Author - TechWire

Cyber security week 2012 – Sri Lanka

The Cyber security week 2012 organized by Sri Lanka CERT|CC is underway and its 5th Annual conference will be held on the 5th of December. “Strategize….Plan….Act….A recipe for Effective Security” will be the theme of the conference. The conference will feature presentations from noted speakers, panel discussions and a lightning demonstration(an Electronic Banking hack)

On the 6th of December, Technical Workshop 1 will be held on the topic of “OWASP ESAPI: making it work for you”. It will be conducted by Mr. Wong Onn Chee, President, OWASP Singapore Chapter.

On the 7th of December, Technical Workshop 2 will be held on the topic of “Practical secured software security testing “. It will be conducted by Mr. Tin Aung Win, Application Security Advisory Board Member, (ISC)2®.

Click here for more information and registration

Jacqueline Fernandez Android Apps : Probably the first android app for a Sri Lankan actress

So I was browsing on the Google Play store, and came across a couple of Jacqueline Fernandez apps. They are simple apps with wallpapers of Jacqueline, most probably created using standard wallpaper app template. However these probably are the first apps which represents a Sri Lankan actress, and Miss Fernandez gets the honours most likely due to her Bollywood fame. Surely many more apps will follow including an official app for Jacqueline. So even though these two apps are not up to standard, if your a fan do check them out.

1) Jacqueline Fernandez HD– 20 wallpapers of mixed image quality. Options are available to set as wallpaper, share, save and Slideshow

2) Jacqueline HD Wallpaper -24 wallpapers of mixed image quality and some images stretched. Only option available is to set as wallpaper

Google “Good to Know” : Informative Trilingual website on how to keep you and your data safe online

It is a known fact that the recent advancement in the internet industry has allowed Sri Lankans to unleash their potential in many ways. The internet has helped us to stay connected with each other, grow our businesses, learn on new areas and much more. However the internet, just like other technologies is a doubled edged sword; we have its benefits but it can hurt us as well. Therefore it is vital that we are aware of its pitfalls and how to stay safe from them.

To create that awareness, Google together with ICTA and the ministry of child development & women’s affairs recently launched(29th Nov) an informative trilingual website “Good to Know” for Sri Lanka. This site aims to provide information to keep you as well as your data safe online.You can visit the site here. I guess the recent privacy concerns raised on Google is also a reason for this initiative.

The site provides information in four main categories

Stay safe online – Best practices on browsing and sharing your data online

Your data on the web – How the web collects information about you and and how it makes websites more useful to you

Your data on google – Understand the data google collects on you, and how they use it to give you better service

Manage your data – How to control what you share with other web sites and Google.

The site does have some useful information, and I recommend you dive in and check out the information which are good to know.



Firefox Mobile OS beta released as a Firefox Addon

Few months ago Firefox promised that they will make a mobile OS of their own, and two days back Firefox announced that they have released a beta version of the OS and consumers can install it as an add-on for Firefox. This Mozilla’s operating system coded named “Boot to Gecko” based on HTML5 web standards which is good news for developers. ZTE, Alcatel and some other vendors have already announced that they are already developing ARM based hardware for this OS. However, I have major doubts on how Mozilla is going to survive from the huge mobile OS war.

Even for Windows Mobile, although their developers are giving their best against Android and Apple, they can’t see any big improvements. Recently Newegg said “Windows Mobile phone sales are slow” at the same time Nokia lost $1.27 billion in last 3rd quarter and its sixth quarterly loss for them. This shows just how hard it is for a new OS to break through in to the market. However Mozilla strongly believes in success, according to “the Guardian” website, Director of Research & Development at Mozilla Corporation Andreas Gal recently said “We wanted to break out of the “silos” presented by competitors like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. We think we can change this by doing the same thing we did on the desktop,” that’s good because more competition means better products for us.

Firefox Screens

Firefox Screenshot 2


Before writing this article, I experienced the Firefox OS add-on so I can write what I personally think. The first moment I saw the OS I was like what? Is this Android? Yes it’s very similar to Android, it has a pull down notification bar where you can see your notifications and your toggle switches. If you long press the home button it will bring up the multi-task menu so you can close them by swiping up. There is no dedicated app drawer so if you swipe left you can see the app icons which already installed. Swiping right brings you the search menu and it’s bit similar to iOS search menu. I don’t think that’s a good idea for Mozilla to have similar features like iOS considering the latest legal battles. Anyway this is not the final version and who knows, the final version may be drastically different. This add-on version of Firefox OS is so sluggish, but no worries because it’s still a beta version. Firefox uses the Nokia maps for their map services. I don’t know why they chose Nokia Maps instated of Google Maps. This beta version already has a Marketplace built-in. I installed Twitter and it worked pretty nice. I hope we can see more essential apps from Mozilla when it’s available for consumers. According to Matthew Key, chair and chief executive of Telefónica Digital, the first Firefox OS based mobile devices will appear in Brazil in 1st Q2013. So next year we can see how it’s going to perform against other operating systems giants.

You can check out the Firefox Add on Here

Gangnam Style on course to be the most viewed YouTube video

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would be very much aware of the viral hit Gangnam Style by PSY. The Youtube phenomenon which was released in July 2012 have to date been viewed over 787 million times. At the rate is going it is only a matter of time till it dethrones the current most viewed video “Baby” by Justin Beiber which currently boasts 802 million views.(JB haters will love it!) Its quite amazing when you take into consideration that Gangnam style took only 4 months to achieve this number, compared to JB’s 2 years. Check out below the youtube stats related to his hit single.

Gangnam stats

Gangnam style has also become the most liked youtube video with over 5 million likes. PSY was a happy guy receiving the Guinness World record certificate stating that…

I’m honoured,this is the first certificate I’ve ever had… I didn’t get one at school

Well certificates aside, Gangnam style will rule youtube views by the end of the year and will in all likelihood be the 1st video to hit 1 billion youtube views. Take a look at it one more time below

TED in Sri Lanka

TED is an annual conference held to bring together some of the best intellectuals in the world to share their innovative and creative ideas. TEDx conferences which are organized by independent groups, brings that TED experience to a local stage. This year we have the privilege of having a TEDx conference right here in Colombo thanks to a group of energetic youths headed by Dilumi Dissanayake.

TEDx Youth@Colombo will be held on the 24th of November at Park Street Mews from 6pm onwards.  It will boast a set of exceptional speakers giving presentations in the fields of film, business, social service, entrepreneurship, and innovation under the theme “Powerful Beyond Measure”. For registration and more information visit their site Kudos to the organizing team for bringing this Idea storm to Colombo.