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Tom's Blog

My weird and wonderful blog…

We’re back!!!

So it’s been over 3 1/2 years since my last post, hopefully it will be a lot less until my next one. Going to start focusing a lot more on VMware’s virtualisation stack as well as general interests. So until the next post let’s keep things rocking!

We’ll be back right after this short break

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Greetings humans, I’ve been quite occupied with my current job however I should start writing the article that will be the death of me soon (My Samsung Galaxy S3/Android switcharoo).

In the meantime, keep breaking the rules.

PS: Thought I’d add the kitten photo because nobody can stay mad at a kitten…

Windows left exposed (again…) by 0-day exploit found for IE 7, 8 & 9

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Microsoft has managed to do it yet again. A new 0-day exploit has been found for IE 7, 8 & 9 running on any version of Windows released in the last 10 years. Computers can get compromised simply by visiting a malicious website, which gives the attacker the same privileges as the current user.

Now would be a good time for you to switch to a web browser that doesn’t give you anything short of cancer like Chrome or Firefox.

Check out The Verge link for more info as well as the Metasploit link for the demos.

 

Google++++

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During today’s acquisition announcement of Nik Software, Vic Gundotra, Google’s Senior VP for Engineering let slip that Google+ has crossed the 400 million member mark and has over 100 million active users each month. This is a staggering number considering the fact that they had just over 250 million users in June. It is also an impressive number considering the fact that Google+ was only opened to the public just under a year ago (20 Sept 2011).

Google’s social network has been giving Facebook a hard time in recent months by refreshing it’s UI to make it more intuitive, leaving the daddy struggling to keep up.

Google snaps up the Seed

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Google has taken another step to rivalling Facebook feature wise (though UI wise they’re miles ahead) with the proposed acquisition of Nik Software, a German developer known for the popular photography app Snapseed.  Snapseed won Apple’s iPad App of the Year in 2011 and has amassed more than 9 million users during its first year of existence.

This should come as good news to Android users as Nik Software showcased a running version of Snapseed on Android at the beginning of the year but we’ve yet to see the apps release on Android. The acquisition would put Google in line with Facebook’s purchase of Instagram which prompted the Social Network giant to release its own Camera app on iOS just a few days after the announcement. The camera app features filters made famous on Instagram, allowing you to upload these filtered photos directly to Facebook.

So should we hope to see something similar to pop up in the not too distant future on the Google+ app? Let’s!

New iPhone! Same iPhone?

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So I’ve given a bit of time for the dust to settle before posting my thoughts regarding the iPhone 5 announcement on the 12th September. The reason for that is quite simple, to make sure that all the hype surrounding the announcement has settled and people are able to make a more informed decision (Yeah right…).

So I couldn’t help but feel a slight tinge of disappointment after the new iPhone was announced. Below is a shortened run-down of what the new iPhone will be about:

Bigger display, thinner body

So the most well leaked rumour about the new iPhone was finally revealed. The iPhone 5 now sports a 4 inch IPS LCD display running a 1136×640 resolution at 326 PPI. The body however has taken a diet with the iPhone measuring in at 7.6 mm thick and weighing only 112 grams. And while Apple loves to quote superb facts about their devices, the iPhone 5 is not the thinnest smartphone in the world (There are actually 6 other smartphones thinner than the iPhone 5). This screen also runs at 16:9 ratio meaning it’ll display widescreen videos properly without any black emptiness on the edges. The added real-estate means Apple have been able to add 1 extra row of icons to the homescreen and the majority if not all the apps designed by Apple have been re-written to take advantage of the extra space. Current apps will have to be updated, in their current state they’ll run in their standard resolution, with the extra space getting blacked out.

“Ultrafast Wireless”

No surprise here as Apple announced that the iPhone 5 would support LTE. So it has one chip, one radio and a dynamic antenna. One note to remember that Apple didn’t mention is that if you’re using a CDMA iPhone 5 you still won’t be able to use voice and data at the same time. Below is a list of supported wireless formats:

UMTS/HSPA, LTE, EDGE, HSPA+, HSUPA, HSDPA, GRPS, DC-HSDPA, 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)

Upgraded processor

The iPhone 5 will sport a new chip, the A6 which is supposed to be 2 x faster in the CPU and graphics department. Since there is no way of checking this performance out yet we’ll just take Apple at it’s word and trust that the phone will run smoothly.

Improved battery life

Apple has claimed that they’ve improved the battery life from the iPhone 4S on this new phone, however upon closer inspection it looks like the only thing that they’ve improved on is the standby time. Everything else is the same as the 4S.

iSight /FaceTime Cameras

Below are the specs for the new iSight (Rear) camera as well as the FaceTime (Front) camera:

iSight

8 MP sensor
3264 x 2448 max resolution
Backside illumination
Hybrid IR filter
Five-element lens
f/2.4 aperature
Panorama mode
1080p HD
Improved video stabilization
Face detection
Take photos while recording video

FaceTime

720p
Backside illumination
Face detection
FaceTime over 3G

The iPhone cameras are usually good so expect the minor bump in quality from the 4S lenses. On a smaller note, a major uproar has started in the U.S regarding running FaceTime over 3G and AT&T. According to AT&T, you won’t be able to run FaceTime over 3G unless you’re on a certain FaceTime Data Plan. While we’re yet to see this level of assness from our SP’s be prepared for what could come.

Wideband Audio

Or HD voice as it’s been touted in the press will allow clearer voice due to more of the band being utilised (Who really uses voice these days?). The phone will also feature 3 microphones to allow for better noise cancelation.

Lightning Connector

Apple announced their new connector for their devices going forward. The new 8-pin design will be reversible and you’ll get a free adapter with your iPhone so you can still use your 30-pin cable should you choose to do so. While this should allow you to use your old accessories with the iPhone 5 it’s not guaranteed to work with all accessories.

So that’s it. Apple showed off iOS 6 running on the iPhone 5 but there were no surprises with regards to the OS that was announced a few months ago. Apple have also released a list of iOS 6 Features available according to countries so you can check out what stuff you’ll be able to use off the bat.

iOS 6 Feature Availability

So Apple have released a device that is pretty much on par with what’s been available out there for the last 4 months and while everyone was expecting more, the drones will no doubt flock to buy this latest iteration of Apples pride and joy. You can check out a comparison of the latest smartphones available from the different OEM’s courtesy of The Verge:

SmartPhone OEM comparison

The switcharoo… For better or worse

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So for those few of you in the know will be aware that I’ve decided to make a switch to the Android OS for my new Smartphone contract for the next 2 years.

After coming to this decision the next choice was which phone to pick. I eventually went with the Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s probably the most fully featured Smartphone available on the market at the moment (Providing Apple pulls out a hail mary device this evening with it’s iPhone 5 announcement).

Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement coming tomorrow…

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So if you read anything into the image above, Apple is going to be announcing their “new” and “revolutionary” phone, the iPhone 5. We’ll be reading the liveblogs and you can check them out too to see what Apple has decided to improve on.

The Verge iPhone 5 LiveBlog

CyanogenMod 10 releases ‘M1’ builds

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So for those of you that like to keep your CM ROM’s up to date but don’t want to run the risk of loading nightly builds and bricking your devices, look no further… unless you’re standing too far.

CyanogenMod will now be releasing a monthly build at the start of each month for select devices meaning you’ll have a more stable release than the nightly build but won’t be as polished as a beta release.

So if you’re looking to spice up your sad life slightly head to the link below to see if you qualify for this Android goodness.

CyanogenMod Blog

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