USB access is something that can affect your computer in a variety of ways. Whether you’re protecting your computer against viruses or malware, or you don’t want anybody to have the ability to copy files onto a USB memory stick, you will need to restrict the access to the USB ports on your system. Setting this up will give your computer the security it needs and keep your data safe.
Click “Start” and select “Run.”
Type “regedit” into the box and press “Enter.”
Look for “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor.”
Select the “USBSTOR” entry.
Right-click on the “Start” file on the right and select “Modify.” Change the value to “4” to deny access to the USB ports.
The Run command on Microsoft Windows operating system allows you to directly open an application or document with just a single command instead of navigating to it’s location and double-clicking the executable icon. However, it only works for some of the inbuilt Windows programs such as Command prompt (cmd), Calculator (calc) etc.
So, have you ever wondered how to create your own customized Run commands for accessing your favorite programs, files and folders? Well, read on to find out the answer.
Creating the Customized Run Command:
Let me take up an example of how to create a customized run command for opening the Internet explorer. Once you create this command, you should be able to open the Internet explorer just by typing ie in the Run dialog box. Here is how you can do that.
Right-click on your Desktop and select New -> Shortcut.
You will see a “Create Shortcut” Dialog box as shown below
Click on “Browse”, navigate to: Program Files -> Mozilla Firefox from your Root drive (usually C:\) and select “firefox” as shown in the above figure and click on “OK”.
Now click on “Next” and type any name for your shortcut. You can choose any name as per your choice; this will be your customized “Run command”. In this case I name my shortcut as “ff“. Click on “Finish”.
You will see a shortcut named ff on your desktop. All you need to do is just copy this shortcut and paste it in your Windows folder (usually “C:\Windows\”). Once you have copied the shortcut onto your Windows folder, you can delete the one on your Desktop.
That’s it! From now on, just open the Run dialog box(Win+R), type ff and hit Enter to open the Mozilla Firefox.
In this way you can create customized Run commands for any program of your choice. Say ie for Internet Explorer, gt for Google Talk, vlc for VLC media player and so on.
To do this, when you click on “Browse” in the Step-3, just select the target program’s main executable (.exe) file which will usually be located in the C:\Program Files folder. Give a simple and short name for this shortcut as per your choice and copy the shortcut file onto the Windows folder as usual. Now just type this short name in the Run dialog box to open the program.
The latest version of Google’s mobile OS makes a number of evolutionary improvements to its already impressive repertoire — including a new quick settings menu that can be accessed from the notification pull down and support for multiple user profiles. The multiple user support is especially handy for tablets like the new Nexus 10, which are much more likely to be shared, and now offer quick and easy user switching right from the lock screen. If you don’t want to share your tablet, just what’s on it, the new support for Miracast makes will allow you to wirelessly beam movies, games or anything else to a compatible display. The 10-inch tablet UI has also received a slight tweak, moving closer to the design for phones and the Nexus 7, with centered navigation buttons and the notification area up top. It might seem strange for users used to the Honeycomb-style tablet layout, but the new design is much simpler and provides a consistent experience across devices.
Google has also overhauled the photo experience and added Photo Sphere — a 360-degree panoramic shooting mode that captures everything around you. Obviously, you’ll be able to post those shots to Google+, but you’ll also be able to add them to Google Maps, basically creating your own personal Street View. Interestingly, Google has also taken a page from Swype’s playbook, adding “Gesture Typing” to its keyboard. There’s also a new screensaver called Daydream that offers up news, photos and other content when a device is docked or idle.
Perhaps the biggest, and creepiest improvements are to Google Now, which can monitor your Gmail for relevant content such as flight numbers. Hotel and restaurant reservations are now presented as cards, as are packages enroute to your humble abode. The service will even remind you of events you’ve purchased tickets for, essentially making Calendar redundant for a lot of your personal life. For more info check out the source links.
Fast and smooth
We put Android under a microscope, making everything feel fast, fluid, and smooth. With buttery graphics and silky transitions, moving between home screens and switching between apps is effortless, like turning pages in a book.
