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Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

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The Moto G promises to deliver a premium smartphone experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones. In India, it’s currently selling like hot cakes. Considering the hype surrounding this handset, the Moto G deserves a special review treatment. Unlike others, we don’t just run benchmarks on a phone and then write an article around it. In smartphones, performance and app count only tell you the ‘smart’ part. In this review, we will also tell you how well does the Moto G perform as a ‘phone’.

 

 

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Budget smartphones might not attract as much attention as their high-end counterparts, but there is no denying that these devices are in massive demand, especially in markets like India. Motorola’s Moto G is an attempt to grab buyers’ attention by offering a number of features at an extremely reasonable price.

After a brief sabbatical, Motorola has returned to the Indian market with its Moto G smartphone, which is an affordable device for cost-conscious consumers worldwide. This phone was designed as part of Google’s plan to focus on creating a distinctive lineup of devices for different markets. Now, with Lenovo recently acquiring Google’s stake in Motorola Mobility, we don’t know whether or not the company will stick with the same strategy.

Motorola underscored its plan to focus on emerging markets by unveiling the Moto G at a huge event in Sao Paulo, Brazil in November last year. The budget-friendly smartphone was supposed to have reached Indian shores by January 2014, and it’s here after only a short delay. As promised, it comes at a decent price.

We got our hands on the black version of the Moto G (single-SIM). Does this low price come at the cost of performance?

Look and feel
The first thing that struck us about the Motorola Moto G was its novel packaging. When it came to our doorstep, we didn’t realise that the sleek box hid a mobile phone inside. Amazingly everything from the device to the charger fits within this slim box.

The Moto G is a candybar phone. It doesn’t have any contours – the design is very basic yet modern. When we first looked at the Moto G, we mistook it for the company’s flagship Moto X.

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The G looks like a replica of the Moto X (except for its size), which is not really a bad thing considering the premium look of its elder sibling. However, the Moto G is different in a few ways. It’s definitely thicker, measuring 129.9×65.9×11.6mm compared to 129.3×65.3×10.4mm for the X. At 143 grams, the Moto G is also heavier than the Moto X (130 grams). However, we assume that for an average buyer in this price segment, thickness and weight of a smartphone are not the biggest concerns. The Moto G features curved edges that offer a good grip.

The Moto G’s front panel is dominated by a 4.5-inch screen, which is only marginally smaller than 4.7-inch display found on the Moto X. The front panel features a black strip of glass around the screen that visually differentiates the plastic front and rear panels. Notably, the Moto G does not have any logo or branding on the front.

There’s a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera which to the left of the chrome earpiece. There are no soft-touch capacitive buttons on the front panel, a design touch that is commonly seen on the Nexus range of devices. It’s worth pointing out that Google’s Nexus 7 (2013) tablet’s front panel also bears a lot of similarities to the Moto G. The new Nexus 7 features a glass strip around the screen, identical to the Moto G.

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It seems Google wanted to align the industrial design of its hardware products. The Nexus line and Motorola’s two recent phones do have a family resemblance that sets them apart from Samsung’s and HTC’s phones.

Motorola has also used a nano-coating on the Moto G that acts as light water repellent. This does not make the Moto water resistant, but it can protect the smartphone from light splashes of water, which is still an interesting touch for a smartphone at this price point.

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The curved rear panel is made of a soft-touch polycarbonate, and is comfortable to hold. Yes, it sometimes gets badly smudged by fingerprints, but this is nothing that cannot be cleaned. The panel is removable even though the battery isn’t. Motorola has announced that there will be accessories including rear shells and flip covers (both in seven colour options) and Grip Shells (in five colour options). This means that customers will have a choice of colours, something we generally see on Nokia’s Lumia range.

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The power and volume rocker buttons are placed on the right side of the Moto G, while the 3.5mm audio jack is on the top and the Micro-USB port is on the bottom panel. The placement of the physical buttons is fine and we had no problem reaching them even when we were not looking at the device. The Moto G’s back houses a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash with a speaker grille to its left. The Motorola logo is embossed just below the LED flash and is identical to the one found on the Moto X. Peel off the back panel and you can get to the SIM slot, which accepts a Micro-SIM. The unit we received was a single-SIM device, though Motorola has introduced a dual-SIM Moto G variant in India.

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The Motorola Moto G has an overall solid build, though it does feel bit plasticky. Yes, it follows a tried and tested design rather than a radically new one, but it certainly has its own identity and there’s no mistaking it for any other phone from any other company.

Screen
One of the biggest highlights of the Moto G is its 4.5-inch 720×1280-pixel IPS LCD, which works out to a density of 329 pixels per inch. Notably, the Moto G’s screen is a bit sharper than Apple’s iPhone 5s, which offers 326ppi.

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Motorola has also used Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the Moto G to protect it from scratches. It’s worth pointing out that Gorilla Glass is usually found on premium devices priced at Rs. 30,000 and above.

The IPS LCD screen doesn’t have the fullest colour reproduction like the HTC One and LG G2 or the deepest blacks like Samsung’s high-end Galaxy smartphones (Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 3) with AMOLED screens do, but it is bright and colours are consistently vibrant. Thankfully the viewing angles are never a problem. The screen is not very reflective and visibility in bright sunlight was also acceptable. Further, the Moto G’s 4.5-inch screen is fine for video playback and gaming.

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Text on the Moto G is always crisp and clear.

There is no denying that many brands have launched smartphones with full-HD screens of late, but after using the Moto G for some time we felt that 329ppi is more than enough for a screen of this size. Motorola has definitely upped the ante for phones in this price bracket.

Camera
The Moto G sports a 5-megapixel rear camera accompanied by an LED flash, and also has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. At this price point, we didn’t expect a higher megapixel count. The camera delivers decent but uninspiring shots in good lighting conditions.

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We tested the Moto G’s rear camera both outdoors and indoors in a variety of lighting conditions and found that images taken outdoors during daylight came out well, though they were a little over-saturated and we could detect a little bit of noise at the edges. You can notice that detail is lacking if you zoom in to a photo taken with a Moto G. Other than that, we found the quality of images taken in sufficient light to be satisfactory. However, the same could not be said for indoor and low-light shots. Photos taken in artificial light (without using the LED flash) are not very impressive, as background noise does tend to creep in.

