Tata Motors Sanand plant quickly ramp-up production of Nano

Tata Motors has recnetly announced that with its 250,000-unit/year Sanand plant becoming operational ahead of schedule, the company will speedily ramp up production of the Tata Nano. Accordingly, the company has begun intimating retainee-customers that their cars are coming up for delivery. This is the final step, before the company opens up sales of the Tata Nano. Retainee-customers are those who had retained their booking with the company though not selected among the first allottee-customers from out of the booking process of 2009. Despite a steep increase in input prices, their Tata Nanos are being priced only three to four percent higher, depending on the model, than the price announced at launch. The terms and conditions of booking had provided that the applicable price of the car for a retainee-customer would be notified at the time of delivery.

Tata Nano

Also, as announced at the booking, they have received interest on their deposit. The allottee-customers, still awaiting delivery, will get their cars at the same price as announced at launch on March 23, 2009. Tata Motors would like to reward the loyalty of the allottee-customers for bearing with the company through a prolonged period of delivery, given the capacity constraints till the Sanand plant became operational. As a gesture of goodwill and gratitude, the company has announced for them a choice among a one-year free annual maintenance contract (AMC), or free accessories worth Rs.4000/- or an extended warranty. The Tata Nano has already received an overwhelming response. With the ramp-up at the Sanand plant, customers desirous of the car will soon be able to freely purchase the Tata Nano.

Nokia N8 to foray in India by September, 2010

It is not certain that Nokia N8 will release in early September or will take longer than 4 weeks to arrive. But the good news about the launch of the Nokia N8 in India is that it will soon make it to the markets in India.This is official and Nokia buffs are elated. Nokia N8 is a feature packed device that will be launching at a price tag of Rs.22,000. The colours in which this smartphone will be available are confirmed as black, green and silver.

Nokia N8

For all those who still are unaware of this much awaited piece of amazing gadget, we must tell that Nokia N8 works on Symbian 3 Operating system and has an awesome 12 Mega Pixel camera with advanced features like Carl Zeiss optics and the Xenon Flash. There is HDMI connection, premium-quality dolby digital plus technology, social networking and voice-guided navigation also integrated in the handset.

“Samsung Champ C3300” cheapest touchscreen launched in India

Samsung mobiles, India has launched its cheapest touchscreen mobile handset in India. It is named as Samsung Champ C3300 or Samsung C3300. This cheap touchscreen price is Rs.4100, which is much less when compared to other touchscreen mobile handset in India.

Samsung Champ C3300

Samsung Champ has a 2.4″ touch-screen with resolution of 240×320 pixels. Its music capabilities lies in its in-built music player and FM radio, whose sound gets great on 3.5mm audio jack. It also has a 1.3MP camera for clicking memorable moments forever.There is GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity and for local data trasfer, there is Bluetooth 2.1. One can access to social networking services and other samsung applications via Samsung Champ.One may expand memory using its microSD memory card.

Samsung Champ C3300 is powered by a powerful 1000mAh battery. The battery life is outstanding as it lasts for 27.5 days on standby mode and for up to 12 hours in talktime.

The cheapest touchscreen phone “Samsung Champ C3300” forays in India

There is some kind of flood of cheap mobiles in India. The latest entrant is in the touchscreen category and the mobile phones handset is called as Samsung Champ C3300. Priced at Rs.4100, Samsung Champ is certainly extremely affordable but completely featured.

Samsung Champ C3300

Samsung Champ C3300 or Samsung C3300 has forayed in India with good design, and multimedia features. It sports a 2.4″ touch-screen with resolution of 240×320 pixels. It has an in-built music player and FM radio and to add to it, there is a 3.5mm audio jack. It also has a 1.3MP camera for clicking at cherishable times.

There is local data transfer capability via Bluetooth and for speedy browsing, there is GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity. The access to social networking services and other samsung applications via Samsung Champ is one of its kind.One may expand memory using its microSD memory card.

Samsung Champ C3300 boasts of powerful 1000mAh battery with outstanding 27.5 days on standby mode and up to 12 hours talktime.

Honda VFR1200F picture review

India's one of the largest two-wheeler market leader, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has recently launched the new sports tourer " Honda VFR 1200F " in India with the expansive price range of Rs 17.5 lakh (ex-showroom-Delhi). Bold look of the newly launched Honda VFR 1200F will attract the hug crowd and is expected to get overwhelming response from the Indian buyers. The sporty looks of new VFR will surely create charisma which will catch the heartbeat of the massive bike lovers. The new Honda VFR 1200F was already shown at the 10th anniversary of Delhi Auto Expo 2010. Where it was also getting a excellent attention from the visitors. The most awaited VFR 1200F is additionally packed with awesome features which makes it very stunning superbike in the auto market.

