Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Android App Spotlight: Tape-a-Talk Pro Voice Recorder, Android App Spotlight: Plume Twitter Client for Honeycomb Tablets

If you're anything like us, and we pray you are, then you're positively brimming with brilliant ideas that beg to be recorded before your megamind moves on to the next revelation. Or maybe you just think it's cute to record your cat's meow. Whatever your recording needs, chances are your Android device did not come stocked with a voice recorder. As we prowled the app-i-verse for a suitable remedy, we desired something with a little more panache than a the basic speak-and-save audio recorder. With features such as Dropbox archiving, basic editing and playback controls, Tape-a-Talk Pro Voice Recorder gave it to us.

Although it hits you with plenty of features, Tape-a-Talk doesn't sacrifice a simple and intuitive interface to implement them. Try out the free version, which lets you upload recorded audio to a variety of third-party apps, such as Dropbox, Evernote, AndFTP, Gmail and others. You can set the bit and sample rates for recording WAV or compressed 3GP files, pause and resume recording, record in the background (even with the display off), and set the audio clips as ringtones.

Once you step up to the ad-free Pro version for 3.99 euros ($5.77 today), you're granted dictation machine features like fast forward/rewind during recording, a home screen widget, default email settings for recipient and text, big buttons mode, and basic editing, where you can cut a file based on start and end points.

Our Samsung Galaxy Tab ran Tape-a-Talk Pro like a dream; we didn't experience any crashes or glitches. The audio quality was nice, and we really appreciated the editing and various export options. We do, however, wish for MP3 recording, instead of or in addition to 3GP. What do you think of Tape-a-Talk Voice Recorder?

Android App Spotlight: Plume Twitter Client for Honeycomb Tablets

For our money--not "make it rain" money, mind you, but we do all right--TweetDeck sets the gold standard for desktop Twitter software, but its Android app has not been tablet-optimized. So how to make the most of your generously-sized Honeycomb display when your ego is feeling generously sized enough to tweet? You've got a couple of great free-of-charge candidates, TweetComb (shown in our 100 Android Apps You Can't Live Without) and Plume.

With easy multiple-account management, a lot of dashboard configuation options, and interapp integration, Plume addresses the Twitter power user in a full-featured app designed for tablets in landscape, but not portrait view.

URLs even open inside of Plume in the CuiCui browser, which includes a button to open the link in the Honeycomb browser if you prefer. As part of the expansive selection of settings, you can turn off the internal browser.

Plume's settings also let you choose how and for what you receive notifications, the look and feel of your Dashboard, and much more, such as preferences for URL shortening and image hosting.

With Honeycomb sharing, you could be on a web page that you want to tweet, choose Plume from the Share Page menu, and Plume's tweet box pops up with the URL, where you can shorten the URL, edit the tweet, and send it without leaving the Browser app.

The main Dashboard of Plume contains columns for your Twitter feed (with support for Lists), Mentions of you, and your Favorite tweets. The top menu bar lets you start a new tweet, refresh your dashboard, search tweets or Twitter users, and see trending topics. You can also jump to new screens to send a direct message, edit Lists, open Settings, or view and edit your own profile.

You can add more Twitter accounts in Plume's settings, and then choose which account you see on the active Dashboard. You cannot set up multiple columns in your Dashboard for all your different accounts, the way you can with the desktop TweetDeck, but Plume's mult-account support is still excellent for a mobile app. One other feature we love in TweetDeck that's missing in Plume is timed tweets.

Tweet a link from Plume straight within the Honeycomb Browser.

You get two options for widgets with Plume, and if you're on Android Honeycomb 3.1, you can re-size the widgets.

The free version of Plume gives you all the features with ads, while Plume Premium costs two euros (about $2.84) and removes the ads.

Game Theory: The Death of Online Poker

On April 15, thousands of professional Internet gamers were put out of work by the U.S. Justice Department.

You didn’t realize there were so many people who derived some or all of their income from online gaming? Well, if poker isn’t a game, then I’m not sure what it is. And thousands of people—many of them college students and the unemployed—played poker online to support themselves, right up until the Justice Department decided to pull the plug.

Technically, Internet gambling isn’t illegal, or at least not clearly illegal. When the Bush administration rammed through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (the UIGEA) as a last-minute addition to a port security bill, they didn’t bother to really define “unlawful Internet gambling.” Instead, they opted to deny the financial tools commonly used for e-commerce (extension of credit, electronic fund transfers, etc.) to any enterprise transmitting a wager to any location where that wager is illegal.

no poker

But these laws, which are different for each state, simply can’t be applied to something like Internet poker. Plus, all of the major poker sites were based offshore, bringing international law into the picture.

President Obama, in his mysterious efforts to cement his reputation as The Second Coming of George W. Bush, decided to pick up the UIGEA ball and run with it. Thus, on April 15, the Justice Department seized the domains for Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars.net, and Absolute Poker; froze billions in assets; and arrested 11 of their executives. These three weren’t chosen at random: They are the three largest online poker sites.

full tilt

If you were a casual online player, you may miss the thrill of playing for real money. But if you relied on that income, you woke up on poker’s Black Friday to find your world gone. Rather than taking on the complex task of defining and perhaps even regulating Internet gambling, the government simply destroyed it.

Android App Store Showdown: Which of 5 Contenders Is Best?

