Archive for the ‘Technology and Gadgets’ Category

Nearly eight decades after a concept video phone appeared in Fritz Lang’s classic movie ‘Metropolis’ in 1927 and a real one by the beginning of this century in the US, it is time now for the technology to hit Indian shores.

Surat-based YOU Telecom, formally known as Iqara Telecom India, is close to launching India’s first video phones that enable users to make both video and voice calls.

Moreover, it is also planning to usher in an era of non-metred calls, an advanced mode of billing that is prevalent in telecom superior countries like the US and UK. And the costs are around Rs 249 per month for unlimited calls, cheaper than an average entry-level pre-paid recharge coupon of Rs 300-325.

“IP video phones duplicate some of the functionalities of the computer, but is much like the normal black phones with a dial pad and other features. This works on an broadband Internet connection, is a plug-and-play device and the user doesn’t have to wear a headset like use a web camera,” says YOU Telecom chief executive officer E V S Chakravarthy.

The company plans to launch the services by the January next year. The equipment will be brought in from Taiwan and would cost around Rs 17,000 a piece.

YOU Telecom intends to levy a charge of Rs 249 per month for video calls, with subscribers encouraged to make unlimited calls to any destinations across the world.

The calls won’t be metred like the conventional telephone companies. “This paves way for introduction of unmetred scheme, the first of its kind in India,” he claims.

The only problem is that the video phones can only be used as the second phone in the house as they will not work with the plain old telephone system and it is not possible to connect them to another landline number.

However, various tariff modes would be made available. The services would be launched tentatively on January 14, 2007, he says.

Domestic calls could also be made from the company’s network, and the billing would be a similar “unmetred” scheme. So, if you have family and friends scattered around the world and would like to see them and converse with them, look no further.


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WinSnap is a small enhancement utility for taking and editing screenshots. It can easily capture windows of non-rectangular form with the background of your choice, automatically perform simple canvas transformations and coloring effects, add professional smoothing shadows in Photoshop style and more. Also, WinSnap supports variety of image formats and provides advanced auto-save features.

Windows Snapshot Maker

WinSnap may be used free of charge only by a non-commercial entity for personal, educational and non-commercial purposes. You can download it here.

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OK, Google started the service to send free SMS’s to US cell phones, but they haven’t yet extended the service for Canadian Cell phones. But each of these Canadian cell phone service providers provide their own service to send free SMS’s to their customers.

Here is a compliation of the various sites from where you can send free SMS’s to Canadian Cell phone users. You just need to know the phone number of the person you want to send the SMS to and their cell phone provider.

Bell Mobility Free SMS Service:
Offers free short message service from the Internet to Bell Mobility mobiles.

Fido Free SMS Service:
Service is able to send free SMS to GSM mobile phones in Fido coverage zones. It seems to also work with Rogers Wireless.

Rogers Wireless Free SMS
Rogers Wireless High-Speed text messaging service gives you the ability to send free text messages via the Internet for free.

Telus Mobility Free SMS
Send free sms via the Internet to any Telus Mobility telephone anywhere in Canada

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Google has a web page that lets you send free SMS in the US: Google Send to Phone.

This page is used in Google Toolbar for IE and Google Send to Phone for Firefox to send short text messages of web page content.

This feature has been available since last year and it’s a simple way to send free SMS, without using sites that require registration.

To find out more about this, including some of the privacy issues, read the FAQ.

Source: Google Operating System

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Well well well, its time that I start making up my mind about which camcorder I should buy. I have always been a still photograph person and was never interested in buying camcorders before. But a future visit to India (after 7 years) has made me interested in buying one.

So the research has started and it seems like SONY is the big player in the camcorder business. Being a Sony loyalist myself (I have two Sony TV’s, two Sony Home Theatres, Sony Computer LCD moniter, Sony’s DSLR camera,….), I would not dare to think of any other brand for the camcoder that I am going to buy.

Camcorders are available these days in various recording formats like MiniDV, DVD, Hard disc etc. The newer the technology the prices they get. My initial research has shown that Sony’s DCR-SR100 is a very good camcorder in the hard disk camcorder market and looks like I am going to buy this one.


You can read the review for this camera here.

The compact Sony DCRSR100 30 GB Handycam Camcorder represents a breakthrough in digital home recording. With a 30 gigabyte hard disk drive that stores hours of video and hundreds of high-quality stills, a 10x optical/120x digital zoom, a built-in microphone that allows you to record in Dolby Digital 5.1ch surround sound, and many other features you’d only expect to find in the hands of professionals, Sony’s DCR-SR100 will turn your home videos into instant classics ready for the big screen.


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