MediaNama’s Shashidhar KJ published an article earlier today on the site titled, “How recurring payments are finally working in India”. You’d think the article would shed some light on how this was being made possible, but instead, we only get this:

While performing a recurring billing transaction, the customer has to give a consent before making the payment that they authorize the merchant to charge the card as per the subscription plan. The first transaction that is processed folllows two-factor authentication. The 1st transactions is processed with a 2FA

That’s right, the last two sentences mean the same thing.

Moving on, we get this:

CCAvenue will not store the 3D secure password for future recurring payments, and for subsequent payments, the merchant (Business Standard in this case) will send a request to CCAvenue, which will pass the request to the bank in a batch or API, for processing in the back-end.

followed by:

These payments are processed through standing instructions left with the bank. We were unable to find an RBI circular clarifying this.We have written to CCAvenue and the RBI to clarify this and will update once we hear from them.

So how are recurring payments finally working in India?

— They are processed without 2FA, except for the first one (DUH!)
— The bank processes the transactions after a request from the merchant via the payment gateway. (DUH!)
— MediaNama couldn’t find an RBI circular clarifying this.

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Federico Viticci from MacStories has published his thoughts about the iPhone 7 after spending two weeks exclusively using the new iPhone 7. It’s interesting that Apple chose to send him the Gold iPhone 7 model for review, considering he’s been using the Plus models for the last 2 years.

I started testing the iPhone 7 thinking that a small phone could no longer fit in my daily life, and I’m still going to upgrade to an iPhone 7 Plus. But using the iPhone 7 also made me appreciate the meaning of changes that will reshape the iPhone platform going forward – something that’s more significant than endlessly debating what we left behind.

The iPhone 7 is a bold step towards a future we can start understanding today.

My journey with the iPhone began with the very first iPhone, after which I jumped to the iPhone 3GS, then iPhone 4, followed by iPhone 5, and presently have an iPhone 6. The obvious upgrade would be the iPhone 7, but this year, I’ve been considering going for the Plus model, specifically the iPhone 7 Plus 128GB in Black. Too bad it’s currently out-of-stock at most retailers, online and offline.

Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw in a big scoop for the Financial Times:

Apple has approached McLaren Technology Group, the British supercar engineer and Formula One team owner, about a potential acquisition, in the clearest sign yet that the iPhone maker is seeking to transform the automotive industry.

The California technology group, which has been working on a self-driving electric vehicle for more than two years, is considering a full takeover of McLaren or a strategic investment, according to three people briefed on the negotiations who said talks started several months ago.

This sounds insane. But then again, so did FT’s scoop about Apple buying Beats for $3.2 Billion. Almost everyone I remember went something like, “Why would Apple buy Beats!?”

DJI’s Osmo Mobile is a Handheld Stabilizer for your Smartphone


DJI — the market leader and a popular name when it comes to drones or professional stabilizer rigs has today announced the Osmo Mobile — a new handheld stabilizer system for your smartphone. The Osmo Mobile is the newest product in DJI’s Osmo lineup that began with the DJI Osmo launched last year and expanded with the introduction of the Osmo+ last week.

Unlike the original Osmo or Osmo+, Osmo Mobile does not ship with its own camera system and instead relies on your smartphone to do all the shooting. The Osmo Mobile works as a handheld stabilizer for your smartphone, allowing you to shoot high-quality, smooth and cinematic photos and videos. Using the DJI Go app on your smartphone, you can also live stream your footage or share it instantly to the usual social media channels.


Included in the DJI Go app is the company’s new ActiveTrack feature that allows you tap the screen and mark objects in motion, so that the camera stays focused on them, resulting in perfectly framed shots.

“DJI continues to revolutionize the way we capture and share memories,” said Frank Wang, DJI CEO and founder. “The Osmo Mobile combines the best of DJI’s beloved Osmo smart stabilization technology with the robust DJI GO app. This is a breakthrough, allowing smartphone users unprecedented control of and creative possibilities for their devices.”

The Osmo Mobile works with most modern smartphones sized between 2.31 inches and 3.34 inches, including the iPhone 6/6s Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S7.

The Osmo Mobile has been priced at $299 and is available for purchase from here –

Airtel’s ‘myHome Rewards’ Program Gives Free Data to its Brand Loyal Customers


Bharti Airtel has today announced a new ‘myHome Rewards‘ program for its broadband customers. A first of its kind offer from the company, Airtel Broadband customers who also subscribe to an additional Airtel service connection will get FREE additional data benefits added to their account.

Starting today, all Airtel Broadband customers who also own either an Airtel Postpaid connection or Airtel DTH subscription will get 5GB of FREE Data added to their broadband account per month. The 5GB data is offered per service connection, so for example, if you have three different Airtel postpaid connections, you’ll get 15GB of additional data for Free every month.

Speaking about myHome Rewards, Hemant Kumar Guruswamy, CEO — Home, Bharti Airtel (India) said,

At Airtel, it is our constant endeavor to delight our customers with great products and services. As a further step in this direction, we are very excited to launch myHome Rewards today. This is a gesture from us to thank our broadband customers for giving us an opportunity to serve them. Along with the unlimited free calling benefit on our landline, customers can now make the most of their Airtel broadband with the free additional data benefits.

