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Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to avoid getting banned from Google AdSense publisher program

New Google AdSense publisher? Just started displaying ads on your web pages? If you are not careful enough, you may soon end up getting your AdSense account disabled or banned. Have your read their terms and conditions? Are you aware of their program policies? If you are really serious about making money online, you must read them. Because, I’m sure you don’t want to get banned from this amazing program. Read the following points (or tips) carefully to learn what to do, specially what not to do, in order to save your AdSense publisher account.



  1. Never click your own AdSense ads.
  2. Never ask friends and family members to click your Ads.
  3. Never use robots to generate clicks or impressions.
  4. Never generate clicks by compensating users.
  5. Never try to get click by using phrases such as “click the links”, “visit these links” etc.
  6. Never use misleading labels for ads. For example: “Favorite Sites” or “Today’s Special Offers”.
  7. Never use graphics directing users to click Google ads.
  8. Never post misleading images alongside ads.
  9. Never alter any portion of the generated ad codes.
  10. Never disclose your exact earning information (CTR, eCPM, earnings etc).
  11. Never use some techniques to open ad links in a new window.
  12. Never place more than three ad units on a web page.
  13. Never place more than three link units on a web page.
  14. Never place more than two search boxes on a web page.
  15. Never link directly to AdSense for Search results pages.
  16. Never try to modify or automate search queries on AdSense for search boxes.
  17. Never use AdSense with other ads networks,  specially when their ad formats looks same.
  18. Don’t create different publisher accounts for different websites. One account is enough.
  19. Don’t format your site content to make it completely indistinguishable from ads.
  20. Don’t use any automated ad impression generation programs.
  21. Don’t display ads in web pages without content.
  22. Don’t display ads on copyrighted content. Never steal and publish others’ content.
  23. Don’t display ads in a floating box script.
  24. Don’t post your ad codes with emails.
  25. Don’t include your ads in software applications or toolbars.
  26. Don’t include AdSense for Search code in any software application.
  27. Avoid paid-to-click, paid-to-surf, autosurf and click-exchange programs.
  28. Avoid programs or packages that provide “guaranteed” page views.
  29. Avoid unsolicited mass emails for promotion of your site.
  30. Avoid topics that violates content guidelines. For example: adult, violent or other illegal stuffs.
  31. Avoid linking to adult, violent and illegal websites.
  32. Avoid using excessive, repetitive or irrelevant keywords on your web pages.
  33. Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines.
  34. Avoid hidden text or hidden links on your web pages.
  35. If you are using online advertising for traffic, make sure you comply with Google’s Landing Page quality guidelines.
  36. Respect Google trademarks. Never try to mimic any Google page. Never display any Google brand feature (trademarks, logos etc) in any manner that implies a relationship or affiliation with Google.
  37. Add disclosure about Google Advertising Cookies in your Privacy Policy.
  38. Adhere to the Google webmaster quality guidelines.
  39. Always respond to emails sent by AdSense team.
  40. Create quality content. Last, but the most important point. Mind it!
As a publisher, you must follow the AdSense Program Policies and Terms & Conditions. If you don’t, Google reserves the right to disable ad serving on your web pages and/or disable your publisher account at any time. Beware! Better, try to avoid the above mistakes that most people commit before getting their account disabled or banned. Happy earning with Google AdSense!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How To Download Any YouTube Video By just Playing It Once Online

Online Videos are becoming popular these days with sites like Metacafe, YouTube and many more are accepting to share videos for free.Even marriages are also being telecasted online,for  example of royal wedding happened recently which is telecasted on YouTube. So if you want to save the videos you have viewed once online without doing the hectic process of downloading them from sites like YouTube.you all know they normally wont allow us to download them, here is a trick which identifies the flv files from the browser cache so that they can be saved and played later offline.Just follow the step by step tutorial and you can save any flv video on to your HDD.
1 Step : First Download " Internet Download Manager " 
2 Step : Play the video which you want to download to your HDD.



