ken | 7 Jul 11:50 2015
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India launches solar-powered Wi-Fi system

In a bid to advance the Digital India initiative, C-DOT launched four broadband products today, including a solar-powered Wi-Fi system, according to an official statement quoted by Hindustan Times. C-DOT is the research and development institute of the Department of Telecommunications.

Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiled the solar-powered Wi-Fi along with 100Gbit/s optical fibre cable (OFV) link, long distance Wi-Fi system and C-DOT's next generation network (NGN) in MTNL network. The launch was part of the Digital India week.

Operating in licence-exempt bands of 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, the solar-powered Wi-Fi system is designed to be used in outdoor environments and inaccessible terrains, where power is in short supply, according to C-DOT. It can also function in harsh conditions and with variable input voltages. In addition, the system can be used for cellular base stations and base station controllers, Wi-Fi hotspots, database servers and ATMs.

The OFC link will address the growing demand for superior bandwidth, power efficiency and high speed, while the long distance Wi-Fi system will extend Wi-Fi and IP connectivity to India's isolated parts. Cost-effective and power-efficient, the system can provide 100Mbit/s of broadband speed, C-DOT claimed.

Finally, the NGN solution takes care of the need of the evolving telecom industry and helps telecom firms to have a smooth shift from legacy time division multiplexing (TDM) technology to advanced VoIP Telecom technology.

C-DOT earlier tested the developed live network for 1,000 landline connections of legacy public switched telephone network (PSTN) technologies to its IMS-compliant NGN network technology, and the result turned out to be a success. The trial will allow MTNL to implement services, such as voice, video and data, through several access-based network on IP.

Moreover, C-DOT said that it is now viable to move its 3.5 million MTNL landline subscribers to an IP-based network.

http://www.eetindia.co.in/ART_8800713842_1800005_NT_56f55564.HTM

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Banibrata Dutta | 3 Jul 13:36 2015
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Is BSNL blocking facebook and google ?

Since this morning, I am unable to reach facebook or google via my BSNL ADSL in Bangalore. All other websites work fine. Also I am able to reach those sites using anonymizer proxies and private VPN. With facebook, the issue is the page never loads, but with Google, it appears that I'm being forced to download what is made to appears like FlashPlugin update, but in a very fishy way.

Am I the only one, and being paranoid ?
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Vickram Crishna | 16 Jun 06:49 2015
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Untrusted certificates


The site returns an untrustworthy certificate response. However, the site maharashtra.gov.in (also https) has no such problem. Why is this?
 
Vickram
http://communicall.wordpress.com
http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com
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Banibrata Dutta | 9 Jun 09:14 2015
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Anyone know if this news is true ? Airtel spying ...

Airtel (& Vodafone, but not clear if in India) are customers of services provided by an Israel based company called Flash networks, who apparently inject references to a Javascript that then tracks user behaviour, and perhaps such information is shared back with the customers.

An Indian hacker based in Bangalore found this and did an expose, but has got a "Cease and Desist" letter from the Israel based company !! What gives...
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Arun Mehta | 8 Jun 05:21 2015
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open source and government procurement

As Venky was saying at a meeting of open source activists, the government has introduced several "open" policies, including on open standards, APIa

http://deity.gov.in/sites/upload_files/dit/files/Open_APIs_19May2015.pdf and of course on procurement,
http://deity.gov.in/sites/upload_files/dit/files/Open_APIs_19May2015.pdf

Any thoughts on this? Of course big business doesn't like these policies, surprising they didn't intervene sooner. Or were they caught by surprise? Weren't there consultations first?

Arun Mehta


How open software has become a source of grief for tech majors like Cisco, IBM & Oracle


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47521852.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Industry bodies US-India Business Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry have urged the government to reconsider its push for open source software that will cut the cost of licensing from big companies such as Cisco, IBM and Oracle.

In submissions to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), which were seen by ET, the two bodies suggested the government replace the clause on mandatory use of open software with "best-fit and best-value technologies ..
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Banibrata Dutta | 23 May 10:37 2015
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DeitY - IRIS scanners in all phones

Anyone has any idea as to what is behind this seemingly very strange discussion with "all stakeholders". Who "all" are part of this "all" ?

http://www.medianama.com/2015/05/223-deity-wants-all-mobiles-sold-in-india-to-have-iris-scanners-why
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Arun Mehta | 21 May 15:07 2015
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who will win in mobile payments?

