Monday 29 February 2016

New PF Tax Amendment - Ending "Interest Subsidy" in Unpopulist way

Ok so first of all let me say that this proposal of taxing the 60% of withdrawal of PF (Provident Fund) amount at time of maturity is really a bold step and may be one of the most Un-populist step taken by any government in recent times affecting large section of middle class. It might have been done to make it equal to other tax saving options but can have negative impact on popularity of NDA government and also this tax change doesn't apply on PPFs that many people invest into for tax saving that has 15 years lock-in period. 

As per new rule if you are withdrawing PF at maturity time, 60% of total amount will be taxable unless you invest that amount again into an annual pension scheme of government that pays you monthly pension amount. The total amount will not include the money deposited in PF until March 2016, that means:

  • If you are an existing PF account holder and have deposited 5 lakh in your PF account so far, this 5 lakh will be tax free totally, and 60% of the amount added from April 2016 till the maturity time will come under consideration for tax.
  • If you are new PF account holder from April 2016, whatever you deposit into PF account, 60% of that will come under consideration of new tax proposal.
  • Not only this, if employer contribution is more than 1.5 lakh in a year, that amount also will be taxed on annual basis based on same rule, so it will become tax on already taxed income at time of maturity.  

Now to understand PF, it is called “Interest Subsidy” by many economists, because first of all almost 17% of your CTC (combing Employee + Employer share) becomes tax free , then you get the highest possible risk free compounding interest ( more than 8-9% ) on it by Government year on year and then at time of maturity it used to be totally tax free so far before this new budget proposal, so may be Modi government has tried to break this jinx of one more subsidy too like other subsidies.

It is up to individuals how they read this move and Government might revert this decision in future, but as per government it is done to give level playing field to other investment options like NPS. As per Government, entire moto of PPF is to make source of constant income post retirement called Pension and if you opt for pension with that 60% of PF amount, you are still not paying any tax :)

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Flipkart outdoors - The day of outdoor activities with cool gadgets

Each one of us know that outdoor activities are good not only for physical health but also mental health, but how many of us get to do it and how often. There can be many reason for not doing it like lack of time, free space and accessories to make the activity a complete and fruitful one. With proper accessories one can not only enjoy the outdoor activities but also get the most benefit out of it.

For we bloggers in Bangalore, last Saturday was one such day at Flipkart Outdoors meet organized by Indiblogger and Flipkart in Mango Mist resort. There were many brands showcasing their products that are essential for outdoor activities and we got the chance to use those products while doing many physical activities. There were big MNC brands like Samsung, Garmin, Sony and many others. All of these brands had many products that could add value to our outdoor activities. The product varied from action camera to smart gears to outdoor activity specific shoes and many more.

The Event:

The event was organized by Indiblogger team and around 100 bloggers were part of it. It was happening to see so many bloggers excited for a full day event on lazy Saturday morning. We reached to venue by IndiBus at 9 AM and after awesome breakfast it was time to get ready for the activities. After initial breefing by Indiblogger Team about event, Bloggers were divided in separate teams and every team got chance to get information about the products being showcased by brands one by one and also some members of each time got chance to use those products for whole day doing different set of activities. Hosts made sure that we don’t walk hungry anytime so we were provided with awesome breakfast and lunch to feed energy within ourselves.

Team Indiblogger explaining the agenda 
The Brands:

The brands who showcased there product were Samsung, Sony ,Garmin, Red Chief, Polaraid cube, Altec Lansing and Coleman. All of these brads have different set of products that one can use in outdoor activities and value to the same.

Samsung had smart watches and smart gears that can keep track of essential parameters like heart rate of body and calorie burnt while doing the activities.

Sony had Sony action camera variance for normal photoshoot,wildlife and even under-water photo shoot. Many of these were advanced version of DSLR cameras.

GARMIN showcased its smart intelligence equipment like GPS tracker and bands for fitness tracking while performing physical activities.

Checking the steps count 
Polaroid Cube showcased some of the products that add value to working of your normal cameras like printing snaps instantly during outdoor activities and HD Cameras by Polaroid Cube of 

Red Chief showcased its various range of shoes that were suitable for outdoor physical activities, for a each type of activity there was a different shoe available.

Altec Lansing had Bluetooth speakers ,in-water earphones and various types of headphones that can take care of your boredom while doing any physical activities.