You can get your Android apps from multiple sources—but which is best? We compare the official Android Market to four upstart storefronts

Thanks to the open nature of the Android platform, there’s a bevy of alternative app stores in which to hunt for Android software. But can any of them trump Google’s own Android Market? We selected four competing app repositories, pitting them against Google’s official store. Our first goal was to test for comprehensiveness, so we created a control group of 31 apps—some well-known, some obscure, all useful—to see if each store keeps a well-stocked inventory. Our second goal was to test for user experience. Do these alternative stores offer features and levels of convenience that the Android Market does not? Winners are chosen, losers are crushed!


How do we love thee, AppBrain? Let us count the ways. First, AppBrain’s inventory maps directly against everything available in Android Market, so comprehensiveness isn’t an issue. Second, its browsing scheme is fun and easy, slicing and dicing the Android universe according to “Sort” (e.g., Hot today, All-time popular, Highest rated), “Category” (e.g., Business, Comics, Medical), and “Filter” (e.g., Free, Paid, New, Updated, Price reduced).

Want to check out only the most popular free apps in Business? Easy. Just tap your way to that criteria. Only interested in paid apps in the Tools category that have pulled down a ton of downloads within the past week? Done. Want to check out the most-used Health & Fitness apps in France, further limited to only those that work with App2SD? AppBrain can do that too.

You can install apps via QR codes, using the AppBrain app (which is every bit as feature-laden as the site), or with AppBrain’s Fast Web Installer app. Install that onto your phone and you’ll be able to push apps from the website to your device in a manner similar to that of the official Android Market.

Our slight gripe with AppBrain is that its comprehensive listings don’t feature subcategories. It would be nice to dig deeper into a specific category without having to search for a term and hope for the best.

Rating: A

Android Market

Google’s easy-to-use, one-stop shop for Android apps comes preinstalled with your phone or tablet, but is it the best? Turning to the Web version first, there is no other app store that gives you nearly as much information about your phone and the apps installed on it. The Android Market shows you everything you’ve downloaded, all available updates, and lets you configure (and check the details of) Android devices you’ve registered with Google.

That said, we don’t like the organization of the Android Market website. You can only sort by top paid or top free apps for each category. So aside from the Featured tabs on the homepage, it’s hard to find new material that hasn’t yet rocketed to popularity.

Clicking an app, however, brings up a comprehensive page that delivers screenshots, user reviews, and plenty of statistics (including Android version compatibility and file size). User comments are plentiful, and sidebars list a developer’s other apps, as well as related apps to check out. A What’s New tab even shows you the latest changes made to an app’s most recent update.

Installing an app pushes it to your device directly—there’s no package to manually install. Easy, simple, efficient. We just wish there was a better way to find hot new apps.

Rating: B+

Amazon Appstore for Android

Amazon may be late to the app market party, but it’s not stingy with the party favors. We’re talking about the daily paid app that Amazon slaps on its homepage as a free download. And these aren’t lame-Os, either. Featured free apps have included Angry Birds: Rio, Doodle Jump, and World Series of Poker: Hold’em Legend (a $5 discount!).

It’s not just the daily savings that make Amazon’s Appstore so interesting. This app bazaar is tied into Amazon’s market engine, which means you can easily search through categories and subcategories, filtering them by mechanisms that will be familiar to all Amazon shoppers. It’s just as easy to scan for all action, racing, and music games priced between $2 to $6 as it is to find all apps released within the previous 30 or 90 days.

The Amazon Appstore lives on both Amazon.com and in an Android app. One stinker of the Amazon linkage is that novice users might search for, say, “Opera” within Amazon’s website search engine, and receive links to hoity-toity music CDs instead of a mobile Web browser. We must also note that only the app version of the store—well-designed though it may be—lets you seamlessly download and install purchases to your device. Buying apps off the website entails Amazon sending you a download text link or email. Quite inelegant.

It’s also unfortunate that you have to enable the installation of apps from “Unknown Sources” before accessing the Amazon Appstore. That’s no fault of Amazon’s. It’s just something to keep in mind. We otherwise like Amazon’s layout and organization. The store—even in its infancy—contained eight apps on our control list of 31, and we expect that number to explode with time.

Rating: B


Just like GetJar, the independent PocketGear services more than just Android devices. But unlike GetJar, we actually like PocketGear’s overall construction. Like most app repositories, you can browse PocketGear via categories, but here they smartly include subcategories—for example, “Action” is nested under “Games,” and “FTP Clients” is nested under “Internet.” Sorting options for categories and subcategories include recently updated apps, most downloaded apps, price, and rating. It’s easy to browse around to different categories, and even limit the apps shown to those of a specific language.

Besides posting editorial reviews of various apps, the site also handles all the purchase transactions for paid apps. To download an app, PocketGear shoots you an email or a text message with a link to the .apk file. From there, you can suck the file into your device, and install it via Android’s notification window or a third-party file manager. You can also use built-in QR codes to grab apps if scanning is more your style.

Of the 6,864 Android apps we counted across the categories, there were only 9 of the 31 apps in our control list. Still, for an independent app store, PocketGear wins big for its diversity.

Rating: B-


GetJar bills itself as “The world’s second largest app store with over 1 billion downloads to date.” This may be true, given that GetJar supplies BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, and other types of apps within its independent database (although iPhone “downloads” are merely links to the iTunes App Store). Regardless, we couldn’t find any paid Android apps within the database. Demos, yes. Free apps, check. But paid applications? Zilcho. Worse, it’s really difficult to find anything on GetJar as is.

