Saturday, April 14, 2012

10 Interesting iPhone tips and tricks

Are you an iPhone user? Well, if yes, here are some interesting tips and tricks that you may be not aware of:

1) Take a photo with your headphone cord: Now that you can use the volume up or down buttons to snap a photo, steady your hand while framing up the photo and when you're ready to take the picture, press the button on the cord so it won't shake the iPhone. Voila!
2) Dry out a wet iPhone: You're not the first one to drop an iPhone in a toilet or sink. If this happens, don't turn it on as you can damage the smartphone by short-circuiting it. Lightly towel dry the phone. Don't use a hairdryer on the phone as it can further push moisture into areas that aren't wet. Submerge the iPhone in a bowl or Ziploc bag of uncooked white rice and leave it overnight. If you have it, try using a desiccant packet you might find with a new pair of shoes or leather purse.

3) Dismiss suggested words: If you're typing an email or note and the virtual keyboard is suggesting the correct spelling of the word — and you don't want to accept it — you don't need to tap the tiny "X" at the end of the word in question. Simply tap anywhere on the screen to close the suggestion box.

4) Take photos faster: Even if your iPhone is locked you can double-tap on the Home button and you'll see a camera icon you can tap to open the camera immediately. Now you can use the volume up button to snap the photo, too. You can also use the volume up on the headphone cord to take a photo (if you want to) and pinch the screen to zoom instead of using the slider bar.
5) Use location-based reminders: You probably know Siri can be used to set a reminder, like saying "Siri, remind me to call mom at 4pm today." But did you know you can set location-based reminders on your iPhone 4S? Say "Remind me to call mom when I leave here" or "Remind me to call mom when I get home" and you'll be notified accordingly.
6) Get word definitions: Apple has recently added a built-in dictionary and you can access it in most apps that let you select a word. Simply press and hold on a word — such as in an email, reminder, iBooks, and so on — and you'll see a pop-up option for "Define."
7) Revive a frozen iPhone: If your smartphone freezes on you and pressing the Sleep/Wake button on top of the device doesn't do anything, don't panic. Instead, press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time. You'll be prompted to swipe the "Slide to Power Off" tab. This so-called "hard reset" resuscitates the frozen iPhone. You'll first need to wait through a full shut down and restart.
8) Get more done in less time: You can create shortcuts to words and phrases you use a lot, such as Northern California Association for Employment in Education. In Settings, go to General, then Keyboard, and select Add New Shortcut. Now you can add new words or phrases and assign shortcuts to them (such as "NCAEE," in the above example, and it'll type out the full word each time.
9) See a 6-day weather forecast: If you're one of the many weather junkies out there, you probably know you can swipe down the iOS device's screen and you'll see the Notifications center. Weather will be at the top, but did you know you can swipe to the left or right and you'll toggle between current conditions and a 6-day forecast? Plus, jump to the Weather app by tapping anywhere on the weather bar inside Notifications screen.
10) Select URL domains faster: When typing a website address in Safari, you don't have to type the ".com." For example, you can type "yahoo" in the URL box to get to On a related note, you can press and hold down the .com button and you'll see a list of alternatives to choose, such as .net, .org and .edu.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Android Application Security; Why you should care?

  Android platform fast becoming very popular between users and a target of malicious hackers as well. Therefore, Application security is very critical. Application security is how your context are secure. Many Apps have access to important information and data related to the user. Therefore, it's very important to protect these data from other malicious Apps.

  Android system is a privilege-separated operating system, in which each application runs with a distinct system identity (Linux user ID and group ID). Parts of the system are also separated into distinct identities. A central design point of the Android security architecture is that no application, by default, has permission to perform any operations that would adversely impact other applications, the operating system, or the user. Well, that means everything is fine!!?? Wrong!

  While each application runs in its own UNIX UID, sharing can occur through application-level interactions. Interaction based on components like Activity, service, content provider and Broadcast receiver, where an Activity represents a user interface or a screen, service represents the background processing, Content provider provides a standardized interface for sharing data, and Broadcast receivers are intents handler, where intents are objects used for inter-component communication.
  Therefore, you need as a developer to be aware of how much data other Apps can access from your App.
  Here are some important things in terms of security and permissions that you may need to consider when developing your App:

1) android:sharedUserId (in AndroidManifest.xml) :

  The name of a Linux user ID that will be shared with other applications. By default, Android assigns each application its own unique user ID. However, if this attribute is set to the same value for two or more applications, they will all share the same ID. Application with the same user ID can access each other's data and, if desired, run in the same process.

2) Determining the permission of a created file:

  When you create a file using for example openFileoutput() method, the created file will be Private to your App by default, but you can change this permission as desired using:

- MODE_PRIVATE :  the default mode, where the created file can only be accessed by the calling application (or all applications sharing the same user ID).
- MODE_WORLD_READABLE: allow all other applications to have read access to the created file.
- MODE_WORLD_WRITEABLE: allow all other applications to have write access to the created file.
3) The same idea is applied when you create a new data base:

  SQLiteDatabase myDB = openOrCreateDatabase("test",MODE_WORLD_READABLE, null);
Here, the data base is readable to any other App on the device. Be careful! 

4) android:exported (in AndroidManifest.xml) :

  Whether or not the activity can be launched by components of other applications — "true" if it can be, and "false" if not. If "false", the activity can be launched only by components of the same application or applications with the same user ID. Best Practice: Always set the “exported” attribute.

Monday, March 19, 2012

PwnedList; Monitoring Service for Hacked Accounts!

  PwnedList is a tool that allows an average person to check if their online accounts have been compromised. The site started out as small research project with a rather simple premise. To discover how many compromised accounts can be harvested programatically in just a couple of hours. Well, needless to say, the results were astonishing.
  In just under 2 hours PwnedList had close to 30,000 accounts, complete with logins and passwords. The truly scary part, however, was the quality of data that PwnedList were able to collect in such a short amount of time. The accounts, which PwnedList were able to retrieve consisted of email services, social media sites, merchants and even financial institutions. It was clear that something had to be done.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Flying Swarm Of Robots Gives Protesters And Activists Free Wi-Fi, On The Go!

   During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the government unplugged the Internet. Protesters were left without Internet, and thereby the ability to communicate even locally, instantly.

   Electronic Countermeasures is a project by Liam Young. The project is essentially an autonomous, roaming Internet swarm, constructed from repurposed UAVs. The project aims to have flying drones that  fly over the city and create ad hoc connections and networks in a new form of nomadic territorial infrastructure. Therefore, internet access can be provided through these networks and connections.
This will be very helpful for Protesters And Activists, since it will give them Free Wi-Fi, On The Go!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Siine Keyboard for Android

Siine is a new type of keyboard for Android that aims to make typing easier by reducing certain words, phrases, and notations to one tap.

More info. on