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  • SMS and Twitter

    Posted on April 15th, 2009 Sandeep No comments

    The first SMS is sent out way back in 1992. Fast forward to 17 years later, and Twitter is one of the fastest growing phenomena of the first decade of this century.

  • Nokia Easy Meet

    Posted on April 14th, 2009 Sandeep No comments

    (Read the service details from Nokia Betalabs)

    Nokia Betalabs unveiled its latest baby, the Nokia Easy Meet. A collaboration tool, the service lets you share content on your phone or PC. Once you create an account and login to the service (yes, this one does not integrate with your Nokia account – a complaint that the other commenters share on the Betalabs blog), you are provided with the option to view existing meetings and create a new meeting. When you are in the process of creating the meeting, you also add invitations which can be sent as email notifications or SMS messages.

    Once participants receive the SMS/email, they open the link in the message to join the meeting, where they can access content shared by the meeting organizer; they can also share content of their own with other participants. Types of content that can be shared include PPTs and images (JPG/PNG). You can also chat with other participants.

    Since this is a web based service, you can access it with any phone with a decent browser. So I proceeded to sign up with my iPhone, as that’s the only working phone I have at the moment.

    The UI essentially sucked ass on the iPhone’s safari browser. While the site looked okay in Firefox, I am pretty sure it would look better on the Nokia phones. We’ll see. (At least one of the commenters there was unhappy that the site was not optimized for the Nokia 5800 touch screen phone).

    I am still not very convinced about the value of the service. Remember that it’s still in beta and may be scrapped at any time. I will continue testing it for a couple of days and see if this is something that’ll take off.

  • Gmail Mobile Enhancements with New Engine for iPhone/Android

    Posted on April 7th, 2009 Sandeep No comments

    According to this post on the Google Mobile blog, there have been improvements made to Gmail for mobile, but only if you are an iPhone/Android phone user. Now, I have both phones. When I opened Gmail on the Android (T-Mobile HTC G-1), it prompted me with a “Faster Gmail available! Update Now” message. Clicking on the link produced the above popup. So basically, I had to install Gears on my “computer” (nevermind that this is actually a phone). Before I could check the “I trust this site…” box (while in reality I don’t ;-)), the popup disappeared.

    And now when I click on the Update Now link, nothing happens. No popup, no gears, nothing. When I opened Gmail on the iPhone, the Update Now link was not even shown. Welcome to the improved version.

  • Save on Calling India with Airtel Call Home

    Posted on April 7th, 2009 Sandeep 5 comments

    So you just signed up for a shiny new Airtel Call Home account to call India (and other countries) from the USA. The rates (at the time of this writing) are competitive, at ¢6 per minute to call mobile phones and ¢7 to call land lines, when you call their toll-free number. What Airtel does not let you find easily is the fact that you can bring this down to ¢5.5/minute and ¢6.5/minute respectively if you call their non-toll-free numbers.

    What is a toll-free number?

    According to the FCC’s website:

    Toll-free numbers are numbers that begin with one of the following three-digit codes: 800, 888, 877, or 866. Toll-free numbers allow callers to reach businesses and/or individuals without being charged for the call. The charge for using a toll-free number is paid by the called party (the toll-free subscriber) instead of the calling party.

    Which basically means that when you call Airtel’s toll-free number, they pay for the call. If you call their non-toll-free number, naturally the savings are passed on to you. If you call this number from a mobile, you end up using your minutes anyway, so you can save some money by calling their non-toll-free number. (Also, many companies offer triple play packages – phone, internet and cable TV – where they bundle unlimited national calling within the USA).

    Where do I find Airtel’s non-toll-free number?

    From the Local Access page, that’s where. Local access numbers for the Newark, NJ area are, for example:

    • (201) 300-4547
    • (732) 284-3376
    • (908) 279-8561
    • (201) 621-0638 and more

    The next time you call Airtel Call Home, make sure you call the local access numbers!

  • Bug on the BBC Website’s Most Popular Stories widget

    Posted on April 3rd, 2009 Sandeep No comments

    Bug on BBC\'s website

    In the last few days, I noticed that the “most shared” stories list on the BBC website has had duplicates. Anybody at BBC notice this?

  • Problem with WordPress File Upload

    Posted on April 1st, 2009 Sandeep 2 comments

    I had been having this problem uploading images and what not onto this blog. By default, WP 2.5 presents a Flash uploader (using the SWFUpload library); in case Flash is not available, it falls back to a simple HTML interface. However, when I tried to upload a file, I would get the “Choose file to upload” button but nothing worked after that. Even more annoying was the fact that I couldn’t conveniently fall back to the HTML mode.

    Finally, I found out that WP 2.5 and Flash 10 don’t mix, which was my case. Weblogs.us (my provider) is running WordPress 2.5, and I had upgraded to Flash 10 several weeks ago.

    So what was the fix? Whenever I want to upload a file, under Firefox, I go to Tools > Addons > Plugins, and disable the Flash plugin. This makes SWFUpload present me the HTML interface, and I can easily upload files. Once that’s done, I can re-enable the plugin.