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Archive for 'Tech News'


About a month ago, I was convinced by someone at a cell phone kiosk to port my number to Google Voice. He reminded me about all the features that I already knew exited with GV, but he also mentioned that I can also take it to other carriers, this is what I found appealing. So I figured what hell, why not and went ahead and ported my number to GV. About 3 days later, I realized how much of a pain it is to use my GV as my primary number, I especially didnt like the fact that 3rd party text messaging apps werent showing my contact names! So I decided to port my number BACK to my cell phone carrier, which was T-Mobile. After waiting out the normal wait process, which is about 3 days before the number becomes active on your phone, I discovered that my old number was still not active! I was able to make phone calls on the temporary number but people werent able to text me or call me on my old number, but it showed that my number that was ported in was active in their system. So I figured I’d call up T-mobile and find out what the problem was. Nobody knew what the problem was and all kept giving silly suggestions such as restarting phone, factory reset, troubleshooting the phone itself! I found this to be silly being a Computer Science major. One even said what I was experiencing was dual number mode, which means having two numbers active on my phone, and told me that I should wait 4 more days, note that it had already been 3 weeks since my number was ported in, so I waited….. and nothing. After realizing that calling customer support was useless, I did a google search and found that literally 100’s of other people had the exact same problem and not one single solution existed!! I couldnt believe this! So I took matters in my own hands and decided to troubleshoot this issue on my own, being that I am a Computer Science major with a Masters in Software Engineering. After much thought, I finally had the idea of switching to a different SIM card and BAM it worked! I suddenly was able to get texts, phone calls as normal and the temporary number suddenly stopped working.  I am posting this in hopes that others will find this solution and so that they do not have to go through the headache I went through to port my number from Google Voice without any issues. To sum it up, if you have any issues what so ever in porting your number from Google voice to another carrier, just get a new SIM or if you’re using a CDMA phone, ask your carrier to reset your number on your device or ask them to switch your number to another CDMA phone and switch it back. With that said, see my guide below that will show you how to port your number out of google voice the RIGHT way:

NOTE: First and foremost, do not port your number out of google voice without following these instructions!! This will only delay the porting process.

1. You need to first unlock your number from your Google Voice account, if you do not, the number port will fail and your carrier will try endlessly to port your number in and not know why the port is not going through. You can unlock your number here:

2. Next, wait a day or several hours after unlocking your number in GV to be on the safe side, then call up your carrier request that your number be ported in.

3. Once the port is successful, you may experience the same issues I encountered which is not being able to receive any phone calls or texts. If this happens, simply request that they switch your number to another SIM card or if you’re on CDMA try switching your number to another CDMA phone or ask that they reset your number on their end.

Good luck!


I’ve summarized key testing techniques that are most used in Quality Assurance:

  • Black box testing : You don’t need to know the internal design in detail or have a good knowledge about the code for this test. It’s mainly based on functionality and specifications, requirements.
  • White box testing : This test is based on detailed knowledged of the internal design and code. Tests are performed for specific code statements and coding styles.
  • Unit testing : The most micro scale of testing to test specific functions or code modules. Typically done by the programmer and not by testers, as it requires detailed knowledge of the internal program design and code. Not always easily done unless the application has a well-designed architecture with tight code, may require developing test driver modules or test harnesses.
  • Integration testing : Testing of combined parts of an application to determine if they function together correctly. It can be any type of application which has several independent sub applications, modules.
  • Functional testing : Black box type testing to test the functional requirements of an application. Typically done by software testers but software programmers should also check if their code works before releasing it.
  • System testing : Black box type testing that is based on overall requirements specifications. Covers all combined parts of a system.
  • Sanity testing or smoke testing : An initial testing effort to determine if a new sw version is performing well enough to start for a major software testing. For example, if the new software is crashing frequently or corrupting databases then it is not a good idea to start testing before all these problems are solved first.
  • Regression testing : Re-testing after software is updated to fix some problems. The challenge might be to determine what needs to be tested, and all the interactions of the functions, especially near the end of the sofware cycle. Automated testing can be useful for this type of testing.
  • Acceptance testing : This is the final testing done based on the agrements with the customer.
  • Load / stress / performance testing : Testing an application under heavy loads. Such as simulating a very heavy traffic condition in a voice or data network, or a web site to determine at what point the system start causing problems or fails.
  • Usability testing : Testing to determine how user friendly the application is. It depends on the end user or customer. User interviews, surveys, video recording of user sessions, and other techniques can be used. Programmers and testers are usually not appropriate as usability testers.
  • Install / Uninstall / Upgrade testing : Testing of full, partial, or upgrade install / uninstall processes.
  • Security testing : Testing to determine how well the system protects itself against unauthorized internal or external access and intentional damage. May require sophisticated testing techniques.
  • Compatability testing : Testing how well software performs in different environments. Particular hardware, software, operating system, network environment etc. Like testing a web site in different browsers and browser versions.
  • Ad-hoc testing : Similar to exploratory testing, but often taken to mean that the testers have significant understanding of the software before testing it.
  • Alpha testing : Testing of an application when development is nearing completion. Minor design changes may still be made as a result of such testing. Typically done by end users or others, not by programmers or testers.
  • Beta testing : Testing when development and testing are essentially completed and final bugs and problems need to be found before final release. Typically done by end users or others, not by programmers or testers.

