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Friday, April 19, 2013

World‘s first smartphone for the blind, made in India

The world's first smartphone for blind people is here. Soon, they will be able to read SMSes and emails on this phone, which converts all text into Braille patterns.

"We have created the world's first Braille smartphone," says its innovator, Sumit Dagar, whose company is being incubated at the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, located in IIM Ahmedabad campus. "This product is based on an innovative 'touch screen' which is capable of elevating and depressing the contents it receives to transform them into 'touchable' patterns," he says.
Dagar, who is a post-graduate from the National Institute of Design (NID), says he was motivated to develop the device when he realised that so far, technology was only serving the mainstream and ignoring the marginalised. He is collaborating with IIT Delhi on making the prototype, which is currently being tested at L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad.
"The response during the test has been immense. It comes out as a companion more than a phone to the user. We plan to do more advanced versions of the phone in the future," Dagar adds.
Dagar started the project three years ago while studying interaction designing at NID. After working with a couple of companies, he gave up his job to concentrate on his technology, formed a team of six people and started his venture, Kriyate Design Solutions. Currently, the venture is being funded by Rolex Awards under its Young Laureates Programme, in which they select five people from across the world every two years and fund their projects.
How it works
· The smartphone uses Shape Memory Alloy technology, based on the concept that metals remember their original shapes, i.e. expand and contract to its original shape after use.

· The phone's 'screen' has a grid of pins, which move up and down as per requirement. The grid has a Braille display, where pins come up to represent a character or letter.
· This screen will be capable of elevating and depressing the contents to form patterns in Braille. 

· All other elements are like any other smartphone.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Security flaw affecting 120,000 free Android apps revealed

By Tech Gig

A flaw in commonly used applications on Android smartphones such as texting, messaging or microblogging could spread private information or allow forged fraudulent messages to be posted, a recent study has revealed.

University of California graduate student Dennis (Liang) Xu has identified security flaws in about 1,20,000 free apps in Android smartphones, which has about a half-billion users worldwide.

The flaws start to appear just when the victim downloads a piece of malicious code onto their phone which could be hidden in a useful app, or attached to a 'phishing' e-mail or web link, that could harm the vulnerable programmes by invading them. Xu said that the vulnerability results from the developer's error of leaving private codes public.

Xu has found that it is possible for an attacker to access and read personal information, including even 'private' messages from one of the popular text-messaging app, Handcent SMS that allows users to place some text messages in a private, password-protected inbox.

Weibo is a hugely popular microblog service described as the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. But, according to Xu and the researchers, it is possible for the malicious code to forge and post fraudulent messages.

The professor of computer science at the university Zhendong Su has said that his team has notified the app developers of the problems, but has not yet received a response
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

7 Wi-Fi Tweaks to Increase Your Speed

Chances are if you have a wireless internet connection at your home, you have had some trouble with the speed of the connection at least once before. That being said, a slow wireless connection can be frustrating to deal with. You are probably paying good money to your internet service provider, so slow speed is something you should not have to deal with, right? Well, the truth is wireless speed can be affected by a number of things. Luckily there are some Wi-Fi tweaks you can try that should help boost your speed and get you rolling in no time.

1. Reposition Your Router

The position of your wireless router plays a major role in the speed and strength of your wireless connection. If you are having trouble, you should try to reposition your router in a centrally located area, where the signal can equally reach each wireless device in your house. If your router is near an outside wall, try to move it closer to the middle of your house. Routers that are placed near outside walls can send some of the signal outside, which can risk your wireless connection’s strength and speed.

2. Purchase a Wireless Signal Repeater

Adding a wireless signal repeater to your home network can greatly increase the speed of your connection. A repeater works by extending your signal without having to add any additional wires. All you have to do is simply place the wireless repeater in a location that is between your router and your wireless device(s). It will instantly boost the wireless signal that is sent from the router to your devices, meaning faster speeds for you.

3. Install a New Antenna

Most wireless routers come standard with an omnidirectional antenna, meaning it broadcasts the wireless signal in a circular radius to reach various places in your home. If your router is in a perfectly centered location between all of your wireless devices, this is probably fine. But if your router isn’t perfectly centered among devices, you should think about replacing the existing antenna with a stronger one, known as a high-gain antenna. You can usually remove your old antenna and replace it with one of these stronger antennas to boost your signal strength, therefore increasing the speed of your connection. Another perk of a high-gain antenna is its ability to focus the wireless signal in any direction you prefer.

