Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

Tablets have become the main stream for many who haven’t used a PC or who don’t have a need for its breadth of features. My mother in law is one of these users. She got into using tablet about three years first with a Micromax Funbook entry level device, then upgraded to Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7 inches device exactly two years back (Aug 2012). Her usage is four apps-  Facebook, WhatsApp, Music player and YouTube in that order.

Recently she complained of her device being slow. I tried to factory reset but that didn’t help. So I looked at options to upgrade. She was comfortable with Android/Samsung so I didn’t want to change the platform. Another reason for ruling out iPad was no WhatsApp in that.

I went to Cromo store, selected  Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8 inches to buy which costs Rs.23500. Cromo allowed me to trade-in old Tab 2 for Rs.5000, net cost for me was Rs.18500 which was a good deal for this gorgeous device. I eye’d the premium Galaxy S 8 inch device but I couldn’t convince myself to spend another Rs.10,000 for speed and display which my M-I-L is unlikely to make full use of.

The device SM-T331 setup easily, the BSNL 3G SIM worked out of box. The display is sharp, the speaker volume and clarity is good.



Nokia Lumia 630

Last April (2013) my wife purchased a Nokia Lumia 820 for Rs.24,500 as an upgrade from her earlier Windows Phone (Samsung Focus). She loves the phone, its simplicity and the good camera. Unfortunately she dropped it to the floor earlier this week, the glass display broke and phone becoming unusable. When I checked with Nokia care they quoted Rs.8000 to change the display. Considering the phone is 18 months old, I decided to get her a new phone instead of spending on repairing the old one.

Wife was particular she wanted only a Windows Phone, so my choices was limited to Nokia Lumia 925, 1520, 1320 (6 inch), 530 and 630. She didn’t like the 6 inches 1320 & 1520s, I didn’t like the 925 (considering it came last year) and 530 will be slow for her. The choice got limited to 630, I liked the specifications and the price of Rs.10,000 for it. The Nokia retailer offered to buy back the broken Lumia 820 for Rs.1500 which I was more than happy to trade in.

Comparing with Lumia 820 she had earlier, Lumia 630 was an upgrade (Quad core vs Dual Core, 1830mAh vs 1650mAh)  in many areas except the memory (512MB instead of 1GB in 820, 5MP camera vs 8MP in 820). The Phone was lighter too at 134g compared to 820′s weight of 160g. Wife liked the phone and I came happy for not spending Rs.40K for a Lumia 1520.

Coming home I was able to setup the new phone in less than a hour. I inserted the SIM, connected  to Wi-Fi, restored the backup from cloud (of the 820), entered the passwords for, Facebook, Whatsapp, MetroTube (YouTube app) and finally inserted the microSD card from the 820 which brought back all her photos, videos and music instantly.

Update: After few days of usage, wife says battery life is good, speaker quality and volume is great, touch is fluid. Overall, happy with the purchase!

Nokia Lumia 630 at Rs.10,000 (USD 165) without contract

Nokia Lumia 630 at Rs.10,000 (USD 165) without contract


Outlook phishing attack

Today I got the above email in my Hotmail email ID with title reading “Unusual sign-in activity”. I haven’t been to South Africa but I thought some hacker might have been trying from there and I need to change my password immediately. I was about to click on the link, when this struck me. The big blue button on bottom which read “Re-Active Account” is grammatically wrong (spelling mistake for Re-Activate?), but rest of the email looked exactly like the email that comes from Microsoft. On mouse-over to the click-here text which showed a URL as seen above, it became obvious this email is not from Microsoft and is a phishing attack.

A convincing looking email masquerading as from attack

A convincing looking email masquerading as from attack

I was curious to see where this attack wants to take me. I fired up a Ubuntu linux image that I keep in VirtualBox. Being a virtual image the entire OS instance I can throw away after I try this, that way my host OS will be safe.  As seen below, the attack page was to a non-Microsoft page which convincingly exact as the official sign in page.

The target page hosting the phishing attack

The target page hosting the phishing attack

Its easy to copy the official login page’s HTML and recreate a new page, but I am surprised on the bluntness of the attackers nowadays. I feel bad that computer scientists haven’t been doing enough to protect the common user from these dangers.