Sunday, December 31, 2006

Of Convergence and Divergence

Some people say technology is converging, sme others say technology is diverging. What do you think dude? Well think for a few seconds before reading on, it enhences problem solving, analytical, reasoning and positive brain circuitry.

Well my brain is a average one, and I did some reading and thinking and came to this conclusion, technology is diverging and devices are converging. Let me elucidate below.

See take example of TV, first we had only the CRT television, then Flat Plasma, LCD and Rear Projection TV and now the Thin TV . Cool evolution and divergence. Take the Wireless technology started with VSAT, WiFi, WI Max and still evolving. Take the example of cell phones. Take the example of cell phones, you had fixed landline, Mobile, VOIP, Satellite phone, Instant Messaging and so on. Take the example of washing m/c's with regular and front loading. Take the example of Refrigerators frost free, five side cooling , regular etc. AC's window , Split and regular.

Take office management printers, faxes , xerox all getting rolled into one MFD. So technologies are diverging whereas devices are converging. What are your views , please elucidate.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Airtel Song Catcher

Indian telecom provider Airtel has recently launched a song catcher scheme. IT is worth mentioning because of the user friendlyness it offers to user community.

There are still a lot of elderly people around who are tech. phobic. They find it difficult to download wallpapers, ringtones and make the phone settings easyly.

This new service would be specially useful for these people who can just dial a three digit number and point the phone towards the source of song and keep the phone at a diatance of 1 m, and lo behold in a 20 seconds you receive the same ringtone in your phone. Pretty easy and fun even for young people. Hope minds of companies keep working in the right directions. Also if call drop rates in India are improved people would be more happy with their telephone bills.

Say What.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gaming and Pain Mangement

Friends I have written a lot about the bad effects of gaming, namely addiction. But lately Games are helping in alleviating pain. Let me tell you about it. There are certain situation where the patient is in lot of pain. Especially for children it has been found out that involving children in games makes them focus on something other than pain. It has been tried out in a number of hospitals in US and UK.

Pain management has recently acquired great interest of researchers. There are ways by which the pain in various areas of body can be measured.

So it seems that gaming has got some points in the good books of critics. Gaming is a multi billion business in US and any positive developments like these goes a long way into lobbying for its continuation.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Technoloy Pruning Cost of Business Transaction

In the age of globalisation it is imperative for companies to cut cost. Be it MNC's of the developed, emerging or third world countries. Its survival of the fittest and cutting cost is all pervasive and ubiquitous.

One way to cut cost is by minimising the travelling expenses and communiction bill. This can be achieved through vedio conferencing, web conferencing and phone conferencing in decreasing order of cost and effectiveness. I do agree that face to face communication has it plus points. But once a comfort level with a stakeholder is achieved then one can surely move on to these time and cost saving methods.

Big companies can afford video conferencing, SME's could do with either video or web conferencing and small and tiny sector could do with phone conferencing.

Go on shed the flab and be competitive.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Software Patterns

Reinventing the wheel was never a good idea. Even reserchers start from where other resarchers left after delving a bit into their work to check the intuitive correctness of their works. But software development is different, if you are developing software then once a problem has been cracked there is no use breaking your head over the same problem as your brain can be more effectively utilised in solving other more compelling and challenging problems. The hacked code of a problem is called a pattern. It is similar to the components of the COM ( Component Object Model) where you have components which are built and tested and can be used as building blocks to more complex functionality software.

Even EJB ( Enterprise Java Beans ) of J2EE framework utilises the same concept. That of software patterns and software reuse.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Technologies

Today let us talk about the new technologies. Technologies are improving by the day. New more efficient batteries,better CPU's, more number of CPU's, incerasing life of CD's.

Moser Baer recently unveiled a CD which can last upto incerdible 199 years, up from previously claimed 99 years cycle. So an improvement which is radical in nature.

Also recently intel announced that by January Quad Core CPU's would be available. That means 4 CPU's of 2.66 GHz each. Previously just in about June 2006 Dual core was launched with much fanfare. And if you have recently bought one then I am sure you will have higher numbers on your regret matrix. So this new processor is supposed to improve performance by 80% over dual core. Stupendous! This new CPU is designed for ectreme CPU processing capacity requirements. Meanwhile the Clock speed has reached a technological barrier of about 3.1 GHz presently.

Till the Sci-Fi future becomes the present, best of luck for those speculating to buy a latest computer.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Server Consolidation

Server consolidation and Virtualisation are hot buzzwords of the Industry today, let us first look at server consolidation. Server consolidation is used to reduce the number of physical servers to reduce the total space utilised in effect and also the real estate cost. In todays business environment Real Estate cost does make a lot of sense with sky rocketing costs in Cosmo's. It also reduces the maintenance and related costs. But then powerful servers are required to carry out the tasks.

