Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gadget Quiz

Monday, May 26, 2008

Histrory of Pune

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hotel Kerala Fonia

I could not stop laughing after hearing this. With all due regards to " The Eagles" and Gods Own Country " , this is a one hell of a anthem.


Cetera Algorithm | Programming Ideas, Logics, Tips and Tricks


Cetera Algorithm

cetera Brain

3d Sound

New sound algorithm to create 3d effects in sound. You are familiar with stereo, 5.1 surround etc things. But hear this mp3 using your head phones (head phone is a must).


From this mp3 , you will get the feeling of a barber shop, and you are setting on the chair. If this mp3 makes you crazy ,it is nothing but cetera algorithm.

Starkey’s Cetera technology makes the hearing aid “invisible” to the brain. Cetera removes the barrier between sound and the brain’s ability to process signals. The Cetera technology is based on an innovative new algorithm- the complex mathematical formula that drives a hearing aid. Cetera’s algorithm can match the exact characteristics of the wearer’s ear. This customization removes the barrier that most hearing aids erect between the incoming sound waves and the data sent to the brain for processing.

Cetera Algorithm

Here is the full dialogs of this virtual barber shop:

Manuel - Hello there!Hello there!How are you?Yes, yes…You are here for the virtual haircut? yes, yes…ok… I will go and get Luigi.He will come and cut your hair… I’m Manuel, just stay right there.
Manuel - Luigi? (knock-knock) Oh Luigi? he’s present here for your virtual haircut. You’d better come up…..
Luigi - Grazie* Manuel, I’m coming right now.

Manuel - He’s coming up right now and me I’ll go over here and play music, play the guittar because that’s what I do here at the barbershop.

Luigi - Ah, it’s so nice to see you.Welcome to the Starkey Cetera Barbershop and our virtual haircut. I’d like to start the demonstration by moving over to your right hand side and picking up this bag. If you just hold still for a second I’ll put this bag over your head! Just like that..The bag over the top of the head…

And now, I’ll take the bag off. There we go.

The only reason I did that it’s because all of the fancy barbershop do that.

What you’re listening to is I move to your right here and very quickly wash my hands

Trimmmm-Trimmm (the phone is ring) Manuueeellll could you get that please? Oh, thank you Manuel. Let me finish washing my hands here… just bear with a few more seconds.
Ah, yes… As I was saying, all we are doing is using your head as the listening point… and we have two microphones one on either side of the head, in the same position as where your left and your right ears are.

Your brain is doing all of the work, telling you where the sounds are coming from… ok…I’ll go and get the scissors… Nice sharp

And now as I begin the clipping and I bring the clip close to your ear, very close to the right ear…folow me as I move around the back of the head… to the left ear…and up over the top of the head…okay. Now, you can get the same effect better with the eletric razer, I’ll first bring it to your right ear…And around the back… and on your left. I think that looks wonderful. Manuel, what do you think?

Manuel - Ah? Yes..Ah, yes…It looks wonderful Luigi!You do such nice work

Luigi - Oh, thank you so much Manuel.

Manuel - So fast too.

Luigi - Now, as I walk around I just want to tell you only once more that your ability to hear where I am as I walk around the room is simply the amazing power of your brain, calculating the tinny differences or cues in sound intensity and arrival time from two open ears and unlike any other hearing instrument, only one has the digital algorithm that negates on physical presence in the ear to fully restore those differences.
And that algorithm is called… CETERA.

Oh, thank you, thank you so much for stopping by the Starkey Virtual barbershop

Good bye and arrivederte*

Okay … Some more virtual mp3s (sexy girl)

Being Indian

India in 2008 -- Outlook and Challenges


This article is by B V Krishnamurthy Who is the Director and Executive Vice-President of Alliance Business Academy in Bangalore, India.

The Indian economy is likely to grow at 9% in 2008. The challenge is to aspire for and achieve a 12-to-14% growth that alone can take the country to an economic power status by 2020. Some of the imperatives for 2008 are:
1. Agriculture, on which a major section of the population is dependent, continues to be an area of concern. The spectacular success that has been achieved in milk through the co-operative movement can be replicated in agriculture. Farmers committing suicide is a blot on the nation. Technology needs to be harnessed in ways that will improve agricultural productivity while reducing the dependence on the monsoon. In this, as well as in infrastructure, connectivity, and tourism (a highly neglected area), public-private partnership is an imperative -- the government can act as a facilitator while reaping the efficiency of private enterprise.

