2008 has been a big year for business phones, especially after the introduction of Apple iPhone and the Google Android-based G1. I am reproducing a list of top 10 business phones of 2008 compiled by Clare Hopping of ITPro. But before that let me wish all Hot Launches readers a very happy and prosperous new year.
With a new mobile platform appearing on the market by the name of Google Android, the smartphone market has seen an explosion in the last year. In an attempt to compete, the major handset manufacturers have been spitting out business-centric handsets like there's no tomorrow.

HTC Touch Pro
The HTC Touch Pro is, as the name suggests, designed for business professionals. With a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, plus super-slick touchscreen interface, the Touch Pro is the most versatile HTC offering. On the business side, there's everything you'd expect from Windows Mobile, including push email with document viewing and editing.

BlackBerry Bold
The BlackBerry Bold is RIM's first true all rounder. A QWERTY keyboard replaces the awkward SureType keypad, and you can sync all your sever-based information to it thanks
to BlackBerry's Enterprise Server. The original push email service is also onboard, not to mention the wealth of multimedia capabilities on offer.

iPhone 3G
Although not produced with the business user in mind, Apple's iPhone 3G is used by businessmen everywhere. With a simple to use virtual QWERTY keyboard, super-speedy computer synching in addition to push email, third party business apps galore, plus that stunning Safari-based browser, it's no surprise this is such a popular device.

Nokia E71
Nokia's S60 devices will always be a perfect solution for business, because they're so good at handling multiple tasks at once. The E71 also throws in a QWERTY keyboard for good measure, plus it's super-slim so will slide into - and out of - your pocket like a dream.

Samsung i8510
Samsung's Symbian-based i8510 made us take the Korean manufacturer seriously this year. It features everything a compact business phone should; push email, GPS, document editing and viewing, plus an optical navigation key that behaves just like the track pad on your laptop.

LG KC910
Although the KC910 concentrates on multimedia, there are a number of handy apps for business too. An email wizard ensures you're up and running quickly, plus the browser makes surfing the net seamless. You can even view your documents up close and personal.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
The Xperia X1 is the first of Sony Ericsson's business-targeted mobiles. It runs on Windows Mobile to ensure you have push email, plus software for reading and editing important documents. It will sync to your PC, plus there's a QWERTY keyboard so you can type efficiently.

Samsung Omnia
The Omnia is Samsung's first handset to run on Windows Mobile, and with that the Korean manufacturer has crammed in a whole package of business apps and functionality. There may not be a QWERTY keyboard, but the virtual typewriter does a good job when writing long emails or documents.

BlackBerry Curve 8900
Quite simply, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 is the most impressive business and multimedia BlackBerry to date. The fully-featured device includes Wi-Fi and GPS, a super-responsive Qwerty keyboard and an ultra-impressive battery life of two days, even when used frequently. One minor disappointment is a lack of 3G connectivity, which may cause grief for some, but this can be overlooked when you have a decent email service and browser.

And last, but not least...

T-Mobile G1
The launch of the Android-based T-Mobile G1 just added to the open operating system phenomenon that hit in 2008. The G1 features a slide out QWERTY keyboard and touch screen. Although there's no exchange connectivity, as you'll find on BlackBerrys, there is support for IMAP and POP email. If the G1 doesn't come with all the apps you want or need preloaded, just take a look at the extensive Android Market for anything and everything.

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Mahindra Xylo (pronounced Zy-lo), the multi utility vehicle that is being readied by Mahindra and Mahindra will debut on January 13, 2009. "We have started production of t he Xylo at our Nashik facility on schedule, after extensive road tests and will launch the vehicle on January 13, 2009. The Xylo would be available in a phased manner across our dealerships from day one and we will open for customer bookings on January 14," said Dr. Pawan Goenka, President – Automotive Sector, M&M Ltd.

The company's Nashik facility will build the Xylo and will be introduced simultaneously in several overseas markets. The Mahindra Xylo is tipped as Mahindra and Mahindra's most ambitious project after its hugely successful Scorpio. To be positioned in the same plane as the company's current bestsellers such as the Bolero and the Scorpio, the Mahindra Xylo MUV will come in multiple variants and will initially have a diesel engine (2.5 litre CRDi) followed by a petrol engine (co-developed by AVL) and an automatic transmission variant, M&M has said.

Mahindra Xylo spotted during a road test (Photo courtesy: DHD)

The Mahindra Xylo, which was earlier codenamed Ingenio, is an in-house production having been developed completely by Mahindras' talent and research after the success of the Scorpio. M&M is hoping to produce at least 25,000 units of the Xylo.
The company has said that the much awaited Mahindra Xylo has been co-created with customers for developing a vehicle around the lifestyle and luxury aspirations of its end customer. Xylo has been developed by a team consisting of 160 experts with added focus on new benchmarks in styling, technology and performance, it added.

The MUV is likely to have a price tag of around Rs 6 to 8 lakh and is a direct competition to Toyota Innova.

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Hyundai i10 is doing great after its debut in India, now Hyundai India is coming up with another small car called "Hyundai i20". Hyundai i10 targets A segment customer, all new Hyundai i20 will target B or B+ segment customers. Hyundai i20 has been developer under codename "PB" which will replace current Hyundai Getz globally but not in india. Hyundai i20 will positioned above Hyundai Getz.

