December 31, 2006

Tech-Dirt:-Believe It Or Not, People Still Use Mobile Phones For Phone Calls

Every year for the past four or five years, we've seen someone (usually whose job depends on it) declare that "this year will be the year of mobile data." There's this big expectation that there are all these people out there who want to use data services on their mobile phones. But, they keep forgetting one important thing: people still view mobile phones as phones first. Even as more smartphones are selling in the market, an awful lot of them are still used exclusively as phones, with the owner never bothering to make use of any of the data services. There are a bunch of reasons for this, including ridiculous pricing plans, walled gardens and confusing data services. However, even fixing all of those things, it's important to remember that most people are buying a mobile phone to act as a phone -- and as nice as data services are, it's the phone part that is the key selling point.

Railway Platform Tickets Now an SMS Away

The South Western Railway (SWR) has launched a novel scheme to sell platform tickets in Bangalore through mobile phones using the short messaging service (SMS) facility.

Claimed to be the first of its kind service in Indian Railways, the electronic system enables subscribers of BSNL and Airtel to buy a platform ticket by keying in "PFT" and code 3939 (for BSNL) and 64629 (for Airtel) even before reaching the Bangalore city station and collect it from a vending machine at the entrance.

"The system will send a five digit pin to the subscribers opting for this hassle-free service. By entering the pin in the SMS-linked vending machine, they can obtain the platform ticket without monetary transaction, as an amount of Rs. 4, including Re. 1 towards service charge, will be collected from the mobile operators," SWR general manager T.N. Perti told reporters at the launch event.


Future-Watch:-Ford Cars to Use Microsoft OS

Ford Motor reportedly plans on integrating Bluetooth wireless technologies with their line of cars. They will accomplish this by using 'Sync', Microsoft's operating system (OS) designed specifically for wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

Such wireless technology could give you access to your daily technological needs such as hands-free mobile connectivity, accessing your e-mail, and downloading music, while you're on the road. They plan on utilizing this technology with the Five Hundred sedans and the Ford Focus initially.


The Big Question: CAS or DTH?

D day has arrived for CAS (conditional access system) to be implemented in notified areas of Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata.

So where does that leave the consumer who still doesn't have a clue whether to opt for CAS (Conditional Access System) over cable, or DTH (Direct-to-Home), or just free-to-air channels.
For those not in the know, CAS allows a viewer to watch TV channels of his/her choice through a set-top box, and pay only for those. Free-to-air channels do not require a set-top box. By contrast, DTH is satellite-based, wherein the DTH operator claims to deal with consumers directly.

Having said that, it becomes necessary to look at the various schemes on offer, so as to be able to make an informed decision.


December 30, 2006

RelCom gets serious for Hutch bid

MUMBAI - Reliance Communications on Thursday declared its interest in mobile operator Hutchison Essar, as other bidders jostled for position in an estimated $17 billion takeover tussle.

Reliance Communications, India's second-biggest mobile services provider, had been singled out by Indian
media as an early contender for its smaller rival, and Chairman Anil Ambani said on Thursday it had received
commitments from global bankers for support for a potential bid.


December 22, 2006

Skype Users Get Social Networking Software

VoIP network, Skype, has announced its venture into social networking online, with the launch of skySpace, its media-centric social networking software. skySpace is aimed at multiplying the volume and quality of information shared among Skype's 136 million users, on Skype's 3.0 Gold Version for Windows.
skySpace will enable Skype users, worldwide, to share their photos, video, audio, and documents via their skySpace homepage; either in private, or with the community at large. Users may also personalize their skySpace homepage with backgrounds, images, layouts, borders, and fonts while simultaneously conversing with their contacts, via IM. skySpace users may also access feedback on the number of visitors and their identities on the hompages.


Vodafone eyes Hutchison India as Reliance circles

LONDON/MUMBAI (Reuters) - Mobile phone giant Vodafone Group is considering buying a controlling interest in India's Hutchison Essar, raising the prospect of a $13-billion-plus (6.6 billion pound-plus) bid battle with Reliance Communications for the operator.

