Sandeep Venugopal’s Weblog

March 31, 2008

TiSP: Going with the flow! Google… Wireless!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 5:54 pm
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TiSP Kit

Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.



For years, data carriers have confronted the “last hundred yards” problem for delivering data from local networks into individual homes. Now Google has successfully devised a “last hundred smelly yards” solution that takes advantage of preexisting plumbing and sewage systems and their related hydraulic data-transmission capabilities. “There’s actually a thriving little underground community that’s been studying this exact solution for a long time,” says Page. “And today our Toilet ISP team is pleased to be leading the way through the sewers, up out of your toilet and – splat – right onto your PC.”

Users who sign up online for the TiSP system will receive a full home self-installation kit, which includes a spindle of fiber-optic cable, a TiSP wireless router, installation CD and setup guide. Home installation is a simple matter of GFlushing? the fiber-optic cable down to the nearest TiSP Access Node, then plugging the other end into the network port of your Google-provided TiSP wireless router. Within sixty minutes, the Access Node’s crack team of Plumbing Hardware Dispatchers (PHDs) should have your internet connection up and running.


Trickle The #2
Download speed (max) 8 Mbps
(10X basic DSL)
16 Mbps
(20X basic DSL)
32 Mbps
(40X basic DSL)
Upload speed (max) 2 Mbps 4 Mbps 8 Mbps
Price Free $9.95/mo. $24.95/mo.
  Actual speeds will vary, depending on network traffic and sewer line conditions. Users with low-flow toilets may simultaneously experience a saving-the-environment glow and slower-data-speed blues.



March 30, 2008

NVIDIA driver causes 30% Vista crashes!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 4:12 pm
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Nearly 30% of logged Vista crashes were due to NVIDIA driver problems, according to a Microsoft data included in the bundle. That’s some 479,326 hung systems, if you’re keeping score at home, and it’s in first place by a large margin — Microsoft clocks in at number two at 17.9 percent, and ATI is fourth with 9.3 percent. The data points in the table cover an unspecified period in 2007, and Microsoft makes no attempt to break the aggregate data down into which device drivers, specifically, returned the highest number of crashes. If the number of failures were split by month and then graphed, we’d presumably see the number of NVIDIA driver failures per month decreasing as the company slowly brought its driver issues under control.

The data clearly indicates that NVIDIA had a driver problem, but it’s impossible to quantify the scope of that problem given the numbers above. NVIDIA holds a greater percentage of the market than ATI, which means that there will inevitably be a higher percentage of NVIDIA driver crashes than ATI driver crashes; however, the degree to which such market share considerations have affected the results above is hard to determine in the absence of more data. There’s also the matter of data collection; Microsoft’s charts do not clarify if multiple crashes from a single system each counted as separate events. In theory, NVIDIA’s proportion of total driver crashes could be inflated by a relatively small handful of systems with severe driver issues.

Source: Neowin, Martin

March 29, 2008

Universal remote compatibilty for PS3 using IR2BT!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 10:09 am
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Although the PlayStation 3 is quite the lovely Blu-ray player in most respects, one issue has nagged remote junkies from day one: the absence of IR. Now, however, the highly-anticipated IR2BT Infrared-to-Bluetooth converter is on the market, and sure enough, it promises to transmit “all 51 Sony Blu-ray remote codes including the PS button for Power On / Off.” The unit itself measures in at 4.5- x 3- x 1-inches, operates on a pair of AA cells or a mini-USB connector and doesn’t even require you to own a soldering iron. Ready to control your PS3 via a universal IR remote without getting a degree in electrical engineering? Hit up the read link and hand over your $55, bub.
Source: Engadget, ir2bt

Macbook Air hacked in <2 min!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 7:41 am
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Mac OS X’s reputation for security was tarnished Thursday when a team of researchers from Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) managed to hack a MacBook Air in two minutes using a zero-day vulnerability in Apple’s Safari 3.1 Web browser. The ISE security researchers — Charlie Miller, Jake Honoroff, and Mark Daniel — were participating in the “PWN to OWN” competition at the CanSecWest security conference, which began Wednesday in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Pwn” is computer gaming slang for “own,” as in conquer. The “p” typo serves to heighten the humiliation of defeat by emphasizing that the loss came at the hands of a youth who can’t even spell or type correctly. The term has also come to be used in security circles.


