CERN ALICE Collaboration Sets Up First Center In India at VECC, Kolkata

The very first ALICE center in India was setup in the Variable Energy Cyclotron Center, Kolkata and was inaugurated on 16th June, 2011. CERN hopes that this will be a small step in improving the capability of their Tier-II and Tier-III grid computing facilities and will go a long way in analysis of the huge amounts of data generated by LHC and, in particular, the ALICE detector. The 16th of June happens to be VECC’s foundation day.

Hopes and aspirations for the ALICE Indian Center

VECC for its part hopes to be a more integral part of the global collaboration at the LHC, CERN. It further hopes that this will give students valuable exposure in handling data and in communicating with physics groups around the world. VECC was already equipped with a 80 TB data storage facility receiving data from CERN, which is a part of the grid computing facility.

The Alice Control Room (ACR), part of the whole facility at VECC, will have good conferencing facilities, making it easier for research scholars and faculties alike to have more involved interactions with other groups around the globe and also directly with people working at CERN.

The ACR will be managed by staff, all of whom will be compelled to serve shift duties. CERN and VECC both hope that the establishment of the ACR will help in making plans in the coming future. The ACR currently monitors two workstations for Detector Control System and Data Acquisition.

The who's who showed up. Bikash Sinha at the center (pointing). On his left is Srikumar Banerjee (green shirt). R.K. Bhandari is on the right most, front row.


The inauguration was attended by the who’s who of the Indian physics community and by members from CERN. Among the prominent personalities present were Prof. Srikumar Banerjee, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Govt. Of India, Prof. Rakesh Bhandari, current Director of VECC and Dr. Bikash Sinha, the former director of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) and the current Homi Bhabha Professor, DAE. Paolo Giubellino and Jurgen Schukraft represented CERN from Geneva with their virtual presence via Skype. They briefly reiterated the need for the center in India and outlined the plans for the ALICE collaboration.

Gone are the days when geniuses would come up with theories working in isolation behind closed doors. This is the age of information and knowing the ultimate answer in Physics will take the whole world working together. This is another small step in the long journey.

Airtel Launches The International Video Calling Services In India

Earlier this year, Airtel launched its 3G services in India. Airtel 3G comes with the video calling, Mobile TV, video streaming, music download and many more services. The company recently launched the international video calling services in India. This service allows you to make international video calls and interact face-to-face with your friends and families living abroad.

airtel dual logo

Airtel has won 3G license for 13 telecom circles in India Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir. This service is available only for 3G customers living in these telecom circles. You will be charged 5 paisa per second for video calls to any number in India, but you will have to pay Rs. 14/min, for international video calls to USA, Canada, Bangladesh and other countries.

Atul Bindal, President MobileServices, Bharti Airtel said, At Airtel, it is our constant endeavor tointroduce services that enrich the lives of our customers. As we take the leadin launching International Video Calling on 3G in India, this marks the beginning ofa new era of next generation communication in the country – one that will helpmobile customers break the barrier of boundaries and instantly connect withtheir personal and business network across the world. Given the high demand ofvideo calling services seen since the launch of Airtel 3G services, we areconfident that our customers will see great value from the availability of thiscapability for international calls as well. We invite our 3 million plus Airtel3G customers to enjoy this exciting experience.

Airtel’s International Video Calling is currently available in 227 international geographies. You can make international video calls, only if your friends and relatives are on a 3G network and using a smartphone with front-facing camera. International video calls to UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Oman will be charged at Rs. 20 per minute.

HTC Flyer Launched In India For Rs.39,890

HTC recently launched its much-awaited tablet, the HTC Flyer in India. This device was already available for pre-order at Flipkart, but today, the company officially launched the tablet in India. HTC Flyer was announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona. After waiting for nearly 4 months, the tablet is finally available for purchase in India.

HTC Flyer runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System instead of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, which is specially designed for tablet devices. But the company is expected to roll out the Android Honeycomb update for the HTC Flyer, shortly after launch.