Vodafone said on Friday the process was at an early stage, but its board believed the mobile market in India has great potential. A move for Hutchison Essar would be consistent with its strategy of seeking selective acquisitions in developing markets, it said.


Moser Baer DVDs Priced at Rs 34

Moser Baer has announced the launch of a new initiative in content distribution, foraying into the entertainment industry through the home video market.

The company said that in order to help curb piracy, it has entered the market with DVDs and VCDs, which are priced at Rs 34 and Rs 28 respectively. Currently, DVDs and VCDs are priced between Rs 200 to Rs 600, and Rs 100 to Rs 200 respectively.

Moser Baer will release video content on DVD and VCD formats using its proprietary and patented technology, which enhances quality and in turn reduces cost significantly. The company will be creating content in edutainment and devotional categories as 'made-for-DVD-films'. Besides, mainstream Hindi movies will also be a part of the company's plan.


BBC Offering Programs on Internet

BBC has announced that hundreds of episodes of its popular programs will for the first time, be made available on a file sharing network.

According to BBC, the move is the fall-out of a deal between its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, and the Java-based BitTorrent client technological firm, Azureus.

Earlier this month, Azureus launched a video sharing site similar to YouTube, codenamed 'Zudeo'. The site enables users upload and view content. Azureus maintains that unlike most video sharing sites, 'Zudeo' offers high definition videos. Besides, users need to download a program to access and upload content.

Up until now, most BBC titles found on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks have been illegal copies. With the new deal, users of 'Zudeo' will be able to download legally, high-quality versions of popular BBC programs.

To prevent these programs from being traded illegally on the Internet, the titles will be protected by digital rights management (DRM) software.


Opera Browser Adds Phishing Protection

Opera’s new antiphishing feature is called Fraud Protection and is designed to provide real-time detection of suspected fraudulent sites.

The new Fraud Protection feature extends the original antifraud capability first seen in Opera 8. That feature sported a security information field to help determine if a site was mimicking a trusted and verified site. …


YouTube helps Canadian Police find murder suspect

TORONTO- A video posted on the ultra-popular Web site YouTube has helped Canadian police find a man they believe responsible for a murder.

Police in the Southern Ontario city of Hamilton said on Thursday that they uploaded a one-minute, 12-second clip from a surveillance tape onto the video-sharing YouTube site.

The video, which showed suspects arriving at a local nightclub for a Sean Price hip-hop concert, garnered media attention and was viewed more than 30,000 times.


December 21, 2006

Mobile Games Database Blog Launched

The only mobile games database worldwide
Import your games via XML, get them live and link them from your site. is a database of mobile games, mobile game developers, and mobile game providers.

Symantec Announces Norton 360 Public Beta

Symantec has announced the availability of public beta of Norton 360 for the Windows Vista operating system. Consumers who are currently running the shipping version of Vista (build 6000) can now deploy Symantec's new all-in-one consumer security service. Norton 360 combines Symantec's PC security and tuneup technologies, along with new automated local and online backup, as well as transaction security capabilities.

The beta of Norton 360 for Windows Vista is available for public download here.


Mozilla Fixes 10 Firefox Bugs

Mozilla has just issued an update to Firefox 2 as well as 1.5. The new updates — version and respectively — patch 10 bugs in Firefox, seven of which are critical. Most of the bugs were in the JavaScript engine, SVG implementation and the Java run time. These affected Mozilla's other products as well, such as Thunderbird and SeaMonkey, both of which have also been updated. For a complete list of changes, click here.
But it seems that another bug that can let a malicious user steal passwords via the automatic password filling feature, has not been fixed yet. Secunia recommends disabling the feature till a patch is put out by Mozilla.

Firefox and will both be automatically updated when online and can also be downloaded separately.

Record Labels Finally Sue

A number of record labels finally pulled the trigger and filed suit against Russian music site AllofMP3 today. The lawsuit was filed in New York. Given that AllofMP3 maintains that it complies with Russian law, it might not be a stretch to assume that AllofMP3 won’t be showing up for their day in (a U.S.) court.

