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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blackberry saves lives.... Never talk or text while driving or walking on road...

Advertisements are powerful visual means of driving sales and promoting the product.  Now the advertisements of ‘Tata DoCoMo’ are the rage.  TATA DoCoMo, is  Tata Teleservices Limited  cellular service provider on the GSM platform.   Tata DoComo became the first private sector telecom company to launch 3G services in India .  They have launched a series of advertisements with catchline ‘No getting away’ – some of which are indeed catchy. 

In one of the commercial, the bridegroom about to tie wedlock, receives a call and tells his boss – Yes Sir, right time to talk (much to the bewilderment of those around).  A coconut trapper speedily  climbs  the tree with hands tied together and legs tied together only to get a call midway and returns down to take the call.  In another a person on a cold climate, atop an elephant wears his sweater, his monkey cap and closes himself with a shawl, when his phone rings !

Of course some are not in good taste.  A particular one depicting domestic maid stealing a phone from her employer and getting caught as the phone loudly rings at that time has drawn flak from many sections as depicting the domestic workers in negative light.  In another advt of Centre Fresh, there will be a bank robbery and finally a woman would shout for the sentry, when the fully covered robber would respond….

Howsoever, captive the advertisements might be – one can get swayed into buying the product but there is no reason why the obsessed Indian society should use it at odd places – at markets, at cinema theatres, at places of worship, at hospitals, at lifts, at traffic signals, inside buses, at bus stops, at petrol bunks, at malls and … it is common sight in lifts in the midst of jostling crowd, people would shout loudly saying ‘stay on line, I am in a lift and will talk to you once am out’ – are people really so busy….  You can see people shouting on phones inside banks and at other places where they have entered as customers – where is the civil society heading for ?

--  whilst the above could at worst be a nuisance, usage whilst driving is a crime – the user is endangering the life of others – how insensitive people are when using the mobile while walking on road, driving vehicle, crossing roads, crossing railway tracks .. et.al..  just try talking to them, they would roll out empty excuses which in effect would :  question whether there is law; that they are not fault; they are eternally vigilant; they know for sure what they are doing and have full control of all the circumstances (including the ones beyond everybody’s control !);  that boss called and they had to answer; it was an extremely important call (whether boss calling or otherwise important, who prevents anyone from drawing to a side and talk, finish the call and then continue driving or walking ?) ; that one was only holding the instrument and talking !!; one was not driving as the vehicle had halted at a signal; that one was not talking but only checking one’s message; no I was not talking at all, I was just checking the time……  empty prattles  …..

The Blackberry outage is the most written and read news and the  data centre crash may have proved catastrophic for the firms and workers who rely on the smartphones' email services to do business.  It was pretty bad time for RIM, more so for its users and then in trying to appease them, RIM announced its  offering free apps worth £63 to  customers hit by its three-day global blackout. RIM said the selection of premium apps will be offered as 'an expression of appreciation for their patience' during the disruptions.  The apps  are to be made available on the BlackBerry App World from Wednesday October 19 until December 31.  Initially, there was nothing announced for Indian users but now it is stated that Blackberry would  offer free premium applications worth around about Rs 5,000 ($100) to over 10 lakh users in India  as well.  This is an apparent attempt to soothe irate customers and gain back their reputation in some manner.   Some of the applications would include : SIMS 3 - Electronic Arts; Bejeweled - Electronic Arts; Photo Editor Ultimate - Ice Cold Apps;  DriveSafe.ly Pro - iSpeech.org;             iSpeech Translator Pro - iSpeech.org; Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo.   Vlingo is voice-to-text and voice recognition sofrware, iSpeech is a  free text-to-speech and speech recognition software.

By adding them can one imagine contributing to ‘safe driving’ ??  -  there is news in papers (dailymail.co.uk) that while the disruption may have sounded the death-knell for Research In Motion, the phones' embattled maker, it may have helped save lives elsewhere.  The report states that in UAE, a dramatic fall in traffic accidents has been directly linked to the three-day blackout of Blackberry services.  The no. of traffic accidents on the streets of Abu Dhabi fell dramatically during last week's Blackberry blackout;  In Dubai it fell by 20%.  In the kingdom of Dubai, the number of crashes fell 20 per cent on the days Blackberry users were unable to use its service. It is stated that  there is a traffic accident every three minutes in Dubai, while in Abu Dhabi someone is killed in a crash every two days.  The report adds that 'People are slowly starting to realise the dangers of using their phone while driving. The roads became much safer when BlackBerry stopped working,'

The centre of the problem reportedly was a ‘core switch’failure that lead to the outage but the butterfly effect has probably caused drop in no. of accidents and crashes….  Motorists talking and texting on smartphone is certainly not a smart way and not good to the society.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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