Now a printer in every pocket.

A US company wants to put a printer in the pocket of every camera phone and digital camera user.

Zink Imaging has come up with a 'zero ink' printing technology that does away with cartridges, ribbons or toner. Instead, three layers of dye crystals - yellow, magenta and blue - are embedded in the paper.These crystals start off clear, revealing their colour when heated by a thermal print head.

The clever part is that different combinations of temperature and 'baking time' are required to activate each layer.

The company's web site will go live after an announcement at the Demo 07 conference on January 31. The relative simplicity of the mechanism means it could be built into camera phones or as the basis of pocket-sized printers.

Mobile banking a target for criminals?

The Tower Group recently produced a report highlighting the danger of mobile banking and how criminals will now start to target mobile banking users:

"The success mobile banking and payments, as well as the concept of the mobile wallet, will be measured against the industry's ability to effectively contain the malware problems to a level that is at least on par with that of the existing Internet channel", said Bob Egan, Chief Analyst at TowerGroup and author of the research.

Of course analysts must prove their worth by coming up with new thoughts in order to sell their reports. To label some of the ideas presented as "absurd" would be to complement the analyst. The best case in point is the fear created in humankind about the "Y2K-problem". This will probably go down in history as the biggest analyst scam ever.

To be able to write a full report on how criminals will target mobile banking users by means of "malware", is not on the same scale, but falls in the "Y2K" category. Sure, bad deployments of mobile banking solutions (especially if it is a porting of an Internet banking site onto a browser on a phone) may be exploitable. This is definitely possible, but will only be applicable if mobile banking was implemented without due consideration of state of the art techniques and by contracting professionals.

Because of the nature of mobile phones and the design available to specialists in mobile banking, it is possible to deploy mobile banking solutions that is more secure than any other means commercially available today. As a matter of fact, we at Fundamo have deployed the first three-factor authenticated banking solution commercially (it is being used successfully by a major bank). This means that a customer interaction is authenticated on "something he/she has" (the SIM card in his/her phone), "something he/she knows" (a PIN that is never in the clear), and "something he/she is" (a digital voice print).

In a recent test, we gave access to a professional hacker to a test environment running Fundamo software. The conclusion was that mobile banking (implemented correctly) is "un-hackable".

Mobile banking a target for criminals? - you be the judge.

DVD players now cost less than the disks.

Price degradation is a massive part of technology advancement but did anyone ever think it would go this low ? DVD PLAYERS are now so cheap that it is possible to buy one for less than the price of a DVD.

Asda started offering a player for £9 over the weekend as part of a marketing ploy to wallop the business of traditional electrical stores. The arrival of the £9 DVD player demonstrates how supermarkets are shaking up the high street.

Asda, which is part of the American Wal-mart empire, has launched a major move into home electricals, as have Tesco and Sainsbury's.
More than 80,000 of the DVD players will be made available, and it will be on sale at every one of Asda's 316 stores and seven Asda Living stores throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.

The Asda £9 DVD player is also indicative of a shift in manufacturing to the Far East, where wages and other business costs are a fraction of those in the UK. The machine is made at a factory in China.

China launches 4G wireless services skiping 3G

A group of 10 "leading domestic institutions" called the "FuTURE Project" on Sunday rolled out 4G in Shanghai. The home-grown 4G system provides speeds of up to 100 MBPS in wireless transmission of data and images many times faster than that of current mobile technology. China initiated the B3G (Beyond 3G)/4G research project in 2001 under the label Future Technology for Universal Radio Environment, or FuTURE Project, which is included in the national high-tech development plan.

The country has set a goal of conducting field tests of the 4G system and putting it into trial commercial use between 2006 and 2010, according to the FuTURE Project. The FuTURE Project involves about 10 leading domestic institutions.

It has obtained more than 200 patents and some of its core technologies have been adopted by international standards organizations, positioning China as one of the world's front-runners in 4G technologies. China has yet to award domestic telecom operators licences to build 3G (third generation) mobile phone networks. One thing is certain. China has shown that it can develop its own systems, patent it own inventions, bring out its own technical innovations which jump neatly over the competition.

