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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Google OS planned and Google Beta dropped

After so many years of successfully running the Beta versions of various application, Google has removed the Beta tag. Gmail was launched as an invitation-only beta release April 1, 2004 and the same beta release available to the general public on February 7, 2007.

In Indian context, we call it Beta Beta nahi raha!

Google took a step toward greater enterprise adoption of its hosted e-mail, document and collaboration services today by removing the "beta" tag from its Google Apps brand.

Also, Google is planning to launch its Operating System, called Chrome OS. As per official blog :

"The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve."

Official Links:
- Google out of Beta
- Google OS announcement

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Indian Railway Enquiry SMS 139

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) is proud to announce the launch of their latest initiative in Customer Satisfaction, "Railways on SMS". Now you have the power of RAIL ENQUIRY on SMS 139. You can avail the following services:

- Accomodation/Seat availability
SMS "Train [Train Number] [Date of Journey - DDMMYY] [Station From - STD Code] [Station To: STD Code] [Class] [Class Type]" to 139.
Example: Train 4257 160708 0542 011 3A G

- Fare enquiry
SMS "Fare [Train Number] [Date of Journey - DDMMYY] [Station From - STD Code] [Station To - STD Code] [Class] [Class Type]" to 139.
Example: Fare 4257 160708 0542 011 3A G

- Ticket Status / PNR enquiry
SMS "PNR [10 Digit PNR Number]" to 139.
Example: PNR 1234567890

- Current Train running position
SMS "Fare [Train Number] [Date of Journey - DDMMYY] [Station From - STD Code]" to 139.
Example: Train 2012 010509 011

The services is currently available on AirTel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel, Loop(BPL), Tata and MTNL. This service will be launched soon on BSNL and Reliance network too. Premium Charges of Rs.3 per SMS is applicable.

Source: IRCTC website.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Vista Clock stopped!

Yesterday evening, my Vista clock on bottom taskbar (notification area) stopped ticking (at 5:07pm). When I clicked the time, the Date/Time window opened, where the time was still ticking correctly. After performing a logoff and login operation, this problem was resolved. I am not sure what went wrong, is this a bug Microsoft is aware of? I am using Vista Ultimate SP1 on x86 platform.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

yUML - Create online UML diagrams in seconds

yUML - This online website allows you to create online UML diagrams in seconds from inside your blog posts, articles and documents.

Check out the Samples here.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Tata introduces 'Nano' housing for Rs 3.9 lakh-Rs 6.7 lakh

After its revolution on wheels, the Tatas are aiming at a Nano house, which will cost anywhere between Rs 3.9 lakh and Rs 6.7 lakh.

Tata Housing, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, has launched its low-cost housing initiative called the Shubh Griha project.

The first Shubh Griha township will be launched at Boisar in Mumbai. Tata Housing has tied up with SBI and HDFC to help potential buyers with finance options.

Announcing the launch of Shubh Grih’, Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TATA Housing said, “This is in continuation of the group’s commitment to providing, quality, innovative products for the common man. We observed that since most of the people in the Low Income bracket live away from their families to earn a livelihood in the big cities, there is a large percentage of migrant population with people living in either rented or company provided accommodation".


Applicants can purchase the Application form booklet at Rs. 200/- from SBI branches.

After purchase of the Application form booklet, bookings should be made in the next 20 days along with the initial booking amount of Rs. 10,000/- through bank pay order at selected branches of SBI bank across Mumbai.

The first list and the waiting list will be declared after 15 days of the final booking after a thorough scrutiny of the submitted Application form booklets. The allotted would be sent allotment letters from TATA Housing along with the payment schedule. Details of other requirements have been provided in the Application form booklet itself.

Types of houses:

Under the scheme three types of flats will be available. A one-bed room flat with a hall and kitchen in an area of 465 square feet. A one-room flat with a large kitchen in an area of 360 square feet. A one-room flat with a small kitchen in an area of 283 square feet.

Source: IBNLive

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Windows 7 RC is available for download!

Today the Windows 7 RC is now available for anyone interested in giving it a spin! Typically, a release candidate is the last development milestone before release to manufacturing (RTM), signifying that engineering and development have made significant advancements and that the code is entering the final phases of testing. Essentially, the Windows 7 RC is the result of a lot of the great feedback we received during the Windows 7 Beta. That’s why I’m so excited to use it and excited for YOU to use it!
I have registered for this RC and yet to start the Download. Will keep this post updated as I progress...

