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May 10, 2013

Combating the online piracy issue - If you cant beat them - Join them! Innovative combat strategy

Gamers last week downloaded Game Dev Tycoon, a new title from a tiny start-up Greenheart Games. The game challenged players to build a game developer and turn the game developer from a tiny operation to a mighty studio capable of turning out hits.  

The only problem was that the gamers downloaded a pirated version of the game instead of paying $7.99 for the official version. And no matter how well they managed their assets, their in- game funds dwindled as the new games they created were pirated by unscrupulous crooks. Eventually their virtual game-development firm went bust.

The entire sequence of events is the brain child of Greenheart Games' founders, brothers Patrick and Daniel Klug, who released this self-defeating pirated version to highlight the challenges budding games developers face in the online world. They realized that piracy was inevitable and transpired to hit the gamers where it hurts the most, the inability to play the game as intended.

Within 24 hours it transpired that 93% of gamers had opted to download the cracked version of the game while only 214 gamers paid the fee of 7.99 US $ that the brothers were asking for on their website for the genuine official version of the game. .

Game Dev Tycoon isn't the first developer to hit the pirates in this innovative fashion. In 2001 a first-person shooter called Operation Flash Point was released with an addition; if the game was pirated, the players' weapons would become less and less accurate, and less powerful. Eventually the players would be slaughtered.
Similarly a pirated version of  Grand Theft Auto IV sees the gamers gangster character Niko Bellic stumble around like a drunk, making completing the game practically impossible.

These type of stunts draw attention to how developers are having to adopt to new 'freemium' and pay-per-play business models to stay one step ahead of the pirates.

Beware, Beware the scamsters are becoming more brazen and are using fraud to beget more fraud!

The sum and substance of the e- mail that I received yesterday was so stunning that I am putting it on my blog. This type of Internet fraud of getting payments from international donors has scammed so many people that RBI was forced to put out notices warning the general public about this Internet fraud.

Interestingly the fraudsters has taken notice of the popularity of the fraud itself and seemingly are using it to their advantage. The e-mail explains how the corrupt officials of our banking systems and its regulators have tried to divest my (sic) funds into their own private accounts.

It also says that they (the e-mail senders) are authorized by United Nations in HSBC (why United Nations And United nations in HSBC, does HSBC have a United Nations of its own?) to pay 50 victims of my country (India) who have been victims of Internet scams a sum of 95 lakhs rupees each.

And as usual the United Nations of HSBC is so poor that it will need 20,500 rupees to be sent so that they can release my ATM card. And as an usual practice they want lots of personal information and that includes my bank account numbers. So people out there, be aware and be careful, the scamsters are getting cleverer and more dubious. And the e-mail sender is Secretary - General United Nation, BAN KI MOON, no less.

The e-mail is produced below so that no one gets swindled by this fraud.


United Nations Headquarters,
New York, NY 10017 , USA


We were authorized by the newly appointed United Nation Secretary General, and the Governing body of the United Nations Debt Reconciliation Unit, to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment, recommended and approved in your favour. During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank and Government regulatory organs in India who are trying to divert your funds into their private accounts.

This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from the UNITED NATIONS in HSBC To pay 50 victims from your country who has being Victims of Internet scam .The United Nations has decided to pay you ( 95 LAKHS RUPEES) ( Ninety Five Lakhs Indian Rupees ) each. You are listed and approved for this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back to this office as soon as possible for the immediate payment of your 95 LAKHS RUPEES compensation funds. We have been having a meeting for the past Seven months which ended Three days ago with the former secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.

This email is to 50 selected people that have been scammed or extorted money from because of your contract payment execution in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of 95 LAKHS RUPEES This includes every foreign contractors that may have not yet received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems or irregularities etc. We found your email in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this has been agreed upon and has been signed by the United Nations Board of Directors and Trustees from the WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROGRAMME.

We sent you series of emails in this regards but you did not respond back to us; However, in the course of our routine securitization into our Dispatch Alert, we discovered that the document of your fund is intact and very much available, note that United Nations Board of Director have sign your ATM CARD in the favour of your name and hand it over to REV. CLARK PETERSON Chief Protocol Officer, Dispatch Unit to fill it, you have to contact REV. CLARK PETERSON in charge of your ATM CARD, as he is our UNITED NATIONS representative in UNITED STATE and Asia Region, contact him immediately for your ATM CARD VALUE SUM OF ( 95 LAKHS RUPEES ), This funds are in a ATM CARD for security purpose. He will send it to you and you can clear it in any ATM Machine of your choice.

