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  Turn NOTEPAD into a dairy!
Posted by: Sathish - 03-17-2009, 10:08 AM - Forum: Technology & Web Services - Replies (5)


I found this very useful. I guess some of you might already know this, but thought of sharing for those who don’t.

Turn NOTEPAD into a dairy!

Here is a real cool tip for people who use notepad to write down any info on a day to day basis...

It simply serves as a virtual diary!

* Open a notepad and type .LOG (case sensitive) as the first line.

* Save and close the file.

* Double-click the file to open it and notice that Notepad appends the current date and time and places the cursor on the next line.

* Type your notes and then save and close the file.

Each time you open the file, Notepad repeats the process, appending the time and date and placing the cursor below.

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  BSNL’s mega GSM project hits security hurdle
Posted by: Sathish - 03-17-2009, 07:23 AM - Forum: Cellular Services - No Replies

New Delhi, March 16 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s mega project for setting up a 93-million line GSM-based network has hit a bump with the Home Ministry raising concerns about lack of adequate monitoring provisions for the security agencies to snoop around.

All telecom operators in the country are required to set up a network that allows the security agencies to snoop.

Government sources said that security concerns have also been raised against the background of some of the vendors who have bid for supplying the equipment worth $10 billion. While the name of the vendor in question is not known, sources said that it could be one of the manufacturers from China.

The Home Secretary had called for a meeting with the Chairman of BSNL to discuss these issues last week.

BSNL had divided its 93 million line expansion contract into four parts. Part 1 includes setting up network for GSM based 2G mobile services.

The second part involves rolling out third generation (3G) network.

The third segment will be awarded to companies which can set up the passive infrastructure including towers, power generation rooms and other basic equipment required for a cell site. The fourth part is related to software and billing solution. The bids are being evaluated at the zonal level instead of the earlier practice wherein the BSNL headquarters decided on these projects.

Second time

This is the second time that the security agencies have raised concerns about the equipment being bought by BSNL. Earlier it had objected to BSNL launching 3G services without getting clearances from the Intelligence Bureau. The IB had said that it could not monitor video calls on the PSUs 3G network and, therefore, had asked the telecom company to stop the service.

Some of the bidders have also expressed their unhappiness over the number of relatively unknown companies being allowed to bid for the various parts of the project. “Some of the bids being evaluated do not have the necessary experience required to handle such a major project. They should have been rejected at the initial stage itself,” said one of the bidders.

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  MTNL to divert realty, towers into new arm
Posted by: Sathish - 03-17-2009, 07:22 AM - Forum: Cellular Services - No Replies

State-run telecom company MTNL, which runs fixed-line and mobile networks in India’s top two telecom markets of Mumbai and Delhi, is examining plans to hive off its real estate and mobile towers worth more than Rs 6,000 crore to fund its expansion into new areas, according to a company official and a consultant familiar with the firm’s thinking.

MTNL is facing challenges to grow revenues now, as the mobile market is saturated in the two metro markets and the company is also seeing a fall in landline connections. The plan to separate the towers and real estate assets into a new entity, which can be sold or listed separately on the market, will help it raise much-needed funds for diversifcation, said the consultant, who has held discussions with the company on the issue.

A top MTNL executive confirmed the hive off plans, but said a final decision on this issue would be taken by the company’s board. The executive, who asked not to be named, refused to divulge when MTNL’s board would take up this proposal.

MTNL, together with larger state-run peer BSNL, plans to build and operate undersea links to connect India to West Asia and Singapore at an estimated cost of about Rs 1,800 crore. It also requires funds to expand and acquire telecom operations outside India, which it has been keen to do as it cannot operate anywhere else in India under a government mandate that restricts it to just Mumbai and Delhi.

In the past three years, MTNL bid for businesses and licences in Asia and Africa, but being limited by funds, it was unable to bid aggressively and lost out. It lost the bid battle to acquire Telekom Kenya and also failed to win mobile licences in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bhutan and several other countries.

While all leading mobile operators have hived off their towers and related telecom infrastructure to raise funds and gain better efficiencies, MTNL, which had 4.3 million mobile users and 3.5 million fixed-line customers at end-January this year, will be the first to include its real estate assets too in any hiving off plans.

The company has 1,250 towers in Mumbai and Delhi, each of them valued at between Rs 1-1.3 crore, according to three telecom analysts that ET spoke to. Its real estate assets in the two cities is estimated to be between Rs 4000-5000 crore, and together the telecom company’s real estate and towers could easily be worth more than Rs 6,000 crore, substantially worth more than its Rs 3,962 crore market value.