Let us clarify. Getjar’s website is organized into app categories. Once you’ve selected a category… um, that’s just about it. You can only sort further by New Apps, Top Apps, or Supported (as in “supported on your specific Android phone”), and it’s hardly a useful interface for the aspiring downloader looking for new things to try. Sorting by Top Apps, for example, appears to do anything but. The results aren’t listed by user-generated star ratings, nor are they sorted by their download counts. They’re just there, organized in some hodgepodge fashion.

Of our 31 control group apps, we only found seven.

Rating: C-

Also Rans

A couple more Android app stores didn't make the review cut, mostly because they just did not have enough apps in stock yet to make it seem worthwhile. Still for the exceedingly curious or Android-addicted, these may be worth bookmarking to check in on them later.


You'll find a few hundred apps and games available here, but this store seem some work on its organization.


This store only had 418 apps the day this published, and few if any of them were well known. However, this new store also exists as a Facebook app, so it may gain some traction there. Also, small developers have been know to like it for its low 9 to 11 percent commission fees.

Monday, 30 May 2011

How to fix: “Your name change request has been rejected by our automated approval system

Facebook will reject (or ban) your name change request if one of the following conditions is detected by Facebook:
  • if you have made too many name changes
  • if you have a name that sounds like it could be fake
  • if you share your name with a celebrity
  • and of course it can be other reason.

So, what can you do about it?

If you insist to change your name, go to Help Center and use the form to request for name change. In this form, you’re required to upload one of the following files for verification purpose (ensure that your full name, date of birth, and photo [if applicable] are clear): a government-issued ID, marriage certificate, or legal name change document. Facebook team will review the request manually. It will take a few days for your request to be approved, or denied.

How to Add Chinese Characters or Symbols to Facebook Name

Recently, Facebook has restricted the ability to use characters more than one alphabet (usually symbols or Chinese characters) in their name. So, if you have second language or symbols in your name other than English, you should have noticed that Facebook requires you to change your name accordingly using only English alphabets. If you intent to add second language or symbols into your first, middle or last name, you will receive the following error message:

Your profile name may not contain characters from more than one alphabet. If you’d like to list your name in a second language, please use the Alternate Name field.

How to Add Chinese Characters or Symbols to Facebook Name

So, how do I add second language such as Chinese characters into my name?

Just as what the message told you, add your second language name into the Alternate Name field and it will appear in bracket right after your full name. Just like this:

How to Add Chinese Characters or Symbols to Facebook Name

However, some users reported that Facebook has approved their names which contains only Chinese characters in the first, middle and last name. So, if your Chinese name is much important than your English name, you can have your Chinese name as your Full Name (first, middle and last name) and English name as your Alternate Name.

Be warned that Facebook will ban your ability to change your name if you’ve made too many changes.

Why is my Facebook Account Temporarily Unavailable? – Solution

Victims will receive such error message: “Your account is currently unavailable due to a site issue. We expect this to be resolved shortly. Please try again in a few minutes.”

Why is my Account Temporarily Unavailable on Facebook - Solution

Just as what it says, Facebook might be facing unexpected issue and they need time to resolve the problem. Site maintenance can take a while. So, sit back and have a cup of tea and chill out. Try again in a few minutes.

If it’s still unaccessible even after 1 hour, ask your friends around to see if they are able to access to their account. If they are too not able to access to Facebook, Facebook might be doing something big behind that takes quite a lot of time. At this time, you must be calm. Don’t try to be smart and mess with things in the computer you don’t understand. All you can do now is wait patiently.

If your friends can access to their Facebook accounts while you can’t, do the following steps to ensure you are not browsing the old cached page:

  • Internet Explorer users: Go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Delete… -> select only Cookies -> Delete
  • Mozilla Firefox users: Go to Tools -> Options -> Privacy tab -> Show cookies -> Scroll down and look for mediafire cookies folder and delete it
  • Google Chrome users: Click on the Customize button -> Option -> Under the hood -> Clear browsing history -> Make sure Delete Cookies and other site data is checked -> Click Clear browsing data

Top 10 Google Chrome Plugins

In an extensive multimedia network like the web, Google Chrome plugins aid in connecting all diverse features and bring a better browsing environment for the computer user. These add-ons support different Internet applications in an entire operational system. These extensions known as plugins that create network shortcuts are more than three thousand for this browser.

The first group of the top 10 Google Chrome plugins helps with the browsing experience. One needs to first download the Google Chrome before activating its various options. One of these is the feature that allows e-commerce marketers to upload advertisements directly to a computer user.

Tab Extension
By selecting this extension, the browser is able to make do with double sites within a single tab. This means that they can be able to have a window full of opened sites other than the limited ones that can be opened with other software.

Social Media Plugin
This is a custom tool that enables one to share content across the networking media such that they can have their inbox pages displayed on their desktops instead of going to the homepage.

Bookmark Add-on
Fourthly, the browsing capability afforded by Google Chrome plugins can be seen in the ability to bookmark different media content that one comes across on the Internet. These can be sent across the platform in their live form to others on the web.

Blog Extension
There is also the extension that is worthwhile for owners of small sites who can be able to generate content easily through automated assistance. It comes with options for generating keyword suggestions.

