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  • Mohd Hisham 10:20 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dr vivian balakrishnan, geekcampsg   

    #GeekCampSg: Reflection of Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s Presentation 

    Dr Vivian Balakrishnan GeekCampSg 2014

    Listening through Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s presentation on him being a geek at home yesterday – was pretty hard. I had to separate my personal, political thoughts about him – and look at him from a tech aficionado point of view and I have to say that I am amazed that he dabbles in hardware hacking. And that he is also open to embracing mesh networks – which is what you would do when the ISPs go down and you still want to share information.

    Add to what he’s been doing with his ministry (Environment and Water Resources) with regard to sharing information about water, air quality and general weather index.

    He quipped that when there is flooding everyone tweets and shares the info but when the flood recedes, no one says anything. So his ministry have designed in a way that the drains send out tweets about flooding level.

    I like that he is part of a group of public servants who are pushing for open data sharing with the public. I do get that he has inserted public policies in his presentation, but those are the policies that make sense. And they are better for Singapore in future too. The MyEnv app is a great tool to report about the various conditions in Singapore and to have access to a more accurate figures of the weather in Singapore. Check it out below.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sg.gov.nea&hl=en

    https://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/myenv/id444435182?mt=8

     
  • Mohd Hisham 11:56 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 4x4, ac, ,   

    LInksys Rolls Out 4×4 Wireless AC Routers 

    Linksys E8350 AC2400 Router

     

    Linksys announced recently in a press release that they have launched their first 4×4 Wireless AC router aimed at households with multiple internet users as well as single users that use the internet for high bandwidth applications such as gaming or video streaming, Linksys AC2400 Dual Band WiFi Router (E8350). The new router is equipped with 4 external antennae and provides wireless network speeds up to 2.4 Gbps. Check out the specifications and press release below.

    Technical Specifications

    The Linksys AC2400 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router offers the fastest Wi-Fi technology for a seamless entertainment experience. This 4×4 AC router is the latest in Wireless-AC, delivering four simultaneous, independent data streams to devices on the network for speeds of up to 2.4 Gbps**. The AC2400 helps provide the best overall performance to single devices that require high band such as video streaming or online gaming. The AC2400 features a 1.4 GHz CPU, four Gigabit ports, and an eSATA port with data transfer speeds of up to 3 Gbps.

    • Concurrent dual-band wireless operation (600 + 1733 Mbps)
    • Data transfer rates of up to 600 Mbps on 2.4GHz (3 spatial streams with 256QAM)
    • Data transfer  rates of up to 1733 Mbps on 5GHz (4 spatial streams)
    • 4 Removable and adjustable antennas
    • 4-Port Gigabit Switch/1-Gigabit WAN Port
    • USB 3.0 / 2.0 / eSATA Ports
    • MU-MIMO Ready – which will provide simultaneous streaming and gaming on multiple devices without speed degradation when technology is available
    • Integrated DHCP server with dynamic and static IP address assignment
    • PPTP, IPSec and L2TP Pass through
    • Storage features for external USB hard disk and flash drives (supports FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and HFS+)
    • UPnP IGD and media server
    • Supports DLNA for home media management
    • Virtual USB support
    • Beamforming
    • Wall Mountable
      E8350: 802.11ac 1733 Mbps (for 5 GHz) is up to 6x faster physical data rate compared to 802.11n 300 Mbps (for 2.4 GHz) Wi-Fi routers using two antennas to transmit and receive data. An 802.11ac adapter may be needed to achieve 11ac data rates. For best performance, use router with a compatible AC1733 wireless device. The standard transmission rates—1733 Mbps (for 5 GHz) and 600 Mbps (for 2.4 GHz)—are the physical data rates.

     

    Pricing and Availability

    The new Linksys AC2400 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router (E8350) is available from November 7, for MSRP S$399 exclusively at Challenger and their online store.

    Linksys E8350 AC2400 Router Back View

     

     
  • Mohd Hisham 9:42 am on October 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business process, cognitive system, , watson   

    NUS To Offer Southeast Asia First IBM Watson-based Cognitive Education System 

    L-R: Prof. Bernard Yeung (Dean, NUS Business School), Prof. Tan Chorh Chuan (President, National University of Singapore) , Janet Ang (Managing Director, IBM Singapore), Kellar Nevill (General Manager, IBM ASEAN),   Prof. David S. Rosenblum (Dean, NUS School of Computing)

    L-R: Prof. Bernard Yeung (Dean, NUS Business School), Prof. Tan Chorh Chuan (President, National University of Singapore) , Janet Ang (Managing Director, IBM Singapore), Kellar Nevill (General Manager, IBM ASEAN), Prof. David S. Rosenblum (Dean, NUS School of Computing)

    IBM and National University of Singapore signed an agreement to offer the first Watson-based cognitive computing education in Southeast Asia. The Watson system will allow students to develop business innovations to gain a competitive advantage.

