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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top 5 Music Phones Under Rs 5,000

There are many phones in the market that claim to be music phones. However, not all deliver on the promise or are too expensive for the features they offer. Here, we have chosen five phones that offer a good balance of price and music apart from offering ease of use and good battery life.

Spice M-6464

This is the first time we have considered Spice M-6464 for this segment, and the reason is that it offers brilliant music options that are hard to ignore.

The first and most important feature that separates this phone from the crowd is its FM transmitter that allows you to create your own FM station. Create your MP3 list, plug in your earphones and tune in to the frequency at which you want to broadcast. You can listen to the music in a car or on another phone as well.

Besides, Spice M-6464 has a one touch FM and MP3 player, Yamaha amplifiers and dual speakers. You also get a 2 megapixel camera which can also be use as a webcam. There is also a Hinglish (English-Hindi) input that allows you to text without pressing buttons.

M-6464 has an 8 GB expandable memory, and all these features come at an incredible price of Rs 3,350.

Micromax M2

This has been part of all our lists of music phones, even, at times, when we're considering more expensive options. And the reason is clear as you get a true personal music player with a phone.

Micromax M2 is a music centric dual SIM mobile phone. It has a 2 inch display that is capable of reproducing vibrant images and has a high resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, which is great for viewing videos. There is also a 2 megapixel camera that does a pretty good job.

The phone's sound output is SRS certified and the box carries a certificate to prove this. The M2 offers great music quality with clear audio and volume. The sound output is balanced with clean bass (low frequency), mids (medium frequency) and his (high frequency) sounds. This device supports popular audio file formats like MP3 and WMA.

M2 comes with a big headset along with a stereo handsfree kit. The headphone is good in terms of quality and reproduces sounds well.

The phone uses Bluetooth and GPRS for wireless connectivity. A big drawback of the device is that there is no provision for expanding memory, though the phone comes with 2 GB inbuilt, which might not be sufficient if you like to carry your entire music collection with you. The device is priced at Rs 3,000. You can check our detailed review of this phone here.

Nokia X1-01

Nokia X1-01 is the cheapest phone in this list, but it comes with all that Nokia is known for especially in the budget segment. It is sturdy, easy to use and has a long battery life.

To top it all, it comes with very good music capabilities. It is a stylish dual SIM phone with MP3music player and FM radio. The battery is so powerful that you can listen to music nonstop for up to 36 hours or talk to your friends for about 13 hours. You can also store thousands of MP3 tracks in the 16 GB external memory.

Nokia X1-01 is a wonderful phone for connectivity and music at a very low price point of just Rs 1,849.

Samsung Champ 2

Samsung Champ has always been a good music phone, and with Champ 2 it gets better. The new phone has a sleek metallic finish with a 2.4 inch VGA">QVGA full touchscreen display. Its compact size and glossy back cover make it look stylish.

The phone is a music centric one with stereo FM and MP3 player, but it also has a lot of other features such as the home screen page being extendable across seven pages. The homepage comes with 13 different important widgets for easy access to multiple apps. Apart from the 2 megapixel camera, it also has the latest Bluetooth 3.0, which enables fast wireless transfer of files.

Champ now includes a USB 2.0 port for data transfer between devices and PCs, and has upgraded social networking features like ChatOn, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger and Gtalk.

Push email is available through ActiveSync syncs with Gmail and Hotmail contacts and calendar info, and with that it supports pull mail from over 8,000 email servers through ID and password input only.

The price is also attractive at Rs 4,000, though it also makes this device the most expensive in the list, but then it has features to back that price.

Lava M20

Last time we had M30 from Lava on our list, but then the M20 is cheaper and offers similar music capability at a lower price point. It is a new music phone with dual SIM and a 2.2 inch, high brightness IPS screen.

The phone also comes with 0.3 megapixel VGA camera (nothing great), a gravity sensor and 2 GB memory card free. It has a one touch music player with dedicated keys for multiple functioning as well. M20 supports a wide range of audio and video formats like MP3, MP4 and 3GP. Its SRS 3D surround sound is a nice treat for users.

The phone looks stylish in silver finish, but the design wise is very simple yet elegant. The most attractive aspect of this handsets is its price at Rs 2,100. We have tested a few Lava phones and the battery life and build quality have been on the positive side.