Honda VFR1200F

The Honda VFR 1200F has got cutting-edge massive engine with innovative and new generation technologies that is sure to become futuristic sports power plant. The new superbike is comes loaded with liquid cooled, 76 degree, SOHC, V-4, four valve per cylinder which churns a top power of 170 bhp at 10,000 rpm while produces a maximum torque of 129 Nm at 8,750 rpm. It has got a good capabilities to deliver fuel economy of around 12 kmpl in the auto market. Besides, the fuel tank capacity of this bike is comes around 18.5ltr. The bike's most outstanding features is the V-4 engine, but only because the dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional.

Honda VFR1200F

We always found that the massive braking system desirable in the high-end capacity motorcycles and the all new Honda VFR 1200 F is also available with disc brakes with CBS at both the wheels. The front brake is 320mm disc brake with CBS and the rear one also of 276 mm single disc with CBS. The sound braking system of the bike will decelerate the speed of the bike even at higher speed.

Honda VFR1200F

The all new Honda VFR 1200F available with cutting-edge suspension system that is often seen in MotoGP bikes only. The front shock absorber is 43mm cartridge shocker with spring preloaded adjustability; 4.7 inches of wheel travel while the rear one is Honda Pro Arm® single-sided swingarm with single gas-charged shock generates most advanced rear suspension action; features handy remote spring preloaded adjuster, rebound damping adjustability and 5.1 inches of wheel travel. You can't notice the rear shocker from rear or side view as it is located under the seat.

Honda VFR1200F

The sports tourer motorcycle offering best braking system that provides superb handling and control. ABS is the latest technology for brakes nowadays. Slipper clutch is also available for Honda VFR 1200F which can be used under hard braking. 1545mm of wheelbase and single side swing arm contribute to chassis rigidity and ultimate balance of the machine. The company hopes that the new massive sports bike will compete with Suzuki Gsxr, Suzuki Hayabusa, Harley Davidson Dyna and Harley Davidson Softail.

Friday I'm in Love!

Even though my pulse is quickening and my anxiety is spiking cause I can sense summer speeding to a halt, I'm still so in love with these things today:

1. Brussel Sprouts

So freaking delicious. Today I sauteed them with onions and used them in a salad with field greens, strawberries, ricotta salata, and a vinaigrette. OMG--so good.

2. These brothers

3. Acupuncture

My dear friend Helen has been seeing Thuy at the Berkeley Community Acupuncture Clinic for a couple years now. She's been urging me to make an appointment for my terrible lower back, but I've hesitated . . . until today! This morning I had my first session, and I think I might love Thuy and her needles as much as Helen does. My back is definitely more relaxed after the treatment, and I'm pretty sure that if I keep it up, there will be long-term results. Also: SO RELAXING. Even if you're a fidgeter like me. Have any of you tried acupuncture?

4. Snail Mail

Lately I've been lovin me some snail mail. In the past couple weeks, I've sent out letters & cards to Marianne, Micaela, Heather, Phoenix, Summer, Kara, Lesley, Tillie, Faiza, and various other non-bloggy friends. I got a lovely reply from Phoenix this week, and can't wait to write her back again. I think I love sending letters just as much as I love receiving them . . . it's so fun, and the process of actually writing is so cathartic.

And lastly . . .

5. Summer B, the beautiful lady behind this Friday I'm in Love Series. She's darling, sweet, endearing, fun, gorgeous, so open-hearted, and an amazing Words with Friends opponent. :) I'm daydreaming of being on some rooftop bar in NYC having cocktails with her this afternoon!

Speaking of which, I'm also pretty in love with the girlfriends I'm hitting the town with tonight. Can't wait to put on my party dress and kick back with a glass of sauvignon blanc at the Beta Lounge!

Happy Friday! XOXO

Honda unveils VFR 1200F in India with Price range Rs.17.5 lac

Honda VFR 1200F launched in India with Delhi Ex-showroom Rs. 17.5lac today. This is a biggest hit by Honda to launch its VFR in India as a great sports as well with a touring combination bike. As we know the Honda show cased the VFR 1200F at International Auto Expo 2010 at Delhi earlier this year.

Honda VFR 1200F

This is Great to say that Honda VFR launched with many exiting feature in this bike, most awaited feature in the bike is dual transmission availability as we can say that 1. As it can run with 6-speed manual transmission.
2. It can also run with a dual clutch Automatic transmission.
3. As well with a ABS (anti lock breaking system) is also available

Honda VFR 1200F Breaks

The Honda VFR 1200F comes in vacuum-moulded cast aluminium chassis. Honda VFR is equipped with the 1237cc engine capacity, liquid cooled V-4 which generates 172bhp at 10,000 rpm, torque of 129nm at 8750 rpm. The bike is weighted with 267kg and its Innovative cylinder layout, Throttle By wire, and Future Generation Shaft drive system, integrals include Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission. Its has a 18.5 liters of fuel-tank capacity.