Contest participants had their choice of trying to hack an Apple MacBook Air running OS X 10.5.2, a Sony Vaio VGN-TZ37CN running Ubuntu 7.10, or a Fujitsu U810 running Vista Ultimate SP1. During the first day, when attacks were limited to network attacks on the operating system, no one managed to compromise any of the systems. That changed Thursday when attacks on default client-side applications — Web browser, e-mail, IM — were allowed. The ISE team won $10,000 from security firm TippingPoint Technologies for compromising the MacBook Air. The undisclosed vulnerability in Safari 3.1 has been shown to Apple and no further information about it will be revealed until Apple can issue an update, TippingPoint said.

Source: CRN, InfoWeek

Sub $1000 Notebooks from Dell! Niceee…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 7:34 am
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Dell this week introduced a notebook with a Blu-ray disc player for less than $1,000, and has dropped the price of some of its high-end XPS models by $699. Dell is offering its Blu-ray Inspiron 1525 for $879 at a time when consumers are expected to embrace high-definition DVDs, now that Sony-backed Blu-ray has won the format battle with Toshiba-backed HD DVD. Movie studios and consumer electronics retailers recently dropped support for HD DVD. With consumers no longer having to choose between the two competing formats, Dell apparently wants to jump-start interest around the winner with the Inspiron 1525, which has a 15.4-inch display and an HDMI port for connecting to high-definition displays and HDTVs.


The Inspiron player can burn files, such as digital photos and videos, to a Blu-ray disc, as well as play and burn traditional DVDs and CDs, Dell said. A Blu-ray disc can hold as much as 50 GB of data versus 8.5 GB on a standard DVD. The top-of-the-line Inspiron includes a 1.83-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 processor, Windows Vista Home Premium, 3 GB of memory, and a 320-GB hard drive. Dell introduced the Blu-ray Inspiron on Thursday and cut prices by $699 on Friday on select XPS notebooks. Dell is offering the XPS M1330 and M1530 for a starting price of $1,029 and $999, respectively. The basic M1330 and M1530 come with a 1.66-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 processor, Vista Home Premium, 1 GB of memory, and a 120-GB hard drive.

Source: InfoWeek, Martin

March 28, 2008

Comcast concedes defeat! P2P succeeds!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 6:28 pm
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Comcast, the US largest residential Internet provider, said on Thursday that it would take a more equitable approach toward managing the ever-expanding flow of Web traffic on its network. The cable company, based in Philadelphia, has been under relentless pressure from the Federal Communications Commission and public interest groups after media reports last year that it was blocking some Internet traffic of customers who used online software based on the popular peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol. Comcast said it would change its fundamental approach to playing Internet traffic cop.

BitTorrent president and co-founder Ashwin Navin

Instead of interfering with specific online applications, it will manage traffic by slowing the Internet speeds of its most bandwidth-hogging users when traffic is busiest. “In the event of congestion, the half percent of people who are overutilizing an excessive amount of capacity will be slowed down subtly until capacity is restored,” the chief technology officer for Comcast, Tony G. Werner, said. “For the other 99.5 percent, their performance will be maintained exactly as they expect it.” Mr. Werner said he hoped to have the new system in place by the end of the year. The change was part of an announcement by Comcast on Thursday that it had been working with BitTorrent, a company that was co-founded by the creator of the BitTorrent protocol.

The start-up, based in San Francisco and supported by venture capital, helps media companies deliver their files over the Internet using BitTorrent technology. Consumers also use the protocol to share large files like movies. The companies said they have been working together for the last year on ways to optimize BitTorrent applications for the Comcast network. They said they would publish their findings to Web forums and standards groups so that other software makers, peer-to-peer services and I.S.P.’s could adopt them. “What we really want is not only for Comcast to be a better network but for all networks to be better,” the president of BitTorrent, Ashwin Navin, said. I see the light at the end of the tunnel…

Source: NY Times, Martin

March 27, 2008

Acer planning to compete against Asus EEE PC!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:33 pm
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Acer, a leading maker of personal computers, plans to roll out a low-cost system that will be even more affordable than Asustek Computer’s Eee PC., market rumours say. There is almost no information about Acer’s entry-level personal computer (PC), but the device is projected to become available in May, 2008. A news-story at DigiTimes web-site claims that Acer plans to sell the low-cost PC with 8.9″ screen for $250 – $300, which is lower compared to Asus Eee PC with 8.9″ screen. End-users should be able to get Acer’s affordable computer for about $350 – $400, it is reported. It is unclear which microprocessor and core-logic will be used by one of the world’s largest makers of PCs to power the entry-level system, however, a natural guess will be Intel Atom, which is gaining popularity among system makers.


