Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kareena Kapoor\'s hips don\'t lie

The onus of adding oomph to Golmaal 3 lies on Kareena Kapoor's slender shoulders. Her director Rohit Shetty wanted her to be sensuous and Bebo does exactly that with her sizzling moves a la Shakira for the title track of the film.

We do remember how she turned into a cat-woman (read Halle Berry) for the 'Meow' number or swayed to the tune of Tu Saala Kaam Se Gaya. Though the songs were hit, the audience didn't take home her remarkable dance performance. Nevertheless, Rohit knows how to make his film's song stand out and this time Kareena is a boho chic dancing to a racy hip-hop track, yet again, like an on-screen siren.

"My audience expects me to be sexy and sizzling at least in the naach-gaana routine. So I've gone ahead and done hip-shaking, that is a cross between Shakira's Waka-Waka and Hips Don\'t Lie," Bebo is quoted as saying.

However, it could have been more interesting to watch Bebo if she also revealed her belly button. After all, hasn't she done a Shakira!
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High Court starts delivering Ayodhya verdict

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has started reading out its verdict on a six-decade-old title suit regarding who owns a disputed holy site in Ayodhya. The judgment by the three-judge bench will be put up at the court\'s website -- and it will take legal experts some time before they understand it. The media has been given three seprate copies of the operative part of the judgment--those by each of the three judges, S U Khan, Sudhir Agarawal and D V Sharma.

In view of the verdict, the nation has been put on high alert. The Central government\'s Cabinet Committee on Security will meet at 5 pm in New Delhi to review the situation in the country after the court verdict.

The Bharatiya Janta Party will hold a meeting of its senior leaders in Delhi at 6 pm, but most political parties are expected to give their reactions after studying the court judgment.

Uttar Pradesh has turned into a fortress with thousands of paramilitary personnel patrolling the streets.

The intelligence network is on high alert throughout the state to monitor movement and activities of anti-social elements.

Aerial surveys of \"sensitive places\", including the Ram Janmbhoomi complex in Ayodhya has been done, police sources said.

All the security personnel deployed in Ayodhya and Faizabad have been equipped with tear gas shells and rubber bullets and the gazetted officers of various government departments have been asked to assist in policing. They have also been provided with rubber bullets and tear gas shells.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court paved the way for the Ayodhya verdict to be delivered by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.

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Nokia N8 shipments have started

Espoo, Finland -Nokia's latest entertainment smartphone, the highly anticipated Nokia N8 with Ovi services, has started shipping. Customers who have placed a pre-order for the Nokia N8 in Nokia Online Shops and Nokia retail stores will be the first to receive their Nokia N8. Market availability will vary by country and by operator, with broad availability in the coming weeks. 

"With the N8, and the new Symbian software, we are bringing a familiar, faster and more intuitive user experience to the world's most popular smartphone platform. The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history and we are thrilled to start shipments of the N8, the first of Nokia's new Symbian smartphone range," says Jo Harlow, Senior Vice President, Smartphones, Nokia.

"To appeal to today's high-end buyers, smartphones have to be enjoyable, useful and beautiful. Ease of use, excellent multimedia performance and elegant design are all essential elements of the package," says John Delaney, Research Director, IDC.

The first of a series of smartphones based on the new Symbian, the Nokia N8 is fast and easy to use and supports true multitasking, allowing users to run multiple apps simultaneously and switch between them easily. Dubbed the world's best camera phone, the Nokia N8 lets you take the highest quality photos and shoot HD-quality videos in supreme clarity with the 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics. You can edit photos and videos on-screen and choose from multiple ways to share them; transfer large files to an external hard-drive with USB-on-the-go, or upload photos to social networks like Facebook, Twitter or RenRen straight from the homescreen.  All this is delivered in a robust aluminum body in a range of vibrant colors with a real-glass 3.5" AMOLED display. 

The Nokia N8 has a black belt in entertainment. Its WebTV apps from channels like E! Entertainment, National Geographic and CNN and the intuitive music player inject an element of fun into idle moments.  Plug the device to the home entertainment center to watch HD-quality videos from the big screen with full Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound.  The latest version of Ovi Store, available first on the Nokia N8, gives easy access to more apps - from social networking services like Foursquare to games like Need for Speed Shift or productivity apps like Tesco in the UK.

Like other Nokia smartphones, the Nokia N8 comes with free Ovi Maps walk & drive navigation in more than 70 countries worldwide, with no hidden costs. The latest beta release of Ovi Maps is also available for download from Nokia Beta Labs for the Nokia N8. It features visibility to public transport in 85 cities around the world, as well as real-time traffic, safety camera alerts, visibility to parking and petrol stations, and speed limit warnings.


Monday, September 27, 2010

My son is too young for politics: Lalu Prasad

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad told the media that his son is too young to enter into politics.Earlier on Friday, Sep 24, Lalu officially introduced his 20-year-old younger son Tejaswi Yadav during a political rally just ahead of assembly elections in the state. Tejaswi played Ranji trophy representing Jharkhand state and was part of IPL\'s Delhi Daredevil\'s squad.

But later Lalu faced serious criticism from his political opponents for projecting his son as his political successor. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accused that Lalu is trying to perpetuate family-driven politics. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi told Lalu was forcing his son to plunge into politics to boost his own electoral prospects.

But on Sunday, Sep 26, making a U turn, Lalu told the reporters that Tejaswee is too young for politics and is five years away from contesting in elections.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kashmir protest leader rejects Indian govt offer

The hardline separatist leader who has organised months of protests in Indian Kashmir dismissed Sunday an offer from the India government for fresh talks and a security review in the state.

The proposals were put forward by Home Minister P. Chidambaram after he led an all-party mission last week to the Muslim-majority region, which has been shaken by violent pro-independence protests and strict curfews since June.

\"It is a time-gaining exercise and unrealistic. It is aimed to hoodwink the international community,\" Syed Ali Shah Geelani told reporters in Kashmir\'s summer capital Srinagar.

\"If rulers in New Delhi believe that by releasing a few students and providing ex gratia relief to the families of martyrs they can reduce the alienation (of Kashmiris), they are wrongly mistaken,\" he said.

Chidambaram\'s eight-point plan was the first major initiative by the government to end clashes between stone-throwing crowds and security forces in which 107 civilians have been shot and killed.

The home minister said a group of \"interlocutors\" would be appointed to reach out to Kashmiris in a bid to calm the protests, the largest since an separatist insurgency erupted in 1989.

Most of those killed have been young men and teenagers shot by police and paramilitary troops firing live ammunition and rubber bullets.

Chidambaram said the state government would be told to free 255 protesters jailed for throwing stones at security forces.

Authorities will also consider reducing the security presence in the heavily militarised Kashmir valley, and will review some areas of emergency military law imposed in the region.

Rights groups have long pushed for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives security forces the power to open fire, detain suspects and confiscate property.

\"We think these steps should address the concerns of different sections of Jammu and Kashmir, including (those of) the protesters,\" said Chidambaram.

