Monthly Archives: August 2008

some interesting startups

Here is a list of few technologies, startups, new ventures, services/products that bymy opinion are reaching out the next level of innovation.

The basis of selection??
- Let me put it this way, it’s not according to my whims and fancies! and I’ve tried to refrain from cluttering by listing only a few of them – believe (u) me, there are a lot more out there working their s’es off but just cannot be seen / comprehended right now. In fact I’d write another one for those incomprehensible ones.

Most of the ones listed here are doing great – using the old school logic that since I know about them, they are doing great!

Here they are:

  1. TringMe
    • CategoryMobile services – VoIP

    I know I know you already know about them. They have been in news everywhere for their revolutionary VoIP based solutions. They clarified a lot many doubts (including mine) on the VoIP based solutions in India. Clarity in voice, low on cost, adaptablity to different media – widgets, IM’s, voice mails, direct PC to mobile call; their ‘intelligent call-routing system‘ are some of the unique features offered by them.As much as I know about TringMe, I feel the future is quite bright for them – especially with the ever-increasing mobile / broadband penetration- everybody, all the time is looking for easier, better, less-expensive solution and if TringMe can do that, they get the cake.

    Way to go the long way!

  2. Alabot
    • CategoryNatural Language Processing – talk to computer and let it help you!

    This is some real cool app that these guys at alabot have come up with. Currently the offering is for travel inquiries – instant ‘on the fly’

    The concept – add it to your buddy list, for GTalk users, add alabot.travel@gmail.com as one of your contact – finito!
    Just start chatting with it as if it were just another friend of yours. Of course, it’s not
    perfect human but it’s the closest to being one. C’mon now what are u expecting? just give it a query on flight details and it will reply back with the details in almost a flash with a link to go ahead & purchase. Now what could be the details required from your end – obvious – start, end destinations; no. of travellers ; date of travel and ………. that’s it.
    It understands language like a human, it rectifies spell errors
    I’m sure a lot more services can be added – using their technology.

    Go Ahead get to know alabot it!

  3. mScriber
    • CategorySpeech Recognition – Say your thing and let it be written!

    This is again interesting, fascinating, long-time persuaded speech recognition. I remember during my college days computer ppl doing some projects on this.
    It was always a fascination to speak something and that be written and we had many softwares – Microsoft, dragon-speak easy amongst many others… they had many inherent problems, primary being the
    training where one would have to sit for hours and train the s/w to adapt to ur accent – i remember sitting and reading some novel hoping that it’d finally get my accent and type accordingly – it did that but to a very non-satisfying level – i had to be very very careful, speaking each word clearly and explicitly. summary: not worth the effort.
    Here comes mscriber and their s/w has been trained comprehensively – one really has to mess it up big time for it to not understand ur words.

    The concept
    – ‘eliminate ur texting needs’ – I’d just explain one of their various services – Voice2SMS – you will never have to write an SMS again.
    Just call their number ; follow the instructions – speak up the number where u want to send this message; speak ur message – finito!
    For testing purposes, I tried this with different accents and except for when I really got too desi/firang in my accent, the results were what I had expected.

    So what’s so great about this? who would want to call up someone and then speak something which would then be sent as SMS to some number, that too with some errors?
    Hey, this was just an example of the technology — for the things that this technology can lead to, read their blog

    Speak easy and it really understands.

That’s it folks, they were the Top 3 – You got to see them if you already haven’t. I’m quite bullish about these technologies, how about you?

Blow …blow …low…ow

Much as annoyed as I was to see high-visibility headlines of Times of India yesterday, they just broke ma back with the continuation / addition of spices onto that with their another high-demand gimmick – poll / view-point – Today again!!
So, wrote a quick note…
here it is:

Ridiculous that you guys(times grp) has blown the things out of proportion and that too to the levels wherein not one day, it is the freaking headline kind of news for you to publish two days in a row.
needless, to say it has been done to supply the daily dose of useless information / comments.

the whole issue is pointless – relax, he is the supremo and what Mr Frank said is in a pure light humorous sense, in a light stride.
it’s a pain to see that instead of laughing it away, a revenue/marketing stream has been generated out of it.

nice bad work… expected nothing lesser!
not Times, (it’s just doing plain business, filling the supply-demand gap) it the preposterous comments from everybody(including some authoritative people).

Everybody is thinking, he just said it!


[pic courtesy:www.causticconservative.com]

right said —

just in case, u need to see the other comments by significant others, click here

Calling the shots


Just witnessed another ‘Great Indian drama‘.

This is about Mehtas and the debate that starts with their simple, logical and very valid plea.
What I fail to understand is – Who calls the shots here?

[picture courtesy – placebojournal.com]

We have various entities:

- Disabled rights groups / Organizations
From disabled rights groups’ conveners to secretaries of organizations like ‘ right to die with dignity’ all giving their views on what should be the next step and what is the right way, the ethical way and the only way.

