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The Static Page

React Rinse Repeat


W
ith election fever in the air, everyone book. What’s Uber? Well, it’s like Meru Cabs on
around me has turned into a sooth- steroids. Frog believes that this “on-demand” model
sayer. Every chai time conversation, will soon extend across other personal services, not
every street corner debate, every WhatsApp just personal transportation. From home mainte-
group chat seems to be about just one thing – who nance to dog walking and everything in between,
will win the elections? As I write this editorial we’ll have apps that will connect us to service
contemplating my own vote the next day, I feel the providers in an instant. Say you need an electrician.
need to take a break and move on to lighter, more A few taps on your smartphone and it tells you a
familiar topics of prediction. Specifically, predic- handyman is on his way, only three minutes away.
tions about technology. The last prediction is something I’d spoken
If you were asked to look into your own per- about in last month’s editorial – a shift towards
sonal crystal ball and come up with a list of things disconnecting from technology. A section of the
that you foresee in the future, what would you population is slowly realising that experiencing
envision? Flying cars? Robot servants to do your life through a four-inch screen isn’t all that great.
bidding? Best selling novels written by algorithms? Artists have already started asking concert goers Siddharth Parwatay
As it turns out, the Pew Research Center recently to stop recording their shows and actually experi- Assistant Editor
surveyed Americans from all walks of life asking ence the moment. Pretty soon, people will set up siddharth.parwatay@thinkdigit.com
them to do exactly that. Participants were queried “dark zones” in their houses that will allow you
on a wide range of potential scientific develop- to sink into a chair, web-free and just think! Who
ments – from near-term advances like drones and knows, cinema halls might even use network jam- “The curious
wearable technology, to more futuristic possibilities mers (one can only dream). thing about these
like teleportation or space colonisation. The curious thing about these predictions is predictions is that
A peculiar finding emerged. While people that they show a tendency of technology coming they show a tendency
were overwhelmingly convinced that a tech-dom- full circle. Remember back when people first of technology coming
inated, sci-fi future awaits them, as with politics, started getting online, they’d take pains to remain full circle”
not everyone was too sure about the outcome as anonymous as possible? We’d have usernames
of these changes. Specifically, they weren’t sure like orbitalenergy@hotmail.com with no person-
whether the choices they make or the direction ally identifiable data voluntarily proffered. (That
which technology takes mankind would be good account still exists, and no prizes for guessing who
or bad. For example, 66 per cent thought it would it belongs to.) Soon, web giants started pushing
be a change for the worse if prospective parents people to enter their real names and now you have
could alter the DNA of their children to produce a reversal towards anonymity.
smarter, healthier or more athletic offspring. Back in the day when you wanted something
But what about near-term predictions about done, a list of service provider numbers noted
technology? Recently, a company called Frog somewhere was all you had. You didn’t have an
Design – an industrial design outfit – made app to call a chauffeur, but knew how to reach one
quite a few predictions, three of which caught (Yellow Pages, anyone?). The last prediction – the
my attention. The first is that anonymity will go unplugging movement – brings to mind the era
mainstream. This one’s pretty easy to plot consid- when Television started invading dinner time con-
ering what we’ve learnt from the Snowden leaks, versation. Soon it was deemed bad manners and
Heartbleed bug and other recent privacy debacles. the TV was relegated back to the living room from
If things like Snapchat, the self-destructing Boeing the kitchen. But for a while, people were struggling
Black phone and John McAfee’s NSA-proof and learning to adapt to this new technology. That’s
DCentral device are indicators of what’s to come, the beauty of it. Tech evolves and we evolve to
this one’s a certainty. Frog Design says that 2014 adapt to it. The only constant we can bank on is its
will see an influx of platforms catering to a digital tendency to eventually come full circle.
experience grounded in anonymity.
The second prediction is about on-demand
services. A relatively nondescript start-up in San
Francisco called Uber has been making waves
Got feedback about this column?
recently and was at some point hyped by analysts Drop me a line at:
as an entity that’s going to become bigger than Face- siddharth.parwatay@thinkdigit.com

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 1


Contents
may 2014 volume 14 \ issue 05

quick
navigator
001 Enter
018 COnnECTIONS
Mobile Watch
Web Watch
App Watch
Security Watch

030 Tech @ Work


Work @ Tech
Industry Connect

070 Sci-Tech
Tales from the Void
Space Age
From the Labs

080 tried
tested
and
Monitors

098 Toolbox
Q&A
Workshop
Tips and Tricks
58 Humanity’s battle with mortality
Take a look at what humans develop as they look to
tech to prolong the use of their frail mortal bodies
111 Street Smart

33
Killer Rigs
Agent 001
Price Watch

116 Esc
Conversing with Giants
Unwind We talk to Mr Rajiv Bapna of Amkette and Mr Ravi Manik of Broadcom
Community

Tried &
Tested 83
Samsung galaxy
note pro 12.2
85
AMD kaveri a8-7600
Steamroller brings some interesting
86
Asus gtx 780 ti
matrix platinum
An expensive and massive tablet new features Built for overclocking enthusiasts

2 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Digital life 52
Windows 8 worth it?
With all the hulabaloo around the recent
upgrade controversy, we weigh the pros
and cons of going in for the upgrade 55

Bose SIE2i Headphones


How to fake social stardom
Do you like fame? Then read on to learn how to
go about gaining some internet fame the easy
way by following these easy tips

Before you start protesting that this isn’t a health


gadget, hear us out. For all you jogging fans out there
who are tired of their normal in-ear headphones, the
See sound
Check out this video about the Schlieren Flow
technique that allows you to see sound and heat
on a camera http://dgit.in/schlierenflow
Life in First Class
The secrets behind the closed curtains
of the first class section on a luxury
airplane http://dgit.in/livin1st

Sony SmartBand
The Japanese technology manufacturer claims that its
SmartBand isn’t just an activity tracker, but a lot more
than that. Recently launched, the Sony SmartBand
Drool maal

On The DV­­­Ds
SKOAR! The Digital Edition Prioneer
Bose SIE2i is well worth considering, if you can afford “offers life empowerment by logging daily activities”.
it that is. As a dedicated sports headphone, these have Apart from tracking your movements and logging it in
special tips that keep them secure in your ears while like any other activity monitor, the SmartBand from
you move. Don’t worry of damaging them with a bit of Sony also logs other interesting things that perhaps
moisture, because again the Bose SIE2i are weather contribute to your fitness regimen subconsciously; stuff
and sweat resistant, and they’re a real handful if like the music you listened to and where you’ve been at

Experience the free, digital TMNT


you aren’t exercising within the confines of a gym. a certain time of the day, etc. through its Lifelog Android
They also have shorter cords, preventing them from smartphone app. The data it gathers is always readily
getting tangled up while you’re in the thick of things. available for you to mine. And did we mention that these
What’s more, this Bose pair also packs in very good smartbands are rather attractive to look at? It certainly
audio performance. helps they’re stylish, too.

edition of SKOAR! directly The Expendables 3


Designed to help you
Withings Aura
A good night’s sleep, every night, can save you a lifetime’s
suffering, and this device aims to enhance your sleep and
spare you the trouble. The $300 Aura has two gadgets that from our DVD The Homseman
lead a healthy life
work in combination: a movement sensor that sits beneath
your mattress and an LED lamp that moderates the light
(intensity, colour, etc) in your room so as to give you a
peaceful night’s sleep. The sleep sensor sits below your
mattress to monitor your breathing, heart rate and motion
to analyze your sleep state. It’s connected to the LED lamp
through a wire. The data tracked by the sleep and movement

Game demo Linux


sensor can be uploaded to the cloud (or accessed through
a smart device) to analyze your sleeping pattern, and
ultimately help you sleep better than ever.

Skulpt Aim
MXGP Oracle Linux
No one wants to be fat, especially those who’re trying to
be fit and stay active. To learn your body’s fat content,
check out the Skulpt Aim. You can measure body fat and
its composition simply by holding this wireless device
in close contact with different parts of the body. Great
1nsane
Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Tracking Bundle
King Kong devworx
for those trying to get in shape, we think, and especially
find out fat content and its distribution around your
Who says that you have to step out in the sun to burn calories and get fit? And why should getting fit involve buying yourself body. This device is quite small and portable, about the
some fancy gadget? If you own a Microsoft Xbox 360 console, just buy a Kinect motion tracker and you’re in business size of a smartphone, so you should have absolutely
to burn fat and stay in shape by exercising right in your home, in front of your television. The Kinect motion sensor is no problem carrying it around wherever you go to

Cryostasis Nokia X SDK


compatible with a range of exercise games that offer surprisingly good workouts that actually work, no kidding. Check out conclusively prove to others (and yourself) just how
Nike+ Kinect and Adidas miCoach Kinect, both of which offer workouts, fitness plans and performance tracking. Gaming and much fat you’re carrying around.
fitness is a potent combination that’s bound to work.

50 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 51

Riddick Android JellyBean SDK


Sin
050 Droolmaal Shadow Warrior LEARN
The importance of the small-
Gadgets and gizmos that will enrich your
lives. Provided you’re rich of course. ThePirateBay Bundle est unit in computing, the BIT.
Over 100 simple, free games,
curated and bundled just for Essentials
041 World View you. Start playing now! Audacity
Avast!
Our pick of the best articles from around
Ashampoo Uninstaller 5 Any Video Converter
the world.
Avidemux
Movie Trailers Ccleaner
045 Devworx A most wanted man Google Chrome
>Code > Creativity > Community Bad Country CPU-Z
Deliver us from evil Defraggler
God’s pocket DaemonTools Lite
How to train your dragon 2 Free Download Manager
070 Sci-Tech
Digit takes a step into the
I origins
Lucy
GIMP
and more...
realm of sci-fi. Read our new
‘Tales from the Void’ section

107 Workshop
Ever wanted to make your own
app? Our workshop will show
you how to do it.

101+ free games


and demos

BUILD: APPS
DVD for nokia X

88 89
JBL BASSLINE nokia x
The name gives it away Nokia’s access to Android

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 3


May 2014 • Volume 14 • Issue 05
To Advertise Products reviewed this month
Email: sales@thinkdigit.com Bazaar
Sales Director: AMD Kaveri
Vinodh Kaliappan, Mobile: +91-97407 14817
AOC A2258Pwh AIO
Sales Director (Online):
Lalit Arun, Mobile: +91-9582262959 ASUS GTX 780 Matrix Platinum

South: Cubetek CB-AC-01


Managing Director Dr Pramath Raj Sinha
Ram Sarangi, Mobile: +91-98864 06961 Galaxy 780Ti Hof+
Printer and Publisher Kanak Ghosh
Jijo George, Mobile: +91-7676881480
Publishing Director Vikas Gupta
Chief Operating Officer - 9.9 Tech Krishna Kumar HP 15 notebook
West:
Sajeed Momin, Mobile: +91-98192 44603 HP Deskjet Advantage 4515
Editorial Suvarna Shringarpure, Mobile: +91-93249 28247
Executive Editor Robert Sovereign-Smith JBL Bassline
Assistant Editor Siddharth Parwatay North:
Multimedia Co-ordinator Anirudh Regidi Debleena Majumdar, Mobile: +91-98101 19492 JBL Pulse

Test Centre East: Moto X


Manager, Test Centre Jayesh Shinde Jayanta Bhattacharyya, Mobile: +91-93318 29284 MSI N750Ti TF 2GD5/OC
Sr. Reviewer Vishal Mathur
Reviewers Anirudh Regidi, Kunal Khullar Nokia X
Product Co-ordinator Shweta Mali
Assistant Vikas Patil advertising index Samsung Galaxy Note Pro

Thinkdigit.com Sony Xperia Z1 Compact


Brand................................................................................. Page No
Online Editor Soham Raninga
Zotac EI730 Plus
Assistant Editor Nikhil Pradhan
Nissan.................................................................................. IFC
Sr. Sub Editor Kul Bhushan
Interns Abhinav Mishra
Gigabyte.............................................................................. IBC LED Monitors
Design
Sr. Creative Director Jayan K Narayanan Acer S240HL
Kingston.................................................................................BC
Sr. Art Director Anil VK
ASUS PA238Q
Associate Art Director Anil T
Sr. Visualisers Shigil Narayanan & Sristi Maurya Xerox..........................................................................................5
ASUS VS238H
Visualiser NV Baiju
Sr. Designers Haridas Balan, Manoj Kumar VP Asus.............................................................................7, 67, 69 ASUS PB278Q
Charu Dwivedi, Peterson PJ & Dinesh Devgan
Designers Pradeep G Nair & Vikas Sharma ASUS MX279H
Smartlink......................................................................... 9, 53
ASUS VK278Q
Online & Marcom Design
Associate Art Director Shokeen Saifi Micromax................................................................................11 BenQ GW2255HM
Sr.Designer Rahul Babu
Web Designer Om Prakash TAITRA...................................................................................13 BenQ GL2250HM

Photography BenQ RL2455HM


Mediatek.................................................................................15
Chief Photographer Subhojit Paul
BenQ EW2440L
Sr. Photographer Jiten Gandhi
ASRock.............................................................................17, 31 BenQ GL2460HM
Contributors
Writers Mithun Mohandas, Prakrit Dhondiyal, Quickheal........................................................................19, 29 BenQ XL2411Z
Siddhant Sharma, Samir Alam, Paanini Navilekar,
Varad Chaudhari, Vaibhav Kaushal, Cyril Vatteli BenQ EW2740L
Copy editing Infancia Cardozo RDP Workstations Pvt. Ltd............................................. 23
BenQ GL2760H
Production and Logistics Velocis.................................................................................... 25 NEC EA273WM-BK
Sr GM - Operations Shivshankar Hiremath
Manager Operations Rakesh Upadhyay Viewsonic VX2452mh
TP-Link................................................................................... 27
Asst Production Manager Vilas Mhatre
Production Assistant Brahmanand Nikalje
Manager Logistics Vijay Menon India Antivirus.................................................................. 119
Asst Mgr Production & Logistics M P Singh Get SKOAR! Interactive
Executives Mohd. Nadeem Ansari, Quantum..............................................................................120
Nilesh Shiravadekar

Brand
Product Mgr Arun Yadav Published, Printed and Owned by Nine Dot Nine Interactive free on
Asst Product Mgr Sourabha Shakya
Pvt. Ltd. Published and printed on their behalf by Kanak
Mgr - Online Shauvik Kumar &
Ghosh. Published at Bunglow No. 725 Sector - 1, Shirvane,
Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh On the
Nerul, Navi Mumbai. 400706. Printed at Print House (India)
Pvt. Ltd. R-847, TTC Industrial Area, MIDC, Rable, Navi DVD!
Circulation Sales
National Co-ordinator Samir Mehta Mumbai 400701. Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur Cover Story
Regional Mgrs Jayanta Bhattacharyya, The quest for perfection
“We do not endorse or recommend any product or service adver-
Norbert Joseph tised in the magazine. The advertisement’s in this magazine are
Manager Circulation Dharmendra Singh
Executive Vijay Mhatre
for information purposes only. We do not, expressly or impliedly, Reviews
warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the quality,
accuracy, completeness, legality, reliability, usefulness or claims ! South Park: The Stick of Truth
Reader Services of any product or service advertised in the magazine. Our readers
Lead Associate Itishree Mishra are strongly advised to carry out their own independent assess- ! Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Executives Sudhir, Shabana, Pradeep, Kanchan ment of the product or services advertised in the magazine.” ! Papa and Yo
+91-22-67899678 / help@thinkdigit.com
Disclaimer and more...
Cover Design Peterson PJ For every Digit contest, there will be only one winner,
unless specified otherwise. Get it at: http://dgit.in/skoar_emag
In the event of a dispute, the Editor’s decision shall be final.

4 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


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6 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


The RSS Feed

Point of no return
F
irst, to conclude the cliffhanger of last In fact even when we’re all juiced up, eve-
month’s column: I’ve made it back rything’s working as it should and there’s no
safely, much to the team’s chagrin, and problems in sight, we sometimes find ourselves
Malaysian Airlines and Boeing 777- looking at our phones just to ensure everything’s
200s aren’t bad at all. OK. “No Facebook updates in the last 5 minutes?
Before I left on my trip down under, some of Is my data plan working?” <turns mobile network
us from Digit attended an off-site meeting organ- off and on just in case>.
ised by our company. An off-site, for those who Although billions still live everyday life
don’t already know, is when employees of a com- without technology, it’s not out of choice. I know
pany get away to a location away from work and we all like to believe that we can choose to live
home, get together and work on team building without tech, or even electricity, for that matter,
and improving various aspects of themselves but can we? I doubt it.
and the company. Science and technology is helping us improve
Amongst a lot of planning, tests, skill everything. Not only do we live longer thanks to it Robert Sovereign-Smith
improvement exercises and even cricket matches, (as our cover story this month will outline), but we Executive Editor
was a simple exercise to just close your eyes and also have a better quality of life. Yes, technology, robert@thinkdigit.com
sit still in silence for 10 minutes with an abso- like any other tool, can do us both good or harm,
lutely empty mind, thinking of nothing at all. depending on whether we use or abuse it. Think
Sounds easy? Try it. of it as a crutch filled with cocaine - we can choose “I know we all like
I have never failed so miserably in something to use the crutch and focus on walking, or use the to believe that we
my entire life as I did this simple exercise. I just cocaine and get addicted to going nowhere. can choose to live
couldn’t do it, and my mind was wandering It’s easy to choose the latter use of technology, without tech, or
and latching on to so many random thoughts at and get addicted to, for example: apps, games, even electricity, for
once - wondering whether the issue had reached pointless Facebook surfing, 9gag, reddit-ing away that matter, but can
stands, how my son was getting along without your life, watching videos all day long and aim- we? I doubt it”
me, whether I had any messages from my wife lessly looking at memes (all of the above are fine as
and wondering how many emails from readers short leisure activities).
I would have to catch up on afterwards… it was This will always be the majority use for all
just insane. I even started thinking of story ideas technology - pure entertainment, and it’s funny
at one point, and felt like I was falling because I that the addicts are perhaps the people who will
couldn’t stand the blankness. It’s become almost survive without technology as well, if it came to
impossible to just switch off any more, because that. They’d just get another fix from some-
I’m so used to being always on, always connected, where else.
always alert. However, there will also always be those who
I’m not alone though. For example, when use technology to not just consume but create as
the net connection is disrupted at office, all of a well, and push the limits. It’s these people who
sudden the whole team is abuzz, wondering what have accepted technology so openly that they
happened, testing various sites, running ping cannot live without it, because they’re done being
commands and ipconfigs, changing gateways fascinated by it, and it’s now a crutch they depend
and DNS servers. I have seen even those getting on to walk.
up to take a coffee break sit back down to try and I think it’s safe for us to assume that any Digit
figure out the mystery of dead connection. Riveted reader sits squarely in the category of creators
to their seats as if watching Hitchcock’s finest who cannot function without technology any-
work, asking “Who killed it, and will we ever find more. We’re all way past the point of no return,
out why?” I should add, I also behave exactly the and technology has become an essential ingre-
same, at home or office. dient of life for us, and we wouldn’t have it any
The same happens when the electricity goes other way. Would we?
out, or the batteries of our phones or gadgets are
running low. How many times have you frantically
Liked or hated this column?
looked for charging ports as soon as your battery Write in to
is under 10/20 per cent? There’s an entire market robert@thinkdigit.com
built around this paranoia - portable chargers. and let me know your thoughts.

8 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Buzz Clean up your act
Read about all the latest Rock, Paper, Shotgun reviews VIscera Cleanup

Enter 14 happenings in and around the


tech world.
Detail. See what they have to say about the
Janitor Simulator http://dgit.in/clnurmess

) Hey there! I'm Nilay Kulkarni, a 14-year-


old boy who’s been reading Digit since I was Feedback for the April 2014 issue of Digit
8. At first, most of the articles went over my
head, but gradually I started to understand
them. And Now! In my circles, I'm referred
to as ‘The Geek’. My phone (Xperia E Dual)
is rooted and has CM10 installed. I've
developed three Android apps, and each
and every person in my circle consults me
before buying any gadget. They even ask me
to root or jailbreak their devices or solve any
other technical problem they have. I wanted
to thank you! Because of these things, I'm
planning to become a full time Android
developer after I complete my education.
Thank you very much Digit and Team!
–Nilay Kulkarni, Nashik

Wonderful to hear from you Nilay, and


we’re glad we could inspire you.
–Jayesh

) Hey guys! I’ve been reading Digit since to read Digit magazine (December issue) We keep covering jailbreaking and rooting
2001. Yeah, I was merely 6 years old then, in the library and I’m really impressed all the time. Well not all the time but
and the magazine was the best cartoon by your reviews and Fast Track guide. It whenever some new update comes from
comic I could have with all the game reviews was useful in making me aware about the jailbreakers like iPhone Dev Team. Here’s a
full of images in it. I literally grew up with latest technology and gadgets. Today, I'm a link to an article we have on thinkdigit.com:
Digit, witnessing the ever-increasing awe- regular reader of Digit. Now some friends http://dgit.in/rootjailbrk
someness of the magazine. My PC would ask me for suggestions before they buy It’s a complete guide to rooting and
always be upgraded in the nick of time to new gadgets. I'm very thankful to Digit jailbreaking.
be able to run the demos and the freeware and Robert. Keep up the good work, guys. –Siddharth
given in your CDs and DVDs. –Rahman Ibn Ashraf
The first thing I did after joining college ) Hey guys, I’ve been reading Digit from
was to get Ubuntu installed for me and Thanks for your mail Rahman, but don’t the past 1.5 year and I really appreciate
nearly every friend I could convince. thank me alone, it’s the guys in the team your hard work in making people like me
Last night, I was just going through the that do all the hard work that makes Digit aware of latest technologies!
old CDs/DVDs I’d carried with me here to what it is. Firstly, I’d like to point out a mistake
my hostel, and decided to share about this –Robert in your March 2014 issue in the ‘World
journey – mine, yours and ours. My journey, View’ section on page no.111 in column
that began by interpreting Digit as a comic ) Hello Digit. I know you guys are bored Shorts headed under ’Facebook's acquisi-
to it being the best supplement to my life of reading the same words that 'you guys tion of Whatsapp’. Here the deal between
and your journey, from a tech magazine are doing a great job. I love to read your FB and Whatsapp is mentioned to be
with CDs to being the best tech navigator product. It’s a delight’, but it’s actually worth $16 billion, whereas the actual
one could get. The journey is also ours, from true. So let me cut to the chase. Why don’t price was $19 billion. A small mistake, but
being an under-developed nation to being you cover anything on jailbreaking? Why worth noticing.
an upcoming tech superpower! not have an article or tips and tricks on I loved your ‘Top 10 of Everything’. It
–Shreesh Katyayan jailbreaking iOS devices? I’m sure readers helped me a lot while buying a laptop and
would love to read about jailbreaking selecting the best graphic cards suitable
Your’s is a wonderful story Shreesh, from Digit. This is the first time I’m for me within my budget. Even previ-
and we’re glad we could share the journey writing to you guys, and I along with the ously, I’ve bought a Lumia 520 reading
with you. myriad iOS users would love to see the its reviews in your magazine. ‘Zero Dollar
–Robert next month's issue covering anything and Movies’ was the best recommendation in
everything related to jailbreaking − pros the issue since I’m a huge movie addict
) Hi Robert. I'm a +1 student and this is and cons, discussions, best tweaks, etc. and it helped a lot. Another worthy men-
my first ever letter to you. I had a chance –Rohit Arora tion is your Tips and Tricks section.

10 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Ubisoft’s open worlds Wolf-Doom Pairup
Why is Ubisoft so obsessed with open Preordering Wolfenstein: The New Order will give
worlds? Read on to find out you access to Doom 4 Beta. So buy, buy. buy!
Inbox http://dgit.in/asscrow http://dgit.in/wnword3

and isn’t, some of the myths and expecta-


Letter of the month
tions surrounding working as a full-time
) Hello, this is my first mail to you cover stories are always good. Fast game designer or developer, how to convince
(Not really, this is like the 10th or 11th Tracks are amazing. Although they’re parents who are stuck on the wrong (older)
one. You didn’t reply to the other let- of no use to me, my father always read view on video games, and so on. Should you
ters). Before any of those ‘suggestions them (Past tense, yes, sadly.). do self-learning and start out without formal
and complains’, let me start this Now on to the suggestions and coaching or should you enroll in a profes-
email with some praise for your won- complains: sional game design course (the likes of which
derful magazine. 1. Skoar! I know that you still provide is offered at DSK Supinfocom, for instance),
‘Hats off’ is a term which doesn’t Skoar! digitally, but it’s just not the and what are some of the things to avoid
even come close to your awesome- same. Please try to continue that old when you’re hunting for that perfect teaching
ness. You guys have been a constant Skoar! institute. The article then sums up the state
source of knowledge and fun. I started 2. Please proofread the magazine of the Indian gaming industry.
reading − or at least buying − the better. Each mag has approximately Personally speaking, I’m extremely
mag from 2006/2007. Earlier, 15-20 mistakes. excited about the gaming industry in India,
I only used to play the games 3. It’s time to change the ‘Letter and I encourage your decision, but advice
on the DVDs, but slowly of the Month’ award. Give you to do due diligence and research
started reading the mag away other things too − like before taking the plunge into the gaming
too. The article choices are

thing! a jacket, pencil box, etc. industry. Unlike the IT and services sector,

No
great, they’re well written As we’re reaching the gaming is increasingly being viewed
and you guys are funny! end of this mail, I’d like to as part of a burgeoning entertainment
SKOAR! always cracked say one more thing: “Keep sector, with lots of scope for develop-
me up. I still remember that the awesomeness alive!” ment and improvement. The outlook is
‘Spider Man 3’ article of yours. -Laxman Soni extremely bullish and favourable, and I
And the way you replied to the mails! say this based on first-hand experience
Please do me a favour and reply to this Yo laxative-man, stop running after attending industry events and talking
mail (If you plan on doing so) in that already! We hear you don’t like our to industry events in the Indian gaming
Skoar! fashion. I would love it, and so T-shirts, so you win nothing as per your sector. This space is booming, with not just
would other readers. Besides Skoar! I request. N ve no ow 2 speel, u jst kneed big offshore studios widening their pres-
really like the Digit Diary. It’s amazing 2 no ow to reed. ence in India, but even the number of local
how the mag is fun till the end. The –Anonymous games and studios we’re producing.
–Jayesh

I’d like to read a brief article on creating Maharashtra? A final question: how much ) Please cover more Linux-related arti-
a Windows Store app using XAML, and are game developers paid? Please provide cles, i.e. Windows and Linux comparisons
also want you to throw some light on the some good information about it. or Linux for beginners. Although I love
topic of "old but still in use technologies". –Hassan Khatib using the Linux OS, I had to uninstall
Wish you best of luck for your next it immediately upon installing because
issue. Thanks in advance! Hi Hassan! You’re not the only one the Linux environment is confusing. As
–Jasmeet Chhabra trying to find advice related to a career in everyone knows, Linux is far better than
game design or game development. We’ve Windows but it’s not user friendly.
Actually the deal amount can be looked responded to many such queries in the last Please provide products which are
at in multiple ways. Technically it was one year, which is why we also commis- useful to middle class families. These can
$4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook sioned an in-depth article from a profes- include lower priced products such as
stock and $3 billion worth of stock over sional game designer who studied at India’s headphones, pen drives, memory cards,
the next four years. So $16b in hand and only gaming school (located in Pune), DSK laptops, sound boxes, cabinets, mother-
$3b differed. But hey what’s a few billion Supinfocom. You can read the article in its boards, processors etc).
here and there right? entirety by visiting this link: http://dgit.in/ –Paul
–Siddharth CareerGaming. Also Pune University has a
specialized game design course as part of its We have done Fast Tracks on Linux
) Hi. I need some help regarding Game/ curriculum, so you would definitely want to before which coveres everything from
App Development as a career for myself. check more on that. The article really throws installation to advanced use. We try and
Is there any future scope in it? I’m really a lot of light on everything that you should cover all sorts of products, and will try to
mad about games. Are there any institu- know before you decide to earn a living cover more mainstream products.
tions teaching Game Development in making games. What the job description is –Robert

12 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Office on Chrome Store Ubuntu One closed
Microsoft Office Online apps have made Cannonical shuts down Ubuntu One file
their way onto the Google Chrome store services and all data to be deleted on July
Buzz http://dgit.in/StoreOffice 1st 2014 http://dgit.in/UbuntuNone

The future of hardware


Hardware research is all a-buzz this month. Here are some stories indicating
hardware changes around the globe

place in the crystal lattice. It water vapor and heat, in the


was found that only about 10 shape of foam which can go
per cent of the expected elec- up to 80 degrees Celsius in
trons are free to migrate to temperature. Apart from this,
the interface of the two mate- on the application of force on
rials to form a conduction the ATM, the currency notes
band. The remaining 90 per contained in it are also sprayed
cent are bound in the molec- with a dye and DNA nanopar-
ular lattice at higher energy ticles. The former helps make
states that were not visible to the currency unusable while
light sources used in earlier the latter helps law enforce-
searches,” says the study. ment track down the notes.
“This came as a surprise,” Wendelin Jan Stark, a pro-
said Asst. Prof Rusydi. “But it fessor at ETH University said
Smaller Hard Drives coming soon? also explains why more than just that the research was inspired
one layer is necessary to fully by the bombardier beetle, an
Newer, smaller hard are studying the interface unfold the interface properties.” insect that sprays its attackers
drives en route between strontium titanate and He further elaborated, “All
A team of scientists, led by lanthanum aluminate, insula- the electrons in the material
Assistant Professor Andrivo tors that act as conductors at are like small antenna that
Rusydi from the National Uni- their interface. During the respond to electromagnetic
versity of Singapore, has come study, scientists found a sub- radiation at different wave-
up with a new technique to stantial amount of the charge lengths, depending on their
study the interface between carriers were missing. energy state. If only a part of
materials, allowing them to “For this interface, a theory the electrons migrate to the
further develop improved solar predicts that the conductivity interface, you need a bigger
cells, superconductors and even should be tenfold higher than volume to compensate for the
smaller hard drives. what is observed. So, 90 per cent symmetry breaking.” The study
Further understanding of of the charge carriers - the elec- was published in the journal
materials interfacing will help trons - are missing,” adds Rusydi. Nature Communication.
scientists modify the proper- Scientists used high-energy
ties of different materials with reflectivity coupled with ATM A.I.
greater ease. “If you put two spectroscopic ellipsometry Scientists have developed a Safer ATMs on the way!
materials together, you can to search the missing charge new technology that will help
create completely new proper- carriers. They deployed bright ATMs release caustic chemi- with a chemical, created with
ties. For instance, two non-con- synchrotron radiation source cals to attack robbers and the help of enzymes in its body,
ducting, non-magnetic insula- at the Singapore Synchro- vandals. Researchers from that can kill ants and intimi-
tors can become conducting tron Light Source at NUS and ETH University, Zurich have date frogs. Apart from ATMs,
and in some cases ferromag- Deutsches Elektronen-Syn- developed a way to contain the research can also be used
netic and superconducting at chrotron and floodlighted the hydrogen peroxide and man- to help protect other valuable
their interface. The problem is interface of the two materials. ganese dioxide divided by thin objects in places like museums
that we do not fully understand “Absorption of synchrotron plastic layers inside the ATM. and art galleries.
what is happening at the inter- radiation at specific wave- If force is applied on the ATM, ATM attacks are quite
face yet,” says Rusdi. lengths showed that the energy these plastic layers break and common in Europe and have
To understand the physics of state of the corresponding elec- the two chemicals mix which been steadily on the rise in India
condensed matter, researchers trons and unveiled their hiding results in the release of oxygen, as well. According to security

14 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


64bit 808 and 810 Lead the Flock
Qualcomm releases Snapfragon 808 and For all the horror game fans out there, keep
810 with 64bit support and improved an eye on ‘The Flock’. Read the review to know
Buzz graphics processing http://dgit.in/Snap810 more about it: http://dgit.in/tfdgrlgl

person’s smartphone to chirrup video memory clock speeds,


a warning as well as inform voltage levels, cooling-fan
them when it’s safe to cross. The speeds and power targets. The
wearable will be controlled by card will also come with a GPU
blinking and the lens will com- Tweak Streaming tool which
municate to a smartphone or lets users share on-screen game
other devices wirelessly. play with others on the internet
Google is also working on in real time.
a contact lens to help diabetics The R9 dual GPUs run at
monitor their glucose levels 1018MHz of clock speed and
by taking readings from mois- ASUS claims that the card is
ture in users’ eyes. Project’s able to play games at the latest
cofounders, Brian Otis and 4k/UHD (ultra high definition)
Babak Parviz said in a blog post: resolutions of up to 3840x2160
Dr Band-Aid to the rescue! “We’re now testing a smart con- pixels. Users will also be able to
tact lens that’s built to measure connect up to six displays for
reports, ATM theft resulted in unobtrusive it is, many users glucose levels in tears using a an immersive experience. The
losses of 10 million euros (Rs. would prefer using it instead of tiny wireless chip and minia- R9 295X2 supports 2560x1600
85 crores approx.) in the first wearing another gadget around turized glucose sensor that are pixels output resolution
half of 2013, alone. Hopefully, their wrist or arms. embedded between two layers of through DVI and 3840x2160
an efficient security system like In the future, the research soft contact lens material”. pixels resolution through
this will serve as a deterrent to team wants to add biome- At the CES 2014 Innovega HDMI and DisplayPort.
criminals in the future. chanical sensors to the patch has unveiled iOptik augmented
to make it possible for it to ana- reality lenses that interact with
Dr Band-Aid lyse a user’s sweat and transmit a pair of smart glasses to beam
Specifications:
Engineers from two American more in-depth health and med- a head-up display right into
universities have developed ical information. your vision. A company spokes-
an electronic patch similar to To get a better idea of how person stated that the integrated
a band-aid that can stick to a the patch works, check out the contacts with iOptik glasses
user’s skin and relay health video: http://dgit.in/ehpch fitted with tiny projects, looks
information to a phone or com- quiet similar to regular glasses
• 3D chip: AMD Radeon R9
puter. The patch includes sili- Enter: Iris Cam and users also have an option to 295X2
cone chips encased in a plastic After Glass, Google is working get prescription contacts. • DirectX version: DirectX
case and silicone fluid that help on developing a contact lens 11.2
it to stay stuck to the skin even with camera and sensors in it. ASUS launches • Interface: PCI-Express
3.0 x 16
through continuous movement. The camera would enable users new card • Memory: 8,192 MB
The research team comprised to take hands-free pictures and ASUS has announced a new • Memory Type: GDDR5
of engineers from the University help the blind navigate. high-performance graphics • Clock frequency - GPU:
of Illinois and Northwestern According to reports, the card R9 295X2 in India. The 1,018 MHz
University and was headed internet giant has a patent card comes with AMD Radeon • Clock frequency -
Memory: 1,250 MHz
by John Rogers and Yonggang pending for a camera lens R9 series graphics-processing
Huang from the former and with micro camera containing units (GPUs). ASUS claims
latter universities respectively. embedded sensors that can be that the card is equipped with
In order to make sure that the controlled by blinking. The a highly-efficient, hybrid liquid ASUS claims that the card
wiring inside the patch does patent combines ideas from / air cooling system. It also doesn’t require an assembly
not break because of the way Google Glass smart glasses and comes with an 8GB of super- and comes with hybrid liquid
human skin is always in motion, Google’s tear-scanning smart fast GDDR5 video memory. / air-cooling system. The fan on
the engineers designed them to contact lenses. The company says that R9 the card comes with an under-
unfold and fold according to the The camera lens has sensors 295X2 users can also benefit lying radiator which dissipates
skin’s motion. that can detect light, colour, from GPU-tweaking with the heat from the liquid-cooling
With the rising popularity of faces as well as specific objects. bundled GPU Tweak tool. The pipe work. The dedicated
wearable technology and fitness The device could help vision- utility will enable users to push liquid-cooling helps both the
monitoring devices, the patch impaired people navigate by the dual GPUs to extreme limits GPUs, card’s memory chips
could make sense to lot of users. spotting that they are heading to get the most out of the card. and regulators stay cool and
Considering how malleable and for a busy road and telling that Users will also be able to toggle thereby increasing stability.

16 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Web Watch App Watch
In this month’s edition of Web Watch we We bring to you an assortment of apps

Connections 22 take a look at what Google, Twitter and


Facebook are upto 24 that you must try out. These include
essential tools and some fun stuff too.

The evolving Mobile Age


Modular cellphones, wearables and amping security on them. Phones seem to be in a
state of constant evolution.

Update: Project Ara years and will hold all the var- A Module Developers Kit plunger assembly to ensure they
Project Ara, Google’s modular ious components in place with for Project Ara has also been remain in place.
smartphone project, is expected the help of electro-permanent unveiled by Google. The Kit The EPMs (Electro-Perma-
to be available for purchase early magnets. The components will has been released by Goog- nent Magnets) which keeps the
next year. The phone is also communicate with each other le’s Advanced Technology
expected to cost $50 (`3,000 using the UniPro standard, a and Projects (ATAP). Mobile
approx.) and will be available high-speed interface platform developers who were anx-
in plain grey colour in order to developed for use in mobiles. iously waiting for Google to
encourage buyers to customize Eremenko also weighed in release more details about the
it. All of this was revealed by on the fact that even though project will now get a better
Paul Eremenko, the team leader Project Ara supports Android, idea of what’s the possibilities
of Project Ara at its first devel- Android, as yet, does not sup- are with the Ara components.
opers conference at Google’s port the drivers required for Project Ara is basically a con-
Mountain View campus. modular hardware. He said cept of building a customized
Project Ara deals with the that because Google owned the smartphone with modular
development of a “modular” project, that problem should be components with the user
smartphone – a smartphone solved soon. deciding which components Recently, Phonebloks had
he/she would want (just like uploaded a video which
building an assembled PC). revealed the team working
on Project Ara
Google hung on to Motorola
(http://dgit.in/pbltara)
Mobility’s ATAP division after The MDK of Project Ara can
selling Motorola to Lenovo. be downloaded from
http://dgit.in/mdkara.
Contents of the MDK:
It details how Google is consid-
ering different sets of configura- modules of the Ara phone in
tions for different sized metal place will have “two selectable
endoskeletons. The endoskel- states: the attach state and
eton is basically a single board release state, corresponding
which will hold all the compo- to high and low levels of mag-
nents of the phone together. netic force.”
The Project Ara smartphone Ara devices will most
will come in three different likely be compatible with most
sizes: a mini, medium and large standard apps and ATAP has
Project Ara –The world’s first modular cell phone (In future) sizes. encouraged developers “to pay
Google is currently working attention to application stability
that a user can upgrade with Eremenko also revealed the on different design of rib crosses and graceful behavior in light
individual components and expected timeline for Project Ara on the endoskeleton. dynamically varying avail-
parts instead of spending money that includes two more developer Google notes that Ara smart- ability of hardware resources
on an entirely new phone. These conferences in July and Sep- phones cannot have vertical (as with hot-plug, for instance).”
components will be of the min- tember of this year respectively. “spines or vertically configured
iaturised variety and will also The alpha build of Project Ara is modules for front panelling. All The iWatch (and
rely on 3D printing. Eremenko expected in August of this year front-facing modules must run other wearables)
revealed that the chassis or and the beta build in January horizontal and won’t have an According to reports, Apple
frame of the Ara smartphone 2015, which will be made avail- end to lean on and will there- has received samples of flex-
will last around five to six able for purchase. fore use EPM and a ball-spring ible PCBs from leading Flex-

18 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Security Watch Smartphone kill-switches
It’s a dangerous world out there full Multiple device makers have agreed to include

Mobile watch 28 of trojans, exploits, malware and


other baddies.
kill-switches in their devices to help curb thefts
http://dgit.in/SmartKill

phones that will allow users Researchers bypass the


to remotely wipe data and lock S5’s fingerprint sensor
a stolen device. The feature is SRLabs points out that using
expected to be introduced in fingerprint as credentials for
all smartphones after July 2015 local user authentication has
thanks to increased pressure two flaws as compared to the
from American politicians. If traditional password system.
users do manage to reclaim First up is the limited revo-
their lost devices then the fea- cation, which means if a fin-
ture will allow them to restore gerprint gets stolen, there’s no
data that has been wiped out. way to change it. Second is the
However, as per the discus- credential spread. “Users leave
sions between the companies, copies of their fingerprints
the proposed feature will be everywhere; including on the
Apple’s entry into ‘opt-in’ which means that users devices they protect. Finger-
wearable tech? will have to actively go into prints are not fit for secure local
their phone settings and turn it user authentication as long as
ible PCB suppliers for its next the solar charging technology on. This could mean that users spoofs (fake fingers) can be
generation iWatch. The reports may overcome battery life prob- who don’t have knowledge of produced from these pervasive
also suggest that Apple may lems. NYT also says that Apple the feature will still not turn it copies,” said the firm.
launch the iWatch in the third is working on wireless charging on or may choose not to if the In the meanwhile, PayPal
quarter this year. technology using magnetic feature is hidden behind scores has issued a statement, saying
Apple has reportedly induction. Apple has also filed of menus and sub-menus. the company has taken the
received these PCBs from iWatch trademarks in Japan Android users can cur- SRLabs findings seriously.
Flexium Interconnect, Carrer and Russia. rently already remotely “The scan unlocks a secure
Technology and Zhen Ding Apart from Apple, Motorola lock and wipe data from a cryptographic key that serves
Technology Holding. Reports and LG are also planning to stolen device by turning on as a password replacement for
suggest that the tech giant launch their Android wear
will examine the parts before based smartwatches this year.
approving them for the iWatch. Motorola Moto 360 and LG G
Zhen Ding is Apple’s largest Watch will support features
supplier of printed circuit like “Ok Google” assistant and
boards, and plans to spend over will be compatible with a wide
$100 million to add production range of devices. The devices
capacity. The PCB manufacturer are expected to be launched
expects orders not only for the over the summer.
iWatch, but also for the iPhone According to other reports,
6 and iPhone phablet. Samsung is working on a new
Flexium plans on spending variant of its Galaxy Gear 2
nearly $50 million to $66 mil- smartwatch that will support
lion to increase production integrated telephony func-
of its mid-range to high-end tionality. The smartwatch will
products which will lead to a come with an integrated USIM SGS5 sensor – flawed?
20% increase in revenue for the module, that will let you make
company. Carrier Technology is calls without the help of a Android Device Manager in the phone,” the statement read.
also planning to expand pro- synced smartphone. their phone’s settings. Apple “We can simply deactivate the
duction in China and Taiwan also introduced the Activa- key from a lost or stolen device,
and will spend $33 million on Anti-theft remote kill tion Lock feature in iOS 7 that and you can create a new one.
the project this year. switch coming soon offers similar abilities. We’re PayPal also uses sophisticated
Previous reports about to all smartphones not sure how the proposed fraud and risk management
Apple’s iWatch reveal that the Google, Nokia, Samsung, HTC feature will differ from the tools to try to prevent fraud
wearable device may use solar and Motorola, among other existing options but if it means before it happens. However, in
panels and a magnetic induc- large phone makers, have that the security options take the rare instances that it does,
tion charging mechanism. The agreed to introduce a built- centre-stage due to the pro- you are covered by our purchase
New York Times reports, that in anti-theft feature in their posal, then we’re all for it. protection policy.”

