Facebook Unblocked in Pakistan – Flickr still not accessible

According to the local court’s original order, social networking site Facebook has been unblocked by PTA, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. The site was blocked due to the blasphemous page titled “Everybody Draw Muhammad day” that has offended Muslim population all across the globe. In addition to Facebook, Flickr the photo sharing site, Youtube the popular video sharing site and Wikipedia were also blocked. Youtube and Wikipedia were unblocked earlier but Flickr has still not been unblocked.

Bangladesh has also blocked Facebook throughout the country on this weekend, though Pakistan authorities have unblocked the site according to the court’s order. ISPs throughout the country have already started unblocking Facebook though telecom companies have not unblocked BIS services yet on the BlackBerry devices. Facebook is one of the most popular apps on BlackBerriesĀ in Pakistan.

Google Wave – Now you have a reason to use it

Google WaveIt has been a year Google has launched Google Wave. Since it’s a communication tool, it doesn’t make much sense without many people using it. While the product has been its preview mode from Google Labs, you don’t expect many people being online when you log on to your wave account. That is why I have hardly logged on to my preview wave account in last six months. But now I have a reason to log on to this useful tool.

Google Wave has not only grown one year old, Google has also opened its sign-ups for the public. If you have a Google account, you can jump and sign up for this service right away.

Now as Google Wave is public, you will find more people using it, more of your friends will be online and you’ll be able to make more use of this service.

Google Latitude API Now Available

We’ve covered Google Latitude in the past. Google Latitude is an-add on to the Google Maps and a location based service that allows you to share your location with your friends and family. In case of mobile version of Latitude + Google Maps, you control who gets to see your location but with Google Latitude API, your location can not only be shared with some of the people you choose to share your information with, but you may agree to share your current location with websites, software, third party software solutions or other location based systems.

What are the possibilities?

The possibilities are unlimited with basic information being very simple. For example, if a lot of people in your city use Google Latitude on your mobile, a software solution may get to know about a traffic jam on the road ahead and can recommend you a different path. This is how Google Maps application could possibly show traffic information for several parts of the world without having physical traffic surveillance in place.

Similarly, you can turn on your home lights, air-conditioning or heating systems as soon as you reach near your house. Even your garage door could open automatically on your car’s arrival. I can write an app which could recommend few friends about a coffee shop that will not be far for all of them and they can meet up over a cup of espresso.

Privacy Concerns

Exciting possibilities but I’m not here to discuss application ideas that could be made on top of Google Latitude and maps. This actually concerns me one step further about the privacy. If I have Google Latitude running, I’m leaving a trail of my location and this trail could be used for all the malicious things one can think of. Good old days are gone when a Sniper could miss a chance of killing a movie hero just because he took another path :p

I know Google has been very responsible about the privacy issues but that always opens the possibilities for nasty advertisers giving me a call on my cell phone on the middle of the road saying “Hey, look to your left, that’s the ice-cream shop you always wanted to go to” or a telemarketer calling me, “Good morning! As you are standing on traffic crossing and you have another 3 minutes to wait for the light to go green, do you want me to tell you about our latest credit card?” Life will be way trickier if not insane.

Regardless of all the issues that could arise with this kind of service:

  • I’m still ready to use Google Latitude to share my location with my family and close friends.
  • I’m still ready to work on the Google Latitude API to come up with yet another killer application nobody else can think of
  • I’m still excited to know yet another possible way application developers can come up with very interesting solutions for us

Are you impressed, excited, happy, worried, concerned or disappointed about this new development? Please do leave a comment šŸ™‚

Netbooks are better than Notebooks – Green Computing

We have been discussing the green-computing advantage of Laptops over the Desktop computers when it comes to power consumption. Today we’ll take the discussion one step further in our green-computing section.

All of us have heard about net-books, the miniature versions of the laptops/notebook PCs. Capabilities of the Netbooks are good enough for normal use, desktop computing and web-surfing etc. The advantage they give you is the size, handling and power consumption.

We discussed the power consumption advantage of Laptops over Desktops in a previous post. We discussed that Laptops typically take around 60 to 65 watts of power during normal operation. An average Netbook running on Intel Atom processor consumes around 30 to 35 watts of power during normal use. This is actually around half of the power consumption of Notebooks and Laptops.

