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AVG Launches Free Protection Against Online Threats

by on Jun.30, 2009, under News, Technology, Tips & Tricks

AVG Technologies is launching AVG LinkScanner as a free standalone product to protect users against random, invisible online threats.

Everyday two million web pages are poisoned by hidden threats and 60 percent of those threats shut down or move to a different destination on the web making real-time link scanning crucial. Any type of site can be affected and if a user simply visits one of these poisoned web pages they don’t even need to click on anything to get into real trouble, to lose their credit card details, their ID or other valuable information or files. Regular anti-virus software alone cannot protect against this type of threat.

AVG LinkScanner gives users an additional real-time layer of protection apart from their existing security software. It works by looking at the web page behind a link or a web address typed into a browser and analyzing whether it harbors a threat. If it does, then AVG LinkScanner stops the user from downloading that page.  This means that Windows XP and Vista users can now know whether it is safe to click on a link when they click on it.

AVG LinkScanner also applies this targeted analysis of web pages to search results from Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Whenever users search using these search engines, they will see safety rankings for all ‘organic’ search results. In addition, the AVG LinkScanner will scan your bookmarks as well as links contained in instant messages and emails before you open them to ensure they are safe.

AVG LinkScanner’s ability to analyze web links in real time enables AVG to deliver more accurate and relevant protection than other safe-surfing solutions. AVG LinkScanner analyzes individual pages on a web site to generate a rating for those pages.

“The Web has become the primary distribution mechanism for viruses (and other malware), drive-by downloads and other stealthy web threats which represent vast majority of attacks,” said AVG Technologies CTO Karel Obluk. “So we’ve evolved our product range to put greater emphasis on combating this more insidious and dangerous form of attack. AVG LinkScanner is at the front line of this additional protective layer. It’s our goal, by making this layer freely available, to give users the confidence to always feel safe when they go online.”

The software is free for use on any personal home computer for non-commercial purposes. It can be downloaded from http://linkscanner.avg.com . Support is available through a free online forum hosted by AVG at http://freeforum.avg.com.

AVG LinkScanner supports all current versions of Windows XP and Vista, both 32- and 64-bit. It is compatible with all major security software and with Internet Explorer 6 or later and Firefox 2 or later browsers and is available in English.

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HTC Touch Diamond 2 Mobile Phone

by on Jun.29, 2009, under Gadgets, Mobile, Technology

HTC’s Diamond upgrade is a much waited product. Unlike other things the sequel The Diamond 2 seemed to live up to the expectation. What do we have to say:

Form Factor
This handset, is better designed than its predecessor. It’s slimmer and sleeker and the large display at 3.2-inches makes quite a lot of difference for touchscreen functionality. The display resolution is 480 x 800 pixels with 65K colors. Just below the display is a touch sensitive zoom bar that can be used for WebPages, images etc. A set of volume keys are located on the side with a universal all-in-one mini USB port located at the base. A thin stylus can be popped out of the corner from beneath the handset. The Diamond 2 has a microSD card slot that can only be accessed by slipping off the rear panel. A VGA camera for video calling is placed above the display and the main 5 megapixel lens is located at the rear.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

It’s much lighter and easier to carry around. The screen is not scratch resistant so you might want to get a screen protector as it tends to pick up scratches every time you slide it into or out of your pocket.

Features and Performance
Interface

HTC’s TouchFLO 3D user interface isn’t any different in this handset. The larger display, makes it a little easier to navigate. The quick access pages make activating and using various functions very easy. Though HTC has tried to make this handset’s UI as finger friendly as possible, the underlying WinMob UI seeps through the cracks ever so often and then you find yourself having to remove the stylus and use both hands instead of just one.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The onscreen keypads are available in a variety of forms – Full QWERTY keypad that also automatically gets activated when in landscape mode via the accelerometer, an alphanumeric mobile keypad, the regular WinMob QWERTY keypad and forms of handwriting recognition options as well. The problem is that the keypads are a bit too small, even in landscape. It’ll take a lot of getting used to and even after extensively using it I couldn’t. The Phone keypad is a little better if you prefer that option, but there was surely room for that to be larger too.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The good thing is with a Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS and UI along with a Qualcomm MSM7200A 528 MHz processor, the handset is quite quick even with a page full of apps running in the background.

