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Showing posts from 2010

Airtel Mobile office gets cheaper, Airtel Live goes into paid mode

Close on the heels of the impending 3G launch, Airtel has reduced the Mobile Office rates which were skyrocketing earlier to something much more lower now. Earlier MO was 30p per 20kB, and now its 30p per 50kB which essentially means about half as less as previously.Additionally, the Airtel Live WAP portal which was free so long is now 30p per 20kB. Though we feel not many people use this portal, we are wrong. The youth is the target segment of this portal and there are groups of users who primarily download wallpapers, games, and music off this portal. Airtel just decided to tap revenue from this set of people and hence the paid mode. Of course it will also discourage non serious users to stop visiting this portal or alternatively make serious users go for 3G which is coming shortly.Users already into some plan will not be changed to this mode until next six months. Take a look at the announcement to know more.Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

BSK 5th stage and Uttarahalli e-auctions announced, will BSK 6 start off this way?

Auctions have always been BDA's golden egg netting them more than the revenues normal site allotments can actually get them. Today BDA has announced e-auctions for sites in Uttarahalli and BSK 5th stage, which adds the much needed dimension for auctions, the electronic medium.
While many people do not have time to be at the auction venues each time, some depute other people on behalf of them. However, with e-auction comes not only some bit of transparency but also participating in an auction sitting on your desk!
check out the advt in TOI below:

What is interesting is that the initial bid per square meter is 39,000 rupees. Which means if we use conversions:
1 (square meter) = 10.7639104 square feet
This makes it Rs.3,635 per square feet, a whopping amount to pay up even for a 30x40 site (which works out to ~ 44 lakhs)
This shows BDA is clearly pushing brand bangalore and its corner site philosophy what with the FAR (floor area ratio) increased, as well as with some commercial possibilit…

Airtel launching 3G services next week and MNP shortly in Bengaluru

Slow but steady, Airtel is finally catching on the heels of Tata Docomo to launch their 3g services in Bangalore next week coinciding with the festive season. This blog already had a post on the tariff structure for Docomo post paid 3G services. Compared to those costs, expect Airtel to be a tad bit higher with their offering.
Ushering in both MNP and 3G at the same time, Airtel is bound to attract a lot of new customers even though their customer service quality has deteriorated over the past few months to a year. This is primarily in the backdrop of the 2G scam and the telcos that are now on the firing line by the government. Though many telcos more than rival the features offered by Airtel, the scam will deal a severe blow to these people if they are found to be involved.
MNP itself will be an interesting trend which will redefine and pick out the cream out of the telcos by the next quarter. This will be the only differentiating factor as compared to services, which will define who t…

Notion Ink Adam preorder now possible, but is it worth it?


The Notion Ink Adam is finally out for preorder. Fine. But the details have been so seriously sketchy that Indians have no idea about what exactly it costs in India, and how one can get hold of the Android tablet. On an average in the USA the notion ink adam costs roughly close to $450 or in Indian money a little over Rs.20000/-. As of now shipping to any country via DHL costs a whopping 50 USD or roughly Rs.2500/-. While this is ok for other countries, a product conceptualized, designed in India is manufactured in China and sold all over the world first.
I think the Indian government should seriously consider policing such product launches. Given the fact the person designing the product has an office in Bangalore, has studied in an enviable place like IIT and has been Indianized all long the way, this becomes unacceptable. Using Indian soil for product launches elsewhere. This applies to Apple in part too. Look at them, they have launc…

KHB Suryanagar portal soft launch

Its about time since the last KHB announcement regarding allotments of sites and houses under the KHB Suryanagar scheme. Chowchowbath is pleased to power discussions on this subject further but on a special web portal specific to this venture from KHB.
You are welcome to sign up for discussions on KHB Suryanagar on this portal and air your views and suggestions and discuss in a more organized fashion on the developments. This is the soft launch of KHB Suryanagar.
Click here to sign up and start discussing. All the relevant information from this blog will be ported to the new portal in due course of time.

I hope you enjoyed participating on Chowchowbath, and would continue to be part of a more bigger, specific community which is dedicated to the cause of KHB Suryanagar. See you there!

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KHB Suryanagar discussions - part 2

I have created a new child thread for you to continue discussions on KHB. Please bear with me until a permanent acceptable solution is found for this.

I am working on it already. Thanks for your patience. You may continue discussing here.

I have created a new child thread for you to continue discussions on KHB. Please bear with me until a permanent acceptable solution is found for this.I am working on it already. Thanks for your patience. You may continue discussing here.

For Original post, click here:

NOTE:A new website has been created for these discussions.
CLICK HERE to know more!

