Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Watch TV over the internet using Skype!

Novac from Japan has come up with a software, which enables watching TV from a PC using the free Skype video conferencing facility.

So in order to make this functional, Skype and the Novac software needs to installed on a PC. The software comes with a USB analog tuner, which can be that is all that is required to watch TV on the internet.

This Novac package comes for $85 and Skype is free.

Using the Skype video-calls facility the TV can ping you over IM and you can instruct the TV to change channels as well.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What is Sony VAIO UX180P?

Sony has released a device similar to a UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC), but sporting more processing power, higher resolution, integrated keyboard and EDGE. This device as seen in the picture above is the UX180P. It is priced at $1800, which is almost double the cost of a regular UMPC like the Samsung Q1.

The best feature of the Sony UX180P like other UMPCs is easy mobility. In terms of mobility it can be compared to a OQO device, and can fit in a carry case like in the picture shown below.

Microsoft has announced support of its upcoming Vista Operating system for the UX180P.

Some of the hardware configurations of the UX180P includes 512MB RAM and Core Solo U1200. It has a nicely integrated QWERTY keyboard which slides smoothly in the background as shown below.

The device comes pre-installed with Windows XP Professional and loads of adware and trialware, which eventually slow down the performance of the machine. Much of the drivers are available on the recovery disk and it is not very easy to install a fresh operating system and then to load the drivers separately.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A multipurpose Bluetooth headset by BlueAnt

BlueAnt X5 Stereo Bluetooth Headset is a newly released high-tech yet multi-function set of head phones that is packed with a bunch of features that are able to stream clear stereo music from various devices with Bluetooth capabilities such as mobile phone, PDA, iPod, MP3 player as well as computer.

It can also take calls over internet applications such as Skype or MSN through VoIP technology. The Bluetooth Audio Streamer is capable of sending CD quality stereo music from one device to another through A2DP technology: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile.

The x5 is capable of handling up to 10 devices within a range of 10 meters. The support for AVRCP Bluetooth profile allows remote control of Windows Media Player, Winamp, WinDVD and other compatible music applications.

It has a 3.5mm line-in jack for your iPod or MP3 player and one touch redial/answer function for your mobile phone. Upon fully charged, X5 could last up to 12 hours of talk time and up to 200 hours of standby time. The battery is removable, you can power it up by using a mini USB connection which is actually for the detachable microphone.

In summary, the BlueAnt X5 Stereo Bluetooth Headset is just a perfect gadget which covers most of the usage for any devices.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Top 10 MP3 players under $100

Following are MP3 players which offer the basic requirements and do not cost more than $100.

All the devices listed below offer a minimum of 512 MB of storage and two or more of the following characteristics: good sound quality; a stylish, compact design; advanced features such as an FM radio or recording capabilities; and an impressive battery life.

1. Samsung YEPP YP-MT6X (512MB)

The good: Superior AA battery life; solid sound quality; compact and durable; highly readable display for such a small player; FM radio; voice, radio, and line-in recording; next-track readout; MP3, DRM WMA, and OGG playback.
The bad: Too many operational instructions to remember; FM radio and voice recordings placed in random play queue; line-in encoding requires uncommon 2.5mm plug.
The bottom line: For a Windows user, the Samsung YEPP YP-MT6 is a superior choice to the Apple iPod Shuffle, thanks to its compact design, its good sound quality, and its many useful features and functions.

2. Samsung YP-U2 (512MB)

The good: The affordable Samsung YP-U2 is a supercompact MP3 player with a convenient plug-in USB design; it includes an FM tuner, a voice recorder, subscription compatibility, a legible LCD, and an intuitive interface. Plus, it features an extensive set of equalizer and DSP sound settings. Sound quality is quite impressive, but there is a caveat.
The bad: The placement of the headphone jack is not that impressive. It has an average battery life, the subpar voice-recording quality, and the audible clicks when starting or stopping a song. Additionally, the Samsung YP-U2 does not ship with a lanyard or an armband, and it currently maxes out at 512MB.
The bottom line: Despite some minor issues, the simple but feature-friendly YP-U2 from Samsung will be a hot seller, thanks to a sweet price and great overall sound quality. It's a good choice for budget-minded users looking for their first MP3 player.

3. Sony NW-E105 Network Walkman (512MB)

The good: Fantastic battery life; inexpensive; solid sound quality; gets really loud; innovative rocking faceplate controls.
The bad: No FM tuner or recording options; inelegant software; must use SonicStage app to transfer songs.
The bottom line: Budget-conscious music fans who want more than the Apple iPod Shuffle has to offer will be pleased with Sony's NW-E100 flash players.

