How to: Create your own File Encryption Application

Everyone has secrets, Those who don’t still want some things to stay hidden. Most of you would have already used software that are capable to lock your files and after that can only be accessible with a password (like WinRar). We are not discussing here how WinRar does that, but we will be discussing how you can create a simple application in C++ which will allow you to encrypt your text files in a way after which it will just look like a trashed content.

Encryption techniques are not new, they have begun thousands of years ago. It is generally termed as cryptography where we convert our original content to something which cannot be understood. Of course we can convert back the unreadable content to original but this can only be done if we knew how it was encrypted.

XKCD security

XKCD security comic.

To get an idea what it is let’s take a scenario:

I have a message that is highly important to get delivered to my friend. He lives across the street but I cannot go and meet him personally. So only way to communicate is by taking a white board and writing down my message, big enough that it can be seen from at least 50m. Then I will wave it from the terrace so that he can read it. Problem is when I show him the board, everyone else too has access to read the message. But to tackle this situation we have already planned a crypto technique which we can use while sharing secret messages.

Message I want to share: “Dude! I asked her out today.”

Message I am going to write on board: “04210405 09 01191190504 080518 152120 2015040125”

As you can see, this doesn’t make any sense if you don’t know the technique how it was ciphered. In this case, the methodology is extremely easy just to demonstrate. I have replaced each alphabet with its corresponding digit in sequence using two decimal digits (01,02,…,26). To get back the original text, I just need to follow the same process backwards by putting back alphabets in place of its number. Even this simple technique can be upgraded using “salt”. No! I am not talking about the one we eat, salt is a generic term used to add additional attributes in a predefined function. Here our function is defined by converting alphabet to number. On Wikipedia, “In cryptography, a salt is random data that is used as an additional input to a one-way function that hashes a password or passphrase”. Attribute could be anything depending upon the encryption algorithm. Say every time I convert alpha to numeric 50(salt) is added if it’s a vowel and space is replaced by 99.

alpha2num CheatSheet

A little improved message:


While decrypting this, few points need to be kept in mind that is if the message contain any number above 26 then that should be subtracted from 50 because it’s a vowel and that 99 denotes space between words.

Let’s go back to our topic, in our application you need to have at least a basic idea of C++ language and a compiler to create a finished software once we finished coding. I will only be explaining important part briefly. Software requirements for our experiment are:

Test your working environment by running this peace of code:

int main(){
cout<<”Good to go!”;
return 0;

Keep in mind C++ is a case-sensitive language (small a and capital A are treated different). Once your program compiled successfully and you see output in console we can move towards our encryption technique.

If you belong to computer science field, the term Bitwise Operations must be familiar to you but if not then please read it before going further. Easiest explanation could be, any operation that is done at individual bit level. Right now, XOR is the point of interest. To understand our algorithm, you are required to know how XOR works. The property that we are going to use of XOR here is:

Say we have a variable X whose value in binary format is “101” and a password key “111”, to cipher the value of X an operation of XOR is needs to be done on both of them. Formula for our algorithm can be described as “X XOR PASS = CIPHERED VALUE”. Here in our example it is

101 XOR 111 = 010

To get back the original value of X, XOR cipher value again with PASS “CIPHERED VALUE XOR PASS = X”. This property of XOR enable us to encrypt any binary data in a simplest way possible. Keep in mind, there are various ways to exploit this technique and any expert in deciphering can break this encryption when enough time is available. But you are not storing any thermal nuclear warhead blueprints or ways how a radioactive spider can make you Spiderman. As long as normal people (not so geeky) are considered, this technique is robust enough.

I am going to cut to the chase and go straight to the coding part. Open your compiler and create a new file. Start adding line of code describe below.

#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
#include <string>
using namespace std;

These are the library required to successfully compile the program. All symbols in that namespace will become visible without adding the namespace prefix by using last line. Most of you professional coder might be angry for using this but right now, I am more focused on simplicity than flexibility.

void xor_encrypt(char *key, char *string, int n){
int i;int keyLength = strlen(key);
for( i = 0 ; i < n ; i++ )





xor_encrypt() function is the core part where all the magic happens. This function accepts three parameters:

  1. Password key
  2. String of text required to encrypt
  3. Length of string

Operator for XOR in C is (^) which is used as a unary operator between string and password. First the length of password is calculated to use it along with Remainder Operator for array index. This will keep our password within the limits of its size length. For loop is required to run until string length is exhausted. One thing to notice is we are not returning anything from this function instead pointer is used to update the string by its reference.

int main(void) {
char key[] = "AllHailTheKingKush1212HAHA1212hehe";
char LOCKEDFILENAME[] = "locked.txt";
char UNLOCKEDFILENAME[] = “unlocked.txt”;

int choice;

bool lock=false;

streampos size;



long long int n;

char ch[sizeof(long long int)];

} buffer;


cout<<“\nWhat would you like to do?:\n1)Lock\n2)Unlock\n”;



case 1:lock=true;break;

case 2:break;

default:cout<<“Invalid choice, input only (1/2).\n”;goto choiceMaker;


main() function is the nervous system of this program (every C++ program). In the beginning declaration of variables that we are going to use is done.