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The legend of Karthigai festival

Today we celebrated the Karthigai festival. Its a festival of warmth, lamps, and light. Its a time to meet the family, spread the cheer, and generally be happy. To mark this occasion the following extract from Tamil Nadu tourism website is replicated here for people to understand the significance.From tamil nadu tourism:There is an interesting story explaining the link between Karthigai and lamps. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma began to quarrel as to who was the more powerful of the two. While they were fighting, Lord Shiva appeared before them in the form of a huge pillar of fire. Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma gave up quarrelling and decided to find the top and the bottom of the pillar.
Accordingly, Brahma assumed the form of a swan and moved upwards. Vishnu transformed himself into a boar and started digging deep into the earth. But even after searching for several years, neither of the two was able to find the ends the pillar. Finally, they realised that the pillar was…

Tata Docomo 3G activation process and Bangalore tariffs

While speaking with a customer service rep today I happened to show my willingness to understand the data packages offered under the Tata Docomo 3G banner for Bengaluru city. This information is perhaps the first such information which is still not published for everyone’s benefit on the docomo website. Take a look and choose your pick. All these plans are valid only for postpaid 3G connections. For prepaid the first 100MB is free per month for two months and after that its 1p per 1kb which amounts to a whopping 10000 bucks for 1 GB which is insane.
For the postpaid connections the following packages hold good and are more reasonable by nature.

MRP (Rs)
LOCAL mins
STD mins






BENEFITS: Anytime, Anywhere minutes ! Use them for ALL LOCAL & STD CALLS. Even when roaming on Tata Docomo networks.
BONUSOFFER: Postpaid customers activating till 31st December’10 get additional 100 MB dat…

The Do’s and Dont’s of a birthday party celebration

Everything comes by experience. Some details come by enquiries. Whichever way you look at it, there are still mistakes bound to happen and this blog post is a ready reckoner for those who would love to organize parties for their loved ones calling all near and dear. Particularly this post reflects on a recent birthday party I had for my son. Some important experiences I underwent while organizing this party has made me to pen them down here so that people organizing similar events would get a clue as to how to go about. Invitation process: I first wrote down a list of main invitees I then counted how many people are totally there in each of the invitees families, which gave me a total invitee count I logged into one of the well known invitation sites and added the main invitees and prepared a detailed invitation. I presented/mailed the invite to everyone I added so that step one was done. The total invitee list stood at a little over 200 (including family members) Getting the …

Your next loan could be denied because of your CIBIL report!

So I happened to apply for a car loan at SBI. I was anticipating that a usual home verification would happen and later on the loan would be sanctioned. I was pretty right in my assumptions except that I did not anticipate that the officer who would verify my credentials would come armed with a CIBIL report. The report she showed me was nothing less than astounding. She pointed out to me on what all loans I had taken since 1999 for a whole period of ten years. My bike loan, esrtwhile car loans, personal loans, credit card spends – everything was in that report neatly outlined. Courtesy CIBIL. CIBIL is the credit information bureau Inida limited, a company that helps money lenders understand their credit worthiness of their borrowers. Every time you go for a new loan or credit card spend in huge amounts, these details are at regular intervals shared by the lenders (banks) to CIBIL. So in essence there is a history maintained with CIBIL on a regular basis on the new loan(s) you have take…

Ford Figo 1.4 Titanium Diesel review

Today I happened to test drive the FORD FIGO TITATNIUM DIESEL. Initially I thought i would take the car only for a short distance, but then I decided to try this baby out on a rather empty stretch of almost a 10 to 20kms highway. This was the Electronics city toll elevated highway. Person from Ford with whom i interacted with for the fiesta promised yesterday that he would be here in my home at 10AM and he appeared about 15 mins late. (source: jumped into the car and without wasting time shot off on my drive. From here on some crisp points about the drive itself. Just to give you a background, I ve owned 2 800s, one palio petrol 1.2, one swift diesel 1.3 and one honda city 1.5 iVTEC. Also test driven the punto 1.4p, 1.3d, manza 1.4p and 1.3d, linea 1.4p and 1.3d. Also test driven 1.3 swift Dzire ZDI and fiesta 1.6S petrol. Today was the figo's turn after all this. Seating position is spot on with ample room in the footwell. While the absence of …

Is Uninor heading for a disaster?

The TOI reported a couple of days back that the Telenor group is considering quitting India for good. This only means a death knell for a rather successful telco - Uninor which is a joint venture between Unitech and Telenor groups who are into real estate and telecom respectively in India and Norway. The rate at which Uninor has been handing over discounts on prepaid minutes and showing no interest in launching postpaid services, this possibility only looks more realistic than impossible.If this happens this will be one of the historic failures of a telco in India who is just upcoming showing lots of promise. But however this will not be the end of Unitech's telco jaunt. All Telenor have to do is to sell their stakes to the likes of Bharti or Vodafone or perhaps IDEA telecom and exit the country. Whatever happens would be an easy buy for these other companies, but not so sweet for the consumers who are using these services. With Uninor also not getting 3G service spectrum, things …

Who is the best telco in India? TRAI results speak out!

Today I happened to see a report on mobile providers and their service efficiency standards as provided by each individual mobile provider to TRAI. It would be interesting to note the trends on how these mobile providers are doing, and gauge for yourself who you need to be associated with. First lets look below for what info was shared:All the information is for a month in terms of percentages. So lets see who fares how ?Downtime: refers to how often network was not available for making calls. Needless to assume BSNL was down 1% of the time (the highest) showing how bad their network setup and problem resolution is. Airtel comes in second as no surprise. 0.49% of the time, their network is down for whatever reason which is bad. While others are all in an average respectable band of 0.1 to 0.2%, the best is Tata CDMA network which is at an all time best of 0.03% (while their GSM suffered at 0.2%) Accessibility: refers to how often you were able to make calls within the network. BSNL and…

Pictures speak a thousand words : Goodbye Koramangala, goodbye Swift.


