Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wink wink...Now a desi ebook reader

We first had a India low cost Laptop....Then a India specific browser...Now a Bangalore based company has announced the release of a e-book reader for Indians. EC Media, will release Wink, the ebook reader in all Tata Chroma stores across the country by Sep 1st.

Techtree has published a review that you can access here

Priced at Rs. 11,490, the Wink resembles the Amazon Kindle in appearance and form factor. As for the e-books repository, you can visit the Wink Store that claims 1 lakh pls titles in English, Hindi and other regional langauges. The e-titles would be priced at 60-75% of the paperback editions.

While the current Wink XTS with its 6 inch screen is priced 10K+, there is mention of a Wink XTR with a 5 inch screen that is supposed to be priced lower. I hope the price falls below in the 4k to 5K range so as to be accessible to a bigger section of the Indian audience.

What price range would prompt you to go for one?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Rupee Symbol on Keyboards

 The new Rupee symbol has already found its way to the keyboards.
 TVS, known for its computer accessories has released a keyboard that sports the Rupee symbol on the ~ key.

The company plans to release the keyboards on the occasion of the 63rd Independence day celebrations. This should be some news for celebration…

Have you started using the new symbol in your daily transactions?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Solving the Junk SMS problem

Junk SMSes are the biggest source of irritation for a mobile user in India today. Every alternate SMS is a solicitation SMS trying to sell you a service or a product. The government has tried setting up the National Do Not Call (NDNC) registry without much success. Now they are mooting a National Do Call (NDC) registry. Which means by default no mobile subscriber can be contacted by the bulk advertisers. Only if you subscribe to certain mailing lists can the bulk advertisers send you focused SMS. I am not sure how much of a success will this have provided it even sees the light of the day. The bulk advertisers are fighting it tooth and nail.

 

What is the problem here?

1.       One, side the consumer is complaining that he/she is receiving unsolicited SMS.

2.       Two, the cost of sending a SMS is less than 1 paisa for the telecom provider. Hence he is providing bulk SMS packages to advertisers

3.       Three, a lot of places where you provide your mobile numbers with a sense of trust are also doubling up as aggregation points where the collector is reselling these mobile number lists for a commission.

4.       Fourth, the customer has no way of reacting to a junk SMS except to register in the NDNC; that too without any palpable effect

5.       Fifth, there is no law that imposes punishment in the form of penalty/ fines on either the telecom provider or the bulk advertiser today

 

If you look at the multi-faceted problem, you suddenly realize that there are 2-3 alternate ways to tackle with it

1.       Impose hefty penalties on Telecom providers who allow their network to be used to deliver unsolicited SMS

2.       Give the mobile customer more control.

a.       Give him / her the ability to report SMS abuse

b.      Provide customer a mailbox to reroute all SMS from unknown numbers as emails. SMS will be delivered over the phone only after the customer white-lists them

c.       Create one time codes that that customers can pass onto agencies to which they need to provide mobile numbers that entitles them to SMS the customer a fixed number of times.

3.       Crack down on small time phone number aggregators who sell self created lists to advertisers

 

It is only when you look at the problem from multiple dimensions that you see multiple approaches to tackle the problem.

 

Your ideas are welcome !!

 

 

 

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