– Sameer Pitalwalla has left Indiatimes to join UTV Interactive (which, we’re told is the new name for UTV New Media) as Head of 3G. Pitalwalla, who was previously with Zoom (an entertainment focused TV channel from the Times Group) had switched to Indiatimes to head its Times Audience Network and Live.Indiatimes.com initiatives, as well as the Business Head of 58888 Follow. What’s odd about this move is that Pitalwalla will be reporting to MK Anand (we checked), and not UTV Interactive CEO Manish Agarwal. [Press Release]
– Gujarati newspaper Divya Bhaskar has launched its mobile Internet site, powered by July Systems, MediaNama has learned, via an unsolicited SMS’. The mobile website asks users if they’re able to view the Gujarati text on their handsets (I couldn’t), and if not, redirects them to a page where text is shown in an image format. This is a problem that many Indic language sites will face.
– The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, headed by Lok Sabha MP Rao Inderjit Singh have invited comments on “Íssues related to Paid News“. The last date for submitting comments is Jan 1st 2011, and comments have to be emailed to email@example.com, faxed to 011-23010756 or snail-mailed to the Additional Director (IT), Lok Sabha Secretariat, Room No.156, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi:110001 in a sealed cover. The memoranda which might be submitted to the Committee would form part of the records of the Committee and would be treated as strictly confidential and the contents thereof would not be divulged to anyone, as such an act would constitute a ‘breach of privilege ‘of the Committee. (via @surekhapillai ). Do read: Our views on Paid News
– Google won’t share GMail decryption keys with Indian government, reports The Economic Times. In our opinion, GMail being out of the ambit of Indian regulation “Because the Gmail service is governed by US laws” is a risky and fallacious argument to use. Services are government by the laws of the state wherein they are delivered, and the GMail email service is government by every country in the world. This argument could land Google in trouble – the Indian government, if it becomes an ego battle like (in our opinion) in case Blackberry, could well try to force GMail to set up servers in India, or face shut-down in the country. Really, arguing jurisdiction is not the right approach, when it comes to policy issues.
– Bharti Airtel has rebranded Warid Telecom, a company in which it acquired 70% stake earlier this year, as Airtel Bangladesh. additionally, they’ve launched a bouquet of voice and data services – Airtel Live, with games, video post, Picture Post, Cricket Caller Tunes, Classified Services and App Central. They’ve also introduced a GPS based Vessel Locating Service to allow the tracking of fishing vessels fo the fishermen community. The company says that it has begin deploying a new network in the past 11 months, to expand its coverage in rural Bangladesh. Airtel has 4 million customers in Bangladesh, and covers 64 districts in the country. Press Release
– SIFY has introduced an Interactive Cricket Scorecard on Sify sports powered by Microsoft Silverlight platform, and upgraded its Interactive photo gallery on Sify movies to HTML5 standards, and added IE 9 Jumplists on Windows 7 for Sify.com and Samachar.com enabling one-click access and ease of navigation for users.