4. Cowon iAudio G2 (1GB)

The good: The Cowon iAudio G2 delivers great sound quality and sound-enhancement options, plays protected WMA files, and features line-in recording.
The bad: The Cowon iAudio G2 is a bit large for a flash-based player, lacks an FM tuner, and most notably, uses the slow USB 1.1 protocol for transfers.
The bottom line: The Cowon iAudio G2's terrific audio quality and ease of use overcome its lack of USB 2.0 connectivity.

5. Creative MuVo TX FM (512MB)

The good: Cool design; USB 2.0; comes with armband and belt clip; great sound; easy to use.
The bad: Tiny screen; no USB extension cable.
The bottom line: Creative's MuVo TX FM is a great option for people who want a small, lightweight, and gymworthy player with a decent feature set.

6. Creative Zen Nano Plus (512MB)

The good: Plenty of cool color options; ultracompact design; comes with a belt clip, a case, and an armband; impressive, but not great, sound and recording quality; supports DRM-protected songs; includes FM, voice, and line-in recording features.
The bad: Small LCD; no true playlist support.
The bottom line: This is feature-packed flash player and cheap device for the features it provides.

7. iRiver T30 (512MB)

The good: Supports subscription WMA files; small and light; solid audio quality; voice and line-in recording.
The bad: No FM radio; occasional glitches in playing subscription downloads.
The bottom line: The T30 is a basic player by iRiver standards, but Janus support makes it an attractive flash-based device.

8. MobiBlu DAH-1500i (512MB)

The good: The cute and stylish MobiBlu DAH-1500i features a user-friendly, ultra-tiny design; a bright OLED screen; and useful extras such as FM tuning and recording, voice recording, and SRS Wow sound effects. This MP3 player also works as a removable flash drive and is DRM compatible.
The bad: The MobiBlu DAH-1500i uses a nonstandard USB cable and has poor battery life.
The bottom line: It is a good device for people fond of tiny things.

9. SanDisk Sansa m250 (2GB)

The good: Available in up to 4GB capacity; solid value; includes FM tuner and voice recorder; compatible with WMA DRM 10 (Janus) and Audible files; decent controllers; on-the-go playlists.
The bad: Bulky (but lightweight); no line-in recording; poorly backlit display; only one quality option for voice recording.
The bottom line: With its many features as well as its compatibility with audiobooks and subscription-based music, the SanDisk Sansa m200 series is an overall great value.

10. MobiBlu B153 (512MB)

The good: The MobiBlu B153 offers unbeatable battery life as well as nifty features such as an FM radio, line-in recording, and SRS Wow sound effects. Podcast Ready software comes loaded on the device, allowing for automatic updating of subscribed podcasts from any Internet-connected computer.
The bad: The MobiBlu B153's design is bad, and navigation is strictly via folder trees, so there's no sorting by artist, album, genre, and so on. Also, the screen is small in relation to the device.
The bottom line: MobiBlu's B153 isn't the most stylish MP3 player on the block, but if you're looking for an ultra-long-lasting device with plenty of features, it may be just the ticket.

Source - Reviews by CNET

Saturday, July 08, 2006

In - car PC with GPS Navigator, DVD and more

Do you hate cables and chargers in your car?
If yes, this in-dash car PC from Prober Industries, called the “E319″, is for you.

The device functions as an entertainment center and has a 6.5″ touch screen with 800×480 resolution with a 65 degree viewing angle. Speaking of angles, it can connect to backview camera using a CVBS video input port so you can see what’s behind when you are backing out of your garage.

It can connect to the internet using GPRS networks and can be used as a cell phone over GSM networks.

The car PC components aren’t that impressive but it should be good enough for playing your media files. It has a 20GB HD with 128 MB of RAM which connects to a 400MHz AMD AU1200 processor running Microsoft Windows CE 5.0.

The specs on the GPS receiver isn’t all that clear but the navigation system supposedly can provide voice guidance and route planning.

Besides all these, other features that are worth mentioning: AM/FM radio, DVD, VCD, CD, MP3 player.

There are USB and headset ports in front and a stylus pen.

The price is not given but Prober Industries is willing to share that info if you put in an order for 100 or more units.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The 10 Most Destructive PC Viruses Of All Time

Computer viruses are like real-life viruses: When they're flying around infecting every PC (or person) in sight, they're scary. But after the fact...well, they're rather interesting, albeit in a gory kind of way. With this in mind, we present, in chronological order, the 10 most destructive viruses of all time.

