Thursday, December 11, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
All that happened in Mumbai was not an accident. It was well planed and managed attack. I pay homage to all the brave policemen, police officers and fighters who confronted the terrorists by risking their lives in the mission. No doubt Mumbai will stand up again within few days. But this time it will not only stand up the way it used to after every terror attack. This time it’s different, its attack from front directly on face. The first thing astonishes me is that how did they dare to do it? (the most useless question!) Man they have XXXX our YYYY and we are asking how? No doubt we don't have good Intelligence agency (Concluded from this incident, don’t tell what they did before), weapons, strategies to fight such attacks and many more things which common man like me don’t know. (This is nothing but crying on the situation, blaming each other!)This need to be improved.(At least this time we should learn from history)
I find the roots of such terrorist thinking in the education that you get. The fundamentalists are born out of the education that they get. If you are taught from childhood that your purpose on this earth is to destroy some one (I don’t say it’s taught in the schools these terrorist* come from (If some one relates this to particular religion, Mr./Ms. you are wrong!)). The education doesn’t mean only what you learn from syllabus. It’s also the environment given to one for studying that syllabus and to broader level it’s the input from culture (environment) around you which is feed to you in your learning (not that learning which continues for ever)-days . And so coming to point BAN THIS (may it be from Hindus, Muslims, Christians or any religion**) FUNDAMENTALISTIC EDUCATION SYSTEM, or if some one says we don’t teach fundamentalism (which gets converted to terrorism) keep a strong watch on them. Otherwise we are going to loose lives those of Hindus, those of Muslims, those of Christians better say those of the beautiful creatures of GOD, in similar ways. Let’s teach every coming generation love, peace, truth, non-violence and every thing that strengthens the bonds between people all over the world, weakens the boundaries (Respecting each others origin!) and finally makes the life more beautiful! (Or at least No Blasts and No Attacks)
*Terrorist: one who fights out of fear of ones non-existence!
** I know no religion teaches the violence, but the fundamentalists interpret it that way
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Machine Learning (ML) is a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) that is concerned with the design and development of algorithms and techniques that allow computers to "learn". ML is one of the active areas of research in computer science and currently has a large repository of practically useable techniques and algorithms for a wide range of tasks. Typical ML problems include automatic clustering of a set of items, automatic classification (spam mail, documents, etc.), automatic learning/refinement of rules for a diagnostic system, predictive modelling, etc.
ML methods have evolved from various domains such as Statistics, Information theory, Biology and Control theory. ML has a wide spectrum of applications including natural language processing (NLP), pattern recognition, search engines, medical diagnosis, bioinformatics and chemical informatics, fraud detection, stock market analysis, speech and handwriting recognition, robotics, intelligent computer games etc.
About the Workshop
The workshop is meant to provide a comprehensive introduction to Machine Learning, focusing on conceptual understanding of popular ML algorithms and practical applications. Apart from covering popular ML techniques such as Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Genetic Algorithms (GA) we will discuss modelling of a problem for using machine learning including input-output transformation. Participant will get hands on experience with these algorithms; using toolkits such as Weka.
* Introduction to Machine Learning
* Inductive Learning
* Artificial Neural Network
* Support Vector Machine
* Input-output transformation for ML
* Application case studies
* Lab sessions
The workshop is targeted at academic and industry professionals interested in Machine Learning; professionals working in the area of information retrieval, language processing, document analysis, speech recognition and students interested in the area of Machine Learning. Some familiarity with computer programming will be desirable – language does not matter.
Registration Fee: Rs. 1000/- per participant for academic & non-profit organizations, and Rs. 1500/- per participant for others, payable by a crossed demand draft drawn in favour of 'C-DAC Mumbai' payable at Mumbai. The fee covers lunch, refreshments, and workshop material. The complete registration form fee should be sent to the Course Administration section C-DAC, Kharghar, Mumbai.
Limited shared Non-A/C accommodation is available at the Navi Mumbai Campus Hostel, at Rs.150/- per person per day.
Knowledge Based Computer Systems Division
The Knowledge Based Computer Systems (KBCS) division carries out research and development in selected subfields of Artificial Intelligence. Its core areas of research are Natural Language Processing, Expert Systems, Case Based Reasoning, Information Retrieval, Data Mining, Soft Computing, and Planning and Scheduling.
About C-DAC Mumbai
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Mumbai (formerly National Centre for Software Technology) is a scientific society involved in the Research and Development into various areas of Software Technology and related disciplines with an objective to create focus on advanced information technologies, high-end academics & training relevant to R&D societies.
