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Pakistan's 'halal' Facebook clone in a crisis

Millat Facebook (WP) was created in 2010 to combat all the "blasphemy" on Facebook. According to an article on ET, it has not exactly taken off and is now requesting dubious handouts to pay its server bills.

24 foreign TV channels flagged by IB for anti-India content

According to the MEA, there are 90 TV channels of foreign origin which are being down-linked into India legally. There are apparently many which have not sought the necessary permissions to do so including 24 which have been deemed by the Intelligence Bureau to be "anti-national". Most of these are down-linked and broadcast via cable TV in India's border states.

Google's public data directory = oodles of fun

Many might remember Hans Rosling and the impressive talks he delivered at TED where he demonstrated Trendalyzer, a data visualisation software which presents information in a digestible form which can be interpreted intuitively. For those who don't, here's a YouTube clip of one of his talks where he shows the audience how to eat out of his hand.

China's Xiaomi smartphones cater to an Applesque fan base

Xiaomi tech is a four billion dollar Chinese company which makes smartphones that compete with Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S series. The company is led by Lei Jun, a man compared to Steve Jobs, and commands a fan base who are just as crazy about its products as Apple fans are of Apple's.

Frauds in India and how to avoid falling into traps

An Economic Times story provides an excellent overview of some of the swindles that have hit India in the last couple of years and metes out some common-sense advice on how to avoid falling afoul of them. It covers the Rs. 24B SpeakAsia scam, the Rs. 11B StockGuru scam, Nigerian 419 scams, and a slew of minor affairs that go unreported.

10-storey building built in 48 hours in Mohali

A company named Synergy Thrislington has entered the Limca Book of Records for successfully erecting a ten storey building in Mohali within 48 hours. The building was largely assembled using panels prefabricated in the company's factory.

God save the tree

The BBC is running a story on a Bihari NGO named Gram Vikas Parishad who have thought up an ingenious way to protect trees in danger of being cut down. What they do is cover tree trunks with Madhubani paintings of gods and goddesses thereby hoping to prevent "god-fearing Indians" from chopping them down.

Chinese online mall reports USD 3B in sales in one day

China's e-commerce portal Taobao reports that it conducted USD 3 Billion worth of business in 24 hours on Singles' Day. The store is owned by the Alibaba Group, a subsidiary of which—alibaba.com—has a presence in India as well.

More on this story can be found on this blog.

Housewives on trial in China for smuggling in iPhones and iPads

Lanyou Numeral was one of the top sellers on Taobao.com, a Chinese online marketplace. Earlier this week, 25 suspects—mostly housewives from Mainland China—were tried for smuggling in Apple iPhones and iPads on behalf of Lanyou Numeral in a bid to avoid paying the high import duties levied on the products.

Consumers vs. Corporates

In the last month or so, a number of feel-good stories have cropped up where consumers have stuck it to the corporates. First up, there was the case of a lawyer winning a Rs. 9 refund from MTNL after a protracted 18 year battle.