Corel offers WordPerfect Lightning beta

Corel recently releases a free public beta of WordPerfect Lightning, which adds collaboration and storage features, its designed to serve as a key component to its online-services model. WordPerfect Lightning beta, a free, downloadable word-processing and note-taking software application, aims to provide a new distribution and online-services model for Corel WordPerfect Office. The WordPerfect Lightning beta builds on Corel's earlier efforts to create applications such as its modular components that are designed to work in an online environment while remaining on the desktop. It also comes with a "Viewer" tool which can store several document formats including PDF, WordPerfect and MS Word files.

Corel has also thrown in a Navigator tool to go through these saved documents and objects. The company said that the users of this application would be able to access files stored by Corel when they are on a different desktop. They are offering the customers of this tool 200 Megs of web space to backup their data online. The company is also offering a free trial version of its WordPerfect Office X3 productivity suite with this package.

Free offerings such as Writely and WordPerfect Lightening are seen as a challenge to Microsoft's Office programs, which dominate productivity applications and brings the company much of its revenue.

With WordPerfect Lightening, Corel is offering a free trial version of its WordPerfect Office X3 productivity suite, whose standard edition retails for US$269.99.
Download Link

Software to Identify Copyrighted Video Clips on the Internet

Identification of the copyrighted content has always been the major challenge for media companies and the online video sharing sites. Now, a Californian company dubbed Audible Magic has developed new content-recognition software that they claim to be a new weapon in web war over piracy. The technology could address what the entertainment industry sees as one of its biggest problems.. songs and videos being posted on the Web without permission.

How the new software works? Well.. when any new clip is being uploaded to a site, the content-recognition software checks the database for relevant matches via a technique called digital fingerprinting. Copyrighted material can then be blocked or posted, depending on whether it is licensed for use on the site. Once it checks for the matches, copyrighted material can be blocked or posted.

Though Audio fingerprinting technologies have been put in use in the recent times to identify copyrighted music on video-sharing networks like MySpace, it would be interesting to see whether the new content recognition software does the work with total adeptness.
Nevertheless, some file-sharing networks and smaller video sites like and are already using more basic filters that monitor video soundtracks and music files, hoping to appease copyright holders and stay out of the courtroom.

A video on how thieves clone your credit card

The modern hi-tech thief prefer cloning than stealing the card. Check out the video which shows a waitress at a coffee house stealing peoples card details using a hidden device.

Regulatory considerations

Let us agree that, even though some of the functions are very similar to other types of banking, mobile banking is different. For a start this is the only type of banking where you can enter your own PIN on your own secure device. It is the only type of banking where you can be informed of banking transactions and be asked to confirm actions at any time or place in the world, providing you have cellphone reception.

The question frequently asked is what is the regulatory implications of all of this? or.. does it impact regulatory considerations at all? These are very important questions and should be properly resolved prior to deploying any solution. It is far better to ensure Central Bank approval prior to launch than having to suspend a product launched in haste in order to get the regulatory dispensation in place. This is especially embarrassing when the product is particularly successful.

In considering regulatory issues four areas are important:

Deposit taking

The basis of banking anywhere in the world is the management of systemic risk. Central banks are primarily concerned of situations where an institution holds money on behalf of some-one else and then is not capable of repayment if required. Organisations that take deposits from consumers and hold it on their behalf forms the basis of banking and is carefully controlled. These organisations are usually called banks and must conform to Central bank's regulations (like strict reporting and capital adequacy considerations). When deploying mobile banking solutions the regulator must be consulted especially in instances where a wallet, or pseudo bank account is created or even in instances where clearing is a delayed process.

Know your customer (KYC)

One of the most difficult problems to solve in the provision of entry-level banking to low income people is the disproportional high cost of opening a bank account. Some of the regulatory prescriptions regarding KYC, if implemented according to the letter of the law, often kills the business case. It is important to consider the characteristics of the phone, the objective of the service and special dispensations often available in banking law to solve this problem in a legal way. The registration process and take-up procedure in many mobile banking solutions often contravene regulatory prescriptions. In many cases the solutions had to be suspended in others the Central bank accommodated solution providers by making small modifications to the rules. We at Fundamo are of the opinion that this work should be done prior to product launch.

Dispute management

One of the strengths of the existing banking world is the clear definition of liability. If you accepted a card payment without checking the signature, then you may be liable to refund the whole amount. Payment systems have been clearly defined to cater for situations like when your PIN has been compromised, when a card payment is accepted while the card is not present at the merchant, what happens if the terminal is not certified etc. etc. In many instances the rules usually applicable in the classic world can not be applied as is for mobile initiated transactions. Liability and dispute mechanisms must be re-developed, tested and then applied. These rules should conform to laws and existing relationships between banks and clients. It is not trivial to adjust these rules for mobile payments/banking, but critical to ensure that disputes can be managed accurately.

Clearing and settlement

Many countries have promulgated advanced electronic payment laws. These laws prescribe regulations regarding the clearing and settlement of transactions between banks. When implementing mobile banking solutions, it is critical to consider these rules carefully. Considerations should be given to the legal implications of aggregated settlement and/or nett settlement designs. The need to be a member of or even the establishment of ACH's must be considered carefully.