Honda VFR 1200F Digital Speedometer

The bike as more features equipped as 43mm cartridge-type front fork and Pro-Link monoshock with gas-charged damper at the rear. The Honda VFR is available in different metallic colours Seal Silver Metallic, Pearl Sunbeam White and Candy Prominence Red.

Honda VFR 1200F Silencer view

Honda VFR 1200F Specifications :

Engine Type: 1237cc liquid-cooled V-4
Final Drive: Shaft
Induction: PGM-FI 44mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Digital electronic
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with two modes and manual mode (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission)
Bore and Stroke: 81mm x 60mm
Suspension: Front - 43mm; 4.7 inches travel, Rear - Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link® single gas-charged shock; 5.1 inches travel.
Brakes: Front - Dual 320mm discs, CBS 6-piston calipers with ABS, Rear: Single 276mm disc, CBS two-piston caliper with ABS.
Tires:Front - 120/70 ZR17 radial, Rear - 190/55 ZR17 radial
Wheelbase: 60.8 inches (1545mm)
Rake: 25-deg
Trail: 101.0mm (4.0 inches)
Seat Height: 32.1 inches (815mm)
Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gallons
Colors: Candy Prominence Red, Seal Silver Metallic, Pearl Sunbeam White colours.
Curb Weight: 591 lbs (VFR1200F) / 613 lbs (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission)

Price: Ex-showroom Delhi Rs. 17.5 lac

headphoned 1.9 for the N900 is now in Extras-Testing

The beloved Headphone Daemon, who usually sleeps in the darker corners of your N900 and makes sure that you do not embarrass yourself in front of other passengers or pedestrians with whatever kind of experimental music you happen to listen to when the headphones are accidentally unplugged (also known as public transport situations) got a small facelift (also known as code change).

A few changes that have accumulated over the last few months have now been packed up into the shiny new 1.9 release:

  • Support for libplayback / whitelisting (by Faheem Pervez)
  • Support for pausing Martin Grimme's MediaBox
  • Detect headphoned disconnect during active calls and send pause command after the hangup

The last one in this list might be of special interest to some of you who have complained about headphoned not working when the headphones are unplugged during a call. This won't happen now, as headphoned now monitors the call status via D-Bus and keeps track of active calls. When the headphones are unplugged while a call is active, the pause signal will not only be sent right away, but also a second time when the call gets disconnected. This work for all types of voice calls, and should work for video calls as well (untested).

During the summer holidays, I have had less time to do more development and releases, but things are starting to move slowly again - expect new releases of packages like gPodder and MaePad in the upcoming weeks. I'd also love to port gPodder to Harmattan and add a fancy new MeeGo Touch UI on top of it (in March I said that Maemo 6/MeeGo is for later this year - which might be very soon now), so you can all enjoy your favourite podcatcher with the usual native UI support. Let's hope that the Harmattan SDK and/or Harmattan developer images get released for the N900 soon (and then the Python bindings soon afterwards - the PyMaemo team was very fast in previous release cycles), so the community developers have enough time preparing their apps for the next big release.

For now, please test and enjoy this new headphoned release, and don't forget to vote for and comment on the package once you have verified the new release from Extras-Testing.

Huawei to sell cheap smartphones in India

China based Huawei Technologies has plans to sell about one million smart phones in India under its own brand name in 2010. At present, Nokia has the largest share (54.1%) of mobile handsets sold in India in the last year. But, the popularity and demand of low-cost cheap mobiles is fast emerging in massive Indian mobile market.

Huawei Mobile

Huawei will also benefit from the trend as it will start selling cheap but full-featured devices or smartphones by August, 2010. Later, 3G services may also be catered to by the Huawei Technologies.

The company will sell these smartphones through its own retail channels. These 20 or so smartphones will run on open source Android operating system and the Brew MP operating system from Qualcomm. The Huwaei smartphones prices will fall in the affordable range of Rs.7000 to Rs.12000.

Huawei to sell a million smartphones in India

Huawei Technologies, a China based vendor has plans to sell a million smartphones in Indian smartphone market this year. The company will sell these smartphones through its own retail channels under its brand name. Earlier, company products like mobile phones and wireless data cards for laptops were sold by local service providers and telecom operators like Tata Teleservices, Bharti Airtel, and Reliance Communications used to put their own brand name on them.

Huawei Mobile

After introduction of new security regulations by GOI, imposed from February 2010, Huawei has planned to target the smart phone market with 20 new mobile models.

These mobiles will be priced between Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 12,000. Like other Chinese handsets, these mobiles will also be made of chipsets from Qualcomm. Some Huawei smartphones will run on open source Android operating system and the rest on the Brew MP operating system from Qualcomm.

