Friday, February 27, 2009

Everybody wants "Best Job in the World"

What is the Best Job in the World ?

Now you know...or atleast you will after reading the following press release from Tourism Queensland


The phenomenal response to Tourism Queensland’s Best Job in the World campaign has catapulted global tourism marketing into a whole new realm, CEO Anthony Hayes said today.

Mr Hayes said Tourism Queensland had known it had been onto a winning idea with its unique ‘Island Caretaker’ role offering a six month, $AUD150,000 contract based on Hamilton Island exploring the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, but in its wildest dreams had not anticipated that more than 34,000 people would submit video applications for the job.

“No one has ever done anything like this before and we have been simultaneously amazed, delighted and challenged by the response,” Mr Hayes said.

“In many ways it has taken on a life of its own spawning special discussion groups, bulletin boards, blogs and websites with applicants critiquing their competition, having detailed discussions and swapping ideas and tips.

“Conducting a global online campaign that has relied almost solely on public relations and social networking has been a major learning experience for us, and while it has been hugely successful, there have also been a few challenges along the way.”

Mr Hayes said during the first weekend of the campaign for example more than 200,000 people from around the world logged onto the website, including 25,000 in one hour alone.

“This placed a huge amount of strain on our server capacity and we had to increase it tenfold virtually overnight,” he said.

“As the closing date for applications drew nearer we anticipated a further huge spike in traffic to the website and a couple of weeks before closing began advising people not to leave their submission until the last minute.

“We received and processed more than 7500 applications during the final 48 hours.

“This massive amount of traffic understandably slowed the site down and regretfully some people weren’t able to get their video application in on time.”

Mr Hayes said Tourism Queensland initially looked at closing applications off at 30,000, not really envisaging it would actually reach that number.

“We hit that figure on Saturday evening with around 36 hours still to go until closing time and after some discussions, decided to waive the cap and keep the application process open until the cut-off time to give as many people as possible the opportunity to apply,” he said.

“But when the clock finally ticked over to closing time we had to close it off.

“We pulled out all stops and trained extra staff to help process the 34,684 applications we received.”

Mr Hayes said the processing and assessment phase was extremely strict to ensure that every applicant had a fair and equal chance and was measured by the same content management system.

“With such a huge number of applications to process in such as short time frame, we needed to be rigorous to ensure every application was assessed in the same way, using the same measures,” he said.

“Unfortunately we have had some very disappointed applicants who went to a lot of effort but had their applications knocked back because they went over the 60 second limit according to our content management system.

“We encouraged them to re-submit an edited version – and many did – however there were some who missed out because they could not get back onto the site before the cut-off time.

“It has been frankly heart-breaking because people have gone to so much trouble and we have lost some fantastic applications but to be fair to everyone we have to be consistent.”

Mr Hayes said Tourism Queensland had received hundreds of supportive emails and comments on blogs, websites and online forums.

The campaign’s focus will now turn to short-listing for the top 50, which will be announced next Tuesday March 3 Queensland time on the website.

The Top 50 will be narrowed down to a final 11, 10 of whom will be chosen by Tourism Queensland, and an 11th ’wild card’ applicant chosen by popular vote.

These top 10 and the wild card candidate will fly to Hamilton Island in early May to take part in the final selection process with the successful candidate announced on May 6.

The successful applicant will then being work on July 1.

For further information on the selection process, including timelines, visit]

Microsoft HUG for Asia-Pacific launches

Microsoft launched an online health users group for the Asia-Pacific region on Friday and said a software suite it developed after the purchase of a Thai software maker is now in use in nine hospitals throughout the region.

The world's largest software developer said Microsoft's MS-HUG (Microsoft Health Users Group) for Asia-Pacific is an online venue where people in the health care industry can view what Microsoft and other companies provide as well as voice opinions, network, and give input on what else is needed for hospitals and other areas for health services.

Source : PC World

Google Friend Connect for Blogger

Somehow Blogger "connecting itself" with Google Friend Connect is big news (Wired, Washington Post and WebProNews are all reporting it)

But have you noticed this ?

[...I lost followers! I'm particularly sensitive to this concern - having run the publisher team at FeedBurner for years, I learned that publishers really care about their subscriber numbers, and any time a user's RSS subscriber number dropped without explanation it was cause for alarm. Numbers matter - a lot. For many, an important goal of their blog is to build a community around their content, and the number (of subscribers, followers, visitors, whatever) signifies for the publisher the scope of that community. Whether the number is 10 or 5,000, it's a number that becomes an easily digestible benchmark by which the success or failure of the blog is judged.

