Star Apps: Callan McAuliffe

"Kite" is an anime turned live-action movie about Sawa (India Eisley), a young prostitute who becomes an assassin to avenge her parents' murders. You might think it's another formulaic vigilante movie. However, bolstered by an engrossing revenge story, an expert performance by lead actor Callan McAuliffe ("The Great Gatsby," "I Am Number Four") as Sawa's sidekick, Oburi, and thrilling action sequences, "Kite" soars.

Have you seen the original Japanese film? Yes, I saw it shortly after being cast in the film. It's supremely violent and very, very sexual, and … Read more

Microsoft offers Windows Phone free to device makers -- report

Microsoft reportedly will dole out Windows Phone for free to a couple of Indian phone makers to spur adoption in the country.

The software giant has been chatting with Indian phone makers about developing more affordable Windows Phone devices, The Times of India said on Thursday, citing "multiple industry sources with knowledge of the negotiations." Two device makers purportedly agreed, but only after Microsoft promised to drop the normal license fee for its mobile OS, according to the sources.

"For our planned Windows Phone handsets, we are not paying Microsoft a licence fee," a source at … Read more

Nokia X Android phone makes its debut

Smartphone shoppers in India are the first ones able to purchase the new Nokia X handset.

Offered as of Monday at a price of 8,599 rupees ($141), the new Android-based smartphone targets the midrange market, according to the Economic Times. That range typically sees phones sell for between 7,000 and 15,000 rupees, and encompasses the best-selling mobile phones in India.

"Our primary strategy on smartphones is Lumia and the Nokia X will be a feeder platform into the Lumia," Nokia India managing director P. Balaji told the Economic Times. "We see the opportunity for … Read more

Behold Google Street View's Taj Mahal imagery

It's said that roughly 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal in India every year. Now, tourists don't need to get a plane ticket to witness the wonders of the ancient white marbled mausoleum.

Google Street View just unleashed its latest mapping project, which covers not only the Taj Mahal but also 29 other Indian landmarks. Armchair explorers can wander the grounds of Humayun's Tomb, gaze at the intricate details of Red Fort's sandstone walls, or trek around the ancient temples at Muvar Koil.

"These Indian heritage sites have historically been admired by those lucky … Read more

iPhone 4 production reportedly resurrected for 3 markets

Apple has reportedly resumed production of the discontinued iPhone 4, but only for three countries.

The smartphone, which was retired last September, has gone back into production for customers in India, Indonesia, and Brazil, according to an Economic Times report. Citing three unidentified senior executives, the report said the move is aimed at recouping market share lost to Samsung in countries where Apple did not have budget-conscious handsets.

Recent iPhone 4 shipments in India bear December manufacture dates, according to the report, which noted that this is the first time that Apple has resurrected production of a discontinued handset.

CNET … Read more

Apple may sell iPhone 4 in India to kick-start sales

Apple reportedly is prepping to relaunch the budget-conscious 8GB iPhone 4 in India in an attempt to revive lagging smartphone sales.

To reach more buyers, Apple will cut the cost of the iPhone 4 to 15,000 Indian rupees ($243) from the original price of 26,500 rupees ($431), The Economic Times said on Tuesday, citing information from Apple's top four trade partners in India.

After launching in the country three years ago, the iPhone 4 was retired when the iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S debuted. However, the 5S starts at the high price of 53,500 rupees ($… Read more

Apple reportedly making a push in Indian retail stores

Long a neglected market for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company, Apple is said to be ramping up efforts to get iPhones and iPads into the hands of consumers in India.

Two top Apple executives in India met Monday with CEOs and top executives of major retailers in the country to discuss a new strategy and marketing vision, according to the Economic Times. The idea is to set up "stores within stores" in the "top 50 tier II and III markets," expanding its presence outside large metropolitan areas and into smaller markets. According to the report, the … Read more

Indian government said to secretly track Web activity

The Indian government is reportedly carrying out Internet surveillance on its citizens, in contrast with the government's rules and notifications for ensuring communications privacy.

According to an investigation by Chennai-based publication The Hindu, Lawful Intercept and Monitoring (LIM) systems have been deployed by the country's Center for Development of Telematics (D-DOT) to monitor Internet traffic, e-mails, Web browsing, Skype, and other Internet activities by Indian citizens.

The systems are fully owned and operated by the Indian government, unlike similar systems deployed by local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which have to comply with Indian Telegraph Act and Rule 419(… Read more

Woman: In-flight entertainment system called me 'idiot'

On Labor Day, we celebrate those who perform arduous jobs when they wish they could be, well, celebrating Labor Day.

I wonder, therefore, how the cabin crew of a recent Air India flight from London to Mumbai might have kept their good humor when a passenger called them over and said she'd just been insulted by a machine.

She claimed that she'd switched on the in-flight entertainment system and two messages greeted her. The first was: "This selection is not currently available. Please try again later."

Normal enough, you might imagine. However, beneath it were the … Read more

The 404 1,295: Where we telegraph it in (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Ants aren't the only ones destroying electronics: Bored pets are, too.

- Snapcat: A photo app for cat selfies.

- Stop the presses: Today is the last day to send a telegram in India.

- RIP Google Reader: Today it is kaput.

- What happens when a guy logs in under his wife's gamer tag? Understanding sexism in gaming.

- Computer and printer prices to rise in EU because you can print copywritten stuff.… Read more