December 21, 2010

National database of IMEI number on cards

A national data base containing the unique identity of all mobile phones , known as the IMEI number – to block usage of handsets that are stolen or lost is set to become a reality, after leading telcos extended their support to this initiative.

Sector regulator Trai, which recently proposed this initiative, will now put in place the guidelines and mechanisms to create this database, and will also decide the mode of funding for this project.

This national initiative will enable mobile service providers to block all services to those handsets that are stolen, in an attempt to prevent their misuse.

Telcos say this will discourage theft, but add it will not a 100% foolproof solution as resellers of stolen handsets can ‘illegally avail technologies that will enable them to reprogram or clone IMEI numbers’. International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a unique 14-digit code used to identify valid devices.

“Blocking of IMEI is an effective solution to discourage mobile theft in the country as it will prevent the usage of stolen handset which is re-sold in the market to some extent. However, it alone cannot serve the purpose as the handsets can be easily reprogrammed and sold in the market,” the Cellular Operators Association of India , the body representing GSM operators, said in their response to Trai.

This industry body has suggested that this central registry be maintained either by the government, or the regulator or by done by an authorised third party, and it be linked to the GSMA database having the white/grey/black list of all the handsets available in the market to reduce the efforts, risk of error and cost of updating the database separately by each service provider.

This would also ensure that a global database of stolen devices is maintained. This also allows devices stolen in India to be blocked in other countries thereby maximising the value of blacklisting as it is generally recognised that stolen devices travel across national borders, the COAI added.

Ericsson , the world’s largest telecoms gear maker, which also runs the mobile networks of Bharti Airtel and other telcos, has asked the regulator to adopt laws similar to that of the UK and make re-programming of IMEI numbers a criminal offence. This position has been supported by several mobile phone operators.


Foursquare Adds Photos and Comments

Foursquare_iphone_logo.pngLocation-based checkin service Foursquare has just announced the addition of photos and commenting features, due to arrive within hours to users of its iPhone application. The features have already gone live on the website.

According to Foursquare, these two features were among the most requested from its users for months, a signal that, perhaps, folks are beginning to demand more social elements from check-in apps: rewards, either virtual or tangible, are just not enough.

A post on the official Foursquare company blog says that the added features make Foursquare "more useful and social," a statement that addresses the negative sentiments spouted by those who claim they "don't see the point" of check-in apps, and call them useless.

What's New?

Now, you can comment on your friends' check-ins, a feature which serves as an additional form of communication for the service's users. Previously, communication was limited to shouts, tips and comments on your own check-ins, the latter which could be syndicated to Twitter and Facebook. You can even add comments while browsing the website itself too, allowing for a second opportunity to interact with other users.

Perhaps even more anticipated than comments, however, is photos. The addition of photo posting "changes everything," reads the Foursquare blog. You can "see dishes before ordering them, figure out if a venue looks fun, or easily identify a hard-to-find spot."

Photos will be syndicated over to your history page on, transforming it into more interesting life-stream of sorts, where photos and comments will be preserved alongside your checkins.


The new comments feature is also integrated with iPhone's push notifications system and there are privacy settings that can apply to photos.

Pics, Please!

With this update, Foursquare is clearly responding to user feedback - even its most-engaged users are beginning to tire of the check-in for check-ins' sake, it seems. They want more than the occasional coupon or reward, badge or crown. Innovative photo-sharing startups like Instagram have been able to capitalize on users' desire to share comments and photos along with their location. However, on Instagram, the roles are reversed - photos come first, location second. With Foursquare, it's the other way around.

Foursquare even makes mention of Instagram in its post, noting that, as a Foursquare partner, photos taken with the app can be syndicated over to Instagram. With this comment, it almost sounds as if Foursquare thinks of Instagram as just another third-party application built on top of Foursquare's API (application programming interface), as opposed to its own standalone community.

Photos from Foodspotting and another location-sharing app picplz will now flow into Foursquare, too.

Although today's update is only for users of the iPhone app, Foursquare says that Android users will get a new app later this week, Palm and BlackBerry users will see an update in January and other major platforms will be addressed in early 2011.  In the near future, additional features will be added, says Foursquare: photos shared with Foursquare users will be able to be posted to Facebook and Flickr, comment tracking will be improved and photos will be archived in a "more useful place."


November 20, 2010

MNP – How Would It Work For Users?

The first phase on MNP is rolling out on 25th November from the Harayna Circle. This is how Mobile Number portability would work for a normal user.

1. Send the following SMS to 1900 – PORT <Your Mobile Number> – eg. PORT 9123456789

2. You will get an SMS with your unique porting code. This is a unique number that will be maintained along with your mobile number with a third party called  MNP Service Provider (Selected companies for this service- Syniverse Technologies and Telcordia). The unique code has a expiry time. You need to apply to the new preferred operator with that code within the stipulated time.

3. The new operator will communicate with existing operator and ask for permission. If approved thenew operator will set a time for porting and communicate this to MNP provider and existing operator.

4. On the set date and time, the current operator will disconnect the number and pass the message to MNP provider.

5. The new operator will now claim that number and MNP would maintain a central database with the new details.


1. What is the cost of switching an operator through MNP?
The max. charge can be Rs.19. This has to be paid to the new operator. The operator can choose to charge you lesser.

2. Can i change operator multiple times using MNP?
Yes. Though there is a limitation of how frequently you can change the operator. Once switched you cannot change the operator for the next 90 days.

3. Will my mobile number be disconnected during porting?
Yes. During disconnection from old and connecting to new operator you number will be dead for about 2 hours.

4. How much time will the whole process take?
According to rules set by TRAI, it shouldn’t take more than 4 days for the complete process from the time of applying to new operator.

5. Can i carry forward my prepaid balance to the new operator after MNP?

6. Can a postpaid user apply for MNP?
Yes. The old operator will approve only after all dues are cleared.


August 26, 2010

Jargon Buster - WAP, WAP2, HTTP, HTML, GPRS

1. GPRS is a method of connecting to your provider while WAP is the protocol that runs on top of GPRS { You can think of WAP as a toned down version of HTML while GPRS is a toned down version of dial-up.

2. WAP is suited for GPRS only connections

3. There are also other services that use GPRS aside from WAP

4. WAP can also be used on EDGE and even on 3G connections

5. Most of the more recent mobile phones can now support full HTML browsing, this gives an indication that WAP would soon be obsolete.


In WAP 2 the TCP stack and HTTP protocol were added in the implementation. The WAP gateway may still be used and this is the default configuration for many browsers and preferred by many mobile operators.
The browser, anyway, is able to manage the entire communication with the remote server, so the WAP gateway is not required anymore.

If the browser allows it, users may change their settings and avoid going through the WAP gateway.
Many operators enforce the use of the WAP gateway providing special rates when using it, for example, accessing the operator portal forfree, but only while using their WAP gateway.