HTC Flyer

HTC believes that many people are progressing beyond a single wireless device paradigm into an era where some will own multiple wireless devices that serve their different needs,said Faisal Siddiqui, Country Manager, HTC India. We saw an opportunity to create a tablet experience that is different, more personal and productive, and are extremely excited to introduce the HTC Flyer in the Indian market.

HTC Flyer features a 7 inch touch-sensitive TFT screen with 1024 x 600 pixels resolution, Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS (upgradable to Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS), HTC Sense UI, 1.5 GHz Processor, 5 megapixel colour camera with auto focus, 1.3 megapixel front camera, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, Micro-USB, 32 GB internal memory, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, GPS, up to 820 hours stand-by time, up to 4 hours video playback and a 4000 mAh battery.

The HTC Flyer is the first tablet to premiere HTC Watch, HTC’s new video download service, offering more than 600 premium movies and TV shows from major studios. HTC Flyer comes with a MOP (Market Operating Price) of Rs.39,890. You can easily purchase this device from any of the authorized HTC resellers across the country.

Apple iPhone 3GS 8GB Now Available In India For Rs.19,990

Yes, you heard it right! Apple have recently released the 8 GB iPhone 3GS in India. The 8GB version of this handset was originally launched in India during April 2010, along with the 16 GB and 32 GB version. The iPhone 3GS were available exclusively for the Airtel and Vodafone customers in India. But, the new 8 GB version of the iPhone 3GS is unlocked and it can be used with SIM card of any GSM operator.

Apple iPhone 3GS features a 3.5 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixels resolution, 600MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, 3.15 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, 3G Connectivity, Standard Li-Ion battery and much more.

iphone 3gs india

The iPhone 3GS was originally launched for Rs.29,500 (Rs.33,500 in some states), but the phone is currently available in India for just Rs.19,990. If you are one of those, who does not like the Android Operating System and looking for an amazing smartphone below 20k, then you should definitely go ahead and get the iPhone 3GS.

The Google Nexus S was recently made available for just Rs.19,999 in India. This device will compete with the Nexus S, Nokia N8 and the Xperia X10 In India. Will you buy the old iPhone 3GS with outdated specs or you will go for the Google Nexus S with latest Android OS? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

Until then, check out the 20 Abstract Wallpapers For iPhone 3GS and our detailed comparison of Nexus One vs Motorola Droid vs iPhone 3GS.

Motorola Xoom Up For Pre-Order In India

Last week, Motorola announced its first tablet device, the Motorola Xoom in India. This device was first showcased at the CES 2010 in Las Vegas. The Motorola Xoom is the first tablet device to feature the Google’s Android Honeycomb Operating System, which is specially designed for tablet devices.

Flipkart, a popular online retailer is currently taking the pre-orders for the Motorola Xoom tablet in India. You can pre-order the WiFi-only version as well as the WiFi + 3G version of the Motorola Xoom at Flipkart. This handset will compete with the recently launched BlackBerry Playbook and the Apple iPad 2 in India. If you are planning to get this tablet, then check out the specs of this device, after the break.

motorola xoom

Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi features with a 10.1 inch touchscreen display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, Full HD (1080p) playback, 2 megapixel front-facing camera and more.

Other features include a 3.5mm headset jack, micro USB 2.0, Corporate Sync, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR + HID, 32GB internal memory, SD card support, 1GB DDR2 RAM, Google Chrome bookmark sync and incognito mode, Android Market, Integrated GPS, up to 10 hour video playback and a 3250 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

The WiFi-only version of the Motorola Xoom comes with a price tag of Rs.32,990. On the other hand, the WiFi + 3G version of this tablet is available for Rs.39,990. Motorola Xoom will be released during the 5th week of June. Check out the pre-order link below.