20 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Nexus 10 2 rumours FarmVille 2 on mobile
US Google Play store listing mentions Zynga has another go at the once popular
“Coming soon”, could have improved hardware franchise by releasing FarmVille on all
Web Watch akin to Nexus 5 http://dgit.in/Nexus102 mobile devices http://dgit.in/MobFarmVille

Of laws and numbers


Laws and business-related studies and figures seem to be all people are talking
about with respect to the online world this month

Facebook Money companies, as well as several of earnings for Q4 2013 showed by everyone. It’s full of untapped
Facebook is reportedly looking at their competitors. “I would be a total average revenue of $2.14 potential and once unlocked it
e-money services; including the surprised if Facebook’s conversa- per user, but only $0.20 of the promises to inform us in ways
ability for people to make peer- tions were only limited to those total came from non-advertising that can improve lives, find
to-peer money transfers. It has three,” He added. sources. This will also help Face- remedies to incurable diseases,
already applied for an e-money Facebook has offered Azimo book generate revenue from redefine industries, discover
license in Ireland, allowing Face- $10 million to recruit a co- Whatsapp which it acquired new markets, help solve local
book to make online transfers founder as a director of busi- with a strict ‘no-ads’ policy. community challenges such as
using money stored on Facebook. ness development. Azimo’s hunger and poverty – the pos-
According to reports, Face- CEO and co-founder, Michael Cyber India: 2020 sibilities are endless.” EMC India
book has spoken to several Kent declined to comment on The digital universe in India and SAARC President Rajesh
consumer-payment companies, the news but said, “We talk to is predicted to double in size Janey is quoted as saying.
every two years and grow nine- According to the report, wide
fold between 2013 and 2020, adoption of wireless tech along
from 326 exabytes to 2.8 zet- with rise in Internet consump-
tabytes, says a new research tion have played a pivotal role
conducted by IDC and tech in massive growth in the digital
giant EMC. Globally, Digital universe. For India, increased
Universe is set to hit 44 trillion digitisation across sectors
gigabytes by 2020, rising from including business and govern-
4.4 trillion gigabytes in 2013. ment along with growth in social
Currently, 60% of data in and mobile usage have helped
the digital universe is attrib- drive India’s Digital Universe.
uted to mature markets such The study also found that
as Germany, Japan, and the that more than 50% of the Dig-
United States, but by 2020, ital Universe in India needs pro-
the percentage will flip, and tection. “This is significant espe-
emerging markets including cially if we look in the context of
India, Brazil,China, Mexico India ranking 4th in terms of
and Russia will account for the most phishing attacks globally
Facebook Banking majority of data, says the report. in 2013. 4.4 trillion gigabytes of
“India’s Digital Universe data created in 2013, less than
including TransferWise, Moni everyone and are lucky enough is growing fast driven by half the data that needed protec-
Technologies and Azimo among to get a bunch of interesting increasing digitisation across tion received protection, things
others. Though, the social net- offers and approaches coming business and government; and a most at risk are Corporate finan-
working giant declined to com- up although we prefer to keep steady rise in capitalization of the cial data, Personally identifi-
ment on the report for now. those to ourselves. It would be social and mobile phenomenon able information (PII), Medical
“My impression is that Face- very cool if Facebook and others
book is still trying to get a sense got into money transfer, though,
of the market, and see whether wouldn’t it? Could be truly trans- “China already accounts for 14 per
it would suit them better going formational to an industry that cent of the digital universe. Though
off and doing it themselves or has ripped off hard-working US’ share has declined as the other
to work in partnership with migrants for years.” emerging markets have grown, it
others,” Mike Laven, CEO of Cur- The move represents a chal- is still 26 per cent. India’s share
rency Cloud, the London-based lenge as well as a huge oppor- is also growing from 3 per cent in
startup that powers payments at tunity for Facebook. The net- 2010 to 6 per cent in 2020.”
the back-end for all three of these working giant’s last quarterly – EMC India and SAARC President Rajesh Janey

22 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Old Greenland Windows Phone 8.1
Geologists have detected three million The latest update brings Cortana, its
year old landmass under Greenland’s equivalent of Google Now/Siri http://
ice sheet http://dgit.in/OldGreen dgit.in/WinP81Dev Web Watch

records and User account infor- go through users emails for Google spokesman Matt
mation. Organisations based in keywords to target users. Kallman said in a statement
India (80%) are more likely to In March, a US judge decided that, “We want our policies to
have experienced data loss and/ not to combine several lawsuits be simple and easy for users
or systems downtime within the that the internet giant is facing to understand. These changes
past year, than those overall for violating users privacy. will give people even greater
across Asia Pacific and Japan Google defended that Gmail clarity and are based on feed-
(71%),” says the study. users have signed the terms of back we’ve received over the
The report also sheds service and therefore already last few months.”
light on growth of Internet of agreed to have their e-mails Google had made the last
Things (IoT), which is pre- read. The change in terms of ser- update to its Terms of Service
dicted to contribute up to 10 vice may be a move to prevent in October 2013 and included
percent of total data generated similar lawsuits in the future. the internet giant’s use of
in India by 2020. Currently, ‘nuff said! Google’s updated ‘terms Google Account holders’ profile
data from these connected of service’ added a paragraph names, photos, and actions, to
device have about 4 percent The changes follow recent stating that “our automated help with displaying ads and
share in the total data in India. legal challenges that the systems analyze your content for other commercial purposes.
internet giant is facing over (including e-mails) to pro- “Business don’t need to wade
Big Brother Google its handling of email from pri- vide you personally relevant through the vast amounts of data
Google Inc. has updated its vacy groups. Microsoft’s recent product features, such as cus- but instead can extract tremen-
‘Terms of Service’ to include “Don’t Get Scroogled” cam- tomized search results, tailored dous value by focusing on high-
automatic scanning of paign draws notice to Goog- advertising, and spam and mal- value, “target rich” data that
incoming and outgoing emails le’s email-scanning practices ware detection. This analysis accounts for 1.7 per cent of the
to create targeted ads, custom- and states that unlike Google, occurs as the content is sent, current Digital Universe,” IDC
ized search results and more. Microsoft Outlook.com doesn’t received, and when it is stored.” India MD Jaideep Mehta said.
Dropbox buys Loom App devs respond
Dropbox bought out its competitor Windows Phone developers can now respond
only to shut it down immediately to user reviews (Similar to Google Play Store)
App Watch http://dgit.in/DropboxLoom http://dgit.in/ReviewRes

Must-have apps for


the month
This time around, we check out an assortment of utilities, games and
navigations apps

Evernote Food rants and My Meals. Simple, Evernote allows you to select
Evernote Food is a food log yet it covers all the categories what resolution you want the
app developed by the makers you'll need. picture in so as to save on space.
of Evernote, the notepad app The 'Explore Recipes' sec- All in all, a great app for
that helps you remember eve- tion includes a list of prese- both, the serious foodies as
rything. And in this case, it's lected recipes by Evernote. well as the casual food lover.
main focus is on helping you Selecting a recipe here will
remember how you can get your take you to the blog that it was Android: http://dgit.in/1icmB7R
hands on your favourite food. saved from. You can mark rec- iOS: http://dgit.in/1f0hOpF
Evernote Food, a free app, ipes here that you want to try
helps you keep track of the as favourites i.e. “clip” them, Zombies, Run!
food you love. From recipes to and they get added to 'My No, Zombies, Run! is not
restaurants, this app is dedi- Cookbook' so that you can find another zombie game. It's a
cated to helping foodies docu- them later. fitness and health app and a
ment it all. The home screen is My Cookbook is a section unique new way of getting
divided into four tabs: Explore where you can access saved people to exercise.
Recipes, My Cookbook, Restau- recipes or enter your own from Zombies, Run! is an immer-
time to time, making it a con- Zombies, Run! sive running game. Before you
solidated collection of tried and begin your morning run, start
tested recipes for easy access. the app and plug in your ear-
You can even access your cook- phones and just 100 yards away
book section from the Evernote from you the zombies take over.
app, which is available for all The extremely creative story
your devices. line dictates the task you must
Location-based data in perform through audio. These
Evernote Food – iPad edition 'Restaurants' is powered by tasks are called “missions”,
Foursquare. It remembers which you must complete
places you've eaten at – par- before preset time intervals.
ticularly useful in marking During these intervals, you can
the restaurants to visit again listen to music saved on your
and keep your distance from. phone. The music fades out as
You can search for nearby res- the app announces that you've
taurants, which is especially collected vital items for your
useful for travellers exploring mission such as food, water,
a new place. medicine and even underwear.
The 'My Meals' section in There are also “challenges”
Evernote helps you keep track to overcome where the app
of individual meals that you’ve tracks your running speed and
eaten. There are fields here to requires you to outrun zom-
be filled such as meal title, bies to win. As long as you're
place, cuisine, tag, meal notes, running faster than the zom-
date, time and place. You can bies you won't be eaten. You
add pictures, and thankfully, can share your run logs and

24 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release AMD posts loss again
The latest version of the most popular Linux This time around, the numbers are within
distribution was released with minor upgrades and predictions and much lower than Q1 2013
high-res support http://dgit.in/Ubuntu1404LTS numbers http://dgit.in/AMDTarget App Watch

route logs with friends online videos and then download


via Zombielink. The route the audio. It provides an option
tracking part works with GPS. to link songs to each of your
If you’re running in an indoor contacts to serve as customis-
track or on a treadmill, then able ringtones.
you can use the app with the There's also the ability to
accelerometer to keep track of create playlists and play your
your speed. music directly from the app or
Zombies, Run! is available let it play in the background
on the App Store and Play store with its background playlist
for $3.99 (`244) and on the Win- feature. The background pic-
dows Phone for $1.99 (`121). ture for each playlist/song is
customisable making it easy
Android: http://dgit.in/1icNGld to identify.
iOS: http://dgit.in/1jvRvDA Music Downloader allows
you to stream the song online
Music Downloader and listen to it before going
Music Downloader Published by Paolo Basilicata, Poweramp ahead and downloading it.
Music Downloader is an app It uses SoundCloud as its
exclusive to Windows Phones. source to allow users to down-
Available for `70, the app lets load music freely and legally.
you download songs and music
directly from your smartphone. Windows Phone:
You can also watch YouTube http://dgit.in/1hcZLLu
Borderlands Update Bye-Bye Nate!
Check out what's happening behind Nate Wells, designer of Naughty Dogs' popular 'The
the development of Borderlands: The Last of Us' leaves the company to joing indie game
App Watch Pre-Sequel http://dgit.in/btwbtps company Giant Sparrow http://dgit.in/bbnwell

Poweramp the maps offline to your phone your friends are also using the
Poweramp, a powerful music for regular use. The offline app, you can message or mail
player, is available as a trial ver- GPS is extremely useful if them and even map a route to
sion for Android phones on the you’re travelling in unfamiliar their co-ordinates, assuming
Play store. Once you're satisfied parts of India and don't have that they're nearby.
you can purchase the unlocker an active 2G or 3G connection. Sygic & MapmyIndia is
for the full version. The UI is There's no way a weak signal an free to use app that has
clean and easy to use. The con- will leave you stranded if you every conceivable function
trols are big and well placed so have this app. that you could want in a navi-
that even the most novice user Since you have a 3D view gation app, even ones that
feels at ease using the app. of the map, the navigation app you haven’t thought of yet.
What’s great about Pow- is more realistic and immer-
eramp is that it supports all sive. The colourful anima- iOS: http://dgit.in/1f1sUdR
the possible music formats tions ensure an enjoyable
including MP3, MP4/MP4a, experience while you navigate OverDrive Media
WMA, OGG, FLAC, WAV, APE, through towering buildings Console
TTA, WV, AIFF and MPC — and congested roads. OverDrive Media Console is
basically, almost anything and MapmyIndia also offers OverDrive Media Console an e-reader and library app for
everything an average user you a voice guidance service your e-books and audio books.
would play on his device on a to ensure that you are taking More than 18,000 public
daily basis, and then, some. the shortest route and don’t libraries worldwide, including
Albums are listed by their miss a turn or go in the wrong colleges and schools, share
cover photos and in case any are direction. It even gives you their titles via OverDrive. It's
missing a cover picture the app weather updates while you're very similar to a real library
offers to download one for you. on the move. where you can borrow books
You can set the folders in the A very helpful feature for a certain period of time. If
file system from within which of this app is the ability to POI (Place of Interest). Over a book you want has already
the app should look for music, search by house number or 10.33 million registered POIs been checked out, you can be
thereby preventing random for 50 cites in India allow you put it on a waiting list and
audio clips from being played. to obtain turn-by-turn naviga- receive it in a couple of days
You can set up different tion right upto the very door- as soon as it's available again.
profiles according to the sound step of your destination. The However unlike a library, once
output you're using. millions of registered places of the expiration date on the book
The processing options are interest include petrol pumps, passes you no longer have pos-
numerous. It has a 10-band coffee shops, restaurants and session of it. Hence no late fee.
equaliser that can be used indi- so on. Each have a rating and You can search for libraries by
MapmyIndia GPS Navigation
vidually in each song as well as telephone number, so you address zip code or region.
knobs and sliders to control the can accordingly decide where Using your digital library
treble, bass and balance. With to go. card and the ‘Get Books’
so many available options and It provides a list of emer- option, you can peruse the
great sound to top it all, there's gency numbers to call, if the online library website and
no doubt that Poweramp is the need arises. choose which book you would
best music player app available. As with most apps these like to check out.
days, you can connect to Face- The app is constantly
Android: book or Twitter and let your updating with new features,
http://dgit.in/1mAjjwU friends know where you're and recent updates included
headed. If you're struggling a dictionary, early return
Sygic & MapmyIndia: to remember the address of a periods and background file
GPS Navigation place you've been to and have a downloads. The only limita-
Sygic & MapmyIndia: GPS Nav- photo that you've taken there, tion, for now is the fact that
igation is a one of a kind, voice- simply enter it into the map. this free app is only avail-
based, 3D navigation system. It will use the EXIF data from able for Windows Phone.
The best thing about it is that the photo to find the geological
the app doesn't requires online co-ordinates and come up with Windows Phone:
connectivity to work. It stores a route to guide you there. If http://dgit.in/1icOsif

26 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Heartbleed hackers Zeus cozies up to India
Hackers are on the lookout for Heartbleed India has been found to be the third most attacked nation
affected websites to get easier targets by the Zeus malware that steals sensitive information
Connections
Security watch http://dgit.in/HackBleed http://dgit.in/1stEqSE

Heartbleed, and more


Heartbleed has sent alarm bells ringing across the world fearing millions of
passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information open to hackers.
We take a detailed look at the Heartbleed bug and other important developments
in the security segment.

H
eartbleed – a eavesdrop on communications, knew about the heartbleed vul- “Shortly after news of the
recently uncov- steal data directly from the nerability for at least two years Heartbleed Bug first surfaced,
ered security bug services and users and to and used it regularly to gather Kaspersky Lab uncovered evi-
– has triggered a impersonate services and critical information. dence that a few hacking groups
panic globally. While many of users,” add researchers. NSA, however, denied this, believed to be involved in state-
you want to believe Heartbleed A fix for OpenSSL has stating that they became aware sponsored cyber espionage were
OpenSSL vulnerability is over- already been released and of the vulnerability only after running such scans. Later, the
blown, it appears the bug is deployed. However, Operating it was made public in a cyber Team at Kaspersky Lab identi-
much worse than our imagina- system vendors and distribu- security report. fied such scans coming from
tion. In fact, Heartbleed is being tion, appliance vendors, inde- “The Federal government ‘tens’ of actors. The numbers
considered as the biggest and pendent software vendors have relies on OpenSSL to protect were gradually increasing and
most widespread vulnerabilities to adopt the fix and notify their the privacy of users of govern- this was even more evident
in the history of the modern web. when security software com-
Heartbleed is a bug within pany Rapid7 released a free tool
open source protocol “OpenSSL”, for conducting such scans. This
which is widely used to encrypt problem is insidious and devices
web communications. Several besides servers could be at risk
web giants like Google, Amazon, because they run software pro-
Yahoo etc. use the protocol. grams with vulnerable OpenSSL
Researchers from security code built into them,” said Kurt
testing and software company Baumgartner, Researcher -
Codenomicon and Google, who Kaspersky Lab in a statement.
found the vulnerability, explain
that Heartbleed allows stealing Alerts in Indian
information protected, under The heartbleed bug cyberspace
normal conditions, by the SSL/ The Indian cybersecurity
TLS encryption used to secure users. Service providers and ment websites and other online sleuths issued an alert against
the Internet. SSL/TLS pro- users have to install the fix as it services. This Administration Heartbleed:
vides communication security becomes available for the oper- takes seriously its responsibility “A remote attacker could
and privacy over the Internet ating systems, networked appli- to help maintain an open, inter- exploit this vulnerability by
for applications such as web, ances and software they use. operable, secure and reliable submitting crafted TLS or
email, instant messaging (IM) Major services such as Internet. If the Federal govern- DTLS heartbeat packets to an
and some virtual private net- Google have already released ment, including the intelligence affected device to retrieve sensi-
works (VPNs). security patches in this regard. community, had discovered this tive information, such as private
“The Heartbleed bug allows While BlackBerry has plans vulnerability prior to last week, keys, user name and passwords
anyone on the Internet to read to release a security patch for it would have been disclosed to or contents of encrypted traffic
the memory of the systems pro- BBM, Twitter in an update says the community responsible for from process memory. By lev-
tected by the vulnerable ver- it is monitoring the situation. OpenSSL,” says the security eraging this information, an
sions of the OpenSSL software. agency in a statement. attacker may be able to decrypt,
This compromises the secret Did the NSA know Kaspersky Labs claims that it spoof, or perform man-in-the-
keys used to identify the ser- about it? has uncovered evidence of a few middle attacks,” says the Com-
vice providers and to encrypt A Bloomberg report citing uni- hacker groups being involved in puter Emergency Response
the traffic and the actual con- dentified sources alleged the US’ state-sponsored cyber espionage Team of India (CERT-In) in its
tent. This allows attackers to National Security Agency (NSA) were running such scans. latest advisory.

28 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Stricter internet control Greater Heartbleed
China call for a tougher control over in the internet Heartbleed gets worse with attackers using
at a recent meet with many asian countries it to make fake websites appear completely
http://dgit.in/MoarControl authentic http://dgit.in/BleedMore Security watch

Phishers using AAP could have,” said Michael Novak,


and Arvind Kejriwal Facebook product manager. “Now
as bait: Symantec we’re thinking about privacy not
Symantec, which spotted a web- just as a set of controls or settings,
site that spoofs Facebook appear- but as a set of experiences that
ances claims phishers are using help people feel comfortable.”
Kejriwal and his party as bait Facebook’s new privacy fea-
to attract users to submit their tures include Audience selector,
login credentials on a fake Face- new style sharing settings and
book page. The phishing site was Privacy checkup.
hosted on servers based in Lan- Facebook has moved the
sing, Michigan in the US. Are fingerprint scanners so vulnerable? audience selector to the top of
The website ‘Unite With Us the mobile interface right above
Against Corruption’ features a ever, the button is just a dummy “wood glue spoof”, made from the status. Earlier, it was placed
poster of the Aam Aadmi Party and does not perform any func- mould of a fingerprint smudge left right above the keyboard next to
along with a fake Facebook “like” tions. If users fell victim to the on smartphone screen. According smiley, location and other icons.
button. The site’s background phishing site by entering their to SRLabs, the fingerprint sensor The new change also elaborates
image features a picture of the personal data, phishers would in the S5 is shoddier than what the sharing setting as it gives a
party’s leader Arvind Kejriwal have successfully stolen their was found in the iPhone 5S. proper title to whom you are
and his Twitter tagline: “Political confidential information for sharing your content with, such
revolution in India has begun. identity theft purposes.” points Facebook changes as “Friends” and “Public”.
Bharat jaldi badlega.” out Symantec in a blog post. its privacy features... All of you Facebook users
Again! must be familiar with the
Fingerprint Facebook is going to tweak its pri- “Public” and “Friends” options
sensor vacy features again based on user in the drop down menu that
hacked feedback. The company plans to you select during sharing your
Back in September bring three major changes which status. Facebook will start elab-
last year, German are currently in development orating these terms from now on
researchers man- and testing phase. Some reports and explain what those terms
aged to crack the suggest that the changes might really mean. A new dropdown
protection around already to visible to some users menu will be added which con-
Phishers use Kejriwal to dupe people Apple’s fingerprint on the website. Facebook says that tains small descriptions such as
sensor on the iPhone it conducts more than 80 trillion “Anyone on or off Facebook” and
“Phishers frequently use the 5S. Researchers used “fake fin- privacy checks per day to ensure “Your friends on Facebook.”
same template to host different gerprint”, which could be put that users haven’t shared their Another change that Face-
applications but this time, they onto a thin film and used with a posts with wrong people acci- book will bring is a new “pri-
forgot to change the reference to real finger to unlock the device. dentally. The social network is vacy checkup” pop-up which
cute baby pictures. After the user And now, the fingerprint sensor infamous for changing its privacy will ask people who haven’t
enters their login credentials, the on Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 has policy every now and then. changed their privacy setting
phishing site redirects the user to been cracked with the same trick. “Some people have felt Face- from Public for some time now.
an acknowledgment page. The Germany-based SRLabs book privacy has changed too Most importantly, Facebook
Web page then asks the user to released a video demonstrating much in the past, or we haven’t will incorporate the option of
click another “like” button. How- the trick. Researchers used a communicated as well as we making cover photos private.
Industry connect Grid Autosport Announced
We interview Mr Rajiv Bapna, The next Grid game, ‘Grid Autosport’ claims to be

Tech @ Work 33 Founder and Director of Amkette


and Mr Ravi Manik of Broadcom
high on authenticity. Announces a June release.
http://dgit.in/gridajune

Elementary, my dear
Get clued into the super-secret world of cyber forensics. raw image of the media because doing
so might reveal the tracks of the crime.
Here’s how you can become a digital detective. If the original image doesn’t match
this duplicate image at a later stage of
Vaibhav Kaushal cyber crime. Though on the façade, analysis, forensics experts will know.
readersletters@thinkdigit.com digital forensics may appear different The devil is in the details, so let us

C
from real-world forensics, the sciences break down for you how information
yber Forensics (or ‘Digital are quite similar at the conceptual level. retrieval works:
Forensics’) deals with evidence • Data storage: This part involves
found on computers and digital Information retrieval maintaining a file structure index and
storage media that’s related Gathering evidence without contami- allocating actual data somewhere else.
to crime scene investigations. If the idea nating the scene is a key part of the Technically, a B-Tree is maintained for
of tracing back a crime to unravel the process. If you contaminate the source storing the directory structure on each
truth gets your adrenaline pumping, of evidence, the rest of the case is on an partition (letting users know which file
this is the job for you. While the skills unsure track already. Which is why it and folder is inside which file/folder).
required to collect digital evidence and is of foremost importance that evidence The space for this B-Tree index is nor-
data may be difficult to acquire, once media − called “exhibit” in legal termi- mally preallocated.
you’ve mastered them, you can proudly nology − is examined with care. This When you normally delete a file, it’s
call yourself the Sherlock Holmes of means that the investigator must take a sent to your Trash/Recycle Bin which

30 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Did you know... Science meets Art
Bitcoin has just over 67 digital currencies in A theatre production: ‘The Energy Show’ at the Science
circulation on the internet? See what they are: Museum in South Kensington, London fuses science
http://dgit.in/bitcoin67 with theatre to inspire children http://dgit.in/1eaHz68 Work @ tech

is just another folder maintained exclu-


sively by your operating system. When
you delete the file from your recycle
bin, it remains on your computer
because the only thing the operating
system deletes is the entry from the
folder structure (the B-Tree Index); the
data remains in place. This leaves the
window to retrieve deleted data open.
This is the window that data-recovery
tools use. Undoubtedly, data retrieval
in crime scene investigation is of
higher importance than mere recovery
of photos, thus the demand for highly
skilled recruits. Mac OS X lets you remove the files in Trash securely without a third-party tool (just press
• Physical storage: Data stored on a Command key to show the option)
hard disk is stored as a sequence of
bits, and each bit is physically stored Not a lot of thought is required to con- and in-depth comprehension of the way
by altering the magnetic value of a very clude that to safely erase data from a different pieces of software interact with
tiny point on the disk. As imperfect disk. You’d need to overwrite the same each other to trace back the circumstances
as the world is, the magnetic value on disk portion where the data was stored, of the felony. You may also be required to
the disk doesn’t reflect a perfect binary multiple times. The more random understand the operation of the OS and/
value. For example, if the original these values and more the number of or certain applications, which might have
state of a bit was at perfect 0, firing an overwrites, the lower the chance of cor- been used to commit the crime. While
electromagnetic pulse corresponding rectly guessing the original value. data interpretation is a complex process,
to 1 will cause the value to come to 0.92. The process of copying the bit-level we’ll lightly touch upon it to give you an
Now, if you fire an electromagnetic detail of magnetic values on the disk idea of the work involved in this step:
signal to set that value to 0, it would is called “imaging”. This it does by 1. Know the OS: Data logged by oper-
come to a state that would probably taking a snapshot of the entire disk/ ating systems sometimes plays a key
indicate a value of 0.1 and then again partition and saving it as a file. There role in determining what happened.
you fire the pulse to set the bit to 1. This are tools available for this process and Depending on the OS, the investiga-
time, it goes to 0.95. Now, these values a typical imaging session takes a lot of tion areas might drastically change.
are fairly away from 0.5 and are easy time because of the excruciating level Take Windows, for example; it stores
to be determined as 1 or 0. However, of detail required. Speaking techni- a decent log of things that you try
if you notice the numbers above, a cally, imaging must always be done on to do on the system. Activities such
particular bit value can represent fair the evidence-disk (the disk on which as installing an application and
number of value overwrites on the the evidence of crime is suspected to be failed network login attempts are
same place. The accuracy of guessing present) in the read-only mode. logged, and they can give a boost to
the right value after x number of over- an investigator’s perception of what
writes decreases as x increases. There Information/Data happened. Sometimes, one has to look
are tools that do this fairly well. For interpretation into the registry to ascertain the tools
one of these tools to work, they would Once the disk image has been taken, the that were used or their settings (many
need the exact magnetic value on the next task is to understand what the data tools on Windows store their settings
disk platter for each bit. means. This step involves many tools in registry).

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K
Pinterest now in Hindi Did you know...
The visual bookmarking site now has language According to a recent US study there are more female tech
support for Pinterest users who prefer to entrepreneurs in the Middle East than anywhere else in the
Work @ tech navigate the site in Hindi http://dgit.in/1kE6Tjh world. How come? Read on... http://dgit.in/1g1Ym6A

2. Fish for hidden file content: The EnCase to read the format in which the inspect the patterns of data destruction
data stored on the disk makes up the image file was stored. Assuming that your as well trace malwares that may have
largest part of the investigation. A evidence disk was taken from an iMac deleted themselves after their mission
number of times you may have to look machine, you’d need a way to read the was complete. Forensics experts are
at a stockpile of files that may appear HFS+ file system used by Mac OS X. Once certainly a necessity here.
useless to their original user, but will the data is extracted, you’d again need • Government and Police: Crime inves-
eventually prove quite useful. Auto- software to read the data. If it’s a .dwg file, tigations conducted by intelligence
save information saved by Microsoft only AutoCAD would be able to open that agencies, police and cyber security cells
Word or backup files generated when file. You’d have to deal with a plethora of often require a forensics expert to help
editing files by Linux OS are some formats all the way. them walk a tightrope without falling
of the mildest examples. The good as Lastly, you can’t simply start off with off. With time, as electronic media takes
well as bad thing about these files is a forensic investigation and not have the over our lives, forensics is supposed
that they’re not visible to a user and required rights. you need to be a part of to take over a large share of crime and
normally just left on the disk by the OS the police force or an investigative agency thus, investigative processes.
or the program that creates them. In authorised to handle the case. And of • Private Auditing Companies: There
case they’re deleted, the normal dele- course, you must have the right to use the are companies that dedicate themselves
tion method is used. This would be the software/tools involved. to the job of Forensics Consultation
same as deleting a file from Trash or
Recycle Bin, which means they can be
eventually recovered.
3. Rely on tools to assist you: At this
point, you’re probably wondering how
you’ll be able to read a Word docu-
ment’s auto-save backup file. If you try
to read the file in its raw form, your
brain is bound to cheat you. That’s
because it isn’t a plain text file. Registry
is one of the creators of such a file.
Interpreting the file will be impos-
sible if you rely on your brains alone.
You’ll need tools that can interpret the
data you found on the disk. A simple
example, here – MS Word can open a
Word file recovered from a disk.
Keep an eye on your security
Tools, formats and rights
For dealing with data, you’ll need appro- Careers in Cyber Forensics needed by other entities. You guessed it
priate tools at each step. For example, if It’s by the virtue of the career opportuni- right. These are private detectives.
you want to extract the disk image from ties that the attractiveness of a discipline • Trainer: There certainly is a lack
an evidence disk, there are many tools is determined. Though not a popular of talent in this field. Trainers are
that can help you get the image. To create field, Digital Forensics has opportuni- required at all of the prior mentioned
an image as well there are multiple tools ties in both the private and public sector. organisations. And as it happens in
available, from free and well known tools Interestingly, there are positions in both many cases, being a trainer on rare
such as the ‘dd’ command on Linux to sectors where one needs to use this knowl- and intellectually challenging cases is
a complete set of forensic tools such as edge to destroy data, as well as recover it. quite rewarding.
EnCase. Oftentimes, a single tool can’t be • Revenue Department: Organisations That being said, Cyber Forensics
relied upon and one might need to, say, dealing with money directly, both pri- is an ever-changing landscape. New
create an image using different tools. vate and public need to trace financial types of storage media and software are
File formats are crucial largely because crimes. This involves digging the data introduced all the time, ensuring new
they’re involved at almost every level of graves on the disk and creating the challenges to overcome keeping those
the investigation process. From extracting timeline of who did what and in what in the field on their toes. You can rest
images to reading the data, one needs to order – challenging, interesting and assured that the environment will keep
deal with an extremely vast set of formats. intellectually rewarding. you updated on the latest in technology
Hypothetically, if you took the disk image • Malware Analysis: Companies trying and in touch with a very wide array
using EnCase, then you would need to create anti-viruses often need to of technology.

32 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Hello, Freeze Borderlization Breakdown
The new Batman: Arkham Origins DLC GameSpy closure may adversely affect the fan
‘Cold, Cold Heart’ shows the origin story favourites ‘Borderlands’ and ‘Civilization 4’ Read on
for Mr Freeze http://dgit.in/bataafr to find out more http://dgit.in/borderlization Industry Connect

Broadcom on NFC adoption


and its role in the Indian market
We interview Mr. Ravi Manik, Director, Corporate Business Development at
Broadcom, to get his views on what is the future on NFC and its importance in
the Indian context as per Broadcom.

Soham Raninga Broadcom handling security on their latest


soham.raninga@thinkdigit.com low-cost NFC solution?

B
Broadcom’s standards-based software
roadcom recently introduced stack implements NFC Forum specifica-
the next-generation of near field tions, including NFC Controller interface
communication (NFC) control- (NCI), to support multiple operating
lers designed to deliver low cost systems. As a testament to its certified
solutions for mass market smartphones solutions, Broadcom recently contributed
and wearable gadgets. We interview Mr. its NFC software stack into the Android
Ravi Manik, Director, Corporate Business 4.2 operating system.  In the context of
Development, India & South-East Asia at mobile payments, the NFC security is just
Broadcom, to get his views on what is the as stringent as EMV cards, requiring same
future on NFC and its importance in the levels of security certification. All of Broad-
Indian context as per Broadcom. com’s NFC solutions for mobile payments
Ravi Manik, Director, Corporate Business undergo certification.
Broadcom’s plan of bringing NFC to Development, Broadcom
affordable device segment sounds like a Bluetooth LE seems to offer a competing
good initiative. But, is there a demand in the solution to NFC, though not a direct replace-
affordable segment for NFC chips? tions. A lot of which has to do with NFC ment. Apple’s adoption of BLE for iBeacons
Broadcom actually sees more people payment mechanisms not yet going mass in its stores seem to point towards BLE
wanting to use simplified pairing enabled market. Would you agree to this? If NFC one gaining edge over NFC for mobile payments.
by NFC on affordable smartphones. As of those solutions that is still hunting and Apple has categorically expressed prefer-
mobile payments are rolled out on an looking for a problem to solve? Or, what in ence for BLE due to its range advantage.
international scale it’s only a matter of your opinion is stifling the growth of NFC What are your thoughts on the same?
time before NFC for mobile payments tech among smartphones? We do not comment on other companies’
becomes more commonplace on affordable Mobile payments are still continuing to product strategies.
smartphones.  ABI Research predicts that move forward and Broadcom has the
over three and a half billion NFC-enabled technology in place to support mobile NFC tags were supposed to change the
devices will ship over the next five years. payments when they take off. Broadcom’s way in which we seek and communicate with
NFC technology is certified for all payment devices and even shop around in malls. What
While the BCM20795 is a standalone NFC schemes, including SIM-based, embedded are your thoughts on the concept?
solution, are you planning combo solutions and cloud-based secure elements (e.g. NFC tags as used in consumer marketing,
based on the new power efficient NFC chip? HCE), as well as a combination of these such as in “smart posters”, have been
We announced the industry’s first NFC secure elements within the same device. slower to take off than expected, but are
Quad-combo in late 2012, which combines This offers a significant advantage as expected to grow. For example, Samsung
NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM on a single various mobile payment methods are intro- markets TecTiles NFC tags for consumer/
die. More information can be found in the duced on an international scale. As the first small business applications.
press release here. As for future announce- vendor to support the NFC Forum’s latest
ments, Broadcom does not comment on our specifications, Broadcom also ensures com- Coming back to the recently announced
product roadmap. pliance with all current standards. low-cost energy efficient NFC solution, which
Indian vendors are you working with?
NFC as a technology seems to have failed A lot is said about NFC being plagued by We do not talk about customers unless
to take-off when compared to the expecta- security concerns, would you agree? How is they are announced publicly.

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 33


Shaft attack! Time to Fall
If you’re a flight simulator buff, buying the The oddest trailer one has seen in recent times,
right shaft is important to you. Here’s a the Lords of the Fallen trailer is interesting and
Industry Connect comparison test for you http://dgit.in/3shafts begs the question ‘Why ?’ http://dgit.in/lotftrlr

Interview: Amkette’s
transformation to a lifestyle
tech brand
Amkette gives us a glimpse of how the brand has evolved and shares its
future plans on developing unique products for Indian consumers.

Soham Raninga tions happen at two places: Delhi and


soham.raninga@thinkdigit.com Bangalore. The design and develop-

W
ment of the products happens in Delhi
e interview Mr. Rajiv whereas the software is developed
Bapna, Founder and in Bangalore.
Director, Amkette. Mr.
Bapna takes us through What is Amkette doing differently
the evolution of Amkette from a brand compared to other competing brands to
famous for floppy disk to a brand now specifically cater to Indian audience?
focused on pioneering acoustics and What is its USP?
offering unique lifestyle products. All Amkette products are designed and
developed after extensive consumer
Amkette has transformed itself from feedback. Therefore, each product from
being an IT peripherals company to a Amkette has a unique story for con-
lifestyle brand, focusing on A/V entertain- Rajiv Bapna, sumers. This, coupled with our core
ment. Why this shift and how has the jour-
Founder and Director, Amkette promise of cutting-edge technology,
ney been so far? contemporary product design and afford-
Amkette began its journey as a storage has been a tangle-free earphones with able pricing makes Amkette a unique
technology pioneer over 25 years ago metallic sound chamber to create supe- brand. This is particularly so in India,
and over the years transformed itself to rior bass. where consumers seek high quality
meet the challenges of times yet keeping We are enjoying what we do and so products at a reasonable prices. As an
its core strengths alive. Since the begin- far journey has been encouraging. example, Amkette Atom Earphones are
ning, Amkette had focused on R & D very reasonably priced headphones which
and innovations based on consumer The EVO TV is probably the most offer not only tangle free wires, but also a
insights. Even today, they remain the popular product in your portfolio, are you superior Metallic Sound Chamber.
core DNA of Amkette. No wonder, all planning to expand the line-up and offer
Amkette products are defined by dis- more options? What future trends do you see in the
tinctive design, innovative technology, EVO TV was one of the most well- field of technology, particularly with
affordable pricing and satisfying cus- received products from Amkette in the respect to the market that Amkette is
tomer experience. market. We are planning to expand catering to?
Today Amkette specializes in 4 the product line as we are planning to Technology is moving at a fast pace. We
technology areas; wireless, audio, come out with two new variants of the pride ourselves in moving with tech-
multimedia and storage. A year ago, we product which are more advanced and nology and always work on a 12 months
introduced a path breaking multimedia better suited for the changing needs of product roadmap. At this moment, we
product, named EVO TV. We have our audience. Some special app products are particularly excited with portable
extended our expertise in multimedia are also in the pipeline the EVO TV. audio and multimedia technologies on
to digital audio and are introducing a one hand and convergence of screens
range of audio products for the current Does Amkette have an R&D center in through wireless technology on the
mobile-generation. Some of the excep- India? If yes, where is it and what kind of other. In both areas, we have strong
tionally successful products have been work does it focus on? technological base. Please stay tuned
Amkette Metal Speakers and Free Spirit Yes Amkette has its R&D centres in with many exciting products from
Headphones. Our recent introduction India. Amkette’s focussed R&D opera- Amkette in next 6 to 12 months.

34 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


special section
Advertorial

Intel RealSense:
Using common
senses for
computing
W
e’ve become used to commu- dimensions of interacting with our devices in
Some of Intel®
nicating with our computer such a way that it makes our experience even
devices using keyboards, mice RealSense™ more immersive and real. Moving in that direc-
and other hardware controllers. tion, depth perception is an important aspect of
Technology’s
Using these devices, our computing experience that functionality. Intel has been taking the lead
has grown exponentially over the past decade, highlights include an in that direction with its RealSense™ integrated
but it may finally be time to get rid of them and integrated 3D camera hardware, which – in conjunction with the Per-
say hello to a more natural way of interaction. ceptual Computing SDK – allows developers to
If we look at the potential future of technology, that has a best-in- create richer experiences. This is expected to
we realize that it is high time we identified new class depth sensor revolutionize the way we interact with content

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 35


special section
Advertorial

Nuance Dragon Assistant provides a voice-


based natural language processing interface
so that users can seamlessly interact using their
voice. This allows a personalized conversational
flow for interacting with the application, and
can be integrated using the Intel RealSense™
technology on Intel-based devices. This year,
there have also been a variety of partnership
announcements with Microsoft for Skype video
calling and collaborations with organizations
such as Scholastic for developing educational
software in addition to others such as AutoDesk,
DreamWorks, Tencent, metaio etc.

What’s new?
Intel has been working on the Perceptual Com-
puting SDK since a long time. It started as a
library for pattern detection and recognition
algorithms. With the development and release of
the new RealSense™ hardware, there are some
new additions to the Perceptual Computing SDK.
These new additions allow even more flexibility
and data to be available for further integration
with your computing devices.
The new Pulse estimator module, which
allows you to measure and determine the user’s
First stage of the pulse estimator pipleline to build waveforms after image analysis heart rates intuitively, is the newest feature in
the camera. Although pulse estimation with
excess motion is an issue, it can still measure
the pulse rate seamlessly if the right settings
are used, and that too without too many con-
traptions. Pulse estimation module is basically
composed of a two-stage pipeline where the
first stage receives input image sequences
from the camera and in combination with the
face tracking algorithm narrows down the face
as a region of interest and further narrows
down a part of the face as a sub-range. The
sampling functions then divide the incoming
image into individual color channels and per-
form a spatial average of all the pixels that
fall within the dimensions of the sub-range.
The sampler arrives at a single value for each
color channel of the original frame, and logs
these values over the course of many frames
to build a “waveform” for each color channel.
The second stage of the pipeline involves pro-
Second stage of the pulse estimator with the processed waveform and identified cessing these samples to identify features of
features the waveform and thus estimate the pulse rate.
For a detailed overview of all the functions and
like games and entertainment. The Perceptual ways to interact in gaming, entertainment, and data structures that allow access to this data,
Computing SDK is expected to eventually evolve content creation. Additionally, it allows finger you can visit https://software.intel.com/sites/
into the RealSense™ SDK. tracking and recognizes facial expressions landingpage/perceptual_computing/docu-
Some of Intel® RealSense™ Technology’s among numerous other features. This may mentation/html/ for the SDK documentation.
highlights include an integrated 3D camera that seem trivial when you imagine it, but it’s actu- The emotion detection module is another
has a best-in-class depth sensor, allowing new ally more than just gesture recognition. The addition. It provides additional feedback by

36 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


special section | Advertorial

allows features such as usage co-ordination,


application co-ordination, privacy notification etc.
It has been built in such a way that the loosely
coupled interfaces provide room for integrating
newer features without changing the structure
too much – thus allowing for an extension of the
usage modes in the future, since the software
development kit is only expected to grow further
during the course of time as we find new ways
of capturing real-time data.
The SDK allows multiple applications to
use the data at the same time, by defining one
application as the master, which is allowed to
control the hardware settings. All other applica-
tions using the hardware act as the slave for the
master application. This is similar to applications
using computing resources, i.e. the application
with its window in focus will receive the highest
priority while those running in the background
can stop doing unimportant work.
The privacy notification module performs
the task of informing the end user whenever any
potentially identifiable information is accessed
and used. This information includes:
• Raw color or depth data from the camera
• Raw microphone data
• Face recognition data
• Face-based emotion detection data
• Face-based age detection data
Privacy Notification Whenever a new user tries to use the appli-
cation for the first time, a privacy notification
analyzing the user’s emotions and reacting turn out to be very complex and time consuming, dialog box is shown.
according to the real-time data without the if written from scratch. The SDK supports a Apart from the above modules, the SDK has
user even having to actually do anything. This combination of various usage modes such as various algorithms available for usage:
module provides intensity and evidence as the Speech Recognition, Facial Analysis, Emotion • Speech Recognition: This allows for a spe-
parameters which have an inverse relationship. Sensing, Depth Tracking and Augmented Reality. cific application to understand pre-deter-
While intensity provides data about the intensity Many of these features are possible with the mined keywords spoken by the user.
of the perceived emotion, the evidence provides help of the unique integrated camera specially • Facial Analysis: The face tracking module
information in the form of a base 10 logarithmic built for capturing all this data. The SDK easily helps in determining the facial features and
scale on the probability of a particular expression
being present.
The latest SDK has also been updated
to enable compatibility with Nuance Dragon
Assistant 3, which is supported on Windows
8 systems.

Breakdown of
the Perceptual
Computing SDK
The Perceptual Computing SDK acts like an
interface to help developers make the most of
the integrated RealSense™ hardware. It provides
pre-existing interfaces to algorithms, so that
they can make the best use of these features and
focus on developing the application rather than
the algorithms for such interfaces, which usually Intel Perceptual Computing SDK Architecture

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 37


special section
Advertorial

• Identifying the strengths of the new modali-


ties of interaction helps you design according
to the appropriate methods of interaction.

MinimiZing Fatigue
• Make the interactions less complex and
easier to perform.
• Gestures should be short lasting, so that
they can be performed quickly.
• Precise input should never be a mandatory
requirement, as that only makes it difficult
to match the expected gesture as small vari-
ations are expected to occur.
• Repeated gestures should be avoided so that
the user does not get frustrated quickly.

