Friday, 28 October 2011

Top 17 Cartoon Skins for ICQ

My wife asked me to download some cartoon skins for ICQ as she was unable to find any. I would like to share with you all some of the cool cartoon skins which I found after an hour of intensive search. Enjoy !
Riding the Hundred Acre Wood River
Riding the Hundred Acre Wood River Picture
Return To Pooh Corner
Return To Pooh Corner Picture
Springtime at Mickey s and Minnie s Place
Springtime at Mickey s and Minnie s Place Picture
Love Is A Song
Love Is A Song Picture
A Minnie Mouse Workout
A Minnie Mouse Workout Picture
Mickey Sledding
Mickey Sledding Picture
A Disney Christmas ICQ
A Disney Christmas ICQ Picture
Cinderella Picture
Plutos ICQ
Plutos ICQ Picture
Goofy ICQ
Goofy ICQ Picture
Lady and The Tramp
Lady and The Tramp Picture
Tarzan Picture
My Mickey Mouse icq
My Mickey Mouse icq Picture
Fantasia 2000
Fantasia 2000 Picture
Mickey Weightlifter
Mickey Weightlifter Picture
Bambi Picture
When You Wish Upon A Star
When You Wish Upon A Star Picture

Data Execution Prevention

Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is a security add-on included with the almost all operating system to stop malicious applications from executing code from any non-executable insecure memory portion. This helps as a sandbox without any closed environment which can help tackle buffer overflow error and any of such cross platform vulnerability.

Data Execution Prevention History

It was first launched on the open source LINUX version in the year 2000. Similarly Microsoft adopted DEP to run for the first time in the year2004 with the Windows XP operating system SP 2. Later on Apple was also convinced with this program and bundled it up in their Mac operating systems.

Common Errors Associated with DEP

There is a huge list of bugs arising due to incompatibility or security flaw. Here we have listed only the common ones:
1. Generic host process for win32 services encountered a problem and needed to close.
2. Generic host process for win32 services data execution prevention error.
3. To help protect your computer, Windows has closed this program.
4. To help protect your computer, Data Execution Prevention has closed Internet Explorer.

DEP Mode Of Working

Hardware Enforced Data Execution Prevention

“No execute”, is the technology which sets a defined boundary wall for non-execution memory usage unit for the processors. The processor will firmly deny executing any codes from such locations during working and hence no data outside the specified allocated region gets called on. Hence it increases the security level to a higher extent. This technology is implemented by it under Hardware abstraction protection.
It is undoubtedly a very good security protocol but sometimes it terminates execution of legitimate programs as well. This situation becomes very irritating and then the protection program seems to work like a bug which wont let you work peacefully. Its most irritating feature is when it closes Windows Explorer considering it as a part of the executing code.
The situation arises whenever the software allocates execution from areas which are not permitted by the DEP principle. You might think that this is a bad idea but most developers believe that if a software is blocked by DEP there might be chances that the program may itself be vulnerable to attacks from third party codes. It is always advisable to rebuild such programs for better security provisions.
But we all know in the end of the day the normal user is not bothered about what the word “Security” stands for and the only thing that he is bothered about is “why Data Execution Prevention closes windows explorer?”. If you still want to disable DEP read below for proper procedures.

Software Enforced Data Execution Prevention

Microsoft designed a binary protocol which they code named “Safe Exception Handlers” which was initially coded in c++ but later implemented in all the development version including VB and VS. SEH acts like guard on gate before anything goes for final call. It checks every possible defined exceptions (System + Manual) related to that error and then performs the required necessary action.
This simply means that if a developer has left any logical error in the program unattained it wont let the program to continue after that error is generated. The DEP will simply terminate that instance of the program and you need to restart the program to continue working.
The worst part about SEH is that it wont let you save any work related to the program. Once it comes under DEP all the unsaved data is lost and one see the frustration on the face while being a victim to this error.
Under such cases you might consider getting rid of this program. A complete guide is provided below on how to disable data execution prevention.

Limitations with DEP

Data Execution Prevention, is not a one man army and it only handles certain types of attacks or patches some fixed type of loopholes. One cannot rely on it completely as a stand alone guardian for their system. It works better when combined with other programs as an add-on feature for protection.
DEP can be bypassed by many compilers such as JIT and Buggle. It cannot handle codes which are executed during the run-time and hence those codes bypass the enforcement level of DEP. Also if a program stores the piece of code in the areas define as secure by DEP the program can easily call objects from these areas and can easily be used to compromise the system.