Analysts say MTNL is unlikely to be impacted by the falling valuations for mobile towers in the past six months. The Tata-Quippo tower deal earlier this year valued each tower at around Rs 60 lakh each, but Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications got valuations of between Rs 1.2 crore and Rs 1.6 crore apiece when they offloaded stakes in their tower arms to buyout groups.

In December 2007, Bharti sold a 9% stake in its Bharti Infratel tower unit to a clutch of investors led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings for about $1 billion and valuing the tower company at around $12.5 billion.
“MTNL is likely to enjoy valuations similar to that of Bharti and RCOM on account of two factors.

First, its towers are located at prime locations in Delhi and Mumbai. Second, in many zones in these metros, setting up new or additional towers is banned. So, new entrants and some existing operators have no option but to share MTNL’s infrastructure,” said one executive who works at a rival firm and tracks the tower business closely.

Hiving off real estate will be a deviation from MTNL’s earlier strategy of developing its land holdings into IT parks and leasing them to software, BPO and KPO companies. The company, which has previously looked at sharing rentals with developers, is already developing an 80,000 sq ft IT park in Noida called Core Knowledge Park. It is also in the process of finalising plans to develop a 1 lakh sq ft plus property in Mumbai.

Shares in MTNL closed at Rs 62.9 on the BSE on Monday, up 2.44% on its previous close.

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  BSNL users face persistent call failure
Posted by: Sathish - 03-17-2009, 07:20 AM - Forum: Cellular Services - No Replies

LUCKNOW: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) subscribers in the up east circle were a harried lot on Monday, following a persistent complaint of call failure in certain series. The problem was caused by `software corruption' in the intelligent network set-up located in Chandigarh, which caters to a larger chunk in north India. As a result, the link between the subscribers and the network was snapped causing call failures.

The worst affect were the subscribers belonging to closed group users (CUG) category. Users in the series of 94150 and 95410 in both pre-paid and post-paid segment were equally affected. "The calls were not being connected despite 10-12 attempts," said SK singh, a BSNL user in Lucknow. When contacted, general manager, mobile services BSNL UP east circle, Satish Kumar said, " The problem has been rectified. But it will take a few hours for it to phase out."

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  BSNL Launches IPTV Services with Verimatrix's Content Security System
Posted by: Sathish - 03-17-2009, 07:19 AM - Forum: Digital Streaming (IPTV) - No Replies

Verimatrix, a provider of content security technology solutions for pay-TV networks, has announced that it is providing Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for IPTV to protect IPTV services to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) customers.

BSNL, the state-owned telecommunications operator in India, has launched IPTV nationwide in association with Smart Digivision Private Limited (SDPL). BSNL targets over three million IPTV subscribers in 93 cities over the next three years. The service offerings include over 140 TV channels as well as an on-demand movie library at no extra cost.

VCAS for IPTV, according to Verimatrix, has been designed “to take advantage of IP-based, bi-directional networks by leveraging mature, proven two-way Internet security protocols, a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) public/private key pair system and X.509 digital certificates.”

This software-based content security solution features a fully layered content protection strategy and a strong partner ecosystem, officials said. VideoMark, one component of this strategy, is a forensic watermarking solution for digital video.

VCAS software can be downloaded and can be updated or renewed as required to combat the pirate’s attacks, Verimatrix said.

VCAS for IPTV has been now integrated with SeaChange's middleware and video-on-demand (VOD) server for BSNL's service.

According to Steve Oetegenn, chief sales and marketing officer, Verimatrix, IPTV is changing the pay-TV landscape in India because of its ability to provide high-quality, premium interactive content in a cost-effective manner.

“BSNL's deployment is a great example of how IPTV can enhance subscriber's viewing experience with innovative one-to-one services with a stellar channel line-up,” Oetegenn added. “We are happy to help enable this experience through our next-generation content security solutions.”

The IPTV market demands greater levels of service delivery in order to bring long-term loyalty with customers, says Jain, CTO at SDPL. “Verimatrix's proven security solutions and integration partnerships enabled us to successfully launch our IPTV service - more quickly and cost-effectively.”

BSNL provides a comprehensive range of telecom services in India including wireline, CDMA mobile, GSM mobile, Internet, Broadband, carrier service, MPLS-VPN, VSAT, VoIP services and IN Services. BSNL, along with its subsidiary MTNL, accounts for over 90 percent of fixed line phones in India. BSNL is also leading the broadband market in India with more than 56 percent market share.

