Kawai Crystal Grand Piano

The piano may be the best known and loved of all musical instruments. It also has the broadest range of any instrument, so music for all other instruments can be composed on it. It can be played solo, but most other instruments, including the voice, use the piano for accompaniment. Technically, the piano may also be the most complicated musical instrument with over 2,500 parts.

A Gold-Plated iPhone 5: Insanely Great or Just Insane?

Sure, the iPhone 5is the most sought-after new phone on the planet right now, but for some it just doesn’t have enough bling.

For those high flyers, Gold & Co. of London has created a 24-karat gold-plated iPhone 5, which will go on sale at the Collector’s Palace in Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates. The price of the item hasn’t been disclosed. A top-of-the-line iPhone 5 with 64 GB retails for $849 without a contract. Gold-plated iPhone 4S devices run as high as $1,224 while a gold-plated iPad from Gold & Co. fetches around $4,600.


Image courtesy of Gold & Co.




Samsung Adds iPhone 5 to Patent Lawsuits


Samsung had warned in late August that if Apple’s iPhone 5 had LTE, it would sue the company. Now, Samsung has made good on its word.

Court documents filed by Samsung revealed that it plans to add the iPhone 5 to its existing patent lawsuits against Apple, according to Reuters.

A Samsung rep confirmed the report offering the following statement:

We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products, rather than in courtrooms. However, Apple continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.

Reuters quotes the following language from the filing:

Samsung anticipates that it will file, in the near future, a motion to amend its infringement contentions to add the iPhone 5 as an accused product. Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models.

Samsung’s move comes after a California jury ruled in favor of Apple last month, awarding $1 billion in damages in a case in which Samsung accused the company of infringing on various smartphone and tablet-related patents. Samsung has vowed to fight that ruling.

It’s unclear whether Samsung will seek an injunction for iPhone 5 sales to counter sales injunctions initiated by Apple. (The Samsung rep declined to comment.) Apple blocked sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S. this summer because of alleged infringements on iPad patents — a decision a federal judge upheld this week.

However, Gerry Elman, president of Elman Technology Law and a patent attorney, said the odds of Samsung actually blocking sale of the iPhone 5 are “pretty darn remote.” Elman said since the Supreme Court’s in the 2006 eBay v. MercExchange case, injunctions have become harder to implement, particularly if the defendant can prove that blocking the sale of an item would be against the public’s interest.

Meanwhile, on Dec. 6, a U.S. court will hear Apple’s request for an injunction against the sale of several Samsung Android phones because of alleged patent infringement.





Apple’s iPhone5 launched


Apple unveiled the next generation of its wildly popular iPhone today, an event that will set the course for the closely watched company.

Apple CEO Tim Cook holds up the latest iPhone, which is larger but lighter than previous versions. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

At an event in Cupertino, Calif., CEO Tim Cook showed off the first version of the iPhone 5 to a gathering of technology journalists.

Despite the name, the phone is the sixth version of the device since the smartphone was launched in 2007.

The device is larger and taller than previous versions and now has a 4-inch screen. But at 112 grams, it’s 20 per cent lighter than the last version, Cook said.

The iPhone 5 is entirely made of aluminum and glass, he added.

As is customary for Apple, the event began with discussion about other, less high-profile news about Apple products. CEO Tim Cook addressed the crowd first.

Apple’s core business, the personal computer, has shrunk as the company’s phones and tablets have gotten popular, but the company remains dominant, Cook said.

Apple computers currently own 26 per cent of the global market. And the company’s tablet business has grown quickly. To date, Apple has sold 84 million iPads worldwide, good enough for 62 per cent of the global market share. The company has 250,000 apps for sale in its iTunes App store.





A book in every child’s hand

As a not-for-profit publisher with a dream to put a book in every child’s hand — and India has 300 million children — our wish list for the future of children’s publishing is long… but here are three trends that Pratham Books thinks will help make India a reading nation:

Firstly, more original content from Indian publishers in Indian languages to reach more children. India has 22 official languages and 1,600 dialects; but a country with such diversity produces children’s books predominantly in Hindi and English. Bookstores are flush with imported books of varying quality. All this content is in English, set in foreign surroundings, with characters and situations far removed from that of an Indian child. Also in stores are derivatives of the two Indian epics, and the Panchatantra and Jataka tales. We are not seeing enough innovation to create books that reflect the contemporary Indian reality.

With more than half of India’s 300 million children studying in government schools, there is a need to make reading material available to these children in the state’s language. Only if our children have quality reading material, can we expect them to be better readers.