The phenomenon - final part

Post 1995, koramangala slowly started picking up to being one of the favourite haunts of many an IT company. This is also rougly the timeframe when Electronics city was parallely contemplated and put into place. EC was a natural extended version of Koramangala itself. Those companies who could not afford the would-be-slowly-posh neighbourhood, had to think of EC as their next choice. EC brought about expanding Koramangala southwards towards madiwala. Another popular destination chosen by some famous software companies including Texas instruments, HP were Wind tunnel road, nearby ISRO and old airport, and this expanded Koramangala eastwards to bring out what is currently the Intermediate Ring road. the west and north were already bustling entries and exits to Koramangala. The next most important turning point for the locality was the Forum Mall. Businesses, apartments, paying guests, eateries, offices, everything mushroomed around Forum making 7th and 8th blocks most wanted. The 1st an…

The phenomenon – part two

I noticed this article from the times of india, which captured the essence of Koramangala through the mind of Balbir Singh, the owner of 17 years ago, Koramangala was nothing short of a pocket of villages. For every small purchase, we had to drive down to Brigade Road. Instances where a Koramangalite would go outdoors after 7 pm were sparse. It was unsafe and autorickshaw drivers always refused to come to Koramangala. This place was dead," says Balbir Singh, who quit his job in the printing & packaging industry to launch the portal along with his wife Amrit Sethi.Way back in 1984, if someone went out after 7pm, there was no guarantee of him returning home be it a kid or an adult. The biggest set of marshy land regions included what is now the National Games Village, and ST Bed (behind the Maharaja hotel).  Everything beyond that were just groves and groves of cocount trees which could trap an unassuming individual if he trespassed into a…

The phenomenon – part one

I always wanted to pen down this story, but time was at premium. It finally finds its way into this blog. This is not a story of a place. Its an article about the phenomenon called Koramangala and my gratitude for a chance to breathe, live and loathe it. The year was 1983. But we were living in 1682. The mood wasn’t exactly one of jubilation but more of an urgency. An urgency to find a place which we could call our own, in anticipation of a family which would shortly burst at its seams. With many siblings of my father yet to be married, there was never a perfect time for this shift. Our then rented home 1682, in Rajajinagar had a reason to be vacated. With burgeoning rental demands, and for reasons beyond my comprehension when I was just six, and with pressure from everyone around, we had to vacate the place.Koramangala was neither in the city, nor was a village. At best it wasn’t even lands that belonged to the rich and powerful Reddys those days. It was more of unexplored forest, wh…

Palace road widening, GIM investments and the impacts

The road widening hooligans are at it yet again. This time they are aiming to chop off full grown trees alongside the palace road from both cauvery theatre side as well as from TV tower side. Reason is they want to make it a 10-lane road leading to the already glorious (for the wrong reasons) airport. Of course Mr.Srikantadatta being from the royal lineage wants 40 crores per acre or per squarefeet - all this while the government is already mulling whether palace really belongs to him or not in the first place. The palace itself is earning crores of money for all kinds of events and some sundry income from few roadside meters chopped off is a feather in wadiyar's money cap. Here it seems both the government and wadiyar are equally selfish to their own ends. Whether its road widening or underpass or flyover, in the name of infrastructure the government seems to be siphoning off funds here and there in mass scale. No wonder in the recent GIM, the government has sanctioned power proj…

Alcatel 813D, Ice-Cube (ICE3) 4 years ownership review

About 4 years ago, I pursued a fancy wish of mine to own a phone that was not a smartphone, but had ample battery, and was ultra cool to hold and speak for an hour or two without worrying about radiation and all those issues.

At a time when smartphone sales were gaining pace all over the place in this country, I did some research and found a dual sim phone from [Alcatel](, called the 813D.

The FCC or Federal Communications Commission lays down rules regarding the acceptable [SAR values]( for mobile phones. These limits are given in terms of a unit referred to as the [Specific Absorption Rate]( (SAR), which is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone.

According to them, the limit for public exposure from cellular…

The iPhone 3GS in India – a review

Many reviews have been written on the iPhone 3GS and now even the iPhone 4G with its impending launch sooner than later. However it was only in the last one month did Apple launch the iPhone 3GS officially in India, almost a year later than other countries and with good reason. With the country seeing a surge in 3G connection options from BSNL and the impending followup by other mobile operators shortly by September post the 3G auctions, the iPhone 3GS has enetered at the appropriate time into the country.While some people may scoff at the fact that many mobile providers offer the service pretty late to developing countries, they must also realize that its not only about being a late entrant, but the limitation in technology makes in infeasible for higher grade devices to be launched at the same time. What would someone in India do with a 4G apple iPhone without an actual 4G service? Besides, red tapism and bureaucratic hurdles in our country only more definitely point to the fact tha…