Verimatrix introduced the latest VCAS for DVB 2.0 solution in September 2008, to extend support for digital video broadcasting (DVB) content in satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcast networks.

The company also recently deployed their VCAS for IPTV at Bouygues Telecom, a network operator in France. With VCAS, Bouygues is securing its MPEG-4 live broadcast and on-demand video content.

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  New packages of Airtel Digital TV
Posted by: Sathish - 03-16-2009, 09:48 PM - Forum: Airtel Digital TV - Replies (6)

Airtel Digital TV has launched new entry offers.

Rest of India Packages

Gold (Ultra pack @ Rs.400/month)

  • Channels included : 121
  • Interactive services : 10
  • Offers/Promotions : 3 months free subscription of Ultra Pack
  • Cost : Rs.2500
Platinum (Ultra pack @ Rs.400/month)
  • Channels included : 123
  • Interactive services : 10
  • Offers/Promotions : 6 months free subscription of Ultra Pack
  • Cost : Rs.3500
Silver (Super value pack + 1 top-up)
  • Description : After free period - Rs.99 + Rs.10 (topup) p.m.
  • Channels included : 68
  • Interactive services : 6
  • Offers/Promotions : Silver - 3 months free Super Value Pack + 1 Topup
  • Cost : Rs.1750
Gold Plus (12 month free Super Value Pack)
  • Description : After free period - Rs.99 + taxes p.m.
  • Channels included : 68
  • Interactive services : 5
  • Offers/Promotions : 12 months free Super Value Pack
  • Cost : Rs.2600

South Packages

South Gold (South Mega pack @ Rs.235/month)
  • Channels included : 111
  • Interactive services : 10
  • Offers/Promotions : 6 months free subscription of South Mega + ESPN Topup
  • Cost : Rs.2500
South Platinum (South Ultra pack @ Rs.400/month)
  • Channels included : 136
  • Interactive services : 10
  • Offers/Promotions : 6 months free subscription of South Ultra Pack
  • Cost : Rs.3500
South Silver (3 month free South Value Pack)
  • Description : After free period - Rs.99 + taxes p.m.
  • Channels included : 67
  • Interactive services : 5
  • Offers/Promotions : 3 months free South Value Pack + 1 Topup
  • Cost : Rs.1750
South Gold Plus (12 month free South Value Pack)
  • Description : After free period - Rs.99 + taxes p.m.
  • Channels included : 66
  • Interactive services : 5
  • Offers/Promotions : 12 months free South Value Pack
  • Cost : Rs.2600
* Prices are inclusive of all taxes.
* Monthly subscription package prices are exclusive of taxes.
* Colors, 9X & 9XM is part of value/south value pack only till 31st March, 2009.

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  ICC confirms SA as new host for Champions Trophy
Posted by: Sathish - 03-16-2009, 08:09 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

New Delhi, March 16: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has unanimously agreed to host Champions Trophy 2009 in South Africa. Wanderers and Centurion were identified as preferred venues subject to conclusion of satisfactory commercial terms.

The Board met via teleconference to discuss a recommendation made by the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee on the same subject last week.

The decision was made after concerns were expressed over weather conditions in Colombo during the dates set aside for the tournament, 24 September to 5 October. This is especially relevant given that the length of this year’s ICC Champions Trophy has been reduced to a short, sharp 12 days as on that basis there would be no room for reserve days.

With the need to minimise risk and create certainty around the event, the meeting agreed to recommend that CSA be sought as the alternative host, with Wanderers and Centurion as the venues, provided agreement on the financial arrangements can be reached. Originally planned for Pakistan, the venue for the event had to be shifted due to security concerns.

ICC President David Morgan said: “I think the Board has made a sensible decision that will give the event every chance of success. We now have clarity on the subject and we can make firm plans for what is going to be a great spectacle of ODI cricket.

“With Wanderers and Centurion, Cricket South Africa can provide two world-class venues in what is effectively one location and as we know from the ICC World Twenty20 2007, weather conditions in the area around Johannesburg in September and October are stable and ideal for cricket.

“I would like to thank Sri Lanka Cricket for its commitment to offer an alternative to Pakistan. And also, I want to acknowledge its willingness to step aside in this matter. I’d also like to thank CSA for putting its hand up and offering to host this event.”

The Board also considered expressions of interest from other potential venues. However, in order to attain immediate certainty and clarity, South Africa was identified as the preferred location on this occasion.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “In particular, we looked at an impressive submission from the United Arab Emirates. Although not successful on this occasion, I have no doubt Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be the scene for top-level international cricket in the future and I certainly would not rule out the possibility of an ICC event being hosted there at some stage.”