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The Moto G’s rear camera can be set to take 5-megapixel shots in the 4:3 aspect ratio, while 16:9 shots will come out at 3.8 megapixels.

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The Moto G’s camera app is not stock and adds a bit of flavour the otherwise vanilla OS. Motorola’s camera app has a circular control bar that pops out from the left of the screen when tapped. Additional features include 4X digital zoom, slow motion video, burst mode, auto HDR mode, Panorama and tap to focus. The Moto G’s burst mode allows users to take up to 99 shots at once; users just need to long-press the camera soft key on the screen to start shooting. Notably, there are no ISO and exposure control settings on the Moto G.

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The 1.3-megapixel front facing camera can be used for selfies and video chats. We found that videos and images captured indoors or even outdoors with this camera were a bit grainy.

We would have liked a physical button for the camera as one has to rely on the soft key on the screen to click images.

Software/ Interface
When the Moto G reached our office, the device was running Android 4.3 out of the box. However, we soon encountered an alert that said “Please update your Moto G to Android’s latest version (4.4.2).” Motorola had rolled out the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the Moto G ahead of schedule in December last year.

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The Moto G with Android 4.4.2 KitKat is most updated smartphone in its price segment and offers a stock Android experience.

The Nexus 5 was the platform lead for Android 4.4 (KitKat) and the Moto G bears a lot of similarities to it in terms of software. Android 4.4 has a number of visual changes compared to Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), including a new launcher that makes the interface even more minimalistic. The Moto G also has flatter design elements, more muted colours in the status icons, more transparency, and smoother transition animations.

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We noticed a smooth flyaway animation on the Moto G, similar to the one seen on the Nexus 5, while moving between the app launcher and homescreen. The Moto G’s app launcher features app icons and widgets; now due to the icons being larger, you’ll see a grid of 4×5 instead of a 5×5.

The Moto G offers five customizable homescreens, and lots of widgets and apps classified into preloaded and downloadable categories. Notably, you cannot go beyond five homescreens, unlike with the Nexus 5.

Shortcuts for the dialler, Chrome browser, main menu, Messages and camera app remain visible when you swipe between homescreens. Notifications in the tray can be expanded with a two-finger pull gesture, and there are buttons for clearing all notifications and showing the quick settings shortcuts. These include toggles for Brightness, Settings, Wi-Fi, Network, Battery, Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, and Location settings. Unlike the Nexus 5, the Moto G does not have a quick Alarm clock shortcut.

Long-pressing on the Moto G’s homescreen brings up options to change the wallpaper. A choice of still, live and custom wallpapers are now available under a single menu.

Another feature that gives the Moto G a clear advantage in the affordable smartphone segment is the voice guided search feature. This was also first seen on the Nexus 5. A user can initiate a voice search on the Moto G when it’s unlocked by simply saying, ‘OK Google.’ However, it is only available when the language is set to US English.

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The Moto G also includes a revamped Phone app that now automatically prioritises contacts based on who you talk to most often. The app includes a search bar, space for the most frequently called contacts and favourites, and shortcuts to the contact list, dialling pad, call history and settings.

The Moto G also features a new Photos app that allows viewing and editing of locally stored and Google+ images. The new Photos app features deeper integration with Google+ and can be used to tag photos.

The Email app on the Moto G has also been revamped, and it now displays pictures of contacts for emails. Navigation has been made identical to the Gmail app and you can swipe messages to delete them.

The Moto G also includes Google Drive, Keep, Play Games, Play Movies, Play Movies, Play Books, Play Newsstand and Quickoffice for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You can print documents through the Google Cloud Print plugin, or apps made by printer manufacturers.

Motorola preloads two other major apps on the Moto G. Motorola Migrate can help move the contents of an old Android phone to your new Moto G. Motorola Assist allows users to silence the device while you’re sleeping or driving. We tried it out, and noted that the app automatically sent a text message to callers in the time we told it we were busy.

Performance/ Battery Life
The Moto G is powered by 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Adreno 305 graphics and 1GB of RAM onboard. The Moto G comes in two storage capacities: 8GB and 16GB, and does not support expandable storage. We received an 8GB unit, of which only 5.5GB was user-accessible.

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Even though the Moto G falls in the budget smartphone segment, the limited storage on the device is definitely a limiting factor. Google is offering 50GB of free Google Drive storage for two years for every Moto G buyer, which is additional to the standard 15GB available to every Google account user. However, cloud storage is no substitute for physical storage, especially since budget users won’t have very expensive data plans.

The Moto G definitely ups the ante in terms of innards. Brands such as Micromax and Xolo, which have come to dominate the sub-Rs. 15,000 segment, usually use MediaTek chipsets.

The overall experience of navigating through the Moto G’s interface was extremely impressive, thanks to all the power under its hood, and the fact that the UI is devoid of unnecessary bells and whistles such as transition effects. We did not experience any lag at all while launching apps, playing light games, scrolling through web pages and switching between apps on the Moto G.

With its quad-core processor running under the hood, the Moto G manages to chug along just fine. We multi-tasked all day, which included chatting via WhatsApp and Hangouts, browsing the Web and playing games like Temple Run 2 and Plants vs. Zombies 2 without any trouble. In day to day activities the Moto G worked smoothly and we were never left wanting for more power – that is until we tried a few heavy games like Shadow Gun and Dead Trigger.

The clarity of the Moto G’s loudspeaker is good, but isn’t too loud and breaks at its highest volume. Motorola does not supply any headphones in the Moto G box, which is a surprising omission.

The Moto G’s 4.5-inch IPS LCD HD screen is good for movies and videos. We were impressed with the colour reproduction and viewing angles on the Moto G.

Call quality on the Moto G was impressive and the device was able to latch on to cellular networks even in weak signal areas, which came in handy at times. Our tests were performed on a single-SIM model, although Motorola will be selling the dual-SIM version here.

The Moto G scored well in our benchmark tests. We recorded a score of 11,874 in AnTuTu, which was right behind the Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S III. Quadrant gave us a score of 8,569 which is ahead of HTC’s flagship smartphone from two years ago, the One X. On the graphics front, the Moto G remarkably reached 11 frames per second in the GFXbench test, and 5629 in the 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme run-through.