So when a number drops from 15 to 10 (or 100 to 80, or 2500 to 2400), that's bad, right? Not really, no. Those followers are all still there - but a few of them are now following privately. Here's why:

Let's say Bill has a Blogger blog about his struggles with depression, and has "followed" three blogs covering the same topic. Bill's persona on Blogger is "public" insofar as it's discoverable and visible from those sites. But Bill isn't using his name - his profile simply identifies him as "DepressedInChicago". Separately, Bill has a Google account, through which he's joined his school alumni blog, a sports blog, and a tech networking site in Chicago. His Google account is his Gmail address, and he's well known within the tech and alumni circles in Chicago.

By upgrading Blogger Following to leverage Friend Connect's community features, we had to make a choice: do we show off which sites Bill has joined (through Follow or Friend Connect)? If so, Bill's identity becomes obvious to the members of the depression blogs. And his struggles with depression become clear to his professional and personal colleagues.

There are any number of examples where this blending of previously anonymous or pseudonymous activities through one persona with the more public activities of another persona could cause individuals great harm. Though the whole goal with Friend Connect is to make sites more social, we felt strongly that we could not risk any situation in which an individual's privacy was jeopardized.

As a result, for those users who both followed a site with Blogger Following and joined a site with Friend Connect, we've defaulted those individuals to be privately following the sites they care about. Every one of these users is getting an e-mail from us explaining the situation, and will see an alert in their Blogger dashboard linking to the FAQ so that they can decide which (if any) sites they wish to follow publicly and which they wish to follow privately.

While we recognize that this affects blogger owners (who saw their community's follower count drop), but hope that the reasoning behind the decision - not to mention the privacy concerns of the affected users - justified the path we chose.


Now how to solve this ?

How do I publicly follow the blogs I'm anonymously following?

To publicly follow the blogs, click the blue "Manage" button in your Blogger Reading List.

You will then see a list of all the blogs that you're following. You will then need to click the "Settings" link next to each blog. Under the Settings section, you will see the message:


Click the "anonymously" link. Finally, select to "Follow publicly" ...

and save your settings.

How do I show my followed sites on my profile?

First, go to your dashboard and click the "Edit Profile" link. Then, check the box next to "Show sites I follow":

Lastly, save your profile settings.

If I publicly join a Google Friend Connect site, will the site be listed on my Blogger profile?

Yes, ANY site that you join publicly with Friend Connect will be listed in your Blogger profile, under "Blogs I Follow".

Also have a look at the main website of Google Friend Connect

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama = USD 1.75 trillion

President Obama is sending Congress a budget Thursday that projects the government's deficit for this year will soar to $1.75 trillion, reflecting efforts to pull the nation out of a deep recession and a severe financial crisis.

A senior administration official told The Associated Press that Obama's $3 trillion-plus spending blueprint also asks Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy in 2011 and cut Medicare costs to provide health care for the uninsured.

The president's first budget also holds out the possibility of spending $250 billion more for additional financial industry rescue efforts on top of the $700 billion that Congress has already authorized, according to this official, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the formal release of the budget.

The official said the administration felt it would be prudent to ask for additional resources to deal with the financial crisis, the most severe to hit the country in seven decades. He called the request a "placeholder" in advance of a determination by the Treasury Department of what extra resources will actually be needed.

The spending blueprint Obama is sending Congress is a 140-page outline, with the complete details scheduled to come in mid- to late April, when the new administration sends up the massive budget books that will flesh out the plan.

Source : USA Today

Twitter Messages Book - HarperCollins

The book on Twitter is out -

"Twitter Wit is a book of Twitter’s wittiest messages, edited by Nick Douglas and coming out Fall 2009 from HarperCollins. Want to contribute? Just log in and tell us which of your tweets you’d like to see in print. Then follow @twitticisms to stay updated on the book. If we use your tweets, we’ll credit them to your Twitter username so people can find you."

That's what the site Twitter Wit says.

Here is what Gawker reports

[HarperCollins is paying Nick Douglas a five-figure sum for Twitter Wit, a book of the Gawker alum's favorite Twitter posts. Is getting paid for aggregating other people's "tweets" as lazy as it sounds?

Because it sounds somehow even lazier than making a book out of your mom's email messages, a scheme hatched up, perhaps not coincidentally, by another Gawker writer.

