Most of us weren’t expecting keyboard manufacturers to adopt the new Indian Rupee symbol until it got approved by the Unicode Consortium. However, TVS clearly had other plans. Barely a month after the symbol was unveiled, the popular keyboard manufacturer has released TVS Gold Bharat – the first keyboard to incorporate India’s new currency symbol.
As suggested by its name, the Bharat keyboard is optimised for Indian users. LittleAbout blog is reporting that the keyboard, which works on both Windows and Linux, also supports typing in Indian languages like Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Assamese and Malayalam.
TVS is known for building sturdy keyboards, and TVS Gold Bharat is no different. It has cherry mechanical switches that have been laser etched to withstand rough usage. The Gold Bharat is available for Rs. 1,495. However, if you don’t want to buy a new keyboard, you can also use the Rupee font we recommended earlier.
In an attempt to mount pressure on Research in Motion – the Canadian manufacturer of Blackberry devices, the Indian government has issued a deadline of August 31 for coming up with a satisfactory response. Earlier today, the Indian government met with telecom operators to discuss the issues surrounding Blackberry’s security policy. While Airtel and Vodafone – the largest Blackberry service providers in India, skipped the meeting, RIM Vice President Robert E Crow separately met with the Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
The Indian government has been demanding access to encrypted messages sent using Blackberry devices for quite some time. It had made similar demands back in 2008. However, India has now been joined by several countries including Indonesia, UAE and Germany, in its demands.
RIM has already agreed to provide the Saudi government access to servers hosted in Saudi Arabia. If it now agrees to India’s demands, it will probably receive similar demands from numerous other countries. However, if it doesn’t comply, the government might disable messaging support in Blackberry devices across the country. RIM is undoubtedly in a tough position. However, it’s hard to imagine that it will be willing to risk loosing more than 1 million Blackberry users in a rapidly growing market.
Last month, we reported that the Indian government was threatening to ban Blackberry along with a host of other services like Gmail and Skype. Reuters is now reporting that, the government of India of India will meet with telecom operators tomorrow to seek concrete measures.
Like Saudi Arabia, India also wants instant access to encrypted messages sent using Blackberry devices, which were reportedly used by terrorists in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Similar demands have also been made by United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Germany. In fact, the Indian government had also made similar demands in 2008.
RIM’s recent decision to grant the Saudi government access to local servers, will undoubtedly encourage the Indian government to take a stronger stance. At tomorrow’s meeting, the Indian government might issue a deadline for RIM to comply with the demands. In case the Indian government goes through the ban, RIM stands to lose 1 million subscribers in a country where the iPhone is still struggling to make an impact.
According to a recent report published by Gartner India, Dell is now the “No 1 PC brand” in India. HP, the global leader, had held onto that position for the past 5 years.
Unlike in most other parts of the world, Dell has a retail presence in India. This move has seen Dell’s market share increase sharply over the past couple of years, as most Indians are still weary of making purchases over the internet. Dell India has also succeeded in building a reputation for itself by providing quick and efficient customer care.
According to the Gartner report, around 2.47 million PCs were sold during Q2 2010. Dell took the lead by selling 3,53,000 PCs (2,35,000 notebooks and around 1,18,000 desktops), while HP and Acer clocked in 3,31,000 and 272,000 PC sales respectively.
Dell has done exceedingly well in consumer, SMB and education segment during Q2 recording a substantial gain over Q1. HP on the other hand has seen a negative growth over Q1 primarily because of the introduction of its new distribution policy in the consumer space,said Diptarup Chakraborti, Principal Analyst of Gartner India.
Like many other countries in the world, India too is running out of IP addresses on IPv4. This problem of IP address crunch is likely to get more fierce with the upcoming rollout of 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) services in the country.Well, we as Internet users need not worry at all. According to a new roadmap released by the Indian government, India will start using IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) – a technology that offers more IP address space than what IPv4 provides currently, from March 2012.
All telecom and ISPs are required to be IPv6-compliant by the end of next year and offer IPv6 services thereafter, the government said in a statement issued on Wednesday by the country’s Press Information Bureau. The switching process will start with Federal and state government ministries and departments and public sector companies who will adopt these new IPv6 services by March 2012.
After contemplating on various designs for over a year, the Indian government finally zeroed in on an Indian Rupee symbol earlier this week. The government intends on adopting the chosen symbol nationally within six months, and internationally within 18 to 24 months.
One of the essential steps in this formal process is getting approved by Unicode Consortium. That would lend Rupee a place in the Unicode character map, which will make it possible to use and view the symbol on almost any computer around the globe. Keyboards incorporating the sign should start appearing in India, soon after.
In the meantime, the best option is to use a font, which incorporates the Rupee symbol. Foradian has already created an excellent free font with the Indian currency symbol. In order to use it, simply install the font on your system and press the ` key.
