Mobile Banking's additional layer

I am often asked why a dedicated mobile banking installation is needed. Some of the companies that we deal with have already deployed excellent Internet banking services or run advanced ATM networks. They sometimes feel that they may as well make the same service available on the mobile.

Many reasons exist for deploying an additional layer between the core banking and the mobile network. The most important ones can be summarised under the following headings:

State management
The Mobile banking layer have to be able to manage the "state" of the interaction of a mobile phone with a back office system that often has not been designed to work with a mobile front-end. In its most simple format, let us look at a balance inquiry. If the back office is busy and a balance is not returned in an acceptable timeframe, the mobile logic should return a message that says: "Service not available, please retry later". In more complex situations where balances are debited and credited across multiple systems with many possible points of failure, state management can be even more challenging, with capabilities to be able to manage (and resolve) transactions in a "pending" state essential.

Buffering of peak transactions
Banking systems are generally designed to deal with transaction peaks of not more than hundreds of transactions a second. In mobile telephony is is possible to be confronted with peaks of tens of thousands of transactions per second. It is good practice to "shield" banking core systems from these levels of transactions while still communicating with subscribers in a meaningful way. It is also important to "shut down" in a structured way when the system is flooded rather than crashing. The problem with most mobile payment/banking deployments is that they have never been exposed to these levels of transactions. Quite a few of Fundamo's deployments are managing transaction volumes that sometimes peak at around fifty transactions a second. I have learned from hard experience that the challenges in this regard are not trivial.

Channel management
Mobile banking/payment solutions are often designed from the front to the inside. This means that the decision regarding the channel (SMS, USSD, Java or xHTML) is taken first and the rest of the system is then developed to support this channel only. These systems are quite simple, but also very inflexible. It is preferred to deploy "channel agnostic" solutions where many different front-end technologies can live together and can be utilised as required. This approach enable banks to offer more advanced solutions that can actually be used.

Unique mobile security elements
Effective, (but also usable) security can be deployed using mobile phones. Unfortunately this is often different than ATM's or the Internet. Characteristics like CLI, SIM certificates, phone and location based data are all available and should at least be catered for. A dedicated layer is the best way to harvest this.

The above factors are just some of the reasons why a separate mobile banking and payment channel is recommended in all serious installations.

Ubuntu releases its 7.10 beta version

Ubuntu a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.

Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. It works on laptops, desktops and servers. Whether one use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools. Recently Ubuntu has released its 7.10 beta version, which brings a host of excellent new features.

But the beta label implies a bit more stability as well as a few new enhancements. Here are new features in this latest version of Ubuntu

Desktop 3D effects
Compiz Fusion is enabled by default and will bring 3D desktop visual effects that improve the usability and visual appeal of the system. Ubuntu 7.10 automatically detects whether the hardware is capable of running compiz; if not, it falls back to normal desktop.

Fast user switching
It is now possible to easily switch between user sessions without the inconvenience of entering your username or password numerous times, a time-saver on computers shared by multiple users.

Fully automatic printer installation
Printers are now automatically configured by merely plugging them in and turning them on. Printer setup cannot get any easier!

You can download Ubuntu 7.10 as a LiveCD from here..

Redundancy in Mobile Payments

I was training for the Argus cycle race last night and when I fell off my bike and hurt my right arm. Luckily I still have a left arm that I can use for shaving and brushing my teeth etc. This made me think how amazing humans are put together. In many ways the body is built with full redundancy: two kidneys, two eyes, pair of limbs etc. etc. Even if one breaks the body still works.

This is of course exactly the way financial systems are usually built and this is the only way to ensure 100% availability. Unfortunately this challenge is amplified ten times when financial systems connect to mobile phones. Suddenly many points of "single failure" exist. And of course this situation is amplified. The availability of systems is a factor of the availability of the individual components.