CIH (1998)

Estimated Damage: 20 to 80 million dollars worldwide, countless amounts of PC data destroyed

Unleashed from Taiwan in June of 1998, CIH is recognized as one of the most dangerous and destructive viruses ever. The virus infected Windows 95, 98, and ME executable files and was able to remain resident in a PC's memory, where it continued to infect other executables.

What made CIH so dangerous is that, shortly after activated, it would overwrite data on the host PC's hard drive, rendering it inoperable. It was also capable of overwriting the BIOS of the host, preventing boot-up. Because it infected executable files, CIH wound up being distributed by numerous software distributors, including a demo version of an Activision game named Sin.

CIH is also known as the Chernobyl virus because the trigger date of certain strains of the virus coincides with the date of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident. The virus is not a serious threat today, thanks to increased awareness and the widespread migration to Windows 2000, XP, and NT, none of which are vulnerable to CIH.

Melissa (1999)

Estimated Damage: 300 to 600 million dollars

On Friday, March 26, 1999, W97M/Melissa became front-page news across the globe. Estimates have indicated that this Word macro script infected 15 to 20 percent of all business PCs. The virus spread so rapidly that Intel, Microsoft, and a number of other companies that used Outlook were forced to shut down their entire e-mail systems in order to contain the damage.

The virus used Microsoft Outlook to e-mail itself to 50 names on a user's contact list. The e-mail message contained the sentence, "Here is that document you asked for...don't show anyone else. ;-)," with an attached Word document. Clicking open the .DOC file -- and thousands of unsuspecting users did so -- allowed the virus to infect the host and repeat the replication. Adding insult to injury, when activated, this virus modified users' Word documents with quotes from the animated TV show "The Simpsons."


Estimated Damage: 10 to 15 billion dollars

Also known as Loveletter and The Love Bug, this was a Visual Basic script with an ingenious and irresistible hook: the promise of love. On May 3, 2000, the ILOVEYOU worm was first detected in Hong Kong. The bug was transmitted via e-mail with the subject line "ILOVEYOU" and an attachment, Love-Letter-For-You.TXT.vbs. Similar to Melissa, the virus mailed itself to all Microsoft Outlook contacts.

The virus also took the liberty of overwriting music files, image files, and others with a copy of itself. More disturbingly, it searched out user IDs and passwords on infected machines and e-mailed them to its author.

An interesting footnote: Because the Philippines had no laws against virus-writing at the time, the author of ILOVEYOU was not charged for this crime.

Code Red (2001)

Estimated Damage: 2.6 billion dollars

Code Red was a computer worm that was unleashed on network servers on July 13, 2001. It was a particularly virulent bug because of its target: computers running Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) Web server. The worm was able to exploit a specific vulnerability in the IIS operating system. Ironically, Microsoft had released a patch addressing this hole in mid-June.

Also known as Bady, Code Red was designed for maximum damage. Upon infection, the Web site controlled by the affected server would display the message, "HELLO! Welcome to! Hacked By Chinese!" Then the virus would actively seek other vulnerable servers and infect them. This would go on for approximately 20 days, and then it would launch denial of service attacks on certain IP addresses, including the White House Web server. In less than a week, this virus infected almost 400,000 servers, and it's estimated that one million total computers were infected.

SQL Slammer (2003)

Estimated Damage: Because SQL Slammer erupted on a Saturday, the damage was low in dollars and cents. However, it hit 500,000 servers worldwide, and actually shut down South Korea's online capacity for 12 hours.

SQL Slammer, also known as Sapphire, was launched on January 25, 2003. It was a doozy of a worm that had a noticeable negative impact upon global Internet traffic. Interestingly enough, it didn't seek out end users' PCs. Instead, the target was servers. The virus was a single-packet, 376-byte worm that generated random IP addresses and sent itself to those IP addresses. If the IP address was a computer running an unpatched copy of Microsoft's SQL Server Desktop Engine, that computer would immediately begin firing the virus off to random IP addresses as well.

With this remarkably effective way of spreading, Slammer infected 75,000 computers in 10 minutes. The outrageously high amounts of traffic overloaded routers across the globe, which created higher demands on other routers, which shut them down, and so on.