If China makes most of the world’s mobile phones and if China is moving to 4G then how long will it be before we are all living in a 4G world?

Tips to protect yourself at wireless hot spots

Wi-Fi hot spots are now almost everywhere, in airports, restaurants, cafes etc.. Unfortunately, that also means ubiquitous security risks. Connecting to a hot spot can be an open invitation to danger. Hot spots are public, open networks that practically invite hacking and snooping. This could allow anyone nearby to capture your packets and snoop on everything you do when online, including stealing passwords and private information

But there are somethings that you can do to keep yourself safe.
1. Disable ad hoc mode: Little-known fact: You don't need a hot spot or wireless router in order to create or connect to a wireless network. You can also create one using ad hoc mode, in which you directly connect wirelessly to another nearby PC. If your PC is set to run in ad hoc mode, someone nearby could establish an ad hoc connection to your PC without you knowing about it.
The fix is simple: Turn off ad hoc mode. Normally it's not enabled, but it's possible that it's turned on without your knowledge. To turn it off in Windows XP:
1. Right-click the wireless icon in the System Tray.
2. Choose Status.
3. Click Properties
4. Select the Wireless Networks tab.
5. Select your current network connection.
6. Click Properties, then click the Association tab.
7. Uncheck the box next to "This is a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network."
8. Click OK, and keep clicking OK until the dialog boxes disappear.
In Windows Vista, there's no need to do this, because you have to take manual steps in order to connect to an ad hoc network; there's no setting to leave it turned on by default.

2. Turn off network discovery: If you're a Vista user, a feature called Network Discovery makes your PC visible on a network so that other users can see it and try to connect to it. On a private network, this is useful; at a public hot spot, it's a security risk. When you connect to a hot spot and designate the network as Public, Network Discovery is turned off, so again, make sure to designate any hot spot as Public. However, you can also make sure that Network Discovery is turned off for your hot spot connection. When you're connected, choose ControlPanel-->View network status and tasks. Then in the Sharing and Discover section, click the Network Discovery button, choose "Turn off network discovery," and click Apply.

3. Encrypt your e-mail: When you send an e-mail at a hot spot, it goes out "in the clear" -- in other words, unencrypted -- so that anyone can read it. A lot of e-mail software allows you to encrypt outgoing messages and attachments. Check how to use yours, and then use it at a hot spot. In Outlook 2003, select Options from the Tools menu, click the Security tab, and then check the box next to "Encrypt contents and attachments for outgoing messages." Then click OK.

Technology to prevent Spam over VOIP

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) looks to be the next big deal, a business disrupter that could change everything in the telecoms world. With more and more telcom gaints moving todawds the VOIP, there is a chalange awaiting 'VoIP spam'--an endless series of automated advertising and human enquiry annoyances delivered over a voice network. It looks like one step forward and two back unless somebody takes action to curb that possibility along with others.

NEC recently has announced the development of new technology for the prevention of spam over Internet telephony (SPIT). The new technology, VoIP SEAL, which defends against the threat of rapidly increasing spam IP phone calls. The technology discovers whether a caller is a human or a machine by testing the machine's capability to perform human-like conversation. Once the technology determines that a machine has made the call, it blocks the connection, preventing the user's phone from ringing. Calls arising from spam-generating-software and calls from real individuals are separated by a Turing test.

Before connecting the call, VoIP SEAL detects and blocks the unauthorized access based on the communication pattern observed during a call.By adopting a module structure, VoIP SEAL enables rapid response to new kinds of SPIT attacks, without adjusting the system, by adding and updating modules to respond to new and different kinds of SPIT.

