All posts by Joel Fernandes

Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr. He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte. Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.

Support Anna Hazare to Fight Against Corruption with Android and Nokia App

The Anti-corruption movement initiated by Anna Hazare is gaining popularity among all Indians, and with the power of social media, the movement has widespread across the entire world. India Against Corruption (IAC) is a citizens’ movement to fight back against corruption by creating a strong Jan Lokpal institution. It demands strong anti-corruption laws to remove corrupt politicians and officials from the country. The movement has brought together thousands and millions of people to support Anna and the cause he is fighting for.

What is the Jan Lokpal Bill?

The JanLokpal Bill, also known as the citizens’ ombudsman bill, aims to hinder corruption, redress grievances of citizens and protect whistle-blowers.

The India Against Corruption movement has not just aroused the real world, but also the virtual world. The social media is playing an important role in this movement. We are seeing people changing their profile pictures (DP’s) to Anna Hazare’s picture and posting messages on Facebook and Twitter (and Google Plus also) in support of the movement, eventually spreading the news across the world.

To add more to it, Juvenus Technologies, a start-up company with a team of IITian and NITians has developed an app for Android and Nokia mobile users. The app, India Against Corruption helps you stay updated with all breaking news, live streaming of videos, polling and information regarding the events carried out.

India Against Corruption Mobile App

Here are the  features of the app –

  • Push to Sd Card support
  • Latest News
  • Real Streaming Videos
  • Polling
  • Q&A
  • Join us through stay Connected
  • Write to us / inform us
  • Latest About Lokpal
  • Info About Lokpal
  • Volunteer Registration
  • Latest Event
  • News,Event,What’s new can be shared
  • All about ACI Team

Download the India Against Corruption app for Android | Nokia

The Lokpal Messenger is another app that is developed by students of the Sastra University, which provides you with the same features like India Against Corruption app. The app keeps you updated with popular blogs and political articles, and also the events conducted by IAC.

Supporters can even connect with IAC using this app by registering for e-mail updates and knowing the procedure for lending their support to the anti-corruption movement.

Download  Lokpal Messenger

You don’t have a smartphone? Well, no worries. You can still support the movement by giving a missed call to the following number:+91 2261550789. Alternatively, you can leave a voice message to show your support for the movement. You can follow all updates on Anna Hazare on Twitter here. You can also support by likingthe IAC Facebook page.

Social media is definitely playing an important role for this movement. How are you going to support for the movement? Let us know by adding your comments below.

Is Facebook Blocking Google Plus Invite Links?

Facebook is irked about the growth of Google Plus. Google Plus now has over 25 million users, and ever since it was launched, it has had a tremendous growth. Despite that Google Plus is in field test and new registrations to the site can be done via “invite only“, and the fact being that Google had to shut down the invite system because of high demand, it somehow still managed to achieve enormous popularity.

Now that Google allows its Plus users to invite (more people) their friends to experience the new social network, its rival Facebook, seems to be overwhelmed. Of course, currently the best way to interact with friends on the Internet is via Facebook, and thus users are making use of this means by sharing Google Plus invite links on their walls. Users are not just getting themselves a Plus account, but are also attracted to the new social network and slowly migrating from Facebook.

Facebook appears to be piqued about this and is reported to be blocking Google Plus invites from the users’ Facebook news feed. This came into light when the Senior Vice President of social business, Vic Gundotra posted a video on YouTube demonstrating that Google+ invites that have been shared on Facebook did not show up in the news feed of other Facebook users.

The video was posted after which the company had gotten reports of this unusual behavior. “I wonder how widespread this problem is?” Gundotra asked.

In response to Vic Gundotra’s statement, Facebook (obviously) has denied the fact that it is stopping users from sharing the Google Plus invite URL. Facebook noted that they have a display-filtering technology that help prevent spam and thus could exclude certain links from re-appearing on a user’s news feed if it had previously been posted several times.