Regulatory considerations is not trivial and differs from one country to another. It is best to contract experts in this space when deploying mobile banking solutions. The small additional cost is not even closely comparable with the potential risk and loss of income that may accrue to a customer if regulatory mistakes are made.

The fastesh digital SLR camera unveiled by Canon

The newly announced EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR camera also happens to be the fastest digital SLR camera in the world. There are so many reason that make the EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR camera from Canon a sure hit with professional photographers. High-speed cameras are useful for professional sports photographers and photojournalists who often need to take many quick shots in order to capture dramatic action shots. The difference between a slow camera and a quick camera can be the difference between a great shot and a dull one.

The EOS 1D Mark III also includes a live-view shooting mode. Live view enables users to more conveniently shoot a scene while watching the real time pictures on the 3-inch LCD screen

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III Digital is a 10.1 mega pixel SLR camera that employs the new Dual DIGIC III image processor engine. This technology makes it possible to fire huge motor-driven bursts of 110 Large JPEGs or 30 RAW files, providing just enough computational horsepower to perform parallel processing at a rate unmatched by any other digital SLR camera.

Nokia's latest video podcatcher released

Nokia announced a new mobile feed reader focused on video at the recently held 3GSM conference in Barcelona. The Nokia N95 comes with 160 MB of internal storage with up to 2 GB available via a microSD memory card. Mobile videos will make most sense for people with a large memory card always in their smartphones since internal storage will fill up fast
The Nokia Video Center comes pre-installed on new Nokia Series 60 devices such as the newly announced N95 and N93i but is also available as a separate download for compatible devices.

You can load videos onto the phone through your home computer or receive updates over-the-air at HSDPA speeds or using open WiFi while you're on the go. The Video Center software supports H.264 videos, meaning videobloggers have even more reasons to create specially formatted and mini-sized (320x240) versions of their show for iPods and Nokia phones.

YouTube will soon release its videos in H.264 according to the Nokia announcement. Media RSS is supported (and encouraged) and publishers can send users a special MMS to assist in the subscription process

Nikon Launches Two New Wireless Cameras

It's about time there were Wi-Fi cams available for those of us who've been longing for the next generation to follow up Kodak's EasyShare-One, Canon's PowerShot SD430 and Nikon's own Coolpix P1 and P2.

Nikon has added two new digital cameras to the Nikon Coolpix Style Series line-up, the S50 and S50c. These cameras combine enhanced imaging quality and performance with an eye-catching wave surface design. The Coolpix S50 and the Coolpix S50c boast 7.2 effective megapixels, a 3x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens and a huge, bright 3.0 inch LCD screen. These cameras also utilize an Optical VR Image Stabilization system, ensuring the consumer will be able to capture stunningly sharp images.

The Coolpix S50c also offers the additional advantage of a built in Wireless capability for e-mail and image storage with the enhanced Coolpix Connect 2 service. COOLPIX S50 and the COOLPIX S50c feature 7.2 effective megapixels, allowing the consumer to make superior quality prints in a variety of sizes, they also incorporate advanced technologies which help create new opportunities to take sharper, and more natural looking photos.

These technologies include the new Optical VR Image Stabilization, high sensitivity up to ISO 1600, and Best Shot Selector (BSS) which can all be activated by pressing the Anti-Shake Button, conveniently located on the top of the camera. These features allow the S50 and S50c to produce shots that are steady, sharp and stunning. Tthe LCD monitors serve as excellent platforms for Pictmotion, which allows users to select their favorite images or movies, as well as music (up to 10 songs) and combine them automatically in-camera to produce audiovisual shows in VGA quality for the ultimate photo-sharing experience.

Adobe's latest software simplifies photography

Need more photo management grunt than iPhoto can deliver? Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom is for you, enabling photographers to import, select, develop and present large volumes of digital photographs, with the express aim of letting photographers spend less time sorting and organizing images so they can spend more time what they love doing most -- taking photos.

Lightroom 1.0. The program is meant for professional photographers, like wedding or sports photographers, who have to manage and show thousands of RAW images.

Photoshop Lightroom 1.0, the image processing application for professional photographers, is an improvement over the current Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 beta version.

The photographic software was available as a freely-downloadable beta since its announcement over a year ago. The current beta 4.1 will expire on February 28, after which users will have to purchase the full version if they want to continue using it.

Adobe is offering Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 at a special introductory price of US $199 (Rs 8,955) through April 30, 2007 at the Adobe Store. The software will later sell for an estimated increased price of US $299 (Rs 13,455). The 1.0 version includes new functionality to those in the version 4.1 beta. For instance, the Library module gains advanced keywording tools to help photographers filter through large collections, and more flexible file handling in the import dialogue allows greater choice while determining file location.

The new version runs under Macintosh OSX 10.4.3, or Windows XP. It also requires 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor or Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Intel Pentium 4 Processor, and 768 MB RAM and a 1024x768 resolution screen.