Adjustability With Older Programs

It has been found that DEP creates major problems with older version of programs which still has been utilizing memory locations which has been blocked in newer versions. The program is not a security threat but it has become outdated as per the new security protocols and hence considered as a threat to the system.
Microsoft argues such cases to be individually tackled and requests its users not to turn off DEP completely. The single opt out policy lets you execute such programs by making it out of reach of the program. The corporation then asks you to contact the developer for the newer version to work effectively in the mean time.

Issues With Windows Vista

As we all know Windows Vista was particularly affected by such policies. All programs that were designed for Vista are specifically now not allowed to be executed under Windows 7 for security flaws.

Issues with Internet Explorer

When we talk about problems in Windows Architecture, Internet Explorer has been an indispensable art of the bundle. With every few years Microsoft coming up with new versions has led to many loopholes with the third party support for such programs. It has no backward compatibility and every new version is a self sustaining version after IE 7. This means multiple standalone explorers for a single OS. DEP is trying hard to adopt to this program. But there is always some problem with the older versions of Internet explorer. The only way out that we have found so far is to add it to the exception list on the program’s control panel.

Data Execution Prevention Settings for Windows

DEP is listed under Performance option tab of the windows control panel. It provides four modes of execution for feasibility.
OptIn and OptOut
These two of the functions can be regulated via the aforesaid mentioned tab. let use see what each of the two function does.
OptIn is the default status function which consider to check only the default system programs and services before executing them. This is set for windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. The upcoming Windows 8 is all set to have the same default status.
Since the check is not forced for all programs if a program wishes to be checked in this protocol, it must explicitly ask for the add in check. There is an exception to the rule in the 64 bit architecture where in all the programs directly fall under default OptIn mode and are automatically protected by it, unless there is an explicit OptOut request.
OptOut is the reverse of OptIn and is the default status for Windows Sever 2003 and 2008 Architecture since the require higher level of security for protecting professional data centers. Here in you can specify a list of programs to be excluded from the list in the control panel.
There a toolkit designed specifically for Network Admins. They can run this tool and prefer to opt in multiple programs in one go by simply submitting a request to the program.
AlwaysOn and AlwaysOff
These two settings can be edited with BCDEDIT.exe file via Command line mode.
AlwaysOn, as the name suggests is meant for full protection mode. All program and services has to pass through this process before execution. Enabling this option automatically disables any program listed in the exception list or request for exclusion.
AlwaysOff, similarly as the name suggests is all hibernate mode. No programs are scanned or processed via this program anymore. Even if there is an explicit request by an application tocheck for it, it is turned down by the program and it gets executed without being processed by DEP anymore.

How to Disable and Enable DEP for Windows

It should be already know to you that Always Off can automatically disable all programs from being processed by this program. Still it is advisable that you don not turn it off completely. Rather than you should include or exclude program with the options mentioned above.

Turn DEP On/Off for Specific Programs

From the DEP tab in the performance tab select Turn on DEP for essential programs and service. If you want to add a new program in the check list select the second option “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select” and press the Add button to add the programs you want to monitor.

Completely Turn Off DEP

In order to completely turn off DEP you need to open the bcdedit.exe file with the command prompt and then execute the following code:
bcdedit /set {current} nx AlwaysOff

Turn On DEP

It is similar to the turning off procedure. The only difference is that you need to change the alwaysoff switch to alwaysOn. The command to do so is:
bcdedit /set {current} nx AlwaysOn

Suggestion From A Part Time Coder

The basic concept is why not make a list of trusted programs rather than asking permission to execute each and individual program from every single user. An online check list will at least free users who are continuously connected to Internet from this irritating message.
My request to Microsoft is to make an XML code. This will requires less time for transaction and authentication via servers and Internet connections, which can thereby solve this problem in seconds. If you make any such program, don’t forget to mention the source of idea which led to its creation.
If you have any other issues with this program you can leave back your issues in the comment section. Suggestions are also invited if any improvement can be made in the article.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Top Free Weather Apps and Widgets for Android Phones

Weather has a great role in your day to day life. In general before going on a long tour or at places with drastic weather changes, we research for weather conditions either from internet or from Weather forecast on Television news. Now with an active data connection on your android device, you can easily avail this information on the fly.
Lets see few applications that will help you to have weather forecasts on your Android screen.

GO Weather

Go Weather app has a neat interface with accurate predictions. Additionally it has a live weather wallpaper included that gives it some extra plus points. It has the following features.
  • Live, local weather conditions and forecasts.
  • Gorgeous 3D high-definition weather videos.
  • High-impact visual eye candy and satin-smooth animation.
  • Access up to tens of thousands of locations around world
  • Fast access to saved locations.
  • Cached weather data for offline viewing.
  • Desktop Widget.
  • Live Wallpaper included.

3D Digital Weather Clock

 3D Digital clock is a widget app. Upon installation it will not be in existence, unless you apply it as widget on your home screen. It provides information with Calendar, Time, System info,weather & forecast.

