The Media Guru
Feb 27, 2008

Nokia Morph Concept

The Morph Concept
Featured in The Museum of Modern Art “Design and The Elastic Mind” exhibition, the Morph concept device is a bridge between highly advanced technologies and their potential benefits to end-users. This device concept showcases some revolutionary leaps being explored by Nokia Research Centre (NRC) in collaboration with the Cambridge Nanoscience Centre (United Kingdom) – nanoscale technologies that will potentially create a world of radically different devices that open up an entirely new spectrum of possibilities.

Nokia Morph ConceptMorph concept technologies might create fantastic opportunities for mobile devices:
- Newly-enabled flexible and transparent materials blend more seamlessly with the way we live
- Devices become self-cleaning and self-preserving
- Transparent electronics offering an entirely new aesthetic dimension
- Built-in solar absorption might charge a device, whilst batteries become smaller, longer lasting and faster to charge
- Integrated sensors might allow us to learn more about the environment around us, empowering us to make better choices

In addition to the advances above, the integrated electronics shown in the Morph concept could cost less and include more functionality in a much smaller space, even as interfaces are simplified and usability is enhanced. All of these new capabilities will
unleash new applications and services that will allow us to communicate and interact in unprecedented ways.

Nokia Morph ConceptFlexible & Changing Design
Nanotechnology enables materials and components that are flexible, stretchable, transparent and remarkably strong. Fibril proteins are woven into a three dimensional mesh that reinforces thin elastic structures. Using the same principle behind spider silk, this elasticity enables the device to literally change shapes and configure itself to adapt to the task at hand. A folded design would fit easily in a pocket and could lend itself ergonomically to being used as a traditional handset. An unfolded larger design could display more detailed information, and incorporate input devices such as keyboards and touch pads.
Even integrated electronics, from interconnects to sensors, could share these flexible properties. Further, utilization of biodegradable materials might make production and recycling of devices easier and ecologically friendly.

Nokia Morph ConceptSelf-Cleaning
Nanotechnology also can be leveraged to create self-cleaning surfaces on mobile devices, ultimately reducing corrosion, wear and improving longevity. Nanostructured surfaces, such as “Nanoflowers” naturally repel water, dirt, and even fingerprints utilizing effects also seen in natural systems.

Nokia Morph ConceptAdvanced Power Sources
Nanotechnology holds out the possibility that the surface of a device will become a natural source of energy via a covering of “Nanograss” structures that harvest solar power. At the same time new high energy density storage materials allow batteries to become smaller and thinner, while also quicker to recharge and able to endure more charging cycles.

Nokia Morph ConceptSensing The Environment
Nanosensors would empower users to examine the environment around them in completely new ways, from analyzing air pollution, to gaining insight into bio-chemical traces and processes. New capabilities might be as complex as helping us monitor evolving conditions in the quality of our surroundings, or as simple as knowing if the fruit we are about to enjoy should be washed before we eat it. Our ability to tune into our environment in these ways can help us make key decisions that guide our daily actions and ultimately can enhance our health.
[via Nokia]
The demo video:


Before reading any further, I would definitely recommend you to WATCH THE VIDEO! Nothing’s better than a good old video to convey what Morph can do…

Stunned!?! Well, not exactly, since it’s not a real demo of what Morph can do, but rather a preview of what the Morph “nanodevice” (think supercar) can perform. What’s more interesting is that most the technologies demoed ALREADY exist. The self-cleaning & hydrophobic material is currently being implemented in newer cars & building facades. The super-stiff nanotubes of carbon already exist & so do those ultra-flexible nanomaterials. Prototype nanosensors can “sense” an immensely large array of things, but it’s still in the lab. As for the “nanograss,” I have yet to see it surface, but it’s not more than a couple years away - but if it did, it would be next GREEN REVOLUTION!!! (imagine everything being powered by those nanograsses that are omnipresent on every surface!)

Where the concept blends into fiction is with the electronics! For the time being, we still can’t make “nanoelectronics.” Nor can we make them stretchable, stiff or imbue them with morphing abilities. Can you imagine shrinking your battery, antenna, screen or keypad to an infinitely small size. But I trust technology - that should be possible in less than 2 decades (I give it a maximum of 50 years!).

