Thursday, July 2, 2015

Asus Zenfone 2 Review: Zen Re-imagined


Asus recently came up with its sequel to its first dip into the smartphone segment, Asus Zenfone. Although Zenfone was a huge success, after a year it was a time to re-imagine some things. Hence, Asus came with the sequel, Asus Zenfone 2 - a power packed budget smartphone. Mind you, by budget Asus always meant Value for money and not cheap in any respect.

Asus isn't letting any prospective buyer leave this time as they offer the Zenfone 2 in a number of model variants. The entry-level ZE500CL comes with a five-inch 720p display, quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz in its Intl Z2560 chipset, and 2GB of RAM. The ZE550ML increases the screen to one of 5.5 inches while the resolution remains at 720p. The processor ticks at 1.8GHz with Intel Z3560 chipset inside this one, and RAM remains the same. The top dog is the ZE551ML, which boasts a 5.5-inch screen and a FullHD resolution. This is a version with the Atom Z3560 chip and 2GB of RAM whereas the flagship comes with the same name but packs an Atom Z3580 inside with specs going all the way up to 2.3GHz and 4GB of RAM. This is is the one we have received as the review unit.


On first impression, the low price of the Zenfone 2 seems obvious with the plastic looks and an all-plastic construction. But Asus has managed to bring a cool looking metal finish to the plastic. There are three capacitive touch buttons at the bottom which significantly add to the height of the device. The 5.5 inch screen is one of the good ones. It may have lesser brightness than some competitor flagships but has accurate colors and 401 ppi that make up for more than that. If some people find the colors to be a bit washed out though, there is always a vivd display setting to help take care of it.

Asus has made an inspired by LG design choice by putting the volume rocker at the back that also doubles as a camera shutter button. It has got mixed reviews as the position may seem awkward and doesn't always feel comfortable if the phone is being used in the landscape mode.


Asus Zenfone 2 sports a 13 MP f/2.0 rear camera and 5 MP front shooter. Although that is quite an achievement for a phone of this price considering this remains constant for the lowest priced model as well. It shoots good enough images for the price and a good point shooter but can not compete with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6+. But for the price I guess it is quite reasonable.



Performance wise the phone may seem a bit average or maybe lacking but when you see that this comes at par with devices priced twice or more, it would seem an amazing feat. Asus has managed by optimizing the software as well as using good hardware and surely Intel needs to be commended here because hyper threading is at work as well. AnTuTu benchmark gives a score of 44614 to this hardware and software combination which seems amazing for the price.

In a nutshell, there may be some problems with the design choices of the device such as meek sounding speaker and volume rocker/camera shutter key placement, but this is a great package considering what you are paying for it.

Camera performance and battery life fluctuate between good and disappointing depending on the conditions of use but you will get through your heavy usage day with this device with decent pictures. But for everything else, this phone will get applauded. The experience it provides is actually reliable, fast and value for money for which Asus and Intel deserves a commendation.

Design: 7/10
Display: 7.5/10
Camera: 6/10
Reception/Call quality: 7/10
Performance: 8.5/10
Software: 7.5/10
Battery Life: 7/10
Ecosystem: 9/10
Value for Money: 9.5/10

TheSmartHacks Score: 8/10

Buy Now Links:
Flipkart
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Saturday, June 13, 2015

How to Install iOS 9 Beta Without a UDID for Free


As we all know Apple announced its latest iteration in the iOS family - iOS 9 - this Monday during its Keynote address of WWDC (World Wide Developer's Conference) 2015 as has been its tradition. It brings smarter SIRI, better spotlight search and many more features on board with Apple's USP for this update being better speed. Many developers are already reporting that iOS 9 has made their iPhones smarter and faster. It also brings aboard a Low Power Mode to increase battery life by upto 4 hours in case of low power availability.

Although this time Apple will be releasing a Public Beta version in the month of July for the first time but many people are eager to get their hands on the developer beta as well which requires Apple Developer Account worth 99$.

Worry not! There is a way you can get Developer Beta in your iPhone now without paying any fees. Here we go with the method.

Step 1: Download the compatible version of iOS 9 from here.

Step 2:  Connect your iPhone to iTunes and click on Backup. This is important as it protects you from any data loss in case of any kind of failure.

