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Release Micromax YU Yureka smart mobile with Cyanogen has made it complex and is leaving most of the techies and smart mobile freaks in ambiguity to choose a better choice between the One Plus One mobile. Then here we end this ambitiousness with this post which would ensure and helps all the tech freaks and smart device lover who wish to upgrade to the new smart device.

Micromax YU Yureka vs OnePlus One:





Micromax YU Yureka Launch

Indian smart mobile manufacturer Micromax has launched its much awaited and prognosticated smart device YU Yureka which has been classified under YU series of smartphones and operates on latest updated version of Cyanogen OS. What makes it more special of a kind is that its budgetary cost of Rs 8,999 in Indian domestic markets and is a first domestic branded smart device to be launched with Cyanogen OS in India. Though it is powered with Cyanogen OS Micromax YU Yureka appears as Android smartphone with the bewitching and captivating specifications, features and most concerned factor in India budgetary price. For those who aren’t aware of the Cyanogen OS let me make it clear that Cyanogen software is based on the Android operating system, popular for the host of customization and features it provides over stock Android.

Recently there has been a rival between the Indian smart mobile giant Micromax and One Plus One with the launch of Cyanogen OS smartphones in India where Micromax is claiming that One Plus One has been infringing its exclusive rights over Cyanogen in India and filed an lawsuit. Check out the best specifications of these two smart gadgets and find out which gadget has the best aspects of Cyanogen with this review.

Display Specifications

Micromax Yureka has 5.5 inch IPS display with HD resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels while dissimilar to the One Plus One it is facilitated with the full-HD screen which implies that the number of pixels per inch are less and One Plus One comes with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels in comparison. We sensed that colours to be a little over saturated in the Micromax YU Yureka mobile however we didn’t notice distortion due to lower pixel density and are not pretty sure if it has got to do with the custom icons of the default theme that look a little too vibrant or the display. Other most concerning factor is that both smartphones have a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for added protection against scratches.

Software

Micromax YU Yureka and One Plus One operates on Cyanogen OS 11 based on Android 4.4.4. Cyanogen offers features and options which are not found in the official firmware distributed by mobile device vendors. Cyanogen supports native theming support, FLAC audio codec support, a large Access Point Name list, an OpenVPN client, Privacy Guard – a per-application permission management app, support for tethering over common interfaces, CPU overclocking and other performance enhancements, soft buttons and other “tablet tweaks”, toggles in the notification pull-down (such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS), as well as other interface enhancements. Cyanogen is found to be a key aspect to increase performance and reliability compared with official firmware releases.

Micromax assures stating that their smart device Yureka would turn out as an best and is the first smartphone to to get the Android Lollipop OS based version of Cyanogen on the other hand One Plus One smart device may not get the Android Lollipop OS based version of Cyanogen in India right now.

Memory Storage Specifications

Micromax Yureka has been offered with 16GB of inbuilt memory space and supports an external secondary storage up to 32 GB using a microSD card; on the other hand One Plus One comes with 64 GB of inbuilt space at just Rs 21,999 and doesn’t have any external memory card slot to expand the memory and is double the cost of the Yureka.


Processor Specifications

Mircomax Yureka operates on 64 bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa core chip with 1.5GHz processor cores, Adreno 405 graphics and 2GB DDR3 RAM and sports the latest internals and is one of the cheapest devices to offer 4G connectivity and a chip based on 64 bit architecture. Micromax Yureka has Qualcomm’s latest chip supports dual-mode 4G LTE connectivity with support for both LTE TDD 2300MHz and LTE FDD 1800MHz bands covering most present and upcoming Indian 4G networks. However Mircomax Yureka has 2GB of RAM, which is lower than the 3GB RAM on the OnePlus One which would leave an impact and has effect if you are really concerned of high end performance while it has no noticeable difference in the speeds in the two phones.


Battery Backup Specifications

Micromax Yureka operates and functions with 2500mAh battery while One Plus One functions with 3100mAh battery which makes it clear with less battery power backup although as per most of the smart devices users you can judge the battery power backup unless and until you use it as per your specifications however the battery power test and our personal test with One Plus One was good.


Camera Specifications

One Plus One and Micromax Yureka both the smart devices has 13 MP od rear camera (f2.2 aperture, capable of 1080p video capture) with Sony EXMOR CMOS sensor and a 5MP front camera with 71 degree field of view. What makes Micromax Yureka somewhat special is that its capability to shoot slow-motion videos as 60 frames per second and a future software update will make it capable of shooting slow motion video at 120 frames per second which stands a s fascination aspect for those who wish to explore some sort of photography with their smart device. Micromax Yureka has been offered with the CyanogenMod Camera app that offers granular settings for controls including size, quality, shutter speed, focus duration, focus mode, and ISO, among others. Vertical swipes change the scene mode while a horizontal swipe allows you browse pictures and videos shot with the phone. The app offers Panorama, Burst and HDR modes. Photo clarity varies with both the phones.


On a concluding note, I would like to state that One Plus One which is acclaimed as flagship killer offering high end features is better option while if you are really looking for an mobile with that of similar features then you may opt Micromax Yureka as it is one of the best budgetary mobiles in the recent times with best top notch features in the price slab of Rs 10,000 below price in India. At the Micromax Yureka is assuring a software update with doorstep service and replacements and a great warranty policy this would leave out one of the best mobile with Cyanogen. Stay connected for more tech updates.

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal[at]Techproceed[dot]com

Happy Mobile Shopping :-)

Google on Tuesday launched the Google Chromecast and Nexus 6 in India to kick off the three-day Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) starting on December 10. The Chromecast will costs Rs 2,999 and and will be available on snapdeal.com and select Airtel stores across India. Airtel is offering Chromecast customers a range of subscription offers. Existing broadband users can access 60GB of data for 3 months when they purchase a Chromecast, while new customers can get the same, and zero activation fee for their new broadband service.



The Nexus 6 from Google & Motorola was also unveiled and will be available to buyers on Google Playstore at Rs 43,999 for the 32GB and Rs 48,999 for the 64GB version. It will be available in Midnight Blue or Cloud White colour options. 

Google India said - convenience, variety and availability of latest products across the country were driving the growth of online shopping in India. “We started gosf in 2012 with just 90 partners and in our third year, we have five times more partners participating including many first-time partners like Big Bazaar, Lakme, Van Heusen and Asian Paints. In the last few weeks, over 5 million users have visited to gosf.in site and we are hopeful that many first time buyers will find exciting offers in the Rs 299 corner,” 

Chromecast connects with smartphones, tablets and PCs to stream online content to TVs. However, unlike Apple TV, it doesn't officially support streaming of local content to TVs to prevent copyright infringement issues, and connects to an online server for beaming content.

App makers need to add support for their apps for users to be able to stream content through their devices. However, users can still 'cast' their Chrome browser tabs to the Chromecast. This implies that video playing on any web page can be streamed. This feature is in beta and there's considerable lag in the mirroring. The Chromecast also allows users of Nexus phones and certain other high-end phones to mirror their phone screens on their TVs.

