Sunday, 25 September 2011

How to get the 'TIMELINE' on your Facebook Profile??

Well you have obviously logged into facebook these days and noticed the a number of changes? Have you been compalining about it too? Or did you like it? But I do agree to the fact that Facebook seems to be playing catch up to Google+. I mean Facebook shoving up Groups and the new Top Stories section down our throats, also getting rid of the Most Recent tab making just one universal feed. The new subscribe button which allows you to twitter-like follow people. More the options come up, more the security settings get complicated. Do not even get me started about the whole new “what are people doing feed” (The one which lets you see what your friends did just now, located right above the chat panel).

Facebook also rang a huge change, announced in their F8 Keynote. We have something called a timeline now. Its basically a nostalgic trip of your facebook activity over the weeks, months and years. They layout as you will see is quite catchy and draws you into it. Now all users will be able to use it after 30th September i.e. Public Release date. But if you read on, you might able to take tour of your very own timeline in the next five minutes. So do the needful. READ ON!


It will ask you to Log in, Do so and allow the App to access your personal settings and etc. (You have gone through this routine before with other apps surely.)


Once you log on to the Developers Page, check on the right hand side. (see pic) It will ask you for Display Name and Namespace. Just write whatever you want to name an App if you ever had the brains to write one. (No offence) Then don’t forget to check the box of agree to the policy and continue. At this point there will be a security check (captcha) get through it.


After Step 2, you are ushered to a page which shows some basic info about the app and the app developer (YOU!). On the left side menu there is an option saying ‘Open Graph’ Click on it. (See Pic). Once you click on it, you will be taken to a page called getting started where you have to define a sentence. Rather fill in the blanks. People can ________________  a  ________ . That’s it. I mentioned people can find out about a houseparty. (This is like a sentence which defines your app). If you still do not get it. Just copy mine. I wont file a lawsuit for plagiarism. Click on Get Started after this.

Step 4

The second last and the easiest part. Just click on Save and Continue (Two times as it again loads a page which asks you to do the same) until you reach “ Then Save and Finish.” Click on that too. Some page is loaded after that. Which you need not care about. Just Log on to Facebook (not Developers) now and once your page loads something will pop up on the top which asks if you want to try the new timeline feature. You click on “Frigging Yes!!”

Step 5

Enjoy!! Yup that’s it! : )

Just one more thing, tell us how you feel about the timeline and the other new changes on facebook. Like it? Hate it? You want some and hate some? Just voice your opinions and tell us how you feel. Hope you were able to access the timeline. (if you were not able to, you seriously need to work on your hand-eye coordination)

Lastly, some changes in the blog. I have started blogging about technology on (You should head there, its a beautiful project). Anyway from hereon out, I plan to make Tech-Rest a little more about random things. I will continue to blabber here about technology of course, but not exclusively. I plan to make this a foot print of what i like and dislike over the internet and life in general. No No, personal crap, not much anyway. This wont be a weekly thing anymore. I am going to make this into a anytime i want post thing. Cheers!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Masked Criminals/ Vigilante!?

HACKER!!! Ooo. Would you not be interested to be one? Knowing all the back doors and loop holes of all prominent sites, bending rules and mending them as you want them. No, i do not support hacking but i do admit, being one is a cool feat. Basically there are two types of hackers :-
a) Ethical Hackers :- The Batmans and Supermans of the Cyberworld. They follow unwritten rules and have a code of conduct which they swear by.
b) Black-Hat Hackers :- Well you get the point by now. They are the Dr.Octavius' and Jokers of the cyberworld. They use their knowledge for personal gain and exploitation.

Yes, V is for Vendetta!!
Its not so simple for hackers though. Ethical hacking is a fine line to tread. Right now, after so many high profile hacks in recent times, hackers are actually losing the sympathy and support they were garnering from general public. There have been as many as 13 reported attacks on servers containing sensitive information of many high profile companies. Couple of days back, two Indian official sites (NIC and a Indian Army site) were hacked by the pretty well known hacking outfit, Anonymous. What will surprise you though is the reason why they did it. Anonymous have begun a campaign called "Operation India", everything is explained in the next video which i recommend you to watch very highly. You can follow the campaign on twitter or visit their facebook page for further information.
Update : The video has been removed by Youtube for violation of its policy against "deceptive content".