Need for SMSC in Mobile Internet world? {WAP PUSH}

WAP Push has been incorporated into the specification to allow WAP content to be pushed to the mobile handset with minimum user intervention. A WAP Push is basically a specially encoded message which includes a link to a WAP address.

WAP Push is specified on top of WDP; as such, it can be delivered over any WDP-supported bearer, such as GPRS or SMS

On receiving a WAP Push, a WAP 1.2 or later enabled handset will automatically give the user the option to access the WAP content.

WAP protocol suite


| Wireless Application Environment (WAE)   |

+------------------------------------------+  \

| Wireless Session Protocol (WSP)          |   |

+------------------------------------------+   |

| Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP)      |   |        WAP

+------------------------------------------+   |                  protocol

| Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) |   |   suite

+------------------------------------------+   |

| Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP)         |   |

+------------------------------------------+  /

|     *** Any Wireless Data Network ***    |



Jargon buster - POP3, IMAP, SMTP


The POP (Post Office Protocol 3) protocol provides a simple, standardized way for users to access mailboxes and download messages to their computers.

When using the POP protocol all your eMail messages will be downloaded from the mail server to your local computer. You can choose to leave copies of your eMails on the server as well. The advantage is that once your messages are downloaded you can cut the internet connection and read your eMail at your leisure without incuring further communication costs. On the other hand you might have transferred a lot of message (including spam or viruses) in which you are not at all interested at this point.  POP3 normally uses port 110.


IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) – Is a standard protocol for accessing e-mail from your local server. IMAP is a client/server protocol in which e-mail is received and held for you by your Internet server. As this requires only a small data transfer this works well even over a slow connection such as a modem. Only if you request to read a specific email message will it be downloaded from the server. You can also create and manipulate folders or mailboxes on the server, delete messages etc. IMAP normally uses port 143.

Major Difference between POP3 and IMAP

IMAP and POP are different protocols that do similar things.
The main differences in the two are that IMAP manages the email that's on the server, whereas POP3 downloads email from the server, leaving the client to manage the email locally.

Since IMAP leaves the email on the server and manages the email on the server (including folders), it’s better suited for mailboxes that will be accessed by multiple users or from multiple locations.


The SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) protocol is used by the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) to deliver your eMail to the recipient's mail server. The SMTP protocol can only be used to send emails, not to receive them. Depending on your network / ISP settings, you may only be able to use the SMTP protocol under certain conditions. SMTP uses port 25.

ORKUT - Draw a line between work and friends!

Orkut, Google's social network that has a lot of users in Brazil and India, has received a major update. Groups of friends are more visible and you can send messages to the members of a group directly from Orkut's homepage. Orkut also updated search results pages and application pages, while testing a new platform for communities.

There are a lot of changes and it will be interesting to see if Google tests these features in Orkut before launching Google Me, a social network that will compete with Facebook.

One of the major changes in Orkut is the focus on groups. "You love your grandma and you're friends with your boss, but that doesn't mean you want them both seeing the conversation you're having with your friends the day after a party. With orkut, you can now build separate groups of your friends reflecting how you interact with them in real life." This is one of the ideas from "The Real Life Social Network", a presentation by Paul Adams, Senior User Experience Researcher at Google.

[youtube R1xzJrPn-Bc]


Google Testing Web-based VoIP in Gmail

Already, Gmail serves as a control panel, an always-open tab, for the loyal Google user. It offers quick and simple access to our email, contacts, calendar, documents, chat and more. Soon, it may be home to a Web-based telephony client.

According to CNET, Google has begun testing a Gmail-integrated VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) client that would allow users to make phone calls directly from the browser.


The feature is different from the voice and video chat that is already available from Gmail using the chat feature, in that it isn't solely between chat users. Instead, the new feature looks to allow users to call any type of phone directly from their Web browser.

For those users seeing the test of the new product, the ability to make phone calls is added directly to the Google Talk popup that appears in the lower right corner of the Gmail screen, offering a keypad, a call history, and a credit balance. According to the screenshots from CNET, Google will offer free calls within the U.S. and Canada, with cheap international calling, in 2010.

Gadget-obsessed blog Slashgear suggests that the new feature fits in line with rumors from last July, which suggested that Google was looking to develop a software-based VoIP service that would fit in line with its upcoming Google Chrome OS.


Linux users, you can video chat too!

If you’ve been wanting to use voice and video chat on Linux (our top video chat request), then we have good news for you: it’s now available! Visit to download the plugin and get started. Voice and video chat for Linux supports Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions, and RPM support will be coming soon.


August 18, 2010

Location Sharing Is Coming to Facebook

Facebook is expected to unveil on Wednesday a new location-sharing feature for the social network's 500 million users. Reports about Facebook developing a location-based feature have been circulating for some time. Facebook has also been making references to a potential location feature. In March, Facebook said it had some ideas for about adding new location features that would go beyond just sharing your location in a Facebook update or wall post.

But despite all the rumblings about location, Facebook has yet to unveil such a service. In fact, it's unclear if location really is what Facebook plans to discuss at its upcoming press event.

However, a "multitude" of anonymous sources have reportedly told All Things D's Kara Swisher that geo-location is definitely on the docket for Wednesday.

Details are scarce about what Facebook's new location service would be like, but it's likely the main way you'd share your location would be through your mobile device.

News that Facebook may be getting into the location game has many wondering what the implications will be for location-sharing services such as Foursquare and Gowalla.   Both services use your mobile device's GPS feature to share your location with your friends when visiting cafes, bars, malls, and other public places. Sharing your location is known as a check-in, and users typically earn points, virtual rewards and other incentives that encourage frequent check-ins.

Foursquare has been the most aggressive location service in recent months among location services. The company has signed deals with Bravo television, registered more than 100 million check-ins, and encouraged small business owners to reward their Foursquare mayors -- the person who has checked-in the most at a particular location using Foursquare -- with happy hour specials, retail discounts, giveaways and other prizes.

Despite their burgeoning popularity, it's unclear whether smaller location services would remain popular if Facebook (with its 500 million-strong membership) got into location sharing. However, recent rumors suggest Facebook's location feature would somehow integrate with existing location services.

It's only one day until we know for sure what Facebook has in store for its users. Facebook's press event is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, August 18.


Google Calendar Sync now supports Outlook 2010

Making sure that your calendar is available to you whenever and wherever you need it is important. That's why Google Calendar works with a number of desktop applications and mobile devices including iCal, iPhone and iPad, Blackberry, Android, Nokia/Symbian, and Windows Mobile phones. Google Calendar Sync for Outlook is also available, but one thing was missing — until now.