“Newsfeed is an automated system that is designed to deliver the most relevant content to you and your friends. The technology evaluates hundreds of factors, including your relationship to the poster, the type of content, the click-through rate (where appropriate), and people hiding similar posts from their feed.

In real time, it decides what to display to you and what to filter for both Top News and Most Recent. It also includes systems that attempt to identify and block spam. Links have a history of the most abuse and are given the most scrutiny. As a result of all of these factors, a given link may be shown or filtered to people differently at different times.”

Facebook, are you sure that you truly attemptto identifyand blockspam messages? Well, there are several scams that are out there on Facebook, and practically a new one is born every day. As a matter of fact, scams that were reported months back are still spreading on Facebook.

Nevertheless, after watching the video, I tried the same by sharing a Google Plus invite on Facebook and simultaneously checking with another account if it had updated or not? The results? Well, it successfully posted the invite link in the news feed of the other account.

Google Plus Invite on Facebook

Now the question is whether Google tried to drive attention towards its social network by creating this gimmick or did Facebook really block the invite link? Vic Gundotra, edited his original post and added – they appear to have stopped on Friday

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Ban Lifted in Europe, Except Germany

Apple claimed that Samsung has copied the iPhone and iPad in creating the Galaxy Tab, and infringed its intellectual property rights, due to which the German court halted the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe (except in the Netherlands). The decision, however, was ruled out by the Düsseldorf  District Court stating that the German court does not have the authority to ban sales except within its own country.

According to the Dutch publication Webwereld, the ban imposed by the German court on August 10th has now been lifted, which was confirmed by Peter Schutz, spokesperson for the Dusseldorf District Court.

The international company, Samsung Korea, may for now be back Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets shipping, trading and distribution in Europe, except Germany. For the German establishment, Samsung GmbH, the trade ban remains in effect. The interim statement is valid until the hearing, which is August 25 on the roll.

Apple was seeking the German court to impose a penalty, which Samsung could have faced fines up to $350,000 (250,000 euros) per unit sold under the ban.

Improper Evidence:

The picture of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that Apple provided as evidence to the court was inaccurate or manipulated. According to Webwereld, the image of the tablet “created” by Apple shows an aspect ratio of 1.36, which is closer to the aspect ratio of 1.30 of the iPhone 2.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
According to the  suit filed in April  in the U.S. District Court in Northern California, Samsung’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets have slavishlycopied the iPhone and  iPad. The lawsuit stated  –

Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,

The temporary lift of the ban is valid until the next hearing when Apple and Samsung meet again in court on August 25.

Samsung is certainly having a sigh of relief now. In a statement, Samsung stated: “We look forward to the opportunity to reassert our intellectual property rights at the hearing scheduled on August 25.”

The Patent War Continues. HTC Sues Apple, Again

The war of the patents continues as HTC filed another lawsuit against Apple with the United States District Court of Delaware for infringing three of its patents, and seeking to halt the sale of Apple products within the US. HTC states that the patents are related to Apple’s Mac computers, iPhones and iPads.

The three patents that are charged against Apple were acquired by HTC in 2008 and 2010, which cover –

  • 7,765,414, “Circuit and operating method for integrated interface of PDA and wireless communication system”
  • 7,672,219, “Point-to-point communication using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing”
  • 7,417,944, “Method for orderwire modulation”

Apple vs HTC - Patent War

HTC wants triple damages for willful infringement as well as attorney fees and costs, and has appealed the U.S. court to stop Apple from selling or importing any infringing devices in the United States.

The two companies have been in legal combats for months now. Earlier in March, Apple sued HTC for infringement of 20 different patents related to the hardware, architecture and interface of iPhone, some of which were dated as far back  as 1995  while some are as recent as  February 2nd  of this year.

HTC was found guilty of infringing by the U.S. International Trade Commissions on two of Apple’s patents in July. Apple has several lawsuits filed in Delaware against HTC, however HTC said that it will appeal the ITC ruling and contends that is has a strong case against Apple.