HP Opens WebOS Mobile Software To Others

Hewlett Packard Co has decided to open its webOS mobile operating system to developers and companies, potentially taking on Google Inc's free Android platform that is popular with handset makers.
HP, which acquired webOS in a $1.2 billion purchase of Palm in 2010, had been trying to figure out how to recoup its investment after a failed foray into the smartphone and tablet market.
HP Chief Executive Meg Whitman said the company looked at a number of options for webOS, including a sale and shut down of the division.
The technology giant will make webOS available under an open source licensing agreement, but it has still not hashed out the terms of the licensing deal it plans to offer.
There are a number of open source projects that can be used as examples for deciding the structure of licensing, including Android and browser Mozilla.
The company plans to solicit ideas from developers before deciding on the licensing terms, Whitman said.
"We like the adoption of Android. It's growing like wildfire with a big developer community and hardware community," Whitman said, adding that HP would like to avoid fragmentation of the software that currently plagues Android.
Whitman also said HP may get back into the consumer tablet market in 2013 but it will not be making any more smartphones.
The future of webOS had been in limbo since August after HP killed its flagship webOS-based TouchPad tablet following poor sales.
While Google has the world's most-used mobile system with over 550,000 devices activated every day, HP's webOS could be an alternative to companies apprehensive that the Web search giant may compete with them directly in the smartphone handset market through its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility.
The webOS platform, which had been HP-only software, is widely viewed as a strong mobile platform, but has been criticized for having few applications -- an important consideration while choosing a mobile device.
Most developers prefer to work on Apple Inc's iOS or Google's Android because both are on millions of devices -- unlike webOS.
"Making it open source changes the rules of the game and has the potential to make (webOS) more appealing," said Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner. "It presents a potential challenge to Android, but I wouldn't call it a real challenge until we get a little further down the road."
HP still has to make sure the code is available and the tools for developers are as robust as those provided by Android to succeed, he added.
HP has not revealed its plans for any mobile hardware after the TouchPad was killed.

Galaxy And iPhone To Top Smartphone Holiday Sales

 Apple's long-awaited iPhone 4S and Samsung Electronics' fresh, broad offering are likely to stand out in this holiday season's smartphone sales which will otherwise be clouded by global economic uncertainty.
Apple , which lost its position as the world's largest smartphone maker to Samsung <005930.KS> last quarter, could regain top spot as consumers rush to buy the latest iPhone after waiting 16 months since the previous model went on sale.
Like millions elsewhere, 36-year-old Vanessa Pigeon last week took up an offer from her telecom operator and replaced her aging Blackberry with the latest iPhone.
"I liked the design and I wanted to change for a long time," said Pigeon, a recruitment official in Paris.
In neighbouring Britain, which is often seen as the indicator for the rest of the European market, the iPhone took a whopping 43 percent market share in October, overtaking phones using Google Inc's Android platform, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
"It's really only the iPhone family and the (Samsung) Galaxy family flying off the shelves. Everyone else is just picking up the leftovers," said Neil Mawston, analyst at research firm Strategy Analytics in Milton Keynes, Britain.
HTC <2498.TW> and Research In Motion -- No.4 and No.5 smartphone vendors -- have already warned of weak holiday sales. The year end is a key sales season for smartphone vendors as consumers often replace their models for the holidays.
Vendors are expected to sell a total of 142 million smartphones in October-December, up 42 percent from a year ago, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.
For top holiday smartphones click http://link.reuters.com/kur64s
"At this moment we're still doubtful on whether we'll see any seasonality this Christmas because the demand we see so far is very bad," said Bonnie Chang, analyst at Yuanta Securities in Taipei.
Overall phone sales have been shrinking in western Europe this year as consumers delay purchases in a tighter economy. Analysts expect sales of non-smartphones to stay on a par with year-ago numbers.
Smartphone sales growth, which is driven by swapping for more advanced models, has slowed over the year.
"For Europe, Q4 will not be the usual bonanza. The economy is pushing consumers to be pickier," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, adding this played to the advantage of Samsung and Apple.
Sales of Apple's iPhone have surged since early October when the iPhone 4S model became available, and the company is expected to sell around 28 million iPhones in the quarter, a 70 percent surge from a year ago.
Samsung's handset sales this year broke a new annual record by the end of November, boosted by good demand for its flagship Galaxy S II model, whose sales reached 10 million units, the company said a week ago.
The Reuters poll does not break out Samsung smartphone sales as the firm does not report the number, but five analysts forecast those sales should be similar to that of Apple.
Sales of Nokia products will also be closely watched in the quarter for first reactions to its Windows Phone models, although most Nokia smartphones are still powered by its own ageing Symbian software.
"I don't think Nokia joining the force can make a difference," said Yuanta Securities' Chang, noting that HTC and Samsung models using latest Windows Phone software have not fared well.
Analysts expect Nokia's smartphones sales in the fourth quarter to fall 31 percent from a year ago to 19 million phones as the new Windows Phones will not yet compensate for diving Symbian sales. Still, that would be well ahead of HTC's 11 million and RIM's 14 million.
With the proliferation of touchscreens and half of all smartphones sold using Google's Android operating system, consumers are struggling to see the difference among the models.
"Everybody is just buying black plates with big screens," said Strategy Analytics' Mawston.
Most top models also have 8 megapixel cameras among other similar features.
"If you look at the phones there is nothing particular really there," said Canalyst analyst Pete Cunningham. "It's a really tough market and it is going to get tougher."
Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei have started to win market share with their cheap smartphones using Android, and cut-price competition is set to continue with chipset supplier Spreadtrum unveiling last week a platform for $40 Android phones.
And the market seems to only be getting more crowded. Last week, Japan's Panasonic Corp <6752.T> said it would return to the European smartphone business next year, six years after it abandoned overseas sales of feature phones.