2. With a phenomenal 250 – 300 million “middle-class” consumers, there is a huge market for a wide range of goods and services. We need to exploit the benefits of scale economies and the experience effect if we wish to become a global player in products and not just services. The challenge is to be a manufacturing counter-hub to China. A strong local demand can be leveraged to drive down costs and become globally competitive. For all the technical skills available, productivity leaves much to be desired. Organizations would do well to adopt best practices in quality and reliability. After-sales service is conspicuous by its absence. We need to be more sensitive to the expectations of customers.

3. The cost advantage that has driven the IT-enabled services sector may soon diminish to a point that industry cannot bear due to the appreciation of the Indian currency in relation to the US Dollar. A leading banker has projected the exchange rate to touch 35 Rupees to a Dollar by end-2008. It is time to re-think our monetary policy and link the currency to a basket of global currencies. One also hopes that 2008 will see the Indian currency becoming fully convertible.

4. With a huge talent base, innovation requires an impetus. The IT sector should now focus on developing products to compete with the best in the world instead of merely providing services.

5. Now that the Bali round of talks on climate change is over, pragmatism must get the better of rhetoric. We need not repeat the errors of the developed countries. Sustainable development is critical to our future.

6. The Bombay Stock Exchange index is predicted to touch 23000 by December 2008. Organizations need to look beyond share-price movements and focus on value creation. Transparency and accountability need to be the epicenter of discussion in boardrooms. The alternative is financial scandals that an emerging economy can do without.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for India as another year comes to a close is to develop a broad consensus on major development issues. Opposition for its sake is counter-productive. If only we can make more of our people to be a part of the growth process, we can achieve all that we want to -- and without too much pain.

India in 2008 -- Outlook and Challenges - Harvard Business Online's Conversation Starter

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Software piracy dips to 69% in India

Piracy on personal computers in India fell to 69 per cent for 2007 from 71 per cent in 2006. However, industry losses due to it rose to $2 billion (around Rs 8,500 crore) in 2007 from $1.28 billion in 2006. Globally, the loss increased by a whopping 500 per cent from $8 billion to $48 billion.

These are among the findings of the fifth annual global PC software piracy study released today by the Business Software Alliance, an international association representing the global software industry.

Of the 108 countries included in the report, the use of pirated software dropped in 67, and rose in only eight. However, because the global PC market grew fastest in high-piracy countries, the rate of PC software piracy worldwide increased by three percentage points to 38 per cent in 2007.

"The report shows we are making progress in the battle against software piracy, albeit slowly as compared to other nations like Russia, whose piracy rate dropped by 7 points in 2007. India, as an IT leader, needs a concrete anti-piracy education, engagement and enforcement plan to effectively reduce software piracy year-on-year," said Keshav S Dhakad, chair of the BSA India Committee.

Piracy rates in India have been declining gradually for the last three years. The Central government, industry bodies and software companies have been taking initiatives and making efforts to curb the menace of piracy, while challenges at various fronts still remain.

Software piracy affects much more than just the industry revenues. A study by industry researcher IDC released in January found that by reducing PC software piracy in India by 10 per cent over a period of four years could generate an additional 44,000 new jobs, $3.1 billion in economic growth, and $200 million in tax revenues.

2007 Piracy Rate by Region Graph

Courtesy : Software piracy dips to 69% in India

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Incredible India

A quick view of Modern India. This should put India in right perception , better than the land of tigers and elephants and cows.


We need more boys

We need a different leadership. We dont need leaders who approach to the problem in the conventional ways. We dont need leaders who want to taken the beaten path and hide behind the legacy of the leaders who have no relevance in todays world. We need a leadership which is more hand on then giving speeches. We need somebody like the small boy in this video who can make a difference in peoples life and thinking.

Are you ready to be the boy ?


Monday, May 12, 2008

India Had 261 Mobile Million Subs End March; Only 3.9 Million Broadband Subs



Recently , I read some interesting statistics , India has become the second largest wire less network in the world with over 261 Mn mobile subscribers. This creates an enormous opportunity for the Mobile eco system which includes equipment , handsets and above all mobile content. Reliance took the leap by offering the handsets at throw away prices to start this rally. Now the mobile companies should think on the data pricing to kick start a boom on the mobile content market.

With a smart phone , I have clocked almost 189MB of data last month . With my broadband usage on my home PC  was 400 MB. This means I browse more content on my handheld than on my PC because of  file down load through my broadband. This trend is clear by the number of content aggregators proving content for mobile phones - smart  or feature phones alike.

At the same time , India's network infrastructure needs a great overhaul to cope with the demand and the number 2 status we have in subscriber base.

