Windows 8.1


windows_81v2-590x327

Microsoft has yet a new product on its way to release cycle to keep its dedicated fans cheerful.the new version of the windows 8 being called Windows Blue has the look and feel of windows 8 obviously ,along with certain tweaks.Windows 8.1 will be launched at the Microsoft Build developer conference in San Francisco on June 26 and the final version will be available as a free downloadable Windows 8 update.windows-8.1

Based on the industry sources the following features can be considered as a major change.
1. Lock screen slideshow- This can turn your PC or tablet into a picture frame by making your Lock screen a slide show of your pictures – either locally on the device or photos from Microsoft Sky-drive.
2. More backgrounds- more colors and backgrounds for the Start screen – including some with motion along with desktop background.
3. Enhanced apps-MS has tweaked certain features of the app segment by providing performance and GUI based upgrade.
4. More snap views- Re size the apps and multitask to the hearts content.
5. Save direct to Skydive, plus offline files
6. Different tile sizes
7. A new Internet Explorer

Having said that would have to wait and see if”Windows Blue ” leaves up to the expectations of the ever developing OS track line.With the recent market adaptation of the Windows 8 environment it should not be a hard nut to crack.

Nokia Lumia 510


Nokia today unveiled its most affordable phone in the Lumia series which will be available in the country during the  first week of November 2012.

Although the company did not disclose the exact price, but said it will be at priced around INR 11,000 (150$) . “With the Nokia Lumia 510 we continue to meet our commitment to bring Windows phone to new, lower price points,” said Vipul Mehrotra Nokia India Director and Head (Smartphone Devices)  .

He described the  phone being designed with Indian consumer in mind and hence the company is launching it first in India.

The phone features a four-inch display and has 5 megapixel camera.

With this latest addition to the Lumia series, the company is looking to strengthen its position in the smartphone segment.

The Tech Spec of Nokia Lumia 510:

  • Device type :Smart phone
  • OS                 :Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
  • Dimensions:4.75 x 2.56 x 0.45 (120.7 x 64.9 x 11.5 mm)
  • Weight        :4.55 oz (129 g)

DISPLAY

  • Physical size:4 inches
  • Resolution:480 x 800 pixels
  • Pixel density:233 ppi
  • Technology:LCD
  • Colors:65 536
  • Touchscreen:Capacitive, Multi-touch
  • Features:Light sensor, Proximity sensor
Nokia-Lumia-510
Nokia-Lumia-510

BATTERY

  • Talk time:6.20 hours the average is 8 h (487 min)
  • Stand-by time:30.8 days (739 hours)the average is 19 days (467 h)
  • Talk time (3G):8.40 hoursthe average is 7 h (420 min)
  • Stand-by time (3G):27.2 days (653 hours)the average is 21 days (506 h)
  • Capacity:1300 mAh

HARDWARE

  • System chip:Qualcomm Snapdragon S1
  • Processor:Single core, 800 MHz
  • Graphics processor:Yes
  • System memory:256 MB RAM
  • Built-in storage:4 GB
lumia-510
lumia-510

CAMERA

  • Camera:5 mega pixels
    • Aperture size:F2.4
    • Features:Auto focus, Touch to focus, Exposure compensation, White balance presets, Geo tagging, Scenes
  • Camcorder:640×480 (VGA) (30 fps)
    • Features:Continuous autofocus in a video, Digital image stabilization

MULTIMEDIA

  • Music player:
    • Filter by:Album, Artist, Playlists
    • Features:Album art cover, Background playback
  • Radio:FM, Stereo, RDS
  • Speakers:
    • Earpiece, Loudspeaker

INTERNET BROWSING

  • Browser:Internet Explorer
  • Built-in online services support:Facebook, Twitter

TECHNOLOGY

  • GSM:850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • UMTS:850, 1900 MHz
  • Data:HSDPA 7.2 Mbit/s, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS
  • Positioning:GPS, A-GPS, Wi-Fi positioning
  • Navigation:Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation, Points of interest (POI)

