August 26, 2010

Jargon Buster - WAP, WAP2, HTTP, HTML, GPRS

1. GPRS is a method of connecting to your provider while WAP is the protocol that runs on top of GPRS { You can think of WAP as a toned down version of HTML while GPRS is a toned down version of dial-up.

2. WAP is suited for GPRS only connections

3. There are also other services that use GPRS aside from WAP

4. WAP can also be used on EDGE and even on 3G connections

5. Most of the more recent mobile phones can now support full HTML browsing, this gives an indication that WAP would soon be obsolete.


In WAP 2 the TCP stack and HTTP protocol were added in the implementation. The WAP gateway may still be used and this is the default configuration for many browsers and preferred by many mobile operators.
The browser, anyway, is able to manage the entire communication with the remote server, so the WAP gateway is not required anymore.

If the browser allows it, users may change their settings and avoid going through the WAP gateway.
Many operators enforce the use of the WAP gateway providing special rates when using it, for example, accessing the operator portal forfree, but only while using their WAP gateway.

Need for SMSC in Mobile Internet world? {WAP PUSH}

WAP Push has been incorporated into the specification to allow WAP content to be pushed to the mobile handset with minimum user intervention. A WAP Push is basically a specially encoded message which includes a link to a WAP address.

WAP Push is specified on top of WDP; as such, it can be delivered over any WDP-supported bearer, such as GPRS or SMS

On receiving a WAP Push, a WAP 1.2 or later enabled handset will automatically give the user the option to access the WAP content.

WAP protocol suite


| Wireless Application Environment (WAE)   |

+------------------------------------------+  \

| Wireless Session Protocol (WSP)          |   |

+------------------------------------------+   |

| Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP)      |   |        WAP

+------------------------------------------+   |                  protocol

| Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) |   |   suite

+------------------------------------------+   |

| Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP)         |   |

+------------------------------------------+  /

|     *** Any Wireless Data Network ***    |



Jargon buster - POP3, IMAP, SMTP


The POP (Post Office Protocol 3) protocol provides a simple, standardized way for users to access mailboxes and download messages to their computers.

When using the POP protocol all your eMail messages will be downloaded from the mail server to your local computer. You can choose to leave copies of your eMails on the server as well. The advantage is that once your messages are downloaded you can cut the internet connection and read your eMail at your leisure without incuring further communication costs. On the other hand you might have transferred a lot of message (including spam or viruses) in which you are not at all interested at this point.  POP3 normally uses port 110.


IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) – Is a standard protocol for accessing e-mail from your local server. IMAP is a client/server protocol in which e-mail is received and held for you by your Internet server. As this requires only a small data transfer this works well even over a slow connection such as a modem. Only if you request to read a specific email message will it be downloaded from the server. You can also create and manipulate folders or mailboxes on the server, delete messages etc. IMAP normally uses port 143.

Major Difference between POP3 and IMAP

IMAP and POP are different protocols that do similar things.
The main differences in the two are that IMAP manages the email that's on the server, whereas POP3 downloads email from the server, leaving the client to manage the email locally.

Since IMAP leaves the email on the server and manages the email on the server (including folders), it’s better suited for mailboxes that will be accessed by multiple users or from multiple locations.


The SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) protocol is used by the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) to deliver your eMail to the recipient's mail server. The SMTP protocol can only be used to send emails, not to receive them. Depending on your network / ISP settings, you may only be able to use the SMTP protocol under certain conditions. SMTP uses port 25.

ORKUT - Draw a line between work and friends!

Orkut, Google's social network that has a lot of users in Brazil and India, has received a major update. Groups of friends are more visible and you can send messages to the members of a group directly from Orkut's homepage. Orkut also updated search results pages and application pages, while testing a new platform for communities.

There are a lot of changes and it will be interesting to see if Google tests these features in Orkut before launching Google Me, a social network that will compete with Facebook.

One of the major changes in Orkut is the focus on groups. "You love your grandma and you're friends with your boss, but that doesn't mean you want them both seeing the conversation you're having with your friends the day after a party. With orkut, you can now build separate groups of your friends reflecting how you interact with them in real life." This is one of the ideas from "The Real Life Social Network", a presentation by Paul Adams, Senior User Experience Researcher at Google.

