Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Gary McKinnon: The Extraordinary Hacker

Gary McKinnon: The Extraordinary Hacker

Gary McKinnon (born 10 February 1966) is a Scottish systems administrator and hacker who was accused in 2002 of perpetrating the "biggest military computer hack of all time," In 2002, an exceptionally odd message appeared on a US Army computer screen: “Your security system is crap,” it read. “I am Solo. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels.” It was later identified as the work of Scottish systems administrator, Gary McKinnon. McKinnon suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, which is the least severe form of autism. The symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome certainly match Gary’s actions: that is, highly intelligent with an exceptional understanding of complex systems. Though sufferers often have difficulty reading social cues and acknowledging the impact of their often-obsessive behavior, they tend to be geniuses in one particular subject. 

For Gary, it was computers. Gary has been accused of executing the largest ever hack of United States government computer networks including Army, Air Force, Navy and NASA systems. The court had recommended that McKinnon be apprehended to the United States to face charges of illegally accessing 97 computers, causing a total of $700,000 in damage. Even more interesting are McKinnon’s motives for the large scale hackings, which he claims were in search of information on UFOs. He believed the US government was hiding such information in its military computers.

On 16 October 2012, after a series of legal proceedings in Britain, Home Secretary Theresa May withdrew his extradition order to the United States.



Free Gary McKinnon:

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STSTW 2013

Friday, 14 June 2013

What Are the Biggest Rumors About the iPhone 5S?

What Are the Biggest Rumors About the iPhone 5S?

New Display

Another year means another new iPhone model, and people have already started to predict what Apple's new device will do. Keep reading to check out all of the most popular rumors about the iPhone 5S.
Apple's famed Retina display is quickly becoming old news as new technologies are emerging. It won't be a big surprise if the new iPhone introduces a higher resolution screen. It may even utilize Sharp's brand new IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) display. This amazing new technology uses extremely low amounts of power and offers higher resolutions.

Fingerprint Sensor

A popular rumor is that the iPhone 5S will add a fingerprint sensor. This new feature has been expected ever sinceApple acquired a company that specializes in this technology. Apple will supposedly use the new sensor to improve the security of mobile transactions.

Super-HD Camera

The iPhone 5 already has a great camera that takes HD photos and works well in low-light situations. However, a popular rumor is that the iPhone 5S will improve the camera further. It's expected to have a "Super-HD" resolution of around 13-megapixels, which a big improvement over the current iSight camera.

Quad-Core Processor

Everyone figured that the iPhone 5 would be powered by a quad-core processor, but it contained Apple's dual-core A6 chip instead. It's rumored that the iPhone 5S swap out the A6 for the A6X quad-core processor. This computer chip should be more energy efficient and will deliver much more power to the device

More Colors

Apple already offers the iPod in multiple colors, so why not the iPhone? It's likely that the iPhone 5S could come in more colors than just black or white. The most likely colors to be offered are blue and pink, but its unknown whether these models will have plastic or metal casing.



Near-field communication is the ability for one device to automatically communicate with another nearby device. NFC has been a buzzword in the mobile sector for years, but it hasn't caught on like most people expected. Still, some people suspect that the iPhone 5S will add NFC capability.


Wireless Charging

Wireless battery charging has been around for a couple years, but Apple may end up making the technology go mainstream with the iPhone 5S. Other devices require a special case to enable wireless charging, but the iPhone could have it built-in. While it would still offer plugged-in power, it would also be able to be recharged via a wireless charging pad.


iOS 7

It feels like Apple just worked out the kinks with iOS 6 (and there were a lot of them), but there are already rumors of iOS 7. A new release is always a convenient time to update your operating system. Even if this new operating system doesn't offer many new features, it would be a good PR move to get away from the old version.


Stylus Pen

Many smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note, are bringing back the stylus pen for precision writing and drawing. It's rumored that the iPhone 5S could be following suit. An onboard stylus could also mean a larger screen, but a major design change like that is not likely in an "S" version.

Release Date

The iPhone 5 came out on September 21, 2012, so it's reasonable to assume that the iPhone 5S will come out around one year later. Rumors originally pegged the release for as early as May or June, but thanks to a production delay people are settling on August or September of 2013.


