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Tech Pedias | mithil.me Technology and Gadgets have no secrets :) 2012-10-26T13:03:49Z http://mithil.me/feed/atom/ WordPress Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Second Generation Razer Blade Packed with All-New Hardware and Amazing Features]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2327 2012-09-02T07:33:03Z 2012-09-01T15:13:50Z Razer Unveiled the Next Generation of its High-end Gaming laptop, the Razer Blade at PAX Prime. Razer Blade is an improved version of its predecessor with which Razor entered in the PC-making business earlier this year.

The older Blade was first of its kind, boasted an excellent ultra-thin form-factor and touch-screen Switchblade interface, but the overall Specification and Price didn’t meet Gamers Expectations. Razer taking all criticism into consideration raised the bar on portable gaming laptops, pushing performance limits without compromising on its ultra-thin form factor.

“With the new Razer Blade, we set out to design something truly phenomenal with extreme performance for gamers in an ultra-thin form factor,” said Min. “The design and hardware advancements, combined with our revolutionary user interface, makes the new Razer Blade, without doubt, the very best gaming laptop we’ve ever designed. The Beauty is now the Beast.”

Razer has refreshed the original Razer Blade’s cooling system with larger vents and specially designed heat pipes that allow more airflow to extreme components. The new Razer Blade incorporates 0.88-inch thickness, 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 px HD display, future platform with 3rd Generation Intel Core Processor (probably, 3rd generation Intel i7 quad-core), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M graphics, 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive, 64GB of fast-booting solid state storage, and 250% more louder internal speakers.

Most importantly, Razor has kept the original multitouch panel Switchblade interface and 10 assignable buttons, as well as a lower price of $2,499.99, still expensive but $300 less than the original. “And at just 0.88 inches thin and weighing a mere 6.6lbs, the Razer Blade is the world’s first true gaming laptop. “ The new Razer Blade will be available for preorder on Sept 2, 2012 and will be shipped post 30 days to consumers in North America.

Product Specifications

  • Future platform with 3rd Generation Intel Core Processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M with NVIDIA Optimus™ Technology
  • 2GB Dedicated GDDR5 Video Memory
  • 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 Memory
  • 17.3-in. LED Backlit Display (1920×1080)
  • Built-in HD Webcam
  • Integrated 60Wh Battery
  • 500GB 7200RPM HDD (Primary Storage)
  • 64GB SATA III SSD with NVELO Dataplex Software (Cache Acceleration)
  • Wireless Network 802.11 A/G/N + BT4.0
  • 16.81″ (Width) x 10.9″ (Depth) x 0.88″ (Height); 6.6lbs (Weight)

For complete list of Specifications and Features, visit Razer.

Image gallery


Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Java Zero-Day Vulnerability: Critical Security Flaw in JRE 1.7 Exploits Two Bugs]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2282 2012-08-31T07:21:47Z 2012-08-30T15:52:33Z A serious security flaw (TA12-240A) in Java Runtime Environment 1.7 has jeopardized the safety of all the systems based on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux that have upgraded to JRE v1.7x (version 1.7, Update 6). According to Security experts, the exploit, originated from Chinese-hosted domains, allows hackers to break into users’ computers via multiple browser platforms and install harmful Malware.

The zero-day Java exploit which was initially discovered by Atif Mushtaq, Security Researcher at FireEye is actually linked together with another Bug. According to Esteban Guillardoy, Researcher at Immunity, “The first bug was used to get a reference to sun.awt.SunToolkit class that is restricted to applets while the second bug invokes the getField public static method on SunToolkit using reflection with a trusted immediate caller bypassing a security check. The beauty of this bug class is that it provides 100% reliability and is multi-platform.” This means that the former gains access to the sun.awt.SunToolkit class that is restricted to applets, while the other calls certain methods with a trusted immediate caller to potentially bypass the security checks.

The exploit code is now being circulated widely as the latest version of popular exploit kit, BlackHole is making use of it. According to Seculert statistics, “good exploit kits can typically infect one in 10 visitors to a compromised site, but the latest version of BlackHole now has a one-in-four chance.”

Given the fact that billions of devices are on the verge of getting affected, Oracle hasn’t yet expedite the process of publishing a patch to resolve this critical flaw. Infact, according to Security Explorations revelations, Oracle was already aware of as many as 31 issues (including the one currently under news) since April and planned to patch them in the next Java CPUs (issued three times a year).