More reactive and uniform touch responses mean you can almost feel the pixels beneath as your finger moves across the screen. Jelly Bean makes your Android device even more responsive by boosting your device’s CPU instantly when you touch the screen, and turns it down when you don’t need it to improve battery life.
Beam photos and videos
With Android Beam on Jelly Bean you can now easily share your photos and videos with just a simple tap, in addition to sharing contacts, web pages, YouTube videos, directions, and apps. Just touch two NFC-enabled Android devices back-to-back, then tap to beam whatever’s on the screen to your friend.
A smarter keyboard, now with Gesture Typing
Writing messages on the go is easier than ever with Gesture Typing – just glide your finger over the letters you want to type, and lift after each word. You don’t have to worry about spaces because they’re added automatically for you.
The keyboard can anticipate and predict the next word, so you can finish entire sentences just by selecting suggested words. Power through your messages like never before.
Android’s dictionaries are now more accurate and relevant. With improved speech-to-text capabilities, voice typing on Android is even better. It works even when you don’t have a data connection, so you can type with your voice everywhere you go.
Would you buy a new phone just because of Jelly Bean 4.2 ? – No.
One of the great things about Android, is that it has a flexibility – especially with regard to the file system – that you don’t get on iOS. It is, for example, perfectly possible to drag and drop video and music files over USB on to the SD card or internal storage of your phone. The problem comes when playing those files back. For music, the Android player is fine; for video you might want something more.
The video player that comes built in with your Google Android device is pretty limited to say the least. If you want to get the most out of your Android device then we strongly recommend downloading a new video player. With the MX Video Player you can unlock a whole host of new codecs/video files for your Android and it won’t cost you a penny.
Before we get any further, you should know that nothing in life is truly free and, alas, the MX Video Player is no different, it comes with banner adverts. They won’t interfere with your video playback, but whenever you’re lining up a video or fiddling with the volume or zoom, then you will see the little banner ads. But it’s a ‘free’ and much better video player at the end of the day, so it’s a pretty fair compromise.
Possibly the best thing about the MX Video Player is that if app doesn’t recognise the the codec of the video you are trying to play, it will give you a link directly to where you can download the correct codec. For there it’s a painfully simple two clicks and MX Video Player has downloaded and saved a new codec for you Android device. Whenever we flummoxed it with a codec that wasn’t installed, we were able to download and instal the new codecs via the app in roughly 30-seconds. A very impressive feature!
It seems the whole idea behind the MX Video Player is that it puts you in control. Presets become a thing of the past, and if you ask me, that’s a good thing. That you could throw almost any video file at it without having to bother with codecs and trans-coding on the PC, is the clincher.
With your favorite Google Apps, an amazing Photo Sphere camera, cutting edge hardware, and access to your favorite entertainment on Google Play – Nexus 4 puts the best of Google in the palm of your hand.
Google’s Nexus (ten points to anyone who can tell us if Nexi is the correct plural) smartphones have always set the standard when it comes to a pure Google experience.
The first Nexus One was a true geek device. Sold only through Google directly (apart from a brief flirtation with Vodafone), it never achieved massive sales. But it gave the world the true raw power of Android without the bloatware of other variants. As of January 2010, the ball was well and truly rolling.
We’ve had several now – and everyone, it seems, had a go: HTC, Samsung, Asus and LG – though strangely, not Motorola, which is now part of Google itself.
The design of the LG-made Nexus 4 is very much an iteration of the Galaxy Nexus. That is, you kind of can’t tell the two apart if they’re sitting next to one another on a table. It’s when you get closer that you begin to notice the differences — and there are many significant differences.
For starters, the device is made mostly from glass. Gorilla Glass. The screen is coated smoothly from edge to edge, and it almost feels like the glass is melted over the sides. Google’s head of user experience Matias Duarte claimed that the curved sides helped swiping left or right on the phone, and much to my surprise, it did seem to make things easier to shuffle around near the edges of the screen. The back is flat glass with a holographic stipple pattern which you can’t always see, but looks playfully futuristic in the right light. The two glass surfaces are joined by a soft touch band which wraps around the entire device, giving it a solid, weighty feel in your hand.