Intel-Powered Smartphone, Tablet To Enter Market In 2012

Smartphones and tablets runningIntel's chips will enter the mobile market early next year, posing a challenge to the dominance of Apple's iPhone and iPad, US media reported Wednesday.
Technology Review, a magazine published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it had tested prototype smartphones and tablets equipped with Intel's latest mobile chip, dubbed Medfield. The products run Google's Android mobile operating system, reported Xinhua.
'We expect products based on these to be announced in the first half of 2012,' Stephen Smith, vice president of Intel's architecture group, told the magazine.
The prototype products are known as 'reference designs' which are sent out to make a pitch for persuading manufacturers to build their devices around Intel's technology.
According to Technology Review, the phone prototype was similar in dimensions to the iPhone 4 but noticeably lighter.
The phone was powerful and pleasing to use, at par with the latest iPhone and Android handsets. It could play Blu-Ray-quality video and stream it to a TV if desired; Web browsing was smooth and fast, said the review.
An outstanding feature of the phone is its camera's 'burst mode' which can capture 10 full-size eight-megapixel images at a rate of 15 per second, it noted.
Intel's tablet, running the latest version of Android system, has a slightly larger screen than the iPad 2 but is about the same thickness and weight. The review said a limited trial suggested it was nicer to use than older tablets based on older versions of Android.
Intel has tested its reference handset against a handful of the leading phones on sale today and the tests show that Medfield offers faster browsing and graphics performance and lower power consumption than the top three, Smith told Technology Review.
In September, Intel announced a partnership with Google to enable the Android system to support the world's largest chip maker's architectures.
Intel has been struggling to get a bite of the booming market of smartphones and tablets. Most of the current mobile devices use chips based on architecture from ARM Holdings, which are considered more power efficient than Intel's products. Nokia had planned to ship smartphones with Intel chipsthis year, but it shifted to ARM-based phones with Windows Phone 7 system.

657 Mobile Devices Were Launched In India In 2011

The 881 million mobile subscribers in India, in 2011, had numerous mobile devices to choose from with models varying from the cheapest tablet of the world, Aakash, for Rs 2,500, to the latest sensation iPhone 4S which is available for around Rs 50,000.

This year saw the launch of a whopping 657 mobile devices, which include mobile phones and tablets, by Indian as well as MNC handset players in the country.

Operation system

This year saw growing demand for high-end handsets that use a mobile operating system, but Java emerged a clear winner. Of 657 handsets launched this year, 525 were based on Java with a lot of innovative offerings like web browsing, pre-loaded apps, powerful cameras, touchscreen and support for maps.

After Java, it's Android that emerged as the second-most successful operating system. In total, 100mobile devices including smartphones and tablets were launched this year running different versions of Android operating system.

Nokia's operating systems - S40, Anna and Symbian - bagged the third slot. This year, we saw Nokia launching 13 devices based on these operating systems. The fourth spot was jointly shared by iOS and BlackBerry with seven devices each launched by Apple and RIM respectively.

The latest entrant in the OS space, — Windows, bagged the fifth slot with four new smartphones. This year Samsung also launched one device based on its proprietary operating system - Bada.


In 2011, the maximum number of mobile devices were launched by Maxx Mobiles. It launched 52mobile phones in India. The second slot was bagged by Fly Mobiles with 41 new devices including one tablet and 40 feature phones.

Samsung, which has been growing by leaps and bounds in India, came out with 39 devices including the Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets. Samsung occupied the No. 3 slot jointly with Spice (S Mobility) which also launched 39 devices including a dual SIM Android smartphone.

There was a tie for the fourth slot between Videocon, which entered the mobile device segment last year, and Karbonn Mobiles. Both of them launched 35 devices each, which were mostly feature phones. Intex, an Indian handset player, bagged the fifth slot with 26 mobile phones. Notably, it launched India's first projector phone — IN 8809.

Indian handset major Micromax, which launched three Android devices this year, occupied the sixth slot with 23 new devices. Beetel, which also forayed into the mobile space for the first time, occupied the seventh slot. Beetel was in the limelight for two sub-Rs 15,000 Android tablets that it released in 2011.

LG with 17 and Onida with 16 mobile phone launches occupied the eighth and ninth slots respectively. Finnish handset major Nokia, which forayed into the dual SIM segment, and Chinese player Huawei, which launched the Ideos range of smartphones, tied at the tenth position with 15 new devices each.

There was a tie for the 11th position as well, between G'Five and Red, which launched 14 devices each in 2011. Sony Ericsson, which had launched its Xperia range of phones this year, bagged the 12th position with 13 devices. HTC and Airphone were jointly at the 13th position as they launched 12 devices each.

At the 14th position there was again a tie between Motorola and Maxphone, with 11 devices each. Philips, with 10 phones in the year 2011, stayed at the 15th place.


The key factors that contributed to this phenomenal growth in mobile phones were rapid advancements in technology, both hardware and software; the rise of dual-SIM handsets; launch of 3G services; and decrease in the average price of mobile devices.

