Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The SMS scam

SMS (short message service) is available in every mobile phone, and network operators mostly charge for using sms.There are certain free sms plans, but they offer free sms at a monthly "topup" or "booster pack".

About 2.5 trillion messages will have been sent from cellphones in 2008, and 3.3 trillion messages are expected to be sent in 2009, an estimate by Gartner group.

Lets take a look at what are the costs incurred by the network operators(Airtel,Aircel,Bsnl...) for processing sms. (From NYtimes)

A text message initially travels wirelessly from a handset to the closest base-station tower and is then transferred through wired links to the digital pipes of the telephone network, and then, near its destination, converted back into a wireless signal to traverse the final leg, from tower to handset. In the wired portion of its journey, a file of such infinitesimal size is inconsequential. Srinivasan Keshav, a professor of computer science at the
University of Waterloo, in Ontario, said: “Messages are small. Even though a
trillion seems like a lot to carry, it isn’t.”

Perhaps the costs for the wireless portion at either end are high — spectrum is finite, after all, and carriers pay dearly for the rights to use it. But text messages are not just tiny; they are also free riders, tucked into what’s called a control channel,space reserved for operation of the wireless network.
That’s why a message is so limited in length: it must not exceed the length of the message used for internal communication between tower and handset to set up a call. The channel uses space whether or not a text message is inserted.

Cost of sending an SMS is almost nothing, yet the network operators charge upto .50rs or 1re per sms , depending on the plan. Consider it along with the fact that 2.5trillion messages are sent last year, that will make a fortune for the telecom companies.

Further reading,
What Carriers Aren’t Eager to Tell You About Texting (NewYork times)
TRAI not to intervene in SMS tariffs (The Hindu, read last paragraph)
Wired Blog

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Creating themes for mobile phones

Many of us want to create our own themes (skins) for our mobile phones. Themes are better than using wallpaper and screensaver for mobile phones,because themes allow a great extent of customization. There are several software applications available for creating themes separately for Nokia, Sony ericsson, Samsung,LG etc.These creators are usually bulky and require to be installed in the system.
So far, the only free and best theme creator website is ownskin.com
I have been personally using this website for many years and their online theme creator works perfectly for almost every mobile phone on the market.
The only downside is that they require you to create a free account, and that too is required so that you can edit/download your theme later.

Supported models:

Acer N30 N50
Anex TEKSP230
Asus A636 MyPal A600 MyPal A620 MyPal A639 MyPal A716 P505 P525 P535
Audiovox 2032SP 5600 PDA1032C PPC 4100 PPC 5050 PPC 6600 PPC 6601 PPC 6700
Cingular 2125 3125 8125 8525
Dopod 515 557w 586w 818Pro 838Pro C800 D600 D810 M700 P800W
HP Voice Messenger
HTC MTeoR P3600 P3600i P6300 S310 S620 S710 S720 Touch TyTN TyTN II
i-mate Smartflip Smartphone Smartphone2 SP3 SP3i SP5 SP5m SPL
Lenovo P930
Mio 8380
Motorola i930 MPx200 MPx220 Q Q 9h
Nokia1680 classic 2323 classic 2330 classic 2600 classic 2610 2626 2630 2660 2680 slide 2760 2865 2865i 3109 Classic 3110 Classic 3120 classic 3155 3220 3230 3250 3500 Classic 3555 3600 slide 3610 fold 5000 5070 5130 XpressMusic 5140 5140i 5200 5220 XpressMusic 5300 5310 XpressMusic 5320 XpressMusic 5500 5610 XpressMusic 5700 XpressMusic 6020 6021 6030 6060 6070 6080 6085 6086 6101 6102 6110 Navigator 6111 6120 Classic 6121 Classic 6124 classic 6125 6126 6131 6131 NFC 6133 6136 6151 6165 6170 6210 Navigator 6212 classic 6220 classic 6230i 6233 6234 6260 6263 6267 6270 6275 6275i 6280 6282 6288 6290 6300 6300i 6500 Classic 6500 Slide 6555 6600 6600 fold 6600 slide 6620 6630 6670 6680 6681 6682 7070 Prism 7100 Supernova 7210 Supernova 7260 7270 7310 Supernova 7360 7370 7373 7390 7500 Prism 7510 Supernova 7610 7610 Supernova 7900 Prism 8600 Luna 8800 8800 Carbon Arte 8801 E50 E51 E60 E61 E61i E62 E65 E66 E70 E71 N70 N71 N72 N73 N75 N76 N77 N78 N79 N80 N81 N81 8GB N82 N85 N90 N91 N91 8GB N92 N93 N93i N95 N95 8GB N95-3NAM N96 N96-3
O2 Xda Cosmo Xda IQ Xda Phone Xphone Xphone II
Orange MPx200 SPV SPV C500 SPV C550 SPV C600 SPV E100 SPV E200
Palm Treo 750
Panasonic X700
PanTech PN-820
Qtek 7070 8010 8020 8060 8080 8100 8300 8310 8500
Sagem myS-7
Samsung Blackjack i600 SGH-D720 SGH-D730 SGH-i300 SGH-i320 SGH-i400 SGH-i450 SG H-i520 SGH-i550 SGH-i560 SGH-Z600
Sierra Wireless Voq
Sony Ericsson C702 C902 F500 G502 G700 G900 J200 J300 K300 K310 K500 K508 K510 K530 K550 K600 K610 K618 K660 K700 K750 K770 K790 K790 old K800 K800 old K810 K850 M600 P1 P990 R300 R306 S500 S700 S710 T303 T610 T616 T618 T628 T630 T637 T650 V640 W200 W300 W350 W380 W550 W580 W600 W610 W660 W700 W710 W760 W800 W810 W850 W880 W890 W900 W910 W950 W960 W980 Z1010 Z250 Z310 Z320 Z530 Z550 Z555 Z600 Z608 Z610 Z710 Z750 Z770 Z780
T-Mobile Dash SDA SDA (US) SDA Music
PocketPC 240x320
Smartphone 176x220 240x320 320x240