Knowledge Based Computer Systems (KBCS) Division
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (Formerly NCST)
Raintree Marg, Near Bharti Vidyapeeth
Opp. Kharghar Railway Station
Sector 7, CBD Belapur
Navi Mumbai 400 614
For Details Visit: CDAC Mumbai Website
E-mail: Click here to mail
Telephone: +91-22-27565303-05 Fax: +91-22-27560004
Weka provides number of ML algorithms like ANN, SMO, Decision Trees etc.
So experience the Difference!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The free courses are being offered “to students and educators around the world” under the auspices of Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE). Each course comprises downloadable video lectures, handouts, assignments, exams, and transcripts.
The courses are nearly identical to what’s offered to enrolled Stanford students, according to the University. However, those taking courses through SEE are not eligible to receive Stanford credit for them.
Course participants do not register, and have no direct contact with Stanford instructors or professors. They do, however, have the ability to communicate online with other SEE students. A detailed SEE FAQ is available here.
The University says SEE’s initial courses include “one of Stanford’s most popular engineering sequences: the three-course Introduction to Computer Science taken by the majority of Stanford undergraduates, and seven more advanced courses in artificial intelligence and electrical engineering.”
Specifically, SEE’s first 10 courses are…
• Introduction to Computer Science:
o Programming Methodology — CS106A
o Programming Abstractions — CS106B
o Programming Paradigms — CS107
• Artificial Intelligence:
o Introduction to Robotics — CS223A
o Natural Language Processing — CS224N
o Machine Learning — CS229
• Linear Systems and Optimization:
o The Fourier Transform and its Applications — EE261
o Introduction to Linear Dynamical Systems — EE263
o Convex Optimization I — EE364A
o Convex Optimization II — EE364B
Course videos can be viewed using YouTube, iTunes, Vyew, WMV Torrent, and MP4 Torrent. Here, for example, is lecture 1 of the Introduction to Robotics course, as a YouTube video:
The SEE courses have been released under a Creative Commons license, in order to “[encourage] educators and learners around the world to incorporate the video courses and materials into their educational endeavors and to form virtual communities around the classes,” the University says.
The license under which the courses are being released is the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. According to the University, this license stipulates that “original content [can] be the remixed, tweaked, and built into new non-commercial content as long as the original source is credited and the new creations are distributed under the identical terms.”
As noted, the courses are nearly identical to the ones offered to Stanford’s registered students. However, some content has been omitted in cases where a copyright holder’s consent could not be obtained for releasing the material under the Creative Commons license. There are also “a few other exceptions,” according to the University.
Jim Plummer, dean of the Stanford Engineering School, says the University is “excited to extend our teaching and learning opportunities worldwide through SEE. We hope SEE will enable a broad range of people to learn, to share their ideas and to make their own contributions to knowledge.”
For further information, visit the program’s landing page at Stanford Engineering Everywhere
More info at: http://see.stanford.edu/SEE/courseinfo.aspx?coll=63480b48-8819-4efd-8412-263f1a472f5a
Sunday, August 31, 2008
17–18 October, 2008, CDAC,Navi Mumbai
Expert systems are computer software that try to emulate human problem solving in highly specialised narrow domains such as financial investment planning, specialised medical diagnosis, equipment trouble shooting, etc. One of the few successful off shoots of Artificial Intelligence, the field received a lot of attention during the 80's. After a relatively dormant phase, expert systems are now attaining popularity as more and more applications are moving on to become intelligent systems, significantly enhancing their potential. The massive growth in hardware performance and capacity and evolution of software paradigms such as software as service is contributing to this revival.
Expert systems have demonstrated their ability to perform at levels comparable to human experts in a wide range of domains. Developing an expert system consist of acquiring the specialised domain knowledge from human experts through a process generally called knowledge acquisition, and structuring and representing them in a form that machines can understand - knowledge engineering. Such domain knowledge is normally represented as if – then rules; case based and network representations are also used.
Software frameworks known as expert system shells are available today to provide the user interface, user interaction management, knowledge base interpretation and reasoning. Developing an effective expert system requires clear understanding of these various processes and familiarity with the shell or software frame work used.
About the Workshop
The workshop is meant to provide a comprehensive introduction to Expert Systems, focusing on the practical application. Apart from covering topics such as representation of domain knowledge, verification and validation of rule bases, and knowledge engineering, participants are expected to build small prototype systems using the expert system shell, Vidwan – a C-DAC Mumbai product.