Going by the success of so many smartphones and features phones, it looks like the introduction of innovative features with sophisticated technologies that have potential to live up to customers' growing expectations has become more of an industry norm and a challenge for existing players to survive in the market.

Another conclusion that can be drawn from the number of mobiles launched by Indian players is that they understand the growing appetite of Indian consumers and because of local advantages such as good commission agreement with distributors, low cost of manufacturing and strong links with small retailers especially in tier two and tier three cities, they have been able to strive in a highly competitive mobile space.

Moreover, Indian handset players are expected to continue their growth journey in 2012 too. When urban markets touch saturation levels, the focus is bound to shift towards the rural sector, where they have a good presence and customers are highly price sensitive. Apart from that, most buying decisions are taken at the point of sale, that is, retail shops where the salesman will try to push products that get him the maximum commission.

With increasing consumer awareness and a plethora of options, it can be inferred that in coming years mobile consumers will love to buy value for money smartphones with advanced capabilities, rather than mere communication and SMS devices.

Online War With China

It seems that World War III has been playing out with China taking on everyone. The latest company that had been attacked is iBahn, providing broadband business and entertainment access to Marriott International and other hotel chains, as well as multinational organizations holding meetings on site.


This company was made a target for Chinese intruders who have managed to break into the service in order to try and see all private e-mails, even those that have been encrypted, ranging between executives from Dubai to New York.

Business Week has published an extensive report into Chinese intrusion recording that 760 organizations, research universities, ISPs and government agencies have suffered from the same elite group of Chinese hackers. Organizations have included RIM and Boston Scientific to some of the largest companies, to niche innovators in such areas as semiconductors, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Of course, the United States couldn’t be very happy about this.

A chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, who was believed to have quite a tricky job, complained that the Chinese intruders had been nicking everything that wasn’t bolted down, and such behavior was getting exponentially worse. For example, according to the last month’s intelligence report, the Chinese had conducted industrial espionage as an integral part of their economic policy.

While the American cyber warriors track down the foreign governments and foreign military, the Chinese hackers focus on corporates, and the politicians of the United States don't believe it is fair. Anyway, the Land of the Free seems to be a corporate oligarchy pretending to be Republican. The report made by fourteen American intelligence agencies indicated China as the #1 hacking threat to the companies of the United States. The problem is that the United States is not really able to counter attack against Chinese businesses since they simply do not have anything it needs. In case they get too angry, Chinese might simply stop exporting to the United States for a few weeks to cause collapse of its economy.

The situation is not just controversial, it looks like an alarming one already…

America Suspected Russia Behind Stuxnet

While most industry observers thought that the United States and Israel were behind the Stuxnet computer worm which attacked Iran's nuclear facilities, recently the rumors emerged that it might have been Moscow plan.


Dr. Yannakogeorgos, a cyber defense analyst with the American Air Force Research Institute, said during the interview to the local media that the one weak point in the theory that the United States and Israel attacked the Iranian nuclear problem with Stuxnet is that they denied this fact when they would not have had to. He also pointed out that the Russians could have also carried out the attack, since they are apparently not that happy about an Iranian indigenous nuclear capability, though they are helping build it.

The Russian Federation had a really good reason not to want Iran to get its paws on nuclear technology. For instance, back in 1995, Chechen rebels planted a so-called “dirty bomb” in Izmailovsky Park in Moscow. Although nuclear material is extremely secure in Russia, if Iran develops a full-blown nuclear capability, any violent extremist and nationalist rebels, including Chechen, can go to Iran and purchase the material.

That’s why Yannakogeorgos believes that it’s better for the Russian Federation to string the Iranians along. Russian firms will be able to earn money as the Iranians keep Russian scientists and engineers within the country who are able to oversee its nuclear progress. However, if the Russians delay a program on technical grounds, it will have problem with Iran.

It has been suggested that it was much better for Russia to plant a worm with digital American-Israeli fingerprints to seem like it were a clandestine operation by an adversary having no access to the gateway entry points. Meanwhile, the observers of the malware could notify the Iranians before full nuclear catastrophe struck. In fact, it was a Belarusian computer insecurity expert who found out the code of the virus, but that country for some reason didn’t seem interested in reverse engineering the code to find out what it was designed to do, and switched this task to Symantec researchers.

So, if all of this is true, Iran fell for it. This virus attack, coupled with an assassination campaign that targeted Iranian nuclear and computer scientists and different leaks suggesting covert action - everything made for a compelling case of the involvement of the United States.

Government Will Develop Transparent Email Strategy

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that private email accounts used for departmental business might be accessed and open to the public. This was said following the leaking of emails by adviser Dominic Cummings to Education Secretary Michael Gove, which caused the uproar over discussion of departmental business about the private accounts.

DfE has already completed an investigation and the ICO published new guidance with a harsh warning that private emails can’t be protected from public disclosure.

