Monday, August 31, 2009

Connectivity issue in updating Nokia E71 firmware to 300.21.012

Nokia has released a new firmware version for E71 series – 300.21.012. I like my phone to have the latest firmware and keep updating my E 71 as and when Nokia releases a new version.

I downloaded and installed the latest firmware – 300.21.012 on Saturday. As usual, I lost most of my downloaded applications, but I was prepared for it as I knew it would happen. But what I was not prepared for was that the phone refused to connect to the Internet. I tried using all the available access point, but of no avail. I also tried connecting through Wi-Fi, but the result was the same.

I scourged through several forums for solution. I discovered that many people who had upgraded to the 300.21.012 version had the same problem. I even tried restoring the phone to factory settings, but it was of no help.

I thought the issue could be with incompatibility with the old settings and the new firmware. So I applied the upgrade once again, but did not restore the phone settings back-up. It worked!

So, if your E71 doesn’t connect to the Net after the firmware upgrade, reinstall the upgrade and don’t restore the phone settings from the backup.

Here’s the changelog for 300.21.012:

This release is a major feature release and also was intended to correct main complaints from Customers and Operators
* Mail for Exchange 2.9
* Numonyx USB Flashing support
* Gimlet 5.2 (v
* Turkish SMS Support
* Support for Rapido Yawe 1.15
* Myspace, Youtube and Facebook support (NA for HK and Taiwan variants)
* User experience improvements
* Increased robustness of the Home Key functionality. This helps avoid the problem of Home key not opening the menu.
* Improved Switch application functionality
* Internet Radio 1.15 Increased Functionality and Stability
* VoIP upgrade Improved functionality and stability
* Download Client 3.2 Greater stability and improved functionality
* Email Setup Wizard Update Supports Gimlet 5.2
* Simplified MMS Notification handling support
* Support for conference numbers longer than 24 digits
* Improvements in Browser for seamless YouTube support
* Language menu can be accessed when Chinese Language is used
* Bug fixes for the NokiaPC Internet Access Application
* Improved BT headset connectivity
* Many functionality and Stability improvements in MfE.
* Stability and functionality improvements
* Increased robustness in handling SMS
* Updated Time zones
* Updated Operator names database
* Localization improvements
* Updated Startup settings
* Security Updates and vulnerability fixes
* Phone not suspending packet data connection when receiving call Fixed.
* Many bug fixes for MyNokia feature.
* Minor audio related bugs fixed
* Updated helps
* Minor stability improvements
* Minor improvements in Call handling and quality
* Stability and Minor Functionality improvements
* WLAN functionality Improvements
* Fix to prevent Wifi Certification issues when Wifi alliance moves to Win 2008 as the test server
* Fix for the one way audio problem seen in Cisco VoIP client
* Memory leak fixes
* Minor UI Improvements
* Stability and functionality improvements for search functionality
* Mail for Exchange upgraded from 2.7.22 to 2.9.158
* Gimlet updated to v5
* Email setup wizard updated
* Support for Exchange Server 2007 in MfE
* Many functionality and stability improvements in MfE
* Robust Synchronization of Calendar and email items.
* Improved functionality
* Increased application stability
* Increased A-GPS stability
* Better stability in location services.
* Usability improvements
* Usability improvements
* Keyboard mapping corrections
* Support for receiving more SMSs. Allows more than 4000 messages in inbox.
* Application updates and many stability and functionality improvements
* Many Usability, stability and functionality improvements


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Servicing at Accel Frontline? Beware!

Accel Frontline is the servicing centre for Sony Ericsson, Fly and Orion phones. If you have one of these phones that require servicing, please avoid Accel Frontline. Here’s how they went about ‘servicing’ my mobile.

My Fly E300 was not charging. As an Accel Frontline unit was near my house, I went there.

They checked the mobile (it took over one hour) and said the charging pins had to be replaced. I agreed.

When I collected it, I found that the phone was not charging. Hadn’t they changed the connectors? Yes, they said. But the reason this time was the faulty cable. But, hadn’t they said the charging pin was the culprit? Hadn’t they checked everything before taking the mobile for servicing? The girl at the counter had no answer.

Moreover, I found the memory card missing. When I brought it to their notice, she simply said, “We don’t take memory cards.” Then what else do you take ma’am?

The entire process had taken over an hour. I  was already late to office. I just came out. I went to the office and sent an email to and , as there was no email ID to be found for the Chennai Greams Road service centre.

I am waiting for the reply. I will update the blog once I get it.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rituals boost brains, even for atheists

(From Sunday Times of India dt. August 23, 2009)

Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns boost their brain power through meditation and prayer, but even atheists can enjoy the mental benefits that believers derive from faith, according to a popular neuroscience author.

The key, Andrew Newberg argues in his new book ‘How God Changes Your Brain’, lies in the concentrating and calming effects that meditation or intense prayer have inside our heads. Brain scanners show that intense meditation alters our gray matter, strengthening regions that focus the mind and foster compassion while calming those linked to fear and anger.

