All posts by Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at Techarraz.com. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

Vodafone Customer Support on Twitter, Twitter Desktop Application From Vodafone

More and more service providers in India are getting serious regarding their carrier business and are attempting to expand through the Internet. The increase of data transfer compared to voice transfer over networks seconds the fact that data transfer is equally important as voice for mobile users.

Bharti Airtel has made a broadband market for itself and now Vodafone plans to harness the power of Twitter to increase its user base further.

Vodafone has seen a huge marketing potential in Twitter apps and wants to promote itself in India and Egypt through Twitter. Taking its first step in this, Vodafone has set up a Twitter account to provide customer support to Vodafone subscribers in India and Egypt over Twitter.

On the other hand, Denmark Vodafone subscribers can now use a Twitter Client named Vodafone Update. This client has a Vodafone look and feel and has a simple UI.

Vodafone has geared up to make a position for itself in the Internet market. Integration with Twitter, Facebook and similar services will help it grow a better relation with customers. The Twitter customer service concept has been there for a long time now. Dell already uses it and it is good to see more companies adopting this method.

For pictures of the Twitter client and more reading on this, visit this post at Shoutmeloud.

Firefox 3.7 Pre Alpha: Looks vs. Speed

Another Firefox 3.7 Pre Alpha has released and it has a new set of nifty features which are intriguing but some missing improvements which were expected to be there by now.

The two issues I am discussing here are looks and speed.

firefox-minefield

Regarding looks, the latest pre-alpha developers preview has improved in terms of looks and features a new Aero support for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Moreover, it is not just the title bar which has the Aero look. The navigation and the bookmarks bar also have the glass look. Lee Mathews from DownloadSquad has written on this but has not found a about:config key to disable this yet. The glass effect works best with the default installation without any theme or persona. Read more at DOWNLOADSQUAD.

In matters of speed, OMG!Ubuntu has done a simple JavaScript benchmark. The results show that Firefox is still significantly slower than Google Chrome and Opera 10.5. Chrome still stands as the fastest browser with respect to JavaScript rendering beating Opera 10.5 closely.

It is time Firefox focuses on the important aspect, which is faster rendering of webpages. Eyecandy on Firefox has come a long way already and any further progress in this matter can wait.

The latest test build is available for download.

OpenSolaris 2010.03: Are we There Yet?

Oracle had recently assured OpenSolaris fans that it will keep the OpenSolaris project alive. However, it is not quite living up to this announcement.

opensolaris-logo

The announcement which was made on should have ensured the availability of OpenSolaris to the public but has failed to do so. The statement of the announcement was,

Oracle will continue to make OpenSolaris available as open source, and Oracle will continue to actively support and participate in the community.

OpenSolaris 2010.02 was scheduled to release in February this year but was already pushed to March once. Now, we are nearing the end of March and OpenSolaris 2010.03, scheduled to be released in early March is still not there. Neither has Oracle bothered to release an official statement on this continuous delay, nor has it communicated to the OpenSolaris community.

OpenSolaris has already survived rumors of death at Oracle once. Back then, Oracle has done its bid to come clean in this matter and ensuring a future for this Unix fork. Though, this negligence will cost Oracle the trust of an active group of users and developers. It is time Oracle releases a statement and at least ensures the arrival of a possible OpenSolaris 2010.04.
(Via: Phoronix)

Nokia Acquires Browser Firm Novarra

Nokia has recently acquired Novarra, the mobile web browser firm from Chicago. The browser firm specializes in smartphones and has been developing browsers for the last eleven years.

Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Services, Nokia was available for comments on this acquisition. He said,

By driving innovation in all segments of our portfolio, we are building one of the largest consumer audiences for web services and content.

Novarra’s Internet services technology delivered on the world’s most widely-used mobile platform, Nokia’s Series 40, will help us achieve this.

Nokia has plans for a new service using this browser and this will be launched later this year. Nokia is slightly shifting its focus from the Ovi Store which could not live up to its hype.

With this acquisition, Nokia aims to ensure the usage of its in-built web browser across phones and will attempt to revamp to the Ovi Store. This comes as good news as the Ovi Store seriously lacks in purpose and apps and requires a redesign.