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The Moto G packs a 2070mAh battery which is non-removable and can deliver a mixed usage time of up to 24 hours, according to Motorola. We were able to get about a day (22 hours) of normal usage on the Moto G, which consisted of Web browsing and watching videos on YouTube, a few calls lasting for about an hour, with Wi-Fi switched on, the display set to auto brightness, and the usual notifications for the messages, emails, Facebook, Hike and WhatsApp enabled.

With heavy usage, which included calls lasting for about two hours, 3G turned on all the time, casual photography and watching a movie for around two hours, an hour of casual gaming (Temple Run 2 and Dead Trigger), and notifications enabled, the device lasted for about 12-13 hours, which was not bad.

In our video loop rundown test, the Moto G was able to able to deliver 8 hours and 30 minutes of battery life.

Verdict
What makes the Moto G special is the fact that it is one of a very small number of devices running the latest version of Android, and one of the only ones priced this low to be doing so.

The Moto G scores heavily in terms of style and substance, and our only major quibbles are the non-expandable storage and below-par camera performance. The 4.5-inch HD screen is wide, and yet the phone is small enough to hold in one hand and type easily with a thumb. Most of all, praise be, the Moto G is also extremely affordable.

This phone is definitely aimed at price-conscious Indian smartphone buyers, and its array of colourful back shells will attract the style-conscious as well. Yes, it isn’t perfect, but it isn’t meant to compete against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One or LG G2. At its price, we’re willing to overlook its faults.

The Moto G is available in two variants: 8GB for Rs. 12,499 and 16GB for Rs. 13,999. At this price point, no other phones offer an experience that is as good, so in that sense the Moto G is a game changer. If you have your eyes set on the Moto G, we recommend you spend the extra bucks and get the 16GB version, given the limited user accessible storage available in the 8GB version. Our only other complaint with the Moto G is the average camera, but the only phone that offers a better camera in the same price bracket is the Nokia Lumia 720, so the newest Motorola smartphone is a winner overall.

Pros: 
Crisp IPS screen; Excellent gaming performance; Latest Android Kitkat; Great music output; Good battery life.
Cons: 
Questionable call quality; Disappointing camera; Shoddy bundled accessories.

Moto G
Street Price: Rs 12,500 (8 GB), Rs 14,000 (16 GB version)

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Full Specifications:

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
CDMA 800 / 1900 – CDMA version
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 – for T-Mobile, AT&T
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO – CDMA version
SIM Micro-SIM
Announced 2013, November
Status Available. Released 2013, November
BODY Dimensions 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm (5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46 in)
Weight 143 g (5.04 oz)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.5 inches (~326 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 8/16 GB, 1 GB RAM
DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0, USB Host
CAMERA Primary 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, stereo sound rec., HDR, check quality
Secondary Yes, 1.3 MP
FEATURES OS Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400
CPU Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU Adreno 305
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors Black (front panel), 7 color options (back panel)
– SNS integration
– Google Drive (50 GB storage)
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/AAC+/WAV/Flac player
– MP4/H.263/H.264 player
– Organizer
– Photo viewer/editor
– Document viewer
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail
– YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 2070 mAh battery
Stand-by
Talk time Up to 24 h
MISC SAR US 1.17 W/kg (head)     1.06 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.79 W/kg (head)
Price group Rs 12,500 (8 GB), Rs 14,000 (16 GB version)
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: 967:1 (nominal), 2.477 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 81dB / Noise 75dB / Ring 82dB
Audio quality Noise -92.1dB / Crosstalk -91.4dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 54h

How it Works? Systems on a Chip (SoC)

Systems on a Chip (SoC):

 

When buying smartphones and tablets, we often talk about their processing power, and make a big fuss of their speed, and whether they can offer single-, dual-, or multiple-core capabilities. And while we do focus on the processor most of the time, you’ll have to know that things aren’t as simple as that. Instead of just simple processors, we have Systems on a Chip (SoC) inside these devices that offer more complex functionality.

What is a System on a Chip?

Since smartphones and tablets are basically smaller computers, they require pretty much the same components we see in desktops and laptops in order to offer us all the amazing things they can do (apps, music and video playing, 3D gaming support, advanced wireless features, etc).

But smartphones and tablets do not offer the same amount of internal space as desktops and laptops for the various components needed such as the logic board, the processor, the RAM, the graphics card, and others. That means these internal parts need to be as small as possible, so that device manufacturers can use the remaining space to fit the device with a long-lasting battery life.

Thanks to the wonders of miniaturization, SoC manufacturers, like Qualcomm, Nvidia or Texas Instruments, can place some of those components on a single chip, the System on a Chip that powers your beloved smartphone.

What’s inside of a SoC?

Now that we know what a SoC is, let’s take a quick look at the components that can be found inside it. Mind you, not all the following parts are built in all the different SoCs that we’re going to show you later on, but in order to better understand how a SoC works, you should have a general picture of what goes inside it:

  • CPU – the central processing unit, whether it’s single- or multiple-core, this is what makes everything possible on your smartphone. Most processors found inside the SoCs that we’re going to look at will be based on ARM technology, but more on that later
  • Memory – just like in a computer, memory is required to perform the various tasks smartphone and tablets are capable of, and therefore SoCs come with various memory architectures on board
  • GPU – the graphic processing unit is also an important component on the SoC, and it’s responsible for handling those complex 3D games on the smartphone or tablets. As you can expect, there are various GPU architectures available out there, and we’re going to further detail them in what follows
  • Northbridge – this is a component that handles communications between the CPU and other components of the SoC including the southbridge
  • Southbrige – a second chipset usually found on computers that handles various I/O functions. In some cases the southbridge can be found on the SoC
  • Cellular radios – some SoCs also come with certain modems on board that are needed by mobile operators. Such is the case with the Snapdragon S4 from Qualcomm, which has an embedded LTE modem on board responsible for 4G LTE connectivity
  • Other radios – some SoCs may also have other components responsible for other types of connectivity, including Wi-Fi, GPS/GLONASS or Bluetooth. Again, the S4 is a good example in this regard.
  • Other circuitry

ARM vs x86 CPU Architecture

Throughout this article you will see us mention the ARM technology more than once, since the SoCs used by current Android smartphones and tablets are built using this ARM architecture. So what is ARM exactly? MaximumPC shares some details regarding the early days of ARM:

In the beginning, the ARM architecture was specifically developed for use in a PC—the Acorn Archimedes to be precise. In 1987, the Archimedes hit the market, powered by the ARM2 processor with up to 4MB of RAM and a 20MB hard drive. With only 30,000 transistors (less than half of the Motorola 68000’s 68,000), the ARM2 was one of the simplest 32-bit processors of its time. This lower transistor count, paired with the efficient reduced instruction set computer (RISC) architecture, allowed ARM2 to outperform Intel’s 80286 while consuming less electricity.