So if you are not a power user and desktop processing, chatting, Internet surfing is all what you have to do on your PC, prefer a Netbook instead of a Notebook.

I know a number of Netbook haters out there not because of their capabilities in terms of specifications but due to their small size, very small screen and no optical drive. You can purchase a few components and make a good desktop docking station for your Netbook to overcome these issues. For example, you can buy a larger LCD screen, a USB Keyboard, Mouse and a USB external optical drive. While you are on the go, you live with the small components and when you are back home, you can enjoy a full fledged computing experience right out of your netbook with a lower power consumption.

Green Computing Bottom Line

Don’t use desktop computers at all. Use either laptops, notebooks or netbooks for a green-computing advantage. You should prefer a netbook over the notebooks and laptops as well as they consume the lowest power of them all.

Youtube, Wikipedia, Flickr blocked in Pakistan after Facebook

Facebook was blocked yesterday after the Court’s order against the blasphemous Facebook Page and now it looks like the start of a social websites blackout in Pakistan. Youtube, the popular video sharing site, Wikipedia, a crowd sourced encyclopedia and Flickr, the popular photo sharing sate has also been blocked in Pakistan.

It has been reported that the controversial content from blocked Facebook pages had made there way to the video sharing sites, Wikiepedia and Flickr as well. That is why these sites have been blocked as well.

While Youtube has been blocked, other video sharing sites are running all fine. Similarly, Flickr has been blocked by Picasa and other photo sharing sites are also up.

Update***

It has also been reported that Google.com was also blocked for some this morning in Pakistan but now it’s working all fine.

Update ***

Lemonbits.net is also blocked. The page title is “Anti-Draw-Muhammad-Day”. With the blasphemous page coming online and getting popular, many other sites that oppose or support that page have also come online. Lemonbits.net was one of them.

Update ***

How to use Wikipedia in Pakistan during the ban

Wikipedia.com has been blocked but Wikipedia.org is still available. You can select any language other than English to use Wikipedia non-english version. For example you can access French version or Urdu version of Wikipedia without any problem. Even you can access non-english version and can get it translated using Google Translations or any similar service.

Update ***

Response from the News websites

Popular news websites like CNN, BBC, Google News and popular Pakistani news websites like Dawn and Geo News have all reported about the ban on Youtube as well as Facebook. Though, nobody is talking about the ban on Wikipedia and Flickr. No doubt Facebook and Youtube are more popular than Wikipedia or Flickr, they are worth mentioning when reporting news.

Important stats come from an unnamed PTA rep in the Geo News article. According to these unofficial stats, more than 20% of Pakistan’s Internet bandwidth is utilized by users accessing these two sties.

Following is the list of the news articles coming on these popular news websites:

DAWN
Google News
BBC
CNN
Geo News

Update *** May 22, 2010 , 2:30pm GMT

Wikipedia is now accessible throughout Pakistan but there is a large number of other websites that are not working in the country. Flickr, Facebook and Youtube are still not accessible. This means that all those websites that embed videos from Youtube are also showing a white blank space instead of the video. One of my blog that serves technology news has also been blocked without anything to do with the controversial content.

Watch Cricket Live Online

I am a cricket fan and I know if you are reading this, probably you are a cricket fan as well. And its obvious that fans watch live cricket whenever possible. Things get even more serious if it is a World Cup tournament and your favorite team is playing a crucial match. If you are out of the country or you cant find a channel that is showing live cricket in your area, you can use this site to watch live cricket on your computer.

No matter it is ODI cricket, T20 or Test, this site always finds a live feed for you and it makes more sense when you are not in a cricket loving country and the TV Channels shown inĀ  your area don’t show cricket.

If you have any other links for watching cricket live, please do post in the comments section.