The need for redundancy in mobile payment solutions is even more visible because of the perception of subscribers that the service should be available all of the time (and everywhere). This sometimes create almost unsurmountable challenges. Often these challenges are not even visible to companies that deploy mobile payment solutions the first time. It is only when problems occur in production that design flaws become visible.
This is why it is even more important to contract experienced suppliers for the delivery of mobile payment systems than is the case with other financial systems.

Yahoo now has its own social networking website

Yahoo is the newest entry into the social network space. In a recent announcement it released Yahoo Mash, its own version of social networking tool. Mash combines popular features from lots of other social networks.

As with MySpace users can add their own backgrounds and color schemes to totally change the readability and speed of their pages.

And like Wikipedia, The most interesting part of the Mash model is that, by default, your friends can edit your pages. Not just write on your wall, but really get in there and rearrange vital organs. Someone added a custom RSS feed (Webware, of course) to my page, for example. I returned the favor by putting a picture of a Mars Attacks action figure on his background.

As with Facebook, here user gets a library of modules that users can add to their pages. These modules include RSS, Flickr, and of course, a “Mash Pet.” Mash is looking to compete head-to-head with Facebook in particular. Facebook can be attributed to two key components: the news feed and the developer platform. Yahoo took notice of this and incorporated similar features into Mash. “Pulse” is the term used to described Mash’s version of the news feed. In addition, users of this new social network can customize their profile with individual. One deviations from Facebook include the ability to edit other people’s profile pages, as well as some level of layout customization.

For big media companies, social networks are like lawyers. Everybody has one.. hehe

Will Yahoo's Mash become a Facebook killer?.. only time will tell
For more info, visit the Mash Blog

The mobile banking "take off or not" dilemma

When I was much younger I learned to fly hang gliders. (That is why I still have three stainless steel bolts in my right shoulder). The interesting thing about hang gliders is that they stall at about 40 km/h. This means that if you are taking off into a headwind of say 20km/h it is absolutely important to run as fast as you can when going over the edge of the cliff. This will give you the best chance of actually flying. When you are tentative about getting airborne, you increase your risk of crashing.

That is why I cringe when I hear banks talking of trying out mobile banking to see if it will work, or "the jury is still out if people will use mobile banking". If banks deploy mobile banking half-heartedly, it will fail. This is called self-fulfilling prophecies. What product ever in a consumer market space today work and receives massive take-up if not properly supported by co-ordinated marketing and sales efforts? One way to guarantee the failure of a mobile banking deployment is to go to the market tentatively.

We at Fundamo have helped our clients deploy many different mobile banking initiatives. Yes we have seen some fail and this have taught us valuable lessons. We have also seen some be successful in dramatic ways. The single most consistent factor in all the success stories have been commitment and determination to make it work. If you want to fly, run like hell...

The real cost of banking

How do you get banking to become cheaper? By making it less expensive of course. It is only possible to offer affordable banking to the bottom of the pyramid if the real cost of banking is understood and changed. It does not make sense to reduce the price of banking when the underlying cost remains the same.

So where are the fundamental cost of banking?

This would probably take a comprehensive study to understand and clarify, but if we look at well known facts applicable on any other industry that sell something on a recurring basis, it must be the cost of distribution and indirectly the effect of churning. In order to translate this into banking terms, this is the cost of opening a bank account and then get people to keep on using it. To keep the account on the books (even if it is been used heavily) does not take much cost nowadays. With the cost of equipment and systems as low as they are (compared to the past), it does not cost much to run a bank account. Costs associated with disputes and complaints (I think) will also add to the real expense.

So how to reduce the cost of banking? ... by reducing the cost of opening a bank account. We have demonstrated how to achieve this by enabling clients to open a fully functional (and legal) bank account on a mobile phone. This has been deployed successfully in South Africa and we can now show metrics that indicate savings of more than 95% on the cost of opening a bank account.

DivX Video Player 0.89

Divx Player is a Video Player for symbian phones which can Play DVD Quality Videos, which are encoded with DivX v6.0 or Higher, DivX Pro, or XviD Mpeg4 Codec. It produces hight quality video.