RIM Launches The BlackBerry PlayBook In India

Research in Motion (RIM) recently launched the much-awaited BlackBerry Playbook at an event in Mumbai, India. The BlackBerry PlayBook is the company’s first tablet device which was announced last year and it was showcased at CES 2011 in Las Vegas and MWC 2011 in Barcelona. This device comes with a 7 inch multi-touch capacitive screen LCD display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera with full HD (1080p) video recording, 1GB RAM and so on. The BlackBerry PlayBook runs on the BlackBerry Tablet OS.

“The BlackBerry PlayBook is an incredibly powerful and innovative product in the growing tablet marketplace. It’s perfect for both large organizations and individuals, and it gives users an unmatched mobile experience. With the BlackBerry PlayBook, we are stepping into a new era of mobile computing and opening up new and even more exciting opportunities for developers and content publishers with support for Adobe Flash, Adobe Mobile AIR and HTML-5,” said Frenny Bawa, managing director, Reasearch In Motion (RIM) India.

blackberry playbook india launch salman khan

BlackBerry PlayBook features a 7 inch multi-touch capacitive screen LCD display with 1024 × 600 pixels resolution, BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing, 1 GHz dual-core processor, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording and so on.

Other features include HDMI video output, 1 GB RAM, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, Predictive text input, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 16GB/ 32GB / 64GB internal memory, microHDMI, microUSB, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and a 5300 mAh Li-Po Standard battery.

Blackberry Playbook comes with a price tag of Rs.27,990 for the 16 GB version, Rs.32,990 for the 32 GB version and Rs.37,990 for the 64 GB version. Are you planning to buy this device? Or waiting for the launch of HTC Flyer and Motorola Xoom? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

[ Image Credit ]

Apple Sued in India. Comes Under CCI Scanner.

Apple comes under the CCI scanner in India when a customer filed a complaint against Apple under The Competition Act 2002 (amended in 2007) stating that Apple is restricting customers from buying apple products (iPhone) by making its availability for only a selected few carriers (Airtel and Aircel). The section 4 specifically deals with Abuse of dominant position.

Apple had announced the iPhone 4 for Airtel and Aircel customers last month, while the iPad is sold through Apple store only.

The complainant has also alleged that a user can only download software from the i-store and the others are not recognised by the device,a senior CCI official said.

Apple iPhone 4

The complaint also stated that the phone could be serviced in Apple centers only, which charge high rates for servicing. The Commission will look into the matter for consideration by the end of this week, sources said.

There are a few things the CCI must consider –

First of all, Airtel and Aircel are selling “unlocked” iPhones with optional offer i.e. you’re free to use it with any service provider you choose. Second, Apple products are sold not just by Apple Stores, but by various distributors – Croma, Imagine Stores and several others.

Finally, every manufacturer voids the products warranty if the device is serviced at unauthorized centers. Apple has 3rd party centers in India which operate with Apple to help with major issues.

Well, laws can get tricky. It all depends on the interpretation of the law. Apple will sure argue and explain how they operate in India, however they will definitely have a tough time fighting the case.

Why 10 Million Linkedin India users doesn’t matter

Today, Linkedin announced that they have crossed 10 million users from India. That’s quite an achievement. According to the latest data available, around 5.3% of population use in Internet in India as of 2009. That is, almost 16% of Internet users in India have a profile on Linkedin.

But is this a milestone that really matters?

Some  interesting statistics on Linkedin users in India:

  • 16105 professionals listed the term social media’ in their profiles
  • 19027 people in Indian listed bollywood’, hollywood’ or film’ in their LinkedIn profile

Speaking from personal experience, I honored Linkedin today for their 10 million achievement in India by logging in to Linkedin after almost six months. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to hire a few writers for my site but I surprisingly didn’t even think about Linkedin for the search. Instead I just created  a page for requirements and posted it on Facebook and Twitter. The result? I received more than 30 responses from people whom I would hire in a blink of an eye.