Happy Chromecasting :-)

Yes, you can view or decrypt the XML files of an Android APK file. There is a tool android-apktool

It is a tool for reengineering 3rd party, closed, binary Android apps

How to do this on your Windows System:
  • Download apktool-install-windows-* file
  • Download apktool-* file
  • Unpack both to your Windows directory

Now copy the APK file also in that directory and run the following command in your command:

prompt:  apktool d HelloWorld.apk ./HelloWorld

This will create and directory “HelloWorld” in your current directory. Inside it you can find theAndroidManifest.xml file in decrypted form and you can also find other XML files inside the"HelloWorld/res/layout" directory.

Here HelloWorld.apk is your Android APK file.

See the below screen shot for more information:


Now that you’re finished. You probably want to this folder into Eclipse and Edit.

Alternatively, you can go for below UI based approach:

You want to edit apk file(android app) directly without the need of eclipse or command line build utility? Yes You can do it using APK Edit Utility.

Steps

(1) Download APK Edit Software from here. Download 'APK Edit' software from internet.

(2) Unzip the zip file and extract its contents. Click on "APK Edit.exe".

(3) First it will ask you to choose Java Executable from "Program Files" folder. Normally it resides in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_25\bin". Folder may be different if you have different java version installed or different bits operating system.


(4) Later software will ask you to choose android apk file you want to edit. Browse the apk file you want to edit.


(3) Wait for some time until the Browse link becomes clickable in Details Tab.


(4) Now, click on browse and folder structure will be opened.


(5) You can make small changes like string name change, image change, app name change & save the file to reflect the changes in apk file.
  • To Change icon or images :- Replace existing images with new images.
  • To make string changes :- find strings.xml file in res and change the string’s values.
  • To make app name, package name changes :- Change the android manifest file.

After making all changes, save the file and close the folder structure. Click On Ok and you will see the android app with all the changes you made.


If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Androiding :-)



Much to the chagrin of its users, WhatsApp quietly introduced read receipts (letting people see exactly when a message is read, not just delivered) earlier this month. The app always showed one tick mark when you sent a message, which changed to two grey ticks when it was delivered. Now, the app shows two blue ticks when the recipient has read your message

This feature was rolled out without an update to the app itself. This means that there was no privacy setting to disable read receipts when the feature was rolled out. The lack of this basic feature in WhatsApp really ticked us off, and we had promised that we'd be back with a tutorial on how to disable WhatsApp blue ticks as soon as it was possible. True to our word, here we are now that WhatsApp has unveiled this feature for Android.

Here's how to get rid of those annoying blue ticks in WhatsApp - but if you do this, then you won't be able to see the receipts either. If you want to check when other people see your messages, then you need to allow them to see read receipts from you. For now, this is only possible for Android users, and only if you manually update the app via the WhatsApp website. WhatsApp typically releases updates first via its website, and then rolls out the update for Android's Google Play store, followed by updates for other platforms, so the update will be available for all devices soon.

The first step is to get the latest APK file from WhatsApp:

Download the latest (version 2.11.444) WhatsApp apk from the official website.

On your Android phone, go to Settings > Security > Check Unknown sources, to enable installing apps from outside Google Play. Note that the exact path to the setting can vary depending on your device manufacturer and Android version - the important thing to note is that you enable installing apps from unknown sources.
  1. Open the apk on your Android phone. This will install the latest version of the app on your device.
  2. Once the app is installed, here's how to disable read receipts:
  3. Open WhatsApp and tap three vertical dots icon on the top right.
  4. Now go to Settings > Account > Privacy.
  5. Uncheck Read receipts.



That will disable the blue ticks on WhatsApp. As we noted above, feature isn't available on other platforms or on Google Play as yet, but now that this feature has appeared on the official WhatsApp apk, we can hope that an update will bring it to all platforms.

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here: Snehal[at]Techproceed[dot]com

Happy WhatsApping  :-)

WhatsApp is definitely the most popular instant messaging app on Android and the fact that around 500 million people have already downloaded it proves how insanely popular the instant messaging app is.

On an average ground 1 billion messages are exchanged between WhatsApp users everyday and the count is ever increasing. WhatsApp can be downloaded for free, however the app is only free for the first year and after that you will have to pay $0.99 ( Rs.55 ) per year in order to continue using it. Well, that’s a very negligible fee for keeping you connected with your friends throughout the year.

However unlike other instant messengers, WhatsApp does not store your conversations and chats online. Your chats are stored on your phone and if you are going to format your phone, all your chats will be deleted too. Similarly if you switch to a new phone and install WhatsApp on it, you won’t be able to view your old messages.

The good thing is, WhatsApp automatically performs a backup of all your chats, photos and videos everyday and stores it on your phone’s memory. If you want to backup your WhatsApp messages, you can copy the backup file to your PC and later use it restore your messages on another phone.

For those who are planning to format your phone or switch to a newer phone, here’s how you can backup all your chats from WhatsApp and restore it later.

How to Backup Whatsapp Messages

Step 1: Go to the Settings on WhatsApp. 
Step 2: Tap on ” Chat settings “. 




Step 3: Tap on ” Backup Conversations “. 



Step 4: Next you will have to connect your phone to your PC. 

Step 5: Browse your phone’s memory though your PC and locate the WhatsApp folder. 



Step 5: Copy the WhatsApp folder and store it on your PC. The WhatsApp folder will contain all the WhatsApp chats backups, photos, videos and audio files. 

Note: If you only want to backup the chats, you will only have to copy the latest WhatsApp backup located in the Database folder.

How to Restore WhatsApp Messages

Step 1: Copy the WhatsApp folder to your new Phone memory’s root location. 

Step 2: Install WhatsApp from the Google Play Store and once it is installed open it. 

Step 4: Tap on ” Agree and Continue “. 



Step 5: Enter your old phone number. 


Step 6: WhatsApp will automatically check for existing backups and prompt you to restore your messages. Tap on Restore to restore all the messages, photos and videos. 



Step 7: Once the messages, photos and backups are restored you will be notified with a congratulations message. 




That’s it, now all the WhatsApp chats, photos, videos and audio files should be restored on your new phone. This process should be same for mobile Os such as iOS and blackberry, however the WhatsApp folder location might differ.

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal[at]Techproceed[dot]com

Happy Whatsapping  :-)

They say in business you should think big. But when it comes to your career, have you considered thinking “small”? A startup is a roller-coaster ride that can offer you incredible career experiences and teach you some invaluable life lessons.

Startups can make you more efficient than you’ve ever been, and they can help you expand your responsibility and knowledge and learn how any business, despite challenges, can effectively get off the ground.

  • Start Doing Real Work
The feeling you get when you work for a startup is rather hard to describe. In some respects, it’s a little like taking the red pill and getting ejected from the Matrix. Everything you do in a startup makes a difference. No longer are you surrounded by a safety blanket world where you’re a small cog in a large machine. In a startup, everything you do will contribute to the ultimate success or failure of the business.