Step 3: After the backup is completed, click on Update Button in iTunes while holding down either Options Key (For Mac users) or Shift Key (For Windows Users). This will open a explorer dialogue box which can be used to point to the IPSW file you downloaded in Step 1.

Step 4:  Let the update complete. After the update is done, voila! you are now an iOS 9 user. The on-device setup is similar to that of iOS 8 so you won't have any problem there.

Here is a video tutorial to help you with the process.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Fun DIY Project #1: Make your own fan using CD


So the summer season is upon us and this is a time where we explore ourselves along with some weird things and small projects. This is a great time for some DIY (Do-It-Yourself) sessions that are quite fun and are more often than not cheap as well.

With this spirit, we have started this Fun DIY Project series which includes projects that are unique and fun enough to spent some time on them.

So the first project is a fan using a CD. This is a very very cheap project and does not require a lot of expertise on your part. Here you go with the video of the tutorial on the project. Have a look at it and try yourself. Comment if you tried whether you were successful or did some mistakes. After all that's what it is all about. Have fun!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

How technology has changed the face of beauty

2012 was the year when you got to see some breakthrough changes in the beauty industry through technology. Now when it’s 2015, a big revolution can be seen with many life-changing beauty products making lives easier! You need not visit salon for every little or even big need of yours. Instead of paying gigantic amounts every month to maintain your skin and hair, make investments which might cost you a bomb initially but will rather decrease your expenditures in the long run. Not to forget, make your life hassle free too! Here’s how technology has changed the face of beauty in the form of below listed supercool ways:
  1. Runaway shows


    Gone are the days when you had to travel to Paris or Tokyo exclusively in the middle of other equally busy life situations so as to not skip on knowing about the hottest trends instantly. Or maybe you always dreamt of knowing about what used to happen back stage there and how fun it could be sitting at the front row. But now when you have video apps like Vine and Vivamedia by your side, you can witness the ongoing fashion comfortably by sitting at the first row. Shop from Amazon which is never behind on catching up with the latest trends and that too at reasonable prices using amazon coupons present on CashKaro.com.

  2. LVL eye lash lift


    While eye lash curlers still seem to rule the beauty market, you can leave that bandwagon and instead go for eye lash lift to prettify your face. Fake eye lashes are the shortcut for them but there are certain precautions involved with them. And imagine the horror of one fake eyelash hanging from your lashes while you are on a date. Because sometimes inspite of using a strong glue, mistakes are inevitable. LVS stands for lift, volume and length. Silicon shields are used here along with a neutralizer and eyelash tint. The process isn’t time consuming and is an easiest way to get fuller and curled eyelashes for a long time period. If you are still a fan of using eyelash curlers, here’s a tempting deal for you. Buy a high quality one online at heavy discounts with paytm offers available on CashKaro.com to indulge in double savings.

  3. Acne no more a pain!


    Once upon a time, you used to shout on top of your lungs when you saw a large pimple on your forehead just 3 days before a big party. You used to invest your precious time in ample of home remedies to cure it but the results used to go even disastrous. And then you spent hours in your makeup routine using correctors and concealers to completely cover it. But now with products like Tanda ZAP, you can now banish them in just a day. Tanda ZAP is an acne clearing device which works on blue light LED technology to gently clear your acne.

  4. Self-tanning


    No more need to spend hours on beach to get a gorgeous tan! Get a beautiful self-lit tan from the comfort of your home itself basking under the cool air of your air conditioner. With the help of self-tanning products, fake a gorgeous tan now these summers. And the added benefit is that they are super easy to use and also come cheap. But if you want your tan to last longer, you must invest in some high quality tanning products. Products like Sleep mask tan can be applied as a night cream before hitting bed for waking up to a buttery smooth and sun-kissed skin in the morning.

A Guest post by Neha Chaudhary of CashKaro.com.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Spotlight on the Canary Home Security Device


Surveillance and security might be the most important, essential piece of the home automation puzzle. While there are a number of options that promise you peace of mind with a more secure home, there aren't many available that give you the functionality of the Canary Wireless Security System.


How Does Canary Work?