Compatible phones:
Series 60: Nokia 3230, 3650, 6260, 6600, 6630, 6670, 6680, 7610, N-gage, N70, N90
Siemens SX1, Panasonic X700, X800
S60 3rd edition: Nokia E60, E61, E70, N71, N80, N91, N92, 5500
UIQ: Sony Ericsson P800, P900, P910, Motorola A920, A925, A1000, BenQ P30

DivX Video Player 0.89

Google to take on Facebook on the 5th of November

Facebook's increasing popularity has forced Google to think towards it.Now Google is seeing Facebook like a threat and wants to counter the so called "Facebook Issue" impacting on its own business of social networking. As per Techcrunch, Google very recently held a highly confidential meeting at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View to discuss the company’s upcoming plans to address the “Facebook issue.”

So whats the startegy? Well Google plans to fight Facebook by being even more open than the Facebook Platform. If Facebook is 98% open, Google wants to be 100%. Well what would that mean? Google will announce a new set of APIs on November 5 that will allow developers to leverage Google’s social graph data. They’ll start with Orkut and iGoogle (Google’s personalized home page), and expand from there to include Gmail, Google Talk and other Google services over time.

If the above statement actually happens, this could mean opening up of a whole new industry. you can build and host your own application and integrate Orkut data into your application.

In the long run, Google seems to be planning to add a social layer on top of the entire suite of Google services, with Orkut as their initial main source of social graph information and, as I said above, possibly adding third party networks to the back end as well. Social networks would have little choice but to participate to get additional distribution and attention.

So What next... Wait for 5th of November.

A 39 megapixel for professional photographers

Hasselblad, a Scandinavian company recently launched the latest line of its high end H3D-II digital SLR full frame camera, a 39-megapixel model, the H3D-39II. Also debuting are the H3D-31II and the H3D-22II with 31 and 22 megapixels, respectively. It has full digital lens line and the choice of 22, 31 or 39Mp capture units using CCD image sensors up to 48 x 36 mm – the largest currently available and more than twice the size of even the largest 35mm camera sensors – the H3D-II now has a large, bright 3in display, which affords both improved viewing of captured images and lower power consumption.

Hasselblad A/S has developed, manufactured and delivered the very best in high-end camera systems for over 50 years. Hasselblad continues to pursue its founder’s philosophy of combining the most advanced technology available with a passion for photography to give professional photographers the best possible tools to capture the best possible images.

The H3D-II is available immediately worldwide through Hasselblad’s national subsidiaries and channel partners with a retail price of €26,500 ($34,000) for the H3D-39II, €21,500 ($27,000) for the H3D-31II, and €17,900 ($25,000) for the H3D-22II, excluding tax.

Heres a video on the basic features..

Google Doc now is a full-blown office suite

Google recently added a much awaited PowerPoint clone to its online app family of Google Doc, hence now Google Doc can be called a full-blown office suite. With Gmail, Docs, Spreadsheet and now Presentations added it seems Google has its sights set on Microsoft in a serious way. With Microsoft Office being the clear leader in office software, Google is looking to save people money by giving them the same products for free.

Google presentations lets users create Presentations inside their web browser, all you need is an free google account. Here are some brief features of Google presentation.

By using Google presentation, users can
1.)Create and keep presentations in one place on the web that’s accessible anytime, from any Internet connected computer.
2.)Manage, update and share presentations with colleagues by sending 3.)Edit together online and in real-time, or contribute at different times to the same presentation on the web.
4.)Present and control slide shows for all viewers over the web, with no special setup required. Chat with viewers in real-time via integrated chat.
5.)Import existing presentations to get started quickly.
6.)Quickly publish presentations to the general public or individuals of their choice.
7.)you can also upload your existing PPT and PPS slideshows into Google PowerPoint.