What’s important to remember is that ARM is still the preferred choice by SoC manufacturers, as the architecture ensures high performance at low power, which is what customers are unconsciously interested in.

The Intel 8086 CPU launched in 1978 was a 16-bit microprocessor that was followed by several successors whose names also ended in “86.” Thus, the x86 term was coined. Today the x86 architecture also includes 32-bit CPUs, which can be found in various computers that you may be using on a daily basis. The disadvantage of x86 architecture in mobile SoC is that they’re not as power efficient as ARM-based CPU. Only Intel currently develops an x86-based SoC for mobile devices, the Atom Medfield platform.

GPU architectures

The SoCs that we’re going to describe below use various GPU technologies coming from various companies. You’ll see GeForce, Adreno, ARM Mali, or PowerVR get mentioned a few times so here’s what these names mean:

  • GeForce – produced by NVIDIA, these are the ultra low power graphics cards found on Tegra 3 SoC
  • Adreno – produced by Qualcomm, the Adreno GPUs are part of the Snapdragon SoC made by the same company. Some Adreno GPUs can also be used on future Microsoft Windows 8 devices.
  • ARM Mali – as you may have guessed, Mali GPUs are designed by ARM and they’re currently used on various SoC designs including Exynos and NovaThor
  • PowerVR – PowerVR is a leading GPU designers, whose GPUs are found on various SoCs including Medfield, NovaThor (future designs), OMAP, and even Apple Ax.

SoC varieties

There are various SoCs out there, from different manufacturers that equip Android devices, from smartphones to tablets, but they’re not completely similar. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones for you.

NVIDIA Tegra 3

Also known as Kal-El, the NVIDIA Tegra 3 series is one of the SoC sub-families of the Tegra family and it’s currently employed by various Android devices, including, but not limited to, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Pad, HTC One X (international version), the Asus Transformer Pad 300, the LG Optimus 4X HD and others. The rumored Google Nexus tablet will also reportedly come with a Tegra 3 SoC on board.

 

Tegra 3 comes with a quad-core CPU, but what’s interesting about it is that it actually has five cores. The design is meant to optimize power consumption in various device activity states and extend battery life. Each core is a Cortex A9 ARM chip, but the fifth one, which is made of a special low power silicon process, is limited to an optimal speed of 500MHz. This is because it will handle only certain tasks, and only in certain situations. The companion core will be used by the device when in standby mode or when dealing with certain tasks that don’t require faster processing. When the device is switched on (or better said in use), the other cores come to life and users can enjoy a great smartphone and tablet experience, with great graphics and processing speed.

In addition to the CPU, the Tegra 3 SoC also contains the graphics processing unit (GPU), northbrige, southbridge, and memory controller. The SoC supports video output up to 2560 x 1600 resolution and 1080p H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video codec (recording and playing high quality videos).

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4

Qualcomm is another important name when it comes to Android smartphones and tablets (but not only) as the American company is responsible for various families of SoCs used in various generations of smartphones and tablets. Since Snapdragon S4 is the Qualcomm SoC used by some of the most recent devices out there, we’re going to focus on it, but you’ll have to know that the S4 was preceded by other SoC generations.

Snapdragon S4 has a processor that’s similar to the ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, but built according to Qualcomm’s own design. In addition to the CPU, the Snapdragon S4 offers HD video recording and playing support and integrated Adreno GPU capabilities. But one of the most interesting things about the S4 is that it also packs a modem with radio capabilities required by smartphones and tablets with cellular circuitry.

Specifically, the S4 packs a 4G LTE modem, which explains why various companies launched their high-end devices with quad-core capabilities in international markets (using various SoC solutions other than the S4), but when it came to the U.S. launch, they replaced them with the S4 to offer 4G LTE support, even though it only packs dual-core processing powers. The S4 also handles Wi-Fi, GPS/GLONASS, and Bluetooth on most devices.

There are various Snapdragon S4 SoC versions, built on both 40nm and 28nm technology (lower is better as it’s more power efficient) and they are used in some Android devices you may have already heard of, including the HTC One S, Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, North-American HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, Sony Xperia S, North American Samsung Galaxy S3, and others.

Samsung Exynos 4 Quad

As you’d expect, Samsung has its own SoC platform, the Exynos family. Of those SoCs, we’re going to focus on its latest addition, the Exynos 4 Quad, that’s found on the international version of its 2012 flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Exynos SoCs are also based on ARM architecture, just like Tegra 3 and Snapdragon S4. The Exynos 4 Quad is built with 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process that’s ready to offer “twice better CPU performance” but 20% lower power consumption than the previous model, which was used in the Galaxy S II. Exynos 4 Quad packs a 1.4GHZ Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and the ARM Mali-400 MP4 quad-core GPU. The processor supports 3D gaming, fast multitasking and HD video recording and playback. The Exynos 4 Quad is used in the Galaxy S3 (international version) and in the Meizu MX Quad.

Previous Exynos generations can be found in the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy S, Droid Charge, Exibit 4G, Infuse 4G, but also in non-Samsung devices such as the Meizu MX and Meizu M9.

Intel Medfield

While you’re likely to find various Intel processors in all sorts of desktops, laptops and notebooks, the company has not really made a play for the mobile business until earlier this year. Intel announced at CES 2012 that it plans to attack the smartphone and tablet mobile business with its own SoC platform, codenamed Medfield, which should be found inside various mobile devices in the future.