Moderate separatist said they were discussing their response to the government package.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India, which both claim the region in full. The dispute over the region has triggered two of the rival nations\' three wars since partition of the subcontinent in 1947.(
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CWG OC faces massive shortfall in meeting its revenue target

Amid negative publicity for the Commonwealth Games, the Organising Committee is facing a massive shortfall in meeting its revenue target.

Till date, only Rs 335 crore has come to the OC\'s kitty as against the target of Rs 1,620 crore from various sources, including sponsorship, ticket sale, merchandise and broadcast rights.

While the OC has received Rs 137 crore as sponsorship money, it has got Rs 185 crore for TV rights so far.

Even ticket sale has come down after the bad publicity surrounding the Games. The total sale of tickets as on September 20 was only of Rs 10.66 crore.

The collection from the sale of merchandise is so far Rs 80 lakh only.

However, despite the problems, the OC is hoping to realise its overall target, including Rs 390 crore as sponsorship money.

\"There are total 10 sponsors and partners of the CWG who have committed to give Rs 390 crore as sponsorship money,\" said an official adding, \"We are hopeful that they will fulfil their commitment.\"

While Railways, the lead partner of the CWG, are yet to dole out Rs 100 crore as sponsorship money, other sponsors have also delayed their contributions.

All sponsorship money will not be in cash as some will be in kind also, clarified the official.

For example, Railways are running a special Commonwealth Games train across the country and another special train will be running to Agra for Games visitors during the sporting event as part of the sponsorship deal.

Coca Cola, Reebok, Hero Honda, Amity University among others are sponsors of the Games.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Food Security Bill may be delayed

The proposed National Food Security Bill is unlikely to see the light of the day before Parliament's winter session. Two key reasons are divergence between the government and the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) over legal guarantee to non-BPL (below poverty line) families and food availability to sustain provisions of the legislation.

The differing views came to the fore on Friday during a meeting of the NAC, which held consultations with top functionaries from the Planning Commission and ministries of Food and Public Distribution, Women and Child Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to firm up the contours of the proposed Bill.

Council members admitted some degree of divergence with the government on the issue of legal guarantee to non-BPL families and food availability to meet various provisions of the proposed legislation. At the same time, they also said the gap between the government and the NAC was narrowing down over the course of five council sittings.

"The divergence is getting less and less...We feel the government can do better to procure more foodgrain to sustain the proposed legislation. There is still some degree of divergence regarding the legal guarantee to non-BPL families," said a NAC member .

NAC member MS Swaminathan said: "Deputy Chairman Planning Commission made a detailed presentation regarding the limits of affordability of various provisions being considered in the proposed legislation while indicating Planning Commission's support to the proposals in the wake of millennium development goals." He said NAC would firm up definite recommendations based on governmental department inputs.

With Parliament's winter session slated to be convened in the first half of November, the formulation of the legislation may get delayed because the NAC will meet on October 23 to finalise its recommendations.

Another likely reason for the delay is that Food Minister Sharad Pawar had earlier said his ministry would have to consult state governments over the NAC recommendations before seeking Cabinet approval to take it to Parliament.

"The working group took note of issues that emerged from the discussion. A further round of discussions is to take place before the proposal of the working group could be finalised," said a press communique issued by the NAC after a marathon meeting presided over by Sonia Gandhi.

The statement said the NAC would meet again on October 23 to deliberate on the definite recommendations to be worked out by its working group on food security under member Harsh Mander.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Delhi grapples with dengue, cases cross 2,500 mark

As Delhi rolls up its sleeves to host the 19th Commonwealth Games, civic authorities continue to grapple with what experts are calling a \"cycle of dengue\".

According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the infectious disease has claimed five lives so far. The total number of patients reached 2,536 Wednesday.

The number this year is expected to cross the 2006 figure of 3,366 cases.

Nearly 70 new dengue cases are turning up in the city every day despite the regular fogging operations and checks against breeding of dengue causing mosquitoes in houses.

The numbers reported by private hospitals and laboratories continue to be much higher than the figures quoted by the MCD, presenting an entirely contradictory picture.

Moolchand Hospital sees nearly 10 to 15 dengue cases everyday. Its doctors have treated over 350 patients so far this year.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has treated over 120 patients since August.

\"We admit patients who have low platelet count because of the fever. Those in the initial stages of dengue are prescribed medicines,\" said a senior doctor of Apollo Hospital.

\"This number is expected to shoot up in the wake of incessant rains,\" he added.

Max Hospital in south Delhi on an average gets 30 suspected dengue cases each day.

\"Ninety percent of the patients are tested positive after the IPr test,\" said a senior doctor of Max Hospital.

Holy Family Hospital, that had been treating patients coming from the worst affected Jamia Nagar area in south Delhi, refused to give any information related to dengue.

\"We are reporting the number of dengue cases only to the MCD,\" said an official from the hospital.

Government hospitals in the capital have also been asked not to report the numbers to the media.

Private laboratories share a grim picture as far as the number of cases are concerned.

One of the major medical laboratories, Dang\'s pathological laboratory, in the capital has tested around 1,200 positive dengue cases so far.

\"We test nearly 40-50 positive cases each day,\" Navin Dang of Dang\'s laboratory, said.

Dr. Lal\'s Path Laboratories has tested over 1,100 positive dengue cases since mid-July, confirming nearly 70 cases each day.

The number of confirmed dengue cases total to over 2,000 from just two of the laboratories in the city.

A figure from other laboratories would easily outnumber the MCD\'s official dengue figures.

\"This is the only time when the MCD can control the outspread of the disease. By the end of the month, the breeding environment for Aedes mosquitoes might turn better,\" an official from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme said.

Meanwhile, the civic body said there were no serious cases of dengue. \"We are treating patients and relieving them. There are no serious cases of dengue,\" NK Yadav, municipal health officer, said.

Dengue symptoms include high fever for four to five days usually accompanied by severe headache, pain in the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rashes. After the fever goes away, the blood platelet count starts dipping, which is the most dangerous phase of the disease.

Twenty-four countries have already issued travel advisories, alerting travellers about the outbreak of dengue in Delhi ahead of the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.


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Krishna tells Pakistan to vacate PoK before lecturing India

The prospects of resumption of peace talks between India and Pakistan looks dim with external affairs minister S M Krishna asking Islamabad to end its illegal occupation of some parts of the state before advising New Delhi on Kashmir.

"Kashmir is an internal matter of India," said Mr Krishna, who is in the United States on a 10-day visit to attend the annual UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Mr Krishna's remarks came on a day in which Islamabad asserted that there can be no result-oriented discussions with India on the Kashmir dispute unless New Delhi stopped treating it as the country's integral part and seeking a solution within the ambit of the Indian Constitution. This is a position which has been rejected time and again by India.

Pointing out that Pakistan was in "illegal occupation of some parts of Jammu and Kashmir," Mr Krishna said, "it is desirable that they vacate that and then start advising India as to how to go about doing things in Kashmir."

"We have taken certain actions in terms of assisting what needs to be done in Kashmir... An all-party delegation has just gone back to Delhi and they have had wide-ranging discussions across the board from all shades of opinion," the external affairs told a news channel in New York.