Now Click and browse a location on your harddisk where you want to save the video and Video Downloading will be Start





Google announces shutting down Wave, Knol and five other initiatives


Google has released its latest list of products being shut down as part of its drive by its CEO Larry Page to focus more on its promising projects.
"We're in the process of shutting a number of products which haven't had the impact we'd hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward," Google operations senior vice president Urs Holzle says in a blog post.
Google's "Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal" campaign launched to bring down the cost of generating solar power is one of the seven names listed in the Google undertakings being tossed out. “We've published our results to help others in the field continue to advance the state of power tower technology, and we've closed our efforts," Holzle says of the renewable energey initiative. "At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level," he adds.
Here's a full list of products are being shut down by Google:
Google Bookmark List: Started as an experimental feature, the Bookmark List feature allows users to share bookmarks and subsequent collaboration with friends. The feature is slated to be shut down on December 19, 2011.
Google Friend Connect: It enables webmasters to add social features to their sites by including a few snippets of code. The service is slated is going down on March 1, 2012. Google further invites the affected sites to switch to Google+.
Google Gears: The service, scheduled to go inactive on December 1, will stop providing offline access to Gmail and Google Calendar. Google is prepping an improved HTML 5-based version of the service to give offline support to its apps.
Google Search Timeline: You can still see the historical results for a search query with the navigation tools on the left side of the search page, but the relevant graph will now not appear.
Google Wave: Google had already announced stopping development of its Google Wave. From January 31, 2012, Wave will be only read-only and users will not be allowed to create new ones.
Knol: Google aimed to compete with Wikipedia by building a large network experts and create a large database of verified information. From May 1 through October 1, 2012, Knols will no longer be viewable
Google has been shutting down what it calls its non-promising products since co-founder Larry Page took over as chief executive of the company. The Internet company last month announced shutting down online news reader Fast Flip, social search service Aardvark, commenting tool Sidewiki and several other products.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Akash Tablet Review


Monday, November 14, 2011

Nokia's Windows phone in India


Nokia on Monday announced the launch of the much-awaited Nokia Lumia family of smartphones based on Windows Phone in the country.
The Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710 will be available in select retail stores across key cities and towns in mid-December. This announcement follows close on the heels of the global unveiling of the devices last month at Nokia World, the company's annual event for customers, partners and developers.
Both devices will be available for pre-order starting early December. Though the company did not announce the price in India, the devices are priced between €420 and €270 in Europe.
Mr D. Shivakumar, Managing Director, Nokia India, said, “Over the past few months, we have been gearing up the ecosystem for the Nokia Lumia family in India and today we have in place strong operator partnerships, an all-new retail look and a ready developer ecosystem delivering rich content to make the Nokia Lumia experience a truly amazing one for Indian consumers.”
Also present at the launch, Mr Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India, said, “The Nokia Lumia devices are a powerful combination of Microsoft and Nokia's core assets and deliver new experiences through the integration of service assets across location, search, entertainment, social, advertising and commerce.”

FEATURES

The device has Nokia Maps & Drive, which delivers a full-fledged personal navigation device (PND) with free, turn-by-turn navigation voice guided navigation in 50 languages, including Hindi. Nokia Music and the all new MixRadio a free, global, mobile music-streaming application that delivers hundreds of channels of locally-relevant music will be available in India in the first half of 2012.
Nokia has been working on an extensive developer engagement and outreach programmes in collaboration with Microsoft, covering over 1,000 developers in India. The Windows Phone Marketplace will have 750 locally relevant apps created by Indian partners when the Nokia Lumia hits the shelves in India.
In addition, users will also have access to over 35,000 apps from Microsoft, both paid and free to download, on the Windows Marketplace.

RETAIL NETWORK

The handset maker also unveiled a complete, made over look for its retail network. More than 5,000 of its top retail outlets selling the Nokia Lumia range across the country will sport a new identity.
The rebranding elements include a 3D and 2D in-store branding and a live device environment across all stores. A specialist field sales force at these outlets will deliver experience to consumers on live devices placed at every retail outlet selling the Nokia Lumia.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Now Create Google+ page for business

You’ve been using Facebook fan page for your business for quite a long time. Now it’s time to try something different. A while ago, Google said that they were working on its version of Facebook fan pages, and now it’s finally here. Today Google Plus team has finally launched Google Plus pages for brands and businesses. As I stated above, it’s basically the Google Plus version of Facebook fan pages and enables brands and businesses to create an official fan page on Google Plus, so that they can interact with their customers and fans in an easy way.
Google Plus pages are quite similar to Google+ Profiles. Once you’ve created a Google Plus page, you’ll be greeted with a message that says ‘You’re now using Google+ as this page’. You can use Google+ as your profile by opening the drop down menu beneath the page name and selecting your Google plus profile. People can add your business pages to their circles. Moreover, you can make a custom banner at the top of your profile pagestream. Watch out the official video by Google featuring the brand new Google Plus Pages, a rival of Facebook Fan Pages.