The guys at have come up with a great video presentation explaining the benefits of using web based document systems like Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations.

So if you have not tried Google Doc yet, its about time to check it out

Google is now planning to reach Space

The search engine giant Google recently announced a 30 million dollar prize for a team that manages to send an unmanned buggy to the moon and beam back one gigabyte of images and video. The two Google partners announced this new prize, dubbed the Lunar X-PRIZE, at Wired's fourth annual NextFest conference in Los Angeles. The X Prize Foundation will run the moon challenge, which is open to companies worldwide. The nonprofit institute, based in Santa Monica, Calif., is best known for hosting the Ansari X Prize contest, which led to the first manned private spaceflight in 2004.

A company or organisation that accomplishes the feat by the end of year 2012 would receive $20 million. If there were no winner, the purse would drop to $15 million until the end of 2014, when the offer expires. There is also a $5 million second-place prize and $5 million in bonus money for teams that go beyond the minimum requirements. So all this adds up to $30 million.

The competition comes at a time of revived interest in lunar exploration. Japan's space agency plans to launch its long-delayed orbiter from a Pacific island today. NASA plans next year to send probes to orbit and crash into the moon, the first of several lunar robotic projects before astronauts are sent to the moon in the next decade.

Way to go Google...

Using Credit Cards on the Internet

I received a comment on one of my previous posts regarding shopping with your credit card on line and the dangers associated with it. This writer then pointed us in the direction of a company with an interesting solution. It seems that this solution allows one to go to an ATM and receive a number (similar in structure to a credit card) that one could use on the Internet. This is of course an extremely clever mechanism to ensure that your card number is never used on the Internet and could combat fraud effectively. This is a solution obviously invented by a technologist (Not that there is anything wrong with this - I am a technologist). But it lacks the insight in how end-users would use this feature. Imagine a shopper at the point of buying something on the Internet, suddenly having to get to the closest ATM to get a number to enter into the website... won't work.

Of course one have seen many initiatives to combat Internet shopping fraud. These solutions have ranged from very ambitious initiatives (like Verified by Visa or SET-remember SET?) to clever schemes that would probably win limited (if any) support. Many utilise alternative numbers or some provide a feedback loop (either through powerful fraud protection logic) and others still guarantee secure transmission of card information etc.

The most obvious way to protect consumers is to utilise their mobile phone to achieve peace of mind to the card holder. We (at Fundamo) have implemented successful solutions to our clients (in production running thousands of transactions) where we harness the characteristics of the mobile to protect the card holder. We have done it in a number of ways ranging from SMS alerts when the card has been used to the ability to block the card from the phone. We have also implemented mechanisms where the card is "unlocked" for MOTO (card not present) transactions and can only be used in such instances if it has been unlocked. In this way we have increased the security of using your card on the Internet without changing the card or the Internet.

Safe shopping on the Internet

It is actually much safer to shop on the Internet than doing that in a shopping center. It is literally impossible to get involved in a car accident or to be mugged on your way back from the shop. It is highly unlikely that you would slip on the floor in the supermarket or that you contract a disease from the many shoppers that you mingle with.

Internet shopping is only unsafe in the sense that you do not necessarily know what you get when you buy. There is also a risks that you enable someone to steal your information or identity and then use this to de-fraud you.

If it possible to eliminate (or drastically reduce) these risks from Internet shopping by utilising the unique characteristics of mobile phones. Mobile phones provide an alternative channel (that is often very difficult to intercept - not like the Internet) that can be used for alternative security communication. In addition the phone is a very simple (yet extremely secure and easy to use) second factor for authentication. This provides for an easy implementation of dual factor authentication.

Video sharing site pays out 1 million Dollars

One of the best and the first video sharing service which offers a rev-share model with content creators, recently announced that it has paid one million dollars to video creators and sharers.This also coincides with the site’s one-year anniversary. Here is the official update on the Revver Blog.