Performance and Battery Life
Google says the Nexus 4 is the fastest phone around right now. Whether that’s true or not, I can say that performance and responsiveness on the device is second to none. It’s a very speedy phone that barely ever hesitated or failed to respond to my touches or commands. In particular, multitasking between a number of applications was no issue for the phone, buoyed up — I presume — by that generous 2GB of RAM.
Battery life was also top notch. I’m used to getting just about a day of use on my Galaxy Nexus (that’s taking it off of the charger around 8AM or 9AM, and putting it back on around 2AM). Some days it doesn’t quite make it that long, depending on my workload. The Nexus 4 fared much better. At the time of this writing, I’ve had it off of its charger for 10 hours and 30 minutes and it’s still got 45 percent battery life. Yesterday before I plugged it in, I’d had it off the charger for 16 hours, with 18 percent of its juice left. To say it’s holding up for full work days would be an understatement; even with heavy use, this battery more than pulls its weight.
Specifications and Display
Inside, the Nexus 4 shines with an impressive set of specs. The phone’s beating heart is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked to 1.5GHz, which Google says makes this the fastest phone on the planet. I’m not sure that’s an empirical fact, but the device was extremely snappy. It also houses a healthy 2GB of RAM, and is available in an 8GB or or 16GB version (I tested the 16GB version). There’s no SD slot here, so you’re stuck with a relatively small amount of onboard storage, especially on the cheapest version. There’s also a non-removable 2100 mAh battery inside.
You’ll find the typical compliment of Wi-Fi radios here (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and interestingly, built-in support for Google’s newest accessory, a wireless charging dock that looks a lot like the Palm Touchstone. One thing you won’t find, however, is LTE. The device comes equipped with HSPA+ radios, which will work just fine on T-Mobile or AT&T here in the States, and on the majority of carriers in Europe and the rest of the world. There are no plans at the moment for any other variations of the phone that I know of.
If you’re not familiar with SwiftKey, it’s a Google Play Editors’ Choice app, and it won the coveted Most Innovative App award at the 2011 Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, Spain. What sets it apart from other keyboard replacement apps is its capability to understand not just patterns in your typing, but also how words work together. This makes it scary good at predicting not only the next letter you need to type, but also the next word, sometimes even before you begin typing it. What’s more, Swiftkey can continue to learn from your e-mail, SMS, and even social media accounts (if enabled), so it gets noticeably better at making predictions as you use it.
More than just a new set of keys, though, SwiftKey offers a full set of tools to improve the efficiency of your typing. Under the settings menu, you’ll find a list of quick tips and typing statistics where you can see how many keystrokes SwiftKey has saved you, how many typos it’s corrected, and more. Plus, there’s a nifty “heatmap” that shows how accurately you type and on which keys you tend to make mistakes. You can even share these statistics via Android’s share menu, if you like, though this feature is probably more useful to SwiftKey’s marketing team than it is to you. Lastly, you can customize the keyboard for your typing style, change the color scheme, and even adjust key height to suit your tapping needs.
The newest version of SwiftKey comes with an improved UI, a larger spacebar (thank goodness) and a smart punctuation function that rolls out punctuation choices when you hold down the period key. These tweaks, while they may seem minor, help significantly to reduce errors and speed up your typing. There are also two new themes — “Cobalt” and “Holo” — so you can customize the look of the keyboard to your liking.
Also, SwiftKey now offers Smart Space, an almost magical technology that understands when you accidentally omit or otherwise screw up spaces in your typing. With Smart Space, you can actually tap out an entire sentence without spaces, and have the Smart Space technology correct you as you go.
Between the phone and tablet versions of SwiftKey, most of the features are the same. Both support dozens of languages and offer the same customization options. The tablet version, though, does let you switch between a normal keyboard and a split keyboard when in landscape mode. This split keyboard pushes the letters close to the edges of your tablet (by putting the number pad in the middle of the screen), which lets you more easily type out words with only your thumbs.