 the design does follow his concept then Google Plus could indeed become a powerful weapon for any business. With the ability to integrate other Google Features such as Google Maps, there are a lot of possibilities to market a product on Google Plus.
Customized Google Map: Display all branch locations, hold a geotagging contest.
Example: Find the secret clue in these locations, take photo as evidence, and submit your answer to win a prize.
Google Offers: Use this as an incentive to increase fan circles
Example: Subscribe to our Circle for more special offers
Google Picasa: Hold photo competitions that have the potential to go viral.
Example: Hold our logo in your favorite hangout spots
Business Features: Business Fan Pages could also have a private circle for employees, where they can announce the latest company news. Hangouts can also be used for remote meetings.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cyber Law of India


Cyber Law of India : Introduction
In Simple way we can say that cyber crime is unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both

Cyber crimes can involve criminal activities that are traditional in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are subject to the Indian Penal Code. The abuse of computers has also given birth to a gamut of new age crimes that are addressed by the Information Technology Act, 2000.


We can categorize Cyber crimes in two ways

The Computer as a Target :-using a computer to attack other computers.

e.g. Hacking, Virus/Worm attacks, DOS attack etc.
The computer as a weapon :-using a computer to commit real world crimes.
e.g. Cyber Terrorism, IPR violations, Credit card frauds, EFT frauds, Pornography etc.

Cyber Crime regulated by Cyber Laws or Internet Laws.

Technical Aspects

Technological advancements have created new possibilities for criminal activity, in particular the criminal misuse of information technologies such as

a. Unauthorized access & Hacking:-
Access means gaining entry into, instructing or communicating with the logical, arithmetical, or memory function resources of a computer, computer system or computer network.
Unauthorized access would therefore mean any kind of access without the permission of either the rightful owner or the person in charge of a computer, computer system or computer network.
Every act committed towards breaking into a computer and/or network is hacking. Hackers write or use ready-made computer programs to attack the target computer. They possess the desire to destruct and they get the kick out of such destruction. Some hackers hack for personal monetary gains, such as to stealing the credit card information, transferring money from various bank accounts to their own account followed by withdrawal of money.
By hacking web server taking control on another persons website called as web hijacking
b. Trojan Attack:-
The program that act like something useful but do the things that are quiet damping. The programs of this kind are called as Trojans.
The name Trojan Horse is popular.
Trojans come in two parts, a Client part and a Server part. When the victim (unknowingly) runs the server on its machine, the attacker will then use the Client to connect to the Server and start using the trojan.
TCP/IP protocol is the usual protocol type used for communications, but some functions of the trojans use the UDP protocol as well.
c. Virus and Worm attack:-
A program that has capability to infect other programs and make copies of itself and spread into other programs is called virus.
Programs that multiply like viruses but spread from computer to computer are called as worms.
d. E-mail & IRC related crimes:-
1. Email spoofing
Email spoofing refers to email that appears to have been originated from one source when it was actually sent from another source. Please Read 
2. Email Spamming
Email "spamming" refers to sending email to thousands and thousands of users - similar to a chain letter.
3 Sending malicious codes through email
E-mails are used to send viruses, Trojans etc through emails as an attachment or by sending a link of website which on visiting downloads malicious code.
4. Email bombing
E-mail "bombing" is characterized by abusers repeatedly sending an identical email message to a particular address.
5. Sending threatening emails
6. Defamatory emails
7. Email frauds
8. IRC related
Three main ways to attack IRC are: "verbalâ8218;?Ŧ#8220; attacks, clone attacks, and flood attacks.
e. Denial of Service attacks:-
Flooding a computer resource with more requests than it can handle. This causes the resource to crash thereby denying access of service to authorized users.
Our support will keep you aware of types of Cyber crimes while companies such as www.Lifelock.com can give you the right protection against them.
Examples include
attempts to "flood" a network, thereby preventing legitimate network traffic
attempts to disrupt connections between two machines, thereby preventing access to a service
attempts to prevent a particular individual from accessing a service
attempts to disrupt service to a specific system or person. 