In the ongoing wars of the patents, Google was forced to buy the mobile division of Motorola for $12.5 billion, since Google has a much smaller patent portfolio than its opponents Apple, Microsoft and Oracle. This will lead Google to add 17,000 more patents to its current patent portfolio, which it can use to defend against allegations of infringement. However, it isn’t going to help Google much in fighting Oracle’s Java patent infringement lawsuit, which is due to begin trial in October.

Although Apple succeeded in halting the sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1  in the European countries, will it now succeed in winning the case against HTC? Well, time alone can tell us that.

(via)

Fake Apple Store in China Rebranded to “Smart Store”

Apple is quite serious when it comes to copyright infringement and does not take things lying down when someone tries to copy it. We have seen how aggressive Apple was when it claimed that the Samsung’s Galaxy Tab was a copy of the iPad 2 in terms of design. They eventually succeeded in stopping the sales of the Galaxy Tab in Europe for the same reason.

In the ongoing war of the patents, every large scale company we see is trying to acquire as many patents as possible, and due to this, we are seeing companies suing each other for copyright violations. Apple and Samsung are suing each other, Nokia is suing Apple and Microsoft is suing Google to mint more money from Android Smartphones.

Earlier today, Google officially announced the  acquisition  of the mobile division of Motorola for $12.5 billion ($40 per share) in cash. Why? Because Google desperately wants to put an end to all the intimidation and lawsuits from companies like Apple, Microsoft and Oracle, and the only way to stop it is by acquiring companies that have huge amounts of patents, and that is one of the reasons why Google decided to buy Motorola.

Coming back to Apple and the fake Apple stores in Knuming (China), the Chinese authorities found out that these stores were not licensed by Apple, and has ordered them to stop using the Apple brand and logo anywhere in their store. Apple China, on the other hand, has accused the stores of biased competition and trademark infringement. But it looks like the owners of the “fake” stores are taking a “smarter” step in rebranding it. One such store has been rebranded to “Smart Store” from the not-to-be-used Apple Store.

Here are some images shared by MIC Gadget

Fake Apple Store Rebranded to "Smart Store"

Fake Apple Store Rebranded to "Smart Store"

The rebranded “Smart Store” is facing a shut down if it does not remove Apple trademarks, and other stores are facing similar deadlines. It is likely that each one of these stores will get a new name and remove the Apple logo from their stores to continue with their business as usual. However, with all the media attention, it is expected that the Chinese authorities will close this store soon if they aren’t doing so already.

Google Celebrates 64th Indian Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, India.

India is celebrating its 64th Independence Day (65th if you count 15th August 1947 as the first Independence day)  to mark its independence from the British rule. Google has created an awesome doodle placing the Red Fort, which on mouse over will greet you with a message, “Indian Independence Day”.

The Red Fort,  also known as the Lal Qil’ah or Lal Qila was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. It is one of the largest monuments and a popular tourist destination in Old Delhi (present day Delhi), attracting over thousands of tourists every year. After India achieved independence from the British in 1947, the Indian Army took over the fort, and in December 2003, the Indian Army handed the fort over to the Indian tourist authorities.

Google India Independence Day Doodle

The Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort on 15 August every year.

Well, to celebrate Independence Day, I am using the  Epic browser,  developed by a Bangalore based  start-up  called Hidden Reflex. Epic Browser is an Internet web browser which is based on Mozilla Firefox, which taps into several services to serve content which is useful and relevant to Indian users.

Epic still very much feels and behaves like Firefox. The browser is  reviewed by Pallab De and is rated 4.5 on a scale of 5 (Excellent). Here are some of its features –

  • One-Click Private Data Deletion
    Epic Browser
  • Latest Film Songs
  • Live Cricket Scores
  • Live TV
  • One-Click Private Browsing
  • Anti-Phishing Protection
  • No Browsing Reports
  • Flash Cookie Deletion
  • Tweaked for Speed

Download Epic Browser.