Monday, April 14, 2008

Convert and download Youtube Videos

There are sites that offer to provide downloadable video links for Youtube videos, but their problem is that Youtube videos are downloaded in FLV format and its not playable by usual media players and require FLV players. Not to mention that FLV format is not playable on DVD players, mobile phones etc.

So, the best option is to convert Youtube videos to our preferred formats before downloading them.
Here are two sites that are tested and found to be working perfectly.

http://www.convertyoutube.com/ (best choice, video quality is best)

Also check out how to view Youtube videos in higher quality.

Update: www.vixy.net is first on Google.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Disabling UAC prompts in Vista

Most of the vista users complain about the confirmation prompts like "Windows need your permission to continue" or "Are you sure you want to do that"?. Such prompts are not just to annoy Vista users, they are in place to prevent any system process from performing any malicious activity, like preventing viruses.
Anyway, most users would like to turn off UAC, sacrificing security for ease of use.
This is the procedure to disable or turn off UAC in Vista.

Method 1 :Using control panel
1.Open Control Panel.
2.Under User Account and Family settings click on the "Add or remove user account".
3.Click on one of the user accounts.
4.Under the user account click on the "Go to the main User Account page" link.
5.Under "Make changes to your user account" click on the "Change security settings" link.
6.In the "Turn on User Account Control (UAC) to make your computer more secure" click to unselect the "Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer". Click on the Ok button.
7.You will be prompted to reboot your computer. Do so when ready.
(In order to re-enable UAC just select the above checkbox and reboot.)

Method 2: Using MSCONFIG
1.Launch MSCONFIG by from the Run menu.
2.Click on the Tools tab. Scroll down till you find "Disable UAP" (this should probably change to UAC in next Vista beta builds and in the RTM version). Click on that line.
3.Press the Launch button.
4.A CMD window will open. When the command is done, you can close the window.
5.Close MSCONFIG. You need to reboot the computer for changes to apply.
(You can re-enable UAC by selecting the "Enable UAP" line and then clicking on the Launch button.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How to download torrents

Downloading using Torrents:
Step 1: Get the torrent file , this is the file with the .torrent extension and it contains information about where the files are on the torrent network. (for ex, torrentz.com is a worldwide tracker, tamiltorrents.net is a website for tamil stuff)
Step 2: Get a torrent client ( Bitspirit is one nice client)
Step 3: Open the .torrent file using BitSpirit software, it will ask where to save the file, specify the location and the downloading will start.
Always make sure that a torrent has enough seeders before starting a download (atleast 1).