For a more complete list on different types of testing techniques relating to QA, visit this site.


Below are several questions that are answered regarding Quality Assurance:

What is Quality Assurance ?

Quality Assurance makes sure the project will be completed based on the previously agreed specifications, standards and functionality required without defects and possible problems. It monitors and tries to improve the development process from the beginning of the project to ensure this. It is oriented to “prevention”.

When should QA testing start in a project ? Why?

QA is involved in the project from the beginning. This helps the teams communicate and understand the problems and concerns, also gives time to set up the testing environment and configuration. On the other hand, actual testing starts after the test plans are written, reviewed and approved based on the design documentation.

What is Software Testing ?

Software testing is oriented to “detection”. It’s examining a system or an application under controlled conditions. It’s intentionally making things go wrong when they should not and things happen when they should not.

What is Software Quality ?

Quality software is reasonably bug free, delivered on time and within budget, meets requirements and/or expectations, and is maintainable.

What is Software Verification and Validation ?

Verification is preventing mechanism to detect possible failures before the testing begin. It involves reviews, meetings, evaluating documents, plans, code, inspections, specifications etc. Validation occurs after verification and it’s the actual testing to find defects against the functionality or the specifications.

What is Test Plan ?

Test Plan is a document that describes the objectives, scope, approach and focus of a software testing effort.

What is Test Case ?

A test case is a document that describes an input, action or event and an expected response, to determine if a feature of an application is working correctly. A test case should contain particulars such as test case identifier, test case name, objective, test conditions/setup, input data requirements, steps and expected results.

What is Good Software Coding ?

Good code is code that works according to the requirements, bug free, readable, expandable in the future and easily maintainable.

What is a Good Design ?

In good design, the overall structure is clear, understandable, easily modifiable and maintainable. Works correctly when implemented and functionality can be traced back to customer and end user requirements.

Who is a Good Test Engineer ?

Good test engineer has the ability to think the unthinkable, has the test to break attitute, strong desire to quality and attention to detail.

What is Software Life Cycle ?

The Software Life Cycle begins when an application is first conceived and ends when it is no longer in use. It includes aspects such as initial concept, requirements analysis, functional design, internal design, documentation planning, test planning, coding, document preparation, integration, testing, maintenance, updates, retesting, phase-out and other aspects.

What are the benefits of Automated Testing ?

It’s very valuable for long term and on going projects. You can automize some or all of the tests which needs to be run from time to time repeatedly or diffucult to test manually. It saves time and effort, makes testing possible out of working hours and nights. They can be used by different people and many times in the future. By this way, you also standardize the testing process and you can depend on the results.

Read more here

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Next Generation Cloud Phones

You’ve been using email for a while now, so you know how it works. You know that you don’t need a computer dedicated to your email service in order to check in or send messages. All you need is a computer, any ol’ computer, with Internet access. You just visit your account provider, like Gmail or Yahoo, log into your account and then read, send or receive messages.

Well, a U.K.-based company called Movirtu has created a mobile phone solution that works something like email. Users log into their accounts, where they can read or send text messages, listen to voicemail, make or receive calls.