* Introduction to Expert Systems
* Rule Based Expert Systems
* Reasoning with Uncertainty
* Knowledge Engineering
* Creation of Knowledge Bases
* Case Study: Vidwan
The workshop is targeted at academicians, IT managers, consultants, domain experts, professionals working on advisory systems and potentially anyone who feels a need for building systems with human expertise.
Registration Fee: Rs. 1000/- per participant for academicians & non-profit organizations, and Rs. 1500/- per participant for others, payable by a crossed demand draft drawn in favour of 'C-DAC Mumbai' payable at Mumbai. It includes lunch, refreshments, and workshop material. The registration should be sent to the Course Administration section, C-DAC Kharghar, at the below given address.
Limited number of seats, register early
Venue & Contact Us
Knowledge Based Computer Systems (KBCS) Division
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
Raintree Marg, Near Bharti Vidyapeeth
Opp. Kharghar Railway Station
Sector 7, CBD Belapur
Navi Mumbai 400 614
To send mail click here
Telephone: +91-22-27565303-05 Fax: +91-22-27560004
For More Info Visit: http://www.cdacmumbai.in/index.php/cdacmumbai/research_and_publications/research_groups/kbcs_artificial_intelligence/events
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
"Peace is the sweeter music.
A cosmic melody far superior
to the discords of war...
Gandhi was inevitable.
If humanity is to progress,
Gandhi is inescapable.
He lived, thought and acted,
inspired by the vision
of humanity evolving toward
a world of peace and harmony.
We may ignore Gandhi at our own risk."
--- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Peace and love,
Atlanta: City of Peace, Inc.
Dr. King stated it well when he said: "Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service." Those of you who are history scholars may know the rest of that passage. He said, "You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato or Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love."
Hi John and all,
Really great vision. Indians are confident now to face the challenges coming with the globalization. But with that it will be very good for every nation being part of this 'collaborative growth' (yes this is what I call to Globalization), to serve each other, so as we can have a 'global village' with the 'self sustainable economy' (Concept coined by Gandhiji ), social balance, no discrimination and every thing that a happy family has. Lets complete the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. king by contributing to the development of the humanity through the Globalization ( But we will have to see towards globalization from this dimension/perspective).
Monday, June 9, 2008
Translating Languages ....
MaTra2 is a Fully-Automatic Indicative English-Hindi Machine Translation System. It translates the text in English into Hindi. Though the system is designed to support any domain, currently it is focusing ‘News’ and ‘Medical’ domains only. System works well for the simple sentences. We are working towards translation of other types of sentences such as compound, complex, interrogative, exclamatory, etc. These advances will be integrated into the system soon.
Using MaTra2 is simple, to try it please click here.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
As per a new legislation — being prepared by the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry to operationalise the six-year-old Fundamental Right — private schools will have to reserve a quarter of their seats at the entry level for children from disadvantaged sections in the neighbourhood.
The government will reimburse these schools on the basis of what it spends for a student. However, schools that have received some kind of concession from the government — such as land free-of-cost or at concessional rates — will not be entitled to this reimbursement.
Though a similar proposal had met with stiff resistance when it was first mooted by the National Democratic Alliance, the government has clarified that reserving a quarter of the seats in a private school for disadvantaged students from the neighbourhood is a goal that it seeks to achieve in 10 years.
In the first year of operationalisation, all that the government will insist upon is that 25 per cent of the students admitted at the entry level — nursery, for instance — should be from the disadvantaged sections. “We are not saying that 25 per cent of the entire school should be from the disadvantaged sections in the neighbourhood in the first year of operationalisation itself. That might create a situation when a class could have just a couple of such students, resulting in their being bullied,” said an official.
Instead, what the government would like to do is have the entry-level class in each school reserve at least 25 per cent of its intake for the disadvantaged students. “This way there will be enough of such children in a class to be a group. And, by introducing this at the entry level, the assimilation will begin at an early stage itself; paving the way for a truly democratic and heterogeneous classroom.” In fact, it is being projected as the first step towards introduction of the long-elusive goal of having a common school system.
This is, in effect, the third attempt to introduce such reservation in private schools through the RTE. While the maiden effort by the Murli Manohar Joshi dispensation stirred a controversy, the second attempt to resurrect it by this government through another legislation was shelved as the entire proposal to operationalise the Fundamental Right was found to be too expensive.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The late sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke famously said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
We certainly live in a magical world. We're surrounded by technology, yet we seldom stop to consider the amazing advances that we've come to rely on every day. Whether we're surfing the Web, making a call on our mobile phones, or watching a DVD movie on our big-screen TV, we take our modern conveniences for granted.