Innovative idea of using Mobile Phones to find nearest toilet!

Buying movie tickets and paying power bills are among a string of increasingly popular uses for mobiles. Now, tech-savvy Japanese have found an unusual use for cell phones -- to locate the nearest public toilet.
Yes, thanks to a mobile phone software guiding users to the nearest lavatories, the trials as well as tribulations of searching for the nearest public loo have been eliminated in Japan, according to a report in the Mainichi Daily News.
The Check A Toilet programme, created by the software company Access Co, enables mobile phone users to search for maps highlighting the nearest public toilet to their location.
From train stations and beaches to department stores and parks, the software lists thousands of maps highlighting the location of public toilet, including details of facilities such as baby changing areas, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph quoted the leading Japanese daily as saying.
Users of the mobile lavatory locator are able to upload the free software from the Check A Toilet website whose toilet location database stretches across Japan, from Tokyo to the northern city of Sapporo, the report said.
The software reflects the continually growing importance of mobile phones in every day life in Japan, home to the largest mobile phone market in the world and where 50 million cell phones are sold every year.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

BSNL Launches "Trojan Horse" Schemes!!!

BSNL Launches schemes for Landline, Broadband Users
The Bangalore Telecom District of the BSNL has launched six new schemes for its landline and broadband customers. Among the plans introduced is the Convenience 250 lan with Rs.250 fixed monthly charges and free usage limit of 1GB, the excess usage rate of 90 paise per MB has been reduced to 50 paise. Two other new plans offer EVDO data card and fixed monthly NIC (wireless internet card) at reduced tariff for existing combo orbroadband customers. Two other schemes offfer limited ofer free talktime to existing landline/broaband cusotmers on their existing/new local mobile connections.

Well, this was the News on printed edition of DNA Sunday Page 3. To verify these new schemes, I logged into BSNL Main Portal, but could not see an such new scheme. Immediately, my next step was to verify this news on BSNL Bangalore Portal. As the website was loading, my avast anti-virus came up with these Trojan Horse Alerts:

All these messages indicated me of JS:Redirector-H [Tri] Trojan Horse. As suggested by avast, I immediately clicked on Abort Connection option and choosed to Delete the temporary downloaded file.
I am not sure if this is a common problem for everyone, or there is something wrong only with my PC. Do leave me comments, if you find any Trojan Horse alert on BSNL Bangalore website.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Office 2007 SP2 and IE8

Today, I noticed that Microsoft is pushing the Office 2007 Service Pack 2 and Internet Explore 8 through its Window Updates. Overall, today my Updates size is 420 MB.

Office 2007 Service Pack2 can be downloaded for Offline installation from this link.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 releasing 23-Apr-2009

The upcoming version of Ubuntu version 9.04 (code name - Jaunty Jackalope) is all set to release on 23-Apr-2009. This beta version can be downloaded from the official website. The last stable release of Ubuntu was version 8.10 released on 30-Oct-2008.

The Ubuntu (one of the best Linux distribution) project makes two releases per year, using the year and month of the release as the version number. The first Ubuntu release, for example, was Ubuntu 4.10 and was released on October 20, 2004. Consequently, version numbers for future versions are provisional; if the release is delayed until a different month to that planned, the version number changes accordingly.

Official Home Page / Wiki

Access Filesystem using Javascript

Using only native browser capabilities, it is impossible for a web application to access the user's hard drive. However, trephine allows users to opt-in and grant more privileges to scripts on a page. This article explains how to interrogate the client's filesystem using JavaScript and trephine. To see this in action, check out the file browser demo.

The above screenshot shows my filesystem browser in firefox 3.0.8.

ooVoo - Free Video Chat and Video Conferencing

What is ooVoo?
ooVoo is FREE video calling. See up to six friends, family or colleagues at the same time – with video quality that’s like being face-to-face in the same room!

Who can you ooVoo?
Anyone! See old friends who have moved far away. Share your child’s birthday with grandparents who can’t be there. Say hi to family or friends across the country. Even run your weekly meeting with company staff in offices around the world.

Why ooVoo?
ooVoo can become a big part of how you communicate with others – you’ll see people you wouldn’t normally see in person, while saving valuable time and travel costs.
Now, your friends don’t even need to download ooVoo to see you on a video call.

Learn More / Download

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Happy Birthday GMail - 5 years

Worlds best Free Mail Service - GMail turns 5 years on this April 1st, 2009. Five years ago yesterday, Gmail starting giving people a gig. What started as an internal tool for Google employees is now used by tens of millions of people around the world in 52 languages. In honor of the occasion, you may have noticed a little cake on the Gmail homepage today.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

avast! is ready for 1 April; are you?