Google Calendar Sync now supports Outlook 2010 — our top feature request. Outlook 2010 comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and currently only 32-bit is supported. To start syncing your calendar with Outlook 2010, download Google Calendar Sync version Once you install it, a Settings window will appear. Enter your account’s email address and password, choose your sync optionand sync frequency, and you’re done! (Note: If you’re already using Google Calendar Sync, you’ll still need to download and install this new version in order to be able to sync with Outlook 2010. If you need help, take a look at our getting started guide.)


August 6, 2010

Google Waves Goodbye

Google's blog announced that Google Wave, the innovative communication platform released last year, will be discontinued.

"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don't plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects. The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave's innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began."

Google Wave has a lot of interesting features, but the interface is confusing and difficult to use. While many thought that Google Wave will reinvent email, Google's service combined an online document editor with an instant messenger. Google Wave allows you to create "live" documents that are edited collaboratively in real-time, but it's more than a conversational version of Google Docs. It's based on an open protocol, so you can edit a wave using multiple services. It's extensible, so you can build gadgets and robots that add new functionality.

Google Wave had a lot of potential, but Google didn't manage to build a compelling user experience and define some use cases for the application. Instead of building a general-purpose interface for Google Wave, Google could've used the platform to create multiple applications with clearly-defined goals: a new version of Google Chat, a new version of Google Docs, a brainstorming app etc.

Now that Google Wave is discontinued, some of its feature will be added to other Google services (Gmail, Google Docs), but the platform will vanish. It's clear that Google doesn't want to invest in niche services, which is a big opportunity for startups. "We want to do things that matter to a large number of people at scale," said Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, in an interview.


August 5, 2010

Drag & Save Gmail Attachments to Your Desktop

Gmail looks more and more like a desktop mail client: you can read messages from multiple accounts, attach files using drag and drop and now you can download attachments by dragging and dropping them to the desktop.

If you use Google Chrome 5+ and you want to save a Gmail attachment to the desktop or to a folder that's already opened in your favorite file manager, click on the icon displayed next to the attachment or on the "Download" link and drag it to the desktop, Windows Explorer or other file manager. You can also drag the "Download all attachments" link to save all your attachments to a ZIP file.

"Simply click and hold, then drag your cursor to anywhere in your file system that you want to save the file. Release the mouse button, and voilĂ ! Your attachment is saved (for large files, you may see a progress dialog)," mentions Gmail's blog.

This feature is only available in Google Chrome, but it will work in other browsers when they implement the required HTML5 File APIs.


Unlock your iPhone 4 Video

It's the moment that many of you have been waiting for: the Dev-Team's ultrasn0w carrier unlock for iPhone 4 is out. You'll find version 1.0-1 of ultrasn0w in Cydia on jailbroken devices. If not, just add the repository. It works for iPhone 4 baseband 01.59 and 3G/3GS basebands 04.26.08, 05.11.07, 05.12.01 and 05.13.04. If none of this makes sense then you've got no reason unlocking your device in the first place, buddy.

[youtube _5cvPyVGzgU nolink]


Google Multiple Sign-in, Now Available

Google is rolling out a feature I mentioned in a previous post: signing in to multiple Google accounts simultaneously from the same browser. When you go to the Google accounts page, you might see a new option: "multiple sign-in". If you don't see the new feature, it will probably be enabled soon.

After clicking on the "change" link, Google informs that this is an advanced feature and that it will only work for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Reader, Google Voice, App Engine and Google Code. When multiple sign-in is enabled, a drop-down is displayed next to your email address at the top of the page, so you can quickly switch to a new account.

"If you use multiple sign-in, the first account you sign in to will be your default account. If you visit other Google products that don't support multiple accounts after you've signed in, you will automatically sign in to your default account for that product. If you sign out of any Google product while signed in to any account, you will be signed out of all your Google Accounts at once." (Google help center)

When you enable this feature, the most significant change is that you'll see a new drop-down next to your email address in Gmail and other supported Google products. Click on the drop-down and you can sign in to a new Google Account without signing out from the previous account.

Another change is that Google's URLs include a different number for each account:,, etc.

Google's help center explains that Google's services didn't allow you to sign it to multiple accounts at the same time using the same browser because Google uses sign-in cookies that only let you sign in with one account at a time. Obviously, you can use multiple browsers, Chrome's incognito mode, IE8's "new session" feature, multiple profiles, but the new Google feature makes things easier. Now you can read your messages from two or more Gmail accounts by opening Gmail in multiple tabs.

There are some known issues related to multiple sign-in: this feature is not available on mobile devices, Google Calendar's gadget doesn't work properly in Gmail, you can no longer use offline Gmail and offline Google Calendar and the "note in Reader" bookmarklet only works for the default account.

P.S - The feature was not available in my Google account at the time of posting!


July 30, 2010

~TECH-BYTES~ Your Favorite Byte of technology now on your Mobile!

Keeping Up with Mobile Internet Revolution - Your Favorite BYTE of Technology is now available on your Mobile device...

The Mobile version of ~TECH-BYTES~ is available @

The mobile version works on every mobile device in the planet, not just iPhones and advanced smart phones.
Nokia OVI Users can also download Passion Blogs App from >

July 29, 2010

Safari Version 5.0.1 with Extensions

Apple announced today the release of its latest version of Web browserSafari. Version 5.0.1 introduces Safari extensions as well as an extensions gallery, bringing the browser into sync with other leading browsers, such asFirefoxChrome.

Extensions were initially added with the June release of Safari 5, but primarily for developer testing. This latest release brings extensions to the forefront, with the introduction of theextensions gallery.

The new version of Safari debuts with extensions by TwitterThe New York TimesAmazon andBing, among others. The extensions bring real-time functionality and integration to the Web browsing experience. The Twitter extension, for example, will notify you of mentions of the website your currently looking at and allow you to tweet about that site with an automatically created short link. The Bing extension adds search, translation and other functionality directly to any page - simply highlight text and the extension goes from there.


According to the release, extensions are built with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript and are "sandboxed", or kept segregated from other parts of the user's filesystem to ensure that "they can't access information on a user's system or communicate with websites aside from those specified by the developer".

Last month, Chrome surpassed Safari in the U.S. to take over the number three spot in the browser market, putting Safari behind Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. Safari had long held onto the number three spot in the U.S. but had already been relegated to the number four position worldwide. Will the introduction of extensibility, something the other top browsers already offered, bring Safari back into the race?

The latest version of Safari is available for both Mac and PC.


Pin Tabs in Firefox 4 Beta 2

The latest release of the Firefox 4 beta has arrived and among thehandful of new features introduced this round is the addition of "App Tabs." These favicon-sized tabs let you pin your most frequently used programs to the top-left side of your tab bar. In an introductory video, Mozilla suggests tabs for email, calendar, IM and streaming music - you know, Web applications.

But this new feature isn't a copycat of competing browser Google Chrome's forthcoming Web App support and accompanying Web App Store, sadly. It's a copycat of Chrome's simple "pin tab" option instead.

