Archive for July, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S2 vs Apple iPhone 4

July 26th, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S2 vs Apple iPhone 4

Chocolate Krishna – Special Guest Kamal hasan

July 26th, 2011

Chocolate Krishna – Special Guest Kamal hasan

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna

Chocolate Krishna Crazy Mohan

How secure is your credit card?

July 25th, 2011

How secure is your credit card?

Credit cards have become an integral part of our life, but concerns about its security and vulnerability is an ongoing issue. Credit card frauds are rising at an alarming rate. Card associations and banks on the other hand have been trying hard to enhance card security features to minimize frauds and misuses.
Here is a look at the security features introduced by card issuers and banks in the current scenario.

Verified by Visa/Mastercard SecureCode

A significant upgrade in credit card security features came with the introduction of ‘Verified by Visa/MasterCard Secure Code programme’ or second factor authentication. It addresses the credit and debit card transactions over internet.
Earlier, to do an online transaction, the only information needed was your credit card number, expiry date and the CVV number printed on the back of the card. It is easy to obtain this information as they are exposed when you handover your card at hotels, shops or petrol stations. Fraudsters can use this data for online transactions where physical presence of the card is not needed.
With the introduction of the Verified by Visa/MasterCard Secure Code programme, apart from card information, the customer needs to provide an additional password like that of a debit card, to make the transaction secure. This is to authenticate any online transaction.

EMV Chip

The EMV chip addresses security concerns while the card is physically swiped in a machine. When cards are being swiped on an electronic device, all the information stored on its magnetic strip gets extracted for verification. Fraudsters can extract this data from swiping machines and use them to make a duplicate card through a process called cloning. This duplicate card can be used for online transactions and your credit account gets billed.

The susceptibility of magnetic strip cards forced the card associations to come up with an innovative solution – the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip. It stores the data securely in a highly encrypted format which is difficult to skim off and thereby reduces the chances of extraction. It also relies on a digital signature scheme based on public key techniques to confirm the data’s legitimacy. As the transaction is being processed, any tampering or unauthorised alteration of data is detected and the transaction will be declined.

India is slow in adding this security feature. In India, the card acceptance mechanism at many merchant outlets is still not equipped with the process. So, the Indian card manufacturers need to issue cards with both EMV platform and magnetic strips. The card makers ensure that the new cards will have a magnetic strip, but the card’s confidential data will be stored on the chip. The magnetic strip facilitates the transaction where EMV processing is not available and at the same time data will not be skimmed.

Second Level Authentication for IVR Transaction

Even though second-level authentication has been introduced for online transactions, telephonic transactions with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) started using second-level authentication with a PIN or a password this year only. So, now a customer making an IVR transaction would need to provide an additional password, just like he does on the Internet, so that fraudsters would no longer use the information on your card for IVR transactions.

Credit Card Protection

If you happen to lose your wallet while traveling in India or abroad, earlier you need to call each card issuer separately to get the cards blocked. To ease this situation, a solution in the form of Credit Card Protection (CPP), exists. CPP India comes with a 24-hour toll-free helpline and a world wide cover. One free call to this number will block all your cards on request with additional features like emergency travel cash assistance, fraud protection, valuable document registration and lost card replacement assistance. This service can be availed by taking a membership with CPP which costs around Rs.1000/- to Rs.1500/- annually.

Stay Safe

Although many security features have been introduced, still you can be a victim of the most common trap —phishing. Beware of mails appearing like coming from your bank/ card company asking for your card details or personal information. They will contain an unsolicited link, which when clicked will be directed to a fraud website looking similar to that of your bank. The chances of clicking them unknowingly are fairly high and you will end up exposing your confidential information.

So, as far as credit card transactions go, be cautious. Here are a few pointers:

Type the URL yourself and don’t rely much on search engines as there are chances for clicking similar duplicate sites.

Look for the prefix ‘https’ in the website addresses. The ‘s’ in https stands for secured.

Keep in mind that no bank/card company would ever ask for confidential information through email/phone under any circumstance

Former England and India captains

July 25th, 2011

Former England and India captains with board officials at the 100th England-India Test, England v India, 1st Test, Lord’s

The 3D future of your web browser

July 23rd, 2011

The 3D future of your web browser

Fast, smooth, high resolution stereoscopic 3D graphics are coming to a web browser on a PC or Smart TV near you very soon, with many web developers and designers now claiming that 3D is on the verge of going mainstream on the internet.

With lots of new movie and gaming content migrating to the cloud, there is now a strong commercial impetus for web developers and content producers to create browser tech capable of running the latest 3D graphics.

“The big push today for developers is to create a browser that is capable of harnessing morecomputer power in terms of tasks and performance,” says Adam Taylor, in-house analyst at games agency Adotomi.

“One of the big focal points is rendering 3D graphics (as opposed to true 3D) and, with the advent of HTML 5 and custom APIs such as WebGL, we’re a step closer to that.

From a gaming point of view, the current gen of the so-called “social games” are limited by browser technology – on Facebook they’re mostly programmed using Adobe Flash or JavaScript. Hopefully we’ll soon reach a jumping-off point where the browser is really able to render complex graphics easily, which will open up a whole new range of possibilities for social gaming.”

The 3D web revolution

Mozilla’s Firefox was the first browser to add support for 3D HTML5 video and has been working with partners such as Nvidia and YouTube to help lower the barrier for 3D video on the web, “encouraging 3D video innovation built on open webtechnologies,”according to a Mozilla spokesperson.

“We’re very excited about the possibility of 3D on the web,”the Mozilla rep added.”WebGL enables an entire new class of applications on the web. Being able to take advantage of first-class 3D hardware acceleration in a browser on both desktop and mobile allowsweb developers to create compelling and immersive experiences for their users.

“3D graphics open the door for developers to create spectacular games, vivid graphics and brand-new visual experiences for the web, without requiring users to install plug-ins. Being able to share fully 3D data as easily as people share photos on the web today can help foster collaboration.”

3D Battlestar Galactica

German online gaming developer Bigpoint made a splash at GDC 2011 in San Francisco earlier this year, demonstrating the latest stereoscopic 3D browser games titles Toon Racer, Ruined Online and Battlestar Galactica Online – the first batch of fully 3D games set to be made available through a web browser.

“For rendering 3D graphics inside the browser there are currently two technologies that have significant audience penetration and developer base,, Unity’s Web Player browser plugin and WebGL” says Carlos Ulloa creator of the Papervision3D engine for Flash and interactive director at 3D web agency HelloEnjoy. “But in the next few month’s we’ll see significant developments.”

Adobe Flash 11 Molehill

Right now, Unity offers 3D games developers the best overall experience, with advanced rendering, physics and effects. That said, the latest developments with WebGL – which is soon set to arrive in full (non-beta) versions of Safari and Opera, in addition to new mobile versions for iOS and Android – are sure to increase its appeal amongst browser games creators and 3D web designers.

Added to this,with Adobe’s 3D-capable Flash 11 on the horizon (code-named Molehill) and other major new 3D browser tech developments such as Google’s Native Client O3D,it is clear to see why web designers think we are on the verge of a 3D browser revolution.

“Flash 11 supports accelerated 3D graphics,” notes Ulloa, “it still requires a plugin, but has a massive penetration. And Google Native Client is a browser technology that allows the secure execution of native code without any additional install. This means that browsers that support Native Client will run Unity content without installing a plugin.