Archive for October, 2012

Reverse Proxy – What’s Old is New Again

October 25th, 2012 No comments

Reverse Proxy is a technology that has been around for a very long time. However, there has never been a time when it is more relevant than today, with the explosion of BYOD and “untrusted” endpoint access to internal applications. 

A Reverse Proxy is a type of proxy server that sits in a DMZ and retrieves internal content (e.g. web pages) on behalf of a requesting client (e.g. web browser). A single Reverse Proxy can front-end multiple internal web sites acting as an external gateway, providing strong authentication, delivering SSL encryption, allowing access control, and auditing/logging services. The beauty of a Reverse Proxy implementation is that once it is in place, it allows a company to externalize any of their internal web content in a secure fashion. Since endpoints, (define), are not issued internal network addresses there is never a direct connection from an “untrusted” endpoint to the secure network. The Reverse Proxy sits in the middle and hides (blocks) the physical internal network from any connecting endpoint.

For BYOD and remote access, the immediate answer to the problem most network administrators have connecting various personal devices is usually a VPN connection. This requires the installation, administration, and maintenance of a remote client or app on the endpoint. However, the reality is the majority of applications that end users need to access today are web based, which means a VPN connection is not required. A Reverse Proxy can be installed to securely access those web applications from any device capable of running a web browser, without the need for VPN agents or apps. Internal web applications can be accessed directly by a URL or through a customized web portal.

Reverse Proxies even have the ability to protect one of the most common applications, Microsoft Exchange email. Using ActiveSync, a mobile data synchronization protocol from Microsoft, endpoints can easily connect to an internal email system through a Reverse Proxy, without the need for any client software or apps.

A very large computer manufacturer is deploying a Dell SonicWALL reverse proxy solution to allow employee access from personal, home, and corporate devices to key internal web applications. This allows them to quickly give access to thousands of employees worldwide increasing productivity and quickly integrating new acquisitions.



Apple Reveals iPad mini – official price $329

October 23rd, 2012 No comments

Apple just took the wraps off its latest gadget: the iPad mini. As the name suggests, it’s a smaller version of the company’s popular iPadtablet, with a screen that measures 7.9 inches diagonally.

The new model comes in both black and white. The 7.9-inch screen with 4:3 aspect ratio gives the iPad mini a size advantage over 7-inch competitors. The area measures 29.6 square inches to 21.9 on a 16:9 7-inch tablet. It has the same resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, at 1,024 x 768. For fans of retina displays, however, that’s not even close, at just 163 pixels per inch (ppi).

The iPad mini packs an A5 chip, the processor that was first seen in the iPad 2, and it’s the same chip that powers the current iPod touch. It has a front-facing FaceTime 720p camera, with 5-megapixel camera in back. It also includes Apple’s new Lightning connector, which first debuted on the iPhone 5.

At 10.9 ounces, the iPad mini is less than half the weight of the full-size iPad. It’s just 0.28 of an inch thick.

The iPad mini starts at $329 for the Wi-Fi-only version with 16GB capacity. Higher capacities and 4G LTE options are available. Prices for Wi-Fi-only versions are: $429 for 32GB, and $529 for 64GB. For the cellular versions, prices are $459, $559 and $659 for 16, 32 and 64GB, respectively. Pre-orders begin Oct. 26. Wi-Fi devices ship Nov. 2, and the cellular models will come about two weeks later.




Russia Wants To Ban Children From Using WiFi

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

MOSCOW — The Communications and Press Ministry has proposed banning children from using Wi-Fi networks in public, potentially making cafes, restaurants and other locations providing the service responsible for enforcing the law.

An official with the ministry’s Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, known as Roskomnadzor, said the ban should apply to people under 18 years old.

Locations providing Wi-Fi access would be held legally responsible for implementing the rule, and failing to meet the proposed measure would result in a fine ranging from 20,000 rubles to 50,000 rubles ($640 to $1,600), Vedomosti reported Thursday.

In Moscow alone, thousands of cafes, fast-food outlets and restaurants, as well as many parks, shopping malls and hotels, have Wi-Fi networks, which let laptop and handheld-computer users go online without a cable or modem.

Maxim Ksenzov, one of the watchdog’s deputy directors, announced the plan at a Wednesday conference with Internet media representatives, Vedomosti reported, citing participants in the conference.

Ksenzov said the proposal is tied to the Internet restriction law that comes into effect Nov. 1, allowing the government to block Web pages that fit the law’s definition of material harmful to child welfare.

Under that law, the government can force websites, website-hosting companies and Internet service providers to block offending sites.