App Tabs are Just "Pinned Tabs" - No "Web Apps" Here

In Firefox, the ability to "pin tabs" - that is, make them into smaller tabs represented only by a favicon - has long been possible through the addition of a Firefox add-on. In Firefox 4 Beta 2, it's now a native feature. And while, yes, this is progress, it's also a somewhat disappointing reminder of how far Firefox has fallen behind Google Chrome, which has always had the "pin tab" feature in place, but shrank it down to favicon size back in October of 2009.

Google has long since moved on from basic pinned tabs and plans now for a built-in Web Application Store which will feature apps like those from Google itself (Gmail, Calendar, Docs) as well as choice selections from across the Web (Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.). The store is open to all developers and will feature both free and paid applications.

Where's the Firefox Web App Store?

In writing about Google Chrome's Web App Store, some have suggested, by way of the commentsthat the store is just another "rework of speed dial and pin tabs." Another commenter pondered,"For the life of me, I cannot tell what the difference is between the 'web app' and the regular Gmail I've been using since before time."

What? You didn't see the cute floating icon?

OK, we jest...but we have to agree. Google Chrome Web Apps are very much a new-fangled combination of pinned tabs and "speed dial" favorites. The genius is in the Store itself and the business model behind it.

As Chrome is positioned as an iPad-alternative on netbooks and tablets,  Google is betting on the Web for its "App Store." It's enticing developers to make "Web Apps" instead of iTunes Apps, since Chrome HTML5-enabled Web Apps work anywhere Web standards are supported...including the iPad. While precise details on the cut Google plans on skimming off the top are still scarce (the latest news is that it will be "similar to existing app stores"), it wouldn't be surprising if that cut was considerably less than the one Apple takes now.

Meanwhile, the folks at Mozilla are still pondering what an "open" Web app store should look like, the implication being, of course, that Chrome's isn't as open as it could be. But while Mozilla drags its feet, Chrome's Web App Store is nearly a go for launch. And it's open enough for most developers, considering how many have already embraced it.


July 27, 2010

Google's New Dictionary OneBox

Google added a new OneBox result for definitions. The OneBox uses data from Google Dictionary, shows pronunciation information, short definitions and links to other reference sites like and Google shows the definition of an English word only if it's likely to be useful, so you'll usually see the OneBox when you search for obscure words or technical terms.

"We added implicit triggering, which means you can simply search for [flummox] and find the definition, you don't have to search for [define flummox] or [what is flummox]. We've also improved the definition result snippet to show more details such as parts of speech and pronunciation," explains Google.

Unfortunately, Google's new OneBox is redundant and inconsistent. If you type [salient] in Google's search box, Google Suggest already shows a definition of the word from Princeton's WordNet.

Search for [define salient] and Google shows a definition from WordNet, not from Google Dictionary.

Tip: to trigger the new OneBox when it's not displayed by default, add en:en to your query. For example, search for [en:en emulsion]


Google Chrome Canary Build

Google Chrome's team added a new releases channel for early adopters and developers:Canary builds. Unlike the beta channel and the dev channel, Canary builds can be installed without overwriting a regular Chrome build. That means you can install both a Canary build and a regular build that could be on the stable, beta or dev channel.

The Canary build is only available for Windows, it's "installed to a different path, gets updated separately, and runs side by side with an existing stable/beta/dev installation". Google says that the Canary build will usually be the same as the dev build. "Sometimes if necessary, we may push additional updates on Canary build so its version is higher than dev."

"The canary usually updates more frequently than the Dev channel (higher risk
of bustage), and we're working on making it update as often as we have
successful nightly builds. When something doesn't work on the canary, I can
just fall back to my Beta Google Chrome," says Mark Larson, from the Chrome team.

Now that Google Chrome synchronizes bookmarks, settings and it will also synchronize extensions, passwords, browser history, it doesn't even matter that the two builds use separate profiles. Unfortunately, you can't make Chrome Canary your default browser. Google's explanation that it's "a secondary installation of Google Chrome" doesn't make any sense.

Lee Mathews from DownloadSquad thinks that having four flavors of Chrome is "Vista-esque". Google probably noticed that there are many people who install random Chromium builds and decided to offer a channel that updates even faster than once a week, while allowing users to install a stable version of Chrome, just in case the "bleeding edge" builds have major bugs or they're unstable.

Google Chrome Canary builds - Windows-only, for now.


May 29, 2010

Coming Soon: SBI Mobile Wallet for Cashless Payment

State Bank of India’s (SBI) will soon introduce a mobile banking service, “mobile wallet“. It will be a stored-value account based on a customer handset. SBI’s mobile wallet is expected to become operational either by the end of September this year.

Customers would not be levied any charges by the bank for opening a mobile wallet and for mobile-to-mobile transactions. High-end mobile users can use the service through anapplication provided by the bank, while low-end mobile users can use SMS, reportsmoneylife.

In mobile banking, the consumer sends a payment request via a short messaging service (SMS) text message or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) to a short code and a charge is applied to the customer’s phone bill or, in the proposed SBI scheme, a mobile wallet. The vendor is informed of the payment success and can then release the goods or service.

The SBI application being used by high-end mobile users will allow customers to withdraw cash up to Rs 5,000. The whole transaction process will be secure as the data will go through end-to-end encryption. However, an SMS-based transaction will not allow any withdrawals, but will allow the consumer to use a mobile only for small payments.

It is expected that the charges for withdrawals would be 1% of the cash withdrawn from an account. Currently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allows only Rs 5,000 to be withdrawn through such mobile transactions. it is reported that SBI has already reached an agreement with various service providers like Vodafone Essar, Bharti Airtel, Aircel, Tata Docomo and Idea, for providing mobile wallet services.

Recently, SBI allowed its customers who had mobiles not equipped with Java or GPRS to access its application State Bank freedoM – making it available from all application bases, over Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), and over USSD. State Bank freedoM service offers transfer of funds, viewing of the balance and mini-statements of the customers’ accounts, payment of bills, request for cheque book, recharge of prepaid mobile connections, viewing of demat account details, top-up of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV services, and m-commerce transactions.


May 24, 2010

Access Facebook on mobile devices for free

A screenshot of a Facebook page. File Photo: Special Arrangement
Popular social networking site Facebook can now be accessed through mobile devices for free or without any data charges in 45 countries, including India, on select mobile networks.

Facebook, which has over 400 million users worldwide, has tied up with Indian wireless operators -- Reliance Communications and Videocon -- to make the site available for cell phone users with zero data charges.

For this purpose, the entity has launched a new site ’’ that includes all key features of Facebook but is optimised for speed.