PHONE FEATURES

  • Phonebook:Unlimited entries, Caller groups, Multiple numbers per contact, Search by both first and last name, Picture ID, Ring ID
  • Organizer:Calendar, Alarm, To-Do, Document viewer, Calculator, Notes
  • Messaging:SMS, MMS, Threaded view, Predictive text input
  • E-mail:IMAP, POP3, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange

CONNECTIVITY

  • Bluetooth:2.1, EDR
  • Wi-Fi:802.11 b, g, n
  • USB:USB 2.0
    • Connector:microUSB
    • Features:USB charging
  • Other:Computer sync, OTA sync

OTHER FEATURES

  • Notifications:Haptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, Speakerphone
  • Additional microphone/s:for Noise cancellation
  • Sensors:AccelerometerVoice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording

AVAILABILITY

  • Officially announced:23 Oct 2012
  • Scheduled release:November 2012 (Official)

SHOPPING INFORMATION

  • Accessories:Battery BP-3L, Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-190CD, Product and Safety Information Booklet

Creating a Bootable Windows 8 USB Drive from an ISO Image.


 

It’s official that the windows 8 is up for grabs and it open for the all to have a preview of  the next historical thing to happen in the world of  windows computing environment.The typical quality of windows 8 that sets it apart from the rest of the OS is its user-friendly nature to its user .

The windows 8 OS sets it’s on Ecosystem in the world of computing ….taking the side of tablets, PC,  and maybe phones .

There”s little but no difference in the ….UI(user interface ) to all the environment in thew windows 8 platform.

So lets just dive into the  windows 8 .. right away .

After few hours of testing it was convinced that the build is stable enough, and I can take it to next level by installing it parallel to Windows 7 via dual-boot. If you too are looking forward to install Windows 8 on your computer, I would prefer you create a bootable USB drive instead of a bootable DVD.

Note: This is a consumer preview of Windows 8 and not the final stable version.

A USB drive is always faster than DVDs and the chances of failed or corrupt installation are very low as compared to optical media. So lets see how you can create the bootable USB of Windows 8 in the easiest way possible.

Necessary Prerequisites

  • Download the ISO file of Windows 8 on your system.
  • A minimum of 4 GB removable drive for 32-bit Windows and 8 GB for 64-bit Windows 8 operating system.
  • Backup all the data

Creating the Windows 8 Bootable USB Drive

Step 1: Download and extract WinUSB Maker on your computer. WinUSB maker is a portable application and thus does not require installation of any kind. You only need to run the .exe file.

Step 2: Run the WinUSB Maker tool with administrative privileges to start creating your bootable USB drive. (right-click on the file, and click Run as Administrator)

Step 3: In the tool, select the option ISO image bootable disk under the Functions  section. Select Normal Detection Mode and browse for the Windows 8 bootable ISO (Image file) you have already downloaded on your system.

USB maker

Step 4: Finally, select the USB drive and drive MBR system (if you have a single one plugged in, it will be selected by default, if you have more than one, click on the dropdown menu and make a selection from the list) and click on the button Make it Bootable .

That’s all, the tool will now format the USB drive and copy all the Windows installation files to it and make it bootable.

bootable creation

You can now plug-in the device into your system and select removable drive as your first boot selection preference in your BIOS and install Windows 8.

 

Windows shortcuts.


Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts That Might Surprise You

 Killer Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 7

One of my personal favorites among the new features that Windows 7 came with was the introduction of some awesome and long awaited keyboard shortcuts. I personally use them as much as I can to save time, and I recommend the practice of using keyboard shortcuts to others too.

This article talks about 15 really cool keyboards shortcuts that are specific to Windows 7. I can bet that you don’t know all of them. Check them out, some of them will surprise you for sure.

1. Ctrl+Shift+N to Create a New Folder

Create a new folder with a shortcut key

Creating a new folder in Windows explorer is something we all need to do on a frequent basis. And until now, there was no default shortcut key available for this task. But Windows 7 changed that.

You could now use Ctrl+Shift+N to quickly create a new folder in Windows or anywhere on your computer where a folder can be created.