Distributed DOS
A distributed denial of service (DoS) attack is accomplished by using the Internet to break into computers and using them to attack a network.
Hundreds or thousands of computer systems across the Internet can be turned into “zombies” and used to attack another system or website.
Types of DOS
There are three basic types of attack:
a. Consumption of scarce, limited, or non-renewable resources like NW bandwith, RAM, CPU time. Even power, cool air, or water can affect.
b. Destruction or Alteration of Configuration Information
c. Physical Destruction or Alteration of Network Components
e. Pornography:-
The literal mining of the term 'Pornography' is “describing or showing sexual acts in order to cause sexual excitement through books, films, etc.”
This would include pornographic websites; pornographic material produced using computers and use of internet to download and transmit pornographic videos, pictures, photos, writings etc.
Adult entertainment is largest industry on internet.There are more than 420 million individual pornographic webpages today.
Research shows that 50% of the web-sites containing potentially illegal contents relating to child abuse were ‘Pay-Per-View’. This indicates that abusive images of children over Internet have been highly commercialized.
Pornography delivered over mobile phones is now a burgeoning business, “driven by the increase in sophisticated services that deliver video clips and streaming video, in addition to text and images.”
Effects of Pornography
Research has shown that pornography and its messages are involved in shaping attitudes and encouraging behavior that can harm individual users and their families.
Pornography is often viewed in secret, which creates deception within marriages that can lead to divorce in some cases.
In addition, pornography promotes the allure of adultery, prostitution and unreal expectations that can result in dangerous promiscuous behavior.
Some of the common, but false messages sent by sexualized culture.
Sex with anyone, under any circumstances, any way it is desired, is beneficial and does not have negative consequences.
Women have one value - to meet the sexual demands of men.
Marriage and children are obstacles to sexual fulfillment.
Everyone is involved in promiscuous sexual activity, infidelity and premarital sex.
Pornography Addiction
Dr. Victor Cline, an expert on Sexual Addiction, found that there is a four-step progression among many who consume pornography.
1.Addiction: Pornography provides a powerful sexual stimulant or aphrodisiac effect, followed by sexual release, most often through
masturbation.
2.Escalation: Over time addicts require more explicit and deviant material to meet their sexual "needs."
3.Desensitization: What was first perceived as gross, shocking and disturbing, in time becomes common and acceptable.
4.Acting out sexually: There is an increasing tendency to act out behaviors viewed in pornography.
g. Forgery:-
Counterfeit currency notes, postage and revenue stamps, mark sheets etc can be forged using sophisticated computers, printers and scanners.
Also impersonate another person is considered forgery.
h. IPR Violations:-
These include software piracy, copyright infringement, trademarks violations, theft of computer source code, patent violations. etc.
Cyber Squatting- Domain names are also trademarks and protected by ICANN’s domain dispute resolution policy and also under trademark laws.
Cyber Squatters registers domain name identical to popular service provider’s domain so as to attract their users and get benefit from it.
i. Cyber Terrorism:-
Targeted attacks on military installations, power plants, air traffic control, banks, trail traffic control, telecommunication networks are the most likely targets. Others like police, medical, fire and rescue systems etc.
Cyberterrorism is an attractive option for modern terrorists for several reasons.
1.It is cheaper than traditional terrorist methods.
2.Cyberterrorism is more anonymous than traditional terrorist methods.
3.The variety and number of targets are enormous.
4.Cyberterrorism can be conducted remotely, a feature that isespecially appealing to terrorists.
5.Cyberterrorism has the potential to affect directly a larger number of people.
j. Banking/Credit card Related crimes:-
In the corporate world, Internet hackers are continually looking for opportunities to compromise a company’s security in order to gain access to confidential banking and financial information.
Use of stolen card information or fake credit/debit cards are common.
Bank employee can grab money using programs to deduce small amount of money from all customer accounts and adding it to own account also called as salami.
k. E-commerce/ Investment Frauds:-
Sales and Investment frauds. An offering that uses false or fraudulent claims to solicit investments or loans, or that provides for the purchase, use, or trade of forged or counterfeit securities.
Merchandise or services that were purchased or contracted by individuals online are never delivered.
The fraud attributable to the misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale through an Internet auction site or the non-delivery of products purchased through an Internet auction site.
Investors are enticed to invest in this fraudulent scheme by the promises of abnormally high profits.
l. Sale of illegal articles:-
This would include trade of narcotics, weapons and wildlife etc., by posting information on websites, auction websites, and bulletin boards or simply by using email communication.
Research shows that number of people employed in this criminal area. Daily peoples receiving so many emails with offer of banned or illegal products for sale.
m. Online gambling:-
There are millions of websites hosted on servers abroad, that offer online gambling. In fact, it is believed that many of these websites are actually fronts for money laundering.
n. Defamation: -
Defamation can be understood as the intentional infringement of another person's right to his good name.
Cyber Defamation occurs when defamation takes place with the help of computers and / or the Internet. E.g. someone publishes defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e-mails containing defamatory information to all of that person's friends. Information posted to a bulletin board can be accessed by anyone. This means that anyone can place
Cyber defamation is also called as Cyber smearing.