Contact information:
Chief Protocol Officer , Dispatch Unit.
Email; (removed by me)

As soon as you establish a contact with him, ensure that you provide your present address as below to the contact in other for the Officer to effect the change and Re-direct the parcel to your home address.

1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
4. Fax Number:
5. Sex:
7. Age:
8. Nationality:
10.Marital Status:
11.E-mail id:

We expect your urgent attention to this email to enable us monitor this payment effectively. Most importantly you shall be requested to pay the sum of 20,500 INR (Twenty Thousand, Five Hundred Rupees Only) Through REV. CLARK PETERSON as the Delivery fee of your ATM CARD. Once you contact the Office, please request delivery option from him in other to avoid further delay.

You are also required to send your bank account details where you want your compensation amount to be transferred to which we will provide to our pay banks to proceed with your transfer of ( 95 LAKHS RUPEES ). Our paying banks are (1) ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND. (2) CAPITAL ONE.

Note that if your personal information/details is not found satisfactory or rimes with the details we have in our system, this automatically disqualifies you.

And if you know that you are not ready to remit the 20,500 INR ( Twenty Nine Thousand, Five Hundred Rupees Only ) , don’t bother to reply to this mail as this compensation programme is legit and risk free and this is the only amount you are to pay in order to boost the reflection of the 90 lakhs in any account you provide.

Note our email is: (removed by me)
Yours Faithfully,
Secretary-General United Nation

May 04, 2013

Samsung Micromax Canvas HD Vs Galaxy Grand - David vs the Goliath.

In Competition Mode: Micromax Canvas HD and Samsung Galaxy Grand

Micromax A116 Canvas HD and Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos I9082 fight it out

By : Tushar Kanwar

The first three months of the year have seen so much action around mobile flagship devices, yet the launch of two devices- the Micromax A116 Canvas HD and the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos I9082 - has brought the focus back on the mid-range segment. Both these devices pack in 5-inch displays and dual-SIM (with dual-standby) capabilities, run the Android 4.1 Jellybean version, and offer buyers similar specs in terms of camera (8MP), battery and memory specifications. Does the Samsung juggernaut steamroll the more competitively priced Canvas HD, or does the local underdog prevail? I pit both phones against each other on 5 key parameters to see which one triumphs.

Display: Score one for the Canvas HD, which features a 1280 x 720 pixel display in its five-inch screen as compared to the lower 480x800 pixels on the Grand. As a result, images, text and videos are sharper, though contrast issues make the experience seem a tad washed out when compared to the Grand. Has to be said that despite the lower resolution, the Grand display isn't bad, per se, but scrimping on a 720p display when a far cheaper handset packs one in seems odd. Winner: Canvas HD, by a whisker.

Build Quality: While both phones make heavy use of plastic in their design, the Grand felt better and more refined in the hand, not to mention thinner, almost like a budget version of the SIII. While the Galaxy Grand is wider, the Canvas HD is longer, so it sits better in smaller-to-medium-sized hands. In either case, both devices punch above their weight and feel a lot more expensive than their price suggests - especially true with the Canvas HD which feels leagues better in the hand than previous Micromax phones. Winner: Galaxy Grand, for its refinement and the extremely handy flip cover that's included in the retail pack.

Performance: In terms of sheer horsepower, the quad-core chip under the Canvas HD's hood blows the dual-core-based Grand out of the water, even though you really have to push the two devices to see the extra grunt that the Canvas HD packs come into play. That said, the Grand is no slouch, and both handsets breeze through everyday tasks with ease, and you only see the Grand stutter under heavy multitasking and some of the latest graphics intensive games. Winner: Canvas HD, for packing in so much more for less.

Interface: A thinly skinned, almost-pure Android experience vs. Samsung's proprietary TouchWiz skin? Ordinarily, I'd prefer the former, but in this case, the better social sharing options and neat software add-ons (like the split-screen view and the gesture support that's usually to be found on their more premium devices) tilt the discussion in favor of the Grand. Winner: The Samsung Grand

Camera: Both cameras perform well in well-lit conditions, but come evening, the Canvas HD's low light performance takes a massive hit - not so with the Grand. In fact, you could possibly consider the Canvas HD's camera its biggest drawback. Winner: The Samsung Grand.