"So, Government of India is fully conscious of its responsibilities... institutional mechanism and individual mechanism will be put in place so that the genuine grievances of Kashmir and the people of Kashmir are addressed squarely and directly," he said.

Pakistan, in the meanwhile, has ratcheted up its anti-India campaign. "Unless India takes a fresh look at its Kashmir policy, does some introspection and stops treating Jammu and Kashmir as its integral part and stops harping on seeking a solution within the Indian Constitution, we do not believe that we can really have any meaningful or result-oriented discussions with India on this (issue),''

Mr Basit told newspersons in Islamabad on Thursday. He was responding to a question on the Indian government's efforts to address the protests in Jammu and Kashmir by sending a delegation of political leaders to meet Kashmiri leaders. He noted that the Hurriyat Conference had already rejected the move.

He also described as "self-serving" India's rejection of resolutions passed by both houses of the Pakistani Parliament condemning the violence in Jammu and Kashmir and calling on the international community to ensure the implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir is an international issue and subject of several UN resolutions. The Senate and National Assembly resolutions of September 20 reflect the concerns of the people of Pakistan on the gross and systematic violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people by Indian security forces, he said.

Mr Basit noted that the UN Secretary General had called for an end to the violence, while the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International had asked India to end the violence and protect the rights of people.

``Pakistan is committed to finding a just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and will continue extending its moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris in their legitimate struggle against Indian occupation,'' he said.


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Australia backs India amid Commonwealth Games fears

Australia\'s government backed India on Wednesday amid concerns about New Delhi\'s ability to stage a successful Commonwealth Games next month, saying it was confident preparations for the event would be finished on time.

Preparations for the Games, involving 8,000 athletes from Britain and its former colonies, have been blighted by problems, including the collapse of a footbridge on Tuesday, in which 27 people were injured, and security concerns.

Sports Minister Mark Arbib said the government and Australian sporting officials were confident preparations would be ready in time, with the Games due to open on Oct. 3.

Arbib said he had held talks with the head of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Perry Crosswhite, and both believed that the troubled Games, expected to cost around $6 billion to stage, should go ahead.

\"The Australian government is committed and our number-one priority is the safety of our athletes, and those people travelling to India,\" Arbib told Australian radio.

\"His (Crosswhite\'s) view was that while there was still some work to be undertaken, he was satisfied that it would be completed before Australian athletes started arriving on Sept. 27,\" Arbib said.

There have been complaints about sub-standard conditions in the athletes\' village, and Australian world champion discus thrower Dani Samuels pulled out of the Games on Wednesday, citing security fears and concerns about health risks in India.

Arbib said the government continued to receive intelligence reports of possible terrorist attacks in India during the Games, with official warnings to travellers to be careful.

\"Of course there are security concerns, but also there has been an outbreak in recent times of dengue fever, there has been a larger than normal monsoon season, and of course there are a number of people concerned about their health,\" he said.

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Shahid unhappy about Priyanka-Ranbir kiss?

Shahid Kapoor is apparently unhappy about Priyanka Chopra kissing her co-star Ranbir Kapoor in their forthcoming film Anjaana Anjaani, according to a source.

Anjaana Anjaani co-stars Ranbir and Priyanka share two lip locks in the Sajid Nadiadwala production. Those who have seen the scene reveal that they are full-blown intimate kisses and form an integral part of the film.

According to reports, Shahid Kapur, is not too pleased about it.

Last week, Priyanka and Shahid were spotted watching Dabangg at a suburban multiplex. A source reveals that during the course of the film, the two were heard discussing Anjaana Anjaani. \"Shahid might not even watch the movie.\"

Interestingly, Shahid-Priyanka are still close. \"She even sent him gifts while in Brazil shooting for Khatron Ke Khiladi 3,\" reveals the source.

The source further adds that the kisses weren\'t part of the script but were added in much later during the US schedule.

\"It was a spur-of-the-moment decision by director Siddharth Anand to incorporate the kisses to show the growing intimacy between Ranbir and Priyanka. The kisses were shot with only the cameraman, director and a light man present. The rest of the crew was asked to leave the sets as the lead pair didn\'t want to share the intimate moment with 15 people watching.\"(
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Under fire, Omar gets a Rahul cover

A day after the Congress and PDP signalled they may just look at the option of reviving ties in Jammu and Kashmir, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi rallied behind Omar Abdullah, saying the embattled chief minister was "doing a tough and sensitive job" and "should be given time and support".

Asked about his response to the Congress weighing the option of reviving an alliance with Mehbooba Mufti and her PDP at the cost of the young NC leader who has been criticised for his handling of the situation in the Valley, Gandhi told reporters in Kolkata: "Our government has supported Omar Abdullah. He is the elected leader of the National Conference. It is for them to take their decision. But we have to give him time and support. Omar is doing a tough and sensitive job. He should be given time and support."

When his views were sought on the Armed Forces (Special Powers), Gandhi said: "Kashmir is a complex problem. And the Prime Minister is well-informed about the details.... has adequate knowledge on this. And the PM is the best person to speak on the AFSPA."
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nokia reveals winners of the global Calling All Innovators and finalists for the Growth Economy Venture Challenge competitions

Winners and finalists chosen from thousands of developers responding to the challenges to make a difference in the world

London, UK - Today at the Nokia Developer Summit, the company is proud to announce the winners of the global Calling All Innovators contest and the finalists in the Growth Economy Venture Challenge - both with the common goal to create mobile applications, services or solutions intended to save the environment, lift spirits, improve productivity, raise the standard of living within growth economies, and educate and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.   The winners and finalists will be acknowledged at the award ceremony, to be held on September 15 in the International Convention Centre (ICC) in London.

For its third consecutive year, Nokia challenged developers to demonstrate their creative and innovative side and design mobile applications, widgets, products, or services that make a difference in people's everyday lives and contribute to the economies of developing countries.   In all, 1,500 developers worldwide responded to Nokia's challenges.

"We received a significant amount of interest on a global scale in both competitions.  The developers on this year's list are at the nexus of change, using their unique insight to create a variety of well-thought out and innovative apps, services and solutions with the potential to enhance lives around the world. From improving early childhood literacy to sharing news to choosing eco-friendly activities, these apps deliver on the promise of mobile apps making an impact on the social economics of emerging markets," said Purnima Kochikar, Vice President, Forum Nokia and Developer Community.  "Developers exceeded our expectations and we congratulate the winners and finalists selected for this year's awards."

Calling All Innovators - The Challenge
Calling All Innovators is an annual app development competition presenting developers with the task of creating apps that fall into four diverse categories: Life Improvement, Eco/Being Green, Productivity and Entertainment.  This year, Forum Nokia has teamed up with Sesame Workshop, the folks responsible for the iconic children's TV show Sesame Street, to help support apps relevant to education in the Life Improvement category with the goal to persuade developers to create exciting apps, perhaps using Sesame Street characters, to teach early literacy through Nokia handsets to children located anywhere in the world. 