Cyber Stacking:-
Cyber stalking involves following a persons movements across the Internet by posting messages (sometimes threatening) on the bulletin boards frequented by the victim, entering the chat-rooms frequented by the victim, constantly bombarding the victim with emails etc.
In general, the harasser intends to cause emotional distress and has no legitimate purpose to his communications.
p. Pedophiles:-
Also there are persons who intentionally prey upon children. Specially with a teen they will let the teen know that fully understand the feelings towards adult and in particular teen parents.
They earns teens trust and gradually seduce them into sexual or indecent acts.
Pedophiles lure the children by distributing pornographic material, then they try to meet them for sex or to take their nude photographs including their engagement in sexual positions.
q. Identity Theft :- 

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in countries like America.
Identity theft occurs when someone appropriates another's personal information without their knowledge to commit theft or fraud.
Identity theft is a vehicle for perpetrating other types of fraud schemes.
r. Data diddling:-
Data diddling involves changing data prior or during input into a computer.
In other words, information is changed from the way it should be entered by a person typing in the data, a virus that changes data, the programmer of the database or application, or anyone else involved in the process of having information stored in a computer file.
It also include automatic changing the financial information for some time before processing and then restoring original information.
s. Theft of Internet Hours:-
Unauthorized use of Internet hours paid for by another person.
By gaining access to an organisation's telephone switchboard (PBX) individuals or criminal organizations can obtain access to dial-in/dial-out circuits and then make their own calls or sell call time to third parties.
Additional forms of service theft include capturing 'calling card' details and on-selling calls charged to the calling card account, and counterfeiting or illicit reprogramming of stored value telephone cards.
t. Theft of computer system (Hardware):-
This type of offence involves the theft of a computer, some part(s) of a computer or a peripheral attached to the computer.
u. Physically damaging a computer system:-
Physically damaging a computer or its peripheralseither by shock, fire or excess electric supply etc.
v. Breach of Privacy and Confidentiality
Privacy
Privacy refers to the right of an individual/s to determine when, how and to what extent his or her personal data will be shared with others.
Breach of privacy means unauthorized use or distribution or disclosure of personal information like medical records, sexual preferences, financial status etc.
Confidentiality
It means non disclosure of information to unauthorized or unwanted persons.
In addition to Personal information some other type of information which useful for business and leakage of such information to other persons may cause damage to business or person, such information should be protected.
Generally for protecting secrecy of such information, parties while sharing information forms an agreement about he procedure of handling of information and to not to disclose such information to third parties or use it in such a way that it will be disclosed to third parties.
Many times party or their employees leak such valuable information for monitory gains and causes breach of contract of confidentiality.
Special techniques such as Social Engineering are commonly used to obtain confidential information.

Source : 

UGC NET Exam old Papers download

NET Exam Paper Last Year Questions Complete Set Download 16 Question Papers


Attached File(s)
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2004.pdf (Size: 401.67 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2005.pdf (Size: 419.18 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2006.pdf (Size: 245.32 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2007.pdf (Size: 369.5 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2008.pdf (Size: 444.53 KB)
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper june 2006.pdf (Size: 402.67 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper june 2007.pdf (Size: 316.21 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper june 2008.pdf (Size: 356.21 KB)
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2009 set W.pdf (Size: 227.25 KB)
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2009 set X.pdf (Size: 227.67 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2009 set Y.pdf (Size: 227.46 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper December 2009 set Z.pdf (Size: 227.34 KB)
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper June 2010 set W.pdf (Size: 278.57 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper June 2010 set X.pdf (Size: 278.52 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper June 2010 set Y.pdf (Size: 263.25 KB )
  UGC NET Paper 1 Question Paper June 2010 set Z.pdf (Size: 910.09 KB )

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Toshiba Qosmio F755-3D290: 3D