But i am going to leave you with a letter the group addressed to the government.

"We are Anonymous Again.
To the People of India and Government,
You Have Underestimated the Power of people.You thought First NIC Hack by Anonymous was Playful act, "THINK AGAIN".
We are not here to Play with anyone.We are here to send a Message to all the people who support the Anti-corruption bill. We took Down Indian Army Official Site and NIC knows more what we did.We do not support anyone, We Support Only The Anti-Corruption Bill.No one can speak for Anonymous, Nothing is Official.
We are Not the "FLAME", We are just a "SPARK".Stop Your Brutal Violence and Blame games.Anonymous are the people.

We do not forget.
We do not forgive.
We are legion.
Expect us"

Before you start feeling for this vigilante group, let me throw some light on some of the other alleged hackings they have undertaken in the past three months. Sony's PlayStation Network(PSN), a network which serves around 77 million users, was hacked. Information containing Names, Addresses, usernames and passwords and Credit Card Details of all the users was compromised. Imagine a group of hackers, a breed whose morality and integrity is always a point of debate, holding a database of 77 million users with their credit card information. The data itself is worth millions of dollars of if not more. People say that Sony brought this upon themselves when they took a cracker (a person who cracks codes and bypasses validation processes) named GeoHot to court because he cracked the PS3. Sony was warned by Anonymous group that they will take revenge for violation of privacy, according to the group, the company cannot tell a person what he needs to do with his device. Be that as it may, i do not think any kind of reason justifies stealing such sensitive data and putting the consumers at risk.It took Sony 6 weeks to restore the PSN and it cost them a mind boggling $25M. This was by far one of the biggest hacks ever, it shook the cyberworld.

V for VAMOS!??!
And this is where it just began, in beginning because GeoHot is a pretty harmless and famous person on the internet, the hacking received support from sections. But what followed next was shocking.Just when Sony began to assess and fix the broken PSN, two of its subsidiaries got hacked. PSN again got hacked. Hackers after this suddenly went on a rampage. Nintendo got hacked by a group of Hackers known by the name Lulszec.  Apparently they did not mean any harm. Later on their tweet said, "We just got a config file and made it clear that we didn't mean any harm. Nintendo had already fixed it anyway. <3 them". Nintendo went on record saying that even though hackers bypassed some security measures, their customer data could not be hacked into or breached, hence no need to worry. YEAH RIGHT!! Last heard Police caught three people related to Sony hacking.

A cyberwar atmosphere has been created by now. The latest victims being Citibank and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), even Gmail was hacked. These hackers never ever sleep, even right now as i am composing this piece, reports are coming in that games publisher Codemasters (Cricket 2011, F1, Dirt series, etc) have also been hacked. Early reports suggest that names and email addresses of customers have been stolen from the database.

There is a saying that there is no such thing as an unhackable and uncrackable device or server. Its rather frustrating and irritating to accept that our private and important details can be accessed and stolen by a group of individuals who do it as an evening boredom killing event.Privacy and Internet security are huge issues which can actually break a company in no time. Google and Facebook face hundreds of privacy related cases, though they win over 95% of them, the rather small number of cases lost have cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. Hackers are like mistresses, you have to handle them with care and they might reward you and spare you. But if by any chance you infuriate them, then be prepared for your life being turned upside down. They can ruin and spoil trust and goodwill you have built and worked upon for years within minutes.Hackers are an unavoidable part of the internet, treat them well and they tie a cape around their necks and roam at night, treat them wrong and you might have to deal with some weird ass villains.

