Friday, August 27, 2004

Power packed Java for your mobile phone

Nokia and Vodafone have just got together to simplify the software for your mobile phone with Java. Now that is some exciting bit of news. Java has the potential to be a serious contender for the battle for software applications on the mobile phones. As of now, Java games are rocking the mobile phones but usability of thse programs across varied models of handsets is a hindrance.

Enormous potential exists for software applications for mobile phones demanding fast rates of processing with Java and with the development of an open standards-based mobile Java services architecture, as promised by the companies, we are sure to witness a new range of highly complicated and power packed softwares written in Java and enormous cost reductions in the process of software development.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

SkyBUS - scripting a new chapter in Indian metro transport

When the Sky Bus successfully completed its first test-run, B Rajaram must have been a very happy man. On August 25th, the Skybus completed its 30 metres to and fro distance at the Margao Junction. With that was written a new chapter in the history of Indian Metro transport.

This indigenously developed mass transport system is the brainchild of B Rajaram, MD, Konkan Railways Corp. Limited. The system was promoted as an alernative to underground metro system but this project has continuously been facing resisteance from certain government quarters. Issues relating to the safety of its operations have been consistently dogging the project.


Sky Bus- proves its worth in test run

The Sky Bus, being cost-effective and eco-friendy, has the potential to solve the ever increasing problems of mass rapid transport scenario in the country where urban space is a premium. What remains to be seen is that can it move beyond its testing stage?

http://www.sky-bus-metro.com/

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Real Divide

When one talks of India these days, you come up with words like the new economy, the network economy, entrepreneurship and technology. In a way it has become fashionable to do so. And yes, the other term that we often come to hear is the "Digital Divide". In opinion of many, it is this divide we need to bridge that would spur us on our path to wonders.

We need to pause for a moment and contemplate if it would really do so. The pathetic state of Indian primary education system remains hidden from few. Children have to fight for two square meals a day. For a large population of India, each new day begins with a new challenge- the challenge of survival. And we want to use ICT for development!

I was very surprised when my friend asked me this question- "Didn't countries 'progress' when there was not the so called ICT?' Didn't people then know what progress really meant? So why this hue and cry about Digital Divide? " I am sure few would disagree to what he had in mind. Digital Divide is only a term we can and have always used as an excuse for some basic things that we have never managed to get right.

Divides do exist. Income Divide, Opportunity Divide and Wealth Divide are the ones that have haunted us for far too long now. We need to fight these loopholes in our society. Only then can we think of development, development across all sections of the Indian society.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

'Spim' heading for your Desktop

It has never been something extraordinary to find one's Inbox flooded with unsolicited emails. That old fashioned spam is now out in its new 'avatar' - spim which works thru' the instant messaging services. With the development of increasing efffective spam filters being doled out by specialist companies, and the mere fact that hundreds of billions of instant messages being sent every year, the "spammers" are evolving into "spimmers".

Though spim in its current form is not very dangerous, as any infected item will have to be sent only as an attachment and has to be downloaded by the user unlike in an e-mail spam, the annoyance caused by spim is enormous. Who knows, the spim epidemic may just be on its way...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

C.K. Prahalad's new book "Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" has just been published.

The Economist writes in its article "Profits and Poverty" that C.K. Prahalad is of the opinion that there can be a win-win relationship between business and the poor

“IF WE stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognising them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up.”

Mr Prahalad reckons that there are huge potential profits to be made from serving the 4 billion-5 billion people on under $2 a day—an economic opportunity he values globally at $13 trillion a year. The win for the poor of being served by big business includes, he says, being empowered by choice and being freed from having to pay the currently widespread “poverty penalty”. In shanty towns near Mumbai, for example, the poor pay a premium on everything from rice to credit—often five to 25 times what the rich pay for the same services. Driving down these premiums can make serving the BOP more profitable than serving the top, he argues, and points to a growing number of leading firms—from Unilever in India to Cemex in Mexico and Casas Bahia in Brazil—that are profiting by doing precisely that.

I love it when it is a Sunday!

Another Sunday morning! And there's lots to be done. Got to turn in two assignments, one by noon and the other by tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, at Athens, the Indian Hockey team lost again. This time to New Zealand. I wonder for how long will the last minute blues continue for Indian hockey. So the medal count at Athens may not exactly be going up for India, but the inflation rate seems to be skyrocketing. A touch under 8 yesterday. 7.96 it was, if I recall correctly. That's what, more than double of what it was like at this time of last year.

Friday, August 20, 2004

"Indian Express" derailed

In yet another jolt to the Indian contingent at Athens 2004, the star tennis duo of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, much to the dismay of millions of fans home, including me, have crashed out in the play offs for bronze. They lost out to to Croatia's Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic 6-7; 4-6; 14-16.

That was India's last hope to win a gold this time with the hockey stars failing to wield their sticks to put up a competent show.

With this, I get the feeling that India's share of this spectacle in the year 2004 is more or less over. But Indians do have a reason to rejoice! After all we've won a Bronze.

The Browser War. It is back!

The guys at Microsoft will soon have to start scratching their heads. IE is already beginning to show its age and the new Mozilla FireFox 0.9 is here. And it is here to rule it seems.

I installed FireFox and it was simply superb. The installation was a breeze and what was most striking was its fantastic user interface. It does look good. There are a number of improvements over the browsers of the current generation. I found the concept of tabbed browsing appealing. Atleast my taskbar had some space to breathe!

It did take time to load initially but then rendered pages real fast. Another pleasant surprise awaited me. It had some sort of a download manager. I could pause my download and save to a standard location. It is more secure too. The fact that FireFox doesnt load ActiveX plugins, it automatically becomes much more secure. But I wonder what will happen if I visit the Microsoft website? IE will have to stay.

So as I said, unless Microsoft doesn't do anything about the ageing and not-so-secure IE, users like me will flock to FireFox. Why did I write this? I am a Microsoft fan!