Who would use such a service? Two groups, mainly. People living below the poverty level, who can’t afford even the cheapest mobile phones, and RIchie Riches, who have two or three phones stashed in their briefcases.

First, about those living in poverty. According to the World Bank, 4 billion people live on less than $2 per day. Many of those people are living in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Their lives could be greatly enhanced socially and economically with access to a mobile phone. That immediately puts them in touch with families, healthcare services or potential employers, without having to travel many miles from their rural villages.

However, buying a phone, even some of the cheap, refurbished ones that come in from China and sell for about $25 each, is way outside the means of most poor families. Not only are these phones expensive, but they don’t last long either. According to Nigel Waller, founder and CEO of Movirtu — and who spoke at the PopTech session today called “Cloud Computing for Good” — these refurbished phones only last about three months before they’re junk.

Waller thinks he has a better idea based on cloud computing, the common phenomenon of storing information and data on the Internet — that is, computer servers and hard drives located in far off places — and accessing it through a Web application. Think of email or Google docs. That’s cloud computing.

Movirtu’s concept is similar, only it involves phone services, like text messaging, voicemail and calls. To participate, a user obtains a card that gives her a unique phone number in a local phone network, and access to the network using a login and password. To make or receive calls, she obtains access to a phone, which she can do by paying a very small fee to a phone vendor in her rural village or borrows it from a friend. The lender gets credits for airtime minutes.

Phone in hand, the caller enters her unique login and password and immediately can make and receive calls and has private access to voicemails and text messages, which have been stored on an external computer system.

Since the person can’t always have the phone in hand 24/7, she can nominate a friend or family member who has a personal phone to receive notifications on her behalf.

Continue reading the full article here

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The sleepy suburban neighborhood in Bogota, N.J., looked safe when Michael pulled up to meet the man who had offered to buy his MacBook after seeing an ad on Craigslist. And everything seemed perfectly normal when the buyer walked up to his car and began counting out cash.

But then a second man appeared seemingly out of nowhere and shoved a shotgun in Michael’s face.

“It was pretty terrifying,” said Michael, who let the pair take the computer from his trunk, then watched them run off into the night. “I thought they were going to take the car.”

The robbery is just one example of a disturbing new kind of theft that blends cybercrime with the physical dangers of real crime.  Across the country, Craigslist users who agree to meetings in seemingly safe places are being robbed at gunpoint, pistol-whipped and, in at least one case, murdered.  In Chicago, police call it “robbery by appointment.”

Just last week, the city of Oakland, Calif., issued a wide-ranging warning about Craigslist-related car sales. A gang there has progressed from one theft per week to one per day, stealing thousands of dollars from victims using ads on Craigslist to lure them into meetings. The police now have an entire investigative team dedicated to tracking them down.

“They are getting more blatant and violent,” said Oakland police spokeswoman Holly Joshi. “The last (victim) got pretty beat up.  Right now it’s a top priority for us.”

Craigslist robbers appear to be much more sophisticated than the criminals that Web users routinely encounter.  Their ads are indistinguishable from normal for sale items, Joshi said. They return phone calls using local phone numbers; they offer to meet in public places, foiling much of the “safe surfing” advice that’s been given for years.

Among the more disturbing elements of the crimes: Many are taking place in broad daylight or early evening hours, and in what seem to be safe neighborhoods.

“Meeting in a public place really is not good enough,” Joshi warned. She said most crimes there are occurring between 2 and 6 p.m. “Residential areas can be relatively isolated during the day.”

That’s what happened to Michael, who asked that his last name be withheld.  He met his suspects in a nice neighborhood in Bogata, about 10 miles west of New York City, only a few blocks from the police station — but the block itself was quiet and empty during the incident.

Nothing seemed unusual about the transaction until the gun appeared, Michael said. But in retrospect, he thinks he should have been surprised that the buyers didn’t make any attempts to negotiate the price with him.

“They were just very concerned with setting up a meeting,” he said.  “That was the only thing that was strange.”

Michael got off easy, losing only his used computer.  A scan of incidents around the country show much more dire consequences for some other Craigslist users.