In my experience, leaving a large organization and heading to a startup felt liberating. In the early days, it felt like every piece of code I wrote was making a difference. In fact, startups actually push you to identify and focus on what’s absolutely critical, forcing you to think more creatively about how you approach projects and create value. And best of all, you’ll often get to see results first-hand and share in the rewards and glory.

  • Learning and Responsibility 
I unequivocally say I learned more in my first two months in a startup than I did in the previous five years of my professional career. The reason for this is that everyone in a startup is expected to wear multiple hats. A startup forces you to adopt new skills and responsibilities to make up for the small-sized taking on the huge challenges of building an empire.

In startups, fast learning can also lead to increased responsibility and multiple opportunities to both utilize and accelerate talents and knowledge. All of this can translate into powerful position in the business world and means you’ll have much more to offer as an individual, particularly when it comes time to move on or even start your own business.


  • Shape the Culture Around You
One of the areas that I’m most proud of at DesignCrowd is that we have built a culture where talented people come together and make work fun (work doesn’t feel like work). There’s nothing more rewarding than feeling excited to come into the office in the morning to tackle the next challenge the world has thrown at us.

You will also find that in startups, you get to shape the culture around you. Entering a larger organization usually means that you’ll be stepping into a predetermined culture, set with existing practices, customs and values. Joining a startup, on the other hand, often means that you can directly contribute to the creation and growth of the business culture, offering ideas and practices that can help shape the working philosophy of the company.


  • An Environment of Innovation
One of the most rewarding things about startups is that you can find yourself working with a team that is highly passionate and enthusiastic. This can spark inspiration on every level, leading to truly innovative ideas and developments that can help the business stand out against competitors in the greater industry.

Being part of an entrepreneurial team is also a wonderful way to learn how to innovate. Entrepreneurs are great people to learn from — they identify a problem and need to find a new efficient way to solve it.


  • Starting Your Own Venture
Joining a startup gives you the opportunity to start learning what it takes to be your own boss. While they take personal and financial sacrifice, startups pay you back in opportunities and knowledge on how to take charge of your own venture.

If you’re toying with the idea of one day being your own boss, working in a startup is the ideal place to educate yourself on how to set goals, execute strategies, take your product to market and implement strong business operations. You can also be required to take on other, more administrative business tasks, which can actually equip you with great business know-how.

“You learn that there are lots of details in any enterprise,” says CEO Richard A. Moran. “You might have to name the company, design a logo, find office space, figure out the legal entity, find an insurance carrier and all the thousands of mundane activities that one takes for granted in a larger company.”

The key startup lesson in all of this is to never underestimate the power of working for a startup organisation. Startups can equip you with invaluable hands-on tools and experience, growing your skills, knowledge and even responsibilities rapidly – and that’s something that’s difficult to come by in a medium or larger-sized organization.

The iPhone 6 reveal is barely a few hours old, but already we can see that there has been some viral activity from Android owners who cannot resist the opportunity to boast. One image in particular compares the iPhone 6 Vs Nexus 4, arguing that Android users have had the iPhone 6 features ‘for years’.

This image is now doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook quicker than you can say‘One more thing’. It shows the iPhone 6 Vs Nexus 4 specs side by side from an Android user’s point of view.

They list specs such as a 750p resolution on the iPhone 6, compared to a 760p resolution on the Nexus 4. They also highlight new NFC payments on the iPhone 6 with Apple pay, with NFC payments that the Nexus 4 already had two years ago.




There’s a whole list of other matching specs, with the emphasis being that the iPhone 6 is only just launching with these features that the Nexus 4 had in 2012.

As a final kick in the teeth, there is a sarcastic leaving message which goads Apple users with a glimpse of 2016 features on another new iPhone which include wireless charging, water resistance, IR Blasters and split-screen apps – features of course which are already available on Android.

The image also leaves a parting gift on offering iPhone 6 users help with any of their new features – by asking an Android user who has been using the same features for years.

Is this a clever piece of marketing warfare from the Android user base, or simply a case of listing facts? It will be interesting to see if Apple, Samsung or Google respond to this in an official capacity.

This image is igniting at the moment though so let us know what you think about it. Do you agree that the iPhone 6 specs are not strong enough compared to the best Android phones, or do you think it’s just a case of jealousy?


Failing to crack the high-end smartphone segment, Nokia focused its efforts on the budget market. Its recent models such as the Lumia 520 and 630 did quite well in the market. Following its footsteps, Motorola released the Moto G in India, which became a runaway hit. Then came the Xiaomi Mi 3 that redefined what a budget smartphone should be. After the overwhelming response to its first handset, Xiaomi is all set to launch its Redmi 1S.


In recent times, manufacturers have started paying more attention to the budget market by rolling out a slew of fully functional budget smartphones. Companies like Motorola and Xiaomi have become extremely popular over the last few years thanks to the many affordable smartphones that they offer. Today, TechProceed compares two of their most competitive offerings, the Moto G and the Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

Which one should you buy? Find out below.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs Moto E: Design

The Moto E uses a plastic body and feels solidly built. Its small size and curved back ensures that it feels good in the hand. Its dimensions are 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3mm, with the smartphone weighing 142g, which happens to be a pleasing amount of weight when held. All in all, the phone is light and easy to hold.

The Redmi's design feels pretty standard; it's your usual rectangular smartphone with slightly curved corners. It feels balanced and is easy to operate. Its dimensions are 137 x 69 x 9.9 mm, meaning that it's a little thinner than the Moto E.

Both phones offer standard design and try nothing radical.


Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs Moto E: Display

The Moto E has a 4.3in display with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. It delivers a pixel density of 256 ppi and has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for reasonable protection from scratches and bumps.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S has a slightly larger 4.7in display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. It delivers a pixel density of 312 ppi along with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for protection.

It goes without saying that the Xiaomi Redmi 1S has the bigger and better display. If you're keen on watching a lot of videos on your phone and playing games, then it happens to be the better option among the two.


Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs Moto E: Hardware

The Moto E uses a trusty Qualcomm Snapdragon 200. This consists of a Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor along with an Adreno 302 GPU for graphics and 1GB of RAM. While it won't be capable of strong benchmarks and gaming capabilities, it will get the job done for the everyday user.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S uses a slightly faster Qualcomm MSM8228 Snapdragon chipset with a Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A7 processor and an Adreno 305 GPU for graphics along with 1GB of RAM.

When it comes to internal memory, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S offers 8GB of internal memory along with the option to expand up to 32 GB via microSD. The Moto E supports the same amount of expandable storage, but offers only 4GB of internal storage.

When it comes to performance, the Xiaomi is easily the better smartphone thanks to its superior chipset.


Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs Moto E: Camera and Imaging

The Moto E has a 5 megapixel camera in the rear with Geo-tagging, panorama and HDR features. It can shoot 480p video at 30fps. It lacks a front-facing secondary camera.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S houses an 8 megapixel shooter in the rear with geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, and HDR features. It can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. There's also a 1.6 MP front-facing secondary camera that's capable of 720p video at 30 fps.

Even in the imaging department, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S comes out on top with better camera specifications.


Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs Moto E: Software

As with the Moto G, the Moto E will also offer stock Android KitKat out of the box. Expect a light and smooth experience without bloat ware and unnecessary apps.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S will feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with a MIUI skin on top. MUI is the company's take on Android and happens to be somewhat different from stock Android. Experts and critics have often said that Xiaomi tries hard to make its MIUI interface look a lot like Apple's iOS UI design.


Bottom Line

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S should be your choice if you're looking for the phone with the better camera, performance and display. Apart from offering better hardware, the company's MIUI has been known to be one of the better custom made Android skins used by manufacturers.

The Moto E can't compare with the Redmi 1S in most departments and is easily the inferior phone among the two. However, people keen on stock Android, quick Android updates and the Motorola brand name might opt for it over the Xiaomi Redmi 1S.


You might have a WiFi dongle installed on your computer or even it might have come preinstalled in your laptop. While you will be able to access internet through a WiFi connection, but when it comes to sharing your internet connection via WiFi, you would have to rely on a third party tool such as connectify.

As most software, Connectify was once a freeware and disappointingly the developers decided to put a price tag on it. While connectify still has a free version available, but there are many restrictions on it.

Fortunately, Software such as connectify are just a secondary method of creating WiFi HotSpots for sharing your PC’s or Laptop’s internet connection. The primary method of creating WiFi HotSpots is very simple but it requires the use of the command prompt.

For those who want to create a WiFi HotSpot from their PC or laptop in order to share your internet connection through WiFi, the instructions below will guide you through the process.

Note: You will need to have a WiFi dongle or card installed on your PC in order to host a WiFi Hostspot.

How to turn a PC or Laptop into a WiFi HotSpot

Step 1: Open the Command prompt with Administrator rights. 

Step 2: Type in the following command 

 netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=HotSpot key=12345678

Here ” HotSpot ” will be the name of the WiFi HotSpot you are going to create. You can change it to any other name of your choice.


Similarly the Key value i.e. “ 12345678 ” is the password to connect to the WiFi HotSpot, you can also change this to any value of your choice.

Step 3: Next type 

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

The result should look like this.


Step 4: Next you will have to Network and sharing center in Control panel and right click on your main network and select properties. i.e the network that you are using to access the internet. 



Step 5: Finally click on the sharing tab and check ” allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connect “ 



Thats it now you can search for the WiFi HotSpot from any WiFi enabled device and connect to it with the password key set by you.

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal[at]Techproceed[dot]com

Happy Wi-Fi sharing :-)

Most anti-procrastination apps on the web help you stay focused and increase productivity by blocking time wasting websites. The thinking goes that if these online distractions are gone, you are more likely to focus on actual work.



'Time is Running', a Chrome app that takes a slightly different approach. It replaces the new tab page of your Google Chrome with a real-time counter that displays your incrementing age.

Every time you launch Chrome, or open a new tab in the browser, the extension works as a sobering reminder that the clock is ticking away. That may motivate you to exit the Bermuda productivity triangle and focus on the more important things. You can grab the free app here on app store.

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Chrome App'ing :-)

Whether you have an .apk file or an unpacked folder with the android files within, these steps will help you continue on your quest. If you haven’t unpacked the .apk file yet, you want to check the below article:

How to Decrypt, Unpack, and Edit .apk files

It contains step by step on how to unpack .apk files correctly and easily.

Once you’ve unpacked your file. Continue below steps:

  • You need to download Eclipse and Android SDK for these steps. Luckily they are already in a bundle. And here’s the link. Download Bundle.
  • File -> Import -> Android Code into Workspace -> (Select Root Directory (folder) of the Application you are importing) -> Check the (Copy projects into Workspace [checkbox]) -> Click Finish
  • Go Take a break
  • Now nerd out on your new app.


If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Androiding :-)

If you’re an Android user you’re probably very familiar with mobile ads. Advertisements make the Internet go round. Heck, even dotTech relies on ads to make money. However, there is a huge difference between non-intrusive advertisements and ads that are so obnoxious that you can’t even read what you came to read on a website.



That is why we’ve put together this guide to help you block ads on Android smartphones and tablets. Read on to learn more and keep in mind, we have a separate guide on how to block ads on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Before We Begin

This guide will cover three ways on how to block ads on Android.

The first method requires a rooted device and will block ads globally on your smartphone or tablet; this means, it will block ads for all browsers, apps, games, websites, etc. Once you apple the first method, you don’t need to ever run the ad blocking app again — it is a do-it-once-and-forget-it method. Method #1 works with all Android smartphones and tablets running Android 2.1 and up.

The second method does not required a rooted device and also blocks ads globally. However, it requires you to continually have an app running to block ads — if you close the app, ads will stop being blocked.

Method #1 works with all Android smartphones and tablets running Android 2.1 and up.
The last method blocks ads in Firefox on Android and does not require root nor does it require a separate app to be running.

For the first two methods, you will be required to sideload an app because the apps needed to perform the ad block are not available in Google Play Store. Sideloading apps on Android means download their APK (the installer file) and using a file manager to manually install the app as opposed to download from Play Store. In order to sideload, you need to make sure to enable ‘unknown sources’ on your Android device, which can be found Settings -> Security or Settings -> Applications.

Also note, after performing any of the following three methods to block ads, it is very easy to unblock ads. For the first method, there is an option withing the ad blocking app to remove ad blocking. For the second and third methods, simply uninstall the ad blocker apps to stop blocking ads.

That said, let’s begin…

Method # 1: How to block all ads on Android using AdAway app (root required)


This first method is a global ad blocking solution that blocks ads by modifying the HOSTS file of your Android smartphone or tablet. As such, it requires you to have a rooted device. If you don’t want to root your device, skip down to method #2 or method #3 to block ads.

Once you have a rooted device, blocking ads by modifying the HOSTS file is actually very easy. You need to do the following:

  1. Make sure ‘unknown sources‘ is enabled on your Android device. You can enable it from Settings -> Security or Settings -> Applications. You can disable ‘unknown sources’ after you’ve finished blocking ads. In fact, we recommend disabling ‘unknown sources’ after you are done blocking ads.
  2. Download and install F-Droid on your smartphone or tablet, a third-party app store for Android. You will need to sideload F-Droid onto your Android device. To sideload, download F-Droid’s APK installer file and place it on your smartphone or tablet’s internal storage. Next, open your file manager, find the APK file you downloaded, and tap it to install it.
  3. After you’ve installed F-Droid, run F-Droid on your Android smartphone or tablet, and let it scan your device for compatibility. After it is finished, simply search for AdAway from inside F-Droid. Once you find AdAway, download and install it.
  4. Once AdAway is installed, run it and grant it root access. Once you’ve granted it root access, just press the ‘Download files and apply ad blocking‘ button and wait while AdAway modifies your HOSTS file to block ads. After it is done, restart your device.

Once your Android smartphone or tablet has finished restarting, all ads in all apps and on all website will be blocked. And the best part? You don’t ever have to run AdAway again, unless you want to update your ad blocking filters, because AdAway does not need to be running to block ads.

