Change Service Providers, Keep your existing number ..!!

Yeah ..If recommendations put by TRAI are accepted, this can become a reality .. . In a recent consultation paper, TRAI has recommended introduction of Mobile Number Portability in India ..

What is MNP ..?
      It is simply a service which allows you to retain your number even when you change your service providers .. Currently when we change our service provider ..say from Idea to Hutch, the number gets changed .. Then comes the hassle of telling everyone that you now have a new number .. reprinting visiting cards .. and so on … With Mobile Number portability, you can keep your existing phone number even when you move to Idea from Hutch .. Convenient .. isn’t it ..?

Who will benefit ..?
      Pointless to argue, the subscribers will ..!! The main reason for most of the customer from switching service providers is the change of number .. and when he is free to interpolate, he can do so anytime he wants .. So the operators will have to bring quality service in their package if they want to retain the customer base … Ultimate beneficiary ..? the customer ..! ..

What can be the hurdles ..?
      Hmm… First is the cost involved .. The Service providers aren’t too optimistic about it cauz they will have to put infrastructure to manage all this .. and the increased competition too … If the user isn’t satisfied he will move on .. And then there are issues of who will manage the ported number’s registry ….
      Some other issues are that the callers wont be able to distinguished where they are calling ..? Like say a network X charges 1 Re per minute if the calls are made intra circle ..that is on X’s network .. but if the calls are made outside the circle, the charges are double .. So if the number is ported, the caller wont be able to distinguish whether he is calling intra circle or out of it .. This can create problems for the caller …
   Another is when the companies are putting trust on customers, they will put phone lock in periods before the user moves on to other service .. If the user changes the service before the lock in period is over, he will have to pay some penalty .. This will create some confusions among the customers as to whether they can “unlock” their phone or not as they have paid for the handset and its their property ..These “locked phones” are pretty common in US where Cingular’s phone are incompatible with other phone services unless they are unlocked ..
   And then … how will be the cost managed ..? Will the operators pass this cost to end users ..? It would be better to pass to the ported users and not on everyone …

      Anyways .. Even with so many difficulties, I think MNP will be a good idea .. Those who want interpolability will be willing to pay for it too .. So the costs can be managed … It will also take care of interoperability issues .. The main reason for my leaving Indicom was that not many networks supported it .. so if the numbers are ported, these issues will be solved tooo .. The TRAI paper unlike other government papers is a good read …So have a look at it and give your comments …

MSN Messenger 7.5 Reviewed

Microsoft has just started offering beta testing of its newest version of MSN Messenger to a select few from its Connect service .. But as happens with all beta software, this version was also leaked .. So to follow the tradition, I got my hands on one too … And here is the review of the brand new Messenger…

Whats New in Messenger 7.5 :

  • First thing that you will notice after installing it is the redesigned Login interface ..
    New Login Interface
    Enabling the Remember Me will show the user’s Display Picture … The remember password option is seperated from remembering username (Remember Me) … There is a combo box that let the user login as “Appear Offline” though you will have to change your status to Online if you want to start conversation with someone ..

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Images of London Bombers

The Britain Police have release a CCTV images of London suicide bombers ..
London Suicide bombers. Click to enlarge
The images are of Hasib Hussain, Germaine Lindsay (dark cap), Mohammad Sidique Khan (light cap) and Shehzad Tanweer. This picture was taken on Luton on Thursday … It is thought Hussain was responsible for the bus bombing, in which 13 people died, Khan the Edgware Road blast that killed six people; Tanweer for the Aldgate blast, which killed six, and Lindsay for the Russell Square explosion where 26 people were killed. …
      Well … Looking at them, nobody can guess what explosive thoughts were in their mind .. They just look like normal people who we are used to see around us .. And yet what hell was burning in their hearts no one could’ve guessed .. The food for thought is how did they radically changed to such fanatics ..?…
      I wish they never had done this .. I wish they’d given second thoughts .. After all the Merciful Almighty too wont forgive them for killing innocent people .. I don’t see them in heaven .. if they did it for heaven ..

Image source and courtesy

Recommendations for amendments to IT Act 2000

While taking classes for Ecommerce, I read the Information Technology Act 2000 of India. It was a nice first step to recognize and support electronic commerce and ebusiness for Govt. of India .. But with the recent developments in IT field, the Act is missing some points. .. I try to point out those and I believe that these should be heard ..
A disclaimer : I am not a lawyer so I cant argue on legal fine points..