  • Key variable holds the password that is required to lock and unlock our ciphered text.
  • Lock Boolean variable is used as a switch between encrypting and decrypting.
  • Union buffer will work as a temporary storage to hold data between the processing.
  • Switch statement will enable user to make a choice between lock or unlock a file. Supported inputs are Numeric 1/2, 1 will encrypt a normal file and 2 will decrypt back to original.

ifstream unlocked;ofstream locked; (UNLOCKEDFILENAME, ios::binary); (LOCKEDFILENAME, ios::binary);

if (unlocked.is_open())


unlocked.seekg (0, ios::end);

size = unlocked.tellg();

unlocked.seekg (0, ios::beg);

while (,sizeof(buffer)))

{ cout << buffer.n << ‘\n’;




cout<<“\nFile size:”<<size<<” Buffer size:”<<sizeof(buffer)<<endl;

cout << “\nLocked Successfully.”;





This part of code will read unlocked.txt file, cipher it and write it to locked.txt file.

  • First, the lock condition is evaluated whether it is true or not, if yes then it is good to go.
  • Two file streams are created to read and write file. This functionality is dependent on library we have imported above (fstream). One file will be used as an input and second as output, both of them are opened in binary format to keep the originality intact.
  • Is_open() function will ensure that the file is accessed successfully then seek is used to jump to end to calculate the length of file (this task is not necessary but will provide an insight how big file we are dealing with).
  • While loop perform three operation, firstly it reads the unlocked file step by step(depends on the buffer size) until it reaches to end, then it calls the core function of xor that will encrypt this piece of data and after that it is written back to locked file as ciphered text.
  • In between there is a cout line that enables a visual log of binary data that is going for encryption in this process.

Once this loop ends, some information of file and buffer size is printed on screen and file streams are closed to free up resources.

ofstream unlocked;ifstream locked; (UNLOCKEDFILENAME, ios::binary); (LOCKEDFILENAME, ios::binary);

if (locked.is_open())


locked.seekg (0, ios::end);

size = locked.tellg();

locked.seekg (0, ios::beg);

while (,sizeof(buffer)))

{ cout << buffer.n << ‘\n’;




cout<<“\nFile size:”<<size<<” Buffer size:”<<sizeof(buffer)<<endl;

cout << “\nUnlocked Successfully.”;






These lines are mostly same as above lock code, the difference is we reverse the process and check if lock switch is false. If yes, then locked file will be taken as input and unlocked file will be created with deciphered text. Don’t forget the last “}” bracket, this is continued from the beginning of main function. Every “{” bracket is required to be closed with “}” in the end.

compile and run

That’s it! Coding stage is completed, compile the program and run it. Before running, go to the directory where you have saved this program and create a dummy text file. File should be named as “unlocked.txt” otherwise our ultimate machine of encryption won’t work. Write some text into this file for testing purpose, save it. Compile & Run the program, Press 1 and hit enter.

directory browse

If you see some binary numbers floating down the screen and a line stating “Locked Successfully” this means you have created your first very own encryption software in 15-30 minutes. But in case, compilation error or anything not so cool pop up then try to debug the code. Don’t forget even the simple “;” semicolon can stop the whole program from executing, try searching for case-sensitive errors. Don’t worry, I will be adding an attachment of .cpp file created by me. You just have to compile and run. Once it is compiled successfully a new executable (.exe) file will be created if you are using Microsoft Windows. This file enables you to directly run the program without compiling again and again.

preview choice

Now you can use your own tool for encryption and it’s free! Since you created it! Try decrypting the locked file again, this will give you back the original in unlocked.txt. Keep in mind, the longer your password is, harder it is to crack the encryption (keep it at least more than 20 words).

preview locked

Here is all the code collectively:

#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
#include <string>
using namespace std;//encryption function to convert between cipher and original
void xor_encrypt(char *key, char *string, int n)
int i;
//length of password
int keyLength = strlen(key);
for( i = 0 ; i < n ; i++ )
//XOR Operation

int main(void) {

char key[] = “AllHailTheKingKush1212HAHA1212hehe”; //password, this can be changed according to your wish but keep it large
int choice; bool lock=false;
char LOCKEDFILENAME[] = “locked.txt”;
char UNLOCKEDFILENAME[] = “unlocked.txt”;

streampos size;
long long int n;
char ch[sizeof(long long int)];
} buffer; //temporary storage for processing encryption

cout<<“\nWhat would you like to do?:\n1)Lock\n2)Unlock\n”;

//this will create a menu through which user can choose what he wishes to do.
case 1:lock=true;break;
case 2:break;
default:cout<<“Invalid choice, input only (1/2).\n”;goto choiceMaker;

