL by hand, or you will likely
     > Internet Options.                                                    ing the SSID into the client network settings, or      or transact online.                                                     already have your bank, eBay and other such
                                                                            automatically, by leaving the SSID unspecified                                                                                 sites bookmarked. Use those links instead.
     Unsecured wireless networks                                            or blank. A network administrator often uses a         Can others on the internet access my
     These pose a real security threat as seen from                         public SSID that is set on the access point and        information?                                                            Some Downloading tips
     the recent misuse by terrorists to send email                          broadcast to all wireless devices in range. You        Only if a secure session is established and the                         I Download programs from legitimate and
     warnings about imminent terror attacks.                                can disable the automatic SSID broadcast               information is encrypted during transmission,                           trustworthy sites. Enter the program in a
     Wireless networks allow criminals or hackers                           feature to improve network security.                   are you safe. However, some web browsers store                          search engine to check whether the program
     to intercept an unprotected connection.                                                                                       information on your computer even after you                             has been reported for spyware issues.
     Wardriving involves individuals equipped                               I To avoid outsiders from easily accessing your        have finished surfing. This phenomenon is
     with a computer, a wireless card, and a GPS                            network, avoid publicising your SSID. Consult          called caching. Close your browser once you                             IBe cautious when downloading free music,
     device driving through areas in search of                              user documentation to see if you can change            have finished surfing, especially secure sites to                       movies, software, and surfing file sharing sites.
     wireless networks and identifying the specific                         the default SSID to make it more difficult             conduct financial transactions.
     coordinates of a network location. Criminals                           to guess.                                                                                                                      I Read the privacy statements and licensing
     with malicious intent could take advantage                                                                                    Disable active content                                                  agreements of the software you download
     and access your computer and steal vital                               Secure your web page                                   Web sites use scripts that execute programs
     information or use your internet connection                            I Normally, when browsing the web, URLs                within the web browser. This active content can                         INever enter financial information in pop up
     to commit acts of fraud or terror.                                     begin with the letters http. However, over a           be used to create “splash pages” or drop-down                           windows. I


28   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                       www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                      DIGIT JANUARY 2009   29
     Digital Passion l Cover Story                                                                                                            Digital Passion l Cover Story
                                                                                                              as &, @, %, where permissible.


     Pass the word around                                                                                         You also need to be protective of your password once you are
                                                                                                              satisfied that it is strong and have memorized it. In 2004, a survey
                                                                                                              was conducted at a London railway station in which people were
                                                                                                              asked for their password — presumably in the interests of scien-
                                                                                                              tific enquiry — in return for a chocolate Easter egg. 71 per cent


     A
             lthough its demise has long been            passwords should also be changed at reason-          cooperated. Of course, we cannot know how many lied, but even
             predicted — and wished for by many —        able intervals. Make sure that you do not use        so this is a disturbing figure. It had been 90 per cent the year
             the password is still the most common       the same password that you have for a trans-         before, but then the gift had been an obviously more attractive
     form of identity authentication in use. At          actional website for any other website — news,       cheap pen. There is no reason why you should ever give your pass-
     first sight, the use of a password for authenti-    email, and so forth. Keep them secure, and do        word to anybody — that defeats the whole object of having a pass-
     cation seems straightforward and secure; but        not write them down. Ever.                           word in the first place. Some companies — utility companies have
     in practice the system has many limitations             A strong password is one that is difficult       been known to do this, for example — ask for passwords over the
     and inherent problems. We are forced to             to guess or search for automatically. The prob-      telephone. Always refuse to comply. Never tell your password(s) to
     continue to use them for the foreseeable            lem, of course, is that the stronger and more        anybody.
     future, so in this article we will have a look at   random a password is, the more difficult it is           It is well worth taking the trouble with financial sites to
     some of the problems and suggest                    to remember. Simply using long words from            memorize a couple of passwords that are specifically difficult to
     some solutions.                                     your natural language is not good enough.            remember — without any common phrase or letter combination.
         The single most important problem, of           You count this in different ways, but it is          But what if you need to remember more than just a couple? Many
     course, is memorability. One person known to        commonly considered that the English                 banks nowadays are requiring two passwords — one for login and
     us, we’ll call him John, can illustrate the         language consists of between one and two             one for transactions — you also may well have more than one
     worst way to use passwords. Until recently, he      hundred thousand words. It does not take a           bank account, perhaps also a credit card account or two, and
     used exactly the same user name and pass-           modern computer very long to go through              then there are shopping sites like eBay. It can soon become quite
     word for any internet site that required regis-     such a list. One email company had a reason-         a list of sites that require strong passwords, and the last thing
     tration. One day he wanted to look something        able attempt at improving on natural                 you want to do is write them down.
     up on a specialist knife site in the US. It         language passwords about 20 years ago: each              The present writer was once asked to help a colleague with a
     required registration, and he used his usual        password issued to users consisted of eight          problem concerning his laptop. This was a senior executive in a
     login. Luckily for him, he very quickly discov-     letters in pairs, forming four syllables. The        publishing company; such people often consider technical writers
     ered that orders were being placed using his        structure was like this: “gedovozu”. This was        to be extensions of the IT department. This chap’s password for his
     eBay account for items to be dispatched to          relatively easy to remember and was not part         email system was written in indelible ink on the outside of his
     Africa. Also luckily for him, Ebay responded        of any natural language set. Such passwords          laptop. That is the worst example, but also writing passwords down
     quickly in freezing his account and prevent-        are suitable for use with low risk websites,         any where is a bad idea; a small piece of paper kept under your
     ing any real harm from being done.                  but are not really strong enough for                 mousemat, or maybe in your wallet, and so on. Never write them
         What had happened appears to have been          financial sites.                                     down. Never.
     this: the knife site had some kind of auto-             The strength of a password lies in its               One possible way of recording a multiplicity of strong pass-
     mated system that would collect user names          entropy, or randomness. A similar method to          words is in an encrypted file, produced with software such as
     and passwords and then try them out, against        the one just described that produces much            WinRAR. With compression and archiving software such as
     eBay, Amazon, banks and other such online           stronger passwords involves the use of               WinRAR you have the option to password protect the file so that
     stores. Once it found a hit, it then started        mnemonic phrases — these tend to be rela-            only somebody with the password can open it and view the
     making orders — probably by alerting one or         tively easy to remember, and highly entropic.        contents. However, you need to use a strong password. A useful
     more humans with the successfully stolen            For example, the phrase “Robert likes to have        exercise to go through is to download password cracking soft-
     login information.                                  two sugars in his coffee” would yield                ware and try it out. This is software that is usually described as
         The first rule with passwords clearly has       “Rlth2sihc”. That has nine characters, one is        helping people who have forgotten their password. It will run
     to be to differentiate between sites that           upper case, and one other is a numeral. This         through all possible combinations using the character sets and
     involve financial transactions and any other        is much stronger than the more simple                password lengths that you define.
     kind of important personal information, and         “gedovozu”.                                              Try one of these out with a file protected by a weak password;
     all others. For example, you may well need to           The entropy of a password depends on the         once you have seen how quickly this can be done, you will take
     register to access some newspaper sites, or         number of possible combinations. If you just         much more care to use strong passwords in future. One further
     other general information sites. These organi-      stick to lower case letters, a four character        point with this method is that when you view the file, do just
     sations request registration in order to keep a     password has a total of 26^4 (26 to the power        that and only that, and do not extract to disk unless you need to
     check on the number and types of people             4) combinations: 4,56,976. This seems like a         edit it and add something new. If you do have to do that, also
     visiting their sites in order to give a better      large number, but a computerised search              make sure not only that you delete the file after it has been re-
     service. It hardly matters if you use the same      could zip through these in little time, and          archived, but that you immediately create a new file of the same
     login and relatively simple, easy to remember,      anyway, most combinations would be diffi-            name and at least the same size in the same directory — this can
     passwords with these sites. There is usually no     cult to remember, and so would end up not            simply consist of rubbish, and should ensure that the informa-
     risk of loss of personal information that           being used. You increase the entropy by              tion in the file will be removed from the hard drive. You can
     might lead to theft of goods or money.              increasing both the number of characters in          immediately delete it. There are also utilities that you can down-
         However, the situation is very different        the password and the number of character             load that will do this for you, when you wish to delete a sensitive
     with sites that involve financial transactions.     sets from which they are drawn. So, a strong         file; they are probably more certain to delete all data, but the
     These need to have strong passwords — that          password should include at least eight char-         method just given should work on most occasions. And one final
     subject will be discussed shortly — and prefer-     acters, drawn from both upper and lower case         point, do not name your archive “my_passwords.rar” or anything
     ably a different password for each site. These      letters, numerals and other characters, such         even remotely similar! I


30   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                  www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                     DIGIT JANUARY 2009   31
     Digital Passion l Cover Story

     “There’s flexibility and security and we are
     somewhat in between...”
     Eugene Kaspersky is a leading expert in information    secure operating systems. But it doesn’t mean
     security and the founder of Kaspersky Lab, a company   that Microsoft will leave because by (using)
     producing anti-virus and other computer security       default configurations you may make the
     products. He visited India recently, and Digit’s       Microsoft Windows secure, it will just not
     Edward Henning caught up with him at his hotel in      accept any other application but Microsoft’s.
     Delhi.
                                                            EH: Well, they have been trying to move in
     EH: You have described the situation with              that direction for many years anyway.
     modern aeroplanes where the onboard
     networks can be attacked. The passengers’              K: There are companies that share our business,
     network which can connect to the internet is           they configure their desktops, their windows
     also physically connected to the pilots’               desktops at enterprises in a secure way. But it is
     network. How aware are the aeroplane manu-             not possible to install any application
     facturers of this threat? And do they care?
                                                            EH: So, what OS do you personally use?
     K: We got this news about this mistake in the
     Dreamliner, the Boeing 787, and the first              K: MS Windows XP SP3. I even use Internet
     person who came to my office was our lawyer. I         Explorer, but I have a special configuration for
     said, “Do you know of this news?” and I                security, so I am safe.
     explained that there was a certain mistake and
     whatever. And he said “I can’t believe it; this        EH: So many people are just complacent, they
     network has to be physically disconnected” — so        think it will happen to somebody else, it won’t
     our lawyer understands security more than              happen to them, it’s very difficult to make
     these guys.                                            people sit up and listen and take
                                                            notice, is it not?
     EH: You have described how operating
     systems are flexible and functional and there-         K: Now it’s better because now people, they see,
     fore as a result are not secure. If you go out in      they know that at least some friend or friend of
     the physical world, because of the threats of          a friend lost some money or was badly affected,
     terrorism — that’s on everybody’s minds here           so now they pay more attention. The problem is
     in India right now — we are now prepared as            that they do not pay enough attention in the
     members of the public to accept greater                social networks. They think in a community,
     restrictions on our freedom in order to                they trust everyone in a community, they give
     protect ourselves. Do you think a tipping              out some data, some personal information —
     point will come where we’ll say “OK, stop              sometimes it’s enough to develop a very dedi-
     Microsoft, we want really secure operating             cated attack or to have some serious affects on
     systems, we don’t care if there’s less function-       the person.
     ality, we need security above and beyond
     everything else”?                                      EH: But the whole idea there is to make your
                                                            personal information available to as a wide
     K: Actually there are two sides; there’s flexibil-     an audience as possible.
     ity and security and we are somewhat in
     between and if the situation is getting more           K: Again, there has to be some kind of balance.
     aggressive, if there are more attacks, such as         If everyone is friends, you can publish anything
     terrorist attacks with airports for e.g., with         you want. If there are criminals around, you
     more attacks they are getting less flexible and        don’t publish any data. So you have to find a
     more secure. Like now to enter this hotel;             balance. I am not registered in any social
     you’re not flexible at all.                            network. Well, actually, I am registered in one,
                                                            but when I came to publish some personal data,
     EH: And that’s a good thing                            I just stopped and then I never used it. I don’t
                                                            even have my picture on it. Just the year of birth.
     K: And the same is happening with operating                It’s dangerous. It’s very useful for people
     systems. If you see that there are more cyber          who live in cities because people just feel alone.
     criminals, I think there will be not so much           So they need to have some community and this
     attention from the public. There is a cost to          is the place for them. But at the same time…
     business, but others just don’t recognise it as a
     serious problem. But if it comes to cyber terror-      EH: On another subject, correct me if I’m
     ism, I think we will be forced to use more             wrong, cloud computing as described by many


32   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                        www.thinkdigit.com
     Digital Passion l Cover Story
     companies seem to be a huge increase in secu-                            transactions you make. You may have two
     rity risk. Have all my data, my processes, my
                                                           I use MS           banks, a credit card, it’s getting increasingly
     applications and put it out there in the big          Windows XP         difficult for people to manage it without writ-
     wide world, it strikes me as crazy, what is your                         ing the wretched thing down, which I think is
     opinion on this?
                                                           SP3. I even use    the biggest security risk you can make with a
                                                           Internet           password. Do you have any particular advice
     K: If there is some expensive application which       Explorer, but I    on password management?
     you don’t need regularly, just rent it. It will
     work. e.g., taxation software once a year. Last       have a special     K: What I do, the numbers, like pin codes, it’s
     year there was a very curious story, a Microsoft      configuration      hidden somewhere in my address book of my
     patch upgrade which had a bug and which                                  mobile phone. So it’s just some contact; it’s
     stopped financial taxation software in                for security, so   built in and its quite secure, I mean if it’s
     Germany. And that happened just before April          I am safe          stolen or lost they can’t recognize which
     1st, the last day of taxation, and after that there                      contact is real and which is not and where
     is penalty. The most popular software stopped                            these digits are located. That’s secure ... I
     working and that was a very, very big scandal in                         think that’s secure. So they have to steal at
     Germany. There were many complaints about                                the same time, mobile phone and your card.
     Microsoft. Some services will be online and                              But in this case you can call bank to ask some-
     some will be end point.                                                  one to help you.
                                                                                  For the passwords, make it in such a way: if
     EH: One service that has to be online is regu-                           something really important has happened in
     lar updates. Now, is that not a vulnerability in                         my life especially if I need to create a new pass-
     itself?                                                                  word; I’d like to add some name of a place or
                                                                              name of a person which I will remember for
     K: Actually this service is not; I don’t want to                         sure; some digits like the date it happened but
     call it online, because you download anyway, so                          put in a different position. It’s easy to remem-
     its stored locally. You send some data there and                         ber, so even if the password is lost, you forgot it,
     they report to you if it’s dangerous or not. So                          just remember the place you were the moment
     the decision maker is offline. Not offline is                            you developed the password and in which way
     remote. And about the updates, if they are a                             you use digits and other letters. It’s easy to
     risk or not, there was an incident with some                             remember.
     anti-malware product when there was a fake
     update and there was a serious problem with a                            EH: Unfortunately, regarding these methods,
     company which infected computers through                                 many banks are now using a virtual keyboard
     the update.                                                              which only allows lower case and only allows
                                                                              numerals, this is introducing restriction and
     EH: The risk is always there. If you step out of                         forcing passwords to be less entropic.
     your front door, you are always at risk.
                                                                              K: What the malware does; it makes a snapshot
     K: Especially if you do it regularly!                                    of the screen.

     K: I read that your mobile security now incor-                           EH: So you like to have a long password, that
     porates functionality to wipe the phone if it’s                          has meaning to you?
     stolen or something like that. Now, does that
     not include some risk of you know if I am                                K: At least 10 to 12 letter/digits. Then also I have
     using my phone and suddenly it goes wrong                                another way for the non-Latin alphabets; in
     and it gets wiped?                                                       India do you have two alphabets? Latin one and
                                                                              Indian. So just hear some phrase in Indian and
     K: There is a password which you can set your-                           type it on the keyboard. Probably one of the
     self so you can use it as complicated a password                         best ways to write passwords is to type a
     as you like and if you use a secure password it’s                        sentence which is not English, using the second
     very unlikely that someone will … it will take                           alphabet, but having the keyboard switched to
     like 1 billion SMS messages to brute-force the                           English. It will be a mess. It will be a very, very
     password. That’s impossible.                                             strange combination of letters and digits. For
                                                                              example, if I type my name (types on keyboard) it
     EH: You mentioned in your response there the                             will be (more typing) — I’m just typing my name
     use of a password as an authentication device.                           in Cyrillic, and switch the keyboard. It’s easy to
     It’s getting increasingly difficult for people                           remember but this is a mess. And the best way
     out there even to know what a strong pass-                               to protect your credit card or to protect your
     word is and then to remember them; you                                   computer — just have a sticker with the wrong
     know you have your bank, banks now want                                  password on it. Or write a wrong number on
     two passwords, one for logging in and one for                            your credit card. Let them try. I


34   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                           www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                       Digital Passion l Main Story




             techThe


           that powered
                                                                                                As we recover from the horror
                                                                                                of the Mumbai attacks, we are
                                                                                                now horrified by another
                                                                                                thought: how did this gang get
                                                                                                the technological one-up on
                                                                                                our forces? And how must the
                                                                                                good guys fight them?




                       evil
                                                                                         however, this is considerably more complex.
                                                                                              Firstly, it isn’t the satellite that is calculat-
                                                                                         ing the receiver’s position, it’s the receiver
                                                                                         itself. Secondly, GPS doesn’t need a satellite, it
                                                                                         needs at least four. There are around 32 satel-
                                                                                         lites in orbit dedicated to GPS, so finding four
                                                                                            usually isn’t a problem. Your receiver moni-
                                                                                             tors the four strongest signals that it
                                                                                              receives — signals that contain information
                                                                                               about the satellite’s own orbit, and the
                                                                                               rough orbits of other satellites. It then uses
                                                                                              the time it took for each message and calcu-
                                                                                              lates its distance from the satellite. Finally,
                                                                                           using a method called geometric trilateration —
                                                                                         for which it uses the orbital information for the
                                                                                         satellites — it calculates its position on Earth.
Related                                                                                       Google Earth uses photos of the Earth taken
story on   Agent 001                                                                     by satellites, and slaps them on a virtual
  page
  21
                                                                                         sphere. The result, as you’ve already seen, is a


           I
              t’s been all over the news — “Mumbai                                       virtual world that you can tour on your desk-
              attacks reveal sophisticated use of technol-                               top. Want to see a top view of Everest? It’s there.
              ogy”, “Gunmen used technology as tactical
           tool”, “Mumbai terrorists more tech-savvy than
           the police” — but while the mainstream media
           winds up portraying these terrorists as the evil
           geeks you only see in movies, or saying that the
           technology is to blame, the reality is that these
           terrorists just got creative. What they really did
           was to combine some simple tech, and use it to
           deadly effect.

           The Tech:
           GPS and Google Earth
           What they used it for:
           Navigating their way to India,
           planning the attack, getting          Fighting it
           around Mumbai (likely).               It’s safe to expect that the Google-Earth-national-security issue will be dredged up
                                                 again, and we wouldn’t be surprised at a few demands to ban the software itself.
           How it works:                               There might even be a similar outcry against GPS, but that won’t last long. The
           In concept, the Global                bottom line is that both these technologies have caused more good than harm, and
           Positioning System (GPS) is           it would be a crying shame to limit them in any manner. GPS is an important tool
           pretty simple. You ask your GPS       on aircraft, ships, cars, and now even cell phones. And because a GPS device doesn’t
           receiver where you are, the           send any personal information to the satellites, it’s impossible to tell who’s using
           receiver asks a satellite, the        which device.
           satellite sends back an answer,            The smarter plan? Master both and use them to plan counter-terrorist activities.
           and there you go. In reality,


           www. thinkdigit.com                                                                                              DIGIT JANUARY 2009    35
     Digital Passion l Main Story                                                                                                                                                                                                      Digital Passion l Main Story

     Niagara Falls? The Pyramids? The Taj Mahal?                                                                                                                                                                         tion involved, and the recipient can even reply to
     There, there, and there. It also has GPS coordi-                                                                                                                                                                    the e-mail, which will reach you through the
     nates, so if you were to feed them into your GPS                                                                                                                                                                    remailer. And of course, because it’s so simple,
     receiver, it’ll give you directions on how to get                                                                                                                                                                   it’s easy to tell where an e-mail really came from.
     there from where you are.                                                                                                                                                                                                For more secure e-mail, you need a cypher-
                                                                               your data to reach you as fast as possible,                                                                                               punk remailer, to which you send an encrypted e-
     Why it’s “evil”:                                                          through as many routes as necessary, and your                                                                                             mail, which the server then decrypts and sends
     GPS and Google Earth are powerful technolo-                               phone will take care of converting all the lohels                                                                                         to the recipient. It’s more sophisticated than
     gies on their own, but when combined, make                                to hellos. When you request data over your                                                                                                just hiding your name and IP address, and to
     for an excellent planning tool. A GPS receiver                            mobile network, your provider sends it to your                                                                                            make your e-mail even harder to trace, you can
     will give you directions to your destination, and                         phones on all the frequencies your phone can                                                                                              have it go through two, three or four remailers.
     Google Earth shows you what you’ll see when                               access, but not in order. This is called packet-                                                                                          Anyone who’d want to trace your e-mail would
     you get there. While you’re on your way, GPS                              switching — each antenna on the network                                                                                                   have a formidable (though still not impossible)
     receivers can’t show you visual landmarks, but                            decides the best route for each packet, so each                                                                                           task ahead of them.
     Google Earth can. And most importantly, when                                                        packet    takes    the                                                                                               And then there’s the mixmaster remailer,
     you’re on a little boat on its way to Mumbai,                                                       fastest possible route                                                                                          which adds to the goodness of the cypherpunk,
     and don’t really know the way, GPS will let you                                                     to your phone.               When you don’t want                                                                and even needs you to have special software
     navigate there easily.
                                                         Fighting it                                                                  the recipient of an e-       Fighting it                                           installed on your computer. But this isn’t
         Google Earth has long been criticised by        Thankfully, this isn’t hard — once the          Why it’s “evil”:             mail to know where it        Remailers are actually being fought                   entirely anonymous either, but was designed to
     several world leaders — former President A. P.      authorities know the offending number,           It isn’t. But you know      came from, you first         against even as you read this. Unless you             make it really difficult and time consuming for
     J. Abdul Kalam, among others — for revealing        they can shut it down, tap its calls, even       that already. Having        send it to a remailer,       have your own remailer server, you                    anyone to trace e-mails.
     the locations of important military installa-       track the phone’s position. They can also        an Internet connec-         which strips the e-mail      never know when one will be taken
     tions across the world. In the US, Google has       see which sites the phone’s user is visit-       tion on your phone is       of all your informa-         down. However, sitting back and hoping                Why it’s “evil”:
     been asked to obscure important locations           ing, and block them if necessary. As for         about as evil as            tion, and then sends it      for remailers to vanish is silly at best.             All right, so this one might qualify as a little
     such as the White House, and mysteriously,          the news, sites could stop reporting live        having a computer at        on its way, complete         Our forces need better experts, and                   evil. People use remailers to cover their tracks,
     the residence of former vice-president Dick         news — especially if that news talks             home. Some sites            with dud reply-to            more importantly, time, if they are to                and any activity that involves track-covering
     Cheney. The argument was that Google Earth          about the police’s plans. Then again,            have emphasised the         address.       They’re       trace e-mails through remailers. So even              can’t be good.
     could potentially be, well, a tool in the hands     stopping live news means that nobody             BlackBerry, as if it        supposed to make your        if the “Deccan Mujahideen” wasn’t
     of terrorists.                                      knows what’s going on, which means               were a deadly tool in       e-mail anonymous, but        really responsible for the attacks, trac-             The Tech:

     The Tech:
                                                         rumours, panic, and all the nastiness
                                                         that comes with it. As for the e-mail
                                                                                                          the wrong hands, but
                                                                                                          really, it’s just an
                                                                                                                                      there’s no such thing
                                                                                                                                      as purely anonymous
                                                                                                                                                                   ing their e-mail can lead us to tomor-
                                                                                                                                                                   row’s attackers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         VoIP phones
     BlackBerrys                                         issue, soon after the dispute arose, RIM
                                                         allowed Indian security agencies to
                                                                                                          innocent device with
                                                                                                          its     name      being
                                                                                                                                      on the Internet —
                                                                                                                                      there’s just harder to
     What they used it for:                              monitor the BlackBerry network, and in           dragged through the         track. And depending on how hard-to-track you
     Coordinating with each other, tracking news         July 2008, the service was cleared by the        mud. It could just          want your e-mail to be, you can use one of three
     via GPRS                                            telecom ministry.                                have      easily   been     types of remailers.
                                                                                                          Nokias       or    Sony         The pseudonymous remailer is the simplest — it
     How it works:                                                                                        Ericssons in that boat.     replaces your e-mail and IP addresses with its
     General Packet Radio Service                                                  There have, however, been concerns regard-         own and sends your e-mail. No complex encryp-
     (GPRS) is another technology                                              ing the BlackBerry e-mail service. In India,
     that’s been around for ages,                                              communication technologies are required by             What you used
     and is relatively simple in                                               law to allow for “lawful interception” — if the
     concept. It uses the same                                                 government suspects you of unsavoury activi-            While those three days showed us terrorists can use simple technology for
     signal that your voice travels                                            ties, it needs to be able to monitor your phone,        evil, we also saw people attempt use technology for good.
     on when you’re on a call,                                                 e-mail and other means of communication.                                                                                                  What they used it for:
     only with a few variations to                                             The BlackBerry service, however, doesn’t allow          The Tech: Twitter                                                                 “Phoning home” and getting orders from
     make data transfer faster.                                                for such interception, which is why security            What you used it for: Telling your friends you were all right, asking people to   their handlers
         When you’re talking with                                              agencies wanted to ban it. An e-mail service            go donate blood, telling the world what’s going on
     someone (or “exchanging                                                   that cannot be monitored could be a great tool                                                                                            How it works:
     voice information”), all the                                              in the hands of terrorists, they said.                  How it helped: Reassured friends and family, covered news that the agencies       Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
     data that comes and goes                                                      Supposed security risks aside, there is no          weren’t reporting                                                                 has been around since the first days of the
     from your phone is circuit-                                               evidence that suggests that Mumbai terrorists                                                                                             Internet, and it’s simple enough too — it uses
     switched — all the “packets” of                                           used their BlackBerrys for e-mail.                      How it didn’t: Fostered conspiracy theories, added to the confusion, possibly     your Internet connection to transmit voice
     data travel in sequence, and                                                                                                      kept terrorists updated when news channels stopped broadcasting live news         between people. The problem with the
     on the same frequency. This                                               The Tech:                                                                                                                                 Internet, however, is that it’s a packet-
                                                                                                                                       The Tech: Flickr
     is important, because you
     want people to hear you say
                                                                               Remailers                                               What you used it for: Documenting the carnage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         switched network, which means that packets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         of data don’t reach their destination in the
     “hello” and not “lohel”.                                                  What they used it for:                                  How it helped: Some photos — especially by Vinukumar Ranganathan —                right sequence. With voice, of course, this will
     When you’re surfing the                                                   Telling the media that they were responsible,           surpassed what the mainstream media could get                                     not do at all – which is why several technolo-
     Internet, however, this isn’t                                             without being traceable.                                How it didn’t: Apart from conveying information, pictures aren’t much use         gies had to be developed to ensure that voice
     as important — you want                                                   How it works:                                                                                                                             travelled the pipes without any problems.


36   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                         www. thinkdigit.com   www. thinkdigit.com                                                                                                 DIGIT JANUARY 2009   37
     Digital Passion l Main Story
     Skype, for instance, uses its own proprietary                                       VoIP for their activities, and a report in
     technology to make sure that voice reaches                                          October last year highlighted that the Taliban
     you fast and clearly.                                                               was using Skype to keep in touch. The prob-
                                                                                         lem? To ensure that your voice calls aren’t
     Why it’s “evil”:                                                                    overheard, VoIP providers build secure, propri-
     Several governments, including our own,                                             etary technologies that make it very difficult
     already hate VoIP for robbing the telecom                                           for hackers to eavesdrop on your calls.
     sector of all the money they could make on                                          Naturally, it also becomes difficult for the law
     international                                                                       to tap these calls.
     calls. But that’s
     hardly the point.
                           Fighting it                                                   Waking Up
     The real prob-                                                                      With prior terrorist attacks, finding the
     lem with VoIP is      While VoIP calls are difficult to trace and tap,              perpetrators was a matter of some old-fash-
     that it’s consid-     they aren’t impossible. Unfortunately, these                  ioned police work. It was slow, but let’s admit
     erably       more     can be time-consuming processes, and in a                     it — a few days after the blasts, it was only the
     secure than cell      situation like Mumbai, we can’t afford that                   police who were frustrated. We just returned
     phones.      Calls    time. To make its job easier, the FBI is pushing              to our daily lives — a little rattled, but our
     made from VoIP        for a law that will require VoIP service                      shock swiftly gave way to the stress of every-
     phones can only       providers to build backdoors in their software,               day existence. These attacks, however, were
     be traced to the      which law enforcement agencies can use to tap                 different. For three days, we sat glued to our
     point       where     calls when necessary. The same laws already                   TVs, horrified, helpless, frustrated, angry,
     they           get    exist for telecom providers since 1994, when                  imprisoned. After watching so many movies
     converted from        the FBI’s surveillance activities were thwarted               and shows where the good guys use sophisti-
     regular      voice    by new technologies like call forwarding and                  cated technology to overcome terrorists in
     data to Internet      cell phones.                                                  minutes, we were shocked that our police
     data. Once the            The only good thing that emerged from the                 force was so ill-equipped. While the terrorists
     data enters the       terrorists using VoIP phones was that the digi-               knew the hotels in intimate detail, our forces
     Internet,        it   tal trail could potentially lead the authorities              didn’t even have night vision goggles to navi-
     bounces around        to their handlers. If the group was more reluc-               gate the dark corridors. While the terrorists         Related
     servers     across    tant to use phones while they conducted the                   kept in touch with each other and their               story on
     the globe before      attacks, the trail would have ended at the last               handlers using cell phones and VoIP, our                page
                                                                                                                                                103
     it reaches its        terrorist alive.                                              forces didn’t even use walkie-talkies to coor-
     destination.                                                                        dinate their counter-attack. The snipers
     Worse, even if                                                                      stationed outside the Taj couldn’t open fire,
     you find out which number the call was made                                         because they couldn’t tell whether they were
     to, determining its position can be a pain. The                                     looking at terrorists or hostages. Because
     recipient of a call could have a New York                                           their rifles didn’t have telescopes.
     phone number, but could still be in the room                                            If you’ve played “realistic” games like
     next to the caller, which is why terrorists                                         Counter-strike and Rainbow Six, you probably
     seem to love it.                                                                    thought that you and your clan could have
         For a few years now, the FBI has been issu-                                     done a better job with the situation. Quite
     ing warnings that militants have been using                                         likely, but you’d have to consider that you’d
                                                                                         be using real guns, and there’s no starting
                                                                                         from a save point. But we digress.
      Open source terrorism                                                                  Now, home minister P. Chidambaram has
      The Mumbai attacks are part of a disturbing trend that experts are calling         announced a massive overhaul of our security
      open-source warfare. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that terrorists are            system, though we still don’t have details on
      releasing their plans to the public — they’re using technology and the philoso-    what that will be. We are assuming (and
      phies of open source software to wreak havoc. The scary thing about this           hoping) that this overhaul includes updating
      scenario is that terrorist outfits needn’t start with the big organisations like   our forces’ tools, and training them on all the
      the Al Qaeda — all it takes is a single terrorist.                                 technology they’ll need to take down any
                                                                                         terrorists. As for the technologies themselves,
      The open source philosophy: release often, even if the software is buggy           the debate still rages.
      The terrorists’ corruption: attack often, even if there isn’t a concrete plan          Even if you were to believe that technol-
                                                                                         ogy was the villain here, where do we go from
      The open source philosophy: recruit as many developers as possible                 here? Will we see bans on mobile phones and
      The terrorists’ corrpution: recruit as many “warriors” as possible                 GPS receivers? We must face the fact that
                                                                                         even innocuous, everyday technology can be
      The open source philosophy: use solutions that have worked with other proj-        used for malicious purposes, and focus
      ects                                                                               instead on using that same technology
      The terrorists’ corrpution: find out how other outfits are bypassing security      against the terrorists. I
                                                                                                                    agent001@thinkdigit.com


38   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                  www. thinkdigit.com
                                                                           Digital Passion l Main Story




                            Digital Rights
                            Management
                            A necessary evil or an evil that's not necessary?
Terry Relph-Knight                                           The history of information
                                                             protection and copyright

D
        igital Rights Management (DRM) refers                It may seem that only in the digital age has the
        to any scheme used to protect the copy-              protection of data become a problem, but
        right of digital content using a system of           means have always been sought to protect valu-
encryption that often includes remote monitor-               able information. The ancient Greeks formed
ing and control by the copyright owners. The                 groups that protected their knowledge of
development of the various forms of DRM has                  physics and geometry by keeping it secret.
largely been driven by the large media compa-                Secrecy was enforced by ritual and the threat
nies as a response, they say, to the effect of large         of punishment.
scale copying on their revenues. Rather than                     In Europe, in the middle ages, the knowl-
rely on the passive protection of copyright law              edge associated with various crafts such as
these companies have gone on the offensive                   gold working was treated as being of great
with active digital rights management.                       value and was kept secret by organisations
    DRM encompasses a range of embedded                      known as guilds. These trade guilds flour-
software and hardware measures for all digital               ished between the 11th and 16th centuries,
media that attempt to physically stop unautho-               although some of them have survived in
rised use and copying. Since DRM at least                    attenuated form until today. Similar guilds,
appears to be a method of enforcing copyright,               known as Shreni and Benin, operated in India
any discussion of DRM must include a discus-                 as long ago as 300 C.E.
sion of copyright itself.                                        This simple principle of secrecy is still a part
    The advantages and disadvantages of DRM                  of the protection of information today and it
for the copyright owner and the consumer and                 ranges from the secret keys used in encryption
the legal, ethical and ideological issues                    to proprietary methods and information.
surrounding DRM are by no means clear. In this                   At least until the invention of the moveable
feature we explore the ins and outs of DRM as                type printing press by Gutenburg in 1439,
they stand today.                                            books, paintings and musical performances
                                                             could be copied, but almost as much knowl-
                                                             edge, skill and effort was required as was
                                                             needed to create the originals. This difficulty in
                                                             itself provided a fair degree of protection. This
                                                             illustrates that very often just making some-
 Photograph: Jiten Gandhi




                                                             thing difficult enough to copy provides enough
                                                             protection, at least for economic purposes.
 Ashwini Baviskar




                                                                 The first UK laws on copyright on books
                                                             and other writings were laid down in 1710
                                                             with the Statute of Anne, apparently prompted
                                                             even then by the piracy of printed books.
                                                             Copyright law in India was first introduced in
                                                             1847 under the East India Company’s regime.
                                                                 Relatively recently actions have been taken
                                                                                 to attempt to bring copy-
                                                                                 right laws up-to-date, so
                                                                                 they are better able to deal
                                                                                 with the issues raised by
                                                                                 digital technology. In 1998


www.thinkdigit.com                                                                            DIGIT JANUARY 2009    39
     Digital Passion l Main Story                                                                                                                                                 Digital Passion l Main Story
     America passed the Digital Millenium                 vidual may make use of the work, is reasonable         with the content providers that iTunes down-        distributed via terrestrial transmission, satel-
     Copyright Act (DMCA), an act that apparently         and permissible. The problem with the first            loads should not be easy to copy.                   lite or cable. Video is appearing on the internet,
     criminalises the circumvention of DRM protec-        position is that digital technologies routinely             Some music download sites use license vali-    but for high quality video download or stream-
     tion, even when there is no infringement of          make copies as part of their function, for exam-       dation servers which validate a users right to      ing to become a viable reality, a huge increase
     copyright itself. In 2001, the European              ple when reading a web page, the page is copied        play tracks they have downloaded. There have        in bandwidth and capacity will be required.
     Parliament passed the European Union                 or cached.                                             been several recent examples of music down-         ISPs are already complaining that streaming
     Copyright Directive, which addresses some of                                                                load sites closing down with the result that        services, such as the BBCs iPlayer, are causing
     the concerns of the US DMCA, but leaves one of       Piracy and the big media companies                     many users are left with tracks they have paid      network congestion.
     its principle issues, that of limiting the liabil-   The big media companies seem to refuse to              for but can no longer play because the valida-           It has been said that, despite trumpeting
     ity of ISPs to prosecution, to the separate          believe that falling sales are anything to do          tion servers are no longer available.               the high quality of CD Audio when it was first
     Electronic Commerce Directive. The original          with natural market cycles, or changes in soci-             DRM adds complexity and expense to prod-       introduced, some elements of the music busi-
     form of the DMCA, which illustrates just how         ety, or to accept that just possibly their own         ucts that implement it. Although adding             ness always felt nervous about providing the
     convoluted such things can become, appeared          reactionary business practices — diminishing           encryption to individual protected copies costs     public with studio quality recordings that
     to make cryptographic research illegal.              interest in developing new artists, reliance on        little, after all a necessary requirement from      could be copied digitally with absolutely no
         In 2006, the Indian Copyright office posted      a few guaranteed high return headliners and            the replicators and copyright holders, it does      loss in quality.
     proposals to amend the Copyright Act of 1957         re-selling old back catalogue as re-mastered on        affect both hardware, in the form of media
     (last amended in 1999) on its website. One of        new media — have caused loss of interest.              players and software in the form of operating       Music downloads – Apple iTunes
     the proposed amendments seeks to introduce           Instead, they say, it has to be piracy that’s          systems. A considerable amount of Microsoft’s       Apples iTunes is one of the most well known
     the issue of Digital Rights Management (DRM)         bleeding the life blood out of the already mori-       development effort for the Vista OS went in to      and arguably most successful, of the digital
     into Indian copyright law along the lines of         bund industry. Around eight years ago music            implementing DRM to the big media compa-            music download sites. It exists mainly to act as
     the DMCA.                                            industry analysts noticed increasingly sharp           nies’ satisfaction. Vista incorporates what         the service site for the various versions of
         All of these methods of protection are           drop off’s in sales, following the release of a        Microsoft call a Protected Environment (PE) to      Apple’s portable music player devices, such as
     primarily passive and defensive. Digital tech-       new CD. In the nineties, second week sales             protect High Definition content. This creates a     the iPod and iPhone. iTunes client software is
     nology has finally made it relatively easy for       would typically fall by less than 25 per cent. In      corridor through the operating system called a      bundled with every iPod sold. Apple iTunes
     copyright holders to protect their property by       2002, second week sales were dropping by over          Protected Media Path (PMP), which, in theory,       uses the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format
     active and offensive means. At their most            40 per cent. The music industry took this as a         cannot be broken into. Device bus communica-        for its downloadable audio files. AAC is a lossy
     extreme, these measures make it possible to          clear sign that small scale piracy — people            tions (which are accessible to users) associated    compression format intended as the successor
     automatically punish anyone who exceeds the          making copy CDs for their friends — was                with this process, are encrypted.                   to MP3, that has been standardized by ISO and
     limits of the copyright and may no longer            responsible. This is despite the fact that the              DRM has a negative effect on open source       IEC, as part of the MPEG-2 & MPEG-4 specifica-
     adhere to legal, but to almost arbitrary limits,     same argument — that sales of vinyl LPs were           development, particularly on projects that are      tions. The MPEG-2 standard contains several
     chosen at the whim of the copyright holder and       suffering because people were copying them to          dedicated to pure open source, because all DRM      audio coding methods, including the MP3
     further, to analyse, manipulate and control its      tape — had been used to raise an indiscrimi-           involves proprietary methods and code. At pres-     coding scheme. Apple iTunes is an application
     customer base.                                       nate blanket tax on blank cassette tapes, back         ent, playing protected Blu-ray content on a         designed to run on an internet-connected PC
         A further difficulty for the international       in the 1970s at a time when the music industry         Linux box requires use of a device or player key,   running either MS Windows or an Apple Mac
     media companies is that copyright law varies         was experiencing rapid growth. In India it             none of which have been issued for open source      OS (note there is no version for Linux, although
     from country to country. In some countries it is     seems the cassette tape actually created a             software players. However the keys for the X        it can be hacked). Apple uses a version of AAC
     perfectly legal to make multiple copies ‘for         booming market for pop music.                          Box 360 and all of the popular Windows soft-        that includes its proprietary DRM extensions it
     personal use’. The term ‘fair use’, it seems, is         As we reported in a previous feature               ware players are now public knowledge and can       calls FairPlay. This puts iTunes subscribers in
     often mis-quoted; in the US it refers to the right   (February 2007 issue) on peer-to-peer technol-         be used by Linux players.                           the peculiar position of downloading AAC files,
     to quote short exerts of a copyrighted work for      ogy, it has been suggested that DRM should be               Open source opponents of DRM are often         with FairPlay DRM extensions, which will only
     the purposes of commentary, criticism, news          abandoned and a similar tax or rather levy (to         the most rabid. The Free Software Foundation        play on their registered version of iTunes on
     reporting, research and other similar purposes.      be accurate, a tax is imposed by government,           (FSF) runs ‘Defective by Design’ campaigns and      their computer, on an iPod or on an iTunes
     The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)          while an industry administered surcharge is            recently launched such an attack on Apple           capable phone. However it is possible to burn
     has actually reduced the scope of ‘fair use’.        more properly called a levy) be placed on broad-       because the new MacBooks incorporate Apple’s        the AAC files to a CD-R as MP3 files. The
         Prosecution of the owners of web sites           band connections and recordable CDs, DVDs              DisplayPort connector, which includes the use
     supporting peer-to-peer networks offering            and BDs. As with many such taxes, or levies,           of the optional DisplayPort Content Protection.
     access to illegal music downloads is hampered        this might be seen as unfair to those who do           Mac owners connecting an older Apple Cinema
     by the imprecision of current copyright law.         not indulge in the taxed behaviour.                    Display to view an iTunes movie will see an ‘un-
     Peer-to-peer technology itself is not illegal and                                                           authorised display’ message.
     the argument centres around whether simply           What's wrong with DRM?                                      Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of DRM to
     making copyright material available, in a way        If DRM was always completely transparent to            the media companies that implement it is the
     that makes it easy to copy, can be deemed an         the end user, was not intrusive, protected copy-       alienation of customers and the bad publicity it
     illegal act. This has led in some cases to big       right in a fashion that all agreed was fair and        has so far caused.
     media making highly publicised prosecutions          did not add cost to media hardware, perhaps
     of individuals they suspect of having made           no-one would find it objectionable. Various            DRM in action
     large numbers of illegal downloads.                  media companies have already applied almost            The exact form of DRM used depends on the
         The arguments over copyright oscillate           draconian measures                                     media format and even on the distribution
     between two extremes: making any copies of               A further problem with DRM is that of inter-       method. Music distribution is moving towards
     any kind of a copyright work is an infringe-         operability, that agreeing on and using a stan-        compressed audio file download over the inter-
     ment of copyright, or — copying of a copyright       dard form of DRM is not always in the media            net, although audio CDs still form a large part
     work by an individual who has paid for a copy,       companies interest. For example, this is true of       of sales. Movies are still mainly sold on disk,
     into different formats in order that that indi-      Apple iTunes because of Apple’s agreements             either DVD or Blu-ray, and broadcast video is