Also note, after you are done, you can uninstall F-Droid if you like and it is recommend to disable ‘unknown sources’.

Enjoy!

Method #2: How to block all ads on Android using Adblock Plus app (root not required)

This second method also blocks ads globally on your Android smartphone or tablet (meaning it blocks ads in all apps, games, websites, browsers, etc.) However, the difference between this second method and the first method is, you need to always have Adblock Plus app — the app used to block ads — running in order to block ads. If you close Adblock Plus, then ads will stop being blocked.

The way Adblock Plus blocks ads is by using a reverse proxy. You don’t need to know what a reverse proxy is or how to use it because Adblock Plus does all the hard work for you. However, because different versions of Android have different support for proxies, you may or may not need root access.

All Android 3.1 and up devices (e.g. Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, etc.) support proxies so you do not need root access to use Adblock Plus. Most manufacturers of devices running less than Android 3.1 (e.g. Android Gingerbread, Froyo, etc.) manually added support for proxies even though earlier versions of Android didn’t support it, so even if your device runs an older version of Android then you likely can use Adblock Plus without root access.

In other words, the majority of people with Android smartphones and tablets will be able to block ads with Adblock Plus without root access. However, if you have one of the few Android devices that don’t support proxies, then you will need root access to use Adblock Plus. And if you are going to root your device, I recommend using method #1 instead of this method anyway.

That said, blocking ads with Adblock Plus is a fairly simple process. To block ads on Android smartphones or tablets using Adblock Plus, do the following:

  1. Make sure ‘unknown sources‘ is enabled on your Android device. You can enable it from Settings -> Security or Settings -> Applications. You can disable ‘unknown sources’ after you’ve finished blocking ads. In fact, we recommend disabling ‘unknown sources’ after you are done blocking ads.
  2. Download and install Adbock Plus on your smartphone or tablet. You will need to sideload Adblock Plus onto your Android device. To sideload, download Adblock Plus’s APK installer file and place it on your smartphone or tablet’s internal storage. Next, open your file manager, find the APK file you downloaded, and tap it to install it.

After you’ve installed Adblock Plus, run Adblock Plus on your Android smartphone or tablet and enable Filtering. For most devices, Adblock Plus will then automatically setup the proxy settings required to allow Adblock Plus to block ads. However, if you have one of those devices for which Adblock Plus is unable to setup the necessary proxy settings, you will need to do it manually (it takes less than five minutes). 

Once Adblock Plus is installed and it has been enabled and properly setup to block ads, you are done — all ads should now be blocked! However, keep in mind, Adblock Plus needs to be running at all times if you want ads blocked. If you disable or close Adblock Plus, it will stop blocking ads.

Enjoy!

Method #3: How to block all ads in Firefox on Android using Adblock Plus add-on (root not required)

If both method #1 and method #2 for blocking ads have been unsuccessful for you, you can block ads in Firefox on Android using the Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox. This method will only block ads when you surf the web using Firefox (it won’t block ads in other apps or games or if you use a different browser) but you don’t need root access to use this method and there is no app that you need running at all times to use this — ads are automatically blocked whenever you use Firefox.

That said, blocking ads via the Firefox mobile web browser for Android is probably the simplest way of blocking ads. To do it, do the following:

  1. Download and install Firefox on your Android smartphone or tablet from Google Play Store; you can find it in Play Store by searching.
  2. Once Firefox is installed, launch it and either search for Adblock Plus in Firefox’s add-on section from the Firefox browser on Android. Once you’ve found it, install Adblock Plus for Firefox and ad blocking within the browser will start immediately — no restart is needed.

Enjoy!


Conclusion

Android is a wonderful platform but it’s also a platform that can sometimes be swamped with advertisements (as is pretty much the whole web nowadays). Luckily, Android being as versatile as it is, blocking advertisements is a reality. Enjoy!

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Ads free Android  :-)

Have you ever run into a situation where you wanted to delete a file, but Windows simply wouldn’t allow you to do it? Personally, these things happen to me all the time, especially when I’m at a client’s house trying to get their machine clean of malware. Have you ever tried deleting a locked file using common windows commands? If so, then you’ll know that this is just not possible.

The main reason behind this is that the explorer.exe process locks files that are in use, effectively preventing you from deleting them. Usually, these files should not be touched, but sometimes, situations arise when you really need to erase some troublesome ones.

Fortunately, there are a few easy solutions to delete those files.


Solution #1: Kill explorer.exe


  1. Open a command prompt
  2. Navigate to the location where the locked file is
  3. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL, click on “task manager”, select the Processes tab
  4. Kill the explorer.exe process via the “End Process” button
  5. Go back to the command prompt and delete the file
  6. Bring up the task manager windows again
  7. Select file->new task
  8. Type explorer.exe in the “create new task” field
  9. Press OK.


Solution #2: Use The Windows Recovery Console

Just stick your Windows CD in your CD tray, boot on it, and at the “Welcome to Setup” screen, press “R“. Once the recovery console has started, navigate to the location of your locked file, and delete it. Since WRC does not really start the system, the files will not be in use, and you will be able to delete them. Oh, and for all you Linux geeks out there, yes, we know, doing this via a linux live CD / USB key is also possible.



Solution #3: Use unlocker


Unlocker is a very useful freeware that will allow you to unlock any files that are currently in use by Windows. You’ll know if this is happening if you are getting any of these messages when trying to delete a file:

  • Cannot delete file: Access is denied
  • There has been a sharing violation
  • The source or destination file may be in use
  • The file is in use by another program or user
  • Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use

Unlocker will make things right again for you.

You’ll notice that right after installing the software, a new option named “unlocker” will appear when right clicking any files or folders in Windows Explorer. To unlock a locked file, just right click it, select unlocker, and the unlocker software will start. Then, click “unlock all” and close the software. Now that your file is unlocked, just delete it in Windows Explorer, as you always do. This is much simpler than solution #1 or #2, isn’t it?

I hope these three solutions will help you get rid of those hard to delete files!


Custom domain setup in Blogger.com is used to create your own blog URL. (for example: techproceed.blogspot.com to techproceed.com).

When you purchase a domain from Godaddy.com, they assign an IP address (A record and CNAME record) for the domain. Hence, you need to change those records to point to your Blogger.com blog. This post can help you to change the A and CNAME records of your Godaddy account.

Follow the steps given below:

Login to your Godaddy account and click on the My Account tab.



Under Domains, you will see the list of your domain names. Click on Advance Details of your desired domain. You’ll be directed to the Domain Manager page.



At the bottom of the Domain Manager Page, you will see a section under the heading DNS Manager, where you can edit the DNS configuration of your domain by clicking the Launch link



Under the A(Host) Tab of the DNS manager, enter the 4 IP addresses as below, one-by-one, using the Quick add button, to change the A records.


216.239.32.21
216.239.34.21
216.239.36.21
216.239.38.21



Click on the Quick Add button in the box labeled CNAME(alias). If you’ve already created a CNAME record for your blog’s address, click the pencil icon next to the existing CNAME record.