Chrome Plugins

Install A Dictionary
Chrome plugins on the other hand apply more to the desktop applications of the web by creating shortcuts for easier browsing in local mode. This means that one can be able to perform certain tasks such as reading dictionaries without going to a website offering this vocabulary device.

YouTube Add-on
The second of the top capabilities afforded through this operational system help is that of installing multimedia on the desktop in compatibility with the OS. This means that one can download video content directly to their players that they have set up for the purpose without relying on the live online site.

This important tool among the Chrome plugins for the operational system helps to decode content that is availed from different platforms.

It comes with the left clicking choice for translating content while the right hand tab allows the user to widen their translation selections while also affording them the deactivation feature.

There is also the ChromePass that helps to remember the account details of the users including those of initializing their computers and for accessing their emails. The latter is offered by the mailing icon that affords one to send and receive messages without necessarily having to go to their mail providers.

Thus, the above Google Chrome plugins help to make sure that all the network features either for browsing or for performing communication tasks are within the grasp of the computer user. They act as essential shortcuts to various web applications that can be installed on the desktop.

Set Internet Explorer 9 to Open in InPrivate Mode Automatically

InPrivate Browsing (or filtering) allows you to browse the web without leaving any traces in Internet Explorer. This helps to protect your online privacy from other people who might be using your computer. It does not affect how you appear on the internet. To run IE 9 in InPrivate Browsing mode, press ALT key on your keyboard, go to Tools from the menu bar, and then select InPrivate Browsing. This will open a new browser window. The protection that InPrivate Browsing provides is only in effect during the time that you use that window. You can open as many tabs as you want in that window, and they will all be protected by InPrivate Browsing. However, if you open another browser window, that window will not be protected by InPrivate Browsing.

internet explorer 9 inprivate browsing filtering

If you rely heavily on InPrivate Browsing, you can create a shortcut to open IE 9 in InPrivate Mode Automatically. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Right-click anywhere on your desktop -> Select New -> and then Shortcut.
  2. Type the following in the item’s location field:

    “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” -private

    (The path should be the location of where Internet Explorer was installed in your PC.)
    Set Internet Explorer 9 to Open in InPrivate Mode Automatically

  3. Click Next. Type a name for the shortcut. Now you can run IE 9 in InPrivate Browsing mode automatically by running the shortcut you just created.
8 Important Tips and Tricks for Internet Explorer 9 (IE9)
  1. To open a new tab, just Double-Click an area to the right of the tabs boxes, without having to click the little blank Tab Box.
  2. Right-Click a blank area and click Favorites bar to enable the Favorites bar.
  3. Right-Click a blank area and click Command bar to enable the Command Bar.
  4. Right-Click a blank area and click Status Bar to enable the original style Status Bar at the bottom of IE9.
  5. To give more space to your Tabs and make the Address Bar smaller, position your cursor between the Search Box and a Tab, when the Cursor switches to the Right/Left arrow, you can click and drag the Address Bar to the Right or Left to either enlarge or make it smaller. Read more: What if you feel IE 9 address bar is too short
  6. Click the ALT key, and then click View on the Menu Bar, click Style and select No Style to View the Webpage without Webpage formatting. Click Default Style to change the Webpage back to default.
  7. Hover over the Tools icon at Right and under Safety, click InPrivate Browsing to Start the InPrivate Browser Mode. Read also: How to Set Internet Explorer 9 to Open in InPrivate Mode Automatically
  8. If you are having problems viewing webpages, click the ALT key on your keyboard and under Tools, click Compatibility View.

How to Make a Strong Password

Here in this post, we will show you how to make a strong yet easy to remember password. Before we begin building a strong password, you need to understand what characteristic should a strong password possess.

An ideal password:

  • has all kinds of characters: letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers.
  • is long enough. At least 14 characters or more.
  • has both capital and non-capital letters.

How to make a strong yet easy to remember password

It isn’t hard to build a strong password. A strong password will reduce the chances your account being hacked. Without a good password, you probably wouldn’t notice until it was too late.

  1. Put a symbol as the first character of the password.
  2. Immediately after first symbol, you may insert any word you like such as your pet’s name.
  3. Allow the first two characters to be capital letters.
  4. After that, you may insert any number you like. It can be your last few digits of your ID number, your mate’s birthday number, etc. It should be at least 4 digits.
  5. Lastly, put another different symbol as the last character of the password.



This password format is just our suggestion based on what we’ve tested which works best. You can check the strength of your newly made password in this page to see if it meets your need.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Lockheed Martin Acknowledges 'Significant' Cyberattack

Lockheed Martin Saturday night acknowledged that it its information systems network had been the target of a "significant and tenacious attack," but said that its security team detected the intrusion "almost immediately and took aggressive actions to protect all systems and data."
Similar Articles:

No data from customers, programs or employees was compromised, the top U.S. defense contractor said in a brief statement.

The company said that it has kept U.S. government agencies informed of its investigation as it "continues to work around the clock to restore employee access to the network." (See also Lockheed Martin Attack Signals New Era of Cyber Espionage.")

The attack was first reported last Thursday by Reuters, which cited a defense official and two unnamed sources familiar with the situation. The news agency reported that the cyberattack was affecting many employees at Lockheed Martin, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland, and makes fighter planes and other weapons systems.

On Saturday, an official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed the attack to the news agency. However, Lockheed Martin continued to decline comment.

The intrusion reported involves the use of RSA SecurID tokens, used by Lockheed Martin employees to access the company network remotely. Security analysts have urged that companies using the tokens review authentication procedures.

