iProf – India’s Own Tablet Targeted At Students

iProf-Educational-Tablet Tablet computing is the hottest thing right now and it seems that everyone wants to cash in. iProf is the latest entrant, which promises to revolutionize the way students prepare for entrance tests.

The iProf is hoping to cash in on the lucrative education market in India by bundling high quality study material along with its custom Learning Management System. Initially, the iProf would be catering to IIT aspirants through its tie up with Brilliant Tutorials. However, in the near future it will expand its portfolio to service MBA PMT, CPT, and CA students among others.

The iProf can be picked up from any of the iStudy Zones around the country for Rs 14,900. The price is fairly reasonable, considering the value of the bundled study material. However, it still may be too high for the Indian market, especially since it is aimed at young students.

iProf-Tablet

iProf Specifications

  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Android OS
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Bundled Learning Management System and study material from Brilliant Tutorials

Interview With Notion Ink’s CEO Rohan Shravan On “Adam” And More

The Internet Tablets niche is going to see a huge amount of innovation coming through in the next few months. "Adam" is a Internet tablet and e-Book reader, which was announced back in December by a India based startup Notion Ink.

Adam Notion Ink Tablet

Notion Ink also demoed the gadget during the electronics expo at . We got a chance to catch up with Notion Ink’s CEO Rohan Shravan and asked him a few questions about "Adam" and other interesting developments around it. So without ado, here is the interview with Rohan Shravan.

Rohan Shravan, CEO of Notion Ink

Keith: First of All Could You Introduce Notion Ink to us?
Rohan:
Notion Ink is a firm for Innovation. Very very young and very different. Average age of employees is 22 yrs! Based out of India. It was my dream to design devices which can do anything. And thats what we are doing right now. The first thing you do to realize your dream is to write is somewhere. And thats what we will help other to do. We will be their Notion Ink.

Keith: Back in December 2009, we were surprised to see a tablet from an Indian startup? Why did you choose to get into an industry which was not yet established worldwide, leave aside India?
Rohan: We are working on it since last 3 years. It took the final shape in 2008 end. The device we want to make is still technologically not possible and we will work till we achieve the same.

Keith: How and why did you come up with the name "Adam" for your Tablet? Did it have to do anything with "Adam & Eve"?
Rohan: I wanted a named series. Something people can relate to. Adam tablet is the first of its kind. Its an ebook reader and tablet, both, hence a new species which brings a new convergence. And hence the name Adam. Eve will be there, soon.

Keith: What according to you sets Adam apart from the rest of the competition?
Rohan:
It will bring in new user input mechanisms, new UI trends, OS behaviors, Cloud computing relations, Content Eco-system, ebook and tablet convergence, open system and already a huge fan base!

Keith: Do you follow the developments behind iPad, Joojoo, Slate and other upcoming tablets? How do you see them as a competition?
Rohan: I do. But only as developments. Competition is healthy. It is good for end user. And it brings innovation.

Keith: How was your experience at CES 2010? Did you find recognitions for Adam there?
Rohan:
CES was wonderful. It made it clear that people are waiting for it. And it is the right time for this product.

Keith: Given the current Indian market which basically is made up of cheap or mid-range cell phones, do you think that Adam will do well, or do you have different markets in mind right now?
Rohan: Firstly, thats not true. There is a huge market for smart phones and mobile internet adoption is one of the fastest.

Secondly, Notion Ink does belong from India, but Adam was not designed with India as its reach. It is designed for people who are ahead of others. For those who will be the leaders in technology. And they happen to belong in all the countries. Some have many, some have few.

Keith: Are you collaborating with big partners to get the device out?
Rohan:
Yes, we are in good stages of these collaborations. 

Keith: What are the Specifications for Adam, not that we don’t know it, but we would love to hear it from the horse’s mouth?
Rohan: I believe what we don’t know is not in the public domain yet. 

Keith: Are you planning any variations in the device based on where you launch it, to narrow down the costing?
Rohan: Not necessarily. 

Keith: Where do you plan to manufacture the device? Will it be in India or from within US, considering that your major market will be US and Europe, and you have to pass through tough manufacturing standards to be able to export to these continents?
Rohan: Even the educated people in India would demand FCC certifications. Quality is first goal. Nothing gets manufactured in US. Our bases will be same as US houses. 

Keith: How do you foresee the future of Internet tablets, not as a manufacturer, but as a end-user?
Rohan:
As end user, i see carrying only tablets. All other things will vanish. Phones will be just headphones, laptops will be on clouds, and tablet will even replace books and notepads.

Keith: Lastly, would you be able to tell us when this device will be out and how much it will cost along with how people can buy it?
Rohan: It is definitely not as costly as iPad.

Thanks to Mr. Rohan for sparing the time to answer our questions. Hope you had a great time catching up with the CEO of one of the most waited upon device, the "Adam". You can check what Notion Ink is all about by visiting their website, or keep up with the latest updates from the company by visiting their blog.