So far, we have three such devices announced, the Orange San Diego (Santa Clara) theLenovo K800, and the Lava Xolo X900. Intel announced a partnership with Motorola (owned by Google) and we’re certainly curious to see the first Googlerola devices to come with Intel circuitry on board.

Medfield SoCs are built with 32nm HKMG technology, just like the Exynos Quad 4 Core but it’s not based on ARM architecture. Instead, Intel is relying on its own x86 technology to make these SoCs. Medfield SoCs can offer OEMs a 1.6-2GHz single-core processor and PowerVR’s SGX540 GPU.

Texas Instruments OMAP 4

While they’re not as popular as Qualcomm or NVIDIA SoCs, the OMAP family from Texas Instruments should definitely be taken very seriously. In case OMAP sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen such SoCs equip various Android devices in the past, including the original Motorola Droid that spawned the Android revolution, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color and Nook Simple, the Motorola Bravo, the Motorola Defy, the LG Optimus Black, the Motorola Droid 2, the Samsung Galaxy S LCD, but also non-Android devices like the Palm Pre and Pre 2 or the Nokia N9.

The latest TI OMAP SoCs family is the fourth-generation OMAPs, or OMAP 4, which relies on a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 45nm-based architecture. There are various OMAP4 SoCs, but all of them will offer PowerVR graphics. The OMAP 4 4470 model stands out because, in addition to the dual-core CPU, it has two companion Cortex-M3 cores that are supposed to take over smaller tasks to increase power efficiency, just like the fifth core found on the Tegra 3. The 4470 model also comes with 1080p full HD video recording and playback support.

Here are some Android devices that pack TI OMAP 4 SoCs: Motorola Atrix 2, Motorola Droid 3, Motorola Droid Bionic, Motorola Droid RAZR, Motorola Xyboard, some Samsung Galaxy S2 models, Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, LG Optimus 3D and LG Optimus Max. But an OMAP 4 SoC can also be found on the BlackBerry PlayBook for example.

ST-Ericsson NovaThor

The NovaThor SoC platform developed by ST-Ericsson is not that known in the mobile business, although we already have certain devices that rely on this SoC including the Sony Xperia P, Sony Xperia U, Sony Xperia Sola, Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, Samsung Galaxy Beam and the HTC Sensation for China. The NovaThor SoCs used so far come with 1GHz or 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors, single core ARM Mali 400 GPUs, and wireless support (GSM/EDGE/HSPA/HSPA+, depending on the model used.) Current NovaThor SoCs are built on 45nm process technology, although ST-Ericsson plans to launch more power-efficient models that will come with 32nm/28 semiconductor technology and that will feature faster CPU speeds, Power VR graphics and even LTE support.

Other SoCs

We couldn’t talk about Systems on a Chip without mentioning what the competition is using. Apple has its proprietary line of AX chips (A4, A5 and A5X), which have been used on all of its iOS devices starting with the original iPad. The flagship Apple SoC is the A5X, which currently equips the new iPad, but Apple is rumored to be working on a new model, the A6, that’s going to be found on board of future iOS devices.

Which one is best for me?

The obvious question you may have is, which of the SoCs above is best for me? .

In case you’re buying one of the last-gen Android tablets and smartphones available out there, which will surely pack one of the SoCs mentioned above, then you’re likely to get a similar performance across the board. Sure, every SoC manufacturer will defend its own brand with words like “power efficiency,” “high performance,” “3D graphics,” “full HD video,” but all these competing platforms will offer overall enjoyable user experiences with few differences between them. The fact remains that you shouldn’t buy a new device after looking only at SoC capabilities, but you should consider more factors like display technology, wireless connectivity, camera performance, and storage, in order to make a more informed purchase.

One such example is the American Galaxy S3 which packs a dual-core processor, part of the Snapdragon S4 SoC, instead of the quad-core processor that’s found on the Exynos 4 Quad SoC. This is because the American Galaxy S3 is supposed to offer LTE support, and it’s the S4 SoC that happens to have an LTE modem included, not the Exynos 4 Quad. So while some Galaxy S3 buyers will complain about not getting the full quad-core power promised by the international Galaxy S3 version, they still get that precious LTE support, in a (hopefully) power-efficient manner.

In case you want to buy a new/second-hand older Android device, then you should pay attention to its SoC and its capabilities, and check out performance comparisons (benchmark tests) to see how your chosen device fares against other devices.

And let’s not forget that all companies mentioned above are already working on next-gen SoCs, and we can’t wait to see what next year’s smartphones and tablets will be able to do thanks to new internal components and improved operating systems.

How to Decrease Web Page Loading Time…

 

How to Decrease Web Page Loading Time….

 

By now everyone in SEO industry is aware that web page loading is a part of seo/organic search and if you do not work on your page loading time all your effort on SEO may just go down the barrel. From the OfficialGoogle Blog

Speeding up websites is important – not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed – that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.

You should not worry too much because site speed is just small weightage when it comes to page ranking. Still the important factors are like backlinks, relevancy and 200 others. But does it mean that if you are not affected by site speed does it mean you should now work on your page’s speed. I don’t think so. You should work on web page speed to the extent you can so that you not only make better user experience but in the long run, may not be penalized for slow page loading by Big G when site speed factor becomes a bit more major factor for search engine results.

1. Better Web Host

One of the best place to start with better site experiences is your host. If you do not have good and reliable host the other point may actually be of no use.

2. Compress output

Images take the large chunk of the total time to view any page yet HTML is considerable part of the content delivered by any server. HTML is static text content that can be reduced considerably if you compress the output. Modern day Web servers do support compressed output and all modern browsers are not far behind when rendering the compressed output as well. If any browser that does not support compressed output web servers render normal output to them and so it is wise option to enable compressed output for your server as well.

For PHP and Apache just adding couple of lines in your apache configuration file can actually do this for you.

Code:
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
	SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
	# file-types indicated will not be compressed
	SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png|rar|zip|pdf)$ no-gzip dont-vary
	<IfModule mod_headers.c>
		Header append Vary User-Agent
	</IfModule>
</IfModule>

If your website is not very image heavy it can speed up to 60% of bandwidth usage.