Nanotechnology is the future! Just like the Integrated Circuit completely lifted up our civilization into another era, nanotechnology will be the dawn of a world of infinite opportunity - finally living with harmony with planet Earth?

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Feb 25, 2008

Blu-Ray DEFEATS HD DVDThe last format war is over. HD DVD has been defeated by Blu-Ray. Everyone had seen this coming, except from Toshiba…

HD DVD - Rest in PeaceWhy HD DVD died?
There are several reasons to explain HD DVD’s demise… but it actually narrows down to two things - the movie majors & the PS3.

HD DVD vs Blu-Ray Comparison ChartTechnically, Blu-Ray is superior to HD DVD. It’s twice more in size - 25/50GB compared to 15/30GB. & it has a faster data transfer rate. But HD DVD is more user-friendly since it’s region-free & is much much cheaper than Blu-Ray. & it has Microsoft’s HDi interface…
In terms of add-ons, Blu-Ray favours users with more movie bonuses since it has more space to store them, while HD DVD rules with its user interactivity system (Microsoft HDi).

LG Dual-Format PlayerFor once, it wasn’t the consumers who decided which HD optical disc won the format war. After losing the VHS v/s Betamax war, Sony couldn’t afford another defeat & it decided to bet everything on Blu-Ray - by making Blu-Ray standard on all PS3s - a highly risky bet. Albeit PS3s are not that cheap, but they contributed significantly to Blu-Ray players overall sales. Toshiba on the other hand, was betting on the early-release of its HD DVD players.

Harry Potter vs TransformersAfter almost a year of stalemate, whereby Blu-Ray kept its steady ascent in sales while HD DVD players kept getting cheaper… a major breakthrough came through the movie studios’ decision to stop dual-format sales. Sony managed to entice Warner into the Blu-Ray camp for an undisclosed sum (reports put it at $400 Million!). HD DVD meanwhile decided to radically slash prices, with some players being sold at $99. When Wal-Mart, Best Buy & other retailers followed Warner Studios, everyone knew it was over. & finally Toshiba declared HD DVD officially dead on the 15th of Feb.

Blu-Ray LogoThe winners:
Sony - Sony has managed to keep itself from going bankrupt & can now bring in the royalties. & the PS3 is looking to cash on that!
Movie Studios - They can finally focus on a single format that offers better protection than HD DVD.
Consumers - The format war was ultimately a great thing. Prices had massively been cut down. But now after the war, Blu-Ray players will still be sold at the same price.

The losers:
Toshiba - Toshiba has lost everything. With HD DVD dead, it’d take quite some time for the company to recover.
Consumers - Everyone who bought HD DVD players must be cursing themselves. & it will take some time to crack Blu-Ray’s BD+ protection!

Check the whole story on Engadget…
& conspiracy theories that Sony bought off Toshiba...
[Wiki] Comparison of the two formats
[Wiki] The format war

What’s next?
Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD)The format of the future is the Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) which can hold up to 3.9TB (3900GB) of data! I know you must be thinking that who would need such a gigantic amount of storage, when the biggest hard disk you can buy is just 1TB! But technology changes faster that you can say “huh?” - just like this 40Gbit/s connection in Sweden.

HVD DiscHVD belongs to the next generation of storage media - 3D optical data storage. DVDs are considered 2D while HVD uses holograms. Holograms use several layers of images to make an image appear 3D - just like those shiny “genuine” holograms that display different images at different angles (More on holograms here). In the same way, on a multi-layered disc, we can burn 3D data by using two different lasers made to reflect at different angles.

Read with Wiki for the technical details.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_Versatile_Disc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_data_storage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_optical_data_storage

HVD uses two different lasers - red & green. While red is the most used laser in the world, & blue is just round the corner, there’s a huge lack of green lasers. So actually, it will require some time for the green lasers to be commercially viable before we see a public version of the HVD. But with the dawn of laser TVs & handheld micro-projectors, cheap production of green lasers has been on fast track. So finally, the next 3D optical format war may take place within the next 5 years…

Or the next format war may NOT take place!
Fastest Internet Connection in the WorldAgain using the example of the 40Gbit/s connection in Sweden (the world’s fastest - 5GB/s), that has been put into the hands of a 75-year old woman! The connection uses a normal fibre optic cable with a new modulation technique which allows data to be transferred directly between two routers up to 2,000 kilometres apart, with no intermediary transponders.