2. Ctrl+Shift+Click to Open a Program As Administrator

run as administrator

There are many instances when just clicking on the icon of the application and opening it doesn’t solve your purpose. You need to right click on it and click on “Run as Administrator” so that you can make the required changes to the app.

In Windows 7, this can be done with a keyboard shortcut. You just need to point your mouse cursor on that program and then click on it while pressing Ctrl+Shift keys to open it as administrator.

3. Shift+Right-Click Enhances Send to Menu

send to menu

The above screenshot shows the default send to menu that I get when I simply right click on a program.

Now, if I press the Shift key, and while having it pressed, I right click on the icon, I get an enhanced send to menu. See the screenshot below to check how it looks.

send to menu enhanced

Nice, isn’t it?

Also check 2 Useful Tools To Add Items & Customize the Windows Right Click Menu.

4. Shift+Right-Click on a Folder to Open Command Prompt

open command windows

If you do Shift+right-click on a folder, you’ll find an option that says “Open command windows here.” If you love working with the command prompt, this option should come in handy.

5. Win+Space to Quickly Show Desktop

Remember our quick tip on hiding open windows in windows 7 ? Well, this is the keyboard shortcut version of that mouse cursor trick. Pressing the Win key and the space bar simultaneously shows you the desktop immediately.

6. Win+Up/Down/Left/Right for Moving the Active Window

Create a new folder with a shortcut key

If you intend to quickly move the active window to make space for other apps, you could do that by using the Win key and one of the arrow keys. Each arrow key would move the window in the direction it is meant to.

7. For Dual Monitors: Win+Shift+Left Arrow Key to Move Active Window to Left Monitor

If you are on a dual monitor setup using Windows 7 then you could press the Win+Shift+Left arrow key combination to move the active application window to the left monitor.

8. For Dual Monitors: Win+Shift+Right Arrow Key to Move Active Window to Right Monitor

Similarly, if you need to move the current window to the right monitor screen, just press Win+Shift+right arrow key.

9. Win+T to Get to Taskbar Items

windows 7 taskbar

You could use the key combination Win+T to toggle through the applications pinned on the taskbar in Windows 7.

10. Shift+Click on a Taskbar App to Open a New Instance of the App

Let’s say you’ve got a bunch of Chrome windows open. And you need to quickly open a new blank window of the browser. Here’s the way – point your cursor to the chrome icon on the taskbar, hit Shift and click on it. There you go!

11. Win+B to Move Focus to the System Tray

system tray

In a previous article, we talked about a technique to add more clocks to the default Windows clock in the system tray. Now, if you need to get there without using your mouse cursor, how’d you do that?

Answer – Win+B. That would move the focus on the system tray, and then you could use the arrow keys to cycle through the items, including the Windows clock.

12. Win+P for Quickly Connecting Your Laptop to a Projector

projection menu windows 7

Windows 7 has a nifty projection menu feature which enables you to quickly connect your laptop to a projector or an extended monitor. Win+P is the keyboard shortcut for that purpose.

13. Win+1, Win+2..so on for Opening Taskbar Programs

Want to quickly open a program that’s pinned to your Windows 7 taskbar? You can press the Win key and the number corresponding to the location of the app on the taskbar.

14. Win+Pause helps you check System Properties

system properties

Need to take a quick look at what’s the processor model you are using, or may be check the device manager, or advanced system settings? You could use Win+pause key combination to open the system properties window.

15. Ctrl+Shift+Esc Can Quickly Open Windows Task Manager

I think this was in Vista too, I am not sure. But it’s a cool shortcut nevertheless. Just press the Ctrl key, Shift key and the ESC key simultaneously and you have the task manager pop up right in front!

So that was about the amazing Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts. I hope you find them useful. In fact, learn them if you are on Windows 7. That’s what I did and it has helped a great deal. If I’ve missed a cool shortcut, do share that in the comments.

Now, if you are on Windows XP, and would love to get some these shortcuts that are relevant to XP, we’ll have you covered tomorrow. We will tell you how you could get some of the above shortcuts working on XP. Stay tuned!

The user interface for windows 8


 

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

The interface formerly known as Metro (TIFKAM) makes the information applications present their UI, and developers need to realise that and stop polluting software with the kind of buttons and icons elements they’ve grown up with.

