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Comment Re:How do I choose? (Score 2, Informative) 244

In S60v3 Nokia phones, when you choose to send the SMS, you are presented with the standard SMS writing interface, with a basic template already filled in saying 'Sorry, I will call later'. Simply press send. If you so choose, you can edit it to whatever you want and then press send. Its been around for a long time and I am kind of surprised other phones still have not copied this.

Comment Re:Development crippled by what? (Score 1) 239

What if you have all of the above? Broadband still remains ridiculously expensive. On this very page, I see an advertisement by an Indian telco service provider offering a massive 512 kbps for almost 30 dollars a month! And remember that those 30 dollars go much farther in India than they do in the US.

Prices for higher bandwidths are way out of reach for most people. And these high speeds are only available select cities. State owned telco BSNL charges than 130 dollars a month for 1 mbps limited to mere 27 GB data transfer!

In rural areas, it is far worse. You can even forget about decent dial up. Thankfully, cellphone providers are slowly changing this. EDGE is available in a lot of rural areas now and so is CDMA 1x. So rural areas end up getting better speeds through wireless networks than they can by telephone lines. But wireless internet is much more expensive.

Developing countries are not merely a mass of starving poor sick people. They have large bustling cities that generate the money to build facilities in rural areas.

Comment Re:'cause what the developing world desperately ne (Score 2, Insightful) 239

Being dismissive is easy. But online banking improves productivity, especially in rural areas where banks cannot afford to set up branches to serve a few customers. Online banking also eliminates the need to go to the bank. Simply visit the cybercafe and conduct transactions. It is not the luxury that people make it out to be, once they realize how useful it can be.

It is the same with cellphones - they were a luxury earlier. But now, they are necessities in rural areas too. Run a search for Reuters Market Light to see how they have made the cellphone a way of helping farmers earn more money and improve crop production.

Better availability of broadband can open up a new world for rural communities, give them better access to information. There is nothing wrong with striving for better broadband. Other basic needs and the internet are not mutually exclusive.

Comment Re:Semi-Vegetarian (Score 1) 162

Well, while the cow is treated as holy by Hindus, an increasing number of Hindus do eat beef. Many Hindus would be shocked by this, but it is true.

I personally do not eat any animals, but that is out of choice and not dictated by religion.

Comment Re:A lot of power (Score 1) 332

To put that into perspective, the entire state of Maharashtra in India (population approx 150 million), uses somewhere arond 15 gigawatts of power on a hot summer day. This includes the city of Mumbai, known as the financial capital of India.

Ofcourse, the power plants in the state are rarely able to supply above 11 gigawatts, so load shedding is conducted, some areas switched off for several hours daily to prevent taking the entire grid down.

Comment Re:16GB? (Score 1) 792

I cannot see any more than 10 GB taken up on the install I tried. Also, for those of you who have commented without even trying the OS, a few days of actually using it might help. I've installed and ditched Ubuntu thrice now. This is an OS that Linux lovers should really be worried about. Thanks to all in the Linux community for helping make Windows 7 such a good OS :)

Comment Re:Mobile phone + Developing Nations = Opportunity (Score 1) 54

A pilot SMS service run by Reuters, called Reuters Market Light, was launched two years ago in the Indian state of Maharashtra. RML has been sending market rates for agricultural produce to farmers based on their location or based on markets they've selected. And local weather narrowed down to 50 km radius. And localized agricultural news. And crop advisory, preventive measures and pest attack warnings, based on whatever crops farmers have selected. The service has now spread to many other states in India and won much acclaim from farmers and the government.

It is amazing to see what a difference mobile services can make in a country like India, traditionally bereft of proper wired telecom services. A significant part of the country's land mass is now within the range of a cellphone tower. A lot of rural India now has cellphone connectivity. Mobile phones have made it easier for rural folk to get better information about everyday issues, easier access to the internet, the government, etc. Reuters' service takes this one step further.

With mobile coverage increasing, 'Broadband' over mobile phone spectrum becoming more common in the country. So it is no longer unusual to see internet availability over GSM based EDGE and CDMA 1x in very small towns, places where the incumbent telecom operator never took much interest in providing such services.

If the internet has made a difference to people's lives in cities, imagine how much it can change lives in regions that lack proper communication facilities.

Disclosure: I am associated with Reuters Market Light.

Comment Re:Where's India's domestic economy? (Score 1) 1144

I am not really sure if you have kept in touch with what goes on in India, but India has not been affected as dramatically as China by the economic slowdown. This is thanks to its stronger fundamentals and an economy that depends far more on local consumption than it does on exports to the US or Europe. China's economy depends on exports far more. Indian indices are already inching up, rising to almost twice their lowest levels reached in 2008.

As for free trade, the US and Europe were pretty happy with free trade when it was going their way, when Asia did not have the means to produce high tech goods and had to import them from the West. So why does it hurt when the tide has turned?

The US still makes good aeroplanes. India has placed orders for hundreds of them, despite the slowdown. Those planes mean thousands of jobs created and maintained in the US. If it was not free trade, we would happily have sent the orders elsewhere. Russia, perhaps?

Now, I am sure some will mod this as troll, but some folks from the US on Slashdot absolutely insist on free trade and competition in the media, in the broadband industry and wherever they have to shell out more because of lack of competition. So why do they not like it when prices of labour also go down because of competition?

Comment Let the users choose (Score 1) 554

Tabbed browsing has become a familiarity for millions of users now. I am not sure what getting rid of it means. Is Mozilla expecting people to get used to a different interface? I am not sure thats the right way to go about it. Nor does forcing people to use an extension to add tabbed browsing. I think Opera had the option of tabs or no tabs very early on. Perhaps doing the same won't hurt for Mozilla?

Besides, should mobile browsers be treated in the same way as desktop browsers in the need for tabs? A mobile device is a completely different environment. People use it in ways that are quite different from the way they would use a desktop. Do you need tabs there? Maybe, or maybe not. Perhaps this depends more on the device? Would customizing the browser better for the type of device involved not be an option here? Opera seems to do it.

Comment Re:Gee, that's great. (Score 1) 210

Sure. But then, I'd also love to see USB 2 do its maximum 480 mbps, something not easily achievable even as USB 3 prepares to make inroads into the device market.

So why not simply treat the 1 Gigabit connection like a 500 Mbps one. 10 Gigabit is coming along, probably provides real world speeds higher by an order of magnitude as well. I'd welcome the speed increase anyway. Heck, Broadband providers do the same thing, and so do mobile phone operators ;-).

Comment Re:Yeah - beging the space wars!!!! (Score 2, Insightful) 97

Judging from the complete lack of hysteria in the US about Pakistan's nukes, I'd say that the nukes are already under the US's control or they have veto power over deployment. Besides, Pakistan would risk being wiped out by any retaliatory attack should they attack anyone first. And they would likely lose any remaining sympathy the international community for their problems. That would be bad news for Pakistan, Taliban and their cronies.

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