3. Optimize HTML

Use Google Webmaster to see which page takes more time and to load and see if you can reduce the size of your HTML code on those pages. Excessive use of tables or even unwanted nested tables just adds to the size of the page.

4. Cache Static Content

If you are into web development you would know the issues with caching but it is not all the sad things that caching can do. If your website images are cached on user’s browser he may not need to download them again and again saving you not only lot of bandwidth but this also mean that his each subsequent page visits are faster and quicker for the user.

In Apache, you can just add the following lines and this would mean your images, style sheets and JavaScript code are stored on user PC for 30 days before downloading again.

Code:
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
	ExpiresActive On
	ExpiresByType image/gif A2592000
	ExpiresByType image/png A2592000
	ExpiresByType image/jpg A2592000
	ExpiresByType image/jpeg A2592000
	ExpiresByType text/css A2592000 
	ExpiresByType text/js A2592000 
</IfModule>

5. Optimizing Images

Images are one of the main reasons why your pages takes more time to load and so there are more than one way to optimize your images. You can have the same image in 2 different sizes. Try to convert your images to the lowest possible size. This would mean that with the same user experience you actually speed up your pages.

6. Use Image Sprites

Combining lot of small images into a single large image and then placing the same image with the CSS background-position property can save lot of web server requests, file IO and even rendering of lot of small files. Many large websites does this like
Google

Or even Addthis
http://s7.addthis.com/static/r07/widget21.png

7. Cookieless domain

Any query to just download a static content is appended with many header data. Large websites uses different domain (i.gstatic.com by Google) for serving static content and the only reason I can think off is they serve static content from an external domain which does not send header and especially cookies for the content, saving lot of unwanted header data transfer.

8. Avoid Flash

When you use too many flash widgets on your web page it slows down the page considerably. So keep away from flash to the extent possible.

9. Remove un-wanted Gadgets

I see many sites and specially blogs have too many gadgets like temperature, date, map and other such frills and if you think they are not used by your users to the extent you want them to be using it, it’s better to remove them from your page.

10. Control Ads

Last but not the least is your ads. Apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of ads generate 20% of revenue and 20% of ads generate 80% of the revenue. Find the right balance between lesser ads with maximum possible revenue. See each ad unit on your page and see how they have performed for last 3 months and see if some ads just generated $0.05 for last 3 months and flush them out. Apart from that you can also see how a rich media ad works and if they are not very different from text ads, opt for text ads.

Reference

http://code.google.com/speed/page-sp…rendering.html

5 Blackberry Mobiles Under Rs. 10,000/- in India

Best 5 Blackberry Mobiles Under Rs. 10,000/- in India…

Blackberry is well-known for its cutting edge technologies and messaging solutions. The advantage of Blackberry is that these phones can be used as a personal digital assistant and also as portable media players and these are more popular for their push email services which also includes Blackberry Messenger.

But we can still have best Blackberry mobile phones which you can get for a price tag lower than 10,000 INR.

BlackBerry Tour 9630

blackberry tour 9630 Top 5 Blackberry Mobiles Under 10,000 in India

BlackBerry Tour 9630 features a 65k colour screen, 2.4 inches display, QWERTY keyboard, Trackball navigation, Bluetooth, 3.15 megapixel camera and 512 MHz processor, 256 MB internal memory, GPS Support and comes with a price tag of INR 9,499.

BlackBerry Tour 9630

BlackBerry Tour 9630

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 2100
CDMA/EVDO Rev A 800/1900
Announced 2009, July
Status Available. Released 2009, July
SIZE Dimensions 112 x 62 x 14.2 mm
Weight 130 g
DISPLAY Type 65K colors
Size 480 x 360 pixels, 2.4 inches
– QWERTY keyboard
– Trackball navigation
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Yes
Internal 256 MB
Card slot microSD, up to 8GB, buy memory
DATA GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G HSDPA; HSUPA
WLAN No
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes
Secondary No
FEATURES OS BlackBerry OS
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, IM
Browser HTML
Radio No
Games Yes + downloadable
Colors Black
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support, BlackBerry Maps
Java Yes
– BlackBerry maps
– Document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
– MP3/WMA/eAAC+/WAV player
– MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 player
– Organizer
– Voice memo
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1400 mAh
Stand-by Up to 336 h
Talk time Up to 5 h
MISC SAR US 1.43 W/kg (head)     0.53 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 1.72 W/kg (head)     0.48 W/kg (body)
Price group  Rs. 9499?-

BlackBerry Storm 9530

Blackberry Storm 9530 Top 5 Blackberry Mobiles Under 10,000 in India

We can call BlackBerry Storm 9530 as the ultimate one. It comes with all smartphone features. It has 360 x 480 pixels, 3.25 inches TFT capacitive touchscreen with  65K colors support, Bluetooth, 3.15 megapixel camera and comes with a price tag of INR 8,999.

BlackBerry Storm 9530

BlackBerry Storm 9530

BlackBerry Storm 9530


GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 2100
CDMA2000 1x EV-DO
Announced 2008, September
Status Available. Released 2008, November
SIZE Dimensions 112.5 x 62.2 x 14 mm
Weight 155 g
DISPLAY Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 65K colors
Size 360 x 480 pixels, 3.25 inches
– Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Yes
Internal 1 GB storage, 128 MB RAM, 192 MB ROM
Card slot microSD, up to 16 GB, buy memory
DATA GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
WLAN No
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, image stabilization
Video Yes, QVGA
Secondary No
FEATURES OS BlackBerry OS
CPU 528 MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 130 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7600 chipset
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, IM
Browser HTML
Radio No
Games Yes + downloadable
Colors Black
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes
– BlackBerry maps
– Document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
– MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 player
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA player
– Organizer
– Voice memo/dial
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1400 mAh
Stand-by Up to 360 h
Talk time Up to 5 h 30 min
MISC SAR US 0.93 W/kg (head)     0.56 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.67 W/kg (head)     0.38 W/kg (body)
Price group  Rs. 8,999/-

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Blackberry Curve 8520 Top 5 Blackberry Mobiles Under 10,000 in India

BlackBerry Curve 8520 features a 65k colour screen, 2.46 inches display, QWERTY keyboard, Trackball navigation, Bluetooth, 2 megapixel camera and 512 MHz processor and comes with a price tag of INR 8,999.