Back Office

Much thought is being given on how an end-user will interact with a mobile banking system. Many a debate hinges on the channel required, how the system will be distributed and how the functionality would work. What is sadly lacking though, is a quality debate on what happens in the back. This is often the most important element in insuring a workable (and legal) deployment - one that can be backed-up by reputable companies and that can deliver sustainable solutions to customers.

In evaluating back office functionality, a number of factors should be considered without which a solution would not be viable. We at Fundamo and our partners pride ourselves in our experience in many of these aspects. It is critical to work with experienced professionals to ensure that a sound, auditable and legal service is delivered to end customers. Operators should select solution providers with suitable experience and systems that are able to provide solutions that can be deployed in commercially viable instances:

Integration considerations
Unfortunately no solution is an island, and neither can mobile banking be deployed without due consideration of many different integrations that can be required. Some of the key integrations that are often required are: integration to existing bank accounts or credit cards, integration to clearing streams or switches, integration into infrastructure (like ATM's or POS's), integration into mobile infrastructure and integration into third party service providers (like bill providers or ticket vendors). Each of these integrations are often complex on their own, but to ensure a consistent integration architecture can be quite challenging. Fundamo technology ships with many pre-packaged integration tools.

Banking laws are different from one country to another and are often strictly enforced. A keen understanding of the implications and the options possible to cater for deposit taking, KYC and conformance to clearing and settlement regulations are important. Some of the deployments that we have been involved with can be quite challenging as one will have to consider novel schema's like push clearing and aggregated settlement. In instances where deployments span more than one regulatory domains (like in the case of money transfers), regulatory conformance is even more difficult.

Scalability and Recovery after disruptions
The banking world and telecommunications are very different in many ways. The typical transaction volumes experienced in the telecommunication industry is of an order of magnitude bigger than what is typically expected in banking. This in itself is a major challenge. It is just not possible to plug a phone into a banking system. This is almost like connecting a fire hydrant to a hosepipe. Something is going to break somewhere. The design required to ensure that transaction peaks can be managed should be built into the system from the start, but more important, functionality and capability to deal with disruptions and to be able to recover from disruptions where tens of thousands of pending mobile payment transactions must be resolved should be available.

Support for administrative staff
Back office business processes must be supplied with a working system to ensure an effective deployment. Administrative staff must have the ability to authenticate a customer (in a call center environment) and must have the ability to serve his/her requests. Financial staff must be able to evaluate performance, profitability and be able to post journals or raise interest or subscription fees (if applicable). All of this must be done in such a way that fraud is limited by means of role management and security mechanisms like dual authorisation etc. Systems without support for functionality like this is just not good enough. Systems should also generate suitable audit trails.

Commercial support
The importance of billing engines for mobile banking is often ignored. I have seen production deployments that do not have the ability to charge the customer (or merchant) for transactions that is being performed on the system. Capability like fee management, risk management and least cost management are critical to ensure a successful commercial deployment of a mobile banking system

The Mobile Banking Concept

The lifespan of all good ideas can be broken into five phases: concept, prototype, pilot, pre-production, commercial deployment. Few ideas ever reach the stage of commercial deployment, because they are just not viable, or have been ill conceived or badly deployed. For some or other reason, mobile banking has been over-saturated with concepts and to some degree with prototypes. The idea of utilising the phone for financial transactions are so obvious that every man and his dog have developed a new concept or have submitted a patent somewhere. Everyone of them believing that they have stumbled on the ultimate approach.

The reality is that very few of these ever progress past the rudimentary prototype stage. And it is actually quite easy to demonstrate simple mobile banking functionality in a prototype environment. Some of the challenges that often have not even been identified and hence solved are issues related to integration, regulatory/legal and usability. These are sometimes addressed in the few prototypes that migrate to pilot.

A pilot usually consists of a few hundred, maybe thousands of subscribers performing transactions in a controlled environment with limited functionality. Even if pilots work, they often don't address important aspects like scalability and system responses to unpredicted actions or break-downs. What happens in the case of transactions that have been lost and how does the system respond to situations where a component is not available. Important legal aspects are also often not addressed yet at this stage. Pilots seldom uncovers the real system challenges and at best highlights key elements regarding user experience.

During the pre-production stage business processes and system reliability and robustness should be attended to. Many different business processes are required if a system is to be deployed in a production environment. This should include registration, dispute resolutions, service activation to name only a few. In examples that we have seen in the market some deployments have neglected key processes leading to very difficult deployments and disillusioned clients. What looked easy during pilot now turns out to be a nightmare of realities.

It is only when a solution is deployed commercially that they most important element of any idea is tested: Can it make money? Mobile banking solutions that are not profitable will fail ultimately. An this is where we at Fundamo can really contribute to making a difference in deploying successful mobile payment/banking solutions. We have seen what works and what does not. We have built powerful business modeling tools and have helped many customers to culminate with commercially successful deployments of novel ideas. We have seen many competing products fail because they were not commercially viable.

