Skype For Your Mobile Phone

9 01 2009

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// Yeeps, Skype people won’t stop to surprise us. They just launched Skype Lite (still in beta) for mobiles phones (Java-enabled phones) and for Android-powered devices. Now most Sony Ericsson, Nokia, LG and Motorola users can install this pretty nice application on their mobiles phones and “Yuppie”; Skype chat and Skype-to-Skype calls on mobile.

Skype Lite has the following capabilities:

  • Make Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world.
  • Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups.
  • Make Skype calls at low rates to people on landline or mobile phones.
  • Receive calls to your online personal phone number on Skype.
  • See when your Skype contacts are online/available to chat.

This version of Skype needs a mobile internet connection and uses local air time in order to sign in, update your contact list, send/receive calls or messages and update your presence on Skype. To be able to use this version of Skype, you will need both a calling plan and a data plan. You can even receive your Skype calls directly on your mobile phones. Call your Skype friends in Mauritius with local call rates.

I have just installed Skype Lite on my mobile phone (Sony Ericsson Rocks!), it has a nice user interface, easy navigation and fast response on Cellplus(or Orange) network. During testing, none of my Mauritian Skype friends were online; so no test calls for the time being. 

Click here to go to the download page.

Give it a try, Skype rocks!! Stay tuned for more on this as it develops.


Extra Second Added To Year 2008

28 12 2008

// Woooow, the Earth is slowing down, throwing the timescales of the World Atomic Clock out of sync. Don’t worry, the world’s official timekeepers are here to keep the atomic clocks accurate by adding an extra second to the last day of 2008. This extra second is also known as a “leap second”.

The extra second will be added on to 31 December after 23:59:59 and before 00:00:00 PM UTC(Universal Coordinated Time). It will be the 86,401st second of the year. This is an important procedure because mechanisms such as the Internet-based Network Time Protocol and the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) depend on the accurate time kept by atomic clocks.

Scientific Explanation    
After some research here and there on the Web, I found that the Earth takes slightly longer(usually .0002 seconds) than 24 hours to make one complete rotation. After about 500 days, the accumulated difference between astronomical time and atomic time can be about a second.
 In order to synchronize the atomic clocks with the Earth’s observed rotation, the atomic clocks are occasionally instructed to add the leap second.  

Why the Earth’s rotation is slowing down?
The space surrounding the planet is far from empty, the Earth loses its kinetic energy due to all forms of friction acting on it; tides, galactic space dust, solar wind, space weather, geomagnetic storms and among others, causing it to slow down gradually.And also transfer of rotational energy  from the Earth to the moon’s orbit through tides contribute to this slow down. The moon is very slowly increasing its orbital radius.

Ooohh, we will have to wait a little longer(1 second) on this New Year’s Eve before hearing the firecrackers. The extra second plus the extra day of February 29 will make 2008 the longest year since 1992. For those having an atomic clock at home, don’t forget to add the extra second 23:59:60, lol.

Anyway, on December 31 at “23:59:60“, will be the time to  celebrate a new beginning, a time to wish all our friends and loved ones a happy new year!! Wish you all a Very Happy New Year 2009 & Enjoy Youself.  

Ultimate PC Troubleshooting Tips

27 12 2008
//  A slow booting PC, a dead power supply, Winblows blue screen of death ? Every computer user hits a bump now then. Strange computer problems and errors are sometimes difficult to solve even for the most intellectual geeks. In some cases technology seems more trouble that it’s worth. To save your time and frustration when trying to troubleshoot your computer, here are some top computer troubleshooting tips that will make your life so much easier.

