Friday, 20 February 2015

Don’t Be Google..!!!!!!1

Dear Google: what happened? Android sales are falling. Chrome has become a bloated hog. Analysts are calling you the new Microsoft, or, much worse, “the new Yahoo!” And most damning of all: you have squandered our trust. You used to be special, Google. Or at least we used to believe you were special. But you seem more and more like just another megacorporation.

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Does that sound harsh? Consider the Zoe Keating kerfuffle:
YouTube gave Keating a take-it-or-leave contract, some terms of which were unacceptable to her. Some of the terms were also pretty hard to understand […] As YouTube now explains it — following a public debate following Keating’s blog post — Keating has a relatively simple choice […] These responses go against descriptions of the agreement presented to Keating (and transcribed by her) by YouTube previously, and presumably represent an update to the contract’s terms.
At best, Google is guilty of incredibly confusing and heavy-handed communication, something they have long been (rightly) accused of. At best. But, as Jamie Zawinski put it:
This sounds like Google using the same strategy they used with Google Plus: instead of creating a new service and letting it compete on its own merits, they’re going to artificially prop it up by giving people no choice but to sign up for it. Except in this case the people being strong-armed are the copyright holders instead of the end users. (So far, that is! Wait for it.)
Consider “Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job“:
As Google abandons its past, Internet archivists step in to save our collective memory … Google Groups is effectively dead … Google News Archives are dead … Projects that preserve the past for the public good aren’t really a big profit center. Old Google knew that, but didn’t seem to care […] The desire to preserve the past died along with 20% time, Google Labs, and the spirit of haphazard experimentation.
…or, as VICE puts it: “Google, a Search Company, Has Made Its Internet Archive Impossible to Search.”
Consider “Google to shut down GTalk on February 16, will force users to switch to Hangouts“:
Remember the good old days, a decade ago, when everyone admired everything Google did? What happened?
…I believe I may have an answer or two to that question.
Google has long been a bizarre swan of a company. To the casual eye, it’s a billion Android phones playing YouTube videos, its nonpareil search engine, plus its Google X moonshots and miracles, robot dogs rescued from the military, SpaceX funding rounds, etc, all cruising effortlessly along. Call that Awesome Google. But under the waterline, a gargantuan advertising machine paddles desperately, propelling Awesome Google towards its applause. Call that Mammon Google.
For all those analysts cavils, Mammon Google is still a colossal money-making machine, and both it and Awesome Google employ thousands of the smartest people alive (including — disclaimer/disclosure — multiple personal friends.) I fully expect Google to overcome the business challenges it faces…
…but I no longer expect to be particularly happy about this.
We’ve all been conditioned to see Awesome Google, but of late, Mammon Google seems harder and harder to ignore. Why is this? There seems to be no need for this. Mammon is still pouring money into Awesome. So what happened to the golden glory-days Google we knew and loved?
It’s true what Ben Thompson of Stratechery says: Google today is very reminiscent of Microsoft in the 90s. They too were the beneficiary of a seemingly endless, unassailable, firehose of money. But instead of spending that money on moonshots, Microsoft became a much-loathed corporate predator that wasted colossal amounts of time and money on infighting and horrors like Microsoft Bob and Windows Vista. Why has Google apparently taken a few steps down that cursed primrose path? Why is Mountain View in danger of becoming the new Redmond?
Why indeed. It turns out that Google is literally the new Microsoft:
(And we’re not just talking about low-level engineers here. Vic Gundotra, the former head of Google Plus, was a former Microsoft executive; which kind of explains a lot.)
This may help to explain why Google is, I believe, slowly but steadily losing our trust. Nowadays, when you interact with Google, you don’t know if you’ll be talking to Awesome Google; Mammon Google; …or a former Microsoftian whose beliefs and values were birthed in Redmond, and who, as a result, identifies a whole lot more with Mammon — and with bureaucratic infighting — than with Awesome.
Say what you like about Apple, and I can complain about them at length, you always know what to expect from them. (A gorgeous velvet glove enclosing an exquisitely sleek titanium fist.) But Google seems increasingly to have fragmented into a hydra with a hundred tone-deaf heads, each with its own distinct morality and personality. That wouldn’t matter so much if trust and awesomeness — “don’t be evil!” “moonshots!” — weren’t so intrinsic to the Google brand … which, to my mind, gets a little more tarnished every year.