Breakthrough that could increase the computing power and speed for a decade

A recent announcement by two tech giants, IBM and Intel is described as the biggest advances in semiconductor chip making in nearly 40 years.
Using new materials and a new manufacturing process, the two companies announced breakthroughs that would increase the speed and power of chips for another decade. This development will ensure that Moore's Law will thrive well into the next decade. Moore's Law is the name given to a prediction by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who said in the 1960s that the number of transistors on a chip would double every two years.
That prediction has proved to be an industry benchmark that has paved the way for faster, cheaper and more reliable computers, cell phones and other consumer electronics.

Intel will use a new material with a property called high-k for the transistor gate dielectric, and a new combination of metal materials for the transistor gate electrode. As per Intel the combination of the high-k gate dielectric with the metal gate for its 45nm process technology provides more than a 20% increase in drive current, or higher transistor performance. Conversely it reduces source-drain leakage by more than five times, thus improving the energy efficiency of the transistors.

The competing breakthroughs from Intel Corp. and IBM Corp. should silence doubts, at least for several years, that the industry can prolong the decades-long trend of pushing semiconductor performance while cutting size and cost.

Picodrive For Symbian 3rd Edition

PicoDrive is a SEGA MegaDrive and Genesis emulator for Symbian phones.
This is still a alpha version, and there’re problems to be fixed, like the alternate renderer.But it’s quite good for a first release.

Should work with all 3rd edition phones.If it doesn’t work with some game, try changing emulator settings

-For a better performance, go to “Configure screen” and choose “portrait” mode.Also disable the three sound chips in “Configure sound”

-If a game doesn’t work, or music is slow, go to “Configure screen” and choose a region manually rather than using “auto”


Interchange Fees

Interchange fee is an interesting animal. This is the fee that flows from the payer's bank to the payee's bank (or in the opposite direction). This is supposedly to cater for the "imbalances" of capital required to build the payment infrastructure. This is a remnant of the past where the cost of a POS and an ATM (and the maintenance of this equipment) was expensive. Nowadays, with everything turning more and more into electronic on-line transactions and where transactions are running off personal devices (like mobile phones), the capital cost for the banks have just about disappeared.

It is therefor interesting that a number of regulators are considering the impact of interchange fees. See for instance (, and

The question is: When will the cost of leveraging the interchange fee be bigger than the actual fee? This would be the time to totally abolish interchange fees, and maybe the time is near?

More secure Internet Banking

"A recent survey of nearly 1700 customers in eight countries found that the majority of account-holders - 82% - want banks and brokerages to monitor online and telephone banking transactions for suspicious activity - similar to the way that credit card transactions are monitored.

Furthermore, a masssive 91% are willing use a new authentication method, beyond the standard username-and-password procedure, if their banks decided to offer stronger security. Over two third of respondents (69%) say banks should replace the standard username-and-password log-in procedure with stronger authentication."

This is very encouring and shows an awareness in consumers that Internet banking is not as secure as they would like , but more important that they would be happy to use a more secure mechanism for Internet banking. Of course, the challenge for banks is how to do this effectively. The only way to really increase security is to distribute "something" to the client: either a random number generator, or a once use password booklet, or a digital certificate stored on something... and this is going to be a costly exercise.

The most obvious way to distribute a secure digital certificate is by means of mobile phone distribution channels. The SIM card in GSM phones is an ideal vehicle to distribute digital certificates. As a matter of fact these certificates have already been distributed in many markets.

The Fundamo mobile payment technology has been designed to make use of these digital certificates, not just to increase the security of mobile banking, but also Internet banking.

HD-DVD, Blu-ray AACS Copy Protection Broken

In the run-up to the launch of the next-gen DVD formats HD-DVD and Blu-ray, a great deal was made of the new formats and the manner in which each would attempt to limit the ability of hackers to break copy-protection and rip the data.

Hollywood studios have been in a tizzy since CSS-copy protection on regular DVDs was broken, and cited a pressing need to prevent pirates from jacking movies in full 1080p resolution. HD-DVD and Blu-ray make use of two methods of controlling the data, the HDCP "protected-pathway" of hardware authentication, and AACS signal encryption. Advanced Access Content System. The technology is used to protect high-definition DVDs in both the Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. The system was created by a coalition of technology and entertainment companies, including The Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp. and Panasonic.