Face Tracking Guidelines


ARPedia allows you to pick up things in Virtual Reality and put them at diiferent places • Expect more expressions in the SDK in
to get more information
the future. Currently, smiles and winks can
be detected.
also performing facial recognition, i.e. asso- Interface Guidelines • Natural expressions will be difficult to detect
ciating the face to a person’s identity. Design Philosopy in front of a computer. Users should be
• Close-Range Depth Tracking: The close- • The software should be reality inspired but prompted to show exaggerated expressions.
range depth tracking module helps with not an exact clone of reality because the • Give feedback to the user to ensure they’re
identification of things such as gesture rec- virtual environment can afford to relax the in a typical working distance away from the
ognition, hand/finger tracking and similar rules to sometimes make things easier. computer, for optimal feature detection.
interactivity using the integrated 3D camera. • Literal design metaphors can be used in a • Give feedback to the user about any orienta-
• Augmented Reality: This feature allows you much better way rather than abstract sym- tion or lighting issues – provide error mes-
to combine data gathered from the 3D inte- bols in a perceptual environment. sages or recommendations.
grated camera with a superimposed image to • The intuitive nature of an application is very • For optimal tracking, have ambient light or
provide you with a virtual experience. important in helping a new user adopt it and light facing the user’s face (avoid shadows).
easily get around the interface. • Try to make the interface background
Creative Interactive • Contextually appropriate interactions as close to white as possible (the screen
Gesture Camera help ensure that the interactions match can serve as a second light to ensure
The Creative Interactive Gesture Camera is a the context. good reading).
specially designed piece of hardware with depth
sensitivity and microphone features. It is best
used for close-range interaction. This camera is
made to be coupled with the Intel Perceptual
Computing SDK and can be ordered from the
Intel website at http://click.intel.com/intelsdk/
Creative_Interactive_Gesture_Camera_Devel-
oper_Kit-P2061.aspx.
The specifications available for this camera
are as follows:
• Maximum RGB camera resolution: 720p
• Maximum IR depth resolution: QVGA
(320 x 240)
• Synchronization: RGB + depth frame sync
• Frame rate: 30 fps
• Field of View (FOV): 73 degree diagonal
• Range: 0.5ft - 3.25ft
• Microphone: Dual array
• Size: 4.27in x 2.03in x 2.11in
• Weight: 9.56 oz Head of the Order allows fully integrated experience with intricate gesture recognition
• Power: Single USB 2.0 (power < 2.5w) to conjure spells

38 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


special section | Advertorial

• Notify the user if they’re moving too fast to • Show what is actionable. You don’t want • Consider physics. Think about the kind of
properly track facial features. the user trying to interact with something physics that you want to use to convey a more
that’s not interactable. realistic and satisfying experience to the user.
Visual Feedback Guidelines • Show the current state of the system. Is the For example, you could simulate magnetic
• Avoid delay between the user’s input current object selected? If so, what can you snapping to an object to make selection easier.
(whether it’s gesture, voice, or anything do to show this visually? Ideas include using While the user is panning through a list, you
else) and the visual feedback on the display. different colors, tilting the object, orienting the could accelerate the list movement and slow
• Smoothen movements. Apply a filter to the object differently and changing object size. it down after the user has finished panning.
user’s movements, if necessary, to prevent • Show recognition of commands or interac-
jarring visual movements. tions. This will let the user know whether Intel® RealSense™
• Combine different kinds of feedback. This they’re on the right or wrong track. App Challenge 2014
can convince the user that the interactions • Show progress. For example, you could show Intel is offering more than $1,000,000 in cash
are more realistic. an animation or a timer for short timespans. apart from marketing opportunities for your

Intel® RealSense™
App Challenge 2014

JOIN THE MOVEMENT.


BREAK BARRIERS. MAKE HISTORY.
The new Intel® RealSense™ 3D Camera & SDK empower
developers to create apps that use every facet of human &
computer interaction – including facial recognition, gesture
control and voice activation.

Compete for your share of $1,000,000 in cash, marketing


opportunities and more!

Challenge overview
Competing developers are granted access to Intel’s® RealSense™ technology
in order to design and showcase groundbreaking new demos.

Qualifying Participants Prizes Resources Provided Estimated Timeline


Professional and Student Devel- Upto $1,000,000 in Cash, Finalists may receive Intel® May 2014 – Ideation phase begins
opers who are residents of one Marketing Opportuni- RealSense™ 3D Camera and SDK, and July 2014 – Development phase begins
of the participating countries ties and more... Intel® Developer Zone resources 2014 end – Winners to be announced

Visit: https://software.intel.com/sites/campaigns/realsensechallenge/ to participate

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 39


special section
Advertorial

RealSense™ application. It should be based and render scenes. The application uses hand represent the image of the hands on the screen.
on one of the following categories: gestures, voice and touch commands and aug- There are a number of other innovative fea-
• Gaming & Play mented reality integration to develop an ency- tures in the game such as ‘Gesture Sequencing’
• Learning & Edutainment clopedia similar to Wikipedia that responds to to perform unique actions once gestures are
• Interact Naturally these newer modes of interaction. performed in a particular sequence. For more
• Immersion, Collaboration and Creation For example, the demo showed that users information related to this game, visit the case
• Open Innovation could pick up a Tyrannosaurus Rex image and study at: https://software.intel.com/en-us/arti-
The estimated timeline for this challenge place it at different parts of the screen to know cles/head-of-the-order-case-study
is as follows. The Ideation phase will begin in about different types of details related to this In conclusion, the Intel® RealSense™
May 2014 with the Development phase set to dinosaur. The application has very good inter- technology provides an innovative frame-
kick off in July 2014. Subsequently, the winners actions and builds an immersive experience work spanning hardware as well as software
are expected to be announced near the end of by evoking involvement of the user with the to take the lead in developing innovative ways
2014. For more information and alerts related virtual environment. of interacting with computers. Going forward,
to this challenge, go to: https://software.intel. For a case study related to this application, we can expect to see more and more inter-
com/sites/campaigns/realsensechallenge/ you can visit the page here: https://software. faces in desktop as well as mobile platforms
intel.com/en-us/articles/arpedia-case-study which will surpass the traditional methods
Perceptual to include more natural ways of interacting
Computing Challenge Head of the Order with software. This will not only make things
Winners showcase Head of the Order is a spell casting game devel- easier, but will also allow us to capture more
ARPedia oped by Jacob and Melissa Pennock from Uni- data such as heart pulses and let the software
As part of its Perceptual Computing campaign corn Forest Games. Last year, it took the top react to minor cues such as emotions or facial
last year, Intel had announced the Percep- prize in the Intel Perceptual Computing Chal- expressions. Just like the new age touchscreen
tual Computing Challenge. The winners of the lenge. The game succeeds since it requires zero phones, which replaced the hardware keyboard
Phase 2 of this challenge in the ‘Creative User physical contact. Opponent players can play it in earlier phones, RealSense™ hardware is
Experience’ category were announced some in beautiful indoor and outdoor environments expected to revolutionize the way we see input
time back and their applications were demo- and create spells involving fire, ice and shields devices today. With the current push towards
ed at CES 2014. Six team members from the using hand gestures. making things smaller and more portable, it
Beijing University of Technology developed an Jacob developed his own gesture recogni- has already become a challenge to figure out
application called ‘ARPedia’ using the Aug- tion system to improve the accuracy of the a way to integrate all this hardware in every
mented Reality features. The application’s 3D established algorithms and successfully used form factor possible but Intel is working hard
models were built using Maya 3D while Unity his HyperGlyph library in multiple games. The to ensure that we see this technology every-
3D was used to complete the application logic hand rendering system also allows the game to where around us. n

40 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Our pick of the best tech articles from around the globe

(Must reads)
[ReadWriteWeb Corner]
The Battle for your Homescreen

Ignorance is 40 Million
Credit Card Numbers
Inspite of having a million-dollar
security system in place to detect
malware, Target couldn’t stop
Russian hackers from stealing
nearly 40 million credit card
numbers. The security software
worked fine – in fact it raised an
alarm when it detected fraudu-
lent activity. But the alarm, it
seems, was completely ignored.
http://dgit.in/wvTarget

The Business of
Bittorrent
Most people
know
Bittorrent as
a free (and
illegal) way
to download As the app market saturates, real estate on your iPhone’s homescreen is becoming
movies and music, but Bittorrent more and more coveted. Apple, Google and Facebook are locked in a fight to own as many
is a legitimate business - a busi- of those app icons on your homescreen as possible - and Google seems to be winning.
ness that’s fending off attacks
http://dgit.in/wvHomescreen
from movie studios and music
labels while trying to figure out
how to make money.
http://dgit.in/wvBitTorrent

The problem with


Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is many things - a
hotseat for innovation, a place for
entrepreneurs to strike gold and
(allegedly) a meritocracy where Roll your own VPN, Raspberry Pi style Chromecast and Music Streaming Open Source Startups Disappearing
anyone can succeed if they make Privacy is the web’s current ‘trending Google’s $35 Chromecast is a great way Everyone loves to love Open Source –
an effort. Beneath this facade, topic’ and encrypting your web traffic to stream videos to TV, but it can also often touted as the holy grail of software
lies an ugly fact - the industry is is important now, more than ever. If act as a great home audio streaming development. But when did you last see
alarmingly ageist, with a belief you’d rather not use a VPN provider, device. Hook up the Chromecast to your an Open Source startup? Yes, RedHat set
you can hack your own solution using a HDTV, and use your Android device as the bar by being a $1 billion Open Source-
that only hip, young people can
Raspberry Pi running the open source a remote to play your favourite tunes focused company. But the startups trying
build the next big thing. OpenVPN service. through your home theatre system. to emulate them is rapidly dwindling.
http://dgit.in/wvSiliconValley http://dgit.in/wvVPN http://dgit.in/wvChromecast http://dgit.in/wvOpenSource

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 41


(worldview)

LOL OMG ROFL IDK Reddit Breaking News ICE STATION COMMENT CAREFULLY
Net speak is a Reddit is the Internet’s What if we told you that Justin Carter, a 17 year old,
natural extension darling. A potpourri of you could build a solar is facing 10 years in prison
Shorts

of written language ideas, information and power station on the for a sarcastic comment on
for us Internet folk. Yet, it has entertainment that South Pole? A team Facebook. Carter claimed to
been scorned upon by the pur- can be a powerful tool to spread of researchers is out to do just want to shoot kindergarten stu-
ists. Rather than degrading it, alerts. It has a community nature that. The experiments conducted dents (presumably) as part of
Internet slang may actually be that, on multiple occasions, is there have high energy demands. a joke exchange with a friend.
contributing to the evolution the first to alert netizens to news Satisfying them are a set of green In the wake of the Connecticut
of language, allowing us to across the globe. It continues to power stations that convert solar shooting, the cops deemed this
express ourselves better. grow in importance. and wind energy to electricity. a “terrorist threat”.
http://dgit.in/wvLOL http://dgit.in/wvReddit http://dgit.in/wvSouthPole http://dgit.in/wvFBComment

5 budget ultraportable laptops for students


If you’re seeking a thin, light, small form factor laptop to carry to school or college, take a
pick from our recommendations from Acer, Apple, Dell, Lenovo and HP.
- By Jayesh Shinde

E
ducation isn’t cheap and being a stu- 2) Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch 4) HP Pavilion TouchSmart
dent isn’t exactly a cakewalk – we (Price: `28,421) 11-e006AU (Price: `29,900)
get that. We were students too, not Another 11.6-inch ultraportable laptop, the Not far behind the
long ago, and understand your pain. What IdeaPad S210 is the successor of the 10-inch Dell Inspiron 11
wouldn’t we give for a lightweight, decent netbook IdeaPad S100 netbook. Its multi- (in terms of looks),
laptop to carry to classes instead of tradi- touch display is a key feature. It allows you to the HP Pavilion
tional laptops, which were nothing short of interact with the laptop much more intuitively TouchSmart 11
dull, dreary boxes suspectedly made out of (and doodle during ultraportable is
blocks of lead, for all we cared! an especially also a head-turner,
Times have changed. Technology has boring lecture). with a sleek build and appealing looks. It, too,
improved. And prices have gone down. The S210 sports offers a touch-enabled 11.6-inch display, and
Unlike the netbooks of circa. 2008-2010, the a 1.6GHz Intel comes fitted with an AMD dual-core APU –
tiny, lightweight ultraportable laptops men- Celeron 1017U pro- the A4-1250 clocked at 1 GHz. There’s 4GB of
tioned below either offer adequate perfor- cessor with 2MB RAM, 500GB hard drive and onboard AMD
mance or a unique combination of features cache (greater than the Aspire V5-123 men- Radeon HD 8210 graphics (which is better
to compensate performance (or both) to fit tioned above), 2GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, than competing laptops, but still not gaming
your expectations. And they won’t burn a and onboard Intel graphics. Its keyboard and worthy). This machine is lightweight, and can
hole through your wallet. touchpad aren’t the best ones we’ve seen on a do one task at a time sufficiently well.
Lenovo laptop, but they make do.
1) Acer Aspire V5-123 5) Acer or HP Chromebook
(Price: `24,719) 3) Dell Inspiron 11-3000 (Price: `22,999 and `26,990)
Sporting a 11.6- (Price: `32,200) A Chromebook
inch display and The updated Inspiron 11-3000 is a great demands a spe-
1366x768 pixel res- looking ultraportable and perhaps the ideal cific user who is
olution, the Acer machine for students who don’t do anything willing to give up
Aspire V5-123 is more than web browsing, emails, media play- the comfort of a
a diminutive but back and the occasional video chat. It offers Windows machine
worthwhile entry- very good battery life for someone who needs to try something
level ultraportable laptop to consider purely a machine on the go. But that is pretty much different. While the Chrome OS found on the
from a portability and note-taking perspec- it. It falls short on power for tasks any heavier 11-inch Acer and 14-inch HP Chromebooks
tive. It has a 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron pro- than that. It does offer a good configuration is no match to the versatility of Windows, it
cessor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and and feature for the has its merits if you work completely in the
onboard Intel HD graphics. It comes with price, and one year cloud and need an uncomplicated, fast, no-
Windows 8 installed and 1 year of interna- accidental damage nonsense machine to work on. We’ve found
tional warranty. Its keyboard and touchpad protection cover them to be more responsive than Windows
take some getting used to but are eventually and premium machines priced similarly and offer better
good to type on. phone support. battery life.
42 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com
(worldview)

A HIStory of Gmail REMEMBER WALKMan? Ping! TMI on the Internet


Gmail is nearly ubiq- The iPod’s been One of the clues towards the The Internet, par-
uitous today. Many of around for nearly 13 location of lost MH370 flight was ticularly social media
today’s netizens can’t years, so you may an incomplete ‘ping’ sent out by seems to be optimised
remember email before Gmail. the aircraft. A ping is an electrical for sharing every last detail of your
not remember its predecessors.
However in the nearly three years signal sent out by one device to life with others. In such a set-up, is
Like the Sony Walkman TPS-L2
that led up to its launch, many get in touch with another, and its there such a thing as sharing too
the very first Walkman ever,
doubts were cast over it. Time use has spilled over into colloquial much? Does the fact that you opt-in
launched in 1979. The device
details the history of Gmail on its English. But the use of the ping to these status updates, tweets or
10th anniversary, when privacy opened the market for portable predates modern history, and photos somehow prevent you from
concerns have re-emerged. music players. even goes as far as World War II! complaining about it?
http://dgit.in/wvGmail http://dgit.in/wvWalkman http://dgit.in/wvPing http://dgit.in/wvUnfollow

Why the new Google Camera app isn’t all that great
Simply put, the new Google Camera app is a step forward but also a giant leap in the
reverse direction. Here’s why.
- By Siddharth Parwatay

L
ast month, Google launched Google 100% viewfinder
Camera, a new app for Android coverage
phones and tablets which Google The previous app showed a
claims “makes it easy to take quick photos 16:9 crop from a 4:3 sensor,
and videos.” Google also says that “being just to fill the screen. Thus
behind the lens just got more fun with new you only saw a part of an
creative picture modes.” image in the viewfinder,
The app also adds Lens Blur feature, whereas the actual captured Focus shifted on the blue Digit magazine cover (left) and focus
shifted on the white DGT cover (right)
Improved Panorama and Photo Sphere images would be bigger. Now
images that can capture images of up to 50 with the current update, what
megapixels! All great… But... you see is what you get – a
good thing. A step in the right
direction. But did you really
need that extra large capture
button? I understand that you
need to fill the extra space left
from showing a 4:3 image on Focus shifted on the pencils close to the camera (left) and focus
a 16:9 screen, but couldn’t you shifted on the pencils away from the camera (right)
use that space for on-screen
settings? Is it worth having a shutter button ferent parts of the frame and comparison to
on one-fifth of your screen? Ugh. the original frame shot with lens blur mode:
Note that the main image that you shoot
Lens Blur performance is hazy with lens blur mode isn’t the one you are
Bad pun aside, shooting in lens blur mode supposed to use. You are expected to review
Where are my settings? isn’t easy. It takes some getting used to the image and then choose the focus points
The new app lets you swipe in from the edge and more than 50% of the time you will and blur levels to get the desired image effect
of the screen to reveal new “cool” features need to take the shot again. Once a shot is that you envisioned.
or photo modes. But what about regular... taken successfully, it takes a long time to Verdict: You could either roll back the
ahem... humdrum settings like self-timer, process/render. changes the update brings by going to
scene modes, white balance? In a quest After that, on viewing the image with lens “My Apps” in the Play Store and uninstall
for simplicity, Google has gone ahead and blur mode, you get an option to shift focus, the app/update. That will bring back your
ditched these – in my opinion “essential set- allowing you to bring the desired part of the camera app to previous stock versions, with
tings.” The only setting that you can bring frame in focus and blur the rest. The feature all the settings and customization options.
back is Exposure but that too by going into works pretty fine for a software-based imple- You could also check out some of the
advanced settings by tapping on the cog mentation. The slider at the bottom to adjust top alternative camera apps that you can
icon while the lens blur and panorama the blur intensity is a nice touch. Here are try out on your Android smartphone here:
overlay are on. some samples with focus being shifted to dif- http://dgit.in/dcamapps
Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 43
(worldview)
(worldview)

Smarter Every Day (Product Launches)


Why does a cat always
land on its feet? What’s Samsung Galaxy S5 HTC One (M8) Dell Chromebook 11
it like to fire an AK-47
underwater? How does
beatboxing work? Pro-

The latest Samsung’s Galaxy HTC received rave reviews Not to be left out, Dell
saw its international launch, for its HTC One famed for its launched a Chromebook,
with the Samsung Galaxy S5. best in class build quality. This with great build quality and
The water-resistant phone year, the next launch improves an all-day battery that might
viding the answers to boasts of a heart rate monitor on the original device, get you to take it seriously.
and ships with top of the line featuring a Snapdragon 801 It’s powered by an Intel
these and many more
specs - a full HD display pow- processor, Android 4.4.2, a processor and sports upto
commonplace phenom- ered by a quad core CPU, 2 GB microSD card slot and the 4GB of RAM and 16GB of on-
enon is Destin, with his of RAM and a 16MP camera. same UltraPixel camera. board SSD storage.
bite-sized videos that Price: `51,500 onwards Price : `40,000+ (approx) Price :Rs. 18,000 (approx)
demonstrate science
concepts using exam- wO R D j umb l e Absolute
ples from everyday life, Timepass
in his YouTube channel, P H Y M S H S K D D Q W U M I N U G I N
D M J H R O T A R E L E C P P A E Y B J
Smarter Every Day. M Q I T N F M G U B A C K L I G H T C U
http://dgit.in/SmarterEveryDay K Y A I E P C Y N U P C T U D X H C M P
I E C R W X N B S I I G L O E K Z V H Z
N M I O S C V W C W R W U Q F O N X E U
M K A G F D R X E A P E H N G D O G A F
J W E L Y G N I P Y T O T O R P H N R S
S T Y A K P C H O K I I A S J E D I T I
D F P X A M C W R D I M M F U F K R B F
B F T N E I L C N I H T P L E L J E L O There are 10
G B A J X E G V Q G E Y A O W S C T E J technology terms
Y R E U Q J S J I I C R I H Y M G L E D hidden in this
(QR Code) T V E O L R F P A S I M G K U Q L I D Q word grid. Find
I X N O I T A D N E M M O C E R U F V B them all.

Top 3 Picks Make sure your boss doesn’t catch you goofing off with
one of these videos playing on your screen

For a list of all the links from Rachel, Chandler and Win 95 Arnie Smash! The many British accents.

this section, head over to Matthew Perry and Jennifer He’s is a big, muscular guy, Everyone loves a good British
Aniston starred in a (hilar- so you wouldn’t put it past accent. Philip Barker gives
http://dgit.in/wvmay2014 ious) instructional video for him to own a tank. But what you a tour of the accents along
Or point your phone to the Microsoft Windows 95 back in if he decided to drive his tank with their unique inflections
QR code above the day of the classics. over other things? commonly heard in the UK.
http://dgit.in/wvWindows95 http://dgit.in/wvCrush http://dgit.in/wvBritishAccents
44
44 Digit
Digit||May
May2014
2014||www.thinkdigit.com
www.thinkdigit.com
> code / creativity / community >
The secret behind
recommendation
engines: Learn what
drives revenue the most

Top Tech giants join hands to launch


Core Infrastructure Initiative
>>In a bid to secure major open source components and projects,
the biggest technology shapers of today have released the “Core
Infrastructure Initiative” through the Linux Foundation>

F
unding for open source port layer security protocols) is exactly what an initiative the first time that initiatives
projects that constitute heartbeat extension. If this like this needs. Steve Lipner, such as this one have been
critical elements of the vulnerability is exploited, it partner director of software at implemented. Previously
global information infrastruc- leads to the leak of memory Microsoft was quoted saying: there have been many pro-
ture has always been neglected contents from the server to the “Security is an industry-wide grams that offered a reward
until recently when the tech- client and from the client to the concern requiring industry- for finding and fixing security
nology behemoths of today server. According to Heart- bugs online. Reward based
came together to provide funds bleed.com, “this vulnerability programs encourage security
and support for such open allows anyone on the internet experts to devote their time and
source projects. Companies like to read the memory of the sys- focus on doing something for
Google, Microsoft, Intel, Face- tems protected by the vulner- the greater good which benefits
book, Cisco and many others able versions of the OpenSSL the community as a whole and
formed the “Core Infrastruc- software library. Doing so, com- provides the developers finan-
ture Initiative” to support this promises the secret keys used cial support.
cause through the medium of to identify the service providers The Linux Foundation also
the Linux Foundation. This ini- and to encrypt the traffic, the highlighted that this initiative
tiative aims to search, identify names and passwords of the is not interested in funding
and fund open source projects users and the actual content. “closed-sourcing” projects.
that are already used exten- This allows attackers to eaves- Supporting developers who
sively in core computing and drop communications, steal wide collaboration”. While work on open source projects
internet functions. data directly from the services Chris DiBona, director of under the community guide-
and users and to impersonate engineering for open source at lines is what is the need of
services and users”. Google added: “We believe that the hour and the Core Infra-
The only way to stop this an open-source approach to structure Initiative will see to
leak or fix this vulnerability online security will ensure that it. A recent study by Coverity
was to use the newly released code is constantly improving, Open Scan has found that the
fixed version of the OpenSSL making the web a safer place quality of open source code is
This doesn’t come as a sur- software library which has for us all”. much better than that of pro-
prise considering the internet now been deployed and hence As for whom and how the prietary code. This is precisely
is currently recuperating from the OpenSSL library will be funds will be allotted, will be why it becomes extremely nec-
the Heartbleed vulnerability. among the first projects that the look-out of Linux Founda- essary to protect and support
This crisis is thought to be the will be supported by the Core tion’s group of founding mem- the interests and projects of
actual reason that pushed the Infrastructure Initiative. As the bers, open source developers people involved in develop-
launch of this initiative. Basi- vulnerability impacted almost and industry stakeholders. The ment of applications that are
cally, the Heartbleed Bug is a every aspect of current tech- funds generated through this open source.
serious vulnerability in the nology, the trust in SSL which initiative will also go towards If you’re interested in this
popular OpenSSL (Secure forms the basic core fibres of security audits where they’re cause and want to hop in on the
Socket Layer) cryptographic the internet was disconcerted. needed the most that is for bandwagon, you can join this
software library’s implemen- The presence of such diverse fixing flaws found in widely initiative or donate funds here:
tation of the TLD/DTLS (trans- members from the industry used segments of code. It isn’t http://dgit.in/CII_Donate.
devworx> | May 2014 | www.devworx.in 45
How a recommendation
engine works
>>One of the principal factors towards driving sales is by using these
complex algorithmic wonders, we take a look at how they work>

A
common thing to notice on websites is a simple list that
mentions things that you may like. If it is a shopping
website then based on the product you were looking
at, the website will indicate some other similar prod-
ucts which you might wish to buy. Let’s say, you buy a game console
on an ecommerce website, the very next thing you’ll see is stuff
that other people who’ve purchased the same console have bought
as well. It may be an extra controller or the most popular game
for that console at the moment.
Shifting away from commerce, you could be listening to some
music or perhaps be renting a movie, you’re bound to see another
“stuff you’ll like” listing. Some may consider it intrusive, some may
consider it a boon but the fact is that these things work. Sometimes
they’re so eerily spot on that you’d wonder if the “machines” have Recommendation engines choose for you
been observing you all your life. There has been one instance
where Target, a popular store in the US started recommending a products. These systems may provide the user to rate products, this
teenage girl things that pregnant women tend to buy. It was only way all the parameters of a rated product are assigned a greater
when the father of the girl noticed this that he complained. Little weightage that a non-rated product’s parameters. This in turn
did he know that his daughter was pregnant and her shopping improves accuracy. All these parameters are then used to create
patterns actually gave it away. On a subconscious level, she was a user profile and each time you check out another product this
buying or simply looking at things that pregnant ladies would, profile gets modified. Suffice to say, the system learns more about
this made Target’s website recommend things of similar nature. you the more you use it.
We’re, of course, talking about recommendation engines. Popular platforms that use content-based filtering:
Recommendation engines are complex programs that analyse IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Pandora.
patterns to deduce a signature for each customer. This in turn is
used to sort out all products and come out with a few products Collaborative filtering
that the customer will most likely purchase. There are different This method as the name suggests, requires a certain amount of
approaches to getting a recommendation engine working and they participation. This method relies upon directly learning about
have also been included in CMS packages as part of the ecommerce the customer which may require active or passive participation.
platform. The origin of the concept on the web is a bit hazy but the Active forms include asking the customer to give feedback for each
there are two primary forms of approaching the concept. item viewed, either in the form of a slider or a points system. The
five star rating that is seen in most places does just that. Passive
Approaches participation involves observing what all items the customer has
Content-based filtering viewed and which of them have been purchased. Then sniffing the
This approach relies on take each product and using as many customer’s cookies in the web-browser also helps draw patterns
parameters as possible to describe it. Take a mobile phone for about the user. All of these methods are used in the generation
example, it can be a candy bar or a flip phone. This is one parameter, of a user’s profile.
the pixel density of the screen becomes another parameter, then Popular platforms that use collaborative filtering:
you have the battery capacity, screen-size, Wi-Fi protocols sup- Pandora, MySpace and Facebook.
ported, basebands supported, weight, colour, etc. the list goes on
and on. The more you break down a product the more parameters Problems faced by these systems
you have to fiddle with. These parameters are then given weights, You must have guessed by now that these systems depend on
or you could say are appropriated a level or importance on a rela- having plenty of information to work with. However, when a
tive scale. The product category is often given the highest weight, user is new there doesn’t exist any profile and even if the user
so if you were looking at mobile phones then the recommender does surf through a few items it is simply not enough to generate
system is likely to recommend mobile phones and not sanitary a profile. This scenario is called a Cold Start. And it affects both
46 devworx> | May 2014 | www.devworx.in
content-based and collaborative filtering. Another problem is that
of Scalability, when there are simply a huge number of products
to choose from, filtering and processing a recommendation list
will consume not only time but also computational power. Excess
time taken would lead to poor page load time and an increased
computational power affects the working of the entire website
and other sites which may be hosted on and sharing the same
resources. These problems have led to a change in the kind of
approaches towards making a recommender system and thus,
arose the hybrid system.

Hybrid filtering
Needless to say, this method works towards overcoming the draw- Purchase history affects recommendations more than anything
backs of the aforementioned methods. A hybrid system can be
more accurate than either of the methods. They can overcome the found at the centre of each coloured cluster as seen on the right.
problem of Cold Start or that of Scalability by using a different From this mean point, the distance to all data points are calcu-
algorithm for each scenario. lated and then based on which points are closest, a small cluster
is formed. It is quite possible that during the formation of such a
Algorithms cluster, the mean might not be a feasible point and thus it may be
The whole concept comes under machine learning, specifically moved, removed or even a new mean point could be added. After
Collective Intelligence. They make use of multiple algorithms multiple iterations we obtain the cluster on the right. This data set
at different stages to generate recommendations. Data Mining could be indicative of which products are the most popular and
algorithms are use to generate the user profile while clustering thus are more likely to get recommended to all customers. This
algorithms are used to shortlist recommendations. Some of the way, a cold start problem can be easily resolved.
commonly used algorithms are:
- Similarity (Jaccard index & Tanimoto coefficient) A combination of many algorithms
- k Nearest Neighbour algorithm A recommender system is by no means simple, it has a lot of dif-
- n-Dimensional Euclidean distance ferent algorithms working towards producing just one result. A
- k-means algorithm commonly known system that used a lot many algorithms was
- Bayes Theorem the one used by Netflix back in 2007, called Cinematch. Over 170
- Singular Value Decomposition algorithms were used for each individual result. However, this
was not enough and Netflix introduced a prize for $1,000,000 to
We’ll look into one of these algorithms which is very basic and anyone who could improve the accuracy of their system by 10%.
easy to understand. Clustering of data is one of the first steps This may seem to be a minor improvement but that 10% was more
towards generating categories which can be then used to generate than enough to make good for the $1,000,000 prize money they
recommendations. A recommendation engine is based on many were giving away. Going on a meta level increases the accuracy of
such algorithms. a system. So if you were to start describing each parameter with
another parameter then another dimension comes into the pic-
K-means clustering algorithm ture. “User Generated Tags” a feature implemented by Steam, the
On the left, we get to see unclustered data. Consider this to be the online game distribution platform is one such thing. It is a form of
initial state of all the parameters of every product that the user collaborative filtering where user inputs are random. These tags
has looked at so far. This may be a cluster of a hundred products may be used by other customers and they’ll be recommended all
or simply one. Out of these parameters, certain groups may be the games that have the tags that they used.
identified visually but for a computer that is not the case. The
algorithm simply associates a few points as the mean. These can How valuable are they?
The answer to this question depends on a lot many parameters.
Primarily, it depends on how big your inventory is. Then it comes
to breaking down the products into varying categories and then
describing them with as many parameters as possible. All of
this while maintaining consistency between the parameters. For
example, for two different phones describing the screen of one
screen using “surface area” and the other by using “diagonal
length” gets you no way of associating the two. Then you need
to have a big enough inventory to start off. It is a fact that each
individual customer is only interested in a small fraction of prod-
ucts that a store offers. Having a recommender system other-
wise ends up giving less returns in the long run. However, if
none of these issues plagues your enterprise then you might
Three clusters obtained using the k-means algorithm see a surge of up to 60% in sales. Netflix revealed that about
devworx> | May 2014 | www.devworx.in 47
Crab
Another framework that enables user and item-based collabora-
tive filtering. It’s based on Python and integrates seamlessly with
popular scientific python libraries.
http://dgit.in/CrabRecommend

MyMediaLite
This is a library consisting of multiple algorithms which you can
use to generate a recommender system and implements rating
prediction based on collaborative filtering.
http://dgit.in/MyMediaLite

Recommenderlab
The multiple ways an engine figures out what you like This is an testing environment that allows you to prototype and
test your system. It provides feedback in the form of accuracy of
60% of their rentals are thanks to the recommendations given by each recommendations.
Cinematch. Adding a social aspect helps tremendously, http://dgit.in/RecommenderLab
people tend to value the opinions of people they know and trust.
This is one of the reasons why things go viral on social Neo4j
networks. Tapping the power of a social network becomes a huge Primarily a graph database, Neo4j is helpful for new users to get
driving factor. familiar with the functioning of a recommendation engine. You
can view each query executed as a graph. Here is a demonstration
Make your own recommender system video wherein Neo4j is used to create a recommendation engine.
While you can find recommender systems available in the form http://dgit.in/Neo4jDemo
of plugins, they are restricted to allow tags that suit their fil-
ters. This adds a little restriction to the system and will most
probably affect your sales. So it is best to create your own
recommender system for your website which is customised
for the environment. There are plenty of open source recom-
mender projects or libraries which can be used to create your
own system and here are a few that should help you get started.

LensKit
It is a framework for creating a collaborative filtering recommender
system. It also provides the infrastructure for you to compare your
recommender system with others that have used the same algorithm.
Neo4j graph database in action
http://dgit.in/Lenskit

*the source code

GaussianFace Cryptol Netflix Roulette


>>Computer scientists from the >>Cryptol is a domain-specific >>Netflix has made its Roulette
Chinese University of Hong Kong language for representing API open so you no longer need
have developed GaussianFace, a cryptographic algorithms. An any keys to query the API. Now
facial recognition software that implementation done using you can get all sorts of information
finally outperforms humans. Cryptol is more similar to its that Netflix stores about individual
Humans have an efficiency of 97.53 mathematical representation than movies and series using a simple
percent and this software boasts of an implementation done using any query and build your own website
an efficiency of 98.52 percent. general purpose language. using the same.
http://dgit.in/GauFac http://dgit.in/Cryptol http://dgit.in/NetflixRoulette

48 devworx> | May 2014 | www.devworx.in


Windows 8 worth it? How to fake social stardom
With all the hulabaloo around the recent Do you like fame? Then read on to learn how to

Digital life 52 upgrade controversy, we weigh the pros


and cons of going in for the upgrade 55 go about gaining some internet fame the easy
way by following these easy tips

Bose SIE2i Headphones


Before you start protesting that this isn’t a health
gadget, hear us out. For all you jogging fans out there
who are tired of their normal in-ear headphones, the
Bose SIE2i is well worth considering, if you can afford
it that is. As a dedicated sports headphone, these have
special tips that keep them secure in your ears while
you move. Don’t worry of damaging them with a bit of
moisture, because again the Bose SIE2i are weather
and sweat resistant, and they’re a real handful if
you aren’t exercising within the confines of a gym.
They also have shorter cords, preventing them from
getting tangled up while you’re in the thick of things.
What’s more, this Bose pair also packs in very good
audio performance.

Designed to help you


lead a healthy life

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Tracking Bundle


Who says that you have to step out in the sun to burn calories and get fit? And why should getting fit involve buying yourself
some fancy gadget? If you own a Microsoft Xbox 360 console, just buy a Kinect motion tracker and you’re in business
to burn fat and stay in shape by exercising right in your home, in front of your television. The Kinect motion sensor is
compatible with a range of exercise games that offer surprisingly good workouts that actually work, no kidding. Check out
Nike+ Kinect and Adidas miCoach Kinect, both of which offer workouts, fitness plans and performance tracking. Gaming and
fitness is a potent combination that’s bound to work.

50 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


See sound Life in First Class
Check out this video about the Schlieren Flow The secrets behind the closed curtains
technique that allows you to see sound and heat of the first class section on a luxury
on a camera http://dgit.in/schlierenflow airplane http://dgit.in/livin1st Drool maal

Sony SmartBand
The Japanese technology manufacturer claims that its
SmartBand isn’t just an activity tracker, but a lot more
than that. Recently launched, the Sony SmartBand
“offers life empowerment by logging daily activities”.
Apart from tracking your movements and logging it in
like any other activity monitor, the SmartBand from
Sony also logs other interesting things that perhaps
contribute to your fitness regimen subconsciously; stuff
like the music you listened to and where you’ve been at
a certain time of the day, etc. through its Lifelog Android
smartphone app. The data it gathers is always readily
available for you to mine. And did we mention that these
smartbands are rather attractive to look at? It certainly
helps they’re stylish, too.

Withings Aura
A good night’s sleep, every night, can save you a lifetime’s
suffering, and this device aims to enhance your sleep and
spare you the trouble. The $300 Aura has two gadgets that
work in combination: a movement sensor that sits beneath
your mattress and an LED lamp that moderates the light
(intensity, colour, etc) in your room so as to give you a
peaceful night’s sleep. The sleep sensor sits below your
mattress to monitor your breathing, heart rate and motion
to analyze your sleep state. It’s connected to the LED lamp
through a wire. The data tracked by the sleep and movement
sensor can be uploaded to the cloud (or accessed through
a smart device) to analyze your sleeping pattern, and
ultimately help you sleep better than ever.

Skulpt Aim
No one wants to be fat, especially those who’re trying to
be fit and stay active. To learn your body’s fat content,
check out the Skulpt Aim. You can measure body fat and
its composition simply by holding this wireless device
in close contact with different parts of the body. Great
for those trying to get in shape, we think, and especially
find out fat content and its distribution around your
body. This device is quite small and portable, about the
size of a smartphone, so you should have absolutely
no problem carrying it around wherever you go to
conclusively prove to others (and yourself) just how
much fat you’re carrying around.

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 51


Did you know... YouTube banned in Turkey
The global version of Galaxy S5 is powered After an audio leak of a discussion of possible military
by Snapdragon 801 processor, while the operations in Syria, YouTube remains banned in Turkey
Feature Indian version employs Exynos despite court rulings http://dgit.in/1hDpIPOn

Is Windows 8 finally
worth the upgrade?
Quick question: What do Windows 8 and Justin Bieber have in common? Well, apart from
provoking extreme emotions, both give you the feeling that they haven’t quite matured yet

Paanini N Navilekar
readersletters@thinkdigit.com

W
indows 7 was great.
So great, in fact, that it
quickly overtook its pre-
decessor, the venerable
Windows XP, to become the most used
desktop OS in just two years. It improved
on the mistakes of Vista and brought back
the stability and reliability of Windows
XP – something desktop users recognised
and embraced. Things were going great.
There were no more Blue Screens of
Death, it was more secure and it ran just
about anything you threw at it. We take
for granted some of its newly introduced Windows 8 apps can now be pinned to the taskbar
features – to the extend that it’s impos-
sible to remember a time when they didn’t Start button and the My Computer and about, to be honest) wasn’t seen as a
exist. Things such as ‘AeroSnap’, which Recycle Bin icons, which were replaced friendly move. On signing in, you were
would maximise a window simply by by large, bold and flat icons. The layout greeted by brightly coloured tiles, most of
dragging it to the top edge of the screen, suggested a touch-first approach, so which accomplished nothing a browser
‘Jump Lists’, which allowed you to pin it came as no surprise to anyone that couldn’t do. ‘Apps’ to check your mail,
your most used files to the application desktop users began to feel neglected by read the news, check the weather or look
itself, libraries for organising all of your a company they’d stood behind for more up directions on a map were redundant –
media and universal search right from than a decade. these were things a Google search could
within the Start menu are features you To start with, the Windows 8 setup do just as well, if not better. If you finally
don’t know you need until you’ve used required you to sign in using a Micro- made it past the mess of a Start screen
them. It was almost too good to last. soft/Outlook/Hotmail account. Having (Just WHY a desktop user would want
your sacred PC forcefully tied to a cloud horizontal scrolling is beyond us) and got
Windows 8 shortcomings account (one that most of us had forgotten to the ‘traditional’ desktop, you’d be in
Microsoft had been trying to carve off a for a mild shock. The Start button in the
chunk of the mobile phone market with bottom-left corner is missing – a signature
Windows Phone 7, but the fact that it was feature of Windows that had been a com-
struggling was confirmed when it tried forting presence since the days of Win-
to shove the same ‘Metro’ (later, Modern) dows 95. Clicking on what should have
UI down our throats in the form of been the Start button (or the Windows
Windows 8. In the days leading up to the key, for power users) would lead you back
Windows 8 release, leaked screenshots to the Start screen. If you thought this was
and rumours showed what appeared to your only hurdle, good luck trying to do
A handy notification informs you of newly
be a radical departure from the age-old installed apps instead of auto-adding them something as basic as shutting down or
desktop metaphor. Gone was the familiar to the Start menu restarting your PC. We were embarrassed

52 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Happy b’day, Tetris! Protests against Twitter
Tetris turns 30 on 6 June. Created Greenpeace protested outside Twitter’s corporate
by Alexey Pajitnov, the game was headquarters in the hope of a commitment from the
first released in 1984 company to go green http://dgit.in/1lMJP3k Feature

enhancements, many of which are


Microsoft abandons Windows 8.1 aimed at desktop users. Announced
at Microsoft’s Build 2014 conference,
Y es, you read that correctly. Microsoft’s way of ensuring that everyone on Windows 8.1
upgrades to the newest release is by cutting off support for Windows 8.1. Starting May
13th, 2014, Windows 8.1 will no longer receive updates or patches from Microsoft. Yes, Update
Windows 8.1 Update 1 (can we just call it
Windows 8.1.1 already?) brings the much
1 is a free upgrade, and yes, it offers substantial improvements, but we believe this policy will needed improvements for mouse and
probably hurt consumers rather than help them. Companies that have business critical soft-
keyboard- driven interaction on the Start
ware running on Windows 8.1 will need time to test for compatibility before they take the leap.
While Update 1 doesn’t introduce any radical changes on the kernel or system level, system screen. Scrolling through the list of tiles is
administrators will be (understandably) hesitant to take a risk. Microsoft’s upgrade window of easier and feels more natural, and the size
four weeks is too short a timeframe, and cutting off support at a time when security vulnera- of the app icons in the app list can be made
bilities like Heartbleed are making the news may not be the best move. In fact, servers running smaller to accommodate more of them on
Windows 8.1 have been asked by Microsoft to hold off from updating as a bug in the newest
a large desktop display. The full-screen
release prevents WSUS 3.2 (Windows Server Update Services) from working over SSL, and the
process fails. Microsoft is working on a fix, of course, but this appears to be highly irresponsible Windows 8 apps can now be pinned to
behaviour from Microsoft. For more information about this vulnerability and possible worka- the Windows taskbar, which is now ever
rounds, visit http://dgit.in/WSUS32 present (it auto-hides if you’re using a full
screen app). Modern app also has a title
bar which lets you conveniently minimise
when we couldn’t figure it out on the first The resulting outcry over Windows or close an app without hunting around
try, but it turns out we weren’t the only 8 was pretty loud – some compared it to for the right gesture. For those of you who
ones. If your mouse pointer lingered on Windows Vista while others said they
one of the right-hand side corners, (such preferred DOS (no, really). Microsoft was
as while closing a window or going back listening, so they tried to address some
to the desktop) you’d end up activating of users’ woes in the next point release.
one of the ‘hot corners’ that would bring Windows 8.1 included a Start button, but
up the Charms menu. This housed this was a case of treating the symptom
shortcuts to Search, Settings, Devices and rather than the cause. Clicking on this
a Share option, which might have been new Start button would bring you back to
useful on a tablet, but was downright the abomination that was the Start screen,
annoying on a desktop. so a real Start menu was still lacking. One
notable improvement, though, was that Right-clicking on a tile brings up a handy
Windows now included an option to boot contextual menu
straight to the desktop, if you’d rather
avoid the Start screen. This, coupled with spend a lot of time on the Start screen (if
one of the many third-party replacements you’re using a touch-enabled laptop, for
for the Start menu meant that Windows instance) you’ll be pleased to find a power
8.1 was now usable again. button and a search button on the Start
screen with this update.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 What really caught our attention with
Windows’ newest 8.1 iteration, Update this update, though, is that Windows has
1, improves on the operating system’s become much smarter and more respon-
Windows 8 apps now have a title bar to attempt at making Windows 8 usable sive. It recognises the type of device it’s
quickly minimise or close apps by adding many subtle features and running on – desktop PC, server, tablet or
Get App store refund Glass on the battlefield
...if you (or your kid) have made accidental The U.S. Airforce is beta-testing Google Glass for use
in-app purchases from the Apple store, in situations that require quick decisions during combat
Feature that is. Here’s how http://dgit.in/1hkEKis and intelligence missions http://dgit.in/PUoVEr

smartphone – by means of a setting in the


firmware that’s specified by the manu-
8 Changes in Windows 8.1 Update 1
facturer. This setting, called the Power
Access the taskbar from anywhere
Platform Role, tells Windows what type 1 The taskbar now auto-hides when you’re running a Windows 8 app that’s been
of device it’s running on, and Windows started using a keyboard/mouse. This allows quick access to your open apps, the time,
adjusts itself accordingly. If you’re using Wi-Fi signal strength and your battery-level, among other things.
a desktop, for instance, Windows will
automatically boot to the desktop, skip- 2 Minimise/close full screen Windows 8 apps
Similarly, an auto-hidden title bar means that Windows 8 apps can be minimised or
ping the Start screen entirely. (This, and closed with ease, as opposed to guessing the right mouse gesture in Windows 8/8.1.
all other defaults can be changed by the
user). That’s one setting less for someone
who’s setting up a new Windows 8
3 Pin Windows 8 apps to the desktop taskbar
Windows 8 apps are now more desktop-friendly, and can be pinned to the taskbar
alongside regular Windows programs.
machine. Similarly, the Search and Power
icons on the Start screen aren’t universal Boot to desktop – by default
– their presence depends on the size of 4 Windows will now directly boot to the desktop on PCs and laptops, skipping the Start
the screen, and is a privilege reserved screen entirely. If you’d rather have it the old way, you can change this setting.
only for devices with generous amounts
of screen real estate. Smaller tablets won’t 5 Right-click menu on Start screen
Right-clicking on a tile on the Start screen now gives you the option of pinning it to
see the setting, but larger tablets and lap- the Start screen or taskbar, or even completely uninstalling it. We can’t believe this feature
tops/desktops, will. The improved behav- didn’t exist earlier!
iour of Windows 8 apps shows just how
much thought Microsoft has put into this
update. For instance, only apps started
6 Be notified about app installations
It’s small details like this one that show how much effort Microsoft is really putting
into improving Windows 8’s usability. Earlier, installing a new app or program would auto-
with a mouse or a keyboard will have matically add it to the Start screen, which would lead to the Start screen getting cluttered
the Windows taskbar/title bar integra- pretty quickly. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore though, as a subtle notification
tion. If an app is started with a touch informs the user of any newly installed apps with a link to the app drawer.
gesture, (even on a touchscreen laptop)
Find Power and Search buttons easily
it won’t sport this feature, as the system
assumes you’re using the device as a
7 We’re not sure why this wasn’t always the case with Windows 8, but the Start screen
finally shows a Power and a Search button – so, no more fiddling around with the mouse
tablet rather than a PC. trying find the correct pixel that will shut down your PC. The visibility of these buttons
The annoying Hot Corners feature depends on the size and type of your device – smaller tablets and phones won’t show
has been fixed in Windows 8.1 Update 1, them, while bigger devices like laptops and desktops will.
which introduces a small (but significant)
delay on mouseover before popping up the 8 Decrease app size
Another subtle improvement, the size of the app icons in the app drawer can now be
Charms menu. decreased, allowing a greater number of apps to fit on the screen.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is, without
doubt, the best iteration of Windows 8 so
far, improving the operating system on For now, one of the many Start menu with your Windows 7 setup and
nearly all fronts. The only area that could replacements such as Start 8 or Classic don’t want to go through the hassle of
use some attention is the Start menu, but Shell will do just fine. The better desktop reinstalling your apps and reconfiguring
Microsoft is rumoured to be working on a integration for Windows 8 apps vis-a-vis your settings, there’s no need to update
Start menu replacement for its next update. the auto-hidden taskbar and title bar is (particularly if your business has critical
a great step towards making Windows applications that depend on Windows
8 apps more visible and accessible for 7 and would require extensive testing/
desktop users. So far, the Windows 8 Store rewriting to ensure compatibility).
has been all but neglected by desktop Windows 7 will be supported until at least
users, but we’re hoping this update will 2016, by which time Windows 9 should
change that and encourage developers to be out. If, however, you were previously
make better apps, now that they have a on the fence about the upgrade, we say
wider audience. go for it. Windows 8 has finally reached a
point where most of the annoying niggles
Should you upgrade? have been ironed out. It’s also generally
The big question is, of course – should snappier than Windows 7 running on the
A handy disk usage analyser shows you you update? The answer’s slightly same hardware, so there’s no real reason
what’s taking up space complicated. If you’re perfectly happy to hold back.