8 Security Technologies That You Never Want Going In The Wrong Hands!

As security threats grow, security technologies are also taking a new turn. New technologies are coming along almost every second day, and as they do, things are getting scarier. In the right hands, they can be really useful, but the question one asks is, which is the right hand?

Take a look at these eight security technologies that would really scare you!

security, FBI, CIA, NSA, Spector 360, government surveillance, AIRPrint, iDair, technology news, news

Take your fingerprints from 20 feet away: Ever heard of iDair? The company has created a system that is capable of taking a person’s fingerprint from 20 feet away. The product, known as AIRPrint, is meant for security personnel, but it can have devastating effects if found in the wrong hands.

Legal spyware: While spyware is usually illegal, there are some that are legal. The Spector 360 spyware, which was used by the US Food and Drug Administration, is one such example. This is a keylogger that captures the keystrokes made by a person on their keyboard. In fact, the FDA caught scientists sending emails to external sources about medical devices that they thought were dangerous. While it is questionable even as an employee monitoring mechanism, in a hacker’s hands, it is a much more potent weapon in a criminal’s hands.

Scanners that can scan you from 164 feet away: A laser scanner technology created by Genia Photonics can offer spectroscopic information, by scanning through clothing other organic material. The scanner can be used to scan for explosives and drugs from as far as 164 feet away from the person. It can even detect changes in biochemistry, like adrenaline levels etc. Not really a very comforting proposition, even in the hands of the government.

Pre Crime Cameras: This one is really freaky. The BART subway system in San Francisco is utilising surveillance cameras that can detect suspicious behaviour in a person and alert security guards for the same. Developed by BRS (Behavioural Recognition Systems) Labs, BART has plans to install 288 such cameras at 12 different places. Not much right? There’s more.

The cameras can apparently scan 150 people at a time and have been pre-programmed with a list of ‘normal’ behaviours. Deviations from the same will result in notifications being sent to the guards. Ironically, the system is being put in place in San Francisco, which is known for being a little out of the ordinary.

Software capable of analysing and storing millions of voices: Federal agencies in the US are using a database known as VoiceGrid Nation. It has been developed by the Speed Technology Center from Russia. The software is known as SpeechPro and can identifiy and scan voices from phone calls in a matter of seconds. SpeechPro has 90 per cent accuracy and needs recordings to be of decent quality and 15 seconds of length. The software is apparently already being used in 70 different countries already.

Palantir Technologies: This big data analysis firm originally started with PayPal, helping them to defend against fraud. The company now is working with agencies like the CIA and FBI identifying relevant information from hundreds of databases from within an organisation. It puts all this information together at an incredible speed. The company’s advisors consist of Condolezza Rice, former Secretary of State and George Tenet, formed CIA director.

Mobile backscatter vans: These vans look like box trucks and can see through cars from a long distance. Known as the Z Backscatter Vans, they have been developed by American Science and Engineering.

Data extraction from cell phones: Cellebrite is a tool that downloads text messages from a person’s cell phones. Not only text messages, it also downloads images, video and GPS data from your cell phones. You may say that locking your phone with a security key will help, but you would be very wrong. The system was first adopted by the Michigan State Police.

Streetlights recording conversations: LED-based streetlights that can auto adjust to the brightness on the street sound really good. Illuminating Concepts, a company known for such lights, has come up with Intellistreets. What is the problem you ask? The lights also have a built-in speaker, WiFi connection and can stream audio content by recording anyone within earshot. They also have video recorders.

Learn How To Become A Free Software Hacker With Simple Programming Skills!