Overall, I can’t recommend SwiftKey highly enough. With all its customization options and its scary-smart technology, it can help improve your typing accuracy considerably, which is worth the premium price. Plus, its predictions will certainly help with your speed. If you’re still not convinced, you can, of course, try the free version (phone | tablet) for up to one month, before making your decision.
You can restrict access to a hard drive in Windows 7 for other user accounts in the same computer. This is useful if you have files on a hard drive that you do not want anyone else to access. Only specified user or Administrator will be able to access these. You can also change other settings, such as only allowing a user to view a file and not change it.
Steps to Follow :
Log on to your computer with an account with Administrator rights. Click “Start,” type “user” (without quotes) in the automatically selected “Search programs and files” search box and click “User Accounts.” Click “Manage another account.”
Click “Create a new account,” if you need to create a user account for other people that will be using the computer. If you already have another account set up, go to the next step. You need to have at least your user account and another one set up to restrict access to a drive. Type a name for the user and click “Create Account.”
Click “Start” and “Computer.” Right-click the name of the hard drive you want to restrict access to. Click “Properties.”
Click the “Security tab” in the “Properties” window that opened. Click “Edit…” and “Add…” in the “Select Users or Groups” window that opened.
Type the name of the other user account on your computer or you can click “Advanced” and then “Find Now”, then select your user account. Click “OK.” Uncheck the boxes to the left of any options that you do not want the user to have available. Check the “Deny” box for “Full control” to disable all control from the user for files on the hard drive.
Click “OK,” “Yes” and “OK.” Close any open windows. Click “Start,” log off of your account and log on as the other user to test your settings.
Click “Start,” “Computer” and double-click the name of the hard drive you restricted access to. A window indicating that “Access is denied” is shown. Close the window and log off the computer.
This appears to be the defining question informing the direction of developer Treyarch’s latest, Call of Duty: Black Ops II. While large portions of the design conform to the tenets established by prior iterations of the franchise, the unparalleled wealth of gameplay options and brilliant twists on the formula have shaped Black Ops II into the most ambitious and exciting Call of Duty ever made. It occasionally feels like the team might have strayed into territory they’re not quite masters of, but significant tweaks to the multiplayer loadout system, as well as the realization of player agency in the campaign, make this far more than “just another Call of Duty.” This is an evolution.
The campaign narrative jumps between various characters’ perspectives and also in time. The Cold War-era missions follows characters such as Alex Mason and Sgt. Frank Woods from the first Black
An entry into the blockbuster first-person shooter franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops II brings players back into the shadows for another Black Ops mission assignment. Ops, while the 2025 missions follow Alex’s son, David. All of these soldiers’ fates are intertwined with the villain, Raul Menendez, and his organization Cordis Die. Menendez is the sort of villain you just can’t seem to kill and, consequently, who knows how to hold a grudge. Thing is, he’s not your typical, “I’m evil cause I do bad things,” bad guy. Menendez is a tragic character, a product of imperialist nations’ meddling during the Cold War and a survivor of some truly traumatic experiences.
The story successfully casts Menendez in a light where I’m still not sure how I feel about him. At times I wanted him dead, while at others I felt like he had a right to want revenge. Hell, I even vacillate between agreeing with his end goals. Like the film Inglourious Basterds, Black Ops II becomes less about you and the “good” guys, and more about the motivations and perspective of the villain. The very fact that I’m still thinking about how the story played out — something unprecedented in a Call of Duty campaign — is a testament to the strength of the writing.
A great narrative already makes Black Ops II stand out in the pantheon of Call of Duty campaigns, but where it really sets itself apart is the addition of player choice and consequence. Moments and devices that would otherwise seem irrelevant — like whether you find all of the intel in a level or choose to shoot someone — can come back to haunt you, hurt you or help you. Failing objectives might result in new or more challenging missions rather than a restart screen. It’s a brilliant riff on the traditional Call of Duty campaign design, and, combined with the additional cutscenes that flesh out the story, creates a narrative worth replaying just to see the wildly different moments and endings. Most importantly, choice makes you apart of what you play; it’s not just a story, it’s your story. I may not have found the ending of my first playthrough satisfying because terrible things happened, but I appreciated that it was a direct byproduct of my actions.
