November 2006 — Monthly Archive
Mobile operator 3 is all set to offer ADSL/Cable-style flat-rate pricing plans for people using their 3G network. UK service will begin next month, other countries are slated to follow soon. This was long overdue; I remember the complete cluelessness on a 3 rep’s face in 2003 when I asked him why I had to pay extra to send email on a network touting its data capabilities. 3 and its cohorts seem to have gotten the religion now, with Sony-Ericsson’s President quoted as saying “Moving to flat rate charging is the key to unlocking the value of the mobile internet”. No kidding.
- ‘Intelligent’ prosthetic feet
- Hotmail is now offering 1GB of storage space in all markets. Apparently this goes up to 2GB when your Hotmail account is upgraded to Windows Live Mail (paying users get double, i.e., 4GB).
- Zotero is a citation manager that works within Firefox. Pretty useful, especially for those who find systems like Endnote overly complex. (via BoingBoing)
- Transparent composite concrete (via John Robb)
- Bollywood experiments with Internet releases
- The French 35-hour work week had “no significant impact” on aggregate employment
- Do red light cameras make roads less safe?
- Body piercings are injurious to health (via Instapundit)
Fedex is cancelling its order of 10 A380s because of Airbus’ delivery delays, and getting 15 Boeing 777s instead. This comes after Virgin Atlantic’s deferment of its order for 10 planes last month. Of the big customers left (scroll down for ‘A380 Orders So Far’ on this page) Emirates is already making threatening noises and has cancelled some A340 orders, Singapore Airlines could cancel or ask for a deferment (which results in no money flowing into Airbus’ coffers, although I’m guessing they’ll book the revenue anyway), and UPS will be under pressure to look at Boeing as well. Only Lufthansa and Air France look like reliable customers.
Given the number of people Airbus employ, none of this is likely to be well-received in Europe. However, given the reorganisations at Airbus the A380 delays have prompted, a leaner, more effective Airbus may be the lemonade that came out of the A380 lemon.
Karnataka’s got the whole Kannada Pride thing going. From 1 November, they’re getting rid of ‘colonial’-era town names:
Bangalore becomes Bengalooru (this is the correct spelling, not Bengaluru)
Mysore becomes Mysooru
Mangalore becomes Mangalooru
Shimoga becomes Shivamogga
Hubli becomes Hubballi
Belgaum becomes Belagaavi
Maybe this is a good time to remind them of West Bengal’s Calcutta → Kolkata experience. For those not in the know, practically no one but Bongs can actually pronounce Kolkata right, thereby guaranteeing that I’ll cringe every time I hear the City of Joy’s fair name being mis-pronounced on Indian TV, usually as kol-katta or kol’kaata or worse. (The correct pronounciation is ‘kol-kata with a soft t, people. Or just say kal-katta in Hindi, Calcutta in English, and whatever you want in other languages).
Heh, now that linguistically sensitive Kannadigas will face the same mangling (how do you spell Hubbali again?), I no longer feel quite as bad.