The oral tradition of storytelling has almost disappeared in our families, leaving little scope for our traditional stories to be a part of an urban child’s life. There is therefore an urgent need for books drawn from our cultural landscape. It would be a shame to let go of the evocative, earthy flavours of our regional stories, the unique phrases and contexts of a place, just because we do not care to publish in the languages they are written in.
Looking back, looking forward

There is a huge need in India for affordable books of good quality to introduce the non-readers into the fold. Selling books in the sachet format is a second trend we would like to see. Our experience with story cards at Pratham Books has proved just how useful, enjoyable and exciting a four-page ‘book’ at `2 can be.

We have found equal success with bilingual books — books in two languages for the price of one. They help children to learn a second language, and in the non-English medium world, bilinguals are being used to learn English, the language of aspiration for many.

Shopping patterns are changing too. Traditional bookstore owners have been complaining about dips in sales up to 30% owing to people’s preference for online-shopping. While it is a valuable and pleasurable experience to browse through printed books in a shop, the convenience of e-tail platforms is such that publishers and retailers have to be ready to embrace new technology too.

Sharing worldwide with Creative Commons
In a dynamic world, books and reading are a constant. We may read less or more, we may give up one genre to take up another, we may read them on different media, but the popularity for the printed book is constant. In a city like Bangalore, where the population is increasing exponentially, the number of readers too is going to keep increasing. It is safe to predict that the demand for books is not going away for a long, long time.

At Pratham Books, for instance, we put out many of our titles in several languages under the Creative Commons license. This creates a multiplier effect where the books get converted into new forms and many derivative works get produced. So we get content for iPads, iPhones, e-readers, audio-clips and digital content for the visually-challenged.

Once a book has finished its life cycle including reprints, we believe publishers can make the samecontent available under the Creative Commons. This allows for more and more derivatives and translations to be available to children.

And as technology penetrates further it would be easy to upload all content to computers in libraries or pre-load content as we did in One Laptop Per Child, Nepal, and we could also try that with the new Akash tablet. Rather than seeingdigital devices as threats, we see them as exciting modes of communication that make children want to read more.
Publishers need to take technology in their stride and welcome it.

India launches Aakash, the cheapest tablet around

The much awaited India’s ultra-low-cost tablet is finally here. The much talked-about $35 tablet has been branded Aakash, and not Sakshat as reported earlier.

The initial cost at which the government is acquiring one lakh units the tablet PC from DataWind is Rs 2250 per unit. The target price at which the government intends to acquire an additional 1 crore units is the previously publicised Rs 1750 per unit.

Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and a 366 Mhz processor the 7-inch tablet has a resistive touch screen. The Aakash tablet is in fact DataWind’s UBISlate 7 tablet. Weighing 350 grams the tablet has 256MB RAM and an internal storage of 2GB Flash memory.

The tablet will also be commercially available from November at a price of Rs 2999. A cellular modem will be the additional feature in the commercial model. Some units of the tablet PC were also distributed to the students present at the launch event in New Delhi. The device will initially be made available to post-secondary students.

The Aakash tablet also has support for Wi-Fi connectivity and includes a microphone and stereo earphones. The tablet also comes with a 12-month replacement warranty. The device was first showcased in back in July 2010. The tablet supports additional external memory up to 32 GB and includes an USB port.

A keyboard portfolio case for the tablet will also be made available during the commercial launch at an additional cost of Rs 300.

India trails fellow BRIC nations Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get its 1.2 billion population connected to technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones, a report by risk analysis firm Maplecroft said this year.

The number of Internet users grew 15-fold between 2000 and 2010, according to another recent report. Still, just 8 per cent of Indians have access. That compares with nearly 40 per cent in China.

Some 19 million people subscribe to mobile phones every month, making India the world’s fastest growing market, but most are from the wealthier segment of the population in towns.

The launch last week of Amazon’s Kindle Fire shook up the global tablet market, with its $199 price tag and slick browser a serious threat to Apple’s iPad.

Like the Kindle Fire, the Aakash uses the Google Android operating system, but market watchers were sceptical the Indian-made device will have mass appeal.



- Processor: 366 Mhz. Connexant with Graphics accelerator and HD Video processor
- Memory (RAM): 256MB RAM / Storage (Internal): 2GB Flash
- Storage (External): 2GB to 32GB Supported
- Peripherals (USB2.0 ports, number): 1 Standard USB port
- Audio out: 3.5mm jack / Audio in: 3.5mm jack
- Display and Resolution: 7″ display with 800×480 pixel resolution
- Input Devices: Resistive touch screen
- Connectivity and Networking: GPRS and WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g
- Power and Battery: Up to 180 minutes on battery. AC adapter 200-240 volt range.


