Archive for June, 2012

How to make a Facebook Application

This article will help the reader to develop a simple Facebook application.

Facebook is almost everywhere in the world.

Getting Started

In order to make your own Facebook application, you need a Facebook account and Developer application installed in your account. This allows to you create your own Facebook applications. You will also need your own server space for hosting your app but If you don’t have you can get space from Facebook’s partner Heroku. We will be using PHP for the example below.


In this example we are making our own simple application. This is the code we have to add in the index.php page:

 require_once 'facebook.php';
 $appapikey = 'xxxxxxx';
 $appsecret = 'xxxxxxxx';
 $facebook = new Facebook($appapikey, $appsecret);
 $user_id = $facebook->require_login();

Replace the API Key and the Secret key in index.php with real values. After replacing it, add this HTML content to the below of ?> of index.php file:

 <a href="">
 <img src=""/></a>
 <a href="">
 <img src=""/></a>
<form method="get" id="searchform" action="">
 <input type="text" name="s" size="20" id="searchbox" />
 <input type="submit" value="Search" />

After adding this content your app will turn into a search app for articles on my blog TechInUs.

Areeb Majeed is the CEO and Founder of HackingTag Security. He writes for his blog TechInUs.

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Gamestop taking pre-orders for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet

If you want the $250, 16GB version of Google and Asus’ brand-spanking-new Nexus 7 tablet , don’t have $250 handy, but do have a pile of other touch devices and games laying around, Gamestop may be able to work with you. The retail chain is currently taking pre-orders for the higher capacity version of the Nexus 7, which is expected to ship sometime in the next few weeks. It’s also now accepting Android tablets as trade-ins, and all trade-ins applied directly towards the purchase of a Nexus 7 will have their values bolstered by an additional 30 percent. For the beginning of its production run, the Nexus 7 will include a $25 credit for use in the Google Play store and the “experience” that is Transformers: Dark of the Moon . If $250 is a little rich for your blood, or you don’t think you’ll need a whole 16GB of storage, both the $200 8GB and $250 16GB models of the Nexus 7 are available for pre-order directly from Google .

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Ghost Recon: Future Soldier ‘Arctic Strike’ DLC delayed

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier ‘s “Arctic Strike” DLC pack will not launch on July 3 as originally planned . Ubisoft sent out a missive today, citing “polish” as the reason for the hold-up. “We decided to take a small amount of extra time to further polish the content,” an Ubisoft representative told Joystiq. “The pack is planned for release later in July and the exact release date will be announced as soon as possible.” As soon as we know the new launch date, we’ll be sure to post it on our website thingy.

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Recent Diablo 3 hotfixes address exploits, high-level item drop rates

Blizzard Entertainment has been keeping busy, tweaking a number of aspects of its best-selling loot-hunting game, Diablo 3 . One of the hotfixes released today addresses an exploit used to circumvent the recent decreases in attack speed. Before the hotfix, players could “temporarily increase their attack speed or double-cast a skill” by repeatedly clicking the Town Portal option within the hot bar. A complete list of fixes can be found on the official game blog . In changes made yesterday, Blizzard once again increased high-level item drops in Acts III and IV of Hell difficulty and all four acts in Inferno. The breakdown of increases can be found after the break. Not found after the break: those hundred hours you’ve spent clicking through Sanctuary.

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China blocks Bloomberg site after report on leader

BEIJING: China blocked access to Bloomberg’s website on the mainland after the business and financial news agency published a report today detailing the multimillion-dollar assets of relatives of the man set to become the country’s next president.

The report says that the extended family of Vice President Xi Jinping holds interests that include investments in companies with total assets of $ 376 million, an 18 per cent indirect stake in a rare-earths company with $ 1.73 billion in assets and a $ 20 million holding in a tech company. The report cites public documents Bloomberg reporters compiled.

Bloomberg noted that no assets were traced to Xi, his wife, or their daughter and said in the report that there was no indication of any wrongdoing by Xi or his extended family.

Still, the move to block access to Bloomberg’s main website, on which the Xi story was the lead news item, underscores the government’s sensitivity to such exposure of wealth belonging to people linked to top leaders amid a burgeoning gap between rich and poor and rampant official corruption.

“The government has always been very careful in, on the one hand, emphasizing how they want to contain corruption but yet also worrying about how reports of this nature might galvanize public opinion against the Communist Party,” said Dali Yang, a political scientist at University of Chicago Centre in Beijing.

The outage also points to the government’s concerns about ensuring the country’s leadership transition goes smoothly. Xi is poised to take over as Communist Party leader in the fall and president next spring.

Bloomberg’s spokeswoman in Asia, Belina Tan, said the company believed the Bloomberg site was inaccessible in China because of a story that it published today. Tan did not elaborate.


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Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom still faces New Zealand extradition battle

police were illegal, experts said on Friday.