54 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Samsung’s new museum DiJobs?
Samsung launched the ‘History of Innovation’ Danny Boyle’s next direction may star
museum in Suwon, South Korea DiCaprio as Steve Jobs
Feature http://dgit.in/saminno http://dgit.in/DiJobsio

The playbook to
social media follow faceless entities online without a

stardom
very good reason so craft a profile that
not only gives you an online identity but
also strategically attracts followers. SEO
techniques can help you here and you
Faking it has never been so easy don’t have to be an expert. All you have to
do is use words that are critical to people
Samir Alam their way into social stardom. Whether discovering your existence. Different
readersletters@thinkdigit.com it’s by buying Facebook likes and shares social media platforms have different

B
or Twitter followers, many celebrities parameters to fill out for your profile –
reak-up diva Taylor Swift has have been accused of cheating their way to from elegantly succinct Twitter with its
over 52 million Twitter fol- the top of the ranks. However, such hefty 160 characters to Facebook’s encyclopedic
lowers – a world record – with purchases aren’t for everyone. Though lists of preferences and likes. In all cases,
pop icon (for lack of a better whatever may be your reason, business the basic bio is your main concern.
word) Justin Bieber coming in at No.2 with or pleasure, it’s always handy to have a Whether you just want to sell your per-
just over 51 million Twitter followers. But few thousand people take notice when sonal brand or push your business, having
guess what? Most of these followers don’t you make a post. So read on to discover a brief, witty and easy-to-read bio that
even exist. According to Fake Follower the simple steps you can take to “fake” relates to your interests will grab people’s
Check, Taylor has nearly 53 per cent fake your way to social media stardom without attention. Decide your online personality
or inactive followers reducing her total having to spend a single buck. and express it in short brief sentences
to just over 21 million, and Justin Bieber that use simple one-word descriptors like
leads the way with 58 per cent fake or Profile makeover “Journalist” or “Programmer”. This can do
inactive followers bringing him down to So you’ve set up your social media account wonders in making you more discoverable.
nearly 18 million actual followers. Shame! – Twitter, Facebook, Quora, whatever – On Quora, be sure to boost your ‘Recog-
Most high profile personalities, from but how do you gain those followers? Well, nised Topic Biographies’ as they add more
Modi to Shakira, have been found faking it all begins with your profile. People rarely authority to your profile. Also, add to your

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 55


Didi interact? Making history
DiDi, the interactive teddy bear was backed by Aereo’s case with the American Supreme
500 start-ups and is powered by an iPad. Court will in one way or the other make history.
Feature Read more: http://dgit.in/itedbr Find out more about it: http://dgit.in/aereohist

academic and non-academic fields and only does this technique work in a subtle people can follow you, so no worries) after
encourage people you know (in real life way (saving you from looking pushy), but which you need to fulfil an unknown ratio
even) to endorse them. it can also lead to surprising followers of “followers to following” to move up.
There’s a great search tool for Twitter down the road since the internet never So once you reach this limit, if you want
called Followerwonk many users employ really erases anything. Even lame YouTube to follow someone new, you’ll have to
to exclusively search bios in detail. And comments. Be sure to mention
with even Google scanning through these your social media credentials on
We need more followers?
profiles with emphasis on hashtags, feel your LinkedIn or Glassdoor profile
free to add hashtags to your profile bio, as well. It never hurts to have a
where appropriate. Of course, it also helps CEO among your followers.
to be funny but that’s not a deal breaker. You can also start creating a
Don’t forget the power of a good profile few attractive images that carry
picture in attracting followers. People like a funny quote along with your
to know who they’re following even if they social media watermark using
don’t recognise them. A clean and decent freely available templates. Upload Buy them? Pay Celebs
to RT? Post Interesting
image is your best bet. If you want to them on image-sharing websites content?
keep your face private, then opt for iconic like Imgur or Instagram for fur-
images like logos or symbols that best ther exposure.
represent you.
The Bait and Switch
Go get your followers You can begin your journey to
Once you’ve done all this, you’ll prob- stardom by following a few key
ably wonder when you’ll attract your first people who are very active online
follower. Well, you don’t have to wait for – usually not mainstream celebri-
them to come to you. You can go to them. ties but social media “influencers”
Start advertising yourself on other social – and easily discoverable through
media platforms immediately. Invite Google searches. Look for people
the old crowd to the new platform and who are even vaguely related to
encourage them to follow you. Sending your interests and have a large
out polite, well worded email to family number of followers. So if you’re interested unfollow someone first. A delicate choice,
and friends can even get you some pity in movies, avoid following politicians so try to first pick people who’re less likely
followers. A good start. (unless it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger). This to realise you’ve unfollowed them (read:
The next step is to subliminally influ- way you’ll have greater access to people family and friends).
ence unsuspecting strangers. Start by who’re more likely to find you relevant and
including your new social media tag in worth following back. Of course, they’re just Social scavenging
everything, from email to business cards. as likely to unfollow you later, but it gives Another helpful trick to find more fol-
Let your social media location find its you enough time to be visible to their fol- lowers is by scavenging the list of mem-
way unobtrusively onto the internet in lowers. Followerwonk is again useful here. bers who already follow you. Keep an
comment streams on blogs and YouTube. As a rule of thumb, if someone follows eye out for people who are more into
Make it your own personal sign off. Not you, follow them right back. Even on forums retweeting on Twitter, UpVoting answers
such as Quora, this reciprocity is a neces- on Quora or distributing likes on Face-

Y U NO sary courtesy otherwise you risk being


unfollowed. If you want to improve your
Edgerank or Klout scores as a part of your
book. Such people are more likely to follow
someone if they’re followed first. Shoot
off a complimentary message and follow
social media dominance, then tweaking them and if they think you’re sufficiently
your “followers to following” ratio is also impressive, they’ll follow you back.
important. Be careful of how quickly you Also be on the lookout for “whales” i.e.
unfollow users who follow you. Platforms people who follow thousands of accounts.
like Twitter have systems to detect this kind These are a goldmine if you want to get an
of behaviour, and you risk being barred instant follow back. Quora is one website
from the service. Take at least five days where these whales can be found with
before unfollowing someone. ease. Don’t follow them. Instead follow the
Another important aspect of Twitter accounts that follow these whales back.

USE SEO IN YOUR BIO?


is its 2,000 followers limit. You can only Here’s an account as an example: http://
follow up to 2,000 people (unlimited www.quora.com/Martin-Stojcevski-8 . As we

56 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


A touch of cloth Drones in North Dakota
An Australian tailor has made it Drones have made their way to farms in North
possible to make money transactions Dakota. Check out the first of many to be
at a touch of your sleeve approved by the FAA http://dgit.in/faadrones Feature

go to print, this particular profile is fol- you shouldn’t add hashtags to your Quora do wonders for your likability online, so
lowing 46,684 members. Yes, it’s probably until others are doing it first. You’d just be on a lookout for those. Breaking news
a bot. But here’s something strange – such look weird otherwise. stories are another great way to make
a ridiculous profile has 2,077 people fol- Freely use hashtags to chime in about yourself relevant.
lowing it. These are the people you must ongoing events that are being discussed On more interactive platforms like
target. Follow them and you’re assured a online. For example, if there’s an IPL Facebook or Quora, limit posts to twice or
follow-back, then simply unfollow! Mean, cricket match you’ll find #IPL or some vari- thrice a day so people don’t think of you as
but effective. ation of it being floated around on the site. a spammer. Occasionally, get in the habit
You’ll be sure to experience a sudden Join in the discussion and mention about of posting proactive messages such as
surge in your Quora followership overnight. such big events on your content feed. This
This nifty trick will make your profile look will ensure that your name pops up on a
impressive to everyone as you go about the highly viewed search list increasing your I GAINED 1000
FOLLOWERS IN A
business of answering questions on Quora. likelihood of being discovered. You’re free WEEK! BOOYA!
And if you’re serious about participating on to pick and choose your event. The closer
the forum, you can only expect the numbers it is to your tastes and profile, the more
to rise if your answers are intelligent or likely you are to gain new followers. The
thought-provoking enough. same trend applies to Quora votes, where TWITTER ALONE
Also make it a habit to like, share, your UpVotes across a number of questions HAS 650,000,000
USERS.
upvote, comment and retweet other peo- highlight you to other viewers.
ple’s interesting content. Do this mainly
with content shared by a mainstream Catch a celeb
celebrity and you may just be able to An easy way to boost your follower num-
weasel your way into their stream and bers is by engaging a bonafide celebrity in
improve your visibility without much a public interaction. Whether they retweet
effort. It’s also recommended that you com- your post or respond to your comment, any
pliment, respond or positively comment form of interaction gives you centre-stage
on stuff shared by journalists and public exposure and instantly adds credibility
relations people – they’re more than happy to your brand. Start using the @message
to follow you and rarely have the time to option to send compliments or support to opinion seeking questions, go through the
unfollow you later. celebrities and even risk asking them for responses and like or reply to them to keep
a retweet of your messages. A little bit of your engagement going with people who

FOLLOWERS gentle stalking doesn’t hurt, so don’t be


afraid to send them a message up to twice a
don’t follow you.
And finally, don’t mess up the timing!
week. It’s also highly advisable to find indie Knowing when to share is half the battle
scale celebrities on Facebook and send won. The best times to share updates,
them a friend request. You’ll be surprised tweets or answers is when people are free
how often they say yes – just be sure to like to read them, so focus on the time just
their work beforehand. before work hours, during breaks and
after work for maximum exposure. Main-
Content and timing
FOLLOWERS EVERYWHERE
taining this sort of schedule can be easier
Content is king, so start sharing links to if you use a social media manager like
blogs, lists, news, events and anything of Hootsuite, which can help you schedule
Hashtag hopping relevance. It’s important to avoid spammy your day’s tweets in advance. Keep track
This is one of the easiest tricks in the content and focus on legitimate sources to of what your followers are finding inter-
game. Make hashtags a part of your online retain your credibility and followers. When esting by observing the retweets, likes
vocabulary and understand how to best in doubt, just follow these two simple rules and upvotes. You can reshare the popular
discover and use them. The #discover – don’t share things that wastes people’s content again weeks or months later to
option and the “Who To Follow” sugges- time and share things that make your fol- impress your new followers.
tions on Twitter are a great barometer of lowers’ lives better. Also, don’t be afraid to
what people are interested in on any plat- express your opinions so your followers Reign with honour
form. Learn to embed trending hashtags know there’s human being behind that The long-term key to success in the social
nonchalantly into the flow of your content. beautiful profile pic and not some bot. media sphere is the same as it is in real life
Mention topics and hashtags in your status Research has found that images and – politeness and engagement. Best of luck
messages, tweets and even the questions videos are more likely to attract attention on your conquests and be sure to follow
you choose to answer on Quora. Of course, and gain followers. Viral videos will also Digit everywhere!

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 57


Cover story

Apps, Gadgets & Technology


to Help us

live forever
Technology has invaded all facets of our lives, and there’s no getting
away from this reality. We have to live in this increasingly digital world
INDEX:
that we’ve created. And that only begins with harnessing technology to 59 | Live long and prosper
lead a healthy life.
61 | Tech that heals
In the pages that follow, we take you on a journey to understanding
how technology’s bad for your health if you’re stuck back in time. 62 | G(adg)et back in shape!
We tell you about breakthrough gadgets, apps and services that are
helping us get back in shape better than ever before. And we leave 63 | Apps to unlock your health
you with a glimpse of the future that a combination of technology and
medicine are creating for us. It’s an exciting journey. 67 | To immortality and beyond
58 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com
Cover story

Live long
and prosper
Our quest to realize our body and mind’s true health potential begins with
keeping the harmful effects of our interaction with technology at bay
Jayesh Shinde

K
artik Kulkarni is a bemused young
man. Born in the ‘80s, he’s part of
the generation that first-hand saw
the explosion of digital technology
into our homes, here in India and around
the world. As technology broke one
formidable barrier after another – be
it in the way Kartik communicated,
seeked information, entertained him-
self and got things done to live his life
– he couldn’t help but notice that the
world was coming together, becoming
smaller and getting in his reach better
than ever before. Kulkarni admits, with
a wry smile, a reality that not only him
but everyone faced while adjusting and
adapting to life in the digital age. Health.
Not just physical but mental health.
From getting his first computer in the
mid ‘90s as a teenager, getting hooked on
to reading technology magazines, slowly
substituting the time spent outdoors
playing real sports with video games on
the television or his PC, and other such Working those late nights and not grabbing enough sleep can impact you adversely
digital digressions. Slowly but surely,
Kartik’s life was taking a major turn onto into the rabbit hole of the digital era, until he attracted spectacles while still in his
the digital highway. Consuming an over- he realized that there’s no escaping from teens. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle
whelming amount of digital content at an it. He was mesmerized by technology at became the dominating feature of Kartik’s
early age made Kartik innately different first, marvelling at its novelty and slowly existence, where he started putting on
than his parents’ generation in more getting enamoured by its ubiquity. weight and growing sideways much more
ways than one. Later in the new millen- Kartik started suffering from the side- than was desirable – the lean and fit boy
nium, as smart devices started cropping effects of adjusting to an overdependent who conquered the district trophy by
up and the internet became accessible to tech lifestyle. Hours spent playing video playing a crucial role in his school’s win-
one and all, Kartik Kulkarni, much like games and working on his PC led to a ning cricket team was lost in the shadows.
Alice (in Wonderland) fell even deeper rapid deterioration of his eyesight and Online friends became the dominating

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 59


Cover story

Facebook is bad for psyche


Late last year, a University of Michigan Raising digital natives
research and study concluded that using Children of this generation are automatically
Facebook can reduce young adults’ sense digital natives, born in a world of smart-
of well-being and satisfaction with life, phones and the internet. Research suggests
according to a BBC report. The research what we label as “addiction” to technology
that tracked participants’ behaviour for two – with kids and infants – may actually be
weeks concluded that “checking Facebook normal. However, care should be taken that
made people feel worse about both issues, kids interact with the physical environment
and the more they browsed, the worse they around them to live and learn, and not just
felt.” While the largest social network does a be stuck inside a house glued to a screen all
great job of connecting people, Facebook can the time (and get obese). A word of caution
have negative psychological consequences to parents raising kids in today’s age, is to
too. And their rate is increasing as more and monitor kids’ exposure to technology to
people are embracing it and spend more director of the center’s Internet and prevent some of the obvious side-effects to
time on it. American Life Project. getting exposed to too much too soon.
The Web is notorious for increasing the A research (funded by the European
Web isn’t all good digital divide between the “haves” and the Commission’s Safe Internet Programme)
On the Web’s 25th anniversary, according “have-nots”, increasing instances of online called ‘Net Children Go Mobile’ monitored
to a study by Pew Research Center, 15 per bullying, encouraging to communicate only internet activity among 9-16 year olds
cent of Internet users feel that the Web with like-minded people, and more. Major in Ireland, UK, Italy, Portugal, Denmark,
has been bad for society and bad for them concerns abound regarding the Web’s ability Romania and Belgium, and found that double
personally as well. The research group to spread misinformation, the loss of privacy, the amount of children surveyed said they
confirms noticing a trend of rising issues and the loss of real human contact in favor had encountered upsetting things online
over the years that tend to gnaw at people of virtual interactions, according to the than those surveyed two years previous.
about online life, according to Lee Rainie, study. Read more here: http://dgit.in/1i7Ukcw This needs to change, obviously.

factor of Kartik’s life as real-life social of the ill-effects of a lifestyle that hasn’t comfortable existence on, are in fact con-
gatherings, with friends, relatives, and successfully adjusted to its overdepend- tributing to our poor shape, deteriorating
even his own family started to reduce in ence on technology and the digital age health and a myriad of physiological and
frequency. Later when Kartik grew older of the 21st century. Constant distraction, psychological problems. Somewhere the
and started working in the IT sector, he shortened attention spans, addiction and lifestyle we’re leading doesn’t agree with
realized that he was getting sucked deeper reduced eyesight and hearing are also our constitution. We need to bring about a
and deeper into the rabbit hole. And any some other companions of a life spent radical change either in our life or the tech-
hopes of escaping it were fast evaporating. constantly plugged in. nology we’re building to ensure mankind
There was no end in sight from this cushy, There’s a growing sense of concern doesn’t fall off the wagon and devolve into
comfortable existence. amongst our race that technology has something pitiful or a mass of blob.
made our existence cushier, way more Somehow, somewhere, not just Kartik
Technology works against Kulkarni, but all of us who’re glued
your health
Probably not right down to the tee,
We need to analyze how to our smartphones, tablets, PCs,
more than we should be, need a
but all of us born before the turn of technology is impacting us, right course correction. We need to learn
the century can relate to Kartik’s
story in some shape or form. It is
from the chair we sit on while at to co-exist with the technology that
we use without letting it adversely
probably the greatest irony of our our PC to how many hours we’re affect our mind and body. We need
times that in an age where tech-
nology is breaking new ground in staring at digital screens to reclaim lost ground, and there’s a
lot of work to be done on that front.
every possible way, trying to make We need to put technology to work
our life easier and comfortable beyond comfortable than how we’re supposed in ways that we shall remain untouched
belief, us humans are ill-equipped to to exist and live in this world. There’s an by its harmful effects.
enjoy the benefits of all this technological overbearing sense of fatigue on all things And the answer doesn’t involve
wonder to the fullest, probably getting digital, and a recognition of its harmful unplugging yourself. Or throwing that
paralyzed by an overbearing dependence effects on human health (in the absence smartphone or tablet away. Welcome to
on it. And it’s costing us our health. of precautions and a balanced lifestyle, a new dawn in consumerized healthcare
Isolation, depression, stress, poor of course). The technological marvels we solutions that will help you reclaim your
sleeping habits and obesity are just some all heralded in raptures, hinged our cosy lost health back.

60 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Cover story

Tech that heals


Wearable gadgets are the next big thing, and equipped with sensors that
help track our health, they’re the key to a healthy life in the modern age
Jayesh Shinde

W
hile technology’s overdose is
clearly unsettling our physiolog-
ical and psychological constitu-
tion, there’s no reason to feel
our cause is doomed, that our existence
is threatened, or fear us devolving into
lesser beings. Just as Kartik’s misgivings
about the ill-effects of an overdepend-
ence on technology were steeped in
reality, so is another inevitable truth
from which there’s no running away:
Technology can break us, and there’s
technology that can fix us too. Here’s
how 21st century technology is helping
us solve a 21st century health problem.

Gadgets to the rescue


Living a healthy lifestyle is easier than
ever before thanks to an array of wear- Wearable wristbands, smartwatches are bringing technology and health closer together
able devices (paired with fitness apps)
and other specialty smart products that healthcare sector. The smartphone and the tools and means to monitor and track
let you track your health better than ever tablets boom is over, and most of these your health, and in some cases even offer
before. The best part about these innova- products are fast getting commoditized. advice (like a doctor would).
tions are that they’re quite affordable, However, leveraging their widespread Not just gadgets made out of metal
being almost as expensive or cheaper to appeal, hardware firepower, and estab- or plastic, but smart clothes – socks and
that next smartphone you’re eying for lished ecosystem are a new wave of shirts, smart beds, and other non-tradi-
purchase. If you care for your health, connected devices that aren’t much more tional avenues of technological applica-
wearables can help you track it better. than accessories. They’re small, unobtru- tion is being witnessed. Given this new
We’re glad to say that the recent explo- sive, portable and easy to not notice – but reality that’s staring us in the face, and
sion of wearable technology is leading the equipped with special sensors, these the ease of using devices without making
charge of getting consumer technology wearable gadgets are leading the charge an effort (in a way), this is enhancing the
into the profitable and underserved of democratizing healthcare, giving you appeal of wearables. And its application
in the personal healthcare sector is a
natural evolution of the segment.
Future of Wearables and Healthcare What’s more, equipped with geeky,
cool-looking wearable devices that
U.K.-based Juniper Research is expecting the number of wearable devices shipped will rise
from about 13 million in 2013 to 130 million in 2018, and market to jump from $1.4 billion double up as fitness trackers and activity
in 2013 to $19 billion in 2018. There are reports predicting shipments of between 90 to monitors, getting in shape was never
100 million pieces of wearable gadgets in 2014 alone. But how many of these will impact more fashionable. If you’ve seen gym-
the personal healthcare market? Just to give you an idea, according to a GigaOm report, nasiums and joggers’ park, you’d know
ABI Research estimates the global market for wearables in health and fitness could reach
what we mean. When the world around
up to 170 million devices by 2017. With such high stakes and big money on the line, it’s
safe to assume that wearable tech isn’t a fad, but a reality from this year onwards. And its you is slowly waking up to the reality of
inclination towards the health sector is quite natural and all but stands to revolutionize the leading a healthier life by harnessing day-
personal healthcare system around the world. to-day technology, what’s stopping you
from taking the plunge?

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 61


Cover story

G(adg)et back in shape!


Beyond the obvious suspects, these lesser-known but equally great
devices will help you take better care of yourself
Jayesh Shinde

W
e aren’t mentioning the usual promises to give medical-grade cardiovas- and it claims to
suspects that everyone, and cular monitoring technology, with remote be the best in
even your granny knows about monitoring features. the business. It’s
– stuff like the Fitbit Fuelband, iriverON headset
Google Glasses, Galaxy Gear, and a zillion is one of a kind
other smartwatches. If you’re looking tapping into the
to hop back on the wagon and try and unique physiology of the ear, retrieving
regain control of your health and fit- more accurate health and fitness metrics
ness, look no further than these devices with earbuds than with other devices,
mentioned below. It’s time to huff and especially when moving around and/or
puff your way to a more improved you. 3) Withings Smart Body Analyzer engaging in physical activity. Sensor data
In the digital age, a traditional weighing can be viewed live through applications
1) Garmin VivoFit scale just wouldn’t cut it. Weight on their iPhone, Android phones, or other
This smart wristband is watchers, behold what’s popularly being smartphone devices.
unanimously regarded as dubbed as the best smart digital scale
the best in the business of ever. This not only tracks your weight, 6) Interaxon Muse Headband
tracking your fitness, with but also heart rate, body fat and general This product here
its ease of use, abundant well being, helping you stay on track of is hard to believe
features and above-average your fitness goals (indirectly). Combine isn’t sci-fi. This
performance. It can all that with an improved app that’s easy brain sensing
count your steps, calories to consume and handy, and the Smart headband from
expended, sets goals and track heart rate; Body Analyzer becomes the unbeatable Interaxon, Muse
it’s waterproof and lasts for a year on a choice of more advanced data metrics to promises to truly unlock the power of
single battery charge. It syncs data to help you lose weight. your thought and mind and use it for
the cloud wirelessly without interfacing the better. It detects your brain’s activity
through a PC. If you only want to buy one 4) Basis B1 at every moment and you can track it
device – and one device only – to set your Recently acquired through a smartphone or tablet device.
misshaped health life in order, just close by Intel, Basis’ B1 is Where a lot of wearable devices are
your eyes and purchase the VivoFit. a wristband that is a focusing heavily towards keeping the
little bit different from body in shape, this one keeps the mind
2) Qardio all the rest. If you love healthy as well.
This startup helps you track your blood data, and lots of it,
pressure and heart, with two specialized you’re gonna love this 7) Sensoria Fitness Sock
devices. Qardio Arm is about the size of a device. Not only does it A combination of
spectacles box, which can be tucked away track and measure your Heart Beat, Steps, e-textile, a snap-on
in a suit. More impor- and Calories but also Skin Temperature, anklet and mobile
tantly it’s Apple-esque Perspiration level, Sleep Quality and Sleep apps to track
design makes the device Time. Data never lies, so this helps to ring your workout, the
accessible and easy to in positive lifestyle. Sensoria Fitness
use – just strap it on Sock analyzes your foot to keep you fit as
and monitor your BP on 5) Valencell Performtek iriverON a fiddle. Filled with sensors, Sock can tell
an iOS device. Simi- This company essentially has a truckload you if you’ve been sitting idle for too long
larly, the Qardio Core of patents in sensor technology geared and prompt you to go for a walk and also
is a strap-on that goes towards monitoring fitness and accurately offers some advanced features like stride
around your chest and tracking real-time health parameters, gauge, foot landing analyzer, etc.

62 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Cover story

Apps to unlock
your health
Who said you have to buy a funky new gadget to stay in shape or track
your fitness? The following Android and iOS apps allow you to unlock the
hidden potential of your smartphone and tablet in the truest sense of the
word, and deliver a healthy makeover to your life in no time. You don’t
need any other app apart from the following ten:

Jayesh Shinde

1
Fitocracy: This is not just an app, it’s and it works. This app lets you log
a fitness gamification network unlike distance with GPS tracking, set goals,
any other within the grasp of your track progress, and beat previous
smartphone or tablet. The greatest records. It sets reminders to work
thing that this app has done for us is out, and also recommends an in-app
to make the job of staying in shape less training plan for several race types
daunting and a fun activity, not unlike of running modes. It also tracks your
playing a game on your smart device, and heart-rate, and shares your runs on
a group activity (to some extent). Who social media platforms. Also… it’s free.
thought staying in shape was like playing What else do you need?
a real-life game, eh? Don’t waste any time http://dgit.in/rnkpran

accelerometer that detects your move-


ment, sounds, and other actions while
you’re asleep. This helps the app under-
stand which state of sleep you’re sus-
pended in. And when the app detects your
floating back to a lighter sleep state, the
app will ring an alarm and wake you up.
http://dgit.in/slcycios

3
RunKeeper: With over 20 mil-

4
lion users worldwide, this is the
and just install it on your smart device most popular running app on the Zombie Run! : This is about the fun-
and give it a try. planet for a reason – it’s simple nest jogging game that you’re ever
http://dgit.in/fitocracy1 going to take part in, trust us. The

2
key objective here is to make jogging
Sleep Cycle: If we don’t get enough part of a larger, real-world simulation
sleep, it adversely affects our health. around the game, as you were. You’re
And if you have trouble sleeping, assigned missions to gather supplies
this brilliant iPhone app claims to (which involves stepping out, burning
work like a charm and helps you get your calories) and your movements are tracked
sleep cycle in order. Install the app on through GPS or accelerometer. The app
your phone, turn it on and keep it next to has audio instructions played out at key
you while you sleep. The app will analyze intervals while its playing your jogging
your sleep pattern through its built-in playlist. An advanced feature in the game

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 63


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Cover story

called “Zombie Chases” involves flat out reports based on customized goals and failed to honour their pacts. Fun, isn’t it?
sprinting for most part, and not for the your diet profile. It’s a comprehensive http://dgit.in/pactapp

9
faint-hearted. Your successes and failures dieting app that you must try.
are tracked. Ready for some fun? http://dgit.in/calcountan Lumosity: This is an app that claims

7
http://dgit.in/1mJjXZd to stimulate your brain and keep it
Hot5: If your constant excuse to skip fit and healthy. There are a variety
exercise is that you don’t get enough of short games that the app offers –
time for it, this nifty little app blows
that theory right out of the door.
Hot5 is an iOS app designed for quick,
intense five minute workouts that you can
perform even while on the go. It solves
the problem of sitting for too long at your
desk by providing an easy-to-do array
of exercises that’s designed to get you up
and moving. From gentle stretching and

5
power yoga to intense cardio and strength
Moves: Don’t fret if you think you training, aided by tutorials, this app has it
aren’t really ready to start running all. What’s your excuse now?
around to get back in shape. Even http://dgit.in/hot5ios number based, some involving flashcards,
if it’s walking that you resort to, and so on. Each of the games is meant to
check out Moves. The app has a pedom- train one of five core cognitive functions:
eter which tracks the number of steps working memory, flexibility/agility, atten-
you take in a day (aim towards a healthy tion span, problem-solving, and processing
10k per day), calculates calories burnt speed. After creating a profile and setting
while sitting idle, and basically does a your limit of games, you can start when-
very good job of staying out of your hair ever you have time to kill. A good app to get
and tracking your steps-related data in your brain up and running, so to speak.
the background, plotting a map of your http://dgit.in/lumosios
daily activities. And thus Moves is self-
described as an automatic diary of your

8
life, one step at a time.
http://dgit.in/moves0514 Pact: What if we told you that you
can get paid for losing weight and
getting in shape? No kidding! If the
prospect of living longer by getting
back in shape and improving the quality
of life isn’t incentive enough, this app (for-
merly known as GymPact) offers probably
the second best reason for you to give it a

10
try – get paid. To use the app you need to
make a “pact” with it – exercise, log meals Personal Zen: This is a game
online, or eat only veggies for a month, that promises to drive away
and so on. You deduct an amount that anxiety and calm your mind

6
you’re willing to lose if you fail to honour within 25 minutes, and it’s all
Calorie Counter: What good is a this pact. If you win, you get paid certain the rage for stressed out netizens trying to
fitness regimen that discounts lean, amount collected from other users who calm their nerves. Created by psychology
healthy food intake? While you’re professors, it is set in a garden where two
trying hard to reduce weight, it’s faces – one happy and one angry – drop
equally important to monitor what you into the ground. You’re encouraged to
consume, and Calorie Counter is a fine trace a line left by the happy face in the
app that lets you do just that. With over grass. There’s scientific data suggesting
3 million food items in its database, this that as you play more, your eyes get tuned
app lets you break down exactly what to searching out the happy face, and
you consume down to its nutrient value. ignore the angry one. With serene music
Not just that, it lets you create your own that calms the nerves down even further,
custom foods and recipe calculator. It this game’s worth checking out
recommends exercises, generates progress http://dgit.in/prsnlznios

66 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Cover story

To immortality
and beyond
Our quest to harness the good things about technology to counter its
negatives on our health and well-being doesn’t just stop at buying new
fitness trackers or planning out a health regimen on your smartphone.
Far from it. Humanity’s in this for the long haul, and has its eyes firmly set
on discovering the elixir of life and unlocking physical immortality. Here’s
some of the steps to prolonging our health to a whole new level.

Jayesh Shinde

R
emember Dr. Curt Connors from will get past the physical limitations of tion, it’s a different survival strategy at a
The Amazing Spider Man? A our bodies, either by fixing it beyond species level.” This only means that we
scientific genius, mad beyond any damage, much like lizards that heal can’t self-heal without outside help. He
belief, who tries to re-engineer their epidermis. Research into undying also believes that senescence or biological
humans to become virtually immortal. jellyfish with regenerative cells is helping aging can be slowed down rapidly in
He says, “I spent my life as a scientist scientists understand how to make the humans and gives a 50 per cent chance
trying to create a world without weak- body last longer than its shelf life. Hydra, of close to negligible aging becoming a
ness, without outcasts. I sought to create a jellyfish species, repairs almost all reality in our lifetime.
a stronger human being, but there’s no its cells and regenerates periodically, But if all cells “rust from oxygen
such thing. Human beings are weak, without aging. James Vaupel, Director, exposure” and are going to suffer from
pathetic, feeble-minded creatures. Why Laboratory of Survival and Longevity inevitable destruction, however delayed it
be a human at all when we can be so at the Max Planck Institute for Demo- may be, what could be the next best thing
much more? Faster, stronger, smarter.” graphic Research in Rostock, Germany, than harnessing the phenomenon of 3D
claims its a fundamentally different printing to print your tissues and organs
Regeneration survival strategy than humans. In an and theoretically continue to exist forever?
Turns out Dr. Connors’ wish could be interview to the BBC, Vaupel explains, Scientists have succeeded in achieving
closer to reality than we think – obvi- “Hydras allocate resources primarily some amazing breakthroughs recently.
ously with a far less dramatic effect. We toward repair. Humans, by contrast, pri- Tissue engineering research has led to
aren’t far from the day when humanity marily direct resources toward reproduc- printing out a fully beating, three-dimen-
Cover story

“new” memory. This has worked success-


fully in rats and monkeys, while human
trials are yet to begin.
At the Massachusetts Institute of Tech-
nology, Ed Boyden leads the Synthetic
Neurobiology Group, which is building
new tools to explore the brain. Boyden
and his colleagues have found a protein
in algae that is able to convert light into
electricity. When this protein, called chan-
nelrhodopsin, is introduced into certain
neurons, it’s triggered by light to create
distinctive patterns they can be trans-
lated into electrical impulses and then
mapped – resulting in a computer code
of a memory. This opens up a whole new
range of technologies in the field of brain
and memory research, digitizing data and
even offloading it to some extent.
The biggest roadblock to downloading
memories right now is that they seem to
disappear when not in use. Unlike memo-
ries in a microchip which can be accessed
3D printed or lab-grown organs and prosthetics will prolong our life any time, if the human brain isn’t actively
triggering a memory, one can’t really
sional, two-chamber mouse heart using a parts you need, you’ll be able to extend download or copy it, according to Ted
modified desktop, inkjet printer. By filling life by several decades,” explains Anthony Berger, a neuroscientist at the University
the ink cartridge with cells, they’ve been Atala, director of the Wake Forest Insti- of Southern California. And unless we get
able to “publish” functional human kid- tute for Regenerative Medicine. “We may past this hurdle, the reality of completely
neys. We’re taking technology into places even push that up to 120, 130 years.” offloading the contents of our brain can’t
that’s truly unlocking the secrets of our be achieved.
physiology like never before. Downloading memories Even Stephen Hawking believes that
Just in the last few months, we have The above mentioned techniques on our downloading data from the brain is an
witnessed scientific feats like growing path to immortality have overwhelming inevitable eventuality. “I think the brain is
human ears on the backs of mice and odds restricted by our physiology. Our like a program in the mind, which is like
implant culture-grown lungs into rats. body’s programmed to degenerate. But is a computer, so it’s theoretically possible
3D printing ears, lungs, and even tissue that also true of our mind? to copy the brain onto a computer and so
samples for use in humans. Thanks to Less than a year ago, Berger and Sam provide a form of life after death,” he said,
recent advancements in stem cell research, Deadwyler at Wake Forest University suc- according to a report in Guardian last
British scientists have successfully cre- cessfully conducted experiments in which September. “However, this is way beyond
ated artificial blood that can be adminis-
tered to anyone, by growing RBCs from
fibroblasts that have been reprogrammed “There’s this whole other aspect of
into mature red blood cells in the lab. The intelligence which is new thoughts, new ideas,
blood, developed by researchers at the creativity, these are things that we don’t
University of Edinburgh and the Scot- even understand fully among us humans yet,
tish National Blood Transfusion Service much less how to get that into a robot.”
(SNBTS), would be Type O negative, also - James McLurkin, Asst. Prof of Computer
known as universal donor blood, which Science, Rice University, USA
currently comprises just 7 percent of the
blood donor pool.
Experts in the field are unanimous in they actually inserted memories into our present capabilities.” But don’t be
their prediction that in the near future, the brains of rats by stimulating certain disappointed just yet.
whenever we need replacement body parts of the hippocampus with electrical
parts, whether it’s a tissue culture or a signals. Berger said they have also been The Avatar Project
major organ, we’ll just use rejection-proof able to disable the hippocampus, in effect This is the most ambitious endeavour
artificial organs grown in laboratories blocking the memory, and then electroni- towards achieving immortality of the
using our own cells. “By putting in the cally stimulating certain areas to create a mind, perhaps not the body. And it hints

68 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Cover story

towards cybernetics immortality, where


we create a neo-humanity and truly take
control of our evolution beyond the grasp
of nature’s biosphere. And that, according
to various schools of thoughts, is the only
true way for us to become truly immortal.
And the Avatar Project is the first major
step in that direction.
The Avatar Project is the brainchild
of Russian billionaire, Dmitry Itskov,
who isn’t unlike Peter Weyland from
the movie Prometheus – both want to
be immortal. While Weyland looked at
the stars for answers, Itskov’s putting
his trust in neuroscientists, neuroen-
gineers and futurists to allow him to
“live” forever. Not just him, but eve-
ryone. Eventually.
The Avatar Project seeks to conquer
death in four stages by 2045. Stage one
deals with the creation of a robot that can
be controlled by our brains (through a Visit 2045.com to see how the Avatar Project is creating the stuff of sci-fi. Unbelievable.
brain-machine interface) by 2020; Stage
two takes things further when a human Foundation, Peter Diamandis. Even the will make machines increasingly more
brain can be transplanted into a synthetic Dalai Lama has given his blessings and human. This convergence is what Kur-
body by 2025; Stage three is where the endorsed Itskov’s vision, when he said zweil calls “singularity.”
boundaries between humans and robots in a press release, “We should carry out
blur, and it will be achieved after the con- these experiments with a full sense of Food for thought
tents of a person’s brain can be uploaded responsibility and respect for life that will So we are trying to achieve immortality
into a synthetic one by 2035. The last and only benefit humanity, benefit others.” by slowing down biological aging of
final stage of the project, slated to end by Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of the human body, by supplementing the
2045, results with the completion of a engineering and a self-confessed futurist, human body with fresh, new lab-grown
full-blown Avatar, a hologram that will said at a WSJ conference recently that organs, and ultimately escape the con-
replace bodies completely and allow us “We’re going to expand who we are. We’re straints of our physical cage – arguably
humans to live forever. going to become more non-biological.” the best piece of intelligent life form that
This may sound like a hoax, but it Calling the human body a “software evolution has produced to rule the earth
actually isn’t. Itskov’s vision is backed process,” Kurzweil believes that in the with – and exist in the form of a digital
not only by his own deep pockets but also future humanity will no longer be limited entity for eternity. And from the looks of
other tech luminaries – Itskov’s ambi- to its physical form and be able to upload it, all this doesn’t seem to be the stuff of
tious roadmap is supported by vision- our consciousness into a cloud and use sci-fi at all.
aries like roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, nanobots to recreate our physical bodies So the question we put to you is this:
Google’s director of engineering, Ray at will. And as humans start becoming Excited or petrified? And how will you
Kurzweil, and chairman of the X-Prize more like machines, AI advancements start preparing for your immortal life?
Space age From the labs
What kind of exotic space ship Humanity’s constant quest

Sci-Tech 74 designs will let us truly reach for


the stars? Read on to find out. 77 to conquer nature goes onto
greater heights

ERUDITION
Being a technology magazine requires catering to more than just the regular tech
geek; for there can be no technology without the great minds that dared to dream
up the ideas that we consider part of modern science today. The greatest (and truly
coolest) things that science has done for us have been, on some level, the wild
fantasies of people who either had the foresight to see what mankind was capable
of, or had the vivid, insane imagination to imagine the impossible as plausible. Our
newest section ‘Tales from the Void’ deals with fiction – of the scientific kind.
Feliĉa Legado!

70 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Earth 2.0 500 Days of Night
NASA’s Keplar programme finds us a sister A robotic miniature space shuttle on a
planet. All we need to do is get there and start classified mission marked its 500th day in
populating it http://dgit.in/sisterplanet orbit recently: http://dgit.in/X37B500 Tales from the Void

Prakrit Dhondiyal would anyone care about a superiorly interactive computer pro-
readersletters@thinkdigit.com gram? Well, unless they’re very, very lonely.”
Celeste skimmed through the endless lines of code, at a speed
“You’re not what I expected, to be honest.” common to programmers of her calibre. She had to admit, it

I Godric put his coffee down in response.


