Questions, if you are a techie..

The pace at which devices get smarter and more intelligent is amazing. The mobile phone handset has become almost like a full fledged personal computer, with features added up in every generation, the transformation is from a mere Voice/Data communicator to a device for Watching TV, or controlling your house hold devices using a Palmtop kind of thing remotely etc.The network is converging showing a clear sign-A future with nearly all the voice, data and other types of media integrated and served together.

Now, in a country like ours who will be able to buy these kinds of new generation gadgets? What kind of applications they can find for these smart devices in our (leave IT guys for the time being) lives?
Both the service providers and gadget manufactures will be looking for ways to develop their products much more cost effectively, thereby increasing their reach. We do have handsets spreading out in a wide range, with costs affordable to a common man.

When it comes to something more than just a mobile handset, the digital divide remains as a fact. I feel this issue is going to become severe in a society where access to information and keeping information is going to be possible only by a few people who can enjoy the benefits of an IT revolution with their purchasing power.
What about the people who are left away, that may lead to a knowledge divide?

Yes, (increased volume ;)), So guys, what about affordable computing?

This leads to another interesting question, what will a common man do with a 'computer'? How do devices like "simputer" will become more effective?

Considering the small and medium scale industries, and the agricultural sector, where can we bring in Automation and Effective Information Management, affordably? Running a business will be more effective, both the producer and consumer can enjoy the advantages like faster processing (be it any field), can get updates on various levels of information in the system, be it present status of my application, how much due one has to pay ....goes like that.
From what I have seen, some of such things would be:

  • A bus conductor using Electronic Billing Machine that prints out tickets, makes his work much easier..

  • An electronic Voting Machine, that makes our fundamental process of democracy much more easy,not only for the voters. but bigtime for those who Count the votes!! :)

  • Information kiosks found at Railways Stations, Bus Stations and many other places..

  • A BESCOM 24x7 electricity bill payment counter..

  • And lot more...

All these are designed for a specific usage, and are more of a traditional embedded system.But, what will be the uses of a general purpose computer affordable to the masses?
Let us discuss!


Geography 's gonna be History

There is much to read in the Linux For You, March 2007 - An exclusive coverage on Linux Asia: Making Geography History. It talks about the new trends, India and open source, Linux for the blind - ADRIANE Knoppix demo, the CXO Summit, Gandhigiri and open source and lots more.

Click here to read the report!

And then the biggest wonder: Microsoft debut in a Linux Asia.

On reading the reports, I found this interesting, their 1st theme in keynote - Challenge the Indian OSS community to innovate.
"Thought-leaders from the industry, academia, government and the community will challenge the Indian Linux/OSS community to develop innovative ICT solutions that can empower developing nations like India."

Too long, isn't it? Well this is copied from the LINUX ASIA website.

India, as we see, is demographically diverse, economic differences existing in its widest form, from overcrowded Hi tech Metros to Villages still in blackout.

Can the OSS community help to bridge the gap? The challenges are not only technical, of course the social, educational conditions and infrastructure - everything has to be made better, and there is always a limit for what technology can deliver.

Can the Information and Communication Technology(ICT) solutions be used to bring the north east or the Ladak on par with Bangalore? What is the scope? Have not we read about the people who are far beyond the reach of information technology - those who go marginalized in near future due to lack of knowledge in operating and managing the information in the hi-tech form? Designing devices, tools, computers, web pages for the masses are going to be the challenges.

Will we be able to push the geography to history?
Let's wait and see.

All about (over)playing

This is an "unlock" routine in action, if there was a blogger's bLOCK.

I am deliberately changing the topic, which I first thought of writing. I simply hated the way the media overplayed things those are least important for most of Indians, and hype that had been given to the cricketers of the country. I am a cricket lover, and of course even from my school days I used enjoy those golden moments - whether it is Rhodes taking a nearly impossible catch, or Tendulkar punishing Warne for a big six over the mid on or whatever. Yes, these are great, and there are even greater moments - But, let us take the world cup match between India and Bangladesh. It was a stunning defeat for India, and in cricket such things happens. That's the beauty of the game. Well, let me not analyse the match, we have specialists to do that.

I remember the headline of one popular newspaper about how much the organizers and sponsors will lose if India does not make it to the Super Eight. Don't understand how can this be a front page main headline when there are many other burning issues. It was just a day before, I (happened to) read in a prominent Malayalam daily about a young bowling "phenomenon" who has proved his skills by showing his arrogance in the fields..."the young new brave face of India!"..still, what is the point in giving over coverage to his family and all..

Reactions and responses on India's defeat was "promptly" covered by all news channels. Some went on by spending more than 70% of the news time.. And in between the "informative and fact-full" news flashes, vow!! the nice colorful ads - where our cricketers are continuously improving their acting talents!!

Another headline - Bollywood tells team India, get the cup!! - Bol Diya to Bol Diya!! And Reactions from various parts of the country, that too on an hourly basis .."yes, tell us how do you feel about India's deafeat!!", that is okay if you dont have water to drink, you have Cola.

Smart reporting, eh ?

Oh.. Does our national game Hockey get at least one tenth this kind of hype? Who cares about Nandigram, or Iran's reactions when you have such burning issues ....

Anyways, here is the core dumped.
and now
return 0;


Multilingual plus plus..

Here's some thing interesting on Multilingual Computing again. There is a Unicode Conversion Gateway for Indian language newspaper sites and server side transliteration tool available. I found this info on Indlinux blogs, oops i am a bit late, still clipping it here again. (They did this Sept 06) Great!

If your browser has Unicode support, you can view newspaper sites which use their own proprietary fonts in Unicode.See it here!. Also you can do transliteration of a Unicode page with say Hindi page to Malayalam page. (Good for me!!)
It is works similar to padma plugin for firefox.