You can also see some variance in the available strike missions, which are a new type of campaign level. These stages put you in a squad of soldiers and drones, and then let you choose which asset to control at any given time. Defending installations against enemy assault, escorting a convoy, and rescuing a hostage are some of the endeavors you might undertake. Though you have a team at your command, strike missions are still all about you gunning down foes. Your AI allies are only good at slightly hindering your enemies, so you end up doing the heavy lifting yourself, often while tracking activity on multiple fronts and hopping around to deal with advancing enemies. Having to consider the bigger picture is a nice change of pace for a series that has mostly involved just shooting what’s in front of you, and these missions are a welcome shot in the arm for the familiar campaign pacing.
Of course, familiar as it may be, that pacing is still great. The campaign ebbs and flows as you move through a variety of diverse, detailed environments using an array of powerful weaponry to dispatch your foes, occasionally hopping into a jet or on to a horse for a short jaunt, or manning a missile turret to tame a swarm of hostile drones. A few neat gadgets and surprising gameplay moments satisfy the novelty quotient, but you still get the lingering feeling that you’ve done this all before. The new strike missions, dramatic decision points, and memorable villain help keep this concern at bay, however, and this fiesty, enjoyable romp is more enticing to replay than other recent Call of Duty campaigns.
Black Ops II’s competitive multiplayer has seen some changes as well, notably in the way you equip yourself before going into battle. The COD points system from Black Ops has been ditched in favor of a new token system that still affords you some control over the order in which you unlock new weapons and gear. The more interesting change is the new loadout system, which gives you ten points to play with and assigns a single point to every element of your loadout (guns, attachments, perks, lethal and tactical items). It offers a bit of flexibility if, say, you don’t use a sidearm much but could really use an extra perk, and the new wild cards allow some limited creativity. Put one of these in your loadout, and you can go into battle with two well-equipped primary weapons, or you can load up on perks and bring just a knife and your wits.
Great campaign scripting
Story choices are often tough and encourage replay
League play offers a new stage for the familiar multiplayer combat.
Zombies mode is stagnant
New codcasting tool is hamstrung.
The team at Treyarch could have played it safe and Black Ops II would have sold well, but instead they challenged assumptions and pushed the series forward in awesome new directions. It’ll be hard to return to a campaign where I don’t have the ability to shape it, and I simply can’t imagine going back to the old loadout system now that Pick 10 exists. Combined with the host of subtle and overt improvements to the array of other systems, the additions to make it more appealing to Esports, and the more fleshed out Zombies mode, this is not just a fantastic Call of Duty game, but one of the best shooters of the last decade.
For the past couple of months, apart from the scams, what’s also making news is the issue of mobile phone tower radiation. Recently new radiation norms were adopted by India and the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had set September 1 as the deadline for the telecom operators to adhere to them. As per the new norms, the operators were mandated to reduce the radiation levels by 1/10th of the current levels, thus making it 0.9 watt/m2. Furthermore, it was announced that operators who are found flouting these rules would be heavily penalised.
While many welcomed this news, the critics were quick to point out that even this was not safe. There has been an ongoing debate about whether the radiation being emitted from the mobile phone towers can be a cause of cancer. The answer to this question is a tricky one as the scientific data available to date doesn’t clearly state whether or not radiation emitted from the mobile phone towers can cause cancer. Even the WHO report terms it a probable factor. Government officials as well as the operators are using the lack of proper scientific evidence as a defensive shield to fend off critics.
Even with the absence of scientific data to determine their role, there are many who are convinced that these towers are indeed death traps. And their belief is backed by the instances that have been witnessed in the country, be it the Kaiswal family from Jaipur where three family members were detected with cancer after installation of mobile phone towers five metres away from their house, or the Usha Kiran building in Mumbai that cited three cases of brain tumour that were attributed to the mobile phone towers installed on the rooftop of an adjacent building. While some may shrug these off as mere coincidences, several housing societies have now come forward to protest against these towers.