With its fresh and head-turning styling, versatile interior, class-leading safety and engaging driver dynamics, the sparkling new Hyundai i20 took centre stage on the Hyundai stand at the 2008 Paris Auto Show. Building on the reputation for peerless reliability and exceptional cost-effectiveness established by its Hyundai Getz predecessor, i20 offers drivers more of everything - enhanced functionality from the intelligently configured cabin layout, higher levels of luxury, convenience and safety equipment, engaging handling from its all-new chassis and tuned suspension, and an extensive seven-strong line-up of punchy petrol and frugal turbo-diesels engines, with the choice of manual or automatic transmissions.
Designed and developed in Europe to meet the high expectations of European drivers, and benefiting from Hyundai's unlimited mileage three-year warranty, the Hyundai i20 arrives fully armed to succeed in Europe's ultra-competitive supermini sector. Initially available as a five-door model, a sportier three-door i20 version debuts in January 2009. Since Hyundai India is shifting its small car plant from Korea to India, Hyundai India will offer all new Hyundai i20 as a bonus to the Indian Customers.

Style and Design
Designed at Hyundai's European headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany, the chic new i20 follows in the stylish European footsteps of the acclaimed i10 and i30 models. Lower, longer and wider than the Getz it replaces, the five-door Hyundai i20 rides on an extended 2525mm wheelbase, enhancing both its athletic stance and spacious interior architecture. Featuring Hyundai's distinctive design motifs - a bold chrome-topped grille flanked by piercing teardrop headlamps at the front and striking stacked rear light clusters - the i20's modern lines are further strengthened by neat detailing, including colour-co-ordinated bumpers, sills and wing mirrors, integrated antenna, mechanical boot release, flush-mounted door handles and chunky standard-fit 16-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels. And new Hyundai i20 arrives with a palette of 10 new solid and metallic exterior hues - including fashionable Crystal White.

Luxury and versatility blend seamlessly in the new Hyundai i20's spacious and generously appointed cabin. With all four trim levels - Classic, Comfort, Style and Premium - featuring climate control, a powerful four-speaker radio, CD and MP3 audio system with integrated data display screen, a multi-function steering wheel, tyre pressure monitoring system, height-adjustable driver seat, keyless entry and electrically operated windows and side mirrors, i20's list of standard features puts it head and shoulders above the majority of its rivals.

Suspension, Ride Quality and NVH
In keeping with its dynamic styling, Hyundai i20 rides on an all-new platform that delivers an athletic and agile driving experience. With much of the car's ride and handling development work undertaken on European roads - hot weather testing was carried out in Spain, cold weather testing in Sweden and high-speed testing in Germany - Hyundai's ride and handling engineers have ensured i20's front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension delivers the taut and alert ride quality favoured by the European market. The new rack and pinion steering setup has also been tuned to deliver quick and accurate responses resulting in excellent urban agility. Extensive use of advanced noise reduction materials throughout the development process - particularly in the diesel-powered models - has resulted in exceptionally high levels of refinement, imbuing Hyundai i20 with a sophisticated and cosseting cabin ambience.

Hyundai's new i20 debuts with a range of seven petrol and diesel engines that have been extensively revised to deliver greater performance, enhanced economy and lower emissions than before. The Euro IV-compliant petrol line-up comprises the 78PS 1.2, 100PS 1.4 and 126PS 1.6 all available with five-speed manual transmissions, with the option of four-speed automatic gearboxes on the 1.4 and 1.6 models.

Posting a low CO₂rating of just 124g/km and returning just 5.2 l/100km on the combined cycle, the all-new 1.2 all-alloy engine delivers an excellent combination of performance and economy.

Geared up to meet the high European demand for diesel power, Hyundai i20 arrives with four Euro IV -compliant turbo diesel engines, fitted with CPF diesel particulate traps as standard for 1.6 (115ps & 128ps) diesel engine. The 1.4 comes in two specifications - 75PS and 90PS - while the flagship 1.6 is available in 115PS and 128PS trim. Economical and clean, the 115PS variant returns a class-leading CO₂figure of 115g/km and 4.3l/100km on the combined cycle. Both 1.4 models come with five-speed manual transmissions, while the flagship 1.6 is mated to a six-gear manual drivetrain.

Hyundai is synonymous with class-leading safety, and the new Hyundai i20 debuts with exceptionally high levels of active and passive safety equipment. Its outright agility and responsiveness play a key role in keeping the Hyundai i20 driver out of harm's way, but should the worst occur those on board are protected by the extensive use of high-tensile steel in the Hyundai's robust chassis, six airbags - front, side and curtain - fitted as standard, active headrests, front seatbelt pretensioners and latest generation ABS anti-lock brakes, ESP electronic stability control, EBD Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. This safety package is further enhanced by an advanced tyre pressure monitoring system, Isofix mounting points in the rear and seatbelt reminders for all five occupants, which means Hyundai i20 arrives on the market as one of the safest cars in its class. Hyundai is confident of a full five-star Euro NCAP adult occupant protection and child protection crash test result for the Hyundai i20.

The Hyundai i20's five-seater interior may pamper, but it also majors on everyday practicalities with a 40:60 split flat-folding rear bench with a low lip for easy loading into the a roomy and regularly-shaped 295-litre rear loadbay, numerous intelligently positioned interior storage spaces including a large cooled passenger glovebox and two cupholders, and excellent all round visibility. These elements are complemented by the reach-and-rake adjustable steering wheel, complete with integrated audio controls and keyless central locking actuated by Hyundai i20's ergonomically designed folding keyfob.

