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All posts tagged "India"

  • #Elphinstone: Mumbai railway stampede kills 22, Twitter users question govt

    At least 22 people have died after a rush hour stampede at Mumbai's Elphinstone Road train station. The incident occurred as commuters traversed a foot bridge in heavy rains during the city's morning commute. More than 50 people were injured in the fracas. #Elphinstone became Twitter's top trending hashtag soon after the incident, as Indians took to social media to issue condolences to those affected, blame authorities for the incident, and share their struggles of travelling using the city's metro network. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi lead the sympathies. My deepest condolences to all those who have lost their lives due to...

  • Microsoft’s Skype Lite Android app launches in India

    An interesting counter-trend is emerging among the world's most popular apps. With Facebook launching the likes of Messenger Lite and Facebook Lite last year to cater for emerging markets, Microsoft is following suit debuting Skype Lite this week. Like its Facebook counterparts, Skype Lite will be available for low-cost Android devices, and cater exclusively (at least for now) to the Indian smartphone market. Overall the Hyderabad-developed app is said to be more usable on low-speed networks, use less battery and works with India's Aadhaar identification number system to streamline signups and identification. Skype Lite is a direct competitor to Facebook Messenger Lite...

  • Thought #SONA2017 was bad? Watch these international political brawls

    Viewers across South Africa endured what is quickly becoming an annual (yet dramatic) farce in the form of last night's #SONA2017 State of the Nation Address. From a heavy security presence by the ruling party to the EFF's hectoring of President Jacob Zuma, things only went downhill from there. The low point of the night was marked by the EFF's removal from the chamber, making for shocking scenes on television. But, believe it or not, this sort of violence takes place around the world as well -- we look at a few notable videos. Also, be sure to find the bulk...

  • India bans Facebook free internet services

    The world's largest democracy has finally taken a stance on free internet services. This comes after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday banned all internet service providers from offering discriminatory tariffs for data services based on content. On grounds of net neutrality, Facebook's Free Basics programme has also been banned. In collaboration with specific telcos, Facebook's Free Basics programme provides free-of-cost access to basic websites through an app. It's part of Facebook's Internet.org initiative which aims to reach 4.5 billion unconnected people on the internet. Some of the free websites include information on local government services, news, health,...

  • Google plans to roll-out WiFi to 400 train stations across India

    It comes as little surprise that Google plans to provide public WiFi in 400 train stations across India. Right now, India is a fast-growing market that tech companies are taking advantage of. The news comes at the same time Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is touring the US. As part of his trip, Modi visited Google's headquarters and also made a stop at Facebook for a Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg. The roll-out for the project, says Google CEO Sundar Pichai -- an Indian native -- will see 400 train stations across India receive WiFi. The plan is to have 100 of...

  • India’s ecommerce giant Flipkart introduces social network feature

    India’s ecommerce company Flipkart has introduced a social network component to its app. The social network component is called Ping and it allows users to have a real time conversations with friends and help each other on what to buy. Ping allows users to drag and drop drag and drop products or offers directly into conversations, share their screen so that you can browse together, ask friends what they think and get instant feedback and share products directly from your cart, wishlist, camera and gallery. Using Ping, users can share pages of the items they want to buy with friends. Read...

  • What Twitter’s ZipDial buy tells us about mobile in emerging markets

    The chirpy blue bird has just acquired India's ZipDial, which is a popular mobile marketing and analytics platform for emerging markets. TechCrunch estimates the deal to be worth somewhere in between the US$30-million and US$40-million mark. The deal also marks Twitter's foot in the door of India's booming (though unique) mobile market with the establishment of its new engineering offices in Bangalore. It's interesting witnessing the rising interest from major tech companies in high-growth markets such as India. At the forefront of ZipDial's mobile marketing technology lies its unique relationship with missed calls. ZipDial enables people to give brands and businesses...

  • YouTube introduces video offline playback for Android

    Google has introduced offline video playback for YouTube mobile users. This feature is only available on Android devices in India, Indonesia and the Philippines for now and Google is not giving a time for when it will roll out to other places. Videos that support playback will include an offline icon which offers a choice of playback. Once cached, the videos selected for offline playback will be available to watch without internet access for up to 48 hours. Google explained on its blog why the service is being released in Asia Asia has proven itself to be a mobile-first world...