April 1st is a date often targeted by the creators of malware and this year will be no exception. There are currently a lot of reports in the media about potential new virus threats and speculation about the potential impact of new viruses such as the Conficker worm. However, provided your computer’s operating system and your avast! antivirus are up to date, the risk is very small and there is no need to be unduly concerned.
To ensure you are protected against any potential new malware threats, before March 31st you should make sure that your antivirus program and virus definitions are completely up-to-date and that you have installed all available Windows security updates. We recommend checking that avast! is set to update itself and the virus database automatically – to check this, right click your avast! a-ball in the bottom right corner of your screen, select “Program settings” and then “Update (Basic)”. Here you should make sure that the virus database is set to “automatic”.
Also, whenever you switch on your computer, make sure that avast! is actually running. Some viruses are designed to specifically target antivirus programs and to turn them off, however avast! contains strong self-defense which is designed to prevent this. If avast! is running, you should see the normal blue a-ball in the bottom right corner of your screen. If it is switched off, it will contain a circle with a red line through it.
And finally, make sure that you have the latest Windows security updates. In particular, the Conficker worm takes advantage of a Windows vulnerability which Microsoft fixed in late 2008. Users of Windows Vista or XP (SP2 and higher) should have had this update installed automatically.
Source: avast! news

Monday, March 23, 2009

Heavy traffic for Tata Nano - The people's car & the world's cheapest car

23-Mar-2009 will be considered as one of the big milestone in the history of India and Tata Motors, as it is launcing the world's cheapest car. The detailed specitifications of this car is available here. Booking amount for the Nano, the world’s cheapest car, can be done by just paying Rs 2,999 upfront while the rest can be secured by way of loan. The delivery of the first lot of Nano cars will begin in early July-2009. Applications for booking of the car would be available in 30,000 locations in 1,000 cities across India. State Bank of India has an exclusive tie up for providing finance for the Nano. The promise that has been made to sell the car at around Rs 1 lakh would be kept despite the fact that commodity prices had shot up, Tata said, adding that the fall in commodity prices now may provide some cushion. The first one-lakh customers will be selected by draw of lots from the bookings, he said, adding that those not allotted would have the option to retain their bookings.
Tata Motors, which is launching the ultra low-cost Nano car, plans to have a US model in the next three years. The United States has certain additional requirements that no other country needs and as result needs some redesign, Ratan Tata said at a news conference.
Nano, will be priced between Rs 1.34 lakh and Rs 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai), although the car's claim to fame was its Rs one lakh tag. To book the Nano, customers will have to shell out Rs 95,000 for the base model BS II and III, Rs 1.2 lakh for the mid-range model and Rs 1.4 lakh for the top end all across the country.
Below is the Bangalore pricing details from Tata Motors website:

Today's launch event shooted up the web-site hits on company's official website ( which was developed within a short timeframe of 1.5 months. The entire portal has been built on open source technologies. The hasty software development without sufficient planning on Load Testing has caused the website to go down, with following error:

The prefix "nano-" derives from the Greek root 'nanos', meaning dwarf. "Nano" also means "small" in Gujarati, the native language of the Tata family, founders of the Tata Group.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Earth Hour: March 28, 2009 at 8.30 pm

Switch off your lights. Save the planet!
Earth Hour is a global movement by World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about global warming and climate change. People from 900 cities in 80 countries, including many Indian cities, will be switching off their lights for one hour on March 28, 2009 at 8.30 pm.

You too can join this global movement and Vote Earth, by just switching off your inessential lights and appliances for one hour.

Earth Hour is a call to action for every individual, and every community - a call to stand up and take control of the future of our planet. Make your actions count!

Sign up now and support Earth!

Earth Hour 2009 Pictures from all around the world

Microsoft launches Internet Explore 8.0 Final Release

The final build of Internet Explorer 8 has been announced by Microsoft, and is now available for various platforms including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Users who want to grab it straight away can do so from Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 Home Page. Alternatively, Microsoft will push IE8 out via Windows Update first as an optional download, and then via Automatic Updates at a later date. Administrators who want to prevent users from getting IE8 from Microsoft's update channels will want to check out the IE8 blocker toolkit.