News Box 
1) Apple launches a plethora of stuff in softwares. Are you iReady? iCloud, iOS5, Mac OS X Lion et al!
2) Sony launches PlayStation Vita, makes forget all Sin, Cos and Tan θ.
3) Nintendo launches Wii U. Yes after Wii, they finally thought of U.
4) E3 2011 floors smashed by dropping jaws, people report missing eyeballs. Here's the Round-up.
5) Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Reviewed.Pales soon after.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Why should you buy a tablet? Part 2

Last week we talked about the reasons why tablets do not have a purpose or a reason to be in your travel bag. Yet there are some exceptional and innovative things done by some companies which need to be mentioned. If not these devices themselves, their concepts and ideas atleast push and take this segment in a new direction. Maybe second or third generation versions of these devices will take usability to a new level or provide them with real purpose. Yet even buying them right now is not a bad bet either, provided you can live with these beta versions.

1) Motorola Atrix.

A phone docked in a laptop powering the laptop itself.Atrix allows you to send messages, surf online and everything from the laptop dock. It actually opens your phone itself in a window. You can use all the applications from the mobile on the laptop dock itself. Motorola has fixed up a Linux based OS for this laptop. The phone is the powerhouse and processor of the laptop.One major addition and plus point to this laptop dock is that while the phone is docked in, the laptop has its own battery and it actually charges the phone itself, so powering the laptop does not drain the phone out. A drawback being, once the phone is removed from the laptop it becomes like dead piece of plastic. The phone is like the all spark from transformers. It brings the laptop to life.Also its really difficult to understand why motorola did not just load the chrome OS on the laptop, rather now people are stuck with this firefox based OS. You can check out the full review on ENGADGET and CNET.

2) Asus EEE Pad Transformer

 Asus, not many people know much about this company. Even if they know about them, people do not know how good the company has been coming through lately. Well the next couple of devices by them are going to grab eyeballs for sure. Starting with the EEE Pad transformer. At first glance it seems like a normal tablet, rather it feels a little plastic-ky and cheaper version of those other shiny ones. BUT again, this is where Asus comes through. Transformer comes with Honeycomb out of the box, and compared to Motorola Xoom, this ones way cheaper. And to top that, Asus provides you an option of buying this keyboard dock which still is cheaper than Xoom. Asus has really gone out of its way to make this keyboard dock feel really good and sturdy, with two finger scrolling included. It has its own battery and hence charges the tablet when docked. Demand for this tablet has been exceptionally high, so much so that its completely sold out in US and some areas of Europe. Asus did not anticipate such demand for it. This in itself shows you that consumers know how important it is to solve the input problem. (mentioned in the last blog too) You can go through its reviews on ANANDTECH and CNET.
The company really needs to work on its ad-campaign though.

3) Asus Padfone
Now this is a concept everyone is really excited about. Asus unveiled the padfone at Computex,2011 in Taipei. This concept makes a lot of sense. Firstly you do not need to have two data connections, one for your tablet and the other one for your phone. You will not give up your phone connection and there is no use of a tablet if you are not going for a 3g version, otherwise the "on the go" device will become a simple PMP and nothing else "on the go". You just plug the phone in a compartment as shown, and the tablet comes to life. One major difference between this and the Atrix discussed above is that the phone in this case in incorporated in the design of the tablet itself. Once docked you can use the tablet without any hindrance. Another advantage being that the tablet and the phone have the same memory. So anything downloaded and being worked upon on the tablet can be resumed where left on the phone itself. Again the dock charges the phone when plugged in. This can really lessen the divide and need for two devices. It makes more sense having padfone than two different devices (phone and a stand alone tablet), The only dark lining in this silver cloud is that its expected to be released during the christmas season. So now you know what you want from Santa this year! Check out more details on ENGADGET

4) Kyochera Echo.