Watchdog spokesman Vladimir Pikov told RIA-Novosti the service hasn’t decided whether Wi-Fi providers or owners of businesses offering their own Wi-Fi would be responsible under the law.

Citizens are no longer considered minors in Russia when they reach the age of 18, but people can obtain permission from regional authorities to marry at 16 and can get a motorcycle license at that age.

At national cafe chain Shokoladnitsa, “there are no methods at present that make it possible to identify the age of users logging on to the free Wi-Fi in our shops,” said Gennady Sbytov, the company’s vice president for information technology.

“We see a solution to the [broader] issue in restricting access to certain web portals, in accordance with the law, for all guests,” he said by e-mail. “That way, Wi-Fi access would remain available.”

Sbytov said any Wi-Fi restriction at Shokoladnitsa would happen only if required by law.

Also affected by the proposal would be other major food chains providing free Wi-Fi, such as Subway, McDonald’s and Kofe Khaus.




Samsung terminates LCD contract with Apple

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

Samsung has decided to terminate an ongoing contract with Apple to supply LCD panels for use in its growing range of devices. That means, come next year, there will be no Samsung panels used across the iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Mac range of devices.

The reason seems to be two-fold. On the one hand, Apple has been working hard to secure supplies from other manufacturers and therefore decrease its reliance on Samsung. On the other, Apple is well-known for demanding and pushing lower pricing meaning it just doesn’t make business sense anymore for Samsung to keep supplying Apple with displays.

With the ongoing legal action between Samsung and Apple it’s no surprise that the relationship has cooled. However, Samsung deciding to cease shipments next year may cause a problem for Apple. In the first half of 2012 Samsung was Apple’s top display supplier, shipping over 15 million panels. LG only supplied 12.5 million and Sharp 2.8 million.

Losing 15 million panels in a growing market and when you are introducing new devices like the iPad Mini could lead to a serious shortfall in supplies. The question is whether LG and Sharp can increase supply enough to compensate, or whether Apple has other suppliers ready to step in and help.




Google expected to launch Samsung 10 tablet and LG Nexus 4 smartphone next week

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

Google’s product unveiling event next Monday will feature a 10-in. tablet running Android 4.2, possibly named the Samsung 10, and an LG Nexus 4 smartphone, according to reports.

The Next Web said it learned of the new tablet from an unnamed source who was familiar with an internal Google video describing new products and software to be launched at the Oct. 29 event in New York City.

Google had no comment early Monday, but last week sent out invitations for the event implying a variety of announcements will be made using the phrase, “The playground is open.”

The report indicated the LG Nexus 4 smartphone will have a quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a 4.7-in. display with 1280 x 768 resolution. It will also have a 2100 mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It will run the Android 4.2 mobile operating system, also called Jelly Bean, rather than the next-generation Key Lime Pie, the report said.

The reported 10-in. tablet, with the code-name Manta, would have a better resolution, at 300 pixels per inch, than the new iPad, which has 264 PPI. That puts the Samsung device at 2560 x 1600 pixels with a 16:10 aspect ratio.



Apple iPad Mini Parody Commercial

October 22nd, 2012 No comments
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LG Nexus 4 likely to be star at Google event on 29 October

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

Google has issued invites to a shindig at the end of the month, where the search giant is expected to reveal the latest Nexus phone — the hotly tipped LG Nexus 4.

The New York-based event, which kicks off at 10am (2pm UK time), on 29 October, has an invite that shows a colourful Big Apple skyline and the text, “The playground is open” enclosed within a Google search box.

The event will take place mere hours ahead of the Windows Phone 8 launch, in what’s likely a brazen attempt to purloin Microsoft’s thunder, or a ploy to kill off technology journalists by forcing them to type themselves to death.

While Google could be revealing anything in theory, it’s reckoned that the bash will centre on Android, including news on updates to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and — possibly — a glimpse at one or more new devices.

Read more:


iPad mini price leaked

October 21st, 2012 No comments

The iPad mini will reportedly start at around $329, making it a little more expensive than the $250-odd previously rumoured.

According to the Apple obsessives over at 9to5Mac, the iPad mini will start at $329, minimum. The site does not same its sources, but as a site of solid reputation and a good track record, it’s enough to make us believe that the iPad mini will cost significantly more than the £200-odd we were hoping for.