For those who haven’t yet got a chance to see "Adam" in action can watch the embedded video below.

Image courtesy Rohan Shravan’s account @rohanshravan

Samsung Awesome Two-Some : Attractive Offers With Purchase of Samsung Laptops

Samsung has launched an awesome two-some offer under which you can get Samsung Metro S3310 mobile phone and Tata Indicom Photon+ at a special discounted rate with the purchase of every Samsung laptop.

Samsung-Awesome-Two-Some-Offer

The exact price at which the Metro S3310 mobile will be bundled depends on the laptop model; quite obviously, the discount is deeper on high-end models. The handset will be made available to the customer on spot along with the laptop.

Samsung-Bundle-Laptop-Prices

The Tata Indicom Photon+ mobile broadband connection will be offered to customers at a special price of Rs 1,500. It includes device cost and plan benefits for 6 months. For the first two months customers will be able to enjoy, 15GB Unlimited plan and for the next four months they will get 2GB additional bandwidth.

This offer is valid only until April 30. Check out the official website for more details.

MapmyIndia GPS Navigator RoadPilot Lx130 Launches For Rs 7990

MapmyIndia has launched a new Touchscreen GPS Navigator in India which is selling for Rs. 7,990. The navigator named "RoadPilot" will definitely see a new GPS era in India.

MapmyIndia Roadpilot GPS

MapmyIndia’s RoadPilot is a slim, pocket friendly 3.5" navigation device loaded with all India maps for turn-by-turn voice guided navigation across India. The RoadPilot works exclusively on GPS signals and does not require a SIM card or GPRS connection to work. Which means that you can just punch in a location, and enjoy voice guided navigation without worries of monthly payments, slow data rates, incomplete data, etc. It’s the perfect navigation device for your car.

RoadPilot India

The best part of the device is that, it is touch screen and users can interact with the screens without having to use pesky buttons. The device also comes with a Snooze feature to save power after you have reached your destination.

Another interesting thing about the device is that you do not need to use a SIM card or pay for GPRS connections, everything is Satellite based and works on exclusive GPS signals.

This is definitely a great product considering that people usually get lost thanks to the "gullies" and "nooks and corners" in India. Google Maps India too had added a feature called Landmarks in India to allow users to find directions based on landmarks, which is the most popular way to get through to any location in India.

You can purchase the device for Rs. 7,990 with no additional charges at MapmyIndia.

PayPal Asking PAN Card Number for Indian Accounts

PayPal has finally started allowing Indian users to send and receive payments. However, they have added a new twist to the entire saga by asking Indian users to enter their Mobile number and PAN numbers when they login to their PayPal accounts.

paypal_pan_code

This morning, PayPal started greeting Indian users with a screen, which looks similar to the screenshot above, without which they are not allowing users to get into the account. Users are being asked to enter a mobile number and their PAN card number before they can access their account.

PAN card number is a Permanent Account Number in India, required for opening and operating bank accounts and which is associated with an Indian’s tax filing.

As I have stated earlier, Indian banks require users to add the PAN number when they make a deposit of Rs. 50,000 or more, this move may be to track deposits higher than the said amount, but this may not be true too, so it is best to confirm with PayPal as to why the PAN number is required.

Secondly, this could also be a compilation with an RBI notice to have compulsory PAN numbers while opening bank accounts in India.

Work Around: According to Techie Buzz writer, Pramodh, if you see the screen to enter the above details, you can skip it by clicking on the PayPal logo, this will take you directly to you account.

Thanks @BlogsDNA, @mayurjango, @honeytech

10.3% Service Tax For Games, Music And Software Downloads In India

Get ready to shell more for Game and software downloads from foreign publishers in India. According to a new clause in the 2010 Budget, users will have to shell out 10.3% service tax when they download, games, music or software from a foreign supplier.

Service Tax on Downloads in India

The 10.3% service tax will be applicable for downloads on both your personal computer and mobile, even if you download the game or software for personal use. Earlier, downloads were taxable only if you downloaded content to further resell it to someone else.

Mr N.R. Badrinath, a partner with a consulting firm Accretive Business Consulting, told Business Line that in case of downloads made available by foreign suppliers, under the reverse charge principle’ the person downloading such software in India would need to pay the service tax at 10.3 per cent.

This means that even an individual downloading software for personal use would need to pay the service tax, seek registration under the service tax provisions and also file the statutory returns thereafter.

Non-compliance with the provisions could trigger interest and penalty. This amendment brought in with respect to information technology software services will create a lot of hardships,Mr Badrinath said.

This is definitely bad news for people who used online means to download software which are not available off-the-shelf in India, and will further piracy problems which publishers have been facing in India.

However, a relief comes from the fact that software created by foreign publishers available off-the-shelf in retail stores will not come under the purview of the new taxes and will continue to attract only custom duty of 8.24%.