Blaster (2003)

Estimated Damage: 2 to 10 billion dollars, hundreds of thousands of infected PCs

The summer of 2003 was a rough time for businesses running PCs. In rapid succession, IT professionals witnessed the unleashing of both the Blaster and Sobig worms. Blaster, also known as Lovsan or MSBlast, was the first to hit. The virus was detected on August 11 and spread rapidly, peaking in just two days. Transmitted via network and Internet traffic, this worm exploited a vulnerability in Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and when activated, presented the PC user with a menacing dialog box indicating that a system shutdown was imminent.

Hidden in the code of MSBLAST.EXE -- the virus' executable " were these messages: "I just want to say LOVE YOU SAN!!" and "billy gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!!"

The virus also contained code that would trigger a distributed denial of service attack on on April 15, but Blaster had already peaked and was mostly contained by then.

Sobig.F (2003)

Estimated Damage: 5 to 10 billion dollars, over 1 million PCs infected

The Sobig worm hit right on the heels of Blaster, making August 2003 a miserable month for corporate and home PC users. The most destructive variant was Sobig.F, which spread so rapidly on August 19 that it set a record (which would later be broken by MyDoom), generating over 1 million copies of itself in its first 24 hours.

The virus infected host computers via innocuously named e-mail attachments such as application.pif and thank_you.pif. When activated, this worm transmitted itself to e-mail addresses discovered on a host of local file types. The end result was massive amounts of Internet traffic.

On September 10, 2003, the virus deactivated itself and is no longer a threat. Microsoft has announced a $250,000 bounty for anyone who identifies Sobig.F's author, but to date, the perpetrator has not been caught.

Bagle (2004)

Estimated Damage: Tens of millions of dollars...and counting

Bagle, a classic but sophisticated worm, made its debut on January 18, 2004. The malicious code infected users' systems via the traditional mechanism -- an e-mail attachment -- and then scoured Windows files for e-mail addresses it could use to replicate itself.

The real danger of Bagle (a.k.a. Beagle) and its 60 to 100 variants is that, when the worm infects a PC, it opens a back door to a TCP port that can be used by remote users and applications to access data -- financial, personal, anything -- on the infected system. According to an April 2005 TechWeb story, the worm is "usually credited with starting the malware-for-profit movement among hackers, who prior to the ground-breaking worm, typically were motivated by notoriety."

The Bagle.B variant was designed to stop spreading after January 28, 2004, but numerous other variants of the virus continue to plague users to this day.

MyDoom (2004)

Estimated Damage: At its peak, slowed global Internet performance by 10 percent and Web load times by up to 50 percent

For a period of a few hours on January 26, 2004, the MyDoom shockwave could be felt around the world as this worm spread at an unprecedented rate across the Internet via e-mail. The worm, also known as Norvarg, spread itself in a particularly devious manner: It transmitted itself as an attachment in what appeared to be an e-mail error message containing the text "Mail Transaction Failed." Clicking on the attachment spammed the worm to e-mail addresses found in address books. MyDoom also attempted to spread via the shared folders of users' Kazaa peer-to-peer networking accounts.

The replication was so successful that computer security experts have speculated that one in every 10 e-mail messages sent during the first hours of infection contained the virus. MyDoom was programmed to stop spreading after February 12, 2004.

Sasser (2004)

Estimated Damage: Tens of millions of dollars

Sasser began spreading on April 30, 2004, and was destructive enough to shut down the satellite communications for some French news agencies. It also resulted in the cancellation of several Delta airline flights and the shutdown of numerous companies' systems worldwide.

Unlike most previous worms, Sasser was not transmitted via e-mail and required no user interaction to spread. Instead the worm exploited a security flaw in non-updated Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems. When successfully replicated, the worm would actively scan for other unprotected systems and transmit itself to them. Infected systems experienced repeated crashes and instability.

Sasser was written by a 17-year-old German high school student, who released the virus on his 18th birthday. Because he wrote the code when he was a minor, a German court found him guilty of computer sabotage but gave him a suspended sentence.

Source - Information Week

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A T-Shirt with a live digital clock

Don’t mind being a walking clock yourself ? Or desperately looking for some attention ? Then dress-up for the occasion with the digital clock T-shirt.

This amusing unisex T-shirt has 4 AAA batteries that are within a hidden, washable battery compartment. The batteries last from 12-36 hours depending on whether you are operating in the digital clock or stop-watch mode. The clock itself can be switched on/off through a small button located on the pack.

It is highly likely you will catch a few stares wearing this T-shirt. It might also be a good idea to wear one when you want to get across a not-so-subtle message to people who never seem to get to places on time.

