Monday, April 7, 2008

Mobile Application Development eHow-tos: Multimedia Documentation

Using AppVerifier to debug Windows Mobile Applications
Marty Larson demonstrates installing, configuring and using the "AppVerifier" Application Verifier tool to debug Windows Mobile applications. Click here to watch or download.
Introduction to the ScreenLib Library for Windows Mobile Developers
ScreenLib is a C++ library for Windows Mobile developers. It helps design user interfaces that adapt to work well with devices of any screen orientation, form factor, or DPI. This video explores some of the unique challenges of designing Windows Mobile user interfaces, and shows you how to use ScreenLib to overcome those challenges. Click here for more information about ScreenLib or to download the library. (40:08 minutes)

110K Version | 300K Version | Available for download

Designing an Application for a Windows Mobile-based Device (Level 100)
Luke Bayler, a Programming Writer from the Mobile and Embedded Division, presents a talk based on a presentation original written by Microsoft Program Manager Mel Sampat. The presentation includes advice on how best to design your Windows Mobile 5.0 applications, including user interface design tips and hints on general usability. (17:22)

110K Version
| 300K Version

Paving the New Wireless Roads to Your Business and Enterprise

With handheld-enabled customers and employees expecting more access to enterprise data, services and applications, CIOs and their teams are pushed to new limits. Mobilizing applications is no longer an “if”, but a “when”. What are your CIO peers doing to meet these challenges? How are they balancing the need for new handheld applications, while migrating legacy processes and tools? How do they determine when it’s right for web-based applications vs. build your own? Where have they demonstrated best practices with application development, convergence, access management, WiMax and security? And how are they integrating newer generation device technologies to streamline workflow, collaboration and next-gen customer experiences?

The answers are at Computerworld's Mobile & Wireless World Conference, the leading event for CIOs and their teams to learn and network with the best executives in the business. Whether your priorities are to secure your wireless infrastructure, corral your device support strategy, or to embrace opportunities with Wimax, voice over wireless LAN, or unified communications, Mobile & Wireless World will help.

When you attend, you'll hear how world-class IT executives are meeting these objectives, and you'll network with peers who face the same challenges and opportunities. Topic areas include: Maximizing the Value of Mobile-Intensive Applications; Improving Business Processes by Mobilizing Field Workers; Capitalizing on Convergence/Unified Communications; Safeguarding the Wireless Infrastructure; Adopting a Sensible Device Management Strategy; and Seizing Value from Emerging Wireless Technologies.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wireless technology platforms: GPRS, EDGE and WAP

What is GPRS?
GPRS, short for General Packet Radio Services, is an enhancement to GSM technology that integrates GSM and IP technology. GPRS offers an always-on, high speed connectivity to the Net. Thus you can check your email on the move and surf the Web at high speeds. Currently BPL Mobile and Hutch (Orange in Mumbai) offer GPRS services in India.
Faqs on GPRS

What is WAP?
In this hi-tech age, people on the move need any-time access to the Net. This is where WAP comes in. It provides Internet access to cell phones. It is an open standard for wireless protocols that is independent of the service providers. To display Web content, the cell phone must have a WAP browser. Nowadays, cell phones often come with WAP and GPRS technology.

WAP and GPRS also allows you to download games, send mail and even transfer your messages to your PC.
More information on WAP

What is EDGE?
The new EDGE ((Enhanced Data GSM Environment) interface has been developed specifically to meet the bandwidth needs of 3G. Promoted by Ericsson, it offers high-speed data transfers over GSM networks with just a software upgrade to the handset. EDGE allows speeds up to 384 kbps.
More information on EDGE

Mobile phone access technologies

requency division multiple access (FDMA)
The first-generation analog mobile access method; FDMA uses separate frequencies for each call. For example if there are four stations, each will receive their own frequency. Thus there is no interference between them. This reduces interference, but limits the number of users.

Time division multiple access (TDMA)
TDMA allocates unique time slots to each user within each channel, thus allowing many users to access the radio frequency without anyone's interference. Each mobile conversation uses only a particular frequency slot of the time.
More information on TDMA

Code division multiple access (CDMA)
Commercially introduced in 1995 by Qualcomm, CDMA quickly became one of the world's fastest-growing wireless technologies. 3G CDMA networks provide more capacity for voice traffic, along with high-speed data capabilities, hence many cellular service providers are now building or upgrading to it.

