All browsers fail at Pwn2Own, IE8,safari and sadly even firefox

Most of us our in a bubble that we use a browser that can’t be hacked… or rather we use the best browser… Well we’ve always known IE is shoddy piece of coding brought out just to keep Microsof in the race… The only reason they are still alive is cos they distribute with their OS’es…


IE8 toppler - Peter Vreugdenhil

Getting back,  in Vancouver Canada the CanSecWest Pwn2Own competition was on, and guess what the following browsers were exploited to gain access to the machines… -> IE8 (obvious), Safari (hmm, thats new) and firefox (god damn, totally out of the blue).

Most of you using chrome must be thinking, “yeah i run the best browser”, unfortunately we’ll never know because no-one tried to hack chrome this time round… As for you firefox fans, the firefox on 64bit version of windows 7 was hacked… So what about the edition on the more common x86 (32 bit ) edition.. again remains unanswered so far…

IE8 users, I’m hardly surprised, its about time you lot change to a more stable browser…

But here’s something even more interesting… They managed to hack an iphone… not a jailbroken one but a fully patched one… and guess what they were able to access.. messages.. including the deleted ones…  (Apple, what went wrong?) And apparently the hacker claims he could have got anything else he wanted from the phone…

Time for the browser creators to look up and solve all these issues.. before these are used by some on who ACTUALLY wants to hack systems…. (lucky this was jus a contest!!)

Read more about the IE exploit here.

Read more about the firefox exploit here and the iphone hack here


Fast Pipe to Asia on its way!!!

At last a chance for people in Asia to rejoice (I’m so happy)!!!! Google and group of other companies have invested about $300 million dollars in developing a super fast internet cable (laid under the pacific)…

Internet Speed

Improvement in net speed!

Apparently this cable can supports speeds up to 7.68Tbps (Tera bits per second)! WOW… SO this means it’s not long before people in Asia start seeing an increase internet speeds…

The Unity Consortium, consists of Google,  Global Transit, Bharti Airtel,SingTel, Pacnet, and KDDI, has nearly completed the testing of this new cable.

Reports say that Google gets 20 percent of the bandwidth for its own operation. All this seems fine till you come across news which says Google is leaving China on April 10th. (This may be bad for Google and probably china as well) but from my point of view (very selfish, I know) this is great news. Why? , you ask, well mainly for the following reason

  • More bandwidth from the fast pipe (under Google’s 20%) will help Google deliver faster internet access to users in other Asian countries

Here’s what Google had to say,

The need for information is a global requirement. As the economies of Asian countries continue to grow, data traffic and the use of the Internet expands. Google is a global company and is committed to providing the best quality of user experience regardless of geography.

All this apart many of us were hoping Google would become an Internet Service Provider(ISP) (and bring out something like their fiber to home project in the US) but it looks like that’s not going to happen , not right now anyway.

It’s expected that Google will formally announce the completion of this amazing project next week… When will our speeds improve? (that’s the question for which i am still searching for an answer)

Celebrity Status + twitter power = Unbelievable

Twitter Bird

The power of a tweet

It’s surprising to see the power of the web… A small tiny gesture can make millions of things happen!!! And guess what I happened to witness such an event a few days back…

I was randomly surfing the web when i noticed a tweet by Conan O’ brien

I’ve decided to follow someone at random. She likes peanut butter and gummy dinosaurs. Sarah Killen, your life is about to change.

Well here are some facts you should know… Conan O’Brien started tweeting only toward the end of February (he has only 10 tweets till now) and the number of followers he has – 564,047 . Ain’t that huge.

Well getting back. I was curious and looked up this Sarah Killen… her followers rose from 3 to a whopping 14,78. Unbelievable isn’t it… No and that’s not all. When she said she was getting married this year, bang there are people all over the world handing out freebies… some one wants to design wedding invites etc etc.

Apparently strangers have planned her wedding entirely!!! Some one sent her an I mac!!!

This just happens to show what a one person can do with one tweet!!! About a few months back Alyssa Milano re tweeted an article from a blog and BANG the blog’s traffic shot up like crazy!!!

The LA Times personally interviewed Sarah and it can be read over here.

I’ve never witnessed any phenomenon which is quite so interesting!!! Please post your thoughts below!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Google converting software to Open Source?


Google - our Hero!!!

Google always does something to ensure it stays on the front page!!! Most of the times this appeals to users , sometimes not!!! But this time they have certainly succeeded in amassing goodwill (especially among the programming/open source community)

How did they do this? – Google bought reMail in mid february. reMail is application for the iPhone which allows the user to download his/her mail to the iphone and thus make all mail available offline! This app gained a lot of popularity because accessing mails became faster, cheaper and quicker!

Google first did something really funny by killing reMail (removing it from the app store). This did not affect those who had already bought the app (as it requires only the iPhone and has no server).

They brought it back 2 days ago… How does this earn goodwill u ask me??? They brought it back alright but now its open source. Yup you read it right. Google bought reMail and gave the code to the world.