BlackBerry Curve 8520

BlackBerry Curve 8520

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Announced 2009, July
Status Available. Released 2009, August
SIZE Dimensions 109 x 60 x 13.9 mm
Weight 106 g
DISPLAY Type TFT, 65K colors
Size 320 x 240 pixels, 2.46 inches
– QWERTY keyboard
– Touch-sensitive optical trackpad
SOUND Alert types Vibration; Polyphonic(32), MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes, check quality
– Dedicated music keys
MEMORY Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Yes
Internal 256 MB
Card slot microSD, up to 32GB, buy memory
DATA GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G No
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, microUSB
CAMERA Primary 2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels
Video Yes, QVGA
Secondary No
FEATURES OS BlackBerry OS
CPU 512MHz processor
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM
Browser HTML
Radio No
Games Yes + downloadable
Colors Black
GPS No
Java Yes
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
– MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
– Organizer
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1150 mAh
Stand-by Up to 408 h
Talk time Up to 4 h 30 min
MISC SAR US 1.22 W/kg (head)     0.83 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 1.02 W/kg (head)     0.78 W/kg (body)
Price group  Rs. 8999/-

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 Top 5 Blackberry Mobiles Under 10,000 in India

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 is a special for those who love flip mobiles which you rarely see these days, and comes with 65k colour screen, 2.6 inches display, Half-QWERTY keyboard, Trackball navigation, Bluetooth, 2 Megapixel camera and all other regular features and comes with a price tag of INR 5,999.

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Announced 2008, September
Status Available. Released 2008, October
SIZE Dimensions 101.1 x 50 x 17.5 mm
Weight 102 g
DISPLAY Type 65K colors
Size 240 x 320 pixels, 2.6 inches
– Secondary external 65K TFT display, 128×160 pixels
– Half-QWERTY keyboard
– Trackball navigation
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Yes
Internal 75 MB
Card slot microSD, up to 8GB, buy memory
DATA GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G No
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels, LED flash
Video Yes
Secondary No
FEATURES OS BlackBerry OS
CPU 32-bit Intel XScale PXA272 312 MHz processor
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, IM
Browser HTML
Radio No
Games Yes + downloadable
Colors Black
GPS No
Java Yes, MIDP 2.0
– BlackBerry maps
– Document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
– MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 player
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA player
– Organizer
– Voice memo/dial
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 900 mAh
Stand-by Up to 336 h
Talk time Up to 4 h
MISC SAR US 1.15 W/kg (head)     1.18 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.66 W/kg (head)     0.54 W/kg (body)
Price group  Rs. 5999/-

BlackBerry 8830 World Edition

BlackBerry 8830 World Edition Top 5 Blackberry Mobiles Under 10,000 in India

Probably this is the toughest phone and a must have for those who would love to explore Blackberry before they actually try it. It features a 65k colour screen, 2.5 inches display, QWERTY keyboard, Trackball navigation, Bluetooth and what not. You will get all the features which you usually see in the biggies and comes with an extreme low price tag of INR 3,999.

BlackBerry 8830 World Edition

BlackBerry 8830 World Edition BlackBerry 8830 World Edition

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 / CDMA2000 1x EV-DO
Announced 2007, April
Status Available
SIZE Dimensions 114 x 66 x 14 mm
Weight 132 g
DISPLAY Type TFT, 65K colors
Size 320 x 240 pixels, 2.5 inches
– QWERTY keyboard
– Trackball navigation
SOUND Alert types Vibration; Polyphonic, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack No
MEMORY Phonebook Yes
Call records Yes
Internal 64 MB storage, 16 MB RAM
Card slot microSD, buy memory
DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
3G No
WLAN No
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0
Infrared port No
USB Yes, miniUSB
CAMERA No
FEATURES OS BlackBerry OS
CPU Qualcomm MSM6550 chipset
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
Browser HTML
Radio No
Games
Colors Black
GPS Yes
Java Yes
– BlackBerry maps
– Media player
– Organizer
– Organizer
– Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
– Voice dial
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1400 mAh
Stand-by
Talk time
MISC SAR EU 0.86 W/kg (head)     0.51 W/kg (body)
Price group  Rs. 3999/-

Users are advised to note that the prices mentioned above are the best price available in the market, however actual prices may be slightly higher or lower than the prices quoted above. 😉

The Protect IP Act: Google’s Eric Schmidt squares off against RIAA and MPAA

The Protect IP Act: Google’s Eric Schmidt squares off against RIAA and MPAA

The Protect IP Act: Google's Eric Schmidt squares off against RIAA and MPAA

Protecting intellectual property sounds like such a noble cause that you’d have to be a anarchistic free-market extremist to be against the idea, right? Actually, we don’t think Google CEO Eric Schmidt is particularly extreme in any definable way, yet this past week he spoke with gusto, railing against the proposed Protect IP Act, which was designed to “prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property.” If passed into law, it would give the government the right to shut down any “Internet site dedicated to infringing activities” — “infringing activities” largely being of the sort that allows dude A to download copyrighted item B from dude C when it’s unclear whether dude C has legal rights to be distributing B in the first place.

So, you know, it’s targeting the Pirate Bay and its ilk, giving government officials greater power to sweep in and snag the domains of such sites. Schmidt calls this approach a set of “arbitrarily simple solutions to complex problems” that “sets a very bad precedent.” The precedent? That it’s okay for democratic governments to go and kill any site they don’t like, something Schmidt says would only encourage restrictive policies in countries like China. While we don’t think China really needs any sort of encouragement at all to keep on building up its Great Firewall, we tend to agree that this is a much more complicated problem than the Act makes it out to be. That said, one must admit that Schmidt’s opinions are necessarily somewhat swayed by the knowledge that any such law would also have a negative impact on the business of search engines in general.