 Qosmio F755-3D290 , a 15.6-inch Glasses-Free 3D Laptop from Toshiba is available for purchase now. Offered with a $1,700 price tag, Toshiba Qosmio F755-3D290 sport a 15.6″ full HD display equipped with double parallax image technology to bring the 3D effect. The laptop also can run both 2D and 3D content at the same time.
Toshiba Qosmio F755-3D290 is powered by Intel Core i7 2630QM quad-core processor, 6GB of RAM, 750GB hard drive and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M GPU with 1GB dedicated memory. Other features including HDMI out with 3D capability, Harman/Kardon speakers, USB 3.0 port and a 3hours battery life.
Overall, the Toshiba Qosmio F755-3D290 seems to be a one-trick pony, and it doesn’t really perform its one trick all that well. The auto-stereoscopic 3D is impressive in that it works, but the limitations are too glaring for the feature to be of much use. The excellent LCD panel (under normal use) and the good audio playback quality mitigate the 3D problem quite a bit. Considering that this laptop costs nearly $1700 (as of November 1, 2011) and weighs almost 9 pounds with the power brick, however, you may want to opt for something easier on your back, with fewer gimmicks.




Soruce : The net and http://www.pcworld.com

See a Full Comparison Chart of These Laptops »
http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/compare?p=1119714&p=1117947&p=940947&p=853598

samsung galaxy s2 review

Samsung galaxy S2
4.3" SUPER AMOLED Plus 
The 4.3" SUPER AMOLED Plus display goes a step beyond the already 
remarkable SUPER AMOLED to provide enhanced readability, 
a slimmer design, and better battery consumption 
for the best viewing value of any smartphone.
Dual Core Application Processor
Clocking at lightening speeds the performance of 
the Dual Core Application Processor provides functionality 
and density for fast browsing, quick multi-tasking, a smooth UI, snappy 
streaming and efficient gaming. With encoding/decoding ability that 
supports video play and recording, the Samsung GALAXY S II showcases outstanding power and performance.
8.49mm Slim Design
Taking slim to the next dimension. The Samsung GALAXY S II rides the leading 
edge with an ultra-slim 8.49mm form factor, a luxurious design and 
an easy grip. The ultra-slim smartphonealso boasts 3D TouchWiz UX 
adds to the evolutionary experience with a futuristic user interface. 
More Info:http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys2/html/feature.html

Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android Tablet



The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is the latest in the ongoing parade of Android 3.0 tablets, and with a price that undercuts Apple's iPad 2 by $50, the $450 Iconia Tab (price as of 4/23/2011) distinguishes itself in a crowded field. This tablet earns props for its many strengths, such as its inclusion of both a USB port and a microSD Card slot, its support for Dolby Mobile audio, and its custom home screen widgets that help organize applications. However, while the Iconia Tab goes far toward the goal of replacing a laptop, it still falls short--in part due to its own hardware constraints, and in part due to its software.


The Iconia Tab A500 is the largest of the three tablets that Acer has already introduced. The model tested here is Wi-Fi-only and carries the designation A500-10S16u. A 3G-enabled version is coming on AT&T.


Stylish Design
The elegant, two-tone Iconia Tab is one of the bulkier tablets available today. The 10.1-inch multitouch display has a black bezel, plus rounded silver edges and backing made of brushed aluminum. The screen is hardly oleophobic, but then, none of the tablets I've seen so far can actually do effective battle against the fingerprint monsters.


Despite its heft, the Iconia Tab felt surprisingly good in my hands. It's slightly longer and wider than the Motorola Xoom, measuring 10.2 by 7.0 by 0.5 inches, to the Xoom's 9.8 by 6.6 by 0.5 inches.


It is also slightly heavier than the Xoom: 1.7 pounds to the Xoom's 1.6 (to be precise, on the PCWorld Labs scale, the Iconia Tab weighed just 0.05 pound more, at 1.66 pounds to the Xoom's 1.61, though Acer lists its weight at 1.69 pounds). Still, the Iconia Tab actually gave me the perception of being lighter than the Xoom when I held it in hand. I tried the two side-by-side, and consistently preferred the overall balance and weighting of the Iconia Tab to the Xoom's. Neither tablet is something I'd want to hold in one hand for any extended period of time, but of the two, I'd give the Iconia Tab the nod. If weight were out of the equation, I'd even prefer the Iconia Tab to Apple's iPad 2; while the iPad 2, at 1.3 pounds, is the lightest of the three, its 7.3-inch width makes it less conducive for holding in vertical orientation and typing with two hands.


The tablet feels solidly made in other ways. The buttons and ports are all logically situated. The volume rocker and the rotation lock running along the right edge near the top are distinctively contoured and easy to press. Likewise, the power/sleep button is easily found at the upper right corner, and conveniently glows an unobtrusive, alternating red and white while charging. Even the flap that pulls out of the right side to reveal the microSDHC card slot (and the SIM card slot on other models in the A500 series that support 3G) feels sturdy.