Awards and Prizes
Several cash prizes will be offered in the Calling All Innovators contest.  The top three submissions in each of the four categories will be rewarded in cash as follows:

- Grand Prize: USD 30,000
- First runner-up: USD 15,000
- Second runner-up: USD 5,000
- Third runner-up: USD 2,000

Furthermore, all application submissions - finalists or not - will be eligible to win special prizes spanning the four categories.  The cash prizes are based on the type of technology that was used to create the app or other award criteria.  Other valuable prizes will also be offered - to view the complete list of prizes and eligibility, please visit us at this website.  Judges will carefully test the top 25 submitted apps using one of two remote device access services - either Remote Device Access from Forum Nokia, or Forum Nokia Virtual Developer Lab, powered by Device Anywhere.  Each of the top 25 submissions are required to also submit their applications to publish to Ovi and be in the QA process for publishing to Nokia's Ovi Store.  A panel of Nokia executives judges, will meticulously review all submitted applications and choose the finalists and winners based on the following criteria: quality/functionality, uniqueness, novelty value and innovativeness, usability/creativity, and commercial viability/market potential. 

Growth Economy Venture Challenge
The Growth Economy Venture Challenge was inspired by Nokia's CEO.  Developers were required to submit their best idea for a new mobile product or solution designed to improve the lives of people in the developing world.  Judges look for one idea that has risen above the rest, an idea that changes the way people use Nokia mobile devices, demonstrates how mobility can radically improve the lives of people who reside in areas where the average income is under USD 5 / day, or an idea that recognizes a good business opportunity that also contributes to "doing good" in the world.  This challenge is more than just about mobile apps - the winner and idea can be hardware, software or a new service opportunity. 

Awards and Prizes
The winner of this contest is eligible to receive USD 1 million in venture capital investment, and support from Nokia to help turn the idea into a reality. 

 Judges for this challenge will select the winner based on the following criteria: the idea must include a clear mission statement and provide a product or service plan that raises the standard of living or enhances the lives  of people in emerging markets, targets a market in a region with per capita income significantly lower than what is found in industrialized nations today (i.e. below  USD 5 /day), and includes a viable business model with the likelihood of producing a strong return on investment (ROI) for the venture funding provided. 

Applicants leapt to the challenges issued by Forum Nokia.  The Calling All Innovators website, which hosts both contests, has received more than 845,000 visitors throughout the submission process for both competitions.

Following are the winners and runner-ups for the Calling All Innovators Global Contest:

Calling All Innovators Global Contest, by category

Eco/ Being Green
Winner - TripSketch Green Traveler (USA)
First Runner-up -  RecycleME (Singapore)
Second Runner-up   -  Green Plaza (India)

Winner - Blog Radio (USA)
First Runner-up - Ansel-A (USA)
Second Runner-up   - PlanEasy2D (India)
Third Runner-up -  WakeUp (Hungary)

Life Improvement
Winner -  eLiteracy (South Africa)
First Runner-up - Car Black Box (Romania)
Second Runner-up  - Mobile Baby Care (China)
Third Runner-up - Medica (Egypt)

Winner - Comics Creator (India)
First Runner-up - Morpho QuickPanorma PRO (Japan/USA)
Second Runner-up   - Toudou (China)
Third Runner-up - Angry Birds (Finland)

Top 10 finalists in the Growth Economy Venture Challenge, listed in alphabetical order

- Bionic Power - The Portable Power Solution (Canada)
- eVOTZ (United States)
- FloCash Payment Network (United Kingdom)
- IDIFIED (United States)
- m-Employment platform using SMS (Pakistan)
- mmatcher - your mobile, your marketplace (Slovenia)
- Mobile Distributor Solution (Kenya)
- Mobile JobHunt (China)
- Remote Diagnostics Kit (India)
- Transclick for Globalization of m-commerce (United States)

More information about Forum Nokia's Calling All Innovators and Growth Economy Venture Challenge, including video demonstrations of the applications, can be found online at 

Newly appointed Nokia CEO Stephen Elop closes Nokia World 2010



London, UK - Stephen Elop, Nokia's incoming CEO, closes Nokia World 2010, where the world's leading mobile phone company introduced a new family of Symbian smartphones and improved developer tools. Over the two days, more than 5,000 people including operators, developers, business partners and media from around the world visited Nokia World 2010.

Virtual City Ltd receives USD 1 million in Nokia's Growth Economy Venture Challenge

London, UK - Today at the Nokia Developer Summit, Nokia was proud to announce Virtual City Ltd, a home-grown Kenyan company, as the winner of the Growth Economy Venture Challenge. A panel of experts judged their submission - Mobile Distributor Solution, which supports small and micro enterprises in emerging markets - to be the worthy winner. John Waibochi of Virtual City Ltd receives a USD 1 million in venture capital investment and a commitment of support from Nokia to help turn the idea into reality.

The Mobile Distributor Solution is designed to improve the distribution efficiencies for small and micro enterprises in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods market. The solution aims to boost the profitability of small and micro businesses by increasing the number of transactions as well as improving inventory management, the accuracy of records, and reporting from the field.

In the Growth Economy Venture Challenge, developers were required to submit their best idea for a new mobile product or solution designed to improve the lives of people in the developing world. Judges looked for one idea that has risen above the rest, an idea that changes the way people use Nokia mobile devices, demonstrates how mobility can radically improve the lives of people who reside in areas where the average income is under USD 5 / day, or an idea that recognizes a good business opportunity that also contributes to "doing good" in the world. 

More information about Forum Nokia's Calling All Innovators and Growth Economy Venture Challenge, including video demonstrations of the applications, can be found online at 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ਲਿਫ਼ਟ ਦੇਣ ਬਹਾਨੇ ਲੜਕੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਬਜ਼ੁਰਗ ਔਰਤ ਦੀਆਂ ਵਾਲੀਆਂ ਲਾਹੀਆਂ

