Archive for Technology

What Appcelerator can do for you?

// April 10th, 2014 // Comments // Technology

The last few years have shown a marked drop in computer sales. But the IT industry is booming! Surprised? The answer is in your hands. Smartphones sales have increased to more than computers. Because they are affordable and portable. With everything going mobile, businesses are clamoring to reach more customers via mobile apps.

But here lies the problem. There is iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Symbian, Tizen OS, Firefox OS, etc. All these mobile operating systems have their own coding language. For a company to make apps for all these OSes they have to invest in specific developers or spend time learning new coding languages. To solve this problem, Appcelerator stepped in.

 

So what is Appcelerator? Imagine you have a great software or program. It has worked wonders for people on the desktop. But you’re missing out on all the new customers who use phones. If only you could write once and deploy to many platforms. It would save loads of time and money. More importantly, the faster you offer an app the greater the number of people who will adopt it.

So what does Appcelerator do? Appcelerator provides many tools to bring your app to the greater mobile population. They have the three A’s. Analytics, Apps and API’s. The most important of the three is the API’s or Application Programming Interface. Here is where the magic happens.

Titanium is the framework which developers can use to bring their apps to the new marketplaces. The main goal is that you write your code once and deploy to many platforms. The main code is to be written in Java Script. Then using the API’s for the specific platform ,i.e. iOS or Android, you can run the code directly. Now some will say that PhoneGap by Adobe does the same thing.

What’s so different in Titanium?PhoneGap “wraps” the java script in the native code. So the HTML, CSS and other web technologies are run from within the shell of the native API. The program gets basic access to the hardware like camera, device contacts and sensors. This works fine enough, by working as a bridge between the Native controls and the Java Script. Titanium uses another approach. Each OS has it’s own UI enhancements and features which must be taken into account. So to “write once and run anywhere” does not give the best results. To make use of the platform-specific UI conventions, Titanium API takes the Java Script and injects it directly into during runtime. The API is written in the native code and requires the native tool chain. When the app is started, the Java Script is interpreted and injected together with native objects. This allows the one-to-one pairing of the native code to the Java code similar to how java script is injected in HTML. This procedure enables the app to take full control of the native objects and UI. It also allows the app access to the hardware directly. This is because you are virtually writing in native code when using the Titanium framework. It acts as an abstraction layer between the developer and the Native code. The developer does not need to worry about the native code, although he or she must learn the platform-specific API’s.

Appcelerator further provides Analysis and testing functions for the app. Allowing you to keep track of bugs and successes of your app.

There are some problems that Appcelerator needs to solve. Primarily wider support for more platforms. iOS and Android are supported and recently we got iPad support. Titanium has to write platform-specific code to utilise native conventions, which is why there is a delay. But considering that it was released only in 2008, it has made massive progress. They also support 90% of the native API’s and some might find themselves left out. But it is not fair to criticise Appcelerator because there are new API’s coming out with every OS version release. Some found that in the end they prefered to write the app in the native code because they couldn’t get the required performance. However, they agreed it is great for prototyping because it works fast and gives decent results.

Notwithstanding all these problems, Appcelerator offers a damn good product to create, deploy and keep track of your app. And more importantly, it is open source and any corrections or additions can be added directly to the framework.

Facebook Likes Whatsapp

// March 1st, 2014 // Comments // Technology

Most of us already know about merger of Whatsapp with Facebook. Here is my article on it on The Flag Post Magazine.

Logo1

facebook_likes_whatsapp

Click to enlarge & read

Will Tizen Make it?

// February 8th, 2014 // Comments // Technology

We already know of the big guns in smartphone operating systems. Android dominates with Apple closing in on its heel. The rest of the space is shared by Symbian, Windows Phone and Blackberry OS. Nokia has killed its own Symbian OS and Blackberry is dying out. But that hasn’t stopped a whole lot of new Mobile OSes from launching in 2013. Tizen is one of the newer Mobile Operating systems. However, its code-base has been around for half a decade.

By far the most ambitious of the newer OSes is Ubuntu OS with its revolutionary idea of “Convergence”. But it failed to launch a phone so far. Firefox OS fared much better. It had a goal to create cheap phones based on HTML5 code. This allows it to run well even on low-powered devices. When Nokia fired their own Meego OS employees and shut down the project, Jolla stepped in. Hiring the same people who were fired, they released the Jolla phone with the Sailfish OS. This even comes with the Google play store enabled. So where does Tizen fit in?