Palm Treo 750 smartphone is really feature packed

Palm, Inc. has announced the Palm Treo 750 in Australia, the first Treo device to take advantage of Telstra's Next G network. The Treo 750 runs on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 and includes High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) capability for high speed cellular data access.

After an entire decade of producing some of the best smartphones used by millions of business people everyday, there is a certain level of guarantee that Palm’s latest Treo 750 will provide users with the smartest mobile applications on the market. The Treo 750 has been sprinkled with all the latest technology, making calls, emailing, messaging, and surfing the web ultimately pleasurable and hassle-free. As soon as you start up the Treo 750 you’ll be given the option of a quick tour this will provide a perfect insight to what’s on offer.

The Treo smartphone on Windows Mobile 5.0 provides mobile workers with productivity and multimedia experiences while away from their PCs. It provides people with fast access to information, ease of use and simplicity on their mobile device, including Today Screen enhancements, which offer the ability to "dial by name" with a few keystrokes on the keyboard, perform a web search directly from the Today Screen and perform one-touch dialling with personalized photo speed dials; ability to manage a call directly from the Today Screen and stay on top of voicemail with on-screen, VCR-like icons, such as rewind, delete and fast-forward controls for easy navigation.

For hands-free options in the car, the Treo 750 has an integrated car-kit with optional connectivity. When on the move, the Treo 750 can act as a high speed modem for your laptop. By simply connecting the included USB sync cable, or using Bluetooth, you can connect to the internet via the device. Minimum requirements for compatibility are Windows XP or 2000, and of course, a USB port. All the normal quirky, but important features remain, including an alarm clock, calculator, and the addictive and time-consuming Solitaire.

Palm claim the removable rechargeable battery will provide 4.5 hours talk-time, and 240 hours stand-by time. In the box, Palm has provided a multi-functional software disc, the Treo 750 Smartphone with a 1200 mAh removable rechargeable battery, travel charger, USB sync cable, stereo headset, and a user guide.

Why SIM based solutions are best for Mobile Banking

The matter of empowering the Bottom of the Pyramid is a challenge that many have attempted. We at Fundamo have been working on this challenge for the best part of ten years and you would agree with me, that nobody is a better teacher than experience. We deployed the first mobile payment solution on a SIM card during 1999 and have since helped many mobile operators and banks to enter the exciting world of mobile payments. Our technology has been deployed on most major networks in Africa and further afield.

Our technology and experience spans many different channels (ranging from simple SMS and USSD, to advanced deployments utilising Java and Internet Chat protocols), but by far our most popular solutions run on SIM cards. It is no doubt the best way to deploy financial services on mobile. We have a close working relationship with Gemalto in this regard, but our technology have been deployed on almost all serious SIM card manufacturers.

So why is SIM cards so important for mobile banking:

Ease of Use
The problem with our modern life is that we have to remember such a lot of things. Even if information is stored on a phone, one still needs to remember the name that it was stored under. One thing that I do remember is the PIN that I unlock my life with. If you cannot remember a PIN you are quite dead in the modern world, but you don’t have to remember much more.

Yet, many mobile payment solutions are based on remembering numbers to call or send Text’s to. One has to remember special acronyms and error codes, or then you could do with a quick-reference guide that you have to remember where you left it. Mobile payment solutions based on for instance USSD suffer other usability problems. For instance, the application cannot set an input field for numeric input only, or awkward key-strokes, like hit “YES” first before you enter info and then “SEND”. Java is pretty user-friendly, too.

SIM based solutions are by far the most user-friendly deployments. Our customers that ship mobile payment solutions on SIM cards report that between 80 and 100% of subscribers try the service, without any training or quick reference guides. It is intuitive, conforms to the phone paradigm that consumers are used to and pre-empt the consumer’s behaviors. I would say quite safely that SIM card based solutions score better than any other channel on the usability stakes.

I am thinking about this problem from a GSM operator perspective. What is the total cost of ownership for running a mobile payment solution for a mobile operator? Of course, a mobile operator could charge it at what-ever price they want – could even give it away for free for that matter, but it is important to look at the intrinsic cost to understand the profitability and business case.

• How easy is it to deploy the solution and what is the cost associated with this. Well, it is pretty expensive for any of the deployments, considering infrastructure that must be deployed. Java requires a lot of development to make it accessible on all phones on the network and USSD and SIM require back-office infrastructure, so pretty much similar I would say. I assume that the operator will be distributing SIM cards anyway, so I am not counting the cost of SIM cards. But if you do, this would increase the cost of a SIM based solution.
• Once again, I would say that Java and SIM are similar in the cost to transact. Java would probably run on GPRS connections and this is very low cost to the operator. SIM applications typically run SMS classII, but can also utilise GPRS and the cost is therefor similar. USSD on the other hand, hoard a voice channel for the duration of the transaction time (from base station to IN platform), and this is expensive, because one less voice call can be made.
• The maintenance of Java is extremely expensive. To ensure that the Java applet is compatible with all (and all new) handsets, can be quite expensive. USSD’s advantage is one just need to make changes on the back-office, whereas SIM based solutions will require OTA functionality if changes are to be deployed.
• The most expensive element is the cost of scaling. The problem with USSD (because it is a session based solution), is that it is expensive to scale. At a critical stage of increased usage USSD will fail unpredictably, because it is not possible to implement any queuing capability.