(Via: ZDNet)

After Google Search on TV, Now Google Wants Its Own Google TV

Google, Sony and Intel have joined hands to bring a new concept called the Google TV to households. Google TV will allow users to surf through the Internet right from their television through specially designed set top boxes. Needless to say, these set top boxes will use the Android operating system. Given the news of Android booting in one second, the possibilities of this being true came closer to reality.

Google had earlier started experimenting TV search allowing users to use Google search on their televisions. This experiment was limited to Google employees. But now, Google sees a huge potential in another market into which it can expand- the television market. After the Internet, television is possibly the second largest community of dedicated users.

Logitech is also reported to be working with these three companies in manufacturing peripheral parts for this service. This includes specialized remotes and keyboards.

Surprisingly, all the companies involved are being unnecessarily secretive about this project. Google, Intel and Logitech have refused to comment on this whereas Sony has even refused being aware of any such project. However, all these companies are hiring for Android jobs which validate this news even further.
(Via: NYTimes)

Google Denies Revenue Sharing With Android Phones And Carriers, Shuts All The Ballyhoo

Last week, there were intensive reports on Google sharing ad revenues with Android based phones, their carriers, android apps and manufacturers.

android-google

Now, Google has come out with its official statement on this matter and has denied all these rumors. Google has clearly stated that it does not share any revenue with its Droids. However, it has a search revenue sharing with some carriers.

A Google spokesperson denied the ad sharing rumors in a statement to eWeek saying,

We share revenue on search, not on mobile applications. The same is true for non-Android devices that use Google as the default search engine.

Google accepts that carriers are paid a cut of the total revenue generated from search related advertising. Google has this deal in place with the HTC Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Both these phones include Google apps like Gmail, Google maps, search, Youtube, Buzz etc. This is the only revenue Google claims to have.

Although Google is not doing it now, we can safely assume it will once it acquires the mobile ad expert AdMob which specializes in ‘in-app’ ads.

A MocoNews rumor was the first to report the ad sharing. eWeek followed up busting the rumor this week.

Facebook Tries Bullying Greasemonkey Script Fluff Busting Purity

Fluff Busting Purity is a GreaseMonkey script which cleans out the clutter from Facebook. The clutter here, is all that should not be in your current news feed. This includes unnecessary updates like Mafia Wars, Farmville and other game apps and updates from friends.
facebook-purity-fluffy
It also includes the quiz requests you keep receiving from friends just because your name starts with A or B. Generally, before you are allowed to see your score on a quiz, you are requested to forward it to some friends from a list. The list is in alphabetic order and so names with A, B C and alike come up first.

Facebook has grown a hatred for the Fluff Busting Purity script and is determined to bring it down. However, this is not Facebook’s first outrage against this script. It seems like Facebook has a thing for the developer of this script and has been stalking this script from the time it was released with the name of Facebook Purity. In the last allegation, it was accused of infringing Facebook’s trademark. This time though, Facebook simply demands them to shut down. In an attempt to do this, Facebook has deleted the fan page of this script. It has also asked the official website of this script to shut down.

Fluffy Busting Purity demanded a reply on this matter and Facebook replied with,

You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall, and 32665), or any confusingly similar marks, without our written permission.

Facebook did not just stop here. It has released a patch to render this script useless but the script creator has devised a method to circumvent this and the script is back on. The script works on almost every browser on every platform out there and is a must have greasemonkey script for Facebook users.

Visit the Facebook Purity homepage as long as it lasts.
[Via: Neowin ]

3D Gaming With Asus G51J 3D Gaming Notebook, Launched in India

Yesterday Asus launched the Asus  G51J laptop which is the first of its kind in India. This laptop is specially built for gaming though, it is not just another power packed laptop. This one from Asus is a 3D laptop which comes with Nvidia Stereoscopic display enabled.
asus-gaming
The 3D glasses that come with the laptop has a wide range infrared emitter to convert just any video or game into 3D. The video is rendered at full resolution and delivers a  1080p HD video at full 120 Hz.

The laptop is currently available in two models: Asus G51JX-1X110V and Asus G51JX-IX206V. The first one features a 4 GB DDR3 whereas the second one has a 8 GB DDR3. Both the laptops feature a 1 GB DDR3 Graphics memory. The maximum storage capacities for the laptops are 360 GB and 500 GB respectively.

Both the laptops feature a 15.6 inch full HD LED display. The processor powering the laptops is a Quad Core 1.6 GHz Core i7 with up to 2.8 GHz. Apart from that it features a 2 MP camera, DVD Combo drive, HD 3D Audio with Altec Lansing laptop speakers and other gaming accessories.