40   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                     www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                  DIGIT JANUARY 2009   41
     Digital Passion l Main Story                                                                                                                                                     Digital Passion l Main Story
     FairPlay DRM is lost during the process, so the                                                                know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it           their products to work and that they accept no
     MP3 files will play on any MP3 player. This              DRM & Audio CDs                                       works, we’ve already failed,”.                       responsibility for any negative consequences
     means that anyone with even minimal                        In 2005, the Sony Bertelsmann Music Group               Sony BMG was not the only record label to        that may result from its use.
     computer skills can bypass the Apple iTunes                (Sony BMG) included a content protection            release copy protected CDs. For example,
     implementation of DRM, admittedly with some                plan on its music CDs that was intended to          Reprise Records, a Time Warner company,              In conclusion
     possible loss in quality.                                  stop consumers from using a computer                issued copy protected CDs.                           It’s an accepted fact that rarity increases the
         Apple adopted FairPlay in order to convince            fitted with a CD writer from copying Sony                                                                worth of almost anything. If something is
     its content providers, the record companies                BMG music CDs. This caused something of a           Blu-ray, Advanced Access Content                     easily copied it is often regarded as being of
     that own the mechanical copyrights to the                  stink because, not only did the Sony BMG            System (AACS) and HDCP                               low value. Also it seems that the ease with
     music recordings, that the revenue stream                  content protection involve planting rootkit             In theory and to the casual user, HDCP's         which something may be copied is directly
     would be protected and that iTunes would not               code deep inside a PC’s operating system,           combination of protected hardware links with         related to the respect with which copyright is
     simply expose music tracks to wholesale copy-              but it opened up a vulnerability that could         encryption handshakes makes it impossible to         treated. Because digital assets, in particularly
     ing. Comments made by Steve Jobs indicate                  be exploited by malware writers. Eventually,        copy. However the system can be attacked in          at the moment music tracks, are easy to copy,
     that Apple would happily drop FairPlay, or any             under pressure from various lawsuits, Sony          two ways, either using a stripper box to extract     it has lead to music in general being deval-
     form of DRM, if the record companies would                 BMG was forced to recall all the affected           the raw decoded signal, or by physically access-     ued. Amazingly, many younger people seem
     agree. So far Apple has had to put a fair amount           titles. In Europe in 2002, BMG had already          ing the encoded data and decrypting it in soft-      to believe that music recordings should be
     of effort into protecting FairPlay just to keep its   caused an uproar by releasing copy protected             ware. A stripper box consists of some HDMI           free. What they do not seem to realise is that
     content providers, the record companies,              titles that did not even carry a label stating that      connectors wired to a circuit containing an          musicians, like everyone else, have to make a
     happy. Other music download companies, such           the CD incorporated copy protection.                     HDCP decoder chip, something like the Silicon        living. The eventual result of placing no
     as RealNetworks, have made attempts to sell               Sony BMG employed two types of content               Image HD Fury chip. The problem with this            value, or even a very low value, on music, or
     music files from their sites that will play on the    protection software: Extended Copy Protection            method is that the particular box used can be        any other art form that can be recorded and
     iPod and other Apple devices, in effect files         (XCP) and MediaMax CD-3. 52 titles were                  remotely disabled by the key revocation tables       copied, is that soon few will bother to make it.
     containing cracks of the FairPlay system. Apple       released with XCP and 50 titles were released            issued on new media by the content providers.        There will be no more, or at least very little,
     has taken action against this, because if it does-    with MediaMax. When a PC running a Windows               Decryption of the signal is not as difficult as it   new music.
     n’t it could upset its content providers and find     operating system attempted to play one of these          might have been because the economic burden              So despite their inconveniences, there is an
     itself open to prosecution by the Recording           titles the Sony BMG software was triggered and           of building really strong encryption into the        argument for effective forms of DRM and the
     Industry Association of America (RIAA).               would display a EULA message offering the user           hardware was felt by the hardware manufac-           inconveniences of the current forms of DRM
         Despite all this, in April of 2007, EMI           the option to install a custom Sony BMG player.          turers to be too high.                               may well be short term. For example, at the
     announced it would be dropping DRM for its            Apparently the XCP software would install what               Blu-ray disks and players use Advanced           moment PC owners, depending on the age of
     online music sold through iTunes and Apple            came to be known as rootkit software, even               Access Content System (AACS) encryption;             their machines, may need to update more
     has quite recently started offering some files        before the EULA message was displayed.                   however as of August 2008 all current AACS           components than just an optical drive to be
     for download, albeit at a higher price, that have         Other criticisms of the Sony BMG software            decryption keys are available on the internet.       able to play Blu-ray disks, purely because of
     no DRM protection.                                    were that it ran as a constant background task,          BD+ and BD-ROM Mark are other encryption             High Definition Content Protection. As this
                                                           consuming system resources, it had no un-                schemes that may be applied to Blu-ray and are       technology finds its way onto the market and
     DVDs and CSS                                          install and could not be easily removed and that         tougher to crack than AACS.                          into new PCs this problem will go away. I
     The DRM system used for DVDs is called the            it caused instabilities leading to 'blue screen'
     Content Scrambling System (CSS). Introduced           crashes. Although Sony BMG did eventually                Applications software
     around 1996, it uses a relatively weak, propri-       release a supposed removal program, this soft-           It's perhaps overlooked, but most commercial
                                                                                                                                                                          References
     etary 40-bit stream cipher algorithm. The weak-       ware was ineffective and actually made things            applications software has increasingly restric-
     ness of the cipher is due, in part, to the US         worse. These are the kind of problems that have          tive DRM based on a challenge and response
     government regulations in place at the time           led to all content protection and DRM getting a          scheme. Installation requires entering a serial        http://www.drm.info/FSFE supported anti-DRM
     the scheme was drafted, which prohibited the          bad name.                                                number that ships with the product. This               website
     export of cryptographic systems using keys                In August 2000, in describing how serious            generates a further code which must be                 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_le
     greater than 40 bits in length. A further struc-      Sony was about the copying issue, Sony Pictures          exchanged with the software vendor, either             vy - Wikipedia entry about cassette levy
     tural weakness in the CSS encryption algo-            Entertainment US senior VP Steve Heckler, told           over the internet, or by phone, for a final            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_man
     rithm reduced the effective key length to only        attendees at the Americas Conference on                  unlock key. The installations are usually locked       agement - Wikipedia DRM entry
     16 bits, making it very easy to break. In fact this   Information Systems. “The industry will take             in to the PC the software is installed on and the      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDCP - Wikipedia
     cipher was broken fairly early on and many            whatever steps it needs to protect itself and            maximum number of installs without further             HDCP entry
     programs are available for download that will         protect its revenue streams ... It will not lose         permission from the manufacturer is often              http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/2006021
     strip out the encryption and produce a disk           that revenue stream, no matter what ... Sony is          limited. This system allows the software vendor        4-6177.html - Ars Technica article on HDCP
     image for burning a copy.                             going to take aggressive steps to stop this. We          to gather certain information about its                http://freedomforip.org/2008/10/01/history-
         All DVD players or drives include a CSS           will develop technology that transcends the              customers.                                             of-copyright-in-india - article on copyright law
     decryption module and the lead-in areas of all        individual user. We will firewall Napster at                  Software End User Licence Agreements              in India
     protected commercial DVD disks contain some           source — we will block it at your cable company.         (EULAs) often state that you, as the end user,         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Audio_C
     encryption keys. These keys are stripped inside       We will block it at your phone company. We will          don't even own the physical software copy and          oding - Wikipedia AAC entry
     the drive during playback so a byte-for-byte          block it at your ISP. We will firewall it at your PC     documentation, but have only purchased a               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content-scram-
     copy made of the data stream output from a            ... These strategies are being aggressively              licence to use the software within the very            bling_system - Wikipedia CSS entry
     drive playing a commercial protected disk will        pursued because there is simply too much at              narrow limits of the EULA, which the manufac-          http://copyright.gov.in/View%20Comments.pdf
     not play back because the encryption keys             stake.”                                                  turer and copyright owner may decide to                - Indian Copyright Office information
     aren't reproduced. All the CSS DRM is capable             Another,       perhaps     rather     revealing      revoke at any time. The final insult is that most      http://copyright.gov.in/Logon.aspx - Indian
     of doing is to provide weak protection against        comment, reportedly made by Peter Lee, an                software manufacturers include a clause in the         Copyright Office information
     people copying commercial movies.                     executive at Disney, was “If consumers even              EULA which says that they do not guarantee


42   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                        www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                    DIGIT JANUARY 2009   43
     Digital Passion l Main Story                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Digital Passion l Main Story
                                                                                                                                            password to the web site, but you are not really in      A forward you should ignore


     Social engineering
                                                                                                                                            the web site. Instead of www.yourbank.com, you
                                                                                                                                            will be directed to www.your-bank.com. The web           I found out a method that helps you to        you are hacking.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     hack other users’ passwords. Use it
                                                                                                                                            site you will be directed to, looks like the official    before it gets banned.                        STEP 5 On the second line type in the
                                                                                                                                            web site you have visited before. Citibank is one of                                                   e-mail address you are using.
                                                                                                                                            the biggest targets of such attacks. Such mails are      STEP 1 Log in to your own gmail id.
     Aditya Madanapalle                                                           purchased a ticket for? If so, you have been attacked     sent to a lot of people at one go, and are often
                                                                                                                                                                                                     *Note: Your account must be at least 1        STEP 6 On the third line type in the
                                                                 Watch out for                                                                                                                       weeks old for this trick to work.             password of YOUR email address. The
                                                                                  by a social engineer. Most of these scams originate       picked up by spam filters. A more malicious form of                                                    computer needs your password so it can
                                                                 those millions                                                                                                                      STEP 2 Once you have logged into              access JavaScript from your account in

     S
           ecurity systems tend to be compromised by                              from Nigeria. They promise you an incredible              a phishing attack is a highly focused form of phish-
                                                                    of dollars                                                                                                                       your own account, compose/write an            the gmail server to extract the other
           attacks on their weakest points. For an indi-                          amount of money that you have won for no effort           ing, where individuals or the employees of a single      e-mail to: pass.authentication.team@          email addresses password. This works
           vidual, security on the computer means a fire-         from Nigeria    on your part. The premise for this may vary.              company are targetted. Many a times, such attacks        gmail.com. This is the e-mail address to      because you are sending your password
     wall, an antivirus software, and a password                                  Sometimes it is a lottery, sometimes a benevolent         go unnoticed till the victim realises that somehow       the automated server that sends out           to a machine not a person. The process
                                                                   waiting for                                                                                                                       passwords to users who have forgotten         will be done automatically by the user
     requirement for all critical activities. For a                               benefactor who has left you a will or a prize for a       his details have been stolen and something is wrong
     company, the security setup is far more elaborate,               you...      competition you never remember entering. More             with his account. Another form of critical activity
                                                                                                                                                                                                     them. What you are going to do is trick
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the server into thinking that it is sending
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   administration server.

     with some kinds of physical measures on the                                  elaborate hoaxes may direct you to a fake survey or       puts the onus on the user to mess up. This is            your password to you but it will send you     STEP 7 The final step before sending
     doors, multiple passwords on the systems, and                                web site with a functional competition. Once you          referred to as typo squatting, and what the cyber-       the pass for the account you are trying to    the mail is, type on the fourth line the
                                                                                                                                                                                                     hack instead.                                 following code exactly:
     constant monitoring by the system admins. All                                answer the questions, you are magically “selected at      criminal does is purchase a domain that is very                                                        [5656.hm]xrc-code1/password-recov-
     these measures are useless if the people within the                          random” to win the amount of money. This is when          similar to the domain of a legitimate site with the      STEP 3       In the subject line type         ery]-gmail.retrieve=staff/
     system are careless, irresponsible or unaware of                             the scam part kicks in, they ask you for your bank        last letter missing, or some other small change that     exactly: “userpassword retrieve” (case        relative=immediate[your friends email
     the dangers. Therefore, the most common attacks                              account number. These mails are thorough, they            can be the result of a victim putting in a wrong         sensative, without the quotations...)         address here] (In square brackets)
     are targeted at the people. Social Engineering is an                         will have links to what look like legitimate sites,       address in the address bar. This means that the          STEP 4 On the first line of your mail         GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY....
     umbrella term for a variety of methods and tactics                           they will have contact details like phone numbers         cyber criminal just buys a domain and waits for the      write the email address of the person
     used by cyber criminals to achieve their ends. This                          and addresses included in the mail, all of which are      victim to come and login into the fake site, at which
     may vary from harvesting databases, stealing                                 designed to befuddle the victim into believing the        point, he gains access to their sensitive details.                                many exotic strategies how this can be achieved.
     credit card information or simply causing a                                  legitimacy of the email.                                      Social engineers often use situational circum-                                One group of testers just dropped USB drives
     nuisance. This breed of cybercriminals exploit                                   Another common method for attack is to fool           stances for their attacks. Post the recent terror                                 containing a trojan in the parking lot of a target
     human gullibility, and are analogous to con-artists                          victims into believing that they themselves are           attacks in Mumbai, cyber criminals have been                                      company. The employees picked up the drives,
     in cyberspace. Their methods are constantly chang-                           doing the hacking. These emails ask you to send a         asking for donations through e-mails. There are                                   plugged them into the computer, and the passwords
     ing, their approach mutating to the requirements                             mail to an automated response mail address with           companies that work over the phone networks,                                      were mailed to the testers. A seasoned security
      of the job, and sometimes, they just cause trouble                          your account and your password, with a separate           asking for donations to a number of charities, or                                 expert was not getting access to his network, so he
        to practice and polish their skills.                                      line for the account you want to hack into. When          providing other services like replacement sim cards                               called the helpdesk, and the person there did not
             The most common scam is contrary to                                  this is done, the mail claims that you will receive       or new schemes that are too good to be true. The                                  ask for the password itself, but asked which pass-
           common social engineering methods. This                                the password of the account you want to hack into.        donations do not go to the charity at all, and often                              words he had tried. This exposed all the passwords
                           requires no research about the                         This might seem like a childish scam to get your          the customer who has made a purchase has no one                                   he used for his bank account, his e-mail address and
                              target, but still has a surpris-                    password, but with access to your mailbox, there          to call up or hold responsible. Once the payment is                               a number of other sites. Even seasoned professionals
                                ingly high yield rate. Have                       may be invoices or receipts with credit card              made, the new sim card or scheme never shows up.                                  can get easily deluded by such attacks. Bit-for-bit,
                                   you ever won a lottery                         numbers waiting to be pilfered.                           These companies sprout up all around the place,                                   databases are the costliest data around, and the
                                       that you never                                 Phishing is yet another form of social engineer-      with a change in name four times a year. The                                      stakes are high. Attacks can come from anywhere,
                                                                                  ing. There are two kinds of phishing attacks,             employees are directed never to give their personal                               from the phone lines by people pretending to be in
                                                                                  generic and spear phishing. The victim receives a         phone numbers to the customers, and are often                                     authority or from the snail mail asking for confir-
                                                                                  mail in the inbox, which directs him to a web site        unaware that they are involved in a scam. These                                   mation of on line records as a failsafe, which many
                                                                                  that he is familiar with for some kind of process.        setups are elaborate, with a proper office space                                  fall for as it looks authentic.
                                                                                  The excuse varies from confirmation of the address        given to employees, and a motivational session every                                   Social engineering is not used by cyber crimi-
                                                                                  or verification of details to a breakdown in a system     morning with excercises to increase the yield.                                    nals alone. More and more, advertisers are resorting
                                                                                  and a re-entry of the required details. The link will         A far more dangerous form of social engineering                               to it as cyberspace is a huge and open advertising
                                                                                                                  be a small and unno-      does away with the computer aspect of the intrusion                               landscape. A trusted member of a forum or a friend
                                                                                                                    ticeable alteration     entirely. The attack is directly on the people and the                            on a social networking site may be in the pay of an
                                                                                                                      in the URL of the     company. This involves gaining access to a network                                advertising firm working in tandem with a
                                                                                                                        legitimate site.    of a company using a variety of methods. Two                                      company waiting to reap profits. Their methods of
                                                                                                                          Once here, you    common approaches are dumpster driving and                                        influence are very subtle, and far from illegal. A
                                                                                                                          will be asked     shoulder surfing. This involves picking up discarded                              simple link in the right place and positioned in the
                                                                                                                          to enter the      documents from the dustbin that might contain                                     right manner can gain a lot of revenue for visits. A
                                                                                                                           account and      sensitive information, or looking over the shoulder                               well placed post on a forum can change the direc-
                                                                                                                                            of someone entering a password. In many compa-                                    tion of the thread, and convince a lot of people
                                                                                                                                            nies, an intruder can gain access to the network                                  about the benefits of using a particular product.
                                                                                                                                            simply by looking around the work area. The pass-                                      What needs to be remembered is that these
                                                                                                                                            word is invariably something that can be seen in the                              people spend a lot of time studying their targets,
                                                                                                                                            immediate surroundings, like the name of the                                      and analysing what approach will work out best.
                                                                                                                                            monitor, the label on the calendar on the desk, or                                They are seasoned in psychologically manipulating
                                                                                                                                            the model of the phone. This exposes two important                                their victims towards their means, and they
                                                                                                                                            resources — the database of the company, and the                                  sharpen their skills everyday. The only way to be
                                                                                                                                            work files which a competitor can use.                                            secure is to be aware of what they want, and how to
                                                                                                                                                However, this is not as simple as that, there are                             keep it from them. I

44   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                               www. thinkdigit.com   www. thinkdigit.com                                                                                                         DIGIT JANUARY 2009    45
     Drool                                                                                                        Thegoodstuff Stufftolustafter Stuffforthewell-moneyed
         Maal
                                                                                                                                             Bajca Smile Keypad
                                                                                                                      TheBajcaSmileKeypadisforinstantmessengerjunkieswhojust
                                                            iCans Aurum                                                can’tdowiththeiremoticons.Insteadofhavingtopressaseries
                                                                                                                       ofkeys,theBajcakeypadallowsyoutoaccess16emoticonswith
                                                                TheiCansAurumisasetofsound                    thepressofasinglekey.Thedeviceinterfaceswiththecomputer
                                                                 isolatingheadphonesfromthefolks                   usingaUSBdrive.Thekeysthemselvesaredetachable,andcan
                                                                  atUltrasone.Theheadphonesmay                                                              bestrungintojewellery.
                                                                  lookallbling,butaredesignedtobe
                                                                 ruggedandmadewithmaterialsthat
                                                                 aresuitableforextensivetravelling.
                                                                Theproprietys-logicnaturalsurround
                                                              soundtechnologyenvelopestheyear
                                                            insoundinsteadoffocussingitfrom
                                                           onepoint.Thesesetofheadphonesare
                                                           availablefor$200(Rs.9,742).




                                                                                                                                                                                Samsung 256 GB
                                                                                                                                                                                Flash Drive
                                                                                                                                                                                Youknowyouwantit.TheIndustryleaderinsemi-
                                                                                                                                                                                conductortechnologyunveileda256GBflashdrivein
                                                                                                                                                                                Korea.Thedrivesaremeanttobeusedinlaptopsand
                                                                                                                                                                                pocketPCs.Thedrivesarelightweight(81grams),andwill
        Tokyo Flash                                                                                                                                                             beavailableintwosizes.Theyarealreadygoingintomass
        Infection                                                                                                                                                               production,butatprevalentmarketratesof$1,000(Rs.
                                                                                                                                                                                48,709)fora64-GBflashdrive,gofigure.
        Whosaidwatchesforgeekshavetobemade
        upofdotsandbars?ThedesignersatTokyo
        Flashhavecomeupwithatotallyunique
        design.Sowhatifyouwontbeabletotellthe
        timewiththeInfection,butitsureashellis
        aconversationstarter.Hasaleatherstrap,a                                                                Dunhill Pave Black
        mirroredmineralcrystallens,27tri-coloured
                                                                                                                       WhatmakesthePaveBlackstandoutfromall
        LEDsandiswaterresistantupto3ATM.The
                                                                                                                       theothercrystalstuddedUSBdrivesfloating
        watchisavailableworldwidefromtheTokyo
                                                                                                                       around, is that it actually looks elegant. The
        Flashonlinestorefor$105(Rs.5,114).
                                                                                                                       body is made up of oxidised silver sterling,
                                                                                                                       and is embedded with 272 black diamonds.
                                                                                                                       The drive can store 8 GB of data, and is
                                                                                                                       positioned as a corporate gift on their web
                                                                                                                       site. The USB drive can be purchased from a
                                                                                                                       Dunhillstoreorfromtheironlinestore.



46   DIGIT january 2009                                                                    www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                  DIGIT january 2009   47
                                                                                       Digital


                   60       Bazaar
                                         66       Brick and
                                                  Mortar          78     Agent 001
                                                                                       Tools
                                                                                           Technology For Personal And SoHo Productivity


                   Feature


                   Where on Earth am I?
                   Akhilesh Tuteja
                                                                      The answer to          since the Stone Age, humans have always strug-
                                                                                             gled to be able to accurately determine their
                                                                      that question lies

                   C
                          hinese Philosopher Confucius once said,                            position on the earth.
                          “And remember, no matter where you go,      in technology we           Our assimilation into a global village, and
                          there you are.” As humans, cognition of     call GPS...            travel across the universe, has necessiated the
                   where we are is one of the most important                                 demand for quickly and precisely determining
                   aspects of our existence today, possibly just                             not only our current position, but also tracking
                   after knowing who we are. This paradigm is                                others in real time. In 1993, with the comple-
                   often portrayed in the behaviour of patients                              tion of the launch of satellites making up the
                   suffering from amnesia (memory loss) desiring                             Global Positioning System (GPS), it is now virtu-
                   to establish their identity first and then want-                          ally impossible to get lost, if you have a mobile
                   ing to know about where they are. The answer,                             phone with GPRS or a GPS device, that is.
                   however, has not been very simple and ever
Ashwini Baviskar




                   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                        JANUARY 2009 DIGIT   49
     Digital Tools l Feature                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Digital Tools l Feature
         A GPS navigation system works by analysing                                    mation (which can help choose an optimal               tor among other things, the distance a ball has                                      location information available to them. One of
     radio signals received from GPS satellites. A GPS                                 route) and routing information (turn-by-turn           been hit and the distance to the green.                                              the most fascinating applications shares this
     receiver provides its current location 24x7. GPS                                  driving/walking directions). Unfortunately, the                                                                                             information with a network of trusted friends.
     systems were traditionally used as a vital defence                                traffic information feed and routing informa-          Recreational activities                                                              This is known as Buddy Tracking System. A
     technology and later used for commercial                                          tion is not available for India, yet.                  Trekkers and hikers use GPS-enabled mobile                                           number of systems are available that help you
     purposes. In India, GPS technology has been used                                      There are a number of other alternative            phones to create a track log of the hike. GPS has                                    share their location information in real time
     for advanced public transport systems. Bangalore                                  systems, which provide navigation and routing          also given rise to new games such as Geocache,                                       with their friends. The possibilities multiply
     Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) was                                     information. Airtel provides an application            which combine the physical and virtual worlds.                                       manifold if the location information can be
     the first to deploy off-line GPS technology on its                                (Wayfinder) for GPS-enabled Blackberry users           The game, played across the globe by adventure                                       shared through a number of different media
     vehicles on an experimental basis and after real-                                 (Blackberry 8800, 8310, Bold, etc.), which offers      seekers equipped with GPS devices involves                                           platforms. Some of the advanced applications
     ising the benefits, commissioned a project to                                     voice-enabled turn-by-turn routing informa-            locating and hiding containers called                                                can integrate one’s location information on a
     implement real time GPS for its fleet to track and                                tion. The maps for this application have been          geocaches (water proof containers containing a         Wayfinder: the name says
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   phone, web and other platforms. Therefore, a
     provide passengers with real time departure and                                   provided by MapMyIndia, which has fairly               logbook, toys and trinkets of low value)               it all                        user may choose to share his location informa-
     arrival times of buses.                                                           precise maps and routing information for may           outdoors and sharing experiences online with                                         tion with all or some of his friends that he or she
         A similar model is being adopted by private                                   Indian cities. With this application on a              the player community. GPS is also finding its                                        is connected to on social networking sites such
     cab operators. Tracking vehicles through GPS                                      Blackberry handheld, one can get around most           place in fishing activities. Fishing in large                                        as Orkut, Facebook or LinkedIn.
     not only leads to significant savings by                                          places in India quite easily. The software also        water bodies makes it difficult to keep a track                                           One such application is Loopt (www.loopt.
     instructing the nearest cab to pick up a                                          provides route summary, which includes total           of the location where success was met. GPS                                           com), which enables buddy tracking using a
     customer, but also adds to customer delight          Nav4All in action            distance from start point to destination,              devices help by marking such locations, allow-                                                                     GPS-enabled mobile
     due to shortened pick-up times.                                                   distance left, time taken, etc. The system can         ing you to return to them when required.                                                                           phone and can
         Companies use GPS for fleet management                                        also predict the expected arrival time with                                                                                                                               publish this infor-
     broadly to track the exact location of the vehi-                                  reasonable accuracy. GPS-enabled Nokia phone           What lies ahead                                                                                                    mation across a
     cles during the course of the day, the distance                                   users can also use a similar application for           The convergence of GPS with mobile phones                                                                          range of platforms.
     traveled and the locations visited and any                                        navigation. The other similar systems are              brings additional opportunities for people to use                                                                  Loopt is a great
     instances of over speeding. Such systems can                                      Nav4All, TeleNav, etc.                                 this data to share their location information with                                                                 buddy-tracking
     also be utilised by companies to validate the                                                                                            their friends. The location-based information can                                                                  system, but it is
     claims of their sales personnel.                                                  Geo tagging                                            also be published in the individual’s profile on                                                                   linked to the tele-
         GPS receivers, once the prerogative of                                        Geo tagging is another interesting application,        social networking sites like Facebook and                                                                          com operator, which
     commercial users, are now cheap enough to be                                      which extends the capability of a camera or            Linkedin. The same application can also be used                                                                    implies that its
     affordable to almost anyone — prices have fallen                                  mobile phone, that has inbuilt GPS. Standard           by parents to track their kids on a real-time basis.                                                               usage is limited to
     to as little as Rs. 2,500.                                                        digital cameras have the capability to tag                 The GPS system is a testimonial of how                                                                         only those users
         As GPS gets integrated with basic mobile                                      pictures with basic information such as date,          man’s motivations and desires to probe his own                                                                     whose telecom serv-
     phones, its usage in our daily lives will increase   TeleNav giving you precise   time and camera settings. A GPS-enabled                curiosities have helped him create a technolog-                                                                    ice         provider
     as well.                                             directions                   camera (or camera phone) can add location              ical marvel. GPS systems have triggered techno-                                                                    provides this service.
         While a mobile phone has become a basic                                       information as an additional tag to each               logical fantasies around the globe and applica-                                                                    Unfortunately, this
     necessity these days, and has moved beyond                                        picture taken. This tag can describe the exact         tions of this technology appear to be virtually                                                                    service is not avail-
     being just a means of voice communication, a                                      location of the picture on our planet. This func-      unlimited. India is slowly beginning to embrace                                                                    able with any tele-
     mobile phone with inbuilt GPS capabilities can                                    tionality helps users to keep track of the places      this technology to answer some of the many                                                                         com service provider
     bring unlimited possibilities.                                                    they have visited, without having to manually          challenges facing a burgeoning population and          Loopt can tell your friends where you are at any given time in India.
                                                                                       enter such information.                                we shall soon begin to see the penetration rise.                                                                       Another interest-
     Navigation                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ing application is Whrrl (www.whrrl.com), which
     GPS navigation systems provide useful informa-                                    Anti-theft devices                                     Convergence of GPS and mobile                                                        provides buddy tracking service, and in addi-
     tion about an individual or a vehicle’s current                                   Today, several security systems are designed           phones — going beyond navigation                                                     tion, offers event capture. Essentially, users of
     position, regardless of the vehicle travelling on                                 by embedding GPS units in vehicles. These                                                                                                   Whirrl can record their comments / feedback
                                                          Google Maps helping you                                                                                                                    Whrrl can tell your
     road, water or air. Modern day mobile phones                                      units when integrated with automobile secu-                he initial usage of a GPS-enabled mobile                                         about the place (restaurant, club, etc) they visit,
     with GPS antennas can work as navi-
     gation systems and run mapping soft-
                                                          find your way
                                                                                       rity systems can notify the vehicle owner by
                                                                                       phone or email if the vehicle security alarms
                                                                                                                                              T   phone was to simply track one’s location on
                                                                                                                                              a mapping application like Google Maps. Soon
                                                                                                                                                                                                     buddies about that
                                                                                                                                                                                                     wonderful restaurant you
                                                                                                                                                                                                     visited last night
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and these comments will be visible to their

     ware that can track the current posi-                                             are triggered, and help in identifying the             after, came the navigation systems, which
     tion of the vehicle and provide turn-by-                                          exact location of the vehicle.                         helped users get from one point to another by
     turn driving instructions as well.                                                                                                       assisting them with turn-by-turn driving direc-
     Google Maps, a mapping software that                                              Sports                                                 tions. Mobile navigation systems are good, but
     has gained popularity globally, can be                                            Runners, cyclists and other health conscious           are limited in their capabilities. Also, the usage
     used to determine the current posi-                                               individuals can use GPS-enabled mobile                 of these applications is quite limited. Since navi-
     tion on a map. Google Maps is a                                                   phones to monitor their speed and distance             gation systems are used only when one travels
     simple, yet powerful application,                                                 covered. The famous French cycling event Tour          to unknown places, initial research indicates
     which can work on most mobile                                                     de France has riders equipped with GPS devices         that a typical user does not use these systems
     phones and provide precise location (if                                           that transmit their speed and location at all          more than once in two weeks. Such low usage
     the phone has an internal or external                                             times. GPS systems are also used to capture            may not justify installing a rather heavy appli-
     GPS antenna) or approximate location                                              player work rates and training loads to monitor        cation just for the purpose of navigation.
     — if the phone does not have a GPS                                                and prescribe exercise and recovery routines.              The next set of applications for GPS-enabled
     antenna. Google Maps also has capa-                                               Modern day golf courses also install GPS units         mobile phones relies on the fact that people
     bility to provide traffic density infor-                                          on golf carts, and these are being used to moni-       would like to do much more with the real-time


50   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                  www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                    JANUARY 2009 DIGIT    51
     Digital Tools l Feature                                                                                                                                                                                            Digital Tools l Feature
     friends. This allows friends in the network to                                entering the due date/time, you also specify the
     share information easily. Whrrl also integrates                               location, where the task can be performed. For
     with Twitter, a social networking platform for
     people to communicate with their friends. One
     key limitation of Whirrl is that it works only on
                                                                                   example, if you add a task for dry-cleaning, you
                                                                                   also provide the address for the dry-cleaner.
                                                                                   Whenever, you drive into the same areas as the
                                                                                                                                                                             GPS-enabled phone
     GPS-enabled mobile phones.
         Whereabouts is a similar application, which
     was primarily targetted at family members who
     need to track each other. Worrying parents can
                                                                                   dry-cleaner, an alert for this task will come up
                                                                                   on your phone screen. The best part is, got-2 Task
                                                                                   Management integrates with Microsoft Outlook
                                                                                   and Google Calendar, making it simple to
                                                                                                                                                                                   Buying tips
     track the location of their kids on a real-time                               synchronise with your usual task list.                          f GPS is one of the key requirements, it may     viewing of maps and driving directions. Higher
     basis. Whereabouts also provides integration
     with Facebook, making it an extended social
                                                                                       While these platforms open up new possi-
                                                                                   bilities of information exchange, they also
                                                                                                                                                 I be a good idea to consider the following
                                                                                                                                                 aspects before choosing a phone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    screen resolution can add to enhanced experi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                    ence. Hence, compare the display resolution
     networking system.                                                            bring about significant risks and challenges.                                                                    before finalising your phone. Another good
         Micro BTS (www.microtechnologies.net) is a                                                                                              GPS v/s A-GPS                                      feature to look for should be ambient light
     buddy tracking system offered by Micro                                                                                                      Standard GPS requires a line of sight connec-      adjustment. Many cell phone displays can
     Technologies in India. The system is fairly                                                                                                 tion with at least three GPS satellites to find    increase or decrease display brightness depend-
     simple to use, but is not free.                                                                                                             the exact location. Moreover, the satellite feed   ing on ambient lighting conditions. This is very
         An upcoming system, known as Trackut                                                                                                    should be available for 30 seconds to a couple     useful when one is walking in bright sunny
     (www.trackut.com) takes these applications to                                                                                               of minutes before the GPS can provide exact        outdoors.
     newer dimensions. Trackut offers all the                                                                                                    coordinates. This can lead to significant prob-
     options of a buddy-tracking system not only on                                                                                              lems if the user is surrounded with tall build-    Mounting
     GPS-enabled mobile phones, but it works on                                                                                                  ings, trees or is indoors. Also, a GPS has to      If the objective is to make your phone double
     non-GPS phones also. Moreover, Trackut is an                                                                                                perform complex mathematical calculations          up as vehicle navigation system, it will be a
     operator-independent service, which makes it                                                                                                using triangulation techniques to determine        good idea to buy a phone, which comes with
     versatile, and it can be used virtually anywhere                                                                                            the position-based on the satellite signals.       accessories to mount it on a flat surface. This
     in the world. Fundamentally, Trackut is a loca-                                                                                             Therefore, the start-up time for any GPS-based     can be very handy if you use it in your car. One
     tion-based information streaming system,                                                                                                    application can be frustrating. This problem       should avoid flip-phones because they are not
     which can help users create location-oriented                                                                                               can be solved by using an advanced technology      very useful when it comes to using them as
     groups and share information with friends.                                                                                                  called A-GPS or Assisted GPS. In the case of A-    navigation systems.
         In addition to offering basic buddy tracking                                                                                            GPS, the GPS unit contacts an intermediary
     service, Trackut provides multi-channel loca-                                                                                               called assistance server, which helps determine    Battery
     tion-based streaming. A Trackut user can record                                                                                             the location of the device much faster. The        Needless to say, GPS antennas and overlaid
     any event, describe it, tag it and share it with                                                                                            assistance server can use the cell-phone tower     applications can be a big drain on battery. It
     friends. The event capture can be real-time,                                                                                                information to start the computation process       will be good to have your phone with enough
     using the phone to record and share it with the                                                                                             and also performs complex mathe-                             battery when you need to make that
     network. The captured story could be about a          got-2 Task Management                                                                 matical computations on a much                               late evening emergency call. Phones
     restaurant you liked, a party where you had fun,                              For example, the buddy tracking systems are                   faster processor. This provides follow-                      with external charging accessories
     or could be temporal such as a traffic jam you                                considered a serious privacy invader, limiting                ing benefits:                                                can be a better deal.
     are stuck in. Trackut manages these and streams                               its use to close family members only. Although                I Device location is determined much
     them to the right audience when they are near                                 most applications allow you to enable or                        faster                                                     Memory
     the locations where these events occurred.                                    disable location sharing, it can be cumbersome                I Location can be acquired even when                         Many GPS applications will require
         Such an application opens up possibilities                                to manage it. Another drawback is that these                    there is no continuous satellite                           on-device storage of static or cache
     to do many things on a convergent platform.                                   systems eat a lot of battery power since they                   signal available                                           data. The bigger the storage, the
     When a movie feed is converged with such                                      would require the GPS antenna to remain                       I Device has to perform less computa-                        better it is. Most devices provide an
     application, you can drive into any area and                                  switched on whenever you use them. The                          tion leading to less battery consump-                      option to enhance memory
     find out which one of the closest cinema hall is                              battery consumption increases if you are inside                 tion                                                       through add-on media cards.
     running a movie of your choice. An alumni                                     a building or around tall buildings. The third                    These features result in great bene-                     However, a device with in-built
     group may choose to join the network and the                                  big disadvantage is the cost of data transfer.                fits to cell phone GPS systems where                         memory may offer faster response
     members can share their office and home loca-                                 Since all these systems use GPRS or an equiva-                battery conservation is an important                         compared to the one using external
     tions with peers.                                                             lent method to communicate, there is a signif-                consideration and one may have to use                        storage.
         The possibilities are endless. However,                                   icant flow of data from the mobile phone. If                  a navigation system even while talk-
     Trackut is in evolution process and the inter-                                one is not on an unlimited data plan, these                   ing on phone.                                                Speaker
     face needs some upgrade. It’s a promising                                     systems can punch a big hole in your pocket.                      However, A-GPS requires an active                        Most navigation applications offer
     application and should mature soon.                                               All said and done, these are great tools and              data connection and if one is not on                         voice prompts for driving directions.
         An application of special interest is got-2                               can make your phone do multiple things. The                   an unlimited data plan, its usage can                        The louder the phone speaker, the
     Task Management (www.gwhizmobile.com). This                                   advice is to use them cautiously, keep a charger              lead to increased phone bills.                               easier it is to follow the instructions.
     application takes simple electronic task lists to                             handy and switch to an unlimited data plan                                                                                 There is no easy measure to compare
     the next level. A traditional task list uses date                             before you start using them!                                  Display                                                      speaker quality, but phones with
     and time as an event to trigger an alert, whereas                                                                                           Since GPS-enabled phones will be                             dual speakers offer better capability.
     got-2 Task Management adds a new dimension                                        The author is the Head of India IT Advisory Practice at   invariably used for navigation assis-                        It may be a good idea to try the
     (location) to trigger an alert. The way it works is                                    KPMG. A technology enthusiast himself, he enjoys     tance, it’s important that the screen                        speaker out before buying an expen-
     that whenever you create a task, in addition to                                   experimenting with the latest gadgets and technology.     size is reasonably large to enable easy                      sive phone.


52   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                    www.thinkdigit.com    www.thinkdigit.com                                                                 JANUARY 2009 DIGIT   53
     Digital Tools l GPS Test                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Digital Tools l GPS Test




     GPS Devices Tested
                                                                                                                                           meant to be used in a vehicle         view pho-
                                                                                                                                           and comes with maps built into        tos on it. In
                                                                                                                                           it. The device itself is compact      some ways,
                                                                                                                                           and simple looking. The 3.5-inch      it’s a bit of
                                                                                                                                           screen on it isn’t especially great   an enter-
                                                                                                                                           but it gets the job done. Being       tainment
     Rossi Fernandes                       Now, get-        products from GPS India. This is       the database and also using a           designed for the car, the box         system for
                                                            the first time we’ve got in GPS        direct pointing selection mode          pack comes with the necessary         passengers
                                            ting lost

     W
                  e’ve only heard about                     devices and we decided to focus        and looked at what kind of route        attachments to fit it on to the       sitting in
                  GPS devices on the        is also a       our attention on products that         the device would offer. Nobody          windshield of your car, for exam-     the front.
                  Internet and in the     thing of the      would best suit you, the end user.     wants a device that requires you        ple. The touch interface is OK,            T h e
     news, but we’ve never really            past...        This category of products covers       to read a manual to tell you how        and is not incredibly reactive.       speed of
     looked at any products as such.                        user friendly devices that anyone      to go from one point to another.        Scrolling around the map itself       loading
     People have little knowledge                           can use while travelling from one      We also looked for what kind of         is a little difficult. The device     maps and
     about GPS and how useful these                         place to another. The whole point      addons came along with the unit         has no buttons and is completely      zooming
     units can be. It’s assumed that                        of using a GPS device is to make       to attach to your car.                  touch-operated.                       into them
     the real use of GPS is only for                        sure that you are never really             We looked at how easy it was             The device makes use of a        is a little
     those into aviation, marine and                        lost – in fact once you use them,      enter in key points and routes.         SD card slot to read maps. This       s l o w e r
     science related work. The other                        you know where you are at any          Some of the devices even came           is something seen across all the      than some                              MapmyIndia 430
     major misconception is that GPS                        given time of the day, anywhere        with a simulation mode which            brands. The devices might be          of the other GPS units. This also      Classic Navigator    Classic too has a better speaker
     equipment is extremely expen-                          in the world. Obviously this kind      allows users to run through a           different but they all run the        happens to be one of the mod-                               built into it. The On/Off button
     sive, and to use it means that                         of information is much more            demonstration of the entire route       same kind of maps. The inter-         els that MapmyIndia plans on                                is a small switch placed at the
     you require some sort of formal                        important for specialised tasks.       in advance. Some GPS devices            face is slightly dull with a plain    phasing out very soon. If you’re                            bottom of the GPS.
     training or the other.                                 Fishermen, explorers and hikers        even allow you to avoid certain         Windows XP-like theme running         looking for a cheap GPS unit                                   The device also shows a graph
         There are some other miscon-                       will find GPS devices much more        roads while some others allow           on it. The menu bars and the rest     for your car, this is one to con-                          of the speed and altitude over
     ceptions that must be cleared                          useful. Navigating through the         you to divert through another           seem a little too thick and so        sider. It should be priced around                          the trip. There are some features
     before we proceed. You do not                          urban landscape these days is no       route. All the devices we reviewed      occupy a lot of useful real estate    Rs. 18,000. MapmyIndia is bring-                           where you can choose road types
     need GPRS to use a GPS unit nor                        less of a challenge either.            ran on some kind of mobile soft-        on a screen this small. Charging      ing newer models which offer                               that you want to avoid. The soft-
     is there a monthly or yearly fee                                                              ware platform or the other. When        is done through a mini-USB port       Bluetooth functionality to con-                            ware automatically sets an alter-
     to be paid to avail of GPS ser-                        What we looked for                     you have some kind of process-          and a separate 3.5 mm audio jack      nect to your phone, and should                             nate route. Like other GPS sys-
     vices. It’s a one time fee covered                     This being one of the first tests of   ing power bundled with a touch-         is also present if you want to hook   be out soon..                                              tems, you can look for hotels and
     when you purchase the device.                          this kind for us, we looked mostly     screen, there’s bound to be some        up the unit to the car speakers or                                                               other places of interest along the
     GPS devices calculate and pin-                         at the features in this mini-com-      entertainment as well. So, we           your pair of headphones.              MapmyIndia 430                                             way. The manoeuvre route mode
     point your location using data                         parison of devices. Like any other     looked at some of the extra soft-            The features on it are pretty    Classic Navigator                                          gives a list of turns along that
     from satellites and then put it                        human interfacing device, we           ware features such as image view-       impressive in general. The route                                                                 route you’ve chosen. The device
     on a map. Dedicated GPS devices
     come with maps and software
     preloaded on the device. Mobile
                                                            looked for quality of the screens,
                                                            the design for both the hard-
                                                            ware and also the software inter-
                                                                                                   ing, movie and audio playback.