ਗੁਰਾਇਆ, 15 ਸਤੰਬਰ (ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਪ੍ਰਤੀਨਿਧ)-ਸਫੈਦ ਰੰਗ ਦੀ ਕਾਰ 'ਚ ਸਵਾਰ ਤਿੰਨ ਲੜਕੀਆਂ, ਜੋ ਕਾਫੀ ਦਿਨਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਇਲਾਕੇ ਵਿਚ ਲਿਫ਼ਟ ਦੇ ਕੇ ਬਜ਼ੁਰਗ ਔਰਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਲੁੱਟ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਹਨ, ਨੇ ਇਕ ਹੋਰ ਘਟਨਾ ਨੂੰ ਅੰਜਾਮ ਦਿੰਦੇ ਹੋਏ ਪਿੰਡ ਵਿਰਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਇਕ ਔਰਤ ਦੀਆਂ ਵਾਲੀਆਂ ਉਤਾਰ ਲਈਆਂ। ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਕੌਰ ਪਤਨੀ ਕਰਨੈਲ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਘਰੋਂ ਦੁਸਾਂਝ ਕਲਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਬਿਜਲੀ ਦਾ ਬਿੱਲ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਗਈ ਸੀ, ਦੁਸਾਂਝ ਕਲਾਂ ਗੇਟ ਤੇ ਬੱਸ ਦੀ ਉਡੀਕ ਕਰ ਰਹੀ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਸਫੈਦ ਰੰਗ ਦੀ ਮਾਰੂਤੀ ਕਾਰ ਆਈ, ਜਿਸ ਵਿਚ ਤਿੰਨ ਲੜਕੀਆਂ ਪਿਛਲੀ ਸੀਟ ਤੇ ਬੈਠੀਆ ਸਨ ਤੇ ਨੌਜਵਾਨ ਲੜਕਾ ਕਾਰ ਚਲਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਸੀ। ਲੜਕੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਜੀ ਕਿਥੇ ਜਾਣਾ ਹੈ, ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ ਦੁਸਾਂਝ ਕਲਾਂ ਬਿੱਲ ਜਮਾਂ ਕਰਵਾਉਣ ਜਾਣ ਬਾਰੇ ਕਿਹਾ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਅਸੀਂ ਵੀ ੳ¤ੁਥੇ ਹੀ ਚੱਲੀਆਂ ਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਕਾਰ 'ਚ ਬਿਠਾ ਲਿਆ ਤੇ ਥੋੜ੍ਹੀ ਦੇਰ ਬਾਅਦ ਉਤਾਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਤੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਫੋਨ ਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਅਸੀਂ ਵਾਪਸ ਜਾਣਾ ਹੈ। ਮੈਂ ਕਾਰ 'ਚਂੋ ਉਤਰ ਕੇ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਕਿ ਮੇਰੀਆਂ ਕੰਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਸੋਨੇ ਦੀਆਂ ਵਾਲੀਆਂ ਗਾਇਬ ਸਨ।
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Nokia sharpens focus to connect next billion to the Internet

London, UK - Nokia today unveiled a strategy to connect the "next billion" people to the Internet by leveraging its unique capability to provide emerging markets with powerful yet affordable mobile phones and locally relevant Ovi services. Nokia's vision of "Connecting People" beyond telephony was a highlight at the final day of the annual Nokia World event, and complemented yesterday's rollout of a powerful new family of smartphones and updated Ovi services. To demonstrate its commitment to emerging markets, Nokia also updated a portfolio of feature-rich mobile phones and underscored Internet services that cater to a world in which four out of five people are within reach of a cellular signal.

Mary McDowell, Nokia's Executive Vice President for Mobile Phones, said in her keynote the company is ideally placed to capture much of the projected growth in the global marketplace and that the company intends to maintain its leadership in voice and data for the masses.

"More people will join the information age using a mobile phone than a PC," McDowell said. "With approximately 80 percent of the world's population in reach of a cell tower, it is the mobile phone that will offer the first PC-like experience for many of the next billion people who will come online."  

She added that Nokia will leverage its local knowledge of consumers, distribution strength and scale to innovate and deliver what consumers deem is valuable at prices they can afford.

Innovation and portfolio renewal
Following the recent launch of the Nokia X3 Touch and Type, Nokia unveiled its second touch and type phone: the Nokia C3 Touch and Type, which combines of a touch screen and traditional phone keypad. An affordable design classic, this Series 40 phone also features a full stainless steel chassis, 3G, WLAN, a 5 megapixel camera with flash, a music player, FM radio and it supports up to a 32GB memory card.  The phone has fast access to messaging and email plus applications and games from the Ovi Store. Priced at approximately EUR 145, excluding taxes and subsidies, it is expected to be available in Q4 of this year.

Nokia C3 Touch and Type image

McDowell also emphasized that in addition to well-made, well-priced devices, consumers everywhere crave apps that deliver globally and locally relevant content. And they want it quickly, easily and affordably.  

"New kinds of services and powerful software typically associated with smartphones are becoming more important in the traditional mobile phone space," she explained. "We are rolling-out targeted services to meet consumer demand for connectivity, access to information and affordability."

Responding to a higher consumer demand for information and services
Nokia is responding to higher demand on a number of fronts delivering to the needs of people in growth markets, including the integration of Ovi services.  In addition, Nokia provides wide-scale business opportunities for third-party Series 40 developers.

Ovi Mail
Ovi Mail has attracted more than 14 million email activations, the large majority of which are new users coming from emerging markets. In the last six months alone, 60 percent of new Ovi Mail accounts are from Southeast Asia Pacific and Africa, and more than 77 percent of people in the Middle East and Africa are now signing-up for Ovi Mail on their Nokia mobile phone instead of a PC.  In addition, more than 80 percent of Ovi Mail consumers globally are accessing their mailboxes from their mobile device.

Ovi Browser in Beta
Through its recent acquisition of Novarra, Nokia brings new browser technology and the power of cloud services to Series 40, enabling more Internet users in emerging markets to get more out of what the Web has to offer. Ovi Browser is now in beta release and makes Series 40 browsing faster, more affordable, easier to use, and more personalized.

Ovi Music
A hyper local approach to music services has seen Nokia become the single largest source of digital music revenue in markets including Brazil, Mexico and India, when Nokia digital billings for 2009 are compared against IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) estimates. With music services live across 38 markets, Nokia now offers the most globally scaled digital music footprint.

Ovi Store on Series 40
With hundreds of millions of Series 40 devices in use today, Ovi Store provides easy discovery and access to apps as well as high-volume business opportunities for developers.  With Series 40 as the world's largest mobile platform, Nokia believes there is plenty of opportunity for third parties to develop locally relevant apps and achieve volumes. Nokia recently extended its reach launching a fully commercial Ovi Store in China.

Enabling emerging market consumers' journey into services
Ovi Life Tools and Nokia Money are among the best examples of catering to the needs of emerging markets. They are positively impacting consumers' lives by providing access to the Internet for education, entertainment, health, business improvement and self improvement.  

Today Ovi Life Tools is available in India, Indonesia and China, and now has more than 4.7 million users.  

Nokia Money aims to offer consumers with a mobile phone access to basic financial services.  Together with YES BANK and Obopay, Nokia's pilot in Pune, India, called Mobile Money Services by YES BANK, - has  moved to full commercialization.  The next step for an India-wide rollout is the city of Chandigarh.

Nokia and Intuit form global alliance to create mobile marketing services for small businesses

LONDON, UK - Today, Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) and Nokia announced an alliance to develop and deliver an innovative new mobile and web based marketing service for small businesses around the world.

Addressing one of the leading concerns for the world's estimated 500 million small businesses, the new service will be designed to help them get more business through personalized, relevant offers and marketing messages, in a way unmatched by traditional methods.

The first market launch of the service is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010, further details will be made available at that time.

"Small businesses need every advantage to stay ahead of the pack in today's competitive environment," said Alex Lintner, President, Intuit Global Business Division. "We plan to offer them a way to strengthen customer relationships, through targeted communications that increase sales by delivering more customer visits. We're applying the same proven formula we've used with QuickBooks to help small businesses succeed by better serving their customers. We are thrilled to partner with Nokia to bring our respective areas of expertise to bear in developing this revolutionary service."

 "This is a significant step which we expect will create future growth opportunities," said Robert Andersson, Senior Vice President & Head of Corporate Alliances and Business Development at Nokia. "Working with Intuit, we are developing a breakthrough service to help small businesses deepen relationships with their customers, leveraging our expertise in mobile and location based services. We believe this will benefit consumers too, by helping them find their favorite products and services in the right place, at the right time and at the best price."