Thousands of people have been using Revver to earn money, sharing videos online to bring in extra dollars. Today, Revver remains unique in the marketplace. Matching every video uploaded- whether professional or amateur- with an advertisement, Revver splits the ad revenue 50/50 with the video’s creator and shares twenty percent off the top with the video’s distributor. You can refer my previous article on the service provided by Revver

Revver has also benefited from the popularity of videos like the infamous Pepsi and Mentos experiment, and several indie directors and film creators. By the here is my favorite Revver video.

Lloyds TSB announces SMS alerts service

This article caught my eye. Lloyds felt compelled to announce that they have actually implemented a system whereby they would send you an SMS to warn you of a possible overdraft problem. Amazing!

No don't get me wrong, I don't think that this is an amazing service provided by Lloyds... I am amazed that this is newsworthy to the point that one actually would want to announce it. This kind of service is so old and have been implemented by all South African banks that you would actually expect to get it. This is not something that you would draft a press release about. A South African bank would be so ashamed that they only now release such service that they would rather keep it quiet. In South Africa and in other developing countries, the mobile banking features that are generally available, seems to me, might not even be on the release plan of European banks.

This thought really made me think. Is mobile banking services so far behind in developed markets that their announcements make us in developing countries laugh? or don't I get it? I think that the answer is yes. Developing countries have deployed advanced mobile banking solutions and have perfected the offering because the need is much higher. Also, we were not confronted by constrained thinking about new standards (read SIMPAY) nor complex integration to legacy systems. We could merely get on with the job. The result is that mobile banking solutions from developing markets are far superior to those that are available in developed markets.

Maybe Lloyds should work on opening branches on Saturdays first. Now that would be something to do a press release on.

File transfer feature now available in Meebo, One of the best web-based instant messaging services recently added a very valuable feature which gives it an edge over other web based messenger services. It added a file transfer feature to the web based application.

We all use various messenger programs through which to communicate with our friends and share files, but until now there was no web messenger application with such a file sharing application incorporated. With this feature added meebo started a new trend, which might prompt others to follow.

To transfer files click on the new icon on your IM window and upload a file, receiver will get a link and he has to click and accept to get the file. Any file under ten megabytes is fair, although each user is restricted to 30 megabytes per month, and Meebo stores files for only four hours after they’re sent. More than 6 million people use Meebo per month, and the median age is 21, More than 140 million messages are sent through Meebo daily, with about 20 million of those going through Meebo Rooms, its chat room service.

The file-sharing service works two different ways. If you’re using Meebo’s own chat protocol, simply click the file-sharing icon in the Meebo chat window, upload the file, and hit return to send. Your friend will see an icon of the file in their chat window that they click on to begin downloading it. This have been the coolest feature added to web based IMs ever, please do give it try. Meebo works for Gtalk, Yahoo, AOL, etc..

Website Link :
News Source : Meebo Blog

A quick list of must have freebies

Here is quick list of the must have freebies, that are very much essential for you.

Windows XP Tweaks
Fresh UI
Fresh UI is a tweaker’s heaven: With it you can change scores of settings in XP, many of which you probably never knew existed. Want to alter most any aspect of the Windows interface? Go ahead. Customize the Start menu? No problem. Change global menu settings and dozens of network and Internet settings? You can do them all, and a whole lot more.

Windows Vista Tweaks
TweakVI Basic
If you want to do some serious Windows Vista tweaking, you need this utility. Microsoft seems to have gone out of its way to make Vista unfriendly to power users. But this great freebie gives you hundreds of ways to adjust the operating system, tasks that otherwise would be extremely difficult to do. Whether you want to, say, hack the Start menu, put an image on Internet Explorer’s toolbar, or optimize your CPU’s cache, this program has something for you.

Hardware Utility
Belarc Advisor
If you’re looking for an exquisitely detailed audit of your hardware, this is the download you need. The program starts with the basics, such as the computer manufacturer, installed RAM, hard-disk size, and processor type and speed. But it also shows you the motherboard maker, hard-disk manufacturer, chassis serial number, PC service tag, bus type and speed, multimedia devices…the list goes on and on.