//encrypt unlocked.txt file to locked.txt
ifstream unlocked;
ofstream locked;
//creating two file streams, one for input and another for output (UNLOCKEDFILENAME,ios::binary); (LOCKEDFILENAME,ios::binary);

if (unlocked.is_open()) //checking if the file has opened successfully
unlocked.seekg (0, ios::end); //jumping to end
size = unlocked.tellg(); //checking the file size
unlocked.seekg (0, ios::beg); //coming back to start

while (,sizeof(buffer))) //reading small bytes at a time
{cout << buffer.n << ‘\n’; //visual log

xor_encrypt(key,,sizeof(buffer)); //encrypting

locked.write(,sizeof(buffer)); //writing ciphered text to locked.txt

cout<<“\nFile size:”<<size<<” Buffer size:”<<sizeof(buffer)<<endl; //buffer size depends on process architecture and compiler. In x64 it was 8bytes
cout << “\nLocked Successfully.”;

//resources are cleared.

//decrypt it.
{ //everything same as above
ofstream unlocked;
ifstream locked; (UNLOCKEDFILENAME,ios::binary); (LOCKEDFILENAME,ios::binary);

if (locked.is_open())
locked.seekg (0, ios::end);
size = locked.tellg();
locked.seekg (0, ios::beg);

while (,sizeof(buffer)))
{cout << buffer.n << ‘\n’;



cout<<“\nFile size:”<<size<<” Buffer size:”<<sizeof(buffer)<<endl;
cout << “\nUnlocked Successfully.”;




You can modify this program to accept a password every time it runs and decrypt with it. It will decrypt even with wrong password but your original content cannot be obtained. Even after successful decryption, it will still look like garbage. That’s because the XOR pass we have used can only revert it back to original. Try adding more functionality and let me know in comments!

Attachment: Download Zipped file for this project.

Useful and Impressive Cloud Services

Are you lazy enough to download software just to convert a pdf file to word or video song to mp3? Are you afraid to handle a bulky professional tool to edit your small personal video? Well don’t worry because its 2014! The cloud services host too many handy little task specific tools that can be real time savers for these kind of work. Here we showcase few of the best ones.

Data Conversion Services

Every day we work with hundreds of different file formats based on our need, availability and comfort level. Most of the time while uploading to the web the format we have used is incompatible or target who is receiving demands other format of your file and we need to convert the file to some specified type. Usually doing this would require downloading a conversion software even if it is just for that one file. Now file conversion, encoding, transcoding is possible directly in the cloud. Your file gets converted into the required format and is sent to its final location in just a few clicks.

Zencoder []


Launched in 2010, Zencoder is a cloud based audio and video encoding service. It converts any audio or video into mobile and web compatible playback formats for the device you need to support. By using Zencoder you dont not need to maintain your own transcoding engine. Its API is used to create encoding jobs by sending HTTP Post request along with video attributes and API Key. By signing up for a Test account you can try out Zencoder for free and see if it meets your needs. Your videos need to be accessible in the cloud. 99% of the video codecs used today are supported by Zencoder. It is used by some very popular enterprises like AOL Network, Github, KhanAcademy, etc.

CloudConvert []


CloudConvert as its tag line goes converts ‘anything to anything’. You simply upload your files by dragging onto browser to the cloud, choose the format you want to convert it and the service converts it and sends it to the location of your choice (Dropbox or Google Drive). You can also provide url of the file if it is already available online. All the conversion takes place in the cloud and there is no need to install any software on your computer. It is currently in its beta state and supports over a hundred audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet and presentation formats. CloudConvert is also a very secure service as all your files are deleted after conversion and transfer to the desired location. And best part is The Cloud Convert API allows you to integrate it with your own application and use its conversion services.

Cloud based Video Editing Tools

Video editing tool is usually proprietary with high cost and have to be bought or downloaded. If some of them are free than even you have to first download and install it on your device. Video editing tools in the cloud allows users to edit videos without downloading or buying specialized software. Of course not all of them are free but hey at least all the editing is done in the browser, making it easy, quick and convenient.

WeVideo []

WeVideo easily connects to DropBox, Google Drive and other cloud storage tools to get the raw footage required to edit your videos. This is a major plus point as the alternative would be to upload hours of footage which, with a slow internet connection would be nothing short of painful. WeVideo’s user interface offers you a timeline on which you can do your editing which helps letting you know when and what will appear on your final video. You can add or trim clips, use soundtracks from their library with just a couple of clicks. One of WeVideos key features is that it allows collaboration. You can invite friends to help with your project. They can add footage or work on different edits based on the same footage.

Once done WeVideo can directly upload your videos to YouTube or other web services. It saves you the trouble of having to download the video and then upload it yourself. It is also available in Play Store for your Android Smartphone.

Here is Pro Tip! You can use this for preparing short video of your choice by using free account and after publishing the video you will see there is a banner in the end of the video. Download video to local computer and crop the last 3-5 seconds using any simple video cutter tool. This is how you can get completely personal video with so much less hassle without paying a penny.