“Today, we are launching ... ‘’. “It, initially, is available through more than 50 mobile operators in 45 countries and territories with zero data charges,” a programme manager for Facebook Mobile, Sid Murlidhar, wrote in a blog on Wednesday.

In India, the new site would be available on the networks of Reliance and Videocon, the blog said.

Noting that the new site is fast and free, Murlidhar said it has key features of standard mobile site ‘’ such as updating user status, send and reply to messages, among others.

”... people can access without any data charges. Using is completely free. People will only pay for data charges when they view photos or when they leave to browse other mobile sites,” he added.

According to the blog, over 100 million people are actively using Facebook from their mobile device.

Other countries where the new site would be available include Brazil, Denmark, Greece, Finland, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Hungary and Indonesia.


May 16, 2010

Google "Mistakenly" Collected Sensititve Data From WiFi Networks

When German authorities wanted to check the Wifi data Google collected with their Street View cars, Google say they reexamined that data and the collecting software... and found out that they were actually not just collecting Wifi network names and addresses, but also “information sent over the network”. Google says this happened by mistake; a piece of code written four years ago allegedly made it into the live software three years ago, without intent by the project leaders. Google now wants to delete this data as soon as possible, they say, and they furthermore say they “decided that it’s best to stop our Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely”.

This case illustrates some issues at hand. For one thing, it shows how software of a single engineer at Google can have quite far reaching privacy consequences. Google likes to build things that are scalable and which will have enormous impact; an erronous piece of code in such a system may have similarly big impact. Furthermore, the case shows that sometimes it needs authorities pressuring Google to actually make Google reexamine their approaches. Last not least, from what we can see, Google tries to make the case really transparent and public once it found out about their error. Looking at the blog post, I could imagine that Google upon finding out really wanted to make sure that there was no hiding of this, and this may be the important line between corrupt (intentionally bad) or merely flawed (unintentially bad) handling of data.

Google adds, “This incident highlights just how publicly accessible open, non-password-protected WiFi networks are today.”


May 7, 2010

Translate the world using Google Goggles

Google Goggles 1.1 for Android added another feature that makes visual search more useful: translating text. For now, the application detects text in the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and is able to translate the text to all the languages supported by Google Translate.

"Traveling to another country can be an amazing experience. The opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture can give you a new perspective. However, it can be hard to fully enjoy the experience if you do not understand the local language. For example, ordering food from a menu you can not read can be an adventure," explainsGoogle's mobile blog.

Google says that it's a good idea to point your phone at the phrase you want to translate and select the region that includes the text to improve detection.

I tested the feature by trying to translate phrases from a French magazine (Science & Vie Junior), but the results weren't great all the time. Here's one of the best results:

To install Google Goggles, you need a phone that runs Android 1.6+. Search forGoggles in the Android Market or open the barcode scanner and scan this QR code.


Nokia-Microsoft partnership bears first fruit: Communicator Mobile comes to E52 and E72

Last time we used "Nokia" and "Communicator" in the same sentence, we were talking about a giant QWERTY clamshell with roots dating back to the mid '90s -- but yeah, that's most definitely not what looking at here. Instead, we're seeing the first results of Nokia's newfound friendship with Microsoft, a build of Communicator Mobile that's all set up to run on the S60-based E52 and E72. Granted, an enterprise instant messaging utility isn't something we can all use, but that's just as well since it's limited to just two devices in Nokia's range at the moment; eventually, it'll be preinstalled on "select" devices and be available to a broader selection of phones already in the lineup.


~TECH-BYTES~ says:- well guys when i started using office communicator in my office i thought it would be great to have it on my brand new E-72 , searched the internet and finally after a few failed installations manged to get a decent java based communicator mobile version working, but it had some problems with notifications and some other bugs as well!

Yesterday night when i downloaded the communicator update i never imagined that it'll be such an awesome change and that its in itself an all together separate app and is no where related to my previous installation!! and it just integrates so beautifully that i stay online 24*7 but you can be online on either your system or mobile!!

The only problem - it adds 'mobile' to your status message , so your boss gets to know that you are online through mobile LOL!!!

May 6, 2010

Zettabyte pips petabyte as largest data storage unit

It's official. Zettabytes is now the largest unit of digital measurement.

Yes, the size of the "digital universe" will swell so rapidly this year that a new unit — the zettabyte — has been invented to measure it. And, it has overtaken petabytes as the largest unit of digital measurement, reports said.

One zettabyte is equal to one million petabytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual bytes. Humanity's total digital output currently stands at 8,000,000 petabytes — which each represent a million gigabytes — but is expected to pass 1.2 zettabytes this year.

The current size of the world's digital content is equivalent to all information that could be stored on 75 billion Apple iPads, or the amount that would be generated by everyone in the world posting messages on the microblogging site 'Twitter' constantly for a century.

The rapid growth of the "digital universe" has been caused by the explosion of social networking, online video, digital photography and mobile phones.


Skype to roll out five-way video calling next week

Well, it's taken long enough, Skype! Starting next week you will finally be able to video call with up to five people using the company's Group Video Calling feature. The beta, which will be available sometime for download during the week of May 10th, will initially be free, but Skype plans to start charging for the multi-party video fun later in the year. We're not sure if it will support HD calling, but you can bet your bottom dollar that corporations may consider replacing their surely complex videoconferencing setup with this. In other Skype news, the company is rolling out new calling plans to more than 170 countries -- from the looks of the PR after the break, it seems like it could end up saving you big time in comparison to the pay-as-you-go rates. We like savings, sure, but we'll be even more stoked should this ever land on camera-equipped smartphones and tablets.


BlackBerry two-way sync for Gmail is now live

We've just heard from the boys and girls at RIM that the company did, in fact, deploy the long-awaited two-way Gmail synchronization capabilityto North American BIS users this week. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means that if you've got a BlackBerry on any North American carrier that isn't going through BES, Gmail should behave more like it should -- deleted items will disappear from your phone, emails read elsewhere will show up as read on the device, and you'll have access to all of your sent items. Oh, and you can create and delete labels from the comfort of your QWERTY thumb board, too, which is a sweet deal. Sure, the feature might be literally years late as far as we're concerned -- but hey, better late than never.


Google Chrome 5 Beta - what's new!

If you're using the stable version of Google Chrome, the latest beta release (Google Chrome 5.0.375.29 for Windows, Mac and Linux) will be a pleasant surprise. Here are 10 things you should try after installing Chrome 5 beta:

1. Google Chrome remembers zoom settings for each domain. Go to, zoom using Ctrl+ or Ctrl-, close the tab and reopen it.

2. Remove individual items from the history. Go to the History tab (Ctrl+H), click on "Edit items", select the pages you want to remove and click on "Remove selected pages".

3. The new bookmark manager is an HTML page that opens in a new tab. It looks better than the previous manager and it has the advantage that extensions will be able to add new features.