GiFi - 5Gbps!!!Another example is GiFi. Researchers at the Melbourne University have managed to achieve speeds of up to 5Gbps (0.63GB/s) on a new wireless chip. The device has a short-range like Bluetooth, but uses only a 5mm square chip & a 1mm antenna that uses less than 2 watts of power! GiFi operates on the unused 60GHz frequency & is expected to have a cost-per-chip of $10. Watch out for the future demise of Bluetooth.
[via TheAge.com.au]

Kizuna 1.2Gbps Satellite& finally... Japan has launched the Kizuna satellite that promises Internet speeds up to 1.2Gbps for Japanese islands… Not a total of 1.2Gbps… but a 1.2Gbps connection for each user. & unlike fibre optics, it is not affected by natural disaster - only a receiving antenna is needed.
[via Gizmodo]

3D Image of WWWAll of the above point to a single thing - the future of content distribution doesn’t lie in traditional media like DVDs, Blu-Rays but on the Internet. Tomorrow, we will not be buying HD discs, but rather downloading them off the Web with our ultra-fast internet connections. With a 40Gbit/s connection, you can download a DVD in 2s... but only if we can afford such a connection… an utopia for most people!

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Feb 23, 2008

The Stig Revealed![via AutoTrader.co.uk]

The Stig UnmaskedPart of what’s behind The Stig’s enigmatic helmet has been revealed thanks to flash photography! Now, go & figure out who that might be… (Lewis Hamilton, Phil Collins?)

Some say that he’s Jeremy Clarkson’s long-lost twin brother… and that he was once caught speeding on a tractor. All we know is… he’s called The Stig.

Jeremy Clarkson Motor RacingTop Gear may be again at the Britcar 24 this year… that’s what Jeremy Clarkson is hinting at in his latest rant on Motor Racing.

We May Be Back!!!How about a better car than the diesel BMW… a Beetle (i.e. a Porsche) or a brand new BMW M3?

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Feb 19, 2008

Guaranteed Loser
1. Phishing sites & mails.
Have you ever got a mail from Yahoo! or Hotmail (Live Mail) asking you to re-enter your password, or that your account has been disabled & that you need to reactivate it?
If yes, don’t click on it… since it’s most likely a phishing mail!
A phisher site is a fraud site that looks exactly as the original site (& may even work), which intends to steal your login, personal information, etc. Hence the term “phishing.” More on Wikipedia.

Rapidshare PhishingMost phishers attempt to steal your Paypal, bank account, credit card & mail account. However, more recent phishers have instead been focusing on social networking (Facebook, Hi5, Bebo, MySpace) & file-sharing sites (Rapidshare, Megaupload, Megashare).
Internet Explorer 7 & Firefox 2 have quite sufficient protection against phishing, but they are not always effective against the never-ending onslaught of phishers. Phishers can be easily found everywhere! Anyone can download them & it’s really easy to use them!

Here’s a few tips on how to counter them:
- If you notice there’s something wrong with a site (a pixel too much, or an extra line here…) go into Red Alert mode.
- Compare the original site with the suspected “phishing” site. Spot the differences.
- If you want to download a Rapidshare file & the link is hidden in a url-redirection service like tinyurl or linx.in, it’s definitely a phisher.
- If you suspect a site, open up the page source on Firefox & check for urls other than the original website. (Instead of paypal.com, you may see paypaul.com)
- Some phishing sites (especially RS) are so convincing that you are easily fooled. & the phishers are intelligent enough not to change the password. So you should change your RS account password frequently.
- BE A PARANOID!!! (Remember - only the paranoid survives…)

Check out this Microsoft guide as well.
You want to download Phishers? Here’s a whole list of them. [For preview purposes only!]