Cloud Gaming Services

Streaming video and music to TVs, PCs and tablets using cloud services like Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and Spotify has become the predominant way to enjoy content for connected devices. The convenience of large cloud-managed libraries of content with stream-anywhere capability is impossible to resist. Now with revolutionary cloud gaming technology, you’ll soon be able to stream video games from the web just like any other streaming media. Cloud based gaming is becoming a trending phenomenon with the cloud becoming a means to offer state of the art gaming services.

OnLive Games []

OnLive Games were the first to demonstrate cloud gaming.  OnLive’s computers run high end games, and then stream the video output of the gameplay to you, wherever you are, on whatever device you choose. Your actions are sent back to the cloud computers in a fraction of a second to give you complete control. Most devices capable of streaming video over the Internet are able to play our games instantly, without downloading the game, and without expensive hardware.

Onlive Cloudlift service

The game ‘Crysis 3’ was played on a low end laptop located several miles away from the server. Now using OnLive’s client users have access to all the games in their store and can stream and play any one of them. The company almost shut down recently because no one was signing up for the paid scheme when there were free 30 minutes demos to take advantage of. Now with new management in place it is said they are slowing recovering.

Cloud Data Backup

Backing up your data is one of the most important services that cloud based applications have to offer. Regularly creating backups of their data is also something the most people put till it too late which is why many cloud services offer automatic backup and sync services.

ZipCloud []

ZipCloud is simple and effective cloud based backup tool. Once installed it knows which files and folders it has to backup and the user doesn’t have to bother with any additional measures. ZipCloud will automatically sync up your computer to a schedule of your choice without you having to do anything. It is completely automated and offers unlimited storage space. Files are encrypted so privacy is not an issue. With separate business and personal deals it is tailor made to each user’s requirements. In business tier from your central administrative control panel you can oversee how your business not only backs up its files, but you can give your employees the chance to share and collaborate on projects seamlessly. It also has support for mobile operating systems like, iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

MiMedia []

Currently in beta state, MiMedia is one such Backup Service that has one of the biggest and best free online backup plans. Once uploaded, you can access and share files, music videos from anywhere. MiMedia offers a free 7GB+ of space. If required you can easily upgrade and get more. MiMedia stores your data in Tier-1 data centers and uses highly reliable and secure server architecture so that data loss is nearly impossible. The MiMedia backup client runs in the background and ensures real time data syncing, omitting the need for scheduling backups. It also has shuttle Drive service for Premium users in which it sends an encrypted hard drive in the mail. Once you fill it up your files backup automatically and you can send it back the same box.

Technology Gadgets Made Out of LEGO Bricks

Technology is all about creating advancements in any subject.  The fact that people can create these devices out of LEGO parts is even more amazing.  This means that this popular building toy is being used as a real-world modeling tool.

Potentially everyone has the opportunity to become an inventor.  The best part is that you don’t have to work out some of the more tedious aspects of designing.  The base materials that are found in LEGO bricks have worked out things like precise measurements and the ability to make a consistent model.

It is one thing to make something that works.  However, it is ten times more useful to be able to duplicate the gadget with ease.  The following builders all are pushing the envelope of what’s possible.



The beginning of moving pictures started with things like the zoetrope.  Chad Mealey wanted to see if this technology could be applied to a LEGO creation.  The concept is that a number of frames are shown in quick succession.  This tricks the human eye into thinking that you are seeing movement.  Chad based his twelve frame motorized version on the Muybridge photos of a running horse.

Ludwig Piano


Normally music is for those with the ability to hear.  However, there is a concept known as induced synesthesia that attempts to engage other senses to enable the experience of music by the hearing impaired.  Vimal Patel has developed a LEGO piano that displays lights along with the sound.  This increased form of stimulus is meant to expand people’s enjoyment when played.



Not many would think to make a device that could in turn make more pieces to build with.  Jan Holthusen is not most people.  His creation is a 3-D printer that can make objects.  To do this, it requires a pliable material to work with.  In this case, hot glue is melted and then ejected for the printing process.  With this gadget, Jan has the capability to make some unique designs.  Granted, they’d be made out of hot glue, but the end result is astounding.

LEGO Printer


Not everyone has the need for a 3-D model.  You are more likely to print something out on paper.  Danilowille uses the various robotic options from LEGO Mindstorms to create a LEGO printer.  Practically the only thing not made from LEGO bricks is the pen and paper it uses to write with.

LEGO Ball Clock


Many people are familiar with the various ball contraptions fans have made with LEGO bricks.  This is a slight variation of that process.  JK Brickworks has created a specific type of clock he had as a child.  The clock features three rows.  Depending on where balls are on each row will tell you what time it is.  The bottom row is hours, the middle row is ten minutes, and the top row is single minutes.  As a row fills up, it deposits a ball into the row below before emptying into the reservoir, thus giving you the time in a quasi digital fashion.


Carlo Pandian is an adult fan of LEGO and freelance writer, and his dream is to become a Master Model Builder at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston. When he’s not online, Carlo loves to learn new things such as Arduino and DIY design.