(Source: androidnova.org)

Nokia, the makers of the first internet enabled phones, wanted to make a new OS for their newer smart phones. They teamed up with Intel. Nokia’s Maemo OS and Intel’s Moblin OS was merged into Meega OS. They were doing very well. It was made to run on a variety of devices. From smart phones and netbooks to TV’s and Cars. But unfortunately it was killed by Nokia. It was then that Intel and Samsung came together to create Tizen. Samsung brought the Bada and LiMo platform to the Meego OS.

So here’s the question. How could all these different platforms come together so easily? Obviously because of the Opensource Model and Linux. They can share code and code can be used in other projects. On the technological side this makes Tizen a very lucrative project. But the Meego fiasco shows us that Technological advantage doesn’t necessarily sell.

But Tizen is different. Tizen is backed by both Samsung and Intel. An interesting blog on the internet had a compelling theory. Nokia was bought by Microsoft. Google had Motorola (though they are selling it due to losses) and Apple creates both its hardware and software. Samsung is the largest Android OEM in the world, and they don’t have their own software. If you look at the android deployed on Samsung devices you see that there is an ugly clash between the default Google software and the Samsung equivalent. There is Google Photos and Samsung Gallery, Google play store and Samsung Apps. Samsung cannot remove any of the core Google software and replace it with its own because they don’t integrate too well. This could make them lose customers who might buy a Nexus device. Google has also profited from Samsung phone sales, but Samsung apps like Chat on, etc have not caught on as much as Samsung had hoped. In Tizen, Samsung has control over the software and can integrate many of its apps at the Core level.

(Source: Luke Westaway/CNET)

Samsung has worked on Tizen for two years now. It has enough pull to rope in carriers worldwide. Already they have 36 leaders of the mobile technology in their Tizen Association including NTT Docomo, Orange, SK Telecom, Sprint and Vodafone. But is this enough to enter a market already saturated with every kind of phone?

(Source: GSMArena.com)

The deciding factor is Software. And in a way Apple has got it right. Android implementations depend on the OEM’s. Some are brilliant, some make people never try Android again. iOS is made only for the iPhone. There is complete integration between hardware and software. Samsung might want to do just that. But isn’t it too late to start building an app base with its own set of software?

Samsung has announced prize money in millions for the best app, the best game and best 10 HTML5 apps and many more. The prizes are to be announced soon.

(Source: CNET)

And there’s more good news for developers. Tizen can run Nokia’s Qt framework, GTK+ and Enlightenment Foundation Libraries. There’s also Javascript, jQuery and jQuery mobile. The native applications are built using the Bada platform. HTML5 for web apps are supported from the freeware Tizen SDK. There has been news of Samsung partnering with FirefoxOS as webapps are supported by both OSes. Tizen can run android apps as well.

The latest Dev phone released is the Samsung ZEQ 9000 for app testing. Here is a video review by CNET.

(Source: CNET)

Tizen is a mixture of Android and iOS features, and the Samsung Touchwiz UX. Although many people have called them copycats, in effect they are just following the standards that everyone is used to, making it comfortable for users. For instance, we cannot complain that BMW copied Ford by making cars with 4 wheels. The UI of Tizen is expected to be revamped. Version 3.0 is to be released later this year with massive improvements in functionality and user experience. So far we have access to Tizen 2.2.1. It has the basic smartphone features with camera software, toggle switches etc. But it still has a long way to go.

(Leaked photo of Tizen 3.0. source:CNET UK)

While many have praised the open source basis of Tizen, the SDK itself is released under the Flora license which doesn’t exactly conform to open standards. But it is free to use. Tizen is not android. Tizen can use more frameworks though. But the user only cares about the apps. And Tizen has not yet implemented a Marketplace/ App store but I’m sure they will very soon. Gameloft has already ported games over to Tizen. Many other developers are also talking about porting. It is a new market and it is a perfect time for small time app developers to gain recognition. For those interested in developing or porting apps to the Tizen platform please follow these links.

Setting Up Tizen SDK – Tutorial

Install Tizen SDK on Ubuntu

(Source: TizenTalk) 

Many of us are happy in our own iWorld or Android planet. Tizen may not have any significance for us. Yet Samsung is making progress and maybe we will find it the perfect OS for us. It is versatile and easy to use. But Samsung is counting on something else. Most people don’t even know their phones have different operating systems. They only understand companies and brand loyalty. Many iOS users don’t know what iOS is, and Samsung fans buy phones for the name emblazoned in front. So when Tizen comes out it will look and work so similar to Android that most people will not bother. Their work flow will not change and they will be familiar with working the toggles and options.

Samsung have recently signed a Cross-patent deal with Google. It allows them to help significantly in the development of Android. As a result many in the media question their commitment to Tizen, wondering if it is only a backup plan against Android. We’ll find out soon enough. Check out the release of the First Tizen Phone on 23rd February.