CDMA is used in both 2G and 3G wireless technologies. Indian Cell operators like Reliance IndiaMobile, TATA Indicom, BSNL and MTNL's Garuda all use CDMA2000 technology and its variant CDMA1x.
More Information and White papers on CDMA
Faqs on CDMA

Global system for mobile communications (GSM)
Developed on TDMA protocol in Europe, GSM is now the worldwide standard technology for mobile communications. The advantage of GSM is that it provides a high level of security, globally accepted technology standards and superior sound quality.

For any GSM phone to work, it requires a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), a card that contains your telephone account information. Thus, an Indian GSM phone can be used in USA and other countries too.
Faqs on GSM

Generations of mobile communications

The first generation (1G) of mobile communications was introduced in the late 1970s; it was primarily used for voice transfer. In the early 1990s, second generation (2G) systems came into existence and was further developed to 2.5G, which includes GSM, TDMA and CDMA. These were used for voice and data.

The next generation of mobile communications is 3G and this delivers data speeds from 384 kbps to 2 Mbps and over wireless interfaces such as GSM, TDMA and CDMA.

Monday, March 24, 2008

10 Tips for Wireless Home Network Security

Many folks setting up wireless home networks rush through the job to get their Internet connectivity working as quickly as possible. That's totally understandable. It's also quite risky as numerous security problems can result. Today's Wi-Fi networking products don't always help the situation as configuring their security features can be time-consuming and non-intuitive. The recommendations below summarize the steps you should take to improve the security of your home wireless network

1. Change Default Administrator Passwords (and Usernames)
At the core of most Wi-Fi home networks is an access point or router. To set up these pieces of equipment, manufacturers provide Web pages that allow owners to enter their network address and account information. These Web tools are protected with a login screen (username and password) so that only the rightful owner can do this. However, for any given piece of equipment, the logins provided are simple and very well-known to hackers on the Internet. Change these settings immediately.
More Info
2. Turn on (Compatible) WPA / WEP Encryption
All Wi-Fi equipment supports some form of encryption. Encryption technology scrambles messages sent over wireless networks so that they cannot be easily read by humans. Several encryption technologies exist for Wi-Fi today. Naturally you will want to pick the strongest form of encryption that works with your wireless network. However, the way these technologies work, all Wi-Fi devices on your network must share the identical encryption settings. Therefore you may need to find a "lowest common demoninator" setting.
More Info
3. Change the Default SSID
Access points and routers all use a network name called the SSID. Manufacturers normally ship their products with the same SSID set. For example, the SSID for Linksys devices is normally "linksys." True, knowing the SSID does not by itself allow your neighbors to break into your network, but it is a start. More importantly, when someone finds a default SSID, they see it is a poorly configured network and are much more likely to attack it. Change the default SSID immediately when configuring wireless security on your network.
More Info
4. Enable MAC Address Filtering
Each piece of Wi-Fi gear possesses a unique identifier called the physical address or MAC address. Access points and routers keep track of the MAC addresses of all devices that connect to them. Many such products offer the owner an option to key in the MAC addresses of their home equipment, that restricts the network to only allow connections from those devices. Do this, but also know that the feature is not so powerful as it may seem. Hackers and their software programs can fake MAC addresses easily.
More Info
5. Disable SSID Broadcast
In Wi-Fi networking, the wireless access point or router typically broadcasts the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals. This feature was designed for businesses and mobile hotspots where Wi-Fi clients may roam in and out of range. In the home, this roaming feature is unnecessary, and it increases the likelihood someone will try to log in to your home network. Fortunately, most Wi-Fi access points allow the SSID broadcast feature to be disabled by the network administrator.
More Info
6. Do Not Auto-Connect to Open Wi-Fi Networks
Connecting to an open Wi-Fi network such as a free wireless hotspot or your neighbor's router exposes your computer to security risks. Although not normally enabled, most computers have a setting available allowing these connections to happen automatically without notifying you (the user). This setting should not be enabled except in temporary situations.
More Info
7. Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices
Most home networkers gravitate toward using dynamic IP addresses. DHCP technology is indeed easy to set up. Unfortunately, this convenience also works to the advantage of network attackers, who can easily obtain valid IP addresses from your network's DHCP pool. Turn off DHCP on the router or access point, set a fixed IP address range instead, then configure each connected device to match. Use a private IP address range (like 10.0.0.x) to prevent computers from being directly reached from the Internet.
More Info
8. Enable Firewalls On Each Computer and the Router
Modern network routers contain built-in firewall capability, but the option also exists to disable them. Ensure that your router's firewall is turned on. For extra protection, consider installing and running personal firewall software on each computer connected to the router.
More Info
9. Position the Router or Access Point Safely
Wi-Fi signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount of signal leakage outdoors is not a problem, but the further this signal reaches, the easier it is for others to detect and exploit. Wi-Fi signals often reach through neighboring homes and into streets, for example. When installing a wireless home network, the position of the access point or router determines its reach. Try to position these devices near the center of the home rather than near windows to minimize leakage.
More Info
10. Turn Off the Network During Extended Periods of Non-UseThe ultimate in wireless security measures, shutting down the network will most certainly prevent outside hackers from breaking in! While impractical to turn off and on the devices frequently, at least consider doing so during travel or extended periods offline. Computer disk drives have been known to suffer from power cycle wear-and-tear, but this is a secondary concern for broadband modems and routers.
More Info