Legotrope No 3 Horses
 Ludwig Piano
 Lego printer
 LEGO Ball Clock

How to: Automate things online with IFTTT


If you’re not familiar, IFTTT is a service that allows you to connect other services together to perform automated actions. It stands for “if this then that” and revolves around only this statement. It is completely free to use and allows user to create task according to personal preferences but if you are lazy enough then you can browse around and find what you could have done manually in Browse section of Recipes. The statement of if this event occurred than do this is generally known as Recipe in IFTTT. Enough of talking and let’s see what this thing is capable of:

Say you want an email notification whenever it is going to rain in your city automatically then what you need to do is:

  • Register yourself at IFTTT and navigate to Browse section.
  • Type “Its going to rain tomorrow, send email” in Search box.


  • Result will list down many prebuild recipes, select one of them.
  • It will ask for your email id and your location, click “Use Recipe”. That’s it!

In the above method not only you can email but also send SMS or notification to your iOS device. This is how you can use recipes but some of them will require configuration like:

Say you want to update your twitter profile picture whenever you update Facebook profile picture then:


  • Search for similar recipe, let us do this for you, and you will be prompted to activate channel before you can use it.
  • Click on Activate and enter your credentials, Facebook and Twitter will ask you to authorize this application to access content and profile. Do it.


  • Once you do this for both of them click “Use Recipe”. Isn’t this super easy?

Let’s do some more productive task but this time we will create our own Recipe. Yeah, in just 5 minutes we are doing this like a professional. Say you want an email notification every time there is a new post on Softnuke.

  • Click on “Create” in navigation and a page with “ifthisthanthat” will appear.
  • Select “this”, many Trigger channel will list down. Right now we need RSS Feed as a trigger and a Mail Channel to post the update.


  • Choose “Feed” and it will ask for type of event, select “New feed item”.
  • Input RSS Feed Url “//” without inverted quotes and create trigger.
  • Now it will ask for what to do once the event is occurred, click “that”.
  • Select “Mail” to send mail to your registered email id.


  • It will ask for further option, modify it if you want and create trigger and then create recipe.

It is easier than it looks really. There are hundreds of combination you can achieve, some of good combination could be:


Learn to use YouTube like never before

YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, is the single most popular video collection on the internet with over a hundred hour of video being uploaded every minute. It was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. But despite its international popularity most users are unaware of its full potential. This is where your rest of the day is spent after Facebook and twitter. Here are bunch of must know shortcuts, features on YouTube to help you get the most out your video experience.


Mind boggling addictiveness of YouTubeTV: Google Leanback 


Introduced under the popular title Leanback, it’s simple – TV on the internet featuring not only premium content from studios and networks but also homemade content from across the globe. You can watch YouTube on your TV without searching. It really feels like you are channel surfing — and it’s fast. The feature uses your profile and viewership data to create an endless stream of content tailored to your tastes.


It is created keeping in mind user comfort and visual aid. The elegant and user friendly design can be accessed on the internet TV’s tablets and other mobile devices to provide seamless access to YouTube content. YouTubeTV allows you to “leanback” and access content recommended for you or browse through various categories such as Comedy, Politics or simply try the Trends. The feature is best viewed on larger screens with a valid YouTube profile. The intention is to position YouTubeTV as a reasonable alternative to normal television viewing.


Discover Music 



It is really hard to find good music with this overflowing internet storage that’s why for those of us who love using YouTube as a music source, Disco offers a neat way to make automatic playlists for our favorite bands, artists and performers. Just enter the name, click “Disco!” and YouTube will take you to a top 100 playlist of songs. They will crank up your mood while you do rest of your computer stuff.


Learn how to search!

Yeah, you have read it right. I am going to teach you how to search. I know most of you are doing this on internet even before learning how to ride a bicycle. YouTube is big, really big. With over six billion hours of content streaming every month, it’s hard to sometimes find what you want. Using YouTube’s search engine can only get you so far and it helps to know a few tricks that can make the process more effective.

  • Add the “allintitle:” tag before entering any search term. So if you’re looking for the Google Nexus videos, simply input “allintitle: Google Nexus”.
  • If you want to exclude specific terms from the results use the excluding tag. E.g. if you want to get all Nexus videos without Samsung in the title input “allintitle: Nexus -Samsung”.
  • If you’re looking for specific channel then all you need to add the word “channel” next to the keyword. E.g. “Nexus channel” for all Nexus related channels.
  • To find new or recently released videos add the words “today”, “this week”, “this month” after the keyword.
  • For pulling up videos in high definition add “HD” to your keyword.
  • You can also directly search for playlists. E.g. “Coldplay playlist”.
  • Full length videos by adding “long”.
  • And if you wish you can combine variations of these tags to search term. E.g. “Coldplay, long, HD, this week”.