On Thursday a consortium of movie studios and technology companies backing the encryption system for high-definition DVDs on Thursday confirmed that hackers have stolen "title keys" and used them to decrypt high-definition DVDs through flaws in DVD player software. A report published in The New York Times identified the DVD player software as WinDVD. The software is distributed by InterVideo Inc., which was acquired last month by Canada-based Corel Corp.

The confirmation of the attack comes about a month after a hacker called Muslix64 described in an online posting how he defeated the encryption system by using DVD player software.

LG's new phone resembles with Apple's iPhone

LG soon will start selling a new mobile phone that incorporates a buttonless touch-screen resembling the much-hyped iPhone from Apple. The LG Prada Phone, alias the KE850, features a no-button interface with the entire phone face covered by a touch-sensitive screen. Like the iPhone, this phone too, is super-thin; it's just 12 millimetres thick, which is only about 0.4 millimetres thicker than the iPhone.

LG's phone, priced at $US780 ($1100), will go on sale in Europe next month and in Asia from March. Apple's iPhone is set for US release in June and will cost $US599 ($NZ860) for the high-end model with 8Gb of internal memory. Also like the iPhone, the LG Prada Phone can play most popular digital music/video formats, and has a two mega pixels camera.

However, unlike the iPhone, the LG phone's memory can be expanded with the help of cards. Other features of this new phone include: MP3 player, video player, document viewer, music/messaging multitasking capability, Bluetooth, and USB 2.0 port.

Now expose your music to the world using this service

With this new service from you could discover great music. If you are a music artist and would like to expose your creation to the world, you should try iJigg. Here you'll be able to easily upload your music files and share it with others on the site itself or via emails, blog/site embed and even post it to your facebook account (if you have one). You don't have to be a registered user - to do that.

iJigg is the place for you to find those rare addictive tunes from musicians worldwide. As an iJigg member, you can submit music, rate music and chime in on conversations.

This great site is not just for artists. It is for every one who like to listen to music and discover good new songs. You can choose to listen to the most popular songs, most recently posted or to search for your favorite genre.

Mobile Banking Profitability

Notwithstanding the fact that banks operate much the same way in different markets, it seems that some banks (in some markets) are just more profitable than others. Banks issue credit cards and provide loans (usually at a healthy interest differential to the Central Bank), banks finance cars and homes and support payment systems. Yet, the profitability of banks in some markets are just higher:

For instance Korea: "Encouraged by record-breaking third-quarter earnings at South Korean banks, analysts expect profits there to grow strongly into 2006. ,

Or South Africa: "Banks profitability increased significantly from already healthy levels in 2003" IMF Worldbank

I was looking for a reason, when I realised: mobile banking penetration is big in both Korea and South Africa, and people actually use it.

Mobile Banking Satisfy People

One of the markets with the highest penetration of Mobile banking is South Korea. The usage of mobile banking services provided by most banks have seen unpresedented growth during the last two years (both in terms of number of subscribers and transaction volumes). It seems to be a good market to review the satisfaction of consumers with mobile banking.

In a recent survey conducted in Korea, looking at convergent services on mobile (Mobile TV, Location based etc.), consumers were by far more satisfied with mobile banking than with any other service. The article conclude in the following way:

"The survey, based on 110,455 mobile users, also said that mobile users are generally satisfied using mobile banking service as only some 10 percent showed negative reactions.

``Consumer satisfaction levels are considerably higher for mobile banking than those for other mobile convergence services. If security and convenience are provided, the future of the mobile banking market looks bright,’’ said Kim. "

This finding is of particular importance in markets where mobile banking deployments have lagged, and banks and mobile operators in these markets should consider the deployment of suitable product to focus on providing in the need of consumers.

People want Mobile Banking

Two surveys conducted by well-known research firms indicated that Britians would want to use mobile banking, if it were available.

