Wednesday, May 30, 2012

+60301 Phone Number.. Finally found it's from the VoIP software pFingo, Starhub.

Recently my phone rings at quite odd times and when I look at the incoming number, it's a bit weird too. The number is +60301.
I picked up few calls and end up disconnecting as its from some marketing folks from China speaking in mandarin. So I decided not to pick this call anymore.

But lately I started receiving complaints from a overseas friend that I am not accepting calls. After couple of minutes I realized the number is from pFingo. It's a VoIP service from Starhub, a singapore telco.

The good thing is you can make calls to Singapore phone numbers at dirt cheap rates (1c) and if you are on a monthly pack it's basically free. So understand that many SME's, people on travel tend to use this service and so does the marketing folks from China/HK/Other countries(who wish to reach Singapore).

I am not sure whether is there a solution but personally I won't change my selective call picking pattern which is to pick up a call if I know the caller (stored in address book) or it's a mobile number. This is the main reason I opted for Skype Out & Google Voice which gives me Caller ID.

With Skype you can simply set up your mobile number as the ID number. Instructions are here. & Google Voice is simple. You'll get a US number and people will see that number.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Indian Food Delivery in Singapore

The title says it all.

1. Brindas 24 hour
This is my first preference due to their service quality.

Food - *** (3/5). Not too great and standard items such as naan, chicken curry are acceptable quality.
Value - **** (4/5). Value for money
Service - **** (4/5). I'm happy with their service.

2. Anjappar

Food - ***.(3.5/5). Tastes the same as in Anjappar.
Value - ** (2/5). Its "CHEATING". They don't show the prices with GST (Against LAW) & Some how the bill prices doesn't match with online menu prices due to 'recent price revisions'.
Service - * (1/5). This is the sad part. Food is better than Brindas but service sucks.I've the food delivered with 'leakages'.

3. Komalas

I don't think I've to add any stuff here. :)
Food - **** (4/5)
Value - *** (3/5)
Service - ** (2/5). Delays. delays delays.. Other than that it's quite good.

I've tried other options like Hungrydelivery, CurryXpress in the past but stopped due to the 'price'. Most importantly the hefty delivery charges & high minimum order.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Heimdall package for Samsung Galaxy Anycall S [SHW-m110s] - Korean handset firmware/android upgrade

Ok guys. If you are one of those folks who purchased a Korean Anycall due to any reason and stuck with its old Android version then this post is for you.

First refer to this post from XDA

If your phone is not detected by ODIN or if you 'bricked' your phone then Heimdall is for you. You can find more info from XDA post here about Heimdall. A word of caution,


M110S is not i9000 and if you try then you've a 'semi bricked' phone. You'll end up with a phone that doesnt start or recognize the SIM card.

To recover you can use this package for M110S. I've installed on my Anycall a week ago and it's working fine. Here goes the mediafire links.

Download both files and merge with HJSPLIT.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Airtel prepaid validity - An intriguing question

More than 90% of Indians use Prepaid mobile phones. So it is very common for people to simply purchase a SIM card with INR 100 (~ $ 2) and throw it off after a week. (By the way on a separate note these kinda experiences and unmatching financials shows why I don't believe the 100 mil subscriber numbers by Bharti, RIL etc)

The problem I am having is keeping a number permanently (or atleast for few years) so my banking systems, train reservation systems & other online systems doesn't have to be updated every few months. I've tried all the options other than subscribing to a post paid (which is not very cheap or 'doesnt offer value to me')

  1. Airtel Customer care told me that the "sim" validity is typically 35 or 40 years (?) and you can check with *123# USSD code. However the 'main' account has a validity period of 2 months so if you don't use or make any calls within the 2 months your number with remaining balance is gone
  2. Online forums says one year validity; 45 days validity; 
  3. The salesman at Airtel store told me that it's 90 days. So every 3 months I've to recharge with minimum RC card 
My experiences're quite diff. 

  1. I've a SIM card with "0" balance which is not dead even it's 2 years old.
  2. I've a new SIM card with 300 balance (supposed to be) but dead within 1 month
  3. I've a 3G data card which is dead within one week after I utilized the complete data.

