iPhone 3G

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It’s been a long time coming. Sure, we’ve had the first-gen iPhone in India in some form or the other ever since it launched in the US, but hey, “official” is always better than “nothing official”. Let’s dive into Apple’s coolness box and see what the iPhone 3G, which is available in India starting Aug. 22nd, brings to the table.

For your convenience, and to make it snappy, we’ve skipped the parts which are similar from the first-gen iPhone to the new 3G variant, you can read a review of the last iPhone here . We’ve split the review into four parts. First, we answer a few basic questions you might have, second, obviously, are the “Good Bits”, then some “Bad Bits”, and finally, the “whys” behind the Rating / Conclusion.

For those of you who are in a hurry to get a confirmation on the prices, our original article about the iPhone pricing was right. Yes, the iPhone is priced at a hefty Rs. 31,000 for the 8GB version, and Rs. 36,100 for the 16GB version. Obviously, that also means you get it without any contract or postpaid plan whatsoever. You can use it with either a Prepaid or a Postpaid SIM card, and pick absolutely any plan you like (though Vodafone and Airtel may also launch some iPhone specific plans as well).

Sadly, the phone is going to be operator-locked. So, if you buy an iPhone 3G from Airtel, you can’t use it on Vodafone, and vice versa. It goes without saying that using it on any other GSM network isn’t possible, so those of you on IDEA, BSNL or any other provider will have to wait a long time till you can get an official iPhone that runs on your network without any hacks.

The iPhone will be sold at Airtel and Vodafone stores nationwide, and some Apple Exclusive resellers may also stock it. From what information we’ve been able to gather, the quantity of iPhones coming to India is pretty small as compared to the demand that the operators have gauged with their Pre-Booking offers, so expect it to be sold out pretty fast, regardless of the price, unless Apple increases their shipments to India (which I am sure they will, once they see the demand).

We also have a confirmation on the fact that iPhone’s cool value added, but operator dependent feature, Visual Voicemail, will not be launching in India. Also, the iTunes store will only work for Application Downloads (i.e. App Store), and will not allow users to buy Music, Videos or Movies just about yet. Obviously, you’ll need an Indian credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express) to sign up for iTunes to download applications, even those that are free.

That’s enough of the FAQs, now let’s get down to the good bits on the new iPhone 3G. Move to the next page to continue reading more.

Workplace etiquette: Mind your manners!

officePicture this: marketing executives Arvind Vyas and Supriya Verma are on a client visit. On nearing the glass doors to the office, Arvind pushes his way through first, without taking into consideration that his female colleague is just two steps behind. He lets go of the door, which promptly closes in Supriya’s face!
Understandably, Supriya is quite piqued — Arvind clearly displays a lack of manners. It is customary for a gentleman to not only open any door for a lady, but to politely usher her through before making his own way in. In fact, whoever reaches a door first, irrespective of gender, needs to hold the door open for the person behind. It is such a simple task and yet so many of us fail to do it.
The globalisation of businesses in India has vastly improved manners at work, but there is still much to be desired. In far too many companies, basic courtesies are still overlooked. Every work place has its own complex dynamics but the basic social rules which make people comfortable with each other remain valid in every working situation. An organisation where people are treated well and treat each other well tends to be more successful than others.
Here are certain guidelines to follow in a working environment.
How to welcome newcomers

  • Newcomers should be welcomed by their seniors and colleagues.
  • They should be briefed about their jobs and company practices.
  • Staff at any level should be introduced to any newcomers they encounter.
  • Courtesies should be extended to everyone you meet, irrespective of whether it’s the receptionist or the CEO.
  • Avoid asking personal questions regarding the newcomer’s educational qualifications/ parentage/ marital status/ age/ income etc.
  • Our names are an important symbol of our identity. Do not mispronounce, misspell or mix-up anybody’s name.’
  • Using someone’s first name usually implies that you are superior to him, decidedly equal or friends. Therefore, it is best to start off formally. Use their surnames, preceded by Mr, Mrs or Ms. He/ she can then easily suggest that you use a first name.

How to show courtesy towards colleagues

  • Greet everyone you encounter cheerfully and with a smile on your way into the office. On your way out, remember to thank the receptionist / office boys etc.
  • Good bosses, employees and colleagues don’t forget their manners. Remember ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
  • Always show your appreciation with a smile.
  • Small talk and light chitter chatter at work is essential; it expresses friendliness without demanding attention. Whether you talk about the traffic or the weather, the vital message is that you are all part of the same team.
  • Be polite to hired help like peons, drivers, delivery boys etc.
  • Do not talk loudly when you talk over the phone or to your colleagues. Talk in a soft and clear voice.
  • Take instructions with grace and give instructions gracefully.
  • On occasions like birthdays, staff members should receive a personal gift, good wishes and words of appreciation from the boss and colleagues.
  • Always be considerate. The last person to leave the office should not have to switch off all the lights, air conditioners and computers. For example, when a photocopier runs out, whoever used the last sheet of paper should refill it.
  • When you are going to get yourself a cup of tea, coffee or a cold beverage, offer to bring one for your co-workers as well.
  • How to make yourself likeable and pleasant to work with