The Canary device is marketed as an all-in-one security solution that detects and analyzes multiple types of activity and conditions in your home in order to keep you and your loved ones safe. Instead of requiring expensive and complicated installation, you simply put the Canary device somewhere that's central in your home where it can pick up the most of your family's activities, plug it into a power source, connect Canary to your home network, and immediately start receiving notifications on your smartphone. Using the companion Android and iOS apps, you can stream live footage of your home and its inhabitants right on your phone.

With its built-in sensors, the Canary device can check your air quality, detect gas leaks and excess moisture, and even smoke in case of a fire. According to co-founder and co-creator of the Canary wireless security device Adam Sager, who has 15 years of experience working with security systems, having one Canary device containing these sensors and security features in a single, central area instead of spread thin throughout the home is more effective since these high-traffic areas are most likely also the areas of your home with the greatest vulnerabilities.


Perhaps the most impressive feature the Canary offers is the ability to learn the rhythms of your life. As you and your family leave for work or school, return home, go to bed, and so on, Canary leaves when things should be calm and still, becoming more sensitive to happenings in your home at the most appropriate times. The end result of Canary being able to learn from you is less false alarms and smarter, more reliable notifications. 

Canary sends notifications that contain an HD recording of the event that triggered the alert, which you watch and respond to accordingly by clicking the appropriate action on the app. Currently available in three colors — black, white, and silver — the Canary home security device costs $249 and comes with 12 GB of free cloud storage for the HD footage of your home that Canary records, but higher-storage plans will soon be available for a monthly subscription.

A Guest Post by Tim Smith of Modernize.com.
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Saturday, April 11, 2015

iOS IPSW download links


We need IPSW files many times during different processes and for backup as well for when our iPhone decides to give up on us momentarily. So here is a post with all of the links in one place. This will be constantly updated as new iOS versions come out. So, here we go.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

iUnlock: Factory Unlock your iPhone


Carrier subsidized iPhones have always been very lucrative to the customers because of their price difference from Unlocked iPhones, but they have their restrictions. Here, at TheSmartHacks, we are dedicated towards finding solutions to problems and thus the chains are going to be free. Hence we introduce to you iUnlock - the iPhone unlocking solution.


I have been wanting to get it out for sometime and finally I have. As most of you might have already suspected and thought of, this is not a DIY guide, but is something where I have to do the dirty work.
Note: Although we are expanding, for now, this works only for AT&T USA iPhones.

Using this, you can get your dear iPhone factory unlocked. Mind you, this is not a normal hacktivate and unlock thing, which by the way you can do yourself, but this lifts off the restrictions of updating or messing with your iPhone. You can do anything you want with your software but it remains unlocked, whatsoever.

All you have to do is buy the service respective to your iPhone version, and when it asks in the message, give me your IMEI number along with your model number. We can process any AT&T USA (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone5) out there, any baseband/firmware and any iOS version.

Steps to get the unlock are like this.
Step 1: Click on the "Buy Now" button at the bottom, choose your iPhone and complete the order.
Step 2: Now, it will ask you for your IMEI number, which is a 15 digit number. Don't fill the one written on the phone box. Either go to Settings->General->About and copy down the IMEI number written there or dial *#6# on your iPhone's dialpad and write the number down. Then put a , (coma) sign and write your iPhone's exact model. Example: IMEI Number: 123456789456123, iPhone 4 CDMA.
Step 3: Give me 1-7 business days (It is generally done in 1 week) to process it and wait for my e-mail confirming the process.

What to do after you get the confirmation mail?
Step 1: Open iTunes in your computer and make sure you have internet connectivity.
Step 2: Connect your iPhone to the computer.
Step 3: Backup your iPhone and restore.
Step 4: When your iPhone restores you will see a message "Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked." on your screen.



100% refund guaranteed if we can not unlock your iPhone(after verification).

Note:

  • iPhone 3GS users who are on baseband/firmware 06.15.00, please message this detail specifically.
  • Those who have non-AT&T iPhones, we can work out a deal for you as the prices below are ONLY for AT&T iPhone users. Please email us at services@thesmarthacks.com.
  • As PayPal doesn't support Indian transfers yet, Indian customers can directly Email us at services@thesmarthacks.com for order. We can work something out.
  • We do not entertain refunds/order cancellations until we see fit.
  • For any queries, mail us at services@thesmarthacks.com (with your order number, if applicable).
  • iOS 7 and iOS 8 users need to make sure that Find my iPhone service is switched off for them.

