Battle with Flipkart and ESET

This shows how you can be taken for a ride by ecommerce sites like Flipkart and anti-virus / Internet security firm ESET.

Flipkart had an offer for ESET Smart Security. It offered one extra year of subscription to ESET if the product was purchased before October 31.

flipkart

I bought the product on October 31, and Flipkart shipped it on the same day. But when the product got activated only for one year instead of two, I contacted ESET. Their response was that the product must have been ‘activated’ by October 31. But as you can see, Flipkart did not say anything about ‘activation’.

flipkart2

As you can see, even the shipment email mentions the ‘offer’.

This is ESET’s response to my email:

eset

I have now replied to ESET and have also contacted Flipkart. I have also tweeted them ( at @flipkart and @eset_india ) I am now awaiting the response.

Let’s see…ESET may activate it for one more year or Flipkart may refund the amount. What they do will be the subject of another blog post.

I am writing this so that you can be careful while buying products – either online or offline.

Enter Blogosphere

My article published in The Hindu

Blogs were a craze till a few years ago. Do blogs still exist? If they exist, why are they not visible? Personal blogs do exist, but are on the decline. Most of the users prefer to interact through Twitter and Facebook than through blogs. Does this mean that it is the end of the road for blogs? The answer is a strong ‘no’.

With blog CMS becoming more powerful, many of those who would have gone for proper web sites are now switching to hosted blogs. Moreover, detailed posts are not possible in Twitter. Yes, Facebook has Notes, but it’s totally different.

There are blog services such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous and Livejournal. Most of them are free, and all you have to do is to open an account. You don’t have to know any coding or technical knowledge. Every thing, including design, is taken care of by the blog providers. You can choose a design and start updating your blog. If you have a WordPress account, your blog will have an URL like ‘<your_name>.wordpress.com. The <your_name> is only an example. It can be anything. If you want to write on cooking, it can even be cooking.wordpress.com. Of course, the name you choose should be available.

Hosted blogs

Hosted blogs are different. How? The difference is like staying in your own house or in a hotel. You can do whatever you want in your house. You can name it, modify it, paint it or cook whatever you want. You can’t do this in a hotel. You can’t rename the hotel or repaint it because you don’t like the colour. The same is the case of hosted blogs. In a hosted blog, you can have your own domain name, design and also tweak it whenever or wherever you want.

If you are in a wordpress.com blog, you will not be able to install your plug-ins or put advertisements. WordPress will have the right to put advertisements and make money. But in a hosted blog, you will have the right to do anything, including monetizing it, and adding whatever plug-ins you want.

How to go about having a hosted blog? It’s easy. . Does it require technical knowledge? Yes, but a little bit is enough. Installing a WordPress hosted blog is easy.

For a hosted blog, the first thing you will need is a domain name. You can get a domain name from any domain name sellers (for details see http://www.thehindu.com/business/article3412446. ece). Next, you will have to host the blog. Most domain name companies also do hosting. You can check out the hosting plans, and choose the one you want, but ensure that the hosting platform supports MySQL.

Database creation

Once you buy your domain and select your hosting plan, you will be given a login ID and password to create a database. Note that the username and password for the database may be different from the one for the hosting account.

After the database is created, you head over to wordpress.org . Download WordPress (The link is right there on the homepage). Unzip the downloaded file. You will then find a file called wp-config-sample.php. Rename it to wp-config.php.

Now you have to open the wp-config.php file with Notepad or any text editor. Go to the section that says MySQL settings and enter the database information such as user name and password (the ones you created in your hosting provider’s system).

Now upload all the files using a good FTP like Filezilla. In the FTP, enter the host name, your user name and password, and start uploading the file.

Once the files are uploaded, open the browser and go to www.example.com/wp-admin/install.php. Replace the www.example.com with your site’s URL.

You will be taken to the wordpress.org’s interface where you will have to follow the easy instructions to complete your installation.

You now have your own blog. You can select the theme you want, install whatever plug-ins you want, and even monetize it with advertisements.

Tackling data transfer

(This article appeared in the Hindu Business Line)

The ease of transferring files between an Android phone and your computer could depend on what computer (or operating system) you are using. Though Microsoft’s Windows smartphones compete with Android, the Windows in your system will have no problem in recognising your Android. The same goes for Linux. The problem arises if you have a Mac. If you connect an iPhone, Mac will automatically open iTunes, but when it detects that a rival – Android – phone is being connected, it will refuse to connect and throw up errors.