Apple is looking into creating iPhones with bigger screens, specifically 4.7 and 5.7-inchmodels, as early as next year according to areport from Reuters. There are also rumorsthat cheaper iPhone models will be offered in arange of colors.While Apple has not yet commented on thespeculation of larger-screened models, it's notinconceivable to believe that such a device willcome out eventually. The Cupertino companyis currently facing a pretty had battle against ahost of 4.7" to 5" high-end droids, which areeating into the iPhone's market share. And lastyears' iPhone 5 chose that the company iswilling to leave the 3.5-inch comfort zone ithas been inhabiting since the its firstsmartphone debuted in 2007.Apart from the anticipated iPhone 5S, Apple isalso expected to launch a cheaper plasticmodel with 5-6 different color options, todifferentiate it from the mainstream iPhone,which traditionally only comes in black orwhite. Pricing of the cheaper iPhones could be
as low as $99, although any expected release
date could be pushed back to 2014.
Other Reuters' sources indicate that test
production of both the iPhone 5S and plastic
multicolor models will be beginning next
month, with production being ramped up in
August for an anticipated September launch
date. Some 20 million plastic iPhones are expected to ship in Q4 of this year, according to a source in Asia.

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Online gadget deals hurting retailers

Online gadget deals hurting retailers: Future Group, Reliance Digital and others seek strict pricing policies

Chains such as Reliance Digital and Future Group have asked brands like Apple, Samsung and Nokia to impose strict pricing policies on shopping websites
Chains such as Reliance Digital and Future Group have asked brands like Apple, Samsung and Nokia to impose strict pricing policies on shopping websites

KOLKATA: Electronics retail chains such as Future Group's eZone and Reliance Digitalsay heavy discounting by online retailers on popular smartphones and tablets such as theiPhone 5, Galaxy S4 and iPad is hurting them, and have asked manufacturers to take measures to stop such deals.

Chains such as The Mobile Store, Reliance Digital, Future Group and Next Retail have approached brands like Apple, Samsung,Nokia and BlackBerry, asking them to impose strict pricing policies on shopping websites such as Flipkart, Infibeam and Snapdeal.

"Indiscriminate discounting by online stores affects our sales to quite an extent," says Rajan Malhotra, president at India's largest listed retailer Future Group, which runs 38 eZone stores. "If we get pushed due to such discounting, we definitely have to push back with the brands," he says, confirming that the firm has taken up the issue with manufacturers.

Online gadget deals hurting retailers: Future Group, Reliance Digital and others seek strict pricing policies
The Apple iPhone 5 16GB, for example, is available online for Rs 40,950 while at retail chains and Apple stores it is sold forRs 45,500. The BlackBerry Z10 is selling at less than Rs 40,000 online against the retail price of Rs 42,499. Such discounts are available on products such as the iPad,Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nokia Lumia.

Brian Bade, CEO at Reliance Retail's electronic retailing format Reliance Digital, says brands have to take a tough stand against such online deals that hurt the business. "Consumers often come with the online discounted price in mind and leave the store without concluding the purchase," he says.

As per industry estimates, modern retail contributes around 12% of the Rs 37,000-crore mobile phone and tablet market in India while online retailers make up around 4-5%.


Brands say they follow the same pricing and trade promotional schemes for online and offline retailers while online retailers say lower operational costs allow them to offer higher discounts than offline retailers.

But modern trade is not convinced. The chief of a leading electronics store says the firm has questioned brands on their margin structure.

"With wafer-thin margins of 4-7% in mobile phones and information technology (IT) products like tablets, it is not possible for any retailer to offer the discounts which the online stores offer. Something is wrong somewhere and unless the brands take corrective action, we may have to stop stocking the latest models whose sales are usually hit the most," he says on condition of anonymity.

Apple, whose products seem to carry maximum discounts online, declined comment on the issue.

Samsung India's head of mobile phone business, Vineet Taneja, says the brand offers uniform MRP for its products, with the trade partners free to offer consumers their own pricing within the MRP.

"Market dynamics ultimately dictate pricing and discounts in the market," he says.

BlackBerry India spokesman Varghese M Thomas, too, said the brand follows uniform pricing and product service policy for its products across markets.

Online retailers say they can offer lower prices because they don't have to invest large amount of capital on prime real estate and maintain stock at all locations.

