Archive for August, 2012

Aakash 2 to appear “very soon”

August 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Aakash 2 is to make an appearance “very soon” says the HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. This upgraded version of Aakash, which is the low cost tablet billed as the cheapest computer in the world for students and the teaching community, is set to be launched “very soon”.

Today addressing the first convocation of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science ( BITS) at its Hyderabad campus, he has said that “Now, Aakash 2 has been rolled out with battery life of three hours, 800MHz processor, providing internet access everywhere and it has a capacitive screen. The process to distribute this device has begun and it would be formally launched very soon,” Mr. Sibal.

“It (the idea of low cost computer) was rejected throughout the world and it was said that India would not be able to make it. Our HRD ministry was committed to the Aakash project and ultimately we came out with the first version of the Aakash which costs Rs 2,276.

“That was the dream and I as minister for Human Resource Development, asked myself the question can I provide a tablet to the students throughout the country that costs a reasonable amount so that all children can afford it and yet is able to deliver through the best technology, the vast information available on the net to them sitting wherever they are,” he said.

After Aakash sank into deep waters after a lot of troubles last year, IIT-Bombay was handed over the responsibility of the first phase of the project. This version was inaugurated by Sibal at IIT-Bombay in June this year.


In Europe Android and Samsung dominate

August 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Despite patent fight, the market in Europe shows choice towards Android and Samsung. This Korean giant is strengthening its grip in several European countries. According to the latest sales data (from the last 12 weeks) from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Samsung is leading the Android pack with 45% share across Europe.

In Great Britain, Android finds itself at the top with 59.5% share of smartphone sales, followed by iOS with 22.9%. RIM’s Blackberry slid 10.7% from last year’s number and is now a distant third with 10.9% share. Meanwhile, a 22.7% jump solidifies Android’s market share in Germany, where it is comfortably ahead with 71.5% in July 2012, followed by iOS and Windows Phone at 15.3% and 4.6%.

Android holds a 61.5% market share in France, while iOS saw its sales tumble by 6.3% to settle at 14%. RIM, against all odds, improved its sales in the country by 0.1% and now holds a 9.2% market share. In Italy, Android is number one with 54.8%, followed by iOS and Symbian with 17.2% and 12.8%.


Micromax launches Superfone, an impressive Android device

August 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The low-cost mobile handset leader of the country, Micromax has launched another Android handset in less than INR 10,000. his is the second in the Superfone series, called ‘Superfone A84 Elite’.

This seems to be impressive handset enjoys a 3.97-inch capacitive IPS WVGA display, with 16 Million true color display, will definitely attract your attention. Another impressive feature is its battery, a 1630mAh Lithium ion battery which could easily handle 5 hours of talk time and 150 hours of standby. Micromax has called it a mammoth battery. It is indeed.

The phone has a 1GHz processor and a 5 megapixel rear Camera With LED Flash, which is very good and a 0.3 megapixel front camera which is ok for video calling.

The connectivity could be via Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPRS and a USB. Impressive again.

Internal memory is not specified on the company’s website. The expandable memory via microSD card is up to 32GB, as in most of the smartphones which are now available in the market.

The only non-impressive feature was that it hosts the Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread version, which is the older. The Android operating system which is currently in the market is the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

News report mentions that it has got a AISHA voice recognition service. I could not find this feature on the website, and I do not think that this is something which the company wold simply ignore to mention.

I won’t call it a steal, however, at 9,999 this is good deal.

Samsung rules out licensing BB 10 OS

August 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Samsung puts an end to all rumors and speculations on licensing the forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system in the future. It has announced that it had “not considered” either acquiring RIM in whole, or licensing the new software to install it in its upcoming smartphones.

Less than a day after a Jefferies analyst said RIM was looking to “revive discussions with Samsung” over a licensing pact, Samsung has poured cold water on the suggestions. The chief executive Thorsten Heins of BlackBerry has not ruled out licensing the forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system in the future.

RIM’s shares jumped by more than 5 percent on Wednesday on talk of the rumors.

“RIM is attempting to revive discussions with Samsung regarding a BB10 licensing deal,” said Jefferies analyst Peter Misek in a note seen by AllThingsD. But earlier this year, Samsung said it flat-out denied it was considering buying the Canada-based smartphone maker.

Also in the note, Misek said: “We believe Samsung is considering ramping up its internal [operating system] development efforts, licensing BB10, or buying RIM” but believed an acquisition would be unlikely until after BlackBerry 10 launches in the stores next year. BlackBerry 10 was also pushed back from a pre-Christmas release to the first-quarter of 2013, which will likely dent sales following the popular holiday season where electronics makers battle for the store shelves.


CarPad 5 introduced by MapMyIndia @ Rs 19,990

August 10, 2012 Leave a comment

MapmyIndia launches all-In-One GPS Navigator, Smart Phone and 3G Tablet. The leader in Navigation and location based services, has announced that this small android device facilitates 3D navigation, house-level details, live traffic updates, and connects users nearby and on-the-go based on location.