Douglas insists the work is backbreaking — "reading a thousand jokes is like watching five hours of porn" — but he's already automated the process of collecting submissions and permissions. Those who make it into the book get no royalties, but a free copy of the work ensures they at least won't have to pay to see their own content in printed format.]

Which are the Oldest English words ?

BBC reports -

"Reading University researchers say "I", "we", "two" and "three" are among the oldest in use and date back as much as 40,000 years....

..."We think some of these words are as ancient as 40,000 years old. The sound used to make those words would have been used by all speakers of the Indo-European languages throughout history," Professor Pagel said.

"Here's a sound that has been connected to a meaning - and it's a mostly arbitrary connection - yet that sound has persisted for those tens of thousands of years."

For more such Linguistic pleasures...

NY Times Newswire API for Developers

If you didn't know what Times Newswire API is, it time to correct that -

Here is the official FAQ -


1. What are the Times APIs?
Our APIs (application programming interfaces) allow you to programmatically access New York Times data for use in your own applications. Our goal is to facilitate a wide range of uses, from custom link lists to complex visualizations. Why just read the news when you can hack it?

2. What's the intended audience for your APIs?
We've designed our APIs for the web developer community, but all noncommercial users are welcome. See our Terms of Use for more information.

3. Why are you offering APIs?
Like many organizations, we hope to encourage innovation through collaboration. When you build applications, create mashups and otherwise reveal the potential of our data, we learn more about what our readers want and gain insight into how news and information can be reimagined. We're hoping you'll show us what's next for The Times.

But we also have a simpler, more compelling reason: journalism. To inform the public or tell a story, we use articles, photos, videos, interactive graphics, slideshows and more. Data has always been the primary force behind those features, and now it can become a feature in its own right. Our APIs help us fulfill the newspaper's journalistic mission by putting more information in the hands of the public — and they also expand that mission by giving users the ability to find and tell their own stories.

4. What kinds of data can I access with Times APIs?
Please see our APIs page for the current list of available APIs. We're planning to release new APIs regularly, so check back often or subscribe to the Times Developer Network newsletter.

5. How do I use the Times APIs?
Our APIs use a RESTful style and a resource-oriented architecture. Calls are made via HTTP requests (at a minimum, the GET method will be available; specific APIs may implement other methods). Your request URIs should be patterned after the examples in the API documentation, and you should always include your API key in a query string. See the documentation for each API for more details on request parameters and URI structure.

6. Why can't I access all content?
For each set of data we open up to the developer community, we have to consider a host of issues, ranging from load balancing to copyright law. We will gradually release more and more data as we continue to develop APIs. If you have ideas for our APIs or are hoping to get access to a specific kind of data, contact us.

7. Why do I have to register for a key to use your APIs?
Key registration allows us to monitor usage levels and ensure that developers are complying with our Terms of Use. We respect your privacy and will not share your registration information with third parties.

8. Do I have to agree to your Terms of Use just to test an API?
Our Terms of Use apply to all uses of our APIs. Please agree to the terms before testing or using an API.

9. Can I use your APIs commercially?
Our APIs are for noncommercial use only, with the exception of the Campaign Finance API. For details, see our Terms of Use and the Terms of Use for the Campaign Finance API.

10. What do you mean by "commercial purposes"?
Here are a few examples of what we consider commercial purposes:

1. Selling New York Times content or data in any application.
2. Charging a subscription fee for any New York Times content or data.
3. Selling any application built with one of our APIs.

If you are making more than 5,000 calls per day (via an application or any other method) to an individual API, we will notice that and assume you're using our API for a commercial purpose. Please contact us if you have hit that limit but do not think you are using the API for a commercial purpose.

If you aren't sure whether your plans constitute "commercial purposes," or if you want to discuss licensing arrangements, please contact us at code [at]

11. Is there an API call limit?
When you register for an API key, you'll receive information about limits and other Terms of Use. If you approach a limit, a warning e-mail will automatically be sent to you.

12. What response formats do you support?
Data is returned in JSON (default) and XML. Specific APIs may also return other formats. See the documentation for each API for more details.

13. Can I make suggestions for future development?
Yes, please! Post your ideas and requests in the forum.


More at

Get Rich on Facebook with "Google advertising" program.

Here is an interesting report you can read if you want to cash in on get rich schemes on Facebook,0.jpg

[The ads - complete with bogus testimonials - promise Facebook users they can make tens of thousands of dollars a month if they simply sign up to post links under a "Google advertising" program.

