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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.

  • 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!