"Practically, one can serve an entire city in online retail with a single stockroom," Vishal Mehta, founder and chief executive officer of, says. "The savings for online retailers come from lower inventory costs, which get passed on to end-customers in the form of great offers," he says

Android 5.0 Tipped to Come in October, Could Run on Phones with 512 MB of RAM

Android 5.0 Tipped to Come in October, Could Run on Phones with 512 MB of RAM

Android-5.0-Key-Lime-PieWith Android 4.1 Jelly Bean closing in on its first anniversary and 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich already a year and a half old, everyone expected 5.0 Key Lime Pie to be official by now. And yet it isn’t and rumor has it it’s not coming very soon either.
Or I should probably say rumor had it, since the latest word around the street is 5.0 will be unveiled come October. That leaves me a little puzzled as to the entire recent 4.3 JB rumor bonanza, but who am I to challenge Vr-Zone’s usually reliable anonymous sources?
And besides, who says 4.3 can’t be released this month and then 5.0 four months from now? At the same time, I see myself forced to underline this is just the latest piece in a long and convoluted rumor string, so do what you will with that info, just don’t take the report for granted.
Assuming the new “sources” are in fact in the know, Key Lime Pie will apparently be optimized to run even on older Android devices featuring just 512 MB of RAM. That sounds almost too good to be true, since I don’t think there are more than a couple such gadgets running 4.1 Jelly Bean smoothly nowadays.
Between now and then, Google will probably be looking to make that mythical Moto X official (with Android 4.3?), which means either Key Lime Pie will be coming solo, or a Nexus 5 intro is in store for the fall as well. Plenty of exciting things to come, right?


Nokia will finally stop shipments of its once-mighty Symbian smartphones this summer and throw its future wholly behind Microsoft’s Windows platform.
The Finnish group will bring to an end deliveries of its last homegrown smartphone platform, which had looked unassailable as the world’s leading operating system before the launch of Apple’s iPhone.

Symbian still accounts for a small, single-digit share in many major markets, and was surpassed by Nokia’s Lumia range of Windows-based smartphones only in the past year. The latest Lumia device, the 925, will go on sale around Europe this week.The subsequent failure by Nokia to keep pace with innovations from Apple, and then match the rise ofGoogle’s Android, caused a sharp decline in sales of devices using Symbian even as the overall smartphone market grew rapidly. This forced Nokia into a drastic leap from the self-proclaimed “burning platform” on toMicrosoft’s rival software.
The final shipment means the Finnish group’s fortunes in the smartphone market now rest entirely on Microsoft’s fledgling Windows Mobile software.
Kantar Worldpanel estimates that Symbian held a European market share of about 1.8 per cent in the three months to April, down from 8 per cent in the year before. It still accounts for about 2 per cent of the vast Chinese market.
However, Nokia sold just 500,000 Symbian units in the first quarter of 2013, much less than the 5.6m Windows-based Lumia phones, which meant that the operating system accounted for less than 5 per cent of overall smartphone sales.
Nokia developed the last new Symbian device in 2012 – the 808 Pureview – although it has continued to ship handsets using the operating system given its enduring popularity in some countries.
Nokia said: “It took 22 months to get a Symbian phone out of the door. With Windows Phone, it is less than a year. We spend less time having to tinker with deep-lying code and more time on crafting elements of the experience that make a big difference, such as around photography, maps, music and apps in general.”
Nokia is not expected to announce it has stopped shipments, in part because there will still be stocks of the devices that need be sold in parts of the world. It will still make cheaper phones that use its own proprietary operating system.

Maersk Triple-E – A Detailed Look At The World’s Biggest Ship

Maersk Triple-E – A Detailed Look At The World’s Biggest Ship

Forty-thousand alarm clocks buzzed as one, waking an equal number of workers for work at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), the world’s second-largest shipyard, just before dawn on Geoje Island, along South Korea’s southwest coast. As the sun rose, they marched out for another day’s labor at the company’s immense dry docks, dominated by the soaring arc of a Brobdingnagian hull. Giant barge mounted cranes float past the docks, where they had laid each mega-block section, enormous, pre-fabricated ship segments onto a blacktop larger than a Walmart parking lot.

The enormous ship, due for launch on June 28, is the world’s biggest. A behemoth even in a world of behemoths, and the first sibling in a new fleet of 19 sisterships. The vessel will have the ability to carry 18,000 twenty foot shipping containers and will weigh-in at 165,000 metric tons, the equivalent mass of all the gold ever mined.

Sheer size is her most distinguishing feature. At 400 meters, the M/V Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller, as she’ll be called, is significantly longer than any aircraft carrier or even the Titanic, and only slightly shorter than the Empire State Building is high. Standing on her bridge is like peering over the rim of the Grand Canyon. From her highest deck, shipyard workers resemble overgrown ants and officers needing to walk the bridge’s width, wing-to-wing, will wish they had packed roller skates.

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