Spending
Airtel, Idea hike post-paid data tariff

Idea Cellular has done the same in Delhi, Punjab and UP West

 

Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have hiked charges for post-paid customers by 20% in various circles, including the national capital.
 
As per information posted on the companies' websites, Airtel has raised data tariffs in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP East and UP West circles.
 
Idea Cellular has done the same in Delhi, Punjab and UP West.
 
Post-paid customers of both operators in the designated circles will now have to pay Rs.300 for 1GB 3G data usage, as against Rs.250 earlier.
 
Vodafone, however, has not raised data charges in the post-paid category and continues to offer 1GB 3G data for Rs.250.
 
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone had raised pre-paid data tariffs for 2G and 3G services in Delhi by up to 47% in June following the spectrum auctions in March, when operators acquired airwaves worth Rs.101,000 crore.
 

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What Sets the New Honda Jazz Apart?

Efficient, reliable petrol engine in hatchback will compete with petrol editions of other manufacturers

 
The new Honda Jazz 2015 has turned the very important hatchback market in India on its head, with extremely competitive pricing and variants that will provide Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai i20 a lot to think about. The Suzuki Swift is available at a cheaper price for a stripped-down version while the entry-level Honda Jazz has got a few more goodies than the similarly priced Hyundai i20. What the Honda Jazz does provide, however, is a much more spacious feeling inside. You have to sit in it to get an idea. The mid-level variants of the Honda Jazz cost the same and offer more than the top-end version of the Suzuki Swift while the Hyundai i20 offers a whole lot of extras which, often, become distractions.
 
The last time around, the Honda Jazz faced the tag of being over-priced which, the manufacturers claimed, was because the product was superior. It was true; Honda started off in India by providing really well-built products, designed to last much longer than what the competition offered. Regardless of how well-built a car is, in India, thanks to roads, fuel and driving habits, it will all not last very long, especially after 200,000km and/or five to eight years. In that context, cars from Honda are now also being built to a price. So what sets the new Honda Jazz apart?
 
It is their petrol-engine technology. 
 
With diesel cars rapidly going out of favour in cities, once again, it is the efficient and reliable petrol engine in the Honda Jazz that will compete with the petrol editions of the two competitors from Suzuki and Hyundai. The true test of a petrol engine, in India, is when you use it on really poor-quality petrol. And, to understand that better, you have to ask around in the petrol generator market, where Honda stands head and shoulders above the others, in popular perception.
 

Who Needs another Car?

 
We now have three cars at home; of these, one is up for sale—the oldest from January 2008. As I write this, both our grown-up children—who have one self-driven car each in the National Capital Region (NCR)—are often out of town and also use Ola, Uber and radio cabs. According to them, even on a simple calculation of utilisation costs, using a taxi makes more financial sense when they need a chauffeur-driven option for any reason. All three cars, put together, do about only 1,000km a month now. Cars have always been a rapidly deprecating asset. And new cost-benefit factors have come up from nowhere.
 
Employing a chauffeur on a monthly basis, now, costs Rs15,000+ in Delhi. Remember, they have the option of earning more as drivers for Uber, Ola and other taxi services. Hiring a chauffeur on a part-time basis costs between Rs400-600, for a four-hour stint, and you never know what the quality of skill-sets will be until the person is behind the wheels. Besides, handing a car over to different people is asking for trouble. Add to that, the cost of maintenance, servicing, insurance, challans and, most of all, parking space. 
 
According to my estimate, monthly parking costs exceed Rs4,000 for people living in gated communities in NCR, as well as other random parking charges. On the other hand, the quality of cabs available is getting better and better every day, especially if you can pick and choose vendors well. And this is, slowly but steadily, happening in more and more cities in India. You have to seriously re-think the need for owning a second car, or even a first one.
 
(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves.)

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COMMENTS

Maharsh Kapadia

2 years ago

Jazz is in unique position with diesel segment has one of the best millage and Petrol has CVT option which no other car maker provides.

Are You Ready for Windows 10?
After much testing, Windows 10 is here and Microsoft is offering free upgrade
 
Microsoft has started releasing volume licensing for its newest operating system (OS), Windows 10, from August 2015. Microsoft has said that during its first year, Windows 10 would be made available free to users of genuine eligible editions of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update. Since Microsoft has launched Windows 10 as a ‘service’ and not a product, it is worthwhile to look at the new features and usability of this OS. As per initial feedback, Indian users will not been able to use some advanced features like Cortana, the voice-controlled virtual assistant available only in the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. In addition, several users are complaining that, while upgrading through express setting, Windows 10 changes the default browser to its own Edge instead of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox that you may have been using as default for surfing the Internet.
 
Unlike the previous releases, this new OS is available for upgrading through the Internet. In normal circumstances and download speed, it would take a minimum three hours to upgrade to Windows 10. However, given the state of our broadband service-providers, the download may go on for the entire night. Windows 10 upgrade is a large file—about 3GB—and you may end up consuming your entire monthly quota. So be prepared for additional bill from your ISP as well, unless you have an unlimited download plan. 
 
While upgrading, make sure to scan for compatibility of third-party applications. Third-party applications software that is not compatible with Windows 10 would be removed from the system before upgrade. You can also use a tool created by Microsoft for installing or uninstalling Windows 10. For this, too, you will need Internet connection, sufficient storage space, a blank USB (universal serial bus) or DVD (digital versatile disc) with at least 4GB space (make sure to use a blank media, as all data would be deleted during the media creation process).
 
Hardware: For upgrading to Windows 10, your PC should have 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor, 1GB read-only memory (RAM) for 32-bit version or 2GB for 64-bit version, 16GB storage space for 32-bit or 20GB for 64-bit OS, a graphics card with DirectX9, or later with WDDM 1.0 driver and a display of minimum 800x600 pixels (the higher the better).
 

Should You Go for It?

According to reviews, Windows 10 offers the stability and usability (read mouse+keyboard) of Windows 7 and touch features of Windows 8. Microsoft has tried to make the transition from PC to tablet, and vice versa, a smooth affair. Nate Ralph, from CNET, says, “As always, there are some quibbles and gripes with the end product, but all-in-all—after living with Windows 10 for months—I can say that it’s a winner. It’s flexible, adaptable and customisable. And it’s been battle-tested by an army of beta testers for the better part of a year, making it one of the most robust operating system rollouts in recent memory.”
 
 “Windows 10 delivers a refined, vastly improved vision for the future of computing with an operating system that’s equally at home on tablets and traditional PCs—and it’s a free upgrade for most users,” CNET says in its review for Windows 10.
 
Woody Leonhard, from Windows Secrets, an online newsletter, has a similar view. “Windows 10 appears to be a qualified success,” he says and adds, “My general advice for Windows 8/8.1 users is to go ahead and install Win10. For Windows 7 users, the recommendation is not so clear-cut. Typically, I tell Win7 users to wait a while. Let us see what Microsoft brings out for the ‘TH2’ update reportedly scheduled for October.” 
 
Windows 10 is more secure, is interesting and useful. However, it depends on you if you want to upgrade from the stable (and only a few issues) Win7 or discard the problematic Win8 for a new one. Since Microsoft offers you a downgrade to your original OS within 30 days after upgrading to Windows 10, go for ‘upgrade’ instead of a clean install and check it out yourself. Also, while upgrading, use the custom setting, instead of express, so that you can make your current, preferred browser as default for surfing the Internet.

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