As the said bugs are still Unpatched, experts recommend disabling Java on all browsers to protect computers from attacks through apparent medium. Alternatively, you can downgrade to Java 6 if it’s a must requirement in your browser. Also, those who are using previous version of Java won’t get affected by this ruling, so they are advised to hold Java Upgrades (until Oracle release a patch) to avoid becoming a victim of this Malware.

How to Disable Java on Browsers

In Chrome, we can ignore the browser warning that asks if you want to run Java Plugin on the website. Either way is to disable it completely on Chrome by entering chrome://plugins/ in address bar, you will get the following Plugin Manager page from where you can disable Java:

To disable Java in Firefox, visit Tools –> Add-ons Manager tab –> Select the “Plugins panel” –> Disable Java.

In Safari, go to Preferences –> Security –> Uncheck “Enable Java”.

Disabling Java in Opera is incredibly easy. Just type about.config in Address Bar, you will get the Plugin Manager, there you can Disable Java.

Internet Explorer:
For Internet Explorer, getting rid of Java completely is somewhat more complicated than with other browsers. The U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (USCERT) has provided the following detailed steps for removing Java in IE:

In the Windows Control panel, open the Java item. Select the “Java” tab and click the “View” button. Uncheck “enabled” for any JRE version listed. Note that this method may not work on Vista or newer systems. As an alternative, you may use one of the following techniques:

Click the start key and type “regedit” in the search box. Double-click the regedit program file when it appears.

- Change the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Plug-in\\UseJava2IExplorer registry value to 0, where is any version of Java on your system. 10.6.2, for example.

If you are running a 32-bit version of Java on a 64-bit platform, you should set the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\JavaSoft\Java Plug-in\\UseJava2IExplorer registry value to 0.

- Run javacpl.exe as administrator, click the “Advanced” tab, select “Microsoft Internet Explorer” in the “Default Java for browsers” section, and press the space bar to uncheck it. This will properly set the above registry value, despite the option being greyed out.

[Via] ESET

Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Microsoft Introduces Windows Azure Mobile Services: Cloud Database Backend for Windows 8 and Mobile Apps]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2248 2012-08-30T09:33:31Z 2012-08-29T12:34:10Z Microsoft on Tuesday announced the Preview Release of Windows Azure Mobile Services. Windows Azure, Microsoft’s Cloud Platform, will now incorporate new Mobile Services that will allow developers to deploy Windows 8 apps to a Cloud Backend hosted in Windows Azure and easily store structured data, authenticate users, and send push notifications, according to Microsoft announcement.

For those who are not familiar, Windows Azure is an open and flexible platform for cloud computing managed by global network of Microsoft datacenters that enables developers to quickly build, deploy and manage applications without knowing Technical preliminaries of Server-Side Coding.

The idea behind Windows Azure Mobile Services is to allow developers to focus on developing applications, while providing the ease of backend support, as well as the tools to accomplish common server-side tasks that usually consumes time. In this segment, Microsoft will compete with other Backend Service Providers like Parse, Kinvey and Urban Airship, although not immediately, since these companies do not yet support Windows 8.

For now, Mobile Services are only available for Windows 8 Applications, but future releases will support mobile platforms including Windows Phone, iOS and Android, however Microsoft has not disclosed the dates yet. Presumably Redmond Company has something to do with the fact that the dominant mobile platforms (Android and iOS) are present in almost 9 out of 10 smart phones and so, not only Windows 8 App developers, Microsoft needs to attract developers of mobile applications using “other” platforms.

Creating a Mobile Service

To use Windows Azure Mobile Services, all you need is to sign up for Windows Azure 90-day free trial, while those who already have one can request to enroll in this preview feature. After setting up an account with Windows Azure, click the “preview features” section under the “account” tab, then you can add up to ten Windows 8 applications running on shared instances at this early stage of 90-day free trial.

While configuring the application, you will be asked to either create a new SQL database or select an existing one. It’s worth noting that Mobile Services projects can only be hosted in East US datacenter, so Microsoft warns that developers in other regions may expect additional latency.