How can you be in two or more places at once — that is, use multiple instant messaging services simultaneously? Use Meebo. It lets you log in simultaneously to seven instant messaging services, namely AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN Live Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and Meebo’s own network. You see all your contacts in a single list, and you can correspond with them all from a single interface. It’s perfect for instant messaging on the road, since you don’t need to download a client; everything is available on Meebo’s Web site.

Online RSS Reader
The Web-based Bloglines loads quickly, sports a sophisticated interface, and delivers such snappy responses that you’d almost think you were using downloaded software. Bloglines makes subscribing to and reading feeds easy, as well. We’re particularly fond of the Clippings feature, which allows you to add any blog or Web page text to a special Clippings tab; that way, you can keep all of your important posts in a single location for easy retrieval. We also like Clip Blogs, which are clips from blogs that you can keep private or share with others.

Office Productivity Software and Services
What makes Zoho the winner is that it doesn’t merely try to copy Microsoft Office functionality. It’s Web-based, so you can collaborate with others on your documents, for example. But the functionality of even the base software beats Microsoft’s offering in some areas; for creating HTML and graphics-heavy documents, for instance, it surpasses Word. This is the best and most comprehensive Web-based office suite you can find. Included are a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and a database builder — and plenty of other productivity applications are being added all the time.

Time Management
Juggling multiple projects has never been so easy. For every project you create a separate page, each of which can include to-do lists, freeform text, notes, links, files, images, and reminders. Backpack also has a calendar, and if you use Apple iCal, Mozilla Calendar, or any program that supports the iCalendar format, your reminders will be automatically added to your Backpack calendar. You can even have reminders sent to you via e-mail or to your cell phone.

Entertainment Software
VLC Media Player
If you play a lot of video and use Windows Media Player, you’ve probably come across a number of files that you can’t play — you’re told you need to have a codec to handle them. Good luck finding that codec. Instead, try the VLC media player. This software plays pretty much every media type you can think of — and likely a few you haven’t imagined. Not only will it play audio and video formats, but it will also play DVDs, VCDs, and many streaming protocols.

Friends if you would also like to share free softwares, please post in our comments.

A best video converter freeware software

Converting AVI, WMV, DV files in all possible combinations was never been so easy and simple.With this free application you nned to pick up one or multiple source video files, select output audio and video settings using preinstalled or custom profiles, and convert to single or multiple output video files. It also supports DivX with MP3 and Windows Media 9.

STOIK Video Converter 2.0 is the new release of popular freeware utility which has millions of satisfied users who enjoy power, speed, and simplicity of this versatile instrument. Second version brings further functional and interface enhancements, while preserving the straigtforward interface design which makes this program so easy and fun to use.

What's new STOIK Video Converter 2.0

- Windows Media 9 support: preinstalled profiles for WM9, profile editor
- Convert multiple input files into signle output file
- Perform batch conversion of multiple files
- DV file output
- Preserve interlacing during conversion between different frame sizes, e.g. NTSC-PAL
- Output settings are stored in profiles for easy reuse
- Support of more popular AVI codecs such as DivX + MP3

Freeware STOIK Video Converter 2.0 can easily be upgraded to a PRO version in just few seconds upon purchase of the activation key.

