Thursday, January 29, 2009

A netbook that is NOT

The Vaio P would be available on February 18 in the local market. My source abroad is sending me one on Saturday :).

Sony Philippines announced yesterday the availability of the Sony Vaio P in the local market. First launched in Las Vegas during the CES this month, the Vaio P is the world's lightest notebook to date at 1.4 pounds for the SSD model and 1.5 pounds for the HDD model.

(note for the untechies: SSD or solid state drive has no moving parts unlike the HDD or hard disk drive that has spinning platters. SSD is based on flash memory smilar to a camera memory card or a USB thumbdrive. SSD is faster, consumes lesser power and weighs less compared to the HDD. One of the major advantages of SSD is that it won't crash even if you drop it. One letdown however is that it costs much much more than the traditional HDD)

The widescreen 8-inch 1600x768 display looks really nice and the tiny keyboard with isolated keys makes it one of the best looking mini-notebooks available.

I however disagree with Mr. Toshiya Kagita, Sony Philippines president and managing director when he said during our converstaion that it would be more convenient if it has a some sort of a touch pad instead of a pointing stick. He said that in place of a pointing stick a touch pad small enough like the touch pad of the Sony Ericsson X1 could be more useful, he then showed me his X1. I think he was giving me a hint of what the next version of the Sony Vaio P would be. I told him that I am more at ease with using the pointing stick because it gives me more control and precision. I was of course careful not to mention that I got used to using the pointing stick because I have a ThinkPad at home.

Mr. Kagita also stressed that the Vaio P is not a netbook but a full pledged notebook with features that could best even the bigger laptops. Mr. Kagita said that Netbook is a step lower than the laptop which the Vaio P is not.

My issues with the Vaio P

1) The P49,000.00 HDD model uses the Atom Z520 processor. A much smaller processor compared to the Atom N270 used by netbooks from other companies. Although the Z520 is 20% cooler compared to N270, it is also 20% slower. Did Sony sacrifice battery life for speed with this model?

2) The P69,000.00 SSD model is a bit pricey even for an 8-inch mini notebook with really beautiful finish. The HP Mini 1000 with a newer processor and the same speed costs only about P20,000.00. The SSD model uses the Intel Atom Z530 processor.

3) The Atom Intel Z series was not designed for notebooks. It was originally for Mobile Internet Device or MID. MIDs are positioned between a smartphone and a netbook. So why use a processor for the Vaio P which is one step above the netbook?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Israel-Hamas war now in cyberspace

Al-Aqsa a Hamas television station that became famous for showing "Farfour" an anti-semitic Mickey Mouse look-alike was hacked by Israel Defense Force (IDF) last week. Reports said that the station was broadcasting live air attacks on Gaza Strip when it was suddenly changed to an animated clip of Hamas' leadership being gunned down.

The day before the hack, a broadcast on Al-Aqsa was interrupted by a Hebrew-accented Arabic voice saying: "Hamas leaders are hiding and they are leaving you on the front line."

In another development, a Turkish hacker using the name Agd_Scorp hacked and defaced a US Army website and NATO site in protest for the Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip. The defacer left a warning to Israel and the USA.

An Israeli website Globes[online] reported that there is "an Israeli Internet initiative recruiting surfers for cyberwarfare to crash hostile websites." The recruited members were asked download files that can overload the Hamas servers causing them to crash.

At the other side, pro-Palestinian hackers are attacking Israel websites, hackers so far successfully defaced the website of Israel Discount Bank and the English Edition newspaper

The attacks against Israel were done using SQL Injection, a technique that exploits a security vulnerability occuring in the database layer of an application. The attacker could gain access by exploiting this bug caused by processing invalid data.