“That’s alright, you’re not what I expected, either.” said
Godric, grinning and leaned back in his chair. Celeste laughed. She
was brilliant.
“Well, what’s the problem, then?”
Godric shuffled in his chair uncomfortably. “Battlestar Games
had an unusual laugh. Godric liked it. hasn’t been very agreeable when it comes to my ideas. This isn’t
She’s much smarter than she actually lets on. what we do.”
It had been a while since he could sit down and have an intel- “No, Battlestar simply revamps old successful games and
lectual conversation with someone. It felt good. He could feel his releases them to the masses.”
brain cells grinding through the settled rust after all this time. “It’s what the people want!”
“Are you still with me?” “You know better.” Celeste actually looked a little angry, now.
Godric shook his thoughts aside. “You shouldn’t give up on something close to you simply because
“My apologies. I have a very slippery mind.” you’re worried about failing.”
She waved it off. “I understand. My brother Deigratia is exactly She turned and walked out of Godric’s room. Godric followed.
the same. I’m used to it. But tell me –” She leaned in over the “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
table, “What are you working on? It’s clear that you’re very unlike Celeste sighed. “I’m not offended. Just disappointed.”
the other pretentious programmers here. I find it hard to believe To Godric, that seemed worse.
that someone who spends so much time in his own world has “You have some great ideas. And you’re smart. Don’t waste your
nothing worth talking about.” talent because you think people won’t agree with you. Make them
Godric sighed. “I’ve been through way too many rejections from agree. Do you remember the old days?”
up top, to be frank. This place doesn’t open up to new ideas.” “What old days?”
Celeste chuckled. “When gaming was about fresh new ideas. New technology.
“Sounds more like you’re in a rut.” Gaming was a product of cutting-edge technology.”
“You could say that.” “When it was responsible for uniting the planet.”
“Alright then – throw an idea my way. Maybe I can tell you where “Yes!”
you’re going wrong.” “20 years before I was born.”
“I don’t know… My ideas border on the radical. And over-the-top. Celeste waved his comment off. “I mean what we’ve read. When
And honestly, just a little insane.” gaming became our lives. Games were fresh. innovative.”
“I like a little insanity, now and then.” “Downright kloniko. Yes, I do know what you mean.”
Godric looked at the eager expression on Celeste’s face, quietly “Exactly. You’re not the only one in a rut, Godric. The word’s been
contemplating her suggestion. in a rut for nearly a decade. We need something new. And this
“Come on, tell me.” could be it.”
Godric gave in. “Alright. There is a program I’m working on. I’m Godric fell silent for a few moments, mulling over her suggestion. He
stuck, but I’ll show you what I have.” agreed with her about the world being in a rut. He’d thought about it
“Now that sounds like a plan.” himself, usually with close friends over a mug of ale. But Godric had
never had the hubris of considering leading the change himself.
011000110110000101101110011110010110111101110101 “You really think so?” he asked, quietly.
“Well, no, not really.” She grinned. “But anything’s possible. Why
“Endless?” disregard the dream simply because it’s difficult?”
“Well, not really endless. But it does have a virtually infinite number Godric laughed. “You’re insane.”
of possible outcomes. The program analyses over seven hundred “Told you.” She smiled back.
trillion probabilities for every scenario, and that was based on the
last time I tested it. I’ve been tweaking the source code to make it What’s taking them so long?
more efficient, and above all, make the program a lot more realistic.
While other computer programs have the potential to answer ques-
tions that they are asked, getting them to respond and continue
II Godric straightened his tie and paced the corridor out-
side the Praetor’s office.
I should have pitched it better. Kuhr’vat!
after the question to formulate an entire conversation like a person “Godric. Relax.”
does, hasn’t been this close to being possible. Interacting with this Godric stopped and glared at Cain, “You could have been more
program is much like talking to a physical being. It lives, learns, supportive in there, you know.”
and adapts at almost the same speed as one of us would.” Cain lay back on the recliner, seemingly unconcerned. “Hey, I said
“And you made this?” it’s kloniko, didn’t I?”
“Well, yes. I tinker with the program, occasionally. The only thing “Kloniko. Sure. Why would I be worried? It has your stamp of
is, I fail to see how this would help me in game design. Why ‘kloniko’! That must have swayed them, for sure.” Godric snapped

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 71


Thrillseeker Vacations Prison Break
Feel like getting out of your cage? Have a lot Think you can bust out of prison? Here’s
of money? Here are some spots to take your an article telling you exactly what’s at risk
Tales from the Void daredevil nature: http://dgit.in/thrillvacs during a prison break: http://dgit.in/pbreak1

back, “You know, considering you wrote the story behind the Celeste laughed. “Yes, I noticed. But you should take his advice
game, I’d expect you to be a little more active.” and calm down, just a little.”
“Tad’moh, lod’ni. You’re wayyy too tense.” He stretched a little Godric kept fuming, but he did mellow out a little.
more, his ease, making Godric uneasy, in turn. The nervous game “Good. Now – when I hit a wall, I generally take a step back and
maker let out another curse under his breath and continued with look at what I’m doing. That’s generally how I find out what I did
his pacing. wrong. Or what I can do better. Think you can handle that?”
I wasn’t confident enough. I should’ve been more prepared. “Maybe.”
The great doors opened and the Prefect – the Praetor’s aide “Come on, Godric. Give it a try.”
– walked out. He looked around and saw Godric and Cain. He So he tried. “Okay, I had a full-fledged game. The story obviously
walked up to them. “I’m sorry to keep you waiting.” wasn’t the problem. The pragmatizer made my characters look
“That’s fine, engard.” exceptionally life-like, and with my Harte engine, they were open-
“I’m sorry, boy. The Praetor wasn’t very impressed with the focus ended and extremely realistic and interactive.”
group results.” “Were they?”
He saw the look on Godric’s face, and added, “It’s not that the idea “Of course they were. They never reacted in a predictable way. No
wasn’t impressive. Your characters are really very life-like. But two conversations in the game are the same. The characters react
realism isn’t enough for a game to be a success.” to the gamer’s own statements and actions accordingly.”
Cain spoke up. “Was it the story?” “True, but does that make them anything like real people?”
“No, not at all. In fact, they found the story rather enthralling.” “Close enough! I should know, I’ve spent quarks perfecting their
Cain beamed. Godric refrained the urge to punch him in the face. interactive algorithms!”
“I’m sorry, Godric. Why don’t you try something more… traditional?” “What makes us different from computer programs?”
Godric was a little taken aback by the sudden question. “What do
01101000011001010110000101110010001000000110110101100101 you mean?”
“We could try making programs more and more realistic, we could
“Traditional. Gah!” try making them more in our image, to invoke a sense of realism
Godric had spent the last plasm raving about what he thought in the inanimate. But they will always be missing something –
about the Gaming Commision. Celeste sat on his couch, waiting something that sets the creator apart from the creation. What is it
for him to finish. that makes us different?”
“And Cain? That shlok’ahk could use a few slaps himself.” Godric began to think. What is she aiming at? “Well… several things,
“Hey! Mind your language.” actually. But if I had to pick one, I’d say it would be our ability to
“Sorry.” make choices based on what we feel and think. To gauge a situation
“Don’t say it unless you mean it. And you know it wasn’t Cain’s based on experience and feeling, rather than cold hard facts.”
fault. His writing was amazing.” “Free will.”
“I know, I know. I’m just venting.” “Yes, free will.”
“Then there’s the answer to your question. You want to make the
next big game? Show people a game that they’re not entirely in
control of. Let the program think for itself. Make its own decisions.
Thrive, live, exist in its own little bubble of a code. Let the program
believe that it is the centre of its universe.”
“But where’s the game in that?”
“The game’s free will is an illusion. Even though it can make
decisions on its own, exist on its own, players shall be the ones
calling the shots, controlling the different aspects of the program.
Winning depends on the ultimate outcome of the game. Either the
gamers will do a great job, and the program shall exist ‘til the end
of time, or they will get negligent, and the program will crash of
its own accord. Either way – this program will change the way we
see gaming. Completely.”
Godric was dumbstruck. “That’s… brilliant.”
“I have my moments.”
“But it won’t work.”
“Why?”
“Free will is great, but it ties-in with self-awareness. What would
happen if the program started questioning its very existence?”
“Hmm.” It was Celeste’s turn to look thoughtful. “I didn’t think of
that.” she admitted.

72 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Flare’d! Return of ISEE-3
The sun recently errupted into a solar Is it possible to resurrect a 35-year old
flare once again. Find out details about spacecraft? Read about the repurposing of
the event here: http://dgit.in/fl4ring the ISEE-3 here: http://dgit.in/isee3ret Tales from the Void

“Unless…” Godric went to his computer and started typing frantically. “No problem, my friend. I’ll see you around.”
Celeste went up behind him and looked at his screen. “What are you –” “Computer, end program.” The hills promptly faded melted away
“Shhh. Just give me a few specs. I think I have it.” into the walls of the Praetor’s office. “You see what he did there?
So Celeste waited, curious but patient. She took a book off his He decided to cancel a plan with me because of a busy schedule.
shelf and settled down on his bed, knowing that it’ll take him The Harte engine, Praetor, has been programmed with a sense
more than a few specs to do whatever was on his mind. But she of free will. Thus making any part of the program as realistic as
understood. About a quatre later, the typing stopped. Celeste life, itself. In this case, even artificial wives make you sleep on
looked up to see Godric reading the code off his screen, as if the couch if you forget their birthday!”
double-checking his calculations. She put the book down and The Praetor managed a weak smile. His brain still trying to
walked up to him, reading what he’d come up with. It looked like – catch up with what he had just witnessed. “But if they are self-
“Wait… what?” aware…”
“They are also hard-wired to believe that theres no way for them
to cross into our world.”

III “You did what?” The Praetor looked shocked.


Godric smiled. “Yes, sir.”
“This, I have to see.” He got up from his chair and took
the data module Godric had brought with him. He walked up to his
Godric sat down. “The opportunities to use my program for new
games are limitless.”
The Praetor took a few specs to gather his thoughts.
gaming console and plugged it in. Then hesitated. “Okay, Godric. I’m interested. I’m putting you in charge of the
“You’re sure this is safe?” next game release.
Godric laughed. “It won’t bite, engard. Computer. Run program.” The Havalan programmer beamed. “Thank you, engard!”
The room dissolved around them. They now stood on a hillside,
overlooking a blue lake. A man stood in front of them, smiling.
“Godric! Good to see you again!”
“And you, Sam. How are you?”
EpIloguE:
“Computer, pause simulation.”
The farmer snickered “The same old. It’s harvest, so busy, busy.” Godric and the Praetor froze in mid-handshake. The whole world
Godric smiled back, “We won’t take too long, then. I presume you stopped, in fact.
know Praetor Walrik?” Celeste materialized from the wall. “Reduce North wall opacity to
“Of course!” Sam touched his forehead with his index finger, zero.” The office wall faded away to reveal the audience sitting in
with the tip of his thumb resting on his nose. “Haoh-ni, Praetor.” the Maxima, watching the simulation.
The Praetor looked flummoxed, but with due credit, didn’t “As hypothesized, this program works exactly as we meant it to.
forget his manners. He mirrored the farmer’s gesture. “Haoh-ni.” The characters in the game are as close to alive as they’re going
Godric grinned and took a spec to enjoy the moment. Then moved to be.” Celeste stopped for a second, looked around at her people
on to business. in the audience, and then back at Godric’s frozen smile.
“So tell me, Sam. Do you know about the Havala?” I hope you knew what you were doing.
“Of course.” He turned to the Praetor. “You and Godric are Hava- “I have been trying to solve the Bartholomew equation, though.
lans. Inhabitants of Gamesverse.” Taking the program out of the realm of the virtual, and bringing it
“And do you know what you are?” closer to what we call reality. And I believe I’ve found the answer.
“Yes. I’m a human. Part of a computer-generated world created Actually, my program found the answer for me. Computer – run
by you, Godric.” program patch Godric-one-gamma-pie.” There was a pregnant
The Praetor decided to speak. “And how does that make you feel?” pause, followed by a beep, indicating end of program.
“Feel? Enlightened, to be honest. It’s not every day that a species “As of now, each and every character in my program knows that
can claim to coming face-to-face with their creators.” we exist.”
The Praetor stared at the program in front of him. “Extraordinary!” A soft murmur rippled through the crowd. People shifted in their
Godric stepped in. “They know what they are. Knowledge of us is a seats, and some even stood up to take a closer look at the stage.
part of their programming.” Celeste turned back to the Havalans.
“But why? Why would you do something so drastic?” “Computer, continue simulation.”
Godric grinned. “Because I made a few modifications to the Harte Havala resumed its motion. Godric and the Praetor turned
engine.” He turned to Sam. “Hey, so I’ll meet you tomorrow for around to face Celeste. Both of them looked at her, and knew
our weekly chess match?” who she was. What she was. Godric had a look of confusion
“Oh, not tomorrow, my friend. Wife’s birthday tomorrow.” interlaced with awe. In all the time they had known each other,
“Oh! Wish Jazia for me, will you?” this was the first time she had seen him looking so lost. And yet,
“Of course! And Godric – about your little project with the Egyptians…” those eyes had more than just dumbstruck surprise, fear and
“The Pyramids? What about them?” cold recognition. There was something warm in there. Admira-
“Maybe you should ask them to stop. They’re already on a third!” tion. Affection. Mixed with the excited incertitude that their
Godric cursed. “A small programming glitch, I suppose. I’ll unique situation brought.
straighten it out. See you, then. Thanks a lot!” Celeste cleared her throat. “Hello, Godric.”

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 73


New NASA spacesuits Exoplanet similar to earth
In April, NASA gave the public a chance Kepler-186f turns out to be perfect for life
to vote on its next spacesuit from among being in the goldilocks zone around star
Space Age 3 designs http://dgit.in/1iqvPcG Kepler 186 http://dgit.in/Kepler186-F

Interstellar Imagination:
Spacecraft designed with
Infinity in Mind
What kind of exotic ships
will let us truly reach for
the stars?
Samir Alam
readersletters@thinkdigit.com

“Ship like this, be with you till the day


you die.”
- Captain Mal, Firefly
(Tim Minear/Joss Whedon)

O
n 24 August 2013, the Voyager
I space probe became the first
man made object to journey
beyond the heliopause - the
ecosystem boundary of our Sun. The epic Over 11000 human work-years were dedicated to just get Voyager to Neptune.
journey took 35 years 11 months and 21
days, and finally introduced humanity to the musings of Jules Verne in his 1865 selves out. In some cases the realities
the interstellar Universe - a part of the novel “From the Earth to the Moon” that constructed are pure fantasy but in others
cosmos beyond all human experience, only gave Konstantin Tsiolkovsky - the founding they come very close to science.
ever known through telescopes and radio father of rocketry and astronautics - the One such contemporary example of
spectroscopy. We had finally crossed the inspiration to develop rocket propulsion. a scientifically accurate starship is the
threshold into the undiscovered country. And in that spirit, the work being done by fictional ISV Venture Star from James
And if we as a species are capable of groups such as the 100 Year Starship pro- Cameron’s movie Avatar. The interstellar
going from Robert Goddard’s 1912 test gramme holds true promise. The program spacecraft follows all the factual stand-
flight of the first liquid-fuel propelled was initiated by the United States Defense ards of science needed for deep space
rockets to discovering an Earth like planet Advanced Research Projects Agency travel with none of the fictional stylisms
such as Kepler 186f in 2013, then the (DARPA) and the National Aeronautics like sleek aerodynamics or faster than
next 100 years can only take us farther. and Space Administration (NASA) in 2012 light travel. The idea of the Venture Star
Soon it will be time once again to venture with a simple purpose - to foster the quest was based on the designs of polymath
forth boldly, with no data to support our to achieve interstellar space travel in the Charles Pellegrino and physicist Jim Pow-
ambition nor clear view of where we are next 100 years. ell who conceived it originally as a craft
heading, the only undeniable truth will be This quest is fuelled by the vision al- called the Valkyrie Antimatter Starship in
that we should begin - now. ready realised in our collective imagination their 1993 novel “Flying to Valhalla”. The
through stories. In a case of reality imitat- ISV Venture Star in Avatar may represent
Designing Perfection - From the ing art, the imaginary inventions of science the absurdly evil Earth based corporations
Imagination to the Cosmos fiction writers have given us a peak into of the future but its technological founda-
Long before the idea of the airplane or the future. The designs and technolo- tion is rock solid in today’s science.
journey’s beyond the planet could be gies, imagined in the great stories of our This scientific authenticity of the Ven-
envisioned by science, we had writers and contemporary history are a treasure trove ture Star’s design lies in the fact that its
artists prophesying its possibility. It was of scientific possibilities playing them- propulsion engines are placed on the nose

74 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Dragon flight a success Saturn’s 63rd moon
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft makes a successful Peggy, the latest body that could turn out to be
launch in a mission to resupply the International Saturn’s moon may disintegrate if it continues
Space Station http://dgit.in/DragonSuccess along current path http://dgit.in/SaturnPeggy Space Age

of the ship facing the direction of travel “born” in space rather than created would
with the rest being towed behind it. This offer a host of benefits – an internal ecosys-
design concept is traced back to Robert tem designed to produce usable resources
Goddard’s early designs for a rocket and is like water and food, the ability to respond at
surprisingly effective for interstellar travel. the speed of quantum-bionics and adapt-
The ship is designed to be launched from able genomic traits that could support the
space powered by orbital lasers which is needs of the crew.
a more fuel efficient means of propulsion The Leviathan helmed by the heros of
than using stored fuel banks for thrust. Farscape is called Moya and was a more
The lasers power the photon sails of the than a ship – it was a being in its own right
craft and avoid damaging the ship thanks to that worked in symbiosis with its crew on
a mirror shield on the ships rear. Based on their journey through space. Although the
the movie’s design, the 1.5 kilometer long field of biomechanics and biocomputers
ship has photon sails with a diameter of 16 is in its infancy there is no reason that in a
kilometers, capable of accelerating the ship 100 years, if not sentience, we would have
at 1.5 g for nearly half a year and then being a spacecraft designed with all the biological
retracted into the craft. This push allows elements from the show if not more.
the ship to achieve a velocity of 210,000 Already using nano-bionics plants are SPOILERS! Moya, the Leviathan from
kilometers per second or 70 percent the being hot-wired to create more energy. Farscape gave birth to a son - Talyn.
speed of light until it reaches its destina- Extrapolate this and you could power a
tion. As it arrives at its destination the yet biomechanical spacecraft infinitely, as long and it is real - sort of. The theory proposed
to be invented hybrid fusion and matter- as it was sufficiently exposed to photons by Alcubierre allows for the contracting
antimatter engines in front of the vessel in space. Such a spacecraft would embody of space in front of a spacecraft and the
burn for nearly half a year to decelerate the the idea of life in space far more than any expanding of space behind it - to literally
ship to zero velocity. other we can imagine today. alter the spacetime continuum to achieve
It is an elegant design where the bulk And yet the biggest problem of inter- faster than light velocities.
of the ship’s structure is dedicated to stellar space travel remains propulsion - Miguel Alcubierre, who proved this pos-
propulsion with a relatively smaller volume the ability to generate the massive amounts sibility using Einstein’s field equations in
devoted to cargo, habitation and crew ar- of energy needed to get us to velocities that 1994, arrived at a solution where instead
eas. The Venture Star is essentially a small wouldn’t make the universe seem so large. of a spacecraft moving at light speed, it
space station attached to a massively pow- But that too is a changing reality. was space that curved around it. The idea
erful engine capable of interstellar flight. It of the Alcubierre drive works within Ein-
is an efficient, cost effective and reusable Not Warp Drive - Alcubierre stein’s theory of general relativity which
design that allows for maximum returns Drive! normally doesn’t allow for anything to
on investment. But not so much in terms of If ever an astronomer in the future was to move faster than the speed of light. Such
adventure - realism has its cost. look across the galaxy at Alpha Centauri a spacecraft would then be static within a
“warp bubble” which would be riding along
the spacetime curvature as the Alcubierre
drive warped the space around it.
The design of such a ship was a center-
piece discussion at the 100 Year Starship
program in 2012. Scientists predicted that
such a drive could be possible at substan-
tially less power requirements than previ-
ously thought and even laid out a basic
design. The Alcubierre drive would require
The Venture Star with its realistic propulsion system – engine hauling the rest of the ship the spaceship to be shaped like a tapered
oval in the form of a prolate spheroid at-
Other ship designs that push us closer and see signs of human intelligence shin- tached to a large encircling donut like ring.
to the exotic include the biomechanical ing back at Earth it would most likely The donut would be composed of exotic
starships from the TV show Farscape be thanks to spacecrafts powered by an matter that would be controlled to cause
called the Leviathans. These epic class of Alcubierre drive. This form of theoretical space-time to curve around the starship
interstellar spacecraft although thoroughly propulsion allows a spacecraft to travel as it was suspended in a warp bubble. This
outside the realm of reality (for now) do faster than the speed of light by playing concept if implemented with enough ex-
offer useful insights. A spacecraft that is around with the very fabric of spacetime - otic matter and technological innovation,

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 75


NASA craft crash lands 34 down – 162 to go
NASA lets the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Read about the game that became the most-
Environment Explorer slam into the moon after downloaded iPad app in 34 different countries
Space Age it runs out fuel http://dgit.in/LADEECrash a day after it launched http://dgit.in/hrths34

would allow the spacecraft to travel at


nearly 10 times the speed of light - making
the journey to the Moon in one twelfth of
a second, to Pluto in 33 minutes and to
Alpha Centauri in 159 days.
Of course this technology would
require the harnessing of specific exotic
particles and have a host of side-effects,
from complete lack of steering control
to a sonic boom shockwave that would
destroy anything in front of the spacecraft
at its destination. But despite the potential
impossibility of a technological device
making the Alcubierre drive a reality, it is
clear that the universe as we understand it
allows its existence. And that is sufficient Imagine an interstellar ark as a cross between a cruise ship and a labour camp.
for us to figure out the rest.
Fortunately, further research concluded their biospheres for farming, enclosed
Interstellar Ark For the Future that Apophis would miss the Earth com- ecosystems for sustenance and engineer-
Another major “to-do” item for mankind pletely but it did bring the problem to the ing systems that exist autonomously. They
is to plan for another home planet. This forefront with Russia at one point preparing would need to co-operate, contributing
“single-point failure” is within the very an Armageddon-like interception program. to the survival of not only each other but
nature of humanity and the risks are The next level of interstellar spacecraft the next generations of travellers as well.
plenty – natural resource exhaustion, cli- could very well be built with the intention Their descendents would be educated and
mate change and the next Extinction Level of launching generational ships that travel trained in the skills necessary to sustain
Event like an asteroid strike. across the galaxy to colonise Earth-like such a ship and every crew member would
This reality was further felt when in planets decades or centuries later. We have serve an integral purpose to the journey.
December 2004 a near-Earth asteroid was already begun to catalogue such plan- Machines like 3D printers would used to
discovered called “99942 Apophis” that ets and will spend the next few decades manufacture all that is required - to repair,
had a frightening chance of striking the analysing them even further. It is perhaps build and upgrade technology as the years
Earth in 2036. This asteroid was initially only a matter of time that Kepler 186f will went on - innovation wouldn’t be a consum-
predicted to crash in the Pacific Ocean not be the only destination for us to aim erist pursuit, discovery would be a matter
causing devastating tsunamis and floods. towards. Spacecraft on such missions of basic survival.
wouldn’t be running interstellar errands to
seek resources and materials, but in fact Second Star to the Right
be like the sea faring ships of early set- Most of what we hope for in the designs
tlers on Earth who walked across the land and technology of interstellar ships may
until they came to the sea - and then they be seen as frivolous but it is in these
crossed it, blind to what lay ahead of them. instances of whimsy that insight shines
A generational ship of such ambi- brightest; like Einstein dreaming of riding
tion would be a massive enterprise, built a beam of light we are driven by the joy of
with the view of sustaining the long term discovery and not the fear of ignorance - it
survival of human beings. Such a ship will is this fearless drive towards discovery
need to not only have the fastest propul- that will pave the way towards the next
sion possible but also be more efficient in large leap into the cosmos.
managing its resources than human beings As a species we must recognise that
have ever been. The required technolo- technology is the instrument of our will
gies would need perfect harmony within and science the dogma of our faith. The
the created ecosystem, a world capable way we imagine, experiment and design
of growing food from waste and process- our dreams defines what we can expect
ing waste to food to maximise energy our future to be like. In that journey, be
efficiency. In such an interstellar ark the it towards the heavens in search of new
With enough exotic matter scientists access to new resources would be near homes or into the microcosm of our own
already have an idea of how a Alcubierre impossible as most of space is empty. The selves we shall never truly discover unless
Drive ship could be designed. populations of such a craft would rely on we imagine.

76 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Alien Vitamins Raining lasers
Research suggests earth received supply Localised raining when wanted could be
of Vitamin B3 preserved in carbon rich a possibility by shooting clouds with high
meteorites http://dgit.in/AlienB3 powered lasers http://dgit.in/LaseMeBaby From the labs

Could you turn the


sun down a bit?
“The belief that we can
manage the Earth and
improve on Nature is prob-
ably the ultimate expres-
sion of human conceit...”
–Rene J. Dubos

Cyril Vatteli
readersletters@thinkdidgit.com

H
umans will always find a way
to mould things around us
to suit us, and that is why we
are awesome, and that is also
probably why we are hated (by hyper intel-
ligent animals who can understand such
complex emotions). Glow in the dark rab-
bits? Poisonous cabbage? Tosh! We’ll take
you through some of the more interesting,
and philosophical-question-raising ideas I’ve always wanted a lightning-facing view
that scientists around the world have come
up with to make our earth a better place. But this is when you want lightning Ack! You say this was pretty straight-
to hit something. There are also ways to forward. Where are the philosophical-
Dial-a-lightning make lightning go somewhere else. question-raising ideas you spoke about?
In what would make a very good slow- While still in the test phase, the idea is of Yes yes we are getting to it, gradually.
motion video, all scientists at the Univer- shooting a beam into the atmosphere that
sity of Florida have to do is fire a rocket will leave a stream of ionized molecules Hurricane Repel
with a trailing grounded copper wire in its wake, minus their electrons. This When they are not being helpful by
attached to it into a thundercloud, and stream could be used to pull and channel destroying Mongol fleets when they were
after travelling around 600-900 feet lightning bolts. en-route to invade Japan 1274, or pre-
--lightning strikes. The special wire inside The only problem was that till now venting the England from being attacked
the three foot long rocket distorts the all of the research just allowed for this by the Spanish Armada in 1588 by ram-
electric field under the cloud, resulting in beam to travel a few feet at best, useless ming right into the invaders, hurricanes
a lightning discharge hitting the rocker. we would imagine unless you want that cause billions of dollars of damage by
All of this occurs with the team behind lightning bolt to hit “just a few feet away.” destroying homes, levelling cities, and
it cosy in a metallic trailer that is com- Now, courtesy University of Arizona and killing thousands. Yes there are methods
pletely grounded. The alternative, is to Florida, that beam can travel at least 165 now which ensure that hurricanes do not
hope that lightning falls exactly where feet, enough to avert a disaster. arrive unannounced, but there is only so
you want it to. The main scientist behind The new beaming method will involve much one can do in 48 hours, shifting an
this, Dr. Rakov and his colleagues use this embedding the primary high intensity entire city not being one of the options.
technique to test to what extent devices laser beam into a secondary lower inten- So what can we do?
like electric lines, insulation on nuclear sity beam, called the dress beam, which Well between 1962 and 1983, a hur-
weapons, and airport runway lights can will refuel the primary beam and allow it ricane research program called Project
withstand such a hit. to travel larger distances. Stormfury was implemented with a plan

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 77


Cross-Platform Warriors 3D Homes
Dynasty Warriors 8 Extreme gets ported This entrepreneur in China decided to use
to PC, as announced by Koei. Read more 3D printers in Real Estate. This one built 10
From the labs about it: http://dgit.in/dw8xport houses in 24 hours. http://dgit.in/3Dhomes

to cut off the air supply feeding the eye are now pondering another possible solu- That is the same amount the US will
wall, the location just outside of the eye of tion- wind farms. spend on its military campaigns on Iraq
the hurricane where the most damaging The idea, by Stanford engineer Mark and Afghanistan.
winds and intense rainfall is found. Jacobson, is to place wind turbines along
This would result in the eye wall fading the coast of an area which regularly sees Geo-engineering
away. After this, a second, wider eye wall hurricanes. When the winds go through Ah, here comes the questions-raising part.
would emerge further from out from the turbine blades causing them to spin, So Geo-engineering, fondly called
the storm’s centre. It was expected that some of this kinetic energy gets converted ‘mad science’ by some sceptics or realists
because this wall would be wider, the air to electric energy, thus causing winds to depending on what side you are on, is
whizzing into the clouds would be slower slow down by even around 50%. Thus in a purposeful large-scale manipulation
and thus less dangerous. theory this can save lives and power your of the Earth’s climate with the aim of
While the first two hurricanes it was television too. reducing global warming. With ideas of
tried on showed positive results, which The slow winds would even result in Geo-engineering being around since 1953,
may have caused some scientists’ beer- decreased flooding caused by hurricanes the debate rages on what the implications
glasses clinking, that high came off when when it causes the waters along the coast of such an activity would be. Why the
the third hurricane showed only a insig- to rise much higher than a normal tide, controversy? Well lets look at some of the
nificant impact, and the fourth hurricane called storm surge, by up to 79%. One of methods which have sprung up to counter
no impact at all. It was later found out the few issues which persist from Project the menace of melting glaciers.
that the third hurricane would have acted Stormfury days are that it would still be
the same way independent of the method difficult to understand the exact impact Dark Skies
used. So we were back to square one. a wind-farm would have on a hurricane . The idea here is to throw sulphate par-
ticles into the stratosphere, which will
reflect sunlight and reduce the tempera-
ture of the earth. This notion, which first
arose in 1977, was given further weight
when the eruption of Mount Pinatubo
in the Philippines in 1991 threw up 20
million tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the
stratosphere after which the entire planet
cooled by 0.4 to 0.5°C.
Possible repercussions? The sulphates
may deplete some of the ozone layer, influ-
ence ecosystems by reducing the capacity
of plants to undergo photosynthesis due
to the reduced sunlight, result in the skies
ceasing to be blue, and of course could be a
‘small’ contributor to acid rain throughout
the world . A big responsibility.
But that didn’t stop Russian scientist
Yuri A. Israel from carrying out field tests
of this theory in 2009.
The scientists set up detectors on the
ground to measure meters like solar radia-
tion, wind speed, pressure, temperature,
Hurricane Earl is glad turbines are not used yet and humidity. At 10:50 am, the Soviet
Mikoyan-8 helicopter flew up 650 feet
Now after considering placing a While Mark stated that a 100,000-turbine and went back and forth over a 3 mile long
substance on the ocean surface which wind farm from New York to Washington distance in the sky, perpendicular to the
would prevent evaporation thus limiting would have reduced Hurricane Sandy’s wind direction, releasing smoke.
intensity of the hurricane, dragging ice- winds by up to 140 kmph and reduced While the general cloudy condi-
bergs to the water surface to cool it since the storm surge we spoke about earlier by tions made it a bit of a pain to figure out
hurricanes’ energy feeds on warm ocean 34%. According to estimates, a 5-turbine whether any effect was natural or due to
water, and even nuking the centre of the farm would cost around $300 mil. So the the foreign particles, the scientists soon
hurricane because we want to see what Washington-New York wind farm would realized that the smoke which they had
Fallout will look like in real life, scientists cost a whopping $6 trillion. released into the air had scattered up to

78 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Monster Hunter 4G Living Room Board
After the cult success of Monster Hunter Tri, Microsoft starts targeting a new audience
Monster Hunter 4G releases on Nintendo DS with its new keyboard meant to be used in
and is reviewed: http://dgit.in/mh4gnds the living room http://dgit.in/microKey From the labs

10% of the Sun’s rays at different points and when they die they take the hapless So Iron fertilization might actu-
during the experiment. carbon dioxide to the bottom of the ocean, ally work after all. But hold on though,
David Keath, famous for his talks never to be heard of again. Iron promotes there were still quite a few hang-ups
on the subject, argues that while geo- the growth of phytoplankton. Thus in to address before we actually took to
engineering looks like an extreme step, theory more phytoplankton results in making the oceans look a little less blue:
the need for it will only increase as we more carbon dioxide being sucked out There are still concerns that this
continue to be unable to reduce carbon from the atmosphere. method could actually increase the
dioxide emissions. One of the reasons why Phytoplankton are also
geo-engineering is still not talked about in suspected of being the
the open so much is because it promotes reason the ice age lasted
the notion that we don’t need to reduce for so long. Researchers
our carbon emissions since we can just, from Princeton University
you know, throw some sulphate into the and Swiss Federal Institute
air and we’ll be fine. of Technology in Zurich
Another argument against releasing proved that dust borne by
sulphates into the stratosphere is that the wind carried iron to the
it addresses only one issue of warming region of the globe north
– which may also be just a symptom – of Antarctica, driving the
without addressing the other pertinent growth of phytoplankton,
issue of levels of carbon dioxide in the leading to the removal of
atmosphere. But we have a solution to carbon dioxide from the
that too. atmosphere, thus ampli-
fying the ice ages and
Iron-seas making them much colder. Phytoplankton will take care of that pesky CO2
Mt. Pinatubo returns to help pro-climate Some even say there would
manipulation scientists! When the have been no ice age on the planet at all amount of carbon dioxide in the air. The
volcano interrupted it also deposited if it wasn’t for this sucking out of carbon iron could also cause Diatom blooms,
around 40,000 tons of iron dust into dioxide from the atmosphere. a type of algae which has entered a –
the oceans. An environmental scientist So on October 23, 1993, a crew of sci- for lack of a better word – ‘blooming’
studied the event and saw that it substan- entists dumped almost 1,000 pounds of lifestyle, may actually take over the
tially brought down atmospheric carbon iron into the sea, mixed with a colourless phytoplankton, thus destroying exactly
chemical that would help what we are trying to promote. The
the crew track the patch result – whatever carbon dioxide is
which was ’fertilized’. Sure being absorbed now disappears as well.
enough, the next day the Should we be doing this at all then?
scientists swore they could See lightning kills around 53 people a
even smell the phyto- year in the US alone. Hurricane Katrina
plankton growing. They killed 1,833 people. And the effects of
had succeed in increasing global warming will cause entire cities
the growth of the helpful- to disappear under-water. While the
plankton, but unfortu- idea of bending nature seems heavy
nately all they were able handed, the point remains that there has
to record was a three-fold come a point when man must put up a
increase in chlorophyll fight against nature to protect himself.
levels, not nearly enough to The ideas are far from perfect, as we
be practical. somewhat rightly guessed, but there is a
Mt. Pinatubo, caught in a rare moment of non-eruption In June 1995, strong need for them to be talked about,
researchers once again to be debated, because only then will we
dioxide. So the next method of reducing dumped iron into the ocean, except this be able to figure out a solution to them
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is by time they ensured that the iron stayed if any.
dumping iron into the sea. near the surface and received sunlight. Because, well, we respect nature and
The reason? See Phytoplankton are After this the researchers saw 30-fold the earth and all that that entails, but
these single celled organisms found in increase in chlorophyll levels. This when it comes down to the subject of life
the sea. They absorb carbon dioxide from consumed an estimated 367 tonnes of we would rather be on the side of the
the atmosphere, convert it to energy, carbon dioxide. table which gives the orders.

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 79


Column

The (digital) dance of democracy

L
ast month, just before we closed this ical sentiment on the web since July 2013. Don’t
issue, all of us from Digit who’re eli- treat it as the holy grail, obviously, but some of
gible to vote exercised our right to fran- the data revealed here is quite fascinating. Take
chise in and around Mumbai. We were a look: http://dgit.in/2014insights
happy that we made our voice heard where it However, most of our country’s electorate
matters the most (so to speak), but none walked (over 70 per cent of the 814 million) still live in vil-
away satisfactorily from the experience. All of lages and haven’t even heard of Facebook, Twitter
us faced trouble (in varying degrees, of course), or Google+, let alone use any of these social
from getting registered, to the day of polling platforms. For them, smartphones enable access
and finally pressing that big, bold button on to election-related information (and propaganda)
EVMs. Some of our family members’ names unlike any other – after all there are more mobile
were missing (despite having voted in the past phone users in India than toilets, remember?
and having valid election IDs), others had to Parties have reached out to them ingeniously. One
hop across centres to find their names. No one tool developed by BJP, called Voxta, allows voters
checked my ID at my designated polling station, to listen in on political speeches in real-time
Jayesh Shinde which was shocking to say the least. Clearly, on their phones from anywhere in the country.
Manager - Test Centre while technology has invaded almost all facets AAP has signed up thousands of members by
jayesh.shinde@thinkdigit.com of our online and offline existence, the Election only asking people to give them a missed call. All
Commission of India hasn’t kept pace with some parties have flooded WhatsApp (with 48 million
of the merits of the digital age. Indian users) to overcome the hurdle of last-mile-
“While technology Amidst all this chaos, the city’s voting connectivity to directly get their message across
has invaded almost percentage increased by double digits. I’d like to to eligible voters.
all facets of our think that this swell in numbers was contributed I remain hopeful that all this enabled tech-
online and offline to largely by first-time voters afflicted with the savvy voters to form a better opinion of their
existence, the romance of casting their inaugural vote, as over local leaders, political parties, and their national
Election Commission 100 million new young voters were added to the agenda, before making an informed decision and
of India hasn’t kept electorate this year. The youth have largely kept casting their votes. No one has any excuse to not
pace with some pace with the “Great Indian Election Tamasha” vote anymore, especially with the introduction of
of the merits of digitally, particularly bombarded with informa- the NOTA button to at least “waste” your vote by
the digital age” tion through social media. Our political parties accounting it to yourself (read more: http://dgit.
and leaders have taken to social media with great in/1igbR7u). All of us here at Digit would be disap-
vigour, which is a good sign and a great way of pointed if anyone of our readers who was eligible
engaging the allegedly disenchanted strata of to vote didn’t carry out his or her civic duty.
voters into the current political discourse. From As for my opening rant against the Elec-
political satire (memes, jokes, parodies) to alleged tion Commission, we know it’s ill-equipped to
exposés, live Hangouts to Facebook and Twitter conduct these elections against overwhelming
debates, the web has been deployed to good effect odds with over 930,000 polling booths, 1.7 mil-
before and during this Lok Sabha elections. lion voting machines, and 11 million personnel
This embracing of social media and big data helping them conduct this democratic exercise.
analysis will only increase in the future, not Technology holds the key to alleviating their
just for national elections but even local ones. burden as much as ours (as voters).
Opinion polls, which are easy to rig, will be a Until the next general elections in 2019 then,
thing of the past. and the ability to vote remotely or in advance,
A joint report by the Internet and Mobile as per our convenience. Wouldn’t that be a sight
Association of India (IAMAI) and the Mumbai- for sore eyes, yes?
based Iris Knowledge Foundation predicts
that Facebook users will “wield a tremendous
influence” over the results of the polls in 160
of the total 543 constituencies. Even a team of
researchers at the Ohio Centre of Excellence in
Knowledge-enabled Computing at Wright State
University have been tracking the Indian polit-

80 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


I N SIDE

Page 82
Motorola Moto X

Bazaar
The latest products Page 83

reviewed For you Samsung Galaxy


Note Pro 12.2

The Digit Test Centre receives hundreds of products


every month. Each of these products is put through
a series of tests and is finally given a score. The
final score is arrived at after considering a number Page 84
of factors and evaluating them in terms of features, Sony Xperia Z1
performance, value for money, build quality, and, in Compact
the case of software, even ease of use.

For better understanding of our ratings, here’s a


Page 85
quick guide to our overall score AMD Kaveri A8-7600

10 to 30 Extremely poor product.


Keep away!

31 to 50 Strictly OK.
Not recommended Page 86
ASUS GTX 780 Ti
Decent product. Matrix Platinum
51 to 70 Edition
Go for it, but there may be better products out there. Page 89
Nokia X
71 to 90 Very good product.
Highly recommended.

91 to 100
Ground-breaking product.
We’ve never seen anything like it before.
A definite must buy! PLUS

82 | JBL Pulse
84 | Galaxy GTX 780 Ti HOF+
86 | HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 4515
87 | HP 15-d008TU
89 | ZOTAC ZBOX EI730 Plus

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 81


Corrigendum
We apologize to our readers for wrongly publishing some details of the Acer Iconia W4 in the tablet comparison test last month.
It’s accurate price is `24,999 (for the 32GB version) and the tablet weighs 415 grams. And we forgot to mention its maximum burst
Bazaar mode CPU clock frequency of 1.8 GHz (in the table). We will be more careful about verifying the information we publish in future.