From here on, remote applications can request data and make updates using secure REST end-points utilizing a JSON-based ODATA format. You can now create tables, explore data, perform complex queries, reindex tables, set-up indexes and even integrate user authentication/authorization and send push notifications within your applications quickly and easily.
Moreover, like other Cloud Service Providers, Windows Azure Mobile Services also provides dashboard-like interface analytics that allows developers to monitor the usage and metrics of mobile service backend:

In order to try the Windows Azure Mobile Services with Windows 8 Apps, developers will need to download Visual Studio 2012 (min. Express version) and the Mobile Services Managed SDK and then, by going through a quick and easy setup would help on connecting Windows 8 applications with data in the Microsoft cloud.

Read more about “Storing Data in the Cloud” on Scott Guthrie’s Blog Post.

Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Lenovo Unveils IdeaPad A2109 at Best Buy: HDMI, Tegra 3 and 9″ for just $300]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2240 2012-08-28T17:29:56Z 2012-08-28T17:29:56Z After the advent of Amazon’s first Economic Tablet, Kindle Fire, Android manufacturers are surging the same trend of Inexpensive Tablets coupled with amazing Hardware. Recent evident is Google’s $199, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) powered Nexus 7 Tablet. Continuing the trend, Lenovo has silently released the IdeaTab A2109 at Best Buy for just $300, a Tablet that’s li’l bit expensive than Google Nexus 7, but has more better Specs.

Lenovo IdeaPad A2109 features NVIDIA 1.2 GHz Quad Core Tegra 3 processor, a 9″ 1280×800 HD display, 1 GB RAM and 16 GB On-board storage. Considering that Google Nexus costs $249 for 16 GB version, one would need to pay extra $50 for IdeaPad A2109. However, it’s a decent tablet that will suffice as it has most striking Specs like rear facing camera, bigger 9″ display and HDMI Port. The A2109 tablet will run on Ice Cream Sandwich, yet no updates if it will work on Jelly Belly.

A2109 IdeaPad Specifications

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system
  • Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor that features a 1.2GHz processor speed
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 1GB LPDDR memory
  • 9″ high-definition 4-point capacitive touch screen
  • 1280 x 800 HD resolution
  • 16GB on-board memory
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 graphics
  • Built-in 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth capable

The Lenovo IdeaPad A2109 is now available in the local stores of United States and can be purchased online at Best Buy either way.

Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Angry Birds Seasons 2.5 comes to BlackBerry PlayBook [Update]]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2178 2012-08-31T06:08:58Z 2012-08-25T14:21:40Z Rovio has released a new juicy update of Angry Birds Seasons 2.5 for BlackBerry PlayBook. The new update has 20 new schoolyard themed levels, in addition to more bonus levels and there is now an adorable pink bird with a curious ability in school for everyone to meet.

This new update is embellished with:

  • Back to School: In this category, the developers have focused on the fateful return to school after the holidays. A good reason other hand, to vent eliminating pesky green pigs. It has 20 levels that include a host of items like pencils, apples, backpacks, music and rules that adds a more scholarly feel.
  • Piglantis: This category has 40 levels and you will find it interesting as it has water-based level.

This update has also come to Android and iPad and can be downloaded them from their respective stores.


If you have Angry Birds Seasons already installed on your Playbook, you can update it for free. Otherwise, you can download Angry Birds Season for $4.99 from BlackBerry App world:

Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[pod2g Discovered SMS Spoofing Vulnerability in iOS: Never trust SMS!]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2104 2012-08-30T07:33:00Z 2012-08-18T11:38:14Z A French Hacker and iOS security researcher, well-known by the handle pod2g has exposed a severe problem that could allow scammers to spoof or send fake text messages that appears to come from trusted sources. This flaw is there in iOS since its incorporation and is still present in iOS 6 beta 4.

pod2g explains the flaw in his blog post,“Never trust SMS: iOS text spoofing”:

“PDU is a protocol that is pretty dense, allowing different types of messages to be emitted. Some examples : SMS, Flash SMS, Voice mail alerts, EMS, …

In the text payload, a section called UDH (User Data Header) is optional but defines a lot of advanced features not all mobiles are compatible with. One of these options enables the user to change the reply address of the text. If the destination mobile is compatible with it, and if the receiver tries to answer to the text, he will not respond to the original number, but to the specified one. …

In a good implementation of this feature, the receiver would see the original phone number and the reply-to one. On iPhone, when you see the message, it seems to come from the reply-to number, and you loose track of the origin. …”

In theory, here’s how the SMS thing works on iOS: Sending of each message is processed with help of a protocol – PDU (Protocol Description Unit). There is an optional section of text payload called UDH (User Data Header) that contains information about the sender of the SMS. Among this information, which are handled directly by the mobile operating system, is the phone number of the sender supported by another field that allows you to insert an additional number that will be used as a kind of “reply-to” address of the SMS.