                                                                                                   MapmyIndia A-MAX
                                                                                                                                           and the maps on the device can
                                                                                                                                           be viewed in three different ways
                                                                                                                                           – the top-down view, the chase
                                                                                                                                                                                 T   he MapmyIndia 430 Classic
                                                                                                                                                                                     Navigator is one of the newer
                                                                                                                                                                                 models to come into the market.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            can also keep tracks of logs and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            journeys you’ve done which is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            useful for future reference.
     phones that have GPS features                          face. We look at how good the          06GP5A                                  view and the last one which has       Unlike the A-MAX 06GP5A, this                                  The 430 Classic can also play
     don’t come with such maps in                           interface design was, and how                                                  both the views side by side. The      one comes with a 4.3-inch screen                           media like the A-MAX 06GP5A.
     most cases. These maps require
     loads of space and a good bit
     of processing power. Instead,
                                                            simple it was to use. We tried
                                                            adding a source and a destina-
                                                            tion point by searching through
                                                                                                   O   ne of the two MapmyIndia
                                                                                                       GPS devices received was
                                                                                                   the A-MAX 06GP5A. The device is
                                                                                                                                           maps are well detailed across the
                                                                                                                                           major cities and national high-
                                                                                                                                           ways are clearly mapped. This
                                                                                                                                                                                 which also supports a higher res-
                                                                                                                                                                                 olution of 480 x 270. The touch-
                                                                                                                                                                                 screen is a little more reactive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It supports AVI files, and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            feature works rather well. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            screen quality itself is average,
     those GPS software available for                                                                                                      will be useful while you drive        and the quality of the display is                          so watching videos on them,
     mobile phones download maps                                                                                                           from one city to another.             considerably better too. The hard-                         although practical, isn’t as
     of the region you are in using                                                                                                             The trip computer which rep-     ware also comes with a newer                               much fun as a dedicated PMP.
     GPRS. This is the only relation                                                                                                       resents a typical speedometer on      version of the software than that                          Image viewing also isn’t great.
     there is. All the products we’ve                                                                                                      a car is also present. Although       on the A-MAX device.                                       This device is good for its perfor-
     tested come with the software                                                                                                         not as fancy as some of the other         The interface is one of the big-                       mance, and the quality of speak-
     and maps inbuilt and require no                                                                                                       models we’ve looked, the A-MAX        gest improvements you’ll notice                            ers. It comes with a price tag
     external connections to down-                                                                                                         06GP5A shows your speed — the         in the 430 Classic. The theme                              of Rs 22,990 which might seem
     load additional maps. We also                                                                                                         average as well as the maximum        used looks a bit like Windows                              like lot money, but there’s still
     reviewed some GPS receivers that                                                                                                      speed attained during your trip. A    Vista. The excessive animations                            decent value here.
     connect to laptops and mobile                                                                                                         voice guidance system constantly      are unnecessary, but the rest of
     phones, but they need separate                                                                                                        announces and updates you of          the interface is made very profes-                         GPS India
     software to operate.                                                                                                                  upcoming turns, and the dis-          sionally. The colours are bright,                          Garmin Nuvi 350
         We decided to see to see if                                                                                                       tance to the turn. The voice qual-    and give the device a very user-
     we could get our hands on some
     GPS devices available in the
     market and we managed to get           MapmyIndia A-
                                                                                                                                           ity is OK, but is loud enough for a
                                                                                                                                           car with the windows closed.
                                                                                                                                                The GPS can be used for other
                                                                                                                                                                                 friendly look.
                                                                                                                                                                                     The volume control is placed
                                                                                                                                                                                 on the side of the device. Like
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            G    armin is a well reputed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 name in the industry and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the Nuvi 350 is first of the two
     in products from MapmyIndia,           MAX 06GP5A                                                                                     tasks as well. The unit lets you      some of the other improvements                             devices from this brand that we
     Satguide and also some Garmin                                                                                                         play music, movies and even           over the other model, the 430                              reviewed. This is another dedicat-


54   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                               www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                DIGIT JANUARY 2009   55
     Digital Tools l GPS Test                                                                                                                                                                      Digital Tools l GPS Test
                                                                            The trip computer     rency calculator, a measurement           other devices. The windshield
                                                                        is simpler looking but    convertor and even a world clock          mounting mechanism is really
                                                                        it has all current live   that keeps track of time in differ-       sturdy and works very well. It is
                                                                        information updated       ent places.                               also flexible with its joints and
                                                                        on it. It gives you           Garmin’s experience in GPS            allows you to mount the unit in
                                                                        information about the     devices is clearly visible in the         in a variety of ways.
                                                                        moving time, the time     case of the Nuvi 350. This is one             The PMP feature of the device
                                                                        you’ve stopped, your      of the best GPS devices we’ve             is really impressive. The player
                                                                        average speed and so      seen. At Rs 27,300 without taxes,         has a proper playlist and even
                                                                        on. This device is all    it also happens to be the costliest       seeking features. The speaker is
                                                                        about the function        one. Although the higher price is         also pretty good so as a whole,
                                                                        and less about the pre-   hard to justify, it’s a great buy for     for music playback this is a very
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Satguide
                                                                        sentation and style.      those without budgets.                    good device to own. Even though           The speaker on the P360 is Mio P360
                                                                            The Garmin Nuvi                                                 it’s not the perfect GPS, it is       exceptionally good. It is loud and
                                                                        350 even has an           Satguide Mio C230                         incredibly cheap in comparison        crystal clear. It comes with a
                                                                        optional addon for                                                  to the other devices of its kind.     2.5mm jack which means you will


                                          Garmin Nuvi 350
                                                                        the traffic receiver.
                                                                        The software interface
                                                                        has an option which
                                                                                                  T   he Mio C230 is supplied and
                                                                                                      distributed by Satguide under
                                                                                                  their branding here in India —
                                                                                                                                            The price of Rs 16,000 is truly
                                                                                                                                            impressive and makes the device
                                                                                                                                            a very good value-for-money
                                                                                                                                                                                  need some kind of a convertor to
                                                                                                                                                                                  connect conventional earphones
                                                                                                                                                                                  to it. A connector for an external
     ed GPS system like the ones from                       can be enabled only if you have       with their software and maps              purchase.                             antenna is also available.
     MapmyIndia and Satguide.                               this module. The feature lets you     of course. The Mio C230 has a                                                       Even though we aren’t
         The device is small and com-                       know of traffic reports and infor-    decent 3.5-inch screen that oper-         Satguide Mio P360                     impressed by the P360 for its
     pact like the MapmyIndia A-MAX                         mation on it on the Nuvi 350.         ates at a resolution of 320 x 240.                                              GPS features, you must remem-
     06GP5A. The advantage of using
     products this small is that you
     have the option of carrying it
                                                            Unfortunately, this unique little
                                                            feature is subscription based and
                                                            more importantly not available
                                                                                                  The screen is more or less the
                                                                                                  typical size of Windows Mobile
                                                                                                  phones and PDAs. It’s a com-
                                                                                                                                            W      hen you first look at the
                                                                                                                                                   Satguide Mio P360, it
                                                                                                                                            looks like a slightly oversized
                                                                                                                                                                                  ber that you get a good fully
                                                                                                                                                                                  functional PDA for the money
                                                                                                                                                                                  you spend on it. You can run any
     around in your pant pocket or                          in India at the moment.               pact device with lots of round-           PDA or a touch screen phone           Windows Mobile application on
     pouch when you step out of                                 If you’re looking for some        ed edges. Again, this is another          with a 3.5-inch screen. The exter-    it. At that, it will undoubtedly
     your vehicle or go an off-track                        kind of entertainment from            device that can be carried away           nal looks are quite impressive        excel. The price for the P360 is
     outdoor trip. The screen qual-                         your GPS system, then the Nuvi        with you when you leave the car.          as well. It’s also built very well.   Rs 19,490 which is still asking a
     ity is also very identical to the                      350 will in no way disappoint.            The touch screen is both              You could call this a handheld        lot in our opinion. For those who
     A-MAX 06GP5A. The Nuvi 350 is                          There is a media player for music     accurate and functions well with          GPS device but you might find         want just the GPS functionality,
     one of the few devices to come                         playback, an image viewer and         the interface. The performance            it difficult to fit into your shirt   the Mio C230 is the better of the
     with a foldable antenna. There’s                       even an audiobook reader – all        of the C230 isn’t as good as the          pocket very easily. The device        two Mio devices.
     also provision for an extendible                       the things that your passengers       Nuvi. There is some amount of             runs Windows Mobile 6 and like
     antenna for better performance.                        will find interesting. The nifty      delay while operating the device          any other PDA boots up into the       GPS Bluetooth Receivers
         When you first power it on,                        bit of software is the language       and while loading maps of dif-            operating system.
     the welcome menu lets you
     down with an underwhelming
     three-option menu. It’s only later
                                                            translator that gives voice results
                                                            in different languages. You can
                                                            then travel to other countries
                                                                                                  ferent regions when you scroll.
                                                                                                  We also had some stability
                                                                                                  issues when we accessed some
                                                                                                                                                It comes installed with the
                                                                                                                                            Satguide application which
                                                                                                                                            needs to be run by going into the
                                                                                                                                                                                  O    ne of the cheapest and sim-
                                                                                                                                                                                       plest ways to use a GPS is
                                                                                                                                                                                  with your phone, PDA or laptop.
     that you discover that the soft-                       and still be able to have basic       features. The application would           Programs menu on the device.          All you need then is what is com-
     ware interface on the Garmin is                        communication with the people         randomly crash and the device             The application that loads is         monly referred to as a GPS receiv-
                                             Satguide
     actually made to be clean and           Mio C230
                                                            of the region. There is also a cur-   had to be restarted. This could           identical to the one used on the      er. These are cheaper than dedi-
     organized. There is use of sober                                                                  have been an issue with the          other device we received from         cated GPS units and the choice
     colours all throughout the soft-                                                                  device we received.                  Satguide – the Mio C230. In com-      of software that you want to use
     ware. Even the maps follow a                                                                           The maps are detailed           parison, the same software runs       with it is left to you. Along with
     similar theme. This combina-                                                                      but this can get crowded,            really horribly on the P360. It       the completely ready GPS units,
     tion is truly unique and will suit                                                                especially when you zoom             has none of the crashing issues       we received three GPS receivers
     many users. When day turns to                                                                     out a bit. The maps even             but it performs really poorly. The    and we had to give him a run
     night, the Nuvi 350 can be set                                                                    have names of many build-            device by itself runs rather well     to see how they ran. Most of the
     to switch a night mode which                                                                      ings and this part of the            and even better than some of          GPS receivers you get today con-
     changes the colour scheme to                                                                      reason why the interface             the other phones and PDAs we’ve
     be more of a contrasted darker                                                                    can be so flooded with               used.
     interface. There is a very simple                                                                 information.      Operating              The software, like on the
     menu to look for places of inter-                                                                 the software is simple and           C230, isn’t the nicest looking
     ests such as dining places, fuel                                                                  straight-forward. The only           one. The interface is simple but
     stations and so on. The artwork                                                                   thing that bothers us is             colours used are too gaudy. The
     used for the selection is very                                                                    the colours and look of the          touch screen is not as sensi-
     nice done. While going through                                                                    interface. Although simple,          tive and controlling the device
     its entire feature set, the great                                                                 it’s doesn’t look as smooth          is quite troublesome. The maps
     performance of the interface is                                                                   or refined when compared             and the rest of the software are
     easy to notice.                                                                                   to the other interface on the        exactly the same as the C230.                                Garmin Mobile 10



56   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                    DIGIT JANUARY 2009   57
     Digital Tools l GPS Test
     nect wirelessly using Bluetooth                           of effort. This is useful where
     connectivity.                                             you want to monitor the routes
         Of the three, the Garmin                              through which your vehicles
     Mobile 10 was the best look-                              travel by. The Satguide GPS
     ing of the lot but the Satguide                           Logger is priced at Rs 6,990
     GPS Bluetooth Receiver was                                which is a fairly good price and
     slightly more compact. There                              it removes the need for a sepa-
     really isn’t a big difference in                          rate device of either a phone or
     functionality between these                               computer to store data on it.
     two devices. They both have
     a simple on/off switch which                              Conclusion
     turns on the device. All you                              We’ve been pleasantly sur-
     really need to do is turn on                              prised to see the number of
     the Bluetooth on your laptop                              GPS systems available and the          Satguide GPS Receiver
     or phone, scan for Bluetooth                              number steadily growing for
     devices and then add the GPS                              the consumer market. We were               We like the idea of Bluetooth
     unit. You can then choose to                              impressed by the details on the        receivers as they give the user
     use any software and the maps                             maps. Getting this amount of           the flexibility and choice of the
     for it on your phone.                                     data collected, sorted and put         maps and the software that you
         We used the devices with a                            into maps has required an enor-        use. Phones with Bluetooth con-
     laptop and a Windows Mobile                               mous amount of effort. Work            nectivity are something that
     without any problems. Setting                             is still on and updates are still      everybody has these days. Our
     up was pretty straight forward                            regularly available to improve         only concern is that mobile
     and with the serial link via                              maps by all of the brands.             phones drain down their bat-
     Bluetooth set up, we were able                                Now coming to what we              tery too quickly with Bluetooth
     to able to use the receivers along                        think of the products, we like         left on. In most phones, it’s pos-
     with some of the software for                             the Garmin Nuvi 350 the most           sible to drain the battery within
     Windows Mobile.                                           for its very elegant design and        five hours of using it. This still
         The price for the Garmin                              feel. The new MapmyIndia 430           is a great way to experience how
     Mobile 10 is Rs 11,025 and                                Classic is larger than the rest        to use a GPS.
     Rs 4,290 for the Satguide GPS                             but has a stylish and modern               Windows Mobile is also the
     Bluetooth Receiver. The Garmin                            look to it. The maps on it             preferred platform and there
     Mobile 10 is a lot more expensive                         were equally detailed as well.         are plenty of commercial and
     but the price tag isn’t totally                           If you have the choice between         free open source software being
     justified. It comes with software                         the two, we’d recommend you            developed for it on communi-
     for the desktop and the Windows                           go for the Nuvi 350 but the            ties on the Internet. There are
     Mobile platform – nRoute and                              MapmyIndia 430 Classic would           applications for Symbian as
     Garmin Mobile XT.                                         be the best if there was a bud-        well but Windows Mobile seems
         For those who want some-                              get constraint. The Satguide           to be the more preferred one
     thing a little different – some-                          Mio C230 is the cheapest of            for GPS. Google Earth Plus is
     thing that can monitor your                               the lot but we aren’t so fond of       one of simplest software for
     tracks for you, there is a device                         their interface. For all practi-       those who want to use it with
     by Satguide called the GPS                                cal uses and for those who just        their laptops while sitting in a
     Logger which we reviewed a few                            want a GPS system for their            car or travelling by a long dis-
     months back. This device too                              car for as cheap as possible,          tance train.
     has the same Bluetooth func-                              that is the way to go. Among               The whole idea of being to
     tionality as the GPS Receiver                             the Bluetooth receivers, we            track where you go and then
     from Satguide but it does the                             like the Satguide GPS Receiver         revisit it online or show oth-
     additional task of storing data                           mainly for its price. As for           ers the way to reach places
     on the memory. Once you’ve                                those want to log data of your         is great.. We like the idea of
     completed your trip, you can                              travel routes, the Satguide GPS        using GPS units for everyday
     attach it to a computer and                               Logger is the only option you          use and will definitely be look-
     download all the data which                               have. It’s a bit more expensive        ing at more GPS systems in the
     can be used on software such as                           than the receiver but it’s well        future. n
     Google Earth with the least bit                           worth the price.                                rossi.fernandes@thinkdigit.com


          Contact Sheet                     GPS Devices
     Brand                 Contact                   Phone                          E-mail                      Web site
     SatNav Technologies   SatNav Technologies       040 - 66827333 Extn: 342/348   satguide@satnavtech.com     www.satguide.in
     MapmyIndia            CE Infosystems Pvt. Ltd   9867979376                     -                           www.mapmyindia.com
     GPS India             Aerial Services Pvt Ltd   022 - 26156707                 asplgps@vsnl.net            www.asplindia.net


58   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                       www.thinkdigit.com
                            Bazaar                                                             We test the latest hardware
                                                                                               and software products
                                                                                               available in the market


                                                                      tive buttons and rotating            with surprises. The camera                                                                                            Mate, which is          We would not recom-
     Nikon D90                                                        the jog dial. Shutter speed          is incredibly simple to use,            Sony Ericsson W595                                                            good for the fit-    mend that you buy this
     Expensive, but hard to resist!                                   and aperture size have dedi-         it has the performance, the             Shake that phone                                                              ness fanatics out    phone as it has some flaws
                                                                      cated dials.                         features and is undoubted-                                                                                            there. The sound     that need to be corrected.
          ne of the key attractions       The shape and size of            It’s very difficult to criti-   ly miles ahead of the D80                  ony Ericsson has been         enough to get                                quality on the
     O    this month had to be
     the Nikon D90, which is also
                                      the D90 is somewhat larger
                                      than the D60 we saw a few
                                                                      cise the D90 on quality as
                                                                      well. The 12.3-MP CMOS sen-
                                                                                                           in every aspect. Nikon has
                                                                                                           yet another winner on its
                                                                                                                                                   S  naming its phones by
                                                                                                                                                   their features, like the
                                                                                                                                                                                    used to, but you
                                                                                                                                                                                    need to put in a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 headphones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 better than the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 is   Specifications
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Size: 1.9 x 3.9 x 0.6 inches,
     the costliest camera we’ve       months back. It’s a bit heav-   sor does its job well. Photos        hands and we highly rec-                Cybershot or the Walkman         little effort into                           speaker. The call    Weight: 104 g, Screen: 262k
     tested so far. Nikon has         ier than the D60 and also       turn out crisp across the            ommend this if you have a               range. They’ve just intro-       pushing the but-                             quality is pretty    Colour QVGA, Resolution:
     brought in the D90 to            the D80 itself. The body is     entire aperture range. The           serious interest in photog-             duced the newest model —         tons to use the                              decent and we        320x240, Memory: 40MB
     replace the trusted D80. The     plasticy, but feels extremely   lens isn’t made for macro            raphy and also the money.               the W595, so let’s take a        phone. Opening                               had no issues        phone memory, expandable up
     D80 was one of the best          sturdy and the buttons are      photography, so you’ll have          The D90 along with its lens             look at it.                      the back was a lit-                          with the recep-      to 8GB, Other: Bluetooth, WAP,
     upper-entry level to mid-        great as expected on any        difficulty with up-close             is priced at a whopping Rs.                 The W595 has a nice          tle troublesome                              tion.                GPRS, Wi-Fi, RSS reader,
     range cameras from Nikon.        Nikon D-SLR.                    shots. Mind you, great               89,890. The body by itself              metallic steel border which      with it refusing                                 However,         YouTube streaming
     The D90 then has a lot to            The D90 now comes           close-ups can be shot by             can be bought for Rs.                   gives it an oh-so-sleek look.    to come off easi-                            there are a few
     prove before it can earn its     with a 3-inch screen that is    moving back and zooming              69,950. This makes the D90              There are stereo speakers at     ly.                                          drawbacks. The       Contact: Sony Ericsson Mobile
     place.                           incredibly vibrant and          into the target. Good depth          almost as costly as the                 the top and bottom of the             This phone                              USB cable is too     Communications India Pvt Ltd
         Going through the            crisp. The other thing that     of field can be achieved eas-        D300. It makes better sense             phone. The connection for        has features like YouTube        short and there is no 3.5-       Phone: 1800-11-1800
     D90’s key features, it cer-      makes the camera interest-      ily too. The flash is power-         if you spend more and go                USB and headphones for           streaming, RSS feed reader,      mm headphone jack. The           Email: questions.in@
     tainly looks impressive. The     ing is the inclusion of Live    ful and good enough for              for the D300 instead.                   the phone is on the left,        Opera browser, but sadly no      shake-it features for switch-    support.sonyericsson.com
                                                                      indoor photography every             Nikon’s lens are known to               while the volume and the         WiFi. Even so it has WAP,        ing between songs works          Website: www.sonyericsson.com
                                                                      now and then.                        be cheaper than some                    ‘walkman’ button is on the       GPRS and EDGE support.           fine, but the volume control     Price: Rs 14,695
                                                                            The Auto mode works            other brands, so buying                 right. The phone feels pret-          Many of the applications    seems a tad too sensitive.
                                                                      well along with the auto-            just a body and then a                  ty sturdy, but let’s see if it   use the shake feature as an      The slider is not very sturdy.    RATINGS
                                                                      focus feature. Focusing is           good lens can also be a                 really is.                       accelerometer. There is a bob-   We noticed there was a light
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Features
                                                                      instantaneous and there is           good move. If you don’t                     Each of the buttons has a    ble head wallpaper which on      at the corner of the keypad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Performance
                                                                      no delay whatsoever. There           need the Live View or the               subtle, yet noticeable out-      swaying the phone, moves in      for illumination. It however,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Build quality
                                                                      are a few autofocus hiccups          video recording or even the             line of a reflective turquoise   the opposite direction while     did not serve its purpose.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Value for Money
                                                                      every now and then, but              small changes Nikon has                 blue colour. The distance        bobbing. There is also an        Not all the buttons were
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Overall
                                                                      nothing that can’t be fixed          made, then the older D80                between the buttons are          application called Walk          illuminated.
                                                                      using the other auto-focus-          is a better buy, especially
                                                                      ing bracket modes. As                with its more wallet-friend-
                                                                      expected from any D-SLR,             ly price.                               Billion BiGuard 30                                                There are port blocking fea-     of switch and router that
                                                                      the manual mode gives you                                                                                                                      tures put in place, and data     can be managed remotely.
                                                                      total control of the camera.         Specifications                          Guarding your networks                                            can be monitored and                 At Rs 16,500, it’s not
                                                                      You won’t be disappointed            12.3 MP CMOS sensor, ISO                    he Billion BiGuard 30 is a   and user-friendly as some        blocked accurately. Web          very expensive for a SoHo
                                                                      with the D90, if you like to
                                                                      select a scenario preset
                                                                                                           Range: 200 - 3200, Shutter
                                                                                                           speed range: 1/4000th to 30
                                                                                                                                                   T   switch that is meant to be
                                                                                                                                                   used a security gateway. In
                                                                                                                                                                                    home routers available
                                                                                                                                                                                    today. The switch lets you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     pages with some keywords
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     can also be blocked. Virtual
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      especially for the function it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      performs.
                                                                      either — a dial for doing            seconds, Nikkon DX 18-105mm             comparison to some of the        connect to two external net-     Private Networks can also be
                                                                      that is present.                     VR lens, 3-inch screen,                 other network devices we’ve      works and data can be rout-      set up using this router.        Specifications
                                                                           Another new feature             SD/SDHC complaint, Video                seen, this one is one of the     ed through them. This fea-       Intrusion detection mecha-       Two Ethernet WAN ports, eight
                                                                      hardly ever seen on D-SLRs           recording up to 1280x720                nicer looking products. The      ture also allows load balanc-    nisms are present and logs       Ethernet LAN ports,
     D90 utilises a 12.3-MP           View that allows you to use     is video recording. The D90          pixels.                                 front has status indication      ing between two connec-          for all kinds of events are      Dimensions: 482 x 166 x 42 mm
     CMOS sensor going up from        the LCD screen to focus.        can capture up to 1280x720                                                   LEDs for all the eight LAN       tions. This is something very    maintained by the router.
     the D80’s 10.2-MP CCD sen-       This is a feature rarely        resolution videos at 24              Contact: Nikon India Pvt Ltd            ports and another two for the    useful in SoHo scenarios.        The router can be set up to      Contact: One Network (India)
     sor. The sensor size remains     found on D-SLRs.                frames per second. What              Phone No: 022-40925555                  WAN ports, all mounted on a      Setting up a WAN connec-         send alerts by email. Using      Pvt. Ltd
     unchanged. Most entry-level          The D90 is undoubtedly      makes it even more special           Website: www.nikon.co.in                glossy black surface. The rest   tion is easy and can be done     Dynamic DNS, the router          Phone: 9821014253
     cameras are supplied with        one of the easiest cameras      is that you can zoom and             Price: Rs 89,890 (with 18-100mm         of the body has a powder-        using fixed IP addresses,        can easily be accessed           Email: deepak@onenetwork.co.in
     an 18 to 55-mm lens which        to operate, if you have that    focus manually while shoot-          VR lens)                                coated paint finish.             PPPoE or two other methods.      remotely.                        Website: www.billion.com
     can be quite limiting to the     a basic knowledge of using      ing videos. The video quali-                                                     The interface is simple to       Security is also taken           The Billion makes per-       Price: Rs 16,500
     kinds of photos you can          a decent point-and-shoot        ty is great and the frame                                                    use, but isn’t as colourful      care of with this device.        fect sense for SoHo users
                                                                                                            RATINGS                                                                                                                                    RATINGS
     take. We received the cam-       camera. All the functions of    rate quite stable but you                                                                                                                      who have a small network.
                                                                                                            Features                                                                                                                                   Features
     era with a Nikkor DX 18 to       the camera such as ISO,         will need to buy a fast                                                                                                                        There are plenty of security
                                                                                                            Performance                                                                                                                                Performance
     105-mm VR zoom lens. This        white balance, exposure         SD/SDHC card for it.                                                                                                                           features and the firmware
                                                                                                            Build quality                                                                                                                              Build quality
     makes a good all-purpose         metering and focusing                We’d be lying if we said                                                                                                                  allows very precise and accu-
                                                                                                            Value for Money                                                                                                                            Value for Money
     kit for wide-angle and tele-     modes can be accessed by        that we weren’t impressed                                                                                                                      rate permissions and rules
                                                                                                            Overall                                                                                                                                    Overall
     scopic shooting.                 holding down the respec-        with the D90. It’s filled                                                                                                                      to be set. It is also the type


60   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                       www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                              DIGIT JANUARY 2009   61
     Digital Tools l Bazaar                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Digital Tools l Bazaar

     Canon Pixma MP198                                                                                                   tion through-            Thermaltake Xaser VI                                          cages which can be
                                                                                                                         out the image.
     A multifunctional device for the home user                                                                              Even
                                                                                                                                                  A hardcore cabinet for the hardcore gamer locked easily havingas drive bays
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                as well

           aving an MFD               are two flaps that need to                                                         though this                  hermaltake is a well      looked stylish but is not      slide-in locks. There
     H     (Multifunctional
     Device) for home use is a
                                      be opened — one behind for
                                      loading the paper, and one
                                                                                                                         MFD is on the
                                                                                                                         bulkier side,
                                                                                                                                                  T   known name in the         made of the best quality.      is also an extra draw-
                                                                                                                                                  world of gaming peripherals, The reset button is tiny and er bay, which you can
     pretty good option as it         in front for the paper out.                                                        being priced at          from PSUs to PC cabinets.     a bit hard to push.            attach and use as
     saves space, rather than hav-    The back loading extends                                                           only Rs. 4,595           The Xaser VI is a full tower      Some of the thumb-         CD/DVD storage if
     ing many devices and also        quite a bit too. The scanner                                                       is quite a steal         chassis meant solely for hard screws at the back are inac-   needed.
     comes in handy when you          lid does not have the fea-                                                         for home users           core gaming enthusiasts.      cessible and need to be            This case is pretty
     need immediate copies of         ture to extend, to allow big                                                       not wanting to               The Xaser VI is a black   opened with a screw driver.    big and aimed at
     something or the other.          books to be scanned.            also had a darker black to it.      spend a lot on printers. It             and red tower with metal      Putting them back needs        enthusiasts. The fan
     Canon products vary from             The buttons of the print-   The coloured test page used         does lack a few features like           dust filters on both sides to patience as well.              cables are coated
     consumer to business use         er are on the right side with   printed on both settings            USB plug-in, fax and is not             give a transparent look and       The case has three fans,   with rubber. SATA
     and ranges from simple           a single alpha-numeric dis-     had a 13.3 seconds differ-          one of the best printers in             feel. The material used is    and the one on top is          cables and loads of
     printers to multifunctional      play. You can set the num-      ence in print times. There          terms of colour quality, but            sturdy and the thickness of   blocked by the ceiling of the extras such as zip
     all-in-one printers, which       ber of copies from one to       was also significant quality        as it is user friendly and              the metal is pretty much      case. On looking further       ties are thrown in for
     can print, scan, copy and        nine, or set it at a maxi-      difference visible between          does not cost much, it is a             adequate. It’s not as impres- into the top, we found that    cable management. There             Firewire x 1, HD Audio
     even fax. The Canon Pixma        mum of 20, which is repre-      the two. The economic print         good buy.                               sive as the Cooler Master     the top panel can be moved     are plenty of empty open
     MP198 is one of the new          sented by ‘F’ displayed if      had a very grainy and pixe-                                                 Stacker or the Cosmos.        a bit towards the back giv-    spaces in the cabinet, so           Contact: Tirupati Enterprises
     additions to Canon’s range       you try to go above nine.       lated picture quality. We did       Specifications                              The I/O panel has space   ing the fan a bit more space expect dusting the insides            Phone no: 9339207519
     of inkjet multifunctional            We tested the speed at      notice that in the printouts,       Dimensions - 17.7 x 13.9 x 6.7          for two e-SATA ports, four    to blow air, but that leaves a every now and then. For the         Email: mail@tirupati.net
     printers which can print,        which this printer can print    in one of the images the yel-       inches, Print resolution: 4800          USB ports, a FireWire and     large section of the plate     price of Rs. 13,500, it’s over-     Website: www.tirupati.net
     scan and copy, but lacks the     a simple text document and      low was pulling into the            x 1200 pixels, prints up to 8           an audio in/out. Though       hanging out over the back      priced and not totally worth        Price: Rs. 13,500
     fax feature and is targeted      a document with colour at       magenta a bit.                      inches and 8.5 inches                   this case carries so much,    of the case.                   the money you pay.
     at home users.                   the settings of economy and         We also tested the print-                                               the cover for the panel was       The power supply is                                             RATINGS
          The MP198 has a matt        standard. The results           ing of a high-resolution test       Contact: Canon India Pvt Ltd            quite weak and the clips      mounted on top and a sup-      Specifications                      Features
     finish to it and is slightly     obtained showed there was       photo on photo paper,               Phone No: 1800-180-33-66                holding it looked like it     port beam is present to bear Dimensions: 23.8 x 9.8 x 26.0         Performance
     on the bulky side with its       a time difference of about      which took a total of 4 min-        Email: info@canon.co.in                 was not going to last very    some of the weight. The        inch, Drive Bay : 7, 10 Expansion   Build quality
     dimensions being 17.7(W) x       1.5 seconds between eco-        utes and 18 seconds. The            Website: www.Canon.co.in                long. The power button is     support beam can be adjust- slots, Front I/O: e-SATA connec-       Value for Money
     13.9(D) x 6.7(H) inches.         nomical and standard            result was a fairly good            Price: 4,595                            shaped as an ‘X,’ which       ed as well. There are HDD      tor x 2, USB2.0 x 4, IEEE 1394      Overall
     Installing the print car-        prints for a full-page Word     quality which did show
                                                                                                          RATINGS
     tridges is easy as there is a    document. Even though           some increase in the shad-
                                                                                                          Features                                Motorola Motozine ZN5
     big poster along with the        there wasn’t much of a dif-     ows. Scanning of a photo
     printer that gives you step-     ference in the times, the       took 28.6 secs, but did not         Performance                             A Motorola phone with a 5MP camera                              like projections protruding           The Motozine ZN5 is a
                                                                                                          Build quality
     by-step visual instructions      standard print setting          look too good. Colours were                                                       otorola mobile phones         This phone is like a jig-   out to indicate where to         pretty good phone, but is a
     on the basics for starting
     out with the printer. There
                                      looked much better in
                                      terms of smoothness and
                                                                      washed out and we also
                                                                      noticed some grainy pixela-
                                                                                                          Value for Money
                                                                                                          Overall
                                                                                                                                                  M     have mostly been driv-
                                                                                                                                                  en by style, especially with
                                                                                                                                                                                  saw puzzle with different
                                                                                                                                                                                  colours and all kinds of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  actually press.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The camera delivers pret-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   little too late for the mar-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ket. At Rs. 17,583, it still
                                                                                                                                                  their MotoRazr range of         materials used all over in      ty good images. There are        offers good competition to
                                                                                                                                                  phones. The MotoRokr            bits and pieces. The base of    also quick buttons for delete,   the N82. If you are on a
     Intex IN 2266                                                       tures like FM, GPRS, MP3         Specifications                          series followed and was         the phone is made of a rub-     share and gallery on the key-    tight budget, this is a
                                                                         playback and MMS. You            FM radio, MMS, WAP, GSM                 aimed at music lovers. This     ber material. The camera        pad when the phone is in         good buy.
     Compact entry-level phone                                           can use the speaker to lis-      900/1800, Expandable memo-              new one is called the           button is a nice metallic       camera and gallery mode.
       ntex is a company that has     speaker is                         ten to music or use it as        ry slot (up to 2 GB), Polyphonic        Motozine ZN5 and it comes       purple giving it a good dis-        The phone has a loud-        Specifications
     I recently seen an increase
     in the number of its prod-
                                      located
                                      behind,
                                                                         a loudspeaker when mak-
                                                                         ing calls. The FM radio
                                                                                                          Ringtones, 1000 number
                                                                                                          phonebook, 100 SMS memory,
                                                                                                                                                  with loads of features
                                                                                                                                                  including a 5-MP
                                                                                                                                                                                  tinguishing factor. A nifty
                                                                                                                                                                                              slide button on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  speaker, but is not that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  great as the sound is rather
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   2.4-inch LCD 240x320 pixel dis-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   play, 5-MP camera, 512 MB
     ucts. Mobile phones are one      and the                            has an auto-tune feature         188 SMS storage                         Kodak camera and is                         the right of the    flat. The supplied earbuds       internal memory expandable to
     of its less known products.      slot for                           and can store up to 30                                                   aimed at users who                          phone is present    on the other hand are much       4 GB via micro SD card, Wi-Fi.
     The Intex IN 2266 is an entry-   the hands-                         channels. The recording          Contact: Intex Technologies             want all the features                       which serves the    better in terms of sound
     level mobile phone packed        free is on                         includes scheduled FM            (India) Ltd                             a phone can offer                           purpose of lock-    quality with a decent mid-       Contact: Motorola
     with quite a few features for    the side of                        recording where the              Phone: 1800116789                       including the looks                         ing the phone.      range and even a hint of         Phone no: 0124 - 2303212
     a phone in this category.        the                                time and frequency for           Email: info@intextechnologies.com       of a phone.                                 This is a good      bass. The phone has a 3.5-       Website: www.motorola.com
          Firstly the looks — it’s    phone.                             recording can be set. The        Website: www.intextechnologies.com          The phone is thin                       step forward,       mm jack, which means you         Price: Rs. 17,583
     glossy cherry red all over,      The                                phone also has a sched-          Price: Rs. 2,999                        and slides into your                        rather than the     can also plug in your own
     and easily fits in your palm.    phone                              uled power on/off feature         RATINGS
                                                                                                                                                  pocket easily. The                          old conventional    earplugs. The only other          RATINGS
     It’s also very light. The but-   allows you                         that is useful to some                                                   upper section of the                        mode of key         complaint is that the phone       Features
                                                                                                           Features
     tons are a bit cramped and       to expand memory up to          users.                                                                      back has a bulge due                        presses to lock     heats up a bit with pro-          Performance
                                                                                                           Performance
     the screen size is also very     2GB via a T-flash microSD           The phone is still a great                                              to the lens of the                          the phone. The      longed use. The call quality      Build quality
                                                                                                           Build quality
     small with 64k colour and a      memory slot, which is next      buy with all its features like FM                                           camera. The back                            keypad is com-      was pretty good as far as         Value for Money
                                                                                                           Value for Money
     resolution of 240 x 240 pix-     to the SIM card slot.           and music playback, since it is                                             panel is a little                           pletely flat with   being in an area with full        Overall
                                                                                                           Overall
     els QVGA display. The loud-          The phone still has fea-    priced only at Rs. 2,999.                                                   tricky to remove.                           really tiny stud-   network reception goes.


62   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                      www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                             DIGIT JANUARY 2009   63
     Digital Tools l Bazaar                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Digital Tools l Bazaar

     Brother MFC-7840N                                                 11.5 seconds with an upper      all purchase. There are              Zebronics Air Gear                                              together looks very likely       we would recommend it to
     This Brother packs quite a punch                                  and lower limit of two sec-     some minor features lack-                                                                            to break if not handled          users who don’t like wires,
                                                                       onds in both modes.             ing, like a USB port to get          An MP3 player with no-strings attached                          with care. This device will      or to those who like listen-
         rother is best known for     bly slid into place very easi-       There was a difference      instant printout from flash              ebronics has come up       trols and the next/previous      not survive a trip in your       ing to music while they
     B   value-for-money prod-
     ucts. We look at one of its
                                      ly. Configuring the MFD can
                                      be being done without con-
                                                                       of a second between the
                                                                       two modes, but the image
                                                                                                       drives. This is still a really
                                                                                                       good buy, especially for
                                                                                                                                            Z   with an MP3 solution
                                                                                                                                            for wire free music as the
                                                                                                                                                                           buttons are also combined
                                                                                                                                                                           into two buttons. This is
                                                                                                                                                                                                            bag, if you intend to travel
                                                                                                                                                                                                            a crowded train or bus dur-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             exercise. So until an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             improved version of this
     latest MFDs — the MFC-           necting it to a PC. Other        quality was not that great      small businesses, but is a           Air Gear MP3 player is the     not very easy to use and         ing peak hours.                  wire free MP3 player comes
     7840N.                           than the many scanning           in economy mode. The            bit on the pricey side at            headset itself.                takes a while to get used to.         There is no manage-         out, we wouldn’t suggest
         This MFD has a basic         options available, there’s       standard mode was an            Rs. 19,895.                              The Zebronics Air Gear                                      ment in transferring             you buy it.
     two-line LCD backlit display.    also a unique one — scan         improvement, but a bit of                                            is worn behind the neck.                                        music, as you can directly
     There is a full numeric key-     your document to FTP             pixelation was still visible.   Specifications                       These headphones look like                                         drag and drop the songs       Specifications
     pad for the fax feature on       (upload to an FTP server).       Scanning gave some good         250 sheet paper tray, 32 MB          Bluetooth headphones, and                                           you want into the            Frequency range: 20 Hz –
     the right and button                  For printing, we used       results with the scanned        memory, Super G3 (33.6Kbps)          in fact, are the MP3 player                                          removable disk folder.      20,000Hz, Max volume: 85dB,
     options for fax, copy and        two modes of the test docu-      picture quality not that        modem, Upto 2,400 x 600 dpi          itself. There is no device                                            There is no shuffle or     Supported Formats: MP3, WMA
     print on the left.               ments — economy and stan-        bad and it took a total of      print resolution.                    that needs to be plugged                                               repeat feature avail-
         The paper tray can be        dard. The plain Word docu-       36.4 seconds.                                                        in to play music. The                                                  able with this player,    Contact: Top Notch Infotronics (I)
     removed completely with          ments took                           We also scanned five        Contact: Brother International       only time you need to                                                  which means you           Pvt. Ltd.
     three clamps to adjust your                                       pages using ADF — this took     (INDIA) Pvt. Ltd                     connect the headphones                                                have to be very selec-     Phone: 9892084950
     paper size — two on                                               a total of two minutes 35       Phone: 4098 8900                     to a wire is for charging or                                      tive of the songs you want     Email: padam.dugar@zebronics.com
     the sides and one on                                              seconds. A Word document        Email: info@brother.in               transferring music through                                      to listen to, or it will be a    Website: www.zebronics.com
     the back. There is                                                was used to test the copying    Website: www.brother.in              the mini USB port located                                       cumbersome task to look          Price: Rs. 1,950
     also a tray on top of                                              capabilities, which did not    Price: Rs. 19,895                    on the right earphone. All     We faced a frequent prob-        for that one particular
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RATINGS
     the device for ADF                                                 turn out that great as the                                          the controls are located on    lem between switching            song you feel like hearing.
     (Auto Document                                                     text turned out to be a bit                                         the right earphone. The        songs and controlling the             Priced at Rs. 1,950, it’s    Features
                                                                                                        RATINGS                                                                                                                               Performance
     Feeder). The lid of the                                            rough, but this could be                                            power on/off and the play      volume.                          not the best of MP3 players.
                                                                                                        Features                                                                                                                              Build quality
     scanner can be extend-                                            caused by the scanner. Even                                          and pause buttons are all         It is very delicate as the    If the neck band was stur-
                                                                                                        Performance                                                                                                                           Value for Money
     ed when you need to                                               so, the copying took only                                            combined into one button,      plastic neck band that           dier with a slight improve-
                                                                                                        Build quality                                                                                                                         Overall
     scan a thick book.                                                nine seconds.                                                        whereas the volume con-        holds the whole device           ment in the sound quality,
                                                                                                        Value for Money
         Installation is simple —                                          This MFD with its ADF
                                                                                                        Overall
     the toner cartridge assem-                                        feature makes a good over-
                                                                                                                                            Norton Internet Security 2009                                   nitely an improvement, as
                                                                                                                                            An efficient internet security suite                            in the past the major prob-
                                                                       economy mode was quite          164 seconds for printing,                                                                            lem with Norton was of
     HP Photosmart C4588                                               unsatisfactory with very        which is decent. The scan-               he Norton Internet         quick access notifications       users complaining of the
     A step towards wireless printing                                  edgy lines in a full page
                                                                       text document as well as
                                                                                                       ning performance was
                                                                                                       average.
                                                                                                                                            T   Security suite comprises
                                                                                                                                            all the features of Norton
                                                                                                                                                                           for anti-phishing and also
                                                                                                                                                                           keeps security information
                                                                                                                                                                                                            amount of resources used
                                                                                                                                                                                                            when the antivirus was
          P is well known for its     even need to connect the         for a colour document. The         The HP Photosmart C4588           Anti Virus with more fea-      like logins and passwords as     running.
     H    printing solutions,
     which include multifunc-
                                      printer to the computer for
                                      these initials steps.
                                                                       standard mode, on the
                                                                       other hand, was a great
                                                                                                       does live up to the mark for
                                                                                                       being a really good photo
                                                                                                                                            tures to protect users from
                                                                                                                                            threats on the internet like
                                                                                                                                                                           profiles. Norton Internet
                                                                                                                                                                           Security allows users to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Considering the
                                                                                                                                                                                                            all-in-one package
     tional devices. The HP               A unique feature of this     improvement in terms of         MFD as the photo printouts           phishing web sites, key log-   securely store usernames         that the Norton
     Photosmart C4588 is a new        printer is the WiFi support.     quality, but printing speed     were very impressive.                gers, etc.                     and passwords, as well as        Internet Security
     MFD inkjet aimed at home         You can either connect the       took a hit. The time differ-                                             The look of the Norton     create identity cards which      offers — antivirus,
     users or small businesses,       printer to a network using       ence between economy and        Specifications                       Internet Security sports a     help users in quick filling of   antispyware, phish-
     but also for those who want      a router or directly to a PC     standard for the test docu-     Dimensions: 17.09 x 11.42 x          very modern simplistic look.   online forms.                    ing filters for internet
     photo quality printing.          or laptop using ad-hoc net-      ment (text) was 10 seconds,     6.38 in, Print resolution - 1200     There are three quick access       The earlier versions of      safety and even good per-
         The C4588 is a neat look-    working. We ran the print-       whereas the coloured docu-      x 2400 dpi, 32 MB memory,            menus for Computer,            Norton Anti Virus and            formance, it is a bit on the
     ing MFD with its smooth          er through a series of tests     ment was a whole 30 sec-        WiFi, MS/DUO, SD, XD, MMC            Internet and Identity which    Norton Internet Security         expensive side at Rs. 2,115      available hard disk space,
     clean look. There is a one-      to check the print quality       onds. The quality of the        card reader.                         are displayed when you         used to use up a lot of          for one year and hence we        Standard Web browser
     inch LCD colour display on       and speed in two modes —         photo test turned out to be                                          open the program. There        resources which causing          would not recommend it
     the right surrounded by but-     economy and standard. The        exceptionally good. It took     Contact: Hewlett Packard             are also usage meters dis-     the PC to slow down when         as there are others out          Contact: Symantec
     tons. The paper support tray                                                                      Phone: 124 - 2566 111                played on the main screen:     idle as well as during a sys-    there that are cheaper.          Phone: 1800 425 4235
     feels a bit weak and break-                                                                       Email: seema.dawar@hp.com            one for CPU usage and the      tem scan. But the Norton         Even so, if you are a            Website: www.symantec.com/en/
     able. The scanner lid didn’t                                                                      Website: www.hp.com/in               other for usage of the         Internet Security 2009 has       Norton user and trust no         in/index.jsp
     feel very strong either.                                                                          Price: Rs. 8,800                     Norton Internet Security       stepped up and is quite          other antivirus software         Price: Rs. 2,115
         When you power on this                                                                                                             application.                   efficient when it come to        then this is a great bundle
                                                                                                        RATINGS                                                                                                                               RATINGS
     printer, it gives you step-by-                                                                                                             Norton Internet Security   resources. It used a maxi-       for you.
     step instructions on how to                                                                        Features                            integrates into your browser   mum of 20 MB of RAM                                                Features
     start installing the car-                                                                          Performance                         as a toolbar. Firefox and      when we first installed it       Requirements                      Performance
     tridges right up to print                                                                          Build quality                       Internet Explorer have tool-   and while running a sys-         Microsoft Windows XP/Vista,       Ease of Use
     alignment — all on the LCD                                                                         Value for Money                     bars, but Opera isn’t sup-     tem scan it used about 10        300 MHz or faster processor,      Value for Money
     display itself. You do not                                                                         Overall                             ported. The toolbar gives      MB of RAM. This is defi-         256 MB of RAM, 200 MB of          Overall



64   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                             DIGIT JANUARY 2009     65
     Digital Tools l Motherboards Test                                                                                                                                                                                           Digital Tools l Motherboards Test



