You’ve dug your own grave, Flipkart!

October 6 – The day that was supposed to be the biggest day for the Indian e-commerce. But what turned out was an absolute nightmare. The next day, Flipkart was the headlines of all news channels and newspapers. Even it found a prominent space in the Tamil dailies who never known what e-com is all about.

I would put the blame on Flipkart’s flash sale. Yes, they were successful doing that for Xiaomi. But this is something different. In Xiaomi’s case, there were at least a few tens of thousands of phones for grab. But here only God knows how many Re.1 Pen drives and Rs.1000 Tablets they had actually offered.

Another stark difference is, unlike Xiaomi’s sale, where you just need to click buy to get the phone (and have the comfort of paying the amount in the next 24 hours), you need to complete the entire transaction to complete your purchase. That too before the stocks run out.

Even more terrible was the fact that the prices are actually inflated to sell them on discount. Though for most part it is true that they have quoted the actual MRP (which is usually way high than their selling price), apps like buyhatke, exposed that they were at the same price (and rarely, even cheaper) the previous day / week even.

E-com had just started to grow over their comfort zone of top tier cities and venture deep into the country. But this, just this, had just spread the E-com story to every corner of the country, but not in the way they would like it. And by that, they have spread the wrong welcome message for the whole lot of users, who are yet to come into their world. Now, it’s even more difficult to convince them to buy from you.

Flipkart, you just dug your own grave – in fact, not just a grave, but an entire graveyard for all those e-com companies out there.

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Windows 8 never Shuts Down, literally!

Have a look at this screenshot, captured with the snipping tool, in Windows 8 Release Preview.

win8 uptime

The task manager shows that my system is up for 1 day and 23 hours and 41 minutes (thats 19 minutes short for the second day). But actually that isn’t the case. I turned on my PC just minutes before this screenshot was taken and after a proper Shut Down (Charms -> Power -> Shutdown).

Want to try out on your own? Just press CTRL + Shift + Esc and go to Performance tab. You can also do some more. Keep your power supply on (in case if you use a PC) shut down your system and hit the spacebar twice or thrice. Your computer will turn on automatically. There is even more. Open Notepad. Type something. Shut down and turn on your computer. And you could find the notepad ready for you.

So why does it happen?

The answer is “Windows 8 never actually shuts down”. Yes. Never indeed. In whatever way you try to shutdown your PC (even by executing shutdown.exe), the computer goes to a hibernate-kind of mode. This is not actually explicitly mentioned as a feature of Windows 8 by Microsoft. But they do have a name for this. They call this procedure “Fast Startup”

Fairly speaking, there is nothing to worry about this feature of Windows 8. It neither consumes any power nor does it change the aspects of computing. It just makes our lives pretty easy. But the question is why doesn’t Microsoft publically announce this as a feature of Windows 8? Is there something unannounced hiding inside Windows 8? Well, answers will be on October 26.

Google ignores Indian Independence Day

It’s August 15 –  a day celebrated by a billion people as something close to their heart. It is the day, the country of India got out of the hands of the British empire. It is the day, where Ahimsa and Gandhi conquered the entire world. For the people around the country, it is something that is more than just another celebration.

Google – in its traditions of celebrating major events with a doodle – has always come up with a great ones for the Indian national festivals such as the Independence day and the Republic day. The previous doodles of the Red fort, traditional kolam have created a lot of buzz and positive response from the country. It has created such an impact that a few (including me) wait till the midnight to see the Search engine’s way of celebration.

But this year Google gives us a complete shocker. After a series of awesome doodles for the London 2012 Olympics, expectations were huge on Google’s forthcoming doodles. This August 15, they have completely ignored the Greatest day of Indian history to praise an American chef and TV show anchor “Julia Child”

 

Today (Aug 15, 2012) is Child’s 100th Birth anniversary and there is definitely a reason to celebrate. But when we have a festival for a billion people (and a few thousands more in other countries), this should not have been the case. Google could have easily done with a separate doodle for India and the Child’s doodle for Rest of the World. They have did similar things in the past and should be an easy go one for them.

Instead Google went on to hide the Independence day of the country to celebrate the birthday of just a chef. This is something that I (or we) never expected from Google and they should offer an open apology to everyone of the country.

UPDATE: Google has changed the doodle around 0500 IST that puts up a beautiful peacock design and Indian flag colour

Yes! It’s here…

The much much awaited product of the Google+ ecosystem has finally arrived. Yes! Starting right now you can follow brands or “Google+ Pages”.