These phones will be available in India through retail channels from August 1, 2010.

Bajaj Avenger 220 tested

India's one of the leading two-wheeler maker, Bajaj Auto has recently launched an another higher capacity version of its cruiser bike, Bajaj Avenger in the market with the massive 220cc engine and impressive features which makes it very attractive cruiser motorcycle in the Indian auto market. Bajaj Avenger 220 refreshed version of its old horse, Bajaj Avenger. The new version of the This cruiser bike with 220cc engine that is being used in Bajaj Pulsar 220. The new bike model has a very similar looks of previous model. The elegant appearance of the Bajaj Avenger 220 is enhanced more with its large windshield and long handlebars. The new Bajaj Avenger 220cc is comes loaded with 4 stroke, single cylinder, DTS-i air cooled with oil cooler engine.

Bajaj Avenger 220

The powertrain of new bike is produces top power output of 19.3 at 8400 bhp and generates a peak torque of 17.5 Nm at 7000 rpm from its 219.89cc engine. All the other features and specifications are kept same as outgoing Bajaj Avenger 200cc. The new Avenger has been offering a DC ignition system with low trigger start rpm to ensure easy button start. Further modification like battery charger level indicator on the tank, dual density seating and maintenance free battery. It comes at an amazing price tag of Rs 69000 (ex-showroom-Delhi). The new cruiser has available with a stepped up warranty of 18 months.

Bajaj Avenger 220

The sporty look of the bike is fitted with the alloy wheels and the huge tyres present in the bike. The new cruiser bike 220 is bestowed with dynamic braking system, the front brake is hydraulic operated disc brake of 260 mm dia and the rear brake is drum brake. Besides, Bajaj Auto is current working on two new models such as Bajaj Blade and Bajaj Xcd, which are expected to be launched by the 2010-end. Apart from that launch, Indian bike lovers will see more launches in India that includes TVS Apache 220, Yamaha SS 125, TVS MAX, Yamaha SZ, Mahindra Cevalo and Yamaha Fazer 250.

Hair Envy

So there's this terrible catch 22 in my life:

I do nothing to my hair, and it remains dishwater blonde with uneven, slightly frizzy waves


I highlight, blow dry, and straighten/curl my hair, and it looks pretty in the moment, but then in the long run, it gets FRIED.

It's a dreadful conundrum. For the past eight years or so, I've been opting for the latter. I love my highlights, and I looooove my hair stylist (if you're in San Francisco, go see Lauren Kolb at Glama-Rama in the Mission!). But after years & years of all this harsh treatment, my hair is less shiny, less thick, my waves are totally muted, and the ends are pretty scary.

So I stopped dyeing it. I haven't put any color in my hair in almost a year (hello, dullest, plainest, most dishwatery blonde ever!), and I'm reeeeeally coveting a Brazilian blowout, not only cause it would make my hair look immediately more awesome, but because it would mean that I could get away with not blow drying/straightening it for 3-4 months. SWEET!

My sister is part of my inspiration for not dyeing it, cause her hair is au naturale and it looks like this:

she got better hair genes

And I found this old picture of my dad, stepmom, sister, and me from several years ago (when I first started highlighting my hair), and my waves were so much prettier!

before I tortured my locks

But in the meantime, I'm antsy and filled with the urge to dye, chop, straighten, take the iron to it, etc. Or, I want hair like this:

So I guess what I'm saying is: I want hair extensions. Ha.

Tell me your hair secrets! Products, techniques . . . what makes your hair look gorgeous???


4 days in and our 12 EML recruits are walking, talking and dressing like models... but can they pass the ultimate test - the FASHION SHOW?

Dress rehearsal gets underway

After a leisurely Thursday breakfast at the fashion-fabulous Mayfair hotel the girls strolled round to the final show venue, the incredible One Mayfair to crack on with the main event. Rehearsals got underway immediately, with the girls taking their first steps on a real catwalk under the guidance of last year's winner, Nyasha Matonhodze. 

Nyasha shows the girls how it's done

The terribly talented Toni & Guy Art Team were once again on hand to coif the girls to perfection, with celeb makeup artists Daniel Sandler  and his team supplying the makeup. All a-flutter in their Eylure lashes and ready to rock their Warehouse looks, the spotlight moment arrived for our finalists... look out for show and winner pictures here over the weekend!

Louise gets some practice on the other side of the camera

Vodafone launches solar powered phone

Telecom major, Vodafone Essar that enjoys the rural network coverage of 65 per cent in India and consequently, is the second highest in position, has announced the launch of its latest eco-friendly, solar charging handset in India. The data reveals that despite lack of proper infrastructure, almost 20 million new mobile subscribers are added each month in India.