Some people have told me that one does not need that high level of security and that good-enough security is, well.. “good enough”. I think the question is then, what is good enough? I thought a good indication of what is deemed to be good enough is a statement by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council of the United States. All banks in the US must conform to two-factor authentication by December 2006 for electronic financial transactions.

Most banking solutions utilise at least two factors to ensure adequate levels of security. One of the best examples is the EMV standard, currently being rolled out globally by the large credit card associations. This is based on a smartcard (something you have”) and a PIN (“something you know”). It stands to reason that one should expect the same level of security to be deployed in mobile payments. Anything just based on a UserID and Password is just not acceptable. For a start, SIM-based solutions (if implemented correctly) is one of the best examples of dual-factor authentication. It utilises cryptographic keys in the same way that EMV does. Definitely score highest.

USSD transactions can (at best look like dual authentication) and suffers many security short-comings. It is literally a single-factor deployment with big holes for “man-in-the-middle” attacks. Java applications can digitally be signed and could mimic dual factor solution, but is an ideal candidate for “Trojan horse” attacks.

This is probably the most contentious topic. It is correct to understand that USSD is available on more phones. Although one should recognise that not all networks support USSD Type II (which is often required for mobile banking application support).

Java phones are not yet that widely distributed (especially in developing markets) and a Java application, running on one phone is often not portable to another. That brings us to SIM-applications. SIM solutions require a SIM card capacity of at least 32k, with appropriate keys loaded. The penetration of suitable SIM cards is higher in some markets than in others, but surprisingly high in many markets. In markets that we have worked in (Nigeria, South Africa and Middle East), the penetration of suitable SIM cards is closing in on 100%. Consider the massive churning in most markets and the rate at which SIM’s are replaced (especially in pre-paid markets). Within a few months of a firm decision to distribute suitable SIM cards, operators will have a sizable market of SIM cards.
It is difficult to understand specifically what is going to happen in the future, but one thing we know about GSM: we are going to have SIM cards. SIM cards will be different with more capacity and higher transport protocols, but they will still bear the identification of mobile telephony. It would be easier to store information on High Capacity (HC) SIM cards, more complex routines would be able to run on the platform and communication to the SIM card from the network would be easier. As a matter of fact, the Java functionality and SIM capabilities will merge with deployment of the JSR188 specifications. Deployments utilising NFC technology will require the flexibility that SIM card-based systems require. As a matter of fact, when Visa piloted their NFC solution with Maxis in Malaysia, a critical component of the solution was a SIM-based application on the phone.

New SIM cards will enable more secure solutions with high likelihood of deploying PKI and Sandbox concepts as a given. This will enable much, much more advanced solutions than is currently possible or that can even be envisaged. Mobile Operators with the vision to embrace SIM technology, will be so much better positioned to experience the benefits.

USSD technology, though important will probably not develop further. The management of dynamic menus and handsets that operate more effectively with USSD commands will be developed, but it is unlikely that any strategic advances will benefit USSD-based transactional solutions. As far as strategy is concerned USSD is a cul de sac.

The question to ask (I believe) is: In a world of interoperability where one operator will allow another to send money to them (and vise versa), what should the minimum requirement be? Would you be happy to accept the risk of a lower security deployment at another mobile operator? Or should the industry decide on what is acceptable risks?

Now create Flash based flowchart diagrams online

Brainstorming made easy with this nice flash based application, that helps your capture your ideas in a flochart diagrams format. Simply sign in and start create your desirable diagrams by pressing 'Enter' or 'Tab'.
Also you can print your work or share your work via email when you're done.
Quite interesting and siple tool, worth giving it a try!! here is the link:

The Ultimate Rapidshare Downloader is now free for all

We all are aware of the time restriction on rapidshare for non premium users. It is a pain when we need to wait about an hour after we finished download file from Rapidshare. But for premium accounts thats not a problem at all. Here's a software that can trick Rapidshare so we (non premium users) can use it to continue or download multiple files from Rapidshare.

CMS The Grabber - The Ultimate Rapidshare Downloader ! is what it is called.
It allows you using multiple proxies, you can download multiple files at once with CMS The Grabber. Some Rapidshare downloaders only grab links from Rapidshare.DE but CMS The Grabber can grab links from both domain, .DE and .COM. And you can forward the links to your download manager.

Here is the link.
Download: CMS The Grabber v1.4.7C
MD5-Hash (of the RAR file, not .EXE): cbe24f2dbc75917fef750bce8bb75b42

Important instruction

1. After you download the program check MD5 hash of the RAR file to be sure it is clean (download the MD5 utility from here and run MD5 GrabberArchive.rar in the console window - cmd).
2. Run the program immediately (necessary to activate it)
3. Keep Grabber.EXE and Grabber.INI files in a safe place. Without Grabber.INI, the program may be deactivated at any time; with it, it will work forever (or until rapidshare changes its site(s)).