Conclusion: Anything can happen in India. So go for a post-paid if you want to avoid the hassle. If not follow the crowd. Don't expect Airtel (or other telecom) to offer 'service'. It sucks and they charge per minute basis :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oops SingTel did it again.. MIO TV glitches during EPL season finale

Source: CNA

SingTel did it again with its MIO TV. I'm sure the exec, engineers will kill who ever with the name Murphy.

During the most critical moment the system failed again. As usual, SingTel issued a statement that

This was due to an unprecedented number of viewers tuning in for the season finale. 

So now, we've

  • Expensive HDB's/Condo because 'unprecedented number of people migrated to Singapore'
  • Trains failing because of 'more than anticipated people riding public transport'
  • Slow/poor mobile networks because people are using mobiles
  • TV/Cable systems failing because people are watching programs.
The root cause is clear. It's the people
We should schedule it in a way, like in a HDB block, all the even number units should watch first half. Odd number units should watch for the remaining half. Then they can share between themselves.

Remember, you shouldn't sms or call each other. It could congest the mobile network.

Monday, May 14, 2012

User Privacy - iToday app from Singapore

I've joined the bandwagon on Android recently and while trying to download few apps I realized some strange thing in "permissions".
Below is a screen shot of iToday - the app from Todayonline, a popular newspaper/tabloid in Singapore. 

I've put the text in the rectangle box. Basically the app & today wants to read the user phone number, serial number of the phone & whether a call is active, the number of call that is connected & the like

Not sure what is included in "& the like" but even without that it is very disturbing to see that they Today wants to know the phone number & call history/logs.

Why a newspaper wants to know the mobile phone number & call status? All they need is the internet access and nothing else. I can only conclude one thing which is "advertisements" or "selling the phone numbers".

I am not very comfortable with sharing my phone number without knowing how this would end up. So opted for "SG News" which simply needs "internet access".

This shows again the level of awareness & respect is given to "privacy" in singapore.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hyderabad Airport - Skyhigh User Charges, Terrible service/Experience. Top of it the "manual check-in with hand written boarding pass"

I saw in a news (Not sure if it's Hindu) that Hyderabad Airport is the 4th most expensive airport to fly & Delhi is the most expensive airport to fly in the world. Incidentally both are operated by the same company.

The sad part is the "Value" offered by these airports. I just returned from a short trip from Hyderabad and the experience is as frustrating as one would expect in Indian airports. But paying exorbitant charges and getting ridiculous experience is what makes me pissed off and decided not to fly to Hyd again.

I don't think I can write it here but want to share a "real surprise". Have you ever told that the "check-in" computers are failed and passengers need to do a "manual checkin" by writing their names, details, flight info and passport stuff on a piece of white paper?

It happened and yes, it's in Hyderabad. This exercise alone caused a havoc at the check-in counter as many passengers were searching for pens and writing in queue. As usual the service staff are sitting at their seats & talking over their cellular phones. Result: 30 min delay to the flight and a mad rush of people running to the security area.

Atleast the Singapore Air (I've purchased the ticket through SQ) could have taken control of the situation but they seems to be missing.

Hyderabad Airport Taxi to City & Call Taxi booking.

After 8 years (and first time) I've landed at NTR International Airport (aka RG Airport which is the Official name) in Hyderabad.

The first surprise is at the baggage handling. Cases are dropped from 3-4 ft slanted belt and I pity those folks whose nice briefcases ended up with broken wheels or handles.

Second is the transport from Airport to City. The worst part is the website itself which promotes only the two cab operators. They promote Meru & Sky Cabs which must be metered. That's where the real problem is. metered taxis are not cheap and I ended up paying INR 930 (~SGD25).

While chatting with friends I realized it is always better to book a taxi in advance rather than taking the cabs at Airport. If you book in advance you can get it one way for INR 400 & twoways for 800-900. Which is almost half the price.

You can give a try @ below links or just do a google. I myself tried Orange cabs (Innova) for Drop off & Return. I've received an SMS on the day with taxi driver name, contact no & details. Timing is not very punctual (30 min late) so plz make sure you tell the driver/taxi company some what earlier pickup time. Have buffer is always good in India(Sad enough..)