The Information Commissioner’s Office found out that there was supposedly a lack of clarity over the legislation concerning whether the private email accounts can be used for discussion of personal data, so now the ICO is seeking to stamp this out. The problem is that for those in government having a joint role in covering both departmental policy and party political adviser there would be a definite crossover in interests.

Now it looks like if the private accounts are suspected of being used to secretly further departmental interests, the accused will have to disclose their passwords. As you can understand, a new guidance is supposed to help decide in which situations a search of private email accounts can be proved necessary. In addition, it also seeks to outline the procedures that have to be generally in place in order to respond to requests for data to be made public from private accounts.

Despite the fact that it is claimed that searching of private email accounts shouldn’t be a frequent matter, it still comes as not much comfort to people who may be about to have their emails pored over.

Actually, there’s a case to open up further lines of communication under these new rules. Indeed, there are little grounds to reject disclosing passwords, with the intentional concealment of data being a criminal act. This part the Information Commissioner’s Office didn’t forget to reiterate. Even people found to be purposefully deleting such letters will be in trouble.

Meanwhile, the discussion of very sensitive government business drew flak from insecurity specialists who notified that sending data away from secure departmental emails may represent a big risk, along with being very unethical.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Data Transfer Record: 186 Gbps

Researchers have set a new 2-way network data transfer rate record of 186 Gbps in order to help work through tons of information spewing out of the Large Hadron Collider.


The researchers at Caltech, University of Michigan, and others have recently cooperated to push the limits of the amount of data that could be transferred in a wide area network. Today the computer experts acknowledge that very large quantities of data are able to be crammed down optical fibres and sent throughout the globe from continent to continent. The speeds in question are apparently equivalent to moving 2,000,000 Gb per day.

Now they expect that new networks could be constructed in order to use the technology in the next few years, most likely within the range of 40 to 100 Gbps. The 2-way connection, both ways reaching 88 Gbps to make up for a combined 186 Gpbs, sent information from ten Dell servers from British Columbia and Seattle through an optical network. This broke the earlier record, set by the same team, which was 119 Gbps two years ago. Moreover, the researchers decided to show the globe spanning potential of the high speed information network, and that’s why data was also sent to some institutes located in Brazil and Korea.

This network will be very helpful in work through the staggering amount of information derived from the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN facility, where the scientists are now trying to work through information that has indicated the presence of the Higgs boson.
Thus far, over 100 petabytes of data has been processed. This is really an outstanding amount of information, which could be compared to a Blockbusters-beating 100,000,000 Blu-ray disks. Meanwhile, the researchers believe that it’s only the start, because experts of the Large Hadron Collider will smash even more particles together.

At the moment, it is expected that the experts in laboratories all over the globe will be able to get their hands on information in order to solve mysteries of the universe rather than having to watch a download bar run as swiftly as an MP3 on a slow dial-up connection. Everything becomes easy our days, and petascale particle physics information can now be transferred to any corner of the world in merely a couple of hours.

Saudi Prince Invested In Twitter

Saudi News Corp-investor billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has recently purchased a $300 million stake in a worldwide-known microblogging technology company Twitter.


Actually, Twitter is known as a mystery to many investors, since, regardless of its impressive userbase, its commercial model is still far from a very efficient one. Nevertheless, the billionaire prince, himself worth around $19.6 billion, has recently invested $300 million into the service. Alwaleed, nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, made the investment via his Kingdom Holding Company, which is known for being in long talks with the online service. Kingdom Holding Company owns a 7% share of News Corporation, the second-highest after Rupert Murdoch.

Kingdom Holding Company announced in a statement that it had been talking to the micro-blogging service for several months already and is combing the books for due diligence. The company also reaffirmed its ability to identify suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses having a global impact, according to Alwaleed’s statement.

Despite the fact that Twitter is still working on a good way to really monetize the influence it wields, the Kingdom Holding Company believes there’s an opportunity there to leverage the nature of the media industry in common. Hal Stokes, social media director at Essence, explained in the interview that this move is an excellent pure business decision. He pointed out that as the world progressively becomes tech-driven, and media is progressively becoming social media, it is just a smart, progressive business deal to diversify his investments.

Hal Stokes does not really believe that there will be any considerable impact on Twitter's everyday operations, because Internet users will vote with their feet. He calls it the beauty of social media, which Internet users finally decide. In case the industry offers them a great service which suits their needs, they will use it, stop doing this and they could be able to move elsewhere. Hal Stokes can't realize that any considerable impact will materialize.

According to official data, DST Global's $400 million for a 5% stake of Twitter valued it at about $8 billion in August 2011. If you take into account these figures, Alwaleed's investment measures up to about 3.75%.

Aakash Tablet's Delivery Pushed To Next Year

DataWind, the Canadian company that is manufacturing Aakash, will start distribution of the much anticipated low cost Android tablet from next month for which online booking had started on December 15.

A spokesperson of Datawind said to The Mobile Indian, "People who have booked the Aakash tablet online will get its delivery in January.” The spokesperson, however, didn't cite any reason for the delay. Earlier the company had said that the Rs 2,500 Aakash tablet will be delivered within seven days of online booking.

