Categories
Main

Beats Executive are they More than Just a Fashion Statement?

When you look at headphones especially the ones that are made to fit over your ears and almost make a statement as you wear them on the street, or on celebrities as they walk past the camera it’s often the case that the make becomes a victim of their own style and price. This is the case of Beats by Dr Dre, you can often look at social media sites and see people complain how they would never wear them how rubbish they are, and this is very likely without having even tried them.

The most recent version of Beats are known as Beats Executive and with their silver/grey colouring look for a more understated look, but still feature a high price tag and are highly visible. The question is though as stated above is the main attack on the style of the headphones themselves and the fact that they are a victim of their own brand, or do they actually have the specs to live up to the name they proudly show off to the world.

Design

The interesting thing about the Beats Executive range is that they are in fact bigger on the head than the average Beats, this makes them more noticeable. The counter side of this though is that they are able to offer more comfort and actual have a more natural fit. The headphones themselves take two AAA batteries and these are fitted in a hidden batter cover on the left ear cup. The wire that runs from the headphones and to the music source stands out with its red colouring, which seems odd as black may have been a better choice, this fits with the original beats colouring though.

The Beats Executive headphones are built for comfort and in some ways extra style even with the bigger design. They are also easy to store as they fold up to fit into the new slim line case that has been provided. Another added plus is the extra wire that is provided as backup in case the one in use fails.

Sound Quality

As always with headphones the most important thing is the sound quality, especially with the premium priced variety. The sound is detailed and built to be loud with plenty of bass. The Beats are designed to give excellent performance and do manage to outdo a lot of the competition in this variety. If anything the Beats range are a victim of their own success and marketing as a fashion product. The fact is though that people may complain about them but the audio quality is there even at a premium price that may put many off.

Verdict

The Beats range of headphones are often seen as a fashion statement, especially when you see celebrities wearing them like the latest thing to be seen wearing. The fact is though they are headphones that can back themselves up especially in the price range that they are released in. At £269/$300 these will be pricey for some, but for people willing to spend that much they do stand up against the competition. They aren’t the best headphones out there, and if you pay more you will get better, for what they are though they do live up to the hype even if they over rely on batteries for some of the sound quality, and when the batteries run out you’ll be left with no headphones, which is obviously something that will be annoying.

Categories
Main

Ballistic HC (hard core) iPhone 4 case

Looking for an affordable and mega-protective case for your iPhone 4? The Ballistic HC (hard core) case may be the one for you. Priced at $50, this case gives you 4 layers of protection that will protect your iPhone from more than the average drop. Also included is a nice belt clip/holster so that your iPhone 4 can stay securely on your side. Review and photo gallery after the break!

The first layer of the case is a industrial-strength plastic shell. Integrated in this shell is a screen protector (the second layer?), that works very well with the iPhone 4. If you’d like, you can use this hard shell without the third layer (the silicone layer, which is up next). You already get a huge amount of protection as well as an amazing amount of grip. Nearly everything is covered: power button, volume buttons, screen, home button. There are a few cutouts for things that require access, like the headset jack, noise cancellation microphone, silent switch, microphone, 30-pin dock connector, speaker, and camera/flash. Should you want to use just this portion of the case, keep in mind that a few drops will disassemble the case from the phone; the top layer of the case that keep everything put together can come apart.

The third layer is the thick and heavy duty silicone layer. This adds even more protection and even more of a grip. It adds more protection by covering up the 30-pin dock connector with a flap, as well as covering up the silent switch with a flap.

The fourth layer is the included holster with a 360 degree rotating belt clip. You can put your phone screen-first into the holster, and it will stay securely in place.

This case will add a good amount of bulk to your iPhone 4, but you can rest assured that your iPhone 4 will be safe from nearly any drop, scrape, scratch, and anything else you can think of. I personally haven’t done any sort of drop test with this case, as I’m paranoid and won’t drop my iPhone 4 on purpose no matter what it’s in. But, I have done some “accidental” drops from about 5 feet high, and my iPhone 4 was just fine afterwards.

There are a few alternatives to this case, such as the Otterbox Defender, which I’ve never used and can’t comment on.