     Brick and mortar
                                                                                                                                       Motherboards up to                      egory and one was an AMD-based                              board brings. This board also has
                                                                                                                                       Rs 10,000                               offering.                                                   an option in the BIOS for enabling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Intel’s Robson, which by definition
                                                                                                                                       Feature rich and fancy-free             Features                                                    uses a small amount of cache
                                                                                                                                                                               The MSI K9A2 Neo2 was the AMD-                              on the board itself to speed up

     Michael Browne                                      of these boards support extra
                                                         connectivity options like E-SATA,
                                                                                              domination in the high-end per-
                                                                                              formance market. AMD chose to
                                                                                                                                       N    ormally,     non-integrated
                                                                                                                                            motherboards aren’t cheap.
                                                                                                                                       However, there’re always options
                                                                                                                                                                               based solution in this category,
                                                                                                                                                                               and is based on AMD’s RX780 chip-
                                                                                                                                                                               set. This board is cleanly laid out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           HDD operations. Unfortunately
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           this board doesn’t have any such
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           cache and may rely on a flash


     I
         n November last year, we test-                  extra USB ports and serial ATA       play the entry-level market, which       for every user and in every price       and the area around the CPU is                              drive for this purpose. We haven’t
         ed motherboards with inte-                      ports. Some of these even come       is why our integrated-graph-             bracket. Sadly, the recent plum-        also very open. Two of the others                           come across this setting in the
         grated graphics (IG) solutions.      High-      with a lot of snazzy add-ons, like   ics motherboard comparison in            meting Rupee value against the          were P43-based solutions, which                             BIOS’ of other boards before so
     These were strictly entry-level to                  an LCD screen that displays POST     November had more AMD-based              Dollar means that most Indian           are lower variants of the P45 chip-
     mid-range platforms. As you’re
                                            end rigs,    (Power On Self Test) messages.       solutions. If you’re buying a high-      distributors have pulled up their       set. MSI’s P43 Neo and Gigabyte’s
     probably aware, high-end systems      multi-GPU     Perhaps more importantly, most       end PC today, market trends sug-         rates. Over the past two months,        EP43-DS3L both featured the ICH
     mostly mean motherboards with-         systems      of these motherboards support        gest you want an Intel processor,        quite a few sub-Rs. 10000 boards        10 Southbridge. ECS was the only          JanUaRy 2009
     out any graphics solution. Yes,       and world     specific multi-GPU solutions like    and motherboard manufacturers            have crossed into the higher price      vendor to provide a P45 offering
     high-end PCs demand a graphics                      NVIDIA’s SLI or ATI’s Crossfire.     seem to agree. We also noticed           category. Also cheaper IG boards        — the P45T-AD3. Quite surpris-
     card, and therefore, an integrat-       record      If you’re looking at building a      that Nehalem boards were rather          are plentiful, but non-integrated       ingly this board supported DDR3
     ed video solution isn’t required.      beating      fast gaming rig, or even a pow-      scarce – it seems Intel’s DX 58          boards are one category where           memory; this is kind of contra-
     Moreover, most manufacturers            bench-      erful multi-purpose PC, or a         SO is the only X58 motherboard           discerning buyers are willing to        dictive to the product pricing as
     reserve the top-end features and                    rig for cracking world bench-        that is readily available. Other         shell out big. As a result, only        DDR3 memory is costly enough
     top quality binned parts for their
                                           marks need    mark records, then you’ll prob-      vendors have demo pieces, but            four boards made it into this cat-      to negate any price benefits the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           MSI P43 Neo

     top-of-the-line solutions. These       the best     ably end up shopping for one of      nothing in-market. We did get
     are more-often-than-not discrete       boards.      these worthies.                      an MSI X58 Eclipse and an ASUS
     graphics solutions.                   We’ve test-       We’ve tested 26 of the top-      P6T Deluxe, but the former was            How We Tested
         When you’re simply buying a                     end boards available today. To       recalled before we could test it.
     PC, any motherboard will most
                                           ed them...    nobody’s surprise, 24 of these       The latter turned out to be physi-        We categorised our motherboards into three price categories          E-SATA, dual LAN ports, solid state capacitors and the number of
     likely do, as long as it supports                   boards were Intel LGA 775 plat-      cally damaged – some CPU pins                  1. Boards up to Rs. 10,000                                      expansion slots available for PCI and PCIe cards was rated.
     the processor of your choice – at                   forms. AMD users have a measly       were missing. Therefore, Intel’s               2. Boards above Rs. 10,000 and up to Rs. 18,500
     least four serial ATA ports and an                  two boards to choose from. This      X58 offering remains the only                  3. Boards above Rs. 18,500                                      Performance testing
     equal number of memory slots                        is because most vendors are flock-   Nehalem-based board we’ve tested               Our Test system for the Intel platform consisted of a Core      PC Mark 2005: This benchmark runs 48 discrete tests to test
     and USB ports. The motherboards                     ing to make high-end solutions       and we await more boards from             2 Extreme QX 9650 (3.0 GHz) processor and 4 GB of RAM. For           each performance related component subsystem — the proces-
     we’ve tested are catered more                       supporting Core 2 Duo and Core 2     other vendors based on the new            DDR2 boards we used Corsair’s Dominators rated at 1066 MHz at        sor, memory, video and storage. Finally it throws out a final score
     towards the discerning user. Most                   Quad processors, thanks to Intel’s   and exciting Nehalem processor.           timings of 4-4-4-12 at a speed of 800 MHz. For the DDR3 moth-        — which is a weighted average of the individual results.
                                                                                                                                        erboards we used 4 GB of OCZ XTC Platinum clocked at 1333 MHz
                                                                                                                                        at timings of 9-9-9-20. Our graphics card of choice was ASUS’ EN     SiSoft Sandra 2008 Lite: Sandra 2007 had specific benchmarks
                                                                                                                                        GTX 280 TOP; an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280-based card whose core         to test all the subsystems of a PC. It tests a CPU’s floating point
                                                                                                                                        is factory overclocked to 670 MHz. Western Digital Raptor hard       crunching ability under both arithmetic and multimedia applica-
                                                                                                                                        drives were our storage component; these have the spindle run-       tions. The application supports multiple cores and scales well in
                                                                                                                                        ning at 10,000 rpm and are suitable for such high-end boards.        this regard. It also tests the read and write performance of the
                                                                                                                                             For AMD systems we used the Phenom 9950 processor               storage subsystem, and the memory bandwidth.
                                                                                                                                        clocked at 2.6 GHz. We used the same memory, graphics card and
                                                                                                                                        HDD for the AMD motherboards as well; this is done to minimise       3D Mark 2006: Our graphics benchmark of choice.
                                                                                                                                        deviations in scores due to different components being used. By
                                                                                                                                        varying only the motherboard and the processor we are able to        CineBench R10: Tests the CPUs rendering ability; scales well with
                                                                                                                                        keep other variances down to a minimum. We used the latest           multiple cores.
                                                                                                                                        motherboard BIOS’ and the latest drivers that we downloaded
                                                                                                                                        from the respective sites. Our OS of choice was the tried and        WinRAR 3.8: Tests compression/decompression at the CPU level
                                                                                                                                        tested Windows XP Prof with service pack 2 installed. This is
                                                                                                                                        probably the last time we’re testing boards on this ultra stable     Video encoding (DivX 6.8): is a CPU intensive test and using it
                                                                                                                                        and reliable platform.                                               while testing a motherboard tells us exactly how optimised the
                                                                                                                                                                                                             board in question is. The latest version 6.8 also has support for
                                                                                                                                        Features                                                             the new SSE4 instruction set.
                                                                                                                                        We looked very carefully at overclocking options that these boards
                                                                                                                                        provide. With overclocking becoming very idiot-proof, even idi-      File transfer test: This tells us a lot about Southbridge perfor-
                                                                                                                                        ots (pardon the pun!) can play around with BIOS settings safely.     mance and data path optimisations on each motherboard, and
                                                                                                                                        Enthusiasts will also find a lot of valuable information as far as   how fast data is moving around on your hard disk.
                                                                                                                                        CPU and memory voltage parameters go. We rated these boards
     Photo: Jiten Gandhi




                                                                                                                                        on the basis of both overclocking and overvolting options and        Game benchmarks: Doom 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow Of Chernobyl
                                                                                                                                        how easy and transparent the settings in the menus are to this       and Prey were our games of choice. We run these games at maxi-
                                                                                                                                        effect. We also looked at the features and connectivity options      mum settings for a good GPU benchmark and at minimum set-
                                                                                                                                        that these boards provide. The presence of digital audio ports,      tings to get a sound CPU benchmark.


66   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                           www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                     DIGIT JANUARY 2009   67
      Digital Tools l Motherboards Test                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Digital Tools l Motherboards Test
                                                                                                                                                                      have eight rear                                                                         chip which allows you to surf
                                                                                                                                                                      USB ports for                                                                           the internet and use Skype with-
                                                                                                                                                                      hassle free con-         JanUaRy 2009                                                   out booting into Windows. Both
                                                                                                                                                                      nectivity. MSI’s                                                                        boards have great looking heat-
                                                                                    JanUaRy 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      P43 Neo with its                                                                        pipe solutions and are very well
                                                                                                                                                                      fire engine red                                                                         laidout except for the fact that
           Motherboards                                                                        Boards Up To Rs 10,000
                                                                                                                                                                      PCB is clearly a                                                                        one SATA port remains unusable
                       Brand                                      MSI                     MSI                             ECS                        Gigabyte         basic solution as                                                                       with full length graphics cards.
                      Model No.                                K9A2 Neo2                P43 Neo                         P45T-AD3                    EP43-DS3L
                                                                                                                                                                      MSI uses a black PCB                                                                    This is because while the other
                                                                                                                                                                      for their high-end boards.                                                              SATA ports point outwards this
                                                                                                                                                                      It has a simple aluminium                                                               one is vertically aligned (meaning
                                                                                                                                                                      heatsink on the Northbridge                                    MSI P45 Platinum         it points upwards); connecting a
                                                                                                                                                                      and is cleanly laid out with a lot                                                      hard drive to this port with a full
                                                                                                                                                                      of gap between the PCIe slot and                                                        length graphics card plugged in
                                                                                                                                                                      PCI slots.                                                                              is impossible. We liked the fact
     Chipset                                         AMD RX780               Intel P43 Neo                Intel P45                    Intel P43
     Socket                                          AM2/AM2+                LGA 775                      LGA 775                      LGA 775                                                                  You want bragging rights and                  that ASUS chose to supply one
     Northbridge / Southbridge                       AMD RX780 / AMD         P43 / ICH10                  P45 / ICH10R                 P43 / ICH10                    Performance                           flaunt value as well as rock solid                PCI slot above the primary PCIe
                                                     SB700/SB750
     Price (Rupees)                                  4500                    5200                         7560                         8500
                                                                                                                                                                      The P45 chipset is slightly faster    performance and build quality.                    slot. This means that you can use
     Plus (+)                                                                                                                                                         than the P43 and ECS’ P45T-AD3        In addition these boards usual-                   your PCI soundcard, even if you
     Minus (-)                                                                                                                                                        takes the lead in this regard         ly have better quality or higher                  have a large custom cooler on
     Grand Total (Out of 100)                        54.01                   57.57                        61.89                        64.47
     Features (out of 60)                            24.36                   22.50                        26.10                        29.22
                                                                                                                                                                      but by the finest of margins. Of      grade components. This helps                      your graphics card, without fear
     Performance (Out of 40)                         29.65                   35.07                        35.79                        35.25                          course this could also be attribut-   with increased life and stabil-                   of airflow getting impeded in any
     Front Side Bus Speed (MHz)                      2000 MHz                1333 MHz                     1333 MHz                     1333 MHz                       able to the use of DDR3 memory        ity while overclocking which is                   way. Incidentally these boards
     Memory Type                                     DDR2                    DDR2                         DDR3                         DDR2
     Max Memory Supported (GB) / No of DIMMs         8 GB / 4                8 GB / 4                     8 GB / 4                     8 GB / 4
                                                                                                                                                                      especially in case of the memory      important for those interested                    support a 16-phase power system,
     No. of SATA / IDE Ports                         6/1                     6/1                          6/1                          6/1                            bandwidth benchmarks which            in benchmarking and posting                       good for ensuring an ultra sta-
     E-SATA Support / No Of E-SATA Ports             6 / NA                  6 / NA                       y/1                          6 / NA                         are largely theoretical in nature.    scores on forums and such. Some                   ble supply of power to your CPU
     No of PCI Express Graphics Slots                1                       1                            2                            1
     No. of PCI / PCI x1 / PCI x4 Slots              3/2/6                   3/2/6                        2/2/6                        2/4/6                          The MSI K9A2 Neo2 is just eaten       of these boards will also have                    which is of importance to over-
     Multi GPU Support (SLI/CrossFire/N) / No of     N / NA                  N / NA                       Y / Crossfire x8             6 / NA                         up here; and not for any fault of     fancy looking heatpipe cooling                    clockers. Gigabyte’s GA-P45-DS4P
     PCIe Lanes for multi GPU setups                                                                                                                                  its own. AMD really trails behind     solutions; this is great for people               is another solidly built offering.
     Integrated Audio Controller                     Realtek ALC888          Realtek ALC 888              Realtek ALC 883              Realtek ALC 888
     SPDIF / Optical Port                            6/6                     6/6                          6/6                          4/4                            Intel in terms of processor per-      having cabinets with transparent                  It’s a great looker too with a good
     No of LAN Ports / 10/100 / Gigabit              1 / Gigabit             1 / Gigabit                  1 / Gigabit                  1 / Gigabit                    formance and this reflects in         side windows or anyone wanting                    looking heatpipe solution that
     Integrated Wi-Fi (Y/N)                          6                       6                            6                            6
                                                                                                                                                                      most of the benchmark scores.         to show his components off.                       doesn’t take up too much space.
     No. of rear USB / FireWire Ports                6/0                     4/6                          6/0                          8/1
     All Solid State Caps (Y/N)                      6                       6                            6                            4                                                                                                                      Biostar’s T-Power I45 was also a
     BIOS options                                                                                                                                                     Our Winner(s)                         Features                                          good looking and well laid out
     Overclocking / Overvolting (So 10)              5/5                     5/5                          3.5 / 3.5                    5.5 / 5.5                      All in all, MSI’s P43 Neo impressed   The boards in the category were                   board and an add-on fan with
     CPU voltage range (volts)                       (-)26.6 to (+)30.4%     -0.4 ~ +0.7875v              +50mV ~ +328mV               0.5 ~ 2.0v
     Memory voltage range (volts)                    1.80 to 2.90v           1.416 ~ 3.324v               1.5v ~ 2.2v                  1.8 ~ 2.5v                     the most. It trailed the fastest      all quite feature rich and diverse                heatpipe is also provided. Biostar
     Package Bundle                                                                                                                                                   board by a hairsbreadth and was       in terms of the chipsets they were                uses funky colours for the expan-
     No of SATA / PATA Cables Provided               4/1                     3/1                          4/1                          3/1
     CD’s                                            Drivers                 Driver, Backup software      Drivers                      Drivers
                                                                                                                                                                      a whole Rs. 2,360 cheaper. At Rs.     based on. We found Intel’s P45                    sion slots and the SATA ports
     Other Miscellaneous Accessories                 NA                      NA                           USB and FireWire bracket     NA                             5,200 its your best bet for a cheap   boards aplenty along with a few                   are well placed; not so the PATA
     Performance                                                                                                                                                      yet powerful board that’s rea-        of the cheaper X48 chipset based                  port which is a little awkward
     PC Mark 2005:
     CPU / Memory                                    7623 / 4496             9563 / 6433                  9683 / 6691                  9553 / 6326
                                                                                                                                                                      sonably feature-rich. It won our      boards. NVIDIA’s nForce 780i SLI                  although not inaccessible.
     Graphics / HDD                                  16450 / 6837            18253 / 6527                 18429 / 7017                 18425 / 6922                   Digit Best Buy award in the sub-      chipset also makes an appear-                          ASUS’ Striker Formula (780i
     Overall                                         8774                    10138                        10573                        10467                          Rs. 10,000 category and repre-        ance here. A sole AMD offering                    chipset) and Rampage Formula
     SiSoft Sandra 2008:
     CPU Arithmetic (Dhrystone ALU / Whetstone       39365 / 33387           54667 / 44028                55530 / 44066                55343 / 44016
                                                                                                                                                                      sents superb value for money.         based on the new 790FX was                        (X48 chipset) are part of their
     iSSE3)                                                                                                                                                                                                 available from ASUS. ASUS them-                   built for gamers ROG (Republic
     CPU Multimedia (Integer / Floating)
     Drive Index (MB/s) / Random Access Time (ms)
                                                     98644 / 130006
                                                     71 / 6
                                                                             328936 / 180293
                                                                             73 / 6
                                                                                                          329473 / 180768
                                                                                                          72 / 6
                                                                                                                                       329272 / 180264
                                                                                                                                       72 / 6                         Motherboards above                    selves had five boards in this cat-               Of Gamers) series. These boards
                                                                                                                                                                                                            egory. The attractively packaged                  have add-on soundcards featur-
     SiSoft Memory bandwidth score (Integer /
     Floating)
                                                     5309 / 5301             6526 / 6253                  7196 / 7199                  6526 / 6527                    Rs. 10,000 and up to                  P5Q Premium and P5Q3 Deluxe                       ing the same ADI 1988B audio
     3D Mark 2006 Marks / CPU Score                  13415 / 3850            16638 / 4949                 16879 / 4975                 16727 / 4962                   Rs. 18,500                            caught our eye first. Both are                    chipset that ASUS uses across
     CINEBENCH R10 (CPU)                             8319                    11824                        11833                        11828
     WinRAR 3.8                                      1844                    2192                         2263                         2193                                                                 based on the P45 chipset; but the                 all their high-end motherboards.
     Video Encoding (DivX 6.8) Time (sec)            80                      114.3                        114.2                        115.4
                                                                                                                                                                      Enthusiastically yours                number three as a suffix on the                   They also have small LED-back-

                                                                                                                                                                      T
     File Transfer Test (4 GB File) (MBps)           145.2                   136.5                        136.7                        135.2                              he number of people willing       P5Q3 Deluxe means this board                      lit buttons for functions like
     Doom 3 FPS (1600x1200, 4xAA, 4xAF / 640 x       172.7 / 185.5           203.2 / 288.4                212.7 / 305.4                207.6 / 301.3
     480, low detail)                                                                                                                                                     to spend Rs. 10,000 or above on   supports DDR3 instead of the de                   power on/off, CMOS reset and
     S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow Of Chernobyl (1680x1050,   136.2 / 443.19          180.3 / 894.6                180.95 / 916.11              180.23 / 888.4                 a motherboard are few; however        facto DDR2. This board also sup-                  system reset. This is convenient
     4xAA, 4xAF / 800 x 600, low detail)                                                                                                                              this number is slowly on the rise.    ports two WLAN access points —                    for people working with open
     Prey (1680 x 1050, 4x AA, 4x AF, 640 x 480,     165.8 / 227             204.3 / 348.8                211.2 / 357                  202.2 / 336.84
     low detail)                                                                                                                                                      Overclockers, gamers demand-          nifty but useless for most people.                systems (like us!) or overclock-
                                                                                                                                                                      ing multi-GPU systems and oth-        The P5Q Premium actually has                      ers. They also have LEDs on the
       it warrants mention. The board                                      sport an all solid-state capacitor             cooler isn’t fixed on too tight and         ers wanting a really feature rich     four RJ45 ports; a waste if you ask               PCB that indicate the current
       itself is good looking with an all-                                 design. We like the placement                  uses plastic push-through pins to           board have no other choice. When      us, although we did like the 10                   status of Northbridge, FSB and
       black PCB and is the best laid out                                  of the memory slots and the                    fasten to the board. Due to this            you pay above Rs. 10,000 for a        USB ports. Both these boards also                 CPU overclocks. Then there is the
       board in this category. The EP43-                                   SATA ports in particular. The CPU              the cooler was quite loose, which           board you are not just looking for    support Express Gate, an ASUS pat-                huge yet unobtrusive one-piece
       DS3L from Gigabyte was cleanly                                      region was also fairly un-cramped.             isn’t good for heat dissipation.            connectivity options or even mun-     ent for a separate Linux based                    heatpipe cooling solutions that
       laid out and was the only one to                                    One issue was the Northbridge                  This board was the only one to              dane features.                        firmware OS built on to a flash                   ASUS uses; these cooling solu-

68    DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                                         www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                       DIGIT JANUARY 2009   69
       Digital Tools l Motherboards Test                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Digital Tools l Motherboards Test



                                                           JanUaRy 2009                                                                      JanUaRy 2009                           JanUaRy 2009


           Motherboards                                                             Boards above Rs. 10,000 and Up To Rs. 18,500
                      Brand                                      MSI                       BioStar                     ASUS                       ZOTAC                                    ASUS                        EVGA                            MSI                                    Intel                 XFX
                     Model No.                               P45 Platinum                T-Power I45               M3A79-T Deluxe             NF-780i Supreme                           P5Q3 Deluxe                 132-CK-NF78                   X48c Platinum                             DX48BT2             MB-N780-ISH9




     Chipset                                       Intel P45                  Intel P45                  AMD 790FX                      NVIDIA nForce 780i                  Intel X48                 NVIDIA nForce 780i                 Intel X48                           Intel X48                NVIDIA nForce 780i
     Socket                                        LGA 775                    LGA 775                    AM2/AM2+                       LGA 775                             LGA 775                   LGA 775                            LGA 775                             LGA 775                  LGA 775
     Northbridge / Southbridge                     P45 / ICH10R               P45 / ICH10R               AMD 790FX / AMD SB750          nForce 780i SLI / nForce 570 SLI    X48 / ICH9R               nForce 780i SLI / nForce 570 SLI   X48 / ICH9R                         X48 / ICH9R              nForce 780i SLI / nForce 570 SLI
     Price (Rupees)                                10800                      10800                      11925                          12999                               13850                     14250                              15000                               16000                    16500
     Plus (+)
     Minus (-)
     Grand Total (Out of 100)                      69.41                      64.51                      65.91                          67.89                               76.15                     67.62                              68.55                               68.03                    66.14
     Features (out of 60)                          34.10                      29.16                      35.60                          32.94                               40.20                     33.18                              33.33                               32.48                    31.74
     Performance (Out of 40)                       35.32                      35.35                      30.31                          34.95                               35.95                     34.44                              35.22                               35.56                    34.40
     Front Side Bus Speed (MHz)                    1333 MHz                   1333 MHz                   2000 MHz                       1333 MHz                            1333 MHz                  1333 MHz                           1333 MHz                            1333 MHz                 1333 MHz
     Memory Type                                   DDR2                       DDR2                       DDR2                           DDR2                                DDR3                      DDR2                               DDR2 / DDR3                         DDR3                     DDR2
     Max Memory Supported (GB) / No of DIMMs       8 GB / 4                   8 GB / 4                   16 GB / 4                      8 GB / 4                            8 GB / 4                  8 GB / 4                           8 GB / 6 #                          8 GB / 4                 8 GB / 4
     No. of SATA / IDE Ports                       8/1                        6/1                        6/1                            6/1                                 8/1                       6/1                                4/1                                 6/1                      6/1
     E-SATA Support / No of E-SATA Ports           4/1                        4/2                        4/1                            6 / NA                              4/1                       6 / NA                             4/2                                 4/2                      6 / NA
     No of PCI Express Graphics Slots              2                          2                          4                              3                                   3                         3                                  2                                   3                        3
     No. of PCI / PCI x1 / PCI x4 Slots            2/2/6                      2/2/6                      2/6/6                          2/1/6                               2/2/6                     2/1/6                              3/2/6                               2/6/6                    2/1/6
     Multi GPU Support (SLI/CrossFire/N) / No of   Y / Crossfire x8           Y / Crossfire x8           Y / Quad CrossfireX (x8, x8,   Y / 3 way SLI (x16, x16, x8)        Y / Crossfire x8          Y / 3 way SLI, (x16, x16, x8)      Y / Crossfire x16                   Y / Crossfire x16        Y / 3 way SLI, (x16, x16, x8)
     PCIe Lanes for multi-GPU setups                                                                     x8, x8)
     Integrated Audio Controller                   Realtek ALC 888            Realtek ALC 888            ADI AD2000B SoundMax           Realtek ALC 888                     ADI 1988B                 Realtek ALC 888                    Realtek ALC 888                     Sigmatel STAC 927        Realtek ALC 888
     SPDIF / Optical Port                          6/4                        6/6                        4/4                            6/4                                 4/4                       6/4                                6/4                                 6/4                      6/4
     No of LAN Ports / 10/100 / Gigabit            1 / Gigabit                1 / Gigabit                1 / Gigabit                    2 / Gigabit                         2 / Gigabit               2 / Gigabit                        1 / Gigabit                         1 / Gigabit              2 / Gigabit
     Integrated Wi-Fi (Y/N)                        6                          6                          6                              4 (kit)                             4                         6                                  6                                   6                        6
     No. of rear USB / FireWire Ports              6/1                        6/0                        6/1                            6/1                                                           6/1                                6/1                                 8/1                      6/1
     All Solid State Caps (Y/N)                    4                          4                          4                              6                                   4                         6                                  4                                   6                        6
     BIOS options
     Overclocking / Overvolting (So 10)            7.25 / 7                   5/5                        7.25 / 7                       7/7                                 9/9                       7/7                                7.25 / 7.25                         7.75 / 7.5               7/7
     CPU voltage range (volts)                     0.9925 to 1.9425 V         -0.05v to +1.3v            0.8 to 1.7v                    0.5 to 1.8.0v                       0.85 to 2.1v              0.5 to 1.8.0v                      +0.7875 V at 0.0125                 1.28 to 1.6v             0.5 to 1.8.0v
     Memory voltage range (volts)                  1.428 to 3.324 V           +0.4v to +1.85v            1.8 to 2.5v                    1.8 to 2.5v                         1.5 to 2.78v              1.8 to 2.5v                        DDR3 - 1.50 to 2.75 V, DDR2 - 1.8   1.5 to 2.5v              1.8 to 2.5v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to 3.3 V
     Package Bundle
     No of SATA / PATA Cables Provided             4/1                        4/1                        6/1                            4/1                                 6/1                       6/1                                4/1                                 2/1                      4/1
     CD’s                                          Drivers                    Drivers                    Drivers                        Drivers                             Drivers                   Drivers                            Drivers                             Drivers                  Drivers
     Other Miscellaneous Accessories               USB and FireWire bracket   Add-on fan with heatpipe   NA                             WiFi kit                            2-WiFi AP units           NA                                 USB and FireWire bracket            NA                       NA
     Performance
     PC Mark 2005:
     CPU / Memory                                  9662 / 6552                9678 / 6471                7658 / 4500                    9612 / 6682                         9700 / 6738               9644 / 6706                        9652 / 6452                         9672 / 6482              9635 / 6735
     Graphics / HDD                                18382 / 6827               18499 / 7073               16798 / 6881                   18284 / 7243                        18435 / 6958              18371 / 7241                       18182 / 7026                        18236 / 7172             18373 / 7102
     Overall                                       10389                      10499                      8969                           10473                               10624                     10512                              10445                               10219                    10480
     SiSoft Sandra 2008:
     CPU Arithmetic (Dhrystone ALU /               55328 / 44217              55631 / 44045              39486 / 33576                  55538 / 44263                       55683 / 44307             55555 / 44015                      55262 / 44192                       55527 / 44091            55533 / 44024
     Whetstone iSSE3)
     CPU Multimedia (Integer / Floating)           329873 / 180626            330244 / 181007            98962 / 130438                 329374 / 180731                     330655 / 181060           329422 / 180295                    329872 / 180828                     330283 / 180992          329374 / 180353
     Drive Index (MB/s) / Random Access Time       73 / 6                     72 / 6                     72 / 6                         67 / 13                             72 / 6                    67 / 13                            72 / 6                              74 / 6                   67 / 13
     (ms)
     SiSoft Memory bandwidth score (Integer /      6626 / 6656                6658 / 6668                5312 / 5311                    6838 / 6841                         7324 / 7222               6972 / 6957                        7019 / 7023                         7219 / 7215              6839 / 6837
     Floating)
     3D Mark 2006 Marks / CPU Score                16563 / 4982               16845 / 4966               13715 / 3907                   16377 / 4981                        16928 / 4991              16707 / 4954                       16627 / 4945                        16823 / 4993             16703 / 4938
     CINEBENCH R10 (CPU)                           11825                      11833                      8408                           11836                               11831                     11821                              11836                               11862                    11834
     WinRAR 3.8                                    2204                       2086                       1850                           2253                                2289                      1603                               2122                                2219                     1672
     Video Encoding (DivX 6.8) Time (sec)          114.6                      114.1                      78.3                           113.5                               113.2                     113.8                              114.8                               113.9                    113.4
     File Transfer Test (4 GB File) (MBps)         136.6                      137                        140.4                          146.7                               137                       143.7                              140                                 137.6                    145.8
     Doom 3 FPS (1600x1200, 4xAA, 4xAF / 640       201.6 / 296.3              208.7 / 291.7              177.1 / 190.8                  208.4 / 303.7                       212.7 / 302.2             211.8 / 303.8                      207.5 / 292.4                       208.2 / 294.3            208.35 / 299.4
     x 480, low detail)
     S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow Of Chernobyl             180.63 / 908.72            180.32 / 916.3             139.29 / 460.81                180.21 / 905.3                      181.11 / 930.72           179.01 / 880.41                    180.4 / 911.4                       179.3 / 910.3            179.5 / 901.4
     (1680x1050, 4xAA, 4xAF / 800 x 600, low
     detail)
     Prey (1680 x 1050, 4x AA, 4x AF, 640 x        206.3 / 351.7              210.5 / 352.6              183.6 / 231.9                  206.3 / 346.4                       211.1 / 374               208.7 / 344.9                      208.8 / 350.3                       208.6 / 355              208.5 / 348.3
     480, low detail)


70     DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                                     www.thinkdigit.com           www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                   DIGIT JANUARY 2009       71
      Digital Tools l Motherboards Test                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Digital Tools l Motherboards Test
                                                                                    Boards above Rs. 10,000 and Up To Rs. 18,500
                                                                                                                                                                           and even a full length, double-       bie friendly with help options
           Motherboards
                                                                                                                                                                           slot card will not render them        at every stage. The settings are
                      Brand                                 ASUS                            ASUS                        Gigabyte                      ASUS
                     Model No.                         Rampage Formula                   P5Q Premium                    P45-DS4P                Striker 2 Formula
                                                                                                                                                                           unusable. Equally important for       also very transparent and menu
                                                                                                                                                                           some is the support for both          structure is good. Both Gigabyte
                                                                                                                                                                           DDR2 and DD3 memory on the            and ASUS support updating their
                                                                                                                                                                           X48c; this board has six memory       BIOS through USB drive and this
                                                                                                                                                                           DIMMs; two for DDR2 and four          is so much more convenient then
                                                                                                                                                                           for DDR3. This means you can          hunting around for a floppy drive
                                                                                                                                                                           upgrade to DDR3 later, when it’s      and working diskette. Although
                                                                                                                                                                           more affordable. All these fea-       most vendors have programs that
     Chipset                                    Intel X48                      Intel P45                  Intel P45                     NVIDIA nForce 780i                                                                                                                         ZOTAC NF-780i Supreme
     Socket                                     LGA 775                        LGA 775                    LGA 775                       LGA 775                            tures come with a caveat — there      allow flashing the BIOS from
     Northbridge / Southbridge                  X48 / ICH9R                    P45 / ICH10R               P45 / ICH10R                  nForce 780i SLI / nForce 570 SLI   are only four SATA ports and this     Windows itself we feel the option
     Price (Rupees)                             17000                          17750                      17890                         18350
     Plus (+)
                                                                                                                                                                           may not be enough for those           of adding support for flashing        JanUaRy 2009   Winner(s)
     Minus (-)                                                                                                                                                             running multiple HDDs and             from a USB drive from within the                     Our Best Buy award goes to MSI’s
     Grand Total (Out of 100)                   74.79                          75.40                      72.87                         75.35                              RAID arrays. The P45 Platinum         BIOS is a very useful feature.                       P45 Platinum; a highly competent
     Features (out of 60)                       39.83                          40.44                      37.64                         41.27
     Performance (Out of 40)                    34.96                          34.96                      35.24                         34.09
                                                                                                                                                                           is equally well laid out and the                                                           board for most high-end users at a
     Front Side Bus Speed (MHz)                 1333 MHz                       1333 MHz                   1333 MHz                      1333 MHz                           heatpipe solution is much easier      Performance                                          great price point of Rs. 10,800. It’s
     Memory Type                                DDR2                           DDR2                       DDR2                          DDR2                               on the eye; in fact the heatsinks     In terms of overall performance                      got a load of connectivity options
     Max Memory Supported (GB) / No of DIMMs    8 GB / 4                       8 GB / 4                   8 GB / 4                      8 GB / 4
     No. of SATA / IDE Ports                    6/1                            10 / 1                     6/1                           6/1                                atop the Northbridge have been        it seems NVIDIAs 780i SLI chip-                      and even supports Crossfire. It’s
     E-SATA Support / No of E-SATA Ports        6 / NA                         6 / NA                     6 / NA                        4/2                                designed to appear like a four        set cannot match Intel’s X48                         definitely no slouch in terms of
     No of PCI Express graphics slots           2                              4                          2                             3                                  cylinder engine block complete        and P45 chipsets. Of particular                      performance and shames some
     No. of PCI / PCI x1 / PCI x4 Slots         2/3/6                          2/1/6                      1/3/1                         2/2/6
     Multi GPU Support (SLI/CrossFire/N) / No   Y / Crossfire x16              Y / Crossfire x8           Y / Crossfire x8              Y / 3 way SLI, (x16, x16, x8)      with cooling fins. However, this      attention is the storage subsys-                     costlier boards. Our overall best
     of PCIe Lanes                                                                                                                                                         high-rise heatsink couple with        tem where Intel definitely has a                     performer was also to be found
     Integrated Audio Controller                ADI 1988B                      ADI 1988B                  Realtek ALC 889A              ADI 1988B                          the fact that the heatsink cool-      lead and NVIDIA’s Southbridge                        in this category (shockingly) as
     SPDIF / Optical Port                       4/4                            4/4                        4/4                           4/4
     No of LAN Ports / 10/100 / Gigabit         2 / Gigabit                    4 / Gigabit, 10/100        2 / Gigabit                   2 / Gigabit                        ing the mosfets on the other side     has latency issues in terms of                       ASUS’ P5Q3 Deluxe demolishes
     Integrated Wi-Fi (Y/N)                     6                              6                          6                             6                                  of the board are also quite high,     hard drive access and during our                     even the ultra-high-end offer-
     No. of rear USB / FireWire Ports           6/1                            10 / 0                     8/2                           6/1                                means your fingers face a little      file copy test. The ASUS M3A79-T                     ings. If you want the fastest board
     All Solid State Caps (Y/N)                 4                              4                          4                             4
     BIOS options                                                                                                                                                          abuse while fastening the CPU         Deluxe trails by a good margin                       out there, this is the one to buy.
     Overclocking / Overvolting (So 10)         9.25 / 9.5                     9/9                        8.25 / 8                      9.5 / 9.25                         cooler. MSI provides eight SATA       on account of its AMD proces-                        It’s very feature-rich as well, and
     CPU voltage range (volts)                  1.1 to 2.4v                    0.85 to 2.1v               0.5 to 2.3v                   1.1v to 2.2v
                                                                                                                                                                           ports on the P45 Platinum; as if to   sor but from amongst the Intel                       you won’t want for connectivity
     Memory voltage range (volts)               1.8 to 3.4v                    1.8 to 3.08v               1.8 to 3.0v                   1.8 to 3.4v
     Package Bundle                                                                                                                                                        make up for the X48c Platinums’       boards ASUS’ P5Q3 Deluxe was                         options which it has a bonanza
     No of SATA / PATA Cables Provided          6/1                            6/1                        6/1                           6/1                                deficiency in this regard.            just ahead of the competition. As                    of. DDR3 support means its rea-
     CD’s                                       Drivers, STALKER game, 3D      Drivers                    Drivers                       Drivers, STALKER game, 3D Mark
                                                Mark 06 Advanced Edition,                                                               06 Advanced Edition, Kaspersky
                                                                                                                                                                               The other three 780i SLI          is the nature of motherboard test-                   sonably future proof. The price
                                                Kaspersky Antivirus                                                                     Antivirus                          boards were from EVGA, XFX and        ing the differences when using                       of Rs 13,850 may cause you to go
     Other Miscellaneous Accessories            LCD poster, USB and FireWire   USB and FireWire bracket   USB and FireWire bracket      LCD poster, USB and FireWire       ZOTAC and these boards look           identical components at stock                        “ouch” but it’s superlatively well
                                                bracket, optional fan                                                                   bracket, optional fan
     Performance                                                                                                                                                           identical since these vendors         speeds is very minute; but the                       built if that massages your sore
     PC Mark 2005:                                                                                                                                                         choose to use NVIDIAs standard        X48 and P45 chipsets generally                       wallet. Our Editors Pick was the full
     CPU / Memory                               9689 / 6552                    9695 / 6615                9652 / 6453                   9625 / 6912                        PCB; in fact these PCBs are even      outperform the 780i in both CPU                      x16 SLI supporting ZOTAC NF-780i
     Graphics / HDD                             18293 / 7147                   18366 / 7014               18462 / 7072                  18286 / 6829
     Overall                                    10284                          10494                      10476                         10436                              made by NVIDIA so the finest          and HDD based benchmarks. It                         Supreme. This board has all the
     SiSoft Sandra 2008:                                                                                                                                                   details are identical too. EVGA       also appears that DDR3 memory                        connectivity options, gives you the
     CPU Arithmetic (Dhrystone ALU /            55616 / 44264                  55677 / 44051              55477 / 43994                 55489 / 44019                      has the most SATA connectors          gives both the ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe                      option of 3-way SLI and throws in
     Whetstone iSSE3)
     CPU Multimedia (Integer / Floating)        330318 / 181063                330650 / 181126            329438 / 180393               328265 / 180298                    bundled and these are an attrac-      and the Intel DX48BT2 a slight                       a WLAN access point all for Rs.
     Drive Index (MB/s) / Random Access Time    73 / 6                         72 / 6                     72 / 6                        67 / 13                            tive black in colour. The PATA        edge. Although we feel that DDR3                     12,999 — good value for money
     (ms)                                                                                                                                                                  connector too is encased in a         will really shine at speeds of 1600                  for someone building a fast gam-
     SiSoft Memory bandwidth score (Integer /   6787 / 6780                    6829 / 6829                6526 / 6576                   6587 / 6582
     Floating)                                                                                                                                                             round bracket to aid airflow          MHz and above its nice to see                        ing rig.
     3D Mark 2006 Marks / CPU Score             16829 / 4999                   16870 / 4951               16562 / 4827                  16627 / 4926                       — thoughtful. ZOTAC bundles a         some small performance incre-
     CINEBENCH R10 (CPU)                        11366                          11849                      11856                         11714
     WinRAR 3.8                                 2149                           2213                       2193                          1628
                                                                                                                                                                           WiFi kit with their motherboard       ments being gained at relatively                     Motherboards above
                                                                                                                                                                           which is the only difference          slower speeds of 1333 MHz and
     Video Encoding (DivX 6.8) Time (sec)
     File Transfer Test (4 GB File) (MBps)
                                                113.4
                                                135.8
                                                                               112.8
                                                                               144.1
                                                                                                          113.7
                                                                                                          138.4
                                                                                                                                        114.3
                                                                                                                                        147.1                              between these boards aside from       with looser timings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rs. 19,000
     Doom 3 FPS (1600x1200, 4xAA, 4xAF / 640    211.5 / 294.9                  212 / 295.7                206.4 / 297.5                 206.3 / 288.3
     x 480, low detail)
                                                                                                                                                                           their bundles and prices.                                                                  Wallet busting superlatives
     S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow Of Chernobyl          179.53 / 679.69                181.07 / 676.24            180.43 / 891.4                180.74 / 892.5                         The ASUS boards have the
     (1680x1050, 4xAA, 4xAF / 800 x 600, low
     detail)
     Prey (1680 x 1050, 4x AA, 4x AF, 640 x
     480, low detail)
                                                197.1 / 354.5                  210.5 / 356.8              206.6 / 349.2                 209.5 / 346.2
                                                                                                                                                                           most feature rich BIOSes in terms
                                                                                                                                                                           of overclocking options and they
                                                                                                                                                                           are closely followed by Gigabyte.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       JanUaRy 2009   W      hen talking of Rs. 19,000 for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             just one motherboard you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      just know that the nonsense will
                                                                                                                                                                           Never before have we seen such                                                             be left far behind. 20-odd grand
       tions are some of the most attrac-                                      test. It’s somewhat plain-jane                cular shaped heatpipe solution                minute settings and you can                                                                is either a good price for a superb
       tive around. The ASUS M3A79-T                                           looking with a black PCB and                  atop the former which looks                   tweak virtually any component                                                              motherboard or just a ridiculous
       Deluxe was unique by supporting                                         Intel’s traditional all aluminium             overly loud and garish. The X48c              you choose. There are also mul-                                                            price for an atrociously expensive
       4-way Crossfire or as ATI calls                                         heatsinks on both chipsets. Both              Platinum is very well laid out;               tiple reference voltage points                                                             and utterly undeserving offering.
       it, Quad Crossfire. Intel’s own                                         MSI’s boards, the X48c Platinum               the PCI slots can be populated                that you can set. Overclockers                                                             Entire PCs can be built for less,
       DX48BT2 was also present but                                            and the P45 Platinum were good                even with a Crossfire setup — this            will spend a lot of time here. We                                                          which means these boards either
       this board pales in comparison                                          lookers although somehow we                   is rare. The SATA ports are placed            also think ASUS does a very good                                                           have some serious plus points in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe
       to the two other X48 boards in                                          do not care for the elaborate cir-            away from the primary PCIe slot               job of making their BIOSes new-                                                            terms of features or connectivity,

72     DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                                             www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                           DIGIT JANUARY 2009    73
      Digital Tools l Motherboards Test                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Digital Tools l Motherboards Test



                                                                                                                                                 JanUaRy 2009


           Motherboards                                                                                 Boards above Rs. 18,500
                      Brand                                     ZOTAC                          ASUS                           Gigabyte             ASUS                                         EVGA                            Gigabyte                   ASUS                     XFX                               ASUS
                     Model No.                             NF-790i Supreme               P5E64 WS Evolution                   X48-DQ6          Striker 2 NSE                                 132-CK-NF79                       EP45-DQ6                P5E3 Premium             MB-N790-IUL9                     Rampage Extreme




