Internet Explorer hit by serious vulnerability – MS issues security patch – Windows XP Included


Microsoft has reported that a security flaw in its Internet Explorer browser could allow hackers to access your personal information especially if you are still using Windows XP.

The bug has been found to affect IE versions 6 through 11 and was found by Microsoft’s security company FireEye. The company says that the flaw leaves around 56 percent of the browser market vulnerable to attack. The bug has been classified as a “Zero Day” flaw which gives victims zero warnings before attack.

The flaw is a remote code execution vulnerability which means that a hacker can successfully run software on a victim’s computer after attack. Microsoft issued a security alert which said that “the vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer. The phrase “arbitrary code” means pretty much any software that the attacker chooses to run.”

In short, a hacker could install programs, view and delete data simply by visiting a website that you are running at the same time on your IE.

FireEye has said that a gang of attackers has already launched a campaign exploiting the flaw. Microsoft reported that IE9 through IE11 versions are the worst-hit as the three versions of IE account for almost 26 percent of the web browsers currently in use around the world. The software giant has said that Internet Explorer 10 and 11 are safe from the flaw only if the Enhanced Protected Mode in these browsers is turned on. The company is currently working on fixing the problem and might soon come out with an update.

UPDATE : Microsoft is issuing a fix for the “zero-day” vulnerability found in Internet Explorer last week. The update should be rolling out to all users any time now. In addition to updating Internet Explorer, Microsoft is also providing a fix for Windows XP, despite the fact that the operating system is no longer officially supported. The fix was issued because support for XP ended recently.

Source : Microsoft.

Facebook Graph Search


Facebook Graph Search is a semantic search engine that was introduced by Facebook in March 2013. It is designed to give answers to user natural language queries rather than a list of links. The Graph Search feature combines the big data acquired from its over one billion users and external data into a search engine providing user-specific search results. 

The feature was developed under former Google employees Lars Rasmussen and Tom Stocky.

Graph Search operates by use of a search algorithm similar to traditional search engines such as Google. However, the search feature is distinguished as a semantic search engine, searching based on intended meaning. Rather than returning results based on matching keywords, the search engine is designed to match phrases, as well as objects on the site. 

Search results are based on both the content of the user and their friends’ profiles and the relationships between the user and their friends. Results are based on the friends and interests expressed on Facebook, and also shaped by users’ privacy settings. In addition to being restricted from seeing some content, users may be able to view relevant content made publicly available by users that are not listed as friends.

Entries into the search bar are auto-completed as users type, with Facebook suggesting friends and second degree connections, Facebook pages, automatically-generated topics, and finally Web searches for anything Facebook is not yet able to search for.

The operation of the search feature depends on user involvement. The feature is intended to promote users to add more friends, more quickly. In doing so, it can provide updating, more data-rich results and stimulate use of the feature.

Microsoft has been partnered with Facebook to provide search results since 2008. Microsoft Live Search came to be known as Bing following the initiation of the partnership. In 2010, Facebook and Bing partnered to offer socially-oriented search results: ‘People Search’ and ‘Liked by your Facebook Friends’ information appeared in results within Facebook and on Bing.com.

In May 2012, Bing launched a social sidebar feature which displayed Facebook content alongside of search results. Promoted on the basis of asking friends for advice, the feature allows users to broadcast queries related to their searches to Facebook friends, and offers recommendations of Facebook friends, as well as experts from other networks who could be capable of offering insight.

The previously developed Instant Personalization feature integrated friends’ publicly available information, such as likes, into content on other external websites, such as Rotten Tomatoes and Yelp.

The emergence of the Graph Search feature builds on this partnership. Facebook content remains on Bing.com. The focus of Graph Search is internal content, but Bing continues to issue search results of external content. The external search results are based on traditional keyword-match.

The Open Graph feature allows developers to integrate their applications and pages into the Facebook platform, and links Facebook with external sites on the Internet. The feature operates by allowing the addition of metadata to turn websites into graph objects. Actions made using the app are expressed on users’ profile pages.

Apple wins $1 billion in Samsung patent case


A California jury awarded Apple Inc more than $1.05 billion on Friday in its patent infringement claim that Samsung Electronics Co copied technology used in its iPad and iPhone. The nine-member jury in a federal court in San Jose, California, found overwhelmingly in Apple’s favour, saying Samsung had infringed on six of seven smartphone patents in question. The US lawsuit was one of several cases around the world between California-based Apple and South Korean Samsung over technology rights and innovation in the fast-growing mobile computing sector. Apple sued Samsung in April 2011, and Samsung countersued. The companies have also sued each other in Britain, Australia and South Korea. The California case was the first to go to a US jury.