AllofMP3 is still in business, but under a triage of attacks. Their own government sold them out in U.S. trade negotiations, promising to shut them down. Visa and MasterCard stopped accepting credit card transactions from the site. And now the record labels are on the case.


IITs to come up in Bihar, Andhra and Rajasthan

JAIPUR: With the Union human resource development ministry approval, the path has been cleared for the setting up of three more Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) — in Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. At present there are seven IITs in the country — in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee, Chennai and Guwahati.


Nintendo sued over Wii wrist straps

Last week Nintendo announced a voluntary replacement program for the Wii Remote's wrist strap, which had been breaking at inopportune times for some customers and resulting in collateral damage. Shortly after the system launched in North America on November 19, reports popped up of broken cords, followed quickly by flying controllers crashing into high-priced electronics, living room furniture, and the occasional innocent bystander. While Nintendo acknowledged the Wii strap's problem and apparently addressed it, the company might not have done so in time.

On December 6, a Wii purchaser in Austin, Texas filed a suit against Nintendo, alleging the publisher of violating the Washington Consumer Protection Act (Nintendo is based in the state of Washington, where the suit was filed) by engaging in "unfair or deceptive practices" by telling consumers that the wrist strap was to prevent the controller from flying out of a user's hand during use, and then providing a strap that was "ineffective for its intended use." The suit also claims that the Wii Remote strap's problems constitute a breach of warranty, and seeks to become a class-action suit in which anyone who has purchased a Wii would be able to join.


December 20, 2006

Zune Available in India for Rs. 16,000!

Almost one month after the official launch of the Microsoft Zune in the US, you can now pick up your own 30 GB media player from Sound Out in Heera Panna, Mumbai, for a competitive price of Rs. 16,000. In contrast, the 30 GB iPod costs Rs. 13,000. The higher price of the Zune can be justified by a larger screen, FM radio and WiFi for sharing of music, but eventually, we expect the Zune price to level with the iPod's, since both of them cost $249 internationally.
Initial response to the Zune has not been very good; the sales have been very slow, even though some good things have been said about the device, for example its simple and pretty user interface, but people just aren't taking to it as much as Microsoft expected them to.

Now you have the Zune – check it out for yourself!

Lenovo Launches Y-Series Laptops

Lenovo a major manufacturer of branded desktops and laptops has launched two new notebooks — Lenovo Y300 and Y500 — for Indian consumers. The unique feature of these new notebooks is the fact that they feature Lenovo's proprietary biometric face recognition technology, which add a new layer of data security for laptops and allow the notebooks to be used by multiple users.


Tech-Crunch:-Create your own Windows XP icons in Paint

Feeling creative? You can make your very own icons for your shortcuts with Windows XP's built-in Paint program. Here's how to paint yourself some new icons without having to clean brushes afterward.

Are you tired of searching the Internet for icons to use for your shortcuts? Then check out how easy it is to use Windows XP's Paint program to create your own icons. Follow these steps:

1. Launch Paint from the All Programs | Accessories menu.
2. Pull down the Image menu and select the Attributes command.
3. In the Attributes dialog box, type 32 in both the Width and Height boxes and click OK.
4. To make the image easier to work with, click the Magnifier tool and select the level 8 magnification setting.
5. Press [Ctrl]G to add gridlines.
6. Use the tools and colors to create your icon.
7. Press [Ctrl]S and save the file with an ICO extension.

You can now assign your custom icon to any shortcut you wish.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

Google, NASA team up

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — Anyone with an Internet connection will soon be able to get three-dimensional maps of the moon, or real-time tracking of the space shuttle, after NASA agreed Monday to give more of its imagery and information to Google Inc.

The collaboration marks another step in a partnership announced 15 months ago when Google unveiled plans to build a 1 million-square-foot campus at the NASA center, located a few miles south of the company's Mountain View headquarters.


Vodafone in race to buy India's Hutchison Essar

The world's largest mobile phone company, Vodafone Group, is set to enter a bidding war to buy Indian mobile firm Hutchison Essar, a newspaper has reported.

The Economic Times newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, said Wednesday the firm was holding talks with bankers to raise cash to buy the majority stake in Hutchison Essar owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison.

