News Roundup: Datawind sues Indian Cellular Association over defamation

Singhvi ‘sex video’: Katju wants curbs on social media ‘misuse’
Press Council chairman (and former Supreme court judge), Markandey Katju has written to the government to urge it to find ways to check the “misuse” of social media to defame people.

“I have repeatedly said that while there is freedom of the media in our country, no freedom can be absolute, and has to be coupled with responsibilities. Unless some curbs are placed on the social media, nobody’s reputation will be safe in India”

Katju’s letter comes in the context of the ‘sex video’ allegedly featuring Abhishek Manu Singhvi, which went viral on social media platforms despite a legal injuction against its broadcast issued by the Delhi High Court [source]

Datawind sues Indian Cellular Association over defamation

Makers of Aakash tablet, Datawind has sued ICA (Indian Cellular Association ) for ‘defaming’ the UK-based firm, and issuing statements harming commercial interests of the company.

“We have sent a legal notice to them for spreading false reports against us in the media and in government meetings including places such as the department of IT”. ICA had written to ministry of HRD last year claiming that big players such as Samsung and Nokia are better positioned to handle such a project. Tuli’s legal notice to ICA’s Mohindroo comes just days after its own supplier Quad sent Datawind a legal notice on non-payment of dues. [source]

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Infotel Broadband to set up over 1,00,000 towers for 4G operations

Mukesh Ambani-owned Infotel Broadband Services plans to set up over 1,00,000 towers for its 4Goperations in the next three years, moving away from its ‘asset-light’ model and possibly disappointing telecom tower companies, including Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infratel, which were hoping the RIL group company would use their passive infrastructure for its services.

The estimated outlay for the company’s launch, which is expected later this year or early next year, has been nearly doubled to $8-9 billion, from the originally stated $4 billion in 2010 [source]

Google+ expands

When Google+ launched in June last year, SMS features were available only in India and the US. They have now announced the expansion of Google+ SMS to 41 new countries namely, Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo (DRC), Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

Google + presently has iOS and Android apps but the company realises the need to stay connected even when there is no data connection. The Google+ SMS service allows users to communicate with other Google+ users, including friends in their own Circles via SMS.

To set up a Google+ SMS service you need to be first subscribed to Google+, as in you must have a Google+ account. Thereafter go to the Google Settings page and add your phone number. Once done you will receive a verification on your mobile. Enter the same and you are done. You can also select which SMS notifications you want to receive. Now post updates to your circles directly from your phone using SMS. You can also respond to comments or +1 posts via SMS.

Well, it’s a wonderful feature but it would have been great if people were also able to SMS their friends who are not on Google+, just like how Google Voice provides cheap and free phone services.

Sistema to take $1 billion writedown on India?

Russian services conglomerate Sistema will take a writedown of nearly $1 billion related to the suspension of its Indian licences, sources close to Sistema said on Friday. Around half of the writedown is related to a licence revaluation and the rest to goodwill, the Vedomosti newspaper quoted a source as saying. [source]

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