Free software is the most popular trend, not just for programming though. While knowing a programming language is quite important, if you follow some simple tips, then you can become a free software hacker too. Here are the steps:

Programming, free software, free software development, free software project, open source project,  free software hacker,  programming language, tips to become free software hacker, Linux, C, Java, Perl, Ruby, Python

Step 1:

You need a good Unix distribution as GNU or Linux is the most popular system for hacking.

Step 2:

Learn how to use the command line as you can utilise Unix like systems with command lines fully.

Step 3:

The more you will learn about programming languages, the more you'll grow. You should know at least one system language like C and Java and one scripting language like Python, Ruby and Perl.

Step 4:

Learn Eclipse to increase your productivity.

Step 5:

Learn to use advanced editors like VI or Emacs.

Step 6:

Version control learning will also prove beneficial for you in order to create and apply patches.

Step 7:

You can also find a small free software project which you can use easily with your experience.

Step 8:

If you have already selected a project then you need to contact the administrator for the same.

Step 9:

After working on the project for several months and learning every bit of it, aim for something bigger, like your own Free software or open source project.

Step 10:

Don't be afraid of the shortcomings and go for conferences to improve your skills and keep doing research on the web.

Step 11:

Complete your project, perform some automatic tests and meet some real-time hackers to learn about the ethical tricks.

Step 12:

For better understanding, involve in a practical development work of a free software project and your useful skills will be enough to bring out the hacker from you.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Galaxy S6 will bring change to the entire mobile industry

The old way no longer works, so Samsung is looking to start anew



For all the criticism that Samsung has received for copying Apple over the years, it’s the times when the Korean company has copied itself that have proven most frustrating. Last year’s Galaxy S5 was a bigger version of the prior S4, which was a bigger version of the S III, which wasn’t all that great a smartphone to begin with. This sorry record of repetition caught up with Samsung in 2014 as better and cheaper alternatives undermined the Galaxy line’s dominance of both Android and smartphones in general. Stung by the unfamiliar sight of sales shrinking rather than growing, Samsung promised fundamental change to its smartphone range and the upcoming Galaxy S6 will be the truest embodiment of that reformation.
Samsung’s scale is such that when it chooses to change, the whole mobile industry feels the repercussions. So far, the key alterations from previous Galaxy S generations appear to be a move to an all-metal construction, a display that may be curved on one or both sides, and the repudiation of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors in favor of a full reliance on Samsung’s own Exynos. These factors all matter individually, but taken as a whole they mark a major departure from the almost cynical pragmatism with which Samsung has approached its phones in the past. Let’s address each one of them in turn.
An electronics empire made out of flimsy plastic is rebuilding with better materials
The company that built an electronics empire out of flimsy plastic is about to start competing on the strength of its design. Samsung promised as much in the summer of 2014 and delivered a good first taste of its new commitment to better design and materials with the Galaxy Alpha. Shortly thereafter, the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge followed, using similar metal frames and abstaining from Samsung’s previous penchant for simulating things like leather stitching and lustrous steel. Marrying that improved construction to Samsung’s typically strong set of hardware specifications has made the Note 4 the unanimous choice as Samsung’s best smartphone and the nearest and best competitor to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. This augurs well for the Galaxy S6.

Samsung will seek to distinguish its new flagship phone in a way that leaves no room for confusion about which Galaxy is top of its line, and the quickest way for achieving that is to use a unibody metal case like the one that leaked during CES last month (or this one). It would be a completely novel move for Samsung that would place serious pressure on HTC, a fellow Android phone maker that relies on its design lead as a major selling point. If Samsung successfully recreates the allure of HTC’s design — a very big "if" — it won’t matter who did it first or for how long. Samsung’s deeper pockets will ensure better marketing to consumers and more prominent positioning on store shelves, undermining HTC’s hopes for a revival in what will be a pivotal year for both companies.