If these pictures do not grab your eyeballs. What will!?!?! What is about these unheard of companies who take such risks?! Kyochera Echo is another example of going radical, of being fearless in design and implementation. This is a phone which can transform into a phone/tablet. Its dual 3.5" screens change the whole dimension of this device. Its bulky, its software has issues, but its geeky to the very core. Kyochera has actually taken some really good efforts to try and make use of the dual screen to the best they can. This again seems like a beta device. It seems like a work-in-progress. The bezel of the screens becomes a hindrance, the processor sometimes is not powerful enough to 
handle both screens. The battery again is an issue because of the two WVGA touch panels. First look, it seems just like another touch phone and then when you push open the second screen, the gameball changes altogether. Packing Android Froyo (2.2) and a custom layer over it, this beast has its own cult following. Even though its a phone, it definitely is breaching and threatening the tablet territory. Review by ENGADGET.

5) Microsoft Windows 8!
Yes you read right Your windows 7 is going to become a has-been quite soon. Microsoft just previewed its much talked and hyped about WINDOWS 8. Even though its not a device itself, but you will understand there is no way i can skip mentioning it. Windows 8 is going to be touch friendly, its going to be tablet friendly. One of the biggest companies to stay out of the tablet market has finally started to make its push. It was a smart move to just not jump on the tablet bandwagon. Windows 7 is not a touch based OS from ground up, there was no point in trying to make it so. The question now though is did they wait too long? Did Microsoft take too long? Its going to be really difficult to see a Windows 8 device this year. I will let the video takeover.

Now do you see how important  tablets are going to be? Now do you see that there is more to this market than the Galaxies and the iPads? This is just the beginning of the tablet era. I would advice you to hold on to your laptops and PCs for a little while longer, and if you still are hellbent on buying one, you should really give the ones mentioned above a serious thought.

News Box
1) Acer Hacked!!! Hackers holding a press conference!!
2)PlayStation Network back online!! Gaming Orgies resume!!
3) Syria switches off Internet. Facebookers join the protests!!
4)Blackberry Torch 2 previewed!! Let there be light?!
5) Lara Croft teases with a re-imagined video.(Angelina Jolie fans stay out of this, its going to be messy)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Why should you buy a tablet? Part 1

If you are looking for reasons to find some kind of reassurance for buying that shiny looking tablet in your hand, you might as well stop reading right now. I am not going to give you any. Rather I am asking and looking for reasons.

Why should you buy a tablet? For its bigger screen? For its better graphic? For its better processing power than your phone? I am not against tablets. Even though I don’t think I can find any real use or function for them right now, I am excited about them and how they are going to change and redefine the market. Its effects are going to be felt far and wide, from high-end PC’s and laptops to their cheaper netbook cousins, right to the high end mobiles themselves.

The form factor of the tablets is still undefined. Companies are still unsure about the ideal size for their tablet. Samsung is soon coming out with 8” and 10” tablets, HTC Flyer has 7” screen size, Sony is coming out with two tablets, one a 9.4” slate and another a dual screen 5.5” (which might be the first tablet to be PlayStation certified). And believe me, these different versions of tablets are not to have a range of products which suit your likings. This is more due to lack of knowledge and information. The tablet market though booming is still new and immature. The companies themselves are being amateurish by releasing  tablets left right and center, though delaying it too much has its problems too. Most of them being loaded with different versions of Android are hardly making any numbers
and then comes the Apple’s one buttoned, fantastically engineered, iOS loaded iPad. Are you listening Microsoft? Except Apple, all the other companies are having an identity crisis. They are finding it extremely hard to differentiate themselves amongst the sea of tablets from reputed companies to Chinese mockups. Apple having its one product policy and the company to start the whole tablet revolution is comfortable in its 9.7” screen size.(You should see the way Steve Jobs snapped at rival companies with lesser screen size, calling their tablets “tweeners”).

Now let’s get down to the real business. What is the use of a tablet? One of the biggest drawbacks of any touch based device is the input. Touch based devices are great in selecting things, going in and out of menus(depending upon the OS of course, take note Symbian), surfing internet and of course better to look at; Bigger screen means better videos and better interaction with the OS.  But when it comes to hardcore work, you need to type; you need to provide a lot of input. Trust me, I have been using a touch phone for the last couple of years, and there are times when I miss the clicking of buttons. There is a limitation to how much you can type on a screen with no real reciprocation like a click. Even though input technology in touch based devices is improving, with all the voice recognition softwares and new ways of typing using touch (read swype), there is still no real breakthrough in it which can replace the physical clicking of the keyboard and mouse.