New Zealand’s High Court ruled on Thursday that warrants used to search the home of founder Kim Dotcom were invalid and the seizure of evidence, including computer hard drives, was illegal.

It also ruled that the copying of the evidence by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and sending it to the United States was also unlawful. The case is the FBI’s highest profile action against global copyright theft.

While the ruling did not kill the extradition case against German national Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, one legal commentator said it had likely made it more difficult.

“If the major plank of the extradition argument relies on the evidence obtained from the searches, then I would have thought there’s a problem,” Jonathan Krebs of New Zealand’s Law Society told Reuters.

“That’s not to say the case will fall over, it may be there’s a lot of other evidence that the authorities can put before the court arising from the United States or somewhere else in the world,” he said.

Dotcom, 38, was one of four men arrested during a dramatic raid on his luxury country estate, outside New Zealand’s largest city, in January as part of FBI-led investigations.

Prosecutors say Dotcom led a group that had netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorisation.

His lawyers say the company simply offered online storage.

The High Court said the search warrants were too vague and did not properly spell out either the offences or the evidence being sought, but has left it to a hearing next week to decide on what further steps will be taken.


New Zealand police have said they are discussing their next step with prosecutors, while the FBI said it would respond in court at the appropriate time.


A US -based lawyer for Megaupload said the rulings were a “tremendous blow” struck in his client’s defence against the piracy charges.

“The government was engaged not only in wrongful conduct but in double wrongful conduct: they weren’t allowed to go ahead and do the initial seizure … (and) they violated the law again by bringing them (hard drives) offshore when they weren’t allowed to,” lawyer Ira Rothken told Radio New Zealand.

A US Federal Court will hear several motions later on Friday that the company cannot be charged with criminal behaviour because it is Hong Kong based and that no papers have ever been served formally.

“The court may hear a motion to dismiss Megaupload, we also have in the queue a motion to release funds,” Rothken said.

The extradition hearing for Dotcom and his three co-accused on copyright theft and money-laundering charges is set for August. Under New Zealand law, the alleged offences must be an offence in both countries punishable by a jail sentence.

“The judge didn’t comment on the admissibility of the evidence for the extradition hearing,” said Otago University law lecturer Kevin Dawkins.

The judge in the extradition hearing would have to “go through a balancing act” when considering what evidence to accept, he said.

A public interest group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will also ask the US court to free the private and legal data of people who stored material with Megaupload.

Before it was shut down in January, Megaupload was one of the world’s most popular websites, where millions of users stored data, either for free or by paying for premium service.

Authorities say and related sites cheated copyright holders out of more than $500 million.

Dotcom mocked US and New Zealand authorities in a Twitter post after Thursday’s court ruling, showing a computer monitor encased in police ‘crime scene tape’ and asking if any of his 40,000 followers had a pair of scissors.

Dotcom was originally denied bail after the raid and jailed for a month, but the courts have progressively eased the conditions on him, allowing him back into his mansion, giving him access to hundreds of thousands of dollars for living and legal expenses, and removing travel and meeting restrictions.



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Crunch time for Google as EU deadline looms

BRUSSELS: Google faces arguably its biggest challenge next week when it will have to decide whether to respond to an ultimatum by EU antitrust regulators to come up with concessions to soothe competition concerns or fight it out and risk a hefty fine.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has given the world’s most popular search engine until early July to try to settle an 18-month investigation triggered by more than a dozen complaints.

Playing hardball may cost Google a near $4 billion fine, 10 per cent of its 2011 revenues of $37.9 billion, the maximum that the European Commission can levy.

Following are some key facts about the European Commission’s investigation into the company’s business practices:

The complainants: Sixteen companies have taken their grievances to the EU watchdog to date, with Microsoft the highest profile.

Microsoft-owned German price comparison site Ciao, French legal search engine eJustice and its parent 1plusV, British comparison site Foundem, Dutch football website Elfvoetbal, German online mapping company Hotmaps, French publishing company Interactive Lab, Italian company and French online daily deals company have all made complaints.

The others are the Spanish Association of Daily Newspaper Publishers (AEDE), French shopping comparison site Twenga, British online mapping company Streetmap, online travel sites Expedia and Tripadvisor, and online travel group Odigeo, which has four brands including e-Dreams and Opodo.

The Commission’s four areas of concerns: Google may have favoured its own search services over those of rivals; it may have copied travel and restaurant reviews from competing sites without their permission; its advertising deals with websites may have blocked rivals; its contractual restrictions may prevent advertisers from moving their online campaigns to rival search engines.


The people leading the Commission’s probe: Nicholas Banasevic was appointed earlier this month to lead a group of about six people dealing with the case.