The launch price for the laptop is Rs. 99,000 exclusive of taxes.

Spice Mobiles Sees Huge Potential in The Indian Market

Spice Mobiles recently announced on Thursday that it will start manufacturing cellphones in India. The already popular mobile company has claimed that it will be able to sell a million phones from April and that it can start producing cellphones in the country from this year end. The company will start a trial of its products from the next month onwards.
spice-logo
The CEO of Spice Mobiles Kunal Ahooja said at an interview,

We already have a facility in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, where we manufacture other devices. We will start trial production of our handsets from next month and start start the commercial manufacturing following that by the end of this year.

This statement was made at the launch of Spice Mobiles’ latest 12 MP camera phone. The phone S-1200 is priced at Rs. 14,500. Another phone  M7070 which was launched last year in December is suitable for the budget conscious buyer. Spice has clearly seen a huge potential in the Indian market and is planning an expansion here. It recently sponsored the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week to gain attention and buzz.

If everything goes well here, Spice has further plans of expanding to Africa and other Asian markets. India is currently the optimal test bed for any new technology with its varied levels of users. More and more companies will take advantage of this fact and this will be beneficial for both the users and manufacturers.
[Image Via: bangaloreone.gov.in ]

Are You Ready For IPv6? IPv4 is Nearing Exhaustion

The IETF is holding its 77th meeting this week at  Anaheim, California. The last meeting saw a huge turnout and the IEFT grabbed this opportunity to promote the new IP protocol, the IPv6.

The IETF as described by Wikipedia is,

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C and ISO/IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the TCP/IP and Internet protocol suite. It is an open standards organization, with no formal membership or membership requirements.

This Tuesday, researches have shown that even in small numbers, Internet users are already adapting to the 1995 technology. Geoff Huston of APNIC has recently announced from traffic data in the Asia Pacific that at least 1% of the Internet is using IPv6. Though not much, this is surely a good start. APNIC is the Regional Internet Registry for the Asia Pacific region.

The data provided by Huston is significantly important. It has revealed interesting facts like:

  • If IPv6 is implemented, it will not affect the ISPs. Current IPv4 requires them to send a data in multiple parts of small size and IPv6 requires them to send one huge data at a time. The effective change is minimal.
  • Around 6% of all networks have IPv6 enabled routers and at the current growth rates, this number will increase to 80%.

Comcast had once announced an IPv6 trial and more than 5000 people even changed their ISPs to be able to avail this offer. This shows that people are enthusiastic about IPv6. It is the existing network infrastructure which is reluctant to make this change.

As Iljitsch van Beijnum from ArsTechnica says,

Don’t forget: we’ve used 3,026 million IPv4 addresses and have just 680 million to go, with 203 million used up in 2009. Time is running out.

Foss Friday: OpenGL 4.0, BBC DRM on Broadcasts, Oracle’s Java Love And More

This week has seen a lot of activity in FOSS. In this post, I will present a weekly roundup of some key events that will determine the shape of things to come.

News

  • Oracle focuses on Java

Oracle has now become the world’s largest Open Source Company in terms of market share and enterprise solution expertise. Whatever Oracle does determines a lot of other sectors and fields. Oracle announced that Java will be focused upon by the company owing to its potential and current giant share in the development sector. Also, the JDK version 7 will sport many nifty features and easy integration with newer technologies. Read more at itWorldCanada.

  • BBC is planning on introducing DRM for its broadcast content

If this plan gets through, Open Source users of UK will not be able to watch the BBC television programs. What a shame it is to see that this feature is not present in the receivers, and this move is not made by BBC itself. BBC is being pressurized by copyright holders to do this and they threaten to withdraw the rights to air their shows. What is even more insane is that they wish to implement this throughout all devices. These devices include the Television, the Recorders, Burners, basically everything that can store the program. Follow up at OMG! UBUNTU.

  • AMD releases support for OpenGL 4.0 on Linux

AMD has released support for OpenGL 4.0, the newest Linux Graphics API. This new driver is a preview and lacks official support but promises that AMD is at least living up to the new OpenGL standards. Phoronix tells us more on this development.

Tips and Features

  • Ubiquity slideshow in Ubuntu installation

Ubuntu Linux has just released its first public beta. This beta gives a peek into the latest features and visual enhancements which will appear in the next version of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. One of them is the Ubiquity slideshow during the installation.