If you look closely, you’ll realize that tablets are not scaled down versions of laptops and computers, they are blown up versions of mobiles. Look at the OS being used on tablets. iOS on the Ipad, Android Gingerbread (v2.2.x and v2.3.x) on most of the other tablets. Gingerbread is a phone OS, used on most of the mobile devices released in the last quarter; manufacturers have had to add a custom layer on the Gingerbread to make it useable on tablets. It’s only now, that Android Honeycomb (v3.0 and v3.1), an OS specifically designed by the android team for tablets can be seen being bundled with a few of them. iOS for iPad is again a rescaled version of the iOS for the iPhone. What will you do with a really large mobile phone? Watch movies, videos, photos and listen to music? Do you not already have devices which cater to these specific needs? Videos and movies can be seen on any damn laptop or our little forgotten television. Photos can be viewed and edited on a computer. And if you really really really need to see a video or a photo, without which you cannot survive, there is always our very own mobile phone. Mobile phone screens these days are breaching the 4.3” barriers. Having a 4” screen is a norm in today’s middle to high end smartphone. Is it not enough?

Applications! Mobile ecosystems thrive on developers and applications. Having a large ecosystem is the need of the hour for all the mobile Operating Systems. Even a really good OS like windows phone 7 is finding it difficult to sustain and remain buoyant against the android and iOS, only due to lack of developer support. (A detailed look into this is coming in next few weeks). Its applications at the end of the day which drive an OS. But in the tablets’ case, applications will drive the whole market. Phone’s basic function, even though most of us have forgotten, is to make calls, receive, send SMSes and stay in contact with people. Tablets’ basic function is yet to be defined, its touch based input limits its usage for hardcore working and I do not think you would want to be seen holding a 9” iPad to your ear trying to talk to someone. The applications available for tablets currently, are again based on the OS from which they are derived from. There is still a lack of applications which will really drive and define this market. Yes there are office style applications; yet again the input problem is consistent with this. I myself work a lot on Word and Excel worksheets and I tried to play around with them on a tablet and after the novelty factor wore off (15-30 mins depending on your obsession) I realized it’s almost impossible to work on it. Developers need to design applications keeping in mind this hindrance. There is a need for innovation in the way the user interacts with such stock applications.

Tablets have their advantages; I mean for a person who needs to be always online and connected and who is always “on the go”. Internet tablets are on the go devices. It makes no sense to use them while sitting at home or office, because as I said, the novelty factor wears off and tablets have too many chinks in their armour to ignore. Tablets are the future, it is where all the manufacturers are going to concentrate their research and development to. The consumers themselves have accepted internet tablets with arms wide open. It’s like an indication saying that this is what consumers have been waiting for. It was a natural evolution into tablets - larger screened mobile phones into tablets. Yet it’s not now that it will replace our run of the mill computers and laptops. Though market numbers suggest that netbooks have suffered the most, yet it’s still far from being extinct. Internet tablets are going to rule and be the focus of the markets for the next few quarters but the hype and the novelty still needs to die down and everyone needs to use it to believe that it’s still not ready. If not now, maybe couple of years down the line, internet slates and tablets will, once the evolution into touch computing is complete, take the market forward. First it was the PCs, then Laptops, Mobiles took over the realms from then, next it’s the tablets’ time. The question remains, is it now? Tablets are the future, but they are FOR the future too.

So should you buy a tablet then? I myself do not see any sense in shelling out around 25-35k (depending on which device you choose) on a device which is confused about its own identity and purpose. Tablets right now seem as if they are jack of all trades and master of none. I know the money factor is not even going to create any doubt, let alone stop technology enthusiasts from buying these sexed up shiny slates. Yet if you do want to buy one, you might want to hold onto your wallet until part 2. There are some interesting things done by some companies in this segment. We will take a look into some of those and maybe then you can make your decision.

