Tata Nano – The Wonder Car

Finally the time has come – Tata Nano has been launched in Mumbai with much fanfare. Over 100 media persons were present at the launch ceremony with over 1000 guests. The Nano can be booked at more than 30,000 locations in 1,000 cities across India, including Tata-owned department and electronics stores, with booking forms costing 300 rupees each. It will be available at just Rs. 2,999 down payment.
Owners will be randomly selected from bookings made between April 9 and 25, and their prices will be protected, said Chairman Ratan Tata, who had promised a 100,000 rupee ($1,980) dealer price at a glitzy unveiling more than a year ago. Initially, just 1 lakh Nanos will be produced. Delivery of the first lot of Nanos will be possible from July first week onwards.

Nano has been designed with a family in mind, has a roomy passenger compartment with generous leg space and head room. It can comfortably seat four persons. Four doors with high seating position make ingress and egress easy.
With a length of 3099mm, width of 1495mm, height of 1652mm and with adequate ground clearance, it can effortlessly manoeuvre on busy roads in cities as well as in rural areas. Its mono-volume design, with wheels at the corners and the powertrain at the rear, enables it to uniquely combine both space and manoeuvrability, which sets a new benchmark among small cars.
First look at the Nano may not impress you in terms of dimensions but even though the car looks tiny and miniscule in images but it is only when you come up close to it that you can make out that its virtual length constitutes the very cabin space!
Nano is available in following 3 variants (Prices are Ex-Showroom Mumbai):

  • Nano Base/Standard/Basic – 134000.00
  • Nano CX – 160000.00
  • Nano LX – 185000.00

Click here for comparison of Nano Basic with Nano CX & Nano LX
The Base model of Tata Nano features:

  • Seat Belts.
  • Engine opening through rear bumper.
  • Speedometer.
  • Odometer.
  • High mounted Rear Stop lamp.
  • Centrally placed exhaust.
  • Only Driver seat adjust-sliding and reclining.
  • Fixed front passenger seat.
  • Folding Rear Seats.
  • 2-Spoke Steering wheel.
  • Grey bumpers and interiors.
  • Driver side Outside rear view mirror.

The mid variant CX  features:

  • AC
  • Tinted glasses
  • Metallic paint along with the features of Base Nano.

The top end LX model comes with following features in addition to the features in CX:

  • Tripmeter.
  • Front Power windows.
  • Central Locking.
  • Front and Rear fog lamps.
  • 3-Spoke Steering wheel.
  • Moulded door trim with fabric inserts.
  • Floor console with glass holder.
  • Anti-Glare inside rear view mirror.
  • Sunvisors on both sides.

All the models come with 18 Months or 24,000 kms warranty – whichever is earlier.
Tata Nano is available in following colors:
Nano Base – Ivory White, Racing Red, Summer Blue.
Nano CX – Ivory White, Racing Red, Summer Blue, Champange Gold, Lunar Silver
Nano LX – Sunshine Yellow, Champange Gold, Lunar Silver
Nano has a rear mounted , all-aluminium, two-cylinder, 624 cc, multi point fuel injection petrol engine which develops maximum power of 34.5 Bhp at 5250 rpm with maxiumum torque of 48 Nm at 3000 rpm. This is the first time that a two-cylinder petrol engine is being used in a car with single balancer shaft.
The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per unit of energy consumed and delivers high fuel efficiency. Performance is controlled by a specially designed electronic engine management system.
Due to rear mounted engine the luggage space has been pushed to the front. Making the engine closer to the fuel tank has another advantage of increased fuel efficiency.
Rear mounted engine also help in reducing the power loss during transmission. Nano has front disk and rear drum brakes. The company claims mileage of 22 kmpl in city and 26 kmpl on highway.
By adhering to the fact that less weight requires less power, Nano is made of light weighing steel. This has made the Tatas come up with a cheap alternative with out compromising on safety and performance.
With an all sheet-metal body, it has a strong passenger compartment, with safety features such as crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body.
Tubeless tyres further enhance safety. It exceeds current regulatory requirements with a strong passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorage.


BSNL Launches 3G Services in 11 Cities

India’s No. 4 mobile operator, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), said on Friday it had launched third-generation (3G) services in 11 cities and planned to expand services to other areas in the country.

BSNL said in a statement it had invested 27 billion rupees ($530 million) on rolling out 3G infrastructure and would cover all district headquarters and important commercial towns.

India will hold an auction of 3G spectrum later this year, but state-run firms have already been given one slot in each service area, and will have to match the highest bid from private operators. Third-generation services give users a chance to enjoy fast Internet access, games and a host of multimedia content from maps to music on their cellphones. BSNL provides telecoms services across the country except in the major cities of New Delhi and Mumbai, which are covered by another state-run firm, MTNL.


Google Improves Its Search

Google has rolled out two new improvements to its search.

The first offers an expanded list of useful related searches and the second is the addition of longer search result descriptions – both of which help guide users more effectively to the information they need.

Google is deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to searches, and one of its first applications offers users more useful related searches (the terms found at the bottom, and sometimes at the top, of the search results page).

For example, if you search for [principles of physics], Google’s algorithms understand that “angular momentum,” “special relativity,” “big bang” and “quantum mechanic” are related terms that could help you find what you need.

With this Google can target more queries, more languages, and make their suggestions more relevant to what users actually need to know.

They are also offering refinements for longer queries.

The new related searches will feature starting today in 37 languages all around the world.

The second change is when users do a search on Google, each result starts with a dark blue title and is followed by a few lines of text (“snippet”), which gives you an idea of what each page is about. To give more context, the snippet shows how the words of the query appear on the page by highlighting them in bold.