Processor Comparison Table

Intel Processor Comparison – Part 16 of 16

The table below compares a few processors both form Core i as well as Core 2 technologies by Intel. This article is part of a series of articles listed below

  1. Intel Processor Comparison – Introduction
  2. Want a faster PC, get more RAM first
  3. Processor Flashback
  4. Hyper Threading Technology
  5. Difference between Thread and Process
  6. Difference between Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad
  7. Difference Between Core 2 Duo and Core i3
  8. Difference Between Core 2 Quad and Core i5
  9. Intel Turbo Boost Technology
  10. Difference Between Core i3 and Core i5
  11. Difference Between Core i5 and Core i7
  12. Differences Between Core 2 and Core i Technologies
  13. Difference Between FSB and DMI
  14. Difference Between Smart Cache and L2 Cache
  15. Processor Comparison Bottom Line
  16. Processor Comparison Table

Processor Comparison Table

Name IntelĀ® Coreā„¢2 Quad Processor Q9400 (6M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB) IntelĀ® Coreā„¢ i3-540 Processor (4M Cache, 3.06 GHz) IntelĀ® Coreā„¢ i5-750 Processor (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz) IntelĀ® Coreā„¢ i7-860 Processor (8M Cache, 2.80 GHz) IntelĀ® Coreā„¢2 Duo Processor E8600 (6M Cache, 3.33 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB)
Code Name Yorkfield Clarkdale Lynnfield Lynnfield Wolfdale
Status Launched Launched Launched Launched Launched
Launch Date Q3’08 Q1’10 Q3’09 Q3’09 Q3’08
Processor Number Q9400 i3-540 i5-750 i7-860 E8600
# of Cores 4 2 4 4 2
# of Threads 4 4 4 8 2
Clock Speed 2.66 GHz 3.06 GHz 2.66 GHz 2.8 GHz 3.33 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency 3.2 GHz 3.46 GHz
Cache 6 MB L2 Cache 4 MB IntelĀ® Smart Cache 8 MB IntelĀ® Smart Cache 8 MB IntelĀ® Smart Cache 6 MB L2 Cache
Bus/Core Ratio 8 23 20 21 10
Bus Type FSB DMI DMI DMI FSB
System Bus 1333 MHz 2.5 GT/s 2.5 GT/s 2.5 GT/s 1333 MHz
FSB Parity No No
Instruction Set 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE4.2 SSE4.2 SSE4.2
Embedded Options Available Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Supplemental SKU No No No No No
Lithography 45 nm 32 nm 45 nm 45 nm 45 nm
Max TDP 95 W 73 W 95 W 95 W 65 W
VID Voltage Range 0.8500v-1.3625v 0.6500V-1.4000V 0.6500V-1.4000V 0.6500V-1.4000V 0.8500V-1.3625V
1ku Bulk Budgetary Price $183.00 $133.00 $196.00 $284.00 $266.00
Max Memory Size
(dependent on memory type)
16 GB 16 GB 16 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1066/1333 DDR3-1066/1333 DDR3-1066/1333
# of Memory Channels 2 2 2
Max Memory Bandwidth 21 GB/s 21 GB/s 21 GB/s
Physical Address Extensions 36-bit 36-bit 36-bit
ECC Memory Supported No
Integrated Graphics Yes No No
IntelĀ® HD Graphics Yes
Graphics Base Frequency 733 MHz
IntelĀ® Flexible Display Interface (IntelĀ® FDI) Yes
IntelĀ® Clear Video HD Technology Yes
Dual Display Capable Yes
PCI Express Revision 2.0 2.0 2.0
PCI Express Configurations 1×16, 2×8 1×16, 2×8 1×16, 2×8
# of PCI Express Ports 1 1 1
Max CPU Configuration 1 1 1
TCASE 71.4Ā°C 72.6Ā°C 72.7Ā°C 72.4Ā°C
Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm 37.5mm x 37.5mm 37.5mm x 37.5mm 37.5mm x 37.5mm 37.5mm x 37.5mm
Lithography 45 nm 32 nm 45 nm 45 nm 45 nm
Processing Die Size 164 mm2 81 mm2 296 mm2 296 mm2 107 mm2
# of Processing Die Transistors 456 million 382 million 774 million 774 million 410 million
Graphics and IMC Lithography 45 nm
Graphics and IMC Die Size 114 mm2
# of Graphics and IMC Die Transistors 177 million
Sockets Supported LGA775 FCLGA1156 LGA1156 LGA1156 LGA775
Halogen Free Options Available Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IntelĀ® Turbo Boost Technology No No Yes Yes No
IntelĀ® Hyper-Threading Technology No Yes No Yes No
IntelĀ® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IntelĀ® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) Yes No No Yes Yes
IntelĀ® Trusted Execution Technology Yes No No Yes Yes
AES New Instructions No No No No No
IntelĀ® 64 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Idle States Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Enhanced IntelĀ® Speedstep Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IntelĀ® Demand Based Switching No No No No No
Thermal Monitoring Technologies Yes No No No Yes
Execute Disable Bit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