The CarPad 5 runs on 1GHz Samsung processor ( Cortex A8, S5PV210), Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread operating system (this version is an old version now), built-in 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 for connectivity. It has got a 5 inch capacitive touch screen with 480×800 pixel resolution, which is a advancement over its earlier versions carrying 7 inch display.

The device comes pre-loaded with Aura, MapmyIndia’s latest, fully 3D and connected GPS navigation interface. Aura maps have been rated as the most accurate and comprehensive digital maps of the country which offer real-time traffic updates, house level search, security (track and trace), discount offers in the vicinity etc.

The memory can be expanded up to 32 GB using a microSD card. On the connectivity front, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and 3G, and comes with a miniUSB port and a microSD card slot. The company has provided a 2,000 mAh battery for the device.

The interesting part is it could be used as a tablet (you can carry it with yourself on a plane, train or while just jogging) when is not being used as a navigation tool. It offers facility like any other tablet, for instance, watching videos on YouTube, loading movies, listen to stored music, flip through photos and search and browse photos on Flickr or other photo-sharing sites. One can also download new applications and games from the Android Market.

“After the success of MapmyIndia CarPad, which endorses our view that that there is a strong demand for in-car productivity gadgets, we present the next-generation CarPad 5 to Indian consumers. MapmyIndia has always strived towards making car travel convenient, comfortable  and productive. The CarPad 5 is one of the many in-car productivity gadgets we plan to launch in the near future,” says Rakesh Verma, Managing Director, MapmyIndia.

The CarPas 5 is on offer at Rs 19,990 /-, which includes the device with 3G, Wi-Fi, 4GB SD card memory, CarPad windshield mount. The device is available online at the companies website.



What development plans cannot achieve, general elections can

August 9, 2012 1 comment

The UPA government is planning to distribute mobiles to BPL families in India, with tax payers money. The move is aimed at generating votes for the General Elections 2014 (GE2014). Is free talktime every month the next plan?

It is learnt that the PMO is in talks with the Planning Commission and the telecom ministry in giving the scheme worth Rs 7,000 crores a final shape.

The  scheme called ‘Har Haath Mein Mobile’ is meant to benefit a few million families is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Independence Day, August 15. These families will also receive free 200 minutes of free local talk time. But the cost of spectrum, the carrier of voice and data services are not being reduced. With this plan in hand the government needs to also ensure that the cost factors do not stand in the way of these mobile device being put to some use after the 200 minutes talktime is exhausted.

The poverty indicators suggest that, of the 1.21 billion people of India, only 38 per cent are illiterate, about 420 million poor live in only eight states, almost 250 million people do not have access to basic medical care, around 350 million do not have access to safe drinking water.

But this has not deterred the growth of telecom market in the country. India’s mobile market is growing at a phenomenal rate, with a ratio of 70 mobiles per 100 people and is 2nd in the world in terms of its growing telecom market. This figures were released in the recent World Bank Report Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile.

The government has plainly avoided the fact that even the basic requirements for a health living are lacking in poor areas. People need food (much of which got wasted in the godown due to lack to storage facilities, people have to walk long distances for water. A whopping 53 per cent of our children are undernourished and 52 per cent of our primary schools have only one teacher for every two classes.

Mobile phones has the capability to transform lives by connecting people with the world, but, is just not the priority now? But how could the use be then, sustained.

“Give electricity first, how will a poor man charge the mobile when there is no electricity?. The government does not have a mechanism to track corruption while implementing these schemes. This is a pure election gimmick to divert attention of the people from the realities of today’s times,” said Balbir Punj, BJP leader.

Critics also see this move as UPA’s motive to communicate with this important electorate who play a big role during polls.

source:, World Bank Report Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile,

What about protecting UID data?

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

The Unique ID Authority has completed about 20 crore enrollments and has generated over 18 crore Aadhaar numbers till date. But, a fire in the lower floors of a Greater Noida building which houses the data centre of this extremely ambitious Unique ID Project has put at risk the personal and biometric records.

The accident puts a big question mark over safety of data being collected from about 1.2 billion Indian residents and being housed in risk prone facilities.

A UID spokesman confirmed there was a fire in the ‘Knowledge Park’ building at Greater Noida on Saturday, which houses a UID data centre. The data centre on the third floor is a small subset of the main data centre in Bangalore, said the spokesman.”Little data was being stored here. Nonetheless, no data is harmed as we have a back up at 3-4 locations across the country,” the spokesman said. He added that fire did not reach the upper floor which houses the data centre.About 150 out of the about 250 servers at the facility have been rendered unusable because of the carbon soot deposition from the fire, according sources at UIDAI. Networking equipment of Cisco and storage equipment by EMC was also damaged in the incident.Last week, the government awarded a Rs 87 crore contract to Delhi based Tulip Telecom which will manage data centres for UIDAI in Bangalore for 3 years. The Bangalore based Tulip data centre will house the records of 1.2 billion Indian residents, with a back up in other places.

UIDAI’s main data centre currently exists in Bangalore, at a space leased from Bharti Airtel. It acts as the main storage repository for all biometric and personal records of Indian residents.

source: kractivist