Asustek demonstrated its Asus Eee PC with 8.9″ screen at CeBIT 2008 in Hannover, Germany, whereas Acer yet has to reveal details about its device in the coming months. Low-cost computers are projected to take a significant market share in 2008 due to present economic conditions in the U.S. and some other countries. Many PC manufacturers see entry-level systems as a way to boost their revenues and enter new markets, however, there are also companies who do not believe in affordable computers. For example, Sony Corp. sees competition between Asus Eee PC and its future competitors as a “race to bottom”, where is no place for innovation. Acer did not comment on the news-story.

Source: Xbit Labs

DRM-free music store from Sony!… Interesting!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:29 pm
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SonyBMG is working on an all-you-can-eat, DRM-free subscription service, says SonyBMG CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz. In a Monday interview with the German-language newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Schmidt-Holtz discussed the new service and was quoted as saying that the “simplest option would be a flat rate,” offering access to Sony BMG’s catalog for a monthly fee of 6 to 8 euros ($9 to $12). The service will provide downloads in a format compatible with all music players, including Apple’s iPod. Naturally, unless Apple decides to license its proprietary FairPlay DRM format, Schmidt-Holtz’s announcement means that service will likely offer its music as DRM-free MP3 files – a concession that he indirectly confirms, noting that it is “even possible that clients could keep some songs indefinitely, that they would own them even after the subscription expired. “

Speaking with the Associated Press, a Bertelsmann spokesman confirmed the interview but refused to provide additional details. Schmidt-Holtz said his company is also in early talks with mobile phone companies like Nokia, in an effort to provide a subscription service over cellular networks: users could pay a one-time fee, he speculated, and then have unlimited access to music downloads over the air. In fact, Schmidtz-Holtz spoke warmly of Apple – who is reportedly working on its own subscription service – calling the company a “very strong partner” and noting that everyone benefits from Apple’s success in the digital music arena, even if Sony BMG may soon be competing with it.

Source: DailyTech, Martin

Free online Adobe photoshop!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:26 pm
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Adobe has released its Photoshop Express web-based imaging application as a public beta. Photoshop Express uses much of Adobe’s image editing technology and has been repurposed as a web-based application. Users can store up to 2GB of images online for free, make edits to their photos and share them online. Photoshop Express also allows users to download and upload photos from popular social networking sites like Facebook. The application provides ’standard edits’, such as removing blemishes and red-eye, converting to black and white, cropping and resizing.


Photoshop Express also offers tricks like Pop Color which selects an object in an image, mutes the background colour of the photo and allows the user to swap the object’s colour so that it “jumps off the page”. Sketch effects make photos look like drawings, and a Distort feature allows users to distort facial features or objects for a comical or artistic effect. Adobe said that even users with limited photo editing knowledge can simply select what looks best from a line-up of sample photos with visual hints showing different variations of the added effect. During the public beta period, Adobe will solicit user feedback on product features and functionality which will “continue to evolve over time”.

Source: Vnunet

Windows Mobile 6.1 to be out on April 1, 2008!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:26 pm
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Pocket-lint has learnt from sources close to the matter that Microsoft will announce the much-rumoured refresh to its mobile phone operating system, Windows Mobile, on 1 April 2008. An improvement over Windows Mobile 6 released in February 2007 the new version, unsurprisingly named 6.1, will be a stop-gap measure to keep both consumers and industry happy until the launch of Windows Mobile 7.


Leaked screenshots of 6.1 have already done the rounds in the blogosphere, and show the system has been simplified with the screens displaying less mess than the Vista-inspired version 6. A new look with new fonts, new homescreen and new features such as a task manager and copying and pasting in Internet Explorer all bode well for users of Microsoft’s OS for handhelds.

Source: Pocketlink, Martin

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