But of course no such volley of words could go unanswered from the two shining knights of copyright protection, the MPAA and RIAA, which mounted up their corporate blogs, rode down from twin castles full of lawyers, and collectively told Schmidt he’s full of it. The MPAA spun Schmidt’s comments into some sort of act of civil disobedience, saying that “Google seems to think it’s above America’s laws.” Meanwhile, the RIAA called the statement “a confusing step backwards by one of the most influential internet companies.” Obviously it’s only going to get nastier from here, so buckle your seatbelts, place your bets, and hang on to your BitTorrent clients.

Switched On: Adding to Android’s army

 Adding to Android’s army

Android, as Andy Rubin (no relation) has pointed out on multiple occasions, plays a game of numbers. And at Google I/O, the company carrying on its development shared some large ones: 100 million activated devices with 400,000 being added each day. However, like in many games, different players can catch up or overtake each other at different points. Just ask Nokia and RIM. To stay on top, operating system vendors implement strategies that lock consumers in. The more money consumers sink into iPhone apps, for example, the more incentive they have to stay with that platform; the same is true for accessories that use Apple’s 30-pin dock connector that has been around since the third-generation iPod.

With Android having become the lead operating system for every smartphone company that licenses its OS with the notable exception of Nokia (which nearly did), Google showed that it’s intent not just on moving Android into other devices with sufficient computing horsepower such as tablets and, increasingly, TVs, but now has its sights set on having just about everything that can’t run Android directly feed into it. Google is taking two approaches – one for things that plug into Android devices, and one for things that don’t.

The Android Open Accessory platform seeks to match, if not trump, the wide range of accessories that have surfaced around Apple’s 30-pin connector that began as a simple way to provide charging and audio out. On one hand, unlike Apple, Google is building its accessory platform around the nearly ubiquitous USB connector. Perhaps more importantly, without any special connector to license, it is not charging companies for use of the accessory protocols. This should bode well for adding Android support to peripherals from the traditional to the emerging such as various health monitors and theexercise bike shown at Google I/O. On the other hand, the wide variation in terms of where the connector is placed may make things difficult for peripherals that depend on a device’s physical positioning such as speaker and car docks. (There have been challenges with 30-pin products too as Apple has changed the dimensions, power and authentication criteria over the years.)

Overcoming these challenges, however, is child’s play compared to Android@Home, which sets out to capture one of the most elusive quests in consumer technology – mainstream adoption of home automation.

Android@Home takes Google into territory where there has been no successful mainstream model and no trailblazing model like the iPhone to reset expectations.

Using a new low-power lighting standard developed by Google, radios can be embedded inside of light bulbsthemselves without adding significant cost, potentially circumventing the need to have electricians install them in wall switches. NXP Semiconductor has also shown off such a small radio. While this represents a milestone toward consumer adoption, cost, complexity, low awareness, and the notoriously fractured home automation standards market have long stood between cool and potentially money-saving technology and mass adoption. What’s more, while we’ve been hearing about energy utilities delivering Zigbee-based automation into homes via smart meters for years, there now seems to be more interest from other service providers, with Verizonannouncing that it would be using rival standard Z-Wave for smart energy and home automation service. Security service providers ADT and Vivint are also supporting Z-Wave.

While the Android Open Accessory platform is a natural extension, Android@Home takes Google into territory where there has been no successful mainstream model and no trailblazing model like the iPhone to reset expectations. Bringing home automation to the masses will require developing an ecosystem at least as strong as the one around Android itself.

How Anti-Viruses Works???

Anti-Virus is a software or a program that can scan your files and data in your computer prevent you from firmwares and viruses…

How Does it works

Anti-Virus uses 2 different techniques to accomplish its tasks :-

  1. Examining Files and comparing its signature/structure to that of viruses present in a database or a text file…This is called a virus-dictionary..
  2. Identifying some suspicious behavior from any Program or Software sitting on the system

Virus-dictionary Method

In a Virus-dictionary Method a Anti-Virus starts by examining a file and checking up the dictionary of known viruses…

Every Binary/ELF/.exe has its own signature if they have different functionality…
Actually by signature we means some data in the bin file..This is a set of opcodes which the computer understands..These are different in every unique program..

When the Anti-Virus gets the signature of the file it then checks for the same signature in the dictionary of known-viruses(reported signatures) if it matches any signature in the dictionary then it is reported as a virus and the required task is performed(Dis-infection , removal ,etc etc..)

For this method to be successful , The virus-dictionary needs to be updated as a new virus-signature is reported.

This Method is quite common in most of the anti-viruses out there but it is not so successful now as its really easy to bypass this protection by using binders (These are the program that binds one program to another) , packers (Packs the signature , simply compresses the opcodes and make it difficult to detect) , encoders (These are the main cause of concern for the Anti-Virus developers out there as its quite a powerful approach , the encoders change the opcodes to something similar which provides the same functionality…It drastically changes the bin signatures and makes it almost undetectable..)

Another con of this Method is that it takes a lot of time and system resources to scan and compare all the files sitting on our system..

The Suspicious – Behaviors Method

In this method the anti-virus simply check for some suspicious – behavior happening on the system.. For checking this the anti-virus today has many modules like :-

  1. Network Traffic Monitors
  2. System Files Monitors
  3. Process Monitors etc etc..

Network Traffic Monitors

Network Traffic Monitors simply monitors the incoming and ongoing network traffic from the system to other systems or the internet…

For eg :-

If there is a trojan sitting on the system..It will certainly listen for the attackers call ..As it receives the attackers call (in the form of a TCP , UDP etc packets) It simply send down the data to the attacker system (most of the trojans) This fluctuates the network traffic and Anti-Virus catches the trojan and performs the required task..

System Files Monitors

The System files Monitors simply checks for the files sitting on the system ..

Eg :-

If there is a virus sitting on a system and it checks for some system files and tries to dlete them then this will Report as a suspicious behaviour to the anti-virus..Then the anti-virus performs the required task..

Process Monitors

The Process Monitors check the process tree of the system and checks if there are some hidden programs running..If it finds something suspicious it reports the anti-virus core and then the required task is performed..

Eg :-

There is a key-logger sitting on the system. Most of the key-loggers have hidden processes and simply reads the key-strokes a user makes..This would be undetectable without the use of Process Monitors..

Actually these were only the features on a basic anti-virus Most of the anti-virus today have Millions of protection systems and features and its not in the scope of this article..

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