VoIP Calling Desktop Application from Raketu

Raketu Communications Inc. is a new york based leading edge peer to peer internet protocol applications provider for various communications and media services. Raketu (pronounce ra-ke-tu) currently has users in over 150 countries around the world. It recently announced "Raketu Lite" which is a light version of the VoIP calling desktop application.

The new application’s “Slim” interface is Raketu’s Lite version of Raketu’s full-featured LaunchPad Desktop application, which also integrates IPTV streamed video and video on demand (VOD) entertainment content. Raketu Lite can be downloaded directly from www.Raketu.com.

Raketu Lite is available for Windows XP and Vista users, and offers free and/or extremely low cost VoIP calling from a desktop PC. Raketu Lite supports users with free anytime PC-to-PC calling globally, and for Raketu prepaid customers. Mac users and users of other Operating Systems can make calls using Raketu’s website i.e using RakWeb. RakWeb is very user-friendly.

As long as you can access webpages you can use RakWeb. No download required.

more information of the application available here..

Nokia Share Online v3.0 Beta

Share Online makes it easy to post photos and video from your symbian phone straight to your blog, photo sharing site, or other online community. You can control the file size and quality of your photos and video, add text to your posts, and browse to your page to see how it looks once you`re done.

symbian freeware

for Nokia N73
for Nokia N76 & N81
for Nokia N95 & N82

NASDAQ in bad health - Le NASDAQ en mauvaise santé

Foreign purchases of US bonds - Achats étranger de bons du trésor US

Low US interest rates will not last - Les taux bas américains ne dureront pas.

The Mobile Banking Eco-system

One of the most complex problem in deploying mobile banking systems is solving (or establishing, or nurturing) an eco-system for the development of mobile banking services. Generally, observers describe mobile banking as a clash between banks and mobile operators. But in reality the different players that are impacted by the deployment of a mobile banking solution are much more. It is critical to understand all the players, their fears and aspirations before starting to tinker on the delicate eco-system of payments.

Of course, if mobile banking is limited to balance enquiries and a few simple transactions, the impact is much smaller. However, when advanced and (sometimes) radical mobile banking solutions are deployed, the impact on the eco-system is much bigger. The participants that should be considered are the following:

1. The banking community should be the custodians of banking and payments in all markets. Banks usually have strong ideas about payment systems. They tend to try and conform to industry standards and are generally more conservative... rightly so. They look after our money.

2. Sometimes card issuers are different entities than banks. They are usually driven by the number of cards that they issue and the number of merchants that would accept their cards. Any scheme that could potentially disrupt this gameplan are usually viewed with aggression.

3. It is possible to offer mobile banking without the collaboration of mobile operators. However, if they are part of the mix, they can bring their distribution network, their strong brand to bear to ensure a much more successful deployment. Collaboration with operators also lead to more effective and secure solutions.

4. Central banks and other regulatory bodies are central to effective deployment of mobile banking. Often specific challenges (like deposit taking, open of new bank accounts, settlement and foreign currency transactions) can only be solved with the support from the central bank.

5. Cash handling companies are important in many countries - especially when the economy is still a cash-based economy. These companies (sometimes they are banks and sometimes even the mobile operators - but often independent) deliver and fetch cash from remote places and are often key to the functioning of micro-economies. Mobile banking and payments puts the business of these companies at risk.

6. Payment processors are often highly influential in the payment profile of a market. These companies process millions of transactions from ATM's and POS's. Their businesses are totally dependent on ensuring that the source of these transactions are not threatened. Mobile payment can be an opportunity for them or they could see it as a dangerous initiative.

7. Airtime distributors are often-time very powerful companies. In some cases the mobile operator distribute their airtime themselves, but in most markets these are independent (yet very powerful) companies. Any change to their margins, marketshare and control over the distribution of airtime can have a major impact in their livelihood.

8. Infrastructure suppliers could either benefit or loose out depending on the way that mobile payments are deployed. Often mobile payments lead to a reduction in the need for ATM's and other payment infrastructure.

This is not a complete list, but serve to illustrate the complexity of the environment. Also, different players will have a different relative strength in different markets. The important fact is to consider all of these (and more) and to develop plans to address threats and opportunities. Failing to do this, will seriously jeopardise any mobile banking deployment.

Microsoft's software to tell your boss if you are productive

Microsoft is in the process of developing a controversial software that may help employers to monitor the productivity, competence and physical well-being of employees while sitting at a distance.

The system would allow managers to monitor employees' performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Microsoft has already submitted a patent application in the US for this “unique monitoring system”.

To be precise on the patent.."This particular patent application, in general, describes an innovation aimed at improving activity-monitoring systems and uses the monitoring of user heart rate as an example of the kind of physical state that could be monitored to detect when users need assistance with their activities, and to offer assistance by putting them in touch with other users who may be able to help" said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing.

Source : Timesonline UK

A brief update on Apple's MacBook Air

MacBook Air is Apple's entry into the lightweight portable computer market. Weighing 3 pounds and measuring 0.16 inch at its thinnest, the $1,799 MacBook Air could force other computer manufacturers to roll out slimmer, lighter laptop computers.

The laptop will compete with a range of portable devices, from companies such as Sony, Dell and Asus, which are already building so-called sub-notebooks, designed to be lighter and more mobile. The MacBook Air also has a 13.3-inch widescreen display with 1,280-by-800-pixels resolution. It also includes a built-in iSight camera.