There are two kinds of Server Consolidation

1. Logical Server Consolidation : Logical Consolidation i sknowing which applications are running on which servers and utilising how much of CPU power . The same info. can be used for planning the future purchase o0f servers and planning utilization of resources.

2 Physical Server Consolidation : Physical Consolidation deal with reducing the number of total servers deployed.

A point of caution here is that as you reduce the number of servers yo have to make sure you build resilience into your system by planning high availability and fail safe mechanisms. This can be achieved through clustering of servers.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Business Process Execution Language is the latest standard in Web Services. Previously IBM and Microsoft had their proprietry technologies, WSFL ( Web Service Flow Language ) from IBM and XLANG by Microsoft. BPEL is a standard obtained by coalescing the two technologies. The Web services designed by using BPEL are used for B2B transactions which can last for a longer period of time.

WSFL i s based on the concept of directed graphs whereas XLANG is based on block structures language. BPEL combines both and creates a rich set of vocabulary. A BPEL process is an XML document generated with graphical design tools by business analysts rather than programmers.

Basically Web Service is a web method sitting on the WWW and executing business processes. Various WEb Services can be combined to create a complex business process. They can act as building blocks and create inter or intra Enterprise applications.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Microsofts Related Diversification

Microsoft is diversifying into hardware. It has started selling keyboards, mouses , Headphones et al. The products are priced at the higher end. Its a good way to de-risk its business model from being dependent only on software services. It is into wireless mouse and gaming mouse.
Cool strategy hope it pays off for the Software Giant.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Robots are increasingly able to imitate human actions. In vienna there are robots used for mixing cocktails at bars. They can talk, ofer drinks, converse and insult customers humourously. Previously there have been computers who can handle household chorus like ironing the clothes. Robotics takes an important dimension as most of US,Europe and Japanese are aging and require soem domestic hel which could be taken up by robots. From the Sci-Fi movies of yester-decades to the reality of today, robotics have come a very far way. The day isn't far when they would be able to reproduce like humans.

Business Process Re-engineering ( BPR )

BPR is a process which is used by organisation to constantly upgrade and re-invent their processes for revitalisation and improved ROI. It is common business knowledge that constant processes in the business timeline at best can only givea medocre return. So the processes should be constantly improved. OK improved but to what degree. People have different views on this, some say it should be incremental some say disruptive. I think it is situational. If there is a new technology in the market it would require a disruptive BPR endeavour, but on ongoing increamental BPR should be taken on a ongoing manner to improve business ROI. It is imperative to remember that the cost of BPR is high and failure rate upto 70%. So tread the path with caution. Also an important concept to be considered while executing a BPR project is to continuously unlearn old ways of doing things, resistance to change or sticking to old ways due to emotional reasons would only create expensive mishaps.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Save yourself from that Reprimand

Do you use a company Laptop, notepad or PDA for work. Take precautions. To guard against theft or leakege of company data, people companies may be resorting to spying on your computer through vrius softwares which are written for these special purposes. Are you aware of these pitfalls of communicating too much using your companies wares.

1. Don't visit prohibited sites on your laptop.

2. Don't E-Mail your collegues about the grouses you have against your boss.

3. Don't look for jib.

4. Don't take too much financial mileage out of your Gizmo than warranted.

5. Don't use the company network when doing personal work.

6.If some one from company or outside approaches you with an indecent proposal, immediately shoot back a E-Mail rebutting links with the source of spam.

Your job may be at risk in this difficult times.

Slowly Evolving Technology

Now that blogosphere and blogging has been around for quite some time now. We the bloggers expect some innovations from the companies operating in the space. Although most services offered are free, but they do earn revenues from various schemes. Also if the users concerns are addressed slowly the bloggers who have been around for quite some time would start earning money and would be able to pay for basic services like payment gateways et al. I have listed some services which I find are lacking in the current service providers.

1. Payment gateway, some form of payment gateway should be provided for the clients to make an online payment. Sometimes a new site may be good and not have as many hits as more popular ones, but may have quality content and also quailty customers who may want to pay for what they are being served.

2. Archiving Facility : As blog become larger in size, malicious intentioned people may want to hack it and delete the blog just by the click of a mouse button. Hense there should be archiving facility which should be removed only via confirmation through a SMS form a mobile.

3. Import Export of POstages : As a service providers proposition may become outdated or less profitable, or in case the customer has multiple blogs and want to move around some facilities then this should be facilitated.