Keyboard Shortcuts

If you are one of those guys, like me, who are lazy enough to even extend your hand to reach mouse than give these keyboard shortcuts a try. YouTube also has built in keyboard shortcuts that can not only save time but make it easier to work with videos. Most people know that the “spacebar” on their keyboard can be used to play/pause videos. Other intuitive buttons are:

  • Left/Right arrow button to rewind and fast-forward 5 seconds at a time
  • Up/Down to increase and decrease volume
  • The Home/End button to jump to the start and end of the video, respectively.
  • The number buttons of the keyboard take you to the 10 percent point of the video i.e. pushing 5 takes you to the 50 percent point and 8 takes to the 80 percent point.


Quick tip: One third party app to watch videos with friends simultaneously in synched, try “Sync-Video” (

WowWee – MiP: Tiny Robot with dance moves

This was introduced at CES 2014, which took place recently in Las Vegas, MiP is basically a very well balanced robot, a Bluetooth-controlled balancing two-wheeler with gesture sense technology and an app controlled environment. Like us humans, this robot from WowWee has been given a chirpy personality, offering endless fun, i.e. gameplay, dancing, balancing acts, etc. Developed at the University of California, MiP can be easily controlled using your Android or iOS device with the help of an application available on these platforms. In addition, you can control this robot using hand and object movements.

In the box there’s an attachable tray, which allows MiP to carry objects around while still balancing upright, and it can even support the weight of another MiP. If you’ve got a group then they can be linked into a coordinated dance mode, keeping in time with each other like small, glowing line-dancers.
If you’re feeling competitive and have more than one MiP in the room you can enter battle mode to box each other, using the app, until one loses its balance.

MiP, which stands for Mobile Inverted Pendulum is actually the product of a collaboration between WowWee and the Coordinated Robotics Lab at the University of California, San Diego. The result of that partnership is a few nifty innovations that, technology-wise, lift the little robot above other recent robot entries like RoboMe (also from WowWee) and Zoomer the robotic dog.

The black and white body, round head and emoticon eyes is quite different. It stands roughly 7-inches tall and has no feet. The base instead features two large wheels. The torso includes a mode light and two pose-able arms. This robot has useless appendages and arms simply serve no purpose. You can’t even pose them to hold MiPs tray — MiP has a slot on its chest for that.


First of all MiP can, without human intervention, balance and move quite effectively on those two wheels. Give MiP a push and it will right itself. The two-wheel locomotion makes MiP highly maneuverable. It’s also incredibly easy to connect MiP to your mobile phone via the free app.

When connected to your smartphone, MiP’s chest glows green. The app doesn’t look like much, but once connected to MiP, it gives you impressive control over the robot. Using two thumb-driven virtual joysticks, one to control direction and the other speed (as well as whether it’s traveling forward or backward), Then you will be able to maneuver MiP around obstacles with ease — it can responded smoothly to the slightest thumb movement.


MiP is not the best toy robot, but it may have the most potential. If WowWee continues working with the researchers and adding features to this app, we may soon discover that MiP has a whole new set of capabilities. Is the battery-powered robot worth $99.99? It’s a bit more expensive than Zoomer, but the technology inside may be more sophisticated. Plus, you get that app. On the other hand, MiP does need work. Its autonomous modes are confusing and somewhat disappointing. It can only stack if you drive and those arms are an embarrassment.

Final Conclusion


  • The self-balancing technology is impressive.
  • The remote-control app is spare, yet easy to use and makes driving MiP a breeze.
  • It really can balance and carry a load.
  • Epic synchronized dance.


  • Modes are not engaging.
  • Arms are useless.
  • Needs more polishing.

XBOX ONE vs. PS4: Who won the battle?


The great debate of our time, it could be a destroyer of friendships or a sponsor of new. This is what makes boys out of men. It doesn’t get any better than this, does it? Loyal fans will have already made their choice, while open-minded gamers might very well pick up both systems. But no matter your preference, there’s nothing quite as stimulating as a (hopefully civil) argument over who to claim as the victor.


Based on AMD Jaguar APUs, there’s a very thin dividing line between the graphical quality of games. However, there’s no doubt that on paper the PS4 has a slightly better GPU than the Xbox One’s. PS4 also provides removable hard drive which should be at least 160GB.



  • PS: 8GB GDDR5


  • XBOX: 8 Core Microsoft custom CPU
  • PS4: Single-chip x86 AMD “Jaguar” processor, 8 cores

Peak GPU Shader Throughput:

  • XBOX: 1.31 TeraFLOPS/s
  • PS: 1.84 TeraFLOPS/s


PlayStation fans like their parallel analog sticks just the way it is; while the Xbox controller’s diagonally distant analog sticks work as well, if not better. Both the Xbox One controller and the DualShock 4 are incredibly comfortable, treating you right even after marathon gaming sessions.



The Xbox One’s impulse triggers and PS4’s touchpad both leave a lot of room for interesting growth, whenever developers decide how they want to incorporate them into their games. When it comes to either system’s input devices, there’s very little to complain about.