How did Apple make so thin laptop ? Well, a combination of factors went into the MacBook Air’s design. Its main circuit board is remarkably small—Apple took a photo of it next to a pencil for comparison purposes—and packed with electronics. There appear to be no accessible RAM slots. Most standard Mac ports were omitted.

There’s no optical drive. Apple even had to call in Intel to create a special, smaller version of the Core 2 Duo processor. And the battery isn’t removable, which allowed Apple to save a lot of space by omitting a battery-access compartment.

You could get more info on this product here or checkout the quick video guided tour of MacBook Air

Your comments are most welcome.. and here's the official MacBook Air Ad.

Gold depot in ETFs - L'or en dépot dans les ETFs

Source: wsj.com

USA: Existing Homes Sales - Les ventes de maisons

LBMA: MPs price forcast - previsions de prix de métaux precieux

Price Forcast for 2008 in Gold, Silver, Palladium and Platinum - Prévisions de prix en 2008 pour l'or, l'argent, le palladium et le platine

Citigroup: Too Big to Fall? - Trop grande pour faire faillite?

Jump in APM's

APM's? Alternative payment methods that is. In a recent survey conducted by solution specialist company, Brulant, it was found that retailers are offering more and more APM to customers. As a matter of fact the growth reported is a staggering 25% more retailers in the past ten months. (Up from 24% to 30%). Payment methods like "Bill me Later", Paypal and Google Checkout have been the biggest gainers.

What intrigue me about this is "Why?" Why not just sticking with the good old Visa and MasterCard mechanisms? They have been serving us well for the past thirty years. What is different about the APM's and why would shoppers want to use alternative methods? I suggest three reasons:

1. Security. The existing credit card rules place a lot of risk on retailers. In the case of fraudulent transactions, retailers are often the biggest losers. Even though the credit card companies have done much to reduce this risk, the process is still onerous and places the retailer at a disadvantage.

2. Ease of subscription. The difference in enrolling for a credit card vs. getting a payment instrument and registering online is still too big. Especially for certain segments of the market enrolling for an APM is still much easier.

3. Degree of anonymity. Shoppers require a certain degree of anonymity for many services offered in virtual space.

Why talk about APM's on a Mobile Banking blog? Because Mobile payments solutions can surely be classified as an "APM", and many of the lessons of this study should be considered in the development of mobile payment solutions.

Subprime crisis in Germany - Crise du "subprime" en Allemagne

% of Gold Production by Countries - % de la production d'or par pays (2006)

More about Gold Production History: Goldsheetlinks.com

How your mobile can be a victim of bluetooth attack

With more and more people using a Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, one is more likely to be a victim of Bluejacking or Bluesnaring. Are you a victim yet ?

Firstly lets understand these two terminologies...

a.)Bluejacking: It is method of the sending of unsolicited messages over Bluetooth to Bluetooth-enabled devices such as mobile phones, PDAs or laptop computers. This is not serious as the vitim only gets a message on his phome.

b.)Bluesnarfing: It is a methond of getting unauthorized access of information from a wireless device through a Bluetooth connection, often between phones, desktops, laptops, and PDAs. Is much more serious in relation to Bluejacking.

This allows access to a calendar, contact list, emails and text messages and even make calls.

Here is a video demonstrating how somebody can use your open Bluetooth connection to access your mobile and make calls also for free.

Do post in your comments on this article/Video

DOW: on the Cliff's Edge - au bord de la falaise

Source: Tradingthecharts.com

Use a simple script to break the orkut album lock

UPDATE: As of last month, the below mentioned trick is not working on orkut, as Google has fixe the bug.

Orkut.com one of the leading social networking site in december 07 added a feature that was supposed to let the user restrict view access to their orkut photo album.

This feature was then extended to the video and scrapbook options. However this security feature of protecting your orkut album can be easily be compromised. A simple javascript when typed on your FireFox browser displays all your photos in your album in a thumbnail sequence. Here is the trick.

This trick works only if you are using Mozilla FireFox browser and Greasemonkey extension/addon installed on your system, and may not work on Internet explorer.

1. Go to users profile whose album is locked

2. Copy and paste the below mentioned javascript code on the address bar and hit enter

3. Wait for few second before the photos are displayed.

Its really as simple as a 1 2 3.. Enjoy, and post in your comments on the trick.

Update: The Orkut team has fixed up the security bug.. the trick is no more valid from Jan 2008

Trojan virus can infect your Apple iphones instantly

With more and more mobile devices becoming more like general computing machines, it’s no surprise that Trojans can also be written targeting them. Many of us think that Apple's iPhone is the best thing that has ever happened to world of mobiles, but then if you also though iphone would be safe from viruses, then... you are wrong.

iPhone users should be on the look out for a package called "iPhone firmware 1.1.3 prep," described as something you need to install before updating to the new 1.1.3 firmware. According to various sources, once the Trojan is installed it simply displays the word "shoes."

However, the Trojan has an ability to overwrites several legitimate applications, including Erica's Utilities, Launcher, Doom, and OpenSSH. This means if you uninstall the Trojan, you will need to reinstall these applications also.

Thread source

USA: M3 to the Sky and Dollar to Hell - M3 au ciel et le dollar en enfer


Golden Wheat- Blé d'or

Source: Taipan Group