Here, then, is a peek inside the magician's hat at 10 technologies that are keys to our digital age. Without realizing it, you've probably used at least one of them already today -- if not all. But whether you're aware of them or not, without these technologies our world would be a very different place.
We use computers for every kind of communication, from IM to e-mail to writing the Great American Novel. The trouble is, computers don't speak our language. They're all digital; before they can store or process text, every letter, symbol, and punctuation mark must first be translated into numbers.
So which numbers do we use? Early PCs relied on a code called ASCII, which took care of most of the characters used in Western European languages. But that's not enough in the age of the World Wide Web. What about Cyrillic, Hindi, or Thai?
Enter Unicode, the Rosetta Stone of computing. The Unicode standard defines a unique number for every letter, symbol, or glyph in more than 30 written languages, and it's still growing. At nearly 1,500 pages and counting, it's incredibly complex, but it's been gaining traction ever since Microsoft adopted it as the internal encoding for the Windows NT family of operating systems.
Most of us will never need to know which characters map to which Unicode numbers, but modern computing could scarcely do without Unicode. In fact, it's what's letting you read this article in your Web browser, right now.
Digital Signal Processing
Digital music, digital photos, digital videos: It's easy to forget that we live in a fundamentally analog world. Computers can cope with all that we see and hear only through the application of highly complex mathematics, a field known as digital signal processing (DSP).
Wherever you find digital media, DSP is at work, facilitated by a whole subcategory of specialized chips and circuits. DSP algorithms correct for errors while your optical drive reads the music off a CD. They're at work again as you compress the audio into an MP3 file, and again when you play it back through your surround-sound speakers.
DSP is to digital media as gears and springs are to a pocket watch. It works its magic below the surface: invisible, yet totally essential. It's safe to say that without it, virtually none of the digital technologies that we take for granted today -- from DVDs to mobile phones, ink jet printers to DSL broadband -- would be possible.
Programming is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Modern operating systems are like onions, with layers upon layers of subsystems to interconnect and manage. Worse, bugs and unnoticed security flaws, even ones that may have once seemed trivial, can be serious threats in the Net-connected era.
For a growing number of developers, the solution is to use platforms designed to relieve some of the burden. Programs written for such managed-code environments as Java and Microsoft's .Net don't run on the bare hardware the way traditional programs do. Instead, a virtual machine acts as an intermediary between the software and the system. It's like a robot nanny for computer programs, silently taking care of memory management and other housekeeping drudgery while keeping an eye out for potential security violations before they happen.
To an end-user, a managed-code program may seem no different than a traditional one, but software that runs in a virtual machine makes for a more reliable, stable, and secure computing experience. And with .Net rapidly becoming the preferred platform for Windows development, managed code may soon be the norm, rather than the exception.
Later this year, Intel plans to unveil the world's first integrated circuit to contain 2 billion transistors. Moore's Law says that the number of transistors we can put into integrated circuits will double approximately every two years. That's a lot of transistors -- but what do they all do?
Simply put, the transistor may well be the greatest invention of the 20th century. It's really nothing more than a voltage-controlled switch, but that humble description hides incredible power. Linked together in various ways, transistors can form circuits that are the basis of every type of digital logic, right up to the CPUs that power our modern PCs and servers.
What makes today's chips so powerful is the industry's ability to cram components ever closer together. The transistors on the processor inside your PC might be only about 100 atoms across, and improvements in manufacturing technology will keep them shrinking -- at least, for the time being.
Someday, optical chips or even quantum processors may replace current chip designs and outperform them many times over. For now, we'll have to content ourselves with continuing to improve upon an oft-ignored technology that has served us for 50 years and counting.
You've probably heard of XML, but what is it? Where is it? Though you may never have encountered it directly, XML is everywhere. Now in its 10th year, it has become virtually the lingua franca of data exchange.
XML stands for "extensible markup language" -- extensible because developers can add to it to suit the needs of particular applications. But what makes it really valuable is the fact that it's a language, much like HTML. Unlike some data formats, XML files aren't just streams of incomprehensible numbers. XML is designed to be read by humans as well as machines. A developer who "speaks XML" can look at a document written in an unfamiliar XML dialect and still understand what it's trying to say.
This powerful combination of features makes XML incredibly useful for all kinds of applications. But perhaps its biggest coup was Microsoft's decision to switch to XML-based file formats for Office 2007. As it turns out, you actually may have XML documents sitting on your desktop right now, without realizing it.
Isn't it strange? Your pockets stay the same size, yet you can carry more and more in them every year.