Before signing up, people are required to submit personal details including their debit or credit card information to pay a $US1.90 sign-up fee.

But the entire venture is a scam with no ties to Google, and is designed to trick Facebook's 175 million users into handing over their banking details.

People on the website said they were charged hundreds of dollars and attempts to obtain a refund were fruitless.

To test whether the ads were being let through deliberately or if they were automatically generated once requested by the advertiser, a reader, who did not want to be named for fear she would be kicked off the site, attempted to place her own ad warning people of the scams.

She submitted a headline "Don't be fooled by scams" next to a photo of a stack of $100 bills, the same image used in some of the scam ads.

The accompanying message was: "This site is not monitoring the ads that are being placed here despite stating otherwise. If they were how would this ad get through."

To the reader's surprise, Facebook rejected the ad, saying it "is not representative of the product or service being advertised".

"That shows that someone is monitoring the ads that are placed, so Facebook can't say they have no control over the situation," she said.

The scam ads lead to several websites instructing people how to become involved in the scheme.

In one, a man who identifies himself as "Tom Steinbach" boasts of earning "at least $20,000 a month posting links on Google, doing almost nothing". The claim is accompanied by pictures of a cheque for $US27,000 and of a man standing next to a Ferrari.

Another site run by "Kevin Hoeffer" follows the same formula with an image of a cheque, bogus testimonials and a phony story about how Hoeffer lost his job but was now earning thousands of dollars a month "just submitting small texts and ads online on Google".

Google runs an AdSense program allowing publishers to earn revenue by placing advertisements served by Google on their websites, but said these scam sites had nothing to do with the AdSense program.

A spokesman for Google said the search giant's legal team was reviewing the scam sites and would "take appropriate action as necessary".

Despite saying that it vetted ads before they went up, Facebook said it relied on users to report bogus ads.

"Like other mediums such as television and radio, as well as other websites, we receive ad submissions from a wide variety of businesses, including some who promote work-from-home schemes," the company said in a statement.

Facebook said it provided mechanisms for people to provide immediate feedback on ads they find offensive, misleading or otherwise inappropriate. A dedicated team would investigate all reports.

"We have removed certain types of ads from our system because users have reported them as scams," the company said.

"We will continue to take user feedback into consideration as we evolve our advertising systems and policies in order to maintain a trusted environment."]

Now Facebook denies all this. The same report says - "The social networking site said last week that it had removed the ads but several readers wrote in to say this was not the case and the ads were still live on the site as late as this morning."

So go ahead. Try your luck

Image : Sydney Morning Herald

Yahoo Buzz turns one - nobody notices

Siegler makes some interesting points as to why is Yahoo Buzz not so popular. (Yahoo Buzz celebrates its first birthday this month)

[...Now, I consider myself to be a pretty savvy Internet user. So why is that it that I never hear any talk about such an impressive site? Is it the media’s new Twitter bias? Social media types’ fascination with Digg? I don’t think so. Even Yahoo seems to acknowledge on its birthday blog post that a lot of people don’t know much about Yahoo Buzz. The intro includes the line, “What’s that, you say? You don’t know Yahoo! Buzz?”...]

[...When Google nearly bought Digg last year, we suggested that maybe Google should just build its own Digg, which is essentially what Yahoo did with Buzz. But maybe that was the wrong call. I think Yahoo Buzz is simply puffed up by its association, but I don’t see it as a major entity on the web.

“The site already has more unique monthly visitors than any other social content site in the U.S., according to comScore Media Metrix,” Yahoo’s post touts.

Okay, so why is hardly anyone actually using it? Are they just going there and leaving? And if so many people are visiting it, why is no one talking about it? It seems to me it has absolutely no — for lack of a better word — buzz. Sorry to be a (birthday) party pooper.]

Now he is probably right in all this (a little acerbic too). But I guess the main reason Yahoo Buzz is unsuccessful or to say "nobody talks about it " is because not everybody can get onto it.

Venturebeat's article compares Yahoo Buzz with Twitter, Digg, Facebook, Reddit, Delicious. Now "everyone and their blog" can get on to each of this "social sites" but I guess not on Yahoo Buzz.

Tata Nano Launched - 23 March 2009

Tata Nano which got a lot of media attention last year as the World's least expensive car, is finally going to launch on 23 March 2009, reports Reuters.