4. Google Chrome can synchronize themes and preferences, in addition to bookmarks.

5. Google Chrome includes Adobe's Flash plug-in, so you no longer have to install it or worry about keeping it up to date. Open a site that uses Flash, right-click on a Flash object and select "About Adobe Flash". You should see the message "You have version 10,1,53,22 installed".

6. Disable individual plug-ins. Go to chrome://plugins/ and disable the plug-ins you don't need. You can disable Google Gears, Adobe Flash, Google Update or any other plug-in installed on your computer.

7. Extensions in incognito mode. Chrome disables all extensions in incognito mode, but you can manually enable some of them from the Extensions page.

8. Native geolocation. The previous Chrome versions used the Google Gears implementation, but Google Chrome now supports HTML5 geolocation, so that more web applications can easily find your location. Go to Google Maps, click on the small circle above the Street View logo and you'll see an infobar: " wants to track your location".

"If you allow Google Chrome to share your location with a site, the browser will send local network information to Google Location Services to get an estimate of your location. The browser can then share your location with the requesting site. The local network information used by Google Location Services to estimate your location includes information about visible WiFi access points, including their signal strength; information about your local router; your computer's IP address," explains Google.

9. Manual translation. Now you can disable the auto-translation feature and still be able to use the built-in translator. Even if you disable the Google Translate integration from Settings/Under the hood, you can still right-click on a page and select "Translate to English".

10. Reorder extension buttons. You can change the order of the buttons installed by Google Chrome extensions using drag & drop and even hide some of the buttons.

Bonus enterprise feature. Google Chrome now supports Integrated Windows Authentication. If you have access to an intranet site that uses Microsoft IIS and requires NTLM authentication, open it in Chrome 5. This is one of the most requested Chrome features, after the support for Core Animation NPAPI, extensions and a bookmark manager.

For those who are wondering, Google Chrome 5.0.375.29 is the latest beta and the latest dev release for Windows, Mac and Linux. This page shows the most recent two releases for all Chrome flavors.


May 5, 2010

Scrap those Maps

It is indeed great to know that Orkut is still alive and people still use it... above all Google is still adding functionalities to it. The latest one being adding maps to your scraps...

You can search for a specific address or place (anywhere in the world!), or you can manually drop a placemark onto the map. Both options are easy, even if you're unfamiliar with Google Maps.

Once you select an address, your scrap draft will look like this:

Just post it and your friend will see the map you added. If the map is clicked, it loads the Google Maps page for that same spot, so your friend can further explore the area, check Street View photos, and even find public transitdrivingor biking directions to get there.



Google Mail is becoming Gmail in the UK

Good news for all you people in UK: Google Mail is soon becoming Gmail again in the UK.

If you already have a Google email account in the UK, you'll soon have the option to switch your existing address to the matching one, but you're also free to stick with And starting later this week, anybody who signs up for a new account in the UK will get an address. Since "gmail" is 50% fewer characters than "googlemail," we estimate this name change will save approximately 60 million keystrokes a day. At about 217 microjoules per keystroke, that's about the energy of 20 bonbons saved every day!

We'll be making this transition over the next week, and will update this post as the changes roll out. So to Aunty Pamela, Uncle Maurice, and everyone else in the UK, welcome to Gmail!


May 4, 2010

Google Buys BumpTop, 3D Desktop

Google bought BumpTop, an interesting software that replaces your computer's desktop with an intuitive 3D environment where you can quickly organize your files.

BumpTop is a fresh, innovative 3D desktop user interface that lets you stay organized and share your files and photos from your desktop naturally and easily. BumpTop has the look and feel of a real desktop, so it's natural and intuitive. But unlike a real desk where stacks can become unruly, BumpTop lets you pile files intelligently -- by project, by file type or any way you choose.

People organize their real-world desks in any number of different ways, to suit their own style. Research shows that everyone stacks and piles their documents, and almost a third of people indicate stacking and piling is their preferred way of organizing their desks. However, people have had to conform to the rigid, conventional desktop organization which is grid and folder based. BumpTop allows users to create a digital desktop that is intuitive and easy to use, just like their physical one but with the power and intelligence of the underlying computer to increase productivity in a fun and playful way.

You can still download BumpTop for Windows and Mac until the end of the week. The application doesn't use a lot of resources and it completely replaces your desktop. Even if it doesn't support multi-touch or Linux, BumpTop seems like the perfect addition to Android.


May 2, 2010

Nokia Mobile Money Transfer at YES Bank gets RBI Approval

The Reserve Bank of India has permitted YES Bank to provide mobile money services in association with Nokia. Any of the two lakh Nokia retail outlets across India can sign you up for the service. All you need is to fill a form which makes you an account holder with YES Bank within 15 minutes! Then you deposit a amount at the Nokia outlet and in minutes the ‘credit’ appears on your mobile phone.

From now onwards, you can make payments at shops, pay electricity and water bills and even transfer funds to another person.

Nokia has conducted the pilot in Pune, which will end in a few months, the result of which will presumably be inputs for the RBI to regulate the roll-out of the services in India. Nokia has initiated discussions with a few other banks.

Obopay, a California-based company, in which Nokia has a stake, offers the technology back-up for YES Bank. Obopay charges two per cent of the value of payments as commission, except for utility bills, where the payment would be between Rs 5 and Rs 10 a transaction.


February 13, 2010

5 Reasons Why Gmail Buzz Privacy Isn’t All That Bad

Google released Buzz for Gmail and there are issues if you’re not careful with your settings as well as possibly unwanted group overlaps (I wouldn’t be too surprised if in the future, a less tech savvy family member posts a meant-to-be-private reply to a public buzz message of yours, because after all Google did integrate something very public into a product that was formerly rather private). However, Rome isn’t burning and Sergey Brin isn’t playing the fiddle, and yesterday I saw some people who apparently think that Google now simply reveals all your Gmail contacts, which isn’t true. Here are some things on the other hand which I understand to be true (please correct me if I’m wrong):

  1. Again, Google won’t just reveal your Gmail address book to the world. Only if you opt-in to follow certain people who are suggested to you in Buzz do they have a chance to show up on your public Google profile as people you follow. If you’re e.g. a journalist who’s in contact with sources who like to remain anonymous, make sure you handle Buzz with care. Note others may follow you and thus show up on your profile, though.

  2. Even if someone is shown to follow you in Buzz, it does not mean they’re your contact, or that you email frequently with them, or that you even know them. By default anyone who finds you in Buzz can follow you. If your competing company’s boss is showing up on your profile it’s not proof you’re looking to switch offices – the other party may simply be interested in what you have to say, similar perhaps to how they might follow your RSS feed if you write a blog.