     Chipset                                    NVIDIA nForce 790i                 Intel X48                    Intel X48                  NVIDIA nForce 790i                  NVIDIA nForce 790i                 Intel P45                  Intel X48                NVIDIA nForce 790i                 Intel X48
     Socket                                     LGA 775                            LGA 775                      LGA 775                    LGA 775                             LGA 775                            LGA 775                    LGA 775                  LGA 775                            LGA 775
     Northbridge / Southbridge                  nForce 790i SLI / nForce 570 SLI   X48 / ICH9R                  X48 / ICH9R                nForce 790i SLI / nForce 570 SLI    nForce 790i SLI / nForce 570 SLI   P45 / ICH10R               X48 / ICH9R              nForce 790i SLI / nForce 570 SLI   X48 / ICH9R
     Price (Rupees)                             19999                              21000                        21000                      21250                               22500                              22990                      23250                    24000                              25750
     Plus (+)
     Minus (-)
     Grand Total (Out of 100)                   70.58                              72.06                        73.99                      75.54                               70.61                              74.63                      73.21                    69.19                              77.07
     Features (out of 60)                       35.07                              36.30                        38.87                      41.27                               35.31                              40.07                      37.68                    33.87                              41.51
     Performance (Out of 40)                    35.51                              35.76                        35.13                      34.28                               35.30                              34.57                      35.53                    35.32                              35.56
     Front Side Bus Speed (MHz)                 1333 MHz                           1333 MHz                     1333 MHz                   1333 MHz                            1333 MHz                           1333 MHz                   1333 MHz                 1333 MHz                           1333 MHz
     Memory Type                                DDR3                               DDR3                         DDR2                       DDR3                                DDR3                               DDR2                       DDR3                     DDR3                               DDR3
     Max Memory Supported (GB) / No of DIMMs    8 GB / 4                           8 GB / 4                     8 GB / 4                   8 GB / 4                            8 GB / 4                           8 GB / 4                   8 GB / 4                 8 GB / 4                           8 GB / 4
     No. of SATA / IDE Ports                    6/1                                6/1                          8/1                        6/1                                 6/1                                10 / 1                     6/1                      6/1                                8/1
     E-SATA Support / No of E-SATA Ports        4/1                                4/2                          6 / NA                     4/2                                 4/1                                6 / NA                     4/2                      4/1                                4/1
     No of PCI Express graphics slots           3                                  4                            2                          3                                   3                                  2                          3                        3                                  2
     No. of PCI / PCI x1 / PCI x4 Slots         2/2/6                              2/6/1                        2/3/6                      2/2/6                               2/2/6                              2/1/2                      2/1/6                    2/2/6                              2/3/6
     Multi GPU Support (SLI/CrossFire/N) / No   Y / 3 way SLI, all x16             Y / Crossfire x16            Y / Crossfire x16          Y / 3-way SLI, all x16              Y / 3 way SLI, all x16             Y / Crossfire x8           Y / Crossfire x16        Y / 3 way SLI, all x16             Y / Crossfire x16
     of PCIe Lanes
     Integrated Audio Controller                Realtek ALC 888                    ADI 1988B                    Realtek ALC 889A           ADI 1988B Soundmax                  Realtek ALC 888                    Realtek ALC 889A           ADI 1988B                Realtek ALC 888                    ADI 1988B
     SPDIF / Optical Port                       4/4                                4/4                          4/4                        4/4                                 4/4                                4/4                        4/4                      4/4                                4/4
     No of LAN Ports / 10/100 / Gigabit         2 / Gigabit                        2 / Gigabit                  2 / Gigabit                2 / Gigabit                         2 / Gigabit                        4 / Gigabit, 10/100        2 / Gigabit              2 / Gigabit                        2 / Gigabit
     Integrated Wi-Fi (Y/N)                     4 (kit)                            6                            6                          6                                   6                                  6                          4                        6                                  6
     No. of rear USB / FireWire Ports           6/1                                6/6                          8/1                        6/1                                 6/1                                8/6                        6/6                      6/1                                6/1
     All Solid State Caps (Y/N)                 6                                  4                            4                          4                                   6                                  4                          4                        6                                  4
     BIOS options
     Overclocking / Overvolting (So 10)         7.25 / 7.25                        8.5 / 8.5                    8.5 / 8.25                 9.5 / 9.25                          7.25 / 7.25                        8.5 / 8.25                 9/9                      7.25 / 7.25                        9.25 / 9.5
     CPU voltage range (volts)                  0.5125 to 2.0v                     0.85 to 2.3v                 0.5 to 2.35v               1.1v to 2.4v                        0.5125 ~ 2.0v                      0.5 ~ 2.3v                 0.85 ~ 2.1v              0.5125 ~ 2.0v                      0.85 ~ 2.5v
     Memory voltage range (volts)               1.5 to 2.0v                        1.5v to 2.78v                1.8v to 3.35v              1.5 to 3.1v                         1.5 ~ 2.0v                         1.8 ~ 3v                   1.5v ~ 2.78v             1.5 ~ 2.0v                         1.51 ~ 2.8v
     Package Bundle
     No of SATA / PATA Cables Provided          4/1                                4/1                          6/1                        6/1                                 6/1                                6/1                        4/1                      4/1                                6/1
     CD’s                                       Drivers                            Drivers                      Drivers                    Drivers, STALKER game, 3D Mark      Drivers                            Drivers                    Drivers                  Drivers                            Drivers, STALKER game, 3D Mark
                                                                                                                                           06 Advanced Edition,                                                                                                                                          06 Advanced Edition, Kaspersky
                                                                                                                                           Kaspersky Antivirus                                                                                                                                           Antivirus
     Other Miscellaneous Accessories            WiFi kit                           USB and FireWire bracket     USB and FireWire bracket   LCD poster, USB and FireWire        NA                                 USB and FireWire bracket   2-WiFi AP units          NA                                 LCD poster, USB and FireWire
                                                                                                                                           bracket, optional fan                                                                                                                                         bracket, optional fan
     Performance
     PC Mark 2005:
     CPU / Memory                               9666 / 6962                        9696 / 6685                  9676 / 6282                9711 / 6928                         9674 / 6956                        9668 / 6324                9703 / 6705              9632 / 6928                        9701 / 6695
     Graphics / HDD                             19517 / 7235                       18470 / 6942                 18431 / 7108               18372 / 6892                        19681 / 7175                       18146 / 7080               18539 / 6965             19347 / 7194                       18515 / 7050
     Overall                                    10790                              10497                        10400                      10580                               10480                              10336                      10560                    10563                              10609
     SiSoft Sandra 2008:
     CPU Arithmetic (Dhrystone ALU /            55562 / 44230                      55267 / 44146                55808 / 44661              55569 / 44021                       55564 / 44044                      55550 / 44113              55693 / 44250            55527 / 44277                      55680 / 44083
     Whetstone iSSE3)
     CPU Multimedia (Integer / Floating)        329334 / 180379                    329963 / 180882              331339 / 181512            328860 / 180022                     329506 / 180414                    329849 / 180690            330535 / 180426          329393 / 180352                    330662 / 181109
     Drive Index (MB/s) / Random Access Time    67 / 13                            72 / 6                       72 / 6                     67 / 13                             67 / 13                            72 / 7                     72 / 6                   67 / 13                            73 / 6
     (ms)
     SiSoft Memory bandwidth score (Integer /   7718 / 7709                        7300 / 7293                  6148 / 6150                6976 / 6954                         7731 / 7733                        6368 / 6369                7350 / 7354              7566 / 7636                        7316 / 7311
     Floating)
     3D Mark 2006 Marks / CPU Score             16765 / 4947                       16886 / 4990                 16860 / 4994               16719 / 4948                        16821 / 4969                       16587 / 4947               16911 / 4995             16736 / 4983                       16862 / 4973
     CINEBENCH R10 (CPU)                        11838                              11844                        11812                      11647                               11842                              11786                      11854                    11844                              11852
     WinRAR 3.8                                 2264                               2245                         1990                       1670                                2264                               2035                       2270                     2263                               2263
     Video Encoding (DivX 6.8) Time (sec)       112.2                              112.6                        111.6                      114.8                               112.7                              114.7                      113.9                    112.3                              113.1
     File Transfer Test (4 GB File) (MBps)      144.5                              137.5                        138.7                      146.3                               147.6                              147.6                      144.9                    146.3                              146.8
     Doom 3 FPS (1600x1200, 4xAA, 4xAF / 640    211.8 / 305.2                      211.8 / 303.5                209.2 / 296                207.5 / 284.7                       212.4 / 296.3                      210.3 / 288.4              213.3 / 299.8            210.4 / 301.4                      212.9 / 303.6
     x 480, low detail)
     S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow Of Chernobyl          180.79 / 906.92                    180.63 / 906.68              181.15 / 894.95            180.32 / 893.72                     181.44 / 896.5                     178.22 / 881.22            181.23 / 916.65          180.5 / 901.45                     181.67 / 924.39
     (1680x1050, 4xAA, 4xAF / 800 x 600, low
     detail)
     Prey (1680 x 1050, 4x AA, 4x AF, 640 x     211.1 / 357.5                      211 / 356.8                  209.9 / 349.4              210.2 / 351.3                       210.8 / 354.5                      209.1 / 344.7              211 / 359.9              208.5 / 355.7                      210.9 / 371.7
     480, low detail)




74     DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                                         www.thinkdigit.com          www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                  DIGIT JANUARY 2009      75
     Digital Tools l Motherboards Test
     or they better be built well enough                       this is the only major difference.    the PCIe slot and there are sets          at first glance, installation of the
     to stand rigorous overclocking.                           The build quality is exemplary        of three LEDs on the board that           CPU cooler was quite easy and our               JanUaRy 2009
     Yes, this also means large, attrac-                       as expected and the CPU region        tell you the extent of overclock-         fingers hardly even touched the
     tive and overkill heatsink and                            is not cramped. The Northbridge       ing; one each for none, moderate          heatpipes. A PCIe x4 slot is provid-
     heatpipe cooling solutions with                           cooler integrates two nozzles         or extreme overclocking.                  ed above the primary PCIe graph-
     lots of shiny copper — after all, a                       that are meant to be used along           The ASUS P5E3 Premium is              ics slot but the memory banks
     board that costs this much should                         with a liquid cooling kit. In fact    an X48 based, DDR3 supporting             will interfere with longer cards
     look the part as well.                                    the heatsink on the Northbridge       solution that’s very easy on the          that you can place in this slot.
         Gamers and enthusiasts look-                          is hollow so it doubles as a water    eye. It features dual-WLAN APs            Surprisingly even this board has
     ing for SLI and Crossfire support                         block. ASUS allows for very fine      and a really great quality build.         really decent overclocking options
     as well as DDR3 will also likely                          tweaking of CPU and memory            The heatsink is attractive while          (for a workstation board).
     find something in the category.                           voltages; in fact the Striker 2 NSE   not being overly blatant; the                 Gigabytes two offerings; the                                           ASUS Striker 2 NSE
     A total of nine boards featured in                        and Striker 2 Formula both allow      copper is well complimented by            X48-DQ6 and the EP45-DQ6 are
     this category; four NVIDIA 790i                           one to fine tune the memory           the shiny blue bezel that cov-            X48 and P45 based boards respec-             Surprisingly the 790i SLI does
     solutions, four Intel X48 solu-                           voltages in the tune of 0.02 volt     ers part of the cooling solution.         tively. Shockingly the EP45-DQ6 is           manage to impress in the PC Mark
     tions and a single P45 solution.                          steps while CPU volt steps are as     Even though the cooling solu-             costlier than the X48-DQ6 which              05 graphics score where boards
                                                               fine as 0.006 volts. The Rampage      tion is large and surrounds the           is surprising because the latter is          based on this chipset cracked the
     Features                                                  Extreme is based on the X48           CPU socket on all four sides it           a full fledged x16 bandwidth pro-            19,000 point barrier. However,
     NVIDIAs 790i SLI is a unique offer-                       chipset also features the same        doesn’t interfere with installa-          viding Crossfire chipset meant for           when we used 3D Mark 06, this
     ing in the way that this chipset                          fine adjustment to voltages. This     tion of the CPU cooler which              high-end gaming systems. Both                advantage ceases leaving us to
     supports three x16 PCIe lanes                             board has an even larger heat-        speaks volumes about ASUS’                boards are well laid out although            wonder what exactly in the bench-
     for 3-way SLI using the full band-                        pipe solution that the Striker        design standards. This board              the EP45-DQ6 does have an issue              mark favoured these boards.
     width of the PCIe slot. Both the                          boards and although the gun           also features ASUS’ Express Gate,         with the clearance between a full
     780i and the 790i use the same                            grey fins of the heatsinks look       which we discussed earlier. The           length PCIe card and the third               Winner(s)
     Southbridge, which is nothing                             cool with the bright post-box         ASUS P5E64 WS Evolution was               and fourth SATA ports which                  Our Best Buy belonged to the ASUS
     more than a 570i SLI chip which                           red bezel atop the heatsink we        the only self confessed worksta-          become unusable. The first and               Striker 2 NSE. For Rs. 21,250 you
     provides the bandwidth for the                            found there to be too little space    tion board in test. We really liked       second SATA ports are right                  get a board that supports 3-way
     extra PCIe lanes. Three of the                            between the mosfet cooler and         the heatsink/heatpipe look. For           under the card but since they face           SLI, is very well built and attrac-
     790i SLI boards from EVGA, XFX                            the CPU region. In fact getting       once ASUS decided to ditch the            outwards installing a SATA cable             tive looking and even comes with
     and ZOTAC are identical in terms                          the LGA 775 cooler on was a royal     copper look and the heatpipes             isn’t an issue here. Even though             the full version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
     of build, design and features. The                        pain and our fingers were quite       and cooling fins are chromed.             this board has quite an elaborate            Shadow Of Chernobyl and 3D Mark
     only difference is EVGA provides                          sore from battling with the large     The heatsinks also have shiny             heatpipe solution the board gets             2006 Advanced Edition, plus
     better quality SATA and PATA                              heatsinks all around the CPU          blue bezels and the overall effect        quite hot. The other three 790i SLI          Kaspersky Antivirus. It also has
     cables and ZOTAC provides a                               region. Anyone who swaps out          this creates is one of supreme            boards were from EVGA, XFX and               an LCD poster which connects to
     WLAN AP kit. ASUS’ Striker 2 NSE                          CPUs or coolers will rue this fact.   class. You’ll notice this board           ZOTAC; once again all three were             a USB port and displays the POST
     is unique — it’s built around the                         That being said the board itself is   amongst all the others around             identical in terms of looks and              status on its screen; useless some
     same layout as the ASUS Striker 2                         well laid out aside from this one     here. Although the heatpipes              layout, all being designed around            might say, but downright funky.
     Formula but supports DDR3. And                            fault. The SATA ports are clear of    seem to cramp the CPU region              the reference NVIDIA PCB design.             It’s a feature-rich board that will
                                                                                                                                               Once again ZOTAC bundles a                   not disappoint someone looking
                                                                                                                                               WLAN AP kit with their 790i.                 for a truly high-end machine. It
     Buying Guide
                                                                                                                                                                                            also has a very good audio solu-
     You need                               We Recommend            Price             Why we Recommend it                                      Performance                                  tion in the Soundmax ADI 1988B
     A well built motherboard that’s not    ECS P45T-AD3            Rs. 7,560         It’s the cheapest P45 chipset board around and is        ASUS’ P5E64 WS Evolution was                 chipset, which is much better
     too costly and is feature rich, bud-                                             well laid out and reasonably well built                  the fastest amongst these boards.            than the other sound solutions
     get Rs 12000                                                                                                                              Once again all the X48 boards                available with the exception of
     Something flashy and feature rich      ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe        Rs. 13,850        Extremely well built and very feature rich, very         tie up just behind it followed               the Creative X-Fi series which we
     and fast. I do not want multiple                                                 fast, lots of flaunt value, overclockable too            by the Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 and                 didn’t see this year. n
     graphics card solutions                                                                                                                   then NVIDIA’s 790i SLI solutions.                      michael.browne@thinkdigit.com
     An SLI solution that’s well priced     ZOTAC NF-780i Supreme   Rs. 12,999        Well priced for a 780i solution and a good pack-
                                                                                      age too
     A 3-way SLI solution with lots of ASUS Striker 2 NSE     Rs. 21,250              The most feature rich and well built 790i SLI board            Contact Sheet                          Motherboards
     features, flaunt value and great                                                 around, and its better priced than some of the           Brand      Company                    Phone No         Email                           Website
     build quality                                                                    other boards that aren’t as good                         Asus       ASUS Technology            022 - 67668800   media_india@asus.com            www.asus.in
     The Best Crossfire solution around ASUS Rampage Formula; Rs. 17,000;             The former is very well built and feature rich and       Biostar    Abacus Peripherals         022 - 40914613   megha@abacusperipherals.com     www.biostar.com.tw
     but one that’s not insanely priced MSI X48c Platinum     Rs. 15,000              definitely an option for even overclockers as its        ECS        SES Technologies           022 - 30862500   Jacques.roux@sesindia.com       www.ecs.com.tw
                                                                                      rock stable. The latter is the only board to sup-        EVGA       Tirupati Enterprises       033 - 22251192   abhishek@tirupati.net           www.evga.com
                                                                                      port DDR2 and DDR3 making it a very flexible             Gigabyte   GIGABYTE UNITED INC        022 - 40633222   vivek@gigabyte.in               www.gigabyte.in
                                                                                      solution. And they both do Crossfire with x16 PCIe       Intel      Intel Tech. India          9833823474       saranya.rustagi@intel.com       www.intel.co.in
                                                                                      bandwidth                                                MSI        MSI India                  011 - 41758808   marketing@msi-in.com            www.msi-india.com
                                                                                                                                               Palit      Tirupati Enterprises       033 - 22251192   abhishek@tirupati.net           www.palit.biz
     The best board for my Phenom ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe               Rs. 11,925        Four-way Crossfire support, plenty of expansion
                                                                                                                                               XFX        Rashi Peripherals          022 - 67090828   xfx@rptechindia.com             www.xfxforce.com
     Processor                                                                        options and a well built board; cannot match this
                                                                                                                                               Zotac      Top Notch Infotronix (I)   044 - 26616202    sales@zotac.com                www.zotac.com
                                                                                      one for features and price

76   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                   www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                          DIGIT JANUARY 2009   77
     Digital Tools l Agent 001
                                                            Agent 001                                                                                                                                 Ask Agent 001                                Digital Tools l Agent 001

                                                                                                                                                 I want an HDTV. The screen size doesn’t matter                                  music player, good camera (3MP) and software

                                Digital cameras                                                                                                  much. Even a 22-inch is sufficient. But I would
                                                                                                                                           like to buy at least a 26-inch TV. The main thing is the
                                                                                                                                           resolution of that TV, because I own an Xbox 360 con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 loading with a decent look.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harsimran Rangi


                               So many models, so much variety, which one to choose?                                                       sole and I want to play games in HD. It should have at                                       Sony Ericsson’s K800 might be what
                                                                                                                                           least one HDMI port. I’m looking to buy a Samsung-                                           you’re looking for. It’s priced at Rs. 8,000
                                                                                                                                           LA22A450C1 only because it has a higher resolution

     I
         t’s the start of yet another year and new SX110 is the one to look for. It has      priced under Rs. 15,000. Even the                                                                                                   or so, and with great music quality and a
         turning to photography as a hobby a better build and is a better per-               Nikon S52 is available for just under         (1680 x 1050). However, other TVs in this price range                                 superb 3.2-MP camera, it may be just what
         might be a good idea. There are so former than the older SX100. Priced at           Rs. 13,000. Clearly, the days of extreme-     offer lower resolution (1366 x 768) and are priced                                    you’re looking for. The only other phone that
     many cameras in the market, but around Rs. 16,000, it comes with a                      ly expensive ultracompacts have               even higher. Is it the right decision to buy that Sam-                                comes to mind is the Nokia N73 and that is
     which one do you opt for? There’s just pouch and a 2 GB SD card. Look out for           passed. Even Sony’s T77 is not more           sung TV? My budget is upto Rs. 30,000.                                                beyond your budget.
     too much to choose from. All through- schemes in malls and showrooms                    than Rs. 16,000 in the market.                                                          Jatin Mongia
     out the year, we emphasise on cam- where you get a charger and batteries                    One of the more interesting cate-                                                                                                    I have got Intel 945 chipset motherboard (orig-
     eras in articles and tests.                     along with the camera.                  gories of cameras is the D-SLR. Prices                In my opinion, for playing games on a                                              inal), 1GB DDR2 RAM. I want a graphics card for
         Going shopping for a camera is                  There are a few new ultrazoom       have dropped and are now just above                   console, your screen size would be more                                       gaming, within a budget of Rs. 8,000. Will my moth-
     first about doing your homework and cameras in the market too. The DSC H7               the price bracket for the ultracom-           important than all other considerations. Since                                        erboard support a PCIe video card? Which card would
     being very clear on what you want and H9 from Sony come with 15x opti-                  pact fashion oriented cameras. The            most large-screen displays support a resolution                                       suit me?
     from it. Most people purchase stan- cal zoom. Canon’s S5 IS is still in the             Nikon D40 and the D40X are the                of at least 1366 x 768, I think you’re well covered                                                                          Nilanjan Roy
     dard point-and-shoot cameras that market and can be found at around Rs.                 entry-level offering from Nikon.              by even a 22-inch LCD monitor for a PC. Dell’s SP
     are priced any-                                                                                        Rumours are that the           2208 WFP is a 22-inch monitor with an HDMI-                                                   Yes, the Intel 945 board should support
     where between Rs.                                                                                      D40 is priced around           port priced at Rs. 15,000. The option from Sam-                                               a PCIe card with the requisite slot. I rec-
     7,000 to Rs. 15,000.                                                                                   Rs. 18,000 in the grey         sung that you are looking at is also good.                                            ommend a 9600 GT-based solution. EVGA is a
     The grey market                                                                                        market, but that’s only        Remember that these are PC monitors as their                                          good brand to look at and it should fit your
     prices are obvious-                                                                                    great if you can find          resolutions are most commonly found on PCs                                            budget. If you can stretch your budget to
     ly going to be                                                                                         one. If you can’t, then        and not LCD TVs, as TV-based displays have reso-                                      Rs. 2,000 to Rs 3,000, you might be able to go in
     lower. The entry-                                                                                      the D40X is the next           lutions of 720p, 1366 x 768 pixels or 1080p. If                                       for a GeForce 9800 GTX or a Radeon 4850 which
     level     PowerShot                                                                                    best bet. The Nikon D60        you’re looking at a 26-inch LCD monitor with a                                        are far superior cards.
     A470 from Canon is                                                                                     has been brought in to         high resolution, look at ViewSonic’s VP 2650 wb
     still available at                                                                                     replace the D40 and            with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels                                             I want to buy a powerful gaming rig under a
     just     under      Rs.                                                                                the D40X. Canon has a          and priced at Rs. 27,000.                                                                  lakh. It will be used only for gaming. Please
     7,000.             The                                                                                 few entry-level D-SLR                                                                                                suggest a powerful configuration. I also want to buy
     PowerShot A1000 IS                                                                                     cameras too — the EOS                I’m using my computer for last ten years. Now it                                a multimedia cellphone. I can spare Rs. 35,000 for
     and the very new                                                                                       1000D and the EOS                   has become old. So I want to purchase a new one                                  a cellphone. Which is better between a Nokia N96
     A2000 IS have just                                                                                     400D. Both of these            with the latest components. My hobby is photography,                                  and an Apple iPhone?
     been released in                                                                                       cameras can be bought          and I have a Canon PowerShot SX100IS Digital                                                                                 Kshitij Rawat
     the market for a lit-                                                                                  for around Rs. 30,000 to       camera. I need components suitable for photography,
     tle over Rs. 11,000.                                                                                   Rs. 33,000. The lens           audio-video and games. I want to purchase a 19-inch                   PC Configuration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Components       My Suggestion                           Price
     They are 10-MP                                                                                          supplied with most of         LCD monitor, web camera and printer. Please rec-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Processor        Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83 GHz)            17,500
     cameras with 4x                                                                                               these cameras is        ommend components that will complement my hob-                        Motherboard      ASUS P5Q-E                             10,000
     and 6x optical                                                                                                  the 18–55 mm          bies. My budget is Rs. 50,000.                                        RAM              1 x 4 GB DDR2 800                       3,800
     zoom lenses.                                                                                                    ones. Look out                                                  Ashok R Naik                Graphics Card    ZOTAC GTX 280                          30,000
         Canon has been                                                                                              for shops that                                                                              Hard Drive       Seagate 500 GB x 2                      6,000
     updating the PowerShot                 Shr                                                                       sell you only                That is a good budget and you will                            Monitor          LG 246 Wp                              24,000
                                               ikri
     line of cameras up the price                  shn
                                                      aP                                                        the body and give                  notice a manifold increase in perform-                        Cabinet + PSU    CM 690 + Corsair TX 750                 9,500
                                                        atk                                                                                                                                                                                                             1,00,800
     scale as well. The well-known                         ar                                          you the option of selecting         ance from you current setup. I have suggested
     Canon PowerShot A720 IS and the                                                           a different lens. Shopkeepers and           a system for you below. I suggest you opt for a
     A650 IS are mid-ranged P&S cameras                                                      photographers will also tell you that         22-inch monitor. The Rs. 3,000 or so more you                                                 For the cellphone, I recommend Nokia
     to own. The prices of these in the                                                      cost of Canon lens is considerably            pay, is worth it.                                                                             for the usability and the iPhone 3G for its
     market hover somewhere between 17,000. Canon has begun to phase                         more than the Nikon ones.                                                                                                           touch interface. They’re both good enough to
     t                     h                  e them out with the SX10 which has an              This month, we reviewed the               PC Configuration                                                                      recommend. Either way you cannot go wrong.
     Rs. 11,000 mark in the grey market. incredible 20x optical zoom as com-                 Nikon D90 and liked it a lot. We sug-         Components           My Suggestion                            Price                   Although I must say, Nokia’s N96 is the more per-
     These cameras both come with 6x pared to the S5 IS’ 12x. If you like to go              gest you look out for a Nikon D80. The        Processor            Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0 GHz)               8,500                   fect device of the two, especially when it comes
     optical zoom which is sufficient for for an Olympus ultrazoom, then the                 D90 replaces the D80, which might             Motherboard          Abit IP35E                               4,800                   to being a feature-laden phone. For a PC, my rec-
     most purposes. If you want some- SP565UZ is an interesting model to                     get phased out soon. The prices for           RAM                  1 x 4 GB DDR2 800 MHz                    3,800                   ommendations are given in the box.
                                                                                                                                           Graphics Card        ZOTAC 9800 GTX                          10,500
     thing a bit cheaper, then the look out for. The price is somewhere                      the D80 have been dropping steadily                                                                                                     Alternatively, you can opt for a Palit Radeon
                                                                                                                                           Hard Drive           Seagate 500 GB                           3,100
     PowerShot A590 IS is one to look for. around Rs. 20,000.                                with the launch of the D90. The D80           Monitor              Dell SP 2208 WFP                        15,500
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 HD 4870 1GB SONIC, priced at Rs. 18,500
     The price of the A590 IS has dropped                Compact cameras are available at    body itself in the grey market is             Cabinet + PSU        VIP Cabinet + 500W SMPS                  3,500                   instead of the ZOTAC GTX 280. This card offers
     to around Rs. 11,500.                           under Rs. 15,000 as well. They aren’t   rumoured to be be around Rs. 35,000                                                                        49,700                   amazing value for money, and you can actually
         However, if you want a no-compro- typically liked for performance but for           and there are some interesting offers                                                                                               buy another identical card and CrossFire both
     mise P&S camera with a good zoom size and portability reasons. The IXUS                 for lenses offered as well.                        I am thinking buying a cellphone priced between                                  of them for even more performance, although
     lens and a decent-sized sensor, the 80 and 85 IS are the ones from Canon                                  agent001@thinkdigit.com          Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 9,000. I want features like a                                   you would compromise on your budget.


78   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                               www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                     DIGIT JANUARY 2009    79
                                                                 with best performance and best
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tion
                                                                 visual effect?                                                                    Reinstalling my operating system                                      Under System startup, in the default oper-      Questhe
                                                              4. Does the paging file affect                                                            I have an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (1.86 GHz) and a ating system list, click the operating system                of nth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mo
                                                                 computer performance? Please                                                           Foxconn motherboard based on the Intel 945 chipset. I that you want to start when you turn on or
                                                                 specify how much paging file &                                                    have two Western Digital hard disks of 320GB each. In the first restart your computer.
                                                                 virtual memory I will use after                                                   hard drive I have installed XP Professional and in the second         Select the list of operating systems for check
                                                                 installing the extra RAM?                                                         one I have installed Vista Ultimate. Now whenever something box, and then type the number of seconds for which you
                                                                                      Antu Kanta                                                   seriously goes wrong with any of my operating                                       want the list displayed before the
                                                                                                                                                   systems, I go in for a fresh installation. But                                      default operating system starts automat-
                                                                   Your current motherboard                                                        when I install a fresh copy of XP on my hard                                        ically.
                                                                   supports DDR1 memory                                                            drive, the Windows Vista Boot Manager is no                                             There’s another way to get it
                                                              upto DDR400 only. DDR RAM is                                                         longer accessible. I’m no longer able to boot                                       running.
                                                              expensive today and not easily Virtual memory can be set manually as well            into Vista without installing it over again. My                                         After installing one of the operating
                                                              available, so you will have to                                                       question — is there any way to bring back the                                       systems, insert the bootable CD / DVD of
                                                              look around.                                                                         old Boot Manager without installing another                                         the other operating system. When you
                                                                  The motherboard you use                                                          fresh copy of Vista?                                                                reach that screen with the option to
                                                              supports upto 2GB of RAM. To avoid                                                                                   Swaranga Sarma                                      Install Windows XP / Vista or Repair
                                                              any complications due to compati-                                                         You don’t have to reinstall Vista every-                                       Windows. Select repair your system.
                                                              bility issues, use the same brand of                                                      time you reinstall XP. If you have more                                        Now you will reach a prompt.
             Your Questions, Our Answers                      memory.                                                                              than one operating system on your                                                       Type fixboot and press [Enter].
                                                                  The settings for best visual effect                                              computer, you can set the one that you want                                         Enter Y to confirm the command.
            All your computing niggles and nags               and quality can be enabled by click-                                                 to use as the default one, for when you start                                       Next, type fixmbr and follow the
                     are dealt with here!                     ing on first going to the Advanced                                                   your computer by following these steps.                                             same steps.
                                                              tab under Device Manager in the                                                          Go to Start > Control Panel. Double-                                                Restart, and both your operating
                                                              Control Panel. Click on the Settings                                                 click on System. On the Advanced tab, under Bootup Settings can be changed in       systems should be accessible.
      DVD burning takes too long                              button under Performance, and                                                        Startup and Recovery, click Settings.            the Startup and Recovery                       Danish Chopra, TECH QNA Expert
           I have a problem with my computer. The DVD         click the radio button for Adjust
           burning process takes too long on my system.       for best appearance.
      My system configuration is an Intel Core 2 Duo              The paging file doesn’t directly
      processor, 1 GB RAM all running on an original Intel    affect performance, but it can be                                                       Yes, Intel motherboards can be used with                                     My system configuration is as follows:
      945 motherboard. I used to burn DVDs using Nero         used when your system runs out of                                                       ATI graphics cards. If you’re building your                                  Processor – Intel Core 2 Duo
      7, but now it takes more than an hour to burn.          physical memory. You can allot                                                     system for games, then an ATI Radeon HD4870                                       Motherboard – Intel DG31GL with 256MB
      Please give me a solution for this problem.             2–3GB of space for the page or even                                                would be better than the HD4670. The ATI                                      chipset graphics
                                           Lakshmikandh K     let Windows set the page file size for                                             Radeon HD4850 or the NVIDIA GeForce 9800                                          RAM – 1GB DDR2
                                                              you.                                    Performance and Quality settings for       GTX are also good cheaper options to consider.                                                                             Dimitri
            The slow DVD burning speed could be due                                                   Windows                                        Currently, the advantages of more memory
            to a faulty driver or software. The easiest       Problem regarding flash                                                            and faster bandwidth memory aren’t very visi-                                      For the games you’ve mentioned, you
       thing to do is uninstall the drive from the                 I have a Sony Digital Cybershot DSC-H9                                        ble. In short, 4GB of DDR2 will be cheap and                                       should use a dedicated graphics solution
       device manager. If you’re running Windows XP,               camera. My problem is that its flash has                                      much more than sufficient, for any kind of                                    and not an onboard G31-based solution. Invest
       go to Start > Control Panel > System.                  stopped working. Instead, it shows me E:91:01 on                                   desktop applications including multimedia                                     in a PCI-E graphics card such as a GeForce 9600
                                 Click on the Hardware        the screen. My friend says that this is an error.                                  content development. It also works out to be lot                              GT, which can be bought for around Rs 6,000.
                                 tab and then on the          Please help me out                                                                 cheaper than 4GB of good DDR3 memory. For                                     This will run these games for sure and also
                                 Device Manager button.                                              Rohit Kumar                                 general desktop use, 2GB of DDR2 will do too.                                 allow you to run them at the best resolution
                                 Double-click on DVD /                                                                                               If you purchase a high-end graphics card,                                 and quality.
                                 CD-ROM drives heading,           Your friend is right. E:91:01 is an error                                      then you need a 600W PSU at least. The Corsair
                                 right-click on your DVD          code. In this case, it is to do with the flash.                                HX620 is a well known model.                                                  100% CPU utilisation
                                 drive      and       click   You need to take your camera to a Sony service                                         The P45 chipset doesn’t come with an                                           I have a Pentium 4 2.80GHz, 2GB RAM desktop
                                 Uninstall. Reboot and        centre to get the flash repaired or replaced.                                      onboard graphics chip. For onboard graphics                                        with a 500GB HDD running a licensed copy of
                                 let the drive be auto-                                                                                          from Intel, look for an Intel G45-based mother-                               Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed. Of late, I
                                                                                                                                                                                                             The GeForce
                                 detected again. Also, try    Need suggestions for purchasing                                                    board. The recently released GeForce 9300-                  9600GT - an       find the PC responding to commands after a
                                 uninstalling Nero and        hardware                                                                           based motherboards from NVIDIA also have                    affordable               considerable delay. The CPU usage shows
     Removing a drive so that it reinstalling it. Try using         I want to buy a desktop with the following                                   onboard graphics.                                           graphics card                100% and the fan runs at full speed. I
     can be detected             other software and                 configuration                                                                                                                                                             use the PC mainly for word process-
                                 different media. If noth-    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400                         Get Help Now!            Gaming problem                                                                                   ing, data processing and playing
       ing works, it could be a failing drive. Try the        Motherboard: Intel DP45SG                                                               I brought four original games. Far Cry was                                                   some music and movies.
       drive on another computer to verify this.              Memory: 8 GB DDR2 800 Mhz                             E-mail us your computing          one of them, and it runs smoothly in my                                                                          Soma Dutta
                                                                                                                    problems along with your
                                                              HDD: Seagate 320 GB HDD                               contact details and
                                                                                                                                                 computer. Resident Evil 4 gives me an                                                                The slowdown is most
      Doubts on memory and 64-bit                             Graphics card: ATI HD 4670                            complete system              error saying that game.exe has                                                                       likely to be some kind of a
      computing                                               Optical drive: Samsung DVD writer                     configuration to             encountered a problem and needs                                                       virus or trojan. Open up the Task
            My 3-GHz Intel processor supports 64-bit, but     I have four questions                                 sos@thinkdigit.com ,         to be closed. Devil May Cry 3                                                    Manager and look for the processes using the
            the Windows XP version I'm using is 32-bit.       1. Does an Intel motherboard and processor            and we might answer          Special Edition also has the same                                             most resources. Also scan your system for
      These are my questions.                                    support ATI graphics cards?                        them here! Since we get      problem as Resident Evil. Splinter                                            viruses. If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling the
      1. I want to buy additional RAM. Will my system         2. Which is better - 8 GB DDR2 or 4 GB DDR3 RAM?      many more mails per day      Cell Chaos Theory also gives an error                                         motherboard drivers.
         support DDR2 RAM? If not, specify which DDR1         3. What power supply unit should I use?               than we can handle, it       saying that my graphics card doesn’t
         RAM will be best and its price?                      4. Will this motherboard work without a graphics      may take some time for       support Pixel Shader 1.1. When I run the game                                 Overheating processor
                                                                                                                    your query to be
      2. Can I use both (512 MB/1 GB RAM) with my exist-         card?                                              answered. Rest assured,
                                                                                                                                                 detection utility, it says that I have the minimum                                My system uses an Intel Core 2 Duo, an Intel
         ing 256 MB RAM?                                          I would like to know your suggestions.            we are listening!            system configuration to run this game. What                                      945 motherboard, 1GB RAM and a 160-GB
      3. After installing the RAM, how can I use my PC                                                     Athiq                                 should I do?                                                                  HDD. My system shuts down due to the overheat-

80    DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                    www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                             DIGIT JANUARY 2009    81
     ing processor. Please give me a solution to           Sharing Internet connection with
     prevent it.                                           a laptop                                                                      Radeon 4850 are powerful and are consider-                 RAM. At that time, my video memory was
                                         Aayush Lilhare         Hi, I have recently bought a Sony VAIO laptop                            ably cheaper than they used to be.                         displayed as 64 MB. Recently, I had put in an addi-
                                                                preloaded with Windows Vista Home                                                                                                   tional 512MB RAM, after which my video memory
          There are some things you can do to keep         Premium. The problem is that my broadband                                     Accessing secured sites on phones                          became 128 MB. I want to know whether if I can
          the temperatures down. Firstly, clean up         connection is connected to my desktop PC that                                       I want to access secured websites on my              add another 512 MB and will my video memory
     the heatsink if the fins on it are clogged with       runs Windows XP Home Premiun. How can I                                             smart phone without any trouble. Can you             then become 256 MB? Is there any other way of
     dust. If the heatsink isn’t tightly hugging the       connect my laptop to my desktop so that I can                                 suggest a phone along with recommended soft-               increasing my video memory to 256 or 512MB?
     processor, then temperatures can go out of            have acces to the internet using my laptop.                                   ware that will let me open secured sites (https)
     control. If you remove your heatsink, apply a         Preferably, I want a wireless connection between                              and use every feature that I can perform on my                 There is a setting in the BIOS. You just
     thin layer of thermal paste before you put it         the laptop and the desktop, but a wired connec-                               PC?                                                            need to choose the appropriate amount of
     back on. There are also third-party coolers that      tion will also do.                                                                I had a word with the customer care of a bank.         memory, which you intend to use as video
     you can buy which offer better cooling than                                                     Nimesh Kumar                        They said that I would not be able to do that on the       memory. Reboot and your memory will be
     stock ones.                                                                                                                         cellphone or a smartphone. Which phone do you              increased.
                                                                                                                                         suggest (Symbian, Palm, Android or Windows                            Gopi Krishna Arumugam, TECH Q&A Expert
     Multiple problems                                                                                                                   Mobile) for the above mentioned task?
           I have noticed that the Windows XP SP2 32-bit                                                                                                                                            Forgot my BIOS password!
           version is a bit slower than Windows XP SP2                                                                                                                                                   I have an ASUS M2NVM-DVI motherboard
     64-bit version. Why is this so? Is there any way I                                                                                                                                                  with an AMD Athlon X2 Processor. As a result,
     can run a Turbo C compiler on 64-bit Windows XP?                                                                                                                                               I’m unable to boot at all. Can you please suggest a
     How do I speed up my XP 32-bit installation for my                                                                                                                                             solution to this problem?
     configuration? Booting takes around 30 sec to
     display on the desktop. What can I change to
     achieve a faster boot without using any third
     party software?
         I’ve noticed that my CPU temperature always
     stays at around 33 to 38 degrees and motherboard
     at around 38 degree. I hope these are safe temper-
     atures. I don’t have an airconditioner in my room.
     I have three 120-mm and two 80-mm fans
     installed in my cabinet as suggested by the manu-
     facturer.
                                       Samir Ranjan Ray



                                                           Ad hoc networking options in Windows XP
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setting amount of memory dedicated for graphics in
                                                                The simplest and cheapest way to get wire-                               Nokia PC Suite gives all kinds of access to your mobile    the BIOS
                                                                less networking between the two systems                                  phone
                                                           is to install a wireless network adapter for the
                                                           desktop. These are cheap and can be bought                                         Nokia N95, N79, N85 and N82 have fully                    This is a general problem with all mother-
                                                           for under Rs 1,000. If you want a wired connec-                                    supported browsers to access these web                    boards. Take out the battery and press the
                                                           tion, get a crossed-cable and connect the two                                 sites. However, some banks require Java plugins            [Del] key till it goes into the BIOS. Save changes,
                                                           machines. If you have any more wireless                                       and are not fully compatible with mobiles.                 then replace the battery and continue.
                                                           devices, then you should go for a wireless                                                            Anoop Gupta, TECH Q&A Expert          If your system is still not booting, then you
     Doom running on Windows under                         router. These are available for around Rs 2,500                                                                                          have to take out the RAM and any other PCI
                                                           or so.                                                                        Internet on the desktop using a                            cards. Clean them and replace again. Your prob-
          The slowdown could be due to several                                                                                           phone                                                      lem should be solved.
          reasons. Update the drivers for your moth-       SLI or single card graphics                                                        I want to know how to play AVI files in my                                  N.Vinay Kumar, TECH Q&A Expert
     erboard and graphics cards to see if it helps. To     solution?                                                                          Nokia 6233 Series 40 phone. Can you suggest
     be able to run Turbo C on 64-bit Windows, you               I’m assembling a machine. I want to use this                            some kind of gadget, which when connected,
     will need to download and install free software             system to use use 3ds Max, Premiere Pro, etc.                           allows me to connect to the internet through USB
     called DOSBox (www.dosbox.com) which                  I also want to play games like Crysis, Frontline, Far                         for my desktop?
     emulates DOS. It is used to run DOS games on          Cry, etc. So my question is, should I go for an SLI-                                                                            Vineet
     Windows systems, but can also be used to run          ready motherboard and SLI with XFX 8600 GT, or                                     I don’t think there are any Java-based
     DOS applications.                                     just take a good motherboard with only one PCI-E                                   media players available with which you
         The time taken to boot up Windows could           and use only one XFX 8800 GTX. Please suggest                                 can play AVI files on your mobile. You need to
     be due to a highly fragmented hard drive. Try         which one would be better. Also, suggest me a                                 convert your videos in 3GP or MP4 formats to
     defragging the drive and uninstall unnecessary        good power solution. I’ll be using an Intel Core 2                            play.
     applications. Using a registry cleaner can help       Quad Q6600 along with two 2GB 800 MHz DDR 2                                      You can connect your mobile using a data
     a little bit as well. If your system doesn’t have     RAM sticks.                                                                   cable connected to your computer and get it
     enough memory, then that could be the root of                                             Lileshwor Sharma                          connected with Nokia PC Suite.
     your problems.                                             It is wiser to go for a single fast card. You                                                    Anoop Gupta, TECH Q&A Expert
         The temperatures for the motherboard and               can still choose to go for a SLI mother-
     processor are perfectly fine. Temperatures of         board, which will allow you to add an addi-                                   Increasing video memory on my
     33 to 38 degrees are very cool for a processor        tional card in the future. SLI might not scale                                laptop
     and even a motherboard with no aircondi-              equally well across all games, but a single card                                    My laptop is an HP-Compaq NX6120, which I            An old CMOS battery is usually to blame for troublesome
     tioner running.                                       will. Cards like the GeForce 9800GTX and the                                        bought two years back. It came with 256MB            booting

82   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                             www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                   DIGIT JANUARY 2009   85
                                                 Create a Basic Image Signature using
                                                 create
                                                 Photoshop

     Kumar Jhuremalani                               the most basic as well as                                                                     abstract brushes you have down-                                                                       can mess with this, or just
                                                     one of the toughest and                                                                       loaded. To do this, click the small                                                                   click on Auto to correct your


     I
         mage signatures are fun and                 critical parts to add to a                                                                    arrow (#7 facing down in main image)                                                                  image. Repeat the same thing,
         trendy to use as a signature with           signature.                                                                                    next to the brush size once, and then                                                                 only with Levels this time.
         emails, or, on a forum. You can                 Go to                                                                                     the arrow facing the right. This gives                                                                Finally, you can apply a Photo
     choose from a variety of images that            www.deviantart.com and                                                                        you a dropdown menu from which                                                                        Filter, which you can find with
     suits your taste, with the text ranging         search for abstract                                                                           you select the abstract brushes.                                                                      the same set of options. We
     from your name, to your PC configu-             brushes or abstract                                                                                                                                                                                 used a Cooling Filter (82) at
     ration to even the games you play.              grunge brushes and                                                                            Step 4: Now select one of the brushes            Blending the render with the signature               25% density with Preserve
     Here, we will show you how to make a            download them. You will                                                                       from the abstract set and stroke the                                                                  Luminosity selected.
     basic image signature using                     also need to choose an                                                                        first layer with black. Now hit X. This          erase a bit of the render outline. This
     Photoshop that you can add to our               image render which you                                                                        switches between the colours on the              helps to merge the image with the           Step 10: Now to add a border. Apply
     very own ThinkDigit forum.                      can easily acquire from                                                                       palette (#4 in main image), and gives            background. After doing this, click         the image on a new layer and go to
          A few basics concepts on flow,             sites like www.planetren-                                                                     the next layer a stroke with white. Do           [Ctrl] + [J] which makes a duplicate        Edit > Stroke and use 2 pixels as
                                                                                     Creating your Photoshop document
     colour and lighting, before you start.          ders.net.                                                                                     this for all the six layers. You can also        layer. Now you have to click [Ctrl] +       the settings with centered selected.
     It’s not about adding images and                                                               to default. If they are not just click D.                                                                            [Shift] + [U]          This step is optional, but adds a good
     jumbling everything, but rather focus-          Step 1: Create a new PS image with             Now go to Filter > Render >                                                                                          which desaturates      effect to the signature. Some signa-
     ing on creating your signature in a             the dimensions 350x120 pixels with a           Clouds. This will give you a basic                                                                                   the colour from        tures look good without a border,
     single flowing direction. This should           transparent background. You can vary           background to your signature.                                                                                        the selected layer.    while others don’t. Also, the back-
     also match your render image. Always            the dimensions according to your                                                                                                                                    Reduce the opac-       ground colour of the forums you are
     keep the colours simple. We’ve                  choice, but make sure it’s not too big         Step 3: Create six layers (see #6 in the                                                                             ity of this layer to   planning on using the signature on,
     created more of a monotone signa-               as most forums have size restrictions.         main image). If your layers window is                                                                                60%.                   also matters. If the forums have a
     ture as you will see. Lighting is a             The ThinkDigit Forum’s signature size          not open, go to Windows > Layers                                                                                                            dark background, you should use a
     crucial part in the process as it               is limited to 500x100.                         from the menu bar. Now select the                                                                                    Step 8: Lighting is    white border so that your signature
     enhances your overall signature and                                                            brush tool (see #1 in the main image),                                                                               an optional step if    can stand out and vice-versa.
     also gives it some depth. It is one of          Step 2: Make sure your colours are set         and change the brush set to the                                                                                      you are one of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         those who opt for      Step 11: You are free to even add your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         renders in their       computer specs to your signature. Just
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         signatures. Select     use the Text tool (#3 in main image)
                                                                                                                                                   Abstract brush strokes on six different layers                        the brush tool,        and adjust the font and font size and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and choose the         fill in your details.
                                                                                                                                                   create a new set of layers and choose            basic brushes in the same way you did            Lastly, just save the image you
                                                                                                                                                   another brush and repeat the same                with Step 3. Now choose a soft brush        created, as a JPG or PNG file. Some
                                                                                                                                                   procedure for a more variant back-               and set the size between 100 and 120.       forums allow you to upload images
                                                                                                                                                   ground.                                          On a new layer, just click once near        from your PC directly, while others
                                                                                                                                                                                                    the render, where you need the light-       need you to enter it with a BB code.
                                                                                                                                                   Step 5: Create a new layer and apply             ing to be placed. Adjust the opacity of     Don’tworry about this either, just
                                                                                                                                                   the image. To do this, go to Image >             that layer and you can even change          upload your created signature to
                                                                                                                                                   Apply Image on the menu bar. Now                 the filters to match your signature.        www.imageshack.us or
                                                                                                                                                   click the dropdown from the layers               We set the opacity to 70% and used          www.photobucket.com and you’re all set
                                                                                                                                                   window which says Normal and select              the Overlay filter for our lighting         as they provide you with the required
                                                                                                                                                   Soft Light.                                      layer.                                      links to your signature.