Apple sought $2.75 billion for its claims that Samsung infringed four design patents and three software patents. Samsung demanded as much as $421.8 million in royalties for claims that Apple infringed five patents. The complexity of the case was compounded by Apple’s contention that nearly two dozen of Samsung’s devices violated its patents. The disputes date to 2010 when Samsung released its Galaxy smartphones. Apple immediately suspected that Galaxy phones copied the iPhone, which had been on the market for three years. Apple and Samsung are the world’s largest makers of handheld devices that blend phone and a computer functionality.

Sales of the iPhone totalled 47 billion dollars in 2011, while iPad sales totaled 20.4 billion dollars, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Together they comprised 62 per cent of Apple’s sales in fiscal 2011. In smartphone sales, Samsung has a lead over Apple with about 32 per cent of the market to Apple’s 17 per cent, according to technology market researcher IDC.In a related decision, the US International Trade Commission ruled Friday that Apple did not infringe two patents owned by Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit for wireless technologies. The commission stopped short of resolving their dispute, ordering a trade judge to reconsider Motorola Mobility’s claim that Apple had violated another patent.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA,  for The Hindu.

 

 

 

One S – Middle Child in ONE Family


The HTC One S (codenamed Ville) is a smartphone designed and manufactured by HTC as part of the HTC One series which runs the Android mobile operating system with HTC Sense. It was Officially announced by HTC on 26 February 2012.

The One S is HTC’s thinnest phone to date, at 0.31 inches (7.87 mm) at its thinnest point. The phone uses an aluminum unibody shell, with two finishes available – a black micro arc oxidized finish, and a light-blue to dark-blue gradient anodized finish (currently the only finish available through T-Mobile USA). HTC states that the micro arc oxidized finish makes the body five times stronger than the bare aluminum, although some users claim that the finish chips easily.The phone has a power/lock button and a 3.5 mm headphone jack at the top, a volume rocker on the upper right side, and a MHL/Micro USB port on the upper left. Three capacitive buttons (back, home, and task switcher) are located on the front of the phone, below the display. There are two speakers, one on the front (serving as the earpiece) and one on the back. A two-color (amber and green) notification LED sits under the earpiece grille.

Key features

  • Stunningly thin at 7.8mm, ceramic or anodized aluminum finish
  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
  • 4.3″ 16M-color capacitive Super AMOLED touchscreen of qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels); Gorilla glass
  • Android OS v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0
  • 1.5 GHz dual core Krait CPU, Adreno 225 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260A chipset
  • 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage
  • Beats audio enhancement
  • 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash; face detection, geotagging and continuous shooting
  • 1080p video recording @ 30fps; Snapping photos while recording video
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity and ambient light sensors
  • Front facing camera with video calls
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v4.0
  • MHL TV-out (requires a MHL-to-HDMI adapter)
  • Smart dialing, voice dialing
  • DivX/XviD video support
  • HTC Locations app
  • HTCSense.com integration
  • HTC Portable Hotspot
  • Splendid audio quality
  • Office document editor
  • 1650mAh battery
  • 25GB of free Dropbox storage for the first two years

For now unfortunately, HTC is shipping the Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 Scorpion-equipped HTC One S to India, with a less power-efficient 1.7GHz dual-core processor, instead of the current-gen dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Krait processor. This is due to the shortage of Snapdragon S4 Krait processors, for which Qualcomm is facing high demand. The situation will reportedly resolve itself soon however.

Source : GSMArena, Thinkdigit.

Galaxy Nexus


The Galaxy Nexus is a touchscreen slate Android smartphone developed by a partnership between Samsung and Google.The phone and operating system were developed collaboratively by engineers from both companies. It is the third generation successor to Google’s previous flagship phones, the Nexus One and Nexus S. It has a curved HD (1280×720 pixels) Super AMOLED display, an improved camera system, and Google’s new version of its Android operating system, version 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. The name is the result of co-branding between the Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus brands of Android smartphones.

The Galaxy Nexus was unveiled at Google and Samsung’s Ice Cream Sandwich event on 19 October 2011 in Hong Kong. It was released in Europe on November 17, 2011, and made its debut in the United States on December 15, 2011. Expected to be released by the end of January 2012 in India.

Features:
  • General: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, LTE (region specific)
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
  • Dimensions: 135.5 x 67.9 x 8.9 mm
  • Weight: 135 g
  • Display: 4.65″ 16M-color HD (1280 x 720 pixels) Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 0.01ms response time; oleophobic surface, curved display, multi-touch input
  • Chipset:Dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, TI OMAP 4460 chipset
  • RAM: 1GB
  • OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Memory: 16/32GB storage
  • Camera: 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with face detection, touch focus and geotagging; Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps, LED flash, front facing camera, video-calls, touch-to-zoom while recording
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 3.0, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC
  • Misc: Hyper Skin material for increased grip, built-in accelerometer, proximity sensor, barometer sensor, notification LED area.