4. Categorisation of Stories : Better management of Blog Posts where the stories could be categorised.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Digital Divide

Computer was not around for a very l9ong time. There is a generation which is still alive born in the 50's-60's who find dealing with this Gizmo extremely difficult. Also there are the poor who can not afford to buy these gadgets leave alone learning them. This brings us to the problem of the digital devices. How to brdge this digital divide. If there are patient trainers who teach the old, or relatives or children could take up this task. Also as the interface develops to hi-fi speech recognition and facial-recognition-commands, things may improve. Till then user friendly Kiosks in rural area for the poor may do the trick.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Few Security Tips

If your computer is connected to the net your computer is at risk from attacks by cyber criminals. What do you do to avoid them. These hackers use the flaws inthe OS to gain access to your system and convert it into a Zombie. In effect what happens is that, you pay for the computing chip which processes other's works. Other things which you can do are to install a router, it acts as another line of defence in the internet.

Be sure you use the Anti-Virus, Firewall,Anti-Spyware software. Is best to use the professionals. Read technical blogs for latest updates on security breaches, and take care of your computer. If you are using Wi-Fi then make sure you use encrypted standards otherwise people may evasdrop and hack your system from proximity.

This list is not an exhaustive list of preventive methods, only indicative.

Desktop Search

Desktop tools are available from Google,MSN,Yahoo et al. The advantage of using desktop search is that it creates an Index of all the items, the folders,files,web pages visited etc and when you want to searcha particular itemyou are zeroed into the item assoon as you press the search button. Cool considering the time it takes to search a misplaced file on the computer using os search facility. So the best thing is impeccable organisation of resources, but to err is human so install a desktop search utility.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dealing With Spam

Apart from setting up filters and blocking the E-Mail, mostly spammers find way of getting into our inboxes and the only way we can deal with the nuisance is to delete the mails manually. I think the folloowing suggestions can help. I useRediffmail and have not found these features there. I hope I get paid for this Idea.

1. Once the spammer gets your address, he sends you mail every day, ( Like a failthful spouse or lover). The problem is accentuated in case you logged after some days. What happens then. If there is a facilty of selecting a E-Mail and deleting all mails originating from this address then it would be a fine proposition. Also if I could delete all mails from a domain it would be helpful.

2. Also if there is a facilty of deleting all the mails from a particular date onwards, that is before a particular date it would be helpful.

Bye For Now,

Unemployment Forces Youth To Cyber Crime

According to a report published in UK, unemployment is forcing youths from communities and online forums, and also from universities a fertile ground for recruitment by cyber criminals. They are hired and used in spamming and phishing attacks. After terrorists started recruiting educated people from universities it is now the turn of Cyber Criminals to do the same. Looks like globalisation does have its ill effects.

Say What.

Friday, December 08, 2006

File Sharing

File sharing is a technology which publishers and Music Companies declare as illegal. It involves storing of a copy of file at more than one location, called the peer-to-peer network and downloading and sharing it. Obviously each user downloads pieces of files from different computers and not from a single server. This makes high availability and faster download times. If the file is stored on a single computer then it may become unavailable if the PC is down. Even IT industrialists are amazed at the creativity of whom they call pirates.

Case Study : WiMax Initiative in Maharastra

IN Baramati near pune in Maharastra, there is the first WiMax initiative. A WiMax Network was set up to power 5 internet Kiosks in nearby villages. The Wireless Network can be accessed from about 100 scattered villages. Good news for the villagers who are mining the net for information, market info, telemedicine et al. If the endeavour is successful then WiMax can be used as a effective mechanism for the last mile connectivity of Villages in India.

WiMax is a Wireless technology through which broadband can be accessed upto 30 KM in Radius. Using WiFi you get a coverage of maximum 1200 metres.

Cool Advance.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Credit Cards

There are two types of Credit cards, one the common one which uses magnetic strips and the other is the smart card which contains the microchip with all the relevant information embedded in it. It is difficult to defraud if you have the smart card. Mostly in US and Eurrope, smart cards are used. But in Inida still more of the common ones are used. It also requires a special ATM to process the smart card, this makes it a costly proposition to implement in the third world countries.

RSS Conundrum

Mystified about the orange button emblemed RSS Feed on various blogs. Let me solve the mystry for you. Blog feeds or Really Simple Syndication ( RSS ) is a way to aggregate varius blogs which you visit at one place. So that yo can read all the stories without visiting all the sites. So it is a headache avoidance act for you. What you need to do for it is subscribing the RSS of various sites by clicking the orange buttom. You also need to have a reader which are of two types. Desktop reader anda web reader. WEb reader is more popular if you want to access the stories from the internet using any computer. So far so good. If you want there are services available, popular ones being bloglines,Yahoo,Google, Newgator.