Lockheed Martin did not divulge how its systems were attacked. The company faces "constant threats from adversaries around the world" and regularly acts to heighten security of its systems, it said in the statement.

BitTorrent for Beginners

BitTorrent is finding its way into your wireless routers, NAS drives, media streamers, and more. We explain how it works and why you might want it.

Comcast wants to kill it, your next wireless router will probably have it built-in, and you can use it to download the entire GeoCities archive. BitTorrent has come a long way since its public release on July 2, 2001, but unless you're a regular media pirate, you probably haven't used it much. Read on to find out how it works and to clear up a few common misconceptions about it.

Is BitTorrent Legal?

No court has found the BitTorrent protocol inherently unlawful. But using BitTorrent to trade copyright-protected files will likely put you on the wrong side of the law. A Princeton study published earlier this year estimated that only 1 percent of the files in a sample pool of 1021 files shared on BitTorrent were legal, so it's no wonder that many people assume that BitTorrent itself is illegal. To ensure that your downloads stay on the right side of the law, stick to trackers that are dedicated to sharing free content, such as ClearBits and LegitTorrents.info.

Though using BitTorrent is legal, several Internet service providers try to monitor users' traffic and clamp down on their BitTorrent usage. This is called "traffic shaping," and it can be highly inconvenient for torrent downloaders. Read "Elude Your ISP's BitTorrent Blockade" for more information.

How Does BitTorrent Work?

Normally, if you want to download a file from a Web site, you just click a few links in your Web browser and your system will start saving the file to your default Downloads folder. The server hosting the file sends you the file, bit by bit, until you have the whole thing.

Bandwidth isn't free, however, so transferring the file costs someone money . The more popular a file is, the more servers and bandwidth the hosts will need to continue distributing it. That's why so many downloads sites are saturated by obnoxious ads--the sites need to pay their bandwidth bills. As the world swaps larger and larger files, such as high-definition videos, high-resolution photos, and higher-quality music, the bandwidth bill grows and grows.

BitTorrent eases the monetary strain on individual file hosts by motivating downloaders to upload, too. If you're downloading a movie via BitTorrent, you'll start out downloading chunks of the movie. Once you've collected a few pieces of the movie, you'll continue to download the rest of the file, but you'll also start uploading the pieces you have to other people trying to download the same movie.

LinuxTracker lists the files, sizes, and number of seeders and leechers for each torrent.LinuxTracker lists the files, sizes, and number of seeders and leechers for each torrent.For example, suppose that a movie file is split into four chunks named A, B, C, and D. One computer (the "seeder") has all four chunks, another computer has ABC, another has BC, and the last one has D.

As soon as you receive A, you can start sharing it with the other computers that don't have chunk A. The seeder computer can then use its bandwidth for sharing segment D, which is more scarce.

Also, the BitTorrent protocol rewards people who upload more files and upload files more quickly. If your uploading speeds are high, the client directs more people to send you missing chunks of your files.

Generally, BitTorrent makes it easier for users to share files at higher download speeds, but you may find that your Internet connection slows down while your BitTorrent client is open. That's because your bandwidth is being used not just for ongoing downloads, but also for simultaneous uploads. When your system has downloaded all of the chunks of a file, you don't need to worry about assembling the parts yourself.

The first step in downloading something with BitTorrent is to find a torrent tracker site, which is a searchable index of .torrent files. Each .torrent file contains the "metadata" for the file you're looking for; basically, the .torrent file tells your BitTorrent client how to identify the different chunks of each file and how they fit together.

The .torrent file isn't the actual movie, song, or other file you were looking to download. It's more like a decoder ring that sniffs out the different chunks of your file, then assembles them correctly once they're all downloaded.

If you're looking to download a Linux distribution, for example, you can just stop by LinuxTracker, find the torrent listing that matches what you're looking for, and download the corresponding .torrent file. Once the .torrent file is downloaded, you open it in a BitTorrent client such as Vuze or µTorrent (aka uTorrent), and you'll start connecting to everyone else who's uploading and downloading that file.

Just remember that if there are no "seeders" for that particular file, you won't be able to complete the download, because no one will have a full copy of the file. This doesn't happen often with popular files, but if there's only one person seeding your file, you might find your download has stopped because the seeder's PC shut down for the night.

What's the Best BitTorrent Client?

The official BitTorrent client is called "BitTorrent," the term "BitTorrent" usually refers more generally to the protocol used to transfer files, not necessarily the particular client app you're using to download the those files.

Dozens of BitTorrent clients exist. You can download torrents straight from your browser if you use Opera, you can run BitTorrent from a Java app with BitLet, and a short-lived iPhone app called IS Drive even let you use BitTorrent from your phone. For use with a PC, however, a few apps stand out from the pack.

µTorrent is a lightweight, speedy BitTorrent client.µTorrent is a lightweight, speedy BitTorrent client. µTorrent--widely identified as "uTorrent," though the character µ is a lowercase Greek mu (equivalent to an m in English), and not a lowercase Greek upsilon [?] (equivalent to a u in English)--is a lightweight-yet-full-featured client app offered by BitTorrent, Inc. itself. It's easy enough to use, very good for managing a library of torrents, and includes plenty of networking tweaks for advanced users. µTorrent doesn't manage your media library or include a built-in player, so it's great if you want to download media files but then use separate apps to organize and play them.