After you are done adding records, click on Save Changes to save your edited data.

For the Name, enter only the sub-domain of the address you want to use for your blog. For example, if you picked www.myblog.com as your address, enter www here.

Enter ghs.google.com as the Host Name. Specify a TTL or use the default setting of 1 hour.



This is how you can change the existing domain IP address that now points to your Blogger IP address. Wait for few hours for the changes to take effect in your IP records. After that you can say bye bye to your old Blogger.com blog URL by changing it with your custom domain name.

FAQs :

Q 1. Domain without www not working, but with www is working

Solution 1 (works for sure) :

You will have to redo it via Google Apps.You will have to enable a redirect.

1. Go to Google Apps and sign in to domain management.

2. Then click on domain settings.

3. Then click on domain Names.

4. Then Click on words highlighted to set a redirect via google apps and you should see it done within 3 hours or MAX 2 DAYS (though it usually does not take more than a day in the rarest case).Just follow the simple english instructions there and you should see it done.

Solution 2 :

Ping the website you are wanting to forward to, in order to get the IP address if you don't know it.

"Run"; CMD; "ping yourwebsite.com"

Will display ping data and reply from IP address. Note this address.


  1. Login to Godaddy.com to manage your account or other domain registry site
  2. Go to DNS Control
  3. Modify/Add "A Host"
  4. Under "Host" enter: @
  5. Under "Points To" Enter the IP Address you obtained earlier.
  6. You are done! Site is forwarded without the www prefix when entered into address bar.


Solution 3 :

A website can have any valid fully qualified domain name. If you own the domain Techproceed.com, nothing at all prevents you from running a website called superchickens.Techproceed.com.

In practice, though, users expect two things, and if you don't provide them users will be frustrated and not find your site:

1. If your domain is Techproceed.com, then your website needs to respond when a user types just Techproceed.com in the address bar and presses Enter, because that is convenient.

2. Your website should also respond with the same content when a user types www.Techproceed.com, because the www. prefix is very common and many users will assume they must provide it.

So how do we do this? If you are paying for service from a web hosting company, and www.Techproceed.com works but Techproceed.com doesn't, then your hosting company needs to fix that for you right away. Contact technical support and let them know you will be switching hosting companies if they don't fix it promptly. There is no valid reason why they can't make both names work for you. It is a very simple change to the web server's configuration and they ought to be doing it automatically for every new customer anyway.

That's the answer for nearly everyone reading this. However, if you are running the web server yourself -- possibly because you run a web hosting company -- here are the steps you need to follow to do the job:

1. Adjust the DNS settings for Techproceed.com. Make sure you have address records (type A records) for both Techproceed.com and www.Techproceed.com, with the same IP address. This is not hard to do at all with both Windows and Linux DNS servers.

2. If you are using virtual hosting to provide many websites on a single IP address, you will also need to tell your web server about the alternative name for the site. In your web server's configuration, add Techproceed.com as an alias for www.Techproceed.com. In an Apache server httpd.conf file, this typically looks like:

DocumentRoot /home/www/web
ServerName www.Techproceed.com
ServerAlias Techproceed.com

Only the ServerAlias directive is new. the rest is shown to provide context. Your Apache VirtualHost configuration may not be identical.

After the configuration file is edited the Apache web server must be signaled to reload its configuration. On a typical Unix system this can be done with the following command:

service httpd reload


If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Setting up of your own custom domain  :-)


Recently, a friend came up to me and asked "Snehal, how do I obtain bitcoins?"

I stared at him with an empty, blank look. Despite all the recent talks about bitcoins and their growing popularity, even with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) getting involved, I realised that I knew absolutely nothing about the bitcoin except the fact that it was associated with the Silk Road - an illegal online black market that used bitcoins as its defacto virtual currency to enable regular folks to obtain all sorts of illegal items easily and anonymously. I had no idea what bitcoins were.

And so I decided to research and write up a column that would explain, in layman's terms, what Bitcoin is.

What are bitcoins?

Ah, the fundamental question.

First of all, there is a difference between the terms 'Bitcoin' and 'bitcoin'. Bitcoin, where the "b" is capitalised, refers to the entire system itself. It's like learning a language e.g., "I learned Spanish today." On the other hand, bitcoins, where the "b" is not capitalised, refers to the actual currency itself. You could say "I spent 10 bitcoins to purchase this item."

Bitcoins is a form of virtual currency- meaning, if you have bitcoins (we will get to how you obtain bitcoins later), you do not physically purchase goods by handing notes or tokens to the seller. Bitcoins are used for electronic purchases and transfers. You can use bitcoins to pay friends, merchants, etc. Every single purchase is immediately logged digitally (on computers) on a transaction log that tracks the time of purchase and who owns how many bitcoins. Think of this transaction log as an audit trail: it contains every single piece of information of every bitcoin transaction. This digital transaction log is called 'blockchain'.

The Bitcoin IRA


The blockchain records every single transaction - of present and past - and the ownership of every single bitcoin in circulation. The people who are constantly verifying the blockchain, ensuring that all the information is correct and updating it each time a transaction is made, are called 'miners'. One way to think of miners is: they those who confirm transactions. Their job is to ensure that the transaction is secure and processed properly and safely. In return for their services, miners are paid fees by the vendors/merchants of each transaction and are also given physical, minted bitcoins.

Bitcoins are growing in popularity, and although they were largely used by speculators who were looking at it as a way to make money by buying bitcoins at lower prices and selling them at higher prices (much like trading foreign exchange or forex), there is a growing trend of businesses accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. Many big companies like WordPress, Overstock.com, and Reddit accept Bitcoin, and a growing numbers of brick and mortar stores are starting to accept them internationally as well. More than $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins are currently in circulation around the world, with millions of transactions occurring daily. Needless to say, the popularity and usage of Bitcoin is picking up very quickly as more and more businesses and individuals are becoming aware of its benefits and advantages over traditional currencies.

Featured : Bitcoin explained in 3 minutes and 23 seconds




How are bitcoins priced?

Bitcoins are like any other currency: they fluctuate in value relative to other currencies. Similar to how the rupee's valuation swung wildly against the US dollar this year, bitcoins have had drastic movements in price as well.

The value of a bitcoin is constantly changing, and there is no centralised exchange for it. Think of it this way: each time a bitcoin changes ownership from seller to buyer, the two parties need to agree on its price. There is no 'fixed' price. Usually, it's the seller's responsibility to give a fair price to the buyer based on what rate bitcoins are being traded in elsewhere. The difference between bitcoins and other currencies is that there is no centralised bank that prints the currency and sets relative values. Through transactions, the value of bitcoin fluctuates through supply and demand.

Here's a graph covering few months of the relative value of bitcoins against US dollars; as you can see, there have been wild fluctuations in the value over the past two months.


What's the point of having bitcoins if I can use regular currency for my purchases?

That's a question you're bound to ask yourself at some point in time; after all, the rupee seems to get the job done. Why add complexity to your life with 'virtual currency' that the RBI seems to want to get rid of?

