Customizing Windows 7 Using The Windows Registry  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

According to the Engineering Windows 7 blog:

Only 15% of the beta users kept the default theme. 77% of the beta users created a custom theme by changing one or more elements of the inbox themes.

This means that the majority of people want to customize their computers to suite them… (Nothing new!)

This guide shows some ways to customize Windows 7 using the Windows Registry Editor by modifying settings that can’t be changed from the “Personalization” window. Since these tweaks modify the Windows Registry, it is advisable to perform a backup of your registry using ERUNT (or any other means you use).

To open the Windows Registry Editor:

  • Click on the Start
  • Type “regedit” in the search bar
  • Choose “Yes” if a “User Account Control┝ message appears

To go to a specific key in the windows registry:

  • Click on the arrow sign next to the key’s name to expand it.
  • For example if you want to open “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software”: Click on the arrow next to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” then click on “Software”

To create a new value:

  • Right-click anywhere on the right side in the Registry Editor
  • Choose “New”
  • Click on the type of value that you want to insert

To modify a value:

  • Right-click the value
  • Choose “Modify…”

The following tables contain information about the values that need to be added/modified to apply the tweaks:

Windows 7 Task Switcher

The task switcher allows users to switch between open windows using the keyboard shortcut: ALT+Tab

Cool Switch (32-bit)

Cool Switch (32-bit)


Go to : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Value Type What it does affects Data
String Sets the number of columns of the cool switch NUMBER
Default= 7
CoolSwitchRows String Sets the maximum number of rows in the cool switch


Default = 3

Windows 7 Desktop Slideshow (64-bit)

The desktop slideshow automatically changes the wallpaper after a set time interval. The user selects the images he/she wants to use in the slide show, the time interval and whether or not to shuffle their order. All this can be modified through the “Desktop Background” window, however the following can’t:

AnimationDuration – In 64-bit versions of Windows 7, there is a ‘fade’ animation that occurs as a transition between the images. This animation takes about 1 second.

Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Personalization\Desktop Slideshow

Value Type
What it does affects Data
AnimationDuration DWORD (32-bit)
Sets the time taken by the animation in milliseconds
NUMBERRemember: 1000 gives 1 second

There’s another DWORD (32-bit) value called “Interval” that sets the time at which the images change, however it seems to only work when data entered is the same as those available in the “Personalization” window. If a value given is “1000″ for example, which means the desktop background has to change every second (crazy! I know), it still takes 10s to change. I think this is deliberately done by Microsoft, because if people were able to set the time interval to a very short period of time (below 10 seconds), it would overload the computer’s memory. (full Story)

Apple iPhone 3G S - 16GB - Black  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , ,

The good: The iPhone 3G S finally adds common cell phone features like multimedia messaging, video recording, and voice dialing. It runs faster; its promised battery life is longer; and the multimedia quality continues to shine.

The bad: The iPhone 3G S' call quality shows no improvements and the 3G signal reception remains uneven. We still don't get Flash Lite, USB transfer and storage, or multitasking.

The bottom line: The iPhone 3G S doesn't make the same grand leap that the iPhone 3G made from the first-generation model, but the latest Apple handset is still a compelling upgrade for some users. The iPhone 3G S is faster and we appreciate the new features and extended battery life, but call quality and 3G reception still need improvement.

Specifications: OS provided: Apple Mac OS X 10.4.11 ; Talk time: Up to 600 min (watch video)

'Golden Cash' network - rent a botnet  

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Researchers at security firm Finjan said on Wednesday that they have uncovered an underground botnet-leasing network where cyber criminals can pay $5 to $100 to install malware on 1,000 PCs for things like stealing data and sending spam.

The Golden Cash network, dubbed "Your money-making machine" on its home page, sells access to botnets comprised of thousands of compromised PCs to cyber criminals for custom malware spreading jobs, according to issue 2 of the Cybercrime Intelligence Report for 2009.

Here's how it works: a cyber criminal creates a botnet by hiding malicious code in a legitimate Web site that is used to turn Web surfing PCs into zombies. The code, typically an iFrame, points the PCs to a separate Web site where they are then infected with a Trojan backdoor that reports back to the Golden Cash command and control server.

In order to increase the number of botnets, the Golden Cash server installs an FTP (file transfer protocol) grabber on new zombies to steal credentials used by the computers to run Web sites, giving the server control over additional legitimate Web sites. Approximately 100,000 domains, including corporate domains from around the world, were identified among the stolen FTP credentials under Golden Cash's control, according to the report.

Customers pay for the ability to install different types of malware on the Golden Cash bots, which are recycled for new jobs and new customers afterward. Prices are higher for compromised PCs in western countries, the report said.

"This advanced trading platform marks a new milestone in the cybercrime evolution," Finjan said in a statement.

More technical analysis is available on Finjan's Malicious Code Research Center blog, including the fact that the command and control server is hosted in Texas, the registrant country is China and the "proxy" Web site that tunnels traffic to the command and control server is hosted in Krasnodar, Russia.  (This article was originally posted on CNET News.)

Now that we know the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre share extremely similar 65nm ARM Cortex A8-based internals, it's time to break out the stopwatches and see how these blood brothers stack up. Anandtech has the first head-to-head tests we've seen, and it seems like the 3G S has the slight edge, loading a series of web pages 11 percent faster and a whopping 54 percent faster than the iPhone 3G. Not too shabby, but not exactly a thorough drubbing either -- especially when you consider webOS is still 1.0 and there's likely some optimizations to come. Full results at the read link.

Anandtech had some uncharacteristically bad math going on -- the 3G S is actually 21 percent faster than the Pre, which is quite notable considering the similar hardware and WebKit-based browsers. (story Link)

playing Xbox 360 on a Big.  