The Iconia Tab Inside and Out
In its core specs, the Iconia Tab mirrors the Motorola Xoom. It runs a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 250 dual-core processor and has 1GB of RAM. It also has a 10.1-inch, 1280-by-800 pixel display with a 16:10 aspect ratio (great for high-definition content); 16GB of internal eMMC storage (the Xoom has 32GB); and a microSDHC card for up to 32GB of additional storage.


A drawback is how the internal eMMC storage is configured: In some of the file manager apps I downloaded, including the popular Astro File Manager, the memory is seen as being SD card storage, which makes it confusing to tell the difference between internal storage and actual external storage.


The display looks good--both bright and colorful--most of the time, and the angle of view is adequate (but not terrific--just 80 degrees according to Acer's own specs), but I had a couple of issues. First, a grid is quite visible on the display. Acer says that the grid should be visible only at specific angles, and that it's there because of the touchscreen technology the company uses; I say it's visible all the time, at any angle, and the cross-hatch effect is very disruptive and distracting. It seems to cheapen the high-res screen and makes it harder to enjoy photos and read text (large text sizes and certain fonts help mitigate this feeling). As for photos, color quality varied depending on the app I viewed the images in; the default Android 3.0 experience left me feeling that this screen was better than those of the Xoom and the T-Mobile G-Slate, but it still lacks the natural skin tones and color balance of the Apple iPad 2's display.


The broad-reaching specs also include an accelerometer, a gyroscope, GPS, and a compass. It has Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. The Iconia Tab uses Acer's Clear.fi branding for its DLNA media server support, and a Clear.fi app helps facilitate connecting the tablet to other DLNA sources; but I ended up using it as another way to view my multimedia on the tablet, and had problems sharing the content and grabbing content from other sources.


When held in the landscape orientation, the tablet has its power and headphone jacks at the left edge, toward the top; Micro-HDMI output along the left edge, at the bottom; and a micro-USB port for tethered data transfers and a USB-A port at the lower right edge. Along the top is the flap protecting the microSDHC card slot, and at bottom is the obtrusively bulky dock connector (the dock is an optional $80 accessory that includes an IR remote control).


The Iconia Tab is the first of the Android 3.0 tablets to ship with both a functioning card slot and a full USB-A host port that accepted a keyboard and all the external USB storage I threw at it, including USB flash drives, a USB media card reader, and even a portable hard drive. Having these ports is a huge boon, in light of tablets like the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook and the T-Mobile G-Slate, neither of which have a USB port, or even a microSD card slot.


Unfortunately, the USB port can only go so far, but how much use you get from the ports will be determined by what you're trying to do and what apps you're using. For example, I could get the Gallery and Acer's Photo Browser 3D app to display digital photos from external storage; but I couldn't get a preloaded trial version of Documents to Go to recognize the USB port, let alone access documents off a flash drive. Furthermore, Acer failed to include a file manager app for Android 3.0, and of the three apps I tried, none could access the USB flash drive.


The built-in cameras are, spec-wise, among the better tablet cameras: The Iconia Tab has a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera (at the upper right corner, below where the power button sits) for video chat. But once again the hardware underperforms: The rear-facing camera's image quality is surprisingly mediocre; colors were off, and it was slow to focus. Given that this is the third Android 3.0 tablet where I've been dissatisfied with the camera quality, it's hard to tell if it's an Android 3.0 issue or the fault of the hardware.


If it's an Android 3.0 issue, it certainly wouldn't be the only one. As on other tablets running Google's OS, Android 3.0 is prone to crashes, and apps often don't work right, either. And the Gallery app continues to do a poor job rendering digital images, instead showing pictures that lack sharpness and detail.


The issues with image rendering and pixelated text I've observed on all three Android 3.0 tablets (Motorola Xoom, T-Mobile G-Slate, and now Acer Iconia Tab) make me increasingly wonder just how hard it is for Google's OS to properly render these elements. I found it interesting that Acer is the first to offer not one but two alternatives to the Android Gallery app to display images, but one of these (Nemo Player) introduces even more artifacting, and the other (Acer's homegrown Photo Browser 3D), while it shows better colors and slightly better sharpness, still can't approach the crisp clarity of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-inch, a RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, or even the Apple iPad 2.