OS: Windows XP,Windows 2000,Windows 98,Windows Me,Windows NT
Requirements: Pentium III 450, 128 MB RAM, DirectX 9, Windows Media Player 9

Download From Here

Online fraud is growing

I found a recent research report produced by consultancy firm 1871 Ltd very interesting. According to this report (based on data for the United Kingdom), more than three million online crimes were carried out last year. These included more than 200,000 cases of financial fraud, twice the official number of real-world robberies carried out during the same period. A breakdown of the crimes committed include more than 90 000 incidents of online identity theft and unauthorised access to someone’s PC with ulterior intent reached 144,500. According to the report, 90% of cybercrimes go unreported with victims deterred from coming forward as they wrongly believe the activity is not criminal or that the police will be unable or unwilling to investigate.
A security briefing published by Lloyds during August, indicate that 51% of people surveyed indicate that they are worried about Internet banking fraud, with more than a quarter indicating that they believe that nothing can be done about this crime as "these things happen".
This is absolutely shocking to me! We are living in a virtual world with crime on the rampant (I would say out of control) and almost nothing is done about it. As a matter of fact, we all visit this unsafe world, because we have to, but we all feel extremely unsafe there. What is so sad about this situation is that a very simple and extremely successful deterrent exists to combat this crime effectively. It is very easy to implement and can almost eliminate virtual fraud as it connects every banking transaction to something physical - something that we have with us all of the time.
The solution is mobile banking - implemented with simple cryptographic tokens. We at Fundamo, have been supplying these solutions to major banks for the past eight years and have excellent case studies to prove the point.

Where will we get enough bank accounts

All of us are well aware of the mobile revolution. During the past eighteen months, Mobile Network Operators have added another half a billion subscribers, with projections expecting that the planet will have three and a half billion connected cellphones by 2012. That is a lot of mobile phones.

By far the majority of these new connections are happening in developing economies: India, China, Indonesia and large parts of South America and Africa. This is great, because more and more people will get connected and will have all the benefits associated with the free market and being able to participate in economic transactions. This is the vision that every-one gets excited about and a lot of effort is being invested to make this a reality.

The irony for me is that most of the solutions that is being presented is based on the assumption that transactions will flow from the cellphone holders credit card. And if this person do not have a credit card, then maybe their debit card (if we can figure out how to accept a PIN on the phone securely). This is where I loose the argument...

Where will we get all the credit cards from (three and a half billion to be precise)?

It is obvious that one should be looking for another solution that is much easier to execute on, is legal and conform to banking rules and regulations, yet can be executed with much less effort and overhead. In order to provide these masses with a transacting account, one will have to think different and develop new solutions that will enable transacting capabilities to grow at the same rate as mobile phones do.

My take on this is that we will see the development of a new kind of mobile wallet associated with a mobile phone (preferably identified by the mobile number), but low cost to open and to operate. This wallet will have to be able to initiate and terminate payment transactions in a secure, easy way, that is both intuitive and rigorous. Payment transactions should be possible across networks and must also cater for multi-currency transactions (like making local and international calls). Furthermore, the only way that this will be possible, would be if Mobile Operators and Banks start to collaborate (rather than fighting each other).

If this starts happening, we will truely make this world a better place.

Apple's iPod Touch gets official now

Apple recently released its next generation of iPods, which looks and have features in common with its iphone. Its called as Ipod Touch. Here are some its features: .. its really cool !!

* Multi-touch user screen
* WiFi supported
* Safari Browser
* Google and Yahoo Search
* Direct songs download
* Youtube
* Calendar
* Clock
* Music Download straight from iTunes.

The 8Gb model is priced around 299$ and comes with an multi-touch interface,3.5-inch widescreen color display,Wi-Fi (802.11b/g),Safari, YouTube, iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and is 8mm thin.

The 16Gb model is priced at 399$ and comes with an multi-touch interface,3.5-inch widescreen color display,Wi-Fi (802.11b/g),Safari, YouTube, iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and is 8 mm thin.

It has the ability to "flick through your photos," and you even get the "slide to unlock" feature, too. And yes, this thing actually has WiFi. The built-in wireless antenna isn't exactly attractive, but if it means that we can surf the web including YouTube. As for battery life, the touch is said to last 22-hours when playing back audio and 5-hours when watching video.

For more: Go to the iPod Touch guided tour or you could go to the Gallery for iPod Touch

Check out the Concepts of the iPod touch video.