2. Fakes or clones of products
Fake iPhoneI may be wrong, but this resembles something that I may have seen here.
You get these Chinese fakes everywhere & sometimes the fakes are totally indistinguishable from the real thing.
& what’s more amazing is that not only people are fooled into buying but many willingly buy them! They know they are copies of the original products… but they still buy them because they are dead cheap. Well, after 10 days of use, when the products break down, I doubt their line of thought would stay the same… & for some products, it’s not only a drain of money but also a potential danger (exploding battery, lethal chemicals, etc.)

boPi TouchHow to identify fakes:
- It’s extremely cheap! A N95 being sold for Rs. 5000 must raise some eyebrows…
- Look for a “Made in China” sticker. (or Maked in China, most probably)
- Check the build quality - if it’s cheap plastic or metal, then you know it’s a clone.
- Check the packaging - Original products come with guarantee labels & manuals. Fakes do not.
- In case of media players, check the UI - it’s freaking ugly!
- Check the model name - If it’s something like USB Pendrive by the name of Sony Playstation, you know it’s a fake.
- Always buy genuine at a genuine retailer. I hate people who buy fakes.


3. SMS Games
SMS & LoseLet’s consider a simple example:
There’s this ultra-noob (supposedly) tech show that is sponsored by a rotten apple… They tell you they are giving away a laptop & the only thing you need to do is send a sms, & you’ll be able to take part in the lucky draw! & they explain how they’ve simplified it… there’s no question to answer, you just need to type & send!
They keep repeating the crap every 5 min & they keep forgetting a very important thing… guess what? Oh yes, the price of the sms?
Rs. 1.20?
Rs. 3.00?
Rs. 5.00?
No, it’s a full Rs. 8.70! Who’s the winner now?
Yes, do not believe in sms & phone games. Actually, the game sponsors make double more profit than the product they are giving away. The whole game is only a scam to grab easy money from fools who are intelligent enough to send multiple smses. & they very conveniently forget to mention the price of the sms!
In the above show, the price was NEVER mentioned! It’s as if you are going to buy something, but you can only know the price only after purchasing it? Is that not a scam?
Don’t waste your time or money on these scam games. Chances of winning are nil. If you want something, go & buy it.


4. Fund collection
Click Here to Donate to ScammersSomeone knocks on your door & tells you how he got chest pain in his arms & a headache on his toe, how his hair has been paralysed, & finally asks you to help relieve his pain by donating him some money. Another situation would be where a group of people have decided to raise contribution for building a mobile toilet. In each case, they’ll come up with a fake certificate for further emphasis.
These are all scams! Actually, door-to-door fund collection is a really profitable business, if you can get a valid enough reason to gain sympathy. People are more than willing to show their greatness. This applies to beggars as well. If anyone is running short of money, I would advise begging - the dividends are extremely high.
Don’t fall in these scams. If you see someone calling for a donation… just say no, or give him peanuts. If you really want to donate something, do it on your own, directly to an NGO.


5. Online Shopping
When you saw that mobile phone on eBay… you knew it was IT!!! Two weeks later & your virtual (Paypaul) wallet considerably lighter, the package arrives at your doorstep. A brand new mobile fone made from recyclable… cardboard!
Yes, I bet many people who’ve been using not only eBay but online shopping as well have come across these scams. That’s the risk of online shopping. You never see the scam coming. At first, you start shopping from genuine websites, but as you see better deals in murkier websites, your vigilance dies down & you finally get caught in the trap.
The best way to prevent this is to stop buying online altogether… but if you really want something that’s not available locally, a few precautions won’t hurt…
- Always buy from trusted sites & buyers (in case of eBay).
- Do check out the user reviews of lesser known sites… check the delivery time & additional shipping charges that may vary!
- Follow comments & user ratings of buyers on eBay. If there’s a little hint of fraud, scamper off!
- Pay by Paypal or if you can’t, setup a separate bank account for online CC shopping only.
- If something’s really cheap, be suspicious, it may be a clone or a fake.
- Compare prices from the manufacturer & the authorised distributor - there shouldn’t be a massive gap.
- If something’s being sold as “already used or second-hand,” don’t buy it. It may be damaged beyond repair.

One last advice… you don’t want to be scammed? Be a paranoid! :P

PS: This post has been written in a Mauritian context.