JBL Pulse Moto X


Bluetooth speaker The elder brother
L
Buy this, for the light show! ike the Moto G, X
is mostly made out

T
he Pulse has a similar of plastic which
design to JBL’s highly does not neces-
rated Flip 2 and the sarily mean that it is of Price99
23,9
Charge Bluetooth low quality. It does come
speakers. The cylindrical with changeable back
shape is 3-inches by 7-inches, panels, but sadly it isn’t user
and despite the generous removable so one has to get it
use of metal, doesn’t factory-fitted. There is also a
weigh much. special wood-finish back panel
There are some
Price90 which you can buy in two
14,9
lighting preset modes variants (walnut and teak) by
to choose from, but you paying `2,000 more.
can also create a custom The display is a 4.7 inch The smartphone runs on
light theme and control the AMOLED 720p touchscreen stock Android 4.4.2 with a
brightness. For the times panel with Gorilla Glass pro- splash of Motorola wallpa-
when you may not be in the tection. Yes, the pixel density pers. Moto X does feature two
mood for the visual extrava- is lesser than the Moto G, but very useful features. First is
ganza, you can turn off the the Moto X has smaller bezels the Active display which is a
LEDs altogether. than its younger sibling. lockscreen feature where the
As with speakers of this and how far you can push the When compared side by side, display gives you notifications
size, some tracks will sound volume. Critically, vocals are both the handsets are similar in a small circle, even when the
really good, while some may handled very well, and while in size although the Moto X is display is locked. You can just
not have the same brilliance as most other affordable portable slimmer and lighter in weight. swipe the notification circle to
the others. This is mostly due bluetooth speakers cannot do directly open the app related
to size limitation, which has a it, the JBL Pulse handles mid to the notification. The other
direct impact on bass response detail very well. That gives neat feature is the Touchless
the sound a much richer aura, 79 control. Motorola has inte-
and feels more natural. Bass is grated basic control functions
just about adequate for most of the handset with Google
79 tracks, but you will end up
with a slightly harsh sounding
Features.....................................80
Performance.............................80
Now. You can make calls, send
texts, open apps and a lot more
bass on rock and trance tracks. Value...........................................75 by just speaking to the phone.
The battery life offered Design.........................................80 Running on a dual-core
Features.....................................90
Performance.............................70 by the JBL Pulse depends on processor, Moto X sounds like
Build............................................85 how judiciously you use the Specifications an underpowered device, but
Display: 4.7 inches AMOLED panel
Value...........................................70 light show. With the lights with 1280x720 resolution (312ppi); it is no slow-poke. The Snap-
completely off, and used as Battery: 2200mAh; Storage: 16GB; dragon processor is clocked at
Specifications a conventional bluetooth Camera:  10MP rear with LED 1.7 GHz with 2GB of RAM and
Bluetooth Speaker; Polymer speaker, the Pulse lasts about flash, 2MP front; SoC: Qualcomm an Adreno 320 GPU. Quite
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery; 9 hours, with music playback MSM8960Pro Snapdragon; CPU: frankly the SoC provides great
2.402 GHz - 2.480 GHz Bluetooth 1.7GHz dual-core; GPU: Adreno 320;
Frequency Range; NFC Support; at 50% volume. With the lights RAM: 2GB; Operating system: performance power. We tested
3.5 mm Jack; 105 to 20000 Hz on throughout, that drops to Android 4.4.2; Connectivity: 3G, the smartphone’s performance
Frequency Range; 80 dB Signal-to- just around 6 hours. W-Fi, Bluetooth by running some benchmark
Noise Ratio Meant for personal lis- apps and power hungry
tening, perhaps one or two Contact games. The results were very
Contact people, small room, and music
Motorola India
promising and, overall, the
Harman International India Phone:1800-302-2344
Phone: 1800 108 1234 that isn’t bass heavy. Email: NA Moto X is impressive.
Email: info@harman.com Vishal Mathur Website: in.motorola.com Kunal Khullar

82 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Vote for technology Nikon launches Android camera
In their manifestos, all political parties promise Nikon has launched Android-based 12x zoom point and
to increase investment in technological projects, shoot S810c that features Lens-Shift Vibration Reduction
if elected to power http://dgit.in/1kE0kx2 (VR) to fix blurry photos http://dgit.in/R5zo0B Bazaar

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2


A massive tablet with a huge price tag

A
t 1.7 pounds (0.7 kg), the Samsung Galaxy
Note Pro does not feel heavy at all, and
that is something you will be fairly
amazed by. Considering the display size,
this tablet has kept its weight and thickness well in
check, and Samsung deserves a pat on the back.
The Galaxy Note Pro is powered by the same
Exynos 5420 processor clocking at 1.9GHz, as
inside the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition and fea-
tures an identical 3GB of RAM.
Before we get down to the performance aspects
of the device in question, it is important to take a
look at the ever evolving TouchWiz UI. With each
iteration, Samsung has made subtle tweaks to how
the interface looks. Sometimes it didn’t work well
and sometimes it did, but in the case of the Galaxy
Note Pro, it most certainly does. Widgets look a lot
better and don’t look like plastered boxes, and fill
the screen a lot finer than earlier. The Magazine Price75
UX is perhaps the biggest evolution in terms of 65,5
additional functionality and a refreshed look. By (2014 Edition) to the top of the Android tablets
default, there are two such screens, apart from the scoresheet. Needless to say, you really only need
standard widgets and icon home screen. One offers to figure out if this tablet fits your usage scenario,
all Business centric apps - email, calendar and because the performance will be absolutely fan-
the Hancom office apps. The second offers lighter tastic. No slowdowns, no sluggishness and the UI
stuff - News, sports scores etc. You can pretty much has been streamlined along the way that it doesn’t
change all this around and select between a bunch get in your way - either in terms of performance
of widgets and social networks to show up informa- or in utility. For gaming, this may be a tad too big
tion here. Unlike traditional widgets, these boxes to be moved around as you power-slide your way
of information fill up the screen end to end, and through a corner at the Laguna Seca Raceway in
Samsung has incorporated multiple customization Real Racing 3. But, game load times are quick and
options, including layout and widget sizes. You
need to have at least one Magazine UX page as a
the gaming performance is very good.
Battery life is a tad lesser than its 10.1-inch sib-
80
part of the TouchWiz UI. ling. In the video battery drain test, with the same
The Galaxy Note Pro’s 12.2-inch screen has the HD video used on both devices via VLC with screen Features......................... 90
same 2,560x1,600-pixel resolution as the Galaxy brightness at 100% and volume at 50%, the Note Performance................. 90
Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). Despite the slightly bigger 10.1’s battery dropped to 86% in an hour. The Note Build................................ 85
screen, the brilliance is retained as is. The display Pro’s battery level was at 81% after the same dura- Value............................... 55
is bright, text is crisp and the ability to tweak tion. The bigger display has a slight negative impact
colour richness among three presets makes a lot of on the battery, but it’s not overmuch. Specifications
difference when reading an ebook or watching a The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is labeled as a “busi- Processor: Exynos 5420
movie. For a screen size as big as 12.2-inches, this ness” tablet. It may or may not, but this tablet Octa-Core (1.9GHz + 1.3GHz);
RAM: 3GB; Display: 12.2-
is aimed at the business user who might pair this does come closer to replacing your laptop for inch S-LCD (2,560x1,600-
with a Bluetooth keyboard and use this as a laptop quite a few tasks. The display is very good and in pixel); Storage: 64GB +
replacement. Equally, this screen is brilliant for typical Samsung style, there are the gamut of fea- microSD slot; OS: Android
watching movies on. The only issue is the reflective tures including the complete S-Pen ecosystem of Kit Kat
nature reduces viewing angles considerably. apps. A bunch of preloaded business centric apps
In terms of system performance, the Galaxy give this a little more productive capabilities than
Contact
Samsung India
Note Pro 12.2 has the same hardware and the most tablets. Phone: 1800-3000-8282
specifications that catapulted the Galaxy Note 10.1 Vishal Mathur Website: samsung.com/in

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 83


Nvidia Shield 2 Fastest memory cards
Benchmarks of the next Nvidia Shield have surfaced Toshiba recently launched new microSD memory cards that
online and they show it to have a 2.5GHz Quad Core comply with the UHS-II interface standard which may be
Bazaar Tegra K1 and 4GB RAM http://dgit.in/Shield2 the fastest in the world. http://dgit.in/UHS2Toshiba

Sony Xperia Z1 Galaxy GTX 780 Ti


Compact HOF+
The best ‘mini’ Android smartphone Hold on! Here’s another one that goes
past the competition

I
t is right to say that
the Z1 Compact is the
only mini version of a may 2014

flagship smartphone
that doesn’t compromise on
performance and hardware.
Yes, it does come in a smaller
package with a 4.3
inch display, but on
the inside the Z1
Price00 Price00
Compact runs on the 34,0 57,0

T
same Snapdragon he Galaxy GTX thrive in this increment
800 chipset that was 780 Ti HOF does matter.
seen on the Xperia Z1. The card is clocked at Physically there is abso-
smartphone even offers the 1006MHz while this lutely no difference between
same 20.7MP camera with card is clocked at 1020MHz. the HOF and the HOF+ cards,
Sony’s Exmor RS mobile tech- The 14MHz increment might except probably the HOF+
nology to get those brilliant not seem to be much and quite cards could have a better
shots. In terms of design, the frankly, it isn’t. However, in binned GPU.
Z1 Compact has front and back the extremely competitive In 3DMark Firestrike we
glass panels fitted onto a nice environment that enthusiasts saw an increment in the score
metal frame which acts like that the Compact is about 1mm across all parameters. The
chassis for the smartphone. thicker than its elder brother. graphics score went up by

76
While it looks exactly like the The only minor issues that 303 points while the physics
Z1, the only difference here is one might face is the glass which is more dependant on
finish on the back, which is the CPU showed a 126 point
sadly not scratch proof and the Performance.............................90 increment. This aspect is

85
volume of the loudspeaker is a Value...........................................75 slightly surprising since we
bit too low due to the water- Build............................................64 normally don’t see a fluctua-
proof sealing. tion of such a wide margin.
Features.....................................90 The Z1 Compact is a beast Specifications The overall score went up by
Performance.............................90 when it comes to performance. Chipset: GK110; Base clock: 269 points.
Build............................................90 The smartphone manages to 1020MHz; Memory clock: Under load conditions we
beat the scores of the Nexus 1750MHz; Stream processors: did notice a drop of 4 degrees.
Value...........................................70 2880; Texture Units: 240; ROPs:
5 and even the Z1 making This could be attributed to
48; Manufacturing process:
Specifications it one of the most powerful 28nm, PCIe 3.0, 2560 x 1600 digital the BIOS of the card being
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Android devices available in resolution support, 3GB Memory; different. Since the HOF+ has
800, 2.2GHz quad-core; RAM: 2GB; the country. Even the camera DirectX support: 11; OpenGL a higher clock speed it can be
Display: 4.3 inch IPS LCD with on the Z1 Compact is brilliant support: 4.3; Power Connectors: expected to heat up more than
1280x720 resolution; Storage: 8Pin + 8Pin; TDP: 250W; Dimensions
and makes the Lumia 1020 a the HOF even if the difference
16GB, expandable via mircoSD card; (LxWxD): 290mm x 132mm x 53mm;
OS: Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat; Battery: thing of the past. Colours and Warranty: 3 years warranty is miniscule.
2300mAH; contrast are very punchy, the This card sits at the peak
Waterproof and dustproof autofocus smooth, fast. Contact of what we’ve tested so far.
certification If you don’t fancy 5-inch Technology And Gadgets With a reduced price of
Phone: 022 23852040
smartphones, then the Z1 `57,000+taxes this card is a
Contact Compact is THE smartphone
Email: vikas@
much more favourable option
Sony India Pvt Ltd technologyandgadgets.com
Phone: 1800-3000-2800 to buy. Website: www. than anything else in market.
Website: www.sonymobile.com/in Kunal Khullar technologyandgadgets.com Mithun Mohandas

84 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


CM NovaTouch TKL Logitech G502 Proteus Core
Cooler Master unveiled the NovaTouch TKL The G502 Proteus Core by Logitech is a new gaming
mechanical keyboard with sound dampeners mouse from Logitech with a 12,000 DPI sensor.
at PAX East 2014. http://dgit.in/NovaTouch http://dgit.in/ProteusCore Bazaar

AMD Kaveri A8-7600


Three generations down AMD is making some progress albeit slowly

B
ulldozer was a massive disappointment
with all the hype around it, then came
Piledriver with a few of the kinks sorted
out and now it’s up to Steamroller to take
things forward. Bulldozer, Piledriver and Steam- Price90
12,9
roller are all terms used to label each of AMD’s pro-
cessor microarchitecture. Another thing we’d like to
remind you is about the new core-thread structure
that they introduced with bulldozer wherein they
re-defined the word core for their processors. Each
module now shares the floating point pipeline and
can handle two threads, so the A8-7600 has two
modules and four threads.
The introduction of this sharing concept was from 3300
quite surprising back then and everyone went after MHz to 3100
AMD for trying to cover up the processor’s draw- MHz. The feature
backs by coining new terminology but it seems wasn’t polished in the ini-
they had other long term plans which have come tial Kaveri launches but with the
to fruition in Steamroller. Enter HSA (Heterog- A8-7600 is works much better. If the TDP
enous Systems Architecture) which allows both the were to be dropped by 5W then one can expect a
CPU and GPU part of the APU to access the same performance reduction of about 6% in processor
memory. Whenever data has to be shared between intensive benchmarks, otherwise in casual games
the CPU and the GPU, it first has to moved from, and software that don’t need much processing
let’s say, the CPU’s memory to the GPU’s memory power, the difference is hardly felt.
where certain operations are performed after which When it boils down to performance, Kaveri
the data is brought back into the CPU’s memory. does better than Intel processors when it comes
This procedure takes up precious time which can to graphics though not to the extent that you’d be
be avoided if the CPU and GPU of the APU were gaming effortlessly on 1080p at maximum configu-
to be able to access the same memory space. HSA ration. The A8-7600 comes with an R7 GPU on the
makes this possible and they are calling it hUMA die, which has 384 cores clocked at 720 MHz. With
(heterogenous Unified Memory Access). However, this the APU is capable of running current genera-

68
don’t expect to instantly get a massive boost in tion games like Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider
performance with this new addition. Applications at low settings comfortably with some stuttering in
have to be programmed to make use of HSA. Then certain scenarios. But reducing the resolution does
arises the question as to whether programmers will improve performance to ensure a playable experi- Performance................. 66
take to the new approach? ence. So compared to AMD processors, this one sits Value............................... 70
A new chipset and a new socket have been intro- somewhere between the A10-6800K and the A10-
duced with Steamroller, the A88X and the FM2+ 5800K while in comparison to Intel processors it Specifications
socket, respectively. The FM2+ socket makes use performs better than HD 4600. Core Name: Kaveri;
of two extra pins, this means that the new Kaveri There are very few applications that can make Architecture: Steamroller;
processors will need new motherboards and older use of the Heterogenous Systems Architecture that Socket: FM2+; L2 Cache:
processors will still be compatible with the new the new Kaveri processors have. LibreOffice is one 2x2 MB; Graphics: R7; GPU
Cores: 384; GPU Clock:
motherboards as long as the BIOS supports the use such software and then there is VLC which uses 720 MHz; Max DDR3 clock
of the same. OpenCL to optimise certain processes. Overall, this speed: 2133; Warranty:
The TDP of the processors are configurable, so processor isn’t something that you’d go for if CPU 3 years
if you motherboard allows modifying the TDP of processing is what you need, most i5 processors are
your Kaveri processor then you can reduce power competitively priced but their graphical prowess Contact
Company: AMD
usage by sacrificing the processor’s base clock isn’t that good. Wait till we test the higher SKUs of Phone: 124 469 6000
a little. The A8-7600 allows for the TDP to be Kaveri for more insight into the matter. Email: Chandrahas.
dropped from 65W to 45W dropping the base clock Mithun Mohandas Panigrahi@amd.com

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 85


EVGA Torq X10 Seagate 6TB drives
The Torq X10 is a new gaming mouse from Seagate has started shipping out its 3.5-inch 6TB
EVGA with features like a magnetic top and a Hard Drives that feature 128MB of cache and
Bazaar carbon fibre surface. http://dgit.in/EVGATorq 7200RPM for enterprises. http://dgit.in/6TBSeagate

ASUS GTX 780 Ti HP Deskjet Ink AOC


Advantage 4515 A2258PWH
Matrix Platinum A great colour printer Meh

Edition Price 5
10,08
Made for the enthusiasts of LN2 cooling
Price 0
18,99

W ould you
spend 20k on

Price00
60,0g taxes)
M ost printers do little to
set themselves apart
from the rest of the crowd.
a device that doubles as a
monitor and an Android PC?
You might. But what if we
din
(exclu
This device however, sets told you that the screen has
itself apart by offering stellar the worst contrast ratio we’ve
The last Matrix we had print quality for photos, as seen in a long time, and that
seen was the HD 7970 and tested on HP’s own photo the Android PC in question is

W
e never expected that needed three expan- paper, and great connectivity running on ICS, is powered by
the onslaught sion slots but with the new options. If you really want to a measly 1GHz CPU (dual-
of customised series that has changed and nit-pick you will see a slight core) and 1GB RAM, or that
graphics cards from now on we’ll be seeing lack of detail in very fine the performance is abyssmal
to stop and they haven’t. The dual slot cards only. This is textures (in photo prints), and that you don’t have a
ASUS GTX 780 Ti Matrix a welcome change since it but nothing you’ll otherwise touch-screen? What if we were
Platinum edition is one such allows for more cards to be notice. There is a noticeable to also tell you that the device,
card from ASUS’s ROG brand, used in SLI without opting for amount of bleed in text prints by itself can’t play even 720p
meant for elite gamers. specialised motherboards. To though, but that’s the only video clips, let alone 1080p?
start off, one of the fans on the real downside to this device. Would you spend 20k on such
card happens to be a CoolTech If you primarily want a photo a device now? Of course not;

7692 unit with high static pres-


sure and the heat pipes along
printer, the HP Deskjet4515
will not disappoint.
it’s a wonder that AOC expects
otherwise for this product.
with the fins are all painted
Performance.............................90 black. There have been a few
Value...........................................75 modifications for those who
Build............................................72 deal with liquid nitrogen, this

Specifications
card comes with a switch that
readies the card for LN2 by
67 45
Chipset: GK110; Base clock: overriding some of the heat
1006MHz; Memory clock: and current threshold limits. Features.....................................80 Features.....................................80
1750MHz; Stream processors: This GPU has a new Performance.......................... 82 Performance.............................20
2880; Texture Units: 240; ROPs: Build............................................60
48; Manufacturing process:
memory defroster to prevent Cost of Ownership................. 38
silicon chips from cooling Value...........................................20
28nm, PCIe 3.0, 4096 x 2160 digital
resolution support, 3GB Memory; down overmuch. Performance Specifications
DirectX support: 11; OpenGL wise this card is actually way Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, e-Print; Specifications
support: 4.4; Power Connectors: better, the stock frequency of RAM: 128MB; Print resolution: Panel Size: 21.5”; Response Time:
8Pin + 8Pin; TDP: 375W; Dimensions 4800x1200; Scan Resolution: 2ms; Brightness (measured):
1006MHz is the same that 162cd/m2; RAM: 1GB; OS: Android
(LxWxD): 308mm x 177mm x 1200x600; Cartridges: 1xRGB +
41mm; Warranty: 3 years extended we’ve seen on the Galaxy 1xBlack; Cartridge Cost: `475 4.0.4; I/O: D-Sub, HDMI, Line-in,
warranty HOF+ and the ZOTAC AMP! each; Input Tray Capacity: 100; Earphone-out, RJ45, USB 2.0 x4;
editions of the 780 Ti. So all Warranty: 1 year Speakers: 2Wx2; Warranty: 1 years
Contact of these cards perform in the
ASUS Technology Pvt. Ltd.
same league. For a full review
Contact Contact
Phone: +18002090365 HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd AOC India
Email: reachus@asus.com do check out the online article. Phone: 1800 425 4999 Phone: 124-2806116/17
Website: www.asus.in Mithun Mohandas Website: www8.hp.com Website: http://www.aocindia.com/

86 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Intel Braswell announced Cybercrime 2013
Intel “Bay Trail” replacement “Braswell” has been Cybercrime seems to have been at an all-
announced with 14-nm fabrication and is expected time high this this past year. Read on to
to arrive soon. http://dgit.in/IntelBraswell know more http://dgit.in/cybcr13 Bazaar

HP 15-d008TU
An affordable laptop with excellent battery life

I
t is good to see that a laptop priced at less The 15-inch display
than `30k comes with the kind of build is slightly reflective, but
83 quality that does not betray any “afford-
able” roots. Materials used are of good
the good native bright-
ness. Text readability
quality on this HP laptop, and apart from the is excellent throughout,
Features......................... 85 odd flex on its underside, it’s built well. and the colours look much
Performance................. 75 The HP 15-d008TU is powered better than what most
Build................................ 80 by the Intel Pentium rivals’ have been able to
Value............................... 90 N3510 processor, come up with. The key-
clocking at 2GHz. This board is pretty close to being
Specifications is the Pentium chip from the perfect. The response is con-
Processor: Intel Pentium Bay Trail family, with the 22nm sistent, and the sharp feel of each
Quad Core N3510 @ architecture, and 7.5W TDP, which is keypress is very helpful while typing.
2GHz; RAM: 2GB; Display: Price00
15.6-inch (1366 x 768 perhaps the biggest indicator that this chip 28 , 9 In our very stressful battery tests,
pixel); Graphics: Intel HD; is meant for power efficiency. In terms of the HP 15’s battery lasted 4 hours and 20
Storage: 500GB HDD; OS: what we experienced in the real world usage, minutes on a single charge. On a conservative
Windows 8.1 (64-bit) the performance is consistent. There is the bot- battery plan, you can squeeze over 6+ hours of
tleneck posed by just 2GB of RAM, but within that, battery backup, we reckon.
Contact
HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd you can still open multiple apps simultaneously The HP 15 is a fairly competent laptop, at a very
Phone: 1800 425 4999 before a slowdown is witnessed. Multitasking with competitive price tag. Meant for basic use, though.
Website: www8.hp.com a handful of apps is good, but nothing more. Vishal Mathur

Cubetek Ezcast HDMI air streamer


Small and well-designed
75

T
his device turned out to be well thought service app (dropbox, onedrive), surf the web and
out from a design and a user experience make use of your device’s camera to stream the
perspective. The wonderful thing about video feed directly. Features......................... 80
this device is that even if There is the option to mirror Performance................. 70
you skip out on the manual then your device’s screen as well. Build................................ 75
you don’t have to worry about the With the ability to upgrade the
setup since the very first thing device firmware over-the-air Specifications
that you encounter once you con- there isn’t anything more an Model: CB-AS-01; CPU:
AM8251; RAM: DDR3 128MB;
nect the device is an informative average user could ask for. If it Memory: 128MB; Supported
screen which lists the device’s does matter, then you can con- protocols: DLNA, Airplay,
SSID, password and links to nect to Chromecast using the EZcast, Miracast; Wi-Fi:
all the applications that can be app as well. The implementa- 802.11n; Dimensions: 87 x 32 x
download for every platform out tion of the keyboard in the app 12mm; Supported OS: Android
4+, iOS6+, Mac 10.7, Win XP/7/8;
there except Windows Phone (QR is better compared to XBMC Warranty: 6 months
codes included). The android app remote which is more popular.
did take its own sweet time to There are certain irksome facets Contact
load at first but then onwards the which include the fact that you MELODY ELECTRONICS
operation was smooth and set up can’t select the quality of the Phone: 080 41224606
was even better. The app can pull content Price0 Youtube stream and you have to settle with
Email: amitdugar@
3,10 hotmail.com
from your phone’s memory (audio, video, whatever Youtube goes with. Website: www.
pdf, etc.), connect to your cloud storage Mithun Mohandas melodymedia.in

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 87


5 million Xbox One’s shipped PAX East 2014
According to a recent report, Xbox One has crossed Check out pictures of cosplayers, booth
5 million console shipments but its still behind that babes and the booths themselves from PAX
Bazaar of the PlayStation 4. http://dgit.in/5MilOnes East 2014 Boston. http://dgit.in/1rerQVK

MSI GTX 750 Ti TF JBL Bassline


It performs moderately well while The name sort of gives it away
remaining really cool

S
omehow the last
couple of JBL head-
phones we’ve got
from JBL have all
been heavy on the the low end.
Both the J22i in-ears and the
chunky J55i over-the-ear
set were tuned for bass Price0
performance and the JBL 6,99
Bassline is no different.
Price00 Perhaps they’re catering to
12,in9g taxes) a growing penchant for bass
d
(exclu
among Indian audiences but
clearly “thump” is all the

M
SI has two SKUs card ahead of most of its com- rage in these here lands. The
of 750 Ti out and petitors. Buildwise this card Bassline set has a few things
this one is the Twin isn’t as impressive as other going for it. For starters it’s and headband. In terms of
Frozr edition. Com- offerings from MSI, especially collapsible – very much like comfort, headband clamping
pared to the vanilla card this the Hawk R9-270X which is a the M50 or 280 Pro if you’re pressure is not overpowering
one comes with three profiles mid-range card compared to familiar with how those but the ear cups do tend to get
as any other card from MSI’s the 750 Ti which can be said to designs work. It can be folded a little warm with extended
gaming series. The top profile be an entry level card. up into a nice little package use. We had the black one but
takes the clock frequency to As with most GTX 750 Ti that slips easily into the bun- it’s available in three other
1085 MHz which does put the cards, even this one does not dled carry case. The cable is colours – white, red and blue.
require external power supply detachable, has an in-line mic The anodized aluminum
since it only needs about 60W with remote, and the quality accents and chrome plating
which the motherboard can is fairly decent, so is the con- make the headphone look nice

62 provide. And it runs two fans


off the same power source.
struction of the driver housing for sure. Now the big question
– performance. You cannot
And at the default clock really expect extreme high
Performance.............................66 frequency it performs slightly fidelity at this price point and
Value...........................................60
Build............................................60
better than the reference GTX
750 Ti and the ZOTAC GTX
2
64 the Bassline doesn’t surprise
anyone there. Bass frequen-
750 Ti which we tested two cies are obviously exaggerated
Specifications months back. Temperatures Performance.............................58 and the curve sort of dips off
Chipset: GM107; Base clock: under load conditions were Features.....................................70 towards the highs. You won’t
1059MHz; Memory clock: 1350MHz; stable at around 46 degrees Value...........................................58 get ear piercingly shrill guitar
Stream processors: 640; Texture
Units: 40; ROPs: 16; Manufacturing celsius which is way better Build............................................68 wails or high cymbals. Some
process: 28nm, PCIe 3.0, 2560 x than the 61 degrees that the of our bass tracks, particularly
1600 digital resolution support, stock card can manage. This Specifications Angel by Massive Attack and
3GB Memory; DirectX support: can be attributed to the two Driver size: 40mm; Input Hatesong by Porcupine Tree
11.2; OpenGL support: 4.4; Power heatpipes and the two fans Impedance: NA; Frequency had us reaching for the first
Connectors: None; TDP: 60W; Response: 10Hz – 22kHz; SPL: 117dB
Dimensions (LxWxD): 250 x 128 x which is signature of the Twin @ 30mW; Rated power input: two knobs of the equalizer
37 mm. Warranty: 3 years extended Frozr series. The Gaming App 20mW – the bass was that overpow-
warranty which allows you to select ering. In a nutshell – a good
between the different profiles Contact option if you’re looking for a
Contact has some issues with Win- Harman International India Pvt. slightly premium, portable
Acro Engineering Company Ltd.
Phone: 11-40525645
dows 8.1 so for now we recom- Phone: 1800 108 1234 bass friendly headset, but
Email: http://www.acrotechindia.com mend using Afterburner. Email: info@harman.com nothing to write home about.
Website: saini@amigointernational.biz Mithun Mohandas Website: www.harman.in Siddharth Parwatay

88 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


6.5 million Motorola sales Wasteland 2 hits Linux
The immensely popular Moto G helped Motorola Linux Gamers, rejoice. Wasteland 2 makes it
ship a staggering total of 6.5 million phones this way to Linux systems. Read on to find out more:
year so far. http://dgit.in/WowSales http://dgit.in/wl2lin Bazaar

Nokia X
67.5 Nokia’s access to Android

T
he Nokia X is like an and Asha platform. The UI con-
Features......................... 60 overgrown Asha handset. sists of the familiar Fastlane menu,
Performance................. 50 The handset has a 4 inch which shows all your notifications
Value............................... 80 display and just a single as well as recently opened apps
Design............................. 80 touch-sensitive key at the bottom of and settings.
the display to go back or close appli- The UI seems a bit claustro-
Specifications cations. The back panel is made out phobic and lags a bit, but we expect
Display: 4 inches IPS
of soft plastic which has a matte Nokia to fix that soon. Another
LCD panel with 800x480
resolution (233ppi); Battery: finish and and can be popped out thing’s that the OS doesn’t offer
1500mAh; Storage: 4GB, and installed easily. Under the panel proper multitasking. The major
expandable via microSD we have the 1500mAh battery, two issue with the OS is that there is no
card; Camera:  3.15MP microSIM card slots and a microSD Google framework, which means
rear; SoC: Snapdragon S4;
card slot. The handset has a very no Google apps and services, and
CPU: 1GHz dual-core; GPU:
Adreno 203; RAM: 512MB; simple and clean design approach. Google Play store. You are stuck
Operating system: Android The phone fits in one hand well and with the Nokia Store or can install
4.1.2; Connectivity: 3G, looks quite attractive. third-party app stores.
W-Fi, Bluetooth, Dual-SIM Coming to the platform, Nokia To be frank, we expected some-
has crammed in a highly custom- thing better from Nokia, but what
Contact Price0
ized version of Android thanks to AOSP we got was something that seems more like
Nokia India Pvt Ltd 7,30
Phone: 1800-425-3388 (Android Open Source Project) which an experiment. Hopefully, it will improve.
Website: nokia.com/in-en looks like blend of Windows Phone Kunal Khullar

ZOTAC ZBOX EI730 Plus


Sort out a few kinks and it gets better 62

Z
OTAC’s ZBOX PCs have been quite handy down and for gamers, this matters since load Performance................. 60
devices, if you’ve ever mounted one of these times will increase significantly. They’ve included Value............................... 60
devices on your monitor’s VESA mount an mSATA port as well, so if we were to populate Build................................ 66
then it makes it an AIO of sorts. They’re that with an SSD then the speed issue can be
nifty and easy to tuck and also a good building remedied. Lastly, Intel’s IRIS Pro performs akin to Specifications
block for a very tiny PC. NVIDIA’s GT 640 which means even games like CPU: Intel Core i5 4570R;
The EI730 is ZOTAC’s EPIC gaming series but Metro: Last Night and Biochock Infinite will draw RAM: 8 GB 1600MHz;
in order for such a product to appeal to gamers, about 20 FPS on high quality @ 1600x900 reso- Graphics: Intel Iris Pro
5200; HDD: 2.5-inch 5400
some of the default hardware needs to be looked at. lution. Any game newer than RPM 1TB; Ethernet: 2x
For starters, the RAM on this unit is a single 8GB these two and you’ll have to Gigabit; Wi-Fi: 802.11ac;
DIMM with another slot available. Single channel r
P 99 i c e bring the settings down to Bluetooth 4.0; Card reader:
RAM performs roughly 10-15% 52,in9g taxes) even make is playable. SD/MMC; Realtek 8-channel
d
(exclu audio; 2x Display Port/1
slower than dual channel con- Overall, the device’s default
DVI; 4x USB 3.0 ports;
figuration. Then the hard configuration is lacking but Dimensions (LxWxD): 188
drive happens to be a it does give you the option x 188 x 51 mm; Warranty: 4
5400 RPM drive of making good on all those years warranty
which is again aspects. So if you are willing
slower than any to spend 53K and then a further Contact
Vardhaman Technology
desktop drive. 20K then this device should match Phone: 022-25007002
Both of these up to its desktop counterparts. Website: http://www.
combine to slow the computer Mithun Mohandas vardhamantechnology.com

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 89


OnePlus One Reviewed Q4 2014: Hacker Zone
It has the same specifications as the The number of hacker attacks on websites
Galaxy S5. But can it perform better? Find has increased by a staggering 75 per cent
LED Monitors out: http://dgit.in/1pls1 in the last quarter http://dgit.in/hacka75

Plucky
Panels
Finding a monitor in this day and age is not that hard, there’s one for every
budget and dozens in every price bracket. But which one’s right for you?
We’ll help you find out.

Anirudh Regidi can be as marvellous (or as egre- PC screens have come a have quite a range to choose
anirudh.regidi@thinkdigit.com gious) as your budget affords long way since the days of the from and a variety of panels to

C
you. That said, advanced display first, passive-matrix LCDs satisfy your every need.
omputer monitors technology is much cheaper (see jargon buster) to the cur- The monitors this time
are not to be taken now and it’s actually possible rent crop of almost universally around were quite impres-
lightly, if the CPU to get an excellent display at LED-backlit, active-matrix LCD sive, there were a few excep-
is the beating heart an extremely low price– if you screens. Where earlier all you tions of course, but the race for
of your system, the monitor is know what to look for that is– could do was walk into a shop the title of best buy was such
your window to the delights of and we’re here to help you to and just pick up the monitor a close one that it’s actually, in
the digital world. Your window accomplish just that. that fit your budget, you now a way, heartening. We received

90 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Galaxy S5 Zoom First YouTube video
Images of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy K or It’s been 9 years since YouTube’s first video. Let’s
Galaxy S5 Zoom have leaked online. Check them see how muc the internet has changed since
out here: http://dgit.in/GS5Zoom then, because of it http://dgit.in/9yrsyt1vid LED Monitors

about 15 monitors for this test we’re partial, it’s just that some 22-inch to 24- boasted of a native resolu-
ranging in size from 22-inch of them declined to have any inch monitors tion of 1080p. Most were TN
to 27-inch and we feel they’re of their monitors participate This is by far the most popular panels, but there were a few
a very healthy representa- in the test. category as far as monitors are VA and IPS panels thrown in
tion of the variety of monitors We’ve broken down the concerned and the bulk of the as well. Moreover, they are
available in the market today. monitors into two categories monitors that we received fell priced between `9,000 to
Also, if we’ve missed out a few and without any further ado, into this category. Interest- `22,000 which is a somewhat
manufacturers it’s not because let’s begin with the test. ingly, all the monitors here a sweet spot.

how we tested
Testing monitors is quite a finicky process. All • After calibration, the Spyder3Elite was used • Avatar: The movie features some amazing
the monitors need to be calibrated to some sort to measure the contrast ratio and calibrated lighting and colour effects, not to mention
of baseline (for reference) and the tools used brightness of the panel. the fast-paced action sequences. Avatar was
need to be up to the task. Here’s an overview • Lagom.nl was used for measuring black used to evaluate the overall movie watching
of our test process. levels, white levels and sharpness using experience on the monitor.
the recommended test process (as specified
TEST RIG: by lagom.nl).
The monitors were evaluated on a rig with the • PixPerAn was used to measure pixel persis-
following configuration: tence and refresh rate. This is a somewhat
• CPU: Intel Core i7 3960X subjective test and was thus given a lower
• MoBo: ASRock X79 Extreme 6/GB weightage than others.
• RAM: Kingston 8GB @ 1600 MHz
• HDD: WD Velociraptor 600GB @ 10,000 rpm
• GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 (reference
graphics card) • The strength of the stand was evaluated by
• PSU: Corsair HX620 tapping the monitor at certain points along
• Mouse: Razer Ouroboros the bezel. The duration of the wobble was
• Keyboard: Corsair K95 recorded and averaged over five taps.
• Sensor: DATACOLOR Spyder3Elite • Ratings were also given for the ease of use
The following tests were conducted to of the OSD. Monitors with backlit OSD but-
INITIAL SETUP: evaluate real-world performance: tons and more ergonomically placed buttons
The setup process was as follows: • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: This is a received higher ratings.
• The monitor was first setup on the test rig fast-paced game and was used to evaluate
and then restored to factory default settings the refresh rate of the monitor. FEATURES SCORE:
• Monitors were then placed in sRGB mode Every monitor was given a features score based
if available, otherwise they were set to on the various features that the monitor pos-
“Standard” or “Normal” mode depending sessed. These include bundled cables, con-
on nomenclature. nectivity options, refresh rates, USB hub, etc.
• The test environment was maintained at a Each feature was given a weight based on a
standard level of lighting for the duration pre-determined scale.
of the test.
• All monitors were calibrated using the FINAL SCORE:
Spyder3Elite sensor using the sRGB target • ARMA II: OA: A military simulation, ARMA The final score was obtained by taking the sum
profile. Preference was given to black levels II’s “Death from Above” scenario was used of features score (40 percent weightage) and
during setup, therefore the calibrated bright- to evaluate the monitor’s contrast ratio. the performance score (60 percent weightage).
ness levels will be lower than the maximum
brightness of the display. DISCLAIMER: Owing to space constraints, the
entire log-sheet with testing records couldn’t be
TEST PROCESS: printed in this issue, but the elements necessary
All tests were performed under controlled to make an informed decision are present in the
lighting conditions and all results were logged tables. Feel free to write in to us at editor@think-
in an excel sheet for number crunching at a digit.com with any questions and/or suggestions
later stage. regarding our test processes.

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 91


Google-Inspired Anarchy Parent of Photokid
Here’s an interview with a modern-day Here are some tips to get your child
anarchist discussing her motivation in today’s interested in photography. Put your child on
LED Monitors day and age http://dgit.in/modanrchy the Geek path now! http://dgit.in/photokid

got with this monitor is exactly


Buying guide what one would expect from
“Should I go for a TN or a VA panel? Should I lowest refresh rates. However, if you’re a designer any high-quality IPS panel–
stretch my budget and grab that elusive IPS? or photographer type person, someone who needs great image quality, excellent
What about refresh rates? Is 60 enough? Oh! accurate colours, then you have no other choice colour reproduction, one of
That 120Hz monitor looks tempting.” If these are but IPS. only two monitors to pass our
the kind of thoughts that race through your head Recommendation: The ASUS PA238Q if you’re sharpness test and a horrible
when browsing for a monitor, fear not! Digit is here on a budget, otherwise just grab the ASUS PB278Q refresh rate and low contrast
to help you out. or NEC EA273WM-BK depending on the resolution ratio. This was also one of the
TN vs. VA: As you can see from the jargon buster, you prefer. The NEC is a TN panel but it’s well-cali- more feature-rich monitors in
both are completely disparate display technologies brated and offers competitive colour reproduction. the test and supports every-
and what they offer is also as disparate. VA panels Screen resolution: This is more of a personal thing from DisplayPort (DP)
offer great viewing angles and a very high contrast choice. A higher screen resolution is usually better to a USB hub. The monitor also
ratio, giving you images that are sharp and colours but as a rule of thumb, 1920x1080 is more than lets you orient it any way you
that are punchy at the same time. But they have adequate for screens up to 24-inch in size. Monitors want with its flexible stand.
a high response time, leading to some amount of that are 27-inch and larger could do with a higher While the image quality
blurring in fast-paced scenes. TN panels on the resolution (2560x1440) but the quality of the NEC is very good, it’s important to
other hand offer poorer contrast and viewing angles, EA273WM-BK proves that it’s not a prerequisite. note that there was a noticeable
but can offer much better refresh rates. Do bear in mind that if you’re a gamer, you might reddish tinge in the corners,
That said, picking between the two is no easy be better off sticking to a 1080p screen simply especially when rendering
feat. Most TN and VA panels sport similar refresh because a higher resolution will tax your system dark scenes. This is a minor
rates, which gives the edge to VA panels since they that much more – unless you’ve got a really pow- drawback though and a small
otherwise perform better. However, good quality erful rig of course. price to pay for image quality.
TN panels, especially gaming panels, offer high Refresh Rate: A high refresh rate is ideal for If you’re in the market for a
refresh rates (120Hz+) and are definitely the right gaming and movies but that also means that you’ll professional monitor that will
choice for movies and gaming. In the same vein, be restricted to TN panels. Most monitors in our give you great colour repro-
poor quality VA panels offer terrible contrast ratios test came with some sort of booster mode to duction, look no further than
and horrible refresh rates, negating the advantages boost refresh rates. However, from our tests we this one.
of a VA panel. came to the conclusion that those modes don’t
Recommendations: If you want an ideal, all- really amount to much. A monitor that natively ASUS VS238H
purpose monitor at a reasonable price and size, go supports 120 Hz is preferable to one that “boosts” This uses a 24-inch TN panel
for the BenQ GL2460HM. your refresh rate. As such, don’t get swayed by the and as impressive as the
IPS: IPS panels are nice only if you want excel- jargon. 60 Hz is acceptable, 120 Hz is better, but PA238Q was, this is as disap-
lent colour reproduction and nothing else. The moni- more expensive at the same time. pointing. The monitor is just
tors are expensive, sport a lower contrast ratio Recommendation: BenQ XL2411Z for its high about average in every depart-
when compared to most VA panels and offer the refresh rate and excellent overall performance. ment except the price, where
it’s among the more expensive
options available. It’s also light
Viewsonic VX2452mh most of you will have access to there’s no audio I/O to be on features and connectivity
The only offering from Views- such a sensor in the first place, seen. The monitor’s perfor- options, but what’s most dis-
onic was mildly disappointing. meaning you’ll end up stuck mance was just a smidgen appointing is the refresh rate,
It’s a TN panel that boasts of with what you get out of the ahead of the Viewsonic which seemed to be quite bad
a reasonably impressive con- box. Considering its price and VX2452mh, mostly because in our real-world tests. One
trast ratio, however, white all the competitors in the seg- of slightly better black levels could argue that the monitor
levels are absolutely awful ment, you can safely give this and colour reproduction. is more suited for office work,
and so was the refresh rate. one a pass. but even then there are better
The monitor does give you the ASUS PA238Q monitors available.
option of boosting refresh rate Acer S240HL Easily the best 24-inch mon-
and while it does help to some Another TN panel, the itor in the test when you con- BenQ GL2250HM
extent, it doesn’t do anything to S240HL is a very light-weight sider just the image quality, the This is a bare-bones monitor
mitigate the mildly washed out panel with, unfortunately, the PA238Q is also quite an expen- and the cheapest one in our
nature of the panel. Calibra- flimsiest stand in the test. You sive panel. It’s an IPS panel test, but it’s also one of the most
tion with our sensor did help have the bare essential connec- that’s been built for profes- disappointing and the price
sort out the display quality tivity options and even though sionals who really care about is no excuse for the abysmal
somewhat, but we doubt that the monitor supports HDMI, their image quality. What we performance. The brightness,

92 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Thrillseeker Vacations The path to photography...
Feel like getting out of your caged life? Have a ...is paved with good advice. Here are some
lot of money? Here are some places you can take of photography’s basics if you’re interested in
your daredevil nature to: http://dgit.in/thrillvacs getting into the field http://dgit.in/pth2photo LED Monitors

XL2411Z, if you don’t need is no way that we can recom-


120Hz that is. mend this monitor to anyone.
may 2014

BenQ EW2440L BEST BUY


Another monitor to avoid, the BenQ GW2255HM
EW2440L offers quite a bit on If you’re in the market for a
paper, including an MSL con- monitor below `10,000, this is
nection for transmitting video hands-down the best monitor
from your mobile phone, but you can buy. It boasts of the
it falls flat when it comes to best contrast ratio in the entire
image quality. The contrast test (close to 1100:1) and the
ratio of 270:1 is well below stellar black levels are easily
average and worse than that matched by the very decent
found on the screens of even colour reproduction and
budget laptops. The reason for viewing angles. The refresh
the terrible contrast ratio is not rate does take a beating, con-
the actual brightness, which is sidering that this is a VA panel,
quite decent, but the backlight but that’s a small price to pay
bleeding, which was about for the image quality. For those
5 times worse than the best of you who haven’t experienced
in our test. a 120Hz panel, the refresh rate
BenQ GW2255HM The monitor performed on offer is more than adequate.
quite well otherwise, notably
in terms of its refresh rate, but EDITOR’s PICK
after calibration, was way BenQ XL2411Z with such a terrible contrast BenQ GL2460HM
lesser than the average bright- This one’s slightly on the ratio that is way lesser than the This is by far our favourite
ness measured in the category, more expensive side but for a average in the entire test, there monitor in the 24-inch category.
and while colour reproduction gamer, it’s well worth it. The
was pretty decent overall, only monitor that offers sup-
the refresh rate was terrible. port for Nvidia’s 3DVision
Regardless, why would you 2 technology, the monitor may 2014

want this when BenQ’s own boasts of an excellent 120Hz


stellar GW2255HM is available refresh rate that is supposed
for just `250 more? to ensure flicker-free gaming
and our tests bear that out. We
BenQ RL2455HM will say that the display is a
An impressive enough monitor, bit washed out, especially in
the RL2455 is claimed to be the BenQ recommended FPS1
designed with “RTS Gamers” and 2 modes but the modes
in mind. We do feel that the did work as advertised and
moniker is just marketing afforded enough contrast to
mumbo-jumbo and we won’t ensure that the in-game envi-
harp on it since the website ronments were clear and had
will tell you all you think you a satisfactory contrast ratio in
need to know (you don’t); but it Counter-Strike Source (FPS2’s
doesn’t change the fact that this been configured for that mode
is a very nice monitor overall. it seems).
The response time is excellent You’re compromising a bit
and black levels are pretty good on colour fidelity and black
too. Strangely enough, the good levels but if you think that an
response time did not translate excellent refresh-rate is worth
that well in our movie test, we the compromise, then this is
don’t know why that is but it’s the monitor for you, If you
a minor hitch in an otherwise can afford it. The RL2455HM
excellent product. is a viable alternative to the BenQ GL2460HM

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 93


RAW Hollywood Earth 2.0
A simple photo gallery featuring some NASA’s Keplar programme finds us a sister
Hollywood starlets, completely RAW. planet. Now all we need to do is get there and
LED Monitors Take a look http://dgit.in/hollraw start populating it http://dgit.in/sisterplanet

may 2014 may 2014

LCD Monitor Test 2104 22-24-inch Monitors

Brand BenQ BenQ Viewsonic Acer BenQ BenQ BenQ


Model No. GW2255HM GL2250HM VX2452mh S240HL RL2455HM EW2440L GL2460HM
Price 9,750 9,500 13,500 11,500 14,500 16,000 12,750
Features (so 40) 8.93 10 15.2 8.56 12.4 8.2 10
Performance (so 60) 45.71 42.47 41.53 41.72 45.27 42.34 45.86
Total (so 100) 54.64 52.47 56.73 50.28 57.67 50.54 55.86
Features
Screen size (in inches) 22 22 24 24 24 24 24
Panel Type VA TN TN TN TN VA TN
USB Hub (USB2.0/USB3.0) N/N N/N N/N N/N N/N N/N N/N
Speaker Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Audio i/o Y Y Y N Y Y Y
VESA (100x100) Y Y Y N Y N Y
Tilt / Swivell / Height / Rotate Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N
Control Pod N N N N N N N
Rated Response Time (GtG in ms) 6 2 2 5 1 4 2
Rated viewing angles (H/V) 178/178 170/160 170/160 170/160 170/160 178/178 170/160
Backlit buttons N N N N N N N
Connectivity
HDMI / DVI / D-Sub / DP Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y/N Y/N/Y/N Y/Y/Y/N
3D Support N N N N N N N
Bundled cables
DVI / D-Sub / HDMI / DP N/Y/N/N N/Y/N/N Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/N/N Y/Y/N/N N/Y/Y/N N/Y/N/N
Power / Audio / USB Y/N/N Y/N/N Y/Y/N Y/N/N Y/N/N Y/N/N Y/N/N
Port layout (Horizontal / Vertical) H V V H V H V
Power adapter Y N N Y N Y N
Performance Test
OSD (Ease of use) 7 7.5 7 5 7.5 7.5 6
Gaming tests
CS:GO (Response time) (so 10) 6 8 8 7 8 7 8
ARMA II (Black level) (so 10) 8 7.5 6.5 7 9 8 9
Movie Test
Avatar (SO 10) 7 6 6.5 7 7.5 7.5 8
Spyder 3
Contrast ratio (X:1) 1081.54 390.32 717.78 613.78 613.4 273.77 570
Brightness (cd/m^2) 241 124.4 221 233 204 244 235
Lagom.nl
Contrast (SO 224) 223 222 219 221 224 220 222
Black-level (SO 20) 17 19 15 17 16 18 17.5
White-level (SO 12) 11.5 9.5 9 9 9.5 5.5 9.5
Sharpness (SO 10) 0 0 0 0 5 0
Gradient (SO 10) 8 6.5 7 8 8 7.5 7
Pixperan (lower the better) 9 7 8 8 9 10 8
Wobble duration (seconds) 2.5 2.5 4 4.5 3 3 1.5

94 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Trend Micro ‘droided ACK App
Trend Micro takes charge of ‘droid security by Amar Chitra Katha Pvt announced the worldwide
safeguarding the Android platform for Mobiles premiere of the ‘ACK Comics’ app, Amar Chitra
and Tablets http://dgit.in/trendmican Katha’s official comic store app on iOS and Android. LED Monitors

may 2014 may 2014

27-inch Monitors

BenQ ASUS ASUS BenQ BenQ ASUS ASUS NEC ASUS


XL2411Z PA238Q VS238H EW2740L GL2760H PB278Q MX279H EA273WM-BK VK278Q
21,000 21,250 15,250 21,000 18,000 45,000 25,250 45,000 26,350
16.8 23.33 11.2 10.2 11.2 21.36 10.16 25.36 14.8
45.1 47.2 42.92 39.59 41.41 42.14 41.97 48.08 43.34
61.9 70.53 54.12 49.79 52.61 63.5 52.13 73.44 58.14