In 1956, IBM's first hard drives used disks that were 2 feet wide. It's hard to believe that today's microscale drives use essentially the same technology. Incremental advances, such as the discovery of giant magnetoresistance and the invention of perpendicular recording heads have produced staggering results. Between 1990 and 2005, magnetic hard drives increased their storage capacity a thousandfold, putting even Moore's Law to shame.
But even with those astounding improvements, hard drives hit a wall when it came to portable devices. They were still too big and too fragile for many gadgets. Enter solid-state drives based on nonvolatile RAM. The technology has been used for storage since the 1970s, but it remained phenomenally expensive until manufacturing processes caught up with the demand. Now it is everywhere: in MP3 players like the newest Creative Zen, and in digital cameras, cell phones, and even some laptops.
Manufacturers aren't sitting still; cutting-edge technologies such as "racetrack memory" could lead to solid-state storage that is smaller, faster, and more reliable than ever.
Lithium ion batteries
When we were kids, our toys came "batteries not included." With our grown-up, high-tech toys, on the other hand, the battery is often one of the most important features. As essential as mobility has become to how we use technology, it simply wouldn't be possible if our choices were still limited to D, C, and AA.
The invention of lithium ion batteries was the key. The earliest rechargeables were made with lead -- hardly a prescription for portability. But because lithium is the lightest metal, lithium-based batteries can store more energy at a given weight than any other variety. Lighter batteries mean smaller, lighter devices; beginning in the 1990s, you could actually put a phone in your pocket.
Running time remains an ongoing challenge, but researchers have no shortage of solutions. In addition to improved lithium ion batteries that use nanotechnology, a number of battery alternatives are slowly coming to market, including ultracapacitors and fuel cells. In fact, pardon me for saying that battery technology is poised for its next big explosion -- and personal technology is sure to advance because of it.
Voice over IP (VoIP)
You've made a few Skype calls and you've looked into digital phone service from your broadband provider, but that's as close as you've gotten to VoIP technology. Or so you think. In truth, VoIP is revolutionizing the telecom industry, blurring the lines between voice calls and digital networks.
Those prepaid calling cards that offer rock-bottom international rates? VoIP makes them possible. Similarly, a growing number of businesses use VoIP behind the scenes to eliminate long-distance charges between branch offices.
Routing calls over the Internet circumvents traditional telephone company charges, and fewer fees and taxes mean lower prices. Digital calls are easier to direct and manage, which makes them attractive even to traditional telephone companies. Don't be surprised if soon the landline you've lived with forever is replaced by an all-digital alternative--though you'll likely be none the wiser.
Thought your fancy video card was only good for gaming? Think again. Its graphics processing unit (GPU) is really like a second, highly specialized CPU. When it comes to certain kinds of complex math, its performance puts your desktop CPU to shame.
Until recently, all that power went to waste when you weren't chalking up frags. But computer scientists are finding novel ways to use GPU acceleration to speed up applications off-screen, as well. For example, a Stanford University project -- which uses many PCs around the world acting together as a supercomputer to assist protein folding-related disease research -- can offload calculations to the GPU to multiply its performance many times.
Because the kind of calculations used to draw 3D graphics are also applicable to many other problems, GPU acceleration is potentially useful for a wide variety of applications, from math-intensive science and engineering to complex database queries. Newer, even more complex chips -- such as nVidia's Aegia physics engine -- can do even more. No wonder nVidia has begun working on chips for the workstation market.
Increasingly, your PC's performance won't depend on the speed of any single chip. As AMD and Intel get into the game, expect future desktop CPUs to incorporate CPU and GPU capabilities into a single, multicore package, bringing the best of both worlds to gamers and nongamers alike.
High-speed net access
Where would we be without fast Internet access? It's easy to forget that just 10 years ago, most of us were still using ordinary modems. The broadband revolution ushered in streaming video, MP3 downloads, Internet phone calls, and multiplayer online gaming. And we owe it all to TV.
In the 1980s, cable companies were promising 500 channels of round-the-clock programming. Cable was poised to become the most important wire into the house; but the telephone companies had an ace up their sleeve. A new technology could push high-frequency signals over ordinary phone lines, which previously had been good only for low-bandwidth voice calls. The telephone companies saw this as an opportunity to offer video on demand and to compete with the cable companies at their own game.
Or so they thought. The plans of the telcos for video on demand dried up by the mid-1990s, but the technology remained. Now called DSL, it had morphed into a high-speed household on-ramp to the Internet. The cable companies followed suit with a comparable technology, and the broadband speed race--for both DSL and cable -- began in earnest.