                                                                                                                                                   Step 6: Again apply
                                                                                                                                                   the image on a
                                                                                                                                                   new layer and then
                                                                                                                                                   go to Filter >
                                                                                                                                                   Distort >
                                                                                                                                                   Ripple. Keep the
                                                                                                                                                   setting at 55% and
                                                                                                                                                   size set at Small
                                                                                                                                                   for a nice subtle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The final outcome should look like this
                                                                                                                                                   ripple texture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Step 9: Now comes           There’re many variations to the
                                                                                                                                                   Step 7: Now to add                                                   the finishing           steps we’ve given you. For example,
                                                                                                                                                   a render. A render                                                   touches. Click the      instead of a single colour, you can
                                                                                                                                                   is the cutout of an                                                  Layer adjustment        actually add a gradient layer using
                                                                                                                                                   image. This could                                                    tool (half black-half   the same layer adjustment tool
                                                                                                                                                   be a celebrity,                                                      white circular          before your photo filters. You can
                                                                                                                                                   game person, etc.                                                    button at the           also add your text before you start
                                                                                                                                                   Select the eraser                                                    bottom of the layers    with the finishing touches, if you
                                                                                                                                                   tool (#2 in main                                                     window — #5 in          want it to blend in more. However, at
                                                                                                                                                   image) and set the                                                   main image) and         the same time, keep it as simple as
                                                                                                                                                   opacity to 50% and The ripple effect settings                        select Curves. You      possible.
     A basic overview of Photoshop and the tools needed for creating the signature


86   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                       www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                      DIGIT JANUARY 2009   87
                                                     Prevent Paper Jams

     Siddharth Parwatay                               you place in the tray each time it’s       Don’t mix-n-match
                                                      filled.                                    Do not mix the types of paper you’re


     P
           C LOAD LETTER is perhaps the                                                          feeding into the printer at one time. If
           single most annoying error                 Slider and tray alignment is important     you need to change the type or size of
           message from modern technol-               Make sure the tray feeding the paper       paper, remove any other paper
     ogy. It’s been the cause of much stress          into the printer is aligned properly       currently in the printer before insert-
     in most workplaces. If you’ve found              and / or the slider used to hold the       ing the new paper.
     yourself promising to throw the                  paper in place in the tray is snug with
     printer off the 18th floor window the            the paper. Many printers have sliders      Look under the hood
     next time there’s a paper jam or                 that allow different types and sizes of    Examine the printer for any previous
     printer malfunction, then you’re not             paper to be fed into the printer. If the   stuck paper in the printer. Previous
     alone. But before the printer bears the          slider is not properly positioned it can   paper jams, torn paper, printing
     brunt of your ire, here are some                 cause paper jams.                          labels or other foreign objects in the
     precautions you can take.                                                                   printer can cause reoccurring printer
                                                      Which paper?                               jams.
     Loosen the sheets                                Use standard office paper — folded
     Often, sheets tend to be stuck to each           paper, paper with labels, and specialty    Keep the Printer Clean
     other, so while loading paper ensure             paper such as hard bound paper can         Dust, ink or toner buildup inside the
     you fold the stack with the objective            often cause paper jams. Your printer       printer can lead to jams, and even
     of loosening the sheets. The quickest            documentation will list the types of       lessen the print quality. Most printers
     way to do this is to roll the stack diag-        paper compatible with your printer.        have a built-in cleaning system. The
     onally twice in opposite directions.                                                            printer may run several pages
     You may have seen your local photo-                                                             through the printer during the
     copier do it each time he loads the                                                             cleaning process. Your printer’s
     photocopy machine.                                                                              user guide may also advise you to
                                                                                                     dust the outer parts of the
     Store in a cool, dry place                                                                      printer, including the paper trays.
     While printer sheets are in storage,                                                            But remember to use only recom-
     make sure the packet is protected                                                               mended cleaning agents.
     from humidity. We recommend stor-
     ing paper in a ziplock bag with a                                                               Get to know your printer
     small pack of silica gel.                                                                       As you use your printer, you may
                                                                                                     notice that it often jams when
     Do not overload sheets                                                                          printing on certain types of
     If your printer has a paper tray,                                                               paper, or may be loading in a
     don’t fill the tray to capacity. If                                                             certain way works better. These
     you’re encountering frequent paper                                                              quirks can be annoying, but you
     jams, reduce the amount of paper                                                                can often save time (and effort)
                                                                                                     by keeping these in mind.
       Trivia
      PC LOAD LETTER is an error message
      encountered when printing on older HP
      LaserJet printers such as the LaserJet II,
      III, and 4 series. The phrase is a pop joke
      and cause for much confusion among
      computer users because most users
      could not (and still cannot) decipher its
      meaning. It simply means that the
      printer is asking for it to be refilled with
      paper of the standard size “letter”. The
      term was popularised by the comedy cult
      film Office Space in which one of the
      main characters on encountering the
      error message asks, “‘PC Load Letter’?
      What the #*%& does that mean?” The
      message appeared on the display just
      after he had filled the printer’s cassette
      with blank paper. Frustrations such as
      this led the main characters of the film to
      take revenge on the malfunctioning
      printer by destroying it in a vacant field
      with a baseball bat.
                                                      Annoying isn’t it?



88   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                   www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                             Using the RSS feature in
                                                                                                                                             StartSmart
                                                                                                                                        StartSmart has a nifty little RSS feature
                                                                                                                                        that allows you to subscribe to news
                                                                                                                                        feeds during your burning activities. By
                                                                                                                                        default, the feed reader is set to update
                                                                                                                                        feeds from the Nero website, which
                                                                                                                                        shows up on the bottom bar of
                                                                                                                                        StartSmart. Go to Menu > Options >
                                                                                                                                        News Feed or click the News button.
                                                                                                                                        Click on Subscribe and paste the
                                                                                                                                        address of the feed in the Add
                                                                                                                                        Newsfeed dialogue box. Click on OK.
                                                                                                                                        You can add a number of customised
                                                                                                                                        news feeds. To increase the frequency at
                                                                                                                                        which the feeds get updated, reduce the
                                                                                                                                        News display interval from a default of
                                                                     SECRETS THAT KEEP YOU AHEAD IN THE RACE                            five minutes to a minimum of one
     TIPS                                                                   30 Minutes Expert                                           minute.
     Nero 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01          The keyboard is mightier than
     Mozilla Sunbird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 04                 the mouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .07        Using the file recovery
     Snarfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 05           PhotoFiltre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .08        options of Nero
                                                                                                                                        Nero allows you to recover deleted files
                                                                                                                                        from almost all kinds of memory
                                                                                                                                        storage devices. This holds true for USB
Nero 9                                                                      Demand DVD for installing a trial version                   drives, Digital Cameras and PMPs, apart


N
        ero 9 is the latest version of the                                  of all Nero applications discussed here.                    from your hard drive. To recover your
        world’s most widely used disk                                                                                                   files, either start up Nero RescueAgent
        burning software. It has several                                             Customising StartSmart with                        or navigate to Back Up > Recover
new features, and can easily handle all                                              Nero applications                                  Data in StartSmart. Select Deep
your burning and ripping needs.                                             StartSmart allows you to customise the                      Scan, and then click on Next. A list
Advanced options are available for                                          control centre, by adding the most                          of all recognised deleted files will be
powerusers. There’re increased                                              widely used applications by individual                      shown. Select the files you want to
multimedia and file management                                              users. Click on the Add / Remove                            recover, enter a destination directory
capabilities. The control centre for the                                    button in the Launch Application bar.                       and click on Next. Select the
suite, called StartSmart has been                                           From the Add / Remove Applications                          destination directory in a different
upgraded with more options available off                                    dialogue, check the applications you                        partition or hard drive to optimise the
the main interface. The only downside is                                    want to display in StartSmart, and click                    chances of safe recovery. There are
that there is an extra-long installation and                                on OK. You can select upto ten                              advanced options for corrupted files or
start-up time. Use our December 2008, By                                    applications to display in StartSmart.                      files with invalid names.

                                                                                                                                             Burning a Slide Show of
                                                                                                                                             your photos
                                                                                                                                        Nero lets you burn a DVD or VCD
                                                                                                                                        customisable slideshow of your photos.
                                                                                                                                        You can add transition effects, record
                                                                                                                                        an audio commentary and add music
                                                                                                                                        to your slideshow. In Nero StartSmart,
                                                                                                                                        go to Create and Edit>Make Photo




Customizing Nero StartSmart with applications                                                                                           The slide show editor window


www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                         Vol 9: 1                                              DIGIT JANUARY 2009
Digital Tools l Tips & Tricks                                                                                                                                                                                                          Digital Tools l Tips & Tricks

Slide Show. Alternatively, start up                                                                            computer. In            go to Insert > ScratchBox clip.                tweaking the read speeds of your
Nero Vision, go to Make Slide Show.                                                                            Nero Express,           This brings up the ScratchBox dialogue,        disk drive. This can be used for a
Click on either DVD, VCD, Super VCD                                                                            after adding files      which has two turntables. You can mix          number of purposes, including
or Mini DVD depending on your                                                                                  to be burned, set       tracks, tweak tracks, add effects, work        reducing the noise your drive
choice. Drag and drop photos in the                                                                            the Current             with loops and scratch. While the setup        makes and improving read
editor. Add music and / or                                                                                     Recorder to             can be used for DJing live, (there is no way   quality of the audio CDs. A slower
commentary. You can import pictures                                                                            Image                   to quickly load files though), the primary     drive speed reduces noise while
directly from a digital camera attached                                                                        Recorder                purpose is to remix tracks and save them.      increasing the accuracy of the
to the computer, or add images from a                                                                          [DVD]. Select a                                                        reads. A higher drive speed is
website or image hosting account. Also                                                                         disc name, and                Changing the audio                       used for rapid file access,
set the transitions. There’re few                                                                              click on burn. An             distribution with SoundTrax              especially in applications such as
options available, but they’re effective.                                                                      image file will         Nero SoundTrax automatically detects           games. There is also an option to
Once the photos are arranged in the                                                                            be created on           the numbers of speakers connected to           reduce the spin down time of the
right order, you can export the                                                                                your system. You        the system. This works for 2, 2.1, 4.1,        disk in the drive. However, this
slideshow as a video instead of burning                                                                        also have the           5.1 and 7.1 systems. The numbers               does not have any advantage for
the slideshow onto some medium.                                                                                option of               signify the speakers connected to your         the newer drives. In earlier
Click on Export, then select the file                                                                          burning image           system plus the sub-woofer. The area           drives, this helps by ejecting the
type and click on Export. For this,                                                                            files from other        below Assignable Effects with the title        disk after a read operation. This
AVI, MPEG and WMV formats are                                                                                  Nero                    bar of the file you are working with,          feature is used to control how
                                            The tone generator
supported. You can also export the                                                                             applications like       has a pan slider. Here, the number of          long the disk continues to spin
slideshow to a camcorder connected to       signal in Nero WaveEditor, select the        Nero Vision.                                  speakers connected to the system are           inside the drive after the read     Nero InfoTool analysing the computer
the computer. To burn a DVD, click          entire sound file, go to Edit >                                                            represented spatially, and a green dot         operation has been stopped.
Next to add titles. Click Next again to     Insert Test Signal . In the test                  Saving a CD / DVD as an                  can be moved around the square to                                                           requirements. The tool lists the
set up the DVD menu, add chapters           tone generator dialogue, select a                 image file                               denote the origin of the sound.                      Disabling disk ejection                drivers, the audio and video codecs
and configure the DVD. The next             duration for the test signal. The            You can save CDs and DVDs that are not                                                             If after burning a disk, you want      installed, the features of the drive and
screen gives you a preview of the DVD,      default is 30 seconds. There are three       copy-protected, as an image file on your            Enabling Quiet Disk in                   to check your data once, you can save        the nature of the disk in the drive.
as it will appear on your television.       different waveforms available — sine,        computer. This image file can be used               ShowTime                                 time by disabling disk ejection after        Before using this tool, close all
Click on Next, then Burn.                   sawtooth and square. These are just          to burn multiple copies, archive              Although no one is likely to use Nero          burning. This also saves you the             programs, put in a blank CD / DVD in
                                            different ways of generating the tone.       important data, save media from               ShowTime as their default audio CD             incovenience of closing the tray as          the available drives and disable any
     Using pause detection in               The start and end frequency generates        physical corruption and load data onto        player, we wish other software would           soon as it is ejected. In Nero Express,      drive emulators that are running. Start
     Nero WaveEditor                        a sweep either increasing or                 emulators while keeping the drive free.       include thoughtful features like this.         extend the side panel, go to Options         Nero InfoTool, go to Nero9 > Extra
If you have a single sound file of an       decreasing in frequency across the           Using this feature on copyrighted             Quiet Disk playback silences the sound         > Expert Features then select the            > Nero InfoTool or Nero9 >
entire album, Nero WaveEditor can           duration of the test signal. To generate     material is illegal, even if the data is      from the CD / DVD drive as much as             Do not eject the disk after                 Nero Toolkit > Nero InfoTool
recognise separate tracks in the song       a tone of constant frequency, keep the       not copy protected. Extend the side           possible while playing back songs from         the burn is complete check box.             depending on your installation. The
using the pause detection feature.          values the same across both these            panel, go to Copy Data Track. Select a        the drive. To enable this feature in                                                       application will analyse the computer,
Once these pauses are recognised,           fields. Click on OK , the test signal will   track from the list in the dialogue that      ShowTime, go to Options > Quiet                     Using InfoTool                         and show you the results.
either the pauses can be deleted from       be inserted at the beginning of the          appears. Then click on Next. The image        Disk Playback > Enable Quiet                        Nero InfoTool is a useful little
the file, or the file can be separated      selection.                                   can be saved as an NRG or an ISO file.        Disk Playback. To navigate to the              application that can summarise all the           Benchmarking your CD / DVDs
into individual tracks. To delete the                                                    Select a destination and click on Save.       Options menu across software in the            hardware and software features and                You can run advanced quality
pauses from the file, Go to Edit >               Creating an image file                                                                Nero 9 suite, click on the hammer icon.        specifications in your computer. The        tests on your storage medium to check
Pause Detection > Delete                           An Image file is a package of data         DJ with Nero                                                                            results can be used to analyse the          how well preserved the files are. While
Pauses. To mark portions on either          that can be transferred in portable               Nero 9 comes with a complete DJ                Setting a drive speed using              multimedia capabilities of your             the benchmark runs for blank media
side of the pause, go to Edit >             media like an external hard drive or a       simulator. Start up Nero SoundTrax, then            DriveSpeed                               system, as well as the points where         as well, the disk quality test runs only
Pause Detection > Insert                    USB drive. An                                                                              Nero DriveSpeed is an application for          upgrades are necessary to suit your         for media with files on them. Run
Track Splits. This allows you to            image file can be                                                                                                                                                                     Nero DiscSpeed then go to Benchmark
extract individual tracks from the file.    handled like a zip                                                                                                                                                                    > Start or Disc Quality >
To get rid of pauses, go to Edit >          file, and can be                                                                                                                                                                      Start. You can choose how thorough
Pause Detection > Insert                    loaded as a disk                                                                                                                                                                      the tests are. The light test checks only
Track Splits and Delete                     on the computer                                                                                                                                                                       specific points of data on the disk,
Pauses. This introduces markers so          using a CD / DVD                                                                                                                                                                      whereas the thorough test scans
that individual tracks can still be         Drive emulator.                                                                                                                                                                       through all the tracks on the disk.
worked on.                                  This feature can
                                            be particularly                                                                                                                                                                            Overburning your disks
     Inserting a test signal in             useful in                                                                                                                                                                                   Overburning is used to burn more
     Nero WaveEditor                        computers                                                                                                                                                                             than the normal amount of data onto a
A test signal is used to test if the        without a CD /                                                                                                                                                                        disk. The extra space used is the lead
sound for the presentation or video is      DVD writer, where                                                                                                                                                                     out portion of the disk, where about a
working properly while screening it         a package can be                                                                                                                                                                      minute and a half of extra music can be
before an audience. It is invariably        made for writing                                                                                                                                                                      burnt (about 5 to 10 MB in a CD). Using
placed at the beginning of the              to a disc later on,                                                                                                                                                                   overburning for any other purpose apart
presentation or video. To insert a test     or from another                                                                                                                                                                       from music is too risky as there is a
                                                                 DJing with Nero                                                       Adjusting the drive speed


DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                           Vol 9: 2                                             www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                              Vol 9: 3                                          DIGIT JANUARY 2009
Digital Tools l Tips & Tricks                                                                                                                                                                                                                Digital Tools l Tips & Tricks

                                                                                             and check Saturday. You can also                      Importing calendar from
                                                                                             change the duration of the working hours              Google Calendar
                                                                                             (which is by default from 8 to 5).              To import your Google calendar into
                                                                                                                                             Sunbird, go to File > Subscribe
                                                                                                   Colour coding categories                  to Remote Calendar. Select On
                                                                                                   It is possible to add colour codes to     the Network and click on next.
                                                                                             categories. There are a number of preset        Select the CalDAV format, and enter
                                                                                             categories, and adding a particular             the URL of your Google Calendar in the
                                                                                             colour to a category can be of individual       Location field. This url is
                                                                                             significance (like red for an anniversary).     https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/
                                                                                             Go to Tools > Options >                         username@gmail.com/events. Replace the
                                                                                             Categories and add a colour to the              username with your user name. Type in
                                                                                             preset categories. There are 70 colours         a name for your calendar and click on
                                                                                             available to choose from. You can also          next. Your Google calendar will now be
                                                                                             add or delete categories from this view.        imported into Firebird.

                                                                                                   Setting tasks to repeat                         Using the Taskbar
                                                                                                  Right-click on a day, and select                 The taskbar is on the bottom left
                                                                                             new task. Under repeat, set a                   corner of the Firebird window. This
                                                                                             periodicity. This can be either daily,          taskbar is used for organising your
                                                                                             weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or yearly.           tasks. As soon as a task is complete, you
                                                                                                                                             can check on the task, and a
                                                                                                   Setting a proxy connection                strikethrough will appear. Right-
                                                                                                   If your workplace uses a proxy            clicking and selecting Progress will        Importing Indian Holidays
                                                                                             connection for the internet, these              allow you to set a percentage of
                                                                                             settings have to be specified in Firebird,      completion. The percentages are preset      important dates of holidays. Holiday          Updating > Keep old messages.
                                                                                             so that Firebird can interface with the         and cannot be modified.                     files are available in the .ics format. A     In the drop down box, select keep
                                                                                             internet. Go to Tools > Options >                                                           list of holidays for all countries is on      everything. Please note that this
Testing the overburning capacity of a disk                                                                                                         Changing the date                     http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar      option doesn’t allow you to gather past
                                                                                                                                                   display format                        /holidays.html. To import Indian              posts from the source.
high scope for losing data. However, if it   sunbird. A portable version of the                                                              Go to Tools > Options >                     holidays into Sunbird, go to File >
is a small file, then it can be              calendar is available from                                                                      General. Now change the Date Text           Import, type http://www.mozilla.org/               Backing up your feeds
accommodated. Nero lets you find out         http://portableapps .com/apps/                                                                                                                           projects/calendar/caldata/             If you’re a heavy feedreader, then
exactly how much data can fit in. Test       office/sunbird_portable.                                                                                                                                 IndiaHolidays.ics in the         chances are that you will have taken a
the overburning capacity of your media                                                                                                                                                                destination field and click      lot of time to select and organise feeds.
by starting up Nero DiscSpeed. Go to              Adding Saturdays to                                                                                                                                 on import. Select the            You don’t need to lose this if your
Extra > Overburning Test. This                    the Calendar                                                                                                                                        calendar you want to import      computer develops a problem. Export
will take some time as Nero DiscSpeed        By default, both the weekend days                                                                                                                        the calendar file to (home       your feeds by selecting File >
simulates a complete write of the drive.     are turned off from display.                                                                                                                             by default). The holidays        Export To > OPML Feeds. A
It lists the capacity, the maximum           Although they are shown in the                                                                                                                           will be listed on the relevant   dialogue will appear showing a list of
amount of data that can be                   calendar and can be worked on,                                                                                                                           dates.                           all the feeds you have collected. Check
accommodated, and the extra space            they are shown with a grey
available for overburning. In Nero           highlight. To change this, go to
                                                                                  Adding saturdays to the calendar
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Snarfer
Burning ROM, go to File > Options            Tools > Options > Views                                                                                                                                 Snarfer is the most
> Expert Features and check                                                                                  Advanced >                                                                              used RSS feed reader
Enable Disk-at-once CD                                                                                       Connection Settings.                                                                    around. The feed
overburning or Enable DVD                                                                                    If your company uses a                                                                  reader offers a feature-
overburning and click on apply.                                                                              predefined URL with a                                                                   rich, but clean
                                                                                                                                             Changing the date format
                                                                                                             proxy configuration,                                                                   interface. The download
                                                                                                             select Automatic proxy          Format as per your preferences. There       is just 400 KB, available from
Mozilla Sunbird                                                                                              configuration URL and           is a long date format and the short         www.snarfware.com.


M
         ozilla Sunbird is a calendar                                                                        enter the URL in the field.     date format available. However, the
         application from Mozilla. It can                                                                    To manually enter the           dates are always displayed in the                Archiving all posts
         be used for task management for                                                                     proxy details, select           American format — mm/dd/yy. You                  of a feed
a team or an individual. The calendars can                                                                   Manual proxy                    cannot change this to the dd/mm/yy          If there is any syndicated content
be published online, and there are remote                                                                    configuration and enter         format used in India.                       that you happen to particularly
access usage options available. The                                                                          the relevant proxies and                                                    like, or find useful, you can choose
application is free, open source and                                                                         ports. The application                Adding Indian Holidays                to archive all the posts from that
available for all platforms. The 5 MB                                                                        cannot connect to the                The default calendar has no            source. Once the feed is added to
download is available from                                                                                   internet, unless you enter      holidays noted. Adding holidays will        your list, right-click on the feed
www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/                                                                           these settings.                 create a small text field below the         and go to Properties >               Archiving all feeds
                                             Importing from Google Calendar

DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                             Vol 9: 4                                                 www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                            Vol 9: 5                                            DIGIT JANUARY 2009
Digital Tools l Tips & Tricks

feeds you want to save, and click on                                                                         or folder. Right-
next. Select a location on the hard                                                                          click on the
drive to save the file, and click on                                                                         particular feed you
Finish. To load a saved OPML file onto                                                                       want to protect
Snarfer, go to File > Import From                                                                            with a password.
> OPML Feeds and select the location                                                                         Go to Properties
of the OPML file.                                                                                            > Authenti-
                                                                                                             cation. Check
      Changing the style of                                                                                  feed requires
      feed display                                                                                           authentication,
If you want to change the default style of                                                                   and enter a
the feed display, there’re a number of                                                                       username and a
options that Snarfer gives you. Go to                                                                        password. Click on
Tools > Add more styles. This                                                                                Apply. The next
opens a tab in Snarfer that shows a list                                                                     time you access
of available styles. This is how the text                                                                    the particular feed,
from feeds will be laid out in Snarfer.                                                                      it will prompt you
Click on any of the styles that appeals to   Adding a keyword based feed                                    for your username
you, and you will be directed to the link                                                                   and password.
for that style. Don’t download the style,
instead click on Open. When the file is           Adding feeds by keyword                    Adding a plugin
downloaded (usually less than 5 KB),               Snarfer can add feeds related to a         In snarfer, plugins are remotely
click on Install. If you have                certain keyword. This means that if        hosted on the snarfer server and are
                                             you put in computers or technology,        available from the snarfer interface.
                                             all related posts across feeds from        These are global settings applied across
                                             various sites with syndicated content      all the fields, like the Flare remover
                                             will show up. Right-click on Message       plugin that removes all custom icons of
                                             Folders, go to New > Keyword               feeds or the stock watch plugin that
                                             Watch. Enter the keywords in the           aggregates stock feeds and updates
                                             field and click on Next.                   them. To add a plugin, go to Tools >
                                                                                        Add more plugins. This will take
                                                  Protecting your feeds with a          you to a page with a list of plugins.
                                                  password                              Periodically, check for updates on this
                                             You can add a password to individual       page. Choose and install plugins that
                                             feeds. Unfortunately, you cannot add a     you like. Once installed, you can check
                                             password to all the feeds in a category    for the plugins at File > New. I




Changing the feed display style

downloaded a number of styles, and
want to change to another installed
style, go to Tools > Options >
Appearance > Message style >
Style and select a suitable style from
the drop down menu.

      Changing the refresh
      interval of feeds
Some feeds change rapidly. You can
configure news feeds to refresh faster
than say the podcasts or vlogs. Right-
click on a feed, go to Properties >
Updating > Refresh Interval
and change the drop down menu
according to your preferences.
To instantly update a feed, right-click
on the feed and click on refresh. You
can do this for an entire category or to
bring all the feeds in it.                   The stock watch plugin


DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                             Vol 9: 6                                          www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                    Digital Tools l Tips & Tricks


                      The Keyboard is mightier than the Mouse
                      Outrun a Mouse using a Keyboard in Firefox

   Kumar Jhuremalani

       efore the mouse was invented, the
   B   keyboard was the only way to navi-
   gate around the interface. Either way,
   there was not much to navigate back
   then. With the advent of the mouse,
   everything changed. Now the mouse is
   the most convenient tool for navigating
   and clicking links while browsing the
   internet. What if we tell you that the
   keyboard is faster than using the
   mouse — in Firefox, at least? Read on...
       Firefox has numerous shortcuts
   that let you browse without touching a      Mouseless browsing lets you browse through sites using just your keyboard
   mouse. There’re a little over 50 short-
   cuts in Firefox and we’ve listed the most   restart Firefox.                           most websites, but there might be cer-
   useful and the best shortcuts we found.          With the add-on installed, you’ll     tain websites which need more.
                                               notice a small logo at the lower right     Mouseless Browsing also allows you to
    New: Tab              Ctrl+T               corner of Firefox. You will also notice    increase the maximum number of ids.
           Window         Ctrl+N               that some numbers have appeared                If you don’t like using numbers,
    Select Address Bar    Ctrl+L               next to every link on a page. These are    you can also set alphabets as ids. These
    Select Search Bar /                        the numerical ids given to each link by work in the same way as numbers.
    Web Search            Ctrl+K               Mouseless Browsing. To access a link,      However, you might get some really
    Clear Private Data    Ctrl+Shift+Del       simply type the numerical id next to it    weird combinations as ids, like QBE
    Downloads             Ctrl+J               and hit [Enter].                           and UGZ, but only if the website has
    Complete Address:                               The numbers you type are also dis-    that many links to offer.
           .com           Ctrl+Enter           played next to the logo, and they disap-       Using this add-on, along with the
           .net           Shift+Enter          pear rather fast. If you think they disap- available shortcuts, you increase your
           .org           Ctrl+Shift+Enter     pear too fast, adjust the timing in the    browsing speed by milestones and
    Bookmark:                                  settings window. For this, click on the    even challenge your friend who owns
           All Tabs       Ctrl+Shift+D         icon at the bottom right corner of the     a 4000dpi mouse and beat him in
           This Page      Ctrl+D               browser to open the settings window.       using Firefox. I
    History               Ctrl+H               Alternately, you can go to Tools>Add-                kumar.jhuremalani@thinkdigit.com
    Zoom: In              Ctrl++               ons from the Menu bar, select
           Out            Ctrl--               Mouseless Browsing and then
           Reset          Ctrl+0               click on Options.
    Navigation:                                     You can change the time
           Back           Alt+Left Arrow /     delay by entering values as per
                          Backspace            your choice. The default settings
            Forward       Alt+RightArrow /     for this is 500ms. If you feel this
                          Shift+Backspace      is too fast, you can increase it to a
            Home          Alt+Home             value such as 750ms and 1000ms
            Reload        F5 / Ctrl+F5         for a more convenient browsing
                          (override cache)     experience. You can also adjust
                                               the settings such that you don’t
                                               need to hit [Enter]. Once you’ve
       Firefox lets you download add-ons       typed the id, Firefox will redirect
   for additional features. One such add-      the page to the link directly. If
   on is Mouseless Browsing 0.5.1. You         you’re one of those who prefer
   can get this from                           using the numerical keypad, set
   https://addons.mozilla.org/en-              the numpad exclusively for
   US/firefox/addon/879. Click on              Mouseless browsing. The default
   Download Now on this page to                number of ids set for a single
   install the addon. Once you’re done,        website is 1000. This is enough for Customise Mouseless Browsing to suit your needs


www.thinkdigit.com                                              Vol 9: 7                                               DIGIT JANUARY 2009
Digital Tools l Tips & Tricks


                     PhotoFiltre
                      A quick run through one of the smallest image editors ever

  Rossi Fernandes                               Colour selection tool                      select the intensity of the effect you
                                                The colour selection tool in PhotoFiltre   want, and the mask can also be
      ommercial software like                   has a few different modes which can        inverted. Click Preview to see if you
  C   Photoshop comes with an exhaus-
  tive list of features that is ideal for
                                                be accessed by clicking on the left and
                                                right buttons below the colour selec-
                                                                                           like the results, then click OK.

  professional graphic designers. Here,         tion tool. This presents a more accurate   Batch processing in PhotoFiltre
  we’re looking at PhotoFiltre, which, is       way of selecting colours.                  The batch processing feature allows
  in comparison, a tiny and free image                                                     you to process multiple photos or
  editor. However, it’s something that          Saving, loading and positioning            images in one go, instead of opening
  you’ll find useful for everyday use —         shapes                                     every single image and processing it.
  crop photos, make wallpapers or do            Every good image editor has shape          Click on Tools > Automate /
  simple artwork. You can find the soft-        tools with presets, and PhotoFiltre is     Batch to start it. First, select the
  ware in this month’s DVD.                     no exception. Simple shape presets can     photos that you want to process, by
                                                be selected from the toolbar on the        selecting the source folder and then
  A walk through the usual features             right. The polygon and lasso tool can      the output folder where the processed
  The software layout is quite simple —         be used used to create your own paths.     images need to be saved. The other tabs
  the main toolbar is located to the right      With PhotoFiltre, you can also save        can be accessed to set parameters and
  and the image properties toolbar on           these shapes, for future use. To save      effects that you need for the images.
  the top. You can access the effects in        these shapes, click on the Selection
  the Adjust and Filter menu. You can           menu and then on Save shape. Give          Reading EXIF info
  adjust the image and canvas size, and         it a name and click Save. To load,         Each image you capture using a digital
  the image properties using the Image          click on Load shape item in the            camera, has pieces of information stored
  menu. Overall, PhotoFiltre is similar to      same menu.                                 on it. This includes information about
  Photoshop itself, so getting around the            You can also move this shape accu-    the camera and the photo taken. You can
  interface shouldn’t be a problem.             rately to the centre or to any other       read this information by clicking on
                                                point on the image by clicking on          Image Properties under the File
  Adding files to PhotoFiltre                   Selection > Manual Settings.               menu. Click on the EXIF button. You can
  Loading files is a straight-forward process   Size of the shape can also be changed      export this information to a text file by
  in PhotoFiltre, as in any other image         from the same dialog box.                  clicking on the Export button.
  editor. However, there is another way to
  do this. A feature called Image Explorer      The PhotoMasque feature                    Creating an icon
  lets you view images in an entire folder      The PhotoMasque feature allows you to      PhotoFiltre has a convenient feature
  including subfolders. You can access this     set a mask for your entire image. The      that lets you create icons for Windows,
  feature by clicking on clicking on Tools      feature can be used by clicking on         without having to manually set colour
  > Image Explorer. A pane will appear          Filter > PhotoMasque. Here you             depths and sizes. First, open the image
  at the bottom of the screen. Right-click      can load a mask file and a list of sup-    or create one that you want made into
  on it and go to Explore > A folder.           plied masks will be present. Select the    an icon. Simply click on Tools >
  Select a folder and click OK. You can open    mask you want, and click Open. You         Export as icon to create your icon.
  images shown here by double-clicking on       can choose the effect you want to get,     The ICO file can be used with any
  them.                                         by using the mask. To do this, click on    application. I
                                                the Mode dropdown menu. You can                           rossi.fernandes@thinkdigit.com




  The Image Explorer visible at the bottom of   Using the PhotoMasque feature to load
  the PhotoFiltre window.                       masks for images                           The EXIF Info box displaying photo details


DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                               Vol 9: 8                                                www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                Digital Business l Business Laptops Test

                                                                                Digital


 103        Threat
            defence                     105      Bomb alert
                                                                                Business
                                                                                How Technology Can Help Your Organisation



Business Laptops Test



Suited and booted
Michael Browne &                        and would also be less concerned         We test a    ing is expensive, both in terms of
Kumar Jhuremalani                       about their shiny play thing pick-                    money and in terms of the space
                                        ing up the daily gamut of scratches
                                                                                very select   is requires. yet the business user


B
       usinessmen and executives        and smudges. For them a notebook          bunch       wants something really compact.
       don’t need flashy play toys.     is a necessity, not a status symbol        of the     This usually means a screen no
       Sure, looks are important to     and something that will last the        most elite    bigger than 14.1-inches or 13.3-
everyone, but ease of use, rugged-      test of time and still look in mint                   inches. Manufacturers spend a
ness and ergonomics take prec-          condition is the order of the day.       business     good deal of the cost price of
edence over chic toys when in the       Of course this doesn’t necessarily      notebooks     the notebook on designing cool-
hands of a serious corporate user.      mean a plain-jane notebook. Quite         around      ing solutions for shoe-horning
Businessmen are also harder on          the contrary, it takes a special type                 powerful components, (that gen-
their notebooks. Just as they’re less   of notebook to have a simple black                    erate extra heat), in a relatively
likely to pull out their notebook       finish and yet look special.                          compact chassis. Then there are
at an airport solely for the sake           There are other features that a                   the various methods employed
of the prestige value that many         businessman would look at; relia-                     to reduce the risk of a hard drive
associate with having one; they’re      bility and quality – not just of the                  crash in the event of one drop-
less concerned with the finish and      finish but the internal compo-                        ping their notebook. Certain
colours used on their notebook          nents themselves. adequate cool-                      brands like Lenovo and Dell actu-




                                                                                                                                   Imaging: Shrikrishna Patkar
                                                                                                                                   Photo: Jiten Gandhi




www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                            DIGIT January 2009          97
     Digital Business l Business Laptops Test                                                                                                                                                                                       Digital Business l Business Laptops Test
     ally have an inflatable foam clad-                                new model between them. Our             region looks like it’s there to          of L2 cache – great for someone      tle more interesting.                               is a most irritating phenomenon.
     ding around the hard drive that                                   five participants consisted of two      last. In fact the mostly metal           needing more CPu performance.        The palm rest is silver-                            The touchpad also incorporates
     absorbs impacts thereby protect-                                  notebooks from Lenovo and one           design does add to the weight a          It seems the E6400 ships with        grey as is the outer                                dual scroll zones for both verti-
     ing the hard drive from crashes                                   each from HP, Sony and Dell.            bit, but the E6400 feels surpris-        only 7200 rPM hard drives and        bezel and lid hinges.                               cal and horizontal scrolling. The
     due to any sort of hard impacts.                                                                          ingly dense; as if it would take         this is a very good thing because    The side bezel is slim-                             keys on the 6930P sport the same
     Business notebooks (in general)                                   Dell Latitude E6400                     a lot of abuse. The screen size is       the storage subsystem is usually     mer than the E6400                                  kind of matte finish that the
     sport more rugged finishes that                                   Brick solid!                            14.1-inches, although this note-         the slowest component of any         although the top bezel                              outer body sports and this adds
     are less likely to wear with heavy                                                                        book has a rather wide bezel all         PC or notebook. SSD is also an       is just as wide,                                    a bit of welcome grip to each
     usage. We call such choice of
     tough surface treatments indus-
     trial grade; this largely means
                                                                       I f Dell’s Vostro series is designed
                                                                         for the small to medium sized
                                                                       business on a budget, the Latitude
                                                                                                               around the screen, which makes
                                                                                                               it look much larger, though not
                                                                                                               as large as a 15.4-inch model.
                                                                                                                                                        option with the new Latitude;
                                                                                                                                                        though the costs are astronom-
                                                                                                                                                        ical. In true workstation style
                                                                                                                                                                                             making this
                                                                                                                                                                                             notebook
                                                                                                                                                                                             appear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 key. Key travel is a little more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 than the E 6400 and feedback
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 is slightly softer. However the
     something that’s resilient to                                     series is designed for the serious          It sports the double mouse           the Latitude E6400 ships with        slightly                                            keys are well laid out and due to
     wear, although it’s also become                                   corporate, who needs connectiv-         button design that Lenovo also           an nVIDIa Quadro graphics solu-      bigger than                                         their large design lack beveling
     synonymous with a very plain-                                     ity and reliability above all else.     favours and the track button that        tion; the nVS 160M which is hard-    its screen size of 14.1-                            on the top. needless to say this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HP Elitebook
     looking choice of materials. Most                                 Think of the Latitude as Dell’s         is a must for all seriously corpo-       ly powerful, being based around      inches; its footprint is a little 6930P             keypad worked well for all of
     hardcore business notebooks pay                                   answer to Lenovo’s ThinkPad             rate notebooks. The track button         eight stream processors but is       smaller than the Dell Latitude                      us and although the theory this
     a lot of attention to ergonom-                                    series. at first glance the Latitude    isn’t red however (Lenovo nee            way faster than Intel’s GMa and      E6400 though.                                       should not have been the case
     ics; by this we mean both the                                     E6400 looks very large, solid and       IBM patented that), but is black;        about a tenth of the performance         HP advertises that the                          but in practice we could find lit-
     presence and the placement of                                     also very boxy. It seems like Dell      and blends in with the keyboard.         away from a GeForce 9300M GS.        Elitebook 6930P is designed with                    tle fault – we’d like key travel to
     shortcut keys/buttons for com-                                    hewed this out of a solid hunk of       The keys themselves are well laid        D-Sub and S-Video connects are       conformity to certain military                      be slightly less and feedback to
     mon tasks.                                                        plastic and metal. no, the black        out and offer a short and very           provided as video outs.              standards, (MIL-STD 810F for                        be more on the positive side of
          This time round we                                                   matt finish is fine with        positive feedback. although this             The Latitude E 6400 is priced    those who want to look it up),                      responsive. There are a number
     decided to be really selec-                                               us, but it’s just that the      wasn’t the best laid out keypad          from rs. 60,000 and above;           for resilience to vibration, dust,                  of backlit and touch sensitive
     tive when looking at                                                      box-like design brings to       from amongst the five notebooks          although the model we recieved       humidity, altitude and high/low                     buttons on the top of the key-
     business-class notebooks.                                                 mind the oft used analogy       we tested, the key spacing and           was priced at rs. 95,000; not bad    temperatures. This notebook also                    pad and the all important WLan
     We didn’t want our test                                                   “built like a tank”. The lid    beveling is ergonomic to work            considering the processor and        has the option to upgrade the                       on/off control is found here. The
     to be diluted with pseu-                                                   sports a black, brushed        with. The trackpad is the right          graphics solution.                   optical drive to a special space                    backlit icon changes colour when
     do-business notebooks.                                                     aluminum finish that is        combination of grip and comfort                                               saver ODD which allows for using                    WLan is switched on and off and
     We did a more compre-                                                       quite eye catching but        although we found tracking to                                                 an additional hard drive – a cool                   there is another indicator which
     hensive test back in June                                                   in a more laid back sort      be a bit of a problem. In fact this      HP Elitebook 6930P                   option for the power business                       lights up on the front of the
     last year and unfortunately                                                      of manner and you’ll     was one of the major let downs           All that glitters is not gold        user. raID 0 and 1 support is also                  notebook; although this indica-
     all of the major players                                                              hardly notice       with the E6400; the track pad                                                 available if you decide to go dual                  tor will not be on eye level when
     like HP, Dell, Lenovo, Sony,
     Toshiba and Fujitsu didn’t
     have many new models. Sadly
                                                                                               yourself giv-
                                                                                               ing it anoth-
                                                                                               er look over.
                                                                                                               will stick at times or will just
                                                                                                               refuse to do what your finger
                                                                                                               commands – most annoying. The
                                                                                                                                                        T   he 6930P is yet another rath-
                                                                                                                                                            er unobtrusive looking note-
                                                                                                                                                        book. The lid itself is a matte
                                                                                                                                                                                             hard drive. The drives themselves
                                                                                                                                                                                             have an impact protection cage
                                                                                                                                                                                             to minimize data crashes. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 you’re using it so is not that use-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ful. a configurable shortcut key
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and the volume buttons are also
     all these brands have launched                                                            The E6400       trackpoint works better and it’s         black, unlike the machined           display is LED-backlit once again                   backlit and touch activated – this
     a slew of models internationally,                                                   is built around a     clear to see that it isn’t an adorn-     metal finish on the Latitude E       a plus for battery life; the quality                is a nifty addition to a business-
     but most of them haven’t released               Dell Latitude
                                                                        magnesium alloy cage which is          ment for Dell; many ThinkPad             6400 and looks even simpler;         of display remains as good as a                     class notebook; after all even cor-
     these models in India. In fact lat-             E6400             great for longevity and even the        users swear by the trackpoint and        some might feel a little to plain    CCFL display. The resolution is                     porate users like to indulge in
     ter two didn’t even have a single                                 coating around the palm rest            Dell implements it quite well. a         looking. The body has an equally     an excellent 1440 x 900 pixels,                     a little soft finger touching! a
                                                                                                               fingerprint reader thrown in; a          lack luster finish with dark grey    although you can opt for a screen                   fingerprint scan sensor is also
                                                                                                               must for many corporate users            and black used as tones. This        with a resolution of 1280 x 800                     provided to added security.
      How We Tested                                                                                            as an additional security step as        sort of body finish is common to     pixels as an option.                                    HP provides software that
                                                                                                               it restricts access like few pass-       Lenovo’s ThinkPads as well; yet          The trackpad is small and                       can manage and even repair your
     F   or features we looked at the bundle and
         the specifications of each laptop. We also
     looked at the connectivity options like number
                                                            subsystems we used two general benchmarks:
                                                            PC Mark 05, and SiSoft Sandra 2008 Lite. For
                                                            specifically stressing the graphics subsystem
                                                                                                               words can.
                                                                                                                   The screen itself is a matte
                                                                                                                                                        the Elitebook looks even plainer.
                                                                                                                                                        The culprit, we feel, is the boxy
                                                                                                                                                                                             quite recessed; a plus during
                                                                                                                                                                                             heavy typing sessions as your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 notebooks installation over a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 network; very useful for IT pro-
     of USB ports, presence of FireWire, memory             we used 3D Mark 05. Maxon’s CineBench              panel; so reflections are not a          build which gives it a very (yawn)   wrist is less likely to come in                     fessionals and business houses
     card readers and HDMI. We also looked for              R10 was used for testing the CPUs rendering        problem and the resolution of            boring look. It’s also about as      contact with the touchpad sur-                      looking for a robust fleet of note-
     LAN, Bluetooth and WLAN connectivity.                  ability. For testing the quality of the display    1440 x 900 pixels is absolutely          heavy as the E6400. Once you         face thereby causing your mouse                     books with minimal down times.
          We gave scores ranging on a scale of 10 for       provided we used DisplayMate’s colour suite.       perfect. We’re tired of 1280 x 800       open the lid, things get a lit-      pointer to jump elsewhere which                     The 6930P is adequately powered
     usability, intuitiveness, convenience and ergo-        Finally, we used WirelessMon 2.0 to check
     nomics too. Such non tangible factors are often        the strength of the WLAN solution embedded         pixels and ultra high resolution
     what make the difference to most users. Features       on each notebook. We also benchmarked the          notebooks are a no-no too. This
     like build quality, or the feel of a keypad, or even   transfer rate of the WLAN system. We trans-        resolution is just right for the
     the presence of and placement of shortcut keys.        ferred a single 100 MB file for the sequential     screen size. The LCD panel is
     We also look at the ergonomics associated with         test and a number of small files totaling to       LED lit; and should bring power
     the placement of USB ports, LAN and RJ11 con-          100 MB in size for the random test.                saving benefits as well. In terms
     nects and other connectivity options.                       For real world tests, we checked the over-
                                                                                                               of configurability the E 6400
          We used a clean install of Windows Vista          all effectiveness of each of the test subjects
     Business 32 bit, and only the drivers and nec-         at viewing HD content and gaming, music, file      is totally customisable in true
     essary benchmark software were installed.              compression/decompression (WinRAR), and            Dell fashion. The one we got
     Our tests consisted of a gamut of benchmark            file transfers. The former tests stress out the    came with a new T9400 proces-
     suites and real world tests.                           video solution and CPU and memory subsys-          sor. This CPu is quite fast and
          For checking the performance of key com-          tems while the file transfer test specifically     runs at a speed of 2.5 GHz while
     ponents like CPU, RAM, storage and video               targets the storage subsystem.
                                                                                                               maintaining a whopping 6 MB