 But where does Tizen fit in? Is it for low-end devices? But the ZEQ is a high-end phone. Samsung seem to be creating an all-purpose OS. However, it is dangerous to be all things to everybody. Tizen needs focus. It needs a very specific target audience. Without that it will never catch on. Hopefully they figure it out soon.

Should We care about Bitcoins?

// January 25th, 2014 // Comments // Technology

What is Bitcoin? That is the question everyone is asking, including CES 2014. Many call it fake money. Some say it is virtual money with no backing. The reason Bitcoin is hard to understand is because it is truly revolutionary. Paper money must have been seen the same way when it replaced Gold coins.

But Bitcoin is different. Bitcoin is Cryptocurrency. It is a type of virtual money created and maintained Cryptographically. It has no Central Authority or Bank. People or Companies can exchange it directly with one another from anywhere in the world. In 2009, under the false name of Satoshi Nakamoto, an open source software was released. It was the beginning of Bitcoin.

Bitcoins’ main goal is to be a global currency that is not controlled by any person or group. It does this by being Decentralized. Financial institutions need massive computational power. A record of all transactions need to be kept. Also it has to perform transactions and create Bitcoins.

This is done by “Miners.” Miners are individuals or groups who run the bitcoin software on their own hardware. By doing this, they generate new bitcoins by lending their hardware for solving complex cryptographic equations. They also help keep the records of all transactions. No one can spend the same bitcoin twice. For their troubles and cost of electricity and such, the miners are rewarded with a percentage of the bitcoin generated and the transaction fees.

When Bitcoin was young, the average person could make quite a few bitcoins with a standard home computer. But now resources are pooled into “swarms”, so that equations can be processed faster leading to better chances of earning. The number of Bitcoins generated are regulated. You cannot create unlimited number of bitcoins. For bitcoin to have value it must be limited, similar to gold. Bitcoin mining will go on decreasing by half every year. Till it reaches the limit of 21 Million Bitcoins. There can be no more bitcoins after that. This helps regulate Inflation.So why should you care about this Virtual Currency? Someone described it as a Financial Revolution. It gives people freedom to do business with anyone in the world, without any middle man. No excessive transaction cost, no hassles. But apart from that there are many practical reasons for investing in bitcoin. The first is security. The strength of the encryption is equal to the number of computers connected to the “swarm”. So if someone has to crack it, they have to have more computational power than many googles. And that would only give them a hypothetical possibility. The software is open-sourced. All unwanted software is immediately seen and removed. But your name and private wallet are not revealed. You can make completely private transactions with a pseudonym. Everything else can be seen by anyone. This ensures transparency in trading while protecting privacy of the users.

Most bitcoins are stored digitally in wallets. But many have made bitcoins of paper, wood and metal. All have a sort of digital storage whereby data can be scanned.

How do we get hold of a bitcoin? You can “mine” it, sell goods and services online for bitcoins or purchase it for money. But this is controversial. How much does a bitcoin cost?

Mt.gox and BTC china are the two largest exchanges. You can exchange money in return for bitcoins. Bitcoins are not regulated and as such the currency fluctuates considerably from one exchange to the next. But mostly people deal in terms of dollars. The latest price of 1 bitcoin is ~850 dollars, though it rises and falls. Many say that it is natural because bitcoin is a new currency that has not yet matured.

Bitcoin has not been smooth sailing. Recently there was a sharp drop in prices due to the Chinese Government banning the exchange of Bitcoin for money. There was also a drug dealer site called silkroad.com that traded in bitcoins. The privacy policy of bitcoin didn’t allow tracking. This darkened the name of bitcoin as a legal currency.

On the positive side, the Federal Reserve of USA issued a statement that bitcoin is “legitimate”. Many other governments have issued similar statements. Recently more individuals and companies have started accepting bitcoins. Reddit and Zynga games are an example.

Bitcoin has no central authority which makes many governments uncomfortable, as they cannot control it. But it is slowly gaining recognition steadily building up momentum. It may be a good idea to start investing in it. However, be careful about malwares and theft. With new technology comes new problems.

All things considered Bitcoin has a lot of promise. It is a risky enterprise, with prices rising and falling. But it a virtual currency that is completely in your control, to do as you please. The only limitation at the moment is that it is very bound to the virtual space, though this may change in the future. And change is right around the corner.

Dear ISPs, We know to bypass you !