Backup and Drivers 

Backup important files and drivers(if necessary). Yepp, the golden rule of PC troubleshooting is to ensure that your tweaks never make the problem worse. Create a “System Restore Point” which often helps. To backup your system drivers, try out DriverBackup, a nice and user-friendly free tool. Oops, if you forgot to backup your drivers !! Don’t worry, most drivers are available on the web, checks out the links below:

1. DriverFiles

2. DriverSkit

3. TouslesDrivers (French)


Start Crawling the Web for your Tech Support Needs

There are many sites where thousands of users are sharing their experience and they are most often free. Many of these sites require registration before you can post a question but it’s worth. From my personal experience , here’s some top sites that can save you loads of time during troubleshooting:

1. Tech Support Guy : Very active site with fast technical support.

2. CommentCaMarche (French) : One of the top, with lots of nice tutorials.

3. FixYa Tech Support, Manuals & Troubleshooting for Consumers.

4. AnswerBag : Site where you can ask any questions, very interesting.

5. TechIMO : Tech Support Forums.

6. Annoyances :  A complete collection of information, problem and error related to Microsoft Windows platform.

7. Tom’s Guide : A Good High-Tech source of information.


Windows Troubleshooting

Oufff Windows!!  The OS with million of problems. Site like LabMice and PCHell is a must for tech-savvy, they provide a huge list of common Windows errors. Check out the Microsoft Developer Network which provides a list of all system error codes. 

For Vista users, Microsoft has just launched a new site named “Microsoft Answers“, currently in beta. It’s a support forum in the Q&A format. The sad part is that, Microsoft is limited to only Vista-related questions.

For IT Pro:  You can use Sysinternals utilities to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications. These tools can be of great help if you know how to use them. Visit the Sysinternals Forum if you want to know more about these tools.


Tools for Troubleshooting & Optimizing a PC 

There are some tools on the web that can make troubleshooting much easier. Here’s a list of 17 portables applications, these softwares are very useful. You can also try out TuneUp Utilities which is one of the best optimization software I have used to date. I highly recommended this software to troubleshoot complex PC performance issues.

Hope this article helps, computer bumps may be annoying, but they can’t stop us to enjoy the ride. 


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Koobface Virus Attacks Facebook

7 12 2008


// Destructive Koobface virus turns up on Facebook. It is the latest attack by hackers, increasingly looking to prey on users of social networking sites. A variant of the Koobface virus was reportedly circulating on MySpace earlier this year but was eliminated after new security measures were put in place. A “very small percentage of users” had been affected by the virus said Barry Schnitt a spokesman from Facebook. But according to some other security experts, the virus is on rise. The virus can spread fast because they travel through messages which appear to come from your friends. The virus spreads by sending messages to Facebook friends with subject headers such as “Look you were filmed all naked!” or “You look just awesome in this movie”. Here’s an example: 


If the reader clicks on the supplied link, they are directed to another Web site to supposedly watch the clip. After clicking to visit the site, users are shown a message that tells them they need an updated Adobe Systems Flash player. But downloading the software infects the victim’s computer with the virus. Koobface uses the social network’s messaging system to infect PCs, then tries to gather sensitive information such as credit-card numbers or their searches on Google, Yahoo and MSN diverted to fraudulent Web sites.


Facebook has posted limited instructions on removing the virus on its security page. It suggests resetting your password and running updated anti-virus software to purge the worm from your system. I would advice Facebook users to never opens unexpected e-mail attachments or to click on suspicious links, even if they come from people you trust.

Dark Side of Facebook Connect

5 12 2008


// Yeah, Facebook has just released Facebook Connect, the next evolution of facebook platform. But what is Facebook Connect? Facebook Connect is a new service that allows users to login other websites like CitySearch, CNN The Forum, TechCrunch and much more by using their Facebook ID’s and users can even share their activities from these third-party sites with their Facebook friends. 

Google have a similar service named Friend Connect, launched earlier. Friend Connect does the same thing as Facebook Connect, but only for users of social networks Orkut and Plaxo.

The Dark Side

I am a bit afraid of using this service. Why? The act of leaving a comment here and there (blogs and other websites) is telling the “Facebook  brain” which topics you like. In other words, you just told the system a little bit about yourself. Now imagine with Facebook Connect, such information coming from dozens of Facebook Connect partners websites.