The i20 model, which will come in many variants, is expected to be priced anywhere between Rs 5-6 lakh in India.

PS: I had been to Hyundai Motors India Limited's Chennai (Sri Perumbuddur) plant some years ago. You can checkout some raw in-plant videos here, here, here, here and here. See yourself the Hyundai Santro in making. Please do not expect the quality as the videos were shot with Nokia 6600. :-)

Courtesy: http://www.netcarshow.com/

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When people talk about laptops, everyone assumes that all laptops are wireless. Traveling with a laptop is easier today than it once was, the laptops have gotten smaller and lighter. The new mobile laptops make computing easy for many people. When purchasing a laptop, make sure a wireless connection is built in so you can reach the internet if you are in a wireless area. The laptop is replacing the big desktop computer; but the mobile computer needs to provide the ability to accept components for expandability. Many people today keep all of the information on their computer, so if the computer goes down many people will not have that data. In today's modern world the laptop or sometimes called notebook is a must have.

If you do not have a laptop computer yet, you should know that one of the most important aspects of having a laptop computer is having a great power supply. Every laptop computer needs to be equipped with some type of warranty; the laptop should have at least a one year manufacturer warranty. You may even be able to play movies on them with crystal clarity. Purchasing a laptop computer is not an easy job to do because there are so many important things that should be considered before purchasing.

The type of work you do can affect the screen size and type that is most suitable for you. If you are not worried about graphics a screen size of 12-14" is acceptable. If the work you are doing is graphically intensive than a 15-17" is better. Screen sizes range from 12 to 19 inches. A laptop computer with smaller screen is great option if you do not plan to use laptop too much.

Going from 512MB of RAM to 1GB or 2GB RAM will speed up your laptop. If your needs are somewhat mundane - email, spreadsheets, word processing, etc. 1 GB of RAM should be plenty, if you are on Windows Vista. RAM is to a computer what location is to real estate.

You also need to think about the hard drive in the laptop you are considering. The hard drive is also a very important specification to consider in buying a laptop. The speed of a hard drive is normally calculated in rotations per minute. A hard drive of about 120 GB or over is a good rule of thumb.

Click here to see a list of TOP 10 ALL-PURPOSE LAPTOPS OF 2008

In addition to the processor, you will probably want to upgrade your system with memory, monitor, a graphics card or video card, and pointing device and keyboard. Finding cheap components is easy today due to the internet, many sites have popped up and made all of these components accessible. The important thing to remember when shopping for components is that you need to make sure they are compatible with your system.

Click here to see a list of TOP 10 ULTRA-PORTABLE LAPTOPS OF 2008

Laptop cases are an important computer accessory you should make sure you acquire. They have many sections that accommodate important office documents. Another important type of carrying case is the wheeled roller case. But, their safety and protection is equally important. A laptop case is specially made for carrying a laptop but a backpack is just a bottomless pit. Getting a quality bag is very important since you are carrying around an expensive piece of equipment. Your notebook is going to be at least 6 pounds, probably more. The portability of laptop computers is both a boon to busy business people. Your notebook should be sturdy and rugged. Expensive notebooks should be protected properly.

Thanks David.

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There are numerous mobile phones manufacturing companies such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HTC, Samsung, BlackBerry, Apple, i-mate and HP. Nokia is one of the leading mobile phone companies, which makes good mobile phones for every type of people like business class people, music lovers and normal mobile phone users. Sony Ericsson is also a great handset maker and its main motto is music focused mobile phones. Its world famous 'Walkman' series of mobile phones is perhaps, the primary example of this music-focused nature. Now, we talk about some handsets, which are coming soon. Mobile phones such as the Nokia N97, Nokia 6260 Slide, Samsung S9402 Ego, Samsung i770 Saga and Motorola VE66 are fantastic devices. First, we discuss the features of the Nokia N97 handset, which is a member of Nokia N-Series mobile phones.

The Nokia N97 is a sleek and a good looking mobile phone, which comes with many easy-to-use functions and futuristic technologies. It has a large 3.5 inches TFT touchscreen with a total colour support of 16 million colours and a screen resolution of 360 x 640 pixels. This high resolution display allows the users to watch video clips and play mobile phone games quite easily. The Nokia N97 comes with 32 GB of internal memory and its external memory can be expanded through a microSD (TransFlash) card up to 16 GB. The users can easily store numerous multimedia files such as audio songs, video clips and other 'heavy' personal data in its internal memory. It comes with a 5 MP camera with features of Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus and flash, which give you amazing and high quality still pictures. The phone also facilitates video recording option in VGA mode at 30 frames per second. Its superb quality media player supports many audio and video formats like MP3, WMA, WAV, e-AAC+, MPEG4, WMV and 3GP. Now, we discuss the features of another great handset, which is a member of the Nokia mobile phone family.

The Nokia 6260 is a sophisticated mobile phone, which comes with an easy-to-open slide opening mechanism. This is a 3G enabled mobile phone that allows you to making face-to-face video calls around the world without any breakage. The handset comes with 200 MB of internal memory and one can easily expand its external memory via microSD (TransFlash) memory card up to 8 GB. This stunning device supports many connectivity options such as GPRS, HSCSD, EDGE, 3G, WLAN Wi-Fi, microUSB v2.0 and Bluetooth v2.1. These connectivity features give you an amazing experience of wireless connectivity. It has a 5 MP camera with some great features like autofocus, flash and Carl Zeiss lens, which provide you superb quality still images as well as videos. The media player of the handset supports MP3, MP4, AAC, e-AAC+ and WMA formats. This mobile phone is available in 'Black' and 'Beige' colours. It also has a FM radio with RDS feature. The standard battery gives an approximate standby time of 400 hours and a talktime of up to 6 hours.