The first survey conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Meridea, surveyed existing online banking users aged between 16 and 34. Some of the interesting findings in this research indicate that more than half of the survey sample would try such a service. Even more interesting is that almst a quarter of the surveyed sample would consider SWITCHING their bank if it did not provide mobile banking! ( )

The second survey conducted by the Henley Centre on behalf of BT on a sample of respondents aged between 25 and 44, had similar results. The survey found that more than a third of the respondents would like to conduct their banking by means of mobile phones. The study also indicate the types of transactions that consumers would like to conduct by making use of their mobile phones. ( ).

These two studies indicate the growing consumer demand for mobile banking services. In both of the reports conclusions indicate that banks must expect this demand to grow into the next year.

'The Venice Project' is now called 'Joost'

The duo that brought the world Skype and Kazaa, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom have chosen a name for their new online-video start-up. Company executives had referred to the new company for months by the codename "The Venice Project." ( my previous post )They chose Joost because they like the ring of it, according to a spokeswoman. The word doesn't have any meaning in Danish or Swedish--Friis' and Zennstrom's respective native tongues.

Most importantly, Joost has yet to strike any marquee partnerships with top film or TV producers. Without them, their challenge is a tough one: convincing studio executives and the like to turn over their content to Joost when the company has yet to attract a big audience. BitTorrent, the San Francisco-based distributor of a competing peer-to-peer company is also vying to license technology to Internet video companies.

Another threat could come from the growing number of sites that offer top cable and movie channels without permission.

Camera that sees through Rock-solid Walls

The Xaver 800 provides ‘Through-Wall Vision’ to change the dynamics of your urban operation. With the Xaver 800 you can rapidly and reliably observe one or more people in a room and continuously monitor their activities while positioned outside the room’s walls.

The Israeli manufacturer, Camero, has raised $14 million for their inimitable development accounting for a total of $20 million afetr Xaver 800 was announced. Technically, the camera produces ultra wideband signals and the data gathered is then utilized to form 3D models of things. The ploy being employed is that the camera has the ability to capture the signals in messy conditions and through solid objects.

The Xaver 800 is a portable system whose unique mechanical design with folding ‘wings’ allows compact and easy transport. Its operation is simple and intuitive and does not require extensive training. The Xaver 800 also offers a number of flexible options, including using the system at a stand-off from the wall and remotely locating the sensor at a distance of more than 100 feet from the operator.

51GB Triple-Layer HD DVD-ROM Disc launched

The new ROM disc released by Toshiba Corporation has a three-layer structure, with each layer storing 17GB of data. The advances capacity over current ROM discs, which hold 15GB of data in each layer of a single-sided disc. Continued improvement in disc mastering technology has achieved further minimization in the recording pit, supporting a further boost in capacity to 17GB in single layer and a full 51GB on a single-sided triple-layer disc.

The new disc can store up to 7 hours of high-definition video and adds an extended capacity, high-end option to the already extensive line-up of HD DVD-ROM discs. Toshiba aims to secure approval of the new disc by the DVD Forum within this year.

Toshiba has been featuring this new disc at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2007, in Las Vegas.

Free remote desktop viewing feature

Now work on your Office PC and have access to your files/folders from the comfort of your home or virtually wherever you are. Full-screen remote desktop access and transfer files back/forth between PCs via any web-browser for Free.

iRemotePC service provides the user with unrestrained secure access and full view of the user's home/office PC via any web-browser from a distance, allowing the user to see and work on the user's PC in real-time and have immediate access to the user’s files, emails and programs.

Using this service you can alos invite guests to PC to partake in presentations or present demos, stream files directly out of your PC to friends or family without the hassle of uploading or sending large emails.

Moreover, Share files directly from your PC without the hassle of uploading. Send your music files, documents and pictures (small or large files) to your friends, family or colleagues without the hassle of uploading or wasting time sending large emails. Your recipients can download any file you specify directly out of your PC. Best of all: They don't need to have any kind of special software installed on their computer.