Vuze can be your one-stop shop for HD video.Vuze can be your one-stop shop for HD video.On the other hand, if you want to use the same app to download, organize, play back, and even share your media over the network, check out Vuze, an ad-supported BitTorrent client which handles all of the above functions in one app. The fee-based Vuze Plus service includes DVD burning and antivirus features for an $25/year.

Use Miro to manage your media from multiple sources.Use Miro to manage your media from multiple sources. Miro is an all-in-one client similar to Vuze, but it includes more-robust features for pulling audio and video from other sources besides torrents--podcasts, RSS feeds, YouTube subscriptions, and more.

For micromanaging your downloads while you're on the go, both µTorrent and Vuze have remote-access options that, when activated, let you log in to your home PC and manage your downloads with a Web app.

Why Does My NAS Drive/Wireless Router/Media Streaming Box Have BitTorrent?

Over the past two years, we've been seeing apps with BitTorrent embedded in them finding their way into a handful of devices, including NAS drives, media streamers, and wireless routers. It's a fairly natural fit: Many people use BitTorrent to download movies, music, and TV shows, so these devices can download, store, and stream to your PC or TV without your having to leave the PC on all the time.

The actual client software included differs from device to device, but most of them use a Web app nested within the device's management page. Buffalo, for example, has licensed the official BitTorrent app, so the Web app is essentially a modified version of the µTorrent Web client. Keep in mind that you still have to find the actual .torrent files yourself.

Is BitTorrent Safe?

Well, that depends.

In our article "The 17 Most Dangerous Places on the Web," we wrote that illegal file-sharing sites can leave you open to malware infection. Because so many people use BitTorrent for swapping copyrighted material, it also qualifies as a security risk.There's no guarantee that anyone has screened the files shared via BitTorrent, and some pirates might try to make money by hiding malware in your downloads and then selling access to your computer, or by adding your PC to a botnet of infected PCs.

Still, nothing about the file-sharing protocol itself makes BitTorrent more dangerous than any other method of transferring files. If your system gets infected with malware from a file downloaded via BitTorrent, the culprit is the tainted file, not the fact that you downloaded it via BitTorrent. Had you opened the same file as an e-mail attachment, it would have introduced the same infection.

Whether you use BitTorrent to download OpenOffice or each episode of The Office, there are a few things you can do to help yourself stay safe while using it:

  • When you search a tracker site for a .torrent file, read the comments about a file before downloading it. If a popular file is infected with something, someone else has probably already downloaded it, found the malware, and posted a message warning others.
  • Vet your torrent trackers thoroughly. Lots of Web sites contain fake torrent search listings. If it seems as though real people aren't posting on the site, don't use it.
  • Don't use BitTorrent without some form of antivirus. Even a free antivirus app like Microsoft Security Essentials, if properly updated, can help keep you somewhat safe.

How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

Stylish MacBook Pro Laptops How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

Want to know how to install Windows Xp, Windows Vista or Windows 7 on your Mac OS X? Then you are in right place.In this article, I will teach you installing windows in Mac using Boot camp assistant with screenshots.You can also use Parallels Desktop to run Windows operating system on Mac virtually.

Step-by-step Tutorial to Install Windows Using Boot Camp

1. Goto Applications –> Utilities and open Boot Camp Assistant.
2. Click Continue on the initial Introduction screen.

Boot Camp Assistant Dialog Box How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

3. Set windows partition size by dragging the divider.And click Partition button.

Set Windows Partition and Click Partition Button How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

4. Once completed you’ll notice a new BOOTCAMP drive on your desktop.
5. Now insert your Windows Xp or Vista or 7 DVD and click the Start Installation button.

Start Windows Installation in Boot Camp How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

In this tutorial I have used Windows Xp.
6. Your Mac will restart, and Windows Xp will boot. You’ll be prompted with a window asking you which partition you want to install Windows on. Select the one with BOOTCAMP in the Name column. Selecting anything else may wipe out OS X or cause serious problems. Just format BOOTCAMP partition with NTFS.
7. As usual the normal windows xp insallation process will go. icon smile How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp
8. Once the installation has completed and your Mac has restarted again, you’ll be able to use Windows Os.
9. Now insert your Mac OS X Tiger (or Snow Leopard) DVD. When prompted, select Run setup.exe.


If you’re using Snow Leopard and a message pops up saying “Remote Install Mac OS X”, close that window and eject the CD. Put the CD in again and this time select “Open folder to view files”, navigate to the Bootcamp folder, and run setup.exe.
10. The Boot Camp installer will launch. Click Next to begin.

Boot Camp Drivers Installation Dialog Box How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

11. Select I accept the terms in the license agreement and then click Next.
12. Choose Apple Software Update for Windows, and click Install.

Apple Software Update for Windows How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

13. The Boot Camp installer will install all the required drivers.

Nvida Graphics Card drivers for windows How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

14. Once completed click Finish.
15. Again you’ll be prompted to reboot. Remove your OS X DVD from the drive, and click Yes to restart.
16. That’s it, you’re done! icon smile How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp
17. When your Mac boots, hold down the Option key to select which Operating System you want to boot into.

Apple Option Key How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

Apple Boot Camp How to Install Windows on Your Mac using Boot Camp

Secure Yourself from Hackers and Hijackers

Hackers and Browser Hijacking is one area of the Net that affects everyone at some stage.

