Nano Slated To Launch In March. Bookings From April!


I have read somewhere that if you wish for something with all your heart, then the entire universe conspires to get your wish fulfilled. This was also a dialogue in one of the Bollywood films.

After being booted out of Bengal, courtesy of Mamata Banerjee on behalf of the poor farmers (you can read all about that here), Nano had found a foster home in Gujarat. I guess Ratan Tata’s vision [or should I call it a dream] was stronger than those with mis-placed [vested!] interests.

Tata Motors has announced that its flagship product Nano will be launched at a function in Mumbai on March 23, 2009.

Nano has fired up the imagination of Indians like never before. Tata Motors has said that its Nano website has received 30 million plus hits in a year. People displaying such an interest in a brand that is yet to be launched, would be every marketing team’s dream come true! However, it cannot be ignored that this was helped partly by the Singur issue.

I hope the Nano doesn’t face anymore hiccups.

Thanks to Google, I have found out that it was Paulo Coelho who said: “When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”


ZTE Unveils Its Solar Powered Phone At The Mobile World Congress

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If CES was a whirlwind of a show, then the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is like cruising along an open road on a Stretch Limo.

I know that the comparison sounds bad, but I cannot get anything better out of my head today. It is a Saturday and I shouldn’t even be sitting in front of my computer.

Even though the industry moaned that this years CES was muted with recession in the background; for someone like me trawling through the internet for news, CES was a whirlwind. Too many announcements and showcases were crammed in 4 days.

In comparison though, the GSMA Mobile World Congress was a cruise. According to a press release put out by the event organizers; the conference boasted of  55,000 plus visitors, more than 230 chief executives and other high-level speakers and 8,000 plus delegates. Good turnout in spite of the recession.

What had caught my attention was the solar powered mobile phone from Samsung. However, later I came to know of an announcement that ZTE too had come with a solar powered mobile phone! Thanks to an article on CNET.

Digicel Group unveiled the Coral-200-Solar, manufactured by ZTE using proprietary technology from Intivation. It was being touted as “the world’s first low-cost solar-powered mobile phone.” Digicel said that it will deploy the Coral-200-Solar in selected markets from June.

Another relief was an announcement from an association of handset makers and operators pledging to develop a ‘universal’ charger. Which means that by 2012, newly manufactured phones would come with the ‘one-size-fits-all’ energy efficient charger. It would result in a 50 percent reduction in standby power consumption, and the new chargers will be three times more energy efficient than most on the market today.

I have one question though. Why did they wait all these years to come with such a concept? It would have saved us a lot of trouble if they had come up with something like that earlier.

Solar Powered Touch Screen Mobile Phone Made From Recycled Water Bottles!

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Now does the latter part of the headline sound familiar? Motorola had announced something similar during CES. But this one from Samsung has more than a trick up its sleeve.

Called the “Blue Earth,” Samsung claims that it is a fully solar powered touch screen phone. Blue Earth is made from recycled plastic called PCM, which is extracted from water bottles and is free from Brominated Flame Retardants, Beryllium and Phthalate. I did not know that these substances would have been used normally otherwise.

Screen brightness, backlight duration and Bluetooth can be set to an energy-efficient mode called the ‘Eco mode’.

The phone also features an ‘eco walk’ function that enables the user to count their steps with an in-built pedometer, calculating how much CO2 emissions have been reduced by walking as opposed to motor transport. Samsung claims that through this unique function users’ can calculate the value of their footprint through the number of trees that have been saved. It did not make sense and I was left wondering how I would save trees by walking.

The packaging for Blue Earth is made from recycled paper, and comes with a 5 star energy efficient charger which uses standby power lower than 0.03W.

Blue Earth will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress 2009 for the first time.

Motorola, I hope you do realize how far you are lagging behind. Am I being too optimistic by expecting a Phoenix like revival?

Source: Samsung

Passage through Bengal


Life at Bhutan: Tough Going Here Boss!!!!

Passage through Bengal:

Nothing has changed so far, even after 10 years after leaving Bengal. Life comes to a standstill over here. The people are so simple, elegant in their approach. Perhaps that is why it is called, “Aamar Baangla, Sonar Baangla” (in Bengali), i.e., My Bengal, Golden Bengal.

The journey began on 4th February, 2009, when I left my EmPower and started chasing my dreams of becoming a Mentor or a Lopen (in Bhutanese) or a Teacher. Mentorship runs deep intro my blood, so choosing a career in teaching was easy for me after spending more than a year in the corporate world.

It took almost 2 days to reach Kolkata as the train was 8 hours late. Reaching Chandernagore, I started my work immediately. Already late by a day, I was lucky to get a citizen ID proof from the District Magistrate who was kind enough to let me go. Then me and my dad went to the bank, then to the counselor where I submitted my Voter’s ID application. Finally the same day I booked a tatkal ticket to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) via the Teesta Torsa express the next day.

Next day early morning was busy as usual. I caught my train at 2:30 in the afternoon and left my hometown for NJP. I had to spend a sleepless night and reached NJP at 3:00 next morning. Immediately I had to catch a bus from Tenzing Norgay Bus stand to Jaigaon, the border area with Bhutan, which took a nerve wrenching 8 hours in bus. I reached the border at 3:00 in the afternoon of 10th February.