- OS: Android 2.2
- Document Rendering
* Supported Document formats: DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODP
* PDF viewer, Text editor
- Multimedia and Image Display
* Image viewer supported formats: PNG, JPG, BMP and GIF
* Supported audio formats: MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, WMA
* Supported video formats: MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, FLV
- Communication and Internet
* Web browser – Standards Compliance: xHTML 1.1 compliant, JavaScript 1.8 compliant
* Separate application for online YouTube video
- Safety and other standards compliance
* CE certification / RoHS certification

Technologies That were Banned

Every country is thriving to get higher pace of technology, each one of them desires to be the leader of innovation. But it is very much possible that some technologies may become threat to government itself and pose serious concern to its internal, external security, these calls for scrutiny over these modern technologies.

 Keeping some of the ongoing threats in mind, several countries have taken a bolder step to ban some of the technologies. Here are few of the countries and the technologies.

  Israel bans iPad

Israel bans iPad

In April 2010, the anger of tech lovers went on its peak in Israel, as the much talked about iPad became inaccessible for them. The Communications Ministry announced that it was imposing a blanket ban on the import of Apple’s new tablet computer, the iPad, citing incompatibility with the European Wi-Fi standard, which is used in Israel. For this reason, several such computers have been confiscated by customs officials at Ben-Gurion Airport. The public went furious as the ban was only revealed when several of the devices were confiscated by customs officials.

 Pakistan Bans Facebook

Pakistan Bans Facebook

In the year 2010, following a court’s order Pakistan officially blocked Facebook for offensive content.

A country with over 2.3 million Facebook users is temporarily restricted from its use due to a Facebook group called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” Cartoon sketches of Prophet Muhammad were considered as an act of blasphemy by Muslims and this Facebook page incurred huge criticism from several Muslims.

Facebook has a history of allowing controversial groups to develop a presence on their site. From death of Obama to Holocaust denial groups, Facebook consist of groups that is considered offensive by most.

UAE and Saudi Arabia banned Blackberry

Saudi Arabia banned Blackberry

On August 2010, two Gulf States, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced bans on some functions of the mobile phone amid national security concerns. Users of the BlackBerry in the UAE were barred from accessing email, web browsing and instant messaging from October 2010.

 The concern of both the countries came as they were unable to keep tabs on instant messaging and this affected almost half a million users.

Germany bans Galaxy Tab 10.1

Germany bans Galaxy Tab 10.1

Upholding Apple’s injunction request in the legal battle between the tech giants Apple and Samsung, German court banned the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffman ruled to pull the 10.1-inch tablet from German shelves, saying the device’s “smooth, simple area” copies Apple’s iPad design.

 Greece barred Google street view

Greece barred Google street view

In 2009, Greece restricted the Google’s drivers running in the country to mount their camera for Google street view,highlighting a growing fear among Greeks of the threat posed by new technologies. Athens’s data protection agency barred the search engine saying Google has to provide “additional information” and concrete guarantees that the service was not an invasion of personal privacy before expanding the programme to Greece.

U.S. ban iPod

U.S. ban iPod

iPod player are a huge companion for marathon runners, but the U.S. Track and Field competitions banned the use of iPods and headphones to avoid competitive advantage to runners. The organizers defended its ban saying that runners must focus on the marathon and not on the music.

Cuba baned cell phones

Cuba baned cell phones

Cuba’s government had limited access to mobile phones and other products and services deemed to be luxuries in an attempt to preserve the relative economic equality that is a hallmark of life on the Communist led island.
Cubans and foreigners holding key government posts had been allowed to have cell phones since the technology first appeared in Cuba in 1991.
A major government restriction was changed since the 76-year-old Castro took over as leader of the island nation from his older brother Fidel Castro as he lifted the age old ban on April 2008.

India bans Chinese phones and gadgets

India bans Chinese phones

Chinese products have been doing a great business in the Indian Market as it comes in low coast but with all kinds of features. India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued a directive that calls for the banning of the import of mobile phones made by Chinese manufacturers. The move comes after the Indian Home Ministry expressed concerns regarding the proliferation of Chinese handsets in India. They were worried about the spyware and malware threat that these handsets posed. The ministry was also worried that these phones will offer intelligence agencies from China, access to telecom networks in India.

 Australia bans laser pointers

Australia bans laser pointers

Australia banned laser point’s way back in 2008. The state has officially banned high-powered laser pointers specifically classifying them as ‘prohibited weapons.’ Anyone found carrying such a laser pointer in public without the Australian equivalent of a Firearms Certificate will be guilty of an offence punishable by up to fourteen years imprisonment.

UK bans Plasma TV

UK bans Plasma TV

UK has banned energy-guzzling flatscreen plasma televisions as part of the battle against climate change.