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Thursday, May 22, 2008

India to oust US in number of cell phone users

India s prominence in the mobile phone sector was reconfirmed after a report by the country s telecom regulatory body suggested that its mobile subscriber base would surpass than that of the US by April 2008

According to a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report, the wireless segment had seen an addition of 8.53 million subscribers in the month of February 2008 as against 8.77 million subscribers in January 2008. India s total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA and WLL) base stood at 250.93 million at the end of February 2008, the report stated.

Airtel added maximum new users in the month of February 2008. It enrolled 2.26 million users followed by Reliance Communications (1.6 million) and Vodafone Essar (1.4 million) in Feb 2008.

Compared to the US and China, India's monthly wireless subscriber addition of 8.5 million users is the highest. Given the phenomenal growth in the wireless segment, TRAI has predicted that India would have the second largest wireless subscriber base after China in the first half of April 2008. TRAI also expects India s total subscriber base to cross the 300 million mark in April. According to CTIA (an Association of Wireless operators in US), the subscriber base of USA is 256 million at present.

However, despite the phenomenal growth in numbers, the telephone density in India hovers around the 25% mark. This means that only one out of every four Indians has a telephone connection.

YouTube to provide more viewership info

The popular video-sharing site YouTube is giving contributors more details about who's watching their video clips and when, offering advertisers additional insights they can use to target their pitches

New York: The free programme, known as YouTube Insight, also could help bands schedule their concerts and help anyone time the release of a new video.

Marketers who buy ads on YouTube already get a bevy of statistics about the performance of their ads. The new programme breaks down viewership by day and shows the states or countries where most viewers are.

A movie studio that uploads a trailer for free on YouTube could use those details to see where the clip is most popular and perhaps buy ads targeted to users in that region — on YouTube and even on television.

But everyday contributors also can benefit from the new program, said Tracy Chan, a YouTube programme manager. Until now, those users got limited information, such as how many times their video was viewed or commented on.

The new tools "give a lot of context around the performance of video over time, where are your audience coming from and how your message is connecting to your audience," Chan said.

A band could use that information to plan stops on a tour, while video producers who find their viewership peaks on Wednesdays could release new clips then. Likewise, producers who see their shows peaking after three weeks would know to release a new episode every three weeks, and someone whose material turns out to be popular in Spain might want to release the next video in Spanish.

"With this information, you can concentrate on creating compelling new content that appeals to your target audiences and post these videos on days you know these viewers are on the site," YouTube officials said in a blog entry announcing the program.

Upcoming features may indicate how viewers find a video, through a search, an outside link or YouTube's share-with-a-friend feature, Chan said.

Long live Windows XP!

For Windows loyalists, there's no doubt that the future is bright (optimistically speaking) and the future is Vista. However, for people who cannot let go of the ageing XP, they can expect support if they invest in an emerging, new class of mobile personal computers commonly known as ULCPC (Ultra Low-cost Personal Computers).

Microsoft announced the worldwide extension of the availability of Windows XP Home for ULCPCs. Windows XP Home for ULCPCs will be available until June 30, 2010, or for one year after general availability of the next version of Windows.

Microsoft had earlier announced that it would stop selling Windows XP completely by January 2009 (albeit postponing the stoppage by a year), and that sellers would stop bundling the old operating system with machines June onwards.

Conversely, it seems that Microsoft has realized the potential of the up-and-coming breed of ULCPCs, like the Eee PC, and has therefore decided to not withdraw the much-loved-by-some OS completely from the market. After all, it cannot allow people to have only the option of Linux on such PCs; customers loyal to the Windows brand are sure to follow.

And Microsoft cannot offer its high-configuration-hogging Vista OS for this segment because of obvious reasons, hence it has decided to stay and battle it out with Linux, which has been gaining a steady grip over the OS (Operating System) market slowly and steadily.

On the other hand, the OS business in emerging markets has been tricky for Microsoft. India being one of the top countries in such markets that has a majority of people who cannot yet seem to embrace the legality issues that encircle a pirated copy of an OS. For markets like ours, Microsoft has announced that computer makers could sell Windows XP Starter edition until June 2010.

Here's hoping that there are further reductions in the price of this one, so our countrymen can make a wilful transition to the legal software route.

Internet altering human emotions

The web is changing the very nature of intimacy, emotion and dating, according to a new study.

Sydney: An audit of online dating sites as part of the study has found that they are informal and are fast emerging as an effective way of developing one's "social and intimate circle".

The study, which audited 60 sites and conducted in-depth interviews with users, also found that the online communication had more intensity and immediacy, and, in some ways, was almost addictive in nature.

The study, by University of Melbourne researchers Millsom Henry-Waring and Jo Barraket, has been published in the International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society.

According to the study, an important feature of online communication was the drafting of one's personal profile - perceived as one's own "shop window".

"Many of our participants talked about the fact that people were judged on the basis of how they looked, but also how their photos and profiles 'talked' online," the authors wrote.

"We have suggested that a type of 'hyper-communication' occurs in the types of communication and also in the speed and intensity of the contact. As found in other studies, this appears to be facilitated by the informal and dis-inhibitive nature of the medium."

Indo-Asian News Service