The Briton was previously in charge of the team that drafted the arguments which underpinned Almunia’s decision to block the proposed merger of Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext

in February. Both Banasevic and his deputy director general for antitrust issues, Cecilio Madero Villarejo, were part of an elite team which investigated Microsoft and Intel, resulting in hefty fines for those companies.

What’s at stake for Google: Google’s top-secret search algorithm, the technology world’s equivalent of the Coca-Cola recipe and the core of its business, which determines which websites get top billing in search results and hence more revenues.

The challenge would be to change it sufficiently to reassure regulators without curtailing the company’s growth prospects or ability to innovate.

Antitrust experts say a regulator-ordered break-up of the company is too far-fetched, but policing via an expert committee or trustee, as in the case of Microsoft, could be a feasible option.

Google’s arguments: Competition is just a click away; the company was built for users, not website owners; there will always be some sites unhappy with their rankings.

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Mobile Gaming – Android vs iOS

As the popularity of smartphones has gone through the roof, the apps battle between the top platforms has been fierce. And for the majority of people, when we say apps, what we mainly mean is games.

Also, where a few years ago we seemed to be gearing up for a five-way battle in terms of smartphone OSs, we very quickly ended up with two in terms of bulk sales: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. So which of them currently holds the gaming crown?

Looking at sales of popular apps turns up some interesting, if slightly predictable results. The top 10s for both platforms (in terms of paid apps) are incredibly similar: there are three versions of Angry Birds and a version of Scrabble on each list, while both lists also share touchscreen speed favourite Fruit Ninja, silly tilter Doodle Jump and BAFTA winning strategy game Cut the Rope.

Clearly, all of these games fall into the ‘quick fix’ category, rather than depth and deep strategy or amazing graphics and high level of AI. It’s also worth noting only one of the one or two of the big sellers is priced over $0.99, with none over $2.99 – which together tells you all you need to know about what we mostly want to use our smartphones for.

Android and iOS gaming has become, for all intents and purposes, one in the same. Developers are creating extremely playable, fun yet simple games that easily transfer between mobile platforms. While Apple clearly has the edge in terms of total number of apps, when the numbers are in the millions and the top 10s are almost identical, the numbers are simply arbitrary.

While Android gives you the device choice though, it’s worth noting Apple currently offers the better tablet experience, as well as a significant lead in terms of tablet specific apps. Buying an iOS app could see you playing it on an iPod, iPhone and an iPad. But then, if you’re the kind of Apple junkie who owns those products, this isn’t going to be an argument you’re interested in any way!

While this may seem inconclusive, it’s anything but – it’s actually the greatest of all things, a win-win situation. If you want to pick up a smartphone, there are likely to be several things on your mind: the camera, the price, the provider, screen size, how much data you’ll get. There are so many choices to make – especially with Android, where you’ll find handsets from Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony vying for your hard earned cash.

When it comes to gaming though, you can be happy in the knowledge that both offer a fantastic experience that won’t break the bank and that give you plenty of choice. Unless there is a particular game you’re after that is only on one platform, you’ll find both OSs tick the boxes.

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Highlights from RIM’s earnings report

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. had a lot of bad news for investors on Thursday.

Here are the highlights:

– NO HOLIDAYS: Phones based on the new operating system, BlackBerry 10, won’t be available until early next year, missing the holiday shopping season. That could make it even harder for RIM to regain market share lost to Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s Android system.

– WORKFORCE REDUCTIONS: The company is cutting 5,000 jobs, or about 30 percent of its workforce, as part of a previously announced initiative to trim $1 billion in annual costs.

– DISAPPOINTING EARNINGS: Results for the latest quarter were worse than analysts had expected. Adjusted loss was 37 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a loss of 3 cents. Revenue fell 43 percent to $2.8 billion, well below analyst expectations at $3.1 billion.

– FEWER PHONES: RIM shipped just 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones in the quarter, down 41 percent from 13.2 million a year earlier.

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Skulls of the Shogun gives asynchronous, cross-platform play a turn

Skulls of the Shogun will feature Skulls Anywhere mode, which offers cross-platform play and asynchronous multiplayer across all of its launch platforms: XBLA, Windows Phone, Windows 8 PC and Windows 8 tablet, a la Microsoft Surface . Players with the required devices will be able to take turns independently of one another, for up to four players, and the single-player campaign will be accessible across all Windows platforms through cloud saves. “The turn-based nature of the game makes for perfect asynchronous play across every platform we’re shipping on,” 17-BIT’s Jake Kazdal says . “You can start playing a game at home on your Xbox, then head out and play a few turns from the same game on your phone. You might be playing against someone on a PC or a tablet – everyone’s connected via Xbox Live. And regardless of platform, everyone’s having the same great experience, because it’s the exact same game across all those devices.” Skulls of the Shogun will still feature online, real-time multiplayer, called Skulls Online, and the standard local multiplayer matches.

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