Vodafone VF247

The new mobile handset will use a solar powered solution to benefit its rural users with areas getting abundant sunlight. The handset will most probably launch in coming month in India. VF 247 solar powered mobile phone charges by itself via two ways. One by exposure to ambient light and second by Sun Boost, an in-built hardware and software that ensures that the phone charges in a room, under normal daylight.

The VF 247 Solar Powered phone is priced at Rs.1,500 rupees.The phone can remain charged for more than eight days of use on standby mode and gives four hours of talk time. Its retail package comes with an electronic charger, “torch lamp” and a FM radio.


The week is flying by and now it's time for our 12 Elite Model Look finalists to chill out and enjoy the model lifestyle before tomorrow's big final show. The day started with a morning visit to the ultra-glam Urban Retreat at Harrods, where the girls were treated to makeup classes, skincare consultations, manicures and massages... all primped and preened and so relaxed we had to drag the dozing models off to their next appointment. Well they deserved a nap.... 

Another blast of catwalk workshop at the agency was followed by a trip to lovely style partner WAREHOUSE's flagship store in Argyll Street. The girls got the red carpet treatment as the store was closed especially for them to shop, while Warehouse's stylists helped them pick out the perfect model looks.

Just one sleep left before the big show!

Dell Streak launch in India postponed, coming in October

There is a bit of sad news for all those who are awaiting the latest announced smartphone from Dell. The Dell Streak will not arrive this July and one needs to keep an eye on its launch and price till the month of October. There is no specific launch date announced as yet even. The definite is the fact that Dell Streak will launch with Android 1.6. Recently Dell announced it will release a cherry red version of the Streak shortly after it launches the standard graphite version.

Dell Streak

Dell Streak
has a lot of features like the Adobe Flash 10.1 on Android 2.2, plus other enhancements like video chat applications and more. The attractive, 5-inch diagonal display is slightly larger than many of the smartphones of current times but is coupled with higher pixel density and surprisingly it will make a lot of difference in everyday activities like browsing the web, playing games or watching video. It's made with Gorilla Glass, the screen also has a pretty big durability advantage over more fragile mobile devices.The Dell Streak is thin (10mm) and though it's just a bit heavier than other smartphones, it feels solid and balanced-which makes using it pretty natural across a number of activities.

Dell Streak accessories are good too. It will come with a car dock kit, battery replacements, a home AV dock and more.

Nokia X6 unleashed in India at Rs.14499

Nokia X6 is a Symbian OS v9.4 based TFT capacitive touchscreen smartphone. It is unleashed in India at price of Rs.14499. The ultimate scratch-resistant glass surface phone has a stereo FM radio with RDS and music player.

Nokia X6

There is 5 MP camera with 2592x1944 pixels resolution and advanced features like Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual LED flash and video light with goe tagging. Blue tooth in the configuration of v2.0 with A2DP confers local connectivity. There are other options for connectivity like the v2.0 microUSB, GPRS and EDGE of class 32 and the WLAN. WLAN is in the configuration of Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and is UPnP technology based.

Despite having alpha-numeric keypad, its a bit thick at 13.8mm, but weighs less just 122 gm. There are SMS, MMS, Instant Messaging and E mail services.Its A-GPS support with Ovi Maps 3.0 makes navigation smooth. Its highlights are its good design, handwriting recognition capability and 32 GB storage, 128 MB RAM and unlimited phonebook entries, Photocalls.

Yamaha to launch Fazer Refreshed version by next month

India's one of the leading two-wheeler market leader, Yamaha Motor is going to hit an another upgraded version of its flagship premium bike model, Yamaha Fazer in India by next month. The existing Fazer model is performing considerably well and getting a good attention from the Indian buyers. After hug success of Fazer 150 in the market, the company is all set to launch an another higher capacity version of its existing model in India. It can cope the forces of a single cylinder 250cc engine with ease which can produce maximum power output of 21bhp at 7500rpm and generates a top torque of 20.5Nm at 6500rpm. The upgraded version of Fazer would be more powerful and attractive bike than Fazer 150 model.

Yamaha Fazer

India Yamaha Motors official has not yet informed regarding that the price tag on this bike. But, according to some news sources the new bike is believes to be available with amazing price tag of Rs. 125,000. The new Yamaha Fazer will be additionally packed with impressive features such as full digital dashboard, anti skid seat skin, wider tyres with black shades alloy wheels and new generation technology which makes it very efficient premium motorcycle in the Indian market. The new Fazer 250 will compete with Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i, Hero Honda Karizma ZMR and Kawasaki Ninja 250R. On the other hand, Yamaha Motors is also planning to launch its new premium motorcycles including Yamaha SS 125, Yamaha SZ and Yamaha Nouvo.