Note: Grabber.INI is valid only for your computer. It will not work on another computer.

IBM's eDRAM chip vastly improves microprocessor performance.

IBM Corp. has devised a way to triple the amount of memory stored on microchips and double the performance of processors by replacing a problematic type of memory with one that uses less space on a slice of silicon.

According to the company, the eDRAM chip "vastly improves microprocessor performance in multi-core designs and speeds the movement of graphics in gaming, networking, and other image intensive, multi-media applications." Shown as a 65 nm concept at the currently held International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), IBM claims that the eDRAM exceeds the performance of conventional SRAM, which is typically used for on-die CPU cache, in about one-third the space with one-fifth the standby power. With a random cycle time of 2 ns and a latency of 1.5 ns, IBM now is convinced that DRAM is ready to be integrated into the CPU with the goal to replace SRAM. eDRAM so far has been used in applications ranging from supercomputing to gaming. For example, IBM's BlueGene/L system uses eDRAM as L3 cache technology, while game consoles such as the Gamecube, the Xbox 360 and the Wii have been using eDRAM as embedded memory technology for their graphics processors.

Compared to conventional DRAM modules, integrating DRAM has provided a key advantage of performance gains eliminating the need to drive I/O signals to external memory chips. eDRAM manufacturers such as NEC also believe that the technology will make its way into mobile application due to the low power consumption of eDRAM devices.

Now no Invitations required to join Gmail

Invitations will no longer be required to join the nearly three-year-old Gmail service in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and a swath of Asian and South American countries where the Mountain View-based company previously limited the number of users. With those restrictions now lifted, Gmail will be open to all comers worldwide for the first time since Google introduced the service on April Fool's Day in 2004. Although it will no longer require invitations to sign up, Gmail is retaining its "beta," or test, status, signalling that Google still considers the service to be a work in progress.

Making Gmail more widely available is important to Google because other key products like instant messaging and calendar management are tied into the e-mail service. Google tries to make money off its e-mail service by electronically scanning the content of the communications so it can display advertising links tied to the topics being discussed.

Gmail's advertising methods have raised some privacy concerns and turned off some potential users who don't like the idea of their e-mail discussions being perused or commercialized.

HP Unveils iPAQ 500 Series

After releasing a series of powerful, bulky and largely low-selling PDA phones, Hewlett-Packard Co. has launched its first slim, consumer-oriented smart phone.
Called the iPaq 510 Voice Messenger, the device fills out HP's iPaq line and is designed to help the company expand its current audience of corporate users to include customers who want a robust phone with e-mail capabilities.

The HP iPaq 510 Voice Messenger features advanced voice-command functions and the new Windows Mobile 6 operating system with enhanced e-mail functions and Office Mobile tools. The smart phone also has a compact design, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and VoIP capabilities.

Unfortunately, the iPaq 510's speakerphone quality was subpar, and there is no support for 3G. The phone's keypad and navigation controls also are cramped, and it has a lower resolution screen. HP has been a small participant in the smart phone market, garnering about 1 percent of U.S. sales in 2006, according to research firm IDC. In the past, the Palo Alto company offered a line of PDA phones with full text keyboards that had little success against such established companies as RIM, Palm and Motorola.

Samsung taking performance one step ahead with Ultra Smart F700

They have impressed me for sure. The new Ultra Edition handset from the house of Samsung has carried the legacy one step forth with cool lustrous looks. The chic candybar Ultra Smart F700 comes equipped with a slide-out QWERTY keypad, VibeTonz technology, 7.2Mbps HSDPA network, and EDGE (when you are out of 3G network). Other salient specs are 440 x 240 pixel 2.78 inch color touchscreen, microSD, full HTML browsing, Bluetooth, and a massive 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus.

It’s good to have that swift 7.2Mbps HSDPA that will make the video watching and photo sharing more easily. As speed is becoming crucial for data communications, Samsung has included the latest trends in mobile to the Ultra Smart F700. The Ultra Smart reflects the latest speed of 7.2 Mbps under the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network. Once the 7.2 Mbps HSDPA network completely deployed, F700 users can download an mp3 song (about 4MB each) in 4.4 seconds. A full HTML browser along with the QWERTY key pad enables easy access to the internet for e-mail and data services.

Using the new F700, business and creative professionals are able to view content on a stunning 2.78" color display. The device features first class entertainment with a top-of-the-line 5 mega-pixel camera with auto focus and Bluetooth. With 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, it makes it easier to watch videos, listen to songs, share high-quality photos, or catch up on email on the move. If anyone of you knows about its pricing and availability, do let me know for sure.