Logging off for now Happy Blogging.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ERP and related Technolgies Implementation

Related technologies are like CRM, SCM, BI et al. First go for ERP implementation. Go for big bang approach or parallel execution depending on your confidence level. Better eat the elephant by bytes.

During implementation of ERP package ( which may take 3-12 months depending on organisation size and also number of modules ) , go for change management, continuous training and also consolidation of changes. These are very important for the success of your implementation. If not done properly there are many examples of costly failures and re-implementations.

After implementing the core ERP solution go for a Application depending on your industry. For example if you are in Banking industry which is customer facing then go for CRM package first. If you are in manufacturing go for SCM. After that go for Data mining and warehousing and Business Intelligence.

Is your child addicted to PC Gaming

Research is again and again showing the ill effects of Gaming on kids. It has a similar addiction effect as that of drugs, in that the involved person shows a craving for the game. Be wary of allowing your child unbridled access to Gaming. MOderation is the key. In a study done in the US on kids aged upto 21 these findings were revealed. The lure of collborative games i sthat gamers want to go on and on. Better stop while you can.

Enjoy technology but don't let it overwhelm you.

Technology Assisting BFSI

Indian companies are slowly catching up with the west in offering quality services to their clients. Although the efforts are far and in between but are noticeable. For example redemption of Mutual Funds Units used to be a problem area with the Indian Market Regulator ( SEBI ) allowing upto 10 days but the MF companies usually redeeming in 1-3 days based on if you were present in a city or a rural area. But things are fast chaniging.

For example HDFC Mutual Fund House now has a facility wherein you can redeem or buy units through your ATM account. Cool for Instant Redemption and Buying of units. Also there were online Portals which deal with all types of Financial Products online.

Cool going for investors.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Web 2.0

WEb 2.0 basically stands for the newer Web Applications like user created content. Blogging, Social Networking and Community sites et al. Basically in Web 2.0 there is more of collaboration based work. Sites like Orkut, Myspace, Blogger, o3 ,YouTube all are coming under this category.

The user created content is a exciting new area where insted of the professionals the users themselves provide first hand entertainment material.

I-Phone from Apple

Apple is soon going to launch a convergent device which would combine a phone, a music player and a portable computer device all iin one. Expected early next year. Let us hope that more such innovations hit the market so that instead of carrying truck load of Gizmos with one, one can do with just a single device which could be a Snazzy MFD ( Multi Function Device).

Monday, December 04, 2006

High Tech Stalking Through I-Pods

They cloned the mobile phones, they turned zillions of home computers into Zombies, now they are upto new tricks up their sleeves. And guess what you can be stalked through your I-Pod. I-Pod now comes with some acessories like the chip which if planted into your shoes while working out is going to transmit vital information like the Calories burnt and the speed of running to your I-Pod screen.

Stalkers can use the same chip to stalk you through their laptops by using wireless networks and the information in the chip. So beware of the stalker lying in wait next street.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Radio Frequency Identification ( RFID ) is a method which is used in retail to tag a product and through wireless techniques bill the item at POS ( Point of Sales ). The information regarding item cost and other details are read wirelessly. RFID's are also used to assist SCM ( Supply Chain management). When a good is in transit it can be tagged and the inventory position can be accessed real time, by beaming the Radio Frequency Waves without physical counting. It also helps in avoiding pilfering of items from stores.

RFID's are currently at 5-10 Rs per ID and are relatively expensiveto use by small stores. But a number of organised players like pantaloon have adopted them successfully.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mobile Dating

In China a new trend has been observed, dating via your mobile or m-dating. This phenomenon is slowly also spreading to US. The concept is being used by the mobile companies to increase the usage of text services for dating purposes and drive the revenue. People who are in a particular location like a pub or a disc send a SMS to the company which alerts a romantic partner or friend.

It is one step ahead to the speed dating or Online dating which is right now going on in India. So now meet your Mr. Right or one of them right where you are shopping.

More is merrier.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Spam Increases to 90%

According to a study by the US , 9 out of 10 ie is a stupendous 90% of e-mails flowing in te US are spams. In the US the spam increased from 2.5 billion in June to 7 billion in November. Spam costs a $1000 per employee per year in lost productivity. So far so good. This e-mails are sent by gangs of theives who are phishing for credit card numbers through spam e-mails. They also market products like Viagra, Financial producst and advice etc.

They achive this through controlling user computers, which are called Zombie Network. The large computing power is used by these theives to defraud users of Biooions of dollars every year.

Happy Mail Checking.