Com One's Wi-Fi IP Radio launched

Com One, a European company best known for its Bluetooth solutions, has entered the North American Market with a very unique product. It's called the Phoenix WiFi/IP radio. connects to the internet via 802.11b/g WiFi, and plays any audio that streams online in premium sound quality.

It's got some retro styling going on with its fully exposed speakers and rotary dial, but this is high-tech stuff people. Along with the specs above, the radio also includes an alarm clock, eight preset radio station buttons with a search mode, analog outputs, and Bluetooth support with Com One peripherals sold separately. The Phoenix also supports WMA, MP3, WAV, AIFF, and Real Audio formats, and includes a rechargeable battery so you don't have to keep swapping double-A's while you're on the go.
Phoenix really makes your heart flutter, the radio will run you $249. So far, no release date is known.

The $100 Laptop not available to general public yet.

In 2005 MIT Media Lab had launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop, a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children. To achieve this goal, a new, non-profit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), was created, which is independent of MIT.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is expecting to deliver its first machines into the hands of children in countries including Rwanda, Libya, Egypt and Venezuela by July. The devices, dubbed 'XO', feature a free Linux operating system with a software interface called Sugar, due for a beta pre-production release in February 2007. Although the focus of the OLPC project is mainly on delivering five million laptops to developing nations, one idea for commercial viability is for Western citizens to sponsor a machine for a developing world child.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), headed by MIT Labs' Nicholas Negroponte, insisted suggestions that the XO laptop would be sold through eBay, to anyone who was willing to pay for a second machine for third-world countries, were untrue. News organisations forced to retract their earlier reports included the BBC, which had to change the headline on its $100 laptop story from "Public can buy $100 laptop" to "$100 laptop could sell to public".

Apple has unveiled iPhone at MacWorld '07

Apple has introduced iPhone, which combines a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls and an Internet communications device with desktop-class email, Web browsing, searching and maps into one small and lightweight handheld device.

iPhone introduces a new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. The device also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

The iPhone will go on sale in June in the US and during the fourth quarter in Europe. It will be available in Asia next year.the iPhone, which comes with touch-screen controls and combines features from the iPod music player, will be available with four gigabytes of flash memory and sell for $499, and with eight gigabytes of flash memory for $599.

The phone automatically synchs your media - films, music, photos - through Apple's iTunes digital content store. The device also synchs email content, web bookmarks and nearly any type of digital content stored on your computer.The phone features a 2-megapixel camera and a photo management application, wherein users can browse their photo library, which can be easily synced from their PC or Mac. iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone that features EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking

LG announces dual-format Blu-ray/HD DVD player

While the Blu-ray and HD DVD camps are still at each other's throats, LG Electronics has announced its dual-format high-definition video player. If you just don't want to end up in the middle of the high-definition battle between Sony (Blu-ray) and Toshiba (HD DVD), then LG's new Super Multi Blue BH100 is your first opportunity to be on the safe side - no matter which format will gain the upper hand in the end. The device is the first player to supports both formats.

The specifications of the device do not indicate that buyers will have to deal with a whole lot of compromises. 1080p resolution is supported for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, and the player can cope with the formats MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264, MPEG1/2 audio, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, DTS and DTS-HD audio. This means that you can throw any currently available high-definition video at the BH100 - including upcoming Blu-ray discs that hold HD video that is encoded with H.264 and 18 Mb/s. While it won't be cheap at $1200

Google Earth 4 is officially released

Google Earth 4 is officially released! Almost exactly 1 year after Google Earth 3 was released, Google Earth 4 is no longer in beta (latest version is 4.0.2722). See the Google Earth home page for details
( ).

Here are some highlights of the latest version of Google Earth 4..

* 3D Models - GE 4 supports a new format which allows for models which have textures. It also supports the new 3D buildings layer. The official release of GE includes lots of optimizations to improve 3D viewing.

* Time Animation - the new time slider appears when KML content has been stamped with time. Read about the new time feature. And, here is a list of the top ten time animations done in 2006 for GE 4.