Battery Life: Battery life for both is middling in that they both last a day (just about), though even with the extra hardware that the Canvas HD packs, it doesn't drain out quite as quickly as the Grand does. Considering that the Grand has a large 2000mAh battery, this is surprising. Winner: Canvas HD

Media Playback: With good playback support in both handsets, playing movies is a cinch on either. Keep in mind though that the onboard storage and expandability on the Grand is double that of the Canvas HD, so if you're a media maven who absolutely must have a bunch of movies and numerous playlists wherever you go, the Grand is a better choice. My out-and-out choice for music and audio quality would go to the Grand, and the great pair of included headphones help its cause a fair bit. Even though the Grand packs in a lower resolution screen, the movie watching experience on the Grand is leagues ahead of the Canvas HD thanks to the great sound quality and high contrast levels. Winner: The Samsung Grand.

Price: Things are neck and neck for the moment, but here's the clincher — the Canvas HD is cheaper than the Grand by about Rs. 8,000! Is the Samsung branding and the promise of better after-sales worth that much? Not in my books! Winner Canvas HD.



The above is  not my article but an article written by Tushar Kanwar of the Business World. But I take off from the article. Micromax has taken on a David who took on a Goliath itself. In short Samsung has taken on Nokia and won hands down. Now Micromax wants to do a Samsung on Samsung itself.

Samsung has distanced itself from others in the smartphone, Tablets and other technology driven mobile phone business. It emerged as a market leader through out the world. Micromax the smart Indian Mobile manufacturer has latched onto the same platform albeit with a difference. Micromax wants to be a low priced Samsung. In other words it is a poor man’s Samsung. It offers the same features, same quality and is almost the same as Samsung but at a very different, low price, affordable price point. Micromax ploy is proving to be successful and it is claiming a sale over a million Canvas HD smartphones.  

This again proves that single point agenda of attention on the market leader with a fierce focus on product benefits, better value proposition with a low price is a one strategy that pays – always.

May 03, 2013

From I-pill to i-Sure - an Interesting journey for Piramal Health care

The contraceptive brand I-pill was sold by Cipla to Piramal Health Care in 2010. Cipla had launched the I-pill brand in 2008, marking its entry into the over-the-counter products segment. It made the contraceptive pill into an Rs 30-crore strong lucrative brand commanding approximately 60% of the market. The emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) category in the OTC has a net margin of over 30%. Despite the aggressive advertising spend to promote the brand, it was a money spinner for Cipla.
Then why did Cipla to sell its successful and the only OTC brand in its portfolio? Industry experts believe that the government's ban on airing the television commercials of I-pill, due to its irresponsible advertising and  may be fears of brand image dilution and fear of unwanted controversies were the prime reasons for this decision.
There could also an underlying fear that the emergency contraceptive pill category may not remain within the OTC segment for long and may be included under the less-lucrative prescription drug category.
There are three other companies — Mankind Pharma, Morepen Labs and Paras Pharma with similar branded products in the market. With rising competition, Cipla did not want to spend money on nurturing the brand further. Acquiring a premium brand such as I-pill for Rs 95 crore was a good deal for Piramal Healthcare, which has proven expertise in managing OTC brands.
Now Piramal Healthcare launched i-sure, the first of its kind, single step ovulation detection kit India to predict the most fertile days of a woman in a month with a claim of 99 per cent accuracy. It is an easy to use ovulation strip that helps a woman find her ovulation time and the most fertile period to conceive.
i-sure strip looks and works in a similar fashion as a pregnancy strip. The test is non-invasive and allows the woman to the plan the time of intercourse during this pre-determined fertile phase and increase chances of conception.
The test, which is now available for sale at all leading chemists in India, can be conducted in the privacy of home. The company is counting on this kit to provide a convenient option to helps women target those two days to enhance her chances of motherhood.
This is where the marketing concept comes in. The I-pill was all about social stigma and about avoiding unwanted pregnancies and accidents as they were popularly called. Piramal might have got worried about the negative publicity that it is getting. So i-sure is a dramatic ploy of moving from negative connotation to positive - from pregnancy avoidance to pregnancy planning.
The marketing gurus have realized that there is more money to be made in planning pregnancies than in avoiding them. It would be interesting to take statistics of sales of both the products and compare the same. Would the sales of I-pill be more or sales of I-sure would be more?  Mark my words the sales of I-pill would be much more than I-sure!
Check out the packages of both the products. They are exactly similar. Classic case of surrogate advertising. Not so welcome addition to the field of advertising. Surrogate advertising and medical field. God Forbid.