  3. You can decide to only write private group messages in Buzz, or if you don’t want to use it at all, you can turn off Buzz in your Gmail. For the latter, click on “turn off buzz” at the bottom of Gmail. Note though what Sam writes in the forum: “If you turn off buzz in your Gmail account it doesn’t change anything. All your posts stay on your profile and you can still comment on things via the profile ... It’s literally only turning it off within Gmail.” (Does anyone know more about this point?)

  4. You can turn off having contacts be shown on your profile. Just go to your profile settings and check off “Display the list of people I’m following and people following me”. (Note when I tried yesterday, this setting didn’t show in every account, I’m not sure why.)

  5. Google is already rolling out changes due to feedback, making certain privacy related issues more visible in the interface. Per their blog post, now or soon, in the “How do you want to appear to others” dialog, there’s supposed to be a checkbox reading “Show the list of people I’m following and the list of people following me on my public profile”. (Does anyone know if this is checked by default?) Google might have rolled out this thing too aggressively – no test phase to wait for feedback first, and already “tens of millions of people have checked Buzz out”, according to Google – but the speed in which they react to this is good.

In the end, since Buzz arrived you might need to be a bit more careful now when using Gmail. Google may be aware of this trade-off but it looks like they’re really eager to get this social network/ messaging console out to casual users – remember, tons of less all-encompassing features start their life as opt-in Gmail Labs experiments where only early adopters might use them, but this one didn’t. I think it’ll be worth to continue closely watch privacy issues Buzz might raise.


February 12, 2010

5 Google Buzz Tips for the Advanced User

Yesterday, after spending some time with Google's latest social networking service,Google Buzz, we posted a handful of buzz tips and tricks for those wanting to better manage the buzz, play with its APIs or banish it altogether from their Gmail inbox.

Today, we've come across more even more tips for working with Buzz, including how to add Buzz extensions to your web browser, new ways to subscribe to others' Buzz, and even ways to update Buzz via email. If you're becoming a regular Buzz user, then you'll want to read through this latest collection of tips to take your Buzz skills up another notch.

First of all, a little known fact: did you know that Google Buzz is supposed to be spelled with a lowercase "b"? This comes from Google engineer Cedric Beust who posted this info to his Buzz yesterday. While that may be true, we've noticed that "Buzz" is capitalized in our Gmail inboxes to fit in with the other labels and it's also capitalized on your own Buzz page and when you see the Buzz tab on someone's Google profile. Frankly, we prefer it in capitals and until Google cleans up the inconsistencies throughout Gmail and Google Profiles, we'll think we'll leave it that way.

Now, onto the tips:

1. Get Buzz Browser Extensions

After only being live for two days, there are already web browser extensions for integrating Buzz into your Firefox or Chrome browser. As a Chrome user myself, I've been keeping my eye out for Chrome Buzz extensions - it seemed like Chrome would be the first one to get some sort of add-on. Yesterday, it finally did. In fact, it got two.

The first is the Chrome Buzzextension which adds the Buzz conversation bubble icon to your Chrome browser. When clicked, you can read through all the latest Buzz in the window that displays. Unfortunately though, this is currently a read-only experience. If you want to comment, like, or post new Buzz yourself, you have to head back to your Gmail. However, it's a good first effort from the developer and worth watching for future updates.

A second Buzz extension for Chrome is called Buzzer. This lets you publish to Buzz from Google Reader. This one actually seems a little redundant since you can add your Google Reader Shared Items to your Google Profile and have them automatically published on Buzz. However, this would be useful if you came across a website that you weren't subscribed to and still wanted to add it to Buzz. Clicking the button will open up the site's feed in Reader and allow you to add a note (if desired) before posting the item to Buzz.

Meanwhile, Firefox users have an experimental add-on called "Buzz It!" which lets you update your status via Gmail with the link and title of the webpage you're currently viewing. (Thanks to Orli Yakuel for finding this one.)

2. Hide Your Buzz Contact List from Prying Eyes

As Philipp Lenssen pointed out on Google Blogoscoped, Buzz may not be for everyone...especially those who don't want to expose their private Gmail contact list to the world at large. The problem with Buzz is once you set it up, those you follow and those following you are shown on your profile page. This isn't all that different from FriendFeed expect for one important fact: on FriendFeed you picked and chose who your friends were, but your Buzz contacts are added for you automatically based on who you email the most. If that's not information you want to share, here's how to turn it off:

  1. Sign into your Google account via Gmail (or any other Google service)

  2. Go to your Google profile here:

  3. Click the link at the top-right of the screen that reads "Edit Profile"

  4. Here, you'll see a checkbox that reads "Display the list of people I'm following and people following me." To make this info private, just uncheck that box.

  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Save changes" button

3. Update Buzz via Email

One of the nice things about Buzz's Gmail integration is that it lets you update your Buzz via email. This one's simple: just send an email to using your email address. You can even send in attachments!

4. Subscribe to Someone's Buzz via RSS

As noted by commenter ArpitNext on our previous post, Google Buzz is RSS-enabled. If you want to subscribe to someone's Buzz in your feed reader, just go to their Google profile page. Once there, you'll see the orange RSS icon appear in the browser's address bar. Click the icon in order to add Buzz to your favorite feed reader.

5. Email, Link to, or Mute a Buzz Post

To do more with a Buzz post, click the drop-down arrow to the far right of any post for a list of other Buzz options. From here, you can email the post, get the post's permalink, view all Buzz from that person, follow them, or mute the post.

Update! Bonus Tip!

Our own Frederic Lardinois discovered that Google Buzz understands a little bit of the Textile Markup Language. Here are the markups he found that work:

(*)word(*) = bold

(_)word(_) = italics

(-)word(-) = strikethrough

(--) = em-dash

Note: Use those without the ()


February 11, 2010

Google Buzz in Gmail

Recently we mentioned here how the word “buzz” turns out to be a reserved label in Gmail. Now, Gmail is rolling out a service by that name – Buzz – announced by Google some hours ago via video,blog post and help page. Buzz is meant to let you send messages and share status updates, photos, links and so on – think Friendfeed, Twitter or Facebook, but integrated in your email account.

[youtube yi50KlsCBio]

Sharing something with your Gmail contacts, or publicly if you prefer, Google calls “posting a buzz”. You can also comment on, or Like the messages of others. And writing @ in front of a name directs your message to that person, as in Twitter (Twitter itself, by the way, is also integrated into Buzz). You can also send Buzz messages from your mobile phone. An API is available too.

According to CNet, Google’s Sergey Brin said that one of the most useful Buzz features for him is the ability “to start typing a thought right off the bat without having to worry about disrupting other people... I can throw something out there and the people who are most interested and most relevant tend to pay attention and reply.” Google’s recommendation system is supposed to surface the most relevant posts so that you’re “no longer acting as a human router of sorts but the back end does that heavy lifting.”

To try Buzz yourself, look for the left-hand navigation buzz link in Gmail. I don’t have it in my account yet so I wasn’t able to test it yet. “We’re still rolling out Buzz to everyone”, Google writes.