Its the money, stupid. Someone is going to create that app, that hardware, get the right backing, and we will stop carrying all those coins, notes and even credit cards around. Is this the right direction? It seems to need the phone to be around, which is a bummer. Just a band around the wrist -- I could see myself wear that. It should work without the phone being around too -- that way the masses could afford it.

Which of you wears a wrist band, or is developing technology around it? I've written a free app, Quartet, that converts phone movement into music and graphics -- I'm looking at  the wearables now.

Arun Mehta

Xiaomi Mi Band wearable to support mobile payments

Xiaomi and Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate which includes China's most popular online payment service Alipay, will enable the Alipay Wallet mobile app to link with Xiaomi's Mi Band smart fitness bracelet. That will let users smooth the process of making payments, bypassing the need for passwords.


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ken | 21 May 14:52 2015
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The 6X scare.

List,

It has been posited that a significant percentage of the cost for voice is directly due to processing both the billing and record keeping typical in this industry.

So what could happen when we introduce a pervasive WiFi network and all restrictions are removed?

You get services like Scratch Wireless.
www.scratchwireless.com

What you get when you buy a Scratch smartphone:
  • Free unlimited talk, text and data anytime you're on Wi-Fi (which is more than 80% of the time for many of us).
  • Free unlimited texting on Wi-Fi or cellular networks.
  • Pay-as-you-go access to cellular voice and data, only when you need it, for as little as $1.99.
  • Unprecedented customer support.
  • Everything you expect in a smartphone, including access to the entire Google Play store.
  • No contracts. No ads. No catch.

If we reduce the US pricing levels and substitute a lower cost smart phone, one can the benefit to the people of India.

And yet, once such a service was adopted, what effect would this have on the cost of connectivity? My belief is that it would have none.

The question we are asking needs to be reframed from "Who will pay for this?" to "How do we utilize the resources we have to best serve everyone?" and until such time as this discussion begins, we will get more of what we have.

Respectfully,

Ken DiPietro
Cumberland MD

And before anyone casts dispersions, I am in no way affiliated with Scratch Wireless, have never been compensated by them or any other company like them, and do not receive anything whatsoever for providing this information.


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Arun Mehta | 20 May 08:13 2015
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chainging phone etiquette

Please, please, please, can we keep recent unpleasant list history out of this discussion?

I was very surprised when people whose opinions I value, talked about how awful it is, to call someone at home. They urged that a particular conversation I was about to have happen via email, not on the phone (please reread first para ;) 

I thought to myself, when things cool down, I must discuss this with them. Too soon? Perhaps you might want to reread the first para, then.

1. Calling people at home. What a quaint idea. Many parts of the world, and even many people with a choice, don't have land lines. Me, if the hour is not too late nor too early, I just call the mobile, ask if this is a good time. Does it matter, where the other person is, when I do this?

2. How does mobile phone etiquette differ from land line etiquette?

3. When the hour is too late, is it ok to text the person? 

4. Some people's phones have loud notification sounds. No less offensive than the phone ringing. Does that come under etiquette too?

5. Where is it not ok to be texting?

6. People with big displays, even with the phone on vibrate, can bug you in the cinema simply by virtue of that shiny light. Any etiquette here?

7. What does etiquette have to say about letting the phone ring, actively refusing to take the call, not returning a missed call?

Have you questions to add to this list?

Now lets come to the part about mail versus phone conversation. I disagee on so many levels.

Many people have been tripped up, many years later, by something taken out of context from an email. I am a firm believer that unless you are willing to defend a statement in court against a lawyer bent on twisting everything, you should not put it down in writing. 

Besides, mail is so much poorer as a communicator of emotion. If the exchange involves emotion, you should at least phone.

Some of us are better at using words than others. Email gives them an unfair advantage. Half of India is illiterate, remember, and the bulk of those who believe themselves to be literate, aren't.