Undo Send feature in GMail

I recollect using this feature from Microsoft Outlook earlier. GMail has introduced the "Undo Send" feature recently. This feature comes to help for those people who click on Send button and then realize some mistake in their email text (like forgetting an attachment). This feature can't pull back an email that's already gone; it just holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the panic button. And don't worry – if you close Gmail or your browser crashes in those few seconds, GMail will still send your message.

More Info at: GMail Official Blog.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Yahoo! Briefcase will be closing on 30-Mar-2009

The Yahoo! Briefcase service will be closing on March 30, 2009. You must download or delete your files by March 30, 2009. After this date, you will not be able to access your Yahoo! Briefcase account and your files will be deleted.
Why? Because, in a Web 2.0 world where Yahoo! Mail has unlimited storage and Flickr offers media sharing, users and services have outgrown what the Yahoo! Briefcase service can provide. As such, Yahoo! is closing Yahoo! Briefcase to focus our efforts elsewhere.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BSNL Customer Care Initiatives

Open House Sessions, Adalat, Help Line Enquiries, Call Centre and Other Important Helplines.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Indian Rupee could soon get a Unique Symbol

Major currencies of the world e.g. US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Yen and the Euro have an Identification symbol. The Government of India also proposes to have a symbol for the Indian rupee to be selected through public competition. Accordingly, all Resident Indians (both Professional artists and Non-professionals) are hereby invited to participate in a Competition for design of the ‘Symbol for Indian Rupee’.

Submission of Entries:
Interested persons may send their entries, along with a bank draft of Rs.500/- (Rupees five hundred only) in favour of the Pay & Accounts Officer, Department of Economic Affairs, New Delhi, drawn on a scheduled commercial bank/nationalised bank at New Delhi as registration fee, to the Under Secretary (Currency), Department of Economic Affairs, North Block, New Delhi – 110 001 to reach him latest by 1300 hours on 15th April 2009. Entries received after the stipulated time shall not be entertained and returned unopened. The Department shall not be responsible for delay by postal service s, courier agencies etc. The entries can also be deposited personally at the Information & Facilitation Counter of the Department, near gate No. 8, North Block, New Delhi. The entries should be sent in a properly sealed envelope labelled “Entry for Symbol for the Indian Rupee”. The entry should be accompanied by a brief explanation of the Design and how it best symbolizes the Indian Rupee and also the bio-data of the applicant with a passport size photograph affixed on the top right hand corner. The guidelines for preparing entries, other conditions and selection process are available on the website of the Ministry of Finance.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

PHP Developers are highly satisfied!

A new survey from Evans Data of over 500 developers, asked questions in 12 different categories to see which dynamic languages they like best. The study asked about Ruby, Python, Perl, Java script, Flex and VB script and the overall crown went to PHP. Ruby placed second followed by Python and then Perl. The 12 categories ranked by Evans data were: Ease of Use, Exception handling, Extensibility, Maintainability / Readability, Cross-platform portability, Community, Availability of tools, Quality of tools, Performance, Memory management, Client side scripting and Security.

The study concluded that PHP was the best all around scripting language for web applications with a large community and lots of readily available tools. Ruby was the easiest to use and thus the most accessible, but suffers from performance problems and a tiny community, while Python showed itself to be the best suited for creating large and complex applications.

Languages in the survey included: Actionscript, Flex, Java Script, Microsoft F#, Windows Powershell, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby and VB Script.

SBI proposes hardware tokens for additional layer of security

State Bank of India proposes to provide hardware tokens (see image) as an additional layer of security for Internet banking. A hardware token is a tamper proof device, similar to a USB. The token is assigned to a specific Internet banking user, and generates a unique one time authentication password to complete a transaction. They are conducing a survey on their Online Banking website, to check if the customer is interested to avail this additional security feature and also bear the one time cost of hardware token (Max Rs. 1000).

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Jai Ho" - A R Rahman

The Indian movie "Slumdog Millionaire" won eight Oscars at the 81st Academy Award function in Los Angeles (22-Feb-2009). A R Rahman scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win two Oscars for the Best Original Score "Slumdog Millionaire" and its foot-tapping song `Jai Ho`. Rehman shares the best Song award with lyricist Gulzar. He has become the first Indian to win two Oscars.

Congrats to A R Rahman and the entire team of Slumdog Millionaire to make this a proud event for India. Jai Ho!

... More in tomorrows print edition of all Indian Newspapers :-)

Aero India 2009

A close encounter with flights!