// May 17th, 2012 // Comments // Old, Technology

After Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in USA, now its time in India that Internet Service Providers particularly Reliance Communications and Airtel have started blocking The Pirate Bay, Vimeo, DailyMotion and a few other torrent sites. Although I’m personally not effected with this till date(I’m on BSNL) but got call from couple of friends asking help to bypass this block. They were seing the following message for blocked sites:

Access to this site has been blocked as per Court Orders

Googling around, I found that the reason behind this censorship is a John Doe order obtained by film distributor Relance Entertainment. Citing piracy concerns ahead of blockbuster releases, Reliance Entertainment has been using John Doe orders to get websites blocked. It is completely insane to block a whole site just because of few pirate files are on the site, selective blocking of offending URLs would have been a better option.

I midst of all this issues, we the people are facing difficulties. Every problem has a solution, even here you can bypass the restrictions of the ISPs easily. My old post(2009) on using Ultrasurf Proxy Software to Bypass Internet Filters works well to bypass this blocks. Originally created to help internet users in China find security and freedom online, Ultrasurf has now become one of the world’s most popular anti-censorship, pro-privacy software, with millions of people using it to bypass internet censorship and protect their online privacy.

 

All that you need is this small software(yeah really small) and install it on your computer(Currently Mac & Linux are not supported.)

For detailed instructions on installation and usage you can refer to my previous article at – http://www.sandeephegde.me/2009/03/22/ultra-surf-the-best-proxy-software-bypass-any-internet-filter/
Additionally here is a video tutorial for your convenience:

If it worked for you, let us know by commenting below.

 

 

Project Glass, a major leap in the world of Augmented Reality

// April 5th, 2012 // Comments // Technology

Hope this day comes soon 🙂


Learn to Hack

// December 19th, 2010 // Comments // Technology

learn to hack
Hackers are great Programmers . Hackers solve problems and build things, and they believe in freedom and voluntary mutual help. To be accepted as a hacker, you have to behave as though you have this kind of attitude yourself. And to behave as though you have the attitude, you have to really believe the attitude.

Don’ts
No one will search for “how to become a hacker” & learn Hacking in google except newbie. People like to be a Hacker, and burst the network, server and so on. You can get a clear idea here. After reading this article you can get an idea about becoming as a Hacker.

Don’ts
Hacking Tools
Don’t search for “Download Hacking tools” , “Windows hacking tool” , “Hacking software” , “Email hacking”,’ Yahoo password cracking” or any thing.

Download tools
Don’t download such tools by above results. And don’t download and install tools from Yahoo chat room people or individuals. Because those tools may open your system’s backdoor and you will be hacked and your system will be used for Spamming proxy.

Key Loggers and Spy
Don’t download and install spy or key loggers to trace your roommates or your brother/sister. Don’t be proud of yourself that you successfully traced them. They will trace you for its Owner.

Start Hacking
Don’t test installed tools yourself against Yahoo.com or any other site. Don’t think Yahoo’s server will be hacked by you and that Lame tool.

Teach me how to hack
Don’t beg others by asking “teach me how to hack”, “Tell me how to hack”,” Help me in cracking this Y! Id”

Black/White Hat
Don’t punch tattoos like “Black Hat Hacker”, “The Hacker” & “Hack me if you can”

Username & Email
Don’t create Yahoo Ids like “HackMeAlive”, “Thomas_A_Peterson” and any suffix or prefix with the words Hacker, BlackHat & so on.

Hacker and Films
Don’t think yourself as a hacker after seeing “The Matrix” film and don’t try to dodge the dogs while they try to bite you.

How you can become a Hacker?
Learn Hacking

Improve Skills First learn things and improve your Skills. learn php for web development.

#A
Start writing small and small tools yourself, like port scanner, service scanner etc. In python,perl or such a simple but effective languages.

#B
Use them to protect your system and server.

#C
Read more articles about Bugs and fixes.

#D
Tune up yourself as a troubleshooter.

#E
Every backdoor has a Lock.Try to find the Locks or Make a better one.

#F
Try to understand the core things. For example Understand what is the kernel,Understand the Protocols, Start writing own protocols, Try to write a patch for linux kernal yourself.

#G
Be a Best Programmer.
Hacking is not means fully about exploiting and entering in to a network or server.

Modern Zen Poem:
To follow the path:
look to the master,
follow the master,
walk with the master,
see through the master,
become the master.

I really appreciate your interest to become a hacker. Start learning and improving your skills. Best of luck.

Installing Webmin on CentOS

// October 26th, 2010 // Comments // Technology

I recently got a MediaTemple VE Server, one of the best unmanaged VPS servers available today. Its built to be a highly efficient and performant utility VPS, with high-end hardware, top-tier connectivity and superior virtualization technology.