The teleconference also unanimously agreed that the dates for next year’s ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies would be between 30 April and 16 May.

The tournament will take place in St Lucia, Guyana, Barbados and St Kitts with the latter island staging matches in the women’s tournament that will take place at the same time.

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  Dhoni reclaims top spot in ICC ODI Rankings
Posted by: Sathish - 03-16-2009, 08:07 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

DUBAI: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni reclaim his numero uno status by jumping one spot up in the ICC ODI Player Rankings issued in Dubai.

Dhoni eclipsed West Indies skipper Chris Gayle to reach the top rank. Dhoni has 792 points while Gayle is second with the tally of 783.

Yuvraj Singh remained static at seventh place while Sachin Tendulkar slided down two rungs to be 12th.

South Africa's AB de Villiers rejoined the top 10 batsmen rankings owing to his strong batting against Australia, where he appeared in four of the five ODIs and averaged 63.66 for the series.

Although Australia suffered a series defeat, a splendid batting display by Michael Hussey saw him climb two places to return to the top five. Hussey scored 78 in the fifth and final ODI in Perth as his side went down by 39 runs.

However, South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis slipped two places to 14th but Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara rose one place to join Pakistan's Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt at 16th position.

Zaheer Khan climbed two places to be tied with star Englishman Andrew Flintoff at ninth place in bowlers' rankings. None other Indian featured among the top-20.

The top five remained unchanged with New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori at the top, followed by Sri Lanka's Nuwan Kulasekara.

South African stand-in skipper for the ODI series against Australia, Johan Botha broke into top 20 bowlers though after his impressive show at the series Down Under which the Proteas won 4-1.

The 26-year-old Botha shot up 13 places to reach the highest ranking of his career at 13th place. He scalped eight wickets at an average of 23.50 in the five-match series.

Also compatriot Dale Steyn gained 10 places to take 35th spot after his four-match appearance in Australia.

However, it was bad news for Australia's Mitchell Johnson who dropped seven places to slip out of the top 10 for the first time since July 2008 at 14th spot.

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  IPL 2.0: HDIL to rethink Kolkata Knight Riders sponsorship?
Posted by: Sathish - 03-16-2009, 08:05 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

Real estate major HDIL, the title sponsor for Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders, may pull the plug on the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2009.

Here is a verbatim transcript of Priyanka Ghosh’s comments on CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.

CNBC-TV18 has learnt from sources that HDIL, which was the leading sponsor for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the first season of IPL - might be looking to reconsider whether it will actually sponsor the KKR this time around or not. HDIL may rethink about the sponsorship because of the enough confusion about the final dates of the IPL 2009 and also due to the the current downturn situation in the real estate space.

HDIL reported a 32% dip in net profits last quarter. It is also believed to have restructured loans wroth Rs 1,800 crore. According to the sources, even if HDIL has to go ahead and sponsor KKR, there is three-year lock-in contract, and then the payments schedule will span over the next four quarters. They will restructure the payment in that manner. HDIL is believed to have paid about Rs 8-10 crore for IPL season 1 in 2008.

While HDIL might be reluctant to put up that kind of money on the block, Nokia, which was the second lead sponsor for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL season 1, will go ahead with the sponsorship this time again according to sources.

It is also learned that Coca-Cola and Emirates are among those who are also in the running for sponsorship for the KKR.

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  CCI wants members to deal with proposal to host IPL ties
Posted by: Sathish - 03-16-2009, 08:04 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

Mumbai (PTI): The Cricket Club of India has convened an open house this week for its members to get a yes or no from them over a proposal from Mumbai Indians (MI), the IPL franchise team owned by Reliance Industries, to conduct their home matches during the April 10-May 24 Twenty20 League.

"The Executive Committee of the CCI wants its members to give the green signal, or say no, to the proposal from Reliance and has convened an open house on Wednesday," CCI sources said on Monday.

The sources said that the demands of MI are not as big as the IPL Governing Council's which wanted the entire club house to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the cash-rich League that was vehemently opposed by the members.

"There is a climb down in the demands and like we do for such matches we may give some seats in the club house and the President's Box for their use. They have offered the members seats in the West Stand to watch the matches," the sources added.

As per a byelaw of the club, all the members are entitled to watch any match held in the CCI's Brabourne Stadium free of cost and a move to change it was met with stiff opposition from the members earlier.

Chastened the EC of the club now has gone in for a majority decision of the members on the fresh proposal for holding IPL ties.

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