Technical part:
BitTorrent is a protocol developed by Bran Cohem in April 2001.
In a torrent network, files are not stored on a central server, rather, files are stored with clients and a tracking server holds the information about where the files are on the network and the tracker coordinates the transfer of files between the peers.
Its architecture is as follows,

Data flow -> Actual file to be downloaded.
Index flow -> Flow of index details, ie, where the files are.

Setup your own PHP and MySQL web server in minutes

Many applications in languages like PHP and frameworks like AJAX require the use of a local webserver to test and debug applications.
IIS can be used in Windows, but, PHP and mySQL needs to be installed separately for IIS.
As an alternative, WampServer can be used.

WAMP = Web server + PHP + mySQL
Wamp can be downloaded from here
WAMP is a one click install web server, just install the software and it will start to run in system tray, click on it and select "Put online".
Your website / web application needs to be placed in "C:\wamp\www" folder, if "C" is your system drive.
Your webserver can be accessed at this location, http://localhost/ or
Make sure to allow firewall exceptions in order for the server to work.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

View Youtube videos in high clarity (HD)

While viewing Youtube videos on Youtube website, your url looks like this,

Just append &fmt=18 to the url and press enter.
Now the url will become like this,

The video will load in high clarity, will take more time to load, but clarity will be very good.

BTW, the above link goes to pulsar mania video.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Play warcraft 3 online with friends

play warcraft 3 online with friends
Warcraft 3 can be played online as if playing on a LAN without getting into battlenet.
Here is the procedure to play warcraft 3 online, without using battlenet.

(Note that this procedure is for warcraft: Frozen throne.It was not tested with warcraft alone, but it should work.)

1.Install Warcraft 3

2.Install Warcraft : Frozen Throne

3.If you do not have version 1.21, download version update patch from here
(version details can be found at the right bottom of game menu )

4.Download and install GG-Game client from here

5. Sign up at GG-Game by clicking here
Make sure that any firewall is disabled (or allow exceptions for client as well as game)

6. Start GG client and use the username/password you used to signup and login.

7.Click on "Settings" button on top right and select "War3 TFT" and enter the path of the warcraft frozen throne game executable and "OK" it.

play warcraft 3 online with friends

8. Select War3 TFT on the "LAN Games" left pane and goto to your desired room (like yahoo chat room), you can play only with the people inside the room, so, if you plan to play with your friends, inform them to come to the room you wish to play (Double click a room to enter into it).

9. After entering a game, click on "Start Game" and if any message appears, press "OK"(sometimes).Your game will start.

10. In the game menu, goto "Local Area Network", create a game, and everyone in that chat room can join your game, or you can join in their game.

11. Enjoy the game !

In case of any doubts, leave a comment with your email address, or use this form.
If you encounter any problems in this procedure, use the above link to get support.

Comments are welcome.( anyone willing to play w3 with the author can contact here)

More maps can be found at the GG-game forum and this is a must play map.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Digg vs Reddit : Traffic comparison

These numbers speak for themselves!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Maglev train in China

It is interesting to note that the chinese already have a commercial magnetic levitation train in operation, that too from Jan 1, 2004 !

Shanghai Maglev train line construction began in March, 2001, and public service commenced on January 1, 2004. The train was made in Germany with German technology.

The line is operated by Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co., Ltd.
The train can reach 350 km/h in 2 minutes, with a maximum speed in normal operation of 431 km/h .
The Shanghai Transrapid project took 1.33 billion US dollars and 2.5 years to complete the 30.5 km track.

The train takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the journey, and its top operational speed is 431 kilometers per hour.
The train, which consists of 9 compartments, is capable of carrying 959 passengers.

How Magnetic levitation works,

- Opposite poles on magnets keep train above track
- Train is propelled by electro-magnetic system in the sides of the "guideway" instead of onboard engine

Photos of Shangai Maglev Train,

Shanghai's Maglev Train displays the current speed of the train in every compartment.

And, has its own crew of attendants as in Airliners.

This train is a symbol of proudness for the chinese people, indeed!