According to an estimate, currently there are around five lakh mobile phone towers in India. And today, thanks to the ever increasing popularity of mobile phones, it’s imperative for the operators to install towers to provide coverage. This will further increase their number in the future. With lack of conclusive evidence about their safety or even their role in causing cancer, the common man is at crossroads, especially those living around these towers.
We spoke to industry authorities, medical experts and researchers to find answers to the question that’s on everyone’s mind – are these really towers of death?
The matter of radiation
India has adopted the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Board (ICNIRP) norms for the telecom sector, which are considered to be the best in the world. Recently, the radiation levels were further reduced by 1/10th of the current levels as a precautionary measure. Speaking on the matter, Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said, “The Inter Ministerial Committee, as a precautionary measure, recommended that the standards be further lowered to 1/10th of the present ICNIRP standards, despite there being no scientific evidence stating any increased health benefit from the proposed directive, the industry has gone an extra mile to ensure compliance with the same. The base station/mobile tower is essentially responsible for the signals, coverage and the quality of service in the location it is installed. As per the mandate for coverage in Unified Access Service License (UASL) given by DoT, the clause 34.2 states: ‘Coverage of a DHQ/town would mean that at least 90% of the area bounded by the Municipal limits should get the required street as well as in-building coverage.’ Therefore, while making any changes in the RF planning, operators have to ensure that they are in compliance to the Quality of Service requirements as mandated by license and regulatory conditions. The Operators have worked under very tight deadlines to re-align their networks to provide desired QoS and coverage while bringing down the emissions levels and 95% of all towers owned by our members are fully compliant to the new. The industry is putting in serious efforts to achieve the same even in case of remaining five percent of towers after resolving minor operational issues.”
While the telecom operators seem happy to have done their bidding by agreeing to abide by the latest norms, there are many who believe that the radiation norms need to be reduced further. Most vocal amongst them is Prof. Girish Kumar, Electrical Engineering Department, IIT Bombay. He has conducted extensive research in the field and has presented his findings to DoT, but his suggestions have so far been ignored. He opines that the current radiation levels, even after being reduced, are high and can cause health troubles in the long run. Having himself experienced the ill effects of radiation owing to the nature of his work, he warns others of the ill effects. He is quite critical when voicing his opinion. He says, “I have met with industry bodies and even government officials with my research. Earlier I used to think that these people were not knowledgeable, so I thought let me make them aware about the health problems, but now I know better. They are akin to the cigarette industry and are waiting for millions of people to die. They will keep denying that there are any health problems. Now they have stopped saying that there is no evidence, what they are saying instead is that there are no concrete evidence.”
He goes on to elaborate, “What is happening right now is that they are transmitting huge amount of power from one rooftop, as each carrier frequency can transmit upto 20 watt of power and there may be 3-4 operators on one rooftop. This means that the total transmitted power may be 200 to 400W. And why are they transmitting more power? The answer is simple, because they can cover several kilometres. Now what’s happening is that people who are living within few hundred meters get very high radiation. Ideally, they should reduce the transmitted power and from one place it shouldn’t be more than 1-2 watts, but if they do so then their range will reduce and they will have to put up either more towers or repeater or a booster.” When we asked COAI, as to whether the current reduction in the levels of radiation impacted the network coverage, we were informed that it would be some time before the impact on the coverage and the signal strength could be ascertained. But the operators would ensure that there is no dearth in the Quality of Service offered to the consumers to the maximum possible extent.
A few years ago, Prof. Kumar even developed an instrument to study the radiation levels, using which he has surveyed several areas and found the radiation levels to be high. He also developed radiation shield, first for himself and then established a company to sell it commercially. His harsh criticism of the telcos and the government is often countered with accusations of wanting to promote his own commercial interest. Clearing the air he says, “Being an entrepreneur myself, I understand that no one will want to run their business at a loss. If telecos were to reduce the radiations levels even further, then they will have to invest in more towers to strengthen the network coverage. So I even provided them with the solution, where by increasing the call rate per minute by just say 5 paise, they could be profitable in couple of years.” He goes on to add that if the telcos reduced the radiation to safe levels, then it was his company that would be at a loss, as people wouldn’t need shielding solutions.