    IBM Watson enable users to interact naturally, complements Big Data analysis and insights, and learn to improve assistance to users. It was also used by DBS Singapore to gain better insights into its Customer Relationship Management and improve its customer experience.

    Selected undergraduate and post-graduate students from NUS School of Computing, BUS Business School and NUS Business Analytics Centre will be enrolled in early 2015 for the Watson-based cognitive systems experience in Asia.

    For more information on IBM Watson, please visit http://www.ibmwatson.com

     

     
  • Mohd Hisham 7:56 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: analytics, , big data, cloud and security, , ,   

    LiveBlog: IBM XCITE 2014 

    IBM XCITE 2014_Event Highlights on 14 October 2014 (1)

    Follow the liveblog to follow the exciting updates at IBM Xcite 2014. Expect updates about mobile, big data, analytics, social media, cloud and security

    Live Blog IBM XCITE 2014
     

     
  • Mohd Hisham 7:32 pm on October 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: casio, , touchscreen   

    Casio AT550-7 Watch with Touchscreen – Microsoft Analog Keyboard for Android Wear 

    Check out this demonstration of the Casio AT-550-7 watch with touch screen function.

    Casio launched this watch in 1984. Yes, that was not a typo. The screen utilized capacitive technology, where in 1984, preceded  the resistive screens of the earlier smart devices like the Palm Pilot and Compaq iPaq.

    Liquid Crystal described it best in their 2012 article;

    Casio’s AT-550 (and its variants, the AT-551 and AT-552) used the [320] module and were incredibly technologically advanced for their time (I know I say this a lot, but you have to remember that this was 1984 and it would be a good 10 years before similar technology appeared in Palm devices – and maybe even SMART devices today!)

    Microsoft has recently revealed a special project that they have designed for the Android Wear. Here’s the gist of their project.

    As touch screens are getting smaller, soft keyboards are getting harder to use. For example, on a 1.6” smart watch, a soft keyboard with 10 keys across has keys less than 1/8” (3mm) wide. Speech recognition can be a viable alternative, but unfortunately, speaking into your watch is not always appropriate or even possible (noisy environments).

    With the Analog Keyboard Project we are exploring handwriting recognition for text input on small touch screens. Handwriting, unlike speech, is discreet and not prone to background noise. And unlike soft keyboards, where many keys have to share the small touch surface, handwriting methods can offer the entire screen (or most of it) for each symbol. This allows each letter to be entered rather comfortably, even on small devices. In fact, it has been shown that some handwriting systems can be used without even looking at the screen [1]. Finally, handwriting interfaces require very little design changes to run on round displays, which are becoming increasingly popular.

    Check out more details on their project on this link and to find out how to download the software to your Android Wear devices.

    http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/analogkeyboard/index.htm

    This brings me back to the days that I have to remember how to write on Palm Pilot. The popularity of the Palm Pilot gestures were so prevalent that when there were Pocket PC variants, they allowed Palm input styles too.

     
  • Mohd Hisham 7:06 pm on October 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #NationOfKindness, singapore kindness movement   

    Walking Down Orchard Road With A Smile on Your Face 

    If you happened to be near Ngee Ann City this weekend, be prepared to leave the place with a smile on your face. The Singapore Kindness Movement have prepared a special activity for passersby, as seen in these photos.

    A volunteer giving a high-five to cheer up a passer-by

    A volunteer giving a high-five to cheer up a passer-by

    A volunteer giving a hug to a kid

    A volunteer giving a hug to a kid

    A volunteer giving out balloons to surprise a family

    A volunteer giving out balloons to surprise a family

    A volunteer sharing umbrella with a couple

    A volunteer sharing umbrella with a couple

    The gaily-decorated Kindness Nexus features an LED countdown timer that runs down every 60 minutes. Volunteers will emerge from the container every hour, armed with a variety of mood changers—from bright balloons, to cooling refreshments, high-fives, and more—to surprise passers-by with small gifts and acts of kindness and affirmation.