[youtube R1xzJrPn-Bc]


Google Testing Web-based VoIP in Gmail

Already, Gmail serves as a control panel, an always-open tab, for the loyal Google user. It offers quick and simple access to our email, contacts, calendar, documents, chat and more. Soon, it may be home to a Web-based telephony client.

According to CNET, Google has begun testing a Gmail-integrated VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) client that would allow users to make phone calls directly from the browser.


The feature is different from the voice and video chat that is already available from Gmail using the chat feature, in that it isn't solely between chat users. Instead, the new feature looks to allow users to call any type of phone directly from their Web browser.

For those users seeing the test of the new product, the ability to make phone calls is added directly to the Google Talk popup that appears in the lower right corner of the Gmail screen, offering a keypad, a call history, and a credit balance. According to the screenshots from CNET, Google will offer free calls within the U.S. and Canada, with cheap international calling, in 2010.

Gadget-obsessed blog Slashgear suggests that the new feature fits in line with rumors from last July, which suggested that Google was looking to develop a software-based VoIP service that would fit in line with its upcoming Google Chrome OS.


Linux users, you can video chat too!

If you’ve been wanting to use voice and video chat on Linux (our top video chat request), then we have good news for you: it’s now available! Visit to download the plugin and get started. Voice and video chat for Linux supports Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions, and RPM support will be coming soon.


August 18, 2010

Location Sharing Is Coming to Facebook

Facebook is expected to unveil on Wednesday a new location-sharing feature for the social network's 500 million users. Reports about Facebook developing a location-based feature have been circulating for some time. Facebook has also been making references to a potential location feature. In March, Facebook said it had some ideas for about adding new location features that would go beyond just sharing your location in a Facebook update or wall post.

But despite all the rumblings about location, Facebook has yet to unveil such a service. In fact, it's unclear if location really is what Facebook plans to discuss at its upcoming press event.

However, a "multitude" of anonymous sources have reportedly told All Things D's Kara Swisher that geo-location is definitely on the docket for Wednesday.

Details are scarce about what Facebook's new location service would be like, but it's likely the main way you'd share your location would be through your mobile device.

News that Facebook may be getting into the location game has many wondering what the implications will be for location-sharing services such as Foursquare and Gowalla.   Both services use your mobile device's GPS feature to share your location with your friends when visiting cafes, bars, malls, and other public places. Sharing your location is known as a check-in, and users typically earn points, virtual rewards and other incentives that encourage frequent check-ins.

Foursquare has been the most aggressive location service in recent months among location services. The company has signed deals with Bravo television, registered more than 100 million check-ins, and encouraged small business owners to reward their Foursquare mayors -- the person who has checked-in the most at a particular location using Foursquare -- with happy hour specials, retail discounts, giveaways and other prizes.

Despite their burgeoning popularity, it's unclear whether smaller location services would remain popular if Facebook (with its 500 million-strong membership) got into location sharing. However, recent rumors suggest Facebook's location feature would somehow integrate with existing location services.

It's only one day until we know for sure what Facebook has in store for its users. Facebook's press event is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, August 18.


Google Calendar Sync now supports Outlook 2010

Making sure that your calendar is available to you whenever and wherever you need it is important. That's why Google Calendar works with a number of desktop applications and mobile devices including iCal, iPhone and iPad, Blackberry, Android, Nokia/Symbian, and Windows Mobile phones. Google Calendar Sync for Outlook is also available, but one thing was missing — until now.

Google Calendar Sync now supports Outlook 2010 — our top feature request. Outlook 2010 comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and currently only 32-bit is supported. To start syncing your calendar with Outlook 2010, download Google Calendar Sync version Once you install it, a Settings window will appear. Enter your account’s email address and password, choose your sync optionand sync frequency, and you’re done! (Note: If you’re already using Google Calendar Sync, you’ll still need to download and install this new version in order to be able to sync with Outlook 2010. If you need help, take a look at our getting started guide.)


August 6, 2010

Google Waves Goodbye

Google's blog announced that Google Wave, the innovative communication platform released last year, will be discontinued.