  • Uber will face legal action after alleged passenger rape in India

    The flak just keeps stacking up against Uber. Alleged repeated offender and Uber driver Shiv Kumar Yadav has been charged with rape in New Delhi, India. According to Reuters, Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner with the Delhi police said that legal action against Uber will be taken for lack of adequately vetting the accused driver. "Every violation by Uber will be evaluated and we will go for legal recourse," said Verma. However, as TechCrunch points out, according to Uber's Terms of Services, the "technology company" is not really liable for what "third parties" do. Written in all caps, it goes: Uber...

  • 10 massive tech trends that will shake up India this year

    When it comes to tech, India is a country of contradictions. It's home to massive companies like Wipro, Infosys, and TCS, it's responsible for educating new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and former Apple CEO John Sculley wants to launch a smartphone there. At same time, however, the number of people with access to the internet in India remains relatively small. While it can now lay claim to the world's third-largest online population, with nearly 200-million users, that number only represents a fraction of the country's massive population. The same could be said of the its 100-million plus smartphone owners. Both those...

  • Can features like Chat Cards and Newsfeed make Mxit cool again?

    Not so long ago, Mxit appeared to be caught in something of a malaise. Alan Knott Craig Jr, the man who promised to change the company from the ground up had parted ways with it, the board appeared reluctant to appoint a new CEO and its product was stuck in pretty much the same place it had been in for years. No one can accuse it of that now. In the space of a few months and under new CEO Francois Swart, it has launched brand new smartphone and feature phone versions, launched in India and rolled out a host...

  • Former Apple CEO John Sculley to take on Indian smartphone market

    He may be best known as the man who effectively forced Steve Jobs out of Apple, but John Sculley reckons he still has a role to play in the tech space. More specifically, he wants to go after the Indian smartphone market. According to BGR, the former Apple CEO is getting ready to launch a new smartphone brand in India alongside former Micromax smartphone head Ajay Sharma. The venture, which is reportedly being bankrolled by Singapore-based Inflexionpoint (a company that counts Sculley among its founding partners), reportedly already has a team on the ground consisting mainly of Sharma's former...

  • India expresses Bitcoin doubts but doesn’t make it illegal

    Bitcoin traders aren't having an easy time of things at the moment. In December, China outright rejected it as a legitimate form of currency. In January meanwhile, Canada confirmed that it didn't view the crypto-currency as legal tender. Now India's reserve bank (RBI) has joined the chorus of those expressing doubts about its legitimacy. According to TechCrunch, the RBI's Raghuram Rajan expressed concerns over who controls Bitcoin's value. Addressing a Mumbai tech conference, the bank's governor said: "As a currency, I do worry a little bit when the underlying (value) fluctuates tremendously. One of the values of a currency...

  • Mxit officially launches in India, sets sights on massive feature phone base

    Plans from Mxit, the South African based mobile social network, to expand into India have hardly been a well-kept secret, but it's still a pretty interesting move and now it's official. Mxit today officially launched its India operation, headed up by Sam Rufus Nallaraj (a former contestant on The Apprentice Asia and Vice President at Deloitte & Touché in Hyderabad) with former South African cricketer and Indian coach Gary Kirsten as the face of its marketing campaign. While India's smartphone market is burgeoning, it looks like Mxit is aiming its sights squarely at the country's massive feature phone user...

  • Mxit’s India foray: what we know so far [update]

    It's hardly unfair to say that Mxit was in stuck in stasis for a little while. Between Alan Knott Craig Jr leaving and the launch of Mxit 7, the company just seemed to kind of exist. Now though, it looks like the company's determined not to let the cobwebs settle again as it prepares for a full-frontal assault on the Asian markets, starting with India. While Mxit has always been supported in India, its user numbers are limited. Of the 7.4-million or so monthly active users it lays claim to 84% are in South Africa, with most of the...