This additional number if active in the case, the recipient instead of responding to the original number replies to the one specified additionally in the UDH. This exploit is only possible if the recipient’s mobile is compatible to handle such manipulation and yes, iPhone is!

pod2g has also highlighted a few ways in which exploiters could take advantage of this flaw:

  • pirates could send a message that seems to come from the bank of the receiver asking for some private information, or inviting them to go to a dedicated website. [Phishing]
  • one could send a spoofed message to your device and use it as a false evidence.
  • anything you can imagine that could be used to manipulate people, letting them trust somebody or some organization texted them.

Additionally, relevant tools are already available that makes such SMS loopholes easier using a very simple procedure and pod2g is also in a process to publicize one. pod2g has urged Apple to fix this issue before public release of iOS 6 in the amidst next month. In recent times, the safety is not home to Apple and pod2g’s exposure to the SMS Spoofing Vulnerability in iOS SMS Management has aggravate the hitch for Apple.

Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Halide: A New Programming Language for Image Processing and Computational Photography Software]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2031 2012-08-20T12:52:04Z 2012-08-02T17:38:12Z After taking a picture, the overhead involved in displaying it on the screen is very complex and requires a large amount of processing operations. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have constructed a new Programming Language called Halide that stands for two things – first, it simplifies the process of writing Image Processing and Computational Photography Software and second, it’s designed to economize the use of mobile battery and processors while processing Images.

For a digital camera, transforming an Image onto screen to make it appear just like how human eye sees is not an easy task. There are certain processes that have to do a lot with capturing light, reading pixels to deduce the colors, Plus-Constant-Correction process so that the result is as similar to what human eye catches, explains GigaOM. And of course, more megapixel a camera has, more intense processes and more complex and lengthy algorithms are involved.

To rewrite the algorithms in this language, researchers have been able to accelerate image processing up to three times and significantly with smaller code. In one case, Halide algorithm was actually pretty much longer than conventional MATLAB, but the Image Processing was 70x faster:

It is definitely an important step in as the web is becoming more and more visual. Halide is therefore an important programming language designed to make it easier to write short and clear image processing code on modern machines. Halide’s front end is an embedding in C++ and Hardware targets include x86-64/SSE, ARM v7/NEON, and CUDA.

[Via MIT.edu]

Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Leadtek Unveils WinFast GTX 680 with 4GB Memory]]> http://mithil.me/?p=2012 2012-08-20T13:04:49Z 2012-08-02T10:30:25Z Leadtek has introduced a new Video Card, WinFast GTX 680 4GD5 (WFGTX680-4G) with 4 GB of GDDR5 Memory. The card has a reference design of Nvidia with dual-slot heat sink and a fan which is similar to that of Nvidia’s original model. Also, the card is using the Nvidia operating frequencies of 1006 MHz core, 1058 MHz GPU Boost, and 6008 MHz GDDR5-effective memory distributed throughout sixteen chips for video memory processing. The board is powered by two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors and will be shipped in August at a price of about $765 / 59,800 JPY, according to Hermitage Akihabara.


  • Model Name: LEADTEK GTX 680 GD5 4096MB LR2738
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
  • CUDA Cores: 1,536
  • Memory: GDDR5 4,096MB
  • Interface: 256-bit
  • Base Clock: 1,006MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1,058MHz
  • Memory Clock: 6,008MHz
  • PCI-E Support: PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • Display Outputs: DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Power connectors 6-pin ×2
  • TDP: 195W
  • Codename: WFGTX680-4G
Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Need for Speed: Most Wanted Video breaches through the streets of Fairhaven City [Video]]]> http://mithil.me/?p=1979 2012-08-20T12:58:34Z 2012-07-29T17:03:03Z

EA has decided to embellish all the gamers by releasing a fantastic video where it shows the gameplay of the next chapter of Need for Speed Most Wanted. Check out the Video!