The Samsung i770 Saga is a one of the best widgets that are destined to become into 'coming soon mobile phones'. This is an elegant and an ultra-stylish mobile phone, which comes with a full QWERTY keyboard and high quality imaging features. It come with a great 2 MP camera, which gives you sharp and beautiful still pictures with an image resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. The phone supports Pocket Office functionality, which allows the users to view office files such as Microsoft Word documents, Excel documents, PowerPoint documents and PDF viewable files.

This stunning device comes with a large 2.5 inches TFT touchscreen, which provides a screen resolution of 320 x 320 pixels with total colour support of 65K colours. It has a microSD (TransFlash) memory card slot for increasing its external memory up to 16 GB. This device is available in three vibrant colours, which are 'Black', 'Red' and 'Blue'.

If you are planing to purchase a high-tech mobile phone, you can easily choose any one of these handsets from the mobile phone market.

With republishing permission from: Samuel Herrick

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Web18's latest venture, in.com launched a first-of-its-kind service called 'FUTURE MAIL' - an innovative add on feature on its efficient email service. In an attempt to offer that extra edge to stay ahead of others and appear proactive, Future Mail ensures that you shine – whether professionally or personally! Instances of forgotten birthdays, anniversaries or any crucial dates will soon be a thing of the past. Timing being everything, in.com users can schedule important mails to be sent anytime in the future whether it be in 5 minutes or even 5 years!

This innovative application is sure to provide users with a unique emailing experience. With adequate storage space, one can store up years of 'Happy Birthday' or 'Anniversary' emails. Future Mail will boost user popularity amongst relatives, friends and business associates alike by assisting you in sending proactive reminders about events, sales or the like

All that's required is a IN.com id, with which one receives 10 GB of storage for emails, files & photos, which can be shared with one's IN.com network.The Future Mail option is displayed prominently on the left hand corner of the inbox. Once the button is hit, one can compose the vital mail and schedule it for the perfect date and time on which it's to be sent. Hereon, leave it up to Future Mail to take complete control of your well timed communication.

Commenting on the initiative, Rishi Khiani, COO, Web18, says, "At IN.com we try to provide our users the best web experience and Future Mail is another step towards this. The Web18 group, believes that India has the potential to offer the finest in web technology, conceptualized right here on our shores. With applications such as these, we aim to continue to make our mark on the global scenario. And with Future Mail, IN.com users can stay ahead in their individual communities at work and play".

According to ComScore Report September 2008, In.com has been ranked No.2 among Indian Portals. Alexa as of October 31st, 2008, ranks In.com 5th amongst the top India based sites. Registrations have crossed the 2 million mark as of 31st Oct. In.com's tremendous success has propelled Web18 among the top Indian Internet groups and positioned Network 18 (Web18) group as No.2 by ComScore, September, 2008.

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A day after Finance Minister’s Price Cut prescription, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. announced the launch of their new car, Maruti Suzuki Alto A-Star. Built on a brand new platform, the A-star is an excellent city car with best in class turning radius, power, flat torque (minimum gearshifts) and performance.

The A-star was launched in New Delhi today by R.C. Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. The A-star has been designed keeping in mind aspirations of the urban economy-conscious customers, who seek best-in-class fuel efficiency, lower emission, and high quality and high performance alongwith style. It also takes the engine technology in India to the next level. A-star is the most relevant car that addresses the needs of today's customers be it India or any other part of the world, says company in a press release.

Positioned in the premium A2 segment and targeted towards urban young professionals, the stylish, sporty and youthful A-star delivers a fantastic driving experience with futuristic looks.

A Brand New Engine and Transmission
Powered by the new, state-of-the-art, light weight, 998 cc K10B petrol engine, A-star is the best in class fuel-efficient car with a mileage of 19.59 kilometers per litre, as tested by ARAI, Pune, country's premier automotive research agency.
The new-generation three-cylinder, light-weight aluminum K10B engine is a major initiative undertaken by the company towards offering latest technology to its customers. Maruti Suzuki engineers have put together a host of innovative technologies to enhance performance, minimise friction and provide high acceleration. The engine offers power of 67ps @ 6200 rpm and torque of 90nm @ 3500 rpm.

Driving Comfort
With a turning radius of 4.5 meters and a ground clearance of 170 mm, the A-star is suitable for all Indian conditions, including congested areas and potholed roads. The A-star boasts of a unique all-round gas damped suspension, making rides much more comfortable, and also reducing wear and tear resulting in a low maintenance cost.
The A-star has a front suspension frame for excellent handling. Front and rear suspensions have been fine-tuned for enhanced riding comfort with perfect handling on Indian road conditions. Ultra high-grade steel used in coil springs provides high rigidity and agility for passenger comfort.

Some important safety features on the A-star include:
- Crushable structure energy dispersing frame and a high rigidity body combined with lightness
- Airbags and ABS

The A-star's body reflects the Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) concept in the form of crushable structures that absorb impact energy and then disperse impact energy away from occupants in the event of a collision.