In addition to having third party utilities such as SpyBot, Anti Virus scanners and firewalls installed there are some changes that can be made to Windows 2000/XP. Below are some details to make your system safer from hackers and hijackers.

Some of these tips require editing of the Registry so it is wise to either backup the registry and/or create a Restore Point.

1. Clearing the Page File at Shutdown
Windows 2000/XP paging file (Sometimes called the Swap File) can contain sensitive information such as plaintext passwords. Someone capable of accessing your system could scan that file and find its information. You can force windows to clear out this file.

In the registry navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management and add or edit the DWORD ClearPageFileAtShutdown. Set it to 1.

Note that when you do this, the system will take much longer to shut down: a system with a really big Page File (! Gig or more) may take a minute or two longer.

2. Disable the POSIX and OS/2 Subsystem.

Windows 2000 and XP come with little-documented subsystems it at allow compatibility with UNIX and OS/2 systems These rues systems are enabled by default but so rarely used that they are best off bring disabled completely to prevent possible service hijackings.

To disable these subsystems, open the registry and navigate to HKEY LOCAL MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerSubSystems. Delete the subkeys Os2 and Posix. then reboot.

3. Never leave default passwords blank.
On installation, Windows 2000 sets up an Administrator account with total
system access and prompts for a password. Guess what: by default, it allows that password to be blank. If a user doesn't want to type a password, he can simply click Next and the system will be an open door for anyone who wants to log on. Always opt for a password of some kind when setting up the default account on a machine.

4. Disable the Guest account
Windows XP comes with a Guest account that's used for limited access, but it's still possible to do some damage with it. Disable it completely if you are not using it. Under Control Panel, select User Accounts, click on Guest Account and then select Turn Off the Guest Account.

5. Install Windows In a different directory.
Windows usually installs itself in the WINDOWS directory.
Windows NT 4 0 and 2000 Will opt for WINNT. Many worms and other rogue programs assume this to be the case and attempt to exploit those folders files. To defeat this install Windows to another directory when you're setting it up - you can specify the name of the directory during setup. WINDIR is okay; so some people use WNDWS - A few (not that many) programs may not install properly if you install Windows to another folder but t hey are very few and they are far between

6. Fake out hackers with a dummy Administrator account
Since the default account in Windows 2000 is always named Administrator, an enterprising hacker can try to break into your system by attempting to guess the password on that account. It you never bothered to put a password on that account, say your prayers.

Rather than be a sucker to a hacker, put a password on the Administrator account it you haven't done so already. Then change the name of the Administrator account. You'll still be able to use the account under its new name, since Windows identifies user accounts by a back-end ID number rather than the name. Finally, create a new account named Administrator and disable it. This should frustrate any would -be break-ins.

You can add new accounts and change the names of existing accounts in Windows 2000 through the Local Users and Groups snap in. Right-click on My Computer, select Manager, open the Local Users and Groups subtree, look in the Users folder and right-click on any name to rename it. To add a new user, right-click on the containing folder and select New User. Finally, to disable an account, double-click it, check the Account is disabled box and click OK.

Don't ever delete the original Administrator account. Some programs refuse to install without it and you might have to log in under that account at some point to setup such
software. The original Administrator account is configured with a security ID that must continue to be present in the system.

7. Set the Hosts file to read-only to prevent name hijacking.

This one's from (and to a degree, for) the experts. The HOSTS file is a text file that all flavors of Windows use to hold certain network addresses that never change. When a network name and address is placed in HOSTS, the computer uses the address listed there for that network name rather than performing a lookup (which can take time). Experts edit this file to place their most commonly-visited sites into it, speeding things up considerably.

Unfortunately hijackers and hackers also love to put their own information into it - redirecting people from their favorite sites to places they don't want to go. One of the most common entries in HOSTS is local host which is set 1770.0.1. This refers to the local machine and if this entry is damaged the computer can behave very unpredictably.

To prevent HOSTS from being hijacked, set it to read-only. Go to the folder %Systemroot%system32driversetc, right-click on HOSTS, select Properties check the Read-Only box and click OK. If you want to add your own entries to HOSTS, you can unprotect it before doing so, but always remember to set it to read-only after you're done.

8. Turn off unneeded Services
Windows 2000 and XP both come with many background services that don't need to he running most of the time: Alerter,
Messenger, Server (If you're running a standalone machine with no file or printer shares), NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing, Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (the last two if you're not using Remote Desktop or NetMeeting), Remote Registry, Routing and Remote Access (if you're not using Remote Access), SSDP Discovery Service, Telnet, and Universal Plug and Play Device Host.

9. Disallow changes to IE settings through IE
This is another anti hijacker tip. IE can be set so that any changes to its settings must be performed through the Internet icon in the Control Panel, rather than through IE's own interface. Some particularly unscrupulous programs or sites try to tamper with setting by accessing the Tools, Options menu in IE. You can disable this and still make changes to IE's settings through the Control Panel.

Open the Registry and browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerRestrictions. Create or edit a new DWORD value named NoBrowserUptions and set it to 1 (this is a per-user setting). Some third-party programs such as Spybot Search And Destroy allow you to toggle this setting.

You can also keep IE from having other programs rename its default startup page, another particularly annoying form of hijacking. Browse to HKEY.CURRENT USERSoftwarePolicies MicrosoftInternet ExploreControl Panel and add or edit a DWORD, Homepage and set it to 1.