The curved-edge display that was already rumored for the Galaxy S6 seemed to be confirmed by invites for the phone’s launch that were issued this week. They show a silhouetted line that most people have interpreted as a device akin to the Note Edge, where one side of the display slopes off. That doesn’t immediately match up with the metal shells that have been pictured so far, but then Samsung’s eagerness for differentiation could end up producing both an Edge variant and an all-metal version of the S6. In either scenario, the company will have something altogether new and exciting to present to its customers. The curved-edge screen remains a solution in search of a real problem to fix, but that won’t stop it from being eminently marketable. Having such a signature look would help set the Galaxy S6 apart from its competitors — and should developers make it as awesome as Samsung hopes, it would drive those competitors to emulate it and buoy a return to sales dominance.
Curved screens don't have to be useful to be marketable
While Samsung’s exterior alterations remain imperfectly defined ahead of its March 1st launch of the Galaxy S6, the biggest internal change is now all but confirmed: there will be no Snapdragon-powered S6. A Bloomberg report blames the latest Snapdragon 810 for overheating during Samsung’s testing, while The Wall Street Journal indicates that Samsung’s faith in its new 14nm Exynos chip also factored into the decision to snub Qualcomm’s offering. This will have a huge impact on Qualcomm, which relies on Samsung’s immense order of processors every year to keep a healthy bottom line. The chipmaker has already had to revise revenue forecasts for 2015 because one of its big customers won’t be using its flagship 810 processor, and Samsung is the biggest customer of them all.
Qualcomm’s mobile crown has been subtly slipping over the past year, and the latest data from Strategy Analytics (SA) shows that it had 80 percent of the LTE market in the third quarter of 2014 whereas it enjoyed a 95 percent dominance at the same time in 2013. MediaTek is taking sales away from Qualcomm and "during Q3 2014, HiSilicon, Intel, Marvell, and Samsung also made progress in LTE basebands," says Christopher Taylor, Director of SA’s wireless research group, foreshadowing greater competition for the year ahead.
samsung exynos
Is the Exynos processor ready to carry the full burden of Samsung's global sales?
Qualcomm’s lead in selling applications processors has been built on the strength of its integrated LTE modem, but Samsung’s progress has apparently been good enough to try to compete in 2015 instead of just playing along. It’s a momentous decision — given how many millions of smartphone sales are on the line — and should dispel some of the hardware homogeneity that has set in among flagship Android smartphones over the past two years. An Exynos-powered Galaxy S6 would join the iPhone 6 in offering an alternative to the Snapdragon 810 that's still likely to figure in most other flagship devices, and would add a vector of differentiation between Samsung’s best and the rest.
Different doesn't guarantee better, but it's a necessary first step
Samsung rose to its position as the world’s most prolific smartphone maker by simply packing more features and higher specs than the competition into a calculatedly cheap plastic shell. It wasn’t about being unique or different, it was a simple cost-benefit analysis that worked out well for the consumer and even better for Samsung. But the world that embraced those devices and rewarded Samsung for its strategy is no more. Now there’s a dichotomy of ultra-cheap handsets, where Chinese competitors are beating Samsung at its own game, and super high-end smartphones that come with high demands for beautiful aesthetics and premium materials. Addressing the latter of those challenges starts in earnest on March 1st.
The Galaxy S6 will be different, both from what Samsung has done until now and from the rest of the smartphone market in 2015. Being different isn’t the same thing as being better, but it’s a necessary first step along the way.


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Hey, Gmail me that cash you owe

Gmail payments are comingIt's the social situation we all try to avoid; forgetting to pay someone back because we don't have any cash, or that card reader thingie, to do it online.Well Google are having a go at making debt settling easier, by allowing users to transfer funds on email.
It's coming in over the next few weeks for all Gmail users who are over 18 in the UK.
Users will have to click the "£" icon which will soon appear on emails, and enter the amount they wish to send.
Users will be able to both send and request cash
Google page
Google made the announcement on an official blog post and says the service will be free.
If you're really desperate for that score to be settled, you can even send requests for how much money you'd like to receive.
Users without a Gmail account will also be able to be sent cash - everyone will have to set up a Google wallet balance, and link it to their debit card or bank account.
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