  • XBOX: Xbox One Wireless Controller(included) [Batteries: Rechargeable (built-in)]
  • PS4: DualShock 4 (included) [Batteries: AA (2). Rechargeable battery packs (sold separately)]

Motion Controllers

Nothing to debate here. Microsoft’s Kinect wipes the floor with PlayStation’s Move controllers. When Microsoft released Kinect, it ended up surprising itself and selling over 8 million units in the first 60 days of its release. It still holds the Guinness Book record for the fastest selling consumer electronics device.

Exclusive game titles


It’s still early days in the lives of these spiffy new “next-gen” consoles, but the Xbox One has clearly stolen a march on the PS4, in terms of exclusive game titles on offer for their respective fans and what’s due to come in the next few months. While Sony’s failed to announce any new exclusive game for the PS4, Xbox One fans are eagerly awaiting Titanfall – an exclusive that’s giving gamers all over a wet dream. Some exclusive titles:

  • XBOX: Dead Rising 3, FORZA motorsport 5, Titanfall, Halo 5
  • PS4: Killzone: Shadowfall, Infamous: Second Son, Uncharted 4

Backward compatibility

Due to the 7-8 year long wait before Sony and Microsoft decided to refresh their respective consoles, gamers on either side of the chasm are facing the prospect of having their beloved gamer’s collection being reduced to nothing but dead plastic. Totally outrageous, of course! But try selling that to Xbox fans – which is what Microsoft did, in a way by declearing that the Xbox One won’t be compatible with X360 games, despite promises of a cloud feature to enable the same.

Neither Xbox One nor PS4 will play previous generation games. That means you’ll need to keep your Xbox 360 and PS3 in order to replay Halo 4 and Uncharted 3. Same with Sony and the PS4, a Real bummer!

Remote play And Sharing

This is one feature that both Xbox One and PS4 deploy, but where SmartGlass only works as a companion app- similar to PlayStation’s app for smartphones and tablets – the PS4 has the added bonus of beaming a live game onto a PS Vita. This is a cool differentiator.

The fact that you can easily stream your gameplay from a PS4 gives it the edge, letting you share your experiences with the world in real-time. The Xbox One’s sharing functionality in the Upload Studio is impressive, with the ability to add voice-over to your videos and easily access them from a computer. But when it comes to showing off your gaming accomplishments to your friends, the PS4 comes out on top.

Online network

Purely concentrating on gaming content the Xbox Live online service had an early advantage over Sony’s PSN. But Sony’s ramped up PSN with PlayStation Plus subscription with a ton of games on offer – for free. PSN offers game trials, automatic demo downloads, including exclusive downloadable content, store discounts and early access to PSN games.

Indie games

Sony got out in front by supporting independent game developers, attracting names like Supergiant Games, Red Barrels Studio, and Young Horses at the time of its E3 press conference.


At first, Microsoft maintained that Xbox One games would require be fronted by a publisher. That changed recently when the company is announcing that not only would it allow self-publishing but also every console acts as a development kit.A free dev kit sounds appealing, especially when PS4 developer kits cost thousands of dollars.

Sony has the indie developer crowd right now, but such pricey technology for tomorrow’s basement-run teams could decrease the company’s indie following over time.


  • XBOX: WIfi – Direct, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5Ghz)
  • PS: Bluetooth 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi

Power Supply

  • XBOX: External (power brick)
  • PS: Internal


The new PS4 is our pick; it is slightly better centered around gamers than the Xbox One. But then again Microsoft console you get the potential of more than just games console, but an entertainment hub. The ultimate choice, as always, is yours.


Top reasons to pick a PS4

  • It’s much smaller than an Xbox One
  • It doesn’t have a separate power brick
  • It already has iPlayer
  • It’s a bit cheaper
  • The PS4 is more powerful
  • Remote Play for Vita is awesome
  • PS Plus’s free games plan is great
  • The PS4 controller is better

uTorrent Remote: Control torrent remotely

uTorrent is a pretty popular BitTorrent client for computers. With the remote app, you can control the activity of your file sharing on the move. You can check progress of your current downloads, stop or resume them. You can even add new downloads remotely. This is ease the pain of accessing target machine again and again.

What is uTorrent Remote?

According to, “μTorrent (uTorrent) Remote is a remote control that lets you access μTorrent running on your home computer– from anywhere on the internet, including most mobile phones and tablets.”


So how it is done?

First of all, you need to open Preferences in uTorrent on target machine, click on ‘Remote‘, and enable remote access by checking “Enable uTorrent Remote Access”. Give your computer a name and associated password and you’re ready to go. Now put these credentials in uTorrent Remote app to start using in Real Time!


Unfortunately, there isn’t an app for iOS but they have a mobile-friendly website which can let iPhone and iPad users have the same functionality as the apps for other platforms. You can even create a shortcut on your home screen by opening the page in Safari and clicking the “Add to home screen” button in the Share menu. Link for remote uTorrent can be found here:

The uTorrent Remote interface is very user friendly and how it works will be clear to anyone who uses uTorrent. It’s not quite as polished as the desktop apps, but it is almost as complete, letting you do pretty much anything you can do on your computer. Just remember that to use it, your computer needs to be on and uTorrent needs to be running.