Common misconceptions about BOP customers regarding money

During the past period I was exposed to a number of individuals from first world countries with an interest in mobile money for the unbanked (MMU). What struck me in all of our discussions is that the insight and understanding about the realities of the people at the bottom of the pyramid was totally lacking. It is important to really understand life of people that have to confront the realities of life on $2 a day, before we can start to produce relevant solutions. The best way to learn (of course) is to join these people for some time, to live with them and to interact with them. This is the only way to really get to grips with their situation. Also if you are brave enough to do this, prepare yourself to learn more about compassion and the meaning of life than what you will get from best-selling authors.

Poor people have a lot more to give to us (the more affluent) than what we can give to them. They have a keen understanding of community (that we have lost), of care and support of each other and figuring out priorities. Contrary to what we often think, many of these people do not want to live like us. They do not have a need to be corrupted and weighted down by luxury and possession. They merely would like to have more predictability and sufficient resources to cater for their daily needs. Only if we understand this and much more (that I am not really qualified to offer), will we be able to offer relevant solutions.

We have to start from a perspective of respect and equality when we approach the challenge. We must be open to learn and to embrace. We must be prepared to think out of the box and apply the knowledge and insights of the people we want to help. Only then will we be able to remain relevant.

KPMG research on mobile banking highlights

KPMG published their 4th consumer and convergence report recently. This report is of interest because of the rigour of the research as well as the fact that trends can now be compared with the previous three years. (Read and download document here). Also, the research is more global than others as consumers are researched in 22 countries. (more than 5 500 consumers participated). The 22 countries represent a good mix of first world and emerging economies and also provides for good regional coverage. It would be accurate to say that this study represents a global perspective. Some of the more interesting findings related to mobile banking are:
  • Consumers are much more comfortable to perform financial transactions on mobile devices than two years ago. Globally a growth of more than 100% in the two years were reported.
  • The biggest reason that consumers raise for not using mobile for financial transactions remains security.
  • A definite trend to use financial services more regularly on mobile devices was uncovered. For instance 5% (up from 0%) use these services almost daily. (12% up from 4% weekly)
  • Unfortunately, reporting on regional differences on the take-up of mobile phones is limited in the report, but sufficient information is available to indicate that the penetration of mobile banking services is much higher in emerging economies (especially Asia), although no information is given on trends.
This report (like many others) confirm the move to accessing financial services via mobile devices. What is insightful in this report is the rate of change.

Local currency and implications for mobile payments

Distrust in the Banking System sows return of Homegrown currencies" reads the headline of an article in American Banker. (Read here). I could not help reading further and found some of the thoughts interesting. It seems that many schemes like this operate legally in the US. Currency is offered as an alternative purchasing tool in a specific community and could be used to stimulate economies or to market special offers. According to my understanding, this currency is backed by the dollar and does not constitute the issuing of new money.

This article triggered my memory and with a little help of my friend Tian, I stumbled on the Community Exchange System (CES) (Read here) - quite an innovative way to look at local currencies. The website makes the following claim: "With the impending implosion of the usury-based, global money system, now is the time to seek a new way of 'doing' money, one not based on debt and controlled by a global monetary elite that seems happy about destroying our planet in the pursuit of profit." The creator of this system is a guy called: Tim Jenkins. (One of the interesting stories about him, is that he escaped from a high security jail as a political activist with a key that he carved from wood!). Download this story here.

The use of and the likelihood that money/currency may change does exist. It may only happen in niche areas or for specific uses (like in the retail environment). By digitising alternative currencies and making them available through a mobile transacting platform, the use may become more prevalent. Just another wild thought.

Critical mass of mobile banking penetration

I started my career as a Nuclear Scientist, working on nuclear reactor projects. The key about a nuclear reactor is to ensure that the neutrons produced by fission of an Unranium atom is enough to sustain the reaction in adjacent atoms. One refers to a situation where sufficient neutrons are produced to sustain other reactions as critical mass.

The deployment of mobile banking is also subject to critical mass. If the penetration is not quick enough to reach critical mass, then the deployments become de-funk and ultimately fail. I have often wondered what critical mass for mobile banking is. Is it a percentage of the population? Is it regionally bound? What are the factors that make something work and how can we manipulate it? Based on my observations, I would say that the following factors influence critical mass for mobile banking:
  • The speed to get to critical mass influences critical mass. If the growth is spectacular and fast in number of subscribers, critical mass is less. If take-up is slow, it is possible to get to critical mass, but the absolute number will be more.
  • The need also dictates critical mass. If the need is big (for instance in countries with very little payment infrastructure) critical mass will be reached quicker.
  • Penetration must be sufficient to ensure that the network effect takes root. Even if the penetration is high and it does not satisfy the need of others to also participate in payment, then critical mass has not yet been reached. That is why factors like the design of the product, regional or socia-economic clustering and competition all play a roll in what critical mass means.
In deploying mobile payment solutions, it is important to have a good idea what will constitute critical mass.