With hundreds of millions of its devices sold each year and more than 1.3 billion Nokia mobile devices in use around the world, Nokia is the world's largest mobile device manufacturer as well as a leader in digital mapping and navigation services, covering more than 70 countries in over 45 languages.

Currently serving millions of small businesses around the world, Intuit brings unique understanding of small businesses, a proven focus on innovation and a history of developing market-leading solutions to help small businesses improve their bottom line with offerings such as QuickBooks and Intuit Websites.

"Small businesses have a strong appetite for tools that can help them reach their customers and attract new ones," said Timothy Doherty, Research Analyst for SMB mobility at IDC. "There is a real opportunity for cost effective solutions that allow small businesses to proactively target the mobile customer with highly contextual offerings based on location and past purchase behavior."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Orange and Nokia to extend Ovi across the United Kingdom and France

London, UK - Orange and Nokia today announced a new integrated Ovi service that widens the developer ecosystem and gives Orange customers using Nokia handsets easier access to more content. Orange is integrating Ovi content with the best of its apps from the Orange Application Shop to give customers simpler, more secure access to a wider range of content and services, creating one easy and seamless experience. Nokia's Ovi Store with Orange will be accessible by Orange customers in the UK and France in 2011.

Orange is working with Nokia to create a single sign-on for customers on a range of new handsets that simplifies the registration and purchasing process. Customers that purchase a Nokia device in the Orange Signature range will enjoy a wider range of local content and apps, sourced through the Orange developer community, and accessible through the Ovi Store with Orange. Access is simple, not requiring any additional registrations. For simplicity and convenience, customers will be able to buy any app from the Ovi Store on their Orange bill.

"Orange is always striving to create a great mobile multimedia experience for customers. To be successful, access to content must be simple, seamless and secure. That is why we are extending our partnership with Nokia, combining innovation to create an intelligent platform that brings an enhanced experience to our customers. By joining the best of both worlds and creating this new service, we believe Orange and Nokia together will bring significant benefits to both our customers and developers," said Paul Francois Fournier, Executive Vice President, Internet Services, Orange.

"Our data shows that two out of every three Ovi Store users choose the simplicity of operator billing when purchasing content. By offering more locally relevant content and the most convenient way to pay for it, we believe Nokia's Ovi Store with Orange will be a hit with consumers and provide developers with additional revenue opportunities," said Marco Argenti, Vice President of Media, Nokia.

Nokia and Orange will be engaging with third party developers on content creation for the Ovi Store during an Orange Partner Developer Day on September 17th in London.

Nokia announces powerful family of smartphones and Ovi services at Nokia World showcase; vision of location-based future brought to life

London, UK - At Nokia World, the destination for people passionate about mobility, Nokia today announced a family of smartphones powered by the all new Symbian platform which brings significant enhancements in speed and ease of use. The new devices, which are tightly integrated with enhanced Ovi services and apps, reinforce Nokia's vision of a mobile industry that is increasingly being defined by socially connected, location-based devices and experiences.  

Highlights include:

- Three new smartphones, Nokia E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6, which join the previously announced Nokia N8 to form a family of Symbian products. - The latest version of the Symbian platform brings more than 250 new features and improvements and retains the familiarity enjoyed by millions of smartphone users worldwide;
- Showcase of the Nokia N8, the ultimate entertainment smartphone and world's best cameraphone;
- Availability of a richer Ovi Store experience - starting with the Nokia N8 - that includes a friendlier look and feel, and more  popular and unique apps and games;
- The latest beta release of free Ovi Maps with new pedestrian and motorist features.

"Today our fight back to smartphone leadership shifts into high gear," said Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Markets, Nokia. "Despite new competition, Symbian remains the most widely used smartphone platform in the world.  Our new family of smartphones introduced today feature the all-new Symbian OS, rewritten to be faster, easier to use, more efficient and more developer friendly." Savander also commented on the high level of anticipation for the Nokia N8. "Based on the level of consumer interest and the highest online pre-orders in Nokia history, we expect big things from the Nokia N8."

A smartphone for everyone.
In addition to the Nokia N8, the new family of faster, more intuitive Symbian smartphones includes:

- Nokia E7 - the ultimate business smartphone. With Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync on board, the Nokia E7 provides direct, real-time and secure access to corporate email inboxes and other personal applications.  Equipped with a 4-inch touchscreen display featuring Nokia ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility and a full keyboard, business users will find the Nokia E7 is the perfect shape and size to work on documents, review spreadsheets, or read and edit slides. For corporate peace of mind, a combination of business grade security solutions is available. Estimated retail price is EUR 495, excluding taxes and subsidies.

Nokia E7 image

- Nokia C7 - beautifully crafted, sleek social networking smartphone. Get live updates from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and keep track of new email from your Yahoo! or Gmail accounts directly on the homescreen. The Nokia C7 features a 3.5-inch AMOLED display and a stunning combination of stainless steel, glass and soft edges. Estimated retail price is EUR 335, excluding taxes and subsidies.

 Nokia C7 image

- Nokia C6 - the small and stylish smartphone. Sporting a 3.2-inch AMOLED display with full touch capabilities and Nokia ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility, the latest Nokia C6 (C6-01) features the best of social networking and mobile entertainment in a stainless steel and glass design. Stay connected to email, access millions of tracks through Ovi Music, and download apps and games from the Ovi Store. Estimated retail price is EUR 260, excluding taxes and subsidies.

Nokia C6 image

As a smartphone family, the Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7, Nokia C6 share several similarities. All are built on the new version of Symbian, the world's most popular smartphone platform. It strikes a balance of innovation and intuition offering a variety of improvements and features such as support for multiple homescreens, visual multitasking, gesture-based interactions and a noticeable reduction in prompts -- all while presenting a familiarity that means millions of people can pick up one of Nokia's new smartphones and instantly know how to use it. People will also discover free Ovi Maps, access to Ovi Store, messaging, social networking and other experiences that come standard across all of these smartphones.

The Nokia E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6 are all expected to begin shipping before the end of the year.

...with content for everyone
The new family of Symbian smartphones will include a completely updated Ovi Store experience. The new store experience is driven by a friendlier user interface and a new collections feature to quickly access popular apps and games available now, or soon, such as foursquare, Angry Birds, Need for Speed Shift and Real Golf 2011. Additionally, Ovi Store will continue to offer exclusive apps including Audiotube, Tesco and others along with favorites such as Fring, Shazam, and Asphalt 5.

For developers, the uniform Symbian platform together with the Qt development environment enables easy smartphone application creation and extensive reach.

A mobile world centered on where you are
Free access to Ovi Maps, the world's most comprehensive walk and drive navigation, to Nokia smartphones was only the start. With the latest beta release of Ovi Maps, available for download today, people will benefit from new features and even greater map detail. Ovi Maps beta adds visibility to subways, trams and trains in 85 cities around the world, real-time traffic, safety alerts in or out of navigation mode, visibility to parking and petrol stations, and speed limit warnings. In addition, people can use the improved search capabilities and share their location immediately via text messages or email to other browser-enabled phones.