4. Use One Brand of Equipment

You may not think that using different brands of equipment can reduce the speed of your wireless connection, but in reality it can. If you use different brands of equipment, your components may not work as efficiently. This is because many manufacturers of wireless networking equipment pre-install enhancements in all of their products. These enhancements can boost speed, but will only work if products from the same manufacturer are used simultaneously. If you are using various brands of equipment and your speed is suffering, this is definitely worth a try.

5. Reduce Frequency Interference

Many household electronics, such as cordless telephones and baby monitors, run at the same frequency as wireless routers. This means that these electronic devices can interfere with the wireless signal that is being broadcast from your router, which can affect the speed and performance of your connection. Check the box of your router to see what frequency it runs at, and try to avoid using other electronic devices that operate at the same frequency. You can also try to change the channel on your router to avoid frequency interference.

6. Check for Firmware or Driver Updates Regularly

The manufacturers of wireless routers and network adapters often release firmware or driver updates that can improve the function of your wireless connection. You can find and download these updates at the manufacturers’ websites. Updates are usually done to fix issues, add features, and strengthen your equipment’s performance. Check for these updates on a regular basis to make sure your firmware and drivers are always kept up to date.

7. Secure Your Wireless Network

If your network is not properly secured, neighbors could be using your signal. This can reduce the speed of your connection because you are in a sort, sharing the wireless signal. Set up secure passwords and some sort of wireless encryption that will prevent anyone else from accessing your wireless network. All of these Wi-Fi tweaks can greatly boost the speed of your wireless connection. If one of them does not seem to do the trick, try another or even a multitude of options. It may take a little time and patience, but once you figure out what works to speed up your connection, you will be happy you put forth the effort.

Thanks for reading...
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to remote log out from Gmail, Facebook

If you headed home from office, without logging out of Facebook or Gmail, you can do so from anywhere using the 'remote log out' feature. 


In Facebook, click on the tiny gear sign on the top right of the page, go to 'account settings' and then to 'security' on the left pane. Under 'security settings', click on 'active sessions'. 

No one else might be using your account, but you would not have logged out of Facebook, leaving the session active. Anyone can gain access to your account in such circumstances. To remote log out, click on 'end activity'. 

In Gmail, at the bottom right side of the page, you will see details of your latest email access. If someone else is simultaneously using your account, you will see a notification there. 

Click on the 'Details' link below it. A new window opens, with a notification on whether the account is simultaneously open elsewhere. Like in the case of FB, you might not have logged out of the account, leaving it active. If so, you will see an option to 'log out of all sessions'. It also shows you the details of your previous 10 accesses to the account.
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Nokia launches Lumia 720 at Rs 18,999


Nokia India has launched the much-awaited Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8 smartphone in the country. The phone has been launched at Rs 18,999 and will be available with retailers from April 16. The device was unveiled globally at Mobile World Congress in February 2013 and showcased in India the following month.

The latest Nokia smartphone in India, Lumia 720 features a 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen with ClearBlack Display technology. This display is extremely touch-sensitive and can be operated even when users are wearing gloves. This smartphone is powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, coupled with 512MB RAM. It has 8GB internal memory, 7GB free SkyDrive storage and microSD support up to 64GB.

The all-new Lumia 720 has a 6.7MP Carl Zeiss camera with LED flash on the back, and a 1.3MP unit in the front. Connectivity features in the device include 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, microUSB 2.0 and NFC. Powered by a 2,000mAh battery, this smartphone boasts of wireless charging and unibody design.

Lumia 720 competes with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Samsung Galaxy Grand, HTC 8S, Sony Xperia P and LG Optimus L9 in the affordable smartphone segment. HTC 8S is the only Windows Phone 8 smartphone among its rivals and was launched in November last year in the country.

Earlier this month, Nokia launched Lumia 520 at Rs 10,500 in the country, while Lumia 620 was rolled at Rs 14,999 in the market last month.
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