"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don't plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects. The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave's innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began."

Google Wave has a lot of interesting features, but the interface is confusing and difficult to use. While many thought that Google Wave will reinvent email, Google's service combined an online document editor with an instant messenger. Google Wave allows you to create "live" documents that are edited collaboratively in real-time, but it's more than a conversational version of Google Docs. It's based on an open protocol, so you can edit a wave using multiple services. It's extensible, so you can build gadgets and robots that add new functionality.

Google Wave had a lot of potential, but Google didn't manage to build a compelling user experience and define some use cases for the application. Instead of building a general-purpose interface for Google Wave, Google could've used the platform to create multiple applications with clearly-defined goals: a new version of Google Chat, a new version of Google Docs, a brainstorming app etc.

Now that Google Wave is discontinued, some of its feature will be added to other Google services (Gmail, Google Docs), but the platform will vanish. It's clear that Google doesn't want to invest in niche services, which is a big opportunity for startups. "We want to do things that matter to a large number of people at scale," said Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, in an interview.


August 5, 2010

Drag & Save Gmail Attachments to Your Desktop

Gmail looks more and more like a desktop mail client: you can read messages from multiple accounts, attach files using drag and drop and now you can download attachments by dragging and dropping them to the desktop.

If you use Google Chrome 5+ and you want to save a Gmail attachment to the desktop or to a folder that's already opened in your favorite file manager, click on the icon displayed next to the attachment or on the "Download" link and drag it to the desktop, Windows Explorer or other file manager. You can also drag the "Download all attachments" link to save all your attachments to a ZIP file.

"Simply click and hold, then drag your cursor to anywhere in your file system that you want to save the file. Release the mouse button, and voilĂ ! Your attachment is saved (for large files, you may see a progress dialog)," mentions Gmail's blog.

This feature is only available in Google Chrome, but it will work in other browsers when they implement the required HTML5 File APIs.


Unlock your iPhone 4 Video

It's the moment that many of you have been waiting for: the Dev-Team's ultrasn0w carrier unlock for iPhone 4 is out. You'll find version 1.0-1 of ultrasn0w in Cydia on jailbroken devices. If not, just add the repository. It works for iPhone 4 baseband 01.59 and 3G/3GS basebands 04.26.08, 05.11.07, 05.12.01 and 05.13.04. If none of this makes sense then you've got no reason unlocking your device in the first place, buddy.

[youtube _5cvPyVGzgU nolink]


Google Multiple Sign-in, Now Available

Google is rolling out a feature I mentioned in a previous post: signing in to multiple Google accounts simultaneously from the same browser. When you go to the Google accounts page, you might see a new option: "multiple sign-in". If you don't see the new feature, it will probably be enabled soon.

After clicking on the "change" link, Google informs that this is an advanced feature and that it will only work for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Reader, Google Voice, App Engine and Google Code. When multiple sign-in is enabled, a drop-down is displayed next to your email address at the top of the page, so you can quickly switch to a new account.

"If you use multiple sign-in, the first account you sign in to will be your default account. If you visit other Google products that don't support multiple accounts after you've signed in, you will automatically sign in to your default account for that product. If you sign out of any Google product while signed in to any account, you will be signed out of all your Google Accounts at once." (Google help center)

When you enable this feature, the most significant change is that you'll see a new drop-down next to your email address in Gmail and other supported Google products. Click on the drop-down and you can sign in to a new Google Account without signing out from the previous account.

Another change is that Google's URLs include a different number for each account:,, etc.

Google's help center explains that Google's services didn't allow you to sign it to multiple accounts at the same time using the same browser because Google uses sign-in cookies that only let you sign in with one account at a time. Obviously, you can use multiple browsers, Chrome's incognito mode, IE8's "new session" feature, multiple profiles, but the new Google feature makes things easier. Now you can read your messages from two or more Gmail accounts by opening Gmail in multiple tabs.

There are some known issues related to multiple sign-in: this feature is not available on mobile devices, Google Calendar's gadget doesn't work properly in Gmail, you can no longer use offline Gmail and offline Google Calendar and the "note in Reader" bookmarklet only works for the default account.

P.S - The feature was not available in my Google account at the time of posting!