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Demonetisation pain eased by Hospitality in God’s Own Country: 40-year-old Cashless Foreigner allowed to eat without paying at Kerala Restaurant

Khader Kunju, a restaurant owner here since 1989, said the incident occurred on Friday at the eatery near his joint

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Munnar (Kerala), Dec 10, 2016: Call it a demonetization pain eased by a fine example of hospitality in the God’s Own Country. A 40-year-old foreigner ate at a restaurant here and didn’t pay because he was cashless. He was caught but let off because the eatery staff realised their guest had no other option.

Khader Kunju, a restaurant owner here since 1989, said the incident occurred on Friday at the eatery near his joint.

Kunju told IANS that the tourist had before ordering food asked if the restaurant accepted credit cards. He was told the facility wasn’t available.

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But he still “went and had lunch and after washing his hands, he ran away”, Kunju said.

“He was caught by the hotel staff, but let off when he said he has money but there was no way he could withdraw it as the ATM’s did not have cash.”

Kunju said it was not a one-off incident of inconvenience faced by foreigners in Kerala after the central government announced on November 8 that it was spiking the country’s 86 per cent — Rs 500 and 1,000 notes — of all currency in circulation.

He said he also faced “similar situation as many of my clients are foreign tourists”.

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The restaurant owner narrated an incident how a group of French tourists — four men and four women — walked into his eatery and said they were very hungry and wanted to eat but had no cash.

“They said they have credit cards, but since I don’t have swiping machine, I told them they can have food and pay later.”

However, the generosity came with a cost.

“Their total bill was Rs 1,600. A few days later the women came and paid their amount, but the men slipped away and have not paid as yet.” (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?