In Raleigh, N.C., a man’s car was sprayed with bullets by Craigslist robbers earlier last year, while a woman in Newport Beach, Calif., was pistol whipped during an alleged bicycle sale. There have been a string of dirt-bike related Craigslist robberies in Ohio, and just before Christmas, an Ohio man was shot in the jaw during one incident. In Stafford, Va., criminals allegedly selling deep-discounted iPhones brazenly invited consumers to meet them on the steps of the county courthouse. And in Sarasota, Fla., police issued a warning on New Year’s Eve after a similar string of iPhone-related armed robberies.

The most dramatic Craigslist appointment robbery occurred last year in rural Pierce County in Washington state, when four suspects allegedly  went to a home with robbery plans in response to a diamond ring offered for sale on the site. After a violent exchange, police say, homeowner James Sanders was shot and killed while his wife and child looked on.  All four suspects are now in custody awaiting trial.

Craigslist robberies are so common that Trench Reynolds, who hosts an anti-Craigslist site named, chronicles them in a “robbery” category.

Reynolds said robberies that originate with a Craigslist contact have remained fairly constant during the past several years, but are only now attracting media attention.

“They don’t always result in someone getting shot in the face like in Ohio, but they are fairly frequent,” he said.

The Perfect Crime?
In some ways, a robbery arranged on Craigslist is the perfect crime. Whether the mark is buying or selling the item, he or she arrives at a meeting with either a wad of cash or something valuable. Such meetings often involve the disclosure of much personal information, including phone numbers and home addresses. A clever robber may even persuade the potential victim  to disclose tidbits like work schedules or number of adults in the household at a given time.  And while most consumers are now appropriately skeptical of e-mail from criminals, many let their guard down when a person-to-person meeting is arranged, experts said.

In addition, many users mistakenly believe it’s safe to meet buyers or sellers in their homes — which provide no safety if three or four thugs arrive armed with weapons.

“I tell people, invite them to meet you at the police station. We’re open 24 hours. If they won’t do that, then don’t bother with them,” said Bogota police Sgt. Robert Piterski, who is investigating the robbery of Michael’s MacBook. “But many people just don’t get it, don’t realize how dangerous this can be.”

Increased use of Craigslist for robberies may simply represent the coming-of-age of a generation of criminals who grew up using the Internet, so-called “Digital Natives” using familiar tools to commit crimes.  After a string of incidents in Chicago, police Detective Joseph McGuire said the crime occurs“where a thug meets a white-collar education.”

Continue reading this article here


Reverse-Engineering the Nexus S

If you’re anything like me, Google’s big Android announcement earlier this month was big news for a couple of reasons: Gingerbread, and, almost more importantly, the fabled Nexus S. Why this is important news to you may differ from me, though.

I see the phone itself as nothing special, really. I already have a Galaxy S (Captivate), so I already own the same basic hardware. The same thing that makes it nothing special is also what makes it so exciting, though. The various folks that build custom ROMs for these devices are also very excited–so much so that they’ve already rooted the Nexus S. I’m hoping with every fiber of my being that this means we’ll soon see a custom ROM for Gingerbread on my Captivate. (I currently use Designgear’s Perception Build 7.UGJK3.)

The excitement is almost palpable. One look over at one of the various threads on XDA Forums shows you what I mean. To bring home the point, here’s an update I just got via Twitter regarding Android 2.3 already running on a Droid Eris. Before things get too crazy, though, let me explain my original point.

If you bought a Galaxy S phone (on whatever carrier), what you got was Android 2.1 on a fast and beautiful device. Android 2.2 was a huge upgrade, and Samsung made sure to tease about how Froyo was coming “soon”. Months later (in the Captivate’s case) there’s no Froyo to be seen, and the Galaxy S line shipped with a couple of hot issues (GPS was broken, for starters) that Samsung was extremely slow to deal with. It left many customers feeling like Samsung didn’t care about them.

Couple that with phone carriers and their draconian usage contracts and you get some serious resentment from the very customers you live on. For good measure, Samsung released the phone with Touchwiz, an iPhone looking UI for Android that doesn’t even rate against other carriers own bloated UIs (Sense, Motoblur). Just a bad scene.