Here’s what Founder(of reMail) Gabor Cselle had to day about this

As someone who is passionate about mobile email, my hope is that developers interested in making email-related apps can use reMail code as a starting point. Part of the reason email apps are hard is because you have to pay the tax of figuring out how to download email via IMAP, parse MIME messages, handle attachments, and store data. reMail has already solved these problems. If you have a great mobile email idea, I hope you will find reMail’s source code helpful in your quest.

We know that Google never does anything if it doesn’t benefit from it, but I’m seriously clueless as to how this helps them! They did something very similar to this last year, Google acquired etherpad as it was going to shutdown and made the technology open source too.

Thats twice now.  Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope to god that this continues!

Whether this is good for Google I don’t know, but I do know that the open source community has something to rejoice about! Lets hope they keep this up and convert more such technology to Open Source

Buttons – The blind Camera

I thought i knew what most camera’s looked like, or at least what their core components where – lens,the shutter, the display LCD (in case of digicam’s) until I heard about buttons…

This is something completely different, and a very interesting concept as well… Enough of the suspense, let me explain what it is.

Well, it’s a modified cell phone with one red button on it… no shutters,no lenses but it does have a screen. You use it pretty much the same way you use any other camera. Point and click. Now here’s the interesting bit with no lens how do u expect it to take a picture?

Buttons - the blind camera

Buttons - the blind camera

Obviously it can’t take a picture, so what does it do. It saves in its memory the exact instant u snapped the picture (that’s not all) and then starts searching the net for a picture taken at the exact same time you “snapped” yours. Depending on when a photo matching the time stamp comes online the camera keeps searching the net (maybe for a few seconds or even a couple of hours).

So what do you end up with? – A picture taken by some one else (from anywhere in the world) at the exact same instant as you. The first question on your mind is probably what the hell would I do with someone Else’s picture? – The man behind this project quotes

In a way, it belongs half to the person who had pressed the button and still remembers that moment. Because of that connection, the photos are never dismissed as random, no matter how enigmatic they may be.

SO how does this work,  right now its a Sony Ericsson K750i which is running some custom software which connects to a server (specially designed for this purpose) to find the appropriate photos.

This project is founded by SASCHA POHFLEPP and more details can be found here.

I think the idea is great, but how long would some-one have the interest to use such a device are my major concerns. After a month or so most people would probably forget which photos represents what instant! Nonetheless something out of the ordinary and worth a second glance.

Facebook screws up again!!!

Royal Screw up!!

With 400 million users using Facebook (FB Stats), You’d think they would be more careful with our data!!! Nope!!! once again the social networking giant has had a major glitch!!!

Facebook users are aware that Facebook sends you mails regarding the activity on your account (messages received, comments posted , friend requests, and so on). Well the latest glitch on the Fb system caused it to send the wrong mails to the wrong email addresses. (Oh Crap!)

So what does this mean? well usually in the mail, the message you get (or the comment posted etc) is a part of the body of the mail. This means people’s messages which are private were sent to complete strangers (or in some cases even people who they might know, but the message wasn’t intended for them)…

Here is some info from the Wall street Journal

Well according a user Pablo, he received over 100 mails of peoples’ correspondence well within 1 and half hours.

Facebook had to let the users know and they issued a statement. (Hardly describes the chaos caused)

During our regular code push yesterday evening, a bug caused some misrouting to a small number of users for a short period of time

End of it all, the bug is forgotten and we continue to use these services again. But before you send sensitive information on any of the sites, just give a thought on whether it’s absolutely necessary. In the competition to be the supremo, giants like Google (buzz incident) and Facebook are slipping up which only affects the users, i.e. us and not them.

Who knows you the best? – Google???


Google knows you best

For quite some time now this thought has been lingering in my head… Who knows me best? the first few people who I thought it could be were my brothers, or maybe my mother… until i realized its probably none other than Google

First reaction – “So now the answer to my question.” Realization – “Sh*t”

Well its obvious if you think hard enough. Considering the number of Google products ranging from Search, mail, calendar, wave, buzz, blogspot, analytics, etc.. and the fact that Google themselves have said they store all information (including searches) for “personalization” or “research” its quite obvious.

In fact some time back Google CEO Eric Schmidt was in soup for making some comments about online privacy – gist of it all can be understood by one of his many statements

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place

Leave that aside for a minute, remember way back when gmail was launched in 2004 Google was boasting about their ad system in gmail – subject based ads – which means ads based on the text in your mail, which finally implies something reads at least a few words of your mail.

How does all this fit you ask? Well lets take a quick example. I would talk to my colleagues only about work related stuff my ideas, my plans etc. Whereas with friends I’d probably talk about my next holiday etc. Now each of them knows only about one phase of my life. You go to Google and search holiday locations  and also about career prospects – WAM!!! … who do you think knows you better now??? colleague, friend or Google???

OK, by now some of you think I’m insane and tell me Google is a set of computers… but its obvious that some one at Google has access to that data… Its also a commonly known fact that the US government has for sometime now been asking Google to share its data…

I’m very late with this realization, and about a year back Gina Trapani editor of Life hacker made her move from Google to yahoo because she felt Google already knew her too well!!!

On the other hand here’s a recent article on someone complaining about Google’s privacy policy.

Maybe its about time all Google worshipers/followers/users stopped for a minute to think about this…

Does Google know too much??