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The  72 x 160-foot LED wall at the center of the new Cowboys Stadium is certainly impressive enough when it's showing game highlights or concert footage, but no giant screen ever truly earns its credentials until it's been put to some real use: playing video games. Thankfully, Jonas Brothers video director Steve Fatone somehow pulled himself away from concert preparations to do just that earlier this week, and apparently became the first person to ever play Xbox 360 on the display in the process. As you can see above and in the gallery below, the two certainly seem to be made for each other, although it looks like the controller can get a tad touchy if you stray too far while trying to play it. (story Link)

TiVo Wants to Be the Google of Television. How?  

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It's a familiar story. Upstart popularizes technology that threatens to disrupt an industry. Larger rivals enter picture and try to squeeze out little guy. TiVo (TIVO), whose set-top boxes made it routine for viewers to save TV shows on a hard drive so they could watch them later (and fast-forward through the ads), has followed this very trajectory. The cable companies began rolling out their own digital videorecorders a few years ago, and TiVo has been hemorrhaging subscribers ever since.

The TiVo story doesn't end there, however. By leveraging its still potent brand name and cache of more than 140 patents, the Alviso (Calif.) company is trying to remake itself as the Google (GOOG) of television—helping viewers navigate the increasing crush of entertainment choices and selling ads to boot. "Like Google," says CEO Thomas S. Rogers, "TiVo will bring that ease of use to TV sets." A laudable goal, but this is a crowded field.

Remaking a company is never easy, especially when the bottom is falling out of your primary business. This year, TiVo's revenues will shrink by 10%, to $225 million, according to Standard & Poor's (MHP) analyst Tuna N. Amobi, who expects TiVo to shed about 400,000 subscribers. That would leave it with 2.8 million, down from a high of 4.4 million in 2006. But Rogers has an ace in the hole. In 2006 a jury found that EchoStar (SATS), which then owned the Dish Network (DISH) satellite TV service, violated a TiVo patent; TiVo collected $104.6 million. The money let Rogers wipe out the company's debt and bought time to regroup. (On June 2, TiVo was awarded $103 million more after Dish still was found to be in violation of the patent. Dish won a temporary stay and is appealing.)

TiVo remains the standard in program guides. Where cable's technology can be hard to use, TiVo's interface makes finding shows easy. This expertise helps explain why Netflix (NFLX) and Blockbuster (BBI) have signed on to use TiVo technology for their online video services, which stream shows and movies to PCs and TVs. "When consumers want to use their TV to order a program, what better name is there than TiVo?" says Blockbuster digital czar Kevin Lewis. TiVo will get a piece of each transaction, and Netflix and Blockbuster will offer promotions to help sell the box. (full Story)

Facebook, Google Go Persian, Aiding Iran’s Activists  

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Some of the Web’s leading firms are rolling out new features, to accommodate worldwide interest in the protests in Iran — and to not-so-subtly help out the pro-democracy movement inside the country.

Iran’s activists have been relying on blogs, Tweets, text messages, Facebook groups, and uploaded YouTube videos to share information with one another, and with the outside world. Late Thursday night, both Facebook and Google’s translation service added Persian language support, which should make it even easier for the Iranian opposition and its growing global network of supporters to connect.

“We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran. Like YouTube and other services, Google Translate is one more tool that Persian speakers can use to communicate directly to the world, and vice versa — increasing everyone’s access to information,” Google principal scientist Franz Och noted in a Thursday night blog post.

Almost immediately, supporters of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi used the new feature to begin translating his official site into English.

In the past few days, Google’s YouTube video-sharing site recently changed its policy on violent footage, to allow videos from Iran’s protests to stay posted to the site. Twitter rescheduled maintenance, to accommodate Iranian activists. (full Story)

Nokia Siemens to buy Nortel's wireless unit  

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LOS ANGELES, USA: Telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks said that it will sell its advanced wireless technology business to Nokia Siemens Networks  for $650 million and that it was making progress in talks to sell its other businesses.
Nortel, once the largest North American maker of telecommunications gear, collapsed into bankruptcy in January, blaming the economic crisis for derailing a turnaround effort that began in 2005.
Nokia Siemens, a joint venture of Nokia and Siemens, had made an unsolicited offer for parts of Nortel's carrier network group, but the price and scope of a deal had been unclear.
The telecom equipment industry is consolidating and leaving only a few global players -- market leader Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent.
The deal will allow Nokia Siemens to expand its presence in North America and make it a leading supplier of wireless infrastructure products in the region, it said in a separate statement announcing the deal.
The transaction includes Nortel's CDMA business and LTE assets. CDMA is the technology that lost the battle for global dominance but still has a strong position in some markets, including North America. Nortel has a roughly 30 percent share of the global CDMA market.
LTE is a new high-speed wireless technology that is intended to replace current mobile networks. LTE networks are slated to be deployed in the coming years by large wireless carriers including Vodafone Group Plc and Verizon Communications Inc.
"This agreement provides an important strategic opportunity for Nokia Siemens Networks to strengthen its position in two key areas, North America and LTE, at a price that makes good economic sense," NSN Chief Executive Simon Beresford-Wylie said in the statement.
Nokia Siemens is now the "stalking horse" bidder, which means its offer sets a floor under other possible offers in the bankruptcy process.
Under the terms of the deal, at least 2,500 Nortel employees in Canada, the United States, Mexico and China have the opportunity to keep their jobs under NSN ownership. A Nortel spokesman said this represented "a majority" of the employees associated with the assets, but would not give a specific percentage.
Nortel once employed more than 90,000 people, but now has about 30,000 staff. Nortel also said it was advancing discussions to sell its other businesses. (story Link) - Blog Search