But with cut-throat competition, it’s highly unlikely that the telcos would want to risk increasing prices. Anuj Jain, a telecom engineer who is in agreement with Prof. Kumar on most parts, especially about the need to further reduce the radiation levels in the country, believes that the telecos would not want to increase prices. Anuj is a resident of South Mumbai and his house faces one of the mobile phone towers. He became concerned about this when his wife was expecting, because as a telecom engineer, he was only too aware of the effects of radiation, especially on pregnant women and young children. He says, “We have a cell phone tower that faces our bedroom and the antenna are at the same level as our flat. I was concerned about the effects of radiation on my wife and our baby and that’s what prompted me to start looking for solutions. I knew there needs to be a policy change, but my concern was in the mean time what should a common man do?” He found the answer in the form of radiation curtains, which contain precious metals and help absorb radiation.
Anuj also conducts radiation audits and spreads awareness about the effects of radiation. He says, “Having conducted radiation audits in and around the area I live, I can say that the situation is quite grave. Today the towers are everywhere. I have been constantly working with people to create awareness. I am a committee member in my own building and we ourselves have a tower on our building. But ours is the tallest building in the vicinity and having a tower on our building lessens the risk, then having the tower on the building adjacent to us. So if your building has a lot of sight and no building around it can get affected then that is the ideal spot.” Housing societies earn money from allowing the installation of mobile phone towers on their roofs, but there is a growing amount of dissent with many groups of housing societies protesting against the installation of these towers.
While at present the radiation levels have been dropped by 1/10th and it’s being claimed that the majority of the operators have complied with the norms, it’s very difficult to ascertain the truth. To address the growing concerns of the people, DoT recently launched a public helpline and web portal for the Mumbai Telecom Circle, where complaints against radiation emitted from mobile towers can be registered. It can be accessed from the DoT website, under the link “Public Grievance – EMF Radiation”. The Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), the technical wing of the Ministry of Communications, has a test procedure for the measurement of exposure levels and their Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) cell will then conduct an audit of the site. You will have to pay Rs. 4,000 and if the site is found to be non-compliant to the norms, then the amount will be refunded. Do mobile phone towers cause cancer?
Mobile phones work on electromagnetic radiation technology. The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation is large with varying frequencies and amplitude across the spectrum (for instance – radio that you listen to is also a form of electromagnetic radiation with different frequency and amplitude). The highest end of the spectrum is called ionising radiation and is used for therapeutic radiation to treat cancer, while the lower end of the spectrum is known as radio frequency (RF waves). Just next step to the radio frequency waves are the microwave waves. Mobile phone technology uses this microwave end of the spectrum, which is roughly about 300 MegaHertz and falls in the non-ionising category. Similarly, radiations emitted by mobile phone towers lie in the non-ionising part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
In many ways, the iPad Mini is the perfect iPad for a first-time buyer. All the apps you want to use on the full-size iPad are available on the Mini – and this cannot be overlooked. The iPad has by far the greatest wealth of quality apps of any tablet, and they are typically far more than stretched out iPhone apps. This is by far the greatest asset of the iPad Mini, and for many it will warrant Apple’s higher asking price.
All of the standard iPad button and switch placement is intact here, save for the move of the speaker grille to the bottom of the device (it’s been around back for iPads previous to this version), along with the new Lightning port. And that’s a good-sounding set of stereo speakers, by the way. You’ll find separate volume buttons on the right side beneath the mute / rotation lock toggle, and the power / sleep button on the top, just as expected. The front of the device is all glass, save for an HD camera in the center of the top bezel (as you hold it in portrait) and the home button on the bottom. There’s also a 5-megapixel camera on the back.
Though the iPad mini sports a slightly larger display than other devices in this class, its profile feels extremely lean. Sometimes too lean. The device weighs just 0.68 pounds, and it’s only 0.28 inches thick (noticeably thinner than the Nexus 7’s 0.41 inches or Fire HD’s 0.4 inches). I actually had a little trouble holding onto the device when I wasn’t using the Smart Cover due to the back being as smooth as it is, and the frame being so thin. Maybe it’s just my big hands, but I wanted a little more to grab onto. In that regard, I prefer the feel of the Nexus 7.