However Vodafone's Indian partner Bharti Airtel told the Business Standard it was not aware of any move.


One criminal gang involved in half of phishing attacks

Expert says Romanian “Rock Phish” gang responsible for half of worldwide phishing attacks

Over half of phishing emails in the world are thought to come from just one criminal gang, according to a security expert.

Ken Dunham, director of the VeriSign’s security research unit iDefense Rapid Response Team, said that the gang, called “Rock Phish”, is “likely responsible for 50 percent or more of current phishing attacks today.” …


Tech-Dirt:-Indian `inbox` clogged with spam

Every 27th email in an Indian’s inbox contains a virus, trojan or other form of malware, making our country continually the hardest hit in terms of virus activity.

The seemingly innocuous spam, however, which continues to account for roughly 70 per cent of all e-mail messages on the Internet (over 90 per cent of people in India receive spam) is a bigger threat, indicates a recent report by security firm MessageLabs. …


Xbox, ICICI Co-branded Credit Card

As an extension to the thrill and excitement associated with Xbox 360, Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division has - in partnership with ICICI Bank, launched the Xbox 360 & ICICI Bank co-branded credit card.

Present at the launch were Country Manager of Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division (India), Mohit Anand; Head of Cards Product Group, ICICI Bank, Sachin Khandelwal; and Bollywood Actor & Xbox 360 Brand Ambassador, Akshay Kumar.

Announcing the launch, Mohit Anand, said, "As digital entertainment products emerge as vital constituents of consumer lifestyles today, it is imperative to explore innovative strategic tie-ups that help consumers leverage their benefits with such partnerships. With the association with ICICI Bank, this card will exclusively address lifestyle needs of the youth and the young at heart, and will also offer a host of other benefits."


Nokia Connecting New Year's Eve

Nokia has announced the star cast for the India celebrations of the Nokia New Year's Eve party scheduled to span across five world capitals; Hong Kong, Mumbai, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, finally culminating in New York.

Come December 31, and the Indian arm of Nokia's event will unfold at Mumbai's Andheri Sports Complex. Dotting the sterling show will be star performances by music maestro - A R Rahman, and actors - Priyanka Chopra, Shahid Kapoor, and Koena Mitra.

The highlight will be a rocking performance by Grammy Award winner, Nelly Furtado, who will render songs from her latest album, "Loose". Accompanying her on stage will be Canadian band, Josh Desi, who've been instrumental in remixing her wildly popular single, 'Powerless'.

Altogether, Nokia's world event is expected to witness a combined attendance of 1.3 million, with nearly over 8 to 10 thousand people expected to show up at Mumbai's Andheri Sports Complex.


December 18, 2006

New Indian Bill Seeks to Curb Cyber Crime

The Indian parliament has introduced a bill to amend the Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000, to address the rising cases of cyber crime and data theft online. The bill proposes to amend some of the existing sections and insert new ones in the IT Act, the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act as well as the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The bill, introduced in the Lok sabha, urges the government to provide legal framework for new forms of crimes like video voyeurism, publishing of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form, e-commerce frauds through impersonation commonly known as Phishing and many other such cyber crimes. Some recommendations of the bill include, replacing the term 'digital signature' with 'electronic signature' to promote alternative technologies for authentication of electronic record.

The IT Act 2000 was enacted to boost the growth of computers and Internet, provide legal recognition to electronic record and e-transactions and prevent computer-based crimes.

December 17, 2006

Dopod in India with Three Handsets

Dopod Communication, a leading PDA phone and Smartphone provider has now officially entered the Indian market with the unveiling of three new handset models namely; C720W, C800, and 818Pro.

With this, the company promises to offer sophisticated and innovative converged solutions along with the best designs and trends prevalent internationally to the consumers here. Dopod claims to have become Asia's fastest growing mobile communications company in just two years due to its successful partnerships with two world class industry leaders including High Tech Computer (HTC) and Microsoft.


Amazon Sues IBM for Patent Infringement

In a strongly worded rebuttal, on Thursday countersued IBM. The companies have charged each other with patent infringement.

The countersuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, denies that infringes IBM patents, seeks to invalidate some IBM patents and charges IBM with infringing on some patents.


December 16, 2006

Tech-Dirt:-Facebook Would Like To Remind You It Isn't For Sale (Wink Wink), But Is Now Worth $8 Billion

It was reported earlier this week that Yahoo was prepared to shell out up to $1.62 billion to buy Facebook, based on the inflated expectation that it could generate a billion-dollar profit by 2015. Apparently Yahoo's offer of $1 billion to Facebook got rejected, and the company never got another chance to bid. While most rational people would have taken the money and ran, Facebook now says it's no longer for sale, with a board member saying they want to build the company up. We'd like to again take this opportunity to point Facebook to the history of Friendster, which is the classic example of not knowing when to sell out -- the company was being shopped around for $5 million earlier this year, after Google had offered to buy it for $30 million worth of pre-IPO stock in late 2003, and a price of $200 million was mentioned for it in 2005. But, true to form, Facebook is following the Skype billion-dollar buyout plan (most recently enlisted by YouTube): a board member says that the company isn't for sale... but that it's worth $8 billion -- as much as that fly-by-night youth-oriented business MTV. Clearly the Skype blowout buyout business model is seeing the effects of inflation (otherwise known as a bubble), which is mildly amusing given talk that Skype is having some trouble meeting the targets to trigger the $1.5 billion earnout that was on top of the $2.6 billion eBay paid for it in cash and stock. Getting the cash up front, then running as far and as fast as you can, really seems like the best play for these companies.

December 15, 2006

Rs. 250 Million Lost in SMS Fraud

SMS and earn money. Sounds like a con job to you? It didn't to 50,000 people looking to make a quick buck — allowing the now absconding fraudsters, to get away with nearly Rs. 250 Million.

An ad in some Mumbai dailies kick-started this SMS fraud by brothers Jayanand Nadar, 36, and Jayaraja Nadar, 28. 'Nothing is impossible. The word itself is I M Possible', read the ad. According to the police the duo then messaged random numbers, asking people interested in 'earning Rs. 10,000 a month to contact them' thus promising investors they could 'get rich quickly'.


Microsoft Updates Vista in Latest Piracy Crackdown

Microsoft today released an update to Windows Vista that will shut down unauthorized versions of the OS that allow users to skip the product's activation system.

The move comes as pirated copies of Vista are already making the rounds, mere weeks after the product was released to business customers.

The update, which Microsoft has dubbed "frankenbuild," detects tampering of Windows Vista code that would allow users of the OS to work around the product's built-in activation system, which requires users to validate their copy of Vista with a product activation key to use the full version of the product after 30 days.


Nintendo recalls straps for Wii game controllers

TOKYO — Nintendo said Friday it will replace 3.2 million straps for its popular Wii computer game controllers after receiving a rash of reports that the devices flew out of the hands of overzealous players.

The recall is a bittersweet development for Nintendo — a costly hitch in its three-way battle with Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360, but also confirmation of the enthusiastic reception worldwide.

The Wii's signature wand-like remote controller is used to mimic the motions of a tennis racket, golf club or sword, depending on the game. But soon after the Wii went on sale last month, people started reporting cases of the controller's strap breaking as they waved it about vigorously.


Cyber Hijackers Target Hotmail Users

Hotmail users have been attacked by a group of Spanish email hijackers, who have managed to hack into millions of free accounts. The 'cyber hijackers', as they are now called, erased all email messages and contacts in several hotmail accounts, with the exception of a 'ransom' message — in Spanish — that demands an unspecified amount of money, in exchange of the lost information. Internet security firm, Websense, has warned all hotmail users of this new wave of 'cyber extortion', but has not published any solution to the problem yet.


BSNL Offers 2Mbps Net Connectivity in 2007

State owned telecom operator and Internet Service Provider (ISP), BSNL has announced that it will provide broadband speed of up to 2 Megabits Per Second (Mbps), to all its existing subscribers. BSNL broadband subscribers, who have been offered internet connectivity of 256 kilobits Per Second until now, will be liable for the speed upgrade in early 2007.
Announcing the move, the Communication and IT Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, said that the year 2007 will be christened as the 'Year of Broadband' in India.
He said BSNL has offered this aggressive plan of providing five million broadband connections in 2007, with minimum download speed of 1 Mbps, as a challenge for private operators.