9to5Mac also writes that two higher-storage versions of the iPad mini will be available, leapfrogging $100 and $200 over the base model. If three storage flavours of the iPad mini go on sale, you can bet these will be 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

The 3G editions of the iPad mini are rumoured to go on sale for $130 over the Wi-Fi only models.



iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2: spec comparison

October 21st, 2012 No comments

Size & Weight

The 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm iPhone 5 may be taller than any of its predecessors, but it will look positively dwarf-like against the jumbo Galaxy Note 2. Samsung’s model measures up at 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4mm, making you far more aware of its pocket-presence than the iPhone. Its 180g weight is 68g more than Apple’s new phone, a gap that could easily have been larger given the size of the Note, so credit to Samsung for keeping such a large device fairly nimble.


With a giant 5.5in screen, the Note 2 plays more heavily on the visual element, even if the iPhone’s new 4in display will be deemed ample by most. The latter’s resolution should appear tighter to the trained eye, with its 1136 x 640 pixels and density of 326 PPI, going against the Note’s 1280 x 720 pixels and 267 PPI. The HD Super AMOLED Plus technology used on the Note’s face has been heralded for its quality, but expect the iPhone 5’s IPS LCD to produce images and words that little bit crisper.

Storage & Memory

Both of these high-spec devices come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models. But, crucially, for those who want to go to town on the file storage, the Galaxy Note 2 has a microSD card slot unlike the iPhone 5, allowing expansion by a further 64GB for a whopping 128GB in total. Samsung’s oversize phone also has an impressive 2GB of RAM; a stat that hasn’t been confirmed for the iPhone 5. Will it match up to its rival in this department?


Among the gaps left in Apple’s launch presentation were the real nitty-gritty details of the iPhone 5’s A6 processor. The consensus seems to point to a dual-core engine, which would put it in the shade of the Note 2’s powerful quad-core Exynos 4412, which clocks in a highly commendable 1.6GHz.


Here, we are faced with the crème-de-la-crème in mobile software battling it out for supremacy. The latest iteration of Apple and Android’s market-leading operating systems sees iOS 6 face up to 4.1 Jelly Bean. Both list a wealth of features; both have pulled in strong reviews. Usually, operating systems come down to personal preference, but perhaps Apple’s slightly more extensive app store to Google Play, just gives the iPhone software victory by a whisker.


We’re splitting hairs in this category. The rear camera on both devices are 8-megapixel affairs, with 3264×2448 pixel resolution, recording video in 1080p at 30 frames per second. But just giving the Galaxy Note 2 the edge is its 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, that will be slightly superior to the iPhone 5’s 1.2-megapixel front cam when it comes to video calls and the like.

Specification Table

iPhone 5 Galaxy Note 2
Screen size 4in 5.5in
Resolution 1136 x 640 pixels 1280 x 720 pixels
Pixel density 326 PPI 267 PPI
Processor and battery
Family Apple A6 Samsung Exynos 4412
Cores TBC Quad core
Clock speed TBC 1.6GHz
Battery TBC 3100 -mAh
Claimed 3G talk time 8h TBC
Storage and memory
Internal storage 16 / 32 / 64GB 16 / 32 / 64GB
microSD No Yes, up to 32GB
Megapixels 8MP 8MP
Resolution 3264 x 2448 pixels 3264×2448 pixels
Video 1080p@30fps 1080p@30fps
Front-facing camera 1.2MP 1.9MP
Network 4G LTE 4G LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 802.11 a/b/g/n
NFC No Yes
Bluetooth 4.0 4.0
Size 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm 151 x 80.5 x 9.4mm
Weight 112g 180g
Operating System iOS 6 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean



Cheap new Chromebook from Samsung revealed

October 20th, 2012 No comments

Google has unveiled a new Chromebook laptop with an affordable price tag, calling it “the computer for everyone”.

The model, made by Samsung, has an 11.6-inch screen with 1366 x 786 resolution, an ARM Cortex-A15 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage. There’s also Bluetooth 3.0, three USB ports (one of which is USB 3.0), SD card slot and 100GB of free cloud storage available through Google Drive. Google says there’s 6.5 hours of battery life.

The Chromebook is thin and light: a mere 20mm thick and 1.1kg in weight. Also on the light side is the price tag of just £229.

For an 11.6-inch laptop capable of performing all the basic tasks like web browsing, word processing, video playback etc., that’s a steal. Critics will note that the new Chromebook is less powerful on paper than the Samsung-made Series 5 Chromebook unveiled back in June, which boasted 4GB of RAM and a 12.1-inch screen. There’s also something of a discrepancy between the UK and US prices: the Chromebook costs just $249 in the US, which converts to around £155 at today’s exchange rate.

The new Chromebook will be sold at PC World and Currys in the UK.

Does the new model appeal to you as a second computer, or possibly one for the kids to use? Let us know in the comments box below.