Coleman showcased products that can be really useful in outdoor activities like camping. The products ranged from Tents, sleeping bags, coolers and many more that can make your outdoor life more fun and exciting.

The Activities:

There were number of activities that one could take part in and show their physical strength, activities like rock climbing ( in hot weather with rock facing the scorching Sun) , walking on  Bamboo / Burma Bridge, Russian ladder, water and land zorbing ,archery and the most exciting Paint ball. In Paint ball 8 members team fought against each other and top 3 quickest winner got some awesome goodies as prize. 

All these activities required physical as well as mental toughness and many bloggers faced those challenges and out of them few conquered too. There were different set of prizes for all activities and the best performers were rewarded by Team Indiblogger and Flipkart, awards like winner in rock-climbing, calorie burning. As Twitter has become an essential part of Social media grid, the best tweets done from the event were also rewarded.

Aiming to shoot- Paint-Ball
To conclude the post, the event was one of its kind where we got to know the brands, the fellow likeminded bloggers and got to share weekend among them. We met many bloggers for 1st time and now we are connected to each other like never before. These events are not only fun but also add value to one’s social media circle in big way.     

At the last but not least, 3 cheers for Team Indiblogger for keep rocking with such events time after time and thank you Team Flipkart for being part of such an awesome weekend. Thanks to our #IndiBus driver and thanks to Mango mist resort for hosting us so well. 

All the awesome tweets for this event can be found on Twitter

Saturday 20 February 2016

Talk to your Car with the Honda Connect App

Honda, the name that makes us think about best quality Cars all over the world has embarked into a new dimension of driving and maintaining Cars with the use of technology with the launch of its app called “Honda Connect” .Yes it is the 1st of its kind app launched by a Car manufacturer as a value added service at minimum possible price to make driving and maintaining a Car a better experience.

Katsushi Inoue, President & CEO,Honda Cars India addressing at event
On 16th January Honda invited some of us bloggers in Bangalore for an event named “Hangout with Honda” to showcase its Honda Connect app along with a live experience of usage of the app while driving around Bangalore city. Bloggers were divided into teams and were asked to perform some activities with use of Honda Connect app in Honda Cars. During the event the Head of Honda and PR team of Honda were involved with us bloggers to make this a smooth experience for us. Getting a live Demo of an app was one of its kind of strategical launch of any app in recent times.

Scenes from Honda Connect outdoor activity

The Honda Connect App :

Honda connect is an app that makes you talk with you Honda car day in day out. This comes in 2 part, 1st is Honda Connect app on your smartphone and 2nd a Honda Connect device for your Car. The user needs to add the CAR detail with all authentic information for first time in app and that is it. There are around 20 such features in app and all of those are helpful for users in its own sense. 

Some of the most eye-catching features of Honda Connect App are 

Share my Location:  With the use of this feature your loved one can easily know your location in real time anywhere anytime, doesn’t matter which part of city you are driving in . It is really helpful from security point of view.

Locate My Car : This feature is bit connected with the above feature and helps you locate your car .This really can be useful when you parked your car in any crowded parking area and have forgotten the exact location.

Trip History and Analysis : This feature of App keep history of entire trip made by you. The history contains details like over-speed, sudden hard brake, ideal time and many more parameters. This can really be helpful in analyzing the trip and make better decisions in next trip and also to make some change in your driving pattern if required.

Impact Alert : This feature of app connects Honda Car engine with the Honda Connect app on smart phone and activates emergency call to Honda service  center in case of any hard impact on Car. Impact can be from accident with other vehicles or uncontrolled jump or anything else. As soon as impacts takes place, app calls the Honda service number and then help is on the way within minutes. What more smartness one can expect from any app.

Apart from these really helpful important features there are many other features that add value to the app, like :
  • App keeps history of your car servicing both done and upcoming and reminds the user about upcoming due servicing.  User can book the service appointment with the help of app only.
  • App keeps history of Car insurance, PUC certificates so that you don’t miss renewal of any of these documents. 
The Main Menu 
  • Users can keep track of fuel usage with the use of Fuel Log book option in app.
  • Users can find the nearby petrol pumps while driving with the help of Pit-Stops option in the app. The Pit-Stops option also contains details of nearest Honda dealers and Service centers.
PIT-Stop Feature

PIT-Stop Feature 

  • Users can setup emergency SOS that can share your location to those contacts in case of any emergency.
Along with these features the Honda Connect App has some other regular features like in any other app that makes it a complete app. 