BSNL Launches BSNL Tunes

The state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Chennai telecom circle has become the first BSNL circle in the country to launch 'BSNL Tunes.'

The company said that BSNL Tunes is an innovative, value-added 'Ring back tone' service, which will be provided to all its postpaid mobile subscribers in Chennai.

BSNL also said that BSNL Tunes service offers mobile subscribers in Chennai the option to set their favorite songs as ring back tone for all callers to listen to instead of the usual ring tone.


December 14, 2006

Future Watch:nokia888 design awards 2005 winner

here's the video of nokia888 (concept fone) design awards 2005 winner....i know its a bit late to post it but its really good...

Now you can search for U.S. patents

We've all heard about the Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell -- famous inventors whose creative minds changed the course of history. But there are many more like them, and millions of inventions that have been patented in the U.S. alone -- from useful everyday items such as adhesive tape and contact lenses to, er, things useful in specific situations, like this shark protector suit or this amusement device incorporating simulated cheese and mice.

Today, we're excited to be releasing the beta version of Google Patent Search, which makes it easy to search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you. Start your exploration at or visit the Advanced Patent Search page to search by criteria, including patent number, inventor, and filing date. You can view images of original patents online.


Symantec Launches $15 Million Piracy Suit

Symantec has filed suit against an alleged software piracy ring that has been operating in North America since late 2003, the software vendor said.

The lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeks more than $15 million in damages from a network of U.S. and Canadian businesses that are alleged to have sold counterfeit versions of Symantec's products, including Norton AntiVirus, PCAnywhere, and Veritas Backup Exec.


Now, Learn Language on Mobile

C-DAC based in Pune and Enable M, a Mumbai-based Mobile Technology company has jointly developed a technology for learning Indian languages through artificial intelligence, on mobile phones.

The technology named as LILA (Learn Indian Language through Artificial Intelligence), is a result of the joint efforts of both the premier organizations engaged in developing indigenous solutions in hi-tech areas.

According to the duo, this is a milestone in language learning through Artificial Intelligence Technology.


Future-Watch:-New Phone manufacturer Neo brings concept phones to life

Seems there's a new mobile phone manufacturer in town, and they're gunning for those designer phones that are currently all the rage. Called Neo, the company is showing off its brand new Neo 808i, which is kind of funky looking, featuring a more horizontal approach to mobile phone design, with the keys placed to the right of the screen.

The Neo 808i is nothing special at the moment, but what might be more interesting is the phones it has up its sleeves for the future. Indeed, future is the right word - these phone designs are straight from the latest thinking in concept phones.


HP's Training Aspiring Techies

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced that it will strengthen its commitment to train students on upcoming technologies through a nationwide free training program targeting students of the top universities and engineering colleges in India.

This is a voluntary initiative led by the employees of HP Systems Technology and Software Division (STSD) under the aegis of their University Program.

This program is targeted to train more than 300 students on some of the latest technologies like advanced UNIX, software engineering processes, project life cycle management, and others.


December 12, 2006

Five-Digit SMS Code Mandatory

The government has mandated that all telecommunication companies in the country move over to 5-digit SMS short codes, discontinuing the existing 4-digit and 6-digit codes. It is also asking all operators using 4-digit short codes to prefix ‘5’ and convert them to 5-digit codes.

All the existing 5- and 6-digit short codes also have to be migrated to 5-digit codes by replacing the first digit or first two digits with ‘5’. In case of disputes, the DoT would be the final authority for the allocation, sources in DoT said.


Phase' Memory Beats Flash

Flash memory and hard-disk drives could face a challenge from a new chip technology, dubbed "phase-change" memory, being developed by a group of companies led by IBM.

The companies today announced results of their latest research into the technology, which they say does a better job of storing songs, pictures and other data on iPods and digital cameras than current flash memory, and could someday replace disk drives.