24 24 24 27 27 27 27 27 27
TN IPS TN VA TN PLS-IPS IPS TN TN
N/N Y/N N/N N/N N/N N/N N/N Y/N N/N
N N N Y N Y Y N Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
Y/Y/Y/Y Y/Y/Y/Y Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N Y/N/N/N Y/N/Y/Y Y/N/N/N Y/Y/Y/Y Y/N/N/N
N N N N N N N N N
1 6 2 4 2 5 5 5 2
170/160 178/178 170/160 178/178 170/160 178/178 178/178 178/178 170/160
N N N N N N N N N

Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y/Y Y/Y/Y/N x2/N/Y/N Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y/Y x2/N/Y/N Y/Y/Y/Y Y/Y/Y/Y


Y N N N N N N N N

Y/Y/N/N Y/Y/N/N Y/Y/N/N N/Y/Y/N Y/Y/N/N Y/Y/Y/Y N/Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y/N Y/Y/N/N


Y/N/N Y/Y/Y Y/N/N Y/Y/N Y/N/N Y/Y/N Y/Y/N Y/Y/Y Y/Y/N
V V V H V V H V V
N N N Y N N Y N N

7 8.5 7 8 6 7 6 7 7.5

8 7.5 6.5 7 7 7 8 8.5 8.5


7 6.5 7.5 6.5 8 6 5 9 7

8.5 8.5 7 5 6 7.5 6.5 9 9

724.61 322.06 493.33 141.04 669.47 340.91 143.2 553.02 506.56


323 113 127 254 305 128 197 82 166

221 224 223 223 222 222 224 222 224


18 19.5 17 17 15.5 17 19 20 13
8 11.5 11 8.5 8.5 10.5 11.5 9.5 9.5
0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 8 7 8 6 8 8 7 5
10 8 9 9 8 8 8 8 9
2.5 1 4 3.5 3 2 3 1 2.5

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 95


A look into the sweet past DIY Synthesizer
Jim Golden known for his simple geometric Head over to this link to know how you can build
photographs has released a new project titled your very own homemade battery powered
LED Monitors “Relics of Technology”. http://dgit.in/TechRelic synthesizer under $70 http://dgit.in/DIYSynth

The price is decent, the per- For the test we received six
formance is very good and monitors in this category that
the colours are excellent. We ranged in price from `18,000 may 2014

did note that the measured to `45,000.


contrast ratio is a little below
average and there is a notice- BenQ EW2740L
able amount of backlight bleed This is without a doubt, the
visible in dark scenes, but at very worst monitor in our
this price, we couldn’t ask tests. The contrast ratio is
for anything better. If you’re abysmal and just to put things
looking for a great monitor at in perspective, the backlight
a decent price, this is the one bleed is more than twice as bad
for you. If it wasn’t for the as the other E-series monitor
GW2255HM, this would have from BenQ, the EW2440L. If
one our Best Buy crown. you’re in the market for a mon-
itor, actively avoid this one.
27-inch Monitors
Honestly, this was the category ASUS MX279H
where we had the most fun, or This is, again, another one of the
rather, the category in which terrible monitors, though it’s
we really took our time testing. not as bad as the E-series moni-
Why anyone would not want tors from BenQ. The contrast
to use a 27-inch monitor for ratio is an abysmal 143:1, and
everything is just beyond us the calibrated brightness well BenQ GL2760H
(price, space constraints, price, below average, but the monitor
did we mention the price?). does redeem itself by offering
The good 27-inch monitors excellent colour reproduction recommend that you get a nice we can’t decide for you. You’ll
are glorious to behold and even and a decent refresh rate. If you 24-inch monitor instead. The need to see it for yourself to
though most of them had low need a “cheap” 27-inch monitor difference in image quality decide if it suits your taste.
refresh rates, image quality then this is probably the one will easily make up for the loss
was so good that we didn’t care. you should get but we’d still in screen size. ASUS PB278Q
We’ve tested this monitor
ASUS VK278Q before, in fact, this was our
It’s hard to put your finger Zero1 award winner for 2013
on exactly what’s wrong and and we’ve included it in this
may 2014
what’s right with this monitor. test more for reference than
The contrast ratio is decent, anything else. As such, this
but brightness is low and then monitor was impressive in
again, the backlight bleed is 2013 and is still as impressive
minimal. Refresh rate is very even today. It’s one of the few
decent for a 27-inch panel but monitors that sports a resolu-
then the colour reproduction tion of 2560x1440 while most
is just slightly worse than panels in the 27-inch segment
average. Even in the real world only have 1920x1080 as the
tests we weren’t too sure about maximum supported resolu-
the monitor. Avatar looked tion. Also it offers stellar col-
pretty good overall, the con- ours (our Spyder3Elite actu-
trast ratio and refresh rate ally seemed to slightly ruin the
definitely made a difference image quality). The refresh rate
but strangely enough, ARMA is still below what a true gamer
II was a bit too dark and would want and there is some
pumping up the brightness bleeding at the corners, but
increased the backlight bleed. the image quality is excellent
We’re in two minds about this and adequate compensation
NEC EA273WM-BK monitor and unfortunately, for everyone else. If the NEC

96 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


No Cortana for kids Drones catching wind
Microsoft’s newly released voice assistant won’t Saudi Arabia recently bought its first drone – the
talk to kids under 13 years due to child protection “Pterodactyl” for surveillance. Read more here:
laws. More here: http://dgit.in/CortaNo http://dgit.in/ShotADrone LED Monitors

`25,000
Jargon Buster
TN: Twisted Nematic (TN) panels are among more. Each offers some sort of advantage and in ms. As a general rule of thumb, a higher
the cheapest type of panels available. Without compromise over the other. refresh rate or lower response time is what
going into too much detail, these panels gen- Passive-Matrix LCD: This is a now defunct you’re looking for. Any monitor that says AMA
erally offer high refresh rates, an average (thankfully) technology that was used in the or Flicker Free usually boasts of either a high
contrast ratio and decent viewing angles with early days of the LCD. Basically, a grid-pattern refresh rate or a boost mode to pump up the
average colour reproduction. circuit would be responsible for the switching refresh rate if required.
VA: In these panels, the liquid crystals are of the liquid crystals. A comparatively rudimen- Backlight bleed: All LCD monitors incorpo-
perpendicular to the glass substrate and tilt tary process that was slow and was responsible rate a source of light, usually in the form of an
to allow light to pass through. These panels for low refresh rates. It was cheap though. LED array. The orientation of the liquid crystals
generally offer great contrast, deep blacks and Active-Matrix LCD: All modern LCD panels on the monitor, controlled via some circuitry,
excellent colour reproduction. The refresh rate available today use this technology. In essence, limits the amount of light that escapes, gener-
is usually low however, and colour reproduction each pixel is a transistor that can be turned ating lighter and darker shades. Backlight bleed
is not as good as on IPS panels. on or off individually, vastly improving image is visible when the crystals do not adequately
IPS: In-Plane-Switching, in this type of quality and refresh rates because of the finer block the light emanating from the backlight.
display technology, the liquid crystals are control. All monitors suffer from some degree of back-
aligned parallel to the glass substrate and are Contrast Ratio: This is a measure of how light bleed. How much is acceptable is a matter
re-oriented in the same plane to allow light to much brighter a white scene is compared to of personal preference.
pass through. However, don’t fret if this doesn’t a black one. Good monitors will have a high Low Blue Light: Many of the BenQ monitors
make sense. All you need to know is that IPS contrast ratio, but a high contrast ratio isn’t in the test came with a setting that said “Low
generally offers excellent viewing angles and everything. A contrast ratio of above 500:1 is Blue Light”. This mode is supposed to reduce
possibly the best colour reproduction among perfectly adequate for most users. the amount of blue light emitted by the back-
LCD monitors. IPS panels do suffer from low Refresh Rate / Response Time: Refresh light of a monitor, thereby reducing the stress
refresh-rates and they tend to be large, expen- Rate is a measure of the frequency at which on our eyes. Surprisingly, it actually worked
sive and generate a considerable amount of a monitor can “refresh” an entire image on its and we found that for regular browsing and
heat. That said, there are many variants of IPS screen and is measured in Hz. Response Time office work, the mode worked wonders. Give
displays, including e-IPS, s-IPS, PLS and many is exactly the same thing, but it’s measured it a spin if you get the chance.

EA273WM-BK hadn’t been consistent performance under since you have to be directly monitors in this category and
around, this one would have any circumstances. in front of the monitor for this it’s definitely within an accept-
walked away with the “Best Sporting a TN panel, this to work. If you adopt the cor- able range. We can’t find any-
Performer” crown yet again. monitor does also boast of a rect posture at your desk you thing particularly good about
lower response time than most will always be directly in front this monitor, but then again
BEST PERFORMER other monitors in this category of your monitor anyway, so there’s nothing particularly bad
NEC EA273WM-BK and that response time coupled there’s that to consider. about it. What tips the balance
We definitely didn’t expect a with the low bleed means that Do note that this is a very in its favour is the price and
TN panel to win our best per- movies and games look stun- expensive monitor but if you adequate performance. This is
former award and definitely ning. For still images you’d do purchase it, you won’t the best 27-inch monitor that
not one with a 1080p screen still want to use something like regret your decision. the average user can buy today.
resolution on a 27-inch panel. ASUS’s PB278Q, but for eve- This test was definitely an
However, this panel, despite rything else, this NEC panel BEST BUY interesting one and one that
its abysmally low brightness is just better. BenQ GL2760H we learnt a lot from. Hope-
of 87cd/m2 (once calibrated), The monitor also features If it is value for money you fully, the detailed tables and
sports the lowest levels of a sensor that dynamically want then the GL2760H is the buying guide should help
bleed we’ve seen yet. Back- adjusts brightness based on monitor you’d want to buy. The you reach an intelligent deci-
light bleeding does increase ambient light, but more inter- monitor is strictly average in sion with regards to the best
once you pump up the bright- estingly, it can also check for every regard, except the bright- monitor for your needs. If not,
ness, but since we’re only the presence of a human in ness value (300 cd/m2, which we do have a buying guide on
measuring calibrated levels, front of the screen and tones is very high), and performs page 92 if you don’t want to go
this monitor is unmatched down the brightness consider- reasonably well at everything. through all the statistics. We’re
and even at higher bright- ably when one is absent. This There is quite a bit of back- are always looking forward to
ness levels the contrast ratio feature is interesting, but was a light bleed in dark scenes, but hearing from you so do write in
still holds. This ensures bit irritating to use in practice not much more than the other to us at: editor@thinkdigit.com

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 97


Scobble from anywhere Make your own Lyric Videos
Have a playlist that suits your music Ever thought how those lyric videos are made?

Toolbox 100 taste and scrobble from anywhere on the


planet. Read this workshop to learn more 102 We take you through a simple workshop on how
to make them. Start the karaoke machine

Troublesome video encoders,


unsearchable docs, time-consuming
context menus. And more...
We’ll solve them all. It’s Team Digit to the rescue!

Ultra slow running game • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB before this problem occurred. Alterna-
I have an HP N204TX laptop with: • GPU: ZOTAC GTX 560Ti tively, the problem can also be due to too
• Processor: Intel Core i5 4200U • OS: Windows 7 64-bit many entries in your context menu. It so
• Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 740M My problem is that whenever I right- happens that every time you install a
• RAM: 8GB click on my desktop, the circular loading software, some of these software create an
Whenever I play Crysis 3 on my laptop, icon appears and it takes a much longer entry inside the right-click context menu
the game gives very inconsistent FPS. I run time than it’s supposed to for the right-click and when there are a lot of these entries,
the game at the lowest possible settings menu to open up. At first, I thought that it the menu opening sequence slows down.
but to no avail. I have the same issue while might be a virus issue but I scanned my PC Remove the entries that you don’t require
playing Call of Duty: Ghosts. What could be using an anti-virus program and couldn’t from the context menu. To do this, you can
the possible reason for this? find any. I tried everything I could, but either make changes to the registry, if you
I used GPU-Z to take temperature read- the right-click menu loading time doesn’t know how to, or use a free program like
ings of the GPU and it showed the GPU at decrease. Please provide a solution. 'ShellExView' and remove the unneces-
67°C on full load. So is this issue because -Amanpreet Singh sary entries. If doing this still doesn’t fix
of the temperature or something else? the issue, then another known possible
Please help. The long time taken to open up your and common reason for this to happen
–Aditya Gadgil context menu can be due to a number of may lie within the Nvidia Display

First, check whether you’re using the


latest graphics drivers for your GPU. If
not, then download and install them.
Often, game issues are addressed with
new driver updates so you should always
run the latest drivers. Your GPU tempera-
ture readings look normal and since
you’re already playing the game at the
lowest settings, this might be an issue
with the game itself. Are you having the
same issue with games other than Crysis
3 and CoD: Ghosts? Because, Crysis 3 is
known to have performance issues with
sudden drop in frame rates for the first
version of the game’s release. You should
update the game’s version to the latest
release as well because this issue was
resolved in one of the update patches
released for the game. Write back to us
how it works out for you.

Right-click lag Add and name the new key from here in the registry
Hi, I have a decent mid-range PC with the
following configuration: reasons. If this issue cropped up after you Manager. To fix it, Go to 'Start'
• CPU: Intel Core i5-3450s installed a particular program, then try a menu> Search “regedit” in the
• Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H system restore using a restore point from search box> Press [Enter] >

98 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Tips & Tricks Build your own app
Bit.ly has some neat tricks up it's sleeve and Building your own app is ridiculously easy,

103 Google+ has introduced some great features


for manipulating your photos 107 specially if you happen to have experience
with HTML5 and Javascript Q&A

Browse “HKEY_ connections made and other useful


CLASSES_ROOT\ information about what went on with
Directory\Back- your system while it was being used
ground\ContextMenu- including the PC start-up and shutdown
Handlers” > Next times. Now you should be able to effec-
locate 'NvCplDesk- tively view changes made and take
topContext'> Right- measures depending on whether those
click on 'NvC- changes are healthy for your system.
plDesktopContext' >
Click 'Delete'. Can’t search a thing
Next browse for I have many of my work documents stored
“HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ on my home PC (Windows 7 Ultimate
Directory\Back- 64-bit) since I work from home often. The
ground\shell” > Last activity view problem is that the in-built search tool in
Right-click on Windows isn’t able to find my documents.
'Shell' > Add new key and name maximum file size limit of just a little bit This makes my work very difficult as I have
the key “Nvidia Control Panel” over 4GB and a typical HandBrake
> Right-click on the key that encoded output of a 1080p Bluray file
you just added and name it exceeds that 4GB limit. So in your case,
“Command” > Double-click this HandBrake may be hitting the file size
newly made “Command” key > limit of FAT32 and stopping the encoding
Enter inside the Default value process in the middle to provide you with
that you'll see which will be an output video file that doesn’t play
this: 'C:\windows\system32\ because it's in fact an incomplete and
nvcplui.exe' corrupt file. To get rid of this, you’ll need
Your right-click context menu opening to write your encoded outputs on a hard
time should now be back to normal. disk drive that is formatted with another
file system, say NTFS.
Help rip it please. Pretty
please? PC a public property?
I edit and rip videos often for which I've I live in a hostel and have my own desktop
started using AnyDVD HD tool along with that’s kept in my dorm room. My roommates
HandBrake in Windows XP. To back up my also access my PC and I’ve permitted them
collection of videos, I use HandBrake but to do so with user accounts but the offshoot
I’m having certain weird issues with it. of this is that many times I find my files at the
HandBrake always provides an output file wrong places or newly installed programs Rebuild your search index from advanced
of exactly 4GB and no matter what I try, that I don’t have a clue about. Is there a way options
the output file is never playable. I tried to in which I can see what other users have done
tweak the settings inside HandBrake and to my PC so that I’m well informed in case to manually search for the required docu-
also used every recommended video player something is about to go wrong? ments every time I’m working on some-
available to play the files, but nothing -Vinay Kanojia thing. Help me fix this issue.
works. What could be the possible reason -Joseph Fernandes
for this to happen? Please help me resolve We understand how unnerving it can
this issue. be to have changes made to a personal PC. Your problem is because of an error in
-Shrikant Rai It's always very useful to know what were search indexing. To get rid of this, follow
the exact changes made by other users in these steps: Go to 'Start Menu' >
Your first course of action here would case you want to trace the source of any Launch 'Control Panel' > Type
be to update to the latest version of problem that occurs subsequently because “index” in the search box (Don’t
AnyDVD HD and HandBrake. You didn’t of the change. To do this, you just have to worry as this search box would
mention your system specifications or download and install a handy tool still work)> Click 'Indexing
even the file system that you’re using or christened 'LastActivityView' from: http:// Options' > Next click 'Advanced'
writing the files to. If you’re using dgit.in/LastActivityVieW. When installed, > Click 'Rebuild' > Finally
Windows XP on a hard disk drive that's LastActivityView shows you the files that click 'OK'. This will create a new
formatted with FAT32, this would be the were opened, folders saved/edited, search index and will let you search your
reason for the issue. Because FAT32 has a programs installed/uninstalled, network documents without trouble.

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 99


Lunar Hack Child of Light
A group of hackers at LOIRP have finally restored Here’s a sneak preview into
the first ever images of earth taken from the moon. Ubisoft’s newest RPG: Child of Light
Workshop This is their story: http://dgit.in/lunarhack http://dgit.in/chiolisp

Killing the
Radio Star
Learn how to scrobble like a veteran –
anywhere, anyhow.

Prakrit Dhondiyal music? Yep, Buggles uses YouTube videos For websites like YouTube and Sound-
readersletters@thinkdigit.com to play your library. cloud, one would need to find alternative
For those who came in late, Scrobbling routes to scrobble. If you’re a die-hard
Why are we doing a was a term that originated with the UK- Chrome user, life is much easier. Simply
workshop on scrobbling? based music database Last.fm. Scrobbling go to http://dgit.in/lfmscrblr and download
Yes, we are well aware that scrobbling has involves taking songs played through your the ‘Last.fm Scrobbler’ plugin. Another
been around for the past decade. No, we media player and filing away the required lesser known plugin is Scroblr (http://dgit.
aren’t just reminiscing. Scrobbling has re- metadata to improve, and better tailor the in/chrscroblr). Install any of the plugins
entered our radar with Last.fm’s newest songs that are played for you through Last. and let it scrobble for you from any of the
project – Buggles. fm. Thus essentially catering to your own supported websites in its list. Scroblr is
Named after the 70s new wave/ individual musical needs. For scrobbling also available for Safari users at http://
electronica duo ‘The Buggles’, the new your songs, the audioscrobbler plugin is scroblr.fm/. If you use Firefox try Foxy
Last.fm feature takes the song ‘Video available for over a hundred and fifty music Scrobbler from http://dgit.in/foxyscr.
Killed the Radio Star’ to heart. While players (both online and offline). Web browser-based scrobblers are
Last.fm has primarily been known for So here’s a quick refresher course on how useful for people who don’t rely on just
playing audio tracks from various artists, to scrobble easily from wherever you are. one website to listen to music.
regional restrictions don’t allow most
music to be heard globally. Damn the Scrobbling online GrooveScrobbler Update
music labels! You obviously need a Last.fm account.
The Buggles feature has now found Visit http://www.last.fm/ and create your Grooveshark’s premium
scrobbling policy
a workaround. Why not use the world’s own Last.fm profile.
changed, recently.
largest music database to play your If you’re the kind of person who relies While at one point of
on online players to stream their favourite time it was a part of
music or to discover new music, then their premium account,
scrobbling is at your fingertips. Websites the Last.fm scrobbler is now built
into the regular Grooveshark account.
like Spotify and 8tracks have built-in
Something scrobblers will be really
plugin-ins for Last.fm. happy to know.
In your Last.fm homepage, go into Set-
tings and check the ‘Applications’ tab. This
will give you a list of pre-supported applica- Scrobbling from your PC
tions that support the scrobbler plugin by For the offline users, Last.fm has an easily
defaut. Sign into your respected profiles on accessible plugin for almost all conven-
other websites and link them to your new tional (and some unconventional) media
Last.fm ID. Now everytime you play some- players. To find out if your favourite
thing on any of the linked websites, Last.fm media player can scrobble, visit http://
will update your account with the data from dgit.in/dzitscr for the complete list of Last.
said website. Scrobbling complete. fm scrobblers. We can’t speak for the

100 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Wayward prices Dark Souls 2: Launched!
iOS game ‘Wayward Souls’ seems to be getting After ages of waiting, Dark Souls 2 launched towards
even more expensive with the consecutive update. the end of last month – read the Rock, Paper,
Read on to know more: http://dgit.in/wywrdprc Shotgun first impressions http://dgit.in/ds2rpsfi Workshop

music players of today, if not there’s Last.fm account, extracts metadata from
Widget up your Last.fm always the ScrobbleDroid app. The iOs your MP3 player and scrobbles it for you.
Making your Last.fm profile look more like scrobbler isn’t as considerate. Due to But for some reason that probably have
your own personal space is always a fun reasons that probably have something to to do with firmware, Zenses has trouble
and interesting thing to do. Here are a few do with Apple’s compatibility, the Last.
widgets that will help you get started. fm app for iOS comes with its own music
player. The player can detect music from
Level Up!
Here’s a great widget that gives you your iTunes app, but scrobbling can only
your own Last.fm level, based on usage occur when the music is played off the
and veteranship: http://dgit.in/lfmLuwid Last.fm app. Playing music on the iTunes
app does not scrobble for you automati-
Artist Cloud
This widget created a world cloud of
cally. At least, not yet. The Android app with some brands. Some MP3 players
your highest played artists and puts it also has more personalization features. do not create the .scrobble.log file which
up on your profile: http://dgit.in/artiscl You can decide how long a song has to is used by scrobblers. One way to get
play to consider it scrobble-worthy and around this limitation but which isn’t
Artist Logos manually synchronize which players you entirely without risk, is by using a third
A nice long collage of logos that your want to scrobble from. At face value, the party firmware that’s been around for
favourite bands sport. It looks great on Android app is a lot more convenient and a while. This firmware is called Rockbox
a profile: http://dgit.in/lfmlogos customizable. But at the end of the day, and is easily available online. It has
both apps scrobble well. its share of supporters and is quite
Installing these widgets is quite For Windows, the popular scrobbler straightforward to install. Installation
easy – as you generate each widget, was created by a techie in the US called instructions for Rockbox can be found at
you are provided with a few lines of Arnold Vink. The App is called ‘Scrob- http://dgit.in/rckbxinst
BBCode that can be embedded in your bleMe’. It’s simplistic, like everything
profile in the ‘About Me’ section. Simply in a Windows phone and the scrobbles Why scrobble at all?
copy-paste the code to add the widget almost glitchless. The only downside Well, it’s a personal choice. Music lovers
to your profile. one could see on using the app is the fact may be loyal to their favourites, but they
that it doesn’t scrobble too well instantly. are almost constantly in search for more
An extensive list of widgets is available It saves your play logs, but takes some music to keep the fire burning. Scrob-
here: http://dgit.in/ultlfmwid time to update them with Last.fm. It’s a bling is a great way to get access to more
lot faster if you tap the ‘Scrobble’ button music. Last.fm started scrobbling as a
on the app and manually scrobble your road to discovery. Your own personal
plays. It is, however, at the end of the day, music taste is analysed by code which at
out-of-the-way media players, but for the a scrobbler, and is available on the Win- the same time cross-references it with
popular and functional standard players, dows Phone Store at http://dgit.in/scrme. the behaviour of other music lovers of
however, the scrobbler plugin works like similar taste, and suggests music based
a charm. So if you use Winamp, Media Scrobbling from your completely on your history of listening
Monkey, Windows Media Player, iTunes, MP3 player
Songbird or VLC, the scrobbler will This is a bit trickier than any of the pre-
scrobble it all for you. vious options. Scrobbling from an MP3
If you’re using a media player not sup- player is not the easiest thing to do, but
ported by the Last.fm plugin, well, as the with some effort and a little patience, you
Last.fm saying goes – If it doesn’t scrobble, can set up most MP3 players to scrobble.
it doesn’t count! The easiest MP3 player to scrobble
from at the moment is the iPod. iTunes
Scrobbling from your phone updates your play count from both your
The phone has become the next genera- iPod as well as the music you play on
tion of MP3 player of sorts. Suffice to say, your PC itself. All you have to do is set up to music. As new artists enter the music
if you’re an avid scrobbler, scrobbling your Last.fm plugin on iTunes, and voila scene, scrobbling is a great way to pick
from your phone is a must. And Last. – instant scrobbler for your iPod. and choose what suits your taste. And
fm’s tentacles reach deep into the world Few players (specifically Sony ones) with the advent of the Cloud Age, new
of smartphones. There is an official Last. other than the iPod are supported by music is literally at everyone’s fingertips.
fm app for every OS (except, maybe a third party scrobbler called Zenses. All you need is curiosity and the right
Windows Phones, but we’ll get to that). Zenses can be downloaded from http:// code to nudge you in the direction you
The Android scrobbler syncs with most dgit.in/zensesscr. Zenses links to your need to go.

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 101


Comic Sans gets competition Tetris on skyscraper
There’s a new font on the block and you wouldn’t be Frank J. Lee and 100 gamers in Philadelphia played
wrong if you thought Comic Neue took inspiration from the world’s largest game of Tetris on the facade of a
Workshop Comic Sans http://comicneue.com/ 29-story office building http://dgit.in/1oHOkRp

WORD!
on screen and give you more personaliza-
tion control over the video.
If you want to make the extra effort,
and superimpose text on a video, After
Effects can also let you make text look
like it was ingrained on a table or
embossed on a wall.
There’s also an available industry-
Make your own Lyric Videos standard particle system for After Effects
called Trapcode (http://dgit.in/rgtrap) avail-
Prakrit Dhondiyal Step One: Adobe Premiere’s ‘Add Title’ able for $399 which can be used to create
readersletters@thinkdigit.com option works well enough for someone basic particle-based VFX for your videos,

A
to put all the text on the screen. The adding a little pizazz to your work.
s the name suggests, lyric tweaking comes in the later stages. Since Adobe programs are not free, you
videos are those in which Step Two: Once you have your lyrics can try out free alternatives to them which
the words to the song are the on screen, add the audio track and syn- work similarly and create lyric videos.
main element of the video. chronize the lyrics on the timeline. “Ezvid” is one such example but you can
The fundamental reason behind Step Three: This deals with basic find more here: http://dgit.in/21frvided
making lyric videos was to have a way to animation. The effects tab in Premiere
coordinate lyrics with the song and do gives a variety of options for effects and Online Editors
it in a way that it doesn’t take too There are several video editing software
long to stream. With the increase available online. Since text-based editing
in hi-speed internet availability, the is common to all video players, most of
technique spun off into an outlet these video editors would help you make
for creativity. lyric videos with ease. These video editors
Prince and George Michaels were may not give you the range of options
two of the first few artists to make available on the professional software, but
lyric videos ‘professional’; And in they perform the role of being a quick fix
the age of Windows Movie Maker, to lyrical video editing.
every audiophile started making Jolify is an online editor meant
them for their favorite musicians. specifically for lyric video creation. It’s a
And with YouTube – well, ‘nuff said. step-by-step video editor that asks you to
In today’s day and age, with the import your track and add frames of lyrics
high-end software easily available that can be easily synchronized with the
to the common man, lyric videos audio file. To use, just create an account at
have taken a whole different turn Jolify http://dgit.in/lyrvid and keep your own
for the better. One such example personalized library of lyric videos as and
of well-made lyric videos is Katy when you create them.
Perry’s “Part of Me” (http://dgit.in/ YouTube’s built-in Video Editor is as
kplyric). Admittedly not the most simplistic as it can get. Simply go to http://
imaginative lyrics, but the video’s dgit.in/ytved, select the background and
production quality is impressive. So text colour, and get to it. Import your audio
if you’re interested in making your track off your PC onto the Youtube Editor’s
own lyric video (and maybe do it Timeline. Synchronize the text by clicking
with some class) read on: on the text button at the required points in
the video. Recheck the video when done
Adobe is your friend YouTube’s built-in video editor. and publish directly on YouTube. Simple
It may be a professional (meaning and uncomplicated Lyric Video editing.
paid) suite for video editing, but it is one transitions, so you can always make a If you intend to go beyond the norms
of the easiest to tinker with if you plan basic lyric video look funky and eye- and come up with some really creative
on making a lyric videos. Concentrate on catching using these. stuff, check out this link for some ideas
Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects Once you get familiar with that, move that you may be able to use to spark some
and Adobe Photoshop. Audition comes in on to some serious animation with Adobe creativity in you: http://dgit.in/ytlyrvid
handy later, if you feel like tweaking the After Effects. After Effects can help you Remember the old saying: Imitation is
song, a bit. animate text in 3D, make it dance around the sincerest form of flattery.

102 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Tips & Tricks

Bitly fast search that you can use to


Sharing links on space-con- sift through your Bitmarks at
strained sites like Twitter led a later time. You can also use it
to the rise of URL shorteners to create playlists with songs or
- tools that shorten links so videos from different sources
they take up fewer characters. (e.g. combining songs from
Probably the most well-known Soundcloud, Grooveshark and
among these services is Bitly. YouTube) or a shopping list/
(We here at Digit are huge fans wishlist with items from dif-
of Bitly ourselves!) Apart from ferent e-Commerce sites. Bun-
just shaving off a few characters dles can also be collaboratively
off a link, Bitly has a plethora of created – you can choose up to
features that allow you to use it 12 people who can add links to
as a link repository of sorts - use your Bundles, and it’s a great
it as a cloud-based bookmarking way to for teams to curate and
system, an analytics tool or a share links.
social engagement monitor, all Bit.ly.............................................................................26
for no charge! Get stats on
Google+ Photos..........................................................27 any Bitly link
Use Custom Bitly gives you statistics on any
Domain Names
{ }
Tips & Tricks has its own page numbers, and does not follow the rest link that’s shortened using Bitly,
of the magazine’s page numbers. This is done to ensure that you can
You’ve probably noticed that cut out and save T&T in a separate folder for later reference. not just the ones you’ve saved
the links in our magazine yourself. Just add a ‘+’ to any link
start wth dgit.in - this is Bitly’s that’s been shortened with Bitly
custom branding at work. What (e.g. http://dgit.in/wvPing+) and
used to be a pro-only feature, you’ll get analytics for that link,
custom-domains are now avail- including how many clicks to
able to all users. Just create an that page have been from your
account, head over to Settings Bitmark and who has shared
> Advanced and configure that page the most. It’s useful
your custom domain. Bear in if you want to check out the
mind though, that you need to engagement on a competitor’s
be the owner/administrator of website or see how a popular
the custom domain that you’re page has been performing.
using, as you’ll need to change
the DNS/CNAME settings of Use the
your custom domain to point Chrome
to bit.ly. extension / iOS app
Bitly has a handy Chrome
Customize Your The Stats page gives you details about your links’ reach. extension (http://dgit.in/Bit-
Bitmarks lyChrome) that lets you save
If setting up a custom domain bers can now be customized reach on social media platforms the current webpage to your
seems like a lot of work, you can by clicking on the little pencil - just shorten your links using account with one click. You can
customize your Bitmarks (links icon next to a saved link, and Bitly before sharing them. Head directly save the link to Face-
saved with Bitly are called Bit- entering your custom phrase. over to the Stats section in the book/Twitter, customize it or
marks) by adding a meaningful panel on the left to view your even add it to a bundle from
word or phrase after bit.ly/ to Use it as an links’ performance.
make it easier to remember. analytics tool
What is usually just a random Bitly’s great feature is that it Using Bitly
selection of letters and num- gives you detailed analytics Bundles
on every link you save using One killer and underused fea-
Bitly. You can view the number ture of Bitly is the Bundle. A
of clicks on your Bitmarks bundle is just a collection of links
over time, which websites are that can be shared using a single
driving traffic to your link and URL. It’s great for aggregating
the countries this traffic is origi- a bunch of links on a particular
Click on the pencil icon to nating from. This is great if you topic for research, especially Bitly for iOS saves Bitmarks
customize a Bitmark want to analyze your brand’s given that Bitly has lightning- and shows you trending links.

| www.thinkdigit.com Vol 14 | 26 Digit | May 2014


Tips & Tricks

within the extension. If one of mental ‘Labs’ section of the site. (top-left corner of the ject moving and let Google+ do
your links gets a lot of hits, the What we found particularly Google+ homescreen)> the rest.
extension will send you a noti- interesting is a bookmarklet Settings > Photos and
fication. Similarly the iOS app called Bilty for Feelings, that Videos > Auto Awesome Add HDR effect
will automatically add any URL lets you choose from a list of > Check “Create awesome With Auto Awesome,
that’s on your Clipboard, and customized domains to “express new photos and videos it’s possible to add an ‘HDR’
you can view analytics or dis- how you feel about the content for you”. effect to your photo even if it
cover popular ‘trending’ links you’re sharing”. For example, Note: For some users, Auto wasn’t shot in the mode. To do
from within the app itself. you could use upvot.es for a Awesome is turned on by this, take three or more photos
link that you like, oppos.es for default so make sure you don’t
Keyboard a link you don’t agree with or uncheck ‘Create awesome new
Shortcuts lolthis.me for a link that had you photos and videos for you’.
Any power user worth his salt in splits!
knows that mastering key- Add snow
board shortcuts is a great way Google+ effect to your
to improve your productivity. Photos photo
Bitly has a tonne of them up its Google+ is full of amazing fea- Enabling Auto Awesome will
sleeve. ‘a’ will add a new Bitmark, tures and people have started automatically add snowfall
‘t’ will edit the title and ‘p’ will using it more and more, but effect to your photos. The cri-
change the privacy settings for not many of them know how teria here is your photo should
a Bitmark. It also includes Vim- to make the most out of it, have snow in it. So if you’ve
style keybindings - j/k to scroll especially when it comes to uploaded a photo that con-
through your list of bitmarks and the “Photos” section. You’d be tains snow, then Google+ will
‘/’ to focus on the search box. surprised with the number of automatically add snow effect
awesome things you can do with to that photo.
Use A Tracking your photos using Google+.
Domain There are plenty of lesser known Remove
Setting up a Tracking Domain features that we’ll be exploring moving objects
that you own (for example, the here to enhance your imaging from photos
full address of your website or experience with Google+. Sometimes a moving object or
blog) gives you detailed analytics person may spoil your captured Pick any effect for your photos
for all click traffic originating Add automatic moment. To overcome this,
from a Bitly link. This includes effects and Google+ lets you remove any of the same scene at different
Bitly links shared by any and videos with Auto motion-blurred objects from exposures while ensuring that
all users. You need to have FTP Awesome your photo with the ‘Eraser’ the camera is completely still.
access to your domain name, and Auto Awesome is one of the effect. To do it, take more than Google+ will combine the best
you can set it from the Advanced coolest features offered by four successive photos of the lighting from each photo and
section of the Settings page. Google+. Once turned on, it same scene with movement in present you with an image
will automatically add fun the background, and Google+ that’s as true to life as possible.
Do more with special effects such as Snow, will club the photos together
lab features HDR, Motion, Eraser, Action, making a single photo with the Create a short
(Sharing Map, Bitly Smile, Pano and Mix to your moving object removed. animation with
Feelings) photos and videos. It will photos
Bitly has a few whimsical fea- also let you create interesting Create an Earlier, creating a GIF out of
tures up its sleeve in the experi- videos using a combination of action photo your photo on Google+ required
your photos and videos. This You can create a photo showing meeting some criteria. Over-
feature only works if your a full range of movements riding it, Google+ now lets you
photo matches the required without having any Photo- create a GIF-like short anima-
criteria (discussed later). You shop skills. Google+ offers this tion with your photos thanks to
don’t have to worry about your feature as one of its Auto Awe- the ‘Motion’ effect. You can do
original photos being deleted. some effects. To create an action this by taking more than five
It just creates a new version of photo, take four or more photos successive photos of a scene
them and your original photos of the same scene with the sub- while holding your camera still.
can still be found among your
other photos.
To enable Auto Awesome,
A Complete List of Bitmarks sign in to your Google+
that Bitly offers. account > Main menu Check this to enable Auto Awesome

Digit | May 2014 Vol 14 | 27 | www.thinkdigit.com


Tips & Tricks

Get the best as standard. This gives you


group photo unlimited cloud storage for
Want the best group photo? your photos without paying a
Take more than two successive single penny.
photos of a group with people
smiling and Google+ will merge Search all
these photos to show everyone Google-
looking their best. animated photos
Google+ will not only create
Create a Photo Auto Awesome animated
Booth style photos from the new pics you
grid upload, but also from older
It’s possible to create a photo photos that match the criteria.
booth style grid with your It’s always a surprise to find
photo using Auto Awesome. your old photos made Auto
Take three or more successive Awesome. To find all the photos
photos of a person with the that Google animated for you
same background. Google+ will and people in your circles, go to
use its ‘Mix’ effect to put them http://dgit.in/1gO31t3 or search
together into a photo booth for “motion” in the ‘Photos’ tab.
style picture. Select photos and videos that you want to use in the movie
Rearrange all
Make an Auto To reorder scenes, tap the it. So Google+ is the only social your photos
Awesome pencil icon at the top right. network that currently lets you easily
movie from your Touch, hold and drag the scene do this. Google+ offers a very neat
photos to change its order. Addition- feature called ‘Album Organ-
You can also make an Auto Awe- ally, you can change the music Auto-upload izer’ to organise and rearrange
some movie with your photos. by touching the musical note unlimited all the photos in your album.
However, it’s only possible on icon and change the length of the photos from mobile With it, you can sort photos
selected Android devices such movie by touching the clock icon. As you may know, the Google+ by time, reorder your photos,
as Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 mobile app automatically backs move or copy them to another
(2013), Nexus 10, HTC One, Create a photo up your camera photos to your album and delete a bunch of
Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Moto slideshow for account, but did you know photos at once. To use this fea-
X and Moto G running Android your profile about its significance? With ture, open the album that
4.3 and up. Whenever you click on your this feature, you can keep a you want to organise >
To make the movie, download avatar photo on your profile backup of unlimited photos in Click on ‘Option’ menu >
and install Google Photos app on page, unlike Facebook, Google+ your Google+ account as Google Select ‘Organize album’
your device. Open it > Tap opens up an entire album and gives you unlimited storage > Select the sorting
the movie icon at the top not just the profile picture. for standard sized photos (up option you want.
right > Select the photos You can use this album to dis- to 2048px). Uploading orig- To sort photos by time, click
or videos you want to add play your photographs in the inal (high-resolution) photos on ‘Order by date’ and it will
> Tap ‘Select’ at the top form of a slideshow. To do this, will take up your Google display the photos in a chrono-
right > Press ‘Play’ > click on the left menu > Drive space, so we recom- logical order, from earliest to
Choose ‘Share’ or ‘Save’. Profile > Go to Photos mend keeping the resolution latest. To sort them from latest
menu > Scroll down to
Edit your auto Profile Photos > Select
awesome ‘Add Photos’ from the
movie dropdown menu.
You can also edit your Auto
Awesome movie if you want Use GIF as a
some part of it to be changed. cover photo or
To do it, open the Google Photos profile picture
app. Touch the photos main Very few people know this, but
menu at the top left > Google+ lets you use animated
Auto Awesome > Select the GIFs as your profile picture or
movie you want to edit cover photo. Twitter did let us
> Tap the play icon to use animated GIFs as profile
edit it. pictures but it no longer allows View your photos as a slideshow

| www.thinkdigit.com Vol 14 | 28 Digit | May 2014


Tips & Tricks

them. This can be done using a simple Google Chrome exten-


third-party web app called ‘Ins- sion that shows you an enlarged
tagrab’, which does this for you version of the photo just by hov-
within seconds. Head over to ering over the image in your
instagrab.in > Connect to stream. No more messing with
your Instagram account > new image tabs or new pages
Connect to your Google+ loading. Get +Photo Zoom from
account > Provide your http://dgit.in/1jTd6sD.
email address > Press
‘Queue it up’. And that’s Restore deleted
it. A new album consisting of photo(s)
Instagram pictures will be cre- Photos that you delete in
ated in Google+. Google+ are stored in Trash
for a short while before they’re
Search “motion” and you’ll get all the GIFs from within your circles Stop animated permanently deleted. Because
GIFs with an
to earliest, click this option photos. First, you’ll need to escape key
again. To reorder your photos import those photos to Google+ We all love animated GIFs, but
select the photos you want to and then let it do the rest of the sometime they can be too dis-
reorder and drag them to the work. To import Google Drive tracting. A GIF, once loaded,
new position. To move or copy photos to Google+ place your will play in an infinite con-
photos to another album, select cursor in the top-left corner of tinuous loop. To get rid of this
the photos and click ‘Move’. the Google+ main menu. Then go annoying animation, you have
to Settings > check ‘Show no other option but to leave
Disable Drive photos and videos the page. Thankfully, to deal
resharing of in your photo library’. with this there’s a Google
your photo album Once your photos are in the Chrome extension called
Whenever you upload a photo album, Google+ will analyse ‘Gif Stopper’, which will stop
or an album to Google+, those whether they match the criteria all the GIFs on a page after hit-
you’ve shared the album and accordingly add Auto Awe- ting the [Esc] key. Get it from
with can reshare your album. some effects to each of them. http://dgit.in/1gTH1Av.
However, if you’re not com-
fortable with this, you can Transfer your See large Click on the Instagram icon
disable resharing to prevent Instagram version of followed by Google+ to connect
possible strangers from seeing photos to Google+ photo without your accounts
your album. Instagram doesn’t offer the opening it
To do it, choose ‘Photos’ ability to share on Google+. You can now see the enlarged of this, it’s possible to restore a
from the main menu > However, you can import all version of the picture in your deleted photo. To do it, select
Click on the album for your Instagram photos to a Google+ stream without ‘Photos’ from the main
which you want to dis- Google+ album and then share opening it. ‘+Photo Zoom’ is a menu at the top left >
able resharing > Click More > Trash > Select one
on ‘More’ dropdown menu or more photos that you
> Disable reshares. want to restore > Choose
Once you’ve done this, new ‘Restore’. These photos will
name tags created by others reappear in the same album
will become text tags. No from where they were deleted.
one will be able to +mention Permanently delete photo(s)
others in the comments, all the If you want to permanently
posts about that album will delete photos, you need to delete
be locked and ‘Share via link’ them from Trash as well. This
won’t work anymore. can be done by selecting ‘Photos’
from the main menu at the top
Add Auto left. Then go to More > Trash
Awesome to > Select one or more
your Google Drive photos that you want to
photos delete > Choose ‘Delete
You can also add Auto Awesome permanently’.
effects to your Google Drive See your photos come to life with HDR

Digit | May 2014 Vol 14 | 29 | www.thinkdigit.com


Bank Brother’s Watching Error 204
Russian banks decide to use AlterGeo’s Statistics show that people with an internet
location data for rating credit cards access send around 204 emails in a minute.
Workshop http://dgit.in/georuss Read on to know more: http://dgit.in/err204

Build your
Own App
With numerous approaches and even more development
tools available the developer has the freedom to pick and
choose. Here are your options.