Well, for starters, there are many benefits to bitcoins over traditional currencies. For example, let's assume you need to purchase an item for Rs. 10,000, but the seller doesn't accept credit cards or bitcoins; he only wants cash. You now need to scrounge around for Rs.10,000 and pay the seller in hard cash; the seller, on his side, has to somehow ensure that the money you're giving him is not counterfeit. Just the hassle of having to pay him Rs. 10,000 in cash is what Bitcoin prevents. If you have at least Rs. 10,000 worth of bitcoins (after converting rupees to bitcoins) and the seller accepts bitcoins, the entire transaction is completed in less than 10 minutes - hassle free.

But, you say, the seller is willing to accept credit cards. Well, this is where the seller would much rather want to accept bitcoins versus traditional credit cards. There is usually a 2 - 3 per cent transaction fee for every credit card transaction that the seller needs to pay (to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc). With bitcoins, there are little to no fees involved. So the seller has a strong incentive to accept bitcoins.

What it basically comes down to is this: if the buyer and seller agree on a said amount for a good or service, using bitcoins gives them full control and transparency. There are no credit limits imposed by credit card companies, no need to carry cash, no extra fees that the seller can impose upon the buyer without the buyer's full approval. Every single transaction has to be 'agreed' to by both parties before it goes through.

The greatest advantage, however, is that all necessary information is public and transparent. Without revealing the identities of the buyer and seller, the entire bitcoin network is made aware of each and every transaction. This gives a tremendous amount of comfort to both parties of the transaction.

How do I get started?

You can obtain bitcoins in a number of ways, but before we get to that, you'll need to get yourself a 'Bitcoin wallet'.

A Bitcoin wallet is first required to get started with using bitcoins. A wallet can be created easily through different online applications. Your Bitcoin wallet is essentially just like, well, any other wallet.

Think of a Bitcoin wallet like an "app" that you would install on your phone. You can download your wallet on your computer through a software wallet, on your mobile, and also on the web. Once you've got yourself a Bitcoin wallet, you're good to go. It takes just a few minutes to get a wallet; once you have one, you can start accumulating bitcoins.

How do I get bitcoins?

Obtaining bitcoins is a relatively easy process. The three common ways are:
If you are selling a good, you can accept bitcoins as a form of payment.
You can purchase and sell bitcoins through Bitcoin exchanges (this is the most common way. Exchanges are typically found online.)
You can trade bitcoins for traditional currencies of countries.

As written above, obtaining bitcoins through an exchange is the most common and feasible way to get started. There are hundreds of exchanges (mostly online) through which you can obtain bitcoins. You simply register, enter your bank account information, and convert the local currency into bitcoins. 

What do I do with my bitcoins? How do I know that what I'm buying is safe?

Although many brick-and-mortar businesses are starting to accept Bitcoin, the large majority of transactions occur online. You can think of bitcoins as 'cash' for the internet.

Making payments with bitcoins is an incredibly easy process; in fact, you could argue that it is much easier than using credit cards. All you need to do is, using your Bitcoin wallet:
Enter the recipient's address (we will explain what an address is later on in the article).
Enter the amount of bitcoins to be sent.
Press send.

The recipient will then simply receive the request for bitcoins in exchange for what he is offering (goods, services, or perhaps a currency).

Bitcoin works off addresses. There are two components to a Bitcoin address: a public address, and a private address. Each Bitcoin address has its own Bitcoin balance. Every time a transaction is made, the public address of each user is made public to the entire network. Therefore, it is recommended that the sender creates a new address for each transaction.

Here is an example of a Bitcoin transaction:

Snehal owns an online store that accepts bitcoins as a form of payment.
Rajiv wants to purchase a $2500 item. He looks online and sees that the prevailing rate for bitcoins is approximately $500/bitcoin.
Snehal is selling the item for 5 bitcoins on his website.
Rajiv creates a new Bitcoin address through his wallet. He can see Snehal's public Bitcoin address on Snehal's website. 
Just as a seller does not need to know your physical identity if you pay cash, Rajiv never needs to disclose his identity to Snehal and can thus remain completely anonymous.
Rajiv instructs his Bitcoin client (the free Bitcoin software he installed on his computer/mobile) to transfer 5 bitcoins from his wallet to the Snehal's address. This is the transaction message.
Rajiv's bitcoin client will electronically "sign" the transaction request with the private key of the address from where he is transferring his bitcoins. While Rajiv's public key is available to anyone for signature verification, his private key is only known to him.
Rajiv's transaction is broadcast to the Bitcoin network and will be verified in a few minutes by miners. The 5 bitcoins have been successfully transferred from Rajiv's address to the Snehal's address.

Here's an example of what it might look like on Rajiv's software when he sends his bitcoins to Snehal:

A bitcoin user can freely share his public address with everybody. His private address, however, is only for him to know. This is critical in that this is what allows Bitcoin to be a secure payment system.

The Future

As Bitcoin gains popularity, governments are slowly but surely starting to take stances against/for it. For instance, the RBI issued a vague warning last week that Bitcoin usage is unsafe due to potential money laundering and cyber security risks. The government of China took it one step further by barring financial institutions and payment institutions from accepting bitcoins as a form of payment. Governments are cracking down on "black markets" that accept bitcoins as a form of payment.

In India, it's not very easy to convert rupees to other currencies since the Indian currency is not freely convertible. Due to this hindrance, obtaining bitcoins is not as hassle free as it is in other countries. Another problem with obtaining bitcoins in India is that there is electronic method to transfer funds safely; most transfers happen through NEFT. Due to these hindrances, liquidity of bitcoins is relatively scarce in India, but is picking up.

That being said, Bitcoin isn't an institution, organisation, or any sort of centralised entity. In fact, the beauty of Bitcoin is that there is no central authority. It is literally a network of users - known as "peers" - who simply decide to buy and sell goods and services through a mode of virtual currency. It will be difficult for governments to 'shut down' Bitcoin. In fact, there are talks that virtual currencies are the wave of the future to do their inherent associations of being decentralized, transparent, secure and hassle free.

We can only expect Bitcoin's meteoric rise in popularity to continue. Let me know your interesting thoughts on this!