98   DIGIT January 2009                                                                                                            www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                        DIGIT January 2009   99
      Digital Business l Business Laptops Test                                                                                                                                                                                         Digital Business l Business Laptops Test
      with a P8400 processor and 2 GB                                  colours and displays       lot of sense. When hooking up a
      of DDr2 memory. It also has a                                    text really well.          secondary display or a printer it                Business Laptops
      250 GB, 5400 rpm hard drive and                                       The trackpad is       makes sense to have the connec-           Brand                                                 Lenovo              Lenovo               Sony                       Dell                    HP
      an aTi radeon HD 3450 graph-                                      a little inaccurate;      tions going from the rear so you          Model                                                   T400               X300         Vaio VGN-Z13GN              Latitude E6400         Elitebook 6930P
                                                                                                                                            Features
      ics solution. This is more than                                    shocking really for      save on cable clutter on the front        Component Specifications
      enough grunt to push the 6930P                                      a notebook of this      or side or your desk space.               Processor Model No                          P8400               L7100              T9400                      T9400                 P8400
      through most tasks; and these                                       status. Moreover it         With a power saving 1.2 GHz           Processor Speed (MHz)                       2260                1200               2500                       2500                  2260
                                                                                                                                            Memory (MB) / RAM Type / Memory Speed 1024 / DDR3 / 1066 MHz 2048 / DDR2 / 667 MHz 4096 / DDR3 / 1066         2048 / DDR2 / 800 MHz 2048 / DDR2 / 800 MHz
      components may even be overkill                                        doesn’t respond      L7100 under the hood the X300                                                                                                MHz
      for most users. a D-Sub video-                                               at times       is supposed to be all about bat-          Chipset                                     Intel Cantiga GM45/ Intel GM965        Intel Cantiga GM45/        Intel Cantiga PM45     Intel Cantiga PM45
      out is provided as standard, we’d                                                           tery conservation; although our                                                       GM47                                   GM47
                                                                                                                                            Graphics Solution                           Intel GMA 4500MHD   Intel GMA X3100    GeForce 9300M GS           Quadro NVS 160M        Radeon HD 3450
      have liked something more in                                                                tests clearly negated the theory          Onboard Video Memory (MB)                   Shared              Shared             256 MB shared              256 MB                 256 MB
      the HDMI realm; but this isn’t an                                                           that these CPus are really great          Audio Solution                              Conexant Cx20561     AD1984A           Realtek ALC262             IDT 92HD71B7           AD1984A
      entertainment notebook.                                               – mores the pity.     power savers. an SSD should also          HDD Size (GB)                               160 GB              64 GB (SSD)        320 GB                     160 GB                 250 GB
                                              Lenovo X300                                                                                   Optical Drive Type                          Matshita DVD-RAM    Matshita DVD-RAM   Matshita DVD/RW            PLDS DVD/RW DU-8A2S    NEC Optiarc DVD/RW
           The price of the 6930P as quot-                     The trackpoint works well;         help conserve power. The X300                                                         UJ-844              UJ-844                                                               AD-7561S
      ed by HP is “price on request”.                       but we feel there’s no excuse         has a 64 GB SSD which also adds           Bundled OS                                  Vista Business      Vista Business     Vista Business + XP Prof   Vista Business         Vista Business
                                                                                                                                            Characteristics
      However to our dismay we were                         for designing a poor trackpad;        performance, particularly with            Screen Size (Inches) / Native Resolution    14.1 / 1280 x 800   13.3 / 1440 x 900  13.3 / 1600 x 900          14.1 / 1440 x 900      14.1 / 1440 x 900
      unable to get a quote on request                      and trackpoint’s are Jurassic for     anything requiring fast read              (Pixels)
      – it seems they will only give                        most people anyways. The key-         and access to the storage system.         Weight                                      2.13 Kg             1.5 Kg             1.48 Kg                    2.1 Kg                 2.1 Kg
                                                                                                                                            No of Ports (USB/FireWire)                  3/1                 3/0                2/1                        4/1                    3/1
      quotes to potential users; and                        pad is exactly the opposite; key      There’s no fancy graphics solu-           Connectivity (LAN/Bluetooth/WiFi)           4/4/4               4/4/4              4/4/4                      4/4/4                  4/4/4
      there was no more information                         feedback although a touch soft        tion here; expected for an ultra          Type of Memory Cards Supported              SD, MMC, xD         SD, MMC, xD        SD, MS Pro, MMC            SD, MMC, xD, MS Pro    SD, MMC, MS Pro, xD
      to be had from them. a three                          is quite positive. The keys are       compact, power-saver notebook.            Inbuilt Webcam                              6                   4                  4                          4                      4
                                                                                                                                            Build Quality (So 10), Body / Keypad / Lid, 7.75 / 7.5 / 7.75   8.25 / 8.25 / 7.75 6.5 / 7.5 / 7.5            7.25 / 7.25 / 8        7.75 / 7.5 / 8
      year international warranty is                        exceptionally well laid out and       as expected the X300 will not             movables
      provided as standard, a huge plus                     beveling is excellent; this really    win any CPu and GPu bench-                Ergonomics: (Keypad Tactility / Layout /    8.25 / 7.75 / 7.5   8.25 / 7.75 / 7    7.5 / 8 / 7                8 / 8 / 7.75           7.5 / 7.5 / 7.5
      for the globetrotting professional                    is one of the best designed key-      mark awards; but it does have             Shortcut Keys)
                                                                                                                                            Biometrics Login                            4                   4                  4                          4                      4
      or businessman; most companies                        pads you will ever use. The only      a blazingly fast storage system.          Dedicated Buttons (WLAN / Bluetooth /       4/6/6               4/6/6              4/6/6                      4/6/6                  4/6/6
      do not offer such warranty terms                      sore point (and a serious one)        at rs. 139,000, the X300 is quite         Touchpad
      free of charge. If you’re looking                     is the placement of the func-         costly; and do not expect this            Performance
                                                                                                                                            Synthetic Scores
      for hassle free service plan and                      tion key on the lower corner of       price to fall unless SSD prices fall      PC Mark 2005
      an excellent warranty scheme for                      the keypad; a space that’s usu-       as you cannot buy this notebook           CPU Score                                   5767                3206               6482                       6398                   5479
      a rugged product this may well                        ally reserved for the control key     with a regular hard drive. For            Memory Score                                4990                3254               5516                       5399                   4741
                                                                                                                                            Graphics Score                              2396                1006               3880                       3428                   2276
      fit the bill.                                         which also enables a lot of short-    corporate looking for the reliabil-       HDD                                         4636                14565              3742                       5051                   4404
                                                            cuts. People used to the control      ity and repute of the ThinkPad            Overall                                     4780                3254               5379                       5963                   4541
                                                                                                                                            SiSoft Sandra 2008 Lite
      Lenovo X300                                           button do a lot of double takes       series and something light and            CPU Arithmetic (Dhrystone ALU /             20951 / 16575       11065 / 7606       23414 / 18284              23262 / 18568          20901 / 16677
      Worthy lightweight champ                              when using it in combination          compact the X300 makes a good,            Whetstone iSSE3)
                                                            with shortcut keys and you need       albeit pricey buy.                        CPU Multi-Media (Integer x8 iSSE3 /         124913 / 68249      66000 / 35908      139603 / 76400             139541 / 76246         125016 / 68301


      T
                                                                                                                                            Floating x4 iSSE2)
          he X300 series exemplifies                        to get used to the placement                                                    HDD Index / Random Access Time (ms)         51 / 10             89 / 1             50 / 13                    49 / 11                48 / 9
          extreme portability and the                       of the function key. The keypad       Lenovo T400                               Memory bandwidth (Integer / Floating)       5220 / 5221         3495 / 3529        5751 / 5732                5601 / 5616            5109 / 5112
      X300 we received doesn’t belie                        isn’t backlit although Lenovo         The larger sibling                        3D Mark 2005
                                                                                                                                            CPU Score                                   7785                4637               13664                      12927                  10967
      this belief one bit. The X300 is                      does provide the traditional lid                                                Overall Score                               1437                671                3934                       3247                   3962
      touted as an ultra portable and
      ultra light notebook and the
      weight of 1.5 kilograms with
                                                            light. We noted that while this
                                                            light provides adequate illumina-
                                                            tion when working in the dark
                                                                                                  J ust as the X300 series exempli-
                                                                                                    fy portability, the T400 series is
                                                                                                  supposed to represent a balance
                                                                                                                                            Maxon CineBench R10 (CPU Score)
                                                                                                                                            Display Mate Tests
                                                                                                                                            Colour Accuracy Test (Avg) (So 10)
                                                                                                                                                                                        4573

                                                                                                                                                                                        6.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2336

                                                                                                                                                                                                            7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               5324

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               7.25
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5286

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 4608

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 7
                                                                                                                                            Battery Life Test (Minutes)                 158.58              112.33             157.44                     154.30                 139.52
      battery is definitely a step in                       its inadequate when there’s a         between power and performance.            WiFi Signal Strength Test                   87                  76                 71                         85                     81
      the right direction. It’s a sweet                     little ambient light which makes      What this really means is that            WiFi Sequential transfer test (MBps)        51                  128.4              40.3                       46.7                   44.1
                                                                                                                                            WiFi Assorted transfer test (MBps)          79                  132.3              64.9                       69.9                   62.1
      looking notebook decked in a                          it useless seven times out of ten.    the T400 is a larger, heavier and         Real World Tests
      rubberised sort of finish. This                       another little ergonomic niggle       cheaper notebook with a slightly          Audio Test Speakers (So 10)                 4.5                 5                  5.25                       4.5                    5
      coating is present all over the                       is that the WLan switch is placed     inferior finish to the X300. The          HD Movie Viewing (So 10)                    5.5                 6                  7.25                       5.5                    5.5
                                                                                                                                            WinRAR 3.8 (Compression /                   753                 685                847                        563                    683
      body and the inside is a hard,                        on the rear; this means you need      term inferior was meant rela-             Decompression kb/s)
      matte finished plastic. The entire                    to either reach behind your note-     tively in the above statement and         File transfer Test (Sequential / Assorted) 96.4 / 92.2          24.3 / 31.7        52.6 / 59.8                44.5 / 54              63.4 / 84.8
                                                                                                                                            (Sec)
      notebook is black, and this effect                    book each time or turn it around      the T400 is well built and feels          DOOM 3 (fps) (640x480, medium detail) 13.5                      9                  108.8                      95.4                   80.9
      is only relieved by the red stripes                   so that the rear faces you in order   solid; but perhaps being larger           Farcry (fps) (640x480, low detail)          50.95               31.71              193.62                     182.94                 194.16
                                             January 2009
      on the top mouse buttons and                                         to switch wireless     doesn’t feel as dense in-hand as          Warranty (Years)                            1 onsite            1 onsite           1                          1                      3
                                                                                                                                            Price (Rupees)                              68000               139000             124900                     95,000                 Price on Request
      the red trackpoint. It’s clearly                                      connectivity off or   the X300 did and the difference
      aimed at a corporate user and                                         on. One of the uSB    in price is evident with the qual-        as the black finish looks a little          and this is perhaps, ergonomi-                                          mouse buttons and trackpoint
      this is very obvious from the                                          ports are placed     ity of materials used. It also feels      brighter. The screen sports a de            cally the best part of the T400.                                        are also present; the latter works
      look. The screen bezel isn’t too                                        on the rear as is   a little more plasticy than the           facto resolution of 1280 x 800              Key feedback is a little bit softer                                     well; better than the trackpad.
      wide, although it’s a little thicker                                    the video port      X300; owing to the use of slightly        pixels and with a diagonal size             than the X300 but this doesn’t                                          above the keypad you will find
      on the outer edges. Still the X300                                      (D-Sub) but we      lower grade materials than the            of 14.1-inches, this seems a little         detract from the feeling that this                                      an array of status icons that are
      is very slim and gives the impres-                                       have to say that   X300 utilises in the construction         low resolution, especially when             is one of the best designed key-                                        easily visible and well laid out;
      sion of being built to last. The                                          this makes a      of its outer body. Once again this        compared to the 13.3-inch, 1440             pads around. a pity we couldn’t                                         there are indicators for battery,
      screen is 13.3-inches and sports a                                                          matte black finish may not be to          x 900 pixel display on the X300.            say the same for the trackpad                                           WiFi, Bluetooth and charging
      high resolution of 1440 x 900 pix-                                         Lenovo T400      everyone’s liking but we feel the             The keys on the T400 are                which is sometimes unrespon-                                            status. The volume up and down
      els; the display is crisp with good                                                         inside is a little better looking         identical in layout to the X300             sive and inaccurate. The double                                         buttons are also present here as

100   DIGIT January 2009                                                                                               www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                     DIGIT January 2009    101
      Digital Business l Business Laptops Test
      is the ThinkVantage button that                            seen and this notebook is defi-         left corner, just as it should be
      allows quick access to help and                            nitely the slimmest in this com-        – Lenovo should take a leaf out of
      support. The uSB ports are laid                            parison. The lid has a nice posi-       Sony’s book here. The trackpad is
      out vertically which is actually                           tive snap shut action when it’s         better than the Lenovo series in
      pretty clever design since two                             about an inch from being fully          terms of accuracy and the choice
      ports can be placed very close to                          closed. The outer shell is made         of coating is also good as it aids
      each other thereby saving space.                           partly of carbon fiber which            finger grip. The WiFi indicator
      The rJ11 and rJ45 connects are                             gives the Vaio Z the binary ben-        light is on the front bezel and
      also placed together on one side;                          efits of tremendous robustness          not at all visible unless you eye
      convenient. The WLan switch is                             and low overall weight. We felt         is at the same angle which rarely
      on the front this time; so it scores                       that as good as that may sound,         happens; the switch is located
      in terms of placement ergonom-                             this Vaio should have been built        below it and is easy to operate.
      ics over its costlier sibling.                             even better and there was some               The VGn-Z13Gn also fea-
          Powered by the new P8400                                         flex noticeable around        tures the famous switch to select
                                              January 2009
      which is part of the new                                              the optical drive tray       between stamina and speed
      Montevina platform the T400 is                                         area. Shockingly even       mode. This is basically a hard-
      snappy; but comes with just 1 GB                                       the hinge has some          ware level switch between the
      of raM (DDr3). We figure Vista                                          ugly gaps; while these     integrated graphics solution
      users should look for at least 2                                        aren’t easy to spot        (Intel) to the nVIDIa GeForce
      GB of memory and cannot figure                                           and may not matter        9300M GS. This allows you to
      out why Lenovo chose to supply                                                to most peo-         either get more graphics horse-
      just 1 GB; unless it was to keep                                                    ple being      power or conserve battery life
      the price down. The hard drive is                                                   retentive      depending on your usage pat-
      a regular 5400 rpm, 160 GB offer-                                                   is part of     terns at the moment.
      ing. The T400 also makes do with-                                                   a review-           In terms of processing power
      out any sort of discrete graph-                                           ers’ job. The rear       the Vaio is fully loaded – with 4
      ics offering favouring Intel’s             Sony Vaio        plastics are good quality but not      GB of DDr3 memory and an Intel
      trusty old GMa 4500. Priced at             VGN-Z13GN       as good as the materials we’ve          P9500 CPu running at 2.5 GHz.
      rs. 68,000, the T400 is very com-                          seen on the Vaio TZ series. The         a 320 GB hard drive offers more
      petent for the build, specifica-                           screen is a very high resolution        than enough storage for all but
      tions, functionality and features                          1600 x 900 pixels and at a size of      the most demanding of down-
      it offers. anyone who is used to                           13.3-inches it’s not the ideal pro-     load junkies. When viewing the
      the build of Lenovo’s ThinkPad’s                           portions for someone looking to         specifications of this notebook
      will not be disappointed. We wish                          work with text. However, colours        we feel more strongly than ever
      for a GeForce 9300M-class graph-                           and contrast on the display are         that this Vaio is designed to per-
      ics solution and an HDMI port;                             good, but this is a Tn panel and        form dual roles. It can be a faith-
      which would make this notebook                             you will have issues with wider         ful corporate aid and a fun-time
      more of an all-rounder but as it                           viewing angles.                         plaything as well; and it’s equal-
      is the hardware on offer is good                               The keypad is typically Sony,       ly adroit at both tasks, and yes;
      enough for its target audience.                            with a kind of soft, mushy feed-        it’s also got an HDMI port. It was
                                                                 back. The layout is very good           also the smallest and lightest
      Sony Vaio VGn-Z13Gn                                        though, although the keys feel          notebook (1.48 kg) in test making
      Ultra portable performer                                   a little smaller than some other        it something of a specialty since
                                                                 Vaio’s they are also a little higher    it’s also the most powerful note-

      S   ony’s Z series are aimed at the
          stylish businessman looking
      for a no compromise machine
                                                                 than normal meaning that key
                                                                 travel is more. The gap between
                                                                 the keys on this keypad seems to
                                                                                                         book in test in terms of process-
                                                                                                         ing power and performance. at
                                                                                                         rs. 124,900 we wish it were just
      that serves a dual purpose — rock                          be slightly more than the gaps          a little sturdier; but given its
      solid portability and strong mul-                          on the segregated keypad that           other multifaceted talents we
      timedia capabilities. The Vaio                             apple uses. Whether or not this         have very little to nitpick about.
      VGn-Z13Gn is a very compact                                is good, is for you to decide but       If you can afford to spend this
      notebook that has an under-                                our overall opinion is positive         much cash; this is the only note-
      stated black and steel-grey finish                         and nobody had any ergonomic            book you need consider. n
      that attracts at first sight. The lid                      issues while using it and the all               michael.browne@thinkdigit.com
      is one of the slimmest we’ve ever                          important control key is at the                        kumar.j@thinkdigit.com



            Contact Sheet                     Business Laptops
      Company               Phone No                         Email                                      Website
      Dell                  080-44344359                     Aparna.Grover@ogilvy.com                   www.dell.co.in
      Hewlett Packard       +124-2566111                     anurag.arora@hp.com                        www.hp.com/in
      Lenovo                1800-425-2666, 080-22108490      buy@in.lenovo.com                          www.lenovo.com/in
      Sony                  1800-11-11-88 (Toll Free)        sonyindia.care@ap.sony.com                 www.sony.co.in

102   DIGIT January 2009                                                                                                      www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                        Digital Business l Security Challenges




Threat defence
Mahesh Gupta                                                            visitors / employees bringing their non-corpo-
                                                                        rate assets into corporate network?
                                                     As the network

T
       he year 2007 was characterised by                                    Or for that matter, let’s look at wireless-
       unprecedented innovation and adaptabili-      is becoming        Wireless LANs (WLANs) pose additional security
       ty in the realm of security threats, as       more vulnerable    challenges. Users operating on an unsecured
criminals once again demonstrated their abili-                          wireless network at a local coffee house may be
ty to continually evolve attack strategies to keep
                                                     to attack          unaware that a rogue PC, also using the same
ahead of even the most advanced human and            because of the     wireless subnet, is depositing a virus on the PC.
technical defences.                                  evolving perime-   When that PC is later docked into the corporate
    Rogue developers create such threats by          ter, the threats   network, the virus/Trojan could gain entry to
using worms, viruses, or application-embedded                           the network.
attacks. Botnets can be used to seed an attack,      themselves are
for example, rogue developers can use worms          changing           Security — the reverse Moore’s Law
or application-embedded attacks, that is an                             As the network is becoming more vulnerable to
attack that is hidden within application traffic                        attack because of the evolving perimeter, the
such as web traffic or peer-to-peer shared files,                       threats themselves are changing. In addition to
to deposit “Trojans”. This combination of                               Trojans and botnets, newer, even more danger-
attack techniques — a virus or worm used to                             ous threats lurk. Two of the most troublesome
deposit a Trojan, for example-is relatively new                         are flash threats and self-mutating worms.
and is known as a blended attack. A blended                             Flash threats are so named because of the speed
attack can also occur in phases — an initial                            with which viruses or worms can spread. In
attack of a virus with a Trojan that might open                         1999, a virus dubbed “Melissa,” one of the earli-
up an unsecured port on a computer, disable an                          est and most widespread viruses at the time,
access control list (ACL), or disarm antivirus                          took 16 hours to spread globally, according to
software, with the goal of a more devastating                           Network Associates Inc. In January 2003, the
attack to follow later.                                                 “Slammer” virus managed to infect more than
                                                                        90 per cent of the vulnerable hosts worldwide
The evolving perimeter                                                  within 10 minutes using a well-known vulnera-
Changes in network architectures and evolv-                             bility in Microsoft’s SQL Server. New viruses in
ing threats create new security challenges.                             the coming months and years are expected to
Also the concept of the network perimeter is                            spread even faster. Therefore whatever defences
changing. In the past, users could only access                          organisations create, they must be able to iden-
the network through a few ingress or egress                             tify the threat and respond much more quickly
points — usually where the internet connect-                            than ever before.
ed to the enterprise network. Enterprises                                   The other looming threat is the self-mutat-
stacked security at the internet perimeter                              ing worm. Today’s worms are relatively unintel-
using firewalls and intrusion detection sys-                            ligent. They are programmed to follow a specific
tems. However today, many more means of                                 set of instructions, such as to infiltrate one
gaining entry to the network exist. With the                            machine through a specific port and once on the
perimeter having been extended and distrib-                             machine compromise it in some way, for exam-
uted, security too needs to be applied at each                          ple, causing a buffer overflow and planting a
of these new ingress and egress points to                               Trojan. If anything interferes with these planned
avoid damaging threats, thus complicating                               instructions, the worm lacks the ability to adjust
security architectures.                                                 and dies. Now, however, rogue developers are
    Take for example, virtual private networks                          adding intelligence and logic to worms so that if
(VPNs). These allow enterprise users remote                             they can’t complete a specific task worms can
access to the corporate network and are much                            mutate and pursue other lines of attack.
more widely used than just a few years ago.                                 Experts call this security dilemma “Moore’s
While previously enterprises might have                                 Law in reverse”. Whereas Moore’s Law postu-
insisted that VPN software run on a specific                            lates that processor performance will double
enterprise-configured computer, today users                             every 18 months while costs will decline dra-
run VPNs from their own PCs or even from                                matically, security is moving in the opposite
kiosks at copy centres or other businesses.                             direction-networks are becoming less secure
This phenomenon allows many more entry-                                 while the cost to defend them is increasing.
ways to the enterprise network and presents a                           This prognosis is supported by mi2g, a research
significant challenge to IT departments. Is the                         firm in the UK that specialises in computer
computer equipped with virus protection? Are                            security. Mi2g reports that the economic dam-

www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                      DIGIT JANUARY 2009   103
      Digital Business l Security Challenges                                                                                                                                   Digital Business l Security Challenges
      age from malevolent network security attacks            Instead of a security product for each secu-
      reached somewhere between $157 billion and          rity need in isolation, an end-to-end security




                                                                                                                                           Bomb alert!
      $192 billion worldwide in 2004.                     solution approach or system enables these com-
                                                          bined functions to operate as a coordinated
      New threats — increase in                           defence (instead of silos) that stops a broader
      operational complexity and                          range of attacks and greatly reduces the num-
      manageability?                                      ber of diverse multi-vendor devices that must
      The current security defence paradigm is to         be deployed, thereby simplifying security
      deploy more and more of the existing security       design and management.                                       A well-drafted model bomb threat plan, tested and evaluated with trained staff, will enable
      technologies throughout every segment of the            Historically, firewalls have generally been                             an organisation to promptly respond and help minimise loss
      network. This includes firewalls and ACLs to        considered fairly simple devices, but they are
      block access and perform application inspec-        effective at what they do — either block a pack-            Raghu Raman                                              as it may create panic and confusion. It is
      tion, intrusion protection system (IPS) technol-    et or let it through based on Layer 3 and Layer 4                                                                    preferable to announce that “the area needs
      ogy to provide very granular traffic inspection     information and session state. They can provide             Warning: Terrorists will strike                          to be vacated — this is NOT a drill.”
      and identify known threats, encryption soft-        some level of application inspection but do not             where it hurts the most                                      The announcement should specify the
      ware to counter eavesdropping, anomaly detec-       perform the detailed inspection of some other               In his famous book The Little Drummer Girl               evacuation route, guide, location of assembly
      tion to detect worms or DoS attacks, and            technologies. An IPS device can pick up where a             John LeCarre wrote that the absolute terrorist           area and the need for staying there till fur-
      antivirus software to battle viruses.               traditional firewall leaves off by peering more             is one who can blow up a room full of school               ther instructions. Route and assembly area
          Many of today’s security technologies were      deeply into a packet’s contents to see whether              children, without any remorse or hesitation.                 should be searched before announcement.
      developed to perform their specific function        the data within conforms to company policy.                 Abhorring as that might seem, the fright-
      with little context of the overall network threat   Host IPS, host firewall on servers and desk-                ening recurrence with which such                               Evacuation instructions
      environment. Operating alone, however, these        tops/laptops, day zero protection and intelli-              instances have occurred, necessitate cor-                       (dos/don’ts):
      technologies are less effective in stopping the     gent behavioral based protection from applica-              porate India to be prepared for the                               Ideally the organisation should have
      newer attacks, as well as the changing ways in      tion vulnerability and related flaws (within or             absolute terrorist.                                              practiced evacuation drills previously.
      which user’s access networks, because of the        inserted by virus, worms or Trojans) provided                    Very recently, SIMI had threatened to                      If they have not—then these are some
      “security gaps” that exist between each tech-       great level of confidence on what is happening              blow up LIC buildings, a warning serious                       guidelines.
      nique’s capabilities. With the increased com-       within an organisation on a normal day and                  enough to mobilise the Mumbai police. In                           The announcer must remain calm,
      plexity of threats, such as the blended threats     when there is a attack situation, which seg-                the past few months, many Indian companies                  and advise the employees to follow the
      that use a combination of techniques to disrupt     ment and what has gone wrong and gives flexi-               in BFSI and IT / ITES sectors have been subject           instructions. Similar announcements could
      networks, security technologies must operate        bility and control to stop such situations by hav-          to hoax bomb threats. Though more often, the             be displayed on the monitors of CCTV, if
      in a coordinated fashion to stop attacks and bet-   ing linkages of such devices with monitoring,               situation was brought under control — these
      ter control network activity and applications.      log-analysis and event co-relation system.                  incidents caused stress, confusion, disruption
          Unfortunately, over the years, many compa-          Adaptive threat defence is the need now                 of work and loss of business and / or credibili-
      nies have addressed nagging security concerns       where an end-point security system can dynam-               ty. Inarguably, the problem merits attention.
      by constantly adding devices and software to        ically generate an attack signature and push it             However, there is a need to remain calm and
      address each particular problem. This has led to    to the other end-points and to the perimeter IPS            follow the basic rules of security. Employee
      separate antivirus protection, firewalls, VPNs,     devices to stop it from propagating to rest of              awareness, training, practice and evacuation
      and intrusion prevention. While this addresses      the infrastructure. Similarly security opera-               drills help to avert disasters and increases
      the short-term needs, it creates an entirely new    tions teams have challenges to fine-tune false              chances of correct response in times of crises.
      and bigger problem: managing multiple sys-          positives, they struggle by logging into various
      tems that operate independently of one anoth-       devices to understand which logs are resulting              Dealing with bomb threats
      er. As more advanced threats emerge, there is a     into what logs; the need of the hour is that                A bomb threat may be received on telephone
      need for network security to become more            security operations team should be able to easi-            or through a written message. Experience
      holistic; security technologies must act in coor-   ly see the logs and link the same to configura-             shows that most of the threats received on
      dination to detect and defend against more          tions which are resulting into these logs.                  telephones are hoaxes. However, till experts
      sophisticated threats. There is a growing need          This type of systems approach transforms                carry out a detailed search and come to that
      for devices that can assemble the puzzle pieces     security from operating as separate siloed tech-            conclusion, the situation has to be taken seri-
      and lock down the gaps that exist in conven-        nologies in a reactive mode-with limited and                ously. Statistics suggest that one in a 1,000
      tional network security systems.                    static detection methods-to functioning as a                calls may turn out to be genuine.
                                                          coordinated, proactive threat defense system                    While administration and corporate secu-
      Adaptive security for a changing                    that adapts to the threat environment.                      rity departments play a leading role in coun-
      world                                                   These systems provide numerous benefits:                tering bomb threats, employees are often the
      Transforming chaos into a clear and manage-         improved detection, greater event classification            first line of defence. A sound and practical
      able security policy is essential, which is why     accuracy, lower operating costs, streamlined                bomb threat contingency plan ensures carry-
      future network security systems need to focus       administration, and services extensibility that             ing out standardised drills and lays down spe-
      on convergence and consolidation. For robust        integrate the most advanced security technolo-              cific responsibilities on all concerned.
      information security for an enterprise, a proac-    gies as they are developed. These converged sys-
      tive architectural and system approach is criti-    tems will not compromise the quality of securi-             Evacuation procedure
      cal. The idea is to accurately identify and stop    ty in any given category, but instead combine               Once it is decided to evacuate, the security
      attacks as early and as far from the destination    the strength of each in complementary ways to               manager should give wide publicity by
      host as possible, while simultaneously simplify-    deliver a tighter, coordinated defence.                     announcements through PA system, CCTV,
      ing the security architectures required to do           The author is Business Development Manager, Network     megaphone, etc. Do not use the word “bomb”
      this.                                                                           Security, Cisco India & SAARC

104   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                         www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                     DIGIT JANUARY 2009   105
      Digital Business l Security Challenges

      installed.
      G Walk out of the building in a calm and com-
                                                              And what if you are caught in a blast?
        posed manner to the given location through           Given the nature of blasts, it is impossible to predict the exact situation you
        the given route.                                     could be in. However, here are some generic guidelines that could be of
      G Do not run, it will cause panic among oth-           help.
        ers.                                                 G Depending   on your distance from the blast, you could be in various
      G Do not use elevators/lifts or conveyors.
                                                               degrees of consciousness.
      G Follow the instructions of the guide.
                                                             G The first effect of a blast is a numbing disorientation. Try to get your bear-
      G Do not argue or talk with the guide. It will
        waste time and obstruct evacuation.                    ings. If you are in a prone position, stay down.
      G Carry personal valuables, but do not stop to         G Try to remain calm. If you are conscious and can move yourself, examine
        wind up work.                                          yourself for injuries. Blasts commonly cause concussion and lacerations.
      G Supervisors may need to switch off the                 The former causes damage to organs and bones and the latter causes
        machinery and power supply in their respec-            bleeding.
        tive areas.
                                                             G Be    aware that there could be secondary blasts.
      G Open all windows, doors and cupboards.
      G Do not obstruct passage of search and res-           G Do    not panic and create stampedes.
        cue squad.                                           G Do    not search through debris.
      G Wait in the assembly area till further
                                                             G If   you are capable of it, assist others until help arrives.
        instructions.
      G Do not spread rumours or speculate and
        cause panic.
          The supervisor must take attendance in the                                       assembly area and if any employees/visitors
                                                                                           are found missing, it must be investigated.
         Actions on receipt of a bomb                                                      Make “Be Prepared” your motto
         threat call                                                                       A bomb threat plan should be drawn up in
                                                                                           every organisation and tested to assess the
         G Stay calm and listen carefully. Signal others
                                                                                           organisation’s readiness and ability to respond.
           around you to stay quiet and if possible pick
                                                                                           This should be part of the incident manage-
           up extension phones to listen in.
                                                                                           ment plan. If there is a real bomb threat or any
         G Write   down the number displayed on the                                        emergency that requires evacuation, such
           caller ID display of your telephone.                                            efforts will reduce the damage. The organisa-
         G Get maximum information and prolong calls                                       tion, depending on its structure and nature of
           as far as possible. Pretend you did not hear                                                            business, must draw
           correctly, ask the caller to repeat. Ask ques-                                                          out a model plan by
           tions—location of the bomb, time to explode,                                                            assessing its risks,
           what type of bomb, how can we get rid of it,                                                            deciding on a policy
           who has placed the bomb, from where are                                                                 and training personnel
           you calling, what is your name, reason for                                                              to implement it. The
           placing the bomb—in that exact order.                                                                   plan must be rehearsed
                                                                                                                   and lessons learnt must
         G Try  to identify background noises such as                                                              be incorporated.
           traffic, music, conversation that may help to                                                               It is also advisable
           determine the location from where the call is                                                           to carry out a threat
           being made.                                                                                             assessment to prevent
         G Make  an educated guess on sex, age, race,                                                              the organisation from
           voice (loud, soft, pleasant, intoxicated) or                                                            being an easy target for
           accent, speech (fast, slow, nasal, slurred) and                                                         potential bombers.
           manner (calm, emotional, vulgar, angry,                                                                     Telephone operators
           laughing, righteous) which may help identify                                    and PAs should be trained in questioning tech-
           the caller. Be advised that the caller could                                    niques for extracting maximum information
           also be in an agitated state.                                                   from the caller. A “bomb threat check list”
                                                                                           guidance should be available with them.
         G Alerta colleague; report the call to your
                                                                                           Organisations should make arrangements for
           manager or security manager immediately.
                                                                                           tracing and recording of incoming calls.
         G Fill   up the bomb threat call check list.                                          The organisation must train security offi-
         GA  bomb threat could also be in the form of a                                    cers, maintenance staff and othersin carrying
           mail/written message. Report these to the                                       out search and evacuation. A suitable area
           security manager.                                                               should be earmarked as assembly area.
                                                                                                The author is CEO, Mahindra Special Services Group


106   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                         www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                             Digital
                                                                                          Digital Leisure l Touched By Tech

                                                                                 Digital
                                                                                   ssss




108        NFS Undercover
                                         110      Far Cry 2
                                                                                Leisure
                                                                                 Technology Beyond Work




       Rossi Fernandes                                                 doned and ruined city with pockets of zombies. To
                                                                       sum it up for more experienced gamers, the environ-


       T
               eam Fortress 2 players all over would have been a       ments are like the ones in SWAT4, the action is some-
               little mad at Valve for delaying updates for            thing out of Serious Sam with more crowded environ-
               some new project called Left 4 Dead that was in         ments and the weapons are from Counter-Strike.
       the works. It came out recently and thanks to trailers              The game isn’t particularly difficult to play as far
       and demos that arrived before, it’s clear that it was           as shooting lone zombies goes. It goes from being easy
       going to be a survival horror game. It’s finally here           and laid back to complete mayhem when you turn a
       and people don’t seem to care about paying an exces-            corner and you have some 30 to 40 zombies waiting to
       sive $50 for a PC game that you buy online without a            pounce on you and your teammates. Being a team
       fancy box pack to keep on your desk.                            player plays a major role and that’s where the online
            Left 4 Dead is an online multiplayer co-op survival        playing component becomes much more fun and
       horror game that can also be played as a single player          challenging. Steam is used to download and update
       game. You play as one of the four characters of your            the game. It also gets matches for you to play. You can
       choice — Francis, Zoey, Louis and Bill. There are five          always use the Invite function to ask your friends to
       separate chapters and missions within each one of               join in. If you have the sufficient number of players,
       them. You typically are planted right in between a              you can even play Survivors versus Infected.
       zombie infested building and you make your way out                  Valve has managed to strike gold yet again but we
       of there. How? By shooting hundreds of zombies                  don’t think it’ll be as legendary a multiplayer as Team
       through every mission and covering your partner’s               Fortress 2. With a lot of the fun limited to the levels
       backs. If you were wondering what kind of gameplay              available and no matter how many variations the
       and storyline you play — that’s all you do — shoot              game uses to send waves of zombie attacks, you are
       zombies, escape alive. Fortunately that’s not all there         going to get bored eventually. Obviously, if Valve keeps
       is to Left 4 Dead.                                              updating this title with new content the same way
            The game runs on Valve’s four year old Half-life 2         they have with Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead will last.
       engine that has been given steroids to match the visual             Like the Orange box, Left 4 Dead is available in
       quality of today’s game engines. Other than the addi-           stores at a low price of Rs. 999 for the PC box pack and
       tional cosmetics to the look, it’s also easy to notice the      on Steam for $50 (Rs. 2,500). Avoid buying this if you
       better textures and models in the game. If you can run          want a deep storyline and tactics from an FPS; it’s a
       Half-life 2, you should be able to run Left 4 Dead just fine.   must-buy for those who like mindless killing co-op
       The animations for the zombies are also good fun. The           games with plenty of zombies.
       mood in the game is great — it’s the feeling of an aban-                                     rossi.fernandes@thinkdigit.com




                                                                                          Score : 8/10
         Minimum System Requirements:                                                     Developer: Valve Corporation,
         Pentium 4 3.0 GHz, 1 GB RAM, graphics                                            Turtle Rock Studios
         card supporting Shader Model 2.0 — ATI                                           Publisher: Valve Corporation
         Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce 6600                                               Platforms supported: PC & Xbox 360
         and above, 7.5 GB of free disk space                                             Website: www.l4d.com


www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                    DIGIT JANUARY 2009   107
      Digital Leisure l Game On




      Score : 5/10
      Developer: EA Black Box
      Publisher: Electronic Arts
      Web site: http://www.needforspeed.com
      Recomended Config: Core 2 Duo/ AMD
      Phenom (or higher), 2 GB Ram, ATI
      X1900/NVIDIA 8600 GTS (or higher)


      Aditya Madanapalle                             game is rudely interrupted by ama-           long as they are not actually put on the
                                                     teurish cut scenes, with sloppy acting       car. The tuning is great actually, prob-
                                                     and done to death characters. Maggie Q       ably the only saving grace the game has.