    Do check out http://www.makesomeonesday.sg/ for more information on the Singapore Kindness Movement.

    Make a positive act today, won’t you? :)

    Image Credits: Singapore Kindness Movement

     
  • Mohd Hisham 11:42 pm on October 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , microsoft windows 8.1   

    Review: Dell Inspiron 14 3000 Laptop 

    Dell Inspiron 14 3000The Dell Inspiron 14 3000 laptop is a workhorse without the pretense.  The basic configuration comes without a touch screen, but that can be included in the usual Dell Configurator. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out a set. So, while you absorb the technical specifications below, I will take you through the paces of the laptop.

    The Dell Inspiron 14 3000 uses the Intel 4th Generation Core i5 processor with 4GB DDR3 memory. The set I have comes with 1TB 5400 rpm (revolutions per minute) SATA hard drive, tray load DVD drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 14″ LED Backlit Display screen, with HD resolution of 1366 by 768.

    The Dell Inspiron 14 3000 comes with Microsoft Windows 8.1 and it also has a HD 720p webcam as a standard offering.

    It has a full-sized spill-resistant keyboard and a multi-touch gesture-enabled touchpad with integrated scrolling.

    It is backed by a long-lasting 40Whr 4-cell removable battery  – all these at the maximum weight of 2.02KG.

    If you have been using Windows 8.1, it may seem natural to touch the screen to flip the page or to activate the charms to manage the settings. This will be available on the Dell Inspiron 14 3000 if you choose the touch-screen option in the Dell Configurator.

    Video out is via a HDMI Type A, making it a perfect fit for both HD TV sets as well as projectors.

    Review

    The first thing that you realize when you power on the set is the speed with which everything functions. Granted this was a newly setup machine. But over the two weeks where I test downloaded numerous files into, taking up almost 75% of the expansive 1TB hard disk drive storage, speedy boot-up and reboots are the norm. This is an amazing observation, considering that I am used to the SSD(solid state drive) speeds of my personal computer. I attribute the fast boot-up and general disk utilization to the improved Haswell microarchitecture – the successor for the Ivy Bridge, which, by itself, is already a smooth process.

    The WiFi connectivity is the standardized Wireless N 1705, which have been installed on numerous of their existing computers, laptops and desktops alike.

    With all the speed improvements and general ease of use, the remarkable factor for the Dell Inspiron 14 3000, is the price. For the set I tested, with the specifications listed above, you can get it at the low, low price of S$799.00!  As usual, you may order it direct from the Dell site or you may click directly here.

     

     
  • Mohd Hisham 7:12 pm on October 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 64GB, micro sdhc, micro sdxc, nitro plus, sdcard, strontium   

    Review: Strontium Nitro Plus 64GB Micro SDXC Card 

    DSC_0844

    I had the opportunity to review the Strontium Nitro Plus 64GB Micro SDXC Card recently. At S$124.75, it is a cost effective solution to the never-ending problem of storage space, especially for the smart devices such as tablets and smartphones. It does not just stop at having an expansive storage space, it has one of the fastest speed available right now.

    Technical Specifications:

    • Ultra High Speed Class 3 specification UHS-1 (U3) for 4K Ultra High Definition standard
    • Unparalleled mobile data solution with up to 80/60 MB/s in reading and writing transfer speed
    • Rapidly acquires, plays back, transfers media data, included extended durations of 1080p full-HD and 3D videos, and fully support 4K*2K video recording
    • USB card reader and SD Adapter included
    • Includes MyBackup Pro Full Version Android App worth USD 4.99
    • Product Part Number : SRP64GTFU1C
    • Complaint with the latest SD card Association UHS Speed Class specification
      • Compatibility:
      • For microSDHC (16GB / 32GB) cards: Compatible with all microSDHC/XC and microSDHC/XC-I (UHS-I) enabled host devices
      • For microSDXC (64GB) cards: Compatible with microSDXC and microSDXC-I (UHS-I) enabled host devices only
    • Durability: Water Proof; Temperature Proof; Magnet Proof and X-ray Proof
    • Operating Temperature: -13°F to 185°F (-25°C to 85°C )
    • Storage Temperature: -40°F to 185°F (-40°C  to 85°C)
      • Dimensions:
      • microSDHC/XC : 11mm x 15mm x 1mm
      • USB Card Reader : 28mm x 15mm x 4mm
      • SD Adapter : 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm
    • Available Capacities: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
    • File Format : FAT32 (microSDHC 16GB-32GB), exFAT (microSDXC 64GB)
    • Strontium Lifetime Limited Warranty
    • (Link to Technical Specifications Documentation)

    DSC_0843

     

    The standard package for the Strontium Nitro Plus 64GB Micro SDXC card comes with a USB 2.0 card reader, a microSD Adapter as well as an Android app known as MyBackup Pro for two Android devices.