This is where Android File Connect comes to your rescue. You have to download the Android File Connect utility from http://androidcom/filetransfer. After file is downloaded, double-click the file (androidfiletransfer.dmg). In the Installer window, drag Android File Transfer to Applications.When you connect your Android mobile for the first time, you have to open the application manually, but you never have to do it again.

You can now copy files between the Android mobile and the Mac using the utility.

If this sounds too complicated, there are apps such as AirDroid and Kies Air. These apps are cross platform and can be used with any operating system. AirDroid has a nice interface and connecting, transferring files or installing apps are so easy that you will wonder how you were managing without it.

.Open the AirDroid app in your phone, and key in the password at web.airdroid.com

.Or instead of keying in the password, you can scan the QR code in web.airdroid.com.

Once connected, you can transfer files between your mobile and the computer, manage contacts, view photos and videos that are in your phone. You can even install apps downloaded to the computer by using AirDroid.

Hotmail now supports push email, calendar, and contacts

Hotmail has introduced automatic push email, calendar and contacts sync with your smartphone.

If you have a Hotmail account, you can now get your email, calendar, and contacts pushed automatically to your phone using Exchange ActiveSync.

According to Hotmail,

EAS keeps everything in sync between your phone and Hotmail, so whatever you do on your phone, like delete an email, add an appointment, or update one of your contacts with a new number, will also be reflected on the web, and vice-versa.

If you use an email client on your PC that already syncs with Hotmail, like Outlook with the Outlook Connector or Windows Live Mail, what you do on your phone will show up there as well, delivering a seamless experience for managing your stuff between your PC email client, your browser, and your phone.

EAS is supported by over 300 million mobile devices worldwide, including some of the most popular Windows, Nokia, and Palm smartphones, as well as the iPhone and iPad.

Setup details:

Field Setting
Server / URL m.hotmail.com
Username Enter full email address, for example: someone@example.com
Domain Leave this blank
SSL Enable this
Certificate Accept the SSL certificate when prompted

Set up for specific makes:

Quick Steps

• If your device supports only one profile of ActiveSync, delete the existing ActiveSync profile on your device if you already use it
• Enter the following:
URL – m.hotmail.com
Username – Enter full name with domain info, e.g. john@hotmail.com
Domain – Leave blank (see Known Issues for some Nokia devices)
SSL – Enabled
Certificate – Accept the SSL certificate when prompted
Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks – All can be enabled.

Supported Devices

• The following devices have been tested against Hotmail ActiveSync
o WM 6.x
o WP7
o iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
o Nokia E-series, S-series, N-series running Mail for Exchange application

• More devices will be added to the above list over time.

• Users are welcome to try with other devices but support may be limited in the near term.
o Android Support: Hotmail team will add Android to list of supported devices in the coming months after testing is completed.
 Access from Android 2.1 is NOT supported due to known client issues on Android 2.1.
 There are users successfully syncing from Hotmail via the default application or the Touchdown application on Android 2.2.

WM 6.x Setup

The steps are identical between WM 6.1 and 6.5.  If deleting an existing profile, make sure to back up the data on the device before configuring the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access.

1. Click on “ActiveSync” under Start menu or under Programs.
2. Click on the link above to configure the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access. You may need to delete the existing profile if it is already in use.
3. Disable automatic detection of Exchange server settings.
4. Enter your full Hotmail address in User name field. Enter password. Leave Domain blank.
5. Enter m.hotmail.com in the Server address field.
6. Select the data to sync. Hotmail supports all 4 data types via ActiveSync.
7. The device will connect to Hotmail ActiveSync and perform an initial sync for the selected data.
8. Successful synchronization will result in device showing a screen like this.

iPhone Setup

The steps are similar for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad.  On a device that supports only a single ActiveSync profile, make sure to back up the data on the device before configuring the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access.

1. Click on Settings. Under Settings, click on “Mail, Contacts, Calendar”.
2. Click on “Add Account” in the Accounts page.
3. Click on “Microsoft Exchange” to configure Hotmail access.
4. Enter your full Hotmail email address in both Email and Username fields. Leave Domain blank. Enter your password. In the Description field, enter a name, e.g Hotmail.
5. Enter m.hotmail.com for the Server name.
6. If access succeeds, you will see this page. Select the data to sync. Click on Save.


Nokia Setup – Mail for Exchange

The following steps are for the Mail for Exchange application on most Nokia smartphones. If the existing ActiveSync profile is already in use, make sure to back up the data on the device before configuring the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access.

