Saturday, February 28, 2009

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.”

Saturday, February 21, 2009

ZTE Unveils Its Solar Powered Phone At The Mobile World Congress

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.

Friday, February 13, 2009

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

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Modern Day Iteration Of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet!

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.

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

Monday, February 9, 2009

Politicians’ Love & Hate Affair With The Media

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.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bentley Too!

With major car manufacturers’ harping on eco-friendly measures nowadays, there are no prizes for guessing the catalyst behind it. Yes, it is the recession that has hastened the adoption of such measures.

Bentley does not want to be left behind and has staked claim for its share of spotlight. Not that it receives any, but it did pique my interest.

Bentley has put up a teaser about its upcoming model ‘The Extreme Bentley’ on its website.

According to Bentley, the Extreme will feature a FlexFuel powertrain, which means that the engine can either run on biofuel or use petrol, depending on the circumstances.

There is a video too as a part of the elaborate teaser. I guess the car would be unveiled sometime around March 2009.

Way to go Bentley. You have figured the perfect formula to survive the recession - The world’s costliest eco-friendly car!

For more information, click here.