Animated Weather Widget, Clock

Animated Weather Widget, Clock provides you with the best weather change animation. more features include.
  • Different size widgets with a clock and a forecast for the selected day.
  • Desktop widgets with digital clock.
  • Animated daily weather forecast.
  • Realistic Video effects of cloudiness, rain and snow.
  • Multiple scene landscapes.
  •  Custom backgrounds.
  • Global world weather.
  • 50000+ locations worldwide.
  • Auto update forecast.
  • Geolocation (GPS Search).

Weather Forecast&Clock Widget

Weather Forecast & Clock Widget provides you with simple weather forecast information. The widget is equipped with HTC sense clock with weather details. This is a simple and easy way to keep updated about weather conditions.


Weather Bug is a weather app that has extensive features. It has simpler looks compared to other applications or widgets available today. Features of Weather bug are.
  • Live Local Weather.
  • Forecasts for 7 day, extended and hourly forecasts.
  • Interactive Maps/Doppler Radar.
  • Weather Cams.
  • Severe Weather Alerts gives you alert for upcoming worst weathers.
  • Saved Locations.
  • Video Forecasts.
  • Share Function to share the current weather information, forecast, alerts and camera views with friends and family
Usage of the above applications depends on user’s choice and taste. If you are wiling to have a clock weather widget you can go for Weather Forecast & clock widget whereas Animated weather widget gives you the best animated weather effects. If you require extensive information about weather and alerts Weather Bug will be best suited for u.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Diwali Tech Shopping: Best online deals that you should not ignore!

The festive season is the best time to buy gadgets, and gadget lovers like us are usually scouting for the best deals online. To make your job a little easier, we have compiled a list of the best online gadget deals that we could get our eagle-eyes on. We’d encourage you to add more to the list and help us all get even better tech deals this Diwali.
Sony VAIO VPCEH25ENOffer price: Rs.29,820
Why we recommend this? Well, at a price that even surprised us, we get a full-fledged laptop with a hugely impressive configuration. The “Sony Vaio” branding also helps to keep the brand conscious happy!
Basic Specs:
Intel Core i3 processor 2.2GHz
15.5-inch display
320GB hard drive
Nvidia GeForce 410M GPU
Windows 7 Home Basic
Sony Alpha NEX 3 DSLR Camera with SEL1855 lensOffer price: Rs.17,999

Once retailing for almost double the price, the Sony NEX 3 has an APS-C size sensor found in DSLR cameras. Cheaper than any DSLR in the market, the NEX 3 will give you image quality that matches and even outperforms (in some cases) many of the entry-level DSLR cameras. All this in a much compact body along with superior 3-inch high-resolution tilting LCD and a very handy HD video mode makes for a perfect entry into the world of creative photography without breaking the bank.
14.2MP Exmor™ APS HD CMOS Sensor
Interchangeable-lens versatility
HD Movie Recording
3D Sweep Panorama
Tilt-able 3 (7.6 cm) (16:9) Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack
Comes with SEL1855 zoom lens
Samsung Galaxy SIIOffer price: Rs.27,875

This is the best smartphone we have running around at the moment. And this is the lowest we have seen it selling for.
Dual core 1.2GHz processor
4.2-inch Super AMOLED Plus display
Android 2.3
8MP Camera
Full HD video recording
Read a detailed review of the Samsung Galaxy S II here.
HP Pavilion dm1- 3210AUOffer price: Rs.21,499

This laptop is a perfect companion for frequent travelers and road warriors wanting a compact, light notebook which does not skimp on performance, with latest generation ATI mobility graphics and dual-core 1.6GHz AMD processor, the Pavilion dm1 is perfect buy for a budget ultra-portable laptop.
AMD E350 processor @ 1.6GHz
11.6-inch HD Ready display
320GB hard drive
AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics
Windows 7 Home Basic

Sony CyberShot Digital Camera DSC-HX9VOffer price: Rs.14,399

The CyberShot DSC-HX9V is the best travel zoom camera available today. It has the maximum features that any point and shoot camera can ever have (check the specifications list below). The Full HD video recording in the HX9V comes as a bonus.