" As per a TRAI release, India became the second largest wireless network in the world, by the end of March. India now has over 261.09 million wireless subscribers, with 10.16 million subscribers added in March 2008 alone. If I remember correctly, we were adding between 7-9 million subscribers every month last year, so the rate of addition of subscribers appears to be increasing. The teledensity is now at 26 percent. March was a particularly good month, given the context that 8.53 million subs were added in February.

Download the report here. "


At the same time , India's network infrastructure needs a great overhaul to cope with the demand and the number 2 status we have in subscriber base.

India scored 4.06 garnering a rank of 50 out of 127 countries on a Networked Readiness Index (NRI) ranking for 2007-200. The report published by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with INSEAD basis rankings on 70 indicators, more details here. The report covers 127 economies, accounting for around 95 percent of the world’s GDP. 

Since 2002, the largest variable regression in India’s Network Readiness Index is in its Market environment which deteriorated from a rank of 28 in 2006 to 49 in 07. Surprisingly, the only improvement has been in the Political and regulatory environment which has improved from 48 to 47 during the same period. The graph below maps trends from 2002 - 2007.

Do a head to head with China and a few surprises come up. India leads in venture capital availability with a score of 4.12 compared to China (2.98). Counter this with the fact that China betters India on a majority of consumption metrics including Internet users, bandwidth, mobile telephone subscribers and internet access in schools. Overall, India’s network readiness index has dropped from 44 in 06 to 50 in 07, it has remained consistent in its non performance in 07-08. China is currently at 57. The list of most networked economies of the world is is led by Denmark (5.78), followed by Sweden (5.72) and Switzerland (5.53). In descending order of rankings for favourite immigrant haunt, US (4), UK (12), Canada (13) and Australia (14). In case you are a cricket fan, we lead Pakistan (89) by 39 ranks.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Indian Ads - Jingle All the Way

Indian Ads were once known for the jingles . We have heard many catchy jingles when we were young . Do you remember - Kya Swad Hai Jindgi ( Cadbury's) , Ye Zamin Ye Aasman ( Bajaj ) , Doodh Doodh ( NDDB) , Jab mein Choota Bachha Tha ( Bajaj Bulbs) , Aoo chale hum leke apni TOBY Cycles etc

Where are those Jingles gone now ? I can off late only think of Vodafone/ Hutch ( You and I ). The Indian ads have become more sleek and intellectual and do not warrant for a catchy jingle . I happened to see the latest Max New York Life Insurance ad with a just a story with no music , no jingle playing at the background. Still the effect was amazing.

Indian ads are changing ....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What a Saree


saree How often have you come across a INR 4 Million ($100,000) silk saree?  ( Saree is one of the beautiful garment worn by Indian women . It is draped around the body in many ways and looks really stunning ) Chennai Silks, a textile unit has come up with one of its kind and it is seeking an unmistakable entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most unique and expensive saree.

The exceptionally stunning saree is meticulously woven with 12 precious stones and metals to depict 11 of Raja Ravi Verma's popular paintings. Explicitly projected is 'Lady Musicians', one of the painter's very famous works that displays women belonging to diverse cultural backgrounds.

Besides, the border of the saree pictures 10 other paintings of the artist that pays tribute to 20th century artist. The best part of the saree being that the women in the paintings are intricately hand-woven and beautified with jewels of gold, diamond, platinum, silver, ruby, emerald, yellow sapphire, sapphire, cat's eye, topaz, pearl and corals.

Already in the Limca Book of Records, this saree will be the first silk saree that required the use of 7,440 jacquard hooks and 66,794 cards during the weaving process. Moreover, a group of consummate workers took nearly 4,680 hours to make this.

Styles of draping ( Courtesy Wiki pedia article on Saree)

300px-Ravi_Varma-InstrumentsThe most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with the loose end of the drape worn over the shoulder, baring the stomach. However, the sari can be draped in several different styles, though some styles do require a sari of a particular length or form. The French cultural anthropologist and sari researcher, Chantal Boulanger, categorizes sari drapes in the following families.