1. Click on “Mail for Exchange” icon in the Application menu.
2. Click on “Sync mode”. You may need to delete the existing profile if already used to configure it for Hotmail access.
3. Enter your full Hotmail email address in Email address and Username fields.
4. Enter m.hotmail.com in the Exchange server field.
5. Select the Initial sync option for calendar, e.g. “Delete items on phone”.
6. Select the Initial sync option for tasks, e.g. “Delete items on phone”.
7. Select the Initial sync option for contacts, e.g. “Delete items on phone”.
8. Configure the Sync mode to be either push or pull at a specified interval.



ALL DEVICES

Set-Up
• Some devices support only 1 ActiveSync profile at present. On such devices, if the existing profile is already in use, it needs to be deleted before setting up Windows Live ActiveSync. The data will not be lost from the server for either profile. User can switch back and forth between the 2 profiles, albeit with some extra typing.

Mail

• Search on mail is not supported.
• When sending mail from the device, the send operation may sometimes fail if the server suspects suspicious Send activity from the account. User may see a message in the inbox asking the user to log into the browser to get unblocked. Until the user logs into the browser and follows the suggested steps upon login, send will be blocked from the device.
• A user can sync his Hotmail mailbox to multiple clients including ActiveSync clients on his mobile devices and DeltaSync clients like Windows Live Mail & Outlook Connector.  If the user has issues with a mail syncing client that was working previously, please contact Hotmail customer support to check if the limit on the number of sync relationships has been temporarily exceeded and if so, resolve it.
• Hotmail supports multiple nested folders with different parent folders and that share the same name. There is a known issue in handling “soft” deletes of nested folders with the same name. If the user wants to delete more than one nested folder with the same name, he should do so from the browser UI and not from the mobile device.

Contacts

• Search on contacts is not supported.
• Adding a birthday to a contact from the device and later editing it from the browser UI may sometimes cause the date to be moved by 1 day (ahead or later) due to time zone differences between the device and the server.
• When adding a picture to a contact from the device, the picture does not show up when viewing the contacts data on the browser. The picture metadata is visible only within the ActiveSync connection on the device.
• All of the contacts fields in the ActiveSync protocol do not map to supported contacts fields in Windows Live. All of the contacts fields in Windows Live do not map to supported fields in the ActiveSync protocol.

Calendar

• Many devices such as WM 6.x and Nokia support syncing only 1 calendar per profile.
• On devices that support syncing multiple calendars such as the iPhone, the user may see some shared calendars that are read-only. If a user attempts to add an event to a read-only calendar from the mobile device, the action will fail. On devices such as the iPhone, the event added to the read-only calendar will be deleted automatically and on some other devices, the device may retain a client copy. This is the client’s discretion.
• On Attendee’s device, Meeting Request’s Busy Status is always set as “Busy” regardless of the status set by Organizer.

iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

Mail

• iPhone is unable to download large attachments beyond 20MB. User will get a message that the attachment is too large to download when trying to sync a message with too large an attachment.
• Some attachments in messages synced to the iPhone may not download successfully. Apple Support Article: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1506
• Messages forwarded from a WM 6.x device and viewed on an iPhone cannot be viewed successfully. The original message is included as an attachment and cannot be opened.

Calendar

• When syncing multiple calendars, the user may see some shared calendars that are read-only. User cannot add an event to a read-only calendar; the action will fail. On the iPhone, the event added to the read-only calendar will be deleted automatically and on some other devices, the device may retain a client copy. This is the client’s discretion.
• Attendee cannot view a Meeting Request on iPhone if the meeting invite is an “.ics” attachment.
• When attendee changes RSVP status to a meeting invite, e.g. from Tentative to Accept, the attendee’s Busy status is not updated on the server. This is due to the command used by the iPhone to update the attendee’s RSVP status to the server.

Tasks

• Tasks are not supported.

Nokia

Set-Up

• Some Nokia devices cannot accept an empty Domain field during set-up. During set-up, enter at least a space and then after saving the profile, return to the “Credentials” section under “Options” to clear the “Domain” field for the set-up to succeed.

Mail

• For more details on mail related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes.
• There is a 200K limit on message body size when viewing messages synced via ActiveSync on most Nokia devices.
• HTML messages are not rendered properly. This is due to how the Nokia client requests for the message via ActiveSync version 2.5. Hotmail supports only EAS 2.5 at present.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user may not see a change in the mailbox till a new message is received in the mailbox.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user will see a message indicating that entire mailbox will need to be refreshed due to this setting being updated.
• Performance of the device may be affected if there are 500 or more emails in the Mail for Exchange Inbox. Avoid this by modifying the “Sync messages back” setting in the Mail for Exchange profile Email tab. The shortest setting is 1 day.

