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It is expected that the charges for withdrawals would be 1% of the cash withdrawn from an account. Currently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allows only Rs 5,000 to be withdrawn through such mobile transactions.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.