News Box
3)    People attending Computex, 2011 in Taipei yearn for tonics and pills. Too many tablets released. Know more on  Engadget      Slashgear      Tech2

Note : Sorry for the delay in the post. There are no reasons other than laziness. Will try to keep myself in check from now on.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Yes I’m a Geek….

Geek, when you hear that word a mental picture of a short/tall guy who is either too thin or too fat to be a part of the “social world” comes up. Geeks are supposed to be nerds, one who keep themselves surrounded with books and gizmos. They are supposed to be loners, without any “life”, without any friends. Basically geeks = losers. The ones who have a “life” are the ones who have friends, who booze around and have some boastful stories to tell about they hooked up with someone. Whenever conversing with a geek, if they do not know what he is talking about, the term “Sucha Geek.” and then some boastful laugh is heard. Time as we know it, has changed….

Today the quintessential geek has evolved. Geek 2.0 if you will. The world is going virtual these days. Figure this, how many times do you meet your friends in person, how much time do you spend talking to them on the phone or commenting on their facebook statuses and replying to them on twitter, or texting them or etc. During 5 BFB era (Before Facebook), taking a picture was simple. Now there is a whole process. You cannot just take a picture and let it rot in your albums or in your computer library or on your phones, they have to be compulsorily uploaded onto facebook or twitter or whichever new networking site you have a million friends on. Not that I support or do any of it, but living and having an online social life seems to be the in thing, and one of the most important aspects of that is the number of pictures you have uploaded and the number of friends which are being reflected on your social networking account. A geek generally is registered on every site you can think of, has and keeps in touch with a hundreds of people and becomes the go to guy for many.

Hence its quite essential to know your way around technology, computers, mobiles and everything. So now suddenly the guy who was sitting in the basement meddling and playing around with the computer wearing geeky glasses and drinking soda is now a great friend to have. Everyone these days knows their way around the basics of internet and computers, it’s the yesteryears geek who is considered cool now. Knowing how to open an account is nothing, knowing how to hack that account is cool. Technological trickery is what captures the people’s minds these days. The one who can is the magician.

But this is not what drives a Geek into doing what he does. The innumerable number of hours of coding and programming or even just waiting just to make a stupid game work on something which its not built or supposed to work. Some might say, what did they achieve in doing so , a game which was made for windows is now, numerous crashes and pizzas later is made possible to be played on the Macintosh. But it’s the liberation, its doing what’s not supposed to be done, or thought cannot be done. Today one can port an unstable version of Android Éclair (v1.6 v2.0) on the apple 3Gs. It’s a geeks dream to see this happening, Apple – the iCompany from Cupertino with its closed business policy, Android – Google’s green eyed boy, and its open for all attitude. It’s a marriage made in Hell, do I need to explain why its so fascinating to see the android boy jumping on the Iphone screen?  Being a Geek is just not about obsessing over a product or a certain company. It’s a tribe of people who define the future of technology and they are a force to be reckoned with. Recently Sony found this out in a very harsh way.

Lastly, why technology and gadgets? …… Technology is ingrained and encompasses everything we do today. Technology is just not about products, companies, whats selling more. Its just not about the numbers, its about pushing the limits. Todays internet tablets are faster than the 90’s supercomputers. In just 15-17 years a warehouse full of equipments horsepower has been squeezed in a 9 inch device whose thickness is less than half a inch. Technology allows your mind to run wild and it gives that wilderness a shape. It allows it to materialize. Its upto you when do you put your pen down and stop imagining, because technology will never tell you its not possible.

And hence, from this week onwards, I plan to take my geekiness to 3.0. I realize I am just not passionate about it, I am rather driven by technology and gadgets and gizmos. Its time to take it to the next level. It’s time to let the world know, Yes I’m a Geek.

News Box
1)      HTC Flyer (7inch Android Tablet) released in the US. Reviewed by Engadget and Slashgear.