Other Google Doodles

Pics of Osama Bin Laden Are Finally Released – Twitter Phishing Attack

Since the death of the most wanted criminal, terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden, there have been several scams and phishing attacks spreading on Facebook and Twitter, which claimed to show a leaked death videoof the terrorist.

For a while, scams and phishing attacks related to Osama Bin Laden had stopped, but now phishers are once again on the look for naive Twitter users, promising and tricking them to show leaked pictures of Osama Bin Laden.

Users on Twitter are tweeting (RT) a message that states – “Pics of Osama Bin Laden Are Finally Released! [LINK] ::wanring very gorry::”. The same message is spreading with simplified content – “Pictures of Osama Bin Laden [LINK] that leads to a page”

Pics of Osama Bin Laden Are Finally Released - Twitter Phishing Attack

Clicking on the short URL will lead to a site which is a clone of Twitter home page. You are asked to login to Twitter by providing your username and password. Before you enter your login details, take a look at the URL in your browser’s address bar. You can see that it’s a fake URL and it is simply an attack to steal your login details.

If you enter your login credentials and click on Sign in button, your account details, including the password will be sent to the phisher via email. The phisher will then have complete control over your Twitter account, who can use your Twitter account by further spreading the scam message to your followers by tweeting and sending them private messages.

If you happen to use the same password in multiple places like Facebook and Gmail, it is likely that your other accounts might be compromised as well. This way, the phisher can steal more information for financial gain.

I suggest you to avoid clicking on the link and alert your followers about the attack. If you have mistakenly clicked on the link and entered your login details, then change the password of your Twitter and all other accounts immediately. Also, contact your followers to stop re-tweeting the message and ask them to change their account password as well.

Twitter has been a victim of  several  scams  in the  past, most of which were sent through direct messages (DM), however, the DM scams have come down considerably after Twitter employed a brilliant spam protection for DM messages. However, it looks like spammers have begun using the plain old email scams to trick users again.

Please feel free to retweet this post so that your friends and followers will be aware about the issue.

Facebook Says Phone Numbers “Published” is Fake

A chain message that erupted on Facebook sometime back is spreading like wildfire, and has left the Facebook team annoyed. The message states that Facebook has published phone numbers of all users under Accounts > Edit Friends > Contacts page.

Well, it’s true that if you go to the Contactspage in your Facebook account, all the phone numbers of your friends will be displayed. However, this isn’t what Facebook has intentionally published, but it is the users themselves who have made it available for others.

The phone numbers displayed are of those users who have ‘permitted’ Facebook to display it to either everyoneor just friendsor to none. As a matter of fact, the Contact list, which was earlier known as Phonebook, has existed for a long time.

Also Read: How To Delete Phonebook Contacts From Facebook

The rumor spread on almost everyone’s news feed and eventually spammed the network, driving the Facebook officials crazy and making them make an official statement announcing/stating that it is a rumor.

Facebook Phone Number Published - Hoax

Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false. Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time. The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves or made visible to you, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.

Here’s the message that has been spreading on Facebook

THIS IS NOT A JOKE, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY** ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now on Facebook! No joke – go to the top right of the screen, click on Account, then click on Edit Friends, go left on the screen and click on Contacts. All phone numbers are published!! Please repost this on your status, so your friends can remove their numbers if they do not want them published.

Facebook Phone Numbers Published - Hoax

To prevent your contact number from being displayed to your friends or anyone else, you can disable it from your account settings. To do so go to Account Settings > Privacy Preferences and click on “Customize settings” –

Facebook Privacy Settings

Clicking the Customize settingswill open a page where you can customize what information you want to share with your friends and everyone else. Scroll down, and at the bottom of the page you will find Contact Informationwhich has your address, IM screen name, email id and your contact numbers.

From the drop down menu, select Customizeand make your contact number visible only to you by selecting Only Me. Alternatively, you can add a list of people from whom you can hide your contact numbers.