Um Nokia de 18 quilates

A Nokia anuncia a chegada do Nokia N97 mini Gold Edition, uma edição limitada do já conhecido aparelho que passará a ser vendida, também, ao público brasileiro. Nessa versão especial – e luxuosa - do aparelho, as mesmas características físicas e operacionais do Nokia N97 mini foram preservadas, porém agora revestidas em ouro 18 quilates (até mesmo os acessórios que o acompanham receberam um toque dourado). Essa joia tecnológica desembarca aqui no Brasil na primeira semana de agosto e estará disponível em nokia.com.br/loja.

Para os brasileiros, o aparelho virá ainda com outro atrativo: na compra da edição especial do aparelho, o consumidor receberá também uma máquina de café Nespresso modelo Essenza Automática C100 Black. Há ainda, instalado no modelo, um aplicativo, desenvolvido pela NAVTEQ Media Solutions da Nespresso com acesso a temas personalizados, filmes, dicas de receitas com os Grands Crus Nespresso, localizador de Boutiques, informações sobre os tipos de café e os serviços oferecidos pelo Nespresso Club, envio de ofertas exclusivas e venda de máquinas Grands Crus e acessórios da marca pelo celular. Com tudo isso, a versão brasileira do aparelho virá com o nome de Nokia N97 mini Gold - Edição Especial Nespresso.

O Nokia N97 mini Gold - Edição Especial Nespresso traz tela touch screen e teclado QWERTY, câmera de 5 megapixel com foco automático e lente Carl Zeiss, conectividade 3G e Wi-fi/WLAN e fácil acesso às redes sociais. Seus atrativos não param por aí: ele vem equipado com Comes with Music, serviço que permite baixar até sete milhões de músicas do acervo da Nokia Music Store, e Ovi Mapas com navegação GPS guiada por voz de graça por toda a vida, para você nunca mais se perder.

Preço sugerido: R$ 2.249,00.

The Jitterbug LiveNurse Service

GreatCall's Jitterbug has made a living out of the senior mobile phone market. Their efforts are not limited to their mobile phones for senior citizens, rate plans and accessories but also with services geared towards the elderly. Let's take a quick look at the award-winning LiveNurse service from Jitterbug.

The Jitterbug LiveNurse service provides unlimited, 24-hour telephone access (English and Spanish) to friendly, registered nurses. Consumers can get health care advice when they have have questions or need information about health and well-being topics. This is certainly a senior-friendly service.

But what about the cost? The Jitterbug LiveNurse service is available for only $4 per month. The company is also offering a limited time offer that provides the service for free on all rate plans $29.99 and above.

The Jitterbug LiveNurse service for seniors include 24-hour access to a pre-recorded health library, featuring current information on hundreds of general health topics.

This service on the Jitterbug cell phone for senors received the award in the Best Mobile Consumer Application Category in the CTIA 2009 Hot for the Holidays Awards Program.

That's it for this post. Tune in for more mobile phones for seniors, services and news.

The Jitterbug LiveNurse Service

GreatCall's Jitterbug has made a living out of the senior mobile phone market. Their efforts are not limited to their mobile phones for senior citizens, rate plans and accessories but also with services geared towards the elderly. Let's take a quick look at the award-winning LiveNurse service from Jitterbug.

The Jitterbug LiveNurse service provides unlimited, 24-hour telephone access (English and Spanish) to friendly, registered nurses. Consumers can get health care advice when they have have questions or need information about health and well-being topics. This is certainly a senior-friendly service.

But what about the cost? The Jitterbug LiveNurse service is available for only $4 per month. The company is also offering a limited time offer that provides the service for free on all rate plans $29.99 and above.

The Jitterbug LiveNurse service for seniors include 24-hour access to a pre-recorded health library, featuring current information on hundreds of general health topics.

This service on the Jitterbug cell phone for senors received the award in the Best Mobile Consumer Application Category in the CTIA 2009 Hot for the Holidays Awards Program.

That's it for this post. Tune in for more mobile phones for seniors, services and news.

Yamaha YBR 125 features and specifications

India Yamaha Motor is going to expand a wide range of premium motorcycles brand by the launching various motorcycles across the country. The company is ready to launch its three new premium bikes in Noida on 5th August 2010. The all new premium motorcycles will be known as Yamaha SS 125, Yamaha YBR 125 and Yamaha SZ 150. The long awaited among them is Yamaha YBR 125, which is expected to be increased the volume of 125cc segment. According to some news sources the new Yamaha YBR 125 is believes to be available with attractive price tag of around Rs 58,000. It has already launched in foreign markets, where is performing well.