Each service adds a few more data about you inside the “Facebook brain” and Facebook will know all activities inside the Facebook ecosystem. Facebook can use all these information to build a fairly accurate image of who you are, what you like and what might interest you. These informations can be used to target yourself with specific advertisements based on your interests. Just hope that Facebook will respect our privacy. Anyway, I like Facebook a lot.

Forget about these scary things now, I will just give an overview of how it works:


1. Look for the icon below on any Facebook Connect partners websites:

2. Sign in using your Facebook user ID and password.

During login the user can authenticate and connect their account in a trusted environment. The user will have total control of the permissions granted.


3. After login, you can engage in your activities at the third party website. For example add comments, post reviews and among others.

4. Dynamic Privacy, users can control who can see what pieces of their information – the same rules that they set on Facebook can be applied through all your Facebook Connect partners websites using  Facebook dynamic privacy controls.

5. With Facebook Connect, users can bring their real identity information with them wherever they go on the Web, including: basic profile information, profile picture, name, friends, photos, events, groups, and more.

6. Finally share all your activites,  actions and information with your friends on Facebook.


What is Facebook ?

Facebook is a social networking website launched on February 4, 2004. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. People can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profile to notify friends about themselves. 

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook while he was a student at Harvard University. Website membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Ivy League. It later expanded further to include any university student, then high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over. The website currently has more than 120 million active users worldwide.

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Feel The Great Firewall of China

3 12 2008
// Fed up with open internet? Looking for someone to watch over you while surfing  this dangerous network linked by copper wires ? And you are a Firefox user ! You can install the China Channel Firefox add-on, Internet users outside China can avail themselves of Chinese government supervision and all free of charge. Click here to download the add-on directly. I have tried the add-on, wow, people living in China can’t even access, and many other famous websites. Ouff, hopefully, I live in Mauritius.

Thanks to this add-on no more exposure to sexual, malicious, racist and violent content of the internet. And users in China who wants to bypass the Great Firewall of China, check out this post on how to bypass blocked websites.

The China Channel add-on uses the SwitchProxy Tool add-on to connect the user to various Internet proxies inside China. This allows the user to surf the Web using a Chinese IP address, protected from thorny topics like freedom, democracy, religion, and politics by China’s censorship technology. After a bit of research, I found that the poor folks in China can’t even access my blog without some 1337 h4X0ring skills. 


Great Wall of China


What is the Great Firewall of China?

Also known as the Golden Shield Project,  is a censorship and surveillance project operated by the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China.  A major part of the project includes the ability to block content by preventing IP addresses from being routed through and consists of standard firewall and proxy servers at the Internet gateways. ~ Wikipedia

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Firefox For Mobile Phone

20 10 2008

// Do you want to have the great Mozilla Firefox browser(PS:Google Chrome is better)  on your mobile phone? This will be a reality in the near future. Yepp, Mozilla Labs has released the alpha build of Mobile Firefox, codename:”Fennec”. For the time being Fennec is available for testing only by Nokia 810 users and will soon be opened for other mobile platforms. If don’t have a Nokia 810, you can still test Fennec by installing a desktop version of this browser (this is an early developer release of the mobile version of Firefox, for testing purposes only), Click Here to go to the download page. I have just installed it and I would say that the interface is very nice(according to me, they have used lots of JavaScript to implement most of the interface effets).


Here are some features of Mobile Firefox(Fennec):

  • Bookmarks, including tags
  • Smart URL bar (“awesome bar”)
  • Tabbed browsing with thumbnail images
  • Integrated Web search – built into the URL bar
  • Easy access to multiple search engines
  • Maximize content by auto-hiding controls and URL bar
  • Zoom in and out
  • Password manager
  • Popup blocker
  • Clear private data

And some screenshoots to share with you:





Give it a try, I’m sure that you will love it. Hope that one day we will have a mobile version of Google Chrome.

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