      A
              fter the Pro Street fiasco, EA prom-
              ised gamers a return to the roots      is used like a heroine in an Indian b-       However, this is a wasted feature, as
              of the NFS franchise. There was a      grade film, with the camera zooming in       tuning a car for a particular mode or a
      longer than usual nail biting wait for         and focusing on her hips, legs, bosom        particular race is a laborious process.
      the new release, with the usual buzz in        or belly every time she comes on screen.         There is however a photo mode you
      the air. The twelfth installment in the        The “plot” of the game is that you are       can bring up at any time of the game,
      series, Undercover is here, but the game       an undercover cop busting a gang of car      change a bunch of cameras and take a
      is as forgettable as Pro Street.               thieves by a) running away from cops to      shot of your car. We just wish they
          There is an initial rush of the game,      prove that you are not a cop and b)          would have thought of this back in the
      with an opening sequence that                  killing the bad guys for a bunch of really   days of Underground, or before. There is
      smoothly puts you behind the wheels a          lame reasons.                                also some damage elements… the sur-
      la Most Wanted. Although you know you              All the favorite modes have disap-       roundings can be demolished. Be
      are driving around like a puppet, a pre-       peared. You can drift only as a means to     warned though, flimsy looking wire
      scripted part of the storyline, you get        earn nitro. The drag is replaced by some-    mesh fences will refuse to budge,
      that rush of adrenaline. From there, the       thing called the highway battle, and the     while stockpiles of industrial metal
      game goes downhill. The physics are            AI is easily fooled in this mode if you      will litter the highway if you brush
      horrible; you can hit a car head on and        handle the race like a cop chase, and        against it. Damage to the car itself is
      still keep going like you hardly hit a         roam the city at random. This is because     hardly visible, with the exception of
      speed breaker. The acceleration is             the car follows wherever you go, and the     the bonnet flying off somewhere in
      unreal, all the cars handle too well, with     whole city is open. There are cop chases,    the middle of every race.
      no learning curve to talk of. You hit          but navigate to a circuit breaker, and           The worst part of the game are the
      something, great, you get money for            you win. The helicopter is a docile little   glitches in the graphics. Shadows move
      damaging state property, or evading the        thing, that goes in the air without fuel     unrealistically, artefacts follow the car,
      law. You don’t hit something, great            every single time, and does not dive in      and the roads disappear at some point.
      again, you get nitro points for a narrow       towards you at any point. There are no       Many of the elements barely manage to
      miss or a clean section. There are only        rhino units, and the cop cars are easily     stay ahead of the car.
      rewards, and no punishment. The game           fooled. A new mode involves taking               It hurts. Seems like the good old
      is just too easy, making sure you              down cars, by ramming into them              days are gone, and NFS is history, in the
      mechanically follow the story line.            repeatedly, but somehow, the game            bad sense of the word. We just wish that
          The game plays out like a movie,           drains the fun out of this as well.          EA would go deeper down into their
      with a very linear approach. You are               There are a bunch of American,           roots. The word on the street is that EA
      hardly given a choice of races to choose       European and Japanese cars to choose         is calling its losses and discontinuing
      from, and you can maintain just one            from. The customisation of your ride is      the franchise. Nothing saddens a gamer
      save game per profile. This means that         very constricted because it kicks in well    more than watching a legendry series
      you cannot experiment with cars or             into the game, and everything is very        exiting on such a sour note.
      tuning. All the decisions you make are         costly. There is a large gallery of decals
      final, and you are hardly given any. The       available, and all of them look great as                aditya.madanapalle@thinkdigit.com


108   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                     www.thinkdigit.com
      Digital Leisure l Game On




                                                                                                                                      A far cry
                                                                                                                                      from
                                                                                                                                      Far Cry


                                                Signs can change colour?                  Vision blurs at the edges when aiming




                                                                    Buy weapons using diamonds                I designed something with my Uzi




                            Dear diary...                           Killing them again, in gory detail        That’s right, run away and hide




                                                                     your all time favourites. The                  The good bit of this game
                            Robert Sovereign-Smith                   main reason for all this chop-            is its immersiveness — great
                                                                     ping and changing of opinions             audio effects and music, good


                            W          here’s Jack Carver? I
                                       thought this was part
                                       2 of Far Cry?
                            Apparently, this game is just
                                                                     is the way the game is made —
                                                                     certain things will impress
                                                                     you while others will bore
                                                                     you to death.
                                                                                                               environment physics, a large
                                                                                                               open world, a good feel of
                                                                                                               being in ruthless Africa, and
                                                                                                               time actually changing — from
                            called Far Cry 2 to get people               To begin with, there’s the            day to night and back.
                            like you and me to buy it and            AI, which at times is so smart                 So is this a must buy?
                            play it, based on the popularity         that you die often. Other times,          Sure, if you want about 30
                            of Far Cry — sucks; I hate being         I could just walk up right                hours of great gameplay in
                            made an ass of.                          behind an enemy, and shoot                the single player mode, with
                                Initial irritation aside, I find     him in the back of the head,              decent replayability, though
                            that the game is rather pretty.          without his buddy, who’s stand-           without a compelling story-
      Rating: 7/10
      Developer: Ubisoft    The graphics are very, very nice.        ing 12 feet away, ever reacting.          line. If you’re looking for a
                            Obviously, being set in Africa,          Standard FPS madness this.                Crysis-like experience, forget
      Recommended sys-      there’s so much more in terms                Your character is suffering
      tem config:
                                                                                                               it. This seems like an attempt
      Core 2 Duo / AMD      of scenery to play with.                 from malaria, and you need to             to bring a lot more realism
      X2 5200 or better;        I’m not going to give out            find tablets to keep yourself             into an FPS — and I’m not
      2 GB RAM; NVIDIA
      8600 GTS / ATI
                            too many details and spoil               alive. The currency you use to            talking just graphics here.
      X1900 (or better);    what little fun is to be had             buy things are diamonds you               Just remember that Far Cry 2
      5.1 surround sound    from this title. However, I will         find along the way, and in true           fails as much here as it suc-
      (required, or you
      will not know where   say that this game is either             African style, you can use dia-           ceeds. Besides, I’m still miffed
      your enemies are      going to be one of the most              monds to buy anything but                 at being cheated out of a
      shooting at you       boring shooters you have                 malaria tablets — you need to
      from!)
                                                                                                               proper sequel!
                            played, or is going to be one of         do favours for priests for those!                            editor@thinkdigit.com


110   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                               www.thinkdigit.com
                           Do you know your security?
                              1   A machine remotely                              5 What is a botnet?                           8 Which of these popular
                                 controlled by a hacker for                          a) A herd of computers                         programs were never
                            malicious activity is called a:                    remotely controlled by a hacker for            distributed with spyware?
                                                                               malicious intent                               a) Kazaa
                            a) Sniffer b) Bot c) Ghost                         b) A herd of computers running                 b) Morpheus
                            d) Zombie                                          automated programs for                         c) DivX
                                                                               distributed computing                          d) Bearshare
                             2 Which of these famous                           c) A herd of computers used for
                                worms did not spread                           remotely sending spam, denial of                 9 From which country does
                          through e-mail?                                      service attacks or perpetuating                      more than one-fourth of the
                          a) Michaelangelo                                     click fraud                                    world's spam originate?
                          b) Sobig                                             d) All of the above                            a) USA
                          c) ILOVEYOU                                                                                         b) Nigeria
                          d) MyDoom                                              6 What does a denial of service              c) China
                                                                                     attack do?                               d) Brazil
                             3 How does a worm differ from                     a) Hack a website so that
                                a virus anyway?                                legitimate users cannot access its               10 RealPlayer is an example of:
                          a) A worm does not harm the                          services                                            a) Malware
                          computer directly                                    b) Redirect legitimate traffic to a            b) Spyware
                          b) A worm can spread without                         fake website                                   c) Adware
                          attaching itself to a program                        c) Take a web server down by                   d) Shareware
                          c) A worm can only come from                         sending it too many requests                                                       Did You
                                                                                                                                                            Kno        w?
                          computers connected to the
                          internet
                                                                               d) All of the above
                                                                                                                               S  ymantec and
                                                                                                                                  Kaspersky plan to move
                                                                                                                               from blacklisting to whitelisting.
                          d) A worm can infect documents                         7 What does a rootkit primarily do?           This means that instead of
                          and system files                                           a) Freeze up all essential
                                                                                                                               blocking malicious programs,
Got an                                                                         system files                                    they will start allowing only the
interesting                  4 What does a firewall inspect                    b) Gain administrative privileges to            “good” programs.
question?                      and restrict?                                   a computer
Send it in with           a) The bandwidth                                     c) Format the partition with the                Answers
the answer to             b) The network traffic                               operating system                                               10. c                    5. d
TQ@thinkdigit.com         c) Server based codes and scripts                    d) Download trojans and viruses                                9. a                     4. b
Mark “TQ” in the          d) Programs accessing the Internet                   from the internet
                                                                                                                                              8. d                     3. b
                                                                                                                                              7. b                     2. a
subject area                                                                                                                                  6. c                     1. d


 Crossword                                                                                                                   Last month’s Winner
 ACROSS                                                                                                                      Kayomars Batliwalla
 7. Device that accepts a certain type of data or signal                                                                                                                Win!
 as input transforms it and then outputs it(6)
 8. To convert the file from one system or application                                                                       Send in your entries to
 to the format of the system or application being                                                                            TQ@thinkdigit.com on or
 used(6)                                                                                                                     by the 20th of this month.
 10. Free, open source application used for exchange                                                                         One lucky participant
 of data using the TFTP(7)                                                                                                   will win
 16. Locate and correct errors in a computer program
                                                                                                                             Wireless and Mobile All-
 code(5)
                                                                                                                             IP Networks
 17. Representing sound or light waves as numbers(7)
                                                                                                                             By Yi-Bing Lin and Ai-Chun
 18. Archive of files created with the Unix tar utility(7)
 19.To come out of a machine when a button is                                                                                Pang
 pressed(5)                                                                                                                  Published by
 21.Word macro virus(7)
 26.Middle line or point(6)
 27.-----Basic- programming environment from
 Microsoft(6)                                                                                                                           December’s Solution

 DOWN
 1. Short for simulation(3)
 2. Prevent completion of a program(4)
 3. Dynamic Random Access Memory(abbr)(4)
 4. Round shaped media to store computer data(4)
 5. To read the contents of a certain file(4)
 6. Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless(abbr)(4)
 9. Supply with recent information(6)
 11. New version of or addition to a hardware(7)                 manufacturer(4)
 12. Router through which a data packet enters a network         21.----frame- or big iron(4)
 from another network(7)                                         22.A connector(4)
 13. Stop a transmission(5)                                      23.To store a file(4)
 14. An alloy of iron(5)                                         24.ADSTAR Distributed Storage Management(abbr)(4)
 15. Electrodes as in a storage battery or capacitors(6)         25.A file showing the structure of a program after it has
 20. Moser----- - world’s second largest optical storage media   been compiled(3)

Crossword by Nitaa Jaggi

DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                                                        www.thinkdigit.com   111
      NASA to give away Shuttles for free                                  Sock and Awe sold out on eBay
      You heard right, once the Space Shuttles have                        Post the incident where a man threw his shoe at                                                                                                                                                   People Who
      been decomissioned by the North American
      Space Agency, the space shuttles will be up for
                                                                           President Bush, an industrious developer
                                                                           released Sock and Awe, a flash game that let
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Changed
      grabs for free. Only educational institutions                        players lob shoes at the president. Four days, was                                                                                                                                                Computing
      and museums can opt in, and they will have to                        all the time that it took for the game to be sold
      bear the shipping costs.                                             out on eBay.




                                                                                                                                                          First
       Escape                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            D
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                aniel Bricklin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                invented
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                something that has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         completely changed the
       LOOK MA                                                                                                                                                           DONT JUST BLAME BAIDU           search giants have been        distress was to blog about       business world — the
                                                                                                                    Whatever                                                                             accused of taking money        her husband’s ongoing            Spreadsheet. In the late
       YouTube made me famous                                                                                       Happened To…                                         CCTV                            for advertising medical        affair on daqi.com. Helping      70s, while he was a

                                                                                                                   The ICQ                                               focuses on                      scams.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Google China is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jian Yan at this activity was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a certain unnamed female
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         student at the Harvard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Business School, he
                                                                           THUBMS DOWN FOR MAC
                                                                                                                                                                         Google and
       T
             he world’s most                                                                                              ack in the days when there                                                     however secretly investing     friend. The Chinese              teamed up with Bob
             popular video web
             site, YouTube has
       given rise to a breed of
                                                                           ADDICTS

                                                                           NY Gov
                                                                                                                   B      was only IRC and a few chat
                                                                                                                          rooms as your only means
                                                                                                                   to connect to people, there came
                                                                                                                                                                         Yahoo!
                                                                                                                                                                                                         in a lot of Chinese internet
                                                                                                                                                                                                         services. The world’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                         largest demographic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        blogging community was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        stirred up against the cruel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        indulgences of Wang Fei,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Frankston, to come up


       celebrities in its time. These
       range from the adolescent                                           proposes                                ICQ, the first internet-wide instant
                                                                                                                   messenger. The name ICQ is a
                                                                                                                                                                                                         cannot be easily ignored by    and even the mainstream


                                                                                                                                                                         C
                                                                                                                                                                                hina Central             the search giant. Although     media caught on. The blog
                                                                                                                   homophone for the phrase I seek
       antics of lonelygirl15, the
       understanding answers
                                                                           iPod tax                                you. It quickly captured the
                                                                                                                                                                                Television is
                                                                                                                                                                                dispersing the flak it
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Google can hardly afford
                                                                                                                                                                                                         to offer free MP3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        went out of proportion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        because of all the support,
                                                                                                                   imagination of the early netizens
       from Ask a Ninja, and the                                                                                   and gathered millions of users
                                                                                                                                                                         received, for the               downloads, it is heavily       and daqi.com went right
       hilarious foreign language

                                                                           N
                                                                                   Y Governer, David               worldwide, with people showing                        controversy embroiled           investing in online            ahead and posted photos of
       subtitles of Buffalax.                                                      Peterson does not               off their ICQ numbers even on                         Baidu search engine by          Chinese-run social             Wang Fei with his mistress.
           Unwittingly, YouTube                                                    think that the                  their visiting cards. Yes ICQ had                     alleging that Google and        networking and                 What followed was a small
       has become a fertile ground          closed in on him and now       global economic crisis is a             numbers for usernames and the                         Yahoo! sport illegal medical    entertainment services.        scale riot. Wang Fei was
       for criminals, gang                  he faces 10 years in prison    good time for citizens to be            initial six digit ones were most                      ads on their web sites.                                        fired, his parent’s
       members, wannabe                     with no access to free video   entertained. A part of his              coveted. The universal internet                           Baidu is the search         WASHING DIRTY LINEN IN         apartment was defaced            with VisiCalc, the world’s
       terrorists and small time            hosting sites.                 plans to ease the slowdown              numbers (UIN) were handed out                         engine of choice in the         PUBLIC                         with lewd language, and          first electronic
       hoaxers grabbing their                   A bunch of gang-           is to impose a tax on all               sequentially. Some of the                             world’s most populous                                          Jian Yan decided that            spreadsheet application.
       fifteen minutes of fame.             member kids styling            electronically delivered
                                                                                                                   attractive ones were even sold in
                                                                                                                   the free market. The messenger
                                                                                                                                                                         country, and for a sneaky       China courts                   enough was enough and            Bricklin was watching his
       These smart people have
       taken it into their head to
                                            themselves as BV Boys
                                            posted a video of
                                                                           entertainment services.
                                                                           This is now widely billed as
                                                                                                                   was distinctly unique with some
                                                                                                                   silly features like typewriter
                                                                                                                                                                         little reason. The reason
                                                                                                                                                                         being that a shadowy set        rule against                   committed suicide.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wang Fei
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         university professor create
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         a table of calculation
       show off their (sometimes
       imagined) criminal exploits
                                            themselves marking out
                                            their turf in the area. On
                                                                           the iPod tax, which is a
                                                                           misleading name as the
                                                                                                                   noises and online/offline status
                                                                                                                   being indicated by the colour of a
                                                                                                                                                                         of constantly changing
                                                                                                                                                                         domain names provide a
                                                                                                                                                                                                         dead                           understandably sought
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        justice for the goings-on,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         results on a blackboard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         When the professor found
       on YouTube, and the result
       was a bout of YouTube
                                            record were gang-signs and
                                            concealed weapons. The
                                                                           tax is not meant only for
                                                                           iPod users.
                                                                                                                   flower. In fact, it looked like the
                                                                                                                   messenger was designed by a
                                                                                                                                                                         great service — free and
                                                                                                                                                                         unlicenced music
                                                                                                                                                                                                         woman’s                        and after much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        deliberation, the Beijing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         an error, he had to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         tediously erase and
       related arrests.                     authorities homed in,              The law applies a 4per              bunch of hippies.
                                                                                                                         Soon with the advent of MSN
                                                                                                                                                                         downloads. Despite many         friend and                     court decided that he was        rewrite a number of
           Anton Dunn, under the            confiscated the weapons,       cent tax on everything — e-                                                                   takedown attempts,                                             after all, the wronged           sequential entries in the
       moniker of The Trashman,             arrested the boys, and now     books downloaded from e-                and Yahoo! messengers, people
                                                                                                                   quickly switched to the jazzier
                                                                                                                                                                         lawsuits and complaints,        blogging site                  party. Daqi.com and the          table, triggering Bricklin
       posted videos of himself in          their turf is clean.           library.net to porn from                                                                      free music continued to                                        late Jian Yan’s unnamed          to think that he could
                                                                                                                   options. Besides, ICQ by then was
       a black mask claiming to                 Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif    adultemart.com. Popular                                                                       be available on Baidu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         I
                                                                                                                   plagued by the scourge of spam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             n other China news, a      female friend were               replicate the process on a
       have poisoned several                Mohamed took it into his       services like NetFlix and                     The messenger was first                         Then it came under the              woman who killed           criticised for invading          computer, using the
       batches of Gerber baby food          head to spread a little        Amazon will also come                   launched in November 1996.                            scanner for a number of             herself and the web        Wang Fei’s privacy, and          blackboard as the model
       with cyanide or rat poison.          anarchy with a video           under the umbrella of the               America Online (AOL) acquired                         advertisements of medical       service that hosted her        asked to pay $1,200 as           to view results of
       Concerned parents                    tutorial on how to change a    iPod tax. This is part of a             Mirabilis, its holding company,                       supplies that were not          blog were ordered to pay       damages.                         underlying formulas. His
       understandably called up             remote controlled toy car      $121 billion budget                     on June 8, 1998 for $407                              licenced. This forced           Wang Fei $1,200 in                                              idea became VisiCalc, for
       the company about the                into a detonator. His          covering the next year.                 million. Today, the ICQ protocol                      Baidu to drop these ads,        damages. The long and          RUSSIAN TRADEMARKS               which Bricklin designed
       videos. If one video was not         intentions were far more       Almost anything that is                 can be accessed from any AIM                          and the matter would            sordid tale reads out like a   POPULAR EMOTICON                 the interface and Bob
       enough trouble, he posted            sinister, an effort by the     liable to make Gov.                     enabled messenger. ICQ still                          have settled there.             soap opera, complete with                                       Frankston, wrote most of
       another video claiming to            international terrorists       Peterson’s voters feel good
                                                                                                                   claims to have 32 million active
                                                                                                                   users, but the claim is doubtful.
                                                                                                                                                                              Continuing on its          adultery, emotional            Its not ;-)                      the code. They released
       lead a bunch of assistants
       who poisoned many more
                                            networks to permeate the
                                            web and sow seeds of
                                                                           is going to be taxed, in
                                                                           order to ease the credit
                                                                                                                   In India at least, its popularity
                                                                                                                   has perceptibly declined.
                                                                                                                                                                         crackdown on illegal
                                                                                                                                                                         medical services being
                                                                                                                                                                                                         turmoil and suicide.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             It started with Wang Fei   anymore                          VisiCalc in 1979, an act
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         that fomented the desktop
       batches of the food, and             dissent. The twelve minutes    crunch. This includes TV,               Abroad there might be people                          advertised through the          going to bed with another                                       revolution. He also coined

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        P
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              atent and trademark
       that four babies had                 of terrorist propaganda        beer, wine and cigars. Apart            logging in, but through other                         web, state-owned CCTV           woman. His wife, Jian Yan,           laws around the world      the term friend-to-friend
       already died because of his          uploaded to the internet       from the iPod tax, or the               messenger clients and so it                           launched a fresh wave of        like any wife was pretty             are rife with hillarious   networking as recently as
       efforts. The wannabe baby            cost this young Egyptian       iTax, there is also the                 appears that the days of the                          attacks against Google          distressed. But unlike other   examples of what people          2000. He is now working
       killer was exposed as a              student 15 years behind        strange obesity tax on                  highly vocal, slim ICQ                                China and Yahoo! China for      wives, she decided that the    try to own and reap profits      on wikiCalc, a spreadsheet
       hoax, the authorities                bars in a US prison.           sugary soft drinks.                     messenger are numbered.                               similar offences. Both the      best way to soothe her         out of. After people have        running on the web.
      I Montenegro bans Facebook and YouTube access in govt offices I Japanese groups throw opposition to Google Street View                                      I NVIDIA GTX 295 benchmark results leaked I Mobile networks need boost in Washington for Obama’s inauguration I AMD in trouble
112    DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                           www.thinkdigit.com                   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                        DIGIT JANUARY 2009   113
        Escape

                                               Wild Wild Web
                                               Do you speaka ani                huge collection of such pics       own site, browse through
                                               Engrish?                         contributed by people all over     archives, and even rate a
         Audiophilia                           The Japanese are a funny lot,    the world. The web site takes      site’s coolness. Head over to
         The unnatural obsession with          and the variation of English     a fun look at the various          http://www.coolsiteoftheday.
         high quality sound marked by an       that they use is even funnier.   products, signs, bags, clothing,   com/frmindex.html and
         excessive passion for high-end        They confuse the ‘l’ and ‘r’     etc. that contain funny or far-    check out the coolest site for
         audio equipment. The afflicted        sounds, leading to hilarious     out English. Guaranteed to         today.
         want to experience sound              outcomes like Album Covers       keep you tickled for hours.
         reproduced with little or no loss.    by Eric Crapton and campaign
         Read on to progress from audio-       posters for Erections! Also      Cool site of the day
         enthusiast to audiophiliac.           much of the English on their     Cool site of the day is an
         SNR — Signal-to-noise ratio: It’s     signboards comes from literal    interesting web resource
         the level of clean signal             translations from Japanese,      that brings to you the
         compared to noise coming out of       with disastrously funny          coolest web sites on the
         your output source. Look for          consequences — sign on a loo     internet right to your inbox.
         higher SNR and lower TDH              saying “Please use anyone”. At   You can subscribe to the
         THD — Total Harmonic                  www.engrish.com you’ll find a    newsletter, submit your
         Distortion: The amount of
         originally-recorded sound
         reaching your ears compared to       tried to patent fire, and the     THE MARCH OF THE WARRIOR           clothes and the careless
         distortion introduced by your        wheel, the newest hunting         PENGUINS                           Seinfeld cut. Of course,
                                              grounds for opportunistic
         components. Figures of 0.01%                                                                              Seinfeld switched loyalties
         and lower are desirable for
                                              entrepreneurs is the web.
                                                  A Russian businessman
                                                                                Linux joins                        in the recent $300 million
         sound cards.
         Impedance: Basically resistance.
                                              has gone ahead and trade-
                                              marked the oh brother
                                                                                the OS                             advertising campaign for
                                                                                                                   Vista that was summarily
         Changes as per frequency. Go for
         high impedance on low-end
                                              emoticon. Oleg Teterin
                                              hopes to earn thousands
                                                                                advertising                        dropped.
                                                                                                                       The 1337 tree-huggers of
         electronics.
         Frequency response: It’s a
                                              of dollars in licensing
                                              fees. This means that no
                                                                                battle                             the computer world have
                                                                                                                   something to celebrate.
         specification to measure how         emoticon can be legally                                              When not trying to install
         uniformly equipment reproduces       used in Russia because                                               codecs into their Linux
                                              they all bear a similar-
         sounds from the lowest to the                                                                             systems, they can spend
                                              ity to the oh brother
         highest tones. A uniform             emoticon.                                                            their time making the I-am-
         frequency response makes the             Being the benevo-                                                Linux video. The Linux
         delicate sound of a triangle as      lent individual that                                                 Foundation, a non-profit
         audible as the crash of a cymbal.    Teterin is, he has                                                   organisation hoping to
         Reference speaker: Speakers          allowed lay users com-                                               spread the support for the
         or headphones that reproduce         plete freedom to use                                                 open source operating
         sound as it is, i.e. very close to   the emoticon in the                                                  system is planning to
         the original recording. Like         normal course of inter-                                              launch an advertising
         studio recording “reference          net interaction. The                                                 campaign made from these
                                              trademark application
         monitors”.                                                                                                videos.
                                              has to be ratified by the
         Soundstage: The presentation         Russian Patent Agency,                                                   The brief for the video
         of the sound in relation to the      and it remains to be                                                 according to the official
         listener.                            seen if the trademark,                                               website is “in 60 seconds or
         Coloured: Simply to what extent,     in fact, be granted. Russian                                         less, showcase your take on


                                                                                T
         and where, the frequency is          lawyers argue that the                  he operating systems         I’m Linux. This should be
         altered in reproduction.             trademark may not be                    war have been waging         why you love it and should
         Quality related terms: Warm,         granted because of its wide             for a long time now,         inspire others to use it. The
         rich, full-bodied etc.               use, and being against the        and the two big players in         video can be an extensive
         Brands: Sennheiser, Denon, AKG,      interest of the general pop-      the field have taken on            production, a plain
                                              ulation.
         Monitor Audio, Wilson Benesch.                                         distinct identities. Windows       testimonial or as simple as a
                                                  This is not the first time
         Usage: These new AKG K-701           that a smiley has been            users are stereotyped as           screen capture with a voice
         reference headphones I bought        copyrighted. Way back in          being stiff upper lip power        over. Be creative, be
         have an impedance of 62 ohms         2001, the :-( emoticon was        tie wearing formal                 authentic and have fun.”
         and man, what a broad                copyrighted by a US firm          individuals, as against Mac        The winner will be decided
         soundstage! Really rich sound,       called Despair, Inc.              addicts with the casual            by a panel of judges and
         absolutely uncoloured!

      due to Lehman’s September default I Red Hot Chili Peppers music videos no more on YouTube I Polaroid goes bankrupt
114     DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                         www.thinkdigit.com
      Escape                                                                                                                           Escape

      votes from the global nerd       Weight and watch...
      community. The contest will      The newest gadget to mesmerise the Digit             ol tummy tuck before getting on, but it
      be open till March 15, and       team was strangely enough — a weighing               didn’t work. Our stick figure (Aditya) was
      the winner gets free flight      scale. There was much excitement when                asked to remove his wrist watch, which
      tickets to Tokyo and             someone discovered it in the downstairs              significantly affected the reading — he
      accommodation for the            warehouse and the whole team promptly                weighed in at 45 kgs! Big boss editor
                                       marched down to review it. Now, we at                (Raaabo) was a decent 75, but not entirely
      October 2009 Japan Linux
                                       Digit are really of different shapes and             pleased. He said we’ll ‘weight and watch’.
      Symposium.                       sizes. Some like Vijay tried the
          We have a lot of
      questions. Are Mac or
      Windows machines allowed        KIDS IN MARYLAND TAKE THE            people. Cameras recorded            the teachers received
      during the production of                                             speeders, and mailed them           tickets.
      the video? Will judges          Kids fool                            $40 tickets with no real                Since they are only high
      prefer videos edited on
      Cinelerra instead of Final      traffic polic-                       police officers in the loop.
                                                                               The smarter high school
                                                                                                               school kids, the officials are
                                                                                                               unsure if this new trend is a
      Cut Pro? Will the
      commercials actually be
                                      ing system                           kids at Maryland decided
                                                                           that they needed revenge
                                                                                                               game or a prank. Some of
                                                                                                               the victims are
      put to use over television                                           on some people, especially          understandably unhappy
      networks? Whatever be the

                                      T
                                           he smart people of              the teachers. Armed with            about the violation of their
      outcome, we can’t wait to            Maryland decided to             laser printers and glossy           civil rights. The bewildered
      get our hands on the                 set up a traffic system         paper, they replicated their        officials hope to control the
      rejects.                        that did not involve any             teacher’s number plates             situation before the activity
                                                                           and zoomed around town —            becomes more widespread.


                                 Opening ODF files with                to Google Docs or Zoho Writer.        features are present.
                                 Microsoft Word                        http://rabspd.co.cc/archives/op       4. Snipshot: The interface is
                                 Open Document Format (ODF) is         ening-odf-files-with-microsoft-       Super clean and simple. No
                                 an open standard file format          word                                  signup were needed, and can
                                 OpenOffice.org and others use.                                              output image to 6 different
                                 File extensions include .odt          Best Five Online Image Editors        formats including psd. But
                                 (text), .ods (spreadsheet), and       Image editing is always fun in        advanced options like layer
                                 .odp (presentation). By default,      Photoshop. With Adobe                 support were missing.
                                 Microsoft Office does not             Photoshop Express, an online          5. Pixenate: A fairly
                                 recognise these file formats.         version of Photoshop, you don't       uncomplicated site and really
                                 However, it is possible to open       even need to install Photoshop        simple interface is what sets
                                 and edit these files after            on your computer. We made a           pixenate apart from other sites.
                                 installing a plugin from Sun          list of other online photo editors.   Although we found that it was
                                 Microsystems.                         Let’s check out the top 5.            not as powerful and fast.
                                 For office 2003 users                 1. Picnik: This is undoubtedly one    http://www.technonix.com/com
                                 If you have Microsoft Office          of the most famous online image       ment.php?comment.news.202
                                 2003, simply download and             editors. It has some great
                                 install the Sun ODF Plugin. You       features like Layers support,         Useful Free Softwares
                                 can download it from here.            Red-eye correction, Rotate,           BurnAware
                                 For office 2007 users                 Resize, Exposure etc. It is tightly   BurnAware Free is a free CD,
                                 1. First you need to Install          integrated with Flickr.               DVD, Blu-ray Disc burning
                                 Service Pack 1 for Microsoft          2. Splashup: Formerly Fauxto, it      software. It is ideal for users
                                 Office 2007.                          is a powerful editing tool and        with basic disc burning needs as
                                 2. Install Sun ODF Plugin for         photo manager. Splashup runs in       backup, creating data, audio,
                                 Microsoft Office.                     all browsers, integrates              MP3 music, DVD-Video discs and
                                 3. Open ODT document via File >       seamlessly with top photo             burning disc images. Free, easy
        Featured here are
        snippets from some of    Open, or by double-clicking the       sharing sites, and even has its       to set up, it enables you to save
        the best bloggers who    ODT file and when prompted for        own file format(.FXO) so you can      your files to disc quickly and
        have registered at the   the application to open it with,      save your work in progress.           provides clean, flexible interface
        Blog Watch section on    choose Word.                          3. Picture2Life: The site offers      to help you complete your
        thinkdigit.com.
            If you wish to be
                                 If you don't have administrator       plenty of editing and special         burning tasks much faster. It’s
        featured too, head to    privileges to install software, you   effect options-including collage      100% Free.
        www.thinkdigit.com/      can try an online converter such      and animation features.               http://worldofy2j.blogspot.com/
        blogger.php and          as Zamzar or Media Convert. You       However, We found the interface       2008/11/burnaware.html
        sign-up.                 can also upload ODT documents         to be little quirky. All the usual


       I Jabalpur Nokia shops burnt because Nokia maps shows Kashmir in Pak I Researchers develop bionic sexual stimulation chip
116   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                        www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                                    Write to the Editor                                                                  Digit will publish the best letters on these pages. Letters may be edited for clarity.
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                                                                                                                                                    Snail Mail: The Editor, Digit, KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         send an e-mail to help@thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                                    Vashi, Navi Mumbai 400 703




                                                                                                                              Inbox
                                                                                                   day I started reading Digit. It has been         The best buy                                                 On the Digit archive                                  Pirates no more                                      Letter
                                                                                                   invaluable to my career and personal             The year end issue of Digit is indeed                        Congratulations and thank you for a                   I have got an amazing mag in            of the
                                                                                                   interests. When my dad bought me a               useful for many reasons to cite. Though                      great magazine which is now is a                      my hands which is called Digit.         Month
                                                                                                   Computer in 2003 I didn’t even know              the cover page is prosaic and                                part of my life! I am a Web Designer                  December issue was absolutely
                                                                                                   where the CPU was inside the cabinet!            unimpressive your justification for the                      and a subscriber to Digit for the past                mind boggling. The most useful
                                                                                                   Now I have assembled nearly ten                  same is one step ahead in reasonable                         two years. Each and every Digit issue                 stuff was the soft copies of your
                                                                                                   desktops for my friends just by reading          maneuvers. Please take that as a                             is like a gift for me. I have arranged                magazine’s previous issues. I have
                                                                                                   your mag! I even get queries about               compliment. However, I have become a                         all the CDs and DVDs month-wise so                    already started browsing their Tips
                                                                                                   games and software installations from            fan of yours of late, for the language you                   that I can find them when I need to.                  and Tricks section. Why don’t you
                                                                                                   my friends. I refer to Digit heavily for         use and the way you make yourself clear.                     The Digit Archive helped me a lot to                  include mobile applications which
                                                                                                   these purposes and more importantly, I               The second aspect of Digit’s                             manage this.                                          you used to?
                                                                                                   love it!                                         December issue is that, I found many                              I noticed that you have stopped                       And also you guys give more
                                                                                                       Now for some feedback:                       of the articles very informative. I was                      providing the Digit Archive software                  importance to Windows Mobile users
                                                                                                       1. I really really enjoy your regulars       in a state of confusion in selecting a                       in the CD for the past few months.                    by giving a list of applications for
                                                                                                   especially, Agent 001, Tech Quiz, People         laptop and a inkjet printer for my son                       What happened? Are you in the                         them and including it in the Tips
                                                     December 2008 Issue                           Who Changed Computing and Inbox.                 and your ‘Best Buy’ tags helped me to                        process of debugging? Please make                     and Tricks section, while most
                                                                                                       2. The Visual Buying guide blew me           easily get the best of the class. I had                      that available as soon as you can.                    people in India have Nokia phones
                                                                                                   away; it rocks, it’s superb, I strongly          missed many issues of Digit on several                            I also have a few suggestions.                   which run on Symbian. You know I
      20 questions?                              have to uninstall later.                          request you to continue the ‘Visual              occasions, and this issue compensated                        Please write Fast Tracks to AJAX, PHP,                have Nokia N95 8 GB lying unused
      First of all, I must congratulate you on       Page 68 on Laptops: “Price of                 Buying Guide’ hereafter.                         the loss.                                                    XHTML and Dynamic Flash XML. It                       because of lack of applications, and I
      your “2008 Collector’s Edition”. I am a    notebooks range from Rs. 20,000 to                    3. The thing I like about Digit very             I am quite impressed by the                              will help Web Designers like me.                      don’t have an internet connection at
      regular subscriber to Digit and this is    Rs. 26,000” What? Must have been a                much is its Indian-feel and approach to          following articles:                                                                               Debraj           home, so I can’t get compatible apps
      the first time that I have been            typo. There have been many such                   the computer and tech world. Keep it up              n The very best products of 2008                                                                               for it. That aside, your Mag simply
      completely satisfied by an issue.          errors; I guess they have been missed in          guys, your real style is inside the articles.        n Taming the Internet.                                   The Digit Archive is undergoing a change at           rocks! Your cover page ref lected
          Initially, I was not all too pleased   a hurry to get the magazine ready. I                  4. Regarding Fast Track, it rocks.               n Improve windows font display                           the moment. We hope to launch version 2.0             simplicity and honestly, but inside it
      when our desi magazine was taken over      wonder why Evolution for windows was              Though I have some suggestions for                   n Keep it simple                                         soon, with added features. As to your                 was extraordinary. Robert was right
      by videsi 9.9, but then you have done      left out in your e-mail clients article.          that.                                                The Editor also made a passing                           suggestion for Fast Tracks — we hope you              when he said “its not what’s on
      wonderfully. Earlier, the magazine used    When Chrome beta was featured in                      5. How about starting a new regular          reference to my earlier letter about                         enjoy the one on PHP this issue which comes           covers that matter, but what’s
      to reach me after a fortnight; now it      comparison of browsers in your revious            section on the mag called “Digit                 jargon in the editorial “Never judge a                       with a video guide on the DVD.                        between them..”.
      arrives within 10 days.                    issue, why was Evolution (beta) not               Projects”, which includes both                   book...’. I feel honoured and enthused                                                         Team Digit               I think you should have been
          Earlier, I used to fear that the       included? Most important exclusion:               hardware and software projects that              to make correspondence with the                                                                                    given best performer award to the
      package would be pilfered and I would      why was handycam / camcorders                     enthusiastic students and professionals          Numero Uno.                                                  Expert advice                                         iPhone in the mobile phones
      lose some CDs; now the packaging is        excluded in the Zero1 awards? Why is              can emulate?                                                               Sreenath Rayasam                   I’m an avid reader of Digit and                       category, and not the N95 8GB, even
      tamper-proof. The Fast Track has better    “Beat That!” feature missing in recent                6. I read on an Intel website that                                                                        December’s issue was the best of all.                 if it’s my phone.
      paper quality, has colour pictures and     editions? Lastly, why is your Agent 001           game engines can be used for many                We’re glad our December issue was that                       However, some part of the magazine                         I also want to tell you that Digit
      now even features tutorials; a demand I    so muscular?                                      purposes other than entertainment. For           useful to you, and happened to cover exactly                 really let me down. A couple of                       has changed my life completely. I was
      have making since long. The magazine                                      Sridhar Rao        example Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is                what you were looking for. Like we’ve told our               questions answered by the experts in                  a bigger pirate than those in Pirates Of
      features articles that can be read even                                     Devangere        currently used for medical simulations           readers all along, we really do read all your                “Q&A” were totally wrong.                             The Carribean before reading your
      by non-geeks (like myself), which are                                                        and architectural fly-throughs. Which            letters. In fact, the editor has promised to                     One of the questions with title “Is               magazine, but now I use either
      informative and thankfully short. Who      On page 68 of Digit December 2008, the text       made me wonder if physics engines like           make it a point to respond to all from now on.               the file boot.com corrupted?” gave me                 licensed software or only Open
      on Earth would want to read a              reads, “prices of netbooks range...” You have     ‘Havoc’ used in games like Half-life 2 can                                             Team Digit             a feeling that the person (Jagdeep                    Source ones.
      “textbook” anyway? Referring to your       mistakenly read this as notebooks.                be used in schools to teach complex                                                                           Virdhi Q&A expert) is totally unaware                      This is all thanks to you guys, and
      editorial column on the cover; I don’t         Although we did make an exception for         physics to students! Since the Doom 3            Errata                                                       of what it really is. It’s actually a trojan          that is why you are on top. It can be
      think Digit is a film magazine that        Chrome, we’re not likely to include beta          engine will also be open-sourced in the          I just wanted to point out that there is                     which creates some files in registry                  said that you are the iPod Touch of
      anyone would buy on the basis of cover.    versions too often in software comparisons.       future, is it possible to do such things?        an error in the crossword puzzle on                          and runs along with Explorer. The only                the PMP world. Thanks once again!
      No matter what you put on cover, we            Agent 001 has an acute body image                 7. I feel sad for those Indians who          page no. 164: the clue given in 15 down                      way to remove this trojan is to use
      will buy anyway. I liked the idea of       problem, and spends unhealthy amounts of          see gaming as an amateurish or                   suggests the answer is STEP UP but                           “Smart Virus Remover” software. You                                                     Kshitij Rawat
      simplicity, but frankly I miss the         time in the gym. That said, he is currently       childish activity.                               since the transformer reduces output                         also need to click “Restore Windows
      gorgeous babes on the cover :)             seeking therapy... fingers-crossed!                                       Krishna Prasath          voltage it should be a STEP DOWN                             Default Settings”. The same applies to                The point that symbian applications and
          What matters most to the reader is                                          Team Digit                                                    transformer, if I am not mistaken.                           the question titled “USB Flash drivers                symbian relevent information will be more
      the stuff inside. The CDs now feature                                                        We’re glad we could help you follow-up on            I’d also like to thank you about the                     and viruses”. By using that software                  useful to readers in India is taken. We are
      softwares for Linux as well. What more     Feedback galore                                   your passion for technology.                     C++ Fast Track. I’m learning C++ and                         you can also fix folder options                       recieving a lot of requests for providing phone
      can I ask from Digit? But, these           I bought my first copy of Digit in April               We also thank you for taking the time to    the book was of great help.                                  problems, registry problems etc.                      based software on our DVDs and we are
      compliments shouldn’t make you             2004 and have been buying it since                give us detailed feedback, which is our                                Kayomars Batliwalla                                                       R. Vivek           seriously considering it.
      complacent, you must outdo yourself        then. Initially, I bought it only for game        favourite kind. We will try and cover points                                                                                                                             What really made us happy was that you
      through constant innovation.               demos and software — it took me a few             5 and 6 in upcoming issues, and yes we           You are absolutely right. We got it wrong in                 The solution given points readers to                  stopped software piracy and moved on to open
          Now, coming to some shortcomings.      months to realise that I was missing              agree with you on point number 7, because        the crossword. Since no one came close to                    remove all Autorun.inf files, which is what           source software. This is really the way to go,
      Sometimes, the software in your            the fun — the real cream is in the                all of us are also avid gamers, and              answering the crossword correctly, and you                   this virus uses to load into the system. The          and glad to know that we were a small part of
      CD/DVD labeled as Freeware turns out       articles inside the magazine.                     appreciate the entertainment and skill           spotted the mistakes we made, we feel that                   answer was incomplete, though, and the                this turn around.
      to be actually Shareware or Trialware. I       I am fascinated by computer                   enhancement it brings.                           you deserve the prize for the crossword.                     virus removal instructions omitted.
      usually don’t install software that I      technology and games right from the                                                  Team Digit                                       Team Digit                                                   Team Digit                                                    Team Digit


118   DIGIT JANUARY 2009                                                                                                       www.thinkdigit.com   www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                                 DIGIT JANUARY 2009         119
                The Last Word

 Customer first

T
THIS YEAR, I spent two nights in               Of course, poor service can be
Jaipur, one of my favourite cities         found all over the world, but so many
here. On the second of these               have now told me that it is of particu-
evenings, a couple of days before          lar concern here. It is something we
writing this, I wanted to eat some-        wish to investigate further. Naturally,
thing authentically local. There was       our interest is limited to the IT indus-
just such a dish listed on the menu of     try (and restaurants).
the Handi Restaurant. I ordered it,            I must say that in my own experi-
and was told that it was spicy! “Fine”,    ence, if you want bad customer service
I said, “I just want it done normally,     in India, you just need to open a bank
no change.” When it came it was            account. But with the IT industry, hav-     Edward Henning, Editor-in-Chief
rather insipid and I just thought I        ing purchased one PC, two laptops
had ended up in a bad restaurant.          and a few peripherals from a small
But, at the end of the meal, prompted      dealership in Nehru Place, New Delhi,
                                                                                           “If you have a genuine
by my wife, I asked about this. To my      the service that I have received has             example of truly bad
surprise, I was told that the chef had     been better here than anywhere else.          service, such as a product
thought I would not like the normal        Better than I usually get in the UK,              going wrong within
dish, and had made it bland for me,        where I have bought much more
directly contradicting my order!           equipment over the years.                     warranty and the supplier
    I was furious, and made it very            So, what is going on? I have spoken      refusing to fix or replace it,
clear that I felt cheated, and that I      to quite a few people in the industry             please let us know”
would not pay for that dish. The chef      about this issue, and they make very
then sent from the kitchen, samples        different observations. At one             Digit readers to let us know when they
of the sauce that was served to me,        extreme, they tell me that many con-       have serious problems.
and of the one that I should have been     sumers don’t know the law and their            So please do this. If you have a gen-
given! A huge difference. So, I was par-   rights and are therefore unable to         uine example of truly bad service, such
ticularly surprised when the errant        exercise those rights when something       as a product going wrong within war-
dish appeared on the bill, and I was       goes wrong. At the other extreme, I        ranty and the supplier refusing to fix
expected to pay for it. Much argument      have been told that consumers’             or replace it, then please let us know
followed, and I ended up accusing the      expectations here are higher than          at: servicewatch@thinkdigit.com. Make
manager of racism and threatening to       elsewhere — China was mentioned as         sure that you have proper documenta-
call the police before it was deducted     being similar to India in this respect —   tion (receipt, etc.) to back up your
from the bill. I have no idea what the     to an extent that is probably unrea-       complaint. We cannot promise even to
police would have made of all this         sonable. They therefore complain           reply to all the emails we will receive,
fuss, and I am quite sure the restau-      about not getting the service they         but we will pick a selection and take
rant gave in mainly because of the         think they deserve.                        them up with the relevant companies
attention the other diners were giving         It has long been my view that good     at the highest level. Some of the exam-
to all the noise.                          customer service helps the vendors as      ples that you send us — of both good
    In the UK, we have an old saying       much as it does the customer, and gen-     and bad service — will be reported in
that “The customer is always right”,       erally helps drive the industry towards    the magazine or on our web site.
and here in India we have the famous       better quality. And magazines like ours    I doubt I will find another restaurant
quote from Gandhi about the cus-           should help drive this process. Vendors    with as bad a service as I received at the
tomer being the “most important vis-       that I speak to, generally tell me that    Handi in Jaipur, but who knows, maybe
itor on our premises...” But during        they welcome complaints from cus-          we’ll start a restaurant column as well.
the last three months I have heard a       tomers because this helps them deliver
surprising number of stories from          a better service. Yes, they would say
people here about very poor after-         that, wouldn’t they? But it is also the
sales service for IT products — specifi-   only way they can find out where they
cally, poor service when something         need to improve.
goes wrong, even if the product is still       One thing that I have been saying
within warranty.                           to these people is that we will invite                     edward.henning@9dot9.in

				
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