10. Disable simple
File Shares.
In Windows XP Professional, the Simple File Sharing mode is easily exploited, since it
抯 a little too easy to share out a file across your LAN (or the NET at large). To turn it off, go m My Computer, click Tools, Folder Option and the View tab, and uncheck Use Simple file sharing (Recommended). Click OK. When you do this you can access the Security tab in the Properties window for all folders; set permissions for folders; and take ownership of objects (but not in XP Home)

Friday, 27 May 2011

PayPal Sues Google for Stealing Mobile Payment Secrets

Google NFC Partner event PayPal has sued Google and two of its top execs, both former PayPal employees, for stealing trade secrets that helped the search company break into the multi-billion dollar mobile payments industry.

Hours after Stephanie Tilenius, Google's VP of Commerce, and Osama Bedier, VP of Payments, announced Google Wallet, a groundbreaking initiative to make mobile payments commercial, PayPal filed a 28-page lawsuit in California accusing Google and the two employees for misappropriating information and actively poaching other PayPal employees.

Tilenius joined Google in October 2009 as VP of Commerce after serving in various leadership roles at PayPal and eBay since 2001. Bedier jumped from PayPal's VP of Platform, Mobile, and New Ventures to become Google's VP of Payments in January 2010.

According to the complaint, Telenius repeatedly asked Bedier to join Google, even though she was under contract not to solicit PayPal execs for at least a year. However Tilenius allegedly sent Bedier this Facebook note in July 2009:

"How are you? Hope the wife and kids are well... hard to believe you have 4 kids, they all just be so big now. I heard from a little birdie that you might be open to bigger and better challenges, I have a HUGE opportunity for you, would love to chat if you are interested."

Bedier, meanwhile, has been accused of actively poaching PayPal execs and leaking PayPal secrets to Google. "As an executive at PayPal, Bedier acquired knowledge and custody of several PayPal trade secrets. Bedier knew or had reason to know that his knowledge of PayPal's trade secrets was acquired under a circumstance giving rise to a duty to maintain the secrecy of those trade secrets or limit their use," the complaint reads. "Plaintiffs are informed and believe and on that basis allege that Bedier has misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by using or disclosing them in his new capacity at Google."

Unsurprisingly, Google plans to put up a fight. "Silicon Valley was built on the ability of individuals to use their knowledge and expertise to seek better employment opportunities, an idea recognized by both California law and public policy. We respect trade secrets, and will defend ourselves against these claims," a spokesman said.

Awkwardly, in the months before Bedier left he was negotiating for PayPal to be integrated into Google Checkout at the Android Market. He was also recruiting PayPal colleagues to join him when he left, the complaint alleges.

PayPal has been trying to break into the mobile payment industry, from digital wallets to working to provide major retailers with point-of-sale terminals that enable mobile payments. It's similar, but not quite what Google Wallet does. However, it does have a lot in common with Jack Dorsey's Square.

By the way, if you too were alarmed that Tilenius' Facebook message made it into the complaint, fear not. As a general rule, Facebook doesn't release user content sought in private litigation without the consent of the user, a spokesperson said.

Microsoft to Show Windows 8 Tablets; Asian OEMs Most Likely Partners

Microsoft Windows 8

Microsoft reportedly will demonstrate its Windows 8 tablet operating system next week, according to a report.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that the software company will address both the AllThingsD conference next week as well as the Computex show in Taipei.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said Monday that Windows 8 would be coming out in 2012. Microsoft later retracted the statements, leading to the possibility that perhaps Microsoft intended to launch Windows 8 next year, but may in fact issue a point release or a dedicated tablet version of the OS.

Speaking at a Microsoft Developer Forum in Tokyo on Monday, Ballmer said Microsoft is "obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows."

View Slideshow See all (5) slides

Asus Eee EP121
Lenovo U1 Hybrid
Lenovo IdeaPad Windows Slate
Viliv X70


"As we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there's a whole lot more coming," he continued. "As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors."

Which companies could Microsoft partner with? If PCMag.com's list of Windows 7 tablet manufacturers is any indication, Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung would be the likely candidates; Microsoft usually picks existing partners to help launch new initiatives, and Asus especially has developed a fully-formed tablet.

For example, Asus launched the Eee Slate EP121, a slate tablet that runs on a full blown Windows 7 operating system and an Intel Core i5 processor. The EP121 is among the biggest slates, boasting a 12-inch screen and weighing 2.5-pounds. Samsung's Sliding PC also bridges the gap between a slate and a netbook, but at the hefty price tag of $699. And then there's the Lenovo IdeaPad Slate, which also boasts a 10-inch screen.

Ballmer reiterated this week that Microsoft has "some work to do" when it comes to tablets, but stressed that "there will be a day in the future where it will be hard to distinguish a phone from a slate, from a PC."

While AllThingsD remains a conference for the punditocracy, Taiwan's Computex has traditionally been a show for the Taiwan ODMs, which actually build the desktop and notebook PCs that later acquire badges from HP and other traditional PC OEMs. Google's Android is expected to make a strong showing at Computex, where tablets and netbooks alike are expected to provide alternatives to notebook PCs.

"We are in a race," Ballmer said in a speech Thursday in New Delhi, India, according to Bloomberg. "We are not doing that badly, frankly. We are doing pretty well in that race. But the race is on to continue to push Windows to a variety of new form factors."