Both cable and DSL still use traditional frequency signaling over copper wires, but new breakthroughs are poised to go mainstream. Fiber to the premises (FTTP) promises lightning-fast network speeds, and WiMax will push broadband into territories that wires can't reach today. As for what applications this next broadband revolution will bring -- well, we have only begun to imagine.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Washington: A computer that is a thousand-fold faster than the fastest current supercomputers is being developed by an Indian American scientist.
The machine of the future being developed by Ashok Nahata of the University of Utah relies on infrared wavelengths rather than electrical wires.
Nahata and his team made the equivalent of wires that carried and bent this form of infrared light, or terahertz radiation, the least exploited segment of electromagnetic spectrum.
Scientists want to harness this spectrum, since vast loads of communication clog the existing spectrum. It would not only make for much faster computing but also help in designing scanners and sensors able to detect biological, chemical or other weapons.
Nahata said the long-term goal is to develop capabilities to create circuits that run faster than modern-day electronic circuits "so we can have faster computers and faster data transfer via the Internet".
"We have taken a first step to making circuits that can harness or guide terahertz or infrared radiation," said Nahata. "Eventually - in a minimum of 10 years - this will allow the development of superfast circuits, computers and communications."
The findings will be published Friday in the online journal Optics Express.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
LAS VEGAS -- Google knows almost everything connected to the Web, but there is one major source of untapped data the company has scarcely touched to date. Can you guess that area?
If you cried "e-commerce transactions" you would be right, according to analysts at the Gartner Symposium ITexpo 2008 here April 10.
Thanks to a powerful database management system and corresponding technologies, the company is able to access just about anything that hasn't been encrypted, said Gartner analyst Richard Hunter in his presentation on what kind of information Google corrals on the world.
The one area where Google isn't particularly strong is in e-commerce transactions, where its Google Checkout platform sees only about 1 percent of what is sold on the Internet.
"This is obviously an area of great interest for them because so much of their current revenue is devised of advertising," Hunter said.
The conversation shed a new light on the rumor that Google could buy online travel power Expedia. Some financial analysts applauded this notion, while others booed the premise. The naysayers claimed Google would be broadening its business too much, while the cheerleaders claimed Google would be able to tap a new world of advertising.
Both lines of reasoning are true, but after Hunter's presentation it became clear that a major e-commerce buy is the missing link for Google's massive data warehouses, which touched 100 exabytes of data in 2007.
Clearly, Google knows the behavior patterns of its users. Do a search and the company will tailor ads based on your searches. Do some more searches, open your Gmail account and you will find about four paid links related to those searches. The company also knows a lot about the computers where its Google Apps are installed.
Google Casts a Wide Web
Google sees 67 percent of searches, knows the traffic of more than 1.5 million Web sites, as well as the physical locations of several things thanks to its Google Earth application.
For example, Gartner analyst Mark Stahlman used his mobile phone and Google Earth to pinpoint the location of our conference room in the Mandalay Bay resort here. The search vendor is also trying to learn the physical location of any cell phone user, thanks to its Google My Location application.
In another example, Hunter showed how a fellow analyst was able to find a person's name and address through Google's Picasa photo album application.
"When you put together their understanding of a physical location with their understanding of the user and their knowledge of their users' locations, you can derive a lot of meaningful information from the confluence of those things," Hunter said.
Google's information purview extends to businesses, of course. Hunter asked the audience of about 200 if their companies use Google Apps. A surprising 46 percent said they used them.
Indeed, for a company that corralled 100 exabytes of data in 2007, the better question might be: What doesn't Google know?
And while you're at it, think about what e-commerce giant Google might be inclined to target to fill out its information and online ad holes. Will it be Expedia? Amazon? eBay?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Hope we together try this happen.
original blog at:
Monday, March 24, 2008
Rahul Roy-Chowdhury spent nearly two decades in the U.S. before joining Google as its product manager for Google News. His particular mandate is to broaden Google News’ reach in India, and his company’s sent him back to capitalize on India’s strangely voracious appetite for news.
It’s one of the few countries in which newspaper circulation is actually increasing. That’s partly because rising incomes and education levels have stoked literacy, Roy-Chowdhury says, but it also has to do with the slow spread of Internet access. Of course, Google is planning for the day when every Indian can surf the Web for news, and it’s clear that when they can, they’ll still want what they like now: local news.
“If you leaf through almost any newspaper here, the sequence of sections is telling,” he says. “Generally, city and state news is given pride of place, followed by some national news and generally a small amount of international coverage.”