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Feb 17, 2008

Orbit Downloader LogoThis a follow-up to the post “How to download embedded flv (YouTube) videos.
Thanks to the tip by Kyu, I've decided to test out the downloading prowess of Orbit Downloader.

Orbit Downloader ScreenshotOrbit Downloader’s interface is very similar to my preferred download manager Flashget. There’s a log, a progress chart & download properties.

New Download with Orbit DownloaderMultiple Threads with Orbit DownloaderWhen adding a new download, just like with any other download manager, you get to configure the number of threads/parallel connection you want & you can also enter your username & password.

Orbit Downloader not working with Rapidshare Premium!Usernames & passwords are saved into a Site Manager, so that it is automatically filled in when you download from the same server. That sounds great for Rapidshare premium downloads… but Orbit Downloader cannot log into Rapidshare. I’ve tried everything, but Orbit doesn’t work at all. (Flashget can log in perfectly with RS Premium)

Orbit Downloader DownloadingThere’s the drop-down box which is quite handy & obsolete. You can’t configure the graph… so it’s always a straight line.

Orbit Downloader FeaturesOrbit Downloader performs very badly compared to other download managers, namely Flashget, IDM, FDM, etc. However its true strength doesn’t lie in these normal downloads… but in streaming media.

Orbit Downloader Grab++Orbit Downloader has an addon called Grab++ which monitors all streaming media traffic & provides the direct download link. Where everything else failed me, Orbit Downloader’s Grab++ worked! I’ve tried it with many streaming sites, & so far Orbit has managed to track most of them!
So if you want to download streaming media, the first software to try is Orbit Downloader… it’s not a very good downloader, but it can capture anything.
Download at: http://www.orbitdownloader.com/

Still can’t capture with Orbit Downloader? Continue on with Screen Capture software…

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Feb 16, 2008

Indiana Jones 4 PosterThe trailer of the most awaited 2008 film:

A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!

Watch the HD trailer here:

Click here for more HD from Yahoo! Movies.


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Feb 14, 2008

Atif Aslam in MauritiusThe news has been confirmed by Mauritian newspapers (Le Matinal & L’express 1, 2). Atif Aslam will be here to take part in show commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Independence of Mauritius on the 12th of March.

UPDATE: Atif's Concert on the 18th of October - Read more HERE!!!

The official programme:
Les premières bougies s’allument
«Seki rat sa, pou rat boukou dan so lavi.» Propos enthousiastes de Mahendra Gowressoo, ministre des Arts et de la Culture. Interrogé sur les préparatifs pour les 40 ans de la nation, le 12 mars, avec une cérémonie de drapeau prévue à 18 heures au Champ-de-Mars, il dira que «90% des dispositions prises ont été finalisées.»
Le thème : «Nou pays nou fierté». Selon le ministre, il y aura deux spectacles de feux d’artifice. Le plus impressionnant vers 19 h 30 – 19 h 45 et l’autre à minuit. Il ressort que pour cela, une chancellerie étrangère a contribué $ 100 000. La fête se déroulera en deux temps. D’abord la partie protocolaire, avec sa parade policière et son défilé historique. Le passage d’un cortège de chars est aussi prévu, et un numéro d’Art Academy de Sanedhip Bhimjee et Anna Patten. Selon le chorégraphe, ce sera une création soutenue par la présence de Véronique Zuël-Bungaroo et de Menwar. On devrait y découvrir la jupe de séga créée par Sanedhip Bhimjee. Cette partie culminera avec un feu d’artifice rouge-bleu-jaune-vert.
La fête enchaînera sur le tamtam populaire, avec des artistes étrangers dont Atif Aslam, d’origine pakistanaise. Bobby Kray, de Grande- Bretagne, les Young Beatles de France. Baster et Ziskakan, de l’île soeur, sont aussi annoncés, ainsi qu’une troupe de danse du ventre d’Egypte, un orchestre pop de Chine et un groupe de Madagascar. Le public retrouvera Otentik Street Brothers, le Grup Lataniers, le Nalini Dance Group, Laurent Sournois...
« Nous attendons entre 100 000 et 150 000 personnes, » indique le ministre. Les bus devraient rouler jusqu’aux petites heures du matin. Par ailleurs, des événements régionaux, dont un carnaval, auront lieu du 7 au 11 mars.
[via L’Express.mu]

What’s more amazing is that Atif Aslam was born on the 12th March… so that’s a double celebration. For those who don’t know, Atif Aslam is a world-renowned Pakistani rock star.