Facebook Information Settings

Facebook scam messages are ever increasing and it’s quite hard to avoid them. Here is an article on  How to Identify and Avoid Facebook Scams

Other hoax messages spreading on Facebook that you should avoid re-posting –

 

Olympic Torch Invitation Virus Hoax Spreading on Facebook

Today, I came across a new hoax message that has gone viral on Facebook, which alerts users about a new virus program, which will download automatically and crash the user’s computer hard disk. Well, please note that this is a fake message and there is no such threat to any user.

PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS NOTICE TO YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CONTACTS! In the coming days, you should be aware@: Do not open any message with an attachment called: Invitation FACEBOOK, regardless of who sent it. It’s virus that opens an Olympic torch that burns the hard disc C of your computer. Virus will be received from someone in your address book .. If you receive mail called: Inviitation FACEBOOK, though sent by a friend, DO NOT OPEN IT and DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY.

The message is spreading in the above form and users are blindly sharing it on their walls. This is a fake message and there is no such virus spreading on Facebook. The fake message is similar to the one that was reported last year, which fooled users by stating that their Facebook account was suspended and required to complete a survey to reactivate it.

Olympic Torch Invitation Virus Hoax Spreading on Facebook

As you can see, users are thanking their friends for sharing the “vital information”, which clearly indicates that they have fallen for the fake message. Before you blindly share such messages on Facebook, please make sure that you verify it. Facebook will update their blog or Facebook Security page if there are any such threats.

If you come across this message on your Facebook news feed, remove/delete it by clicking the “X” mark on the top-right corner of the post. You can also request your friends to delete the post to avoid the message from spreading further.

If your computer is affected by a virus, then removing it is pretty simple. You just need to have a good  Antivirus  and  anti-spyware  software  on your computer and your PC should be safe. There are several  Free Antivirus  software available out there. You might also want to read our guides about  securing your PC  and  keeping your PC safe on the Internet.

As a precautionary measure, always check which applications you use and remove unwanted or suspicious ones. If you aren’t sure how to do it, you can always check our guide on  removing apps from Facebook. In addition to that, don’t forget to check out our article about  Avoiding Facebook Lifejacking and Clickjacking scams and Identifying and Avoiding Facebook Scams.

Apple Smiles (Wickedly) After German Court Bans Sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe

Update:  Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Ban Lifted in Europe, Except Germany

Following the case filed by Apple against Samsung  for patent infringement lawsuits in April, a German court passed down an initial injunction by bringing to halt all distribution of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European countries earlier this morning.

Apple claims infringement  on intellectual property rights and patents on the device that was released earlier this year. Under the German Copyright Law (case number 14c O 194/11), Apple is seeking the German court to impose a fine, threatening Samsung to pay $350,000 (250,000 euros) fine for each violation or imprisonment for Samsung management. Well, these are the standards under the German law for contempt of a preliminary injunction.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1The ban is imposed in European countries including Germany, France, Spain and the U.K. Netherlands is the only exclusion where the ban won’t be affected.

According to the suit filed in April in the US District Court in Northern California, Samsung’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets have slavishlycopied the iPhone and iPad –

Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,the lawsuit said.

“Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world,” the company said in a statement.

Apple also asked for a similar preliminary injunction in Australia, due to which Samsung had to reschedule the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. The injunction is all about design-related intellectual property rights and is not related to any hardware or software patents.

Needless to say, this hindrance could be critical for Samsung as Europe being the biggest market for Samsung, since the majority of its smartphones and tablet sales originate from the European countries.

Last year, Apple filed a lawsuit against Nokia with the same German court, asserting nine European software patents. In the same year, the nine patents were also asserted in a lawsuit in London. Although Apple and Nokia settled in June, Apple did not ask for a preliminary injunction against Nokia.

Apple seems to be worried after Samsung’s smartphone sales overtook Apple’s  Apple.  Not to forget, Apple is a major customer of Samsung, using its components in many of its products? Bad Apple!