Nintendo under Fire over 'Wiimote'

Seems, the very same feature that earned the Nintendo Wii its accolades is now earning brickbats nonetheless for the gaming console...

The Wii's television remote-shaped, wireless, motion-sensing controller, nicknamed "Wiimote" by fans of Nintendo, and said to add significant value to game play, has now come under scathing fire for its propensity to fly out of gamers' hands - without warning - thanks to a defective wrist strap.

The Wiimote, as it is fondly called, is secured to gamers' hands by means of a Wii strap, which is simply put - a standard loop of cloth attached to the base of the controller by a thin cord.

However, several reports are doing the rounds that this cord tends to break, sending the Wiimote flying out of the gamer's hands, and into consumer electronics and any other object 'in the way' including unsuspecting bystanders.


Dhanus' FleeTrac Gets DoT License

Dhanus Technologies, a leading global telecommunications company, has announced becoming the first company to have secured a license from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for its Vehicle Tracking Service, titled "FleeTrac".

Dhanus says "FleeTrac" is an advanced asset tracking service for remote monitoring and tracking of vehicles, which establishes voice and data communication with vehicle drivers anywhere in the country - in the language of their choice.

The service locates/tracks vehicles within a radius of 10 meters; and allows SMS/communication with vehicle drivers in emergencies, or when equipment is tampered with, or other such.

The vehicle tracking results are uploaded to a "FleeTrac" server, wherein the data is interpreted and consolidated into customized reports. These reports, including trip logs, route maps, and usage alerts, are then viewed via a secure, password-protected Web site.


TECH~CRUNCH:-2007 Mobile Industry Predictions

1. CD-Quality Music Will Be The Killer Cell Phone Application

2. Mobile TV Use on Cell Phones Will Grow, but Not as Fast as CD-Quality Music

3. The Earliest and Most Frequent Users of Mobile TV Will be People Riding Trains To and From Work

4. Digital Cameras on Cell Phones Will Have Less Customer Adoption Compared with Music

5. The Entry-Level Cell Phone Market Will Be the Sweet Spot for CD-Quality Music Applications

6. India Will be the Fastest Growing Cell Phone Market for the Next Several Years

7. Simultaneous Cell Phone Applications Will Be Crucial; Those Who Don't Offer Them Will Lose Out to Those Who Do

8. More Feature-Rich Cell Phones Will Be Key in Enabling Wireless Service Providers to Boost Their Average Revenues Per User

9. 3G Cell Phones Will Not Be All About Merely Enabling the Connected Lifestyle, but Rather Perfecting the Connected Lifestyle

10. More Collaborations Will Be Necessary to Survive and Thrive in the Cell Phone Market

Satyam prepares customers for Vista

BANGALORE: Satyam Computer Services has announced that Microsoft has selected Satyam to participate in the Windows Vista Application Compatibility Factory (ACF), a program designed to help organizations around the world implement Windows Vista, the latest operating system from Microsoft.


December 11, 2006

Microsoft Office format approved as new standard for data

BOSTON — A data format used in Microsoft Corp.'s prevalent Office software line has been approved as an international standard — a move aimed at preserving access to documents created with the package for years to come.

Companies and governments had expressed concern that documents created with Microsoft's proprietary technology might be impossible to read at some point in the future if Microsoft shifted to a format incompatible with current versions.

For example, Massachusetts state government decided that in 2007 it would begin storing new records in a standard free of proprietary controls — namely, the OpenDocument format used in open-source software.


Google begins test of radio ad service

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google Inc. has started testing a long-awaited radio advertising service that represents the Internet search leader's most elaborate attempt yet at expanding its financial clout beyond the Web.

The test announced Thursday will help sell advertising on more than 700 radio stations in more than 200 U.S. metropolitan markets. Google hopes to eventually sign up more than 5,000 stations, according to documents shown potential advertisers.

For now, at least, Google will lag well behind other radio advertising placement services like Softwave Media Exchange, which says it has enlisted more than 1,500 stations with a combined daily audience of more than 9 million listeners.


December 10, 2006

Google Adds The Geographic Web To Earth

Google has added some new layers to Google Earth. The new layers are part of what is now called the “Geographic Web.”