Google+ pages
The Google+ pages logo

The G+ pages, for now, is half-baked. It neither offer good admin controls as Facebook does not it has the ability of a two way interaction. Fans or followers cannot post into the Page or even directly contact them in any means. But hours withing the launch Google’s product manager of the Google+ project, Dennis Troper posted to his G+ profile that every feature will be up very soon.

There are a lot of pages to follow right now and every one can create a new page as well.

And it seems Google+ is changing its logo too. The official Google+ page on G+ shows “g with +” in red background which is also the favicon of profiles and pages. But still the favicon of the homepage is the “+ in black button”

Google+

New logo of Google+

The one thing I love about Google is their creativity. And they have done it very well in making their pages. Google has used its scrapbook images to a greater extent in designing their pages. For example, Google’s official page have G as the profile picture and the remaining letter are in each photos each taken from a different doodle. Google Maps page the scrapbook photos combined to give a complete map.

Google's page on Google+

Google's page on Google+

Here are a few Google pages to add to circles on Google+:

UPDATE:  Google totally changed the logo of Google+ in all its pages. Now Google+ is all red.

Counting down the last days of Snaptu

RIP

When Snaptu launched its revamped facebook application a year back, little was known that this is going to be the beginning of the end of one of the all-time favorite J2ME application.

The success of Snaptu lies in the fact that there was no good RSS reader or a twitter app for the s40 series of Nokia (which then covered almost 95% of mobile phone market) as well as other feature phones. Snaptu, powered by the superior interface quickly got into the gap.

It all began with their January 19 announcement, that they will launch a Facebook application for the feature phones in partnership with Facebook itself. Then it was called “Facebook by Snaptu“. Still things were seemed to be well and good.

When rumors about Facebook’s acquisition of Snaptu began in the late February, Snaptu replied by launching a LinkedIn application in partnership with LinkedIn. The voices were over and things became normal once again.

But that doesn’t last long. 5 days later came this blog post from Snaptu, when no one expected.

The Snaptu team is excited to announce today that we recently agreed to be acquired by Facebook.

Right in the blog post, snaptu indicated that the app is counting down its last days.

The acquisition is expected to close within a few weeks.  We’ll have more updates on Snaptu soon, and we’ll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone. During this transition period, we expect Snaptu will continue to operate as it does today.

But facebook as they do as always, maintained that Snaptu as a product will not be affected by the acquisition. Yes, it was not affected until September. In September both Snaptu and Facebook by Snaptu is removed from distribution from its own servers to give way for “Facebook for every phone“. It was then removed from app stores like GerJar and OVI store, a few weeks later.

The jar file, however was still available in the net and it did work. But with a banner reading “Upgrade to the new Facebook app!” linking to the “Facebook for every phone” application. A few apps were missing but the rest such as Twitter, Facebook, Cricinfo, TechCrunch and Masable! worked (and is still working) well.

This morning (1 Nov 2011), another banner below the previous one was seen on the app reading “Apps ending on 11/11/11”. This was the news item pointed:

On 11/11/11 we’ll end most of our apps, including Twitter, Cricinfo, LinkedIn. These apps will no longer be available. Snaptu is now a part of Facebook, and we strongly encourage you to upgrade to our latest Facebook app.

This is not new for Facebook. They have already done it with Divvyshot, Hot Potato and most recently Beluga.

For those who used snaptu as just an RSS reader, the same app along with Weather Forecast (powered by AccuWeather) and MyMovies are available on the “Facebook for every phone” itself. Yet the loss of Snaptu is great one who used them for Twitter and Cricinfo.

 

A few links:

Google+ integration on about.me

As we all know Google+ has launched its public API keys weeks ago. But till now we haven’t seen any good apps or integration with Google+ on any other site. Probably AOL owned about.me is the first service to offer such integration.

In its blog post launching the service about.me said

We’re pleased to announce our Google+ integration is here! As one of the first services with Google+ available, our entire team worked hard to design, develop, test and launch this brand new integration.

The design features your public posts as well as your public profile. Though the facebook design on about.me is better than the G+ thing, with the photo feed and recent friends feed, this integration is truly a forward step taken in the right direction, at least for the Google+ side. G+ will need a lot of such things to make sure that they exist in the competition.

Here is how the feature looks like..

G+ on about.me

 

View my about.me page here

Add me to your circles here