Aesthetics: A class apart
One of the most striking features that capture attention is the highly contoured rear bumper, which brings in the cool quotient to the premium A2 segment car.
A-star car is available in three variants: LXi, VXi and the top-end fully loaded ZXi. An array of nine vibrant colours.


Ex-Showroom, New Delhi.
A-star Lxi Rs. 3,46,775
A-star Vxi Rs. 3,74,775
A-star Zxi Rs. 4,11,775

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I was reading the latest issue of Fortune and found an interesting article about how RIM (Research in Motion) is fighting back the likes of Apple and Google.
The fortune report says that, ‘The challenge comes at a crucial time for RIM. Its stock is down more than 64% from a 52-week high of $148 a share, similar to the performance of rivals Nokia and Apple. And while fiscal 2008 revenues and profits doubled, to $6 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, growth is slowing slightly. In the most recent quarter, ended in August, revenues increased 88% compared with a year earlier, and profits jumped 72%.’

With this on one hand and global economy slumping on other hand, RIM launched three new models viz. Pearl flip, Bold and Storm. (Read full article here)
The report also had a graphic (which I slightly changed, click on above image to enlarge) showing the Top 4 PDAs. The Fortune rates Nokia E71 the Best Pick among Blackberry Bold, HTC Google Android G1 and Apple iPhone.
I have Nokia E71. Which one do you have? Please share your experiences.

Watch this space for more information about Google Android G1’s launch in India.

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India gets its first Personal Video Recording (PVR) by virtue of Tata Sky +, a new offering by leading DTH provider Tata Sky, a joint venture between Tata Group (80% stake) and STAR TV (20% stake). The company got the best of PVR technology from Sky (popularly known as Sky + in the West and termed as the mother of all PVRs).

The launch was appropriate for the time as India witnessed two major DTH launches, Big TV by R-ADAG and Airtel Digital TV by Bharti-Airtel. Tata Sky is using their new Brand Ambassador, Aamir Khan to endorse the new product and hoping to add at least 6 million new customers (and retain the existing base of 2 million customers) by 2012.

You might have seen the TV commercial of Tata Sky +, which speaks well about the features of Tata Sky + that includes:

1.Pause Live TV
2.Rewind Live TV
3.Record TV shows for upto 45 hrs (160 GB of storage) and play it when you want

Read this to know more about Sky +

Tata Sky + Cost:

For New Customers:

Rs 8,999 for the hardware (Digicomp) +
Rs 1,000 installation & activation charges +
Rs 50 per month Tata Sky + usage fees + (Lifetime waiver for limited period)
Cost of the channel package (Starting from Rs. 99 onwards)

For Existing Customers:

Existing subscribers will have to subscribe to any of the annual packs (Annual Base pack, Annual super saver pack or Mega pack – good retention strategy!). These packs will cost you anywhere from Rs. 2600 to Rs. 5000 + any additional pack charges (e.g. Sports Gold or Lifestyle).
Rs. 4,999 for Digicomp (if subscribed to Mega pack) or Rs. 5,999 (if subscribed to any other annual pack) +
Rs 50 per month Tata Sky + usage fees + (Lifetime waiver for limited period)
No installation charges for existing subscribers. Please remember, you need to return your old digicomp and remote to the company. There is a need to additional wiring too.
Eligibility: You should have purchased and activated Tata Sky on or before 31 August 2008
Tata Sky is available to residents of following cities:
Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai or Pune

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India has seen two big DTH launches in past few weeks. Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) took lead and launched their DTH network – Reliance BIG TV with big hoopla. Then came Bharti-Airtel’s Digital TV DTH network followed by Pepsi-Coke ishtyle ad war. R-ADAG and Bharti-Airtel initiated war of words over a teaser campaign. Amidst all this, Indian television consumer got two more options to choose from apart from the existing Dish TV and Tata Sky.

Dish TV, the pioneer in this field, claims 50 % market share. Current DTH user base stands at around 6.5 million out of 124 million households having a television set. Looking at this huge gap, everyone has a fair chance to achieve a substantial share in the market. Despite late entry, Airtel and Big TV has equal chance to stand top in the charts by virtue of innovative marketing strategies and world-class customer service.

So, if you are not happy with your local cabelwallah, here are some options for you. Download the excel file which compares four major DTH operators viz. Dish Tv, Tata Sky, Big TV and Airtel. Take your own decision and go for it.

Download DTH comparison

PS: It is heard that Big TV is planning to slash the DTH package price by almost 43 % on order to attract customers this Diwali.

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India witnessed a record new car launches this year. With Tata Nano announced at the beginning of this year in Auto Expo, a whole lot of Indian and International brands crowded Indian market with their new vehicles. IndiaMart has compiled a list of newly launched four and two wheelers. I am putting the same list here for your convenience. With 10 months gone, you have plenty of choices to buy from. Which car are you planning to buy this Diwali?

Please open this post in Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome or any other browser for better view. Firefox may not give you better results.

(Click on the company name or brand name for more information. Courtsey:IndiaMart)

Cars that would rock 2008, See in Pics, a compilation by The Economic Times.

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VidEngage, the world's first web destination combining two of the hottest trends online, social networking and video sharing is live for public. First, it is a video social network company providing cutting-edge, video-enabled communications products which allows friends to communicate in an entirely new way. Secondly, it offers premium services that incorporate video as a key component, allowing applications such as résumé, dating, conferencing and much more under one single roof.