Samsung Galaxy S Plus


Samsung’s bespoke Hummingbird chipset has been swapped out for Qualcomm MSM8255T Snapdragon. The “T” means it’s a faster version of the vanilla MSM8255 chipset found in a good deal of Android phones. With a clock speed of 1.4GHz, it could be up to 40% faster. We’ll see how they measure up though, as they have slightly different architectures.

Qualcomm’s chipset comes with Adreno 205 graphics instead of the custom PowerVR SGX540 in the original Galaxy S. We expect a slight difference in graphics performance too. Also, the new battery can hold up to 10% of extra juice, for a total of 1650 mAh.

Other than that however, you can’t tell the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy S Plus apart – not even with a caliper and scales. Here’s a summary of what the S Plus has to offer, complete with a feeling of deja vu.

Key features
  • Quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G support
  • 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 4″ 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution, PenTile matrix
  • Super slim at 9.9mm
  • Android OS v2.3.3 with TouchWiz 3.0 UI customization
  • 1.4GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255T chipset
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, microSD slot (up to 32GB cards)
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with face, smile and blink detection
  • 720p HD video recording at 30fps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g and n support
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity; Digital compass
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Great audio quality
  • FM radio with RDS
  • 1650 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Document editor and file manager come preinstalled
  • Secondary video-call camera
  • Swype predictive text input
  • Full Flash support for the web browser
Main disadvantages
  • No flash for the camera
  • No dedicated camera key
  • Fingerprint prone plastics
  • Virtually unchanged year-old design
  • Adreno 205 GPU is weaker than PowerVR SGX540 in the original

How to Run Android apps on Windows ?


Most Android-based smartphone users would agree that they would prefer testing an app before downloading it to their phone. The reason behind this is usually to avoid unnecessary space hogging apps. Some users might also wish to play some of the cool mobile games available for the Android platform on their PC i.e. on a larger display. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how can your favorite Android apps on your Windows-based PC using a simple and free software called BlueStacks.

BlueStacks is an app player for Windows, which can play Android apps faster than it can run on a phone and that too, on a full-screen. The app includes 10 pre-loaded apps and one can add up to 26 more apps of their choice. Favorite apps can be pushed directly from the phone onto the PC using an Android app via internet route. Download and install the software for Windows from the URL ‘www.bluestacks.com’. The software is nothing, but a simple virtual Android operating system, which simulates an Android phone or UI. It uses the desktop PC’s resources such as the processor, the internet connection, mouse, keyboard and the audio card. The installed folder located on the PC contains the necessary files for its use, namely the kernel, data, system, boot and storage (the SD card). The BlueStacks Android (Gingerbread) virtual machine creates a hardware environment with a limited amount of storage (around 363 MB) for installing apps and 262 MB of SD card storage space.

Once BlueStacks is installed, the application will be running the Android operating system in the background and you will see an icon in the system tray area and a widget will be running on your screen. A single click on the widget will reveal the Android system apps installed in it. Click on the apps and enjoy them on a large screen. Additional apps can be installed from the BlueStacks website by signing in using your Facebook account details. To get to this page, all you need to do is click on the BlueStacks widget, scroll to and click on the app icon/shortcut ‘Get more apps’. A website will open up where you can login using your Facebook details. Once logged in, simply click on the ‘Subscribe’ button for the available apps (in the Featured Apps section) and they shall automatically get installed on your system via the internet. The ‘Could Connect’ link on the same page will highlight a special 9-pin numerical code which needs to be entered on your Android phone running the BlueStacks Cloud Connect app (download it from the Android Market for free). Once done, you can push apps from your phone to your PC by simply selecting multiple apps and syncing it. That’s it! You can now enjoy all your favorite apps from your phone on your Windows desktop PC.

Note: There are a few (or many) apps that will not function on BlueStacks, due to reasons such as incompatible hardware (for example there is no wireless network available here and apps that need the wireless network will not function). Also a few apps cannot be installed under the free license of BlueStacks. The BlueStacks Pro version will be out soon and you can do a lot more on it. The free version has a maximum limit of 26 installable apps, while the pro version will have the possibility of installing unlimited apps. Do not attempt to troubleshoot, repair, or modify any device without understanding and following all of the relevant safety guidelines! Do also please keep in mind that repairing a product on your own while it is under warranty, will automatically nullify the warranty provided by the company.

Source : Tech2