Atif Aslam in MauritiusAtif Aslam has released three albums - Jal Pari (2004), Doorie (2006) & Meri Kahani (2008). However, it’s Atif’s playback singing that has earned critical acclaim with chart-busters like Woh Lamhe, Aadat & Tere Bin.

Atif Aslam in MauritiusMost Popular Songs:
- Woh Lamhe - Zeher (2005)
- Aadat - Kalyug (2006)
- Tere Bin - Bas Ek Pal (2006) - Song of the year 2006 Mauritius
- Doorie
- Hum Kis Galli Ja Rahe Hain
- Ehsaas
Latest song is Pehli Nazar Mein from the movie Race.

Atif Aslam in MauritiusAtif Aslam has a strong affinity with Mauritius since his music videos for Tere Bin, Doorie & Ehsaas were all shot here.

Atif Aslam in Mauritius40th Independence celebrations promise to be a massive hit with the presence of Atif Aslam & other international artists. Watch out!

UPDATE: He came, he sang & he conquered! Atif Aslam LIVE in Mauritius! More here!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atif_Aslam
Atif’s Official Website
Mauritius Photo Gallery

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Feb 13, 2008

Nokia S60 Touch UI DemoThe device being used is a touchscreen tablet. The OS is S60 with the Touch UI (demonstrated last Oct). This is the alpha version demo of the next S60 OS… which means it lacks more than half of its final features. That’s what everyone has forgotten before heaping criticism on Nokia…

Gizmodo is complaining about the lack of animations & the same S60 look. But let us remind ourselves that one of the main specifications of the new Touch UI is to maintain backwards compatibility. Actually, Nokia is still working on it… ensure maximum applications compatibility. The very first step is to make the kernel work & then the inputs & outputs, then interactivity, etc. The UI is actually the last step since it’s built on top of everything else…
Nevertheless, this preliminary demo does show that Nokia is really working on making the final S60 Touch UI better than the render:

Ok, this render is all slick & everything… But I think Nokia can do better than this…

My suggestions:
Nokia S60 Touch UI Demo- Change the UI completely. Having a S60 Touch UI is something of a giant step in itself. S60 is the most popular mobile OS in the world. How about a complete reshuffling of the UI?
Nokia S60 Touch UI Demo- Look at those icons… who uses them anymore? Haven’t Nokia seen the iPhone? Oh come on… bring up some really cool icons!
Nokia S60 Touch UI Demo- If Nokia is going touchscreen… why not multitouch? Multitouch with stylus support would be awesome… pinch, flick, slide, rotate, etc.
Nokia S60 Touch UI Demo- Make apps that take full advantage of the touchscreen (games like on the Nintendo DS, iPhone widgets, etc…)
- Implement voice recognition into the Messaging… so that you would be able to input text by voice.
- Get a higher resolution… QVGA on 2.8-inch isn’t really impressive. How about VGA & above on the much larger touchscreen?
Nokia S60 Touch UI Demo- Nokia should make a new media & video player that should be one of its main attractions – maximum media support (DivX, H.264, Ogg, WMA, AAC,…) As a reference, Nokia should look towards the iPhone’s iTunes’ UI & Microsoft’s Zune.
- How about a new battery? As I’ve recently pointed out with the N96 950mAh battery, as the more gadgets you have, more juice is needed.
- Full-screen landscape QWERTY touchscreen keyboard
- Master the full potential of all the sensors… For example, the accelerometer could be used to control the phone!!! (Tilting the phone will make you go top of a list…)
- My last advice: Nokia should… Think Different!
The hint: Think of porting features of Microsoft Surface on the S60 Touch…

Video on S60 sensors & what they can do…


More info:
Gizmodo
Engadget
AllAboutSymbian
BGR
S60 Blogs

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