It is available from latestbuy at $59.95 apiece. Buy only if you are looking for some pricey fun.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

An online free equivalent of Microsoft Visio

Too many online software offerings seem to be challenging the Microsoft Office products these days. After online spreadsheet (equivalent of Excel) and notebook (equivalent of OneNote) by Google, Gliffy is offering an online diagramming tool, which is equivalent to Visio.

Gliffy provides the following features:

· Diagramming in your web browser without downloading additional software
· Similar to Visio, yet in your web browser
· Desktop application feel in a web-based diagramming solution
· Add collaborators to your work and watch it grow
· Link to published Gliffy drawings from your blog or wiki
· Create many types of diagrams like Flowcharts, UI wireframes, Floor plans, Network diagrams, any simple drawing or diagram

Monday, July 03, 2006

How to pick the right camera phone?

Most of us will agree that the usage of mobile phones is growing by the day. If the mobile phone can also double up as a camera, it can be used to take pictures and preserve any special occurrence during the time when we are not carrying our cameras. Hence picking up a right camera phone requires some amount of knowledge and awareness. We have done some research around it and following are the key points which needs to be considered when buying a camera phone.

In simplest terms, there are 2 key factors for selecting a camera phone, picture quality and ease of transferring photos to a PC.

The picture quality of a camera phone will not match the quality of the dedicated camera, but the higher end camera phones can take pictures which are good enough to be printed.

If the camera phone is to be used for more than spur-of-the-moment shots, a minimum of 1.3-megapixel model would be required; these are common now in popular, mainstream phones like the LG VX8300 for Verizon. Two-megapixel camera phones like the Samsung MM-A800 for Sprint take photos that are good for printing and saving for posterity, but they're more expensive. The one 3MP camera phone in the U.S., the Nokia N80, doesn't take shots much better than the best 2MP phones, but it has a ton of other powerful features.

A few camera phones such as the Sony Ericsson W810i Walkman offer autofocus, but most are fixed focus, so the objects should be placed more than a few feet away for the best pictures. Sadly, camera-phone flashes are so weak that they reach only a few feet. In low-light situations, 3 to 6 feet is the sweet spot for camera-phone shots.

Camera phones can also capture video. For capturing video with a camera phone, there are few phones that support 352-by-288, 15 frame-per-second (fps) video, such as the Samsung SGH-T809 for T-Mobile. Now, 15 fps isn't as good as a dedicated digital camera and nowhere near the quality of a real camcorder, but it will do in a pinch. Many camera phones record video at 176-by-144 or even 128-by-96, which is hardly archival quality.

Having a camera on the phone is pretty useless if the pictures can’t get off it. For many low-end camera phones, the only option is picture-messaging shots to yourself, a friend, or to a picture-sharing or printing service. Unfortunately, that's often expensive, difficult, and clumsy.

Most camera phones enable connectivity with a PC using USB, Bluetooth, Infrared or Firewire technologies. Generally any mode of connectivity which does not requires complex software installation and configuration should be just fine. Most USB and Bluetooth phones can communicate with a PC or laptop without much pain. The better way is to opt for a camera supporting the SD Memory card which can store the photos while in the mobile and the same card can be removed from the mobile phone and inserted in a PC or laptop for photo transfer.

Pictures can also directly be printed from a camera phone to a growing range of printers, including the Epson PictureMate. Some phone supports PictBridge printing over a USB cable, like the LG LX550 Fusic for Sprint. Some phones can also send photos to printers over Bluetooth, but that's more difficult to set up than a USB connection.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The World’s most expensive phone!

Welcome to the billionaires lounge – please, pull up a throne, light a Honduran cigar and marvel at what is unquestionably the most expensive phone in the world.

We can just imagine its maker, Goldvish, sitting in a Genevan underground lair and drumming its fingers together mischievously while it dreamt up the €1-million (£690,000) ‘Piece Unique’.

It must come bedecked with 100-carats of the finest grade diamonds, it chuckled, and be part of such an impossibly limited production line that it’ll make the Jules Rimet trophy seem common.

As is befitting of a phone that makes Vertu’s Signature Platinum seem as exclusive as a Lion bar, little else is known about it – there’s apparently a secret compartment, but the specs won’t contain anything like a 10MP camera. It’s all about the bling.

Goldvish has, though, announced more details about its lower end phones, which start from a pathetic €18,900 (£13,075). The ‘Illusion’ models will have a mere 18ct gold casing and sport Bluetooth, an FM radio, a 2MP camera and come bundled with a 2GB SD card.

The collection will be available from a select number of jewellers across Europe from September.
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