New gear for on-the-go
Nokia also showcased the Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-905i offering an improved audio experience with active noise cancellation and a collection of five unique new Bluetooth headsets designed for a variety of needs, including hands-free multitasking, talking and navigating in the car with voice guidance.

Nokia makes it easier, more lucrative for developers to reach the world's largest smartphone family

Design, develop, distribute key theme at the Nokia Developer Summit 2010

London, UK - Nokia today unveiled a number of major improvements in developer tools making it simpler, easier and more lucrative for people to build fantastic apps that can reach the world's largest audience of mobile users.

Highlights include:

- Significant enhancements to the Nokia Qt Software Development Kit (SDK) resulting in a 70 percent reduction in the number of lines of code required when developing for the company's family of Symbian smartphones;
- Improvements in the Ovi Store user experience including a new look and feel, making it faster and making apps easier to find;
- Lower barrier of entry and increased monetization opportunities for developers, including free Java and Symbian signing, in-app purchase, improved revenue share, and advanced developer analytics.

"Our announcements will certainly bring more great apps to Nokia products, especially our new family of Symbian smartphones announced today," said Purnima Kochikar, Vice President for Forum Nokia. "We have made it much simpler, removed obstacles and made it more lucrative for people to build apps for our phones. We believe that this will convince more developers to build apps for the millions of people, in more than 190 countries, that are using the Ovi Store on their Nokia devices."

Design, Develop
Today, developers can distribute apps to approximately 175 million Nokia Symbian smartphones - the largest smartphone user base in the world. Qt is pre-installed on all new Nokia smartphones and downloadable to millions of smartphones people are already using. Using the Nokia Qt SDK to build their apps, developers will discover a complete, easy-to-use tool that brings a shortened workflow, simplified development and intuitive UI libraries resulting in 70 percent fewer lines of code, cutting creation time dramatically.

New opportunities for developers will include in-app purchase, enabling a wide range of app pricing options in Ovi Store such as subscription models, micro-transactions,  or "try and buy." This means if people enjoy the free version of the app, they can easily upgrade to the paid version. It also allows developers to build added value into their apps such as the sale of virtual goods, additional levels for games, or enhanced or localized in-app features. 

Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio, the company behind one of the world's most popular mobile games, Angry Birds, is pleased to bring the game to Nokia devices. Speaking about the new in-app purchase feature in Ovi Store, Hed said, "We now have an elegant mechanism for providing premium content within games, like Angry Birds, in a way that doesn't interrupt people playing the game."

With the Nokia Qt SDK, developers can also future proof their app by easily adapting them to run on future mobile platforms such as MeeGo, while taking advantage of any additional features or APIs those platforms bring.

Nokia will focus on making developers more money by leveraging the largest operator billing footprint available and greatly improving the operator revenue share for payments made after October 1. Nokia has also removed the time consuming and costly step of app signing. With one click, Java and Symbian apps signing is complete.

Nokia's acquisition of Motally provides rich in-app analytics for developers and publishers to better track, report and monetize their content; these capabilities will be extended to Qt, Symbian, MeeGo and Java platforms. 

The reach of Ovi Store provides tremendous opportunities for developers with an active user base in more than 190 countries and strong local relationships with 91 of the world's top operators. More than 50 publishers have seen more than 1 million downloads each, with some - like Offscreen - reaching more than 43 million downloads.

"Fizwoz was launched as a Qt-based app at the beginning of the year and featured in the top 10 Ovi Store apps for the Nokia N900 for just a week," said Andy Sheldon, CEO, Fizwoz. "During that time, it received over 9,000 downloads from 91 countries, and when we put it on Symbian smartphones in early May our numbers on Nokia shot up. We now have almost 41,000 people using it in 167 countries and add 200-300 new people every day. In fact, it took just two months for Nokia to catch up with our user number on a big competitor's app store with a predominantly U.S. distribution footprint. Nokia is truly worldwide."

First SDK for touch based mobile phones
In addition to the refinements with the Nokia Qt SDK for smartphones and mobile computers, Nokia also announced an SDK for Series 40 Touch and Type - the industry's first touch SDK for mobile phones. 

Last year, Nokia shipped 364 million mobile phones - around a million devices every day. The new Series 40 Touch and Type SDK brings the benefit of a touch interface to a new global audience. The SDK, available for download from, will make development for these devices extremely simple and allows easy porting of existing apps created for current Nokia smartphones.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dow Jones Indexes names Nokia as world's most sustainable technology company for second year in a row

Espoo, Finland - Nokia is the world's most sustainable technology company according to prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes Review 2010. Nokia was chosen as "Technology Supersector Leader" making it number one across the entire global technology sector for the second time in row.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are globally respected rankings based on a thorough analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance. Nokia scores high on all these dimensions. According to the index Nokia strengths are especially in the areas of customer relationship management, risk management, standards for suppliers, environmental policy and management system, labor practices, talent attraction and human capital development.

Commenting on the news, Timo Ihamuotila, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Nokia said, "The second consecutive number one slot across the entire global technology industry is a great recognition of the continued and strong commitment by Nokia employees to sustainable business practices. For us, sustainability is not a trend but our way of doing business. We remain committed to action and continue to look beyond our own operations to harness the power of mobile technology to address environmental, social and economic issues."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Central & South Asia Pakistan mourns blast victims

Thousands have attended a funeral in the Pakistani city of Quetta for victims of a suicide attack on a Shia Muslim procession.

The death toll from Friday\'s attack rose from 43 to 65 overnight as critically wounded people died in hospitals, police said on Saturday.

Shops and schools remained closed as security officials increased security in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

Security was also stepped up at mosques across the country.

Protesters have demonstrated at the scene of the attack, in anger at what they called lax security measures. Wider demonstrations were expected for later in the day.

About 150 people were wounded, with some still in a critical condition, a police official said.

\"Streets are deserted and security forces and personnel of anti-terrorism force are patrolling in different areas,\" an AFP news agency reporter said.

Pakistani Taliban \'responsible\'

At least 200 people were injured in the attack, for which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. But police said so far, no arrests had been made and that an investigation was in progress.

The bomber, who was among a 450-strong crowd marching through the city, blew himself up as the procession reached the main square.

Chaotic scenes followed, with an angry mob starting fires and shooting into the air while others fled or lay on the ground to avoid gunfire.

Police were forced to quell unrest after the bombing, Sardar Khan, the chief of Quetta\'s police control room, said.

\"An angry mob tried to set on fire a private building and vehicles. Some of the participants were armed and they were firing in the air. They also set on fire some bicycles and motorcycles.\"

Major-General Athar Abbas, a spokesman for the Pakistani military, told Al Jazeera that such attacks are taking place in urban centres because \"the army has moved into large swathes of tribal areas, denying [the fighters] their freedom of movement and dislodging them from their main strongholds\".