[The car expected to be priced around 100,000 rupees ($1,984) was unveiled in January 2008 and was scheduled to go on sale last October, but problems with the main plant location delayed the launch. ($1 = 50.4 rupees) ]

Tata will accept bookings from the second week of April 2009

Image Source : Wikipedia

Nokia Laptops in India

Nokia is planning to launch laptops, reports Reuters.

[The world's top mobile phone maker Nokia is eyeing entering the laptop business, its Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in an interview to Finnish national broadcaster YLE on Wednesday.

"We are looking very actively also at this opportunity," Kallasvuo said, when asked whether Nokia plans to make laptops.

Industry has rumored about Nokia's possible plan to enter the PC industry since late last year, but Kallasvuo's comment was the first official admittance of such plans.

"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said.

"Today we have hundreds of millions of people who are having their first Internet experience on the phone. This is a good indication," he said.

Nokia's comments come a week after No 3 PC brand Acer launched a foray into the phone business with eight mobile phone models, joining leader Hewlett-Packard and No. 4 Lenovo in the high-growth space.

While strong profit margins in the smartphone industry attract PC brands, the attraction of the low-margin computer industry is less obvious.

"Nokia maybe nervous about entering a market segment that is already heavily commoditized, but it would be in a position to exploit its enormous scale in manufacturing, supply chain and distribution," said Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight.

"All leading mobile network operators and retailers are adding connected notebooks and netbooks to their portfolios alongside mobile phones. On this basis it comes as no surprise that Nokia is evaluating this segment," he said.

The global PC industry was resilient for most of last year when other technology sectors were ailing, but it too has now been caught up in the deepening economic downturn that has hit demand from consumers and corporate buyers.]

Now this might work if they launch "these Laptops" in India since Nokia is a very favourite brand here. Right from the cheaper ones to the top of the line, all Nokia mobiles sell a lot in India. Just thought this may work reading this Om Malik's article.

Bloggers are screwed the world over...

Several hours back, Techmeme pointed us to an interesting article in Times of India about what is been touted as a Court Verdict against Bloggers in India. Now this article puts across lot of thoughts and views (though the title is misleading) Let us have a look -

[A 19-year-old blogger's case could forever change the ground rules of blogging. Bloggers may no longer express their uninhibited views on everything under the sun, for the Supreme Court said they may face libel and even prosecution for the blog content.

It will no longer be safe to start a blog and invite others to register their raunchy, caustic and even abusive comments on an issue while seeking protection behind the disclaimer — views expressed on the blog are that of the writers.

This chilling warning emerged as a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam refused to protect a 19-year-old Kerala boy, who had started a community on Orkut against Shiv Sena, from protection against summons received from a Maharashtra court on a criminal case filed against him.

Petitioner Ajith D had started a community on Orkut against Shiv Sena. In this community, there were several posts and discussions by anonymous persons who alleged that Shiv Sena was trying to divide the country on region and caste basis.

Reacting to these posts, the Shiv Sena youth wing's state secretary registered a criminal complaint at Thane police station in August 2008 based on which FIR was registered against Ajith under Sections 506 and 295A pertaining to hurting public sentiment.

After getting anticipatory bail from Kerala HC, Ajith moved the Supreme Court through counsel Jogy Scaria seeking quashing of the criminal complaint on the ground that the blog contents were restricted to communication within the community and did not have defamation value. He also pleaded that there was threat to his life if he appeared in a Maharashtra court.

A computer science student, Ajith pleaded that the comments made on the blog were mere exercise of their fundamental right to freedom of expression and speech and could not be treated as an offence by police.

Unimpressed, the Bench said, "We cannot quash criminal proceedings. You are a computer student and you know how many people access internet portals. Hence, if someone files a criminal action on the basis of the content, then you will have to face the case. You have to go before the court and explain your conduct."]

Now Congress is "drafting" a federal shield law that would help journalists protect the confidentiality of their sources, but the measure might leave out many bloggers, freelancers, citizen journalists and others who don't work in the media business full time.

[...The House version of the bill would only apply to people who glean significant revenue from journalism, though a broader bill in the Senate would cover anyone "engaged in journalism," the Citizen Media Law Project reports.

Many people in the media world would welcome a federal shield law, but there's no good reason for it to involve some sort of income test. While it's not clear that differentiating between "professional" and "citizen" journalists would have ever been useful in deciding which sources are worthy of protection, it seems especially arbitrary given that anyone with a cell phone can now break news on the Web.