I had to spend a disgusting 4 hours running from Indian Embassy to Bhutan Immigration office and finally after persuading the officers on either side, I obtained my permit to Thimphu. I had to regain my energy with generous doses of “Beef Thupka”, a dish made from rice, Red Chillies, cheese and fried beef.

Luckily I got a land roaster, a 8 wheeled land rover, from the bus stand to Thimphu at 4:30 in the evening the same day. I had to donate 600 Nultrums to the driver to take me to my destination. The ride started well, but 6 kms from Phuentsholing (after Jaigaon border, it is the first Bhutan town on Bengal border) the road became extremely bad. There was no metallic road, and the ride till Thimphu entrance (a distance of 176 km) was a spine buster one. It took a heavy toll on my body. Winding roads at a height of 7500 feet above sea level, with 1000 feet deep fall on one side, the vehicle moving at 30 kms/ hr. was a ride for me to remember. There was eminent danger lurking all the time that we fall down in the valley. Any ways after 9 long hours at 12:30 in the night I reached Thimphu and was immediately greeted by the amazing beauty of the land of dragons. Mountains on all side with a clean well maintained city, thanks to the managerial capacity of His Majesty, the King, Aum Sangay Zam. I will soon post the amazing photos here. With a temperature of 2 degree Celsius all the year, our “Guna Bhai” would love to have a villa here. I was lucky to witness the first snowfall of my life the next night.

I reported to the Ministry and then became a proud owner of the title “Lopen” given to all teachers here. The very next day we (I met my roommate here. He is Malayali who will also be teaching along with me) were told that we were posted at Samdrup Zonkhar Higher Secondary School. So spending the night in Thimphu we set out for our destination. Reaching Phuentsholing today, we were taken back when we heard that it was a strike in Bengal. So we are stranded now and that is why I thought to pen down my experiences here so far.

Please do let me know, how you like my experience. I will be posting the photos soon. We will start our journey tomorrow at the earliest. We will catch a taxi to Samdrup that will last another 9 hours. So bye for now from your friend. Will catch with you soon telling you about my next saga.

By Arunava Das

Modern Day Iteration Of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet!

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I couldn’t come up with a crazier headline, but this should suffice for now. If you can think of something even crazier, feel free to comment or shout it out in the chat box.

A British Company called Hoverit Limited has come with a nice, futuristic sounding concept of a ‘hovering chair.’

The concept uses the simple repelling force of magnets that gives the feeling of floating on air as one sits on the chair. It is called ‘the Lounger’ and currently retails at a promotional price of £5,875 GBP (almost 40 grand INR). The company’s website says that it usually retails at Usual price £7,500 GBP. So make use of this promotional offer if you are planning to buy one.

The Lounger weighs around 90 Kg and measures 2m x 1m x 1m.

Do not forget to read the safety disclaimer on the Hoverit’s website.

Source: Hoverit

Politicians’ Love & Hate Affair With The Media

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It is really disgusting, the manner in which the politicians have turned Karnataka into a battleground of sorts. It is quite understandable when there are two different parties [long time foes] presiding at the State and the Center, respectively.

What is beyond my imagination is the levels to which they are willing to stoop, unmindful of their highly exalted positions.

The State home minister V S Acharya had earlier hinted at bringing in some measures to gag the media, blaming it for blowing up the Mangalore incident out of proportion. Media did receive some flak from some prominent writers for not informing the police about the incident and the undue publicity given to the Ram Sena hooligans.

I do agree to an extent that such hooligans craving for some publicity should not be interviewed by the news channels and any threats made by them should be immediately reported to the police. However, it is the other way round here. The police gets to know about the news from the media. And they do nothing, as they wait for orders from the higher-ups. In fact, the entire police and justice system is flawed. In hindsight, I guess the media has done a good Samaritan by publishing the threats, allowing the public to take precautionary measures well in advance.

While the State Home Minister is thinking about gagging the media, the Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram has used the media to deliver the message that the Ram Sena is a threat to the country and the Centre is watching its activities with great concern. Correct me if I am wrong. When a group threatens the rights of the people enshrined in the constitution, should the Indian Home Minister issue sound bytes to the media that the Center is watching and such crap? You might as well send those hooligans an Archie’s Greeting Card. The intelligence agencies should have swung in immediately and shut down the group. But that is like asking for the moon here in India.

If all this makes one feel helpless, then what about the slugfest between the Union
minister for women and child development Renuka Chowdhury and Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. They have been using the media to air their differences, looking like school children blaming each other at the Principal’s office.

I guess Bangaloreans need to prepare themselves for yet another long soap opera played out in the print media after Valentine’s Day.

Google Search Blocked!


It is not every time that you will come across an news article on Google screwing up.

Few days ago, I had read that all of Google’s searches were classified as malware and it was fixed within an hour.

Google had apologized that this was due to an human error and “processes had been put in place to avoid a repeat.” The phrase did sound familiar and later realized that my manager uses that quite often when we screw up.

But today, google searches were not happening. An error message said that the search query looked similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. You can click on the image for the rest of the error message.

What’s happening Google?

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