Need for Speed: Most Wanted takes on the gameplay style of the first Most Wanted title in the Need for Speed franchise. Most Wanted allows players to select one car and compete against other racers to reach a destination. Cops are integrated into certain racing sessions, in which the police deploy vehicles and tactics to stop the player’s car and arrest the player, like the original Most Wanted. The single-player section will feature a Blacklist of 10 racers, similar to the single-player section of the original Most Wanted, which featured 15 Blacklist racers. This time, however, the setting is not Rockport with the cop cars being from the “RPD”; instead, it is now set in a place called Fairhaven City with the cops being FCPD.

Mithil Bhatia http://mithil.me <![CDATA[Apple OS X Mountain Lion: Everything You Need to Know [Review]]]> http://mithil.me/?p=1978 2012-08-20T15:58:46Z 2012-07-29T15:25:47Z Apple revealed its one of the most anticipated new Operating System, Apple OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 on 25th July. Mountain Lion hits the market five months after Apple first previewed it publicly on WWDC 2012 and just a year after its predecessor, Lion. The Apple’s ninth version of OS brings over 200 new exciting features like Notification Center, Messages, better iCloud integration, Social Sharing, Game Center and lots more. The only place where you can get Mountain Lion is the Mac App Store, so it won’t be sold on physical media like DVD or thumb drive.

After 48 hours of launch, Mountain Lion has generated over $38 million, encompassing 3.2 % (2 million downloads) of all Mac users (as estimated by Chitika).

So What’s New?

The Mountain Lion is essentially a new Operating System, however it qualifies more as an upgrade, precisely a refinement of its previous version, Lion 10.7.x. This new version of OS X continues the trend of unifying the benefits of iOS, the mobile operating system that runs on iPhone and iPad, to your Mac. Mountain Lion comes with some applications which are already available in iOS.

Apple claims that Mountain Lion is faster than Lion and even significantly more faster than Snow Leopard. Faster, better stability, better features and a remarkable improvement is being made on Mountain Lion. “Ultimately, this is pretty easy: you should spend the $20 and upgrade to Mountain Lion, especially if you have a newer Mac” – said Nilay Patel, The Verge. Cupertino’s engineers have worked hard on aspects such as 2D GPU Acceleration, Memory usage and improved performance of JavaScript on Safari.

With Messages, the California company sought WhatsApp stand up to the phenomenon, launching its own Messaging Service with which you can send messages to anyone on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. While it fuses with the missing iChat and gives the option of using third party chat like Gmail, messages are encrypted at all ends and there’s an option to switch your chat to a FaceTime video call.

The Notes and Reminders, just like on iOS, offers you to organize your things on Mac. Sync notes and reminders with iCloud, any input or update placed on these applications on the iPhone or iPad, will immediately appear on your Mac.

Notification Center was a historical demand of the users of Apple. After appearing in iOS, Notification Center will also be in Mountain Lion. Notifications appears on the right of your desktop, use a track pad gesture to slide in and out from right side or click the Notification Center Button to pop it up to see notices on new emails, reminders and calendar appointments. Part of its great value lies in integration with Twitter, since from it you can view or send a tweet.

In addition, the new Apple operating system has other features such as Gatekeeper (which increases the security of Mac by preventing downloading and installing malicious software on your Mac), improvements in synchronization with iCloud, Game Center (play with anyone on a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch); and AirPlay (lets you browse files on your TV wirelessly through an Apple TV attached with Mac).

Get the complete detail of 200+ new features of Mountain Lion from Apple Website.

Installing Mountain Lion

Not all Mac users can take advantage of Mountain Lion, the user need to verify that the prominent Mac is among those chosen by Apple to use its new OS. The new OS can only be installed on Macs already running Lion or latest version of Snow Leopard, and they must be either of the following machines:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Once you have cleared above query, the immediate step should be to take backup of Mac on which you are planning to install Mountain Lion. Apple has not detected or reported any serious problems when performing this update, but it’s always a better choice to do so. Time Machine, the native backup utility offered by the Apple, is a perfect tool for this, and can save a lot of valuable information in case something goes wrong.

The installation process is really very easy, the same as installing an app. As with the penultimate and predecessor version Lion 10.7, Mountain Lion can only be installed through Apple App Store.

From Apple App Store dock, select the product as Mountain Lion (the cost is $19.99, and free for those who purchased their machine after June 11, 2012), and right then follow the on screen instruction and begin the process of downloading and installation. It takes around half an hour to upgrade to the new OS. Alternatively, if you don’t have internet access, you can get this process done by visiting any Apple Retail Store.

[Images via Apple]