VidEngage is a web base platform that does not require any software download when creating videos. In fact, you can instantly record directly on their server, click "save" and then click "send", that's it! There is no large file to upload and clog up email attachments to your friends and contacts.

A video social network can be used for a variety of applications such as introducing yourself to make new friends, interacting with colleagues with personal videos, making a video resume for the dream job you are seeking or connecting with your business partners using video conferencing. The system allows up to 10 people to be simultaneously connected in live stream at the same time.

One of the coming features that will be offered is video e-mail delivery supported through a standard external system such as Outlook or Gmail. This is one of the next killer applications that will change the landscape of the Internet in the near future. It's going to be helpful for the traveler who wants to share his excitement in discovering a new culture. It's going to be revolutionary for a single person who is looking for the love of his life, without any static image or "photoshopped" picture.

VidEngage offers different levels of subscriptions. First, you can become a free member, have access to the back office, setup a basic profile and be able to get a sneak peak at all features and tools available. Becoming a full subscriber allows the use of the full potential of the features and applications. For online business builders, you can become an Independent Marketing Representative (IMR) and earn a residual income with an amazing compensation governed by a forced matrix.

It can be shared with friends, contacts, business partners, etc. exactly the way as you would send an invitation through Facebook or MySpace. It's that simple. There are a lot of marketing tools and state-of-the-art video training for IMR's who want to build and grow their home business. It has been officially launched on October 1st of 2008 and is promising viral growth in the coming weeks and months.

The Internet as we know is changing! A new online evolution has begun with VidEngage, the world's first video social network that will enhance life with personal videos and add a human touch on the Internet for everyone around the world.

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Apple today unveiled an all new MacBook family that redefines notebook design, and at the same time dramatically lowers the entry price for advanced notebook features including all-metal enclosures and pro-performance notebook graphics by $700 to make them far more affordable.

The new MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro both have a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, resulting in thinner, more durable and incredibly beautiful designs. In addition, every member of the new MacBook family includes state of the art NVIDIA graphics, brilliant instant-on LED-backlit displays and new large glass Multi-Touch trackpads that offer almost 40 percent more tracking area and support more Multi-Touch gestures.

The entire new MacBook family meets stringent Energy Star 4.0, EPEAT Gold and RoHS environmental standards, and leads the industry in the elimination of toxic chemicals by containing no brominated flame retardants, using only PVC-free internal cables and components, and using energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass.

"Apple has invented a whole new way of building notebooks from a single block of aluminum. And, just as important, they are the industry's greenest notebooks," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.

Every member of the new MacBook family features an LED-backlit display for brilliant instant-on performance that uses up to 30 percent less energy than its predecessor and eliminates the mercury found in industry standard fluorescent tube backlights. The ultra-thin displays provide crisp images and vivid colors which are ideal for viewing photos and movies, and the edge-to-edge cover glass creates a smooth, seamless surface. Every display in the new MacBook line uses completely arsenic-free glass.

The new 13-inch full-featured aluminum MacBook is an incredibly compact and durable notebook starting at just $1,299. The new MacBook is available in two models: the 2.0 GHz MacBook with a 160GB 5400 rpm hard drive, and the 2.4 GHz MacBook with a 250GB 5400 rpm hard drive and a backlit keyboard.

Click Here to compare all three.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro offers ultimate performance and extensive expansion features in a remarkably portable design starting at $1,999. The new MacBook Pro is available in two models: a 2.4 GHz model with a 250GB 5400 rpm hard drive and a 2.53 GHz model with a 320GB 5400 rpm hard drive.

Today Apple also updated MacBook Air and the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Starting at $1,799, MacBook Air is available with a 120GB 4200 rpm hard drive, a 50 percent increase from the previous generation, or a new 128GB solid state drive. The updated 17-inch MacBook Pro keeps its original aluminum design, and now comes standard with a high resolution 1920 x 1200 LED-backlit display and a larger 320GB hard drive or an optional 128GB solid state drive.

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After Scarlet LG introduced Jazz in India to acquire 30% market share in Flat Panel Display (FPD) segment. Available in 32-inch and 42-inch models, the Jazz features auto-sliding speakers, 500W sound, in-built 3.1 channel virtual surround sound and built-in woofers. No other LCD TV in India comes with this much of sound.

Speaking about this new offering, Amitabh Tiwari, business group head (Consumer Electronics & Kitchen Appliances), LGEIL, said, "Jazz will redefine expectations for television sound. This TV is an excellent fit for people who want a full entertainment experience from their TVs, and who want to entertain others as well."

This range of television is also called by LG 80 series just like Scarlet is called as LG 60 series. A total of four speakers make up the system. Extending from either side of the TV are the right and left channel speakers, which help create a sense of space. In the middle is a center channel speaker dedicated to sound in the human vocal range. This makes it easier understand conversations and dialogue. A woofer, located on the back of the TV, enhances bass making music sound fuller.

Renowned audio expert Mark Levinson tuned the entire sound system to perfection. Jazz is also equipped with LG's Clear Voice technology, which eliminates problems with hearing human voices over the background noise in movies mixed for 5.1 channel surround sound. The technology alters the sound balance to emphasize human voices, reducing the background noise.