Most states currently have shield laws and at least some courts have already ruled that those laws apply to bloggers. In one well-publicized case, a court in California ruled that three bloggers who wrote about Apple were allowed to preserve their sources' anonymity. "The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here," the California appellate court wrote in that case. "We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news." ]

If you like you can have a look at the source of above article which is a publication by Citizen Media Law Project on 23 Feb 2009. Here is what it says -

[The question of what makes a journalist is due for yet another round of debate, now that Congress is weighing two competing versions of a federal shield law for reporters.

Last Friday, the Senate introduced its own version of the Free Flow of Information Act, a follow-up to the House's action two days before. Both versions would provide new -- if limited -- protection against subpoenas for journalists, and both version contain a range of exceptions. Both bills were introduced in 2007 as well, with the House version passing overwhelmingly despite a veto threat. The Senate bill was passed easily out of committee only to die without a vote of the full chamber as the session ran out of time. (For details on the previous bills, see previous CMLP posts here, here, here, and here.)

Again, the 2009 bills differ in a key respect, namely in how they define journalists. The Senate bill is fairly straightforward and generous in this regard. It covers a person "who is engaged in journalism," and defines the latter by:

the regular gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public.

The House version, on the other hand, puts limits on who is covered in a way that potentially leaves most bloggers and many others outside the protective zone of the shield. From the bill:

The term "covered person" means a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.

"Substantial" isn't defined, but one would assume that many bloggers, student journalists and even those who freelance for magazines or papers that pay poorly, could have a hard time utilizing the protections afforded by the bill, should this version become law.

It's an old question, this issue of who qualifies as a journalist. And it has been part of the debate over the so-called reporter's privilege for decades, at least since Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), the 5-4 Supreme Court decision that ruled against press protections in 1972. The Louisville Courier-Journalreporter Paul Branzburg lost the case, but the fifth vote came from a sympathetic corner. Justice Powell voted with the majority to compel Branzburg's testimony, but penned an enigmatic concurrence that has been cited by many federal courts to bolster the idea that there is some protection, no matter how ill defined, stemming from the First Amendment:

The Court does not hold that newsmen, subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, are without constitutional rights with respect to the gathering of news or in safeguarding their sources.

Branzburg, 408 U.S. at 709 (Powell, J., concurring). A federal statute establishing a qualified journalists' privilege would bring much-needed clarity and uniformity to this area of law, and it would also represent a historic step forward in vindicating the public's right to know. It'll be a shame, though, if a shield law passes with the House language that effectively shuts out most bloggers and other independent journalists. It will be journalism history, but with an asterisk.]

In the end, All that anyone conclude is Bloggers are screwed the world over...

MVNOs legalised in Indian mobile market

The Indian government said on Wednesday that it has decided to allow MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) to offer mobile services in the country.

The MVNOs' entry into the Indian mobile market is expected to increase competition and lower prices for customers, analysts said.

Detailed guidelines for MVNOs will be issued by the country's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) after it receives responses from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on some issues, the government said.

MVNOs rent rather than own the radio spectrum or the infrastructure required to provide the service. The MVNO is a natural progression toward enhancing free-market principles and contributing to the efficient use of existing telecom infrastructure, said TRAI in a report last year to the DoT.

Source : Yahoo News via PC World

Yahoo! to sell Yahoo Search

US Internet firm Yahoo Inc is "not opposed" to doing a deal that would potentially sell its search business, Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said on Wednesday. But he said the search business is deeply intertwined with Yahoo's other online products and properties, and so any deal, whether a partnership or a sale, would be done for the right reasons and the right economics.

"It's extremely difficult to draw a line down the middle of the organization and split it into two pieces," Jorgensen told the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference. He did not mention specifically Microsoft Corp, which has repeatedly said it was interested in doing a search deal with Yahoo to compete against market leader Google Inc.

Source : ET India

Citigroup & US Government - Done deal

Citigroup Inc is closing in on an agreement to boost the US government's stake in it to as much as 40 per cent, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website, citing people familiar with the situation.

A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, it said.

But a greater US stake will bring a slew of new complications for executives of the New York company, the report said.

Mexican law bars any institution more than 10 percent-owned by a foreign government from running a bank in that country. Some Citigroup executives are worried that an increased US stake might subject the bank to pressure to relinquish some or all of its ownership of Grupo Financiero Banamex, the No 2 bank in Mexico by assets, the Journal said.

Though Citigroup is loath to shed Banamex, seen as a crown jewel of the bank's operations, executives have concluded that the issue will probably have to be resolved through diplomatic channels between the United States and Mexico, people familiar with the matter said, according to the report.

Source : ET India