* New Look - GE 4 has a much cleaner look than GE 3. It devotes more attention to the main 3D view, and has a new navigation gadget which appears in the upper right corner. There are too many enhancements to list them all. Some notable ones are: Support for radio buttons in KML, network link icons animate when loading, new organized menus, and more GE Options.

* Controllers - Support for joystick controllers and flight simulator yokes. And, best of all, the new SpaceNavigator (Windows only at the moment, but a Mac driver soon).

* Regions - GE 4 supports very large image overlays which can be "tiled" or "regionated" so you can view the full detail as you zoom in. See the "Rumsey Historical Maps" in the "Featured Content" layer for an excellent example of this powerful feature.

Danger-signs for Chip and Pin

It did happen. Some-one did the obvious and showed the inherent weakness in the design for EMV. This "foolproof" payment system can easily be hacked by tampering with the Point of Sale in the hands of merchants.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have shown how a terminal designed to read an EMV card can be modified to play Tetris with. They have made a video of their work and have posted it on YouTube. See article.
What is the relevance of this? Well this means that some-one can change a terminal to capture your card information and your PIN when you enter it onto some crimally minded merchant's terminal. This may not be a big issue in High Street London, but take the concept to developing economies and the challenges is almost unsurmountable.
If you are however prompted to enter your PIN number on your own phone when you make a purchase, this problem goes away. Mobile payments are so much more inherently safer.

Microsoft announce plans for the Windows Home Server.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates used the podium at CES 2007 to announce plans for the Windows Home Server, a joint project with Hewlett Packard.

HP also plans to ship later this year its HP MediaSmart Server that runs Windows Home Server.

Now lets see what exactly is this home server…

A Windows Home Server is a simple box that lies at the center of your home network. The Server works without interaction (it doesn't run programs like typical operating systems, doesn't even have a monitor port), simplifying some very complex tasks among all the computers in your home.

Home Server is where your family will store all of its important files. All music, video, photos, documents and even some software will sit on the Home Server, and all the computers in the home will be able to access it over your network (wired or wireless) as if they were on the computers themselves.

Home Server also keeps your computers protected from disaster, by backing up every byte of data on every computer in the home. It can take an unlimited amount of storage space, backing up to internal and external hard drives the entire contents of every PC, not once, but twice, letting you restore files or entire PCs immediately.

Minimum system requirements:

1 GHz Pentium 3 (or equivalent)
512 MB RAM
80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
Bootable DVD drive
Display (only for software installation)
100 Mbps wired Ethernet
Keyboard and mouse (only for software installation)

The home network must have a 100Mbps or faster Ethernet connection and computers running Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista. The Home Server requires a wired Ethernet connection to the router, but client PCs can access it via a wireless connection.

Advanced video search engine launched

Blinkx, a privately-held firm, based in San Francisco and London has launched one of the most advanced video search engine available on the net. is the site which is fed by automatic spiders that crawl the web for audio video content and content partnerships with over 100 leading content and media companies.

Blinkx uses visual analysis and speech recognition to better understand rich media content. Users can search for content, create personal TV channels that automatically splice relevant content together and even use their download feature to automatically download content to mobile devices.


A device that brings broadband to the car

Autonet Mobile Inc., a San Francisco start-up, is preparing to release a product for cars that combines 3G cellular access and Wi-Fi technology. With the device, which plugs into a car's cigarette lighter, users will be able to connect to the Internet the same way they do at hot spots or via their home Wi-Fi networks. The $399 product will act as your Internet service provider. You won't need a separate relationship with Verizon Wireless, Sprint or Cingular for 3G backhaul.

Autonet will charge $49 a month for that access. The Autonet unit will come with the radios inside for the 3G backhaul connection. You won't need to have a separate EV-DO or HSDPA card to plug into the hardware. Using a network layer the company calls TRU Technology, Autonet will manage the network connections.