As per the company, Jazz brings viewers the highest resolution available, with 1080p full HD providing extremely sharp image quality. A 50000:1 contrast ratio delivers brighter whites, deeper blacks and more vibrant colors overall.
With a USB 2.0 connection, it is easy to access to MP3 files and connect a memory card reader to the TV and create an onscreen slideshow from JPEG files or watch digital video files. Two HDMI 1.3 ports facilitate video and audio connections for devices like DVD players, cable boxes and game consoles.

LG Jazz is priced as below:

Jazz 32'' LG80 Variant 1: Rs. 44,000
Jazz 32'' LG80 Variant 2: Rs. 49,000
Jazz 42'' LG80 : Rs. 82,000

Who is the hot LG Scarlet girl?

Know more about her here.
See her pictures here.

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Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), the leader in the UV segment in India started its campaign for Automatic Transmission Scorpio just ahead of Diwali. It announced launch of the Scorpio Automatic which incorporates a fully automatic 6-speed gear box and the powerful 2.2 litre mHawk engine two weeks ago in Bengaluru. Scorpio is the first Indian brand and the first SUV in its class to offer a 6-speed fully Automatic Transmission.

TEST RUN: Scorpio Automatic spotted by www.team-bhp.com member during test run

This new edition of one of India’s most loved SUVs is equipped with in-built intelligent driving modes for an effortless drive and a wide array of smart features, giving the Scorpio an even greater competitive edge in its segment. The new Scorpio Automatic is available in VLS and VLX variants and is priced from Rs. 10.34 lakhs onwards, ex-showroom price Bengaluru.

“The new Scorpio Automatic has been designed to make driving an effortless experience, allowing one to focus on the drive rather than gear selection. The car’s intelligent driving modes provide greater vehicle control in a variety of conditions, be it stop-and-go traffic, slippery roads or steep inclines. Moreover, the Automatic is powered by the technologically superior mHawk engine which ensures a smoother drive and better fuel efficiency,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

The Scorpio Automatic has a fully electronically controlled automatic gearbox which results in shorter shift times and hence, improved drivability. This is a major technological improvement over earlier Automatics which were hydraulic controlled.

The Scorpio Automatic is also remarkably low maintenance due to several advantages. The transmission is permanently sealed and does not require an oil change throughout its life. The Automatic also incorporates an adaptive strategy to maintain optimum shift quality through the entire life of the transmission. An inbuilt overheat self-protection strategy and a high self-diagnostic capability are additional benefits.

In addition to eliminating the need for constant gear changes, the Scorpio Automatic allows easy manoeuvrability in heavy traffic, anti roll-back when in ‘Drive’ mode and also ensures that the engine does not stall.

Click here to read the test drive report by Vicky Blog

The Scorpio Automatic’s intelligent driving modes allow the driver to tackle various driving conditions with ease. These include User Engaged Modes and Auto Engaged Modes.

User Engaged Modes

Normal Mode ‘N’ – A mode for ordinary driving conditions with optimised fuel management

Winter Mode ‘W’ – Meant for use on ice and slippery or unstable road conditions. This mode regulates torque at the wheels, maintaining high stability in adverse conditions

Manual / Engine Brake Mode ‘M’ – This mode selects the lowest possible gear for a defined vehicle speed, utilising engine braking for better control on steep downhill descents

Auto Engaged Modes
Up and Downhill Modes – In this mode the control unit detects the gradient automatically and then implements the respective shift schedule. The detection is instant, thus improving drivability.

Fast-Off Mode – In case of quick release of the pedal, the transmission will hold the current gear for a preset time period, thus avoiding unnecessary rapid gear shifts.

The new Scorpio Automatic also features the mHawk engine which is a hallmark of M&M’s innovative cutting edge technology. A technologically superior, more refined and more fuel efficient engine, it puts serious power at the driver’s command.

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Planning to buy home in near future? Please do not rely of what your relatives, friends, colleagues. Go on your own. Search for a good property and chose a proper bank to finance your home. Do your bank research online, use Paisamatters.com.
PaisaMatters.com, a Pune based start-up, offers seamless information through a single interface to facilitate online home loan product research process. It is a unique loan comparison website which empowers customers to make informed decisions and select the best suited loan product.

In addition to a simple and easy to use comparison engine, customers using PaisaMatters.com can benefit from the in-depth quantitative as well as qualitative comparison of product features. This website elaborates product comparison parameters that are critically important for decision making but are often ignored by customers either because of lack of information availability or lack of awareness. PaisaMatters.com offers a 360 degree comparative view of both fixed rate and floating rate home loan products.

Loan seekers access multiple websites or call multiple loan agents to avail of loan product information but don't always get all the required details. With the launch of PaisaMatters.com, loan seekers will be able to access and analyze all the relevant information across various loan providers which will enhance customers' experience significantly. Home loans offered by various financial institutions can now be assessed based on more than 20 parameters which include interest rate, origination fees, EMI, amortization frequency, prepayment charges, loan conversion charges etc.

PaisaMatters.com Key Features

- Summary comparison view of loan products matching customer's loan requirements

- Ability to shortlist loan providers for an in-depth comparison

- Detail comparison view of product features offered by shortlisted loan providers

- Ability to analyze various permutations of loan amount, loan tenure and loan options

- Ability to filter results based on financial institution types like public banks, private banks, foreign banks and HFCs

- Description of commonly used financial terms along with comparison data

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Inquisitr.com reports that Apple might announce a new MacBook series with an unbeleivable price tag of $ 800 (approximately Rs. 40,000). Apple’s latest series of MacBooks having Leopard is having a price tag of little over $1100. The MacBook Air is their ‘Business Class’ model having a much higher price tag.