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Windows

Play Store link:

How to: Install Windows on Mac via Boot Camp

A Mac is built for compatibility, supporting all industry standards; Mac OS X is almost fully compatible to windows. For those for whom even this isn’t enough, there is Boot Camp. Boot Camp is a utility included in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard onwards that allows you to dual boot Microsoft Windows with Mac OS X. It guides you through easy re-partitioning for windows, assists you by installing a boot loader so that you can choose the OS to boot into at the time of startup, and adds a Boot Camp control to the Microsoft windows control panel so that these settings can be modified from there also.

Here is how to go about dual booting Windows on your Mac. Go to Application/Utilities from your task bar and run the Boot Camp Assistant over there. It is a simple wizard like interface that takes you through the following processes.


1. Creating a partition on your hard disk for Windows: Allowing for nondestructive re-partitioning of your hard disk (without losing any data), this menu comes with three options, you can choose to use a 32 GB partition for Windows, split the hard disk 50-50 between Windows and Mac OS, or manually choose a size. When manually choosing a size, remember to make the Windows partition at least 5 GB in size, while the partition with Mac OS currently installed in it should at least have 5 GB left free. If you have multiple internal hard disks, it is advisable to keep your Windows partition on a different disk.


2. Start Installing Windows: Once partitioning is done, you will be back to the main Boot Camp menu, from where you have to select “Start the Windows Installer”. Follow the menu until you are asked to insert your Windows disk. Soon your computer will restart and boot from the Windows DVD.

(Note that if you are attempting to install Windows XP, it has to be SP2. You cannot install a basic Windows XP and attempt to upgrade to SP2 later.)


3. Choosing your partition: Follow the simple on screen instructions until you arrive at the choose partition menu.

You need to be careful doing this step. Select only the partition labeled – Partition* <BOOTCAMP> (where * is a number such as 1,2,3). Only one partition will have a name in that format. Choosing any other partition might wipe out your Mac OSX along with all your data from your computer. If you are installing Windows 7, the partition will appear as Disk * Partition * BOOTCAMP.


4. Formatting your Partition: Now you will be asked if you want this drive to be FAT or NTFS, i.e. to choose its file system. Windows 7 requires NTFS, so it will by default format your partition as NTFS without asking you. Also if the partition is 32 GB or more in size, it has to be NTFS. However, if the disk is made NTFS, it will be read only (you cannot modify files or write new ones) while running Mac OS X. So make your choice wisely.


5. Installing Drivers: Your Mac OS X CD that came with your Mac also contains windows drivers and Boot Camp components to ensure flawless functioning of windows on your system. To install these drivers, once you are logged into Windows, (after the whole installation process is over), insert he Mac OS X DVD. If auto run is disabled, you will have to open the drive in my computer and run setup.exe manually for drivers.



Otherwise, it will start automatically. The setup will install drivers for all your built in Mac components. However, some external add on peripherals such as external iSight webcams might not be supported this way. You are advised to go to the Apple web site for these drivers. Your computer might need to restart few times.


6. Setting up your default start up: Thanks to the Boot Camp control panel installed in your Windows control panel, this can be done from both Windows and Mac OS X. In Mac, go to System Preferences > start up disk (found either on the dock or using finder). In the menu that shows up, you can choose your default operating system. In Windows, this can be done using Control Panel > Boot Camp Control Panel. This menu also offers you the unique feature of using your computer as a target disk. To do this, select the disk of choice, Windows or Mac OS X and click target disk mode.

Once your computer restarts, you may use its fire wire port to connect it to any other computer and use it as an external hard disk. This may be done in extreme cases for data recovery or restoration.

You can also quickly boot into Mac OS X while using windows by right clicking the Boot Camp system tray icon and choosing restart in Mac OS X.

An alternative is Vmware Fusion. It also has many of the popular features such as support for Boot Camp. However, many of the seamless virtualization features such as coherence are missing.


Note: Before installing Boot Camp, always back up important data. “Precaution is better than cure.”


How to check if two PCs are connected in a network

So you are trying to establish a network between two computers and you have no idea whether they are setup correctly. To check if the connection is able to send and receive data, windows have a inbuilt service through which we can check the connectivity by sending and receiving some bytes of data from your pc to target computer.

If you have wired them through switch or router, you should always first check the LED on  Ethernet port. That LED should be blinking in most of the cases but if it’s not then you might have not connected them properly.

Follow these simple steps to check even if they are connected wirelessly:

1)      Get the IP of target machine.

2)      Open Command Prompt, by hitting (Windows+R) key and then typing cmd. Windows key is placed besides ALT key or you can go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.


Request timed out because of connection errors.

3)      Once the Command prompt is open, type “ping <ip address of target machine>”. For example :


Connected successfully! For the sake of example i am pinging to my myself.

It will start sending some packets to the machine , if the response is received it means your connection is working fine. But if request timed out then there might be some problem.