Overall, I love this. I can put my iPhone 4 into this case and won’t have to worry about it getting scratched up or received a crack on the glass after a number of drops. The price at $50 is very reasonable for a super-protective case, such as this one.

Categories
Main

Avail The Extraordinary Performance Of Archcos 50 Upcoming Smartphone

The Archos is the top notch and leading mobile company for manufacturing different Smartphone with ease. In fact, there are many expectations are coming with extraordinary features and specifications of Archos mobiles forever. Certainly, many of the features are expect to get various norms regarding the users review. In fact, it has to get positive reviews by its stunning performance. So, most of the people are looking forward for this upcoming Smartphone at very affordable rates. Hence, the technology is used as GSM, HSPA, and LTE in order to perform with better performance. It was announced in the year of 2014 and not yet released so far.

External features of Archos 50 Helium 4G

The body of the Archos 50 Helium 4G has a dimensions as 145x 71.5x9mm and the weight ranges 160g. Hence, it has micro SIM which has kept for dual SIM options. The touch screen is the most important feature of Archos 50 Oxygen+ 4G is having IPS LCD capacitive touch screen with 16M colors. Also, it can supports for 720×1280 pixels which supports HD quality videos. The operating system will have designed as Android OS V4.3 Jelly Bean to have faster performance forever. However, the chipset has installed with Qualcomm MSM826 snapdragon 400. The CPU has quad core of 1.2 GHz cortex A7 which has designed with speed performance. Moreover, the card slot is specified to insert micro SD slot and supports up to 32 GB memory space.

Camera options

According to the camera options, the primary camera has 8MP which supports 1080pixels with autofocus, LED flash. Also, it has designed with zeo-tagging, touch focus, and face detection without any ease and to enjoy these facilitations, assure to use Flipkart best offers to avail best deals. Hence, the secondary camera has a resolution of 2MP to take selfies forever. With the 3mm head phone jack sets, you can hear music forever. However, the vibration alerts will make such systems for having security options. It supports the Wi-Fi connectivity in order to access the internet in free manner. So, this mobile has Bluetooth to transfer any files and music over the connectivity options.

Battery life and security

Of course, the GPS is the most connectivity to track about the system and provide security for this Smartphone. Obviously, the sensors are able to fix with the accelerometer, proximity, compass for full security options. The browser has a HTML 5 version in order to access the internet in fast manner. According to the battery life, it has to build with Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery to withstand for longer time. However, the panels are designed well with the metal and have shine surface to hold it. Moreover, this Archos 50 Helium 4G have come under many colors such as white, black, blue, and silver and you can choose your favorite options. So, it is the most important features to have beautiful structure and design for using without any ease. At very reasonable rates, they are released in the market place for your need and want. Therefore, the Archos 50 Helium has the admiring options such as 4G to access the internet in fast manner.

Categories
Main

Attending Certified Ethical Hacker CEHv7

I was offered a free scholarship to attend the latest version of EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) v7 course last month, which was touted as the most advanced ethical hacking program in the world. The week-long (five days, 9 to 5) course I attended was the launch class for CEHv7, which includes new and refreshed training material that brings it up-to-date with the constantly evolving hacking scene.

I didn’t actually get to know until the week before it started, and mid-week at that. Regardless, computer security has always been a topic I have been fascinated with, and I jumped at the opportunity.

What is Certified Ethical Hacker?

The premise behind CEH is simple: to validate the defenses of a website or computing resource by trying to hack in. In this vein, CEH is a pure network offensive training program, and contains zero defensive component or materials. If I must draw an analogy, it would be how someone skilled at picking locks is better positioned to select the most secure combination of locks and other security measures to protect his possession.

Starting Class

The course was held at New Horizon Singapore, which is located at Central Plaza. The location was convenient, and being next to the Tiong Bahru MRT makes it easily accessible from all parts of the island. (The CIA Factbook pegs the nation of Singapore is about 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC). As expected, the class started with the usual introduction of the trainer and students. Senior Technical Instructor & Mentor Lead Vaibhav Patel has a nice list of accreditations (MCSE, CEH, Security+ etc) and was friendly and jovial enough – as a lecturer myself, I admit to being biased towards ‘fun’ classes.