The limitation of this approach is that the symbol won’t be readable on system’s which don’t have this particular font installed. One possible solution is to simply embed the font while saving your document.
Vaseline, a popular cosmetics brand owned by Unilever, has launched a new Facebook app that will retouch your photographs in order to make you appear fairer. The app is mainly targeted at Indians and is promoting a new cosmetic product for men from Vaseline.
Indian’s are well known for their despicable obsession with fairness. The sad reality is that not being fair is still considered to be a disadvantage by most sections of the population. In such an environment, it’s not surprising that fairness creams and lotions continue to sell like hot cakes.
The Vaseline Men page also includes several fashion tips for men, with new ones being added regularly. Pankaj Pariha, the man behind the campaign, claims that the response to the entire Vaseline Men campaign “has been pretty phenomenal”. The application currently has close to 9,000 active users.
Origin of Skin Colour
It is probably unfair to pick on Vaseline alone. It’s not doing anything or suggesting anything that hasn’t been done or said before. Television advertisements for similar products from competitors are still getting away with suggesting that having a fair skin complexion is essential for getting jobs or getting married. The real problem is a lot more than skin deep. The real problem lies within the society itself. And until we change our attitudes, blaming a commercial company tending to the demands of the market won’t get us far.
While it’s hard for a new browser to make an international impact, one can argue that there are still untapped opportunities on a regional level. For example, Maxthon is hugely popular in China, yet it remains largely unknown internationally. Bangalore based startup Hidden Reflex certainly believes that it can gain sufficient traction by offering a distinctive Indian flavor.
Epic, which is based on Mozilla Firefox, cleverly taps into several already available services to serve content tailored for Indian users. Among other things, it uses Google Indic Transliteration tool to enable typing in Indian languages like Hindi, Bengali and Tamil. The custom sidebar also offers one-click access to regional and national news including live video streams (served by NDTV), cricket match scores, share market updates and music charts. Epic also provides box file backup (through Gmail), mail (Yahoo and Gmail) and social networking (Facebook, Twitter and Orkut) apps. Additional security is provided through ESET NOD32 and WOT. If you want more you can always install more apps from Epic’s online gallery, which currently houses more than 1,500 applications. Additionally, since Epic is based on Firefox, it also supports standard Firefox extensions.
Techie Buzz Verdic
On the whole, Epic impressed me with its features as well as overall execution. It’s a lot more than just another Firefox port, which is what I had initially expected it to be. The fact that it is built on top of Firefox, which is already fairly popular, should come to its advantage. Casual users are notorious for sticking to what they are already familiar with. In spite of being packed to the brim with features, Epic does well to keep them neatly tucked away in a separate corner. The additional features doesn’t get in your way. Epic still very much feels and behaves like Firefox. At the same time, the default persona is a bit gaudy and Epic would do well to adopt the new minimalistic theme Mozilla is embracing.
The Indian government isn’t exactly known for being social. Shashi Tharoor ran into trouble for his tweets on more than one occasion. However, it appears that the Indian government is finally warming up to the idea of leveraging social networks. India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) now has an official presence on Twitter.
According to the Economic Times, the public diplomacy division of the MEA is planning to reach audiences around the globe through a series of initiatives to harness the power of social networks. A new interactive portal, which is currently under development, will encourage conversations by tapping into both Twitter and Facebook.
India’s foreign ministry is not keen to publicise the Twitter account yet and termed it as a “work in progress”. In spite of this, the official Twitter account has already amassed more than a thousand followers. Obviously the number will increase as the word gets around.
Bored with China and Pakistan banning web services left and right? Here is something new. Possibly feeling a bit left out, the Indian government has decided to join in on all the fun.
Apparently, the Indian security agencies are struggling to monitor the content being shared over Gmail, Skype and Blackberries due to their highly encrypted nature. According to The Hindu, a reputed daily newspaper in India, “Department of Telecom (DoT) will ask these companies to either ensure that data going through their networks be made available to security agencies in a readable format or face a ban from offering services in India.”
Indian security agencies are concerned that services like Skype are being used by terrorists to bypass monitoring mechanisms put in place for telephone calls. Skype and RIM (the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry handsets) will be given 15 days to respond, failing which services that do not allow lawful interception on a real-time basis would be banned. Google will also be asked to use encryption standards that can be monitored by the Government. However, the Government won’t impose any deadline on the search engine giant.
This is not the first time RIM has run into trouble with the Indian government. Back in 2008, there was a similar standoff. However, at that time, the Indian Government had claimed that all differences have been resolved.
Formal notices are expected to be served to all affected parties in the first week of July. While, a Google spokesperson declined to comment, Skype has come out and termed any potential ban as “a big step backwards”.