\"[As a result] they have now resorted to acts of desperation, targeting our population and trying to exert pressure on the government and the military to reconsider their operations in tribal areas as they are being defeated there ... this is the phenomenon that we see.\" (
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Punjab Congress celebrates re-election of Sonia Gandhi

Pradesh Congress Chief Mohinder Singh Kay Pee, Leader of the Congress Legislature Party Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and former Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh have felicitated the Congress President Sonia Gandhi on her re-election for the fourth successive term.

The Pradesh Congress President Sh. Mohinder Singh Kay Pee lauded the role of Gandhi in re-building the Party cadre and consolidating the party base amongst masses within a very short span of six years after taking the reigns of Party leadership in 1998 when the party was virtually reduced to shambles after its shocking defeat in three Parliamentary elections held in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

He said that Party was able to regain the confidence of masses once again in 2004 when Gandhi set an unprecedented example of renunciation by declining the post of Prime Minister in favour of financial wizard of the world Dr. Manmohan Singh.

The PCC President added the Party once again got the mandate under the leadership of Gandhi in 2009 and the people of Country is looking towards the Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and the Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi for historical development under her leadership.

On the re-election of Gandhi sweets were distributed in the Punjab Congress Bhawan.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Dengue cases reach 1,081 in Delhi

The dengue menace showed no signs of abating in the national capital where the number of cases reached 1,081 today with 67 more patients testing positive for the vector-borne disease. Of the total cases so far, 927 have been reported from MCD areas, 117 from NDMC areas and the rest from other parts of the city besides some outstation cases.

The highest number of 183 cases have come from MCD South Zone followed by Central Zone (162) and Civil Lines (121). According to statistics released by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the number of cases till this time in 2009 was only four.

The figure was 86 and 22 in the same periods in 2008 and 2007 respectively. Authorities are more worried about the spread of dengue as the city will host the Games in October, a month which generally sees high prevalence of the disease.

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Extra 2.5 million tonnes, not free, but at BPL prices

The Centre on Thursday worked out an intermediate food distribution plan which it hopes will pass muster with the Supreme Court. The Court has ordered the government to distribute grain free instead of letting it rot in godowns.

An empowered group of ministers decided to expand the number of families under the poverty line by over 18%. These families will get wheat at Rs 4.15 per kg and rice at Rs 5.65 per kg.

The measure will save the government from a de facto nationalisation of the country's trade in rice and wheat while ensuring a far larger number of people get cheap wheat and rice.

Food and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar told reporters after the meeting of the group of ministers headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee that as an interim measure, the government will release an additional 2.5 million tonne of wheat and rice to states at BPL prices for the next six months from its stock. He said a final decision on following through with the SC order will be taken up soon.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Google, Skype under regulatory scanner: May Face ban in India

After Blackberry, seems Google and Skype are the firms to face ban in India. Skype, the Internet phone service, and Google, which uses powerful encryption technology for its Gmail service, are likely to be amid the line of firms to come under New Delhi's scanner.
According to the spokesman for the home ministry, if a company is providing telecom services in India then all communications must be available to Indian security services. If Google or Skype have an element that is not easily reached, that will not be possible. The message is the same for everybody.
According to the close sources, Skype, which uses Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) technology that sends calls over the Internet, poses a difficulty for the domestic intelligence services.
As per the reports by the Press Trust of India, notices would be sent to Skype and US Internet giant Google.
India is also targeting "virtual private networks(VPN)", which give employees secure access to their company networks when they are working out of the office.

Consumers rate Nokia as India's Most Trusted Brand for third year in row

Espoo, Finland - Nokia has been ranked No.1 in The Economic Times-Brand Equity's annual 'Most Trusted Brands' survey for 2010 in India, marking Nokia's recognition as India's most trusted brand for three consecutive years. Nokia has appeared in the survey since 2005, and has held the first position in 2008, 2009 and now, 2010.

Nokia's leadership rating over the years in this survey is also an indicator of the dramatic impact mobility has on India's consumers over the years.  India has been among the fastest growing telecom markets in the world with an estimated current mobile subscriber base in excess of 670 million subscribers.

"Nokia has always been a consumer-centric company and a consumer award for 'trust' is the pinnacle of all awards.  This award is a testament to our team's deep focus and determined efforts to better understand the needs of the evolving Indian consumer and connect with them. Our initiatives for India - ranging from 'made in India, made for India' handsets, services such as Nokia Life Tools and extensive retail and care networks - are a proof of the fact that we are continuously striving to make a positive impact on the lives of our consumers,"  said D. Shivakumar, Managing Director, Nokia India Pvt. Ltd.

The award marks the celebration of 15 years of mobility and Nokia in India. The first mobile phone call was made on a Nokia phone using Nokia network on July 31, 1995.

Brand Equity's 'Most Trusted Brands' survey judges 300 brands from consumer products and services. Consumers across 13 Indian cities evaluate the brand on seven key attributes

Krishna to be born again today

LUCKNOW: Every nook and corner of the city has been decked up for the festival of Janmashtami, to be celebrated on Thursday.

The devotees appeared to be completely soaked in \'Krishna bhakti\' on the eve of the festival.

The temples across the city were elaborately decorated with strings of colourful lights and flowers.

Several tableaux depicting the various stages of Lord Krishna\'s life were attractively displayed at many places.

The tableaux at the Reserve Police Lines premises and 35 battalion of PAC in Mahanagar are also ready. \"As always, we have focused on tableaux depicting the entire \'Krishna Leela\',\" said a person associated with the work.

So, be prepared to watch how Krishna was born in the prison, Kansa killing the infants of Vasudeva and Devaki, Krishna being carried by his father to Mathura, Krishna dancing on the Kali Naag\'s hood etc, playing holi with gopis, stealing makhan, killing demons like Pootna and finally Kansa\'s death. \"Call him Narayan, Govinda, Gopal Hari or what you feel like, the \'makhanchor\' has a habit of sneaking into our lives, even if we are not of religious kind. As I am his devotee, I never miss an opportunity to come here,\" said a devotee, Garima Shukla, who fasts till midnight and celebrates \'Krishna janma\'. (

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Lahore multiple blasts: 30 dead, 250 hurt

Three blasts rocked Lahore on Wednesday, Sep 1 evening, killing 30 people and injuring 250.

The blasts were aimed at a Shia procession comprising hundreds of people that gather in the walled city of Lahore during the holy month of Ramzaan.

The explosions hit 3 separate locations as 45,000 Shias marched in a traditional mourning ceremony for the assassination of Ali, the Prophet Muhammad\'s cousin.

The first two bombs of small intensity went off near the Karbala Gamay Shah Imambargah or prayer ground just when Muslims across Pakistan broke their fast.

Within half an hour, a third and more powerful bomb exploded at Lahore\'s Bhatti Chowk at about 7:20 pm.

Khusro Pervez, commissioner Lahore, said that 18 bodies had been brought to the morgue while 162 people were injured. He warned the number of dead could rise.

Geo News channel reported that the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Almi had claimed responsibility for the blasts.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nokia completes acquisition of Motally, Inc.

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Motally, Inc., initially announced on August 20, 2010.

Motally's mobile analytics service enables developers and publishers to optimize the development of their mobile applications through increased understanding of how users engage. The service offering is planned to be adapted for Qt, Symbian, MeeGo and Java developers.