A CEHv7 package containing of two heavy volumes of textbooks and a small box of DVDs were given to each student. The two books added up to over 1,400 pages (excluding references) with each page containing the PowerPoint slides printed in full color – double-sided, four slides per page. There were five DVDs in total, and are crammed with an assortment of software and tools for immediate and convenient access for the exercises. No electronic copies of the slides were issued. So yeah, regardless of how good you are, you won’t be able to ‘break into’ the books sitting on my shelf.

Each student has access to a fast desktop computer with more than adequate RAM; all the lab sessions are to be done on the preinstalled virtual machines (VMs) using Microsoft Hyper-V. And yes, all participants were required to sign an undertaking not to participate in illicit activities against computer resources or networks that does not belonging to them.

My Thoughts

With 19 modules to cover, the learning pace was kept at about four modules per day. Each module starts off with a lecture generally followed by one or more lab exercises with which to practice the various concepts.

It is important to understand that the lab sessions are merely designed to reinforce the classroom sessions and are by no means guaranteed to help you achieve proficiency. Another point to note is that not all the tools mentioned by the course materials are guaranteed to work – some may only run on older operating systems, or are effective against unpatched vectors. Trainer Patel himself observed that: “I would rate 2 to 3 out of 10 chances of success for the tools.”

Modules listed in the Table of Contents:

Introduction to Ethical Hacking

Footprinting and Reconnaissance

Scanning Networks

Enumeration

System Hacking

Trojan and Backdoors

Viruses and Worms

Sniffers

Social Engineering

Denial of Service

Session Hijacking

Hacking Webservers

Hacking Web Applications

SQL Injection

Hacking Wireless Networks with Tools

Evading IDS, Firewalls, and Honeypots

Buffer Overflow

Cryptography

Penetration

It was clear from the get-go that CEHv7 is a very well-structured affair. I had prior knowledge on a fair number of the topics that were covered, which meant that I found some of the topics relatively easy to grasp. Taken as a whole though, I would rate CEHv7 as a “heavy” course which should be of value even to those versed in the art. It won’t automatically make a hacker out of you, though my opinion is that it does give you the basic skillset to become one, as well as understand how hackers think.

A common problem faced by IT professionals pertains to the question of where to start learning about hacking, as well as identifying the gaps in their learning. It is in this context that savvy IT managers or security administrators should benefit substantially from CEH as they gain a better understanding of the “black hat” aspect of security.

On topics that I’m already familiar with, I have found the printed materials to be a great resource that allowed me to catch up when lagging, or to skim forward on topics that I am already familiar with. And of course, the printed materials allow you to review them at your leisure – I have found the printed volumes invaluable in precisely this manner. The two volumes are just beautiful, and having the tools packed into DVDs is a huge time saver – and eliminates the risk of ending up with Trojan versions of the tools.

There is definitely insufficient perform all the lab exercises in the short span of a week. For the motivated and determined learner though, the lab exercises represent an excellent framework with which to explore and practice the various concepts and principals covered in the course.

The trainer was genuinely knowledgeable; and readily acknowledges it if he’s less than familiar with a specific topic or question. The EC-Council obviously imposes stringent requirements on the selection of its trainers. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been disappointed with less than stellar ‘teachers’ who should have been called ‘presenters’ for their lack of acuity and knowledge in a certain field.

I have yet to take the CEHv7 exam, so no comments on that aspect as yet. I did however write on my ITBusinessEdge SMB Tech blog on How Hackers Target SMBs and How to Deter Them on ITBE.

Signing Up

According to a fellow classmate, the CEH course in Singapore is priced at between S$2 to 3k and includes one free exam attempt. However, I was made to understand that the price may vary due to vendor requests, promotions or possible discounts for taking on a package of courses. As such, do check with Marketing Manager Haris Jumadi (DID: 6373 0869) from New Horizons Singapore for more information and an official price quote. Singaporeans will also be happy to know that that CEH is eligible for IDA’s CITREP funding support . (Update: New Horizons Singapore just dropped me a DM that CEH is no longer CITREP endorsed as of April 2011)