How Vodafone and Airtel spoiled NewYear !

Thumbs down

This is an article born out of frustration of a mobile phone user from India !

sms will be charged at regular rates on 31st dec and 1st Jan …….

Are you familiar with some sms of this kind ? then , hello ! i am one among you who is irritated by CSPs !!

Vodafone (earlier Hutch) and Airtel are two major Cellphone Service Providers (CSP) in India and they have gone to a very low level of charging for sms on festive days , irrespective of whether you have activated a booster/rate cutter . Vodafone seemed to have been the initiator of this ugly idea and Airtel followed it late .

I feel that my rights have been exploited to some extent ! Let me explain :

If you activate  a sms booster pack to cut down sms charges , then you can send free sms’ for 30 days(as guarenteed by CSPs ) ! but , if i am denied of free sms on any one day in between  (ie. during  festivals), then my sms booster is valid only for 29 days and what if it is  December , when i am charged for sms on 25th Dec and 31st Dec ???You lose 2 days from those guaranteed !!

Ok leave out the “my rights ” part ! atleast basic common sense  must tell the CSP that  festivals are the most important occasions where their customers would expect to send free sms to their friends and family !

I received my all my new year wishes on 30th Dec, lol . My mobile phone inbox was flooded with wishes two days before New Year, all with an excuse that they wont be able to wish me on first day of the year and also on the last day of this year !

Actually i am astonished by these CSPs  attitude of trying  to make  money out of everything ! The good old saying “Customer is God ! ” is no more , its now ” Hey customer ! you do what we say !

Thumbs down to you Vodafone and Airtel !! 😦

If you feel that any part of this post contains  incorrect/incomplete  information  , please do correct me , I wont charge you for that 😉

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technocrat.net shut down

The technocrat.net public discussion site is shut down.
It would be more appropriate to quote Bruce Perens (founder of technocrat.net) in this matter :

The technocrat.net public discussion site is shut down. This has happened because the site never achieved the ability to financially sustain its editorial staff and system expenses with its revenues.

When it became evident that Technocrat was un-viable as a business, I found that I did not wish to keep supporting the site as a hobby. Certain elements of the community that developed here, unfortunately, creep me out. At the end I faced the decision of asking for donations to keep the site running, or letting it die, and it became clear to me that I’d feel better if it would just die.

I am very busy building a new software business, with some great new (and yet unannounced) Open Source software in development. I must focus on that for now.

Best holiday wishes to you all.

Bruce Perens
bruce at perens dot com.

Buy an electronics item and get malware absolutely free !

Digital photo frame

In a recent thread in many forums , a mention was made about electronics items that come with pre-loaded malware . This was noted in the 1.5″ Mercury Digital Photo Keychain that is $24 . Much to the disappontment Samsung’s SPF-85H 8-inch digital photo frame shipped with a virus .

Amazon reached out to its purchasers with a note warning them as follows(snippet) :  ”  The alert concerns discovery of the W32.Sality.AE worm on the installation disc SAMSUNG FRAME MANAGER XP VERSION 1.08, which is needed for using the SPF-85H as a USB monitor. If you are using Vista or a different version of Frame Manager, this issue does not affect you.  “

These are not the only ones ,last year, a  Trojan Horse virus called Mocmex  found on a variety of digital frames that recognizes and over 100 different security programs, was sold at stores that included Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Target and Costco.This Trojan Horse from China collects passwords for online games.It downloads files from remote locations and hides files, which it names randomly, on any PC it infects, making itself very difficult to remove. It spreads by hiding itself on photo frames and any other portable storage device that happens to be plugged into an infected PC.By studying how the code is constructed and how it’s propagated, Computer Associates has traced the Trojan to a specific group in China

It is a nasty worm that has a great deal of intelligence,” said Brian Grayek, who heads product development at Computer Associates, a security vendor that analyzed the Trojan Horse.

Additional Link :
    Buy 1.5″ Mercury Digital Photo Keychain
here  😉

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Tech in 2008

Still we are not on a  vacation on the moon or  drive flying cars and wear wristwatch-sized video conferencing systems ! Science has not developed to that point but the technological breakthroughs in 2008 show that these are not impossible ! . 2008 has seen a lot of technical advancements, far better than  what was imagined at the start of this year.

  • Microsoft has developed laser technology that can turn any surface into a touchscreen, and allow you to interact with a central computer, even on the internet. This information technology infrastructure means you could be having chat conversations on the kitchen bench while cooking, or reading emails in the shower, before long.
  • Microsoft has developed very cheap wireless sensors that can be used to collect and transmit data, as well as controlling environments.

This is not all ! what follows is a list of major tech breakthroughs in 2008 !

A look back at the open source victories of 2008

  • Mozilla releases Firefox 3
  • Google releases Chrome
  • Android platform arrives on handsets
  • KDE 4 officially released
  • Nokia plans to liberate Symbian
  • Nokia acquires Trolltech
  • Maemo 5 revealed
  • Python 3 slithers into view
  • Mono 2 released, first Moonlight beta emerges
  • Sun’s OpenSolaris lights up

Read the full news here .

And finally, here is a complete list of Tech Vendors That May Not Survive 2009 The 100 Best Products of 2008 , The 10 Coolest Open Source Products Of 2008 and Great Linux Innovations Of 2008 .

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PlayStation3 : the sinking ship

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3

The PlayStation is a 32-bit fifth generation video game console released by Sony Computer Entertainment in December 1994.
PlayStation 3 hasnt seemed to have attracted many and is in bad times. U.S. sales of the PS3 fell 19% last month from a year earlier. Analysts say they expect PS3 sales for this month may  lower than last year, while sales for its rivals are likely to rise.

PS being the core business of Sony, this economic downturn is a heavy blow on it  ! Meanwhile , poor sales of television sets and digital cameras are forcing the company to lay off thousands of staff and close factories.
The PlayStation 2 shattered sales records and was the clear victor of the console war with Microsoft and Nintendo.Despite winning the last generation, Sony finds itself struggling in the current console wars. PS3 is dying !

PS3 downfall could be attributed to follwing reasons :

  • Higher price tag .
  • No one cares that it plays Blu-Ray .
  • Lack of system selling software .

The signs increasingly indicate that Sony can not afford to watch $400 PS3s sitting on shelves much longer.

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