Post in your comments on iPod Touch

A 12.2 megapixel Digital camera from Sony

Sony is expanding its a (Alpha) digital SLR system by introducing more models of SLR cameras, the recent model is aimed at photo enthusiasts or serious photo hobbyists.

Curtain were finally lifted on the long-awaited 'high end' Alpha digital SLR. The new model sports an impressive specification including magnesium alloy construction, 12MP CMOS sensor, 5fps shooting and a wealth of features and customization options, though interestingly no live view option. There's also a couple of new lenses and a new vertical shooting grip. Its called the Alpha A700 D-SLR.

Like Sony’s mainstream DSLR-A100 model, the new A700 unit incorporates Super SteadyShot® Inside image stabilization in the camera body and is compatible with most Minolta Maxxum® mount lenses in addition to Sony lenses.

The camera’s new 12.2-megapixel Exmor™ CMOS sensor conducts analog-to-digital (A/D) signal conversion and dual noise reduction right on the sensor itself. Noise reduction is applied to analog signals before A/D conversion and the resulting digital signals are then subject to a second round of noise reduction.

Other niceties include a 5 FPS burst mode, an 11-point wide-area auto-focusing system, 3" LCD screen (922,000 pixels), aluminum chassis/magnesium body, 1080i HDMI output, CompactFlash and Memory Stick Duo media slots and a wireless remote control standard.The Sony Alpha A700 body will be available in October for $1,400. An Alpha A700K kit with 18-70mm lens and an Alpha A700P kit with 16-105mm lens will be available in November for $1,500 and $1,900 respectively.

Here is the exclusive video of the Alpha A700 D-SLR from Sony

How to create animated gifs instantly online

Did you ever come across interesting animated gif and also wanted to create your own animated gifs, well we have something that would help. This is free and easy service that would help you create animated gifs from your collection of images/photos. Create funny flashy slideshows with you and your friends, cartoons, previews, banners, etc. and then you could host this online or share it via MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, HI5 etc. No need for flash. This is the service provided by which actually lets you instantly create animated gif online. You can create animated gifs from uploaded photos or imported photos from Flickr. No need of Registration to create the gifs, and once done

You can either let Gickr pull images from a specific tag on your Flickr account, or you can individually upload images (maximum of 10) to Gickr that you want turned into your animated GIF. So make sure you use this service and post in your valuable coments below.

Link to

PhoNetInfo For Symbian 3rd

PhoNetInfo is a software that retrieves detailed phone and network information.its can be retrieved: Phone manufacturer and model, firmware version, battery level, WLAN MAC, bluetooth device address, IMEI, running tasks, active profile settings, network signal strength and cell ID, network name / ID and country code, CPU speed / type and architecture, size of RAM and ROM, etc.

Compatible Devices
Nokia 3250, 5500, 5700, 6110, 6120, 6121, 6290, 6500, N71, N73, N75, N76, N77, N80, N91, N92, N93, N95, E50, E60, E61, E62, E65, E70, E90

Freeware PhoNetInfo For Symbian 3rd

Prominent US Government Job website hacked

Hackers have stolen the names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of about 146,000 subscribers to

Hackers gained access to subscribers' names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers through the resume database maintained by, the technology provider for USAJOBS. first clued in to the fact that something was wrong on July 20th, when a subscriber submitted what appeared to be a fraudulent e-mail. The email was forwarded over to Monster who later confirmed that it was apart of the compromise and related to a Phishing scam that was spreading because of it.

Although Monster says this accounts for less than 8% of job seekers, the federal office posted a notice on and is sending warning letters to all subscribers to alert them of counterfeit "phishing" emails. (The agency is also asking anyone who receives suspicious emails to report it immediately to The hackers sought data such as Social Security or bank account numbers by sending emails to targeted populations in the hopes they would disclose personal information. The emails also asked users to click on links loaded with infectious software viruses. Monster already has identified and shut down the server that was accessing and collecting the information.