The Geographic Web is a mashup of content from Wikipedia, the Google Earth Community, and Panoramio, a geographical photo sharing site. As you zoom into a specific location, you can see place marks of points of interest, user-generated photos, and selected Wikipedia articles. Hopefully it will remain uncluttered as content fills in but it appears that Google is only using select information in the Geographic Web from the three user-generated feeds.

Pirates Hack Vista's Registration Features

Hackers are distributing a file that they say lets users of the corporate version of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system get around the software's anti-piracy mechanisms.

Windows Vista must be "activated," or authorized by Microsoft, before it will work on a particular machine. To simplify the task of activating many copies of Vista, Microsoft offers corporate users special tools, among them Key Management Service (KMS), which allows a company to run a Microsoft-supplied authorization server on its own network and activate Vista without contacting Microsoft for each copy.


Security Hole Found in Windows Media Player

Users are being advised to disable a certain type of file in Microsoft's Windows Media Player software following the discovery of a new security hole in the software.

Windows Media Player versions 9 and 10 are affected by the flaw, which could allow a malicious hacker to run unauthorized software on a victim's PC or cause a denial of service attack, according to security company FrSIRT, which rated the problem critical in an advisory Thursday.

The flaw is due to a buffer overflow error that can occur when Windows Media Player is used to run ".asx" media files, according to a warning from eEye Digital Security.

Such files open automatically in a Web browser, meaning a hacker would need only to post an infected .asx file in a Web page and then try to lure users to visit the page, eEye Digital said. An infected file could also be sent via email, in which case users would need to be persuaded to open it.


Mozilla Ships Alpha Release of Firefox 3.0

Mozilla today hit an early milestone on the road to the next version of its open-source browser, but the final product is still a year away, developers say.

The Mozilla team released its first alpha release of Firefox 3.0 today, giving Firefox and Web application developers an early look at the next-generation browser. This release is not intended for regular users, not even those who like to play around with early versions of a product, Mozilla said.

The software, code-named Gran Paradiso, comes just six weeks after Mozilla shipped version 2.0 of the browser, but it has already been more than a year in development, according to Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of engineering.


Gmail Just Got Better

Google quietly added a small feature to Gmail this week called Mail Fetcher. When that feature launched, Gmail became perfect.

Mail Fetcher allows users to access non-Gmail email accounts from within the Gmail interface. If you have a Yahoo email account, and a work email account, etc., you can simply access that email from within Gmail, using POP settings. Gmail will now work in a very similar way as Outlook does on the PC desktop.


TECH~CRUNCH:-Best Internet Acquisitions

HipMojo lists the top 11:

#11 - Honorary Mention: Yahoo! acquires Yoyodyne in 1998 for $39 Million

#10 - aQuantive acquires Razorfish for $160M in June 2004

#9 - Microsoft acquires Hotmail for $400M in 1998

#8 - Ask Jeeves acquires Interactive Search Holdings for $343M in March 2004

#7 - eBay acquires Paypal for $1.5B in 2002

#6 - AOL Time Warner acquires for $435M in June 2004

#5 - Yahoo! acquires Inktomi for $235M in December, 2002

#4 - Yahoo! acquires Overture for $1.63B in July, 2003

#3 - Google acquires Sprinks (for basically nothing) in October 2003

#2 - New York Times acquires for $410M in February, 2005

#1 - News Corporation acquires MySpace-parent Intermix for $580M in May 2005

Infy becomes part of Nasdaq 100 index

BANGALORE: IT bellwether Infosys Technologies becomes part of coveted Nasdaq 100 club.With this, Infosys has now become part of the elite group comprising of, Google, Cisco, Red Hat, Autodesk, eBay, Juniper Networks, Yahoo, Netscapes, Oracle and Apple Corporation.

The NASDAQ-100 index, a global benchmark, is composed of 100 largest non-financial stocks on the NASDAQ.

US Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc announced the reshuffle in its NASDAQ-100 index by including Infosys, which was listed on Nasdaq seven years ago.The induction will be operational from December 18, 2006.