Yamaha YBR 125

Yamaha has also launched a base model of Yamaha YBR in the Indian auto market, which is fitted with 106cc engine capacity, behind of it, the new version will be more better and higher than existing model in the country. The base model of YBR is getting a excellent attention from the Indian buyers of this segment. The new Yamaha YBR 125 cc will also be powered by 124cc, Air-cooled, 4-stroke, forward inclined single cylinder, 2-valve, SOHC engine. The powertrain of new YBR 125 has got a good capacity to produce a top power output of 11 PS/7500 rpm and generates a peak torque of 10.4 Nm/6500 rpm.

Yamaha YBR 125

The new upgraded version has now refined instrument panel, new muffler design, new tank covers on the side for protection and additional passenger. The bike will be available with both self and kick start options and will carry chrome coated black shades alloy wheelers. Apart from it, Indian bike lovers will see more launches in India that includes Suzuki Gladius, Kawasaki Ninja 650R, TVS Max, TVS Apache 220 and Bajaj XCD.

59th Mahindra Great Escape concludes successfully in Panvel

The 59th edition of the Mahindra Great Escape, one of India's most loved off-roading adventures, concluded successfully in Panvel, near Mumbai with over 70 vehicles from the Mahindra stable manoeuvring the challenging route. Mahindra customers from Mumbai and neighbouring areas participated in the rally. The Panvel event received an overwhelming response from off-roading enthusiasts. The rally was flagged off by Mr. Rajan Wadhera, Chief Executive, Technology Product Development & Sourcing, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd at 10:00 am from Panoramic Resort on the Mumbai-Goa Road, near Karnala Bird Sanctuary in Panvel district. Iconic Mahindra SUVs including the Scorpio, Bolero, Getaway, Legend, Major and Classic negotiated an arduous, undulating route of over 60 km to reach the finish point. "We are delighted to have chosen Panvel, near Mumbai, as the venue for the 59th edition of the Mahindra Great Escape. The scenic yet challenging route was an off roader's delight and gave Mahindra customers an idea of the tough and enduring nature of Mahindra vehicles. The adrenaline rush was palpable and the atmosphere was absolutely charged up. Infact, for the first time there were live tweets by participants on the Mahindra Great Escape, thereby adding up to the overall excitement. We plan to return with another fun-filled edition of the Great Escape, shortly," said Mr. Vivek Nayer, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. This edition of the Mahindra Great Escape was conducted in association with JK Tyres, Bosch and Servo Lubricants.

Mahindra Bolero

The Mahindra Great Escape route was chalked out by the Mahindra team, while the 'With You Hamesha' service team ensured that participants could enjoy the rally unhindered. Mahindra Great Escape - a customer-centric initiative from Mahindra Initiated in 1996, the Mahindra Great Escape is a non-competitive, off-road rally to encourage Mahindra customers to test the strength of their vehicles on terrain other than tarmac. Mahindra vehicles are tough and rugged and are known for their reliable nature. The Great Escape serves as a platform to highlight this incredible ability and experience the thrills of 4x4 adventures. Through the years, the Great Escape has acquired a reputation as one of India's premier off-roading events with each edition seeing eager participation from die-hard Mahindra fans and customers alike. From the hills of Coorg and the tea estates of Munnar to the undulating sand dunes of Mandawa in Rajasthan, the Great Escape has blazed a unique trail across the length and breadth of India. The Mahindra Great Escape was recently held in Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Munnar in Kerala, Coorg in Karnataka, Goa and also at Shahpur near Mumbai.

Mahindra Scorpio

About The Mahindra Group Mahindra embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a US $7.1 billion Indian multinational. It employs over 1,00,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, trade and logistics. The Mahindra Group today is an embodiment of global excellence and enjoys a strong corporate brand image. Mahindra is the only Indian company among the top tractor brands in the world. It is today a full-range player with a presence in almost every segment of the automobile industry, from two-wheelers to CVs, UVs, SUVs and sedan. Mahindra recently acquired a majority stake in REVA Electric Car Co Ltd. (now called Mahindra REVA), strengthening its position in the Electric Vehicles domain. The Mahindra Group expanded its IT portfolio when Tech Mahindra acquired the leading global business and information technology services company, Satyam Computer Services. The company is now known as Mahindra Satyam. Mahindra is also one of the few Indian companies to receive an A+ GRI checked rating for its first Sustainability Report for the year 2007-08 and has also received the A+ GRI rating for the year 2008- 09.


After the excitement of makeovers,  Day 3 of the Samsung Diva Elite Model Look Final saw our girls get in front of the camera to show off their new looks. With everyone getting to know each other, and a team of almost 20 getting are girls ready for their first major shoot, it was an action-packed if exhausting day for our little supermodels... the full shoot will be published soon but in the meantime here's a taster of the day.


Photography by Rokas Darulis
Styling by Warehouse
Hair by Toni & Guy Art Team
Makeup by Daniel Sandler Team

Thanks also to Holborn Studios, Kiel deValera, Colin Smith, Tomek Jasinski and Denis Shklovsky