Arun Mehta

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Arun Mehta | 19 May 03:11 2015
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why strict Net neutrality works best: simple beats complex

The IT industry has little respect for its veterans. Like they say, if you don't learn from history, you are condemned to repeat it. A brief history lesson, therefore. I presented this as an invited paper at the Pune conference the ITU organized,  called "Beyond the Internet" about 5 years ago, let me know if you would like a copy.

The development of the Internet began roughly around the same time that the telecom companies and the ITU began work on developing X.25 and X.400 standards and technology, analogous to TCP-IP and Internet email. Even with the weight of the ITU and all the governments and telcos of the world behind them, X.25 and X.400 have virtually disappeared, only surviving in niches. Why? Because they were far more complex.

Ethernet beat token ring and all its competitors, again, because it was the simplest: A node that wants to transmit first listens, and if there is nothing on the line, goes ahead and transmits. If two nodes both decide to start transmitting at the same time and cause a collision, they wait a random amount of time each, so as to be unlikely to collide again. WiFi did spectacularly well as a wireless technology even with garbage spectrum, because it essentially implements Ethernet in the air.

Internet telephony beats conventional again because of simplicity. If a conventional phone call costs you 100 Rupees, less than 1 Rupee is the actual cost of carrying the call.The cost of calculating how long you spoke, from which to which number, at what time, on what plan, then sending you the bill, fighting with you over the amount, sending goons to collect... is of course at least an order of magnitude greater. And then, certainly not least, is the cost of a Shahrukh Khan or equivalent to help sell it to you.

Any violation of net neutrality adds to complexity. Once you let the marketing guys call the shots, the complexity only grows. Any change you implement involves changing the software, which becomes bloated and buggy. This is why I believe that strict net neutrality will win.

Arun Mehta
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Arun Mehta | 18 May 17:33 2015
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the sins of moderators

Sarbajit is not on india-gii. His message got copied to india-gii inadvertently, and if it was one of us moderators, we are sorry yet again. In any case, guys, me included PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD MAIL FROM SARBAJIT TO INDIA-GII !!! BAD IDEA!!!

It has been decided, that Sarbajit no longer is allowed to post directly to india-gii. He must route it through one of the moderators. Sarbajit, hope this has better success at getting through to you, than the phone system. I would happily have given you a chance to defend yourself before censuring you.

People must wonder why I went to such lengths to defend Sarbajit. 

Our first attempt at organizing online was the Forum for Rights to Electronic Expression, which was killed in the mid 90s when two BBS sysops, one of whom sadly is dead, attempted to "take charge". But that brief admittance into free speech fresh air was heady indeed.

I was a member of Amnesty International from 1976 to 1991, the last four years as president of its Indian section. Friends of mine had been tortured for exercising free speech. 

When I set up india-gii, free speech was a given. I chose the host with  care. First cpsr.org, then when they died on us, Suresh kindly offered to help. I am delighted, that even after treatment of him that many consider unfair, his support as our host has been beyond reproach. 

Rarely in an argument any more, do I get to say that my free speech is being violated. The problem is, when you say it softly, like I just did, that statement is easy to ignore. Do so at your peril.

When it comes to my free speech, you do not get a vote.

See, I like having Sarbajit on india-gii. 

Imagine we were to throw out all those from india-gii who never posted, for they contribute nothing. From three hundred something we would be down to a dozen or two, I am afraid.

Now, suppose we were to also throw out the views of those who work for multinational companies or the government, for surely someone is looking over their shoulder.

Lets also discard as possibly colored the views of those NGOs, who by their travails of first getting foriegn funding and then Indian government permission to get foreign funds, have learnt to say less rather than more. Oops, Bapsi could be one of them.

Let us devalue those who never start a discussion.

By now, if you get my drift, we are left with one guy. Once, I used to be that guy.

In information theory, they talk about how a black crow provides almost no information of value as compared to a white crow. Sarbajit is that white crow. Would be great if he learnt to follow rules. I believe he can be taught. We need someone to raise the issues he does and nobody else seems to be doing so, that's the bottom line.

If you are still reading, thank you for not having given up on this list. Your job is to please post useful content to this list, and ( my hidden agenda ) to help train list members, by pointing out inaccuracies and breaches of list rules, and us moderators too.

But for now, could everyone please think about content? Post something other than advice?

Arun Mehta
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Gmane