    Review:

    Now, let’s go on to some real world tests. The following self-explanatory images show-case the transfer speed achievable using the Strontium Nitro Plus 64GB Micro SDXC Card.

    Transfer 1.2GB from Host Computer to Strontium

    Transfer 1.2GB from Host Computer to Strontium

    Transfer 1.2GB to Another USB3 HDD

    Transfer 1.2GB to Another USB3 HDD

    Transfer 1.2GB to Host Computer

    Transfer 1.2GB to Host Computer

    1.2GB Transfer From Computer to Strontium

    1.2GB Transfer From Computer to Strontium

    571MB Transfer From Computer to Strontium

    571MB Transfer From Computer to Strontium

    The recommended use case for Strontium Nitro Plus 64GB Micro SDXC Card is for tablets and smartphones, but for testing and general usage experience, if you have the latest ultrabook with SDCard slot, this storage will be an added boost since most ultrabooks are in SSD storage and with limited space.

    A point to note for usage, as highlighted in the technical specifications above, will be the devices that you can use this with. For your convenience, here’s the requirements needed.

    Compatibility:

     

    FormicroSDHC (16GB / 32GB) cards: Compatible with allmicroSDHC/XC andmicroSDHC/XC-I (UHS-I) enabled host devices

    For microSDXC (64GB) cards: Compatible with microSDXC and microSDXC-I (UHS-I) enabled host devices only

    The Strontium Nitro Plus 64GB Micro SDXC Card is available for retail at the recommended price of S$124.75 at all the major electronic stores.

     
  • Mohd Hisham 5:15 pm on October 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , note 4, ,   

    Singtel Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Launch 

    First Ten Owners of Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Panorama
    These ten are the first Singtel owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The latest South Korean handset was sold the customers who have pre-registered and the response have been encouraging.

    Check out the images below for the overview of the crowd at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launch.

    Singtel Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    Here’s the first owner of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

    DSC_0785

    Singtel Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    Singtel Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    DSC_0800-001
    Queues formed as early as 4am.

     
  • Mohd Hisham 3:55 pm on September 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bash, , linux, shell shock, ,   

    Infographic: Bash Shell Shock Vulnerability 

    Symantec has released an infographic explaining what the Bash Shell Shock vulnerability is about and the mitigating factors.

    Symantec - Shell Shock Infographic

    Has it been exploited yet?
    There are limited reports of the vulnerability being used by attackers in the wild. Proof-of-concept scripts have already been developed by security researchers. In addition to this, a module has been created for the Metasploit Framework, which is used for penetration testing.

    Once the vulnerability has been made public, it was only a matter of time before attackers attempted to find and exploit unpatched computers.

    How can it be exploited?
    While the vulnerability potentially affects any computer running Bash, it can only be exploited by a remote attacker in certain circumstances. For a successful attack to occur, an attacker needs to force an application to send a malicious environment variable to Bash.

    The most likely route of attack is through Web servers utilizing CGI (Common Gateway Interface), the widely-used system for generating dynamic Web content. An attacker can potentially use CGI to send a malformed environment variable to a vulnerable Web server. Because the server uses Bash to interpret the variable, it will also run any malicious command tacked-on to it.

    What Can You Do?

    For website owners and businesses
    Businesses, in particular website owners, are most at risk from this bug and should be aware that its exploitation may allow access to their data and provide attackers with a foothold on their network. Accordingly, it is of critical importance to apply any available patches immediately.

    Linux vendors have issued security advisories for the newly discovered vulnerability including patching information.

    *Red Hat has updated its advisory for this vulnerability, noting that its initial patch is incomplete.

    If a patch is unavailable for a specific distribution of Linux or Unix, it is recommended that users switch to an alternative shell until one becomes available.

    For consumers
    Consumers are advised to apply patches to routers and any other web-enabled devices as and when they become available from vendors. Users of Apple’s Mac OS X should be aware that the operating system currently ships with a vulnerable version of Bash. Mac users should apply any patches for OS X when they become available.

    You can read more details on http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/shellshock-all-you-need-know-about-bash-bug-vulnerability

     
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