Flip Flops

On earlier occasions also, Datawind have failed to honour their commitment as the tablet was supposed to be made available in retail stores by the end of November. Now it is expected to hit the stores only in February.

DataWind initially said that the Aakash tablet will be available to students only through colleges and schools. However, later it started online booking of Aakash for everyone including students. Besides,DataWind have given only 10,000 Aakash tablets to the government for distribution in schools and colleges of the initial 1 lakh proposed.

The Mobile Indian got more than 200 emails and 300 calls from users who complained that after booking the tablet online they didn't get any call or confirmatory email.

Even after The Mobile Indian's repeated request for clarification on the hardship faced by the consumers, Datwind didn't share any information instead it said: "An official statement will soon be released and we will keep you posted.”

We hope this time Akash Tablet is delivered to consumers on time.

About Aakash and UbiSlate

There are two versions of the tablet. The original Aakash tablet comes with much lower specifications and is priced at Rs 2,500. Its cousin — named as UbiSlate, is comparatively powerful and is priced at Rs 2,999.

UbiSlate will be powered by Android 2.3 and will have a resistive touchscreen, Cortex A8-700 MHz processor and graphics accelerator HD video processor, 256 MB of RAM and 2 GB of internal memory. Other specifications are - one standard USB port, 3.5 mm audio jack, a 7 inch display with 800 x 480 pixel resolution, resistive touchscreen, GPRS and WiFi support.

On the other hand, the 7 inch screen bearing Aakash tablet has Android 2.2 operating system, Arm11 — 366 Mhz processor, 2100 battery, WiFi and will have support for 3G modem. The price difference between the Aakash and UbiSlate is because the commercially available product will include a cellular modem, allowing it to deliver web access anywhere there is a cellular connectivity, and also to function as a mobile phone. Notably, Internet access on both the tablets across mobile networks will be priced at Rs 99 for 2GB.

Steve Jobs to Be Honoured With Grammy Award

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs will be posthumously honoured with a Grammy award for his contribution to music technology, The Recording Academy announced Wednesday.
Jobs, who died Oct 5 of pancreatic cancer, will receive a Trustees Award for helping create products 'that transformed the way we consume music, TV, movies and books', Xinhua quoted the academy as saying in a statement.
Apple Computer Inc. first received a Technical Grammy Award in 2002 for contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field, the academy said.
Along with Jobs, bandleader and composer Dave Bartholomew, recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder will also receive the award.
The academy also picked the Allman Brothers, Glen Campbell, Diana Ross and Brazilian pianist/singer/guitarist Antonio Carlos Jobim as recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards. Jobim was known for composing 'The Girl from Ipanema', a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s which won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965.
Other artists, including trumpeter Wayne Jackson, saxophonist Andrew Love of the Memphis Horns, country legend George Jones, and the late Gil Scott-Heron were also named as recipients.
German sound-technology firm Celemony and the late audio engineer Roger Nichols, who worked with artists including Ross, Placido Domingo, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder, were recognized with Grammy Technical Awards.
'This year's honorees offer a variety of brilliance, contributions and lasting impressions on our culture,' said President/CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow.
'It is an honor to recognize such a diverse group of individuals whose talents and achievements have had an indelible impact on our industry.'