User Development Fee @ Bengaluru International Airport

If you are traveling from Bangalore, please note that the Bengaluru International Airport is now charging a User Development Fee of Rs 260. This fee will be charged effective January 16, 2009 and be collected directly by the airport.
Who will be affected? All passengers travelling out of Bangalore from the Bengaluru International Airport will have to pay Rs 260. However, infants under 2 years are exempted.
Where to pay the UDF? You can pay the fee at the specially built counters just outside the terminal. You will then have to show the receipt before entering the terminal.
How can I pay? You can pay by cash, credit cards or debit (only Visa, MasterCard and American Express) at the UDF counters outside the terminal. If you are paying by cash, we would advise you to have the exact change ready.
Will it take time? While the airport has made provisions to provide enough counters, it may take up to 10 minutes during peak hours - from 6am to 10am and 5:30pm to 8:30pm. While at other times, it may take no more than 3 to 4 minutes.
But why is this extra amount being charged? The UDF of Rs 260 has been approved by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India. This amount will be used for the development and maintenance of this state of the art airport and to provide other services and amenities.

For any other information, you can contact the Bengaluru International Airport at 080 - 66782251 or 666782255 or visit their website:

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hello Kaun? Pehchaan Kaun!

Being the pioneers in original comedy concepts and after the grand success of "The Great Indian Laughter Challenge", Star One has come back with a new show "Hello Kaun Pehchaan Kaun". This show is the hunt for India’s best mimic. The show is looking for celebrity impersonators – mimics who can walk the walk and talk the talk of a celebrity. Contestants will be judged on the basis of Likeness Quotient:

  • How closely does the contestant resemble the celebrity?

  • Voice Similarity – does the contestant sound like the original?

  • Entertainment quotient – how entertaining is the act?

Star One is on the look out for celebrity impersonators who look, talk, walk and come across like the original celebrity or their on screen characters. (Mimics are those who can impersonate one or multiple characters but may notnecessarily look the part). The Categories of contestants are Actors, Singers and Public Figures. The best impersonator will be found through a rigorous search over 4 levels - prelims, quarter finals, semi finals and the grand finale. So sit back and be ready to face the best fakes all across the country only on Star One.

The show is hosted by none other than Pechaan Kaun (Naveen Prabhakar) and Aishwariya. The judges for this show are Chunky Panday and Suresh Menon. The contestant's profiles are available on the website too. Put a reminder and sit back n enjoy the show on every Saturday at 9pm on Star One channel. The show also repeats on Star TV channel.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Google India - Internet Bus Project

As part of its initiatives to spread awareness about Internet, Google India announced the launch of mobile Internet bus to provide the experience of worldwide web to people across Tamil Nadu.

The bus project is based on four themes - information, communication, entertainment and education, and it would have useful and informative content in English and Tamil, Google India (Research and Development) Centre Head Prasad Ram told reporters in Chennai.

The bus is designed to make a simple introduction to the Internet for a new user. With a focus on the four themes of education, information, communication, and entertainment, the Internet Bus will be loaded with useful and informative content in English and Tamil. Google will showcase how the Internet can make everyday life simple through services like search, email, social networking, maps and others.

Google Internet Bus Pictures

Google Earth reaches the Ocean and Mars!

Google Earth new version 5.0 (beta) supports to view the Ocean. The Ocean floor and surface data is provided from Marine Experts. Starting from this version, Google have a much more detailed bathymetric map (the ocean floor), so you can actually drop below the surface and explore the nooks and crannies of the seafloor in 3D. While you're there you can explore thousands of data points including videos and images of ocean life, details on the best surf spots, logs of real ocean expeditions, and much more. You can fly under the surface of oceans and explore underwater terrain, such as the the Davidson Seamount. To view the surface of oceans, click View -> Water surface. To view relevant points of interest, in the Layers panel, check Ocean. You can mark locations under these water surfaces using placemarks. This version also provides the view of red planet - "Mars".


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NEFT Transaction Fee from 01-Apr-2009

Have you used NEFT online? While RBI has waived the processing charges till March 31, 2009. With a view to rationalize the service charges levied by banks for offering various electronic products, a broad framework has been mandated as under: –

a) Inward transactions – Free, no charge to be levied
b) Outward transactions –
Upto Rs. 1 lakh - not exceeding Rs.5 per transaction.
Rs. 1 lakh and above – not exceeding Rs. 25 per transaction.

National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system is a nation wide funds transfer system in India, to facilitate transfer of funds from any bank branch to any other bank branch.

Source: NEFT FAQ Page on RBI Website

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcome 2009

Wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2009 :-)