3D Still Image and 3D Sweep Panorama
16x Optical Zoom
24mm wide angle Sony G lens
AVCHD Full HD movie recording
Background Defocus and high-speed auto focus
Built-in GPS and Compass
Mini HDMI cable included.
BlackBerry PlayBook (16GB)Offer Price: Rs.19,190

That is almost Rs. 10,000 off the price the PlayBook usually retails for. And for this price, we would surely recommend it to someone who wants to experience the excellent multi-tasking capabilities of the QNX operating system and is a die-hard Blackberry addict/fan.
1GHz dual core processor
7-inch display
16GB storage
Blackberry QNX operating system
Read a detailed review of the BlackBerry PlayBook here.
Acer Aspire 5755Offer price: Rs.28,970

Who said laptops are expensive? This is the perfect example proving otherwise. A full-fledged machine with specs enough to be used in most usage scenarios, the 5755 is worth considering if you are buying on a budget.
Intel Core i3 @ 2.10GHz
15.6-inch display
500GB hard drive
Intel Integrated graphics
Windows 7 Home Basic
Read a detailed review of the Acer Aspire 5755 here.
Apple Macbook Air MC503Offer price: Rs.63,990

We know this is the previous gen Macbook Air. But, if you aren’t exactly hell-bent on the newer processor, the Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics and 128GB SSD along with a super-high resolution screen for Rs. 63,990, translates into massive savings compared to the current gen 13-inch Macbook Air.
Intel Core 2 Duo processor @ 1.86GHz
13-inch display
128GB solid-state drive
Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics
Mac OSX Snow Leopard
Samsung RV520-A05Offer price: Rs.24,514

The Samsung RV520-AO5 has the latest generation Intel processor, the Intel B940; it is based on the new Intel Sandy Bridge platform. While belonging to the “Essentials” lineup of the Sandy Bridge processors, the B940 comes with all the cache optimizations and advanced power management features found on the Sandy Bridge based Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs. This configuration makes perfect sense for someone wanting to buy a basic laptop with latest technology, good battery life and ample storage space (640GB).
Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.0GHz
15.6-inch display
640GB hard drive
Intel HD graphics
Windows 7 Home Basic
Canon EOS 1100D with 18-55 IS MK II LensOffer price: Rs.24,699

The latest from the Canon stable, the EOS 1100D is a great first DSLR. The 12.2 MP CMOS sensor does a fine job in delivering noise-free images all the way till ISO 6400. With HD recording, live view and the new 18-55 IS MK II lens, the Canon EOS 1100D at this price is a rare deal.
12.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
Canon DIGIC 4 image processor
ISO 100 - 6400
High speed, reliable 9-point AF system
HD video recording
Read a detailed review of the Canon EOS1100D here.
HP TouchPad (16GB)Offer price: Rs.14,890

The TouchPad was badly let down by the half-baked Web OS operating system, but it has a pretty decent hardware. HP has said that despite everything, it will roll out updates to the Web OS. At this price, we see no harm in buying a full-fledged tablet. Maybe put Android on it some day!
1GHz dual core processor
9.7-inch display
16GB storage
Web OS operating system
Read an in-depth review of the HP TouchPad here.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 750Offer Price: Rs.33,999

We have categorically commented in the detailed review that the Galaxy Tab 750 is the best Android tablet available at the moment. And Flipkart is throwing in a couple of accessories along with a bit of a discount on the price.
1GHz dual core processor
10.1-inch display
16GB storage
Android 3.1 operating system
Read a detailed review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 here.
Samsung UA40D5500 LEDOffer price: Rs.58,490

The Series 5 LED displays from Samsung offer excellent value for money. What you get here is a 40-inch television with internet capabilities integrated.
40-inch display
LED type
1920x1080 resolution
100Hz fast motion
Internet on TV (LAN and optional Wi-Fi)
Panasonic XH-150 home theaterOffer Price: Rs.17,990

Panasonic makes some very classy sounding budget home theaters, and the XH-150 is the best of the lot. There are a lot of Philips, Samsung, LG and Sony ones available at this price, but this one just offers more features.
5.1 channel home theater
1000W R.M.S.
DVD playback
1080p video upscale
Boston Acoustics TVee20 2.1 channel SoundBarOffer Price: Rs.20,500

You may want a good home theater setup for that television in the living room, but don’t want a complicated and clutter creating 5.1-channel setup. The sound bar is the perfect solution for you.
2.1 channel soundbar
Wireless subwoofer
Sony Playstation 3 Slim (320GB)Offer price: Rs.17,490

The prices of gaming consoles have come down considerably over this festive season. Compare this to the PS3 Slim 160GB that was retailing for Rs 19k just a few months back.
Wireless Dual shock 3 controller
Blu-ray drive
3D capable
Playstation Move compatible
Microsoft Xbox 360 (250GB) EliteOffer price: Rs.18,500

Surprisingly, this console being shipped from the U.S. is costing less than the price it is selling for in India! This is the new version of the console, and is Kinect capable as well.

Most of the super deals seem to be on ebay India and while we will scout for more such deals, we’d like to inform readers that ebay India is a third party service provider. Though it has some of the best buyer protection mechanisms, we’d strongly recommend readers to check the seller ratings and clarify your doubts with the seller before buying the products.