Roy-Chowdhury has to ensure that Google News not only provides that local coverage, but ultimately does so in the country’s different languages. India has 22 major languages. The country’s middle class, now about as big as the entire U.S. population, can speak English, but many still prefer to read and shop in their native tongues. “If we’re able to do it successfully, we can reach many orders of magnitude more people than we could otherwise,” he says. “I love the idea of potentially being able to make a difference at that scale.”
Who could have known, 17 years ago, that he would return to India as the representative of a mammoth high-tech company. Back then, India was still mired in sluggish growth, the product of decades of excessive government meddling in the economy. “Right as I was getting ready to leave for the U.S., India's balance of payments weaknesses suddenly caused a crisis,” he remembers. “India moved to a floating exchange rate, which immediately caused a severe devaluation of the rupee. I remember my father being quite upset, as my education in the US suddenly became 50 percent more expensive than it had been a month before!” Later on, India liberalized the economy, setting off the ongoing boom, which is particularly robust in high-tech industry.
He studied first mathematics, at Hamilton College, then computer science, at Columbia University. A stint at the New York offices of the investment bank Lazard Frères got him interested in business, which he pursued by getting an MBA at Stanford University, followed by a job at Solidcore, a Cupertino, California startup in that provides IT maintenance services. In 2007, Google gobbled him up.
Roy-Chowdhury now lives a stone’s throw from the center of Bangalore, which is the beating heart of India’s tech economy. There he sees the corporate offices of Intel, Microsoft, and a host of other tech multinationals, alongside malls packed with contemporary styles and name-brand fast food. It makes him feel right at home, because that is where he is.
Monday, March 17, 2008
At 14, he broke into the computer science department at the University of Calgary in Canada and taught himself to write software; he later received a computer science degree there.
The title of his PhD thesis from Carnegie Mellon University was The Algebraic Manipulation of Constraints.
He has built satellite data acquisition systems, a multiprocessor version of Unix, several compilers, mail systems and window managers. As well, he has built a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) text editor, a constraint-based drawing editor and a text editor called "Emacs" for Unix.
But, as they usually are, Mr Gosling is insightful, friendly, and highly amusing, wearing when we met the requisite technology T-shirt du jour, Galileo. He was in Australia recently for a couple of developer conferences.
At 52, Mr Gosling is a researcher at Sun Microsystems where his main interest is software development tools. "The reason why I stay is it's filled with a bunch of nutcases. Sun is a (relatively) small organisation, so there is a culture of tolerating craziness. It is open and understanding to risk; to an idea that might not be what people are expecting."
Mr Gosling says organisations have to reward risk and not penalise failure.
"Innovation is about new and interesting things. Innovation ends up being about risk, and thinking that risk and failure are good things.
"If you know it's going to work, it's probably boring," he says. "You've got to learn to trust crazy people. It's the people on the edge that have the most interesting insightful comments."
Mr Gosling says he never orders the same meal at a restaurant. That's akin to a lack of innovation.
"You've had a bad experience, so you stick with what's safe and you order the same meal all the time.
"A lot of innovation is about ignoring past failures, which can become obstacles. Innovation is a fearlessness about risk; a lack of concern about imagined negative consequences. Whatever goes wrong will be OK; it's a positive learning experience."
The biggest mistake Mr Gosling says he ever made was to not have enough confidence in himself. Not so much the engineering side, where he clearly excelled, but in "the stuff on the edges".
"Business and marketing people would come up with a position on stuff," he says. "They seemed wrong but I believed they were older and wiser and I didn't have the confidence to question them. People you think are oracles of wisdom - they're just making it up."
Mr Gosling learnt early on that clients who hire you don't know what they're talking about. "The trick is to listen and try to figure out what the problem is to solve. (For example) a company had a piece of software to do a simulation of an oil refinery but the simulation was taking more time than the machine could stay up for. They hired me to do tuning so the computation could be check-pointed, so it could be restarted.
"But when I saw the machine, I could hear that it was too noisy - the sound of a diskpad going back and forth, so it was a hardcore hardware problem. I fixed it and the runtime went down from three days to three minutes," he says. "Their views of the solution were bounded by their (limited) view of the problem."
Before joining Sun in 1984, Mr Gosling worked at IBM. He remembers a professional development course where an expert spoke on the history of warfare. "Get a bunch of business folk and their favourite book is The Art of War," he says. "I've met a lot of military folk, and they view their job as peace but business folk view their job as war. Folk at lower levels care about their jobs and at the top levels it's warfare. That was my epiphany."