That’s the opinion voiced by Shane Morris of Automatic Studio, now a user interface consultant but once a Microsoft user interface evangelist, at Microsoft Australia’s TechEd conference today.
Morris’ talk was titled “How to be authentically digital”, a term used by Microsoft to describe its new ethic of letting pixels be pixels instead of imbuing UI elements with shading so they resemble real-world objects. Morris gleefully the term as “designer wank”. He also described the initial TIFKAM screen as the “Asian supermarket screen, because everything is yelling at you and you don’t know where to look.”

Which is not to say Morris dislikes TIFKAM, as he explained it uses proven design techniques and philosophies drawn from “Wayfinding” (signage in airports, train stations and other public places), typography (The Swiss School) and moving type (The opening titles to Hitchcock’s North by Northwest are apparently seminal so we’ve popped them in below).

Those influences mean TIFKAM doesn’t use the interactive vocabulary of the desktop GUI. Instead, Morris says, “We focus on content and the information people need to consume.”

Developers must therefore strive to “present the information well enough it can form the user interface.” Which is not to say that users are to be left without things to click on, but Microsoft has hidden them in TIFKAM’s Apps Bar and Charm bar, decoupling UI elements from apps.

“A consistent UI and place for people to look for search, share and settings means users don’t have to need to learn a new UI for each app,” Morris explained, adding that it’s not sensible to assume that users have discovered the Charm or Apps bars. Most users do so quickly, he said. Others take up to five minutes to do so.

Morris said Developers need to understand these new elements, and also assess whether they are right for their apps. Business apps, he said may not work in this context, with more familiar icon-driven UI elements still available for apps that just won’t fit into TIFKAM’s design paradigm.

That split, he said, is not new, arguing that Microsoft has been making content-centric interfaces since the days of Expedia CD-ROMs and has continue to do so with products like Media Centre and Zune.

Mainstream developers will therefore need to come to terms with content-centric interfaces and the elements they offer, one of which is animation. Moving images, he said, even offer the chance to tap into users’ primal instincts as we are attuned to interpreting fast-moving objects in peripheral vision as worthy of attention (if only to avoid being eaten by an approaching predator). Using animation to show users something is worthy of their attention is a new interface tactic he feels will be useful.

The bad news, Morris added, is that using animation “doesn’t come naturally to me”. He’s not sure it will come naturally to any developer, given that most are used to working in rather different ways.

But developers don’t need to get too hung up on their animation skills, he added, as good design for Windows 8 apps, or any other, starts with decisions about what an application is intended to achieve, rather than just how it will look and behave.

 

Samsung shows off first Windows Phone 8 handset…..


 

The Windows key is a hardware button, while the other two are capacitive.

The first Windows Phone 8 handset was revealed today at IFA in Berlin. Dubbed the Samsung ATIV S, it has a 4.8 inch “HD” (presumably 1280×720) Super AMOLED screen, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, 8MP rear and 1.9MP front-facing cameras, 1GB RAM, 16 or 32 gigabytes of storage, a micro SD slot, NFC support, and a 2,300 mAh battery—all in a 8.7mm (0.34″) thick device.

The internals are similar, then, to the company’s Galaxy S III handset. The externals, however, are very different. The front is Gorilla Glass 2. The back eschews the plastic of the Android handset in favor of brushed aluminium.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone blog, which actually scooped Samsung’s announcement, has lots of pictures of the device.

With Windows Phone 8 rumored to launch on October 29th, this doesn’t leave much time for developers to develop apps for the new platform. One possible reason is speculation that the company would rather developers continue to produce Windows Phone 7 apps instead. These apps will run fine on the new platform, but will also run on current handsets. The delay with publishing the SDK could, therefore, be an attempt to postpone the abandonment of the currently shipping platform.

 

Widely used fingerprint reader exposes Windows passwords in seconds


 

RISK ASSESSMENT / SECURITY & HACKTIVISM

 

Widely used fingerprint reader exposes Windows passwords in seconds

If your laptop uses software from UPEK, it’s exposing your Windows password.