Buy Now Buttons


iPhone Version
IMEI Number:
Note: The above button and the corresponding prices are only valid for out of contract iPhones.


iPhone Version
IMEI Number:


Note: The above button and the corresponding prices are valid for all types of iPhones including BlackListed Ones.
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A beginner's guide to XSS attack

XSS or cross site scripting is a type of a computer security vulnerability found in web applications. In XSS, a code is injected to the remote server so it can also be called as Client Side Scripting. According to statistics, 68% website on internet are open to this attack and its varieties and this became the most popularly used attack with the information security researchers in 2007.

In this type of attack, a vulnerable web application or a JavaScript is run from an unrelated website to exploit the vulnerabilities of same origin policy(it permits scripts running on pages of same origin once a page is allowed the use of system resources) of internet browsers and for this purpose various methods of code injection are used.

There are mainly two type of XSS attacks.

1. Non-persistent XSS attack

In this kind of vulnerability, attacker required the user to run a specifically crafted link so that vulnerability can be exploit when the browser runs it. The delivery method for such attack can be anything ranging from an email to a simple message on facebook. This is the more common type of XSS vulnerability present and because of this commoness it is generally rated as a beginner level XSS attack by the security researchers but even this can have dangerous outcomes.


2. Persistent XSS attack

The persistent(or stored) cross scripting attack is a very devastating attack simply because when the attack is successfully pulled off by an attacker, the provided by him is saved on the server and then it is permanently displayed on the pages that normal users land on in the normal course of browsing. The classic delivery system for such attack are the message boards where a user is allowed to post HTML formatted messages for the other users to read.


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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Google Now launcher for Android devices by Google


Google Now has been successful and has received great love from Android users. But Android devices, other then Nexus series and a slew of Moto devices, haven't been feeling the love especially because of the missing "Ok, Google" phrase. Guys over at Google have decided its time to rectify that and thus have come up with a solution - their very own Google Now launcher - to make it much easier to access with just a swipe on the homescreen.


The official Google Now launcher packs all the basic features you'd expect from a homescreen replacement sans one ability - to delete homescreen panes as they are automatically removed when it does not have a widget or an app on them.

Quite naturally the user can search using the "Ok, Google" phrase. Google has also released a promo video along with the app. Lets have a look at it.



You can download it from the Source link below. Let us know what you think of it.

Source
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Thursday, July 24, 2014


Don't you just hate it when Windows 8 refuses to start up because of some error you have no idea about. The common errors include the one shown above which doesn't exactly tell you what to other then sacrificing your data and re-installing the Windows. Before you do that, Microsoft suggests, a person should try its new "Refresh Your PC" or "Reset Your PC" options that come in-built with UEFI boot mode in Windows 8. But they are not fool-proof and more often then not end up giving errors like "The Drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again." or "Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing."



If you are getting these kind of errors, then chances are you have a corrupt MBR (Master Boot Record) or BCD (Coot Configuration Data). Doing the following steps can help resolve the error. Lets have a look at them.

Note: You need installation media for the respective version of Windows 8 running on your machine.

Step 1: Insert your Windows 8 Installation media and boot the computer through this.

Step 2: You need to get to the command prompt. To do that, Select your language when it asks and click Next. Then, on the screen, click on the link in the lower left corner that says Repair your Computer. Then on the next screen, Choose an Option screen, click on Troubleshoot. In the next screen, click on Advanced Options and now you will be able to see a Command Prompt button. Click on it.

Step 3: You need to input and execute (press Enter after typing each one) three commands in the command prompt now.
              Command 1: bootrec /fixmbr
              Command 2: bootrec /fixboot
              Command 3: bootrec /RebuildBcd

Step 4: After you execute Command 3, it will ask you to choose an option between Y (Yes), N (No) and A (All). Type Y and press Enter.

Step 5: Type Exit and click Enter to exit the command prompt. Remove the disc and try booting again.


This should solve the problem you have at your hand.
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