Now share files, chat with friends in Facebook using this free API

The new startup Mosoto is putting the last years released API from Facebook to good use. Mosoto is a Flex 2.0 application that sits on top of your Facebook account via
the API and allows you to share files, chat with friends, and discover new ones. The chat client controls most of the action, listing which of your Facebook friends, friends of friends, and Facebook networks you’ve joined. By hovering over the names, Mosoto alerts you to the similarities between your profiles.
If you find someone that looks interesting, you can befriend and poke them right through the chat window. Chatting is one on one, with groups of friends, or even all of your friends within a network. The app has a desktop layout, where you control different mini applications for sharing files, chatting, discovering friends, and sharing music. From within the chat roster, you can share files with your friends using a free 1GB account. You can share and open files like pictures, songs, and videos using their in-browser file list and file viewers. The most interesting type of file sharing Mosoto does is with music.
Mosoto lets you upload songs into your Box account and string them together in play lists your friends can play through and remix. The music player lists all the music and lists your friends have, and lets you mix songs from your friends accounts into your own play lists.

Yahoo Launches Pipes, an revolutionary RSS Remixer

Yahoo! recently released Yahoo! Pipes, a visual editing interface for web feed manipulation and reconstruction. The 5-person Pipes team (Pasha Sadri, Ed Ho, Jonathan Trevor, Kevin Cheng, and Daniel Raffel), part of the Yahoo! TechDev incubation group, spent about 5 months developing the product to help people better remix the syndicated content they find online.

Yahoo Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. The name of the service pays tribute to Unix pipes, which let programmers do astonishingly clever things by making it easy to chain simple utilities together on the command line.

Yahoo! Pipes opens up some interesting possibility for feed aggregators, letting users filter out unwanted content affecting their experience. Pipes opens up a few feeds that were not practical for a human to read in the past, either due to a high volume or possibly a foreign language.

A traditional web feed lets you select your news from a set menu, while tools like Yahoo! Pipes let you build your own dish with only the ingredients you care about. The editing interface connects pre-configured modules and their option, creating a new feed accessible as RSS, Atom, or JSON. Anyone can share their modules, or clone the work of others to tinker a few things and enable their own customizations.
Yahoo! Pipes also makes it easy to remove advertising from feeds or otherwise reformat your content.

YouTube coming soon to Vodaphone in United Kingdom

YouTube Mobile users will be able to view a selection of videos that is updated daily, forward their favorite links to friends, and upload their own videos directly from their phones. YouTube will soon be available to Vodafone Group mobile phone users in the U.K.

The service will be accessed through the Vodafone Live Web portal, which is currently available on 4.7 million handsets in the U.K. Vodafone, which will offer the service in the UK before rolling it out across other European territories, is yet to decide on pricing.

In the US, YouTube signed a similar deal with Verizon Wireless in November, while MySpace is partnering AT&T's Cingular.

First look at the newly launched Windows Mobile 6

Microsoft Corp.'s recently announced Windows Mobile 6 software for smart phones is a step forward for the company, offering some important improvements over previous versions of the software. Windows Mobile 6--previously known by the code name Crossbow--will make its formal debut at 3GSM, a major cell phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain. But just how good is the new software? At first glance, Microsoft's attempt to make Windows Mobile 6 look more like Vista has resulted in a better-looking piece of software, with a new font and a cleaner overall appearance. But the most important improvements to Windows Mobile 6 aren't cosmetic.

The Windows Mobile versions of key Microsoft Office apps--Word, Excel, and PowerPoint--have been beefed up slightly. You can now edit data in an Excel spreadsheet (although you can't create formulas or new spreadsheets).

The calendar application now checks for schedule conflicts when you get an invitation. And borrowing from the new desktop editions of Office (2007), Windows Mobile 6's calendar sports a vaguely ribbon-like interface that shows your free time during a day.Windows Mobile 6 isn't a huge upgrade from the current version 5, but it sports some new features aimed at both its traditional business users and mainstream consumers.

Microsoft also improved the browser and instant-messaging functions in Windows Mobile. For example, you can send text or voice messages to your MSN contacts, while chatting with several contacts simultaneously. If a contact doesn't respond, you can also send a "nudge," which causes the user's phone to vibrate, letting them know that they've received a message.

iPods to be banned if they are turning into 'diePods'

Many PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS owners who use their handhelds on their daily commutes in New York may be familiar with the sinking sensation of realising they've missed their stop after getting too involved in a game. However, most pedestrians seem to manage to put down their handheld long enough to check that they're not stepping into oncoming traffic. However New York State Senator Carl Kruger said he will introduce legislation to ban the use of gadgets such as iPods, mobile phones, Blackberry devices and video games while crossing the street. As per Kruger cases of people stepping into traffic while distracted by an electronic device is on a rise.

Tech-consuming New Yorkers trudge to work on sidewalks and subways like an army of drones, appearing to talk to themselves on wireless devices or swaying to seemingly silent tunes. But a legislation to ban the use of electronic gadgets, including portable game machines, BlackBerrys, mobile phones, and iPods, while crossing the road is way too much. Those who ignore the ban could face a fine of $100.

According to me this is a classic case of blaming the product for the stupidity of other people. Trust me, this won't last long.