But that’s not all. Apart from being almost useless when it comes to finding a right hire, Linkedin is also a spam center for those social media experts. Here’s Alok Kejriwal from  outing his frustration on Linkedin spam. As I look in to my Linkedin inbox, I find more requests for endorsements from people with whom I have never done any business and messages from people promoting their business as if they were distributing some broucher advertisement.

There’s no denying that 80% of jobs comes through reference. Job listing sites like Monster, Naukri, etc stand little or no chance is the social age yet major companies make use of these job listing sites for hires.

I am yet to come across anyone receiving a job offer via Linkedin or finding a deserving candidate, for that matter. If you have, please share your story in comments section.

In April, Facebook announced that it has about 25 million (now 28.5 million) users in India.  Facebook users in India range from business people and students to public figures and institutions. And applications like  Branchout could turn into a good alternative to Linkedin without requiring me to logging in to a  separate  site for the same. Unless Linkedin really solves any purpose it will just remain a online presence for me.


Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman Phone Available In India For Rs.10,950

Back in April, Sony Ericsson announced its first Android powered Walkman phone, the Sony Ericsson W8. This handset runs on the old Android 2.1 (Eclair) Operating System and it comes with a 3-inch TFT screen, 600 MHz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera, 3G Connectivity and so on. Flipkart, a popular online retailer is currently selling the Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman phone in India. Check out the complete specs, after the break.

Sony Ericsson W8

Sony Ericsson W8 features a 3 inch touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixels resolution, 600 MHz processor, Android 2.1 (Eclair) Operating System, 3.2 megapixel camera, 3G Connectivity, 128 MB internal memory, MicroSd card slot, 16 G expandable memory, 4 GB card included, 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, Wi-Fi, Connectivity, GPS, Bluetooth, up to 5 hours talk-time, up to 476 hours stand-by time and a 1200 mAh battery.

Sony Ericsson W8 currently runs on the Android 2.1 OS and we are not sure, if the handset will be upgraded to the Android 2.2 OS. This handset allows you to access more than 150,000 apps from the Android Market. Sony Ericsson W8 comes with a price-tag of Rs.10,950. To purchase this handset, head over to this page at Flipkart.

Motorola Announces The Android Powered Xoom Tablet In India

Motorola Xoom is the first tablet powered by the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System. This device was announced and showcased at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. Motorola Xoom sports a 10.1 inch touchscreen display, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dual-core processor, Wi-Fi connectivity, Full HD (1080p) video playback and so on.

Acer already announced the India’s first Android Honeycomb powered tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 in early-May. Even the BlackBerry PlayBook and HTC Flyer are already up for pre-order in India. But, we have a good news for those, who are eagerly waiting for the launch of the much-awaited Motorola Xoom tablet in India. Motorola India recently announced the Xoom tablet and it is expected to release by the end of this month.

motorola xoom

Motorola XOOM redefines what the tablet experience should be. Designed from the ground up with the consumer in mind, it provides more ways to have fun, connect with friends and stay productive while on the go,said Rajan Chawla, Mobile Devices business country head for Sales and Operations, India and South West Asia, Motorola Mobility.

Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi features a 10.1 inch touchscreen display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS, 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, HD (720p) video recording, Full HD (1080p) playback and more.

Other features include a 3.5mm headset jack, Google Chrome bookmark sync and incognito mode, Android Market, micro USB 2.0, Corporate Sync, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR + HID, 32GB internal memory, SD card support, 1GB DDR2 RAM, Integrated GPS, up to 10 hour video playback and a 3250 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

Motorola Xoom will come with the Android 3.0 OS in India, instead of the Android 3.1 OS. But, Motorola will roll out the Android 3.1 update via OTA (Over-The-Air) soon after the launch. The price of this handset is still unknown. Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi is available in the US for $599, so the price of this tablet in India is expected be around Rs.30,000-32,000.

Motorola Xoom, HTC Flyer and BlackBerry PlayBook are expected to launch in India, by the end of this month. Which device you are planning to buy? Let us know your views in the comments section below.