    • Don’t be a whiner who is always complaining and miserable with his/ her lot in life.
    • Never use words like ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’, nor phrases like ‘I’m busy’ and ‘that’s not my job’.
    • Do not criticise anyone — that’s not your job. And if you get criticised, be professional about it. Do not take it personally.
    • Keep personal conversations down to a minimum and keep out of earshot of others.
    • It is shabby to look through people’s computers, emails or letters — and don’t ever make the mistake of sneaking into people’s personal property like handbags or wallets. Be responsible for your own property and valuables. If you lose your expensive items, everybody else becomes a suspect and nobody likes being one!
    • Never borrow anything from someone’s desk without permission and when you do always return it in good condition.
    • Do not misuse office property. Keep your workplace orderly. Do not infringe on other people’s space.
    • Be friendly with colleagues of the opposite sex but know where to draw the line. Don’t get involved needlessly in any situation which could lead to embarrassment and could potentially damage not only your reputation, but that of the organisation as well.
    • Do not get indulge in office gossip or discuss delicate topics (religion, politics, money, sex etc).
    • Do not fidget or make unnecessary sounds which can be distracting to your co-workers.
    • Maintain stringent standards of personal hygiene. Do clean up after yourself when you use the restrooms so the next person using it does not have to scrunch up his/ her nose!
    • Do not convert your desktop into a place of worship. Since you might be working with people who follow different faiths, it might be better to display a vase of flowers instead.
    • Use office privileges like sick leave etc thoughtfully so that you don’t burden your co-workers with extra work.

    Business meeting etiquette

    • Be punctual. If you are late, apologise briefly but sincerely and immediately give total attention to the meeting. Those who wish to leave early should ask their seniors’ permission beforehand. Leave quietly, with an ‘excuse me’ and catch the eye of the person who is talking at that point.
    • Dress well — it gives a good impression.
    • Always remember to switch of your mobile phone.
    • If there is an established seating pattern, accept it. If you are unsure, ask.
    • Do your homework; get all your facts and figures in order. Go prepared.
    • Acknowledge any introductions or opening remarks with a brief recognition of the chair and other participants.
    • When discussions are underway it is good business etiquette to allow more senior figures to contribute first.
    • Never interrupt anyone — even if you disagree strongly. Note what has been said and return to it later with the chair’s permission.
    • When speaking, be brief and ensure that what you say is relevant.
    • It is a serious breach of business etiquette to divulge what has been discussed at any meeting with a third party — consider it confidential.
    • Thanking the person who organised the meeting is not only good etiquette; it is also a sign of respect.
    Keep competition within the organisation healthy

    • A team tends to behave like a human body, accepting what is part of it and rejecting any alien tissue. People are accepted if their behaviour mirrors the group norms.
    • Faults and blunders usually take place due to lack of communication. Find out the cause of the mess-up and solve the problem so that it is not repeated.
    • Curb your annoyance and control your temper.
    • Do not strive to pull a colleague down just to get the approval of the boss. This will backfire on you in the long run.
    • Back-stabbing and petty talk is not only unpleasant, it is in poor taste.
    • A secure and efficient worker never grudges another’s success. Envy and jealousy among co- workers ruins the working environment for everyone. The following notice, seen on several office walls, gets the point across well:
    • ‘This department requires no physical fitness programme. Everyone gets enough exercise:

    • Jumping to conclusions
    • Flying off the handle
    • Running down the boss
    • Knifing friends in the back
    • Dodging responsibility
    • Pushing their luck!’

12 Expert Google Search Tips

If you’re like me, you probably use Google many times a day.  But, chances are, unless you are a technology geek, you probably still use Google in its simplest form.  If your current use of Google is limited to typing a few words in, and changing your query until you find what you’re looking for, then I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way – and it’s not hard to learn.  On the other hand, if you are a technology geek, and can use Google like the best of them already, then I suggest you bookmark this article of Google search tips.  You’ll then have the tips on hand when you are ready to pull your hair out in frustration when watching a neophyte repeatedly type in basic queries in a desperate attempt to find something.
The following Google search tips are based on my own experience and things that I actually find useful.  The list is by no means comprehensive.  But, I assure you that by learning and using the 12 tips below, you’ll rank up there with the best of the Google experts out there.  I’ve kept the descriptions of the search tips intentionally terse as you’re likely to grasp most of these simply by looking at the example from Google anyways.

12 Expert Google Search Tips

  1. Explicit Phrase:
    Lets say you are looking for content about internet marketing.  Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase.  To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.

    Example: “internet marketing”

  2. Exclude Words:
    Lets say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising.  To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.

    Example Search: internet marketing -advertising

  3. Site Specific Search:
    Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:somesite.com” modifier.

    Example: “internet marketing” site:www.smallbusinesshub.com

  4. Similar Words and Synonyms:
    Let’s say you are want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the “~” in front of the word.

    Example: “internet marketing” ~professional

  5. Specific Document Types:
    If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”.  For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing.

    Example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt

  6. This OR That:
    By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  (Note:  The OR has to be capitalized).

    Example: internet marketing OR advertising

  7. Phone Listing:
    Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is.  If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.

    Example: phonebook:617-555-1212 (note:  the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).

  8. Area Code Lookup:
    If all you need to do is to look-up the area code for a phone number, just enter the 3-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.

    Example: 617

  9. Numeric Ranges:
    This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip.  Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers.  You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods.  This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.

    Example: president 1940..1950

  10. Stock (Ticker Symbol):
    Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.

    Example: GOOG

  11. Calculator:
    The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.

    Example: 48512 * 1.02

  12. Word Definitions:
    If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.

    Example: define:plethora

Hope this list of Google search tips proves useful in your future Google searches.  If there are any of your favorite Google expert power tips that I’ve missed, please feel free to share them in the comments.

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