Friendfeed’s Paul Buchheit and Kevin Fox are not on Google’s paycheck anymore, but it looks like their work continues to be seen in Gmail. The screenshots here are from Google’s introductory video.

With all the features seemingly copied from other services, one starts to wonder if Google is on the road of stopping to invent new stuff and now merely cloning existing approaches and pushing it to their massive user base, thus battling competition. If Microsoft does similar GUI copying, aren’t they badmouthed for decades to come?

Then again, why should Google not go with time and utilize how the web evolved? If certain interface or communication approaches turn out to make sense, why not have them be spread widely, pushing forward the web’s progress? Also, I’m sure that the likes of Friendfeed and Twitter, in turn, got inspired by a whole lot of interfaces that were available to them when they brainstormed their GUI. And perhaps this whole thing should have been within email to begin with for ultimate casualness and mainstream adoption?

I guess we’ll find out what the answer was if in another 5 years, services like Twitter or Friendfeed ceased to exist. Another option, who knows, may be that the whole Buzz thing is just adding clutter and confusion to your inbox (where Buzz conversations may appear, too), not connecting the right contacts with whom you’d want to discuss news (I email with my family but may not want to talk to them about the latest developments from Silicon Valley), and blurring the lines between what’s private and what’s public, causing privacy mishaps and email paranoia.


Google Becomes an ISP: Plans to Deliver 1 Gigabit Connections to 50,000 Homes

Google just announced that it will beginning to build and test an ultra high-speed broadband network in a small number of locations in the United States. The company wants to offer fiber-to-the-home connections that will reach 1 gigabit per second. For now, Google plans to first roll out these connections to around 50,000 people, with the potential to reach over 500,000 people at a later stage.

According to Google, this will be an experiment. The company hasn't decided on where to build this network yet, but you can nominate your own neighborhood here. The nomination process will end on March 26 and Google plans to announce where it will deploy this network by the end of the year.

According to today's announcement, Google plans to offer these connections at "competitive prices" and wants the networks to be open to competitors. Google current operates a free WiFi network in its hometown of Mountain View.

Finding Killer Apps

According to Google, this effort will help the company to experiment with "new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone." Specifically, Google wants to see what the "killer apps" for these kind of connections are and test how to build better fiber networks.

U.S. is Lagging Behind - Will this Help?

The U.S. has been lagging behind with regards too broadband speeds and adoption. Just last year, the average broadband speed in the U.S. actually declined. With Chrome and the Chrome OS, Google has recently tackled a number of problems where it feels like the company is more interested in pushing technology forward than becoming a market leader. Nobody has really pushed broadband speeds in the U.S. forward and given that there are a lot of places where the incumbent cable providers don't even have competition, there has been relatively little incentive for these ISPs to provide higher speeds.


4G Telecom Service in India... LOL

J S Sarma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authory of India (TRAI) said that, TRAI has started consultation for the 4G (fourth generation) telecom services. TRAI would look into the various aspects, including spectrum band to be allotted for 4G service and quantum and modes of allotment to the operators. TRAI will soon issue a consultation paper that would throw various questions for the industry and other stake holders to deliberate culminating into recommendations by the TRAI.

4G aim to provide a wide range of data rates up to ultra-broadband (gigabit-speed) Internet access to mobile as well as stationary users. Ironically, the government of India has not yet completed the process of 3G spectrum auction, which has been delayed by more than three years. Let us hope that, the 4G auction and implementation would move faster and catch up with other countries.The Telecom companies Motorola and Ericsson have already started testing 4G or LTE technology.

Motorola had recently said that they would be approaching the Department of Telecom (DoT) to seek spectrum for testing their equipment. Motorola has become the first telecom vendor to complete throughput up to 70 Mbps. The LTE technology can be offered in 2.1-2.3 MHz spectrum band and the DoT is looking at the availability of this frequency.


January 30, 2010

What ipad isn't!! [Video]

Here's a small funny video that desribes very well why Apple's new revolutionary ipad isn't that revolutionary afterall...



[youtube lQnT0zp8Ya4 nolink]




January 27, 2010

10 Must-Have Google Chrome Extensions

The Windows version of Google Chrome 4 is out of beta and you can finally try the features that were previously available in Chrome's beta and dev channels. Google will automatically update the browser to the latest version (, but you can also click on the wrench button, select "About" and manually update the browser.

The most important feature released in Google Chrome 4 is the support for extensions. Chrome extensions are easier to create than Firefox extensions because they're nothing more than web pages that use Chrome's APIs. That's why you can install or disable extensions without having to restart the browser, that's why extensions use separate processes and this is one of the reasons why Chrome extensions are more limited and don't have a consistent interface.

Google Chrome has built-in support for user scripts, so you don't need to install an extension like Greasemonkey. Chrome can convert user scripts into extensions, so many Chrome extensions are just glorified Greasemonkey scripts.

To install an extension, visit Google Chrome's extension gallery and pick one of the 1,861 extensions that are currently available. Here are some of the most useful extensions that add missing features to Google Chrome:

1. RSS Subscription Extension. Detecting and previewing feeds is a standard feature in most browser, but not in Google Chrome. This extension shows an orange icon in the Omnibox when it detects feeds and lets you subscribe to one of the feeds using your favorite feed reader. You can select one of the popular feed reader that are available by default (Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines and My Yahoo) or you can add another feed reader.

2. Email this page. Firefox's contextual menu has an option called "send link" that lets you send a link to the current page using your favorite mail client. This extension has a similar functionality, but it only lets you pick the default mail client and Gmail.

3. Google Dictionary shows the definition of a word when you double-click on it. It only support monolingual dictionaries and a small number of languages, but it's useful if you want to find the definition of a word without opening a new page.

4. Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer - a simple extension that detects the links to PDF, PPT and TIFF files and opens the files in Google Docs, so you can view them without installing additional software.

5. Slideshow - a great way to view the images from sites like Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, Facebook, and Google Images in a slideshow.

6. Empty New Tab Page - a simple extension that replaces Chrome's new tab page with a blank page.

7. FlashBlock disables Flash content for all web pages and replaces it with a placeholder. Click on the placeholder and you'll enable the Flash element. This way, you'll no longer see Flash ads, annoying Flash animations and other unnecessary objects that slow down your browser.

8. AdBlock hides ads using frequently-updated filter lists. You can whitelist domains and subdomains using Ctrl+Shift+L.

9. Secure Login Helper redirects you to the HTTPS login pages for sites like Twitter, Facebook and Twitter.

10. Smooth gestures - use mouse gesture to perform actions like going back one page, going to the top of a page or opening the last close tab. Mouse gestures are intuitive and you can customize them.

If you found other great Chrome extensions, mention them in a comment.