  • Nivi – styles originally worn in Tamil Nadu; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kaccha nivi, where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. This allows free movement while covering the legs.
  • North Indian/Gujarati – this style differs from the nivi only in the manner that the loose end is handled: in this style, the loose end is draped over the right shoulder rather than the left, and is also draped back-to-front rather than the other way around.
  • Maharashtrian/Kache – This drape (front and back) is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti. The center of the sari (held lengthwise) is placed at the center back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, then the two ends are wrapped around the legs. When worn as a sari, an extra-long cloth is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. They are primarily worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Dravidian – sari drapes worn in Tamil Nadu; many feature a pinkosu, or pleated rosette, at the waist.
  • Madisaara style – This drape is typical of Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu and Kerala
  • Kodagu style – This drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagu district of Karnataka. In this style, the pleats are created in the rear, instead of the front. The loose end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder, and is pinned to the rest of the sari.
  • Gond – sari styles found in many parts of Central India. The cloth is first draped over the left shoulder, then arranged to cover the body.
  • the two-piece sari, or mundum neryathum, worn in Kerala. Usually made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or colored stripes and/or borders.
  • tribal styles – often secured by tying them firmly across the chest, covering the breasts.

Monday, May 05, 2008

8 important consumer trends for 2008


I came across this wonderful site Trendwatching  which captures consumer trends world wide and presents in a monthly briefing format. The site uses a very interesting way to capture trends by using a world wide network of 'spotters' who contribute to this 'watching' . This wide perspective really makes this briefing very unique and trust worthy. The site lists down 8 important Consumer trends for 2008 and this initiated a lot of thought in me.


The detailed report can be read at this link.  Looking at this site and drawing parallels to Indian context , I can start listing some trends which I observe . I encourage all the readers of this to contribute and be a "spotter ' of sort.

Keep spotting....

Sunday, May 04, 2008

You ate my food

Who the FxxK is George W Bush ? ( Sorry for my unparliamentary language ) but that was the question I asked as I read this news about the this idiot saying that the current food shortage in the world is because of Indians over eating. We all know American politicians are a bunch of arrogant jokers when it comes to foreign policy matters. But now it seems that they have crossed the limit. They are now intefering in our private personal lives and taking objections on what we eat and drink.

Points to ponder :

per capita food consumption - As per World Health Organisation ,Economic development is normally accompanied by improvements in a country’s food supply and the gradual elimination of dietary deficiencies, thus improving the overall nutritional status of the country’s population. This will mean that the total food consumption by the Indian population will increase and we need to ensure that the demand is met by adequeate supplies either from domestic or by imports. But calling this change as Indians are eating our food is abusrd.

Even absurd is the claim because some of us are eating and filling up US company's coffers ( Macdonald , Pizza Hut , Pepsi et al)

Food wastage - USA leads the wastage of of food in the world ,a study, from the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, indicates that a shocking forty to fifty per cent of all food ready for harvest never gets  eaten.  

A quick read on the following remarks clearly show US has no right to preach.

" Official surveys indicate that every year more than 350 billion pounds (160 billion kg) of edible food is available for human consumption in the United States. Of that total, nearly 100 billion pounds (45 billion kg) -- including fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, and grain products -- are lost to waste by retailers, restaurants, and consumers.

By contrast, the amount of food required to meet the needs of the hungry is only four billion pounds, according to Food Not Bombs, an advocacy group, which estimates that every year more than 30 million people in the United States are going hungry on regular basis.

''The American government has billions of dollars in surplus money, which could go towards poverty elimination nationally or globally,'' Samana Siddiqui of the Sound Vision Foundation, a Chicago-based non-profit group, told Tierramérica.

But Joyce Glenn, a novelist who lives next to the grocery store, where Catherine looks for food in the trash bags, has a different take on the wastage of food and over-consumption in her country.

''Americans consume as much as they are able in order to lull themselves into a sense of complacency as long as the need for food, as well as even luxurious food, gives them a sense of well being,'' says Glenn, who is in her 60s, and often invites homeless people she sees in the street into her home.

Noting that food production in the United States and the world has increased more than the population, food rights groups say they believe more people are likely to suffer from lack of food as long the agri-business firms continue to be driven primarily by profits. "

Using Food grain to fill up US Cars - George W Bush is known to be a Ethanol person ( He loves being called that way ) High subsidies for bio-fuel production in the US have resulted in the diversion of foodgrain-producing land to bio-fuel production. In 2007-08, an estimated 30% of maize/corn produced in the US was used for ethanol production. At the WTO, developing countries have been pressuring the US and European Union to bring down its trade barriers.

Again an FAO-sponsored meet on the ongoing food crisis to be held in June is likely to see demands for reduction in subsidies for bio-fuel, and for allowing trade in bio fuels. By blaming India, which is the second most populous country in the world, Mr Bush merely tried to deflect attention from the more fundamental issues impacting global food prices.

 Clearly Bush has more fingers pointed at him than his one on India.


Eat what is needed and dont waste food ---