Management at Apple is different from Sun, he says. "It is as black and opaque as a company can be. They have Chinese walls within the organisation, so they don't know what the others are doing, or even know that they are working on the same project.
"We at Sun are the goofballs. We're the most open guys on the planet. We have no secrets. We talk to our customers and our competitors a lot. There's a shortage of corporate lines and public positions on things."
At Sun, Mr Gosling and his colleagues once wrote a page of scenarios of what they thought people were likely to do in terms of technology. It was like an exercise in writing science fiction, he says. "We wondered what if cellphones got more capability? What if cellphones were computers? Most people thought we were goofs but we were spot on."
And the future of the web? "Gloriously unanswerable," he says. "All the important stuff is a surprise. It's a social experiment.
"The most interesting thing about the web is its unpredictability. People tend to focus on the technology but on the web you can build anything. The question is not so much can you build it but will anybody find it interesting?"
The Gosling creed
- Reward risk and don't penalise failure.
- Innovation is about risk and thinking that risk and failure are good things.
- You have to learn to trust crazy people. It's the people on the edge that have the most interesting, insightful comments.
- Have confidence in yourself. People you think are oracles of wisdom - they're just making it up.
- Listen carefully, and try to figure out what the problem is to solve.
"Being innovative is not a nationalistic character. It's shocking that still there is a perception that cheap engineers provide cheap solutions. The perception of Indian engineers are not creative or innovative as compared to their U.S. counterparts should go. There should not be any predisposition like Indian engineer, Israeli engineer etc.," said Dave Ettle, SVP, Products and Technology, AMDOCS OSS Division in his key note speech.Pari Natarajan, CEO of Zinnov said in his keynote that "R&D offshoring has seen phenomenal growth in the last 5 years and has played a key part in showcasing India's capability in innovation and high quality of work. However, the changing economic climate, increasing scale of operations, and increasing competition in the IT service sector demands new strategies."The event covered Indian offshoring scenarios, with 3 parallel tracks for Executive Management, HR and Top Finance executives. A congregation of the country's top, decision makers and influencers across the value-chain participated in the panel discussions during the event including names like Gajanana Hegde- Senior Director, Cisco-WebEx and Head, Connect Applications Development, Manoj Bawa, Director, Finance, McAfee, Vaibhav Parikh, Head, Nitish Desai and Associates, Aparna Ballakur, Director, HR, Adobe, Chitra Sood, Head, Staffing, Microsoft and Ravi Kyran, Director, HR, TI, India.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Debt waiver skewed to favour rich landholders: Sainath
Tue, Mar 4 11:19 AM
New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The one-time waiver of bank debts for 'small and marginal' farmers announced in the union budget will cover only a small fraction of needy farmers and is skewed in favour of rich landholders, says Magsaysay Award winner P. Sainath.
The debt waiver itself was good but would impact on only a few distressed farmers, the renowned columnist and rural affairs editor of The Hindu newspaper said Monday while delivering the third Sumitra Chisti memorial lecture on 'Death on the Farm: The Agrarian Crisis and its Consequences'.
According to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the debt waiver will only be limited to farmers with two hectares of holding which, said Sainath, rules out 52 percent of farmers in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region. Most of the farmers in Vidarbha had an average of six hectares 'as the quality of land was poor'.
'Out of the rest 48 percent, only a quarter had access to bank credit,' he said.
He pointed out that the debt was only limited till March 31, 2007, which he said, 'had been cynically and deliberately added by vested interests'.
The crop cycle for sugarcane growers in western Maharashtra, chief supporters of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, is from January to February, when they take loans.
'But, for Vidarbha, the crop cycle is from April to June, so the waiver will miss out this year's debt,' said Sainath.
The award winning journalist added that while farmers in Vidarbha were getting credit of only Rs.4,000 per hectare, it was about Rs.30,000 for the sugarcane farmers in western Maharashtra.
'The grape growers, for whom MPs are lobbying to introduce wine in airlines, are a cartel of 18 corporate executives living in Mumbai and they get a credit of Rs.100,000 per hectare,' he stated.
Contrary to the Congress' claim of the unprecedented nature of this debt relief, there had been previous examples, including during the British Raj, of farmer's debts being waived off. According to Sainath, people who are supporting the move now had shot it down when the prime minister was ready to waive off debt after his visit to Vidarbha in 2006.
'I will still say that it is a good step, but farmers will be back to where they were in two to three years, if government does not stabilise prices,' he said
Sunday, January 13, 2008
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