When a long query with more than three words is entered, Google will increase the number of lines in the snippet to provide more information and show more of the words typed in the context of the page.

Gmail Gets Panic Button

Trust good ol’ Google to do it again.

After making sure you dont send off emails after a night of getting wasted, or those you’d regret later – by making you answer a simple mathematical question, Google’s gone a step ahead and engaged the “5 second rule”.

The Undo Send feature in Gmail Labs will enable an “Undo” link on every sent mail confirmation. Clicking on “Undo” – in case you realize that you’ve sent the mail to the wrong person – will stop the mail from being sent and take you right back to compose.

This feature can’t pull back an email that’s already gone; it just holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the panic button. 


Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 Brings Relevant Upgrades

Hang onto your headsets people, Apple has previewed their Apple iPhone OS 3.0 software and it’s a doozy!!! The beta software release to registered developers is going to be available immediately. The iPhone OS 3.0 beta release includes an updated Software Development kit(SDK) with over 1,000 new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) including In-App Purchases; Peer-to-Peer connections; an app interface for accessories; access to the iPod music library; a new Maps API and Push Notifications.

Apple also announced over a 100 new features that will be available to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer including cut, copy and paste and here’s a good one – MMS!!!

Some of the other new features that 3.0 brings to the table will include –

  • Cut, copy and paste,
  • System-wide landscape keyboard,
  • Forward and delete individual messages
  • Text and Notes,
  • Stereo Bluetooth (FINALLY!),
  • Syncing Notes to the Mac and PC,
  • Password login manager for Safari
  • Shake to shuffle,
  • YouTube accounts and YouTube subscriptions available
  • Parental controls for TV shows,
  • Movies and apps from the App Store,  
  • Automatic login at Wi-Fi hot spots,
  • Voice Memo app,
  • Live video and audio streaming
  • Expanded search capability for all key iPhone apps
  • Spotlight search across the iPhone or iPod touch

“The new iPhone OS 3.0 is a major software release packed with incredible new features and innovations for iPhone customers and developers alike. It will keep us years ahead of the competition,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The MMS feature will finally enable users to send and receive photos, contacts, audio files and locations with the Messages app; and also allow them to capture and send audio recordings on the go with the new Voice Memo app. Search capabilities will be expanded, allowing customers to search within Mail, iPod and Notes or search across all key apps by typing a key word or phrase into the new Spotlight search, conveniently accessed from the Home screen. The updated Stock app will add the ability to display recent company news and current trading information like opening or average price, trading volume or Market Cap, and will offer a landscape view to see a full screen of any stock chart. Customers will also be able to view shared calendars right on their iPhone with CalDAV support and sync their calendars with iCal, Yahoo, Google and Oracle.

Included in the APIs is the ability to leverage the incredible purchase model of the App Store within apps. In-App Purchases will allow developers to offer subscription content and provide the ability to sell new content and features in a simple and secure process. Developers can also more easily create peer-to-peer games for iPhone and iPod touch by using Bluetooth.

Another key developer feature in the iPhone OS 3.0 beta software is the ability for apps to interface with hardware accessories, creating a whole new element of control for iPhone and iPod touch accessory developers as well as a new ecosystem of solutions for customers. Developers will also be able to use Apple’s new Maps API to integrate Google Mobile Maps services within their apps which will offer Google Map tiles, current location, custom annotations and geocoding. The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software includes the Apple Push Notification service which provides developers with a mechanism to alert users with sounds, text or a badge.

The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software and SDK will be available for registered developers to download starting today from developer.apple.com. iPhone customers will be able to download the new iPhone OS 3.0 software for free this summer and iPod touch customers will be able to purchase a software update for Rs. 512 ($9.95 US).

All I have to say is that things are finally looking up for iPhone and iPod Touch users. For more screenshots click here. To view the video presentation click here.


Microsoft to Release New Version of IE

 Microsoft Corp is set to publicly launch Internet Explorer 8 early on Thursday, the latest version of its market-dominating web browser.

The application an integral part of Microsoft’s eagerly awaited Windows 7 OS can be downloaded from Microsoft’s Website from 9 a.m. Pacific time, free for people using licensed Microsoft operating
systems IE8, as it is commonly referred to, has been in public beta testing for about a year, but Thursday’s launch marks its full public rollout. Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, said IE8 will run with Windows Vista its latest operating system, and also Windows XP, the previous version which some users still prefer over Vista.

The application replaces IE7, which has a lock on the browser market. According to a recent survey by IT consultants Janco Associates Inc, Internet explorer has a 72.2 percent market share, ahead of the Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox browser with 17.2 percent. Google Inc’s new Chrome browser has only 2.8 percent of the market, while Apple Inc’s Safari has less than 1 percent. Microsoft has run afoul of U.S. and European antitrust regulators for bundling its browser with its operating system, which competitors say is an attempt to drive them out of the market.

Last month, Google joined Mozilla and Norway’s Opera in protesting Microsoft’s dominance in the browser market. In January, European regulators brought formal charges against Microsoft for abusing its dominant market position by bundling its Internet Explorer Web browser with its Windows operating system, which is used in 95 percent of the world’s personal computers. Microsoft has already announced that users of Windows 7 – expected later this year or early next year – will be able to turn key programs like Internet Explorer off, making it easier to use other browsers.

New features in IE8 include right-clicking on addresses or other web features to go straight to a map or put into a blog or other Website, which Microsoft calls an “accelerator”. Users will also be able to put in keywords in the address bar to recall sites visited related to that word. The new browser also has enhanced security protection, for example warning users if they are about to download something from a site known to be a source of malicious software, or “malware”.