To claim these benefits, customers can visit myHome Rewards website or download the myAirtel app for iOS or Android.

Airtel myHome Rewards

I have been an Airtel Broadband customer for almost 10 years now and this new announcement fills me with excitement. Who wouldn’t welcome 20GB of Free Data per month, right?

However, I have downgraded from from the ₹2799/mon plan to the ₹550/mon plan and merely use my Airtel Broadband connection as a backup service, simply because Airtel has refused to keep up with newer broadband standards and even in 2016, still offers DSL-only plans in my area with a maximum speed of 8Mbps. I’ve been waiting for their FTTH plans for years now, but those don’t seem to be on their roadmap yet.

Kate Conger, writing for TechCrunch:

While security has been a crucial part of its corporate narrative, Apple has quietly refused to pay for bug reports, at times frustrating security researchers who found it difficult to report flaws to the company. That changed today, as Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, Ivan Krstic, announced to Black Hat attendees that Apple will begin offering cash bounties of up to $200,000 to researchers who discover vulnerabilities in its products.

Good move, although it’s weird that the program is invite-only at the moment.

Alex Peysakhovich, Research Scientist and Kristin Hendrix, User Experience Researcher, writing on the Facebook Newsroom blog:

Our goal with News Feed is to show people the stories most relevant to them — ranking stories so that what’s most important to each person shows up highest in their News Feeds. When we rank and make improvements to News Feed, we rely on a set of core values.

We’ve heard from people that they specifically want to see fewer stories with clickbait headlines or link titles. These are headlines that intentionally leave out crucial information, or mislead people, forcing people to click to find out the answer. For example: “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS… I Was SHOCKED!”; “He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe”; or “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.”

With this update, people will see fewer clickbait stories and more of the stories they want to see higher up in their feeds.

90% of my Facebook Newsfeed over the last 6 months has been filled with posts with clickbait headlines shared by friends, or videos stolen from Youtube with added meme-like text on the top and bottom.

While I’m glad Facebook is going against clickbait headlines, it’s the latter that needs far more attention.

List of Comic-Con Trailers Released Today

In the last 24 hours, several Comic-Con Trailers have come out. Here’s a big list of every good Comic-Con Trailer released so far. This list is updated every few hours.

Over the last 24 hours, Hollywood studios have been dropping a host of insane new movie trailers. Just like every year, San Diego is hosting the Comic-Con International 2016 and as has been tradition, studios like Marvel, DC, Warner Brothers and others have released (some officially this time) trailers of their upcoming films.

As a huge film and movie enthusiast, I’ve watched every single one of these big trailers to have come out in the last 24 hours and each one looks absolutely spectacular. Here’s a long list of Comic-Con Trailers released today, and every single one of them is really, really good. I’m so pumped!

Read more →

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive (2016) Review

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is a great way to expand your iPhone’s storage.

Apple’s iPhone has long been ridiculed for having measly storage options. Even the latest crop of iPhones available in 2016 — the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE all come with just 16GB storage on the base model, with no easy way to expand the storage. Considering how often we take photos and videos on our smartphones, it has become quite a routine to keep running out of storage, at least every few weeks. Thanks to the high-resolution cameras on smartphones these days as well as 4K video recording capabilities, you photos and videos end up having humongous file sizes.

SanDisk, one of the leaders in flash-based storage solutions, recognized this issue early on and has been offering an easy solution to iOS users in the form of the iXpand Flash Drive. Originally released in 2014 as a flash drive with dual interfaces — a USB port on one end and a Lightning port on the other, it allowed iOS users to offload some of their files onto the flash drive and free up precious storage on their phones or tablets. The original iXpand Flash Drive was big, bulky, and came with a built-in battery that had to be kept charged. Earlier this year, the company released the second-generation Sandisk iXpand Flash Drive (2016 model) that offered a plethora of new advantages over the previous model. I’ve been using it over the last several weeks and it has turned into a critical accessory that I always carry around with me.

Read more →

India Announces Radical Changes to its FDI Policy, Apple Stores May Finally Get a Green Light Now

The Government of India today announced some “radical” set of changes to its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy across various sectors, including a major change to Single Brand Retail Trading.

The Government of India and Apple have been in some sort of a game of See-saw, with the possibility of company-run Apple Stores in the country hanging in the balance. The Cupertino based company has been keen on opening its stores in the country and over the last several months, they’ve almost been stuck in a system of ‘one step forward, two steps back’, thanks to India’s policies. Apple was last reported as saying that there would be no Apple Stores possible unless the 30% local sourcing norms went away.

Thankfully, India seems to have somewhat loosened its policies. As part of its announcement today, it has included the following change for Single Brand Retail Trading:

It has now been decided to relax local sourcing norms up to three years and a relaxed sourcing regime for another five years for entities undertaking Single Brand Retail Trading of products having ‘state-of-art’ and ‘cutting edge’ technology.

The ball seems to be in Apple’s court yet again.