Contacts

• For more details on contacts related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes
• Not every contact field is synchronized. There is not a direct mapping between fields in the device’s phonebook application and the fields supported by the ActiveSync protocol.

Calendar

• For more details on calendar related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes
• User cannot create a Meeting Request from the device.
• When accepting/declining a meeting request on the device, the meeting originator will receive an email. There are a few scenarios where the tracking tab in their calendar meeting will not be correctly updated.
• Device doesn’t respect recurring events whose first instance is outside of the recurrence pattern.

Tasks

• For more details on tasks related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes
• Tasks on the phone must have a due date. If tasks are created on the server without a due date and are then synchronized to the phone a due date will be created for them. The due date added on the device will be the date the task was synchronized or if the server task has a reminder then the reminder date will be used.
• If there is a recurring task and the current occurrence is marked as completed on the device, the recurrence is not regenerated on the Exchange Server.

WM 6.x

Mail

• HTML messages are not rendered properly on Windows Mobile 6.x. This is due to how the 6.x client requests for the message via ActiveSync version 2.5. Hotmail supports only ActiveSync version 2.5 at present.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user may not see a change in the mailbox till a new message is received in the mailbox.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user will see a message indicating that entire mailbox will need to be refreshed due to this setting being updated.
• Mails, contacts and calendar events with Arabic or Japanese characters are not rendered correctly on WM 6.x.

Contacts

• GetItemEstimate always shows “1”, regardless of the number of contacts to be updated on the device.
• When adding/updating the “Notes” of a contact from WM 6.x, the changes do not get synced to the server.
• If user has previously set up the Windows Live application on the WM device to access Hotmail for the same account, and then sets up ActiveSync to access same account in Hotmail, he will see 2 copies of each contact.

Calendar

• RSVP (Accept/Tentative/Decline) buttons do not appear in Meeting Request mails sent from WM 6.x devices. The Meeting Request mails show up as regular email messages in the attendee’s mailbox.
• If Invitee deletes a meeting invite from the device and chooses to inform the Organizer via email, the Compose email window shows up, but the TO (recipient) line for the email is blank and does not show the organizer’s email address.
• GetItemEstimate always returns “1”, regardless of the number of events to be updated on the device.
• Device doesn’t respect recurring events whose first instance is outside of the recurrence pattern.
• Meeting cancelations or updates sent from WM 6.x devices may sometimes contain garbled characters when the cancelation/update is viewed in the browser mailbox.

WP7

Tasks

• Tasks are not supported.

GMAIL to roll out priority inbox soon

Gmail is soon rolling out a spanking new Priority Inbox facility.

If you are flooded with hundreds of messages everyday, you may lose track of what’s important. Worse, you may even miss important emails as they get buried with less important emails.

What Gmail will do now is to pick up the emails on the basis of how you respond to emails. If  you have often replied or forwarded emails from someone, it will now automatically go into the priority inbox.

Of course, Gmail may make a mistake by occasionally putting unimportant emails in your priority inbox. If  it does, you will have the option of marking it less important so that it won’t happen next time. Similarly, if you find any important emails that have failed to make it to the priority inbox, you can mark them important. The next time you get an email from the person, it will get into the priority inbox.

Gmail will be rolling out this facility in the next few days.

You can know more about priority email here.

Gmail improves calendar

Gmail, which has one of the best calendars, has made further improvements to how you schedule events.

The old cluttered interface where you add new events has given way to a spanking new interface, where you can also see whether you are free when you want to add the new schedule.

Here’s what Gmail says about the changes.

A new repeating event editor
The old interface for creating recurring events was clumsy and took up too much space on the screen. Now you’ll see only a summary of your recurring event on the main event page; if you want to edit it, you can use a window that opens when you select the “Repeats” checkbox.


A new tool to help you find a time for your event
You’ll notice a new tab on the event page that should make it easier to find a good time to schedule an event. When your friends or coworkers give you permission to see their calendars, you can click this tab to see a preview of their schedules and hover over their events to see what conflicts they might have. This should make scheduling a tad easier, especially for events with large numbers of guests. For Google Apps users, the new schedule preview can also show data from other calendar services using our Google Calendar Connectors API.


Changes under the hood
As browsers and other technologies both within and outside of Google have evolved, we’ve found it necessary to occasionally make structural code changes in order to keep up. These visible changes are only the surface; underneath we’ve added a new model for how we represent calendar events in the browser and a new mechanism for how we make sure those events get properly saved. We’ve paid special attention to performance, consistency, and extensibility. In the short term, you’ll hopefully notice that the event page opens slightly faster than it did before.