Monday, July 16, 2012

SMS Limit Busted, Freedom Regained!

In September last year, TRAI came out with a highly illogical way to curb the unwanted SMS by introducing the 100 SMS/ day limit which was later increased to 200 SMS/day following the huge criticism from the telecom operators and public at large.

In an interesting and more logical development in this story, the Delhi High Court on 13th July 2012 has overruled TRAI’s order of limiting the maximum number of messages (SMS) that consumers can send per day. The petition was filed by an NGO, Telecom Watchdog.

The Delhi High Court decision gives a sense of relief and brings smiles on the faces of Indians for whom texting is most popular way of communicating with friends and relatives. But at the same time it raises questions on the policy decisions made by the Government and it’s regulators, especially those that have direct impact on the day-to-day lives of the citizens of this country.

This is not the only case where a Court has reversed a decision made by Government or it’s regulators. And that’s why question arises that what makes the Government take such decisions that are so impractical to implement and illogical to decide and which can be easily challenged in the courts. It’s well known that the Indian Judicial System has it’s own huge backlog and these unwanted cases and petitions increases it furthermore. And more than that, the time lag between Government taking a decision and Court ruling it out, puts a significant amount of unwanted burden on the citizens of India who suffer just because of highly un-thoughtful thinking of decisions makers.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Smart Phone Now Becomes A Card Swiping Device

Ever wish you could use your credit card when a delivery boy rings your door bell?
The day is not so far away....

Earlier this year there was a buzz about PayMate launching a smart phone app (PayPOS) designed for merchants (retail shop keeper, home delivery boys, small shops, provision stores etc.). Here, the end customer would be asked to feed his/her plastic card details into this app on merchant's smart phone for paying bills.

However, in a country obsessed with security concerns it would not be a good idea to key in your credit card number and security code into delivery boy's smart phone.

Contrarily, MTS has come up with a better solution to this. MTS has launched a dongle which has a card swiping section and could be attached to smart phone's 3.5mm audio jack. Actually, this is new to us but not for rest of the world. This technology of using smart phone as a card swiping device is known as mPOS.

mPOS a.k.a. mobile Point Of Sale consists of a smart phone, an smart app and a pluggable card swiping dongle.

There is a well known Android app known as Square Card Reader which is doing the same in US for quite some time now. Square's one square inch dongle when plugged into a smart phone becomes quite efficient in replacing the shoe sized card swiping machine at merchant's shop.

How is MTS mPOS going to work in India?

  • Merchants who want to give up their old and immobile card swiping machine must download the mPOS application on MTS smart phone. Then register themselves as merchants and provide necessary details.
  • Once merchant is registered he can plug-in the MTS mPOS dongle into 3.5 mm audio jack of MTS smart phone and start swiping customer's credit/debit cards for payments. 
  • A customer can cross check the amount on phone's screen and authorize the transaction by signing on phone's screen. 
  • For every successful/unsuccessful transaction a e-mail/sms will be sent to customer. This would complete the transaction.

MTS mPOS bundle (MTS MTag 3.1 CDMA smart phone, mPOS 3.5mm jack dongle & one year Data plan) is expected to cost around Rs 4000. MTS estimates monthly data charges to be between Rs 200 to Rs 300. This makes MTS mPOS a serious competitor to classical credit card swiping machine which costs almost Rs 15,000 for one time setup.

Currently MTS mPOS is in pilot phase. This service will be used by giant online retailer to allow its customer to pay through their credit card on home delivery.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Garbage Bin : A New Creative Hit

Video above is a great art by guys who run a Facebook page called "Garbage Bin"! Neat cartoons, nice little stories, the Garbage Bin started way back in December 2011 by Delhi Guys and now it is a craze among the Facebook crowd, many of which waits to get the daily dose of "gags"!

"Kaam na Dhandha, Bekaar Banda" is what their tagline says which re-iterates the fact that when talented people are idle, they are not wasting themselves, it's only matter of time when they come out with a miracle!!

These are early days for them and the future looks sparkling bright!