Thursday, March 20, 2008

F-Secure Mobile Security

Today's challenges

Mobile malware such as viruses, worms and trojans have become a nuisance that more and more smartphone users have to deal with. Malware can cause unwanted billing, delete valuable information on the device or make the phone unusable.

An integrated firewall combined with virus protection is the next step in content security for mobile devices. Pure antivirus solutions are not sufficient in devices that access open public networks such as Wi-Fi. The new generation of mobile devices are in many ways like portable PC'c and should be protected with a firewall.

The solution

F-Secure Mobile Security enables secure mobile computing by combining an integrated antivirus and firewall. Device-resident protection safeguards the mobile device from any type of attack, from intrusion attempts to malware. The solution delivers invisible and automated safety through real-time, on-device protection with intrusion prevention and automatic over-the-air antivirus updates.

Key features

Integrated Firewall
F-Secure Mobile Security enables secure mobile computing by combining an integrated antivirus and firewall. A firewall is especially useful in devices that use Wi-Fi or other public networks for Internet access.

Transparent, real-time protection locally on the device
F-Secure Mobile Security is designed to be as easy to use as possible. To prevent infection, all files are automatically intercepted and scanned when they are saved, copied, downloaded, synchronized or otherwise modified. There is no need for user intervention.

Automatic scanning of memory cards
F-Secure Mobile Security scans automatically all files on memory cards. When an infected file is detected, it is immediately quarantined in order to protect all other data in the system.

Automatic antivirus and software updates
F-Secure Mobile Security entails advanced methods for updating the virus signature database. Automatic antivirus database updates to the mobile devices are done over a secure HTTPS data connection or incrementally with SMS messages. These take place invisibly without any need for user involvement.

F-Secure Mobile Security also supports automatic detection of data connections such as GPRS / UMTS / Wi-Fi / WLAN etc. Whenever a data connection is used the solution checks for software and antivirus database updates in the background.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Story about Wireless technologies

As wireless technologies evolve, the coming mobile revolution will bring dramatic and fundamental changes to the world. This revolution has already begun and is gaining momentum. The revolution will impact numerous facets of our daily lives and the way business is conducted. It will provide important data in real time to assist decision makers, exert great influence on communications between businesses and their customers, and transform the way we live our lives. This paper examines issues in providing services via wireless technologies, i.e. mobile services. The paper discusses the challenges facing mobile services, such as changes in business strategies, investment risk, limitations in mobile devices, networking problems, infrastructure constraints, security concerns, and user distrust in mobile applications. Research issues, such as killer applications, usability, user interfaces, mobile access to databases, and agent technologies, are also discussed.