Mithun Mohandas
readersletters@thinkdigit.com

H
aving an App available for any
service adds a tremendous
value for the same and it isn’t
the domain of programmers
anymore. However, without any program-
ming knowledge whatsoever, you aren’t
going to be able to build apps as easy. In the
early days we had to work on individual
SDKs if an app was to be developed, but
as the years went by more and more tools
were released that could be used to develop
apps on multiple platforms at the same
time. In the following pages we are going
to highlight three different approaches
towards building apps and the amount of
know-how needed to follow that particular
approach will be highlighted as well. There
are umpteen number of tools available with
Getting your app on every app store has never been this easy
each have some advantage over the others,
we’ve picked some of the most popular
ones for you. the same but the most obvious one is that website that is accessed via webview. This
Before we start pulling out the hair on the language used on each platform is dif- approach is more favourable if you already
our heads (If you get into programming ferent – Android uses Java, iOS uses Objec- can develop HTML5 websites and all you
it’s bound to happen) we need to know the tive C and Windows Phone uses the .NET need to do is create a CSS for your website
different approaches we can undertake framework. Further on, certain functionali- that is broad enough to cater to as many
towards building apps and the advantages/ ties like access to the phone’s camera, push resolutions as possible. One major advan-
drawbacks of each approach. There are notifications and other hardware are only tage to HTML5 apps is that the interface
three approaches to going about building available if you develop on the native plat- will seem the same from whichever device
apps, the first is to go native which gives form or at least use a wrapper. Security is you open the app. Also, if there are any
you the most flexibility since all the API one aspect which can be best implemented errors in the content then you can fix it
features of a particular platform are made on natively built apps compared to the without having all your users download
available to you. The major drawback is other approaches. the app all over again from the app store.
that you can only program the app on one The second approach is to build a While initially these webapps didn’t have
platform. There are multiple reasons for webapp which is basically a HTML5 access to most of the native features of your

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 107


Cat Simulator? Meow! Image text editor
If Goat Simulator wasn’t enough, a new Project Naptha, a new browser extension for
Kickstarter campaign aims to raise $20K to build Chrome lets users edit text directly from and on
Workshop a cat simulator game. http://dgit.in/MeOw an image itself. http://dgit.in/ImgNaptha

Native HTML5 Hybrid work on them. Since Chrome uses Blink as


App Features the engine you will get a more similar look
Graphics Native APIs HTML, Canvas, SVG HTML, Canvas, SVG as obtained in Android devices. Blink is a
Performance Fast Slow Slow fork of Webkit which powers iOS’ UIWeb-
Native look and feel Native Emulated Emulated View so the webpage will be rendered the
Distribution Appstore Web Appstore same as on iOS.
Device Access
Camera Yes No Yes
Notifications Yes No Yes Hybrid Approach
Contacts, calendar Yes No Yes For this method you’ll have to pick a
Offline storage Secure file storage Shared SQL Secure file system, framework to go with. There are a few
shared SQL frameworks but the popular ones are listed
Geolocation Yes Yes Yes below.
Gestures • Corona
Swipe Yes Yes Yes
• PhoneGap
Pinch, spread Yes No Yes
Connectivity Online and offline Mostly online Online and offline • Appcelerator
Development skills ObjectiveC, Java, .NET HTML5, CSS, HTML5, CSS, We’ll build a simple HTML5 app using
Javascript, .NET Javascript, .NET PhoneGap as a wrapper to provide access
to native features of each platform.
phone, there are workarounds for some of a Mac if you wish to obtain an Apple devel-
these native features now like iScroll which oper certificate as is stated in the documen- Step 1 - Pick the resolution
enables pinch-to-zoom and other gestures. tation. Check this link out for a way to do A primary thing you need to keep in mind
JQuery Mobile is another framework the same without a Mac. http://dgit.in/iOSKey while building using HTML5 is that the
which enables more features on HTML5 For iOS, Android and Windows phone you very same layout will need to be rendered
pages which look and feel like a native app. need to register for a developer account and in the exact same way across all screen res-
The third approach is a hybrid between pay a certain registration fee to obtain your olutions that exist. Refer the image below to
the above two approaches. There now developer certificates. figure out the most popular resolutions.
exist frameworks which have a native Also, each individual app store has Keep in mind that the CSS for your web-
codebase which interacts with the phone a certain review process and do restrict site has to incorporate all these resolutions
while the front end is made out of HTML5. certain parameters. All of these things need otherwise your app will look different on
These apps give you access to native to be adhered to if you wish to have your different devices. There are way too many
features of each platform while exercising app approved. These guidelines can be resolutions listed here so pick the ones that
the flexibility of HTML5. The HTML5 obtained at http://dgit.in/iOSRevi and http:// are most popular. The following link shows
webpages can be saved onto your phone dgit.in/AndGuide. the different resolutions of active android
(local storage) or hosted on a remote server devices along with statistics highlighting
(remote storage) with a few local pages Test, test and test! how popular they are. http://dgit.in/AndDash
just in case the internet connectivity is lost While a simulator can run your apps
while the app is in use. The table below effortlessly it is always advisable to have a Step 2 - Code your website
compares these three approaches: device to test out your apps. If you include You can use any tool to create your website,
more native features then a proper feed- be it dreamweaver or kompozer or any of
Before you start! back is only obtained if using a physical the numerous alternatives. However, if
You should prep for programming by device. But if you simply wish to test your there are many includes in the web page
getting hold of all the software needed for HTML5 website then you can use the emu- then the app load time will increase. We
each approach. We’ll be listing these at the lator in Chrome to view your pages as you tried our hand at creating a design using
beginning of each section. But before you
can compile these projects you will need
your developer certificate or signing key
from each store. Certain tools will allow
you to compile without a certificate but not
for all platforms, Apple’s system is a little
too stringent and most tools won’t create
the package for iOS till you upload or
provide the developer certificate. Android
apps can be packaged and sideloaded onto
your device to test without the certificate on
most tools. Now there is no need for getting Ensure that your app scales well according to the device resolution

108 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Did you know? 3D printed food
204 million Emails are sent by With the 3D printer now being used almost everywhere,
internet users worldwide per minute. and now for food, Cloudy with a chance of 3D printed
Now that’s something to ponder upon food is quite a possibility. http://dgit.in/3DFood Workshop

Adobe Muse and then compiled it using function onError(error) { <a href=”foo/bar/baz” data-
PhoneGap. The application load time was alert(‘code: ‘ + prefetch>link text</a>
around 8 seconds on a Nexus 4. If you wish error.code + ‘\n’ +
to make use of any of the native features ‘message: ‘ + The entire page gets loaded and you
then use the appropriate function call. The error.message + ‘\n’); } don’t have to experience the 250-300 mil-
example for geolocation is given below. </script> </head> lisecond delay that is inherently present
<script type=”text/ <body> in Webkit. PhoneGap apps appear slow
javascript” charset=”utf-8” <p because of this delay and “lazy-loading” is
src=”cordova-2.2.0.js”></script> id=”geolocation”>Finding geolo- one of the ways of getting around this issue.
<script type=”text/javas- cation...</p> Avoid long lists as much as possible and
cript” charset=”utf-8”> </body> avoid gradients in CSS since these are cal-
document. culated my the GPU of the device and will
addEventListener(“deviceready”, This code returns the following as the take up quite the processing power but that
onDeviceReady, false); output. doesn’t mean that you can’t use gradients
function onDeviceReady() { There are numerous examples like anywhere, optimise its usage.
navigator.geolocation. these for making use of each native func-
getCurrentPosition(onSuccess, tionality using PhoneGap’s API. Most Step 3 - Generate assets
onError); } of them can be found here. http://dgit.in/ While coding you will come up with var-
function PGapPlugin ious elements and in order to get the work
onSuccess(position) { There are a few things you need to done as quickly as possible most program-
var ele- mers insert a simple blank image of the
ment = document. proper dimensions. Once you’ve finished
getElementById(‘geolocation’); coding you need to start creating all those
element.innerHTML images. Do keep in mind the image densi-
= ‘Latitude: ‘ + ties while doing so, otherwise you are likely
position.coords.latitude to create an app that is compatible with
+ ‘<br />’ + very few devices. Or if you create just a few
assets then your app will look wonderful
‘Longitude: ‘ + on a few devices while it renders absolutely
position.coords.longitude worse on everything else. This is why you
+ ‘<br />’ + need to generate multiple images/icons/
splash screens for screens of different den-
‘Altitude: ‘ + sities. This way you app seems the same
position.coords.altitude no matter which device you are viewing it
Access native functions in PhoneGap
+ ‘<br />’ + on. You can find all the different icon sizes
keep in mind while coding your website, that PhoneGap need from this link http://
‘Accuracy: ‘ + starting off with the amount of external dgit.in/PGapIcon and for the splash screens
position.coords.accuracy libraries. Use as few external libraries as from this link http://dgit.in/PGapSplash. Or
+ ‘<br />’ + possible to make the application smooth. you could simply generate all of them by
Using libraries are convenient but there uploading a few images using the following
‘Altitude Accuracy: ‘ + posi- are a lot more functions present in each tool. http://dgit.in/IconGen
tion.coords.altitudeAccuracy library than you need, so unless you intend
+ ‘<br />’ + to use one or two libraries efficiently your Step 4 - Arrange the file
application will be cumbersome to use. You structure
‘Heading: ‘ + might have to sacrifice on looks since they Once you have all the files ready, you
position.coords.heading will be rendered differently on different need to arrange them in a certain order
+ ‘<br />’ + platforms. This is absolutely fine. Use CSS depending upon what all you are going
as much as possible to load media since to use. Take your existing project folder
‘Speed: ‘ + they get rendered only when the media with the HTML files and all the included
position.coords.speed needs to be displayed. This way you save libraries and put them all together in a
+ ‘<br />’ + on memory usage. Instead try to make use folder labelled “www”. If you’ve made use
of the memory you will save to pre-load of any plugins that we mentioned earlier
‘Timestamp: ‘ + pages that are more likely to be clicked on. or any at all then those plugins need to be
position.timestamp + The example code for jQuery Mobile is kept in a folder labelled “plugins” which
‘<br />’; } given below. sits at the same level as “www”. There are

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 109


XCOM coming to Android Flash Trek
XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the popular turn-based The new Flash Gordon remake shall be
strategy game from 2KGames will be available written by three Star Trek writers. Read
Workshop for Android soon. http://dgit.in/DroidXCOM on to know more http://dgit.in/flshtrek

two more folders but you only need to use


them if you have coded your application in
such a manner that breaks down your code
as platform specific and platform inde-
pendant. In this case all platform specific
files are stored in the “platforms” folder
with each platform having their own folder
at the same level (ios, android, bada, etc.).

Step 5 - Create the manifest


In the root directory of your app you’ll
need to provide a config.xml file with
all the parameters about your app. This
includes the name of the app, the different
permissions that you’ll need on each plat-
form, core plugins, third-party plugins,
icons and splash screens for each platform.
If you’ve included third-party plugins
which require an authentication key of any
sort then you’ll get a example code which
you’ll have to include in the xml code. The errors indicate that no signing key have been provided for those stores
Don’t worry though, if you don’t make the
xml file on your own then the build service to upload to the PhoneGap build web site each platform them you need to add them
will do it for you but all the plugins won’t or you can commit the files via github. to your https://build.phonegap.com/ account.
work and all the icons will be replaced Otherwise your application package
with the standard PhoneGap icons. Step 7 - Upload will not be generated for that particular
Visit https://build.phonegap.com/ and sign platform. Even if it is generated you still
Step 6 - Zip it up! up for an account. If you use Github for won’t be able to upload these files to the
Finally, you just have have to compress your signin then you can upload your pro- appropriate app store. In the image below
your folder using zip compression and no ject folder to Github and have new builds you can see that only two packages are
encryption. The config.xml file ensures generated as soon as you modify any file. generated, the rest aren’t either because
that all the necessary permissions are This process is not automated since this a signing key was not provided or the
included with your application when it is Build service is provided free of cost. If you PhoneGap version selected for the build is
compiled. This is the package you’ll need were wondering about the signing keys for incompatible with the said platform.

Step 8 - Test your app


If you have a developer account then you
can test your app out on your iOS device,
for android devices you need not worry
about having an developer account.
Simply enable application installation
from “Unknown Sources” in your Android
device’s security settings and you can
install your app by transferring the apk
file to your device and then tapping on the
file using any file browser.

Step 9 - Upload to the store


Once you have tested all the apps and are
satisfied with it you may proceed towards
uploading it to each store. If you are
submitting an app for the first time then
the review process will take about 24-48
hours after which you can find your app
The config.xml lists all the plugins, icons, splash screens, app name, etc. on the respective app store.

110 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


killer rigs
Everything you’ll ever need to build your own PC. Whatever your budget.

Basic rig = 25,778 HTPC = 29,308 Entry-level gaming = 42,396 Mid-range gaming = 65,945 Ultra high-end = 3,25,121 Optional Accessories= 41,825

Basic RIG HTPC


Processor Intel Pentium G2020 3,450 Processor AMD A8-5600K 6,950
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H61M-D2H 3,200 Motherboard MSI FM2-A75MA-P33 4,450
RAM Corsair 2GB DDR3 1333MHz 1,600 RAM Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3 4 GB 3,250
HDD Toshiba 500GB 3,150 HDD Western Digital WD20EZRX 2TB 6,045
Monitor AOC E2043FSK 6,570 Monitor None (your TV) 0
Graphics Card None 0 Graphics Card None (HD7560D onboard) 0
Cabinet NZXT Gamma 2,490 Cabinet Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced 2,977
PSU Corsair VS450 2,268 PSU Cooler Master Thunder 450W 2,696
Speaker Creative SBS A120 (2.1) 1,550 Speaker None 0
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/IDDS 1,050 Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/IDDS 1,050
Mouse Amkette Ash Black (Bundle) 450 Mouse Microsoft Desktop 2000 wireless combo 1,890
Keyboard Amkette Ash Black (Bundle) 0 Keyboard Bundled 0
Sound Card None 0 Sound Card None 0
Total `25,778 Total `29,308

Entry-Level Gaming Mid-Range Gaming


Processor AMD A10-6800K 9,900 Processor Intel Core i5-3470 13,600
Motherboard ASUS F2A85-M-LE 6,200 Motherboard Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H 4,365
RAM G-skill F3-10600CL9S-4GBNT 2,800 Kingston HyperX 8GB
RAM (KHX1600C10D3B1/8G) 5,100
HDD Seagate Barracuda 1TB 4,000
HDD Toshiba 1TB DT01ACA100 4,000
Monitor AOC I2251FWE IPS 8,350
Monitor Benq GL2255HM 10,000
Graphics Card None 0
Graphics Card ZOTAC GTX 750 Ti (2GB) 11,220
Cabinet NZXT Gamma 2,490
Cabinet Antec One - S3 3,260
PSU Cooler Master Thunder 450W 2,656
PSU Seasonic S12II 620 Watts 5,750
Speaker F&D F680 4,500 Speaker F&D F680 4,500
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/IDDS 1,050 Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/IDDS 1,050
Mouse Amkette Ash Black (Bundle) 0 Mouse CM Storm Devastator (Bundle) 3,100
Keyboard Amkette Ash Black (Bundle) 450 Keyboard CM Storm Devastator (Bundle) 0
Sound Card None 0 Sound Card None 0
Total `42,396 Total `65,945

Ultra high-end Gaming OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES


Processor Intel Core i7-4960X 73,899 Surge Protecter Belkin 8 Socket Surge Protector 1,044
Motherboard ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition 35,750 Controller Xbox 360 Controller (Wired) 2,100
RAM ADATA XPG 2 x 4GB (2 Kits) 16,650 UPS APC 1000VA - BR1000G-IN 8,330
Webcam Logitech HD Pro C920 6,800
WD WD30EZRX 3TB +
HDD Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB 23,000 Headphones Sennheiser PX 100-II 3,570
Monitor BenQ XL2720T 33,415 Mousepad Roccat Taito 650
Graphics Card ZOTAC GTX 780 Ti 55,700 Wireless Router TP-LINK TD-W8968 2,211
Cabinet NZXT Phantom 820 16,836 Sound Card ASUS Xonar Essence STX 9,500
PSU Cooler Master V1000 14,811 External DVD- Lite-On eUAU108 1,670
Speaker Logitech Z906 5.1 24,200 Writer
Optical Drive LG Blu-ray WH16NS40 RW 6,500 Thermal Paste Arctic Silver 5 (3.5 grams) 600
Mouse Roccat Kone XTD 5,400 CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212X 2,850
Keyboard Corsair Vengeance K70 8,460 Fan Controller Deepcool Rock Master V3 1,650
Sound Card ASUS Xonar Phoebus 10,500 Case Fan Corsair AF120 850
Total `3,25,121 Total `41,825

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 111


Price watch Jabra Boost
We cover gaming mice, MFDs, Jabra boosts efficiency for office professionals

Street smart 114 tablets and Wi-Fi routers in this


month’s Price Watch
across Asia. Read their press release to find
out more: http://dgit.in/jabraprel

Dreams on a
budget
Agent 001 shares some gyaan on
the art of buying a laptop

Agent 001
agent001@thinkdigit.com

H
ow does one go about
purchasing a laptop? It’s
a question I’ve been asked
many times and apparently,
it’s a question that still sends most people
into a tizzy and much as I enjoy helping
people out, maybe it’s time you learnt a
thing or two about fending for yourself in
this tech world. You know the thing they
say about teaching a man to fish right?
Ideally I supposed we’d want our tech
needs to be fulfilled in a more satisfac- a set of general guidelines that should houses, but a good CPU goes a long way
tory fashion, where we just waltz into help you decide on your own and stand in ensuring a more comfortable com-
a store and walk away with the gadget you in good stead for some time yet. puting experience, as well as towards
of our dreams. Why should we sit and future-proofing your device.
worry about CPUs and RAM when all CPU Intel: For a bare-bones laptop, any-
we want is a device to do our bidding? AMD or Intel is an age old question that thing above Intel’s Celeron 1000 series
Well, your dreams aren’t that far away for is still a matter of serious debate of CPUs (i.e., any CPU launched since
from realisation, actually. Now I’ve been among enthusiasts the world over. While 2013) should be enough. From whatever
testing laptops (among other gadgets) for things may not be plain and simple in the tests I’ve conducted, one thing’s been
many a year and finally, after this much PC world, in the laptop world the advan- blindingly obvious, if you’re going for a
time, I think we’re finally at a turning tages and disadvantages are clear as day. laptop, get one that’s powered by Intel’s
point when it comes to laptop power. Haswell CPUs (basically the Intel CPUs
Both Intel and AMD have worked with a model no. that goes 4xxx). The
really hard on their CPUs and though improvements in battery-life over every
they’ve taken a divergent path when other competing CPU is staggering and if
it comes to implementation, almost all you want a portable device, you wouldn’t
their CPUs now deliver enough power to want any other CPU in your laptop. An
ensure that at least your basic computing i7 is simply an indulgence. It’s definitely
experience is intact. And by basic we nice to have one, but you’ll rarely need
mean that Windows 8 (Windows 7 too, anything more than an i5 for most of
if you prefer it) will run with all its bells your needs. Also remember that when it
and whistles and that your browsing and Before we sort that out though, bear in comes to gaming, an i5 + GPU combo is
document editing will function smoothly. mind that this is the single most impor- way better than just an i7 CPU.
Of course, a bare-bones laptop is not tant component in your laptop. Laptops If you have a tight budget, get a
what everyone is looking for, so here are are not traditionally meant to be power- Celeron powered device. If you need

112 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Trend Micro ‘droided Street view flashback
Trend Micro takes charge of ‘droid security by A new update to Google’s Street View lets you now
safeguarding the Android platform for Mobiles view the changes made to a place in the course of time.
and Tablets http://dgit.in/trendmican http://dgit.in/StreetFlash Agent 001

something a bit more powerful, get one keyboard is much more important than
that’s powered by an i3 CPU. If you need a convenient layout. Layouts you can get
a good all-rounder, get a device with an used to. But sticky keys? Never.
i5 and an Nvidia GPU. Obviously, if your I’ve found that most laptops do offer
budget permits it, get yourself an i7 and decent keyboards these days, but I do
a more powerful Nvidia GPU and you tend to recommend Lenovo Thinkpads
should be all set for at least two years of to anyone who wants a device primarily
computing pleasure. for typing on. It’s not that HP or Sony or
AMD:If you’re willing to sacrifice any other company are bad, but person-
some amount of CPU power and battery ally, Lenovo’s island keys just seem
power for better graphics performance, more comfortable.
then AMD’s APUs are made for you.
You’ll identify these CPUs by the “A” Monitor
before their model no. (like theAMD A6). Don’t scrimp on this. Your laptop will be
For those not in the know, an APU with you for the duration of its working
is essentially an AMD GPU that’s been life (probably) and the monitor will be
mated to an AMD CPU. In effect what what you’ll be staring at during that time.
you get is a hybrid CPU-GPU combo Get a good monitor, spend a little extra if
that offers you something less than the you must but do not compromise on this.
best of both worlds. Take the case of the You’ll regret your decision later.
A10 APU, when pitted against an i5 (in The screen size is entirely your deci-
the same price bracket) it offers you the sion. Just remember that a larger screen
computational power of a Celeron M size means lower battery life and a
and GPU power that’s about 30% below heavier laptop. Essentials
what you’d get from an Nvidia 640M. Other essentials on any laptop that you
That said, the combination works Storage must look out for are USB3.0 ports,
quite well, especially in GPU intensive If you want battery life and perfor- HDMI output, an SD card reader and a
applications, but there are very few mance, then an SSD in your laptop is webcam. These are usually present by
other scenarios where you’d appreciate a must. For anything else, just go with default but the number of available USB
the APU. a storage capacity that you’re comfort- ports might matter to a lot of people, so
Another main drawback of the APU is able with. Don’t spend too much on an do count them.
the tremendous loss in battery life, which upgraded HDD though, usually the cost- It’s hard to give a straight-up recom-
is about half of what you’d get with an i5, mendation when it comes good audio
and easily 7 times lower than what you’d from a laptop, but I’ve noticed that Sony
get from a Celeron. AMD’s E1, which is laptops do tend to have the best audio
their low-end APU, is a bad choice for quality around. The speakers on HP
budget laptops though and even though laptops are usually not that bad.
the graphics option (on paper) is better
than that on the competing Celeron, know To conclude
that no amount of graphical power can If you’ll notice, I’ve refrained from giving
compensate for loss in processing power. you any sort of recommendation with
regards to laptop models and budgets.
RAM The reasoning for this is simple, lap-
The easiest decision you’ll ever make, just tops are constantly upgraded so what
remember that the more RAM you have per-GB is very high for a manufacturer is relevant today may not be as relevant
the better your PC will perform. Don’t upgrade and you’ll find that it’s more 30 days from now and also, this guide is
take any laptop that sports anything lower economical to just purchase a portable meant to arm you with the knowledge
than 2GB of RAM and 4GB is what I’d HDD separately. necessary to find your dream laptop. I
recommend as a starting point. While shall keep you updated with the ebb and
Windows can function on 1GB of RAM, Keyboard and Touchpad flow of the tide of technology. Hopefully,
you will be hard-pressed to get the rest As with the monitor, this is something though, I’ve finally taught you how to
of your apps working optimally. In fact, you’ll spend interacting with the most. fish, for laptops at the very least.
with even 2GB of RAM, a browser such as There’s no right or wrong choice really in
Google Chrome will be unbearably slow terms of layout, just go with the one that Do drop me a mail at agent001@thinkdigit.com
with even 10 tabs open. suits you best. However, a comfortable if you need some more advice or assistance.

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 113


Pandora sued $100 Nexus
Sony sues Pandora in a bid to Google may release a low cost phone in the
gain more royalties for songs prior Nexus link in partnership with MediaTek
Price Watch to 1972 http://dgit.in/PandaSue http://dgit.in/100Nexus

Spend Smart
Seems like a great time to buy new gadgets. Here are some of the products
that we've picked for you to choose from

Gaming Mice
Brand Model Price Diode Type DPI Base Weight Buttons Custom Cable Length Adjustable
(in `) (gm) profiles (cm) Weights
Tt eSports Level 10 M 6,888 Laser 8200 185 11 5 180 N
Logitech G100s 1,399 Optical 2500 82.5 4 NA 200 Y
Cooler Master Spawn 3,000 Optical 3500 142 7 NA 200 N
Razer Naga Hex 5,649 Laser 5600 134 11 Unlimited 210 N
Steelseries Sensei 7,299 Laser 5700 102 8 Unlimited 200 N
Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 3 3,747 Optical 3200 98 5 NA NA N
Roccat Kone XTD 5,750 Laser 8200 123 8 5 180 Y
Tt eSports Black Element 4,050 Laser 6500 NA 9 5 180 Y
Logitech G500s 5,666 Laser 8200 121 10 NA 200 Y
Cooler Master Recon 4,050 Optical 4000 139 9 5 180 N
Cooler Master Mizar 4,499 Laser 8200 121 7 4 200 N
Razer Ouroboros Elite 12,000 Laser 8200 115 11 Unlimited Detachable N
Steelseries Kana 4,850 Optical 3600 72 6 Unlimited 200 N
Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 7 7,649 Laser 6400 150 6 NA NA Y
Roccat Pyra 1,850 Optical 1600 90 5 5 150 N
Genius Maurus 1,900 Optical 3500 NA 5 NA 180 Y
TAG Gaming 007 790 Optical 2400 NA 6 NA 160 N

Printers
Price Max print Cartridge cost
Brand Model Laser/Inkjet First print time Wi-Fi Ethernet
(in `) resolution (Colour + B/W)

Canon MG7170 16,990 Inkjet NA 802.11n Y 9600 x 2400 695 + 840


HP OJ8600 16,990 Inkjet 14 sec 802.11n Y 4800 x 1200 1687 x3 + 2301
Samsung SCX 3401 8,349 Laser 8.5 sec N N 1200 x 1200 3271
Ricoh SP 200N 8,160 Laser NA N Y 1200 x 600 689
Epson M200 13,490 Inkjet NA N Y 1440 x 720 687
Epson L350 12,100 Inkjet NA N N 5760 x 1440 420 x3 + 441
Epson L210 11,000 Inkjet NA N N 5760 x 1440 420 x3 + 441
HP M1136 10,300 Laser NA N N 600 x 600 3260
Canon MG6470 11,200 Inkjet NA Y N 4800 x 1200 1687 x3 + 2301
HP 4515 8,990 Inkjet 24 sec 802.11n N 4800 x 1200 451 + 451
Canon MG3570 5,349 Inkjet NA 802.11n N 4800 x 1200 1365 + 865
Canon E510 4,849 Inkjet NA N N 4800 x 1200 899 + 725
HP 1515 4,690 Inkjet 24 sec N N 4800 x 1200 451 + 451
Brother HL-1111 3,985 Laser NA N N 600 x 600 1500
Brother DCP-J140W 7,592 Inkjet NA 802.11n N 1200 x 600 494 x3 + 730
Brother DCP-7055 8,965 Laser NA N N 2400 x 600 1500

114 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


10Gbps WiFi Opteron X-series APU
Quantenna is working on a chipset to enable AMD showcases its next generation APUs
8x8 spatial streams enabling much higher based on Opteron at the Red Hat Summit
bandwidth http://dgit.in/10GbpsWiFi http://dgit.in/OpteronXAPU Price Watch

Routers
Price 802.11 External Gigabit
Brand Model Bandwidth Dual band USB Ports WPS
(in `) protocol antenna Ethernet
ASUS RT-AC68U 18,790 ac 1900 Mbps 3 Y 2 Y Y
Belkin F9K1009zb 1,601 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y
Buffalo WCR-GN-AP 1,890 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y
Cisco EA4500 12,895 n 900 Mbps 0 Y 1 Y Y
Digisol DG-BR4015N 2,356 n 150 Mbps 1 N 1 N Y
D-Link DIR-810L 7,900 ac 750 Mbps 0 Y 0 N Y
Edimax BR-6228ns 1,190 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y
Netgear WNDR4720-100PES 20,160 n 900 Mbps 0 Y 2 Y Y
TP-Link TL-WDR4300 6,365 n 750 Mbps 3 Y 2 Y Y
TRENDnet TEW-752DRU 4,200 n 600 Mbps 0 Y 1 Y Y
ASUS RT-N10 EZ 1,070 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y
Belkin N750 DB 6,400 n 750 Mbps 0 Y 2 Y Y
Buffalo WCR-HP-G300 4,700 n 300 Mbps 2 N 0 N Y
Cisco E900 2,499 n 300 Mbps 0 N 0 N Y
D-Link DIR-600M 966 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y
Edimax BR-6428ns 1,850 n 300 Mbps 2 N 0 N Y
Netgear WNR612 907 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y
TRENDnet TEW-712BR 1,150 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y
TP-Link TL-WR740N 905 n 150 Mbps 1 N 0 N Y

Tablets 10 inch
Price Primary
Brand Model CPU GPU RAM Resolution OS Memory
(in `) Camera
Karbonn Cosmic ST10 8,680 1.5 GHz Cortex A9 Dual Core Mali 400 1 GB 1024 x 768 2 MP Android 4.1.1 1.5 GB
iBall Slide 3G 9728 16,949 1 GHz Cortex A9 Dual Core NA 1 GB 1024 x 768 5 MP Android 4.1 16 GB
Notion Ink Adam II NI5534G9 17,999 1.5 GHz Cortex A9 Dual Core NA 1 GB 1280 x 800 3.15 MP Android 4.2.2 8 GB

Lenovo Idea Tab S6000 19,499 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 Quad Core SGX544MP2 1 GB 1280 x 800 5 MP Android 4.2 16 GB

Milagrow M8 Pro 3G 25,990 1.6 GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core Mali 400 2 GB 1280 x 800 5 MP Android 4.2.2 16 GB
HP Omni 10 27,490 Intel Atom Z3770 Quad Core Intel HD 2 GB 1920 x 1200 8 MP Windows 8.1 32 GB
ASUS Transformer TF3000TG 37,490 1.2 GHz Cortex A9 Dual Core Tegra 3 1 GB 1280 x 800 8 MP Android 4.0 32 GB
Sony Xperia Z 39,990 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Adreno 320 2 GB 1920 x 1200 8.1 MP Android 4.1 16 GB
Samsung Note 10.1 46,900 1.9 GHz Cortex A15 Quad Core NA 3 GB 2560 x 1600 8 MP Android 4.3 32 GB
Acer W510 53,999 Intel Atom Z2760 GMA 3650 2 GB 1366 x 768 8 MP Windows 8 64 GB
Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi & 3G 60,000 A7 G6430 1 GB 2048 x 1536 5 MP iOS 7 128 GB
iBall Q9703 14,599 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 Quad Core SGX543MP2 2 GB 2048 x 1536 5 MP Android 4.1 16 GB
ASUS TF101 19,990 1 GHz Cortex A9 Dual Core ULP GeForce 1 GB 1280 x 800 5 MP Android 3.2 16 GB
Google Nexus 7 2012 10,999 1.2 GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core ULP GeForce 1 GB 1280 x 800 5 MP Android 4.2 32 GB
Apple iPad Mini 58,900 A7 G6430 1 GB 2048 x 1536 5 MP iOS 7 128 GB
Dell Venue 8 Pro 39,999 Intel Atom Z3740D Quad Core Intel HD 2 GB 1280 x 800 5 MP Windows 8.1 64 GB
Google Nexus 7 2013 24,749 1.5 GHz Krait Quad Core Adreno 320 2 GB 1920 x 1200 5 MP Android 4.3 32 GB
Acer Iconia W4-820 23,799 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3740 Intel HD 2 GB 1280 x 800 5 MP Windows 8.1 64 GB
Lenovo Yoga 8 16,790 1.2 GHz MT 8125 Quad Core SGX544MP2 1 GB 1280 x 800 5 MP Android 4.2 16 GB
BlackBerry
BlackBerry Playbook 17,299 1 GHz Cortex A9 SGX540 1 GB 1920 x 1080 5 MP 64 GB
Tablet OS

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 115


Community Livin’ it up
Follow our thriving communities on Carlos Spottorno captures intimate

Unwind 118 facebook, twitter and our forum and you


just might get featured here
images of the insanely wealthy.
http://dgit.in/1lTkWC5

Mass Movement
Advancements in transport have made the world a much smaller place, but for super-
massive objects, transport is still no easy task. Here are some of the most capable heavy-
lift machines ever made.

Crawler-Transporter
Transporting the Saturn V rocket to its
launch pad, not to mention the massive
Space Shuttles and their launch towers
is no easy feat. The platform that carries
these behemoths is possibly the largest
tracked vehicle in the world and has a car-
rying capacity of 5500 tonnes. The plat-
form itself weighs over 2000 tonnes and
each track’s shoe alone weighs 900kg.
Mighty Marlin Seawise Giant
Blue Marlin and Black Marlin are two Take a wild guess, what do you think the
of the largest transport ships in the largest self-propelled man-made object
world. Weighing in at 74,000tonnes, weighs? 100,000 tonnes? 200,000?
fully loaded, these ships can carry eve- Nope. 650,000 tonnes. That’s the weight
rything from other ships to full-fledged of the Seawise Giant, also considered to
oil-derricks between themselves. A be the largest ship ever built. This ocean-
17,600BHP engine is required to get going monster was sunk in the Iran-Iraq
each of these monsters moving, and war, but was later salvaged and pushed
even then, they can only hit 14knots. back into service.

Caterpillar 797
If you thought that pesky container truck
that almost ran you over on the highway
was large, you’ve seen nothing yet. The
Caterpillar 797 is so massive that the
wheel costs more than a Hyundai Jazz
and the driver has to climb 15m to get to
the driving compartment. If that wasn’t
enough, this 400 tonne metal monster
can travel at 42kph!
Antonov An-225 “Mriya” Thialf (Greyjoy?)
The American’s and the French might Lost an oil-derrick? The Thialf will fish it
claim to build the best aircraft, but this out for you. This semi-submerged crane
side of the Iron Curtain, they stand has a lifting capacity of 14,500 tonnes,
no chance against the Russians. The more than enough for those derricks you
Antonov An-225 holds the record for keep losing. The vessel itself is held in
transporting the largest payload ever position by six 5,500KW motors and 12
loaded into an aircraft (at 200+ tonnes). anchors that weigh 22.5 tonnes each.
This aircraft is so large that it makes the Random fact, it’s got double the lifting
Boeing 747 look like a Cessna. capacity of its nearest competitor.

116 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


DeBIT cards Mining Madness
BitCoin might finally get a debit card of its This is what you get when you’ve got all the time
own. Here’s how you can get yours in the world, a Minecraft rendition of Denmark
http://dgit.in/1nvMxgG http://dgit.in/1hAVopo Unwind

How we unwind

Ant-Man Returns
Ant’s departure from the test-centre
had left us with a hollow spot in our
hearts, a void that’s yet to be filled.
We long to hear his dulcet whining as
he tries to defend his sanity under our
relentless onslaughts. But wait! What’s
that? The Ant’s returned! Oh joy of joys!
The test centre is whole again.

Builder’s dilemma Let the Games begin


The one thing we value the most at Digit is George R.R. Martin’s epic saga has
reliability, but we also have an insatiable had us hooked from day one (of the TV
desire to twiddle with things and generally series) and while some us have read the
muck about. This does affect our “produc- books (you can guess who they are by
tivity” somewhat since we’re always more their smug, all-knowing smiles), others
excited when a PC dies on us than when it’s just watch the show. Either way, hardly
purring away nicely. With three rigs dying a day passes without some sort of dis-
on us this month, Christmas came early! cussion on the happenings of Westeros.

diary
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a titan in our midst. A gift Disheartened, we looked for a lesser object, one that would
from the Gods, a distant relative of Hercules himself (or be more in line with our Lord’s capabilities. As we moved from
maybe Koalemos). Ant we call him, the Chosen (minus) One, bike to bike our disappointment only grew and so did His des-
our Lord and Saviour, Monowarrior, Mathamystician, Star peration, but at long last we finally found IT; a two-wheeler
Child and His Whining Glory, the King of Interns. This divine that our Lord could get off the ground with his own two hands.
creature walks the Earth with His head in the clouds (he’s It was a bicycle. We’ve lost some faith in our Lord now, but
quite tall you know) and judges mortals from his lofty perch. who’s to question the being that claims that stars reflect the
He’s also blessed with superhuman strength, or so he claims. light of the Sun? Our Star Child has, after all, descended from
His Holiness had left us a while ago to pursue higher studies the Heavens.
and His return to the hallowed halls of our test centre (for a Speaking of interns, our Pony is blossoming into a real
secret project) was awaited with bated breath and champing man. He no longer cavorts around like that happy little Pony
jaws in anticipation of the weeks of joyous persecution that we he was when he first set foot in our office. Months of playing
would inflict on this God among men (we’re a heinous bunch Smite has transformed him into a raging beast that curses like
aren’t we?); and he did not disappoint. a drunken sailor in the face of in-game noobishness (discount-
He tried to lend credence to His claims of superhuman ing the fact that he’s not that great himself). Still, he does
strength by further claiming to have lifted a Yamaha FZ with serve as a substitute for the Ant (a poor one we might add),
his bare hands, on a whim. but given enough time, we’re pretty sure he’ll fill the void.
Divine He might be, but in mortal form He’s subject to the In the midst of these fallen Gods, maturing Ponies and the
same laws of gravity that we are and we were skeptical. For madness of issue closing came news that raised the spirits
how could a mere lad (his human avatar) of 23 (with a build of the entire team and brought a smile to even the hardiest
that’s in the same vein as Dr.Seuss’s Cat in the Hat) lift a bike of souls working at Digit. Big Daddy, the gentle giant himself,
that weighs 135kgs with his bare hands? We wanted more a man who can crush another’s head as easily as he would a
than claims, we wanted evidence, we wanted to see this su- tomato is now an actual daddy. You read that right, Jayesh
perhuman feat accomplished with our very own eyes. is now the father of a very lovely baby girl. In his own words,
We grabbed the divine being and shoved him down to our “I’m shaking with joy. Can’t describe the feeling.”
parking lot where we scouted in vain for an FZ. Not finding Our heartiest best wishes go out to the enraptured father
one, we first settled on a Splendor. The lad placed his hands and his family. It’s times like these that allow us to take a
on the bike, called upon the powers of his progentors and breather from the nebulous joys of gadgets and tech and exult
lifted. Or attempted to at least, judging by the beads of perspi- in the joys of life.
ration trickling down his forehead, for the bike didn’t budge. P.S. You can send in your well-wishes to editor@thinkdigit.com

Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com 117


Top 10 C# mistakes SpaceX sues US Gov.
It’s quite likely that you are one of the millions of SpaceX sues the Government over not
programmers who commit these simple mistakes letting it launch military satellites
Digit Squad http://dgit.in/10csharpmis http://dgit.in/SpaceSue

This month we highlight some aspiring tech


writers and their spirited attempt to get published
in the magazine. Let’s have more!

Create your own TOR url and start


off with HTML5 game development
Creating your own not then re-check all the steps. The page
.onion URL with that just loaded was from your own PC
your computer as only and that too from “C:\Savant\Root”
the server directory. As a general rule ‘index.html’
Sometimes when you will be acting as your default/first-loading
need a website which isn’t page. Note: Savant is very unstable so you
Praneet Sah
public and you wish to can use ‘uniformserver’ as well.
share it with a select few. At such times you
can easily get an URL with a .onion TLD. Obtaining your URL
With your computer as the server you are Now almost everything is done, we just .onion sites are hidden from most engines
assured that your files hosted on the site need to tell TOR about our server and
are safe on your own computer and are then it will provide us our URL. Before URL of your website with .onion as TLD.
being shared with the right people. we begin you need to create a folder on For me the URL was “utfd24oh7n43kzj2.
First of all, you will need to install your desktop which will be used by TOR onion” and to visit the website you need
the TOR(The Onion Router) browser. to provide you the URL of your site. Close to append ‘/index.html’ after .onion so the
This is a special browser that focuses on your TOR browser if it is open and then URL becomes http://utfd24oh7n43kzj2.
anonymity of the user. All the sites you go to your TOR installation directory, onion/index.html
visit using it are routed via a proxy server, look for a folder labelled ‘Data’, in it open Don’t delete the folder that you’ve created
thus, it doesn’t let the site know your real the ‘Tor’ folder and look for a file named on your desktop. Running an anonymous
identity. Websites using .onion as TLD are ‘torrc’. Open it in any text editor program site is not an easy task and it’s possible that
only accessible via the TOR browser or and enter the following lines in it. the authorities may crack down on you if
through certain websites like tor2web.org HiddenServiceDir C:\Users\ you engage in any illegal activity.
In case you want your site to be accessible YOUR_USERNAME\Desktop\NAME_
via normal browsers then you need to OF_FOLDER HTML5 Game Dev –
append ‘.to’ at the end of an .onion URL. HiddenServicePort 80 Getting started with
This isn’t recommended because there is a 127.0.0.1:YOUR_PORT PandaJs
chance that your site may fail to load. Now In the above two lines make sure to HTML5 is the next big
we are going to install a Web Server on edit ‘your_username’ with your com- thing with new and inter-
our computer. You can use XAMPP and puter’s username and ‘name_of_folder’ esting APIs to experi-
Dileep
other popular web server packages but with the name of empty folder that you Mohanan ment with. Among them,
you risk disclosing your actual IP, hence, just created on your desktop. Also make Canvas has been making
it is advised to use ‘Savant’. sure to replace the word ‘your_port’, with the some waves (Check some demos here
the port that you entered in Savant. Now http://www.canvasdemos.com/). Canvas
Setting up the server you need to save this file and then open is a container to draw graphics on the
Start Savant and click on the ‘Configura- TOR browser, so that TOR can generate go. From text and images to 3D, you can
tion’ tab and a pop-up should appear. In a URL and Private Key for your website. draw and manipulate them in a web
the ‘Server DNS Entry’ option, type ‘local- Wait for 5-6 seconds and then close TOR page. This along with Js gave rise to a lot
host’ and in ‘Port # To Server From’ type browser. Now navigate to the folder that of game frameworks. Panda.Js is only a
‘8080’. If this doesn’t work then try port you’d created on your desktop and you few months old but has some powerful
80 or any other open port for your system. will find two files in it – Hostname and features – Physics engine, particle engine,
After clicking ‘apply’ open any browser private_key. You don’t have to do anything WebGL and more.
and visit ‘localhost:port’, replace port with with private_key, it’s there for identifica- In this article, we will learn how to setup
‘8080’ or with whichever you went with. tion purposes. Open the file Hostname a game scene, to add or remove assets and
If the page loads then you’ve got it right, if with any text editor and you’ll find the finally about making the assets interactive.

118 Digit | May 2014 | www.thinkdigit.com


Microsoft Mobile Oy Google+ chief quits
Microsoft’s aquisition of Nokia is complete Vic Gundotra is to leaving Google casting a
and it has been rebranded shadow over the future of Google+
http://dgit.in/MicroOy http://dgit.in/ByeVic Digit Squad

The Engine logo.interactive = true;


Go to www.pandajs.net and download the latest engine. After Interactions are possible through keyboard and mouse. For
extracting the zip, you will find two folders src (engine and game mouse several methods like click, mouseup, mousedown, mouse-
main file) and media (assets – images, audio etc.). Inside the src move are supported. To make it do some function on click, we
folder you will find two files – config.js (path configurations) and implement the click method as follows –
main.js (your game code). You can find the source codes inside the logo.click = function () {//your code to do something}
engine folder or make your own and add it there.
Removing the sprite
Setting up the scene To remove a sprite from the screen, call the removeChild() method
Open main.js using a text editor. You would see the following: from the scene or just remove() from the object itself. Like –
game.module(‘game.main’) logo.click = function () {this.remove();}
.body(function() { Or
game.addAsset(‘logo.png’); this.stage.removeChild(logo);
SceneGame = game.Scene.extend({
backgroundColor: 0xb9bec7, More?
init: function() { That is pretty much the basics. You can find more about PandaJs on
var logo = new game.Sprite(‘logo.png’); its official website. If you want to know more about HTML5 Game
logo.anchor.set(0.5, 0.5); engines, head onto http://html5gameengine.com/ and find which is
logo.position.set(game.system.width / 2, game.system.height right for you. There are plenty of frameworks to choose from and
/ 2); most of then are as easy as this one to work with. Happy coding!
this.stage.addChild(logo); }});
game.start();});

• game.module – Configures which all modules the


game needs.
• game.addAsset() – Assets (images, audio etc.) should
be added before its referenced inside a scene. The
above line adds the image logo.png from the media
folder (path configured in config.js) to its assets set.
• To create a scene, we create a class which extends the
game.Scene class. Several methods and properties are
available for the game.Scene class. The backgroundColor
property lets you paint the background a solid color.
• init() - is called to initialize the scene. Here we create
a sprite of the PandaJs logo which we added to our
assets set earlier.
• anchor.set(x,y) – Sets the registration point of the
sprite. You can find a demo of what’s an anchor point
here http://jawsjs.com/jawsjs/examples/example5.html
• position.set(x,y) – Sets the x and y coordinates to
display the sprite.
• stage.addChild() – Adds the sprite to the scene.
• game.start() – To start the game. You can specify
which scene to start first, the dimension of the scene
and the CanvasId. The parameters are in the order –
game.start(Scene,width,height,loaderClass,CanvasId).

Making the sprite interactive


To make the sprite interactive, we must include the core.js
and set the sprite’s interactive property to true. Below the
game.module add the following –
.require(“
engine.core”)
And inside the init() function, after creating the sprite
class add -
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