- Doctors
Who tell you about the probabilities of the unborn child having disabilities post the diagnosis.

- Lawyers / Judges
Who tell you about their field and the intricacies of the legal system

- Media people – arranging a get-together of all of the above
Organizing the talk show where all the above parties are invited and poking ‘whichever’ party with an anti-logic and “Do you mean to say…” questions.

- Parents
In my opinion the one and only who should’ve been involved – It’s their child after all and they are the ones who would be constantly involved in the whole life-cycle – theirs AND child’s.

All the others here would forget the case in a month, if not earlier.
It’s a shame that it has got down to this that people are writing articles about it, giving opinions, holding strong view-points.Of course, me included.
Who are we to say anything about what the parents should do?
They state it clearly that they cannot afford the child – financially or emotionally.
Then we have the category 1 people saying
‘ financially, we would assist them….. there are many organizations who would assist you financially’ and for the emotional quotient, statements like “the doctor has just given a probability / indication on child’s disability, it’s not certain. 1 in 10 children have this kind of an issue, does this mean we should kill 1/10th of the children”

This is ridiculous, the last part of the statement above.

No father or mother would want to kill their child and it certainly is the biggest pain for them and the pain is biggest for them, if at all it is a pain for anybody else.
They want to consciously make this choice of conducting an abortion
- so what if it has already been 25 weeks, the disability has been detected now only.
I completely turn a deaf ear to statements like ‘ the foetus is 25 weeks and it is almost like a child, so conducting an abortion would tantamount to killing a child’
- of course sir, it is being explicitly said that they want to go ahead with the abortion of the child still in womb because they know they cannot, and even if they could, they do not want to bring such a life which would be a pain – primarily for the child, and for the parents. All it means is bringing the unfortunate event to an end, scrabbling with words as you are, yes, it does mean killing the child, terminating the life, eliminating a human even before it is born and more grotesque versions of it.

Only people (parents) with very very high motivation levels / courage would be able to swallow this and plan the fight accordingly – in that case everything is fine, smooth – applause.
Story’s quite different (logical and common, if u ask me) here -
If the parents themselves are demotivated and cannot raise such a child, how can anyone come and make strong, inflexible statements and order the next steps.

I’m in complete agreement with the parents and it their and only their prerogative to decide the next steps, the legal systems which define it in terms of ’24 and not 25 weeks that it can be decided in’ are techno and logically poor reasoning.
These laws are way old, why don’t you try improvising the system – I know, charity begins at home.

All said and done – I plead, let the parents decide the future steps – they know it and they are the ones, and nobody else, who are going to bear the repercussions of the good / bad judgment .

In Ed’s words – Society, you’re a crazy breed…

Roll out of the mobile broadband – 3G services in India

Hmmm… i read that.
Of course, it was long awaited and am pretty excited about
that and in the same breath I’d like to say that somehow,
i’m not convinced it’s going to be a big game changer!
I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

What it means? essentially one thing-Internet on the move!
while one may argue that such a state exists already,
try experiencing it and more often than not, it’ll be
a strenuous exercise(Or is it just me who uses them inefficiently)
To even check mail on my cell, i have to muster courage
and get motivated enough to give it a try!
While that may be a little exaggerated, the point
remains – the services are painfully slow right now.

This would be eliminated by 3G — coming soon (in a year or so!)

Another issue I have is the pricing of data services
by the operators.
Wonder which side the pricing bar would slide to.

Amidst all this what I’m waiting for is the variety
of new, innovative, luxurious-turning-to-essential services.
The list would be poetically – eternal.

e-mails
– I’d get all the e-mails and would be hardly accessing
computer-internet for that.

Location Based Services
– How amazing it would be with integration of mobile
and internet.
Just imagine my location is always definable and I’m
always connected to the internet too.
I’m in sector 2 and get to know that a particular route
for my destination is experiencing a traffic jam
or
I’m again at sector 2 and my orkut-integration tells
me my-best-enemy is nearby!
The possibilities are truly endless…

Paymenting
– enhanced data transfer would enable mobile payments,
which is currently being relished in watered down formats.
– this means transactions OTF – relief to many, i’m certain.
- Shopping

more services
– Video calls / Conferencing
- Online Videos / Music – (read youtube or even better something

new which gets even more popular)
– Downloads
– Bookings – Tickets – Movie / airfare – train etc
again thousand more possibilities.
- Gaming – multiplayer
- Networking – with social networks already leading the
preferred sites on mobile.

Better services
- better voice call communication, clarity

some questions :
1. what about the small screen, would getting onto
internet ever get half as easy as it is on computer?
2. Price.. cost.. my bills..pretty sure i’d opt for some
unlimited d.t. plan
3. More spam? more targeted advertising – with more
info with them now.
4. Handset compatibility – although most of them are,
there would be a lot of services, and essential ones
on that, which would require handsets with certain
minimum specifications??

all in all I’m all in for this move and wait for the day

How about you, what do you have to say
would love to hear some commentary on this..