 

An image from UPEK Protector Suite 2009.

Fingerprint-reading software pre-installed on laptops sold by Dell, Sony, and at least 14 other PC makers contains a serious weakness that makes it trivial for hackers with physical control of the machine to quickly recover account passwords, security researchers said.

The UPEK Protector Suite, which was acquired by Melbourne, Florida-based Authentec two years ago, is marketed as a secure means for logging into Windows computers using an owner’s unique fingerprint, rather than a user-memorized password. In reality, using the software makes users lesssecure than they otherwise would be. When activated, the software writes Windows account passwords to the registry and encrypts them with a key that is easy for hackers to retrieve. Once the key has been acquired, it takes seconds to decrypt the password.

“After analyzing a number of laptops equipped with UPEK fingerprint readers and running UPEK Protector Suite, we found that your Windows account passwords are stored in Windows registry almost in plain text, barely scrambled but not encrypted,” said an advisory issued by Elcomsoft, a Russia-based developer of password-cracking software. “Having physical access to a laptop running UPEK Protector Suite, we could extract passwords to all user accounts with fingerprint-enabled logon.”

When Protector Suite isn’t activated, Windows doesn’t store account passwords in the registry unless users have specifically configured an account to automatically log in. Security experts have long counseled people not to use automatic login.

That means computers that use the UPEK app are at a severe disadvantage compared with people who use a strong password to log in to a Windows account. The most obvious disadvantage is for those computers that have a Windows feature known as Encrypting File System enabled to prevent third parties from accessing sensitive files or folders. The key that unlocks that encrypted data is controlled by a Windows account password. Once the password is retrieved, the EFS-encrypted data stored on the computer can quickly be decrypted.

Further, having quick access to the account password could unlock other data that might otherwise be harder to obtain. The Windows Data Protection application programming interface, for example, is also closely tied to account passwords and controls access to credentials used by Outlook, Internet Explorer, and possibly other applications. Of course, any time a PC is physically controlled by a hacker, its passwords are vulnerable to cracking attacks that have grown significantly more powerful in recent years. But without the use of the UPEK Protector Suite, hackers have access only to one-way password hashes, which, depending on the complexity of the underlying passcode, can take years or centuries to recover using brute-force methods. Use of the fingerprint software guarantees the success of the cracking operation, and it can also significantly reduce the time it takes.

The easily cracked passwords are stored in the Windows registry even after the Protector Suite software has been deactivated, according to the Elcomsoft advisory. It is only removed when a user manually deletes it. The precise registry location of the encrypted password is not yet known. This article will be updated with instructions for locating and removing it if that information can be obtained.

Authentec no longer actively markets Protector Suite, but according to archived data from the UPEK website, the app ships—or used to ship—on laptops manufactured by 16 different companies. In addition to Dell and Acer, other PC makers include Amoi, Asus, Clevo, Compal, Dell, Gateway, IBM/Lenovo, Itronix, MPC, MSI, NEC, Sager, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.

It’s unclear if Authentec officials plan to recall the product or issue an advisory warning laptop owners of the vulnerability. Company representatives didn’t respond to Ars Technica e-mails requesting comment for this article. The Elcomsoft findings follow research published last month that showed thatpassword hints are easily extracted from Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines.

The discovery serves as a useful reality check for marketers who portray fingerprints and other user biometrics as a panacea for the difficulty of remembering and securing passwords. In fact, biometric readers are only as secure as the software that implements them. And even when devices are free of such implementation errors, biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans may be vulnerable to cloning, opening up the possibility of a new class of attacks on the alternate authentication methods.

According to Elcomsoft, Authentec officials have already said they’re aware of the weakness. If true, it’s disappointing that the company has yet to share that knowledge with the millions of people who likely have the software installed on their computers. A tutorial included with UPEK Protector Suite 2009 installed on a Sony Vaio touts the convenience of the application with the tag line: “Protect your digital privacy.” It goes on to emphasize the benefits of using Protector Suite to encrypt files and folders. Now that a weakness has come to light that seriously undermines those assurances, Authentec should recall the software, or at the very least warn users that it is susceptible to serious attack.