Media
The bundled headset is very comfortable to use as you can’t really opt for an easy change considering it has a mini USB port for connectivity. So no AV out option is available. For music you can opt to use the Default Windows Media Player for the TouchFLO player, which is easily accessible. The issue of quality emitting from each player specifically is moot as the handset’s audio capacity is pretty good from volume to tone. The Audio Booster provides additional quality and preference options with EQ presets and a 10 channel graphic EQ setting that can be customized. An MP3 trimmer is available for making your own ringtones. We found that the speaker phone was not very conducive for taking calls as the volume was a little low.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

Quite impressive is the FM radio. It took about 13 seconds to store and preset all the nine available stations and reception during my commute was also quite decent.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

From the video section, the Diamond 2 supports popular mobile video format playback like 3GP or MPEG4 files. I’d recommend using Windows Mobile to play video files as the secondary player is quite annoying when it comes to touch control for scanning and pausing. Other video options include a quick access to YouTube by a Native application and a separate app for Streaming media. The flick control for viewing images works smoothly.

Connectivity
The Diamond 2 is well laid out for connectivity. It’s 3G (with HSDPA) ready even though we’re still a long way away from the country being ready, so in this case you’ll have to suffice with EDGE/GPRS connectivity. The handset like most others in its class can also be used as a modem for your PC or laptop via the Internet Sharing option. Wi-Fi connectivity is also present for when available. Other options include Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP and of course USB 2.0 for PC connectivity for back up through ActiveSync etc.

Like all other WinMob handsets it supports Push mail (via Exchange) and you can easily configure your IMAP and POP3 accounts as well in a few easy steps. Aside from the standard IE browser, Opera for mobile is also made default via the TouchFLO interface. It’s a lot faster than IE and the accelerometer allows you to seamlessly view web pages in landscape to get a better perspective. You can also sign into a Windows Live account and even use MSN Messenger for chatting. An RSS feed reader is also on board.

A GPS antenna is also in-built but sadly there’s no software provided. You’ll have to settle for good old Google Maps with support from A-GPS.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

Camera
The 5 megapixel autofocus camera is sans any flash so low light pictures are not too great even though it has an ISO setting. Ithas a touch focus feature that allows you to tap any portion on the screen for the camera to focus on. This is similar to what the iPhone 3G S is incorporating. Other features include a Panorama Mode, White Balance and Widescreen.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The color reproductions that the camera is capable of providing is very good. Even close ups are not bad at all.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

Battery
Another amazing feature with the new Touch Diamond is the battery life. On a single charge you’ll very easily get about 2 full days of usage, unless you have your Push Mail service on or Wi-Fi active constantly for downloading or connecting. Talk Time averaged in at almost 4 hours which is great.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The Bottom Line
On the whole the Touch Diamond 2 is a great package. However the pricing is a issue. Touchscreen handsets are a little high priced these days and at Rs. 29,990 the Diamond 2 is in that category. So if you’re a Windows Mobile Touchscreen fan and are willing to put a hole in your pocket, the HTC is a good choice.

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HTC Reveals Hero Android Handset

by on Jun.26, 2009, under Gadgets, Mobile, Technology

HTC’s Hero, is the latest Android powered handset. They’ve already had quite a lot of success with previous models and the Magic is also now going to be available. This is their third handset so far.

HTC Hero

The Hero will feature –

  • a Qualcomm MSM7200A chipset with a 528MHz CPU, 288MB of RAM and 512 MB of ROM
  • a 3.2-inch TFT LCD touchscreen display with a 320 x 480 pixel resolution which will also feature multi touch and an accelerometer
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • Wi-Fi
  • MicroSD card support
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
  • 3.5mm handsfree socket
  • Trackball for navigation
  • 5MP AF camera
  • Digital Compass

Aside from these features, HTC has also developed a new UI to run on the OS that they are calling the HTC Sense that is designed to deliver on three basic principles: Make it Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected.

Make It Mine
Make It Mine is a concept created with the sense of instilling the idea about feeling like your HTC phone was created for and by you. HTC has designed this UI to be extremely customizable so users can organize how you want to access content in a way that fits you best. You can at a glance view widgets that push content like Twitter feeds, weather and other content to the surface while others may want quick access to business-focused information like email, calendar and world-times. HTC is also introducing a new profile feature called Scenes that will enable users to create different customized content profiles around specific functions or times in their life.

HTC Hero

Stay Close
HTC Sense takes a different approach to personal communication by integrating communication channels and applications into one single view enabling you to stay closer to your important contacts. With HTC Sense, friends' Facebook status updates and photos along with their Flickr photos are included with their text messages, emails and call history in a single view.

Discover the Unexpected
HTC Sense is focused on providing a variety of simple yet innovative experiences on your HTC phone. It can be something as basic as turning the phone over to silence a ring or as simple as improving the smart dialer for making calls quicker. HTC Sense also includes perspectives, a new way for viewing your content such as email, photos, Twitter, music and more in different ways.

The HTC Hero will be available to people across Europe in July and in Asia later in the summer. A distinct North American version will be available later in 2009. Check out their first look video below:

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