Also inside is the Wi-Fi radio for use by multiple end users (with the exception of the driver, of course) to connect laptops, PDAs, smartphones, gaming handhelds, etc

The role of Banks and Mobile Operators

It is like wondering if Alcoholic Bread should be baked or brewed. Mobile banking is a similar contradiction in terms. Examples exist of both banks and mobile operators making huge successes of mobile banking. MTN Banking is an initiative with a clear mobile operator branding, whereas Celpay is owned by a bank and have clear banking characteristics.

The fact of the matter is that the aims the approach and the structure of mobile banking differs significantly if provided by banks or mobile operators, but the important fact is that both are capable of deploying mobile banking succsesfully. In considering mobile banking and the role of banks or mobile operators, one should take the following into account:
  • What market segment is the target market (people with mobile phones, but no/little banking exposure, or people with bank accounts looking for additional access channels?)
  • What revenue models is supporting the initiative (how large is the telecommunication revenue in support of the business case?)
  • What are the secondary objective of mobile banking (Retention of marketshare, or brand enhancement or the basis for other services?)
  • The maturity of the banking industry in the specific country/marketplace
  • The banking support and infrastructure (electronic clearing, ATM's etc)
  • regulatory considerations. Dispensations exist in some countries to support electronic money payment systems from a regulatory perspective, for instance.
With the above in mind, it stands to reason that it is impossible to have a one recipe for all mobile banking deployments. It is important to consider different factors before embarking on a course of action.

This new search engine offers 5GB free email account

A new search engine, (beta) is offering free 5 GB email accounts and a community social network for all its users. The search engine also has its own Instant Messenger with voice and video, which is interoperable with AIM, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ.

Other features of include mobile downloads, flash-based games, personalized portal and "meta results " that ranks the major search engines. The community social network gives users, the ability to upload 24 and videos, free of charge. Also, offers a directory of categories, such as shopping, travel, entertainment to search from.

The site is currently looking for feedback from users and advertisers, but is functional and is looking to come out of beta soon.

Link :

Wikipedia bans anonymous edits from Qatar

Usually its the country/government that bans website, but here the situation is reverse..
Qatar has earned the wrath of Wikipedia as the latter has banned the people of the country from editing or loading any entry in Wikipedia due to what Wikipedia says excessive spam and wreckage of the content.
But there is a problem Wikipedia bans the IP address and as there is only one service provider and that also stands banned so the members will now have to take help of proxy servers to login.

This country of about 1 million people has got only one ISP service provider Qtel and the anonymous edits have been banned but the members are free to do to visit and edit the content.

What simply put Wikipedia might have done was to ban all the anonymous edits and ask the users to login before editing content.

Copy protection used on HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs is said to be "cracked"

HD DVD is one of two leading high-definition video disc formats attempting to replace DVDs. An HD DVD disc can store about four times as much data as a DVD disc and it supports playback of "true" high-definition video. In addition, HD DVDs have more advanced copy protection than DVDs.

The movie industry has been trying to shift the market away from DVD and towards high-definition formats partly because DVDs have become so easy to copy.

Both HD DVD and it"s main competitor Blu-ray were finally released this year after long delays caused by disagreements over what kind of copy protection the discs should carry. In fact, the DVD Forum announed that HD DVD was the official replacement format for DVD all the way back in 2003. Many have cited the long delay to market as part of the reason HD DVD and Blu-ray have so far failed to capture public interest the same way that DVD discs did when they were first released.

It seems fitting then that the copy protection that for so long delayed the release of HD DVD has already been at least partially cracked. And the the programmer, who identified himself as Muslix64, announced in the Internet discussion forum Doom9 on Dec. 18 that he had successfully copied movies distributed in the HD-DVD format. The note directed readers to a site where demonstration software he had written could be downloaded.

There is no official word from this issue from the HD-DVD coalition which includes companies like Microsoft, Intel, Toshiba and NEC; the Blu-ray camp has Sony, Philips and Samsung. Among studios, Universal is exclusively backing HD-DVD. Paramount and Warner Brothers also support HD-DVD, but not exclusively. Representatives of Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers are on the board of the Blu-ray group.