To buy or not to buy the new Processor

Processor Comparison – Part 15 of 16

If you are a normal user and dont do alot of number crunching, you may not find a significant difference between these processors in day to day use but if you are a power user and do a lot of DVD ripping, video conversion, extreme 3d gaming, mp3 and video editing, photo conversion, programming or even file compression (zip or rar etc), you will need a faster processor. Go for a top of the line processor if your current machine is out of date but the price of these processor drops faster than the apple falling from a tree. So watch out and dont spend too much on a processor.

I’ve tried to simplify the comparison between these processors in this article but if you think not enough detail has been given, please go through the following table that has been taken from Intel’s website and it compares five different processors, one example from one technology each.

This article is part of a series of articles listed below

  1. Intel Processor Comparison – Introduction
  2. Want a faster PC, get more RAM first
  3. Processor Flashback
  4. Hyper Threading Technology
  5. Difference between Thread and Process
  6. Difference between Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad
  7. Difference Between Core 2 Duo and Core i3
  8. Difference Between Core 2 Quad and Core i5
  9. Intel Turbo Boost Technology
  10. Difference Between Core i3 and Core i5
  11. Difference Between Core i5 and Core i7
  12. Differences Between Core 2 and Core i Technologies
  13. Difference Between FSB and DMI
  14. Difference Between Smart Cache and L2 Cache
  15. Processor Comparison Bottom Line
  16. Processor Comparison Table

Difference between L2 Cache and Intel Smart Cache

Intel Processor Comparison – Part 14 of 16

Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 use Intel Smart Cache while older processors have been using L2 Cache. I have failed to find anything special in terms of feature of this smart cache. Intel belives that this Smart Cache is smarter than L2 cache but I believe that it is more of a marketing team terminology and is hardly any better than the conventional L2 cache. Please do let me know if you know something better than that about Smart Cache, please do let me know.

This article is part of a series of articles listed below

  1. Intel Processor Comparison – Introduction
  2. Want a faster PC, get more RAM first
  3. Processor Flashback
  4. Hyper Threading Technology
  5. Difference between Thread and Process
  6. Difference between Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad
  7. Difference Between Core 2 Duo and Core i3
  8. Difference Between Core 2 Quad and Core i5
  9. Intel Turbo Boost Technology
  10. Difference Between Core i3 and Core i5
  11. Difference Between Core i5 and Core i7
  12. Differences Between Core 2 and Core i Technologies
  13. Difference Between FSB and DMI
  14. Difference Between Smart Cache and L2 Cache
  15. Processor Comparison Bottom Line
  16. Processor Comparison Table

Difference between FSB and DMI

Intel Processor Comparison – Part 13 of 16

Front Side Bus
Front Side Bus

Front Side Bus

FSB is a BUS technology that is used in Core 2 Quad/Duo processor technologies and earlier. FSB allows the processor to communicate with other components of the computer including Memory, PCIe, Video as well as IO devices like USB, Hard disk, Network etc. Everything that goes in and out of the processor goes through FSB. See the diagram below to see a typical Core 2 Duo processor and FSB communication channels.

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DMI – Direct Media Inteface

Core i7 running on DMI
DMI Technology

DMI bus technology is used in Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. The basic difference in architecture is, that the processor communicates over a different channel with RAM, a different channel with PCIe and a third channel DMI to communicate with all other components of the computer. This increases the performance significantly. See diagram below for a typical Core i7 architecture.

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This article is part of a series of articles listed below

  1. Intel Processor Comparison – Introduction
  2. Want a faster PC, get more RAM first
  3. Processor Flashback
  4. Hyper Threading Technology
  5. Difference between Thread and Process
  6. Difference between Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad
  7. Difference Between Core 2 Duo and Core i3
  8. Difference Between Core 2 Quad and Core i5
  9. Intel Turbo Boost Technology
  10. Difference Between Core i3 and Core i5
  11. Difference Between Core i5 and Core i7
  12. Differences Between Core 2 and Core i Technologies
  13. Difference Between FSB and DMI
  14. Difference Between Smart Cache and L2 Cache
  15. Processor Comparison Bottom Line
  16. Processor Comparison Table