Latest anonymous BitTorrent downloads service

A company called SecureIX is offering a free VPN service which allows you to hide your IP address from peers in a BitTorrent swarm or P2P network. What SecureIX offers is a whole package of ’secure services’. An IMAP/POP SSL-enabled e-mail account with PGP encryption and 1 GB storage, Usenet newsgroup access, and an encrypted VPN service. All of this free for personal use. Not only that, the service also encrypts and tunnels your data, making it extremely difficult for your ISP to sniff or shape it.SecureIX launched last year with almost no hype surrounding it.

Even we only came to know of it recently. Why something so seemingly important went unnoticed, is unknown. Where SecureIX could really come in handy is if your ISP is blocking encrypted BitTorrent transfers. In Canada, Rogers is throttling all BitTorrent connections, encrypted or otherwise


Saving flash files using firefox extension

Ever found a great flash game of a flash file on the net, bookmark it, and never found it again? The Sothink SWF Catcher extension for firefox from Sorcetec Software allows you to easly save your flash games / files.

Here is how it works. Just go to any page that contains Flash movies. The sothink sidebar lists the pages Flash files. Right click on the file and select save. After the file has been saved, you can then view it locally at anytime.

It’s a great way to turn Firefox into your personal arcade.

Download Flash catcher

To download the LATEST version of firefox, please refer the 'Latest Software' link towards the mid-left area of this page.

The important elements of Mbanking

What is important about mobile banking? What makes it successful? How do you judge failures? These are all critical questions in approaching mobile banking projects and deployments. To answer any of the above questions, first answer the following question: "Is the service being used?" If people are using the system (preferably voluntarily), it is most probably addressing a need or making life easier for the subscriber and this is the single most important driver for a successful deployment of mobile banking.

So what make people use mobile banking? Not a lot of people around that can answer this question as not a lot of people have got people to use the service.

First of all the service must address a specific need - a reason for using the system (preferably regularly). This is not as easy as it seems, because it will have to change behaviour and people don't do this easily. Furthermore the reason is different for different communities and target markets. It takes skill and insight to get this right.

Second, it must be easy and fun to use. It must be intuitive and work... every time.

and Thirdly, consumers must feel that the solution can be trusted and is secure.When it gets to money, the average consumer is quite conservative. It is not about how secure the system is, but rather how secure it is perceived to be.

Some Chinese iPhone clones are better than actuall iPhone

2006 was the year for Apple's iPod and also the year of iPod clones... Millions of Chinese companies cloned Apple's iPod immediately after its launch in 2006 (and some companies clonned iPod even before its official release) It was inevitable that a raft of iPhone clones would emerge in China shortly after the real iPhone's announcement early this year.

The chinese markets are already preparing to sell out iPhone clones, infact its said that some of the features in these clones are a step ahead of the actuall iPhone.

The adjoining pic above shows the first, and what must be admitted, a rather good clone, called the Meizu M8 (iPhone's on the left, in case you can't tell!).

More impressively, its feature-list is a step above the iPhone. Its full feature list is as follows:

* 57×105×11.5 mm
* 3.3 inch 720×480 screen
* Bluetooth
* 3 MP camera
* Video calling
* 30 fps video recording at 720×480 resolution
* TV-Out

Not sure what Apple will make of this. To add to Apple's surprise Meizu have chosen to use Microsoft's Windows CE 6.0 as the M8's operating system.. Friends if you happen to come accross to more iPhone clones, please do post your comments.

Bill Gates talks about Microsoft Windows Vista, Google.

Bill Gates talks about Microsoft Windows Vista, Google, and more in this recent BBC interview.

After Apple's iPhone is it time for Microsoft's Zune phone ?

After iPhone's launch by Apple will there be a Zune phone by Microsoft? Well there are rumors in the blogosphere stating that Microsoft will release the Microsoft Zune Phone. If the rumor is true, then be ready for the ultimate showdown between Microsoft and Apple.

Connectivity is the major concern of the device. It is said that it will be able to sync with the Xbox 360 and stream video from the system to the phone via a wireless data connection.

The Zune phone will be a smartphone and will have an interface similar to the music player. It will be able to synchronize with the Xbox 360. The handset is set to drop near December 2007. This would be pivotal in Microsoft’s proliferation of its media ambitions.

Not only does it already have millions of 360s in homes capable of downloading movies, it’d be able to distribute those videos directly to its phones.

Stream your favorite songs online

Here is a new way to stream your favorite music files for times when you’re not using your computer, or you just want to share your favorite songs with friends, then the Avvenu Music Player is for you. The Avvenu Music Player lets you select 250 of your favorite songs to stream over the Internet to whoever you choose. However, the music must be DRM-Free and is only playable online for up to five days. Aveenu is available now, with a revised version coming in a few months that will be compatible with other music library programs. Here’s a screenshot of the player.Avvenu lets you select individual songs or playlists to stream over the Internet. How does it work? The Avvenu system uploads the songs to the Avvenu Media Center, which allows you to access the songs even when the computer is off.

You can sort through your songs by genre, track name, artist name, or your own custom playlists. The best part about Avvenu is that it is free, and is accessible from any Windows or Apple computer, as well as any Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone - however, you need to have iTunes installed for Avvenu to work properly.