Honda Connect device is priced at 2999 Rs in India with new Honda Cars and to follow all recent updates about Honda  Connect visit .

Monday 15 February 2016

Ozil "Assists" - The Humorous side on Twitter

Mesut Özil, the World cup winning famous German Midfielder and currently playing for Arsenal FC in English Premier League has made a nag of assisting the Goals for his team rather than scoring this season, some of those could be described as clear chance of hitting shot on target. In this season he has scored only 4 Goals so far, but has assisted 17 Goals in 24 matches. While people appreciated his selfless play , there were many humorous supporters of "Ozil Assists" on Twitter.

Source :- Premier League Website (Last week)

Wednesday 3 February 2016

The new STK "Explorer Camera"

STK, a pioneer of mobile phone accessories announces the launch of its first ‘explorer camera’ designed not only to endure the extreme outdoor conditions of any adventure but to also capture all the fun and thrills.

The action camera is a go anywhere, rugged, compact, waterproof camera complete with 19 accessories.  It is high on specs and is best suited for an active lifestyle.  From everyday life to those hair raising memories the STK explorer camera will record your favorite memories.

Commenting on the launch of the explorer camera, Mr Puneet Gupta, Head of STK,India and SAARC said, “We are very excited by the launch of our first action camera, the STK explorer camera.  The state of the art camera is a premium, budget friendly option complete with 19 accessories for 12,499/-. With full HD 1080P video recording, a 170 degree wide angle lens it is time to discover the true spirit of adventure with the STK explorer. 
Key Features:

  •   12 megapixels Camera
  •   170 degree wide angle lens
  •   Comes equipped with 19 versatile, compact and easy to use accessories.
  •   Direct Wifi
  •   Waterproof
  •   Mode : Picture - 12MP Video Mode - 1080p @ 30fps - 720p @ 60fps 
  •   Burst Mode - 3 Pics in 1.5 Seconds
  •   Micro USB Sync 
  •   Expandable Upto 32GB*

Truly Adventurous:

Weighing just 58g including the battery, the compact STK explorer camera records detail packed Full HD video whether you are hiking, biking, surfing, or skydiving. Its rugged body fits into pockets for easy carrying. 

Ultra Rugged - Waterproof:

The action camera is as tough and durable as it gets.  The Explorer comes with a tough waterproof case for use underwater.  The case is water resistant up to 30m so you can record your adventures and then relive all your action packed moments again and again.   

12 Mega Pixels to capture reality:

The explorer camera is a 12 MP camera, which will capture the minutest detail. With a 170 degree wide angle lens, you can capture even more detail while maintaining picture perfect focus. The explorer camera allows you to capture life’s greatest photo opportunities before they are gone. A 6G lens will give you the perfect shot every time. With the Burst mode capturing 3 photos in 1.5 seconds you will never miss a moment and Time Lapse will capture a series of photos at set intervals.
Full HD Experience with photos and video:

The stunning camera will capture your memories in crystal clear, high definition.  From muddy bike tracks to tropical lagoons, STK explorer captures those once-in-a-lifetime experiences with fantastic Full HD video and detail packed photos.  Everything you see is more vivid with 1080P which makes colours brighter.

Control, share and relive memories :

After shooting, connect the STK explorer camera to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and transfer and share your pictures and videos instantly with the mobile app. The free to download iOS or Android app will turn your smartphone into viewfinder to watch recorded action or live streams from the camera as well as making it a fully-functional remote control enabling you to start and stop video recording and take photos via your device. 

Mount and Go:

With a variety of mounting options, getting started is easy.  The handle bar mount easily secures the explorer camera to handlebars, poles and more, while the helmet mount will fix the camera to any helmet.

The explorer camera has a 900mAh battery with 90 minutes standby.  With a full range of features including mounts, clips, waterproof case, and a storage case to keep everything in the explorer camera will add fun to all of your recording allowing you to capture the incredible. 

A perfect companion for your adventures, the STK explorer camera is definitely a camera you will be proud of.  Prices at Rs. 12,499/- which includes 19 accessories, the product is already available at leading camera stores.