New Nokia Smartphone Fails To Turn Tide

Nokia's long-awaited Windows phones may be too little, too late in the smartphone war dominated by Apple andGoogle, despite positive reviews by handset critics.
Its first Windows model, the Lumia 800, has won little interest from consumers, with only 2 percent of Europeans in the market for a smartphone saying they would pick it, according to a survey by Exane BNP Paribas.
Analysts said there was nothing particularly wrong with the sleek-looking handsets, other than a sofware glitch on some models affecting battery life, but consumers were just not biting.
Smartphones using Microsoft software have just a 2 percent market share, compared with Google Android at around 50 percent and Apple at 15-20 percent.
"There isn't much room left for a third ecosystem. The smartphone market is consolidating fast," said Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu who rates Nokia a "sell".
Nokia's shares have fallen over 20 percent since the October 26 launch of the new phone, with investors fearing Nokia would be unable to claw back the market share it has lost in the past several years to rivals like Apple.
Phones using Nokia's old Symbian software, which it decided to dump in favour of Microsoft, are still in circulation and outsell Windows phones 10 to 1.
But as Nokia keeps shifting to Windows, sales of Symbian have a lot of room to disappoint over coming quarters and some analysts are warning of lower dividends and weaker-than-expected earnings ahead.
Now even Microsoft has started to hedge its bets, making its software increasingly available for rivals to Windows Phone.
Smartphones are built on mobile computing platforms, and the most modern combine web browsers, navigation systems, cameras and portable music systems. A so-called "feature" phone -- a market Nokia still dominates -- has far fewer of these applications.
Nokia officials defended the Lumia, and a spokesman said there was "positive momentum" while declining to give any data. One executive argued that Nokia had never counted on the first Lumia phones to lead to a quick turnaround but instead expected it to be the first step towards recovery.
In fact, there are just as many analysts recommending a "buy" on the shares as there are "sell" ratings.
Those who are keeping the faith believe the new assault on the smartphone market may be enough to give Nokia a place at the table.
Many of them say the range of concerns over the Finnish company are fully priced into the shares, while the company's strong cash position and some prized patent assets could attract a takeover approach.
"With current, and upcoming models, Nokia can win back market share in both -- in feature phones and in smartphones," said Swedbank analyst Jari Honko, who rates the shares a "buy". "Today's share price does not take into account any recovery in the Nokia market position."
Optimists also cite an improvement in Nokia's product portfolio, which looked out of date when Stephen Elop took over as the chief executive in September 2010.
And while some argue there is no room for a third alternative to Google and Apple, some developers and operators do see room for more competitors in this market.
The 2012 Windows 8 upgrade could also attract a wider audience by making the way smartphones, tablets and PCs work more similar.
For investors, the biggest positive surprise could be an acquisition offer. After Nokia signed a deal with Microsoft, rumours of full takeover by Microsoft or at least buyout of smartphone unit have made rounds on a weekly basis.
Last week the stock jumped 4 percent when Danske Bank suggested Microsoft could buy Nokia's smartphone unit.
But even if investors do not get a rich buyout - online gambling company Unibet is putting odds on Microsoft buying Nokia in 2012 at just 1 out of 15 - analysts say the company's relatively-solid finances should at least offer some security.
Nokia had 1.36 euros per share of cash at the end of the last quarter. It also has a strong patent portfolio - on its own worth more than a euro per share - and owns top digital mapping firm Navteq and half of No. 2 mobile network gear maker Nokia Siemens Networks

Publishers Go Greedy With Apple

Six of the top publishers have cooperated in order to fix a price for ebooks higher than that of a hard copy – this is regardless of the fact that the cost of making an ebook is less than the cost of a hardback.

Wall Street Journal revealed that the price fixing was agreed on at the behest of Steve Jobs, who wanted to open an Amazon style ebook shop but didn’t want to involve discounting that made Amazon that successful. So, Jobs and six publishers have negotiated a new pricing model – they were undoubtedly happy since they felt that this move preserved the value of books and encouraged other businesses to enter the electronic book market.

This deal promises guaranteed profits on best-selling titles for such retailers as Barnes & Noble that today accounts for 27% of the digital books market, along with Amazon. All this offers tremendous profits for the publishers, but not many benefits for consumers.

This new pricing deal among publishers can prevent retailers from discounting electronic books without their permission, while there’s no similar agreement about printed books. Although the stores are still able to cut the price for printed books as much as they want to entice readers to purchase, they will now have to comply with the new, higher prices for e-books set by the copyright owners.

It looks like the publishers decided that people will now pay more money for the benefits of electronic books like portability and convenience. However, this might become the biggest own goal in the history of publishing. Currently the readers are forced to choose between the goods that are more expensive, they have to get mailed to them (but can be kept on shelves), and the goods which are instant but much cheaper. So, if the publishers force readers to pay higher prices for electronic books, they would abandon the idea in droves.

In addition, it’s unclear how copyright owners want to justify the margins in the scam. Currently, a typical book contract pays 3-10% of the final cost to the writer, while the distributor and retailer receive 50-60%, and the publisher gets the rest. While distribution of a printed book was quite expensive, since it required shipping and storage, an ebook costs a fraction of that. It may even be as low as 5% after the distributor takes a cost for delivering the product to the reader. However, the publishers didn’t increase the share of the authors who are still left with contracts. In other words, writers won’t see much money at all.

Gene Simmons Hacker Caught

The police have finally arrested Kevin George Poe, accusing him of being the one who launched 5-day DDoS attack on the official site of Gene Simmons.


If you are old enough to remember the 1970s, Gene Simmons was a make-up addicted, popular beat combo musician and tongue twister for the well-known band Kiss. If you are a bit younger, Simmons is currently a reality television star who runs a show named "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels". That’s how it started. According to the information provided by the local media, Poe said "nevermore" to Gene Simmons after the musician hit out against illegal file-sharing. Gene Simmons complained about the failure of the entertainment industry to sue every college student able to download copyrighted content.

A grand jury believes that there’s quite enough evidence to link Kevin George Poe to the Anonymous hacker group. With the help of the handle called "spydr101", Poe used the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (also known as LOIC) to launch DDoS attacks on the Kiss man's official site. However, he appeared to be not the best hacker across the globe – apparently, he didn’t manage to realize that the instrument he used would add his IP address into the packets he generated. However, one should be fair to Poe: it took the police too so long to arrest him because he did make some efforts to cover his tracks.

Poe was arrested at the federal courthouse on charges of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected PC. He appeared a week ago in an American District Court in Hartford, Connecticut, and had been ordered to release immediately on a $10,000 bond. Now he has to appear in federal court in Los Angeles to face up to 15 years of jail time.