The only one head-ache with this server is that you have to manage everthing from top to bottom. Linux Server Management is obviously not a easy task for newbies. However there are various ready tools to reduce this headache, however you will have to setup them on your own initially.

My choice of control panel was Webmin. Webmin is one of the best open source control panel. Here goes the official description:

Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration for Unix. Using any modern web browser, you can setup user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and much more. Webmin removes the need to manually edit Unix configuration files like /etc/passwd, and lets you manage a system from the console or remotely.

So now lets install webmin step by step:

Step 0 : Install dependencies

For CentOS 5.1 (or lower) we need to install few dependecies. Just connect to your server through SSH and use the following command:

yum -y install perl-Net-SSLeay

Note: This step is not required in case you are using CentOS 5.2 or above, since they are already present.

Step 2 : Install Webmin

a. Change the directory using the following command

$ cd /usr/src

b. Download webmin package from http://www.webmin.com/download.html

$ wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm

Note: You can replace the download link with the latest version of the package.

c. Install RPM

$ rpm -i webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm

Step 2: Open Webmin

To open webmin just open the browser and type https://your-ip-address:10000 like the example below:

https://420.420.420.420:10000
Once you open the link in the url you see a login window like below:
Webmin Login Window

You can login with your root username and password.

Step 3: Start using webmin !

Outputs of my Installation process is as below:

[[email protected] ~]# cd /usr/src
[[email protected] src]# wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm
--2010-10-23 00:52:20--  http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm
Resolving prdownloads.sourceforge.net... 216.34.181.59
Connecting to prdownloads.sourceforge.net|216.34.181.59|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 301 Moved Permanently
Location: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/webadmin/webmin/1.520/webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm [following]
--2010-10-23 00:52:21--  http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/webadmin/webmin/1.520/webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm
Resolving downloads.sourceforge.net... 216.34.181.59
Reusing existing connection to prdownloads.sourceforge.net:80.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: http://iweb.dl.sourceforge.net/project/webadmin/webmin/1.520/webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm [following]
--2010-10-23 00:52:21--  http://iweb.dl.sourceforge.net/project/webadmin/webmin/1.520/webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm
Resolving iweb.dl.sourceforge.net... 70.38.0.134
Connecting to iweb.dl.sourceforge.net|70.38.0.134|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 16094665 (15M) [application/x-redhat-package-manager]
Saving to: `webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm'

100%[======================================>] 16,094,665  3.66M/s   in 4.3s    

2010-10-23 00:52:25 (3.60 MB/s) - `webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm' saved [16094665/16094665]

[[email protected] src]# rpm -i webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm
warning: webmin-1.520-1.noarch.rpm: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 11f63c51
Operating system is CentOS Linux
Webmin install complete. You can now login to http://ve.p26dhbmy.vesrv.com:10000/
as root with your root password.

Additionaly you can use virtualmin and usermin along with webmin.

I shall explain you regarding installation of virtuamin and usermin in the coming days.Stay tuned 🙂

Nokia Morph – The Nano Mobile !

// May 5th, 2010 // Comments // Technology

I was just looking around the web today, and stumbled upon a amazing concept from Nokia. It is all about the future of mobile technologies, the future of nano technologies… Nano Mobile… Spend some time and read more… Its just amazing !!!

Morph_Wrist_Mode

Launched alongside The Museum of Modern Art “Design and The Elastic Mind” exhibition, the Morph concept device is a bridge between highly advanced technologies and their potential benefits to end-users. This device concept showcases some revolutionary leaps being explored by Nokia Research Center (NRC) in collaboration with the Cambridge Nanoscience Centre (United Kingdom) – nanoscale technologies that will potentially create a world of radically different devices that open up an entirely new spectrum of possibilities.

morph_mobile

Morph concept technologies might create fantastic opportunities for mobile devices:

  • Newly-enabled flexible and transparent materials blend more seamlessly with the way we live
  • Devices become self-cleaning and self-preserving
  • Transparent electronics offering an entirely new aesthetic dimension
  • Built-in solar absorption might charge a device, whilst batteries become smaller, longer lasting and faster to charge
  • Integrated sensors might allow us to learn more about the environment around us, empowering us to make better choices

01_Morph_Open_Mode

In addition to the advances above, the integrated electronics shown in the Morph concept could cost less and include more functionality in a much smaller space, even as interfaces are simplified and usability is enhanced. All of these new capabilities will unleash new applications and services that will allow us to communicate and interact in unprecedented ways.

Read More at http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia/research/demos/the-morph-concept and share your comments below !