Conception :
The President of India signed and approved the Information Technology Act (IT Act) on 9 June 2000. It’s a fine piece of legilslation which recognize digital signature and ebusiness.. It also supports e governance. But many things have changed since then and it is needed to accommodate those changes in the IT Act.. These are some of my humble findings :..

Expansion scope :
      With the technology and communication boom, the mobile phones have quickly made their presence inevitable in today’s life. While the IT Act ‘s definition of computers can accommodate mobile phones too, but I still think making explicit declaration of mobile phones and handhelds to be covered under this act will be fine. .. So the offences involving mobile phones be also covered under this act… So if any case happens like Paris Hilton’s cellphone hack, it could also be covered with this act. ..

The need for Anti Spam policies :
      With email and sms becoming such popular, unsolicited mails and sms have also grown rapidly .. We should make an anti spam law apropos CanSpam Act which will ensure that these unsolicited mails or sms are dealt with .. There should be a national “Do not email” and “Do not call” registry and the address listed there shouldn’t be sent spam emails or sms …

The need for Privacy policies :
      With camera phones becoming more common, events like Kareena & Shahid kissing video mms will increase too .. Now without getting into voyeurism debate, I would like to point out the digital aspect of the problem. Any information can be distributed or shared over the Internet without the concerned parties being unknown… More people downloaded the clip from Mid Day website than people who read that particular issue of the tabloid… This was a complete breach of privacy and a new Privacy Act should be devised.. It should also cover digital privacy so that the netizens can have the right to control their personal data — who uses them and how ..

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Will changed rules help Cricket …?

Its all happening .. The ICC Chief Executive Committee approved the recommendations made by ICC’s Cricket Committe to bring new innovations to the quicker form of Cricket .. The One Day International (ODI) will now have different format of fielding restrictions and there is a new feature of player substitution in the approved changes ..

A Brief Summation of changes :

  • 12 Players now:
          The teams will be selected with 12 players instead of 11 players previously. One substitution can be made at any time of the match and any player could be replaced with another. The replaced player will be ruled out of the game and the new player will take his responsibilities .. This will change the whole course of the game .. Now India can bowl with Zaheer Khan and then replace him with Sachin in the batting inning .. along with having and extra player ..
  • Field Restrictions increased:
          The fielding restrictions will now be of 20 overs instead of 15 overs previously .. It will be applied in three slots: The first 10 overs will be mandatory plus two additional slots of five overs each which will be decided by the fielding captain on when to apply them ..
  • The specifications of the Cricket Bat:
          The ICC will create an expert panel group to work with Cricket bat manufacturers to review the existing rules governing manufacturer of cricket bats …

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Free CDs to support Open Source movement from Indian Govt

The Technology Development for Indian Languages started distributing free software tools and fonts in Hindi on June 20th. Earlier in April they started providing Tamil language tools on the cd . This CD contains open source alternatives softwares in localized language like BharateeyaOO.o (Office suite in Indian Languages, based on OpenOffice.org ) , Columba Email Client , FireFox browser, GAIM , Unicode compliant fonts and keyboard drivers et al … This cd is available for public freely upon registration. ..

      This move of the government seems to me inspired by Brazil’s earlier initiative PC Conectado to make the use of computers and Internet cheaper for the masses .. Brazil govt realised that to become such program feasible, it had to be Open Source .. The IT Minister of India, Dayanidhi Maran also declared in his Ten Points Agenda that he will put stress on Language computing as well as Internet connectivity in his policy .. All the points look pretty attractive and if he is really serious about it then we will soon get many new advances ..

      Now back to the CD .. It has most often used softwares like an office package, browser, email client and instant messenger but it lacks an operating system .. If the government is really serious about bringing the computers to common masses, it should also realise that most people cant afford to spend on softwares too .. This is the main point why piracy is so much on rise here .. If the CDAC can provide a localized version of Linux for India then I am sure it will be a huge success …

      Along with this government should introduce Linux as a part of computer courses in schools and colleges .. Most students graduate out of college knowing only Windows and related technologies and if they are taught about Linux right from the start, I am sure they will feel more comfortable with it and Open Source will strengthen more here …

      PS: I learnt that TDIL will also look forward for distributing these cds along with computer magazines .. So I am contacting Raaabo if he can get it with next issue of Digit ..