Entertainment Features
For audio output, the Iconia Tab has stereo speakers, situated parallel to one another at the back of the tablet, in landscape mode. I found my hands could block the speakers, but I also had the choice of rotating the tablet so the speakers were situated at top, not bottom, as they would be if you hold it in landscape, with the front-facing camera at the upper left corner in this orientation.


This is the first tablet with Dolby Mobile audio built in, and the advantage that offers quickly became clear. The stereo speakers coupled with Dolby Mobile could translate into big sound, once you futz with the Dolby Mobile equalizer settings. And those settings are, annoyingly, buried in the general settings menu. At the standard settings, the audio sounded miserably tinny; once adjusted, music sounded reasonably good, given its source. I'd still prefer to pair up a Bluetooth speaker like the Aliph Jambox, but the stereo speakers still sounded superior to what I've heard on most other tablets; only RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook can best the Iconia Tab in audio quality.


While the device itself can play only 720p high-definition video, the Micro-HDMI port can output video at 1080p; but to get that quality, you'll have to wait for an over-the-air update due in the second quarter.


Acer says the tablet's two 3260mAh Li-polymer batteries will provide a total of 8 hours of game-play and movie-playback time, or 10 hours of Web browsing over Wi-Fi. We'll update this review with test results from the PCWorld Labs when they're available.


Software: A Light Custom Touch
Like the Motorola Xoom and T-Mobile G-Slate, the Iconia Tab supports Adobe Flash 10.2, but, as on the G-Slate, you'll have to follow a link in the Apps Menu to Flash's Android Market page to download and install the most recent version.


And since there's still no Android 3.0 version of Facebook, Acer's solution is to have a browser link to Facebook, right in the Apps menu. At least Acer calls it a link to Facebook, unlike RIM's approach on the BlackBerry PlayBook (which has app icons for Facebook and other Web services, when those are really just browser links).


Android 3.0 has a lot to like amid its shiny veneer. However, as on the other tablets, the OS has issues once you dig deep and really start using it. That, coupled with the lack of selection of tablet-optimized apps, makes for a limiting experience at this time.


While nothing about this install of Android 3.0 stands out, I appreciated Acer's efforts to customize the Android 3.0 experience.


Instead of wholly replacing the Android 3.0 interface, Acer instead provides its own widgets that appear on the home screen as apps. Ereading, Games, Multimedia, and Social--each of these icons look just like any other app icon. But choose any of them, and you'll find yourself in a bookshelf-style screen with a page for each of these categories. You move among the categories by tapping the left or right arrows at the bottom. And in the main screen of each category are app shortcuts to related content.


Acer kindly gets us started in the eReading section by showing Google Books and the company's LumiRead app, which can read PDFs and ePubs you transfer to the device, but is intended for downloading content in countries where Acer has agreements with publishers (for now, the U.S. market is not one of those). The Social section has SocialJogger, a variant on the SocialJogger software seen in the Acer Iconia notebook, with hooks into Facebook and Twitter; it also has a link to Facebook's home page in the Web browser, and a link to Google Talk.


The Multimedia section is prepopulated with links to Photo Browser 3D (Acer's own app for viewing photos), NemoPlayer (customized by Acer for photos, videos, and music), MusicA, Aupeo!, YouTube, and Clear.fi. And the Game Zone links to the included versions of the games Need for Speed: Shift and Let's Golf. Ready to add apps to any of these pages? Simply tap the big "+" symbol in the upper right, and select the apps you want from among your installed apps.


My experience with the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is mixed, to be sure. As a tablet, the device comes the closest I've seen yet to fulfilling the potential for a tablet--with any operating system--to replace a laptop. It's a great choice if you want the ability to access your content via USB sources, but the current limitations of Android 3.0 and what you can do with that content via USB, coupled with this tablet's display quirks, still make it a qualified recommendation.


If you're set on buying an Android tablet today, the Iconia Tab is one of the best bets at this writing--it tops the Xoom in functionality, and its $450 price is significantly cheaper than the $750 no-contract price of the G-Slate. The Iconia Tab is no iPad-killer, but it does give hints of the power of Android's more open and flexible platform. While I found faults with the Iconia Tab itself, many of my gripes lie with Android 3.0; if Google could only fix that OS's issues and get the native app ecosystem jump-started, Android tablets might be on to something.


Source :http://www.pcworld.com/article/226153/acer_iconia_tab_a500_android_tablet_impresses_but_still_misses_its_mark.html