The jokes are that if he was British or had Aspergers, he could have been looking at 60 years.

Facebook Will Sue Mark Zuckerberg

The most popular social networking service in the world, Facebook, has taken a decision to say that enough is enough and it is going to sue a guy having the same name as its founder Mark Zuckerberg. He appeared to be an Israeli entrepreneur who recently took the Facebook’s founder's name. Prior to attaining the spiritual heights of Zuckerbergness, the guy was just a simple Israeli named Rotem Guez.


After having seen the seventh heaven (which is considered the true and invisible way of Zuckerberg), he was transformed by his revelation and deed polled himself to be an avatar of his holiness. However, Facebook service has refused to give him a profile bearing this new name and the guy disappeared and later has been sued. Later, Zuckerberg- Guez co-founded Like Store, a social marketing firm engaged into selling companies Likes for their brand pages.

The law firm Perkins Coie, representing interests of Facebook, threatened to sue Rotem Guez, saying that the Like Store infringed the social network's Terms of Service. The threat told Rotem Guez to go forth and multiply and never come back to the promised land of social network ever again. Meanwhile, Rotem Guez officially announced plans to change his family's names as well, because they will be like Zuckerberg, face unto face.

It seems that it took the company a week or something to get wind of that one and to threaten to launch a lawsuit against Zuckerberg's still existing Like Store. According to the local newspapers, nothing can stop Facebook from pursuing someone with last name being Zuckerberg, since it really makes them look very silly, and that’s what most likely should be the very idea of the entire affair.

Wikipedia Founder Will Fight SOPA

Jimmy Wales, a Wikipedia founder, has joined activist groups on the Internet in order to quash the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He is currently threatening to kill the English language version of his encyclopedia in retaliation. Jimmy Wales announced through the service Wikipedia that it is really a huge deal to do something like that, and this would be unprecedented for English Wikipedia.


However, it won't be the first time the encyclopedia protests against the government. Jimmy Wales himself has proudly declared that the same situation in Italy resulted in blanking the Italian language version, announcing that the Italian Parliament backed down immediately. Even considering this, the SOPA legislation is even more contentious. A lot of online companies and organizations are now up in arms at measures pushing for harsh and absurd legislation on appeasing the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, its biggest critics claim that it will stifle the free nature of the web itself.

At the moment, a strike hasn't been declared, but Wikipedia founder referred to the threat in question as a “straw poll” instead of an outright promise. It seems that he is trying to arm himself with a groundswell of public opinion before a meeting at the Whitehouse. However, it’s unclear if Jimmy Wales would prevent access just within the United States or if the entire website will take the plunge. He only mentioned that a global strike of at least the English version of the encyclopedia would put the maximum pressure on the country’s government.

Thus far, there have been a lot of calls from people opposing the suggested legislation to help urge the government to vote against it. For example, activist group called Demand Progress has called for online companies to join to fight the bill, with 70 organizations having signed up so far. The group also backed a bid by Senator Wyden to read out the names of all people against the legislation in Congress in order to emphasize the widespread anger at the suggested law. It has called on netizens to contact the government by visiting America Censorship. David Segal, Director at the activist group, stressed the effect online encyclopedia would have in opposing the legislation as strongly as Jimmy Wales wants it to. He is still concerned that Wikipedia would face an existential threat if the proposed bill becomes law – in other words, they would have a tremendous impact if they were to go black now.

Social Media Important to Business

The recent report confirmed that emerging markets are currently the biggest users of social media for leverage business. KPMG researchers have found out that such countries as China, India and Brazil are 30% more likely to use social media in their operations than developed countries. Nevertheless, businesses have started to take notice and realize that social media features plenty of applications outside of describing to your followers what you did last night and what do you feel right now.


Less than 50% of the firms from the United Kingdom appear to use external social media for their business operations, such as contacting suppliers, clients and customers. Meanwhile, this figure is as high as 83% in China and 72% in the United States. Nevertheless, the UK respondents admitted that after they weighed up the advantages and drawbacks, they came to a conclusion that having an open policy and using social media effectively would ensure greater returns than the business risks it can imply. Moreover, this could help workers source data and boost the firm's public profile. Finally, it can increase job satisfaction and offer another opportunity to establish and maintain contacts.

The survey conducted by KPMG claimed that social media networks are increasingly moving into the boardroom. This way, just banning social media in the workplace isn’t a good idea for the corporations, but rather a way to shoot themselves in the foot. 30% of employees at the companies where social media is banned simply jailbreak their own work devices in order to use social networks in secret. In this situation, encouraging and cultivating such networks use while understanding the advantages it can offer can be considered as a much better policy.

KPMG European head of tech, Tudor Aw, explained that social media networks represent a cheap way for corporations to undercut the competition in developed markets. He pointed out that sometimes, inefficient and unreliable email networks can be forsaken in preference of the faster interactive social network channels.

In other cases, a lack of alternatives might be driving companies to adopt social networks within the enterprise. This is something for the companies on the emerging markets to think about, isn’t it?