Whether the meditator believes in the supernatural or is an atheist repeating a mantra, he says, the outcome can be the same — a growth in the compassion that virtually every religion teaches and a decline in negative feelings and emotions. “In essence, when you think about the really big questions in life — be they religious, scientific or psychological — your brain is going to grow,” says Newberg, head of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania.

"It doesn't matter if you're a Christian or a Jew, a Muslim or a Hindu, or an agnostic or an atheist," he writes in the book written with Mark Robert Waldman, a therapist at the Center. In his office at the University of Pennsylvania's hospital, Newberg told Reuters that “neurotheology” — the study of the brain’s role in religious belief — is starting to shed light on what happens in believers’ heads when they contemplate God.

Science and religion are often seen as opposites, to the point where some in each camp openly reject the other, but this medical doctor and professor of radiology, psychology and religious studies sees no reason not to study them together. “The two most powerful forces in all of human history have been religion and science,” he said.

“These are the two things that help us organise our world and understand it. Why not try to bring them together to address each other and ultimately our world in a more effective way?” Atheists often see scanner images tracking blood flows in brains of meditating monks and nuns lost in prayer as proof that faith is an illusion. Newberg warns against simple conclusions: “If you see a brain scan of a nun who's perceiving God's presence in a room, all it tells you is what was happening in her brain when she perceived God’s presence in a room.

“It may be just the brain doing it, but it may be the brain being the receiver of spiritual phenomena,” said Newberg, whose research shows the short prayers most believers say leave little trace on the brain because they are not as intense as meditation. “I’m not trying to say religion is bad or it's not real,” he added. “I say people are religious and let’s try to understand how it affects them.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

Customer service: Take it to the next level

This appeared in the eWorld supplement of The Hindu Business Line on Monday, August 17, 2009
The 'domain service provider' mentioned at the end is Sify Domains. The name was removed by the Desk while publishing.

You would have called some customer service set-up at some point of time. Did you come up against an unhelpful person who left you fuming?

Unfortunately, what many don’t realise is that there is no need to get worked up as unsolved complaints can be escalated.

If the ‘service’ rendered is not satisfactory, you can always call the Nodal Officer. The details are available on the Web sites. It is almost certain that the problem will be solved as the Nodal Officers are senior officials with enough powers. If you are still not satisfied, you can escalate it again to the Appellate Officer (or whatever he is called).

How fast the issue is resolved also depends on how you talk to customer care or Nodal Officers. It is no use haranguing them about what you think about them and their service. You will end up irritating them more.

A friendly but firm talk always pays. My experience with Nodal Officers has been excellent. Most issues have been resolved within a day.

But in the first place, why should a problem be allowed to be escalated to the next level?

That’s because the customer service guys deployed by most companies have no say except to note down your request and forward it to the department concerned. What companies don’t realise is that by empowering them a little more, they can grow customer satisfaction.

I realised this after my interaction with a domain service provider (Sify Domains) recently. I wanted to use Google Apps with one of my domain names. There was a huge difference between the instructions provided by Google Apps and the domain management fields of the service provider.

All it took was one phone call. The person handling it asked me to send an e-mail, which I promptly did. The change was made in less than three minutes. I later discovered I had to make two more changes in the domain settings. Again, each change was made within three minutes of my sending the e-mails.

Next time you need to call customer service, just ensure you talk politely and in a friendly manner. If you are not satisfied, remember that you can always escalate the complaint.

R. Dinakaran

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Havan (Homam) for bacteria-free homes, says National Botanical Institute Study

Press Trust of India

Lucknow, August 17

Want to lead a healthy life and free your home from bacteria? Perform 'havan' at regular intervals.

A study carried out by a team of scientists at National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) here has claimed that smoke emitted during havans reduces airborne bacteria to a large extent, minimising possibility of infectious diseases.  "Burning wood and medicinal herbs, better known as 'havan samagri' (mixture of wood and odoriferous and medicinal herbs), can effectively reduce pathogens in the air," NBRI's senior scientist, Prof. Chandra Shekhar Nautiyal, told PTI.

The study had already been published and accepted by Science Direct, a journal of ethnopharmacology.  "As described in Rigvedas, saints used to perform agnihotra-yagnas to purify the environment by sublimating the havan samgri in fire," he said.

In a bid to study the actual impact of havans, an indoor study was carried out by the NBRI team including Prof Nautiyal, Mr Puneet Singh Chauhan and a fellow of Asian Agri-History Foundation Yeshwant Laxman Nene.  A complex mixture of over five dozen odoriferous and medical herbs was obtained from Gurukul Kangri Pharmacy in Haridwar and burnt in an indoor environment to study its impact on the environment.

"Air sampling before and after performing havan was done to ascertain its impact on the environment,'' Prof Nautiyal said.  "After the experiment it was observed that though there was was no reduction in the number of bacteria by burning of wood alone, smoke emanating from herbs led to over 94 per cent reduction in aerial bacteria,'' he claimed.
"Absence of pathogenic bacteria in the open room even after 30 days was indicative of the bacterial potential of the medicinal smoke treatment,'' he said.
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Saturday, August 01, 2009