Inquisitor, in its exclusive report, says that an Apple retailer sent them a copy of a new price sheet that includes a MacBook at the $800 price point.
The sheet, which is apparently sent to retailers about 10 days in advance of launch, lists 12 price points (including options for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air) between $800 and $3,100. Older price lists only have eight trim levels. Specifications were not included on the sheet.

Let’s wait and watch what Steve has to say about this. As far as Indian market is concerned, this move might give an edge over prevalent competitors like HP, Dell, Lenovo and others.

Read other view on this here.

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Nokia launches Music Express 5800 in India to take on Apple iPhone

Apple iPhone: Rs. 31,000+
Nokia N96: Rs. 37,000+

Huh...masses in India have missed two beautiful mobile handsets in recent past. Apple disappointed over-enthusiastic Indian consumers waiting for iPhone. Some bloggers criticised Apple and its partner cellular companies (Airtel and Vodafone) by describing their move as-Most Expensive iPhones will be Sold in India. Nokia, lately, has come up with this real iPhone Killer: Music Express 5800. With (an expected) price tag of Rs. 20,000 this phone will certainly bring some delight in the lives of disappointed Indian consumers.

Unlike the iPhone which comes with a 2-megapixel camera, Nokia 5800, also a touchscreen, is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens, LED flash and video capability.
While the phone's virtual QWERTY keyboard is ideal for text messaging, email and instant messaging, the WiFi, 3G, GPRS, dual-band WCDMA, HSDPA, WLAN (802.11 b/g) and HSCSD support ensures wireless access to the internet.
The Symbian 60-based phone is capable of playing audio and video files in multiple formats and for the music or movie buffs, this is a boon as it comes with a whopping 8GB microSD card and for those who want more, an optional 16GB card.

Click here for full specifications of Nokia 5800 Music Express

According to International Business Times, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic wins hands down in several departments, including:

[1] A battery which is removable and has a better and longer life
[2] A better camera. Nokia has 3.2-megapixel camera with video recording capability as compared to iPhone's basic 2-megapixel camera
[3] A better screen resolution. Nokia's display screen is smaller than the iPhone (3.2-inch as against 3.5-inch) but the the resolution is better on the Nokia 5800 with 640x360 pixels against 480x320 pixels for the iPhone
[4] MMS support
[5] Adobe Flash support (Apple claims that Flash may slow down browsing on iPhone and hence the device does not support Flash)
[6] Voice command and dialing features which iPhone lacks
[7] Capability to sync with stereo Bluetooth or in-car Bluetooth handsfree, which iPhone cannot
[8] Ability to support file sharing feature including MP3, images and video files via Bluetooth, which iPhone cannot
[9] An internal GPS support as against external GPS fpr the iPhone
[10] Memory expansion slot. Apple's iPhone 3G comes with storage options of 8GB and 16GB models but cannot be further expanded and
[11] Pricing. Nokia 5800 is expected to be sold in the Indian market for Rs.20,000, at least Rs.10,000 cheaper than Apple iPhone 3G.

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Last month Apple launched new series for their hot selling music players, iPod. Steve Jobs announced new improved Nano and Touch. One of our colleague got his first iPod Nano from California and let me tell you - the product is simply amazing! It is just getting slimmer and slimmer. I remember when we had our first 'family' Nano some 3 years ago. It was like a new baby coming your home. In three years of time, the baby got new shine and is ready to rock the market.

The new iPod nano has an oval, tapered shape with a black wheel. The new iPod nano can create Genius playlists (Get iTunes 8 to know more about Genius Playlist) and it also got the accelerometer from the iPhone and iPod touch for viewing Cover Flow album art, photos, and video when turned sideways. The iPod nano is also gaining a number of new hardware and software features that typically could only be had through third-party accessories, such as a built-in voice recorder and the ability to shake it to shuffle.

Other new iPod nano features include an iPhone-like headphone set with a new clicker, volume control, and microphone. You can double-click to skip to the next song, press once to pause, three times to go to the previous song, and record voice memos with a microphone on the other side.

Apple claims a great battery life for the iPod nano with 24 hours of music and 4 hours for video. The new iPod nano will cost:
Rs. 7500 to 8500 for 8GB
Rs. 8500 to 9500 for 16GB

Apple has also introduced the new improved iPod touch with some unique features adapted from iPhone. It has the same 3.5" display but gets thinner with a tapered, stainless steel back to differentiate it from the iPhone. So, Apple wants it to be different from iPhone and at the same time it wants to power it with iPhone features.

Click here
to find an Apple Store in your city.

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Samsung Mobile has announced its brand new M8800 Pixon mobile phone. It is another touchscreen-enabled device that features a 3.2-inch 400×240 display, 8-megapixel camera with an array of imaging features such as face recognition, smile detection and a few others, triband HSDPA, GPS, Bluetooth, FM radio, DivX playback and an accelerometer as well.

Unlike its other touchscreen sibling, the M8800 runs on a proprietary OS as opposed to more popular systems such as Windows Mobile and S60, and lacks WiFi. However, with so many imaging features, one can probably look past those shortcomings.
It is expected to start shipping in November with a price of 550 Euro, roughly Rs. 36,000 in Indian currency, reports Mobile Philippines. It will probably make an entry into Indian market in early 2009.

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