Until now. The Nexus S has almost the exact same hardware as in other Galaxy S series phones, except it has a front facing camera and an NFC chip. With the Nexus S getting updates as frequently as the Nexus 1 does, there’s very little stopping devs from porting those updates immediately to the Galaxy S line. And that will mean fresh, clean Gingerbread without Touchwiz for everyone and Android updates hot off the wire; I mean, everyone willing to root their devices and install custom ROMs. But, considering how long Galaxy S users have had to wait for a single update to their smartphones, don’t you think at this point customers will be rooting in droves?

I do. I wonder if Samsung had in mind that this new-fangled “Google phone” collaboration might free their customer base to choose vanilla out of the box Android instead of their vision of it. I sincerely hope Google did.

What do you think? Excited yet? Would you root your Galaxy S and run a custom ROM in order to get the latest and greatest Google has to offer through Android on your existing Galaxy S smartphone? Let me know in the comments!



Finally a method to actually get free Microsoft points. Bing recently launched a reward system that allows you to redeem points you earn simply by using their Bing toolbar, you can then redeem these points at the reward center where you can pick from a list of tons free stuff and one of them being 100 Microsoft points. Signing up earns you 250 reward Bing points which also translates into 200 Microsoft points!! How cool is that? And earning points is easy, all you do is click the links in the offers section of the tool bar and you already have another 100 Microsoft Points! That totals 300 Microsoft Points just for singing up. Of course Microsoft being Microsoft, one of the ways you can earn points is if you make Bing your default search provider, and each day you keep Bing as your default search provider the more points you earn.

I usually am not an advocate about Microsoft’s sneaky tactics but who can resist free Microsoft Points?? You can download the Bing toolbar here.


Officials in West Vancouver, Canada, apparently aren’t satisfied with the driver-slowing properties of traditional speed bumps. On Tuesday, the town unveiled a new way to persuade motorists to ease off the gas pedal in the vicinity of the École Pauline Johnson Elementary School: a 2-D image of a child playing, creating the illusion that the approaching driver will soon blast into a child.

According to Discover magazine, the pavement painting appears to rise up as the driver gets closer to it, reaching full 3-D realism at around 100 feet: “Its designers created the image to give drivers who travel at the street’s recommended 18 miles per hour (30 km per hour) enough time to stop before hitting Pavement Patty — acknowledging the spectacle before they continue to safely roll over her.”

You have to wonder if the designers of the “speed bump of the future” considered that drivers might become conditioned to disregard Pavement Patty and her imaginary cohorts, creating something similar to a “boy who cried wolf” effect. Couldn’t such conditioning reduce drivers’ caution if a real child should cross their path?

[What is an optical illusion? How does it work?]

Asked whether confusing and/or tricking drivers with such images might create such unintended hazards, David Dunne of the British Columbia Automobile Association Traffic Safety Foundation said that pedestrians need to be just as alert as drivers.

“People tune out. It takes an attitude shift for people to change,” Dunne said. “Pedestrians need an attitude shift too. They have to realize that just because they are in a crosswalk doesn’t mean they are safe. In fact, most get hit while using crosswalks.”

[Related: What your child’s teacher won’t tell you]

As for drivers who become can’t process optical illusions, Dunne argued that they have no business on the road in the first place.

“It’s a static image,” he said. “If a driver can’t respond to this appropriately, that person shouldn’t be driving, and that’s a whole different problem.”

