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Google and Airtel to provide a "free" zone for mobile users

Google+, Gmail, and Google Search can all now be accessed for "free" from an Airtel mobile phone. The aim of this project is "to put the web in the hands of more people and empower first time Internet users with several useful services of the Internet". Besides the Google services themselves, the first page of any external site accessed as a result of a Google Search will also not be metered.

Why Tata Sky only offers 12 HD channels and might sue ISRO

Of the apparently 38 or so HD or near-HD channels that are broadcast into India, only 12 measly ones are included in the HD "bouquet" provided by Tata Sky to its subscribers.

Mouthshut.com and the battle for free speech

Open has a detailed piece on the travails of Mouthshut.com, the online review site, as it deals with companies which want negative reviews taken down.

A guide to buying a duty-free TV from Bangkok

Bangkok rather than Singapore appears to be the new destination of choice when it comes to buying TVs. Over at HiFiVision, one of the users has posted a rather handy guide/trip-report on doing so with notes on avoiding common pitfalls.

(Apparently making a nuisance of yourself is also useful sometimes.)

Amazon enters India

Amazon has finally entered India by launching Amazon.in. While they've had a presence here for a while and even operated Junglee.com to test the waters, this is a momentous step and hopefully a sign of better times to come. However, just like Flipkart has done in the last few months, Amazon too is tiptoeing around Indian government FDI regulations on multi-brand retail by not positioning itself as a seller. It is, instead, a marketplace where it allows multi-sellers to, er, sell multi-brands.

Google intern mines ICSE results to interesting effect

What appears to have started out as mere curiosity led Debarghya Das to force his way past the flimsy security barriers set in place by the CISCE to protect the results database containing the marks of all students who sat for their ICSE standards X or XII exams this year. He then retrieved all the available data including, according to him, student names, and out of further idle curiosity, proceeded to mine the entire set looking for patterns.

Indian broadband speeds currently about 17% of global average

Cisco's Visual Networking Index for 2012–2017 forecasts usage and growth in Internet traffic in the next five years. Besides the expected excitement on mobile and video growth and Internet penetration, the paper and presentation offer per-country statistic which are quite telling.

Global broadband speeds:

Criminal Stupidity

Open has a feature on crimes gone sour due to stupidity. It's rather amusing to find out that US crims haven't cornered this market. Gems include a man trying to rob the RBI and a trio who chance upon Shahrukh Khan's credit card.

The Bharmar Gun of the Naxals

According to a PTI report, the Naxals who attacked the Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh used archaic weapons from the 1830s and 1840s named Bharmar guns.

ISRO's Bhuvan adds 3D support

ISRO's Google Earth clone, Bhuvan has now added 3D support. While the site is painfully slow, it works to an extent and claims that the maps better support rural India than Google's service.