You might have changed all your passwords in the days since you learned of the Heartbleed bug, but if you're one of millions of people using certain Android devices, you might still be vulnerable.
Numerous devices running older versions of Google’s Android operating system may be at risk of the high-profile bug, according to Marc Rogers, a security expert at the mobile security firm Lookout.
Rogers told The Huffington Post that people using Android version 4.1.1 should avoid sensitive transactions on their mobile devices because a hacker could exploit the Heartbleed bug to steal their data.
large-hero-heartbleed-2.jpg

The Heartbleed bug, a newly discovered security vulnerability that puts users' passwords at many popular Web sites at risk, has upended the Web since it was disclosed earlier this week. It's an extremely serious issue, and as such, there's a lot of confusion about the bug and its implications as you use the Internet.
TechProceed.com has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help users learn more about the bug andprotect themselves. The Heartbleed situation is ongoing, and we'll update this FAQ as new issues arise. Check back for new information.
What is Heartbleed?
Heartbleed is a security vulnerability in OpenSSL software that lets a hacker access the memory of data servers. According to Netcraft, an Internet research firm, 500,000 Web sites could be affected. That means a user's sensitive personal data -- including usernames, passwords, and credit card information -- is potentially at risk of being intercepted.
The vulnerability also means an attacker could steal a server's digital keys that are used to encrypt communications and get access to a company's secret internal documents.
What is OpenSSL?
Let's start with SSL. That stands for Secure Sockets Layer, but it's also known by its new name, Transport Layer Security, or TLS. It's the most basic means of encrypting information on the Web, and it mitigates the potential of someone eavesdropping on you as you browse the Internet. (Notice the "https" in the URL of SSL-enabled sites like Gmail, instead of simply "http.")
OpenSSL is open-source software for SSL implementation across the Web. The versions with the vulnerability are 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f. OpenSSL also is used as part of the Linux operating system, and as a component of Apache and Nginx, two very widely used programs for running Web sites. Bottom line: Its use across the Web is vast.
Who discovered the bug?
Credit is given to security firm Codenomicon and Google researcher Neel Mehta, who both found the bug independently from each other, but on the same day.
Mehta donated the $15,000 bounty he was awarded for helping find the bug to the Freedom of the Press Foundation's campaign for the development of encryption tools for journalists to use when communicating with sources. Mehta is declining press interviews, but asked for comment, Google said, "The security of our users' information is a top priority. We proactively look for vulnerabilities and encourage others to report them precisely so that we are able to fix them before they are exploited."
Why is it called Heartbleed?
According to Vocativ, the term "Heartbleed" was coined by Ossi Herrala, a systems administrator at Codenomicon. It's got a nicer ring to it than its technical name, CVE-2014-0160, named for the line of code that contained the bug.
Heartbleed is a play on words referring to an extension on OpenSSL called "heartbeat." The protocol is used to keep connections open, even when data isn't being shared between those connections. Herrala "thought it was fitting to call it Heartbleed because it was bleeding out the important information from the memory," David Chartier, chief executive of Codenomicon, told Vocativ.
If the name sounds a bit too catchy for a security glitch, that's exactly the point. The team at Codenomicon wanted something press friendly that could spread quickly, to warn more people of the flaw. Soon after they named the bug, they bought the domain Heartbleed.com to educate the Web about the glitch.
Why are some sites not affected by Heartbleed?
Although OpenSSL is very popular, there are other SSL/TLS options. In addition, some Web sites use an earlier, unaffected version, and some didn't enable the "heartbeat" feature that was central to the vulnerability.
While it doesn't solve the problem, what mitigates the scope of the potential damage is the implementation of perfect forward secrecy, or PFS, a practice that makes sure encryption keys have a very short shelf life, and are not used forever. That means that if an attacker did get an encryption key out of a server's memory, the attacker wouldn't be able to decode all secure traffic from that server because keys use is very limited. While some tech giants, like Google and Facebook, have started to support PFS, not every company does.
How does the bug work?
The vulnerability lets a hacker access up to 64 kilobytes of server memory, but perform the attack over and over again to get lots of information. That means an attacker could get not just usernames and passwords, but also "cookie" data that Web servers and browsers use to track individuals and ease log-in. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, doing the attack repeatedly could yield more serious information, like a site's private SSL key, used to encrypt traffic. With that key, someone could run a fake version of a Web site and use it to steal all other kinds of information, like credit card numbers or private messages.
Should I change my passwords?
For many Web sites, yes. BUT wait until you get confirmation from the Web site operator that the bug has been patched. It's a natural reaction to want to change all of your passwords immediately, but if the Web site's bug has not been fixed yet, making the change could be useless -- you're just potentially giving an attacker your new password.
How do I check if a Web site has been affected -- or fixed?
A few companies and developers have created testing sites to check which Web sites are vulnerable or safe. Two good ones are by LastPass, a company that makes password management software, andQualys, a security firm. While these test sites are a good preliminary check, continue to proceed with caution, even if the site gives you an all-clear indication. If you're given a red flag, however, avoid the site.
CNET is keeping a running list on the status of the top 100 Web sites, according to Alexa.com. Check back here for updates. Here's a list of sites that were still vulnerable as of Thursday afternoon,according to researchers at Zmap.
But the most prudent thing to do is to get confirmation from the site through one of its official channels. Lots of companies have been putting up blog posts and issuing statements about the health of their sites. Or you can email a site operator or customer service person directly.
The programmer who wrote the glitchy code was Robin Seggelmann, who worked for the OpenSSL project while getting his Ph.D. studies from 2008 to 2012. Adding to the drama of the situation, he submitted the code at 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Eve 2011, though he claims the timing has nothing to do with the bug. "I am responsible for the error," Seggelmann said. "Because I wrote the code and missed the necessary validation by an oversight."
Who was behind the bug?
Still, as an open-source project, it's hard to place the blame squarely on one person. As Zulfikar Ramzan, chief technology officer of cloud security startup Elastica, explained to The New York Times, there's so much complex code that people had been writing, and the particular protocol Heartbeat did not get enough scrutiny. "Heartbeat is not the main part of SSL. It's just one additional feature within SSL," he said. "So it's conceivable that nobody looked at that code as carefully because it was not part of the main line."
Is it true that the US government exploited Heartbleed before the world knew about it?
That's unclear at this time. One report said that the National Security Agency knew about the exploit before it was called Heartbleed and exploited it to gather intelligence, but the NSA denied the accusation. Whether the report is accurate, the fact remains that when left unpatched, Heartbleed is a major security risk.
Should I be worried about my bank account?
Most banks don't use OpenSSL, but instead use proprietary encryption software. But if you're unsure, contact your bank directly for confirmation that the Web site is secure. Still, John Miller, security research manager for security and compliance firm TrustWave, suggests keeping a close eye on financial statements for the next few days to make sure there are no unfamiliar charges.
How do I know if anyone has used the Heartbleed vulnerability to steal my information?
Unfortunately, exploiting the bug "leaves no traces of anything abnormal happening to the logs" of Web sites, according to Codenomicon.
What password managers can I try?
One thing the Heartbleed situation highlights is the value of a good password. In the aftermath of changing your old passwords, you might be wondering if there are other ways to make sure your accounts are secure. Password managers try to solve that problem by helping you generate random passwords for each account. You then control everything through one strong master password. Having all of your accounts under one manager may be too close for comfort for some users, but LastPass, one of those vendors, insists it's secure, and that users don't have to change their master passwords due to Heartbleed. It's even added a feature that automatically checks your saved sites for Heartbleed vulnerabilities. Other password manager options are RoboForm, Dashlane, and 1Password.
Another suggestion is enabling two-factor authentication when it is offered. (Gmail is one service that does so.) That means that in addition to a password, the service asks for another piece of identifying information, like a code that's been texted to you. That way, even if someone steals your password, it makes it harder for someone to falsely log in as you.