  • Install OpenOffice.org 3.2 on Ubuntu 9.10

OpenOffice.org is the best office suite in Ubuntu Linux. This is an easy guide on how to install OpenOffice.org in Ubuntu Linux 9.10 Karmic Koala.

Will Open Core Steal The Thunder of Open Source

Open Core is the new buzzword in the world of Open Source. According to this new ideology, the product as a whole is not available as Open Source. However, the core of the application, which powers its features and functionalities, is available as open source for others to build upon. This makes the task of application developers tougher but proves profitable for the company itself as well as its sponsors.

The ideology of Open Core might not be new though. The current Eclipse license is already doing something similar by allowing companies to share a common code and selling proprietary applications and features built on top of it. This makes everyone happy.

The dark side though is that this might be misused by some developers who will tend to release incomplete versions of their products as Open Core and wait for others to take it higher.

Open Core is indicative of the fact that the Open Source business model is tending to fall and is looking for other solutions which are better at generating revenue.
[Via: ZDNet ]

AppUp: Intel App Store For Moblin

On this Thursday, Intel announced that its AppUp is live for all Moblin users. The app store from Intel is available for those running Moblin version 2.1. Intel had announced AppUp earlier this year at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) as a software store designed for netbook users running either Windows or Linux.

The AppUp store will be similar to the app stores available for smartphones like the Apple iPhone app store, the Android store and the Ovi store. The AppUp store has been formed by Intel and Nokia in partnership with the likes of Dell, Acer

This initial phase of AppUp has support for US and Canada only but Intel aims to extend the support to around thirty countries in Europe within the next week.

AppUp currently has hundreds of apps and supports all Intel Atom processors. The AppUp center is expected to be supported on the Meego platform as well.

You can download the app center for Moblin/Meego here.

[Via: informationweek ]

Sweden Ranks as The World’s Most Networked Country Leaving Behind US, Singapore

Sweden has just bagged the position of the world’s most networked country leaving behind the likes of US, Canada and Norway far behind in the competition. The report, which ranked US at #1 in 2005, has shown US to be at #5 this time in 2010.
internet-rank
The results and findings are interesting as the rankings stand as Sweden followed by Singapore, Denmark, Switzerland, US, Finland and others. The study has been conducted by the World Economy Forum’s Global IT Report.

With an extensive coverage of 133 economies worldwide, the report remains the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations.

Although the US ranks first in IT usage in business and fourth in IT usage in business, it needs to gear up to get to #1. The significant areas where the US lost are mobile penetration in which it ranked 72nd and broadband penetration where it ranked 22nd.

Other countries of interest in this report include India and China, the two most populated countries in the world. The growth in both of these countries has been huge and China boasts the 37th place while India is following closely at 43rd place. Out of all the things that such a huge population can do, increasing randomness is one of them. This keeps us pretty much around average in most of the polls and surveys conducted worldwide.
[Via: readwriteweb ]

Pwn2Own Hackfest: Day One Déjà vu

The day one of Pwn2Own just got over and the results gave me a Déjà vu. Browsers started falling starting with Safari on Snow Leopard followed by Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3. The Safari hack was once again claimed by Charlie Miller, this time third year in a row. Peter Vreugdenhil broke into Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7 and both the Safari and Internet Explorer attack were carried out through remote malicious codes.

Firefox 3 was hacked on a 64 bit Windows 7 by Nils, who happens to be a German CS student. He is also a familiar face who had successfully hacked Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer at last year’s Pwn2Own.

In the midst of all this hacking and remote code execution, one browser which was left untouched was Google Chrome. Google Chrome was not even attempted to be hacked because of its sandboxed environment. Charlie Miller from last year’s Pwn2Own explains Google Chrome’s behavior saying,

There are bugs in Chrome but they’re very hard to exploit. I have a Chrome vulnerability right now but I don’t know how to exploit it. It’s really hard. They’ve got that sandbox model thats hard to get out of. With Chrome, it’s a combination of things — you can’t execute on the heap, the OS protections in Windows and the Sandbox.

The winners, that is, the successful hackers won a sum of $10,000 and the hacked system as prize. Even though Firefox and Internet Explorer applied security patches just before the starting of the hackfest, they did not get spared.
[Via: neowin ]