Another problem right now as I can see is that, there is no clear instructions on who this service tax will be applied and whether foreign publishers will have to add it to the cost of the product itself. I will try and update on the situation once I get more information about it, but one thing is for sure that this is definitely going to increase piracy in India and cause more headaches to software publishers. On the other hand, this could also mean that more and more publishers would want to start selling their software or games through retail stores, rather than having to burden users with additional charges.

[The Hindu Business Line via Tech Raga]

Image Credit: mytaxform.info

Karnataka Government Uses Google Analytics From Different Site

This has to be a height of laziness. Couple of websites owned by the Karnataka Government, including Karnataka.gov.in and Karunadu.gov.in have been using Google Analytics tracking code which was originally created by a third party site.

The developers behind Karnataka Government site were lazy enough to copy the Google Analytics code from SEO Consultants along with some CSS code which was part of a tutorial on the site, this goes to show how serious the Government of Karnataka is about their online presence.

Karanataka Government Google Analytics

Karnataka Government Detailed Google Analytics

According to the blog post, the site in question started receiving lots of hits, and further verification showed that the hits were coming from the site run by Government of Karnataka.

Now, there are several problems here. First of all, the Karnataka Government is sharing all their visitor information with someone else. Secondly, the developers are so ignorant that they did not care to check what code they were copying into the site. So how can you trust the people behind this?

And another glaring fact that the post in question bought out was that this is happening since the past 45 days, and the author of the post tried to contact the Government of Karnataka several times, however, all he received were canned responses, so do they really care?

I am pretty sure that the developers are clueless about this, and they would not care as to what they put up on the website. Thank God, that they did not decide to copy content from a malware website.

I am a very big evangelist for Governments using the online channel to showcase information and interacting with people. However, such irresponsibility goes on to show how much they care about adopting to the new methods that make communication easier. What do you think?

24 Hours Loot: Indian Woot Clone

When Woot.com started out, not many people thought it would succeed, however, it has been almost 6 years since it launched and it has become one of the most successful online retailer.

24hoursloot

For those who are not aware of Woot, it is a online retail site, which only sells one discounted product in 24 hours, the products have a flat shipping rate and are not changed even if they are sold out, except for "Woot-Off", where more than one product is sold in a day.

24 Hours Loot Woot Indian Clone

24 Hours Loot (http://24hoursloot.com) is an Indian Woot Clone, which will bring Woot like deals to Indian customers. 24 Hours Loot works on the same philosophy that Woot runs on:

24hoursLoot is an online store for selling a new item (such as t-shirts, toys, electronics products, furniture and more..) everyday at deep discounted price in limited quantity/stock. A new item is released every midnight at 12AM Indian standard time, seven days a week. If an item sells out during its run (i.e. for next 24 hours), a new item will not appear until the next release time.

Apparently the site has been able to sell out the last three day’s products and they have only been online for 4 days now. So if you have been waiting for something like Woot in India, go ahead and key an eye on 24 Hours Loot.

Thanks for the tip Sherry

TCS.com Hacked By International Hacker

The website TCS.com which belongs to India’s largest software vendor, Tata Consultancy Services, was hacked today by a French hacker. This hack will definitely lead to total embarrassment for the software firm who thrives on creating software and security systems day in and day out.

If you visit TCS.com right now you will be greeted with a screen which looks similar to the screenshot below.

tcs_hacked

However, TCS is not the only high profile site to be hacked, in recent times the Orkut Brazil blog was hacked along with the high profile TechCrunch being hacked as well. Just goes on to show that hackers could easily get into your system if you do not use secured software.

As a word of advice, I would like to ask users to keep their web software up-to-date, no matter if it is a pain to do, because you could be the next in line to get hacked for using software which has vulnerabilities.

Update: The TCS.com hack looks like a DNS job and not a web software hack. was also recently hacked using a DNS loophole.

Update: The hacker may not be from France, however, the language used by the hacker is French. I have updated the post to reflect the same.

Boomi.in: Indian Real Estate Search Aggregator

Boomi.in is a Indian startup and vertical search engine for Real estate properties in India. You can search for properties listed on several Indian real estate websites from a single interface at Boomi.

boomi_indian_real_estate_search

Finding an apartment for rent or sale can be a real nightmare, specially when agents are hell bent on squeezing money out of you for providing sub-par services. However, the online Indian real estate market has not taken off yet, however, there are a large number of players now who offer online listings for apartments and rents.

Boomi.in offers a vertical search engine that shows you listings of Indian properties from several different websites in a single place making it easier to search and find apartments.

indian_property_listing

In addition to general search, Boomi also allows users to narrow down search results based on price, regions, locality, property type and whether a property is listed by a broker, owner or builder. The interface is simple and straightforward and does not push ads on your face. Users can also save properties to their personal accounts once they register.

So if you are looking to buy or rent a property in India, head over to Boomi.in to make your life simpler.