Original story can be found here

As more and more new technologies emerge, companies will always try and find a way to profit from the unsuspecting consumer. Perhaps the most recent ridicules invention was the 3D TV for your home. It was a great idea to add 3D technology in the Movies but now for your home? If you think about it, the idea of a 3D TV is quite silly. You have to wear a pair of 3D glasses just to watch TV? and what kind of long-term effects will this have on your vision? What about people with glasses, I would imagine that having a second pair of glasses over your eyes would cause some extreme discomfort over time.  All these questions have been ignored by TV manufacturers and should be addressed. With that said, on to 5 reasons why I think 3D TV’s will not last and why YOU shouldn’t get one:  
  1. 3D Glasses are expensive. 3D glasses can cost consumers anywhere between $150 –$ 200 bucks per-pair, a pair of Samsung 3D glasses go for $200 bucks at There are no universal 3D glasses as of yet, as each one is unique to the TV you purchased. However, according to a CNET article, a company called XpanD hopes to create a universal pair of glasses, most likely major companies will not like this idea and probably do their best to make their 3D TV incompatible with them.  On top of 3D glasses being expensive, they also require batteries. Yes you have to put batteries in your glasses! Meaning that you will have to replace the batteries depending on how much you use them. Sony 3D glasses can last up to 100 hours whereas Samsung batteries can last up to 400 hours with rechargeable batteries and even less time with non-rechargeable batteries.
  2. 3D Glasses are inconvenient. Let’s face it people are lazy and most people hate looking for the remote and now they have to look for their 3D glasses too. Let’s picture a real world scenario on average working consumer. You’re working all day and you are looking forward to come home and enjoy that amazing 3D TV you just bought a couple weeks ago. You come home and can’t find the 3D glasses, then after spending 10 minutes you finally find your 3D glasses, great. You put them on and realize that the batteries are dead because you’re not the only person who uses them, doh!  Now what? If you were lucky enough your 3D glasses have the option of rechargeable batteries, if not then you have to wait until the next day to get batteries, if you do not have any on hand already. Or if you’re TV supports it, some 3D  TVs have different 3D modes and one of them being that you can use the simple red and blue 3D glasses without the battery powered capabilities, but of course you will not get the most out of your expensive $2,000 3D TV. At this point you probably are fed up and just decide to turn the 3D option off because you just want to relax and enjoy your show.
  3. Not great for large family gatherings. The typical 3D TV comes with only 1 pair of 3D glasses, and maybe you decide shell out the extra $150 to get a second pair, great. Unless you purchased a Samsung 3D TV, according to their site, “See all the jaw-dropping 3D action through Samsung’s sleek Active Glasses (sold separately). “.  So now you invite all your friends and family so that you can show off your 3D TV, but wait, you only bought 2 pairs of 3D glasses (which cost you nearly $400 bucks) and you invited 20 people to your house! Imagine sitting there having to share 3D glasses with everyone, yes it will be fun for the first half-hour, but people will soon want to watch TV with a good picture as well, so you once again decide to turn the 3D option off.
  4. Replacements, so a year passes by and you haven’t really had many problems watching your 3D alone with the two pairs of glasses you own, you also notice that your rechargeable batteries in your 3D glasses are starting to die more often and you have to charge them every other day now. So you decide to buy another rechargeable battery, you go to your manufactures website only to find that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery costs a whopping $100!! That’s almost the cost of your 3D glasses! At this point you decide to possibly replace the batteries but now you decide to not allow anyone in your house hold to turn on the 3D option or limit the use of the 3D option, because you want your newly invested 3D glasses to last longer.
  5. Wear and tear, if you only have one pair of 3D glasses and you or other people in your house hold are heavy TV users then your 3D glasses will get worn out quickly, because of course the TV is the most used house hold electronic. Not to mention the glasses will probably be made out of cheap plastic and plastic always breaks with excessive use.  And if the 3D glasses break and they’re you’re only pair, you not only have to dish-out another $100-$200 bucks for your new 3D glasses, you also have to once again turn off the 3D option.

Remember how popular MySpace and YouTube were when they first came out? Everybody had to have a MySpace account or upload a YouTube video because it was the thing to do, well it is no different with this new 3D technology in TV’s. In a few short years 3D technology will more than likely phase out because consumers will truly become fed up with having the technology in their homes. Clearly TV manufactures are pushing 3D technology for your home because it is a lucrative money making market. So please do yourself a favor and do not jump on the band wagon or you might end up looking like these guys:

So lets keep the 3D technology where it belongs: the movies.

Article written by:

Ibrahim G. Yusuf


Boxee Box is the new Apple TV

A project called Boxee Box, manufactured by D-Link, is currently under development that will allow users to stream video directly to their TV. Unlike Apple TV, Boxee Box has no restrictions media types, and users will be able to stream content out-of-the-box from their PC to their TV. Some external features include: HDMI, Optical Audio, RCA Stereo Audio, built-in WiFi (802.11n), Ethernet, 2 USB Ports (possible flash drive support for videos), SD Card Slot, RF Remote w/ QWERTY Keyboard. Look for it sometime in November!

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