Much has been made about the display on the iPad mini. The IPS screen measures 7.9 inches diagonally, and is 1024 x 768 in resolution. For those keeping count, it’s the same resolution as the original iPad. That makes for a pixel density of 163 ppi, which as you might guess doesn’t seem too terrific next to devices like the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD (each 216 ppi), Nook Color HD (243 ppi), or the big daddy 4th generation iPad (264 ppi). It’s also much lower in pixel density than pretty much any smartphone on the market right now.
But how does it look? Well for starters, it’s a really good looking display in general terms. Apple is using the same treatment here as it does on the iPhone 5 and iPad, and it makes for a crystal-clear screen that seems to hover just a tiny bit beneath glass. Colors are vibrant and blacks are deep, and games, photos, and video look terrific.
That’s only half the story, however. There’s no question that to the naked eye this screen does look lower in resolution than its nearest competition. Pixels are noticeable, especially in webpages, books, and when viewing email — and that can be distracting sometimes. Since Apple is the company that’s gotten our eyes used to the hey-look-no-pixels trick of the Retina display, it’s hard to take a step back and not notice. I don’t think the lower resolution is a deal-breaker in this product, but it is a compromise you have to be aware of. It simply doesn’t look as clear as other products on the market.
The most popular accessory for the iPad mini will be the new Smart Cover that, despite being both smaller and of considerably simpler construction, still costs the same $39 as the bigger, 10-inch version. That’s a little unfortunate, especially because we don’t think this version works as well. There is one positive change: the smaller Smart Cover moves away from the aluminum hinge on the bigger version, a good thing because we’ve seen plenty of scratches caused by that metal-on-metal contact.
It’s still attached magnetically, but where the 10-inch model will immediately snap into the perfect placement every time, we found the mini cover just as eager to attach either too high or too low. It requires a little more precision. Hardly a deal-breaker (how often are you removing your Smart Cover?) but a bit of an annoyance.
Specs and cameras
Inside the mini, you’ll find specs essentially identical to the iPad 2, save for a few alterations. The system is built atop the two-generations-old A5 CPU, appears to sport a dangerously tiny 512MB of RAM, and ships in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage capacities (I tested the 64GB, Wi-Fi-only version). All the requisite radios are here too: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, and eventually you’ll be able to buy a version with CDMA, GSM, and LTE cellular options. As you would expect, a light sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope are here as well. It really is a mini version of the iPad 2, except for the cameras, which are significantly improved.
As you may know, I’m not a fan of people taking photos with tablets. Just as with previous models I’ve tested, I find the act to be not only awkward, but embarrassing as well. The slightly more diminutive size of the iPad mini does make the experience slightly better, and its 5 megapixel backside camera is actually not terrible for general shots. In fact, its color tone and low light performance was better than what I’ve seen on many newer smartphones. It was sometimes difficult to get a clean image due to shakiness, but that has more to do with the odd physicality of taking a photo with a tablet than it does with the actual camera.
The front-facing FaceTime HD camera is fine for video chatting (and I think is a lot more comfortable than chatting with the full size iPad), but won’t be useful for anything more than that.
While most technology enthusiasts would be better suited with a full-size iPad with Retina Display (starting at $170 more) or a cheaper 7″ tablet, the iPad Mini is sure to fill a niche for many. Its smaller form factor makes it ideal for traveling and daily commutes, and its construction feels almost inarguably better than any of its competitors.
If your interest is piqued but your tech speck checklist is not fulfilled, wait a year. The iPad Mini 2 is sure to pack all the features you could hope for and by then we’ll have even more compelling options (not to mention bustling app stores) from Google, Amazon, and maybe even Microsoft.
The iPad mini hasn’t wrapped up the “cheapest tablet” market by any stretch of the imagination. But the “best small tablet” market? Consider it captured.